The usual capital punishments in China are strangling, and beheading. The former is the most common , and is decreed against those, who are found guilty of crimes, which , however capital, are only held in the
second `rank` of atrocity. For instance, all acts of homicide, whether intentional or accidental; every species of fraud, committed upon government : the seduction of a woman, whether married or single; giving abusive language to a parent, plundering or defacing a burying place ; robbing with destructive weapons : and for wearing pearls. It
would not, perhaps, be possible to form any probable conjecture of the motive, which has induced the Chinese legislators to attach the pain of death to the wearing of a precious gem . The fact is, therefore, only stated from the information of various writers, and remains to be explained by some future commentator.
Criminals are sometimes strangled with a bow -string, but on general occasions, a cord is made use of, which fastens the person to a cross, and one turn being taken round his neck , it is drawn tight by an athletic executioner.
Men of distinction ,are usually strangled, as the more honourable death ; and where the Emperor is inclined to shew an extraordinary mark of attention towards a mandarin , condemned to die, he sends him a silken
cord, with permission to be his own executioner .