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2nd Brother. Do not ask me, I cannot leave her; no, I'll live and die with her. I am sure if I had been the first, she would not have left me; besides, brother, it may not be safe for you to have me go, for, to be sure, I have the seeds of the distemper about me by this time.
He had with much ado prevailed on his brother to resolve upon going the next morning, and not to stay for the ship's boat, which was to come for them two days after. When offering to go into his sister's chamber again, the servants met him softly at the door, and told him she was fallen into a sleep, with a little sweat; upon which he retired into his own chamber again. He waited four or five hours, and still his sister slept most sweetly; upon which he lay down upon his own bed in his clothes, and slept several hours more, and still his sister was not waked.
In a word, she slept till near nine o'clock the next morning, when she waked wonderfully refreshed, her distemper quite abated, the fever gone; and, in a word, it appeared that she had not the least symptoms of the infection upon her, to the inexpressible joy of the whole family.
On the day appointed the boat came up, and the eldest brother, with his two children and one maidservant and a man-servant, went on foot through the street to Galley Quay, where, it being high water, the boat came close to the shore, and they went all away.
The next day, the boat being ordered up again, the second brother, the sister, and another maid-servant, with an ancient woman that was formerly the sister's nurse, went all off in the same manner.
When they were all safe on board, the captain asked their leave to bring his own wife and one child, a little boy of five years old, and a maid to be with him also, which they all agreed willingly to ; and thus they were all embarked together; this being the first week in August, by which time the burials in the city and suburbs amounted to no less than 4030 in all, of which of the plague 2817.
They left the house fastened up with no soul in it; but left the care of guarding it to the ordinary watch by night, and two poor men, who by turns kept the outer door by day, took in letters, and any such business as in that time of a cessation of all business might happen ; these were particularly directed to take in the weekly bill of mortality, which, with all foreign letters, they ordered to be sent weekly to a house at Greenwich, and gave orders at Greenwich to have them brought to the ship's side, after they had been perfumed and sprinkled with vinegar, and then scorched at the fire, as was then the usage.
The ship, as I observed, lay at an anchor a little above Deptford, where they continued about a fortnight longer; but finding by that time the dreadful increase of the plague, and that it came on eastward from the other end of the town, by the north side of the city, into the parishes of Aldgate, Whitechapel, and Stepney, and particularly began to rage in Wapping, and Ratcliff, and even down to Blackwall ; also, that some had died of it in Rotherhithe, and in Deptford, they found they should be, as it were, surrounded; so the captain, at their request, weighed and fell down the river, to a place between Blackwall and Woolwich which they call Bugby's Hole, being a secure place for ships to ride in.
The vessel they were in was a ship of force carrying sixteen guns, but could carry twenty-four; so they lived at large and had room enough. The merchant and his family had the great cabin and steerage to themselves, with some cabins built on purpose for his maid-servants and children in the gun-room; an apartment was built up out of the great cabin for his sister, and her nurse and maid and himself and his brother had each of them a large cabin built in the steerage, so the rest of the great cabin was their dining-room. The captain had the round-house and the little room before it, which they call the cuddy, for his family, and the quarter-deck was their parade or walking place, over which the captain had caused an awning to be built, and covered it so close, both top and sides, that it was like a great hall.
They soon found reason also to remove the place appointed for their letters, and ordered them to Woolwich, both the towns of Deptford and Greenwich being sorely visited.
Here they rode with great satisfaction for all the rest of the month of August, when they received the last weekly bill for the said month of August, which amounted to no less than 7496, a frightful number indeed, and which was still dreadfully increasing, almost 2000 that very week, not reckoning such as died in the towns of Deptford and Greenwich.
This put the merchant upon a new proposal to the captain, which was to go quite away to sea ; for he was now in such a dreadful consternation on several