The Great Plague
In the 17th century London was a dirty, smelly and densely populated city. Official estimates say that nearly 500,000 people lived in the capital. London was a dangerous place. Disease was everywhere. The rubbish which people 1. leave
had been leaving
leaving in the streets was collected by garbage men who threw it into the river or put it outside the city walls. These heaps of rubbish 2. became
has become breeding places for black rats and the fleas living on the rats spread plague.
In the Middle Ages plague epidemics were common in England. In 1665 the plague swept London again and killed more than 70,000 people. Poor people, who lived in unhealthy conditions in overcrowded houses without clean water and bathrooms, were the most 3. like
probable to catch this infectious disease. Not 4. surprise
surprises the poorest areas of London were the most devastated.
5. A few
Little was known about the causes of the plague. The first symptoms were painful lymph glands, tiredness, headache and high fever. There was no cure 6. available
accomplishable so everybody was terrified. In May 1665 a few people were infected. When they began to die of the plague, those who were rich and could 7. allow
permit it, left London. The king, his family and his court also fled. But the people who left the city carried the disease 8. at
with them. In this way, the plague reached many provincial towns and villages. In order to stop spreading the disease, anyone who wanted to leave London after July 1665 needed a health certificate confirming that he or she was 9. empty
independent of the plague.
The people who decided to 10. stay
lag in London provided us with an account of the Great Plague. When a person died of the plague, a red cross was painted on 11. a
some door. The house was locked and the family was nailed up inside. Families sometimes concealed the fact that one of them had died of the plague because they were 12. alarmed
worried of being shut in. Doctors 13. helped
saved themselves against the plague by wearing long leather costumes and sniffing herbs. People could come out only 14. at
during night when the carts were pulled through the streets, and everybody could hear the cry: ‘Bring out your 15. dead
dying‘ When all the church-yards were full, bodies were 16. widely
hastily buried in huge plague pits.
Up the end of 1665 the epidemic was over. Doctors had not found a cure, but with the colder weather in the autumn the number of deaths declined. The plague disappeared and many people returned to the city. 18. Since
But the streets were still empty and shops were shut, London was a 19. alive
life city again. The Great Plague in 1665 was the worst and the last widespread 20. breakup
outbreak of the plague in England.
Adapted from https://www.britannica.com/event/Great-Plague-of-London https://londontopia.net/site-news/featured/bring-dead-brief-history-bubonic-plague-london/