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´╗┐Title: Utopia
Author: More, Thomas, Sir, Saint, 1478?-1535
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Utopia" ***

Transcribed from the 1901 Cassell & Company Edition by David Price, email



Sir Thomas More, son of Sir John More, a justice of the King's Bench, was
born in 1478, in Milk Street, in the city of London.  After his earlier
education at St. Anthony's School, in Threadneedle Street, he was placed,
as a boy, in the household of Cardinal John Morton, Archbishop of
Canterbury and Lord Chancellor.  It was not unusual for persons of wealth
or influence and sons of good families to be so established together in a
relation of patron and client.  The youth wore his patron's livery, and
added to his state.  The patron used, afterwards, his wealth or influence
in helping his young client forward in the world.  Cardinal Morton had
been in earlier days that Bishop of Ely whom Richard III. sent to the
Tower; was busy afterwards in hostility to Richard; and was a chief
adviser of Henry VII., who in 1486 made him Archbishop of Canterbury, and
nine months afterwards Lord Chancellor.  Cardinal Morton--of talk at
whose table there are recollections in "Utopia"--delighted in the quick
wit of young Thomas More.  He once said, "Whoever shall live to try it,
shall see this child here waiting at table prove a notable and rare man."

At the age of about nineteen, Thomas More was sent to Canterbury College,
Oxford, by his patron, where he learnt Greek of the first men who brought
Greek studies from Italy to England--William Grocyn and Thomas Linacre.
Linacre, a physician, who afterwards took orders, was also the founder of
the College of Physicians.  In 1499, More left Oxford to study law in
London, at Lincoln's Inn, and in the next year Archbishop Morton died.

More's earnest character caused him while studying law to aim at the
subduing of the flesh, by wearing a hair shirt, taking a log for a
pillow, and whipping himself on Fridays.  At the age of twenty-one he
entered Parliament, and soon after he had been called to the bar he was
made Under-Sheriff of London.  In 1503 he opposed in the House of Commons
Henry VII.'s proposal for a subsidy on account of the marriage portion of
his daughter Margaret; and he opposed with so much energy that the House
refused to grant it.  One went and told the king that a beardless boy had
disappointed all his expectations.  During the last years, therefore, of
Henry VII.  More was under the displeasure of the king, and had thoughts
of leaving the country.

Henry VII. died in April, 1509, when More's age was a little over thirty.
In the first years of the reign of Henry VIII. he rose to large practice
in the law courts, where it is said he refused to plead in cases which he
thought unjust, and took no fees from widows, orphans, or the poor.  He
would have preferred marrying the second daughter of John Colt, of New
Hall, in Essex, but chose her elder sister, that he might not subject her
to the discredit of being passed over.

In 1513 Thomas More, still Under-Sheriff of London, is said to have
written his "History of the Life and Death of King Edward V., and of the
Usurpation of Richard III."  The book, which seems to contain the
knowledge and opinions of More's patron, Morton, was not printed until
1557, when its writer had been twenty-two years dead.  It was then
printed from a MS. in More's handwriting.

In the year 1515 Wolsey, Archbishop of York, was made Cardinal by Leo X.;
Henry VIII. made him Lord Chancellor, and from that year until 1523 the
King and the Cardinal ruled England with absolute authority, and called
no parliament.  In May of the year 1515 Thomas More--not knighted yet--was
joined in a commission to the Low Countries with Cuthbert Tunstal and
others to confer with the ambassadors of Charles V., then only Archduke
of Austria, upon a renewal of alliance.  On that embassy More, aged about
thirty-seven, was absent from England for six months, and while at
Antwerp he established friendship with Peter Giles (Latinised AEgidius),
a scholarly and courteous young man, who was secretary to the
municipality of Antwerp.

Cuthbert Tunstal was a rising churchman, chancellor to the Archbishop of
Canterbury, who in that year (1515) was made Archdeacon of Chester, and
in May of the next year (1516) Master of the Rolls.  In 1516 he was sent
again to the Low Countries, and More then went with him to Brussels,
where they were in close companionship with Erasmus.

More's "Utopia" was written in Latin, and is in two parts, of which the
second, describing the place ([Greek text]--or Nusquama, as he called it
sometimes in his letters--"Nowhere"), was probably written towards the
close of 1515; the first part, introductory, early in 1516.  The book was
first printed at Louvain, late in 1516, under the editorship of Erasmus,
Peter Giles, and other of More's friends in Flanders.  It was then
revised by More, and printed by Frobenius at Basle in November, 1518.  It
was reprinted at Paris and Vienna, but was not printed in England during
More's lifetime.  Its first publication in this country was in the
English translation, made in Edward's VI.'s reign (1551) by Ralph
Robinson.  It was translated with more literary skill by Gilbert Burnet,
in 1684, soon after he had conducted the defence of his friend Lord
William Russell, attended his execution, vindicated his memory, and been
spitefully deprived by James II. of his lectureship at St. Clement's.
Burnet was drawn to the translation of "Utopia" by the same sense of
unreason in high places that caused More to write the book.  Burnet's is
the translation given in this volume.

The name of the book has given an adjective to our language--we call an
impracticable scheme Utopian.  Yet, under the veil of a playful fiction,
the talk is intensely earnest, and abounds in practical suggestion.  It
is the work of a scholarly and witty Englishman, who attacks in his own
way the chief political and social evils of his time.  Beginning with
fact, More tells how he was sent into Flanders with Cuthbert Tunstal,
"whom the king's majesty of late, to the great rejoicing of all men, did
prefer to the office of Master of the Rolls;" how the commissioners of
Charles met them at Bruges, and presently returned to Brussels for
instructions; and how More then went to Antwerp, where he found a
pleasure in the society of Peter Giles which soothed his desire to see
again his wife and children, from whom he had been four months away.  Then
fact slides into fiction with the finding of Raphael Hythloday (whose
name, made of two Greek words [Greek text] and [Greek text], means
"knowing in trifles"), a man who had been with Amerigo Vespucci in the
three last of the voyages to the new world lately discovered, of which
the account had been first printed in 1507, only nine years before Utopia
was written.

Designedly fantastic in suggestion of details, "Utopia" is the work of a
scholar who had read Plato's "Republic," and had his fancy quickened
after reading Plutarch's account of Spartan life under Lycurgus.  Beneath
the veil of an ideal communism, into which there has been worked some
witty extravagance, there lies a noble English argument.  Sometimes More
puts the case as of France when he means England.  Sometimes there is
ironical praise of the good faith of Christian kings, saving the book
from censure as a political attack on the policy of Henry VIII.  Erasmus
wrote to a friend in 1517 that he should send for More's "Utopia," if he
had not read it, and "wished to see the true source of all political
evils."  And to More Erasmus wrote of his book, "A burgomaster of Antwerp
is so pleased with it that he knows it all by heart."

H. M.


Henry VIII., the unconquered King of England, a prince adorned with all
the virtues that become a great monarch, having some differences of no
small consequence with Charles the most serene Prince of Castile, sent me
into Flanders, as his ambassador, for treating and composing matters
between them.  I was colleague and companion to that incomparable man
Cuthbert Tonstal, whom the King, with such universal applause, lately
made Master of the Rolls; but of whom I will say nothing; not because I
fear that the testimony of a friend will be suspected, but rather because
his learning and virtues are too great for me to do them justice, and so
well known, that they need not my commendations, unless I would,
according to the proverb, "Show the sun with a lantern."  Those that were
appointed by the Prince to treat with us, met us at Bruges, according to
agreement; they were all worthy men.  The Margrave of Bruges was their
head, and the chief man among them; but he that was esteemed the wisest,
and that spoke for the rest, was George Temse, the Provost of Casselsee:
both art and nature had concurred to make him eloquent: he was very
learned in the law; and, as he had a great capacity, so, by a long
practice in affairs, he was very dexterous at unravelling them.  After we
had several times met, without coming to an agreement, they went to
Brussels for some days, to know the Prince's pleasure; and, since our
business would admit it, I went to Antwerp.  While I was there, among
many that visited me, there was one that was more acceptable to me than
any other, Peter Giles, born at Antwerp, who is a man of great honour,
and of a good rank in his town, though less than he deserves; for I do
not know if there be anywhere to be found a more learned and a better
bred young man; for as he is both a very worthy and a very knowing
person, so he is so civil to all men, so particularly kind to his
friends, and so full of candour and affection, that there is not,
perhaps, above one or two anywhere to be found, that is in all respects
so perfect a friend: he is extraordinarily modest, there is no artifice
in him, and yet no man has more of a prudent simplicity.  His
conversation was so pleasant and so innocently cheerful, that his company
in a great measure lessened any longings to go back to my country, and to
my wife and children, which an absence of four months had quickened very
much.  One day, as I was returning home from mass at St. Mary's, which is
the chief church, and the most frequented of any in Antwerp, I saw him,
by accident, talking with a stranger, who seemed past the flower of his
age; his face was tanned, he had a long beard, and his cloak was hanging
carelessly about him, so that, by his looks and habit, I concluded he was
a seaman.  As soon as Peter saw me, he came and saluted me, and as I was
returning his civility, he took me aside, and pointing to him with whom
he had been discoursing, he said, "Do you see that man?  I was just
thinking to bring him to you."  I answered, "He should have been very
welcome on your account."  "And on his own too," replied he, "if you knew
the man, for there is none alive that can give so copious an account of
unknown nations and countries as he can do, which I know you very much
desire."  "Then," said I, "I did not guess amiss, for at first sight I
took him for a seaman."  "But you are much mistaken," said he, "for he
has not sailed as a seaman, but as a traveller, or rather a philosopher.
This Raphael, who from his family carries the name of Hythloday, is not
ignorant of the Latin tongue, but is eminently learned in the Greek,
having applied himself more particularly to that than to the former,
because he had given himself much to philosophy, in which he knew that
the Romans have left us nothing that is valuable, except what is to be
found in Seneca and Cicero.  He is a Portuguese by birth, and was so
desirous of seeing the world, that he divided his estate among his
brothers, ran the same hazard as Americus Vesputius, and bore a share in
three of his four voyages that are now published; only he did not return
with him in his last, but obtained leave of him, almost by force, that he
might be one of those twenty-four who were left at the farthest place at
which they touched in their last voyage to New Castile.  The leaving him
thus did not a little gratify one that was more fond of travelling than
of returning home to be buried in his own country; for he used often to
say, that the way to heaven was the same from all places, and he that had
no grave had the heavens still over him.  Yet this disposition of mind
had cost him dear, if God had not been very gracious to him; for after
he, with five Castalians, had travelled over many countries, at last, by
strange good fortune, he got to Ceylon, and from thence to Calicut, where
he, very happily, found some Portuguese ships; and, beyond all men's
expectations, returned to his native country."  When Peter had said this
to me, I thanked him for his kindness in intending to give me the
acquaintance of a man whose conversation he knew would be so acceptable;
and upon that Raphael and I embraced each other.  After those civilities
were past which are usual with strangers upon their first meeting, we all
went to my house, and entering into the garden, sat down on a green bank
and entertained one another in discourse.  He told us that when Vesputius
had sailed away, he, and his companions that stayed behind in New
Castile, by degrees insinuated themselves into the affections of the
people of the country, meeting often with them and treating them gently;
and at last they not only lived among them without danger, but conversed
familiarly with them, and got so far into the heart of a prince, whose
name and country I have forgot, that he both furnished them plentifully
with all things necessary, and also with the conveniences of travelling,
both boats when they went by water, and waggons when they trained over
land: he sent with them a very faithful guide, who was to introduce and
recommend them to such other princes as they had a mind to see: and after
many days' journey, they came to towns, and cities, and to commonwealths,
that were both happily governed and well peopled.  Under the equator, and
as far on both sides of it as the sun moves, there lay vast deserts that
were parched with the perpetual heat of the sun; the soil was withered,
all things looked dismally, and all places were either quite uninhabited,
or abounded with wild beasts and serpents, and some few men, that were
neither less wild nor less cruel than the beasts themselves.  But, as
they went farther, a new scene opened, all things grew milder, the air
less burning, the soil more verdant, and even the beasts were less wild:
and, at last, there were nations, towns, and cities, that had not only
mutual commerce among themselves and with their neighbours, but traded,
both by sea and land, to very remote countries.  There they found the
conveniencies of seeing many countries on all hands, for no ship went any
voyage into which he and his companions were not very welcome.  The first
vessels that they saw were flat-bottomed, their sails were made of reeds
and wicker, woven close together, only some were of leather; but,
afterwards, they found ships made with round keels and canvas sails, and
in all respects like our ships, and the seamen understood both astronomy
and navigation.  He got wonderfully into their favour by showing them the
use of the needle, of which till then they were utterly ignorant.  They
sailed before with great caution, and only in summer time; but now they
count all seasons alike, trusting wholly to the loadstone, in which they
are, perhaps, more secure than safe; so that there is reason to fear that
this discovery, which was thought would prove so much to their advantage,
may, by their imprudence, become an occasion of much mischief to them.
But it were too long to dwell on all that he told us he had observed in
every place, it would be too great a digression from our present purpose:
whatever is necessary to be told concerning those wise and prudent
institutions which he observed among civilised nations, may perhaps be
related by us on a more proper occasion.  We asked him many questions
concerning all these things, to which he answered very willingly; we made
no inquiries after monsters, than which nothing is more common; for
everywhere one may hear of ravenous dogs and wolves, and cruel
men-eaters, but it is not so easy to find states that are well and wisely

As he told us of many things that were amiss in those new-discovered
countries, so he reckoned up not a few things, from which patterns might
be taken for correcting the errors of these nations among whom we live;
of which an account may be given, as I have already promised, at some
other time; for, at present, I intend only to relate those particulars
that he told us, of the manners and laws of the Utopians: but I will
begin with the occasion that led us to speak of that commonwealth.  After
Raphael had discoursed with great judgment on the many errors that were
both among us and these nations, had treated of the wise institutions
both here and there, and had spoken as distinctly of the customs and
government of every nation through which he had past, as if he had spent
his whole life in it, Peter, being struck with admiration, said, "I
wonder, Raphael, how it comes that you enter into no king's service, for
I am sure there are none to whom you would not be very acceptable; for
your learning and knowledge, both of men and things, is such, that you
would not only entertain them very pleasantly, but be of great use to
them, by the examples you could set before them, and the advices you
could give them; and by this means you would both serve your own
interest, and be of great use to all your friends."  "As for my friends,"
answered he, "I need not be much concerned, having already done for them
all that was incumbent on me; for when I was not only in good health, but
fresh and young, I distributed that among my kindred and friends which
other people do not part with till they are old and sick: when they then
unwillingly give that which they can enjoy no longer themselves.  I think
my friends ought to rest contented with this, and not to expect that for
their sakes I should enslave myself to any king whatsoever."  "Soft and
fair!" said Peter; "I do not mean that you should be a slave to any king,
but only that you should assist them and be useful to them."  "The change
of the word," said he, "does not alter the matter."  "But term it as you
will," replied Peter, "I do not see any other way in which you can be so
useful, both in private to your friends and to the public, and by which
you can make your own condition happier."  "Happier?" answered Raphael,
"is that to be compassed in a way so abhorrent to my genius?  Now I live
as I will, to which I believe, few courtiers can pretend; and there are
so many that court the favour of great men, that there will be no great
loss if they are not troubled either with me or with others of my
temper."  Upon this, said I, "I perceive, Raphael, that you neither
desire wealth nor greatness; and, indeed, I value and admire such a man
much more than I do any of the great men in the world.  Yet I think you
would do what would well become so generous and philosophical a soul as
yours is, if you would apply your time and thoughts to public affairs,
even though you may happen to find it a little uneasy to yourself; and
this you can never do with so much advantage as by being taken into the
council of some great prince and putting him on noble and worthy actions,
which I know you would do if you were in such a post; for the springs
both of good and evil flow from the prince over a whole nation, as from a
lasting fountain.  So much learning as you have, even without practice in
affairs, or so great a practice as you have had, without any other
learning, would render you a very fit counsellor to any king whatsoever."
"You are doubly mistaken," said he, "Mr. More, both in your opinion of me
and in the judgment you make of things: for as I have not that capacity
that you fancy I have, so if I had it, the public would not be one jot
the better when I had sacrificed my quiet to it.  For most princes apply
themselves more to affairs of war than to the useful arts of peace; and
in these I neither have any knowledge, nor do I much desire it; they are
generally more set on acquiring new kingdoms, right or wrong, than on
governing well those they possess: and, among the ministers of princes,
there are none that are not so wise as to need no assistance, or at
least, that do not think themselves so wise that they imagine they need
none; and if they court any, it is only those for whom the prince has
much personal favour, whom by their fawning and flatteries they endeavour
to fix to their own interests; and, indeed, nature has so made us, that
we all love to be flattered and to please ourselves with our own notions:
the old crow loves his young, and the ape her cubs.  Now if in such a
court, made up of persons who envy all others and only admire themselves,
a person should but propose anything that he had either read in history
or observed in his travels, the rest would think that the reputation of
their wisdom would sink, and that their interests would be much depressed
if they could not run it down: and, if all other things failed, then they
would fly to this, that such or such things pleased our ancestors, and it
were well for us if we could but match them.  They would set up their
rest on such an answer, as a sufficient confutation of all that could be
said, as if it were a great misfortune that any should be found wiser
than his ancestors.  But though they willingly let go all the good things
that were among those of former ages, yet, if better things are proposed,
they cover themselves obstinately with this excuse of reverence to past
times.  I have met with these proud, morose, and absurd judgments of
things in many places, particularly once in England."  "Were you ever
there?" said I.  "Yes, I was," answered he, "and stayed some months
there, not long after the rebellion in the West was suppressed, with a
great slaughter of the poor people that were engaged in it.

