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King William and the "Thumbikins"

"I have heard it said," said King William, to Principal Carstairs, ''that you were tortured with something they call ' thumbikins ;' pray what sort of instrument of torture is it?"
"I will show it you," replied Carstairs, ''the next time I have the hononr to wait upon your Majesty."
The Principal was as good as his word.
"I must try them," said the King. "I must put in my thumbs here, now, Principal, turn the screw. Oh ! not so gently, another turn, another, stop ! stop ! no more. Another turn, I'm afraid, would make me confess any-thing."
-Statistical Account.

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