Download A Journal of the Plague Year (Modern Library Classics) by Daniel Defoe PDF

By Daniel Defoe

Defoe's account of the bubonic plague that swept London in 1665 is still as vibrant because it is harrowing. in response to Defoe's personal adolescence thoughts and prodigious examine, A magazine of the Plague Year walks the road among fiction, historical past, and reportage. In meticulous and unsentimental element it renders the lifestyle of a urban lower than siege; the customarily ugly scientific precautions and practices of the time; the mass panics of a apprehensive citizenry; and the solitary travails of Defoe's narrator, a guy who makes a decision to stay within the urban via all of it, chronicling the process occasions with an unwavering eye. Defoe's magazine is still possibly the best account of a normal catastrophe ever written.

This glossy Library Paperback vintage is decided from the unique version released in 1722.

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Example text

I cannot say that the officers suffered any willingly to lie there; but I have heard that in a great pit in Finsbury, in the parish of Cripplegate, it lying open then to the fields, for it was not then walled about, [many] came and threw themselves in, and expired there, before they threw any earth upon them; and that when they came to bury others and found them there, they were quite dead, though not cold. This may serve a little to describe the dreadful condition of that day, though it is impossible to say anything that is able to give a true idea of it to those who did not see it, other than this, that it was indeed very, very, very dreadful, and such as no tongue can express.

WHEREAS in the reign of our late Sovereign King James, of happy memory, an Act was made for the charitable relief and ordering of persons infected with the plague, whereby authority was given to justices of the peace, mayors, bailiffs, and other head-officers to appoint within their several limits examiners, searchers, watchmen, keepers, and buriers for the persons and places infected, and to minister unto them oaths for the performance of their offices. And the same statute did also authorise the giving of other directions, as unto them for the present necessity should seem good in their directions.

For example, in Coleman Street there are abundance of alleys, as appears still. A house was shut up in that they call White's Alley; and this house had a back-window, not a door, into a court which had a passage into Bell Alley. A watchman was set by the constable at the door of this house, and there he stood, or his comrade, night and day, while the family went all away in the evening out at that window into the court, and left the poor fellows warding and watching for near a fortnight. Not far from the same place they blew up a watchman with gunpowder, and burned the poor fellow dreadfully; and while he made hideous cries, and nobody would venture to come near to help him, the whole family that were able to stir got out at the windows one storey high, two that were left sick calling out for help.

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