"I was then much obliged to that reverend prelate, John Morton,
Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal, and Chancellor of England; a man,"
said he, "Peter (for Mr. More knows well what he was), that was not less
venerable for his wisdom and virtues than for the high character he bore:
he was of a middle stature, not broken with age; his looks begot
reverence rather than fear; his conversation was easy, but serious and
grave; he sometimes took pleasure to try the force of those that came as
suitors to him upon business by speaking sharply, though decently, to
them, and by that he discovered their spirit and presence of mind; with
which he was much delighted when it did not grow up to impudence, as
bearing a great resemblance to his own temper, and he looked on such
persons as the fittest men for affairs.  He spoke both gracefully and
weightily; he was eminently skilled in the law, had a vast understanding,
and a prodigious memory; and those excellent talents with which nature
had furnished him were improved by study and experience.  When I was in
England the King depended much on his counsels, and the Government seemed
to be chiefly supported by him; for from his youth he had been all along
practised in affairs; and, having passed through many traverses of
fortune, he had, with great cost, acquired a vast stock of wisdom, which
is not soon lost when it is purchased so dear.  One day, when I was
dining with him, there happened to be at table one of the English
lawyers, who took occasion to run out in a high commendation of the
severe execution of justice upon thieves, 'who,' as he said, 'were then
hanged so fast that there were sometimes twenty on one gibbet!' and, upon
that, he said, 'he could not wonder enough how it came to pass that,
since so few escaped, there were yet so many thieves left, who were still
robbing in all places.'  Upon this, I (who took the boldness to speak
freely before the Cardinal) said, 'There was no reason to wonder at the
matter, since this way of punishing thieves was neither just in itself
nor good for the public; for, as the severity was too great, so the
remedy was not effectual; simple theft not being so great a crime that it
ought to cost a man his life; no punishment, how severe soever, being
able to restrain those from robbing who can find out no other way of
livelihood.  In this,' said I, 'not only you in England, but a great part
of the world, imitate some ill masters, that are readier to chastise
their scholars than to teach them.  There are dreadful punishments
enacted against thieves, but it were much better to make such good
provisions by which every man might be put in a method how to live, and
so be preserved from the fatal necessity of stealing and of dying for
it.'  'There has been care enough taken for that,' said he; 'there are
many handicrafts, and there is husbandry, by which they may make a shift
to live, unless they have a greater mind to follow ill courses.'  'That
will not serve your turn,' said I, 'for many lose their limbs in civil or
foreign wars, as lately in the Cornish rebellion, and some time ago in
your wars with France, who, being thus mutilated in the service of their
king and country, can no more follow their old trades, and are too old to
learn new ones; but since wars are only accidental things, and have
intervals, let us consider those things that fall out every day.  There
is a great number of noblemen among you that are themselves as idle as
drones, that subsist on other men's labour, on the labour of their
tenants, whom, to raise their revenues, they pare to the quick.  This,
indeed, is the only instance of their frugality, for in all other things
they are prodigal, even to the beggaring of themselves; but, besides
this, they carry about with them a great number of idle fellows, who
never learned any art by which they may gain their living; and these, as
soon as either their lord dies, or they themselves fall sick, are turned
out of doors; for your lords are readier to feed idle people than to take
care of the sick; and often the heir is not able to keep together so
great a family as his predecessor did.  Now, when the stomachs of those
that are thus turned out of doors grow keen, they rob no less keenly; and
what else can they do?  For when, by wandering about, they have worn out
both their health and their clothes, and are tattered, and look ghastly,
men of quality will not entertain them, and poor men dare not do it,
knowing that one who has been bred up in idleness and pleasure, and who
was used to walk about with his sword and buckler, despising all the
neighbourhood with an insolent scorn as far below him, is not fit for the
spade and mattock; nor will he serve a poor man for so small a hire and
in so low a diet as he can afford to give him.'  To this he answered,
'This sort of men ought to be particularly cherished, for in them
consists the force of the armies for which we have occasion; since their
birth inspires them with a nobler sense of honour than is to be found
among tradesmen or ploughmen.'  'You may as well say,' replied I, 'that
you must cherish thieves on the account of wars, for you will never want
the one as long as you have the other; and as robbers prove sometimes
gallant soldiers, so soldiers often prove brave robbers, so near an
alliance there is between those two sorts of life.  But this bad custom,
so common among you, of keeping many servants, is not peculiar to this
nation.  In France there is yet a more pestiferous sort of people, for
the whole country is full of soldiers, still kept up in time of peace (if
such a state of a nation can be called a peace); and these are kept in
pay upon the same account that you plead for those idle retainers about
noblemen: this being a maxim of those pretended statesmen, that it is
necessary for the public safety to have a good body of veteran soldiers
ever in readiness.  They think raw men are not to be depended on, and
they sometimes seek occasions for making war, that they may train up
their soldiers in the art of cutting throats, or, as Sallust observed,
"for keeping their hands in use, that they may not grow dull by too long
an intermission."  But France has learned to its cost how dangerous it is
to feed such beasts.  The fate of the Romans, Carthaginians, and Syrians,
and many other nations and cities, which were both overturned and quite
ruined by those standing armies, should make others wiser; and the folly
of this maxim of the French appears plainly even from this, that their
trained soldiers often find your raw men prove too hard for them, of
which I will not say much, lest you may think I flatter the English.
Every day's experience shows that the mechanics in the towns or the
clowns in the country are not afraid of fighting with those idle
gentlemen, if they are not disabled by some misfortune in their body or
dispirited by extreme want; so that you need not fear that those well-
shaped and strong men (for it is only such that noblemen love to keep
about them till they spoil them), who now grow feeble with ease and are
softened with their effeminate manner of life, would be less fit for
action if they were well bred and well employed.  And it seems very
unreasonable that, for the prospect of a war, which you need never have
but when you please, you should maintain so many idle men, as will always
disturb you in time of peace, which is ever to be more considered than
war.  But I do not think that this necessity of stealing arises only from
hence; there is another cause of it, more peculiar to England.'  'What is
that?' said the Cardinal: 'The increase of pasture,' said I, 'by which
your sheep, which are naturally mild, and easily kept in order, may be
said now to devour men and unpeople, not only villages, but towns; for
wherever it is found that the sheep of any soil yield a softer and richer
wool than ordinary, there the nobility and gentry, and even those holy
men, the dobots! not contented with the old rents which their farms
yielded, nor thinking it enough that they, living at their ease, do no
good to the public, resolve to do it hurt instead of good.  They stop the
course of agriculture, destroying houses and towns, reserving only the
churches, and enclose grounds that they may lodge their sheep in them.  As
if forests and parks had swallowed up too little of the land, those
worthy countrymen turn the best inhabited places into solitudes; for when
an insatiable wretch, who is a plague to his country, resolves to enclose
many thousand acres of ground, the owners, as well as tenants, are turned
out of their possessions by trick or by main force, or, being wearied out
by ill usage, they are forced to sell them; by which means those
miserable people, both men and women, married and unmarried, old and
young, with their poor but numerous families (since country business
requires many hands), are all forced to change their seats, not knowing
whither to go; and they must sell, almost for nothing, their household
stuff, which could not bring them much money, even though they might stay
for a buyer.  When that little money is at an end (for it will be soon
spent), what is left for them to do but either to steal, and so to be
hanged (God knows how justly!), or to go about and beg? and if they do
this they are put in prison as idle vagabonds, while they would willingly
work but can find none that will hire them; for there is no more occasion
for country labour, to which they have been bred, when there is no arable
ground left.  One shepherd can look after a flock, which will stock an
extent of ground that would require many hands if it were to be ploughed
and reaped.  This, likewise, in many places raises the price of corn.  The
price of wool is also so risen that the poor people, who were wont to
make cloth, are no more able to buy it; and this, likewise, makes many of
them idle: for since the increase of pasture God has punished the avarice
of the owners by a rot among the sheep, which has destroyed vast numbers
of them--to us it might have seemed more just had it fell on the owners
themselves.  But, suppose the sheep should increase ever so much, their
price is not likely to fall; since, though they cannot be called a
monopoly, because they are not engrossed by one person, yet they are in
so few hands, and these are so rich, that, as they are not pressed to
sell them sooner than they have a mind to it, so they never do it till
they have raised the price as high as possible.  And on the same account
it is that the other kinds of cattle are so dear, because many villages
being pulled down, and all country labour being much neglected, there are
none who make it their business to breed them.  The rich do not breed
cattle as they do sheep, but buy them lean and at low prices; and, after
they have fattened them on their grounds, sell them again at high rates.
And I do not think that all the inconveniences this will produce are yet
observed; for, as they sell the cattle dear, so, if they are consumed
faster than the breeding countries from which they are brought can afford
them, then the stock must decrease, and this must needs end in great
scarcity; and by these means, this your island, which seemed as to this
particular the happiest in the world, will suffer much by the cursed
avarice of a few persons: besides this, the rising of corn makes all
people lessen their families as much as they can; and what can those who
are dismissed by them do but either beg or rob?  And to this last a man
of a great mind is much sooner drawn than to the former.  Luxury likewise
breaks in apace upon you to set forward your poverty and misery; there is
an excessive vanity in apparel, and great cost in diet, and that not only
in noblemen's families, but even among tradesmen, among the farmers
themselves, and among all ranks of persons.  You have also many infamous
houses, and, besides those that are known, the taverns and ale-houses are
no better; add to these dice, cards, tables, football, tennis, and
quoits, in which money runs fast away; and those that are initiated into
them must, in the conclusion, betake themselves to robbing for a supply.
Banish these plagues, and give orders that those who have dispeopled so
much soil may either rebuild the villages they have pulled down or let
out their grounds to such as will do it; restrain those engrossings of
the rich, that are as bad almost as monopolies; leave fewer occasions to
idleness; let agriculture be set up again, and the manufacture of the
wool be regulated, that so there may be work found for those companies of
idle people whom want forces to be thieves, or who now, being idle
vagabonds or useless servants, will certainly grow thieves at last.  If
you do not find a remedy to these evils it is a vain thing to boast of
your severity in punishing theft, which, though it may have the
appearance of justice, yet in itself is neither just nor convenient; for
if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be
corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to
which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded
from this but that you first make thieves and then punish them?'

"While I was talking thus, the Counsellor, who was present, had prepared
an answer, and had resolved to resume all I had said, according to the
formality of a debate, in which things are generally repeated more
faithfully than they are answered, as if the chief trial to be made were
of men's memories.  'You have talked prettily, for a stranger,' said he,
'having heard of many things among us which you have not been able to
consider well; but I will make the whole matter plain to you, and will
first repeat in order all that you have said; then I will show how much
your ignorance of our affairs has misled you; and will, in the last
place, answer all your arguments.  And, that I may begin where I
promised, there were four things--'  'Hold your peace!' said the
Cardinal; 'this will take up too much time; therefore we will, at
present, ease you of the trouble of answering, and reserve it to our next
meeting, which shall be to-morrow, if Raphael's affairs and yours can
admit of it.  But, Raphael,' said he to me, 'I would gladly know upon
what reason it is that you think theft ought not to be punished by death:
would you give way to it? or do you propose any other punishment that
will be more useful to the public? for, since death does not restrain
theft, if men thought their lives would be safe, what fear or force could
restrain ill men?  On the contrary, they would look on the mitigation of
the punishment as an invitation to commit more crimes.'  I answered, 'It
seems to me a very unjust thing to take away a man's life for a little
money, for nothing in the world can be of equal value with a man's life:
and if it be said, "that it is not for the money that one suffers, but
for his breaking the law," I must say, extreme justice is an extreme
injury: for we ought not to approve of those terrible laws that make the
smallest offences capital, nor of that opinion of the Stoics that makes
all crimes equal; as if there were no difference to be made between the
killing a man and the taking his purse, between which, if we examine
things impartially, there is no likeness nor proportion.  God has
commanded us not to kill, and shall we kill so easily for a little money?
But if one shall say, that by that law we are only forbid to kill any
except when the laws of the land allow of it, upon the same grounds, laws
may be made, in some cases, to allow of adultery and perjury: for God
having taken from us the right of disposing either of our own or of other
people's lives, if it is pretended that the mutual consent of men in
making laws can authorise man-slaughter in cases in which God has given
us no example, that it frees people from the obligation of the divine
law, and so makes murder a lawful action, what is this, but to give a
preference to human laws before the divine? and, if this is once
admitted, by the same rule men may, in all other things, put what
restrictions they please upon the laws of God.  If, by the Mosaical law,
though it was rough and severe, as being a yoke laid on an obstinate and
servile nation, men were only fined, and not put to death for theft, we
cannot imagine, that in this new law of mercy, in which God treats us
with the tenderness of a father, He has given us a greater licence to
cruelty than He did to the Jews.  Upon these reasons it is, that I think
putting thieves to death is not lawful; and it is plain and obvious that
it is absurd and of ill consequence to the commonwealth that a thief and
a murderer should be equally punished; for if a robber sees that his
danger is the same if he is convicted of theft as if he were guilty of
murder, this will naturally incite him to kill the person whom otherwise
he would only have robbed; since, if the punishment is the same, there is
more security, and less danger of discovery, when he that can best make
it is put out of the way; so that terrifying thieves too much provokes
them to cruelty.

"But as to the question, 'What more convenient way of punishment can be
found?' I think it much easier to find out that than to invent anything
that is worse; why should we doubt but the way that was so long in use
among the old Romans, who understood so well the arts of government, was
very proper for their punishment?  They condemned such as they found
guilty of great crimes to work their whole lives in quarries, or to dig
in mines with chains about them.  But the method that I liked best was
that which I observed in my travels in Persia, among the Polylerits, who
are a considerable and well-governed people: they pay a yearly tribute to
the King of Persia, but in all other respects they are a free nation, and
governed by their own laws: they lie far from the sea, and are environed
with hills; and, being contented with the productions of their own
country, which is very fruitful, they have little commerce with any other
nation; and as they, according to the genius of their country, have no
inclination to enlarge their borders, so their mountains and the pension
they pay to the Persian, secure them from all invasions.  Thus they have
no wars among them; they live rather conveniently than with splendour,
and may be rather called a happy nation than either eminent or famous;
for I do not think that they are known, so much as by name, to any but
their next neighbours.  Those that are found guilty of theft among them
are bound to make restitution to the owner, and not, as it is in other
places, to the prince, for they reckon that the prince has no more right
to the stolen goods than the thief; but if that which was stolen is no
more in being, then the goods of the thieves are estimated, and
restitution being made out of them, the remainder is given to their wives
and children; and they themselves are condemned to serve in the public
works, but are neither imprisoned nor chained, unless there happens to be
some extraordinary circumstance in their crimes.  They go about loose and
free, working for the public: if they are idle or backward to work they
are whipped, but if they work hard they are well used and treated without
any mark of reproach; only the lists of them are called always at night,
and then they are shut up.  They suffer no other uneasiness but this of
constant labour; for, as they work for the public, so they are well
entertained out of the public stock, which is done differently in
different places: in some places whatever is bestowed on them is raised
by a charitable contribution; and, though this way may seem uncertain,
yet so merciful are the inclinations of that people, that they are
plentifully supplied by it; but in other places public revenues are set
aside for them, or there is a constant tax or poll-money raised for their
maintenance.  In some places they are set to no public work, but every
private man that has occasion to hire workmen goes to the market-places
and hires them of the public, a little lower than he would do a freeman.
If they go lazily about their task he may quicken them with the whip.  By
this means there is always some piece of work or other to be done by
them; and, besides their livelihood, they earn somewhat still to the
public.  They all wear a peculiar habit, of one certain colour, and their
hair is cropped a little above their ears, and a piece of one of their
ears is cut off.  Their friends are allowed to give them either meat,
drink, or clothes, so they are of their proper colour; but it is death,
both to the giver and taker, if they give them money; nor is it less
penal for any freeman to take money from them upon any account
whatsoever: and it is also death for any of these slaves (so they are
called) to handle arms.  Those of every division of the country are
distinguished by a peculiar mark, which it is capital for them to lay
aside, to go out of their bounds, or to talk with a slave of another
jurisdiction, and the very attempt of an escape is no less penal than an
escape itself.  It is death for any other slave to be accessory to it;
and if a freeman engages in it he is condemned to slavery.  Those that
discover it are rewarded--if freemen, in money; and if slaves, with
liberty, together with a pardon for being accessory to it; that so they
might find their account rather in repenting of their engaging in such a
design than in persisting in it.

