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WHEEL. The punishment of the wheel was formerly to put a criminal on a wheel, and then to break his bones until he expired. This barbarous punishment was never used in the United States, and it has been abolished in almost every civilized country.

References in classic literature ?
Suddenly he heard a small voice above the rattle and rumble of the wheels and the creaking of the harness.
After standing with the bridle over his heavily-splashed arm, until the wheels of the mail were no longer within hearing and the night was quite still again, he turned to walk down the hill.
The house fronts looked black enough, and the windows blacker, contrasting with the smooth white sheet of snow upon the roofs, and with the dirtier snow upon the ground; which last deposit had been ploughed up in deep furrows by the heavy wheels of carts and waggons; furrows that crossed and recrossed each other hundreds of times where the great streets branched off; and made intricate channels, hard to trace in the thick yellow mud and icy water.
The hunter's wife did as she was advised, and the first night the moon was full she sat and spun with a golden spinning-wheel, and then left the wheel on the bank.
The coastguard ran aft, and when he came beside the wheel, bent over to examine it,and recoiled at once as though under some sudden emotion.
A mile from Edgware the rim of the wheel broke, and the machine became unridable.
Trente-et-quarante interested her but little; she preferred roulette, with its ever-revolving wheel.
Just and perfect is the Wheel, swerving not a hair.
Sometimes a wheel was off the ground, it seemed, for many yards; sometimes a stone was sent spinning over the hedge, and flinty sparks from the horse's hoofs outshone the daylight.
A very steep staircase, of unhewn stone, which was called by distinction "the ladder," led to the upper platform, upon which was visible a horizontal wheel of solid oak.
Any place you love is the world to you," exclaimed a pensive Catherine Wheel, who had been attached to an old deal box in early life, and prided herself on her broken heart; "but love is not fashionable any more, the poets have killed it.
The first strayed off into the infinite, heeding no appeals; the second was killed in the night by a fruit motor-waggon which fled before Grubb could get down; the third got itself entangled in the front wheel of a passing cyclist, who came through the plate glass, and proved to be an actor out of work and an undischarged bankrupt.