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A Discourse on the Plague by Richard Mead




Fellow of the College of Physicians, and of the Royal Society; and Physician to his MAJESTY.

The NINTH EDITION corrected and enlarged.

_LONDON_, Printed for A. MILLAR, against _Catharine-Street_, in the _Strand_:

And J. BRINDLEY in _New-Bond-Street_.



ONE OF His MAJESTY'S Principal Secretaries of State.


I MOST humbly offer to You my Thoughts concerning the _Prevention of the Plague_, which I have put together by your Command. As soon as you were pleased to signify to me, in his _Majesty's_ Absence, that their Excellencies the _Lords Justices_ thought it necessary for the publick Safety, upon the Account of the _Sickness_ now in _France_, that proper Directions should be drawn up to defend our selves from such a Calamity; I most readily undertook the Task, though upon short Warning, and with little Leisure: I have therefore rather put down the _principal Heads of Caution_, than a _Set of Directions in Form_.

THE _first_, which relate to _the performing Quarantaines_, &c. You, who are perfectly versed in the History of _Europe_, will see are agreeable to what is practised in other Countries, with some new Regulations. _The next_, concerning the _suppressing Infection here_, are very different from the Methods taken in former Times among _Us_, and from what they commonly do _Abroad_: But, I persuade my self, will be found agreeable to Reason.

I MOST heartily wish, that the wise Measures, the _Government_ has already taken, and will continue to take, with Regard to the _former_ of _these_, may make the _Rules_ about the _latter_ unnecessary. However, it is fit, we should be always provided with proper _Means of Defence_ against so terrible an _Enemy_.

MAY this short _Essay_ be received as one Instance, among many others, of the Care, you always shew for Your Country; and as a Testimony of the great Esteem and Respect, with which I have the Honour to be,


_Your most obedient, and Most humble Servant,_


Nov. 25. 1720.


The Preface, Page i


_Of the_ PLAGUE _in General_.

CHAP I. Of the Origine and Nature of the PLAGUE, 1

CHAP II. Of the Causes which spread the PLAGUE, 41


_Of the Methods to be taken against the_ PLAGUE.

CHAP I. Of preventing Infection from other Countries, 80

CHAP II. Of stopping the Progress of the PLAGUE, if it should enter our Country, 100

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