Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/248

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228
REVIVAL OF TRADE

into it a fig, rue cut small and a dram of Venice treacle (consisting of vipers, white wine, opium, liquorice, red roses, &c.) close stopt in a wet paper, roasted in the embers." This poultice was to be applied to the great tumours which were such a distinctive feature of the plague. For "Goddard's Drops" the King paid £6,000, but men fell to disputing whether they were made from the skull of a hanged man and dried viper or from volatile spirit of raw silk rectified with oil of cinnamon. Tobacco was considered a preventive of the plague, and Eton boys were ordered to smoke every morning while it lasted. But when all was said and done, still the great remedy lay in flight. The King, Queen, and Court, doctors and clergy, for the most part, left the stricken city. So passed the melancholy summer of 1665.

When the disease had carried away some hundred thousand of London's inhabitants, it stopped, shops reopened, trade revived, and slowly Londoners returned to their homes. The coaches, which had only been running for the past few years from the "George Inn, Aldersgate," every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, reaching Salisbury in two days and York in four days, once more started with passengers. Travelling