[Page] A Rod for Run-awayes. Gods Tokens, Of his feareful Iudgements, sundry wayes pronounced vpon this City, and on seuerall persons, both flying from it, and staying in it. Expressed in many dreadfull Examples of sudden Death, falne vpon both young and old, within this City, and the Suburbes, in the Fields, and open Streets, to the terrour of all those who liue, and to the warning of those who are to dye, to be ready when God Almighty shall bee pleased to call them. By THO. D.

Lord, haue mercy on London.

[...] London for Iohn Trundle and are to be sold [...]

TO THE NOBLE Gentleman, Mr. Thomas Gilham, CHIRVRGIAN.


IN this Vniuersall sicknesse, giue mee leaue (in a few Leaues) to salute your Health, and I am glad I can do so. To whom, in an Epidemiall confusion of Wounds, should a man flye, but to Physicke and Chirurgery? In both which you haue skill. In the last, the World crownes your Fame (as beeing a great Master.) Many of your excellent Pieces haue beene (and are to bee) seene in this City. No Painter can shew the like, no Limner come neere such curious Workemanship. What you set out, is truely to the life; theirs but counter­feit. I honour your Name, your Art, your Practice, your profound Experience: And, to [Page] testifie I doe so, let this poore Monument of my loue bee looked vpon, and you shall finde it. The Sender beeing sorry, it is not worth your acceptation: But if you thinke o­therwise, he shall be glad,

And euer rest, at your seruice, THO. Dekker.

To the Reader.

REader, how farre soeuer thou art, thou maist here see (as through a Perspectiue-Glasse) the misera­ble estate of London, in this heauy time of conta­gion. It is a picture not drawne to the life, but to the death of aboue twelue thousand, in lesse then six weekes. If thou art in the Countrey, cast thine eye towards vs here at home, and behold what wee indure. If (as thou canst not choose) thou art glad thou art out of this Tempest, haue a care to man thy Ship well, and doe not ouer-lade it with bad merchandize (foule Sins) when thou art bound for this place: for all the danger will be at thy putting in. The Rockes of in­section lye hid in our deepe Seas, and therefore it behoues thy soule to take heed what sayles she hoyses, and thy body, what Pylote it carries aboord. Wee doe not thinke, but numbers of you wish your selues here againe: for your entertainement a far off cannot be courteous, when euen not two miles from vs, there is nothing but churlishnesse. But it is to be feared, some of you will get such falls in the Corne-Fields of the Country, that you will hardly bee able (without halting) to walke vp and downe London. But take good hearts, and keepe good legges vnder you, and be sure, you haue hung strong Pad-lo [...]es vpo [...] your doores; for in many Streetes, there are none to guard your goods, but the Houses themselues. If one Shop be open, sixteene in a row stand shut vp together, and those that are open, were as good to be shut; for they take no Money.

None thriue but Apothecaries, Butchers, Cookes, and Cof­fin-makers. Coach-men ride a cock-horse, and are so full of Iadish trickes, that you cannot be iolted sixe miles from Lon­don, vnder thirty or forty shillings. Neuer was Hackney-flesh so deare. Few woollen Drapers sel any Cloth, but euery Church-yard is euery day full of linnen Drapers: and the Earth is the great Warehouse, which is piled vp with winding-sheetes. To see a Rapier or Feather worne in London now, is as strange, as to meet a Low-countrey Souldier with Money in his Purse: The walkes in Pauls are empty: the walkes in London too wide, (here's no lustling;) but the best is, Cheape-side is a com fortable Garden, where all Phisicke-Herbes grow. Wee wish that you (the Run-awayes) would suffer the Market-Folkes to come to vs, (or that they had hearts to come) for the Sta­tute of fore-stalling is sued vpon you. Wee haue lost your com­panies, and not content with that, you robbe vs of our victuals: but when you come backe, keepe open house (to let in ayre) and set good cheere on your Tables, that we may bid you welcome.

Yours, T. D.

Gods Tokens, Of His fearefull Iudgements.

WEE are now in a set Battaile; the Field is Great Britaine, the Vantguard (which first stands the brunt of the Fight) is London: the Shires, Counties and Countries round about, are in danger to be prest, & to come vp in the Reare: the King of Heauen and Earth is the Generall of the Ar­my; reuenging Angels, his Officers; his Indignation, the Trumpet summoning and sounding the Alarum; our in­numerable sinnes, his enemies; and our Nation, the Legi­ons which he threatens to smite with Correction.

Sinne then being the quarrell and ground of this warre, Sinne, the cause of the Plague. there is no standing against so inuincible a Monarch (as God is) no defending a matter so foule, as our sinnes are.

Would you know how many Nations (for sinne) haue beene rooted vp, and swept from the face of the earth, that All Nations upon earth punished for sinne. no memory of them is left but their name, no glories of their Kings or great Cities remaining but only this, Here they liued, Here they stood? Reade the Scriptures, and [Page] euery Booke is full of such Histories, euery Prophet sings songs of such lamentable desolations.

For, Iehouah, when he is angry, holds three Whips in Gods three whips. his hand, and neuer drawes bloud with them, but when our Faults are heauy, our Crimes hainous: and those three Whips are, the Sword, Pestilence and Famine.

