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Description. The flower is bell-shaped; it hath a permanent empalement of one leaf, cut into five parts; it hath five stamina rising from the base of the petal; in the centre is situated an oval germen, which becomes a globular berry, having two cells sitting on the empalement, and filled with kidney-shaped seed. It is of a cold nature; in some it causeth sleep; in others madness, and, shortly after, death.

This plant should not be suffered to grow in any places where children have been killed by eating the berries.

There is a remarkable instance of the direful effects of this plant recorded in Buchanan's History of Scotland: wherein he gives an account of the destruction of the army of Sweno, when he invaded Scotland, by mixing a quantity of the juice of these berries in the drink which the Scots, by the truce, were to supply them with; this so intoxicated the Danes, that the Scots fell upon them in their sleep, and killed the greatest part of them: so that there were scarcely men enough left to carry off their king.

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