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21 September 2018

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A Pestilential Distemper in Russia

Author: William Richardson

Winter 2014
Page 23   ( 4 pages)

Summary: On the Massacre of the Archbishop of Moscow and a fever running through the capital.


A pestilential distemper has, for several months, been raging at Moscow, and in the neighbourhood. It had been communicated from the army; and broke out in the rainy season. Its ravages have been chiefly confined to the lower ranks; nor has it ever appeared very formidable where people have used the proper precautions of cleanliness and good air, to prevent it. I have not heard any good account of the symptoms, or nature of this dreadful disorder, other than that the unfortunate persons who are seized with it, are first affected with startings and tremors in the skin; they are then afflicted with a violent fever; exhibit red spots in different parts of the body, which seldom suppurate; and are tormented with excruciating pain in the bowels. They usually die in three or four days: and so furious was this distemper for above two months in the ancient metropolis of this empire, that a thousand persons are said to have perished daily.

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