"These are their laws and rules in relation to robbery, and it is obvious
that they are as advantageous as they are mild and gentle; since vice is
not only destroyed and men preserved, but they are treated in such a
manner as to make them see the necessity of being honest and of employing
the rest of their lives in repairing the injuries they had formerly done
to society.  Nor is there any hazard of their falling back to their old
customs; and so little do travellers apprehend mischief from them that
they generally make use of them for guides from one jurisdiction to
another; for there is nothing left them by which they can rob or be the
better for it, since, as they are disarmed, so the very having of money
is a sufficient conviction: and as they are certainly punished if
discovered, so they cannot hope to escape; for their habit being in all
the parts of it different from what is commonly worn, they cannot fly
away, unless they would go naked, and even then their cropped ear would
betray them.  The only danger to be feared from them is their conspiring
against the government; but those of one division and neighbourhood can
do nothing to any purpose unless a general conspiracy were laid amongst
all the slaves of the several jurisdictions, which cannot be done, since
they cannot meet or talk together; nor will any venture on a design where
the concealment would be so dangerous and the discovery so profitable.
None are quite hopeless of recovering their freedom, since by their
obedience and patience, and by giving good grounds to believe that they
will change their manner of life for the future, they may expect at last
to obtain their liberty, and some are every year restored to it upon the
good character that is given of them.  When I had related all this, I
added that I did not see why such a method might not be followed with
more advantage than could ever be expected from that severe justice which
the Counsellor magnified so much.  To this he answered, 'That it could
never take place in England without endangering the whole nation.'  As he
said this he shook his head, made some grimaces, and held his peace,
while all the company seemed of his opinion, except the Cardinal, who
said, 'That it was not easy to form a judgment of its success, since it
was a method that never yet had been tried; but if,' said he, 'when
sentence of death were passed upon a thief, the prince would reprieve him
for a while, and make the experiment upon him, denying him the privilege
of a sanctuary; and then, if it had a good effect upon him, it might take
place; and, if it did not succeed, the worst would be to execute the
sentence on the condemned persons at last; and I do not see,' added he,
'why it would be either unjust, inconvenient, or at all dangerous to
admit of such a delay; in my opinion the vagabonds ought to be treated in
the same manner, against whom, though we have made many laws, yet we have
not been able to gain our end.'  When the Cardinal had done, they all
commended the motion, though they had despised it when it came from me,
but more particularly commended what related to the vagabonds, because it
was his own observation.

"I do not know whether it be worth while to tell what followed, for it
was very ridiculous; but I shall venture at it, for as it is not foreign
to this matter, so some good use may be made of it.  There was a Jester
standing by, that counterfeited the fool so naturally that he seemed to
be really one; the jests which he offered were so cold and dull that we
laughed more at him than at them, yet sometimes he said, as it were by
chance, things that were not unpleasant, so as to justify the old
proverb, 'That he who throws the dice often, will sometimes have a lucky
hit.'  When one of the company had said that I had taken care of the
thieves, and the Cardinal had taken care of the vagabonds, so that there
remained nothing but that some public provision might be made for the
poor whom sickness or old age had disabled from labour, 'Leave that to
me,' said the Fool, 'and I shall take care of them, for there is no sort
of people whose sight I abhor more, having been so often vexed with them
and with their sad complaints; but as dolefully soever as they have told
their tale, they could never prevail so far as to draw one penny from me;
for either I had no mind to give them anything, or, when I had a mind to
do it, I had nothing to give them; and they now know me so well that they
will not lose their labour, but let me pass without giving me any
trouble, because they hope for nothing--no more, in faith, than if I were
a priest; but I would have a law made for sending all these beggars to
monasteries, the men to the Benedictines, to be made lay-brothers, and
the women to be nuns.'  The Cardinal smiled, and approved of it in jest,
but the rest liked it in earnest.  There was a divine present, who,
though he was a grave morose man, yet he was so pleased with this
reflection that was made on the priests and the monks that he began to
play with the Fool, and said to him, 'This will not deliver you from all
beggars, except you take care of us Friars.'  'That is done already,'
answered the Fool, 'for the Cardinal has provided for you by what he
proposed for restraining vagabonds and setting them to work, for I know
no vagabonds like you.'  This was well entertained by the whole company,
who, looking at the Cardinal, perceived that he was not ill-pleased at
it; only the Friar himself was vexed, as may be easily imagined, and fell
into such a passion that he could not forbear railing at the Fool, and
calling him knave, slanderer, backbiter, and son of perdition, and then
cited some dreadful threatenings out of the Scriptures against him.  Now
the Jester thought he was in his element, and laid about him freely.
'Good Friar,' said he, 'be not angry, for it is written, "In patience
possess your soul."'  The Friar answered (for I shall give you his own
words), 'I am not angry, you hangman; at least, I do not sin in it, for
the Psalmist says, "Be ye angry and sin not."'  Upon this the Cardinal
admonished him gently, and wished him to govern his passions.  'No, my
lord,' said he, 'I speak not but from a good zeal, which I ought to have,
for holy men have had a good zeal, as it is said, "The zeal of thy house
hath eaten me up;" and we sing in our church that those who mocked Elisha
as he went up to the house of God felt the effects of his zeal, which
that mocker, that rogue, that scoundrel, will perhaps feel.'  'You do
this, perhaps, with a good intention,' said the Cardinal, 'but, in my
opinion, it were wiser in you, and perhaps better for you, not to engage
in so ridiculous a contest with a Fool.'  'No, my lord,' answered he,
'that were not wisely done, for Solomon, the wisest of men, said, "Answer
a Fool according to his folly," which I now do, and show him the ditch
into which he will fall, if he is not aware of it; for if the many
mockers of Elisha, who was but one bald man, felt the effect of his zeal,
what will become of the mocker of so many Friars, among whom there are so
many bald men?  We have, likewise, a bull, by which all that jeer us are
excommunicated.'  When the Cardinal saw that there was no end of this
matter he made a sign to the Fool to withdraw, turned the discourse
another way, and soon after rose from the table, and, dismissing us, went
to hear causes.

"Thus, Mr. More, I have run out into a tedious story, of the length of
which I had been ashamed, if (as you earnestly begged it of me) I had not
observed you to hearken to it as if you had no mind to lose any part of
it.  I might have contracted it, but I resolved to give it you at large,
that you might observe how those that despised what I had proposed, no
sooner perceived that the Cardinal did not dislike it but presently
approved of it, fawned so on him and flattered him to such a degree, that
they in good earnest applauded those things that he only liked in jest;
and from hence you may gather how little courtiers would value either me
or my counsels."

To this I answered, "You have done me a great kindness in this relation;
for as everything has been related by you both wisely and pleasantly, so
you have made me imagine that I was in my own country and grown young
again, by recalling that good Cardinal to my thoughts, in whose family I
was bred from my childhood; and though you are, upon other accounts, very
dear to me, yet you are the dearer because you honour his memory so much;
but, after all this, I cannot change my opinion, for I still think that
if you could overcome that aversion which you have to the courts of
princes, you might, by the advice which it is in your power to give, do a
great deal of good to mankind, and this is the chief design that every
good man ought to propose to himself in living; for your friend Plato
thinks that nations will be happy when either philosophers become kings
or kings become philosophers.  It is no wonder if we are so far from that
happiness while philosophers will not think it their duty to assist kings
with their counsels."  "They are not so base-minded," said he, "but that
they would willingly do it; many of them have already done it by their
books, if those that are in power would but hearken to their good advice.
But Plato judged right, that except kings themselves became philosophers,
they who from their childhood are corrupted with false notions would
never fall in entirely with the counsels of philosophers, and this he
himself found to be true in the person of Dionysius.

"Do not you think that if I were about any king, proposing good laws to
him, and endeavouring to root out all the cursed seeds of evil that I
found in him, I should either be turned out of his court, or, at least,
be laughed at for my pains?  For instance, what could I signify if I were
about the King of France, and were called into his cabinet council, where
several wise men, in his hearing, were proposing many expedients; as, by
what arts and practices Milan may be kept, and Naples, that has so often
slipped out of their hands, recovered; how the Venetians, and after them
the rest of Italy, may be subdued; and then how Flanders, Brabant, and
all Burgundy, and some other kingdoms which he has swallowed already in
his designs, may be added to his empire?  One proposes a league with the
Venetians, to be kept as long as he finds his account in it, and that he
ought to communicate counsels with them, and give them some share of the
spoil till his success makes him need or fear them less, and then it will
be easily taken out of their hands; another proposes the hiring the
Germans and the securing the Switzers by pensions; another proposes the
gaining the Emperor by money, which is omnipotent with him; another
proposes a peace with the King of Arragon, and, in order to cement it,
the yielding up the King of Navarre's pretensions; another thinks that
the Prince of Castile is to be wrought on by the hope of an alliance, and
that some of his courtiers are to be gained to the French faction by
pensions.  The hardest point of all is, what to do with England; a treaty
of peace is to be set on foot, and, if their alliance is not to be
depended on, yet it is to be made as firm as possible, and they are to be
called friends, but suspected as enemies: therefore the Scots are to be
kept in readiness to be let loose upon England on every occasion; and
some banished nobleman is to be supported underhand (for by the League it
cannot be done avowedly) who has a pretension to the crown, by which
means that suspected prince may be kept in awe.  Now when things are in
so great a fermentation, and so many gallant men are joining counsels how
to carry on the war, if so mean a man as I should stand up and wish them
to change all their counsels--to let Italy alone and stay at home, since
the kingdom of France was indeed greater than could be well governed by
one man; that therefore he ought not to think of adding others to it; and
if, after this, I should propose to them the resolutions of the
Achorians, a people that lie on the south-east of Utopia, who long ago
engaged in war in order to add to the dominions of their prince another
kingdom, to which he had some pretensions by an ancient alliance: this
they conquered, but found that the trouble of keeping it was equal to
that by which it was gained; that the conquered people were always either
in rebellion or exposed to foreign invasions, while they were obliged to
be incessantly at war, either for or against them, and consequently could
never disband their army; that in the meantime they were oppressed with
taxes, their money went out of the kingdom, their blood was spilt for the
glory of their king without procuring the least advantage to the people,
who received not the smallest benefit from it even in time of peace; and
that, their manners being corrupted by a long war, robbery and murders
everywhere abounded, and their laws fell into contempt; while their king,
distracted with the care of two kingdoms, was the less able to apply his
mind to the interest of either.  When they saw this, and that there would
be no end to these evils, they by joint counsels made an humble address
to their king, desiring him to choose which of the two kingdoms he had
the greatest mind to keep, since he could not hold both; for they were
too great a people to be governed by a divided king, since no man would
willingly have a groom that should be in common between him and another.
Upon which the good prince was forced to quit his new kingdom to one of
his friends (who was not long after dethroned), and to be contented with
his old one.  To this I would add that after all those warlike attempts,
the vast confusions, and the consumption both of treasure and of people
that must follow them, perhaps upon some misfortune they might be forced
to throw up all at last; therefore it seemed much more eligible that the
king should improve his ancient kingdom all he could, and make it
flourish as much as possible; that he should love his people, and be
beloved of them; that he should live among them, govern them gently and
let other kingdoms alone, since that which had fallen to his share was
big enough, if not too big, for him:--pray, how do you think would such a
speech as this be heard?"

"I confess," said I, "I think not very well."

"But what," said he, "if I should sort with another kind of ministers,
whose chief contrivances and consultations were by what art the prince's
treasures might be increased? where one proposes raising the value of
specie when the king's debts are large, and lowering it when his revenues
were to come in, that so he might both pay much with a little, and in a
little receive a great deal.  Another proposes a pretence of a war, that
money might be raised in order to carry it on, and that a peace be
concluded as soon as that was done; and this with such appearances of
religion as might work on the people, and make them impute it to the
piety of their prince, and to his tenderness for the lives of his
subjects.  A third offers some old musty laws that have been antiquated
by a long disuse (and which, as they had been forgotten by all the
subjects, so they had also been broken by them), and proposes the levying
the penalties of these laws, that, as it would bring in a vast treasure,
so there might be a very good pretence for it, since it would look like
the executing a law and the doing of justice.  A fourth proposes the
prohibiting of many things under severe penalties, especially such as
were against the interest of the people, and then the dispensing with
these prohibitions, upon great compositions, to those who might find
their advantage in breaking them.  This would serve two ends, both of
them acceptable to many; for as those whose avarice led them to
transgress would be severely fined, so the selling licences dear would
look as if a prince were tender of his people, and would not easily, or
at low rates, dispense with anything that might be against the public
good.  Another proposes that the judges must be made sure, that they may
declare always in favour of the prerogative; that they must be often sent
for to court, that the king may hear them argue those points in which he
is concerned; since, how unjust soever any of his pretensions may be, yet
still some one or other of them, either out of contradiction to others,
or the pride of singularity, or to make their court, would find out some
pretence or other to give the king a fair colour to carry the point.  For
if the judges but differ in opinion, the clearest thing in the world is
made by that means disputable, and truth being once brought in question,
the king may then take advantage to expound the law for his own profit;
while the judges that stand out will be brought over, either through fear
or modesty; and they being thus gained, all of them may be sent to the
Bench to give sentence boldly as the king would have it; for fair
pretences will never be wanting when sentence is to be given in the
prince's favour.  It will either be said that equity lies of his side, or
some words in the law will be found sounding that way, or some forced
sense will be put on them; and, when all other things fail, the king's
undoubted prerogative will be pretended, as that which is above all law,
and to which a religious judge ought to have a special regard.  Thus all
consent to that maxim of Crassus, that a prince cannot have treasure
enough, since he must maintain his armies out of it; that a king, even
though he would, can do nothing unjustly; that all property is in him,
not excepting the very persons of his subjects; and that no man has any
other property but that which the king, out of his goodness, thinks fit
to leave him.  And they think it is the prince's interest that there be
as little of this left as may be, as if it were his advantage that his
people should have neither riches nor liberty, since these things make
them less easy and willing to submit to a cruel and unjust government.
Whereas necessity and poverty blunts them, makes them patient, beats them
down, and breaks that height of spirit that might otherwise dispose them
to rebel.  Now what if, after all these propositions were made, I should
rise up and assert that such counsels were both unbecoming a king and
mischievous to him; and that not only his honour, but his safety,
consisted more in his people's wealth than in his own; if I should show
that they choose a king for their own sake, and not for his; that, by his
care and endeavours, they may be both easy and safe; and that, therefore,
a prince ought to take more care of his people's happiness than of his
own, as a shepherd is to take more care of his flock than of himself?  It
is also certain that they are much mistaken that think the poverty of a
nation is a mean of the public safety.  Who quarrel more than beggars?
who does more earnestly long for a change than he that is uneasy in his
present circumstances? and who run to create confusions with so desperate
a boldness as those who, having nothing to lose, hope to gain by them?  If
a king should fall under such contempt or envy that he could not keep his
subjects in their duty but by oppression and ill usage, and by rendering
them poor and miserable, it were certainly better for him to quit his
kingdom than to retain it by such methods as make him, while he keeps the
name of authority, lose the majesty due to it.  Nor is it so becoming the
dignity of a king to reign over beggars as over rich and happy subjects.
And therefore Fabricius, a man of a noble and exalted temper, said 'he
would rather govern rich men than be rich himself; since for one man to
abound in wealth and pleasure when all about him are mourning and
groaning, is to be a gaoler and not a king.'  He is an unskilful
physician that cannot cure one disease without casting his patient into
another.  So he that can find no other way for correcting the errors of
his people but by taking from them the conveniences of life, shows that
he knows not what it is to govern a free nation.  He himself ought rather
to shake off his sloth, or to lay down his pride, for the contempt or
hatred that his people have for him takes its rise from the vices in
himself.  Let him live upon what belongs to him without wronging others,
and accommodate his expense to his revenue.  Let him punish crimes, and,
by his wise conduct, let him endeavour to prevent them, rather than be
severe when he has suffered them to be too common.  Let him not rashly
revive laws that are abrogated by disuse, especially if they have been
long forgotten and never wanted.  And let him never take any penalty for
the breach of them to which a judge would not give way in a private man,
but would look on him as a crafty and unjust person for pretending to it.
To these things I would add that law among the Macarians--a people that
live not far from Utopia--by which their king, on the day on which he
began to reign, is tied by an oath, confirmed by solemn sacrifices, never
to have at once above a thousand pounds of gold in his treasures, or so
much silver as is equal to that in value.  This law, they tell us, was
made by an excellent king who had more regard to the riches of his
country than to his own wealth, and therefore provided against the
heaping up of so much treasure as might impoverish the people.  He
thought that moderate sum might be sufficient for any accident, if either
the king had occasion for it against the rebels, or the kingdom against
the invasion of an enemy; but that it was not enough to encourage a
prince to invade other men's rights--a circumstance that was the chief
cause of his making that law.  He also thought that it was a good
provision for that free circulation of money so necessary for the course
of commerce and exchange.  And when a king must distribute all those
extraordinary accessions that increase treasure beyond the due pitch, it
makes him less disposed to oppress his subjects.  Such a king as this
will be the terror of ill men, and will be beloved by all the good.

