Exili was no vulgar poisoner: he was a great artist in poisons,
comparable with the Medici or the Borgias. For him murder was a fine
art, and he had reduced it to fixed and rigid rules: he had arrived
at a point when he was guided not by his personal interest but by a
taste for experiment. God has reserved the act of creation for
Himself, but has suffered destruction to be within the scope of man:
man therefore supposes that in destroying life he is God's equal.
Such was the nature of Exili's pride: he was the dark, pale alchemist
of death: others might seek the mighty secret of life, but he had
found the secret of destruction.-

EXILI, an Italian chemist and poisoner in the 17th centur3?~ His real name was probably Nicolo Egidi or Eggidio. Few authentic details of hislife exist. Tradition, however, credits him with having been originally the salaried poisoner at Rome of Olympia Maidalchina, the mistress of Pope Innocent X. Subsequent]y he became a gentleman in waiting to Queen Christina of Sweden, whose taste for chemistry may have influenced this appointment. In 1663 his presence in France aroused the suspicions of the French government, and he was imprisoned in the Bastille. Here he is said to have made the acquaintance of Godin de Sainte-Croix, the lover of the marquise de Brinvilliers (q.v.). After three months imprisonment, powerful influences secured Exilis release, and he left France for England. In 1681 he was again in Italy, where he married the countess Fantaguzzi, second cousin of Duke Francis of Modena.


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Last-modified: 2005-02-26 (土) 12:58:51