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Suicides

were formerly buried ignominiously on the high-road, with a stake thrust through their body, and without Christian rites. (Chambers: Encyclopædia, lx. p. 184, col. 1.)

They buried Ben at four cross roads,
With a stake in his inside.

Hood: Faithless Nelly Gray.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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