"If, I say, I should talk of these or such-like things to men that had
taken their bias another way, how deaf would they be to all I could say!"
"No doubt, very deaf," answered I; "and no wonder, for one is never to
offer propositions or advice that we are certain will not be entertained.
Discourses so much out of the road could not avail anything, nor have any
effect on men whose minds were prepossessed with different sentiments.
This philosophical way of speculation is not unpleasant among friends in
a free conversation; but there is no room for it in the courts of
princes, where great affairs are carried on by authority."  "That is what
I was saying," replied he, "that there is no room for philosophy in the
courts of princes."  "Yes, there is," said I, "but not for this
speculative philosophy, that makes everything to be alike fitting at all
times; but there is another philosophy that is more pliable, that knows
its proper scene, accommodates itself to it, and teaches a man with
propriety and decency to act that part which has fallen to his share.  If
when one of Plautus' comedies is upon the stage, and a company of
servants are acting their parts, you should come out in the garb of a
philosopher, and repeat, out of _Octavia_, a discourse of Seneca's to
Nero, would it not be better for you to say nothing than by mixing things
of such different natures to make an impertinent tragi-comedy? for you
spoil and corrupt the play that is in hand when you mix with it things of
an opposite nature, even though they are much better.  Therefore go
through with the play that is acting the best you can, and do not
confound it because another that is pleasanter comes into your thoughts.
It is even so in a commonwealth and in the councils of princes; if ill
opinions cannot be quite rooted out, and you cannot cure some received
vice according to your wishes, you must not, therefore, abandon the
commonwealth, for the same reasons as you should not forsake the ship in
a storm because you cannot command the winds.  You are not obliged to
assault people with discourses that are out of their road, when you see
that their received notions must prevent your making an impression upon
them: you ought rather to cast about and to manage things with all the
dexterity in your power, so that, if you are not able to make them go
well, they may be as little ill as possible; for, except all men were
good, everything cannot be right, and that is a blessing that I do not at
present hope to see."  "According to your argument," answered he, "all
that I could be able to do would be to preserve myself from being mad
while I endeavoured to cure the madness of others; for, if I speak with,
I must repeat what I have said to you; and as for lying, whether a
philosopher can do it or not I cannot tell: I am sure I cannot do it.  But
though these discourses may be uneasy and ungrateful to them, I do not
see why they should seem foolish or extravagant; indeed, if I should
either propose such things as Plato has contrived in his 'Commonwealth,'
or as the Utopians practise in theirs, though they might seem better, as
certainly they are, yet they are so different from our establishment,
which is founded on property (there being no such thing among them), that
I could not expect that it would have any effect on them.  But such
discourses as mine, which only call past evils to mind and give warning
of what may follow, leave nothing in them that is so absurd that they may
not be used at any time, for they can only be unpleasant to those who are
resolved to run headlong the contrary way; and if we must let alone
everything as absurd or extravagant--which, by reason of the wicked lives
of many, may seem uncouth--we must, even among Christians, give over
pressing the greatest part of those things that Christ hath taught us,
though He has commanded us not to conceal them, but to proclaim on the
housetops that which He taught in secret.  The greatest parts of His
precepts are more opposite to the lives of the men of this age than any
part of my discourse has been, but the preachers seem to have learned
that craft to which you advise me: for they, observing that the world
would not willingly suit their lives to the rules that Christ has given,
have fitted His doctrine, as if it had been a leaden rule, to their
lives, that so, some way or other, they might agree with one another.  But
I see no other effect of this compliance except it be that men become
more secure in their wickedness by it; and this is all the success that I
can have in a court, for I must always differ from the rest, and then I
shall signify nothing; or, if I agree with them, I shall then only help
forward their madness.  I do not comprehend what you mean by your
'casting about,' or by 'the bending and handling things so dexterously
that, if they go not well, they may go as little ill as may be;' for in
courts they will not bear with a man's holding his peace or conniving at
what others do: a man must barefacedly approve of the worst counsels and
consent to the blackest designs, so that he would pass for a spy, or,
possibly, for a traitor, that did but coldly approve of such wicked
practices; and therefore when a man is engaged in such a society, he will
be so far from being able to mend matters by his 'casting about,' as you
call it, that he will find no occasions of doing any good--the ill
company will sooner corrupt him than be the better for him; or if,
notwithstanding all their ill company, he still remains steady and
innocent, yet their follies and knavery will be imputed to him; and, by
mixing counsels with them, he must bear his share of all the blame that
belongs wholly to others.

"It was no ill simile by which Plato set forth the unreasonableness of a
philosopher's meddling with government.  'If a man,' says he, 'were to
see a great company run out every day into the rain and take delight in
being wet--if he knew that it would be to no purpose for him to go and
persuade them to return to their houses in order to avoid the storm, and
that all that could be expected by his going to speak to them would be
that he himself should be as wet as they, it would be best for him to
keep within doors, and, since he had not influence enough to correct
other people's folly, to take care to preserve himself.'

"Though, to speak plainly my real sentiments, I must freely own that as
long as there is any property, and while money is the standard of all
other things, I cannot think that a nation can be governed either justly
or happily: not justly, because the best things will fall to the share of
the worst men; nor happily, because all things will be divided among a
few (and even these are not in all respects happy), the rest being left
to be absolutely miserable.  Therefore, when I reflect on the wise and
good constitution of the Utopians, among whom all things are so well
governed and with so few laws, where virtue hath its due reward, and yet
there is such an equality that every man lives in plenty--when I compare
with them so many other nations that are still making new laws, and yet
can never bring their constitution to a right regulation; where,
notwithstanding every one has his property, yet all the laws that they
can invent have not the power either to obtain or preserve it, or even to
enable men certainly to distinguish what is their own from what is
another's, of which the many lawsuits that every day break out, and are
eternally depending, give too plain a demonstration--when, I say, I
balance all these things in my thoughts, I grow more favourable to Plato,
and do not wonder that he resolved not to make any laws for such as would
not submit to a community of all things; for so wise a man could not but
foresee that the setting all upon a level was the only way to make a
nation happy; which cannot be obtained so long as there is property, for
when every man draws to himself all that he can compass, by one title or
another, it must needs follow that, how plentiful soever a nation may be,
yet a few dividing the wealth of it among themselves, the rest must fall
into indigence.  So that there will be two sorts of people among them,
who deserve that their fortunes should be interchanged--the former
useless, but wicked and ravenous; and the latter, who by their constant
industry serve the public more than themselves, sincere and modest
men--from whence I am persuaded that till property is taken away, there
can be no equitable or just distribution of things, nor can the world be
happily governed; for as long as that is maintained, the greatest and the
far best part of mankind, will be still oppressed with a load of cares
and anxieties.  I confess, without taking it quite away, those pressures
that lie on a great part of mankind may be made lighter, but they can
never be quite removed; for if laws were made to determine at how great
an extent in soil, and at how much money, every man must stop--to limit
the prince, that he might not grow too great; and to restrain the people,
that they might not become too insolent--and that none might factiously
aspire to public employments, which ought neither to be sold nor made
burdensome by a great expense, since otherwise those that serve in them
would be tempted to reimburse themselves by cheats and violence, and it
would become necessary to find out rich men for undergoing those
employments, which ought rather to be trusted to the wise.  These laws, I
say, might have such effect as good diet and care might have on a sick
man whose recovery is desperate; they might allay and mitigate the
disease, but it could never be quite healed, nor the body politic be
brought again to a good habit as long as property remains; and it will
fall out, as in a complication of diseases, that by applying a remedy to
one sore you will provoke another, and that which removes the one ill
symptom produces others, while the strengthening one part of the body
weakens the rest."  "On the contrary," answered I, "it seems to me that
men cannot live conveniently where all things are common.  How can there
be any plenty where every man will excuse himself from labour? for as the
hope of gain doth not excite him, so the confidence that he has in other
men's industry may make him slothful.  If people come to be pinched with
want, and yet cannot dispose of anything as their own, what can follow
upon this but perpetual sedition and bloodshed, especially when the
reverence and authority due to magistrates falls to the ground? for I
cannot imagine how that can be kept up among those that are in all things
equal to one another."  "I do not wonder," said he, "that it appears so
to you, since you have no notion, or at least no right one, of such a
constitution; but if you had been in Utopia with me, and had seen their
laws and rules, as I did, for the space of five years, in which I lived
among them, and during which time I was so delighted with them that
indeed I should never have left them if it had not been to make the
discovery of that new world to the Europeans, you would then confess that
you had never seen a people so well constituted as they."  "You will not
easily persuade me," said Peter, "that any nation in that new world is
better governed than those among us; for as our understandings are not
worse than theirs, so our government (if I mistake not) being more
ancient, a long practice has helped us to find out many conveniences of
life, and some happy chances have discovered other things to us which no
man's understanding could ever have invented."  "As for the antiquity
either of their government or of ours," said he, "you cannot pass a true
judgment of it unless you had read their histories; for, if they are to
be believed, they had towns among them before these parts were so much as
inhabited; and as for those discoveries that have been either hit on by
chance or made by ingenious men, these might have happened there as well
as here.  I do not deny but we are more ingenious than they are, but they
exceed us much in industry and application.  They knew little concerning
us before our arrival among them.  They call us all by a general name of
'The nations that lie beyond the equinoctial line;' for their chronicle
mentions a shipwreck that was made on their coast twelve hundred years
ago, and that some Romans and Egyptians that were in the ship, getting
safe ashore, spent the rest of their days amongst them; and such was
their ingenuity that from this single opportunity they drew the advantage
of learning from those unlooked-for guests, and acquired all the useful
arts that were then among the Romans, and which were known to these
shipwrecked men; and by the hints that they gave them they themselves
found out even some of those arts which they could not fully explain, so
happily did they improve that accident of having some of our people cast
upon their shore.  But if such an accident has at any time brought any
from thence into Europe, we have been so far from improving it that we do
not so much as remember it, as, in aftertimes perhaps, it will be forgot
by our people that I was ever there; for though they, from one such
accident, made themselves masters of all the good inventions that were
among us, yet I believe it would be long before we should learn or put in
practice any of the good institutions that are among them.  And this is
the true cause of their being better governed and living happier than we,
though we come not short of them in point of understanding or outward
advantages."  Upon this I said to him, "I earnestly beg you would
describe that island very particularly to us; be not too short, but set
out in order all things relating to their soil, their rivers, their
towns, their people, their manners, constitution, laws, and, in a word,
all that you imagine we desire to know; and you may well imagine that we
desire to know everything concerning them of which we are hitherto
ignorant."  "I will do it very willingly," said he, "for I have digested
the whole matter carefully, but it will take up some time."  "Let us go,
then," said I, "first and dine, and then we shall have leisure enough."
He consented; we went in and dined, and after dinner came back and sat
down in the same place.  I ordered my servants to take care that none
might come and interrupt us, and both Peter and I desired Raphael to be
as good as his word.  When he saw that we were very intent upon it he
paused a little to recollect himself, and began in this manner:--

"The island of Utopia is in the middle two hundred miles broad, and holds
almost at the same breadth over a great part of it, but it grows narrower
towards both ends.  Its figure is not unlike a crescent.  Between its
horns the sea comes in eleven miles broad, and spreads itself into a
great bay, which is environed with land to the compass of about five
hundred miles, and is well secured from winds.  In this bay there is no
great current; the whole coast is, as it were, one continued harbour,
which gives all that live in the island great convenience for mutual
commerce.  But the entry into the bay, occasioned by rocks on the one
hand and shallows on the other, is very dangerous.  In the middle of it
there is one single rock which appears above water, and may, therefore,
easily be avoided; and on the top of it there is a tower, in which a
garrison is kept; the other rocks lie under water, and are very
dangerous.  The channel is known only to the natives; so that if any
stranger should enter into the bay without one of their pilots he would
run great danger of shipwreck.  For even they themselves could not pass
it safe if some marks that are on the coast did not direct their way; and
if these should be but a little shifted, any fleet that might come
against them, how great soever it were, would be certainly lost.  On the
other side of the island there are likewise many harbours; and the coast
is so fortified, both by nature and art, that a small number of men can
hinder the descent of a great army.  But they report (and there remains
good marks of it to make it credible) that this was no island at first,
but a part of the continent.  Utopus, that conquered it (whose name it
still carries, for Abraxa was its first name), brought the rude and
uncivilised inhabitants into such a good government, and to that measure
of politeness, that they now far excel all the rest of mankind.  Having
soon subdued them, he designed to separate them from the continent, and
to bring the sea quite round them.  To accomplish this he ordered a deep
channel to be dug, fifteen miles long; and that the natives might not
think he treated them like slaves, he not only forced the inhabitants,
but also his own soldiers, to labour in carrying it on.  As he set a vast
number of men to work, he, beyond all men's expectations, brought it to a
speedy conclusion.  And his neighbours, who at first laughed at the folly
of the undertaking, no sooner saw it brought to perfection than they were
struck with admiration and terror.

"There are fifty-four cities in the island, all large and well built, the
manners, customs, and laws of which are the same, and they are all
contrived as near in the same manner as the ground on which they stand
will allow.  The nearest lie at least twenty-four miles' distance from
one another, and the most remote are not so far distant but that a man
can go on foot in one day from it to that which lies next it.  Every city
sends three of their wisest senators once a year to Amaurot, to consult
about their common concerns; for that is the chief town of the island,
being situated near the centre of it, so that it is the most convenient
place for their assemblies.  The jurisdiction of every city extends at
least twenty miles, and, where the towns lie wider, they have much more
ground.  No town desires to enlarge its bounds, for the people consider
themselves rather as tenants than landlords.  They have built, over all
the country, farmhouses for husbandmen, which are well contrived, and
furnished with all things necessary for country labour.  Inhabitants are
sent, by turns, from the cities to dwell in them; no country family has
fewer than forty men and women in it, besides two slaves.  There is a
master and a mistress set over every family, and over thirty families
there is a magistrate.  Every year twenty of this family come back to the
town after they have stayed two years in the country, and in their room
there are other twenty sent from the town, that they may learn country
work from those that have been already one year in the country, as they
must teach those that come to them the next from the town.  By this means
such as dwell in those country farms are never ignorant of agriculture,
and so commit no errors which might otherwise be fatal and bring them
under a scarcity of corn.  But though there is every year such a shifting
of the husbandmen to prevent any man being forced against his will to
follow that hard course of life too long, yet many among them take such
pleasure in it that they desire leave to continue in it many years.  These
husbandmen till the ground, breed cattle, hew wood, and convey it to the
towns either by land or water, as is most convenient.  They breed an
infinite multitude of chickens in a very curious manner; for the hens do
not sit and hatch them, but a vast number of eggs are laid in a gentle
and equal heat in order to be hatched, and they are no sooner out of the
shell, and able to stir about, but they seem to consider those that feed
them as their mothers, and follow them as other chickens do the hen that
hatched them.  They breed very few horses, but those they have are full
of mettle, and are kept only for exercising their youth in the art of
sitting and riding them; for they do not put them to any work, either of
ploughing or carriage, in which they employ oxen.  For though their
horses are stronger, yet they find oxen can hold out longer; and as they
are not subject to so many diseases, so they are kept upon a less charge
and with less trouble.  And even when they are so worn out that they are
no more fit for labour, they are good meat at last.  They sow no corn but
that which is to be their bread; for they drink either wine, cider or
perry, and often water, sometimes boiled with honey or liquorice, with
which they abound; and though they know exactly how much corn will serve
every town and all that tract of country which belongs to it, yet they
sow much more and breed more cattle than are necessary for their
consumption, and they give that overplus of which they make no use to
their neighbours.  When they want anything in the country which it does
not produce, they fetch that from the town, without carrying anything in
exchange for it.  And the magistrates of the town take care to see it
given them; for they meet generally in the town once a month, upon a
festival day.  When the time of harvest comes, the magistrates in the
country send to those in the towns and let them know how many hands they
will need for reaping the harvest; and the number they call for being
sent to them, they commonly despatch it all in one day.


