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all that tenne yeares space that thou lyvedest after thy money was stoolen, what matter was it to thee, whether it hadde bene taken awaye or elles safe as thou lefteste it? Trewlye both wayes like profytte came to thee.

6. The Welfare of All the People


Nowe I have declared and described unto you, as truelye as I coulde the fourme and ordre of that commen wealth, which verely in my judgment is not only the beste, but also that which alone of good right maye claime and take upon it the name of a commen wealth or publique weale. For in other places they speake stil of the commen wealth. But every man procureth his owne private gaine. Here where nothinge is private, the commen affaires bee earnestlye loked upon. And truely on both partes they have good cause so to do as they do. For in other countreys who knoweth not that he shall sterve for honger, onles he make some severall provision for himselfe, though the commen wealthe floryshe never so muche in ryches? And therefore he is compelled even of verye necessitie to have regarde to him selfe, rather then to the people, that is to saye, to other. Contrarywyse there where all thinges be commen to every man, it is not to be doubted that any man shal lacke anye thinge necessary for his private uses: that the commen store houses and bernes be sufficientlye stored. For there nothinge is distributed after a nyggyshe sorte, neither there is anye poore man or begger. thoughe no man have anye thinge, yet everye man is ryche. For what can be more riche, then to lyve joyfully and merely, without al griefe and pensifenes: not caring for his owne lyving, nor vexed or troubled with his wifes importunate complayntes, nor dreadynge povertie to his sonne, nor sorrowyng for his doughters dowrey? Yea they take no care at all for the lyvyng and wealthe of themselfes and al theirs, of theire wyfes, theire chyldren, theire nephewes, theire childrens chyldren, and all the succession that ever shall followe in theire posteritie. And yet besydes this there is no lesse provision for them that were ones labourers, and be nowe weake and impotent, then for them that do nowe laboure and take payne. Here nowe woulde I see, yf anye man dare bee so bolde as to compare with this equytie, the justice of other nations. Among whom, I forsake God, if I can fynde


any signe or token of equitie and justice. For what justice is this, that a ryche goldesmythe, or an usurer, or to bee shorte anye of them, which either doo nothing at all, or els that whyche they doo is such, that it is not very necessary to the common wealth, should have a pleasaunte and a welthie lyvinge, either by Idlenes, or by unnecessarye busines: when in the meane tyme poore labourers, carters, yronsmythes, carpenters, and plowmen, by so greate and continual toyle, as drawing and bearinge beastes be skant hable to susteine, and againe so necessary toyle, that without it no common wealth were hable to continewe and endure one yere, should yet get so harde and poore a lyving, and lyve so wretched and miserable a lyfe, that the state and condition of the labouringe beastes maye seme muche better and welthier? For they be not put to soo continuall laboure, nor theire lyvinge is not muche worse, yea to them muche pleasaunter, takynge no thought in the meane season for the tyme to come. But these seilye poore wretches be presently tormented with barreyne and unfrutefull labour. And the remembraunce of theire poore indigent and beggerlye olde age kylleth them up. For theire dayly wages is so lytle, that it will not suffice for the same daye, muche lesse it yeldeth any overplus, that may daylye be layde up for the relyefe of olde age. Is not this an unjust and an unkynde publyque weale, whyche gyveth great fees and rewardes to gentlemen, as they call them, and to goldsmythes, and to suche other, whiche be either ydle persones, or els onlye flatterers, and devysers of vayne pleasures: And of the contrary parte maketh no gentle provision for poore plowmen, coliars, laborers, carters, yronsmythes, and carpenters: without whome no commen wealthe can continewe? But after it hath abused the labours of theire lusty and flowring age, at the laste when they be oppressed with olde age and syckenes, being nedye, poore, and indigent of all thinges, then forgettyng their so manye paynefull watchings, not remembring their so manye and so greate benefites, recompenseth and acquyteth them moste unkyndly with myserable death. And yet besides this the riche men not only by private fraud but also by commen lawes do every day pluck and snatche awaye from the poore some parte of their daily living. So whereas it semed before unjuste to recompense with un

