Welcome to Part Six of the latest audio entertainment in our series Tales for Our Time. For this grim age of contagion, we're enjoying A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe, a book written between his two great novels Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders as a vividly journalistic yet imagined diary of London in 1665.
If the prediction of some scientists is true, that global temperatures are mainly driven by the Sun, then would not the astrologers who said that earthly events were influenced by the stars, be more nearly right than modern forecasters of doom, such as those in the human caused climate disaster cult of Greta Thunberg, the girl who can see a thing invisible to others (as seers in this story do).
You have a point there, Phil. Many a quack or mountebank among the doomsday climate modelers - and Saint Greta's visitations of the future would have fit right in in that dwarf-alley scene a couple of nights back. Nonetheless, in tonight's episode, the Lord Mayor, like his successors today, decides it's time to bring the smack of firm government to his citizenry:
ORDERS CONCEIVED AND PUBLISHED BY THE LORD MAYOR AND ALDERMEN OF THE CITY OF LONDON CONCERNING THE INFECTION OF THE PLAGUE, 1665:
ORDERS CONCERNING LOOSE PERSONS AND IDLE ASSEMBLIES.
That all plays, bear-baitings, games, singing of ballads, buckler-play, or such-like causes of assemblies of people be utterly prohibited, and the parties offending severely punished by every alderman in his ward. Feasting prohibited.
That all public feasting, and particularly by the companies of this city, and dinners at taverns, ale-houses, and other places of common entertainment, be forborne till further order and allowance; and that the money thereby spared be preserved and employed for the benefit and relief of the poor visited with the infection.
Note that that last sentence doesn't come with additional funding for Ye Planned Parenthoode or Ye Kennedy Center for Strolling Players. Amazing. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Six of our tale simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
With the Super Bear-Baiting Bowl canceled for this season, there's not much to do of an evening, so we'll be back here with Part Seven of A Journal of the Plague Year tomorrow. You can listen to our tale either as a seventeenth-century news update twenty minutes before you lower your lamp, or save it up for an almighty binge-listen on a long car journey. Oh, wait, those are now forbidden...
If you're minded to join us in The Mark Steyn Club, you're more than welcome. You can find more information here. And, if you have a chum you think might enjoy Tales for Our Time (so far, we've covered Conan Doyle, Baroness Orczy, Dickens, Forster, Conrad, Kipling, Kafka, Gogol, Jack London, Scott Fitzgerald, Robert Louis Stevenson and more), we've introduced a special Gift Membership that lets you sign up a pal for the Steyn Club. You'll find more details here. Oh, and don't forget, over at the Steyn store, our Steynamite Special Offers on books, CDs, and much more.