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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 cummet he 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
in they be all experte and cunning. In this they be all instructed even from their youth: partelie in their scholes with traditions and preceptes, and partlie in the countrey nighe the citie, brought up as it were in playinge, not onely beholding the use of it, but by occasion of exercising their bodies practising it also. Besides husbandrie, whiche (as I saide) is common to them all, everye one of them learneth one or other several and particular science, as his owne proper crafte. That is most commonly either clothworking in wol or flaxe, or masonrie, or the smithes craft, or the carpenters science. For there is none other occupation that any number to speake of doth use there. For their garmentes, which throughoute all the Ilande be of one fashion (savynge that there is a difference betwene the mans garmente and the womans, betwene the maried and the unmaried) and this one continueth for evermore unchaunged, semely and comelie to the eye, no lette to the movynge and weldynge of the bodye, also fytte both for wynter and summer: as for these garmentes (I saye) every familie maketh their owne. But of the other foresaide craftes everye man learneth one. And not onely the men, but also the women. But the women, as the weaker sort, be put to the easier craftes: as to worke wolle and flaxe. The more laborsome sciences be committed to the men. For the mooste part every man is brought up in his fathers crafte. For moste commonlye they be naturallie therto bente and inclined. But yf a mans minde stande to anye other, he is by adoption put into a familye of that occupation, which he doth most fantasy. Whome not onely his father, but also the magistrates do diligently loke to, that he be put to a discrete and an honest householder. Yea, and if anye person, when he hath learned one crafte, be desierous to learne also another, he is likewyse suffred and permitted.
When he hathe learned bothe, he occupieth whether he wyll: onelesse the citie have more neade of the one then of the other. The chiefe and almooste the onelye offyce of the Syphograuntes is, to see and take hede, that no manne sit idle: but that everye one applye hys owne craft with earnest diligence. And yet for all that, not to be wearied from earlie in the morninge, to late in the evenninge, with continuall worke, like labouringe and toylinge beastes. For this is worse then the miserable and wretched
condition of bondemen. Whiche nevertheles is almooste everye where the lyfe of workemen and artificers, saving in Utopia. For they dividynge the daye and the nyghte into xxiiii. juste houres, appointe and assigne onelye sixe of those houres to woorke; iii before noone, upon the whiche they go streighte to diner: and after diner, when they have rested two houres, then they worke iii. houres and upon that they go to supper. Aboute eyghte of the cloke in the eveninge (countinge one of the clocke at the firste houre after noone) they go to bedde: eyght houres they geve to slepe. All the voide time, that is betwene the houres of worke, slepe, and meate, that they be suffered to bestowe, every man as he liketh best him selfe. Not to thintent that they shold mispend this time in riote or slouthfulnes: but beynge then licensed from the laboure of their owne occupations, to bestow the time well and thriftelye upon some other science, as shall please them. For it is a solempne custome there, to have lectures daylye early in the morning, where to be presente they onely be constrained that be namelye chosen and appoynted to learninge. Howbeit a greate multitude of every sort of people, both men and women go to heare lectures, some one and some an other, as everye mans nature is inclined. Yet, this notwithstanding, if any man had rather bestowe this time upon his owne occupation, (as it chaunceth in manye, whose mindes rise not in the contemplation of any science liberall) he is not letted, nor prohibited, but is also praysed and commended, as profitable to the common wealthe. After supper they bestow one houre in playe: in summer in their gardens: in winter in their commen halles: where they dine and suppe. There they exercise themselves in musike, or els in honest and wholsome communication. Diceplaye, and suche other folishe and pernicious games they know not. But they use ij. games not much unlike the chesse. The one is the battell of numbers, wherein one numbre stealethe awaye another. The other is wherin vices fyghte with vertues, as it were in battel array, or a set fyld. In the which game is verye properlye shewed, bothe the striffe and discorde that vices have amonge themselfes, and agayne theire unitye and concorde againste vertues: And also what vices be repugnaunt to what vertues: with what powre and strength they assaile them openlye: by what wieles and subtelty they