kindnes their paynes that have bene beneficiall to the publique weale, nowe they have to this their wrong and unjuste dealinge (which is yet a muche worse pointe) geven the name of justice, yea and that by force of a lawe. Therfore when I consider and way in my mind all these commen wealthes, which now a dayes any where do flourish, so god helpe me, I can perceave nothing but a certein conspiracy of riche men procuringe theire owne commodities under the name and title of the commen wealth. They invent and devise all meanes and craftes, first how to kepe safely, without feare of lesing, that they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the worke and laboure of the poore for as litle money as may be. These devises, when the riche men have decreed to be kept and observed under coloure of the comminaltie, that is to saye, also of the pore people, then they be made lawes. But these most wicked and vicious men, when they have by their unsatiable covetousnes devided among them selves al those thinges, whiche woulde have sufficed all men, yet how farre be they from the welth and felicitie of the Utopian commen wealth? Out of the which, in that all the desire of money with the use thereof is utterly secluded and banished, howe greate a heape of cares is cut away! How great an occasion of wickednes and mischiefe is plucked up by the rotes! For who knoweth not, that fraud, theft, ravine, brauling, quarelling, brabling, striffe, chiding, contention, murder, treason, poisoning, which by daily punishmentes are rather revenged then refrained, do dye when money dieth? And also that feare, griefe, care, laboures and watchinges do perish even the very same moment that money perisheth? Yea poverty it selfe, which only semed to lacke money, if money were gone, it also would decrease and vanishe away. And that you may perceave this more plainly, consider with your selfes some barein and unfruteful yeare, wherin manye thousandes of people have starved for honger: I dare be bolde to say, that in the end of that penury so much corne or grain might have bene found in the rich mens bernes, if they had bene searched, as being divided among them whome famine and pestilence then consumed, no man at al should have felt that plague and penuri. So easely might men gette their living, if that same worthye princesse lady money did not alone stop up the waye betwene us and

our lyving, which a goddes name was very excellently devised and invented, that by her the way thereto should be opened. I am sewer the ryche men perceave this, nor they be not ignoraunte how much better it were too lacke noo necessarye thing, then to abunde with overmuche superfluite: to be ryd oute of innumerable cares and troubles, then to be besieged and encombred with great ryches. And I dowte not that either the respecte of every mans private commoditie, or els the authority of oure savioure Christe (which for his great wisdom could not but know what were best, and for his inestimable goodnes could not but counsel to that which he knew to be best) wold have brought all the worlde longe agoo into the lawes of this weale publique, if it wer not that one only beast, the princesse and mother of all mischiefe, Pride, doth withstande and let it. She measurethe not wealth and prosperity by her owne commodities, but by the miserie and incomodities of other, she would not by her good will be made a goddesse, yf there were no wretches left, over whom she might, like a scorneful ladie rule and triumph, over whose miseries her felicities mighte shyne, whose povertie she myghte vexe, tormente, and encrease by gorgiouslye settynge furthe her richesse. Thys hellhounde creapeth into mens hartes: and plucketh them backe from entering the right pathe of life, and is so depely roted in mens brestes, that she can not be plucked out. This fourme and fashion of a weale publique, which I would gladly wish unto al nations, I am glad yet that it hath chaunced to the Utopians, which have folowed those institutions of life, whereby they have laid such foundations of their common wealth, as shal continew and last not only wealthely, but also, as far as mans wit may judge and conjecture, shall endure for ever. For, seyng the chiefe causes of ambition and sedition, with other vices be plucked up by the rootes, and abandoned at home, there can be no jeopardie of domisticall dissention, whiche alone hathe caste under foote and brought to noughte the well fortefied and stronglie defenced wealthe and riches of many cities. But forasmuch as perfect concorde remaineth, and wholsome lawes be executed at home, the envie of al forein princes be not hable to shake or move the empire, though they have many tymes long ago gone about to do it, beyng evermore driven backe,



[From The Boke of the Governour, 1534] That one soueraigne gouernour ought to be in a publike weale. And what damage hath happened where a multitude hath had equal authorite without any soueraygne. Lyke as to a castell or fortresse suffisethe one owner or souerayne, and where any mo be of like power and authoritie seldome cometh the warke to perfection; or beinge all redy made, where the one diligently' ouerseeth and the other neglecteth, in that contention all is subuerted and commeth to ruyne. In semblable wyse dothe a publike weale that hath mo chiefe gouernours than one. Example we may take of the grekes, amonge whom in diuers cities weare diuers fourmes of publyke weales gouerned by multitudes: wherin one was most tolerable where the gouernance and rule was alway permitted to them whiche excelled in vertue, and was in the greke tonge called Aristocratia, in latin Optimorum Potentia, in englisshe the rule of men of beste disposition, which the Thebanes of longe tyme obserued.

