Saturday, February 23, 2008

Poisons Long In Use


Some poisons have been known for ages. Prussic acid, then called "the poison of the peach," was used by the Egyptians before the pyramids were built. They were the first to distill the poison from peach pits.

Corrosive sublimate was one of the favorite poisons of Charles IX of France. He offered a large prize for any one who would find an antidote for it. A physician came to him one day to claim the reward. The king sent for his cook, who had burned the meat that day, and made him take a fatal dose of corrosive sublimate. The antidote was administered immediately, but the cook died, notwithstanding. The king had the doctor taken out and hanged, so his spirit followed the cook's in less than a quarter of an hour.

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