"He that knows one of their towns knows them all--they are so like one
another, except where the situation makes some difference.  I shall
therefore describe one of them, and none is so proper as Amaurot; for as
none is more eminent (all the rest yielding in precedence to this,
because it is the seat of their supreme council), so there was none of
them better known to me, I having lived five years all together in it.

"It lies upon the side of a hill, or, rather, a rising ground.  Its
figure is almost square, for from the one side of it, which shoots up
almost to the top of the hill, it runs down, in a descent for two miles,
to the river Anider; but it is a little broader the other way that runs
along by the bank of that river.  The Anider rises about eighty miles
above Amaurot, in a small spring at first.  But other brooks falling into
it, of which two are more considerable than the rest, as it runs by
Amaurot it is grown half a mile broad; but, it still grows larger and
larger, till, after sixty miles' course below it, it is lost in the
ocean.  Between the town and the sea, and for some miles above the town,
it ebbs and flows every six hours with a strong current.  The tide comes
up about thirty miles so full that there is nothing but salt water in the
river, the fresh water being driven back with its force; and above that,
for some miles, the water is brackish; but a little higher, as it runs by
the town, it is quite fresh; and when the tide ebbs, it continues fresh
all along to the sea.  There is a bridge cast over the river, not of
timber, but of fair stone, consisting of many stately arches; it lies at
that part of the town which is farthest from the sea, so that the ships,
without any hindrance, lie all along the side of the town.  There is,
likewise, another river that runs by it, which, though it is not great,
yet it runs pleasantly, for it rises out of the same hill on which the
town stands, and so runs down through it and falls into the Anider.  The
inhabitants have fortified the fountain-head of this river, which springs
a little without the towns; that so, if they should happen to be
besieged, the enemy might not be able to stop or divert the course of the
water, nor poison it; from thence it is carried, in earthen pipes, to the
lower streets.  And for those places of the town to which the water of
that small river cannot be conveyed, they have great cisterns for
receiving the rain-water, which supplies the want of the other.  The town
is compassed with a high and thick wall, in which there are many towers
and forts; there is also a broad and deep dry ditch, set thick with
thorns, cast round three sides of the town, and the river is instead of a
ditch on the fourth side.  The streets are very convenient for all
carriage, and are well sheltered from the winds.  Their buildings are
good, and are so uniform that a whole side of a street looks like one
house.  The streets are twenty feet broad; there lie gardens behind all
their houses.  These are large, but enclosed with buildings, that on all
hands face the streets, so that every house has both a door to the street
and a back door to the garden.  Their doors have all two leaves, which,
as they are easily opened, so they shut of their own accord; and, there
being no property among them, every man may freely enter into any house
whatsoever.  At every ten years' end they shift their houses by lots.
They cultivate their gardens with great care, so that they have both
vines, fruits, herbs, and flowers in them; and all is so well ordered and
so finely kept that I never saw gardens anywhere that were both so
fruitful and so beautiful as theirs.  And this humour of ordering their
gardens so well is not only kept up by the pleasure they find in it, but
also by an emulation between the inhabitants of the several streets, who
vie with each other.  And there is, indeed, nothing belonging to the
whole town that is both more useful and more pleasant.  So that he who
founded the town seems to have taken care of nothing more than of their
gardens; for they say the whole scheme of the town was designed at first
by Utopus, but he left all that belonged to the ornament and improvement
of it to be added by those that should come after him, that being too
much for one man to bring to perfection.  Their records, that contain the
history of their town and State, are preserved with an exact care, and
run backwards seventeen hundred and sixty years.  From these it appears
that their houses were at first low and mean, like cottages, made of any
sort of timber, and were built with mud walls and thatched with straw.
But now their houses are three storeys high, the fronts of them are faced
either with stone, plastering, or brick, and between the facings of their
walls they throw in their rubbish.  Their roofs are flat, and on them
they lay a sort of plaster, which costs very little, and yet is so
tempered that it is not apt to take fire, and yet resists the weather
more than lead.  They have great quantities of glass among them, with
which they glaze their windows; they use also in their windows a thin
linen cloth, that is so oiled or gummed that it both keeps out the wind
and gives free admission to the light.


"Thirty families choose every year a magistrate, who was anciently called
the Syphogrant, but is now called the Philarch; and over every ten
Syphogrants, with the families subject to them, there is another
magistrate, who was anciently called the Tranibore, but of late the
Archphilarch.  All the Syphogrants, who are in number two hundred, choose
the Prince out of a list of four who are named by the people of the four
divisions of the city; but they take an oath, before they proceed to an
election, that they will choose him whom they think most fit for the
office: they give him their voices secretly, so that it is not known for
whom every one gives his suffrage.  The Prince is for life, unless he is
removed upon suspicion of some design to enslave the people.  The
Tranibors are new chosen every year, but yet they are, for the most part,
continued; all their other magistrates are only annual.  The Tranibors
meet every third day, and oftener if necessary, and consult with the
Prince either concerning the affairs of the State in general, or such
private differences as may arise sometimes among the people, though that
falls out but seldom.  There are always two Syphogrants called into the
council chamber, and these are changed every day.  It is a fundamental
rule of their government, that no conclusion can be made in anything that
relates to the public till it has been first debated three several days
in their council.  It is death for any to meet and consult concerning the
State, unless it be either in their ordinary council, or in the assembly
of the whole body of the people.

"These things have been so provided among them that the Prince and the
Tranibors may not conspire together to change the government and enslave
the people; and therefore when anything of great importance is set on
foot, it is sent to the Syphogrants, who, after they have communicated it
to the families that belong to their divisions, and have considered it
among themselves, make report to the senate; and, upon great occasions,
the matter is referred to the council of the whole island.  One rule
observed in their council is, never to debate a thing on the same day in
which it is first proposed; for that is always referred to the next
meeting, that so men may not rashly and in the heat of discourse engage
themselves too soon, which might bias them so much that, instead of
consulting the good of the public, they might rather study to support
their first opinions, and by a perverse and preposterous sort of shame
hazard their country rather than endanger their own reputation, or
venture the being suspected to have wanted foresight in the expedients
that they at first proposed; and therefore, to prevent this, they take
care that they may rather be deliberate than sudden in their motions.


"Agriculture is that which is so universally understood among them that
no person, either man or woman, is ignorant of it; they are instructed in
it from their childhood, partly by what they learn at school, and partly
by practice, they being led out often into the fields about the town,
where they not only see others at work but are likewise exercised in it
themselves.  Besides agriculture, which is so common to them all, every
man has some peculiar trade to which he applies himself; such as the
manufacture of wool or flax, masonry, smith's work, or carpenter's work;
for there is no sort of trade that is in great esteem among them.
Throughout the island they wear the same sort of clothes, without any
other distinction except what is necessary to distinguish the two sexes
and the married and unmarried.  The fashion never alters, and as it is
neither disagreeable nor uneasy, so it is suited to the climate, and
calculated both for their summers and winters.  Every family makes their
own clothes; but all among them, women as well as men, learn one or other
of the trades formerly mentioned.  Women, for the most part, deal in wool
and flax, which suit best with their weakness, leaving the ruder trades
to the men.  The same trade generally passes down from father to son,
inclinations often following descent: but if any man's genius lies
another way he is, by adoption, translated into a family that deals in
the trade to which he is inclined; and when that is to be done, care is
taken, not only by his father, but by the magistrate, that he may be put
to a discreet and good man: and if, after a person has learned one trade,
he desires to acquire another, that is also allowed, and is managed in
the same manner as the former.  When he has learned both, he follows that
which he likes best, unless the public has more occasion for the other.

The chief, and almost the only, business of the Syphogrants is to take
care that no man may live idle, but that every one may follow his trade
diligently; yet they do not wear themselves out with perpetual toil from
morning to night, as if they were beasts of burden, which as it is indeed
a heavy slavery, so it is everywhere the common course of life amongst
all mechanics except the Utopians: but they, dividing the day and night
into twenty-four hours, appoint six of these for work, three of which are
before dinner and three after; they then sup, and at eight o'clock,
counting from noon, go to bed and sleep eight hours: the rest of their
time, besides that taken up in work, eating, and sleeping, is left to
every man's discretion; yet they are not to abuse that interval to luxury
and idleness, but must employ it in some proper exercise, according to
their various inclinations, which is, for the most part, reading.  It is
ordinary to have public lectures every morning before daybreak, at which
none are obliged to appear but those who are marked out for literature;
yet a great many, both men and women, of all ranks, go to hear lectures
of one sort or other, according to their inclinations: but if others that
are not made for contemplation, choose rather to employ themselves at
that time in their trades, as many of them do, they are not hindered, but
are rather commended, as men that take care to serve their country.  After
supper they spend an hour in some diversion, in summer in their gardens,
and in winter in the halls where they eat, where they entertain each
other either with music or discourse.  They do not so much as know dice,
or any such foolish and mischievous games.  They have, however, two sorts
of games not unlike our chess; the one is between several numbers, in
which one number, as it were, consumes another; the other resembles a
battle between the virtues and the vices, in which the enmity in the
vices among themselves, and their agreement against virtue, is not
unpleasantly represented; together with the special opposition between
the particular virtues and vices; as also the methods by which vice
either openly assaults or secretly undermines virtue; and virtue, on the
other hand, resists it.  But the time appointed for labour is to be
narrowly examined, otherwise you may imagine that since there are only
six hours appointed for work, they may fall under a scarcity of necessary
provisions: but it is so far from being true that this time is not
sufficient for supplying them with plenty of all things, either necessary
or convenient, that it is rather too much; and this you will easily
apprehend if you consider how great a part of all other nations is quite
idle.  First, women generally do little, who are the half of mankind; and
if some few women are diligent, their husbands are idle: then consider
the great company of idle priests, and of those that are called religious
men; add to these all rich men, chiefly those that have estates in land,
who are called noblemen and gentlemen, together with their families, made
up of idle persons, that are kept more for show than use; add to these
all those strong and lusty beggars that go about pretending some disease
in excuse for their begging; and upon the whole account you will find
that the number of those by whose labours mankind is supplied is much
less than you perhaps imagined: then consider how few of those that work
are employed in labours that are of real service, for we, who measure all
things by money, give rise to many trades that are both vain and
superfluous, and serve only to support riot and luxury: for if those who
work were employed only in such things as the conveniences of life
require, there would be such an abundance of them that the prices of them
would so sink that tradesmen could not be maintained by their gains; if
all those who labour about useless things were set to more profitable
employments, and if all they that languish out their lives in sloth and
idleness (every one of whom consumes as much as any two of the men that
are at work) were forced to labour, you may easily imagine that a small
proportion of time would serve for doing all that is either necessary,
profitable, or pleasant to mankind, especially while pleasure is kept
within its due bounds: this appears very plainly in Utopia; for there, in
a great city, and in all the territory that lies round it, you can scarce
find five hundred, either men or women, by their age and strength capable
of labour, that are not engaged in it.  Even the Syphogrants, though
excused by the law, yet do not excuse themselves, but work, that by their
examples they may excite the industry of the rest of the people; the like
exemption is allowed to those who, being recommended to the people by the
priests, are, by the secret suffrages of the Syphogrants, privileged from
labour, that they may apply themselves wholly to study; and if any of
these fall short of those hopes that they seemed at first to give, they
are obliged to return to work; and sometimes a mechanic that so employs
his leisure hours as to make a considerable advancement in learning is
eased from being a tradesman and ranked among their learned men.  Out of
these they choose their ambassadors, their priests, their Tranibors, and
the Prince himself, anciently called their Barzenes, but is called of
late their Ademus.

"And thus from the great numbers among them that are neither suffered to
be idle nor to be employed in any fruitless labour, you may easily make
the estimate how much may be done in those few hours in which they are
obliged to labour.  But, besides all that has been already said, it is to
be considered that the needful arts among them are managed with less
labour than anywhere else.  The building or the repairing of houses among
us employ many hands, because often a thriftless heir suffers a house
that his father built to fall into decay, so that his successor must, at
a great cost, repair that which he might have kept up with a small
charge; it frequently happens that the same house which one person built
at a vast expense is neglected by another, who thinks he has a more
delicate sense of the beauties of architecture, and he, suffering it to
fall to ruin, builds another at no less charge.  But among the Utopians
all things are so regulated that men very seldom build upon a new piece
of ground, and are not only very quick in repairing their houses, but
show their foresight in preventing their decay, so that their buildings
are preserved very long with but very little labour, and thus the
builders, to whom that care belongs, are often without employment, except
the hewing of timber and the squaring of stones, that the materials may
be in readiness for raising a building very suddenly when there is any
occasion for it.  As to their clothes, observe how little work is spent
in them; while they are at labour they are clothed with leather and
skins, cut carelessly about them, which will last seven years, and when
they appear in public they put on an upper garment which hides the other;
and these are all of one colour, and that is the natural colour of the
wool.  As they need less woollen cloth than is used anywhere else, so
that which they make use of is much less costly; they use linen cloth
more, but that is prepared with less labour, and they value cloth only by
the whiteness of the linen or the cleanness of the wool, without much
regard to the fineness of the thread.  While in other places four or five
upper garments of woollen cloth of different colours, and as many vests
of silk, will scarce serve one man, and while those that are nicer think
ten too few, every man there is content with one, which very often serves
him two years; nor is there anything that can tempt a man to desire more,
for if he had them he would neither be the, warmer nor would he make one
jot the better appearance for it.  And thus, since they are all employed
in some useful labour, and since they content themselves with fewer
things, it falls out that there is a great abundance of all things among
them; so that it frequently happens that, for want of other work, vast
numbers are sent out to mend the highways; but when no public undertaking
is to be performed, the hours of working are lessened.  The magistrates
never engage the people in unnecessary labour, since the chief end of the
constitution is to regulate labour by the necessities of the public, and
to allow the people as much time as is necessary for the improvement of
their minds, in which they think the happiness of life consists.


"But it is now time to explain to you the mutual intercourse of this
people, their commerce, and the rules by which all things are distributed
among them.

"As their cities are composed of families, so their families are made up
of those that are nearly related to one another.  Their women, when they
grow up, are married out, but all the males, both children and
grand-children, live still in the same house, in great obedience to their
common parent, unless age has weakened his understanding, and in that
case he that is next to him in age comes in his room; but lest any city
should become either too great, or by any accident be dispeopled,
provision is made that none of their cities may contain above six
thousand families, besides those of the country around it.  No family may
have less than ten and more than sixteen persons in it, but there can be
no determined number for the children under age; this rule is easily
observed by removing some of the children of a more fruitful couple to
any other family that does not abound so much in them.  By the same rule
they supply cities that do not increase so fast from others that breed
faster; and if there is any increase over the whole island, then they
draw out a number of their citizens out of the several towns and send
them over to the neighbouring continent, where, if they find that the
inhabitants have more soil than they can well cultivate, they fix a
colony, taking the inhabitants into their society if they are willing to
live with them; and where they do that of their own accord, they quickly
enter into their method of life and conform to their rules, and this
proves a happiness to both nations; for, according to their constitution,
such care is taken of the soil that it becomes fruitful enough for both,
though it might be otherwise too narrow and barren for any one of them.
But if the natives refuse to conform themselves to their laws they drive
them out of those bounds which they mark out for themselves, and use
force if they resist, for they account it a very just cause of war for a
nation to hinder others from possessing a part of that soil of which they
make no use, but which is suffered to lie idle and uncultivated, since
every man has, by the law of nature, a right to such a waste portion of
the earth as is necessary for his subsistence.  If an accident has so
lessened the number of the inhabitants of any of their towns that it
cannot be made up from the other towns of the island without diminishing
them too much (which is said to have fallen out but twice since they were
first a people, when great numbers were carried off by the plague), the
loss is then supplied by recalling as many as are wanted from their
colonies, for they will abandon these rather than suffer the towns in the
island to sink too low.

