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pestiferous morrein, whiche much more justely shoulde have fallen on the shepemasters owne heades. And though the number of shepe increase never so faste, yet the price falleth not one myte, because there be so fewe sellers. For they be almooste all comen into a fewe riche mennes handes, whome no neade forceth to sell before they lust, and they luste not before they maye sell as deare as they luste. Now the same cause bringeth in like dearth of the other kindes of cattell, yea and that so much the more, bicause that after fermes plucked downe, and husbandry decaied, there is no man that passethe for the breadynge of younge stoore. For these riche men brynge not up the yonge ones of greate cattel as they do lambes. But first they bie them abrode verie chepe, and afterward when they be fatted in their pastures, they sell them agayne excedynge deare. And therefore (as I suppose) the whole incommoditie hereof is not yet felte. For yet they make dearth onely in those places, where they sell. But when they shall fetche them away from thence where they be bredde faster then they can be broughte up: then shall there also be felte greate dearth, stoore beginning there to faile, where the ware is boughte. Thus the unreasonable covetousnes of a few hath turned that thing to the utter undoing of your ylande, in the whiche thynge the chiefe felicitie of your realme did consist. For this greate dearth of victualles causeth men to kepe as litle houses, and as smale hospitalitie as they possible maye, and to put away their servauntes: whether, I pray you, but a beggynge: or elles (whyche these gentell bloudes and stoute stomackes wyll sooner set their myndes unto) a stealing? Nowe to amende the matter, to this wretched beggerye and miserable povertie is joyned greate wantonnes, importunate superfluitie, and excessive riote. For not only gentle mennes servauntes, but also handicraft men: yea and almooste the ploughmen of the countrey, with al other sortes of people, use muche straunge and proude newefanglenes in their apparell, and to muche prodigall riotte and sumptuous fare at their table. Nowe bawdes, queines, whoores, harlottes, strumpettes, brothelhouses, stewes, and yet another stewes, wyne tavernes, ale houses, and tipling houses, with so manye noughtie, lewde, and unlawfull games, as dyce, cardes, tables, tennis, boules, coytes, do not all these sende the haunters of them streyghte a stealynge, when theyr money is gone? Caste
oute these pernieyous abhominations, make a lawe, that they, whiche plucked downe fermes, and townes of husbandrie, shal reedifie them, or els yelde and uprender the possession therof to suche as wil go to the cost of buylding them anewe. Suffer not these riche men to bie up al, to ingrosse, and forstalle, and with their monopolie to kepe the market alone as please them. Let not so many be brought up in idelnes, let husbandry and tillage be restored, let clotheworkinge be renewed, that ther may be honest labours for this idell sort to passe their tyme in profitablye, whiche hitherto either povertie hath caused to be theves, or elles nowe be either vagabondes, or idel serving men, and shortelye wilbe theves. Doubtles onles you finde a remedy for these enormities, you shall in vaine advaunce your selves of executing justice upon fellons. For this justice is more beautiful in apperaunce, and more flourishynge to the shewe, then either juste or profitable. For by suffring your youthe wantonlie and viciously to be brought up, and to be infected, even frome theyr tender age, by litle and litle with vice: then a goddes name to be punished, when they commit the same faultes after being come to mans state, which from their youthe they were ever like to do: In this pointe, I praye you, what other thing do you, then make theves and then punish them?
