Of order to bee appoynted among the Citizens, and of leauing of publike meetinges and assemblies. Cap. 6.
THere must also an order bee set downe amonge the Citi∣zens, to auoyde publike assē∣blies, games, feastes, drin∣kings, marriages, daūcings, fayers, schooles, churches, & publike bathes, For besides that in many of these there is greate offence committed not onelie against the bodie, but also against the soule, there is also no small daunger of get∣ting and scattering the infection. Wherfore, wise men giue counsel, that at such times we should very seldome come into great compa∣nies of men. For there is no man so vnskilful but he knoweth, that where as al thinges are done without consideration as it were in a mingle mangle, yt there the infection is spred farthest, and infecteth manie. As whē the ta∣uernes & typling houses, whither they go to drink, are opē vnto al daylie, ye market also, ye shambles, publike places also in which linnē is washed, and diuers sortes of people are Page 27 wont to be mixed together, are haunted. In this case therfore lawes must be made by the preseruers, whereby such meetinges may be forbidden, or els seuered into diuers places and times.
And first concerning Churchmeetinges,* this counsel is to be giuen, that they come not by heapes, or by thronges, neither in, nor goe out, and that they flocke not by great nūbers into one Church, where they shalbe driuen to fit streightly and neere together, especiall in one Citie: whereas there are more places fit for this purpose, in the whiche the diuine ser∣uice, that is, the expounding of the woorde of God, and administration of the Sacraments may be done. For albeit these thinges may peraduenture seem vnto some to be but smal, and of little importance, yet nothing is to be omitted, which by any meanes may make for the turning away of the infection. And that which Cicero saide, that when as wee ought to doe for the benefite of men, and do seruice to the felowship of mankind, nothing is to be kept close, whatsoeuer commodity or store we haue, the same especially ought to haue place at this time.
If marriages be to be made (albeit whom* can these contractes like in such an estate of Page [unnumbered] thinges, in whiche if at anie time else, the counsayle of the Apostle ought to preuayle, that for the present necessitie it were better to remayne single) let them bee kepte with a verie small number of persons, and without all pompe. As for drunkennesse and gorman∣dize,* dauncinges, and other not necessarie or rather daungerous and hurtefull ceremonies and fashions, whiche for the moste parte are woont to bee vsed: let them be sent packing farre awaye, least (as it is in the Prouerbe) this sweete meate haue sower sawce, and least they bewayle the nexte daye the ouer∣sight committed the daye before. But chief∣lye drunkennesse is suche a vice, which doeth not onelye greatlye offende God, where it is lefte vnpunished, but also draweth with it o∣ther most horrible sinnes, as blasphemie, per∣iuries, bawdries, wronges, murthers, incests, adulteries, fornications (al which for the most part are wont to issue out of ye vgly serpent, & do prouoke the wrath of God against ye whole nation,*) I wil not say, yt those which daily vse this customable glutting & quaffing, are more subiect to this sicknes, & harder to bee cured. Histories report of Socrates, for yt he liued tē∣peratly, yt he alwaies was of sound health, al∣thogh he liued in many great plagues, which raigned at Athēs. For (as Aristotle & GalenPage 28 say) there is such a constitution in sounde bo∣dies, yt they seldom be infected with ye plague, or if they be, yet they die not. On ye other side, it is manifest by ye exāples of many newly ta∣kē with the plague,* yt whē as they haue plen∣tifully filled thēselues with wine, they haue comen into great dāger, & miserable present death. For in this case, if at any time els, the counsell of Galē is most profitable, where he saith, that the body must be pure & sound winded. Wherfore, it is not only ye duty of ye magistrate, to make a law & set a sharp punish¦ment against such gluttōs, but they thēselues also, if they wil seeme Christiās, & not rather altogether Pagās, must take heed, yt they run not into ye sharp saying of S. Paule,* in which is pronounced, yt drūkards shalbe shut out frō ye kingdō of God, & let thē remēber alwaies ye cōmandement of Christ, where he saith: Take heed that your bodies be not ouerloden with surfetting & drūkennes. Which com∣mādemēt they which so carelesly dare set thē∣selues against, & stir vp others vnto ye like ri∣ot, I cānot iudge how they shold not be plain Antichristes. For what is more Antichristian, thē directly to cast off ye cōmādemēt of christ: & to cōmand ye which Christ forbiddeth? But I will not heere more largely rake vp this Page [unnumbered] puddle, when as such offences ought not so much to be kept vnder with arguments as by lawes.
*As for these daunsings & friskings, which are wont to be vsed so vnseasonably, to wit, straight after meate & the table taken away (for thus haue many perswaded themselues, if no man wil dance that is sober, except it be a mad mā, that they deale very wisely, if they doe it when they be drunke, that is stuffed and crammed till they are like to burst againe, with wine and meate) these are to none more hurtful thē vnto ye dauncers thēselues, name∣ly, gathering together aboundance of rawe humors, which oftentimes doe quickly engē∣der great rottennesse, and obstructions, or stoppings of the veines, whereof are woont to growe hurtfull and pestilent feuers. And hereof saieth Leonarth Fuchsius a most ex∣cellent Phisition of our countrey of Germa¦ny, that he by experiēce hath tried, that many whilest they were in dauncing, were infected with this plague and died.
