(all text found in Thomas Thacher’s “A Brief Rule to Guide

                the Common-People of New-England How to Order Themselves

                and Theirs in the Small Pocks, or Measels,” from 1678)


                                                 “We are all so small”

                                                            (Mary Ruefle)


There are several Errors in ordering these sick ones—

Which prove very dangerous and commonly deadly—

Endeavoring to recover a new form and State—


In this time take heed—least by too much Heat

There arise a new Ebullition—or the Temper

Is so perverted that it cannot overcome—


If a Phrensie happen—let them eat boil’d Apples—

Only with warm small Beer let their mouths be washed—

But I would not advise at this time any Medicines besides—


As soon as this Disease appears by its signs—

Let the sick abstain from—open Air—

The Disease will be the sooner over and less troublesome—


The Season of the year—Age of the sick—and their Manner of life

Here require a discreet and different Consideration—

Requiring the Counsel of an expert Physician—


Signs discovering the Assault at first are

Beating pain in the Head—great Sleepiness—

Itching of the Nose, short Breath, dry Cough—


Glist’ring of the Eyes, with tears flowing of themselves—

Terrors in the sleep—sorrow and restlessness—

Beating of the Heart—


If the Symptoms be gentle—

If the Voice be free—

These signs are hopeful—


The Learned Physician hath much more cause

To understand what pertains to this Disease than I—

I am tho’ no Physician—


And therefore intreating The Lord

To turn our hearts, and stay His Hand—

I am a Friend, Reader, to thy welfare—



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