“The most direct and spontaneous historic pastime we have is the infliction of pain by beating. Nekrassov has a poem about a peasant who flogs a horse about its eyes, “its gentle eyes”… He describes how a feeble nag, which has been pulling too heavy a load, sticks in the mud with its cart and cannot move. The peasant beats it, beats it savagely and, in the end, without realizing why he is doing it and intoxicated by the very act of beating, goes on showering heavy blows upon it. “Weak as you are, pull you must! I don’t care if you die so long as you go on pulling!” The nag pulls hard but without avail, and he begins lashing the poor defenceless creature across its weeping, “gentle eyes”. Beside itself with pain, it gives one tremendous pull, pulls out the cart, and off it goes, trembling all over and gasping for breath, moving sideways, with a curious sort of skipping motion, unnaturally and shamefully… But it’s only a horse and God has given us horses to be flogged.
And there you have an educated and well-brought-up gentleman and his wife who birch their own little deaughter, a child of seven- I have a full account of it. Daddy is glad that the twigs have knots, for, as he says, “it will sting more” and so be begins “stinging” his own daughter. I know for a fact that there are people who get so excited that they derive a sensual pleasure from every blow, literally a sensual pleasure, which grows progressively with every subsequent blow. They beat for a minute, five minutes, ten minutes. The more it goes on the more “stinging” do the blows become. The child screams, at last it can scream no more, it is gasping for breath. ‘Daddy, Daddy, dear Daddy!'”
– Brothers Karamazov