Welcome to Episode Sixteen of our nightly audio adventure, A Journal of the Plague Year - written by Daniel Defoe, and a very pertinent work in its view of a great city infected by disease and forced into seventeenth-century social distancing. Josh Passell, a First Weekend Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club from Massachusetts, writes:
I confess I was skeptical in the earlier chapters that Journal was a novel at all, but rather a, well, journal. But so compelling are some of the characters we meet, and so moving the vignettes of misery in which they find themselves, that we, or I at any rate, can't help but be drawn in. And our narrator! From dry observer to our trusted Virgil through the Hell of Contagion.
Thank you, Josh. In tonight's episode we meet a few more compelling characters in vignettes of misery - as, like wealthy Manhattanites bolting for weekend homes upstate, Londoners realize it's time to flee the contagion:
As I am now talking of the time when the plague raged at the easternmost part of the town—how for a long time the people of those parts had flattered themselves that they should escape, and how they were surprised when it came upon them as it did; for, indeed, it came upon them like an armed man when it did come;—I say, this brings me back to the three poor men who wandered from Wapping, not knowing whither to go or what to do...one a biscuit-baker, one a sailmaker, and the other a joiner...
Many people fled out of the city, and out of the infected suburbs, to Wapping, Ratcliff, Limehouse, Poplar, and such Places, as to Places of security; and it is not at all unlikely that their doing this helped to bring the plague that way faster than it might otherwise have come. For though I am much for people flying away and emptying such a town as this upon the first appearance of a like visitation... yet I must say, when all that will fly are gone, those that are left and must stand it should stand stock-still where they are, and not shift from one end of the town or one part of the town to the other; for that is the bane and mischief of the whole, and they carry the plague from house to house in their very clothes.
There's always a lot of bane and mischief about, from the five million residents of Wuhan Beijing let leave the city to wander the world to the diversity halfwits of New York, San Francisco and New Orleans urging their citizens to demonstrate their anti-racist bona fides by partying in the streets.
If you're a member of The Mark Steyn Club you can hear Part Sixteen of our serialization of A Journal of the Plague Year simply by clicking here and logging-in. All previous episodes can be found here.
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