Second Reason against the shutting up of Houses infected with the Plague, From the spreading of the Infection by it.
BUt alas! a discourse of publick mindedness to private Spi∣rits looks like a fit of Melancholly; we urge not then your duty, but your Interest, not so much what concerneth us as your selves: alas! while you by this severe course would secure, you destroy your selves, and that shutting up of infected Houses, which you think would stop the Infection, spreads it: For,
1. We are acted by a Principle of self preservation, as well as you, and therefore assoon as we find our selves or any member of our Families infected, so dreadful it is to us to be shut up from all comfort and society, from free and wholsome air, from the care of the Physician, and the Divine, from the oversight of Friends and Relations, and sometimes even from the very necessi∣ties, and conveniences of Nature, that we run as far in City and Country as our feet can carry us, leaving Wives and Children to the Parishes, empty walls, and shops to Creditors, scattering the infection along the Streets as we go, and shifting it from Lodging to Lodging with our selves, till at last we drop in some Alley, Field, or neighbour Village, calling the people round a∣bout by the suddenness of our fall to stand awhile astonished at our deaths, and then take their own; each fearful man of us frighted from his own house, killing his whole Town by surpri∣zing them unprepared; whereas were we permitted to enjoy the Page 6 content and freedom of our own Habitations, we might by Anti∣dotes cure others, and be cured our selves.
See, see, we infect not our next Neighbours, and this sickness spreads not much in any one place, but we carry it from place to place, running from our home as from our places of torment, and thus the Roads are visited, and men travel the same way to the Country, and to their long home: Thus the Contagion hath reached most places round the Citty, which is now as it were be∣sieged with the judgment, and encompassed with the Visitation and desolation: We have not yet learned how to manage a sick∣ness, in all likelihood did persons prepare themselves (upon the first breaking out of the Plague) with Antidotes to visit the sick, who would be very well contented to keep within doors and converse onely with their nearest Friends, their Physicians and their ghostly fathers) and administer to them such preservatives, and other necessaries the Plague might go no further. For,