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fine flour for Barbadoes or Jamaica. I mention this because it is known that unless flour be thus packed up and pressed with great art together in a cask, and then headed close up, so that no air can get to it, it will spoil, be musty, breed the weevil, and corrupt.
Then he caused a small oven to be built on the top of his house, that is to say, in a chimney in one of his garrets, for fear, and laid in as many faggots for the heating it as would serve to heat it three times in two weeks for whole
year. He then bought twelve hogsheads of good middling beer, which he had caused to be brewed on purpose for keeping, being so well hopped that there was no doubt of its being sound; and having a good vault for keeping them, they were stowed by themselves; and that those might be supposed to supply him fully, he had six half hogsheads of other beer laid in for present use.
He took care for a reasonable quantity of wine, cordial waters, and brandy, not for mirth or plentiful drinking, but for necessary supplies, the physicians also having advised every one that could afford it to drink moderately, so as not to suffer their spirits to sink or be dejected, as on such melancholy occasions they might be supposed to do.
To this end he bought a half hogshead of the best Canary wine that he could get in the whole city.
Two small casks of Malmsey, quantity about twelve gallons each.
One quarter cask of Malaga sack.
Two small runlets of aqua vitæ.
Two runlets of eight gallons each of brandy, which was then very rare.
His wife and daughters had stored their closets well with many sorts of distilled waters, as well simple waters as others, and particularly a new cordial prepared by a prescription of the physicians at that time, and called plague water; of this, though very costly, they had prepared the quantity of two dozen bottles.
Also his wife and two eldest daughters had stored their closet with several preparations of medicines, as directed by the physicians, as mithridate, Venice treacle, diascordium, and pill. ruff., London treacle, diachylon, turpentine, &c.
Also they collected all needful sorts of herbs and roots, such as rue, mint, wormwood, carduus, angelica, garlic, scabius, white lily roots, sage, sorrel, and other useful simples, which they kept dry, to use by the prescriptions of medicine published by the College; so that they might make up these things, if need was, without the help of an apothecary or surgeon.
But to return to provisions. The master of the house, like a prudent purveyor, took care to do everything without clamour or noise, so that he might not be known to lay in a great store of provisions; the danger of such things being made public being often great, and no doubt would have been so, had the city suffered any scarcity of provisions, which, however, by the prudence of the magistrates, was prevented; but, as that was more than he knew would happen, he laid in all his provisions with the utmost privacy.
Having furnished himself with bread, with flour, and with beer, in the next place he went to a butcher in Rotherhithe, none having yet died of the plague on that side of the water, and here he caused three fat bullocks to be killed, and the flesh pickled and barrelled up, as if done for a ship going on a long voyage; likewise six barrels of pork for the same pretended occasion.
These also he brought by water to Trigg Stairs, where he landed them and carted them to his warehouse as before, as if it had
He then wrote to several correspondents he had in the country, and caused twenty Aitches of bacon to be sent him, some from one place, some from another, so that they did not come to him all together, nor above two or three from any particular carrier.
He likewise had a large stock of cheeses, particularly out of Wiltshire and Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, about six hundredweight in the whole. He bought also five very large old Cheshire cheeses, so that he had a store of cheese for much more than a year.
Out of Suffolk, he had sent him twelve firkins of the best salt butter that could be had ; besides that he had several pots of butter sent him by particular order from other countries where he had dealings.
He took particular care to lay in about a ton and a half of good white wine vinegar, as a thing that was particularly useful on many occasions. He laid in a double or threefold stock of coals and wood for firing, with gunpowder and brimstone for scents above; also salt and pickles in abundance, being judged very wholesome, with some hams, neats' tongues, and hung beef for dainties ; with about twenty small jars or stone bottles of good oil, rather for physical uses than for salads, for these they were sure to be without.
Thus you have, as near as I can collect, his bill of stores, and the magazine was certainly well filled.
It is true every family could not do thus; but ’t is also true that if all those that could have done so had done it, and had done it in time, the contagion had not spread as it did in so many substantial families ; for though it was said, which, however, I do not grant, that none of the market people were infected who carried provisions to supply the city, yet this I can undertake to say, and could prove it by many people still living, that abundance of people got the distemper by going to market to buy those provisions, that is to say, by going out into the street to fetch such necessaries as they wanted, whether at shops or in the markets; and therefore it was the most necessary precaution that could be taken by this or any other person, to lay in a fund of provisions for his whole family, so as not to be obliged to have any person go out of his house into the street, by which he was as much separated from the people of the city as if he had lived several miles off from them. I should have mentioned that he took care to have all other needful petty things provided, such as shoes, hose, gloves, and all sorts of linen and wearing clothes, so that nothing could be wanted that they need go out for of that kind.
As to spice and fruit, and all such things, they had sufficient in the house by the means of their trade as a grocer; and as to perfumes of many kinds, he provided a great quantity.
Candles he laid in about seventy or eighty dozen, that is to say, dozen pound, with a great many bottles of lemon juice and lime juice, those acids being very necessary on that occasion. He doubly stored the house also with vessels of all sorts, such as earthenware, glass-ware, and all such perishable things.
He caused all the rats and mice in his house to be effectually poisoned and destroyed, and all the cats and dogs to be killed, and buried deep in the ground in his yard.
He built up three great terrace cisterns, and had them kept constantly filled with water, that every room in his house might be frequently washed; and not content with water of the New River in his yard, which came in by a pipe, he caused a well to be sunk in his said yard and a pump placed there, that he might have water to dress their provisions with, which did not run open in the city air, or that could be touched with any dead carcass, or have any living body or clothes washed in it which were infected with the plague.
His last and greatest concern was for fresh meat, and this he could not contrive any way for, and therefore, excepting that he made some provisions of