be infected ; indeed it is hardly credible what dreadful havoc the last three weeks had made; for if I might believe the person whose calculations I always found very well grounded, there were not less than thirty thousand people dead, and near one hundred thousand fallen sick in the three weeks I speak of; for the number that sickened was surprising, indeed, it was astonishing, and those whose courage upheld them all the time before, sunk under it now.

In the middle of their distress, when the condition of the city of London was so truly calamitous, just then it pleased God, as it were, by his immediate hand, to disarm this enemy; the poison was taken out of the sting; it was wonderful : even the physicians themselves were surprised at it: wherever they visited they found their patients better, either they had sweated kindly, or the tumours were broke, or the carbuncles went down, and the inflammations round them changed colour, or the fever was gone, or the violent headache was assuaged, or some good symptom was in the case; so that, in a few days everybody was recovering; whole families that were infected and down, that had ministers praying with them, and expected death every hour, were revived and healed, and none died at all out of them.

Nor was this by any new medicine found out, or new method of cure discovered, or by any experience in the operation, which the physicians or surgeons attained to; but it was evidently from the secret invisible hand of Him that had at first sent this disease as a judgment upon us'; and let the atheistic part of mankind call my saying what they please, it is no enthusiasm. It was acknowledged, at that time, by all mankind. The disease was enervated, and its malignity spent, and let it proceed from whencesoever it will, let the philosophers search for reasons in nature to account for it by, and labour as much as they will to lessen the debt they owe to their Maker ; those physicians who had the least share of religion in them, were obliged to acknowledge that it was all supernatural, that it was extraordinary, and that no account could be given of it.

If I should say that this is a visible summons to us all to thankfulness, especially we that were under the terror of its increase, perhaps it may be thought by soine, after the sense of the thing was over, an officious canting of religious things, preaching a sermon instead of writing a history; making myself a teacher, instead of giving my observations of things; and this restrains me very much from going on here, as I might otherwise do; but if ten lepers were healed, and but one returned to give thanks, I desire to be as that one, and to be thankful for myself.

Nor will I deny but there were abundance of people who, to all appearance were very thankful at that time : for their mouths were stopped, even the mouths of those whose hearts were not extraordinarily long affected with it; but the impression was so strong at that time that it could not be resisted—no, not by the worst of the people.

It was a common thing to meet people in the street that were strangers and that we knew nothing at all of, expressing their surprise. Going one day through Aldgate, and a pretty many people being passing and repassing, there comes a man out of the end of the Minories, and looking a little up

the street and down, he throws his hands abroad, “ Lord, what an alteration is here! Why, last week I came along here, and hardly anybody was to be seen." Another man,

I heard him, adds to his words, “ 'Tis all wonderful; 'tis all a dream." “Blessed be God,” says a third man, “and let us give thanks to bim, for ’tis all his own doing.” Human help and human skill were at an end. These were all strangers to one another, but such salutations as these were frequent in the street every day; and in spite of a loose' behaviour, the very common people went along the streets, giving God thanks for their deliverance.

It was now, as I said before, the people had cast off all apprehensions, and that too fast ; indeed, we were no more afraid now to pass by a man with a white cap upon his head, or with a cloth wrapt round his neck, or with his leg limping, occasioned by the sores in his groin, all which were frightful to the last degree but the week before; but now the street was full of them, and these poor recovering creatures, give them their due, appeared very sensible of their unexpected deliverance; and I should wrong them very much, if I should not acknowledge, that I believe many of them were really thankful; but I must own, that for the generality of the people it might too justly be said of them, as was said of the children of Israel, after their being delivered from the host of Pharaoh, when they passed the Red sea, and looked back and saw the



Egyptians overwhelmed in the water; viz., “That they sang his praise, but they soon forgot his works.”

I can go no farther here. I should be counted censorious, and perhaps unjust, if I should enter into the unpleasing work of reflecting, whatever cause there was for it, upon the unthankfulness and return of all manner of wickedness among us, which I was so much an eye-witness of myself. I shall conclude the account of this calamitious year, therefore, with a coarse but a sincere stanza of my own, which I placed at the end of my ordinary memorandums, the same year they were written ;

A dreadful plague in London was,

In the year sixty-five,
Which swept an hundred thousand souls

Away; yet I alive!

H. F.


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Sept. 200 1666 :

This Narrative is not written by Defoe, but is inserted here as a suitable sequel to his account of the Plague." It is taken

City Remembrancer," 2 vols., 8vo., a scarce work, published in London, 1769.

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