Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Poisoning
 
  Of all the old times that are gone, there is none gone more completely and more finally than the old time when to take heed against poison was one of the waking thoughts common to all; when deadly poison, it was thought, might be administered either by look or word as well as by deed, and when life was made uneasy by the constant rising of a horrible mistrust. For centuries this tenor was an element of social life in Europe, and if it was greater than the danger, yet the danger was not small. Death feuds were frequent, lust of gain was held less in check than it is now; a man’s life was of less account than we now make it, and the means of positive detection were so utterly inadequate that a remote possibility of rank and stake, when weighed against the certainty of gain, pressed little on the mind of any criminal.
Household Words.    
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