What Country for sinne hath not smarted vnder these? Ierusalem felt them all. Let vs not trauell so farre as Ieru­salem, but come home, looke vpon Christendome, and behold Hungaria made desolate by sword and fire, Poland beaten downe by battailes, Russia by bloudy inuasions: Hungary. Poland. Russia. the Turke and Tartar haue here their insolent triumphs.

Looke vpon Denmarke, Sweden, and those Easterne Countries: How often hath the voice of the Drumme cal­led Denmarke. Sweden. Norway, &c. them vp? Euen now, at this houre, the Marches are there beating. How hath the Sword mowed downe the goodly Fields of Italy? What Massacres hath in our me­mory beene in France? Oh Germany! what foundations It [...]y. of bloud haue thy Cities beene drowned in? what hor­rors, France. The miseries of [...]ermany. what terrors, what hellish inuentions haue not warre found out to destroy thy buildings, demollish thy Free States, and vtterly to confound thy 17. Prouinces? Gods three whips haue printed deepe markes on thy shoulders; the Sword for many yeeres together hath cut thy people in pieces; Famine hath beene wearied with eating vp thy children, and is not yet satisfied; the Pestitence hath in many of thy Townes, in many of thy Sieges and Leagers; plaid the terrible Tyrant. In all these thy miseries, the [...] for them. Spaniard hath had his triumphs; his Fire-brands haue been flung about to kindle and feede all thy burnings; his fu­ries haue for almost foure score yeeres stood, and still stand beating at the Anuils, and forging Thunder-bolts to bat­ter thee, and all thy neighbouring Kingdomes in pieces.

Whilst these dreadfull Earth-quakes haue shaken all Englands secu­rity. Countries round about vs, we haue felt nothing: Eng­land hath stood and giuen aime, when Arrowes were shot into all our bosomes. But (alas!) hath this Happi­nesse falne vpon her because of her goodnesse? Is shee better then others, because of her purity and innocence? Is shee not as vgly as others? Yes, yes, the Sword is how Gods three whips ready to scourge England. whetting; Dearth and Famine threaten our Corne­fields, and the rauing Pestilence in euery part of our Kingdome is digging vp Graues. The three Rods of Vengeance are now held ouer vs.

And shall I tell you why these Feares are come a­mongst vs? Looke vpon the Weapon which hath struck other Nations; and the same Arme that wounded them, smites now at vs, and for the same quarrell (Sinne.) Sin, the offence.

The Gospell (and Gods Heralds, Preachers) haue a long time cryed out against our iniquities, but we are deafe, sleepy and sluggish; and now there is a Thunder speakes from Heauen to wake vs.

We flatter our selues, that the Pestilence serues but as a Broome, to sweep Kingdomes of people, when they It is not the nu­merous multi­tude of people causeth the Plague. grow ranke and too full: when the Trees of Cities are ouer-laden, then onely the Plague is sent to shake the Boughs, and for no cause else: As in Turky and Bar­bary; where when a mortality happens, they fall some­times ten thousand in a day by the Pestilence. But we that are Christians, and deale in the merchandise of our soules, haue other bookes of account to turne ouer, then to reckon that we dye in great numbers, onely because we are so populous, that we are ready (as the Fishes of the Sea) to eat vp one another.

Our eyes haue beene witnesses, that for two whole [Page] Reignes together of two most excellent Princes, & now at the beginning of a third (as excellent as they) we haue liued in all fulnesse: yet at the end of Queene Elizabeths foure and forty yeeres, when she dyed, she went not a­lone, but had in a traine which followed her, in a dead The number that dyed When Queene Eliza­beth dyed. march of a twelue-moneth long, onely within London and the Liberties, the numbers of 38244. those, who then dyed of the Plague, being 35578. the greatest to­tall in one weeke being 3385. of all diseases, and of the Plague 3035.

Thus shee went attended from her earthly King­dome, to a more glorious one in Heauen, it being held fit in the vpper-House of the Celestiall Parliament, that so great a Princesse should haue an Army of her subiects with her, agreeing to such a Maiesty. But what numbers God will muster vp to follow our Peace-maker (King Iames of blessed memory) none knowes: by the beginning of this Prest which Death makes amongst the people, it is to bee feared, they shall be a greater multitude.

To Queene Elizabeth and to King Iames; wee were an vnthankfull and murmuring Nation, and therefore God tooke them from vs; they were too good for vs; we too bad for them and were therefore then, at the decease of the one, and now, of the other, are deserued­ly punished: our sinnes increasing with our yeeres, and like the Bells, neuer lying still. Sinnes like the Bels, neuer lie still. The Plague dreadfull for three causes.

We are punished with a Sicknesse, which is dreadfull three manner of wayes: In the generall spreading; in the quicknesse of the stroke; and in the terror which waites vpon it. It is generall: for the spotted wings of it couer all the face of the Kingdome. It is quicke: for [Page] it kills suddenly; it is full of terror, for the Father dares not come neere the infected Son, nor the Son come to take a blessing from the Father, lest hee bee poysoned by it: the Mother abhors to kisse her owne Children, or to touch the sides of her owne Husband: no friend in this battell will relieue his wounded friend, no Brother shake his brother by the hand at a farewell.

This is something, yet this is nothing: many Phy­sicians of our soules flye the City, and their sicke Pa­tients want those heauenly medicines which they ear tyed to giue them, & those that stay by it, stand aloofe.

