Putting someone to the question  

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Putting someone to the question was a euphemism during the Medieval Inquisition for torture. As it is dramatized in the film Goya's Ghosts this is how it works: if you are innocent, God gives you the strength not to feel the pain inflicted upon your body.

Though there are few articles of jurisprudence in these honest alphabetical reflections, we must, however, say a word or two on torture, otherwise called “the question”; which is a strange manner of questioning men. They were not, however, the simply curious who invented it; there is every appearance, that this part of our legislation owes its first origin to a highwayman. Most of these gentlemen are still in the habit of screwing thumbs, burning feet, and questioning, by various torments, those who refuse to tell them where they have put their money. --Philosophical Dictionary, by Voltaire, tr. William F. Fleming

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