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shut themselves up in their houses, where they sickened by thousands, and, being destitute of every kind of service and aid, perished without redemption. The first indication by which their neighbours became acquainted with their fate, was the pestilential effluvia proceeding from their corpses. In such cases, the neighbours broke open the doors, dragged forth their miserable remains, and placed them upright in the streets. Whoever had passed along the city early in the morning would have been sure to encounter this terrible spectacle on every side. As the day advanced, biers and tables were brought, and the dead bodies piled upon them. Here were seen

husband and wife, brother and sister, father and child, 3! huddled in one load, and carried off together. Fre

quently it happened that, as two priests with a crucifix * were going to celebrate the funeral rites of one person,

three or four biers crept on silently behind, and thus gained by stealth, as it were, for the deceased, the wretched lionour of a sort of religious interment. The church-yards and cemeteries were speedily filled; after which vast trenches were dug, in which a hundred bodies were buried together; here they were stowed, Like merchandise in a ship, one upon another, with a

thin stratum of earth between, till the trench was filled - ! with corpses to the very brim. *"

It is worthy of remark how different the effect such a calamity among christian nations had, from the effect of the same calamity among pagans, as described by Thucydides. He says, “ Each one now hastened to do the mischief of which before he was ashamed: for plagte Laser

* Il Decamerone, Proemio.

they saw the virtuous perish indiscriminately with the
base, and the poor mounting into the places of the rich.
No one attempted great and perilous achievements
from the love of virtue, for they believed that they
should not live to complete their undertakings: but
they gave themselves up to every kind of licentiousness
and indulgence, undeterred by the fear of the gods or
the judgment of men, persuaded that they should not
'exist long enough to suffer the retribution of their
crimes*."
· What effect did the same calamity produce among the
Christian nations? We are assured by contemporary
writers, that one of its effects was, to diffuse a general
spirit of religion. “ All men being awakened to the
quick by so dreadful an appearance of death at their
elbow, piously set themselves to bewail their sins, and
amend their lives; and, where they could, to frequent

the sacraments: several gave all they had to the poort:
'and which was greatly consolatory in the general sor.
row, innocent children, and the majority of those who
perished, rejoiced, and uttered praises to God, with
their dying lips; while the wicked themselves, before
they perceived any token of the pestilence upon them,
so applied their minds to the virtue of penitence, that
they came at last to long for death as a blessingt."
· There is something in a calamity of this sort, that
irresistibly tends to remove the ordinary and plausible
medium through which human affairs are viewed; that

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dissolves vulgar ties, and dissipates vulgar ideas; that teaches us to look through nature up to the GOD 08 NATURE, and that invisible power which guides the vast machine.

The plague had no sooper subsided, than another effect, of a very opposite kind, was produced upon the minds of men. “It might have been imagined that their manners would be improved, and their behaviour rendered more correct, by the influence of so terrible a lesson. But no sooner was the mortality stayed, than the contrary presently appeared. Mankind, finding themselves few in nunmber, and a multitude having stepped unexpectedly into large possessions, belying the awful experience of the past, they gave themselves up to shameful and disorderly living. They plunged without restraint into all the vices of a pampered appetite, and spent their time in banquetings, taverns, and riots. Unaccustomed splendor, and unlooked for opulence, these were the ruin of the upstart heirs. As to the lower people, even they found themselves possessed of a superabundance of necessaries, and refused to labour at their former occupations; they fed on the rarest delicacies; they married and discarded their wives at pleasure; and clad their ignoble offspring, and the most abandoned females in the vestments of noble matrons and honourable ladies, who had fallen victims to the calamity*."-“They persuaded themselves that henceforth they should never neede to till the earth, work, builde houses, plant vines, or doe ought

* Matteo Villani, lib. i. cap. 4. Giovanni, his brother, to whose work Matteo's is a supplement, died of the plague.

else that appertayned unto human life: having, as they supposed, more store of foode and all other necessaries left unto them then they could spende whilst they shoulde live, and believing likewise that they were nowe secure, the fury of God's justice being past. Whereuppon God sent a great and universal famine*; the cattle, for want of men to look to them, wandering about the fields at random, and perishing among hedges and ditches; and vast quantities of corn being lost for want of hands to gather it int."

It is worthy of remark, as a feature of the manners and politics of the fourteenth century, that the institution of the order of the Garter, one of the most splendid and sumptuous festivals of the reign of its magnificent founder, took place on the twenty-third of April 13491, in the midst of the most desolating season of this tremendous calamity. Historians have remarked, that few princes and eminent personages fell victims to this pesti: lence. Thus this splendid ceremony held its stately march between walls of funeral sadness and putrifying carcasses.

* Howe's additions to Stowe, p. 859. - + Knighton, apud x. Scriptores, A.D. 1348..

Statutes of. Institution, apud Ashmole, Institution of the Garter, appendix.

§. It is worthy of remark, that the topic of the above-de. scribed great plague furnished Boccaccio with the occasion of his Decamerone. He feigns ten persons to have retired from Florence to a villa at no great distance, to escape from the contagion, and, when there, to have amused themselves, for ten days with relating the tales of which his production is composed. DESCRIPTION OP MADAGASCAR.

Εβελομηι δε υπολεις και ορη αυτα μονον ωαπερ εκ γραφαις οραν, αλλα

985 AVTOT.8; AUTUS tall de TPOTTEO! net dla 287861. LUCIAN. Besides, I wanted to take a view, not of cities and mountains

only, as we may in a map, but of mankind: to know what they do, and what they say. Franklin's Translation.

... What a wonderful country is Madagascar! It is the naturalist's true land of promise. Nature seems to have retired thither as into a sanctuary, where she might work after models different from those to which she had subjected herself in other regions. The difference between the vegetables of this isle and those of the neighbouring countries is incredible. There the most extraordinary and unusual forms meet the eye at every step. System-makers would there find an abundant harvest, and must conclude at last by confessing, that we have as yet lifted up only one corner of the veil which covers the awful face of nature. . .

The northern part of the island has the advantage in greater abundance of provisions, tracts more plentiful in slaves, cattle, corn, valuable kind of woods, gums, resins, &c.; but woe to the European who shall be found in these fatal latitudes from the month of November to that of May! The whole point of Cape Natal is one vast cemetery of Frenchmen; the southern part, on the contrary, is healthy, and habitable during the whole of the year, and it might I think be made the site of a permanent and flourishing colony.

The inhabitants of this remarkable country are at once intelligent and indolent, mild and formidable.

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