The rich man, when hee is dead, is followed by a How the rich are buried. troupe of Neighbours: a troupe of Neighbours, not a troupe of Mourners. But the poore man is hurried to How the poor [...]. his Graue by nasty and slouenly Bearers, in the night, without followers, without friends, without rites of buriall due to our Church, due to our Religion, to our Nation, to the Maiesty of our Kingdome; nay, to the decency of a Christian. O lamentable! more honour is giuen to a poore Souldier dying in the field, more re­gard to many a Fellon, after hee is cut downe from the Gallowes.

I need not write this to you, my fellow Sufferers in London; for you know this to be too true, you behold this, you bewaile this. But I send this newes to you, Newes for Run-awayes. the great Masters of Riches, who haue for saken your Habitations, left your disconsolate Mother (the City) in the midst of her sorrowes, in the height of her dis­tresse, in the heauinesse of her lamentations. To you that are merry in your Country houses, and fit safe (as you thinke) from the Gun-shot of this Contagion, in your Orchards and pleasant Gardens; into your hands [Page] doe I deliuer this sad Discourse, to put you in minde of our miseries, whom you haue left behind you. To you that are fled, and to you to whom they flye, let me tell thus much, That there were neuer so many burials, yet neuer such little weeping. A teare is scarce to be ta­ken of from the cheeke of a whole Family (nay, of a Much wayling, [...]ttle weeping. whole Parish:) for they that should shead them, are so accustomed, and so hardned to dismall accidents, that weeping is almost growne out of fashion. Why, saies a Mother, doe I showre teares downe for my Husband or Childe, when I, before to morrow morning, shall goe to them, and neuer haue occasion to weepe any more?

Whilst I am setting these things downe, word is Thursday the [...]1. of Iuly. brought me, that this weeke haue departed 3000. soules (within 200.) and that the Plague is much increased. O dismall tidings! O discomfortable Relation! Three thousand men would doe good seruice in desending a City: but when in euery weeke so many thousands and more shall drop downe of our great Armies, what poore handfuls will be left?

To see three thousand men together in Armour in a Coffins and cor­slcts. field; is a goodly sight: but if wee should behold three thousand Coffins piled (in heapes) one vpon another, or three thousand Coarses in winding sheetes, laid in some open place, one on the top of each other, what a sight were this? Whose heart would not throb with horror at such a frightfull obiect? What soule, but would wish to be out of her body, rather then to dwell one day in such a Charnell house?

O London! (thou Mother of my life, Nurse of my being) a hard-hearted sonne might I be counted, if here [Page] I should not dissolue all into teares, to heare thee pow­ring forth thy passionate condolements. Thy Rampi­ers and warlike prouision might haply keepe out an E­nemy: but no Gares, none of thy Percullises; no, nor all thy Inhabitants can beate backe the miseries which No gates keepe out Thunder. come rushing in vpon thee. Who can choose but break his heart with sighings, to see thee (O London) the Grandame of Cities, sit mourning in thy Widdow­hood? Thy rich Children are runne away from thee, The rich fly. the poore dye. and thy poore ones are left in sorrow, in sicknesse, in pe­nury, in vnpitied disconsolations.

The most populous City of Great Brittaine is almost London growes leaues. The Countrie too f [...]. desolate; and the Country repines to haue a Haruest before her due season, of Men, Women, and Children, who fill their Houses, Stables, Fields and Barnes, with their inforced and vnwelcommed multitudes. Yet still Both sicke of [...] disease. they flie from hence, and still are they more and more feared and abhorred in the Country.

How many goodly streets, full of beautifull and cost­ly houses, haue now few people or none at all (some­times) walking in the one, and not so much as any liuing rationall creature abiding in the other? Infection hath shut vp, from the beginning of Iune, to the middle of Iuly, almost (or rather altogether) foure thousand Foure thousand doores shut vp. Foure thousand cro [...]es set [...]. doores. Foure thousand Red-Crosses haue frighted the Inhabitants in a very little time: but greater is their number who haue beene frighted, and fled out of the City at the setting vp of those Crosses.

For euery thousand dead here, fiue times as many are Now to the Run­awayes. gotten hence: with them must I haue about; to them onely doe I now bend my Discourse.

To the Run-awaies from London.

WE are warranted by holy Scriptures to flie from Persecution, from the Plague, and We may flye: and, we may not flye. from the Sword that pursues vs: but you flye to saue your selues, and in that flight vndoe others.

In Gods Name flye, if you flye like Souldiers, not to discomfort the whole Army, but to retire, thereby to cut off the Enemy, which is, Famine, amongst the poore (your fellow Souldiers) and discomfort amongst your brethren and fellow-Citizens, who in the plaine field are left to abide the brunt of the day.

Fly, so you leaue behind you your Armour for others to weare (some pieces of your Money for others to spend) for others to defend themselues by.

Liue not (as Captaines doe in the Low-Countries) Londoners must not liue vpon dead pay. vpon dead pay; you liue by dead pay, if you suffer the poore to dye, for want of that meanes which you had wont to giue them, for Christ Iesus sake, putting the Money vp into your fugitiue purses.

How shall the lame, and blinde, and halfe starued be The poore perish. fed? They had wont to come to your Gates: Alas! they are barred against them: to your doores, (woe vnto misery!) you haue left no Key behinde you to o­pen them; These must perish.

Where shall the wretched prisoners haue their Bas­kets The Prisoners pine: filled euery night and morning with your broken meat? These must pine and perish.

