As, notwithstanding all his precautions, it was not impossible that some of his household might be attacked by the distemper, he took care to provide proper remedies, and, to Blaize’s infinite delight, furnished himself with mithridates, Venice treacle, diascorium, the pill rufus (oh! how the porter longed to have the key of the medicine chest!), London treacle, turpentine, and other matters. He likewise collected a number of herbs and simples; as Virginian snakeweed, contrajerva, pestilence-wort, angelica, elecampane, zedoary, tormentil, valerian, lovage, devils-bit, dittany, master-wort, rue, sage, ivy-berries, and walnuts; together with bole ammoniac, terra sigillata, bezoar-water, oil of sulphur, oil of vitriol, and other compounds. His store of remedies was completed by a tun of the best white-wine vinegar, and a dozen jars of salad-oil.
Regulating his supplies by the provisions he had laid in, he purchased a sufficient stock of coals and fagots to last him during the whole period of his confinement; and he added a small barrel of gunpowder, and a like quantity of sulphur for fumigation.
His eatables would not have been complete without cheese; and he therefore ordered about six hundredweight from Derbyshire, Wiltshire, and Leicestershire, besides a couple of large old cheeses from Rostherne, in Cheshire—even then noted for the best dairies in the whole county. Several tubs of salted butter were sent him out of Berkshire, and a few pots, from Suffolk.
It being indispensable, considering the long period he meant to close his house, to provide himself and his family with every necessary, he procured a sufficient stock of wearing apparel, hose, shoes and boots. Spice, dried fruit, and other grocery articles, were not required, because he already possessed them. Candles also formed an article of his trade, and lamp-oil; but he was recommended by Doctor Hodges, from a fear of the scurvy, to provide a plentiful supply of lemon and lime juice.
To guard against accident, he also doubly stocked his house with glass, earthenware, and every article liable to breakage. He destroyed all vermin, such as rats and mice, by which the house was infested; and the only live creatures he would suffer to be kept were a few poultry. He had a small hutch constructed near the street-door, to be used by the watchman he meant to employ; and he had the garrets fitted up with beds to form an hospital, if any part of the family should be seized with the distemper, so that the sick might be sequestered from the sound.
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THE QUACK DOCTORS.