Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Gruel.

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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Gruel.
 
To give him his gruel. To kill him. The allusion is to the very common practice in France in the sixteenth century, of giving poisoned possets—an art brought to perfection by Catherine de Medicis and her Italian advisers.   1
 


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