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SIR JOHN FROISSART Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the adjoining countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV. Vol.2

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SIR JOHN FROISSART
Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the adjoining countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV. Vol.2
page 280



tent? been checked in their mad career, as has been related*. CHAP. * Here end the additions. I cannot help fuppofing there mull' have been more ; for Froiflart would certainly have particularly mentioned this fad calamity of the plague, that affli&ed all v Europe, and,he fcarcely notices it. ' It bflgan in the fpring of the year 1348, and came from Afi\ It deftroyed in fome parts the fourth, in others the third of their population : fometimçs it left not the tenth part. It carried off in Paris from 40 to 50,000, and in the little town of St. Denis 1600. There were fonietimes, at Paris, 800 burials in a day: and in the Angle church-yard of the Charter-houfe, 'London, were buried 200 daily. It broke every bond of attachment afunder: fervants led from their mafters, wives from their . hufbands, and children from their parents. There were no laws in force : the greater! exceffes were committed ; and* when the contagion was at an end, morals were found more corrupted. I refer my readers to the different chronicles of tha times, for more particular information. Lord Hailes dates its ravages in 1349, and fays ; ' The great pestilence, which had long defolated the continent, reached Scotland. The hiftorians of ail countries fpeak with horror of this peftilence. It took a wider range, and proved more deftru&iife than any calamity o| that nature known in the annals of mankind. Barnes, pp. 428—441, has collected the accounts given of this peftilence by many hiftorians ; and hence he has, unknowingly, furnifhed materials for a curious inquiry into the populoufnefs of Europe in the fourteenth century/ * The fame caufe which brought on this corruption of man-ners produced a new fpecies of fanaticifm. There appeared in Germany, England and Flanders numerous confraternities of penitents, who, naked to the girdle, dirty and filthy to look at, flogged themfelves in the public fquares, chauntfng a ridiculous canticle. Underneath are two ftanzas of their canticle, confiftiug of nineteen in the whole. It is entire in a chro- ' 865


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