Black Death Diaries Essay

1163 words - 5 pages

Black Death Diaries My name is Jean-Marc of Avingnon. I have two children and a lovely wife. I am just a simple shoemaker, yet I am the best in Avingnon. I have been living here all of my life, and have made many friends. My business is rather prosperous and my life was good until the First of February, 1348. I am now writing from my deathbed with no hope for recovery. My children are dead and my wife has fled. The Black Death has ripped my family and this town apart. This is my story of the past, hellish month.Feb. 1-'Twas a normal Monday. I ate a hearty breakfast and went down to my shop. I opened my shop earlier then usual since I get more customers on Mondays. During the Mid-day, a man ran down the street shouting, "We're all doomed, the Pestilence is upon us!" Fear struck my heart. I was aware of a horrid disease spreading about Italy. They called it the Black Plague because of the color of the victims skin when they died. I also heard it had come from Kaffa and that Genoan traders had spread it from Byzantium to Sicily to Venice. Many have thought the disease was brought down by God himself to punish the human race. Some thought it was bad air coming up from the bowels of the Earth. Wherever it came from, I feared for my family. I closed my shop and raced home.Feb. 3-Fear has gripped Avingnon seemingly overnight. Many have fled and others have locked themselves in their houses, refusing to come out until the plague has moved on. My neighbor, who is a physician, suggested to me to burn odiforous wood and not to bathe. He said that many people in Milan survived the plague by using these techniques.Feb. 7-The first deaths were reported today. Among the deaths, my good friend and devoted customer Phillipe met his demise. Our neighbor suggested that we should not attend the funeral and that we stay inside until the pestilence has left.Feb. 13-Today our beloved Pope Clement made a speech on the steps of the Cathedral. He forgave the sins of plague victims and assured them that all plague victims will ascend to heaven. He also stressed that everyone repent their sins in front of god, so that the great plague maybe lifted from the Earth. He also announced that mass is to be held everyday and the confession box will open "˜round the clock.Feb. 15-The death toll is rising. No one dares to walk the streets. Almost half of the town has either fled or died. My wife too wants to flee, but I have lived in this town all of my life and I do not intend to leave. This is my home and it will always be my home. In a fury, my wife storms off and locks herself in our room.Feb. 17-Our physician neighbor has contracted the deadly disease. Much to my wife's dismay, I am attending to him and his family. I am hoping that they will be one of the few lucky ones who survive disease. I cook them meals and have given them blankets. The physician wants me to do a dangerous procedure unto him. We wants me to take a bowl and make a gash in his arm. He wants me to...

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