Further I saide also that publike bathes were for many causes to be auoyded,* whiche in such a time is as it were a present & deadly poyson: for that many and diuers sorts of mē one with an other vse to be gathered together Page 29 in that same vaporous or reeky ayer: of the whiche some not long before were infected with this disease, and now by sweating wold emptie out the remnants of the same: others being annoynted with sundry medicines and preseruatiues, of the which euery one brin∣geth his seueral filth, and infectious breaths, wherewith they fill that same ayer shut in, the which ayer receiued by those which are there present, & haue their bodies now rarified or made thinne through the heate, is very easily drawen in by the mouth and nostrels, and al∣so by the pores or smal holes of the skin being opened, and many times beeing carried vnto the heart or brayne, or liuer by the arteryes and vaynes, may very speedily corrupt with infection.
Now concerning houses of learning and schooles, in which children come together,* what shal I say els, then that it seemeth very conuenient, and in manner necessarie, if wee will auoyd the spreading of the infection, that those which cannot bee brought vnto a place more commodious, be for a time shut vp, and that the youth be rather taught at home, albe∣it with neuer so small profit, and giue them∣selues to priuate readinges, then with so great daunger by heapes to come together. Page [unnumbered] For the age of children and laddes, as being giuen to feeding, intemperate, tender, thin, vnwary, is wont to be more subiect vnto this sicknes, then it that is elder & of more yeeres. Wherefore, Rhases the chiefe of the Arabiā Phisitions, and after him Franciscus Val∣leriola Phisition of Arles, geue counsell that Infantes and children bee with speede remoued frō infectious places into an other countrey, where they neede feare no danger of infection.
*The like may bee iudged of common and yeerelie faires, also of funerals or burials, wherof in their place shalbe intreated more at large.
Vnto this Chapter, let the Preseruers adde this, and earnestly aduise vppon it with all the Magistrates, namely, whether it were better for certayne poore people, whiche get their liuing by begging from doore to doore, and by reason of their needie life feeding on euerie thing, are more in daunger of this disease then others, goe vnto, and runne a∣bout all streetes, & chiefly such houses where dead corses are, and seeke vnto all men (for cruel necessity driueth them out of their own poore Cottages) let them I say consider, whether it were better to sende them some Page 30 whither else, or to mainteine them by the common charge at their own houses so long, vntil ye sicknes slack, that by this meanes oc∣casion may bee taken from them of running vp & downe, of receiuing, and scattering the infection. For it can scarse bee saide, howe great and present daunger doth hereby grow vnto the whole citie. For which cause I haue seene in the most famous citie of Padway, af∣ter this same manner meate daylie by the common charge allowed, not onely vnto the poorer sort, but also vnto them of reasonable wealth, which eyther had been with the sicke, or were them selues infected, that so muche the more easilie they might bee kepte within their owne walles at home.* And it were a thing highlie to bee wished, that not onely in these times, in which especially necessitie do∣eth require the same, but continuallie and alwayes care were had of all common wealthes, that the poore might bee other∣wise mainteyned, then by this shamefull, and vnto Christians reprochefull, running vppe and downe, by whiche they inure themselues vnto nothing but idle life, and all kynde of naughtinesse. Whiche thing that it is not done, I see no other let but our owne grosse negligence. For in our parte of Christen∣dome, Page [unnumbered] there is scarse any village so meane, but that it were able in some reasonable sorte to mainteyne their poore, if so be the Magi∣strates did mind the matter, and that wisedom and order were vsed. The whiche after what manner it might and ought to be, albeeit I haue this good while beene in deuising, yet after I sawe,* that the most godlie, and in all kynd of learning the most skilful diuine An∣dreas Hyperius diligently and sufficientlie to haue set downe the same, there is no neede of my declaration.
This also in this place I haue thought good to call into counsaile, because that of∣tentimes there are manye fearefull, manye weake by nature, and vnfitte to doe ser∣uice in the common necessity, whom it were better to liue some where els, that it might be both more commodious for them, and the common wealth also lesse charged, whether it may be ordeyned, to set these at libertie, to get them selues for a time vnto some other place. For although that some either for reli∣gion sake, or for shame dare not to leaue their Citie oppressed with common miserie, and will not seeme willing to flie the hande of God: yet if by the aduice of the Magistrate it shall be thought good, and that it be done Page 31 for the ende whiche I haue saide, I doubte not but that with a good conscience it is lawfull. For this waye it shall come to passe, that the lesse multitude of people there is, so muche the lesse infection there shall bee: and the lesse infection there is, so much lesse dying and more speedye deliueraunce is to bee hoped for. For like as when the rotte is gotten into an heape of Apples, the more lye gathered together, the more it in∣creaseth, and the longer the rotting endu∣reth: so also heere it commeth to passe, that if once the Plague bee crepte into a Citie that is populous, we see the sicknesse day∣lye to bee increased and cherished a greate while, which thing is not wont in such sorte to happen in a place lesse peopled, if the o∣ther thinges whiche wee haue sayde alreadie and meane to say hereafter, be obserued.