3. A Discourse Upon International Relations, Happiness, and Reformers
But yet, all this notwithstandinge, I can by no meanes chaunge my mind, but that I must nedes beleve, that you, if you be disposed, and can fynde in youre hearte to followe some princes courte, shall with your good counselles greatlye helpe and further the commen wealthe. Wherfore there is nothynge more apperteining to youre dewty, that is to saye, to the dewtie of a good man. For where as your Plato judgeth that weale publiques shall by this meanes atteyne perfecte felicitie, eyther if philosophers be kynges, or elles if kynges geve themselves to the studie of philosophie, how farre I praye you, shall commen wealthes then be frome thys felicitie, yf philosophers wyll vouchesaufe to enstruct kinges with their good counsell? They be not so unkinde (quod he) but they woulde gladlye do it, yea, manye have done it alreadye in bookes that they have put furthe, if kynges and princes would be willynge and readye to folowe
good counsell. But Plato doubtlesse dyd well foresee, oneless kynges themselves woulde applye their mindes to the studye of Philosophie, that elles they woulde never thoroughlye allowe the counsell of Philosophers, beynge themselves before even from their tender age infected, and corrupt with perverse, and evill opinions. Whiche thynge Plato hymselfe proved trewe in kinge Dionyse. If I shoulde propose to any kyng wholsome decrees, doynge my endevoure to plucke out of hys mynde the pernicious originall causes of vice and noughtines, thinke you not that I shoulde furthewith either be driven awaye, or elles made a laughyng stocke? Well suppose I were with the Frenche kynge, and there syttinge in his counsell, whiles in that mooste secrete consultation, the kynge him selfe there beynge presente in hys owne personne, they beate their braynes, and serche the verye bottomes of their wittes to discusse by what crafte and meanes the kynge maye styl kepe Myllayne, and drawe to him againe fugitive Naples, and then howe to conquere the Venetians, and howe to bringe under his jurisdiction all Italie, then howe to win the dominion of Flaunders, Brabant, and of all Burgundie: with divers other landes, whose kingdomes he hath longe ago in mind and purpose invaded. Here whiles one counselleth to conclude a legue of peace with the Venetians, so longe to endure, as shall be thought mete and expedient for their purpose, and to make them also of their counsell, yea, and besides that to geve them part of the pray, whiche afterwarde, when they have brought theyr purpose about after their owne myndes, they maye require and elayme againe. Another thinketh best to hiere the Germaynes. Another would have the favoure of the Swychers wonne with money. Anothers advyse is to appease the puissaunte power of the Emperoures majestie wyth golde, as with a moste pleasaunte, and acceptable sacrifice. Whiles another gyveth counsell to make peace wyth the kynge of Arragone, and to restoore unto him hys owne kyngedome of Navarra, as a full assuraunce of peace. Another commeth in with his five egges, and adviseth to hooke in the kynge of Castell with some hope of affinitie or allyaunce, and to bringe to their parte certeine Pieers of his courte for greate pensions. Whiles they all staye at the chiefeste doubte of all, what to do in the meane time with Englande, and yet agree
all in this to make peace with the Englishmen, and with mooste suer and stronge bandes to bynde that weake and feable frendeshippe, so that they muste be called frendes, and hadde in suspicion as enemyes. And that therfore the Skottes muste be hadde in a readines, as it were in a standynge, readie at all occasions, in aunters the Englishmen shoulde sturre never so lytle, incontinent to set upon them. And moreover previlie and secretlye (for openlie it maye not be done by the truce that is taken) privelie therefore I saye to make muche of some Piere of Englande, that is bannished hys countrey, whiche muste cleime title to the crowne of the realme, and affirme hym selfe juste inherytoure thereof, that by this subtill meanes they maye holde to them the kinge, in whome elles they have but small truste and affiaunce. Here I saye, where so great and heyghe matters be in consultation, where so manye noble and wyse menne counsell theyr kynge onelie to warre, here yf I, selie man, shoulde rise up and will them to tourne over the leafe, and learne a newe lesson, sayinge that my counsell is not to medle with Italy, but to tarye styll at home, and that the kyngedome. of Fraunce alone is almooste greater, then that it maye well be governed of one man: so that the kynge shoulde not nede to studye howe to gette more; and then shoulde pro-. pose unto them the decrees of the people that be called the Achoriens, whiche be situate over agaynste the Ilande of Utopia on the south-easte side. These Achoriens ones made warre in their kinges quarrell for to gette him another kingdome, whiche he laide claime unto, and avaunced hymselfe ryghte