The distressed in Ludgate, the miserable soules in the Holes of the two Counters, the afflicted in the Marshall­seas, the Cryers-out for Bread in the Kings Bench, and White Lyon, how shall these be sustayned? These must languish and dye. You are fled that are to feed them, And (Run-a­waies) all in long of you. and if they famish, their complaints will flye vp to hea­uen, and be exhibited in the open Court of God and Angels, against you. For, you be but Gods Almo­ners; and if you ride away, not giuing that siluer to the needy, which the King of Heauen and Earth puts into your hands to bestow as he inioynes you, you robbe the poore, and their curse falls heauy where it once lights. This is not good, it is not charitable, it is not Christian­like.

In London, when Citizens (being chosen to be Al­dermen) will not hold, they pay Fines; why are they not fined now, when such numbers will not hold, but giue them the slip euery day?

It were a worthy act in the Lord Maior, and honou­rable Magistrates in this City, if, as in the Townes to which our Merchants, and rich Tradesmen flye, the Countrey-people stand there, with Halberds and Pitch­forkes to keepe thē out; so, our Constables & Officers, A new policy, good for the City. might stand with Bils to keepe the rich in their owne houses (when they offer to goe away) vntill they leaue such a charitable piece of Money behinde them, to­wards the maintenance of the poore, which else must perish in their absence. They that depart hence, would then (no doubt) prosper the better; they that stay, fare [Page] the better, and the generall City (nay the vniuersall Kingdome) prosper in blessings from Heauen, the bet­ter.

To forsake London, as one worthy Citizen did, were noble; it would deserue a Crowne of commendations: for hee, being determined to retyre into the Countrey, sent for some of the better sort of his Neighbours, as­ked A Phoenix in London. their good wils to leaue them, and because (the poyson of Pestilence so hotly reigning) hee knew not whether they and he should euer meet againe, he there­fore deliuered to their hands, in trust, (as faithfull Stew­ards) fourescore pounds to be distributed amongst the poore. I could name the Gentleman, and the Parish, but his charity loues no Trumpet. Was not this a rare example? but, I feare, not one amongst a thousand that goe after him, will follow him.

But you are gone from vs, and we heartily pray, that God may go along in all your companies. Your doores are shut vp, and your Shops shut vp; all our great Shops shut vp. Schooles of learning (in London) are shut vp; and Schooles shut vp. would to Heauen, that, as our numbers (by your depar­ting) are lessened, so our sinnes might be shut vp, and lessened too. But I feare it is otherwise: For all the Kings Iniunction of Prayer and Fasting, yet on those very dayes (acceptable to God, were they truely kept, and comfortable to our soules) in some Churches you shall see empty Pewes, not filled as at first, not crow­ding, but sitting aloofe one from another, as if, whilest they cry, Lord, haue mercy vpon vs, the Plague were in the holy Temple amongst them. Where, if you looke Our s [...]es stand open. into the Fields, looke into the Streetes, looke into Ta­uernes, looke into Ale-houses; they are all merry, all A Festiuall Fasting▪ [Page] iocund; no Plague frights them, no Prayers stirre vp them, no Fast tyes thē to obedience. In the Fields they are (in the time of that diuine celebration) walking, tal­king, laughing, toying, and sporting together. In the Streets, blaspheming, selling, buying, swearing. In Ta­uernes, and Ale-houses, drinking, roaring, and surfet­ting: In these, and many other places, Gods Holy-day is their Worke-day; the Kings Fasting-day, their day of Riot. I wash an Aethiope, who will neuer be the whiter for all this water I spend vpon him, and there­fore let mee saue any further labour.

And now to you, who, to saue your houses from Red No [...] with [...]. Crosses, shift your poore seruants away to odde nookes in Gardens: O take heed what you doe; in warding off one blow, you receiue sometimes three or foure. I haue knowne some, who hauing had a Childe or Seruant dead, and full of the TOKENS, it has beene no such matter, a little bribe to the Searchers, or the conniuence of Officers, or the priuate departure and close buriall of such a party, hath hushed all; but within a day or two after, three, foure, or fiue haue in the same House deceased, and then the badge of Gods anger hath beene worne by them, as openly as by other Neighbours.

For, God will not haue his Strokes hidden: his G [...] must haue faire p [...]ay. markes must bee seene: Hee strikes not one at once, (when hee is vexed indeed) but many▪ one may bee couered, many cannot. As his mercy will bee exalted in our weekely Bills (when the totall summes fall) so will hee haue his iustice and indignation exemplified, in the increasing of those Bills: and therefore let no man goe about to abare the number: His Arithmerick brookes no crossing.

To arme you therefore with patience (in this great day of Battell, where so many thousands fall) take a strong heart, a strong faith vnto you; receiue your A wound well cared for, is balse cured. wounds gladly, beare them constantly, be not ashamed to carry them about you, considering vnder what Commander you receiue them, and that is, The great Omnipotent Generall of Heauen.

Why should any man, (nay, how dare any man) pre­sume to escape this Rod of Pestilence, when at his back, before him, round about him, houses are shut vp, Coarses borne forth, and Coffins brought in? or what poore opinion, what madnesse fastneth that man, who goes about to conceale it, when the smiting Angell goes from doore to doore, to discouer it? Hee makes choyce in what Roomes, and what Chambers such a Angels are Heauens Har­bingers, and ap­poynt our Lodgings. disease shall lye, such a sicknesse bee lodged in, and where Death must (as Gods Embassadour) be entertai­ned. There is no resisting this authority, such Purse­uants as these cannot be bribed.