An other publique weale was amonge the Atheniensis, where equalitie was of astate amonge the people, and only by theyr holle consent theyr citie and dominions were gouerned whiche moughte well be called monstre with many heedes: nor neuer it was certeyne nor stable: and often tymes they banyssed or slewe the beste citezins, whiche by their vertue and wisedome had moste profited to the publike weale. This maner of gouernaunce was called in greke Democratia, in latin Popularis potentia, in englisshe the rule of the comminaltie. Of these two gouernances none of them may be sufficient. For in the fyrste, whiche consisteth of good men, vertue is nat so constant in a multitude, but that some, beinge ones in authoritie, be incensed with glorie: some with ambition: other with coueitise and desire of treasure or possessions: wherby they falle in to contention: and finallye, where any achiuethe the superioritie, the holle gouernance is reduced unto a fewe in nombre, whiche fearinge the multitude and their mutabilitie, to the intent to kepe them in drede to rebelle, ruleth by terrour and crueltie, thinking therby to kepe them selfe in suertie: nat withstanding, rancour

coarcted and longe detained in a narowe roume, at the last brasteth out with intollerable violence, and bryngeth al to confusion. For the power that is practized to the Lurte of many can nat continue. The populare astate, if it any thing do varie from equalitie of substance or estimation, or that the multitude of people haue ouer moche liberte, of necessite one of these inconueniences muste happen: either tiranny, where he that is to moche in fauour wolde be elevate and suffre none equalite, orels in to the rage of a communaltie, whiche of all rules is moste to be feared. For lyke as the communes, if they fele some seueritie, they do humbly serue and obaye, so where they imbracinge a licence refuse to be brydled, they flynge and plunge and if they ones throwe downe theyr gouernour, they ordre euery thynge without iustice, only with vengeance and crueltie and with incomparable difficultie and unneth by any wysedome be pacified and brought agayne in to ordre. Wherfore undoubtedly the best and most sure gouernaunce is by one kynge or prince, whiche ruleth onely for the weale of his people to hym subiecte: and that maner of gouernaunce is beste approued, and hath longest continued, and is moste auncient. For who can denie but that all thynge in heuen and erthe is gouerned by one god, by one perpetuall ordre, by one prouidence? One Sonne ruleth ouer the day, and one Moone ouer the nyghte; and to descende downe to the erthe, in a litell beest, whiche of all other is moste to be maruayled at, I meane the Bee, is lefte to man by nature, as it semeth, a perpetuall figure of a iuste gouernaunce or rule: who hath amonge them one principall Bee for theyr gouernour, who excelleth all other in greatnes, yet hath he no pricke or stinge, but in hym is more knowlege than in the residue. For if the day folowyng shall be fayre and drye, and that the bees may issue out of theyr stalles without peryll of rayne or vehement wynde, in the mornyng erely he calleth them, makyng a noyse as it were the sowne of a horne or a trumpet; and with that all the residue prepare them to labour, and fleeth abrode, gatheryng nothing but that shall be swete and profitable, all though they sitte often tymes on herbes and other thinges that be venomous and stynkinge.

The capitayne hym selfe laboureth nat for his sustinance, but all the other for hym; he onely seeth that if any drane or other unprofitable bee entreth in to the hyue, and

consumethe the hony, gathered by other, that he be immediately expelled from that company. And when there is an other nombre of bees encreased, they semblably haue also a capitayne, whiche be nat suffered to continue with the other. Wherfore this newe company gathered in to a swarme, hauyng their capitayne among them, and enuironynge hym to perserue hym from harme, they issue forthe sekyng a newe habitation, whiche they fynde in some tree, except with some pleasant noyse they be alured and conuayed unto an other hyue. I suppose who seriously beholdeth this example, and hath any commendable witte, shall therof gather moche matter to the fourmynge of a publike weale.



[From The Boke of the Governour, 1534] For who commendeth those gardiners that wyll put all their diligence in trymmyng or kepynge delicately one knotte or bedde of herbes, suffryng all the remenaunt of their gardeyne to be subuerted with a great nombre of molles,1 and do attende at no tyme for the takynge and destroyinge of them, until the herbis, wherin they haue employed all their labours, be also tourned uppe and perisshed, and the molles increased in so infinite nombres that no industry or labour may suffice to consume them, whereby the labour is frustrate and all the gardeine made unprofitable and also unpleasaunt? In this similitude to the gardeyne may be resembled the publike weale, to the gardiners the gouernours and counsailours, to the knottes or beddes sondrye degrees of personages, to the molles vices and sondry enormities. Wherfore the consultation is but of a small effecte wherin the uniuersall astate of the publike weale do nat occupie the more parte of the tyme, and in that generaltie euery particuler astate be nat diligently ordered. For as Tulli sayeth, they that consulte for parte of the people and neglecte the residue, they brynge in to the citie or countraye a thynge mooste perniciouse, that is to say, sedition and discorde, whereof it hapnethe that some wyll seeme to fauoure the multitude, other be inclined to leene to the beste sorte, fewe do studie for all uniuersallye. Whiche hath bene the cause that nat onely Athenes, (whiche Tulli dothe name), but