inheritoure to the crowne thereof, by the tytle of an olde aliaunce. At the last when they had gotten it, and sawe that they hadde even as muche vexation and trouble in kepynge it, as they had in gettynge it, and that either their newe conquered subjectes by sundrye occasions were makynge daylye insurrections to rebell against them, or els that other countreis were continuallie with divers inrodes and forragynges invadynge them so that they were ever fighting either for them, or agaynste them, and never coulde breake up theyr campes: Seyng them selves in the meane season pylled and impoverished: their money caried out of the realme: their own men killed to maintaine the glorye of an other nation: when they had no warre, peace nothynge better then warre, by reason
that their people in war had so inured themselves to corrupte and wicked maners: that they had taken a delite and pleasure in robbinge and stealing: that through manslaughter they had gathered boldnes to mischiefe: that their lawes were had in contempte, and nothing set by or regarded: that their king beynge troubled with the charge and governaunce of two kingdomes, could not nor was not hable perfectlie to discharge his office towardes them both: seing againe that all these evelles and troubles were endles: at the laste layde their heades together, and like faithfull and lov-. inge subjectes gave to their kynge free choise and libertie to kepe styll the one of these two kingdomes whether he would: alleginge that he was not hable to kepe both, and that they were mo then might well be governed of halfe a king: forasmuche as no man woulde be content to take him for his mulettour, that kepeth an other mans moyles besydes his. So this good prince was constreyned to be content with his olde kyngedome and to.geve over the newe to one of his frendes. Who shortelye after was violentlie driven out. Furthermore if I shoulde declare unto them, that all this busie preparaunce to warre, wherby so many nations for his sake should be broughte into a troublesome hurleiburley, when all his coffers were emptied, his treasures wasted, and his people destroied, should at the length through some mischance be in vaine and to none effect: and that therfore it were best for him to content him selfe with his owne kingedome of Fraunce, as his forfathers and predecessours did before him to make much of it, to enrich it, and to make it as flourisshing as he could, to endevoure him selfe to love his subjectes, and againe to be beloved of them, willingly to live with them, peaceably to governe them, and with other kyngdomes not to medle, seinge that whiche he hath all reddy is even ynoughe for him, yea and more than he can well turne hym to: this myne advyse, maister More, how thinke you it would be harde and taken? So God helpe me, not very thankefully, quod I. Wel, let us procede then, quod he. Suppose that some kyng and his counsel were together whettinge their wittes and devisinge, what subtell crafte they myght invente to enryche the kinge with great treasures of money. First one counselleth to rayse and enhaunce the valuation of money when the kinge must paye anye: and agayne to calle downe the value of
coyne to lesse then it is worthe, when he muste receive or gather any. For thus great sommes shal be payd wyth a lytyl money, and where lytle is due muche shal be receaved. Another counselleth to fayne warre, that when under this coloure and pretence the kyng hath gathered greate aboundaunce of money, he maye, when it shall please him, make peace with greate solempnitie and holye ceremonies, to blinde the eyes of the poore communaltie, as taking pitie and compassion forsothe upon mans bloude, lyke a loving and a mercifull prince. Another putteth the kynge in remembraunce of certeine olde and moughteeaten lawes, that of longe tyme have not bene put in execution, whych because no man can remembre that they were made, everie man hath transgressed. The fynes of these lawes he counselleth the kynge to require: for there is no waye so proffitable, nor more honorable, as the whyche hathe a shewe and coloure of justice. Another advyseth him to forbidde manye thinges under greate penalties and fines, specially suche thinges as is for the peoples profit not be used, and afterwarde to dispence for money with them, whyche by this prohibition substeyne losse and dammage. For by this meanes the favour of the people is wonne, and profite riseth two wayes. First by takinge forfaytes of them whome covetousnes of gaynes hath brought in daunger of this statute, and also by sellinge privileges and licences, whyche the better that the prince is, forsothe the deerer he selleth them: as one that is lothe to graunte to any private persone anye thinge that is against the proffite of his people. And therefore maye sel none but at an exceding dere pryce. Another giveth the kynge counsel to endaunger unto his grace the judges of the Realme, that he maye have them ever on his side, and that they maye in everye matter despute and reason for the kynges right. Yea and further to call them into his palace and to require them there to argue and discusse his matters in his owne presence. So there shal be no matter of his so openlye wronge and unjuste, wherein one or other of them, either because he wyl have sumthinge to allege and objecte or that he is ashamed to saye that whiche is sayde alreadye, or els to pike a thanke with his prince, wil not fynde some hole open to set a snare in, wherewith to take the contrarie parte in a trippe. Thus whiles the judges cannot agree amonges them selfes,