Stay therefore still where you are, (sicke or in health) and stand your ground: for whither will you flye? In­to the Countrey? Alas! there you finde worse ene­mies then those of Breda had in Spinola's Campe. A Spaniard is not so hatefull to a Dutch-man, as a Londo­ner A Londoner, a Bugbeare. to a Country-man. In Terme-time, a Sergeant can­not more fright a Gentleman going muffled by Chan­cery-lane end, than a Citizen frights one of your Lob­cocks, though hee spies him fiue Acres off.

In middest of my former compassionate complay­nings (ouer the misery of these times) let mee a little A digression a little merrily, taxing the inci­uility of the common people. quicken my owne and your spirits, with telling you, how the rurall Coridons doe now begin to vse our [Page] Run-awayes; neyther doe I this out of an idle or vn­decent merriment (for iests are no fruit for this season) but onely to lay open what foolery, infidelity, inhuma­nity, nay, villany, irreligion, and distrust in God (with a defiance to his power) dwell in the bosomes of these vnmannerly Oasts in these our owne Netherlandish Dorpes.

When the Brittaines heere in England were opprest The old Brittaines opprest by the Pictes, call in the Saxons. by Pictes and Scots, they were glad to call in the Sax­ons, to ayd them, and beate away the other: The Sax­ons came, and did so, but in the end, tasting the sweet­nesse of the Land, the Brittaines were faine to get some other Nation to come and driue out the Saxons. So, The Country people the bold Brittaines, W [...] of Moneys are the Pictes, and Londoners the Saxons, at first called in, but now they care not if the Diuell fetched them. the Countrey people, being of late inuaded by the Pictes, (beaten with wants of Money to pay their rackt Rents to their greedy Land-lords) with open armes, and well-comming throats, call'd to them, and receiued a pretty Army of our Saxon-Citizens; but now they perceiue they swarme; now they perceiue the Bels of London toll forty miles off in their eares; now that Bils come downe to them euery Weeke, that there dye so many thousands; they would with all their hearts call in very Deuils (if they were but a little better acquain­ted with them) to banish our briske Londoners out of their grassy Territories.

And for that cause, they stand (within thirty and forty miles from London) at their Townes ends, for­bidding any Horse, carrying a London load on his back, Ouerthr [...] horse and foot. to passe that way, but to goe about, on paine of hauing his braynes beaten out: and, if they spy but a foot-man (not hauing a Russet Sute on, their owne Country liuery) they cry, Arme, charge their Pike-Staues, be­fore [Page] he comes neere them the length of a furlong; and, stopping their noses, make signes that he must be gone, there is no roome for him, if the open Fields be not good enough for him to reuell-in, let him pack. O you that are to trauell to your friends into the Countrey, take heed what Clothes you weare, for a man in black, The foolish feare of the Corydons. is as terrible there to be looked vpon, as a Beadle in blue is (on Court-dayes at Bridewell) being called to whip a Whore-master for his Letchery. A treble Ruffe makes them looke as pale, as if, in a darke night, they should meet a Ghost in a white Sheet in the mid­dle of a Church-yard. They are verily perswaded, no Plagues, no Botches, Blaynes, nor Carbuncles can sticke vpon any of their innocent bodies, vnlesse a Lon­doner (be he neuer so fine, neuer so perfumed, neuer so sound) brings it to them. A Bill printed, called, The Red Crosse, or, Englands Lord haue mercy vpon vs, be­ing read to a Farmers Sonne in Essex, hee fell into a swound, and the Calfe had much a doe to be recoue­red. An Essex Calfe, killed without a Butcher. In a Towne not farre from Barnet (in Hartford­shire) a Citizen and his Wife riding downe to see their Childe at Nurse, the doores were shut vpon them, the poore Childe was in the Cradle carryed three Fields off, to shew it was liuing: the Mother tooke the Sparrow­blastings. Childe home, and the Nurses valiant Husband (beeing one of the Traind-Souldiers of the Countrey) set fire of the Cradle, and all the Clothes in it.

A Broker in Houndes-ditch hauing a Brother in Ham­shire, A Hounds-ditch Broker entertai­ned like a bro­ther. whom hee had not seene in fiue yeeres, put good store of money in his Purse, and rode downe to visit his beloued Brother, beeing a Tanner; to whose House when hee came, the Tanner-clapped to his doores, and [Page] from an vpper woodden window (much like those in a Prison) comming to a Parlee, hee out-faced the Bro­ker to be no Brother of his, hee knew not his face, his fauour, his voyce: such a Brother hee once had, and if this were hee, yet his Trade (in being a Broker) was e­nough to cut off the kindred, his Clothes smelt of in­fection, his red Beard (for he hath one) was poyson to him; and therefore, if hee would not depart to the place from whence hee came, hee would eyther set his Dogges vpon him, or cause his Seruants to throw him This was aboue threescore in the hundred. into a Tan-Fat; and if (quoth hee) thou art any Bro­ther of mine, bring a Certificate from some honest Bro­kers dwelling by thee (when the Plague is ceast) that thou art the man, and, it may bee, mine eyes shall bee then opened to behold thee: So, farewell.—With a vengeance (replyed the Broker) and so came home, a little wiser then hee went.

