Again the public showed that they would bear their

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Again, the public showed that they would bear their share in. these things; the very Court,  which was then gay and luxurious, put on a face of just concern for the public danger. All the plays  and interludes which, after the manner of the French Court, had been set up, and began to increase  among us, were forbid to act; the gaming-tables, public dancing-rooms, and music-houses, which  multiplied and began to debauch the manners of the people, were shut up and suppressed; and the  jack-puddings,   merry-andrews,   puppet-shows,   rope-dancers,   and   such-like   doings,   which   had  bewitched the poor common people, shut up their shops, finding indeed no trade; for the minds of the  people were agitated with other things, and a kind of sadness and horror at these things sat upon the  countenances even of the common people. Death was before their eyes, and everybody began to think  of their graves, not of mirth and diversions. But even those wholesome reflections — which, rightly managed, would have most happily led  the people to fall upon their knees, make confession of their sins, and look up to their merciful Saviour  for pardon, imploring His compassion on them in such a time of their distress, by which we might have  been as a second Nineveh — had a quite contrary extreme in the common people, who, ignorant and  stupid in their reflections as they were brutishly wicked and thoughtless before, were now led by their  fright to extremes of folly; and, as I have said before, that they ran to conjurers and witches, and all  sorts of deceivers, to know what should become of them (who fed their fears, and kept them always  alarmed and awake on purpose to delude them and pick their pockets), so they were as mad upon  their running after quacks and mountebanks, and every practising old woman, for medicines and  remedies; storing themselves with such multitudes of pills, potions, and preservatives, as they were  called, that they not only spent their money but even poisoned themselves beforehand for fear of the  poison of the infection; and prepared their bodies for the plague, instead of preserving them against it.  On the other hand it is incredible and scarce to be imagined, how the posts of houses and corners of  streets were plastered over with doctors’ bills and papers of ignorant fellows, quacking and tampering  in physic, and inviting the people to come to them for remedies, which was generally set off with such  flourishes as these, viz.: ‘Infallible preventive pills against the plague.’ ‘Neverfailing preservatives  against the infection.’ ‘Sovereign cordials against the corruption of the air.’ ‘Exact regulations for the 
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conduct of the body in case of an infection.’ ‘Anti-pestilential pills.’ ‘Incomparable drink against the 
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