"But to return to their manner of living in society: the oldest man of
every family, as has been already said, is its governor; wives serve
their husbands, and children their parents, and always the younger serves
the elder.  Every city is divided into four equal parts, and in the
middle of each there is a market-place.  What is brought thither, and
manufactured by the several families, is carried from thence to houses
appointed for that purpose, in which all things of a sort are laid by
themselves; and thither every father goes, and takes whatsoever he or his
family stand in need of, without either paying for it or leaving anything
in exchange.  There is no reason for giving a denial to any person, since
there is such plenty of everything among them; and there is no danger of
a man's asking for more than he needs; they have no inducements to do
this, since they are sure they shall always be supplied: it is the fear
of want that makes any of the whole race of animals either greedy or
ravenous; but, besides fear, there is in man a pride that makes him fancy
it a particular glory to excel others in pomp and excess; but by the laws
of the Utopians, there is no room for this.  Near these markets there are
others for all sorts of provisions, where there are not only herbs,
fruits, and bread, but also fish, fowl, and cattle.  There are also,
without their towns, places appointed near some running water for killing
their beasts and for washing away their filth, which is done by their
slaves; for they suffer none of their citizens to kill their cattle,
because they think that pity and good-nature, which are among the best of
those affections that are born with us, are much impaired by the
butchering of animals; nor do they suffer anything that is foul or
unclean to be brought within their towns, lest the air should be infected
by ill-smells, which might prejudice their health.  In every street there
are great halls, that lie at an equal distance from each other,
distinguished by particular names.  The Syphogrants dwell in those that
are set over thirty families, fifteen lying on one side of it, and as
many on the other.  In these halls they all meet and have their repasts;
the stewards of every one of them come to the market-place at an
appointed hour, and according to the number of those that belong to the
hall they carry home provisions.  But they take more care of their sick
than of any others; these are lodged and provided for in public
hospitals.  They have belonging to every town four hospitals, that are
built without their walls, and are so large that they may pass for little
towns; by this means, if they had ever such a number of sick persons,
they could lodge them conveniently, and at such a distance that such of
them as are sick of infectious diseases may be kept so far from the rest
that there can be no danger of contagion.  The hospitals are furnished
and stored with all things that are convenient for the ease and recovery
of the sick; and those that are put in them are looked after with such
tender and watchful care, and are so constantly attended by their skilful
physicians, that as none is sent to them against their will, so there is
scarce one in a whole town that, if he should fall ill, would not choose
rather to go thither than lie sick at home.

"After the steward of the hospitals has taken for the sick whatsoever the
physician prescribes, then the best things that are left in the market
are distributed equally among the halls in proportion to their numbers;
only, in the first place, they serve the Prince, the Chief Priest, the
Tranibors, the Ambassadors, and strangers, if there are any, which,
indeed, falls out but seldom, and for whom there are houses, well
furnished, particularly appointed for their reception when they come
among them.  At the hours of dinner and supper the whole Syphogranty
being called together by sound of trumpet, they meet and eat together,
except only such as are in the hospitals or lie sick at home.  Yet, after
the halls are served, no man is hindered to carry provisions home from
the market-place, for they know that none does that but for some good
reason; for though any that will may eat at home, yet none does it
willingly, since it is both ridiculous and foolish for any to give
themselves the trouble to make ready an ill dinner at home when there is
a much more plentiful one made ready for him so near hand.  All the
uneasy and sordid services about these halls are performed by their
slaves; but the dressing and cooking their meat, and the ordering their
tables, belong only to the women, all those of every family taking it by
turns.  They sit at three or more tables, according to their number; the
men sit towards the wall, and the women sit on the other side, that if
any of them should be taken suddenly ill, which is no uncommon case
amongst women with child, she may, without disturbing the rest, rise and
go to the nurses' room (who are there with the sucking children), where
there is always clean water at hand and cradles, in which they may lay
the young children if there is occasion for it, and a fire, that they may
shift and dress them before it.  Every child is nursed by its own mother
if death or sickness does not intervene; and in that case the
Syphogrants' wives find out a nurse quickly, which is no hard matter, for
any one that can do it offers herself cheerfully; for as they are much
inclined to that piece of mercy, so the child whom they nurse considers
the nurse as its mother.  All the children under five years old sit among
the nurses; the rest of the younger sort of both sexes, till they are fit
for marriage, either serve those that sit at table, or, if they are not
strong enough for that, stand by them in great silence and eat what is
given them; nor have they any other formality of dining.  In the middle
of the first table, which stands across the upper end of the hall, sit
the Syphogrant and his wife, for that is the chief and most conspicuous
place; next to him sit two of the most ancient, for there go always four
to a mess.  If there is a temple within the Syphogranty, the Priest and
his wife sit with the Syphogrant above all the rest; next them there is a
mixture of old and young, who are so placed that as the young are set
near others, so they are mixed with the more ancient; which, they say,
was appointed on this account: that the gravity of the old people, and
the reverence that is due to them, might restrain the younger from all
indecent words and gestures.  Dishes are not served up to the whole table
at first, but the best are first set before the old, whose seats are
distinguished from the young, and, after them, all the rest are served
alike.  The old men distribute to the younger any curious meats that
happen to be set before them, if there is not such an abundance of them
that the whole company may be served alike.

"Thus old men are honoured with a particular respect, yet all the rest
fare as well as they.  Both dinner and supper are begun with some lecture
of morality that is read to them; but it is so short that it is not
tedious nor uneasy to them to hear it.  From hence the old men take
occasion to entertain those about them with some useful and pleasant
enlargements; but they do not engross the whole discourse so to
themselves during their meals that the younger may not put in for a
share; on the contrary, they engage them to talk, that so they may, in
that free way of conversation, find out the force of every one's spirit
and observe his temper.  They despatch their dinners quickly, but sit
long at supper, because they go to work after the one, and are to sleep
after the other, during which they think the stomach carries on the
concoction more vigorously.  They never sup without music, and there is
always fruit served up after meat; while they are at table some burn
perfumes and sprinkle about fragrant ointments and sweet waters--in
short, they want nothing that may cheer up their spirits; they give
themselves a large allowance that way, and indulge themselves in all such
pleasures as are attended with no inconvenience.  Thus do those that are
in the towns live together; but in the country, where they live at a
great distance, every one eats at home, and no family wants any necessary
sort of provision, for it is from them that provisions are sent unto
those that live in the towns.


If any man has a mind to visit his friends that live in some other town,
or desires to travel and see the rest of the country, he obtains leave
very easily from the Syphogrant and Tranibors, when there is no
particular occasion for him at home.  Such as travel carry with them a
passport from the Prince, which both certifies the licence that is
granted for travelling, and limits the time of their return.  They are
furnished with a waggon and a slave, who drives the oxen and looks after
them; but, unless there are women in the company, the waggon is sent back
at the end of the journey as a needless encumbrance.  While they are on
the road they carry no provisions with them, yet they want for nothing,
but are everywhere treated as if they were at home.  If they stay in any
place longer than a night, every one follows his proper occupation, and
is very well used by those of his own trade; but if any man goes out of
the city to which he belongs without leave, and is found rambling without
a passport, he is severely treated, he is punished as a fugitive, and
sent home disgracefully; and, if he falls again into the like fault, is
condemned to slavery.  If any man has a mind to travel only over the
precinct of his own city, he may freely do it, with his father's
permission and his wife's consent; but when he comes into any of the
country houses, if he expects to be entertained by them, he must labour
with them and conform to their rules; and if he does this, he may freely
go over the whole precinct, being then as useful to the city to which he
belongs as if he were still within it.  Thus you see that there are no
idle persons among them, nor pretences of excusing any from labour.  There
are no taverns, no ale-houses, nor stews among them, nor any other
occasions of corrupting each other, of getting into corners, or forming
themselves into parties; all men live in full view, so that all are
obliged both to perform their ordinary task and to employ themselves well
in their spare hours; and it is certain that a people thus ordered must
live in great abundance of all things, and these being equally
distributed among them, no man can want or be obliged to beg.

"In their great council at Amaurot, to which there are three sent from
every town once a year, they examine what towns abound in provisions and
what are under any scarcity, that so the one may be furnished from the
other; and this is done freely, without any sort of exchange; for,
according to their plenty or scarcity, they supply or are supplied from
one another, so that indeed the whole island is, as it were, one family.
When they have thus taken care of their whole country, and laid up stores
for two years (which they do to prevent the ill consequences of an
unfavourable season), they order an exportation of the overplus, both of
corn, honey, wool, flax, wood, wax, tallow, leather, and cattle, which
they send out, commonly in great quantities, to other nations.  They
order a seventh part of all these goods to be freely given to the poor of
the countries to which they send them, and sell the rest at moderate
rates; and by this exchange they not only bring back those few things
that they need at home (for, indeed, they scarce need anything but iron),
but likewise a great deal of gold and silver; and by their driving this
trade so long, it is not to be imagined how vast a treasure they have got
among them, so that now they do not much care whether they sell off their
merchandise for money in hand or upon trust.  A great part of their
treasure is now in bonds; but in all their contracts no private man
stands bound, but the writing runs in the name of the town; and the towns
that owe them money raise it from those private hands that owe it to
them, lay it up in their public chamber, or enjoy the profit of it till
the Utopians call for it; and they choose rather to let the greatest part
of it lie in their hands, who make advantage by it, than to call for it
themselves; but if they see that any of their other neighbours stand more
in need of it, then they call it in and lend it to them.  Whenever they
are engaged in war, which is the only occasion in which their treasure
can be usefully employed, they make use of it themselves; in great
extremities or sudden accidents they employ it in hiring foreign troops,
whom they more willingly expose to danger than their own people; they
give them great pay, knowing well that this will work even on their
enemies; that it will engage them either to betray their own side, or, at
least, to desert it; and that it is the best means of raising mutual
jealousies among them.  For this end they have an incredible treasure;
but they do not keep it as a treasure, but in such a manner as I am
almost afraid to tell, lest you think it so extravagant as to be hardly
credible.  This I have the more reason to apprehend because, if I had not
seen it myself, I could not have been easily persuaded to have believed
it upon any man's report.

"It is certain that all things appear incredible to us in proportion as
they differ from known customs; but one who can judge aright will not
wonder to find that, since their constitution differs so much from ours,
their value of gold and silver should be measured by a very different
standard; for since they have no use for money among themselves, but keep
it as a provision against events which seldom happen, and between which
there are generally long intervening intervals, they value it no farther
than it deserves--that is, in proportion to its use.  So that it is plain
they must prefer iron either to gold or silver, for men can no more live
without iron than without fire or water; but Nature has marked out no use
for the other metals so essential as not easily to be dispensed with.  The
folly of men has enhanced the value of gold and silver because of their
scarcity; whereas, on the contrary, it is their opinion that Nature, as
an indulgent parent, has freely given us all the best things in great
abundance, such as water and earth, but has laid up and hid from us the
things that are vain and useless.

"If these metals were laid up in any tower in the kingdom it would raise
a jealousy of the Prince and Senate, and give birth to that foolish
mistrust into which the people are apt to fall--a jealousy of their
intending to sacrifice the interest of the public to their own private
advantage.  If they should work it into vessels, or any sort of plate,
they fear that the people might grow too fond of it, and so be unwilling
to let the plate be run down, if a war made it necessary, to employ it in
paying their soldiers.  To prevent all these inconveniences they have
fallen upon an expedient which, as it agrees with their other policy, so
is it very different from ours, and will scarce gain belief among us who
value gold so much, and lay it up so carefully.  They eat and drink out
of vessels of earth or glass, which make an agreeable appearance, though
formed of brittle materials; while they make their chamber-pots and close-
stools of gold and silver, and that not only in their public halls but in
their private houses.  Of the same metals they likewise make chains and
fetters for their slaves, to some of which, as a badge of infamy, they
hang an earring of gold, and make others wear a chain or a coronet of the
same metal; and thus they take care by all possible means to render gold
and silver of no esteem; and from hence it is that while other nations
part with their gold and silver as unwillingly as if one tore out their
bowels, those of Utopia would look on their giving in all they possess of
those metals (when there were any use for them) but as the parting with a
trifle, or as we would esteem the loss of a penny!  They find pearls on
their coasts, and diamonds and carbuncles on their rocks; they do not
look after them, but, if they find them by chance, they polish them, and
with them they adorn their children, who are delighted with them, and
glory in them during their childhood; but when they grow to years, and
see that none but children use such baubles, they of their own accord,
without being bid by their parents, lay them aside, and would be as much
ashamed to use them afterwards as children among us, when they come to
years, are of their puppets and other toys.

"I never saw a clearer instance of the opposite impressions that
different customs make on people than I observed in the ambassadors of
the Anemolians, who came to Amaurot when I was there.  As they came to
treat of affairs of great consequence, the deputies from several towns
met together to wait for their coming.  The ambassadors of the nations
that lie near Utopia, knowing their customs, and that fine clothes are in
no esteem among them, that silk is despised, and gold is a badge of
infamy, used to come very modestly clothed; but the Anemolians, lying
more remote, and having had little commerce with them, understanding that
they were coarsely clothed, and all in the same manner, took it for
granted that they had none of those fine things among them of which they
made no use; and they, being a vainglorious rather than a wise people,
resolved to set themselves out with so much pomp that they should look
like gods, and strike the eyes of the poor Utopians with their splendour.
Thus three ambassadors made their entry with a hundred attendants, all
clad in garments of different colours, and the greater part in silk; the
ambassadors themselves, who were of the nobility of their country, were
in cloth-of-gold, and adorned with massy chains, earrings and rings of
gold; their caps were covered with bracelets set full of pearls and other
gems--in a word, they were set out with all those things that among the
Utopians were either the badges of slavery, the marks of infamy, or the
playthings of children.  It was not unpleasant to see, on the one side,
how they looked big, when they compared their rich habits with the plain
clothes of the Utopians, who were come out in great numbers to see them
make their entry; and, on the other, to observe how much they were
mistaken in the impression which they hoped this pomp would have made on
them.  It appeared so ridiculous a show to all that had never stirred out
of their country, and had not seen the customs of other nations, that
though they paid some reverence to those that were the most meanly clad,
as if they had been the ambassadors, yet when they saw the ambassadors
themselves so full of gold and chains, they looked upon them as slaves,
and forbore to treat them with reverence.  You might have seen the
children who were grown big enough to despise their playthings, and who
had thrown away their jewels, call to their mothers, push them gently,
and cry out, 'See that great fool, that wears pearls and gems as if he
were yet a child!' while their mothers very innocently replied, 'Hold
your peace! this, I believe, is one of the ambassadors' fools.'  Others
censured the fashion of their chains, and observed, 'That they were of no
use, for they were too slight to bind their slaves, who could easily
break them; and, besides, hung so loose about them that they thought it
easy to throw their away, and so get from them."  But after the
ambassadors had stayed a day among them, and saw so vast a quantity of
gold in their houses (which was as much despised by them as it was
esteemed in other nations), and beheld more gold and silver in the chains
and fetters of one slave than all their ornaments amounted to, their
plumes fell, and they were ashamed of all that glory for which they had
formed valued themselves, and accordingly laid it aside--a resolution
that they immediately took when, on their engaging in some free discourse
with the Utopians, they discovered their sense of such things and their
other customs.  The Utopians wonder how any man should be so much taken
with the glaring doubtful lustre of a jewel or a stone, that can look up
to a star or to the sun himself; or how any should value himself because
his cloth is made of a finer thread; for, how fine soever that thread may
be, it was once no better than the fleece of a sheep, and that sheep, was
a sheep still, for all its wearing it.  They wonder much to hear that
gold, which in itself is so useless a thing, should be everywhere so much
esteemed that even man, for whom it was made, and by whom it has its
value, should yet be thought of less value than this metal; that a man of
lead, who has no more sense than a log of wood, and is as bad as he is
foolish, should have many wise and good men to serve him, only because he
has a great heap of that metal; and that if it should happen that by some
accident or trick of law (which, sometimes produces as great changes as
chance itself) all this wealth should pass from the master to the meanest
varlet of his whole family, he himself would very soon become one of his
servants, as if he were a thing that belonged to his wealth, and so were
bound to follow its fortune!  But they much more admire and detest the
folly of those who, when they see a rich man, though they neither owe him
anything, nor are in any sort dependent on his bounty, yet, merely
because he is rich, give him little less than divine honours, even though
they know him to be so covetous and base-minded that, notwithstanding all
his wealth, he will not part with one farthing of it to them as long as
he lives!

