E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A scourge used by Roman Catholics for penitential purposes.
Before the cross and altar a lamp was still burning, and on the floor lay a small discipline or penitential scourge of small cord and wire, the lashes of which were stained with recent blood.Sir W. Scott: The Talisman. chap. iv.