He spent much of his time in practising magic, and it was believed that he had so saturated his body with poisons that none could injure him.
An electuary of opium, known as Mithradatum, was invented by Mithradates VI., king of Pontus, who lived in constant fear of being poisoned, and tested the effects of poisons on criminals, and is said to have taken poisons and their antidotes every day in the year.
A subsequent pharmacy act, passed in 1868, added a register of chemists and druggists, and rendered it unlawful for any unregistered person to sell or keep open shop for selling the poisons mentioned in the schedule of this act.
The following poisons may not be sold, either retail or wholesale, unless distinctly labelled with the name of the article, and the word poison, with the name and address of the seller: Almonds, essential oil of (unless deprived of prussic acid).
Any poisonous substance that is not included in the schedules can be sold by anyone, as, for instance, red lead, sulphate of copper, &c. The duty of the Pharmaceutical Society is a purely legal one, and relates only to the schedules of poisons framed by the government to protect the public by rendering it a difficult matter to obtain the poisons most frequently used for criminal purposes.