"These and such like notions have that people imbibed, partly from their
education, being bred in a country whose customs and laws are opposite to
all such foolish maxims, and partly from their learning and studies--for
though there are but few in any town that are so wholly excused from
labour as to give themselves entirely up to their studies (these being
only such persons as discover from their childhood an extraordinary
capacity and disposition for letters), yet their children and a great
part of the nation, both men and women, are taught to spend those hours
in which they are not obliged to work in reading; and this they do
through the whole progress of life.  They have all their learning in
their own tongue, which is both a copious and pleasant language, and in
which a man can fully express his mind; it runs over a great tract of
many countries, but it is not equally pure in all places.  They had never
so much as heard of the names of any of those philosophers that are so
famous in these parts of the world, before we went among them; and yet
they had made the same discoveries as the Greeks, both in music, logic,
arithmetic, and geometry.  But as they are almost in everything equal to
the ancient philosophers, so they far exceed our modern logicians for
they have never yet fallen upon the barbarous niceties that our youth are
forced to learn in those trifling logical schools that are among us.  They
are so far from minding chimeras and fantastical images made in the mind
that none of them could comprehend what we meant when we talked to them
of a man in the abstract as common to all men in particular (so that
though we spoke of him as a thing that we could point at with our
fingers, yet none of them could perceive him) and yet distinct from every
one, as if he were some monstrous Colossus or giant; yet, for all this
ignorance of these empty notions, they knew astronomy, and were perfectly
acquainted with the motions of the heavenly bodies; and have many
instruments, well contrived and divided, by which they very accurately
compute the course and positions of the sun, moon, and stars.  But for
the cheat of divining by the stars, by their oppositions or conjunctions,
it has not so much as entered into their thoughts.  They have a
particular sagacity, founded upon much observation, in judging of the
weather, by which they know when they may look for rain, wind, or other
alterations in the air; but as to the philosophy of these things, the
cause of the saltness of the sea, of its ebbing and flowing, and of the
original and nature both of the heavens and the earth, they dispute of
them partly as our ancient philosophers have done, and partly upon some
new hypothesis, in which, as they differ from them, so they do not in all
things agree among themselves.

"As to moral philosophy, they have the same disputes among them as we
have here.  They examine what are properly good, both for the body and
the mind; and whether any outward thing can be called truly _good_, or if
that term belong only to the endowments of the soul.  They inquire,
likewise, into the nature of virtue and pleasure.  But their chief
dispute is concerning the happiness of a man, and wherein it
consists--whether in some one thing or in a great many.  They seem,
indeed, more inclinable to that opinion that places, if not the whole,
yet the chief part, of a man's happiness in pleasure; and, what may seem
more strange, they make use of arguments even from religion,
notwithstanding its severity and roughness, for the support of that
opinion so indulgent to pleasure; for they never dispute concerning
happiness without fetching some arguments from the principles of religion
as well as from natural reason, since without the former they reckon that
all our inquiries after happiness must be but conjectural and defective.

"These are their religious principles:--That the soul of man is immortal,
and that God of His goodness has designed that it should be happy; and
that He has, therefore, appointed rewards for good and virtuous actions,
and punishments for vice, to be distributed after this life.  Though
these principles of religion are conveyed down among them by tradition,
they think that even reason itself determines a man to believe and
acknowledge them; and freely confess that if these were taken away, no
man would be so insensible as not to seek after pleasure by all possible
means, lawful or unlawful, using only this caution--that a lesser
pleasure might not stand in the way of a greater, and that no pleasure
ought to be pursued that should draw a great deal of pain after it; for
they think it the maddest thing in the world to pursue virtue, that is a
sour and difficult thing, and not only to renounce the pleasures of life,
but willingly to undergo much pain and trouble, if a man has no prospect
of a reward.  And what reward can there be for one that has passed his
whole life, not only without pleasure, but in pain, if there is nothing
to be expected after death?  Yet they do not place happiness in all sorts
of pleasures, but only in those that in themselves are good and honest.
There is a party among them who place happiness in bare virtue; others
think that our natures are conducted by virtue to happiness, as that
which is the chief good of man.  They define virtue thus--that it is a
living according to Nature, and think that we are made by God for that
end; they believe that a man then follows the dictates of Nature when he
pursues or avoids things according to the direction of reason.  They say
that the first dictate of reason is the kindling in us a love and
reverence for the Divine Majesty, to whom we owe both all that we have
and, all that we can ever hope for.  In the next place, reason directs us
to keep our minds as free from passion and as cheerful as we can, and
that we should consider ourselves as bound by the ties of good-nature and
humanity to use our utmost endeavours to help forward the happiness of
all other persons; for there never was any man such a morose and severe
pursuer of virtue, such an enemy to pleasure, that though he set hard
rules for men to undergo, much pain, many watchings, and other rigors,
yet did not at the same time advise them to do all they could in order to
relieve and ease the miserable, and who did not represent gentleness and
good-nature as amiable dispositions.  And from thence they infer that if
a man ought to advance the welfare and comfort of the rest of mankind
(there being no virtue more proper and peculiar to our nature than to
ease the miseries of others, to free from trouble and anxiety, in
furnishing them with the comforts of life, in which pleasure consists)
Nature much more vigorously leads them to do all this for himself.  A
life of pleasure is either a real evil, and in that case we ought not to
assist others in their pursuit of it, but, on the contrary, to keep them
from it all we can, as from that which is most hurtful and deadly; or if
it is a good thing, so that we not only may but ought to help others to
it, why, then, ought not a man to begin with himself? since no man can be
more bound to look after the good of another than after his own; for
Nature cannot direct us to be good and kind to others, and yet at the
same time to be unmerciful and cruel to ourselves.  Thus as they define
virtue to be living according to Nature, so they imagine that Nature
prompts all people on to seek after pleasure as the end of all they do.
They also observe that in order to our supporting the pleasures of life,
Nature inclines us to enter into society; for there is no man so much
raised above the rest of mankind as to be the only favourite of Nature,
who, on the contrary, seems to have placed on a level all those that
belong to the same species.  Upon this they infer that no man ought to
seek his own conveniences so eagerly as to prejudice others; and
therefore they think that not only all agreements between private persons
ought to be observed, but likewise that all those laws ought to be kept
which either a good prince has published in due form, or to which a
people that is neither oppressed with tyranny nor circumvented by fraud
has consented, for distributing those conveniences of life which afford
us all our pleasures.

"They think it is an evidence of true wisdom for a man to pursue his own
advantage as far as the laws allow it, they account it piety to prefer
the public good to one's private concerns, but they think it unjust for a
man to seek for pleasure by snatching another man's pleasures from him;
and, on the contrary, they think it a sign of a gentle and good soul for
a man to dispense with his own advantage for the good of others, and that
by this means a good man finds as much pleasure one way as he parts with
another; for as he may expect the like from others when he may come to
need it, so, if that should fail him, yet the sense of a good action, and
the reflections that he makes on the love and gratitude of those whom he
has so obliged, gives the mind more pleasure than the body could have
found in that from which it had restrained itself.  They are also
persuaded that God will make up the loss of those small pleasures with a
vast and endless joy, of which religion easily convinces a good soul.

"Thus, upon an inquiry into the whole matter, they reckon that all our
actions, and even all our virtues, terminate in pleasure, as in our chief
end and greatest happiness; and they call every motion or state, either
of body or mind, in which Nature teaches us to delight, a pleasure.  Thus
they cautiously limit pleasure only to those appetites to which Nature
leads us; for they say that Nature leads us only to those delights to
which reason, as well as sense, carries us, and by which we neither
injure any other person nor lose the possession of greater pleasures, and
of such as draw no troubles after them.  But they look upon those
delights which men by a foolish, though common, mistake call pleasure, as
if they could change as easily the nature of things as the use of words,
as things that greatly obstruct their real happiness, instead of
advancing it, because they so entirely possess the minds of those that
are once captivated by them with a false notion of pleasure that there is
no room left for pleasures of a truer or purer kind.

"There are many things that in themselves have nothing that is truly
delightful; on the contrary, they have a good deal of bitterness in them;
and yet, from our perverse appetites after forbidden objects, are not
only ranked among the pleasures, but are made even the greatest designs,
of life.  Among those who pursue these sophisticated pleasures they
reckon such as I mentioned before, who think themselves really the better
for having fine clothes; in which they think they are doubly mistaken,
both in the opinion they have of their clothes, and in that they have of
themselves.  For if you consider the use of clothes, why should a fine
thread be thought better than a coarse one?  And yet these men, as if
they had some real advantages beyond others, and did not owe them wholly
to their mistakes, look big, seem to fancy themselves to be more
valuable, and imagine that a respect is due to them for the sake of a
rich garment, to which they would not have pretended if they had been
more meanly clothed, and even resent it as an affront if that respect is
not paid them.  It is also a great folly to be taken with outward marks
of respect, which signify nothing; for what true or real pleasure can one
man find in another's standing bare or making legs to him?  Will the
bending another man's knees give ease to yours? and will the head's being
bare cure the madness of yours?  And yet it is wonderful to see how this
false notion of pleasure bewitches many who delight themselves with the
fancy of their nobility, and are pleased with this conceit--that they are
descended from ancestors who have been held for some successions rich,
and who have had great possessions; for this is all that makes nobility
at present.  Yet they do not think themselves a whit the less noble,
though their immediate parents have left none of this wealth to them, or
though they themselves have squandered it away.  The Utopians have no
better opinion of those who are much taken with gems and precious stones,
and who account it a degree of happiness next to a divine one if they can
purchase one that is very extraordinary, especially if it be of that sort
of stones that is then in greatest request, for the same sort is not at
all times universally of the same value, nor will men buy it unless it be
dismounted and taken out of the gold.  The jeweller is then made to give
good security, and required solemnly to swear that the stone is true,
that, by such an exact caution, a false one might not be bought instead
of a true; though, if you were to examine it, your eye could find no
difference between the counterfeit and that which is true; so that they
are all one to you, as much as if you were blind.  Or can it be thought
that they who heap up a useless mass of wealth, not for any use that it
is to bring them, but merely to please themselves with the contemplation
of it, enjoy any true pleasure in it?  The delight they find is only a
false shadow of joy.  Those are no better whose error is somewhat
different from the former, and who hide it out of their fear of losing
it; for what other name can fit the hiding it in the earth, or, rather,
the restoring it to it again, it being thus cut off from being useful
either to its owner or to the rest of mankind?  And yet the owner, having
hid it carefully, is glad, because he thinks he is now sure of it.  If it
should be stole, the owner, though he might live perhaps ten years after
the theft, of which he knew nothing, would find no difference between his
having or losing it, for both ways it was equally useless to him.

"Among those foolish pursuers of pleasure they reckon all that delight in
hunting, in fowling, or gaming, of whose madness they have only heard,
for they have no such things among them.  But they have asked us, 'What
sort of pleasure is it that men can find in throwing the dice?' (for if
there were any pleasure in it, they think the doing it so often should
give one a surfeit of it); 'and what pleasure can one find in hearing the
barking and howling of dogs, which seem rather odious than pleasant
sounds?'  Nor can they comprehend the pleasure of seeing dogs run after a
hare, more than of seeing one dog run after another; for if the seeing
them run is that which gives the pleasure, you have the same
entertainment to the eye on both these occasions, since that is the same
in both cases.  But if the pleasure lies in seeing the hare killed and
torn by the dogs, this ought rather to stir pity, that a weak, harmless,
and fearful hare should be devoured by strong, fierce, and cruel dogs.
Therefore all this business of hunting is, among the Utopians, turned
over to their butchers, and those, as has been already said, are all
slaves, and they look on hunting as one of the basest parts of a
butcher's work, for they account it both more profitable and more decent
to kill those beasts that are more necessary and useful to mankind,
whereas the killing and tearing of so small and miserable an animal can
only attract the huntsman with a false show of pleasure, from which he
can reap but small advantage.  They look on the desire of the bloodshed,
even of beasts, as a mark of a mind that is already corrupted with
cruelty, or that at least, by too frequent returns of so brutal a
pleasure, must degenerate into it.

"Thus though the rabble of mankind look upon these, and on innumerable
other things of the same nature, as pleasures, the Utopians, on the
contrary, observing that there is nothing in them truly pleasant,
conclude that they are not to be reckoned among pleasures; for though
these things may create some tickling in the senses (which seems to be a
true notion of pleasure), yet they imagine that this does not arise from
the thing itself, but from a depraved custom, which may so vitiate a
man's taste that bitter things may pass for sweet, as women with child
think pitch or tallow taste sweeter than honey; but as a man's sense,
when corrupted either by a disease or some ill habit, does not change the
nature of other things, so neither can it change the nature of pleasure.

"They reckon up several sorts of pleasures, which they call true ones;
some belong to the body, and others to the mind.  The pleasures of the
mind lie in knowledge, and in that delight which the contemplation of
truth carries with it; to which they add the joyful reflections on a well-
spent life, and the assured hopes of a future happiness.  They divide the
pleasures of the body into two sorts--the one is that which gives our
senses some real delight, and is performed either by recruiting Nature
and supplying those parts which feed the internal heat of life by eating
and drinking, or when Nature is eased of any surcharge that oppresses it,
when we are relieved from sudden pain, or that which arises from
satisfying the appetite which Nature has wisely given to lead us to the
propagation of the species.  There is another kind of pleasure that
arises neither from our receiving what the body requires, nor its being
relieved when overcharged, and yet, by a secret unseen virtue, affects
the senses, raises the passions, and strikes the mind with generous
impressions--this is, the pleasure that arises from music.  Another kind
of bodily pleasure is that which results from an undisturbed and vigorous
constitution of body, when life and active spirits seem to actuate every
part.  This lively health, when entirely free from all mixture of pain,
of itself gives an inward pleasure, independent of all external objects
of delight; and though this pleasure does not so powerfully affect us,
nor act so strongly on the senses as some of the others, yet it may be
esteemed as the greatest of all pleasures; and almost all the Utopians
reckon it the foundation and basis of all the other joys of life, since
this alone makes the state of life easy and desirable, and when this is
wanting, a man is really capable of no other pleasure.  They look upon
freedom from pain, if it does not rise from perfect health, to be a state
of stupidity rather than of pleasure.  This subject has been very
narrowly canvassed among them, and it has been debated whether a firm and
entire health could be called a pleasure or not.  Some have thought that
there was no pleasure but what was 'excited' by some sensible motion in
the body.  But this opinion has been long ago excluded from among them;
so that now they almost universally agree that health is the greatest of
all bodily pleasures; and that as there is a pain in sickness which is as
opposite in its nature to pleasure as sickness itself is to health, so
they hold that health is accompanied with pleasure.  And if any should
say that sickness is not really pain, but that it only carries pain along
with it, they look upon that as a fetch of subtlety that does not much
alter the matter.  It is all one, in their opinion, whether it be said
that health is in itself a pleasure, or that it begets a pleasure, as
fire gives heat, so it be granted that all those whose health is entire
have a true pleasure in the enjoyment of it.  And they reason thus:--'What
is the pleasure of eating, but that a man's health, which had been
weakened, does, with the assistance of food, drive away hunger, and so
recruiting itself, recovers its former vigour?  And being thus refreshed
it finds a pleasure in that conflict; and if the conflict is pleasure,
the victory must yet breed a greater pleasure, except we fancy that it
becomes stupid as soon as it has obtained that which it pursued, and so
neither knows nor rejoices in its own welfare.'  If it is said that
health cannot be felt, they absolutely deny it; for what man is in
health, that does not perceive it when he is awake?  Is there any man
that is so dull and stupid as not to acknowledge that he feels a delight
in health?  And what is delight but another name for pleasure?

