The native black rat (Mus rattus) was already engaged in fierce competition with the larger and more combative brown rat (Mus norvegicus) for the available feeding places, and the rebuilding hastened the process by which the brown rats, introduced from ships, drove out their smaller and blacker cousins. All rats carry fleas, but the black rat is happier in houses where there are human beings, and therefore tends to be a more dangerous plague carrier. The brown rat does not like the disturbance caused by human inhabitants, and prefers to live in buildings that are not inhabited, such as warehouses and stores. London reaped the benefit of this ecologocial change, and the plague was virtually eliminated.
Another prevalent notion regarding rats was, that they had a presentiment of coming evil, and always deserted in time a ship about to be wrecked, or a house about to be flooded or burned. So lately as 1854, it was seriously reported in a Scotch provincial newspaper that, the night before a town mill was burned, the rats belonging to the establishment were met migrating in a body to a neighbouring pease-field. The notion acquires importance as the basis of a new verb in the English language-to rat-much used in political party janglings.
Mr. Bewick, the ingenious wood-engraver, has put on record a fact regarding rats nearly as mystical as any of the above. He alleges that ‘the skins of such of them as have been devoured in their holes [for they are cannibals to a sad extent] have frequently been found curiously turned inside out, every part of them being completely inverted, even to the ends of the toes.’
The Church on various occasions pronounced against the fatalistic opinion that certain conjunctions of the stars were the cause of the plague. In astrology she perceived remnants of paganism, and Cecco d’Ascoli, who cast the nativity of Christ and from it deduced His death on the Cross, was in 1327 condemned to be burnt at the stake. In spite, and of Paul III we know that he never held a consistorium without having previously had the hour determined by astrologists. On the other hand, a sinister significance was attributed to comets by the Church. Thus the Pope excommunicated the comet which appeared in 1532, and a ban was placed on the grubs, caterpillars, locusts, rats, mice, and even cockchafers as precursors of the plague in 1478 by the Bishop of Berne, 1516 by the Bishop of Troyes, and 1541 by the Bishop of Lausanne. A particularly remarkable action was taken against mice in France in 1540. The circumstances of this legal farce are: “In certain districts of France the mice had completely devoured the corn in the fields and done immense damage. The rural population was greatly incensed, but did not know how to wreak their vengeance on the vermin. At last it occurred to them that they could do no better than to lodge a complaint against the mice with the bishop, requesting him to pronounce a ban on them, then they would be rid of them once and for all. Immediately they drew up and submitted their complaint, requesting the grant of the needed official protection. The bishop summoned a consistorium and discussed this difficult case with the clergy. The opinion of all was that the request of the poor people must be granted. But in order to condemn no one without having heard his defense, they decided that it was necessary to summon the mice 3 times; this was done. When, then the mice did not put in an appearance the bishop still refrained from pronouncing the ban, and maintained that before this could be done a counsel must be appointed for the accused who could plead for the absentees. The council did his best, and pointed out to the judges that the mice had not been served with summons in the legal manner, and that therefore they could not be expected to appear, and he attained that much that the mice were once more summoned from all pulpits for a certain day. Although the mice remained irresponsive and did not appear, their counsel still set forth how it was impossible for the mice to arrange an appearance in short a time, and pleaded for an extension. In addition they had not been assured of safe-conduct, and had therefore not been able to come. Everywhere in villages, towns, and on the roads the cats cruelly waylaid them. He therefore begged to delay judgment. The care was adjourned sine die.”
Kicked Out of Heaven Vol. II
The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700 – 1700 a.d.
666 pages 197 pages
ONLY 2 COPIES LEFT!
Kicked Out Of Heaven Vol. II: The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700-1700 a.d. is a 3 volume series that will be released one by one. This book details everything about European society and mentality. In this edition you will find these facts: Alcoholism & The Blue Devils, Insanity & Lead Poisoning, Ergot (LSD) Hallucinations, The Sweating Sickness & Leprosy, The Tobacco Enema & Leeches, The Defloration Mania, The Dancing Mania, The Black Death, The Gravediggers & Body Snatchers, Jews Poisoning the Wells, Millions of Deaths, Folklore & Superstition, Magic Mirrors & Crystal Balls, Witches Dancing in Baby Blood, Pants Made of Human Skin, Necromancy & Ghost Armies, Attacks from The Undead, Lycanthropy & Were-Wolves, Multiple Cases of Vampires, Who is Satan, Lucifer & The Devil!