Seventh Reason why Houses should not be shut up for the Plague, Because people are so much afrighted out of Town, and the bad consequence thereof.
BUt if it be of no consideration among you to allow a liberty to the Infected to converse with such discreet men as are not so, because they may (as you see before your eyes some have done to their own and other mens great benefit) understand the original, the nature, and the proper way of Curing this disease; yet consider what it is by these severe Courses, to affright so ma∣ny thousands from their respective Habitations, thereby not onely scattering the Infection abroad, but obstructing Trade at home, and leaving other thousands without any employment, to tipple, loyter, and wander from one place to another; and for want of Necessaries on the one hand, and by excesses on the o∣ther, infect, and are infected; Whereas, had they due employ∣ment they would not meet in heards as they do, they would not surfet with rioting and drunkness; but they would securely stick to their work, keep their bodies by exercise and temperance in a good frame, and provide themselves wholsome dyet and Phy∣sick; fly, these poor men cannot as the Rich, for none will enter∣tain them, and they are not able to maintain themselves; Work they cannot, for none will employ them, and they have nothing to do but to commit those sins, which certainly deserve, and in∣fallibly bring the Plague upon them. Take, O take these Reasons and many others, which your own judgments will suggest to Page 19 your serious Consideration, but as they are tendred with all humble and due submission to the care and authority of those ex∣cellent persons who are over us as intent as ever Magistrates were upon the means of our welfare.
For an Eighth Argument I alleage the mischief and sad conse∣quence that may arise from the high fits of Frenzy, that usual∣ly attend this and all other the like Distempers; wherein the sick (if not restrained by main force of their Attendants) are ready to commit any violence, either upon themselves or other, whe∣ther Wife, Mother, or Child. A sad instance whereof we had this last week in Fleet Lane, where the Man of the House being sick, and having a great Swelling, but not without hope of be∣ing almost ripe for breaking, did in a strong fit rise out of his bed, in spight of all that his Wife (who attended him) could do to the contrary, got his Knife, and therewith most miserably cut his Wife, and had killed her, had she not wrapped up the sheet a∣bout her, and therewith saved her self, till by crying out Murther. a Neighbour (who was himself shut up) opened his own doors, and forced into the house, and came seasonably to her pre∣servation. The man is since dead, when in all likelihood (had he not by arising struck in the disease) he might have recovered.
Add to this a serious confideration of the sad condition of Women neer the time of their travel, (or newly delivered) when shut up, (as 'tis the case of many at this time) having neither Midwife to help them, nor Nurse to attend them, nor Necessa∣ries provided for them, nor any friends to comfort them; and in this condition have continually for their object their own poor innocent Babes newly brought into the World, either to be star∣ved for want of sustenance, or poysoned by the Breasts that should preserve them.
For conclusion I shall onely say that a liberty of fresh Aire, and access of such as are willing to visit their sickfriends, may be so regulated and limited as not to spread the Infection, and I am sure will save the lives of Hundreds, who by so severe and close restraint are little better then Murther'd, or buryed alive.