Welcome to Part Nine of Daniel Defoe's very popular contribution to Tales for Our Time - A Journal of the Plague Year from an earlier age of contagion: 1665. Josh Passell, a First Weekend Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club, has been playing catch-up:
I binge-listened to several episodes this morning to catch up. The parallels to our own plight are staggering. Then I remembered the passage you read in Episode Five (or was it Four?) where the citizens poured forth public confessions of their sins before the Grim Reaper could fell them with his scythe. At least we escaped that sorry spectacle I assured myself. And then I remembered that poxy "Imagine" video of a couple of weeks past, on which so many luvvies warbled to signal their virtue. Sigh. First time, tragedy; second time, farce.
Indeed, Josh. On the other hand, if you thought those Spring Break beach scenes were pretty grotesque, or the bozos going into supermarkets and licking the produce or approaching oldsters and coughing over them, well, it could be worse. Tonight's episode picks up where last night's left off - with the man who got tossed into the dead-cart without being dead retrieved and restored to his favorite tavern:
It is with regret that I take notice of this tavern. The people were civil, mannerly, and an obliging sort of folks enough, and had till this time kept their house open and their trade going on, though not so very publicly as formerly: but there was a dreadful set of fellows that used their house, and who, in the middle of all this horror, met there every night, behaved with all the revelling and roaring extravagances as is usual for such people to do at other times, and, indeed, to such an offensive degree that the very master and mistress of the house grew first ashamed and then terrified at them.
They sat generally in a room next the street, and as they always kept late hours, so when the dead-cart came across the street-end to go into Houndsditch, which was in view of the tavern windows, they would frequently open the windows as soon as they heard the bell and look out at them; and as they might often hear sad lamentations of people in the streets or at their windows as the carts went along, they would make their impudent mocks and jeers at them, especially if they heard the poor people call upon God to have mercy upon them, as many would do at those times in their ordinary passing along the streets.
These gentlemen, being something disturbed with the clutter of bringing the poor gentleman into the house, as above, were first angry and very high with the master of the house for suffering such a fellow, as they called him, to be brought out of the grave into their house; but being answered that the man was a neighbour, and that he was sound, but overwhelmed with the calamity of his family, and the like, they turned their anger into ridiculing the man and his sorrow for his wife and children, taunted him with want of courage to leap into the great pit and go to heaven.
Just because it's already the worst of times doesn't mean there aren't those bent on making it worse still. Members of The Mark Steyn Club can listen to Part Nine of our adventure simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes can be found here.
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