reasoninge and arguing of that which is playne enough, and bringinge the manifest trewthe in dowte: in the meane season the Kinge maye take a fyt occasion to understand the lawe as shal moste make for his advauntage, whereunto all other for shame, or for feare wil agree. Then the Judges may be bolde to pronounce on the kynges side. For he that geveth sentence for the king, cannot be without a good excuse. For it shal be sufficient for him to have equitie on his part, or the bare wordes of the lawe, or a wrythen and wrested understandinge of the same, or els (whiche with good and just Judges is of greater force then all lawes be) the Kynges indisputable prerogative. To conclude, al the counsellours agre and consent together with the ryche Crassus, that no abundance of gold can be sufficient for a prince, which muste kepe and maynteyne an armie: furthermore that a kynge, thoughe he would, can do nothinge unjustlye. For all that all men have, yea also the men them selfes be all his. And that every man hath so much of his owne, as the kynges gentilnes hath not taken from hym. And that it shal be moste for the kinges advantage, that his subjectes have very lytle or nothinge in their possession, as whose savegarde doth herein consiste, that his people doe not waxe wanton and wealthie through riches and libertie, because where these thinges be, there men be not wonte patiently to obeye harde, unjuste, and unlawefull commaundementes; whereas on the other part neade and povertie doth holde downe and kepe under stowte courages, and maketh them patient perforce, takynge from them bolde and rebellynge stomakes. Here agayne if I shoulde ryse up, and boldelye affirme that all these counselles be to the kinge dishonoure and reproche, whose honoure and safetye is more and rather supported and upholden by the wealth and ryches of his people, then by hys owne treasures: and if I should declare that the comminaltie chueseth their king for their owne sake, and not for his sake: to the intent, that through his laboure and studie they might al live wealthily sauffe from wronges and injuries: and that therfore the kynge ought to take more care for the wealthe of his people, then for his owne wealthe, even as the office and dewtie of shepehearde is in that he is a shepherde, to feede his shepe rather then himselfe. For as towchinge this, that they thinke the defence
and mayntenaunce of peace to consiste in the povertie of the people, the thing it selfe sheweth that they be farre out of the waye. For where shal a man finde more wrangling, quarrelling, brawling, and chiding, then among beggers? Who be more desierous of newe mutations and alterations, then they that be not content with the present state of their lyfe? Or finallye who be bolder stomaked to bringe all in a hurlieburlye (therby trustinge to get some windfal) then they that have nowe nothinge to leese? And yf any Kyng were so smally regarded, and so lightly estemed, yea so behated of his subjectes, that other wayes he could not kepe them in awe, but onlye by open wronges, by pollinge and shavinge, and by bringinge them to beggerie, sewerly it were better for him to forsake his kingedome, then to holde it by this meanes: whereby though the name of a king be kepte, yet the majestie is lost. For it is againste the dignitie of a kynge to have rule over beggers, but rather over ryche and welthie men. Of this mynde was the hardie and couragius Fabrice, when he sayde, that he had rather be a ruler of riche men, then be ryche himselfe. And verelye one man to live in pleasure and wealth, whyles all other wepe and smarte for it, that is the parte, not of a kynge, but of a jayler. To be shorte as he is a folyshe phisition, that cannot cure his patientes disease, onles he caste him in an other syckenes, so he that cannot amend the lives of his subjectes, but be taking from them the wealthe and commoditie of lyfe, he muste nedes graunte that, he knoweth not the feate how to governe men. But let him rather amende his owne lyfe, renounce unhonest pleasures, and forsake pride. For these be the chiefe vices that cause hym to runne in the contempte or hatred of his people. Let him lyve of hys owne, hurtinge no man. Let him doe cost not above his power. Let him restreyne wyckednes. Let him prevente vices, and take awaye the occasions of offenses by well orderynge hys subjectes, and not by sufferynge wickednes to increase afterward to be punyshed. Let hym not be to hastie in callynge agayne lawes, whyche a custome hathe abrogated: specially suche as have bene longe forgotten, and never lacked nor neaded. And let hym never under the cloke and pretence of transgression take suche fynes and forfaytes, as no Judge wyll suffre a private persone to take, as unjuste and ful of gile. Here if I