1 Moles.

also the citie and empyre of Rome, with diuers other cities and realmes, haue decayed and ben finally brought in extreme desolation. Also Plato, in his booke of fortytude, sayeth in the persone of Socrates, Whan so euer a man seketh a thinge for cause of an other thynge, the consultation aught to be alway of that thyng for whose cause the other thing is sought for, and nat of that which is sought for because of the other thynge. And surely wise men do consider that damage often tymes hapneth by abusinge the due fourme of consultation: men like enyl Phisitions sekynge for medicynes or they perfectly knowe the sicknesses; and as euyll marchauntes do utter firste the wares and commodities of straungers, whiles straungers be robbynge of their owne cofers.

Therfore these thinges that I haue rehersed concernyng consultation ought to be of all men in authoritie substancially pondered, and moost vigilauntly obserued, if they intende to be to their publike weale profitable, for the whiche purpose onely they be called to be gouernours. And this conclude I to write any more of consultation, whiche is the last part of morall Sapience, and the begynnyng of sapience politike.

Nowe all ye reders that desire to haue your children to be gouernours, or in any other authoritie in the publike weale of your countrey, if ye bringe them up and instructe them in suche fourme as in this boke is declared, they shall than seme to all men worthye to be in authoritie, honour, and noblesse, and all that is under their gouernaunce shall prospere and come to perfection. And as a precious stone in a ryche ouche1 they shall be beholden and wondred at, and after the dethe of their body their soules for their endeuour shall be incomprehensibly rewarded of the gyuer of wisedome, to whome onely be gyuen eternall glorie. Amen.


1. Our Sea-Walled Garden [From Richard II, Act III, scene iv] Langley. The DUKE OF YORK's garden

Enter the QUEEN and two Ladies Queen. What sport shall we devise here in this garden,

To drive away the heavy thought of care? 1 Setting.

Lady. Madam, we'll play at bowls. Queen. Twill make me think the world is full of rubs,

And that my fortune runs against the bias. Lady. Madam, we'll dance.

Queen. My legs can keep no measure in delight,

When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief:

Therefore, no dancing, girl; some other sport.

Lady. Madam, we'll tell tales.
Queen. Of sorrow or of joy?

Of either, madam.
Queen. Of neither, girl:
For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
Or if of grief, being altogether had,
It adds more sorrow to my want of joy:
For what I have I need not to repeat;
And what I want it boots not to complain.
Lady. Madam, I'll sing.

Queen. "Tis well that thou hast cause; But thou shouldst please me better, wouldst thou weep.

Lady. I could weep, madam, would it do you good.

Queen. And I could sing, would weeping do me good,

And never borrow any tear of thee.

Enter a Gardener, and two Servants But stay, here come the gardeners: Let's step into the shadow of these trees. My wretchedness unto a row of pins, They'll talk of state; for every one doth so Against a change; woe is forerun with woe. [Queen and Ladies retire Gard. Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks,

Which, like unruly children, make their sire Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight:

Give some supportance to the bending twigs.
Go thou, and like an executioner,

Cut off the heads of too fast growing sprays,
That look too lofty in our commonwealth:
All must be even in our government.
You thus employ'd, I will go root away
The noisome weeds, which without profit suck
The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers.
Serv. Why should we in the compass of
a pale

Keep law and form and due proportion,
Showing, as in a model, our firm estate,
When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers

choked up,

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As we this garden! We at time of year Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruittrees,

Lest, being over-proud in sap and blood, With too much riches it confound itself: Had he done so to great and growing men, They might have lived to bear and he to taste

Their fruits of duty: superfluous branches We lop away, that bearing boughs may live: Had he done so, himself had borne the crown Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.

Serv. What, think you then the king shall be deposed?

Gard. Depress'd he is already, and deposed

'Tis doubt he will be: letters came last night To a dear friend of the good Duke of York's,

That tell black tidings.

Queen. O, I am press'd to death through want of speaking! [Coming forward Thou, old Adam's likeness, set to dress this garden,

How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this unpleasing news?

What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee

To make a second fall of cursed man? Why dost thou say King Richard is deposed?

Darest thou, thou little better thing than earth,

Divine his downfall? Say, where, when, and how,

Camest thou by this ill tidings? Speak, thou wretch.

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