assaulte them secretelye: with what helpe and aide the vertues resiste, and overcome the puissaunce of the vices: by what craft they frustrate their purposes: and finally by what sleight or meanes the one getteth the victory. But here least you be deceaved, one thinge you muste looke more narrowly upon. For seinge they bestowe but vi. houres in woorke, perchaunce you maye thinke that the lacke of some necessarye thinges hereof maye ensewe. But this is nothinge so. For that smal time is not only enough but also to muche for the stoore and abundance of all thinges, that be requisite, either for the necessitie, or commoditie of life. The which thinge you also shall perceave, if you weye and consider with your selfes how great a parte of the people in other contreis lyveth ydle. First almost all women, whyche be the halfe of the whole numbre: or els if the women be somewhere occupied, there most commonlye in their steade the men be ydle. Besydes this how greate, and howe ydle a companye is there of preystes, and relygious men, as they cal them? put thereto al ryche men, speciallye all landed men, which comonlye be called gentilmen, and noble men. Take into this numbre also theire servauntes: I meane all that flocke of stoute bragging russhe bucklers. Joyne to them also sturdy and valiaunte beggers, clokinge their idle lyfe under the coloure of some disease or sickenes. And trulye you shal find them much fewer then you thought, by whose labour all these thinges are wrought, that in mens affaires are now daylye used and frequented. Nowe consyder with youre selfe, of these fewe that doe woorke, how fewe be occupied in necessarye woorkes. For where money beareth all the swinge, there many vaayne and superfluous occupations must nedes be used, to serve only for ryotous superfluite, and unhonest pleasure. For the same multitude that now is occupied in woork, if they were devided into so fewe occupations as the necessarye use of nature requyreth; in so greate plentye of thinges as then of necessity woulde ensue, doubtles the prices wolde be to lytle for the artifycers to maynteyne theire livinges. But yf all these, that be nowe busied about unprofitable occupations, with all the whole flocke of them that lyve ydellye and slouthfullye, whyche consume and waste everye one of them more of these thinges that come by other
mens laboure, then ij. of the workemen themselfes doo: yf all these (I saye) were sette to profytable occupatyons, you easelye perceave howe lytle tyme would be enoughe, yea and to muche to stoore us with all thinges that maye be requisite either for necessitie, or for commoditye, yea or for pleasure, so that the same pleasure be trewe and natural. And this in Utopia the thinge it selfe makethe manifeste and playne. For there in all the citye, with the whole contreye, or shiere adjoyning to it scarselye 500. persons of al the whole numbre of men and women, that be neither to olde, nor to weake to worke, be licensed and distcharged from laboure. Amonge them be the Siphograuntes (whoe thoughe they be by the lawes exempte and privileged from labour) yet they exempte not themselfes: to the intent that they may the rather by their example provoke other to worke. The same vacation from labour do they also enjoye, to whome the people persuaded by the commendation of the priestes, and secrete election of the Siphograuntes, have geven a perpetual licence from laboure to learninge. But if any one of them prove not accordinge to the expectation and hoope of him conceaved, he is forthwith plucked backe to the company of artificers. And contrarye wise, often it chaunceth that a handicraftes man doth so earnestly bestowe his vacaunte and spare houres in learninge, and throughe diligence so profyteth therin, that he is taken from his handy occupation, and promoted to the company of the learned. Oute of this ordre of the learned be chosen ambassadours, priestes, Tranibores, and finallye the prince him selfe. Whome they in theire olde tonge cal Barzanes, and by a newer name, Adamus. The residewe of the people being neither ydle, nor yet occupied about unprofitable exercises, it may be easely judged in how fewe houres how muche good woorke by them may be doone and dispatched, towardes those thinges that I have spoken of. This commodity they have also above other, that in the most part of necessarye occupations they neade not so much work, as other nations doe. For first of all the buildinge or repayringe of houses asketh everye where so manye mens continual labour, bicause that the unthrifty heire suffereth the houses that his father buylded in contyneuaunce of tyme to fall in decay. So that which he myghte have upholden wyth lytle coste, hys sue