No further from London then Pancridge, two or three Londoners, on a Sunday (being the seuenteenth of this last past Iuly) walking to the Village there-by, called Kentish-Towne, and spying Pancridge-Church doores open (a Sermon being then preached) a com­pany of Hobnayle-fellowes, with Staues, kept them out; and foure or fiue Hay-makers, (who out of their Countries came hither to get worke) offering likewise to goe in, to heare the Preacher, they were threatned by the worshipfull wisdome of the Parish, to bee set in The wisdome of Pancridge-Parish. the Stockes, if they put but a foot within the Church-doores.

Hath not God therefore iust cause to be angry with this distrust, this infidelity of our Nation? How can wee expect mercy from him, when wee expresse such [Page] cruelty one towards another? When the Brother de­fies the Brother, what hope is there for a Londoner to to receiue comfort from Strangers?

Who then would flye from his owne Nest, which hee may command, to be lodged amongst Crowes and Rauens, that are ready to picke out our Eyes, if we offer to come amongst them? The braue Parlors, stately The world is altered with Londoners. dining-Roomes, and rich Chambers to lye in, which many of our Citizens had here in London, are now tur­ned to Hay-lofts, Apple-lofts, Hen-roosts, and Back-houses, no better then to keepe Hogges in: I doe not say in all places, but a number that are gone downe, and were lodged daintily heere, wish themselues at home, (as complayning Letters testifie) but that the heat of Contagion frights them from returning, and it were a shame (they thinke) to come so soone backe to that City, from whence with such greedy desire, they were on the wings of feare hurryed hence.

Flocke not therefore to those, who make more ac­count of Dogges then of Christians. The smelling to your Iuory Boxes does not so much comfort your Nosthrils, as the Sent of your perfumed brauery, stinkes in the Noses (now) of Countrey-people. It may bee perceyued, by the comming backe of many Carts laden with goods, which in scorne are returned to London, A Retreate founded. and cannot for any Gold or Siluer be receyued. What talke I of Cart-loades of Stuffe? If some more tender-hearted amongst the rest, giue welcome to his brother, There be Iuries enough to sweare bis. kinseman, or friend; a Beare is not so woorried by Mastiffes, as hee shall bee by vncharitable Neighbours, when the Stranger is departed. They loue your Mo­ney, but not your persons; yet loue not your money so [Page] well, but that if a Carrier brings it to them from Lon­don, they will not touch a penny of it, till it be twice or To wash money, is against the Statute. thrice washed in a Pale or two of water.

But leauing these Creatures to be tormented by their owne folly and ignorance; yet praying that God would open their eyes, and inlighten their soules with a true vnderstanding of his diuine Iudgements; I will now shut vp my Discourse with that which is first pro­mised in the Title-page of the Booke, and those are, Gods Tokens, &c.

Gods Tokens.

ANd now, O you Citizens of LONDON, a­broad or at home, be you rich, bee you poore, tremble at the repetition of these horrors which here I set downe: and of which ten thousand are eare­witnesses, great numbers of you that are in the City, ha­uing likewise beheld some of these, or their like, with your eyes. Neither are these warnings to you of Lon­don onely, but to you (who-euer you bee) dwelling in the farthest parts of the Kingdome.

Shall I tell you how many thousands haue been Burials still passing. borne on mens shoulders within the compasse of fiue or six weekes? Bills sent vp and downe both Towne and Countrie, haue giuen you already too fearefull infor­mations.

Shall I tell you, that the Bels call out night and day Bels still going. for more Burials, and haue them, yet are not satisfied? Euery street in London is too much frighted with these terrors.

Shall I tell you, that Church-yards haue letten their Churchyards still receiving. ground to so many poore Tenants, that there is scarce roome left for any more to dwell there, they are so pe­stred? The Statute against Inmates cannot sue these, for hauing taken once possession; no Law can remoue them.

Or shall I tell you, that in many Church-yards (for Graues still ga­ping for more. want of roome, they are compelled to dig Graues like little Cellers, piling vp forty or fifty in a Pit? And that in one place of buriall, the Mattocke and Shouell haue ventured so farre, that the very Common-shore breakes into these ghastly and gloomy Ware-houses, washing the bodies all ouer with foule water, because when they lay downe to rest, not one eye was so tender to wet the ground with a teare? No, I will not tell you of these things, but of These, which are true (as the other) and The horrors of the tune. fuller of horror.

A woman (with a Child in her armes) passing tho­row A woman and her childe. Fleet-street, was strucke sicke vpon a sudden; the Childe leaning to her cheeke, immediatly departed: the Mother perceiuing no such matter, but finding her owne heart wounded to the death, she sate downe neere to a shop where hot Waters were sold; the charitable woman of that shop, perceiuing by the poore wretches countenance how ill she was, ranne in all haste to fetch her some comfort; but before she could come, the Wo­man was quite dead: and so her childe and she went lo­uingly together to one Graue.

A Gentleman (knowne to many in this Towne) ha­uing A Souldier. spent his time in the Warres, and comming but lately ouer in health, and lusty state of body, going a­long the streets, fell suddenly downe and dyed, neuer vttering more words then these, Lord, haue mercy vpon me. Another dropped downe dead by All gate, at the Bell-Tauerne doore.

A Flax-man in Turnebull street, being about to send A Flax-man. his Wife to market, on a sudden felt a pricking in his arme, neere the place where once he had a sore, and vpon this, plucking vp his sleeue, he called to his Wife to stay; there was no neede to fetch any thing for him from Market: for, see (quoth he) I am marked: and so shewing Gods Tokens, dyed in a few minutes after.