should brynge forth before them the lawe of the Macariens, whiche be not farre distaunt from Utopia: whose Kynge the daye of hys coronation is bounde by a solempne othe, that he shall never at anye time have in hys treasure above a thousande pounde of golde or sylver: They saye a verye good kynge, whiche toke more care for the wealthe and commoditye of his countrey, then for thenriching of him selfe, made this lawe to be a stop and barre to kinges from heaping and hording up so muche money as might impoveryshe their people. For he forsawe that this som of treasure woulde suffice to supporte the kynge in battaile against his owne people, if they shoulde chaunce to rebell: and also to maintein his warres againste the invasions of his forreyn enemies. Againe he perceived the same stocke of money to be to litle and unsufficient to encourage and enhable him wrongfullye to take away other mens goodes: whyche was the chiefe cause whie the lawe was made. An other cause was this. He thought that by this provision his people shoulde not lacke money, wherewith to mayneteyne their dayly occupieng and chaffayre. And seynge the kynge could not chewse but laye out and bestowe al that came in above the prescript some of his stocke, he thought he woulde seke no occasions to doe his subjectes injurie. Suche a kynge shal be feared of evel men, and loved of good men. These, and suche other informations, yf I shoulde use among men wholye inclined and geven to the contrarye part, how deaffe hearers thinke you shoulde I have? Deaffe hearers douteles (quod I). And in good faith no marveyle. And to be plaine with you, truelye I can not allowe that suche communication shalbe used, or suche counsell geven, as you be suere shall never be regarded nor receaved. For how can so straunge informations be profitable, or how can they be beaten into their headdes, whose myndes be allredye prevented: with cleane contrarye persuasions? This schole philosophie is not unpleasaunte amonge frendes in familiare communication, but in the counselles of kinges, where greate matters be debated and reasoned with greate authoritye, these thinges have no place. That is it whiche I mente (quod he) when I sayde philosophye hadde no place amonge kinges. In dede (quod I) this schole philosophie hath not whiche thinketh all thinges mete for every place. But there is an other philosophye more civile, whyche knoweth, as ye
wolde say, her owne stage, and thereafter orderynge and behavinge hereselfe in the playe that she hathe in hande, playethe her parte accordingelye with comlyenes, utteringe nothinge oute of dewe ordre and fassyon. And this is the philosophye that you muste use. Or els whyles a commodye of Plautus is playinge, and the vyle bondemen skoffynge and tryffelinge amonge them selfes, yf you shoulde sodenlye come upon the stage in a Philosophers apparrell, and reherse oute of Octavia the place wherein Seneca disputeth with Nero: had it not bene better for you to have played the domme persone, then by rehersynge that, whych served neither for the tyme nor place, to have made suche a tragycall comedye or gallymalfreye? For by bryngynge in other stuffe that nothinge apperteynethe to the presente matter, you muste nedes marre and pervert the play that is in hand, thoughe the stuffe that you bringe be muche better. What part soever you have taken upon you, playe that aswel as you can and make the best of it: And doe not therefore disturbe and brynge oute of ordre the whole matter, bycause that an other, whyche is meryer and better cummethe to your remembraunce. So the case standeth in a common wealthe, and so it is in the consultations of Kynges and prynces. Yf evel opinions and noughty persuasions can not be utterly and quyte plucked out of their hartes, if you can not even as you wolde remedy vices, which use and custome hath confirmed: yet for this cause you must not leave and forsake the common wealthe: you muste not forsake the shippe in a tempeste, because you can not rule and kepe downe the wyndes. No nor you muste not laboure to dryve into their heades newe and straunge informations, whyche you knowe wel shalbe nothinge regarded wyth them that be of cleane contrary mindes. But you must with a crafty wile and a subtell trayne studye and endevoure youre selfe, asmuche as in you lyethe, to handle the matter wyttelye and handesomelye for the purpose, and that whyche you can not turne to good, so to order it that it be not verye badde. For it is not possible for al thinges to be well, onles all men were good. Whych I thinke wil not be yet thies good many yeares.
4. Labor in Utopia
Husbandrie is a Science common to them all in generall, bothe men and women, where