cessoure is constreyned to buylde it agayne a newe, to his great charge. Yea manye tymes also the howse that stoode one man in muche moneye, another is of so nyce and soo delycate a mynde, that he settethe nothinge by it. And it beynge neglected, and therefore shortelye fallynge into ruyne, he buyldethe uppe another in an other place with no lesse coste and chardge. But amonge the Utopians, where all thinges be sett in a good ordre, and the common wealthe in a good staye, it very seldom chaunceth, that they cheuse a newe plotte to buyld an house upon. And they doo not only finde spedy and quicke remedies for present faultes: but also prevente them that be like to fall. And by this meanes their houses continewe and laste very longe with litle labour and smal reparations: in so much that this kind of woorkmen somtimes have almost nothinge to doo. But that they be commaunded to hewe timbre at home, and to square and trimme up stones, to the intente that if anye woorke chaunce, it may the spedelier rise. Now, syr, in theire apparell, marke (I praye you) howe few woorkmen they neade. Fyrste of al, whyles they be at woorke, they be covered homely with leather or skinnes, that will last vii. yeares. When they go furthe abrode they caste upon them a cloke, whych hydeth the other homelye apparel. These clookes through out the whole Iland be all of one coloure, and that is the natural coloure of the wul. They therefore do not only spend much lesse wullen clothe then is spente in other contreis, but also the same standeth them in muche lesse coste. But lynen clothe is made with lesse laboure, and is therefore hadde more in use. But in lynen cloth onlye whytenesse, in wullen only clenlynes is regarded. As for the smalnesse or finenesse of the threde, that is no thinge passed for. And this is the cause wherfore in other places iiii. or v. clothe gownes of dyvers coloures, and as manye silke cootes be not enoughe for one man. Yea and yf he be of the delicate and nyse sorte x. be to fewe: whereas there one garmente wyl serve a man mooste commenlye ij. yeares. For whie shoulde he desyre moo? Seinge yf he had them, he should not be the better hapte or covered from colde, neither in his apparel anye whitte the comlyer. Wherefore, seinge they be all exercysed in profitable occupations, and that fewe artificers in the same craftes be sufficiente, this is the cause that
plentye of all thinges beinge among them, they doo sometymes bringe forthe an innumerable companye of people to amend the hyghe wayes, yf anye be broken. Many times also, when they have no suche woorke to be occupied aboute, an open proclamation is made, that they shall bestowe fewer houres in worke. For the magistrates doe not exercise theire citizens againste theire willes in unneadefull laboures. For whie in the institution of that weale publique, this ende is onelye and chiefely pretended and mynded, that what time maye possibly be spared from the necessarye occupacions and affayres of the commen wealth, all that the citizens shoulde withdrawe from the bodely service to the free libertye of the minde, and garnisshinge of the same. For herein they suppose the felicitye of this liffe to consiste.
5. "And the Pursuit of Happiness"
They dispute of the good qualityes of the sowle, of the body, and of fortune. And whether the name of goodnes maye be applied to all these, or onlye to the endowementes and giftes of the soule. They reason of vertue and pleasure. But the chiefe and principall question is in what thinge, be it one or moe, the felicitye of man consistethe. But in this poynte they seme almooste to muche geven and enclyned to the opinion of them, which defende pleasure, wherein they determine either all or the chiefyste parte of mans felicitye to reste. And (whyche is more to bee marveled at) the defense of this soo deyntye and delicate an opinion, they fetche even from their grave, sharpe, bytter, and rygorous religion. For they never dispute of felicity or blessednes, but they joine unto the reasons of Philosophye certeyne principles taken oute of religion: wythoute the whyche to the investigation of trewe felicitye they thynke reason of it selfe weake and unperfecte. Those principles be these and such lyke. That the soule is immortal, and by the bountiful goodnes of God ordeined to felicitie. That to our vertues and good deades rewardes be appointed after this life, and to our evel deades punishmentes. Though these be perteyning to religion, yet they thincke it mete that they shoulde be beleved and graunted by profes of reason. But yf these principles were condempned and dysanulled, then without anye delaye they pronounce no man to be so folish, whiche woulde not do all his diligence and endevoure to obteyne pleasure be ryght