49.This year, by confession of all men, was of all other, for other diseases, most free and healthful.If any man were sick before, his disease turned to this;
if not, yet suddenly, without any apparent cause preceding and being in perfect health, they were taken first with an extreme ache in their heads, redness and inflammation of the eyes;and then inwardly, their throats and tongues grew presently bloody and their breath noisome and unsavoury.
Upon this followed a sneezing and hoarseness, and not long after the pain, together with a mighty cough, came down into the breast.And when once it was settled in the stomach, it caused vomit;and with great torment came up all manner of bilious purgation that physicians ever named.
Most of them had also the hickyexe which brought with it a strong convulsion, and in some ceased quickly but in others was long before it gave over.
Their bodies outwardly to the touch were neither very hot nor pale but reddish, livid, and beflowered with little pimples and whelks, but so burned inwardly as not to endure any the lightest clothes or linen garment to be upon them nor anything but mere nakedness, but rather most willingly to have cast themselves into the cold water.And many of them that were not looked to, possessed with insatiate thirst, ran unto the wells, and to drink much or little was indifferent, being still from ease and power to sleep as far as ever.
As long as the disease was at its height, their bodies wasted not but resisted the torment beyond all expectation;insomuch as the most of them either died of their inward burning in nine or seven days whilst they had yet strength, or, if they escaped that, then the disease falling down into their bellies and causing there great exulcerations and immoderate looseness, they died many of them afterwards through weakness.For the disease, which took first the head, began above and came down and passed through the whole body;
and he that overcame the worst of it was yet marked with the loss of his extreme parts;
for breaking out both at their privy members and at their fingers and toes, many with the loss of these escaped;there were also some that lost their eyes.And many that presently upon their recovery were taken with such an oblivion of all things whatsoever, as they neither knew themselves nor their acquaintance.
The English works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury. Thucydides. Thomas Hobbes. translator. London. Bohn. 1843.
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