A man was in his Coffin, to be put into a Graue, in A country fellow. Cripple-gate Church-yard, and the Bearers offring to take him out, he opened his eyes, and breathed; but they running to fetch Aqua vita for him, before it came, he was full dead.

A lusty country fellow, that came to towne to get Another. Haruest-worke, hauing sixteene or eighteene shillings in his Purse, fell sicke in some lodging he had, in Old-street; was in the night time thrust out of doores, and none else receiuing him, he lay vpon Straw, vnder Sut­tons Hospitall wall, neere the high way, and there mise­rably dyed.

A woman going along Barbican, in the moneth of A woman in Barbican. Iuly, on a Wednesday, the first of the Dog-daies, went not farre, but suddenly fell sicke, and sate downe; the gaping multitude perceiuing it, stood round about her, afarre off; she making signes for a little drinke, money was giuen by a stander by, to fetch her some: but the [Page] vncharitable Woman of the Ale-house denyed to lend Whosoeuer, in my Name, giue [...] a cup of cold water, &c. her Pot to any infected companion; the poore soule dy­ed suddenly: and yet, albeit all fled from her when she liued, yet being dead, some (like Rauens) seized vpon her body (hauing good clothes about her) stripped her, Tis the Prey makes the Thiefe. and buried her, none knowing what she was, or from whence she came.

Let vs remoue out of Barbican, into one of the Chur­ches A Gentleman in Thames street. in Thames-street, where a Gentleman passing by, who on a sudden felt himselfe exceeding ill, and spying a Sexton digging a Graue, stept to him, asked many strange questions of the fellow, touching Burials, and what he would take to make a Graue for him: but the Sexton amazed at it, and seeing (by his face) hee was not well, perswaded him to get into some house, and to take something to doe him good. No (said he) helpe me to a Minister, who comming to him, and conferring together about the state of his soule, hee deliuered a summe of Money to the Minister, to see him well buri­ed, and gaue ten shillings to the Sexton to make his Graue, and departed not till he dyed.

Now, suppose you are in Kent, where you shall see a A Kentish tale, but truer then those of Chan­gers. young handsome Maid, in very good apparell, ready to goe into the Towne, to a Sister, which dwelt there: but then as you cast an eye on her (comming into the City) so behold a company of vnmercifull, heathenish, and churlish Townesmen, with Bils and Glaues, driuing her by force backe againe; enter there shee must not (it being feared she came from London) neither could her Sister be suffred to goe forth to her. Whereupon, all comfort being denyed her, all doores bard against her, no lodging being to be had for her; shee, full of [Page] teares in her eyes, full of sorrow in her heart, sighing, wailing, and wringing her hands, went into the open fields, there sickned, there languished, there cracked her heart-strings with griefe, and there dyed, none being by her: When she was dead, the Den of a Serpent was not more shunned then the place she lay in. It was death (in any Townesmans thinking) but to stand in the wind of it: there the body lay two or three daies, none da­ring to approach it; till at the last, an old woman of Kent, stealing out of the Towne, ventured vpon the danger, rifled her Purse and Pockets, found good store of Money, stript her out of her apparell, which was ve­ry good, digged a homely Graue (with the best shift she could make) and there in the field buried her.

The Kentish Synagogue hearing of this, presently laid their heads together, and fearing lest the breath of an old woman might poison the whole Towne, pro­nounced the doome of euerlasting banishment vpon her. And so was she driuen from thence, with vpbrai­dings and hard language, and must neuer come to liue more amongst them.

Into another part of this Kingdome (not full forty Thirty pound [...] lost, well reco­uered. miles from London) did a Citizen send his man for thirty pound, to a country Customer, which was honestly payed to him; the young man departed merry, and in good health from him: and, albeit he had so much mo­ney about him, yet in his returne to London, hee could get no loging in any place; at which, being much af­flcted in his minde, and offring an extraordinary rate to be entertained, neither Money, nor Charity, nor common Humanity, could get a doore opened to re­ceiue The like was done three and twenty yeeres agoe. him. Patient he was to endure this cruelty, and [Page] comforted himselfe, that carrying health about him, he should make shift to get to the City: but God had o­therwaies bestowed him, his time was come, the Glasse of his life almost runne out, and his iourney must bee shortned. For taking vp his lodging (by compulsion) in the open field, there he fell sicke, and wanting all hu­mane helpe and comfort, there dyed. It was soone knowne by those that walked out of the Towne, into their grounds, that there he lay dead, and as soone did they consult together what to doe with his body. None was so valiant as to come neere it: It was an eminent danger, to suffer the Carkasse lye aboue ground, and a greater danger for any one (as they thought) to remoue it from thence. In the end, one more couragious then the other, was hyred (for money) to rid the Towne of this mortall feare; who (whatsoeuer should become of them) purposing to saue himselfe, muffled his mouth, went into the same field where the dead body lay, a far off digged a Pit (a Graue hee knew not how to make) and then, with a long Pole, hauing a hooke to it, taking hold of the young mans clothes, he dragged him along, threw him in, and buried him.

