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Reënter OVERREACH. Lady Allworth
Come again! Lovell
Fear not, I am your guard. Wellborn
His looks are ghastly.
Some little time I have spent, under your favors,
And look to yourselves.
Why, is not the whole world
[Flourishing his sword sheathed.
[Rushes forward and fings himself on the ground. Wellborn
There's no help;
Disarm him first, then bind him. Greedy
Take a mittimus,
And carry him to Bedlam. Lovell
How he foams! Wellborn
Aud bites the earth!
Carry him to some dark room,
There try what art can do for his recovery. Margaret
O my dear father! [They force OVERREACH off.
THE PLAGUE OF LONDON.
BY DANIEL DEFOE.
(From the “Journal of the Plague Year.")
[Daniel Defoe, English journalist and man of letters, was born in London, about 1660 ; died in 1731. He wrote every sort of imaginable work in prose and verse, history, biography, and fiction, political and religious controversy, social and political pamphlets, satires, and other poems. His most famous work is “ Robinson Crusoe ” (1719) ; among his other novels are: “The Apparition of Mrs. Veal” (1706), “ Memoirs of a Cavalier" (1720), “Captain Singleton" (1720), “Moll Flanders,” · Cartouche," and “Colonel Jacque" (1722), “ John Sheppard ” (1724) ; and the “ Journal of the Plague Year" (1722) and “ Account of Jonathan Wild” (1725) are really such. Among his pamphlets are, “The Shortest Way with Dissenters ” (1702) and “ Political History of the Devil” (1726).]
THERE was one Shift that some Families had, and that not a few, when their Houses happened to be infected, and that was this: The Families, who in the first breaking out of the Distemper, fled away into the Country, and had Retreats among their Friends, generally found some or other of their Neighbors or Relations to commit the Charge of those Houses to, for the Safety of the Goods, and the like. Some Houses were indeed entirely lock’d up, the Doors padlockt, the Windows and Doors having Deal-Boards nail'd over them, and only the Inspection of them committed to the ordinary Watchmen and Parish Officers; but these were but few.
It was thought that there were not less than 10,000 Houses forsaken of the Inhabitants in the City and Suburbs, including what was in the Out Parishes, and in Surrey, or the side of the Water they call’d Southwark. This was besides the Numbers of Lodgers, and of particular Persons who were fled out of other Families, so that in all it was computed that about 200,000 People were fled and gone in all : But of this I shall speak again : But I mention it here on this Account, namely,
Viens of the manner of bueryong the dead Bodies Ac-Holy-well mount during the dreadful PLAGUE * 1665
that it was a Rule with those who had thus two Houses in their Keeping, or Care, that if any Body was taken sick in a Family,
a before the Master of the Family let the Examiners, or any other Officer, know of it, he immediately would send all the rest of his Family, whether Children or Servants, as it fell out to be, to such other House which he had so in Charge, and then giving Notice of the sick Person to the Examiner, have a Nurse or Nurses appointed ; and have another Person to be shut up in the House with them (which many for Money would do) so to take Charge of the House, in case the Person should die.
This was in many cases the saving a whole Family, who, if they had been shut up with the sick Person, would inevitably have perished : But on the other Hand, this was another of the Inconveniences of shutting up Houses ; for the Apprehensions and Terror of being shut up made many run away with the rest of the Family, who, tho' it was not publickly known, and they were not quite sick, had yet the Distemper upon them; and who by having an uninterrupted Liberty to go about, but being obliged still to conceal their Circumstances, or perhaps not knowing it themselves, gave the Distemper to others, and spread the Infection in a dreadful Manner, as I shall explain farther hereafter.
And here I may be able to make an Observation or two of my own, which may be of use hereafter to those into whose Hands this may come, if they should ever see the like dreadful Visitation. (1.) The Infection generally came into the Houses of the Citizens, by the Means of their Servants, who they were obliged to send up and down the Streets for Necessaries, that is to say, for Food, or Physick, to Bake-houses, Brew-houses, Shops, etc., and who going necessarily thro' the Streets into Shops, Markets, and the like, it was impossible, but that they should one way or other meet with distempered people, who conveyed the fatal Breath into them, and they brought it Home to the Families, to which they belonged. (2.) It was a great Mistake, that such a great City as this had but one PestHouse ; for had there been, instead of one Pest-House, viz., beyond Bunhil-Fields, where, at most, they could receive, perhaps, 200 or 300 People ; I say, had there instead of that one been several Pest-houses, every one able to contain a thousand People without lying two in a Bed, or two Beds in a Room ; and had every Master of a Family, as soon as any Servant