The Master of this seruant, musing at his long stay­ing, and being loth to lose both man and money, rode downe to see how both of them were bestowed; and vnderstanding, that the Money was paid, and which way his man went for London, came to the same towne, where (by ghesse) he thought he must needs put in for lodging; and vpon strict inquiry, if such a young fel­low had not beene seene amongst them; it was confest, Yes, with all the former Relations of his death, and where he lay buried. The much-perplexed Londoner [Page] hearing this, did, by faire meanes and money, get his Graue opened, had his body in the clothes taken vp, and found all his Money about him, and then in the Towne bestowed vpon him, a friendly, louing, and de­cent buriall.

It fell out better with a company of merry Compa­nions, Madnesse in merriment. who went not aboue ten miles from London; for they, getting with much adoe, into a country Victua­ling-house, were very iouiall, and full of sport, though not full of money. Beere and Ale they called for round­ly, downe it went merrily, and the Cakes were as mer­rily broken. When the round O's beganne to increase to foure or six shillings, quoth one mad fellow amongst the rest, What will you say, my Masters, if I fetch you off from the Reckoning, and neuer pay a penny? A braue Boy, cryed all the company, if thou canst doe this. Hereupon, the Oastesse being called vp for t'other Pot, and whilest it was drinking, some speech being made of purpose, about the dangerous time, and the sicknesse, it fortuned that the Tokens were named. Vp­on which, the Woman wondring what kinde of things they were, and protesting she neuer saw any, nor knew what they were like; this daring companion (who vndertooke the shot) clapping his hand on his brest; How (quoth hee) neuer saw any? Why then I feare, I can now shew you some about me; and with that, hasti­ly vnbuttoning his Doublet, opened his bosome, which was full of little blue Markes, receiued by Haile-shot out of a Birding-piece through a mischance. At sight of these, his Comrades seemed to bee strucke into a feare; but the innocent Oastesse was ready to drop downe dead. They offred to flye, and leaue him there. [Page] Shee fell on her knees, crying out, Shee was vndone. A reckoning then being call'd for, because they would be honest to the house; the poore woman cared for no reckoning, let them call for as much more (so they dranke it quickly) and there was not a penny to pay; prouided, that they would take the spotted man away with them. They did so, and being gotten some little distance from the house, the counterfeit si [...]ke Compa­nion danced and skipped vp and downe, to shew hee was well: Shee cursing them for cheating Raskalls, that so had gulled her. This was a tricke of merriment, but few men, I thinke, would fill their bellies with drink so gotten. It is not safe to kisse Lightning, mocke at Thunder, or dally with diuine Iudgements.

The Bells, euen now toll, and ring out in mine eares, so that here againe and againe I could terrifie you with sad Relations. An ample Volume might be sent downe to you in the Country, of dismall and dreadfull Acci­dents; not onely here within London, but more in the Townes round about vs. Death walkes in euery street: How many step out of their Beds into their Coffins? And albeit, no man at any time is assured of life, yet no man (within the memory of man) was euer so neere death as now: because he that breakes his fast, is dead before dinner; and many that dine, neuer eat supper more. Let these then (as terrifying Scourges) serue to admonish the proudest of vs all, to haue a care to our footing, lest we fall suddenly.

How many euery day drop downe staggering (be­ing [...]iserable obiects strucke with infection) in the open Streets? What numbers breathe their last vpon Stalles? How many creepe into Eatries, and Stables, and there dye? How [Page] many lye languishing in the common High-wayes, and in the open Fields, on Pads of Straw, end their misera­ble liues, vnpittyed, vnrelieued, vnknowne?

The great God of mercy defend vs all from sudden death: and so defend you (the rich Run-awayes) at your comming backe to this desolate and forsaken Ci­ty, that, as you fled hence to scape the Stroke of Con­tagion, you bring not, nor lay heauier strokes of mor­tality and misery vpon vs, when you returne to your Houses. It so fell out in the last great time of Pesti­lence, at the death of the Queene, and comming in of the King: The Weekes did rize in their numbers of dead, as the numbers of the liuing did increase, who then came flocking to Towne: As the fresh houses were filled with their old Owners, so new Graues were ope­ned for the fresh commers.

A heauy and sad welcome they had at home, after Merry mornings goe before sad euenings. their peaceable being in the Countrey: and how could it happen otherwise? They went out in haste, in hope to preuent death; in iollity, to preserue life; But when they came backe, then began their terrours, then their torments: The first foot they sit out of their Coun­trey-Habitations, was to them a first step to their Graues: the neerer to London, the neerer to death. As condemned persons, going to execution, haue often­times good colour in their faces, cheerefull contenan­ces, and manly lookes all the way that they are going: but the neerer and neerer they approch the place where they are to leaue the World, the greater are their feares, the paler they looke, the more their hearts tremble; so did it fare with Londoners in those dayes; but we that are heere, pray that you may speed better: that you [Page] may returne full of health, full of wealth, full of prospe­rity; that your Houses may bee as Temples to you. your Chambers as Sanctuaries; that your Neighbours, Kindred, Friends, and acquaintance may giue you ioy­full and hearty welcomes; that the City may not mourne then for your thronging in vpon it, as shee la­mented to behold you (in shoales) forsaking her in her tribulation; but that God would be pleased to nayle our sinnes vpon the Crosse of his Sonne Christ Iesus, restore vs to his mercy, render vs a Nation worthy of his infinite blessings, and plucking in his reuenge­full Arme from striking vs downe continually in­to Graues, wee all (abroad and at home, in Countrey and City) may meete and im­brace one another, and sing an Allelniah to his Name.


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