"But, of all pleasures, they esteem those to be most valuable that lie in
the mind, the chief of which arise out of true virtue and the witness of
a good conscience.  They account health the chief pleasure that belongs
to the body; for they think that the pleasure of eating and drinking, and
all the other delights of sense, are only so far desirable as they give
or maintain health; but they are not pleasant in themselves otherwise
than as they resist those impressions that our natural infirmities are
still making upon us.  For as a wise man desires rather to avoid diseases
than to take physic, and to be freed from pain rather than to find ease
by remedies, so it is more desirable not to need this sort of pleasure
than to be obliged to indulge it.  If any man imagines that there is a
real happiness in these enjoyments, he must then confess that he would be
the happiest of all men if he were to lead his life in perpetual hunger,
thirst, and itching, and, by consequence, in perpetual eating, drinking,
and scratching himself; which any one may easily see would be not only a
base, but a miserable, state of a life.  These are, indeed, the lowest of
pleasures, and the least pure, for we can never relish them but when they
are mixed with the contrary pains.  The pain of hunger must give us the
pleasure of eating, and here the pain out-balances the pleasure.  And as
the pain is more vehement, so it lasts much longer; for as it begins
before the pleasure, so it does not cease but with the pleasure that
extinguishes it, and both expire together.  They think, therefore, none
of those pleasures are to be valued any further than as they are
necessary; yet they rejoice in them, and with due gratitude acknowledge
the tenderness of the great Author of Nature, who has planted in us
appetites, by which those things that are necessary for our preservation
are likewise made pleasant to us.  For how miserable a thing would life
be if those daily diseases of hunger and thirst were to be carried off by
such bitter drugs as we must use for those diseases that return seldomer
upon us!  And thus these pleasant, as well as proper, gifts of Nature
maintain the strength and the sprightliness of our bodies.

"They also entertain themselves with the other delights let in at their
eyes, their ears, and their nostrils as the pleasant relishes and
seasoning of life, which Nature seems to have marked out peculiarly for
man, since no other sort of animals contemplates the figure and beauty of
the universe, nor is delighted with smells any further than as they
distinguish meats by them; nor do they apprehend the concords or discords
of sound.  Yet, in all pleasures whatsoever, they take care that a lesser
joy does not hinder a greater, and that pleasure may never breed pain,
which they think always follows dishonest pleasures.  But they think it
madness for a man to wear out the beauty of his face or the force of his
natural strength, to corrupt the sprightliness of his body by sloth and
laziness, or to waste it by fasting; that it is madness to weaken the
strength of his constitution and reject the other delights of life,
unless by renouncing his own satisfaction he can either serve the public
or promote the happiness of others, for which he expects a greater
recompense from God.  So that they look on such a course of life as the
mark of a mind that is both cruel to itself and ungrateful to the Author
of Nature, as if we would not be beholden to Him for His favours, and
therefore rejects all His blessings; as one who should afflict himself
for the empty shadow of virtue, or for no better end than to render
himself capable of bearing those misfortunes which possibly will never

"This is their notion of virtue and of pleasure: they think that no man's
reason can carry him to a truer idea of them unless some discovery from
heaven should inspire him with sublimer notions.  I have not now the
leisure to examine whether they think right or wrong in this matter; nor
do I judge it necessary, for I have only undertaken to give you an
account of their constitution, but not to defend all their principles.  I
am sure that whatever may be said of their notions, there is not in the
whole world either a better people or a happier government.  Their bodies
are vigorous and lively; and though they are but of a middle stature, and
have neither the fruitfullest soil nor the purest air in the world; yet
they fortify themselves so well, by their temperate course of life,
against the unhealthiness of their air, and by their industry they so
cultivate their soil, that there is nowhere to be seen a greater
increase, both of corn and cattle, nor are there anywhere healthier men
and freer from diseases; for one may there see reduced to practice not
only all the art that the husbandman employs in manuring and improving an
ill soil, but whole woods plucked up by the roots, and in other places
new ones planted, where there were none before.  Their principal motive
for this is the convenience of carriage, that their timber may be either
near their towns or growing on the banks of the sea, or of some rivers,
so as to be floated to them; for it is a harder work to carry wood at any
distance over land than corn.  The people are industrious, apt to learn,
as well as cheerful and pleasant, and none can endure more labour when it
is necessary; but, except in that case, they love their ease.  They are
unwearied pursuers of knowledge; for when we had given them some hints of
the learning and discipline of the Greeks, concerning whom we only
instructed them (for we know that there was nothing among the Romans,
except their historians and their poets, that they would value much), it
was strange to see how eagerly they were set on learning that language:
we began to read a little of it to them, rather in compliance with their
importunity than out of any hopes of their reaping from it any great
advantage: but, after a very short trial, we found they made such
progress, that we saw our labour was like to be more successful than we
could have expected: they learned to write their characters and to
pronounce their language so exactly, had so quick an apprehension, they
remembered it so faithfully, and became so ready and correct in the use
of it, that it would have looked like a miracle if the greater part of
those whom we taught had not been men both of extraordinary capacity and
of a fit age for instruction: they were, for the greatest part, chosen
from among their learned men by their chief council, though some studied
it of their own accord.  In three years' time they became masters of the
whole language, so that they read the best of the Greek authors very
exactly.  I am, indeed, apt to think that they learned that language the
more easily from its having some relation to their own.  I believe that
they were a colony of the Greeks; for though their language comes nearer
the Persian, yet they retain many names, both for their towns and
magistrates, that are of Greek derivation.  I happened to carry a great
many books with me, instead of merchandise, when I sailed my fourth
voyage; for I was so far from thinking of soon coming back, that I rather
thought never to have returned at all, and I gave them all my books,
among which were many of Plato's and some of Aristotle's works: I had
also Theophrastus on Plants, which, to my great regret, was imperfect;
for having laid it carelessly by, while we were at sea, a monkey had
seized upon it, and in many places torn out the leaves.  They have no
books of grammar but Lascares, for I did not carry Theodorus with me; nor
have they any dictionaries but Hesichius and Dioscerides.  They esteem
Plutarch highly, and were much taken with Lucian's wit and with his
pleasant way of writing.  As for the poets, they have Aristophanes,
Homer, Euripides, and Sophocles of Aldus's edition; and for historians,
Thucydides, Herodotus, and Herodian.  One of my companions, Thricius
Apinatus, happened to carry with him some of Hippocrates's works and
Galen's Microtechne, which they hold in great estimation; for though
there is no nation in the world that needs physic so little as they do,
yet there is not any that honours it so much; they reckon the knowledge
of it one of the pleasantest and most profitable parts of philosophy, by
which, as they search into the secrets of nature, so they not only find
this study highly agreeable, but think that such inquiries are very
acceptable to the Author of nature; and imagine, that as He, like the
inventors of curious engines amongst mankind, has exposed this great
machine of the universe to the view of the only creatures capable of
contemplating it, so an exact and curious observer, who admires His
workmanship, is much more acceptable to Him than one of the herd, who,
like a beast incapable of reason, looks on this glorious scene with the
eyes of a dull and unconcerned spectator.

"The minds of the Utopians, when fenced with a love for learning, are
very ingenious in discovering all such arts as are necessary to carry it
to perfection.  Two things they owe to us, the manufacture of paper and
the art of printing; yet they are not so entirely indebted to us for
these discoveries but that a great part of the invention was their own.
We showed them some books printed by Aldus, we explained to them the way
of making paper and the mystery of printing; but, as we had never
practised these arts, we described them in a crude and superficial
manner.  They seized the hints we gave them; and though at first they
could not arrive at perfection, yet by making many essays they at last
found out and corrected all their errors and conquered every difficulty.
Before this they only wrote on parchment, on reeds, or on the barks of
trees; but now they have established the manufactures of paper and set up
printing presses, so that, if they had but a good number of Greek
authors, they would be quickly supplied with many copies of them: at
present, though they have no more than those I have mentioned, yet, by
several impressions, they have multiplied them into many thousands.  If
any man was to go among them that had some extraordinary talent, or that
by much travelling had observed the customs of many nations (which made
us to be so well received), he would receive a hearty welcome, for they
are very desirous to know the state of the whole world.  Very few go
among them on the account of traffic; for what can a man carry to them
but iron, or gold, or silver? which merchants desire rather to export
than import to a strange country: and as for their exportation, they
think it better to manage that themselves than to leave it to foreigners,
for by this means, as they understand the state of the neighbouring
countries better, so they keep up the art of navigation which cannot be
maintained but by much practice.


"They do not make slaves of prisoners of war, except those that are taken
in battle, nor of the sons of their slaves, nor of those of other
nations: the slaves among them are only such as are condemned to that
state of life for the commission of some crime, or, which is more common,
such as their merchants find condemned to die in those parts to which
they trade, whom they sometimes redeem at low rates, and in other places
have them for nothing.  They are kept at perpetual labour, and are always
chained, but with this difference, that their own natives are treated
much worse than others: they are considered as more profligate than the
rest, and since they could not be restrained by the advantages of so
excellent an education, are judged worthy of harder usage.  Another sort
of slaves are the poor of the neighbouring countries, who offer of their
own accord to come and serve them: they treat these better, and use them
in all other respects as well as their own countrymen, except their
imposing more labour upon them, which is no hard task to those that have
been accustomed to it; and if any of these have a mind to go back to
their own country, which, indeed, falls out but seldom, as they do not
force them to stay, so they do not send them away empty-handed.

"I have already told you with what care they look after their sick, so
that nothing is left undone that can contribute either to their case or
health; and for those who are taken with fixed and incurable diseases,
they use all possible ways to cherish them and to make their lives as
comfortable as possible.  They visit them often and take great pains to
make their time pass off easily; but when any is taken with a torturing
and lingering pain, so that there is no hope either of recovery or ease,
the priests and magistrates come and exhort them, that, since they are
now unable to go on with the business of life, are become a burden to
themselves and to all about them, and they have really out-lived
themselves, they should no longer nourish such a rooted distemper, but
choose rather to die since they cannot live but in much misery; being
assured that if they thus deliver themselves from torture, or are willing
that others should do it, they shall be happy after death: since, by
their acting thus, they lose none of the pleasures, but only the troubles
of life, they think they behave not only reasonably but in a manner
consistent with religion and piety; because they follow the advice given
them by their priests, who are the expounders of the will of God.  Such
as are wrought on by these persuasions either starve themselves of their
own accord, or take opium, and by that means die without pain.  But no
man is forced on this way of ending his life; and if they cannot be
persuaded to it, this does not induce them to fail in their attendance
and care of them: but as they believe that a voluntary death, when it is
chosen upon such an authority, is very honourable, so if any man takes
away his own life without the approbation of the priests and the senate,
they give him none of the honours of a decent funeral, but throw his body
into a ditch.

"Their women are not married before eighteen nor their men before two-and-
twenty, and if any of them run into forbidden embraces before marriage
they are severely punished, and the privilege of marriage is denied them
unless they can obtain a special warrant from the Prince.  Such disorders
cast a great reproach upon the master and mistress of the family in which
they happen, for it is supposed that they have failed in their duty.  The
reason of punishing this so severely is, because they think that if they
were not strictly restrained from all vagrant appetites, very few would
engage in a state in which they venture the quiet of their whole lives,
by being confined to one person, and are obliged to endure all the
inconveniences with which it is accompanied.  In choosing their wives
they use a method that would appear to us very absurd and ridiculous, but
it is constantly observed among them, and is accounted perfectly
consistent with wisdom.  Before marriage some grave matron presents the
bride, naked, whether she is a virgin or a widow, to the bridegroom, and
after that some grave man presents the bridegroom, naked, to the bride.
We, indeed, both laughed at this, and condemned it as very indecent.  But
they, on the other hand, wondered at the folly of the men of all other
nations, who, if they are but to buy a horse of a small value, are so
cautious that they will see every part of him, and take off both his
saddle and all his other tackle, that there may be no secret ulcer hid
under any of them, and that yet in the choice of a wife, on which depends
the happiness or unhappiness of the rest of his life, a man should
venture upon trust, and only see about a handsbreadth of the face, all
the rest of the body being covered, under which may lie hid what may be
contagious as well as loathsome.  All men are not so wise as to choose a
woman only for her good qualities, and even wise men consider the body as
that which adds not a little to the mind, and it is certain there may be
some such deformity covered with clothes as may totally alienate a man
from his wife, when it is too late to part with her; if such a thing is
discovered after marriage a man has no remedy but patience; they,
therefore, think it is reasonable that there should be good provision
made against such mischievous frauds.

"There was so much the more reason for them to make a regulation in this
matter, because they are the only people of those parts that neither
allow of polygamy nor of divorces, except in the case of adultery or
insufferable perverseness, for in these cases the Senate dissolves the
marriage and grants the injured person leave to marry again; but the
guilty are made infamous and are never allowed the privilege of a second
marriage.  None are suffered to put away their wives against their wills,
from any great calamity that may have fallen on their persons, for they
look on it as the height of cruelty and treachery to abandon either of
the married persons when they need most the tender care of their consort,
and that chiefly in the case of old age, which, as it carries many
diseases along with it, so it is a disease of itself.  But it frequently
falls out that when a married couple do not well agree, they, by mutual
consent, separate, and find out other persons with whom they hope they
may live more happily; yet this is not done without obtaining leave of
the Senate, which never admits of a divorce but upon a strict inquiry
made, both by the senators and their wives, into the grounds upon which
it is desired, and even when they are satisfied concerning the reasons of
it they go on but slowly, for they imagine that too great easiness in
granting leave for new marriages would very much shake the kindness of
married people.  They punish severely those that defile the marriage bed;
if both parties are married they are divorced, and the injured persons
may marry one another, or whom they please, but the adulterer and the
adulteress are condemned to slavery, yet if either of the injured persons
cannot shake off the love of the married person they may live with them
still in that state, but they must follow them to that labour to which
the slaves are condemned, and sometimes the repentance of the condemned,
together with the unshaken kindness of the innocent and injured person,
has prevailed so far with the Prince that he has taken off the sentence;
but those that relapse after they are once pardoned are punished with

"Their law does not determine the punishment for other crimes, but that
is left to the Senate, to temper it according to the circumstances of the
fact.  Husbands have power to correct their wives and parents to chastise
their children, unless the fault is so great that a public punishment is
thought necessary for striking terror into others.  For the most part
slavery is the punishment even of the greatest crimes, for as that is no
less terrible to the criminals themselves than death, so they think the
preserving them in a state of servitude is more for the interest of the
commonwealth than killing them, since, as their labour is a greater
benefit to the public than their death could be, so the sight of their
misery is a more lasting terror to other men than that which would be
given by their death.  If their slaves rebel, and will not bear their
yoke and submit to the labour that is enjoined them, they are treated as
wild beasts that cannot be kept in order, neither by a prison nor by
their chains, and are at last put to death.  But those who bear their
punishment patiently, and are so much wrought on by that pressure that
lies so hard on them, that it appears they are really more troubled for
the crimes they have committed than for the miseries they suffer, are not
out of hope, but that, at last, either the Prince will, by his
prerogative, or the people, by their intercession, restore them again to
their liberty, or, at least, very much mitigate their slavery.  He that
tempts a married woman to adultery is no less severely punished than he
that commits it, for they believe that a deliberate design to commit a
crime is equal to the fact itself, since its not taking effect does not
make the person that miscarried in his attempt at all the less guilty.

"They take great pleasure in fools, and as it is thought a base and
unbecoming thing to use them ill, so they do not think it amiss for
people to divert themselves with their folly; and, in their opinion, this
is a great advantage to the fools themselves; for if men were so sullen
and severe as not at all to please themselves with their ridiculous
behaviour and foolish sayings, which is all that they can do to recommend
themselves to others, it could not be expected that they would be so well
provided for nor so tenderly used as they must otherwise be.  If any man
should reproach another for his being misshaped or imperfect in any part
of his body, it would not at all be thought a reflection on the person so
treated, but it would be accounted scandalous in him that had upbraided
another with what he could not help.  It is thought a sign of a sluggish
and sordid mind not to preserve carefully one's natural beauty; but it is
likewise infamous among them to use paint.  They all see that no beauty
recommends a wife so much to her husband as the probity of her life and
her obedience; for as some few are caught and held only by beauty, so all
are attracted by the other excellences which charm all the world.

"As they fright men from committing crimes by punishments, so they invite
them to the love of virtue by public honours; therefore they erect
statues to the memories of such worthy men as have deserved well of their
country, and set these in their market-places, both to perpetuate the
remembrance of their actions and to be an incitement to their posterity
to follow their example.

"If any man aspires to any office he is sure never to compass it.  They
all live easily together, for none of the magistrates are either insolent
or cruel to the people; they affect rather to be called fathers, and, by
being really so, they well deserve the name; and the people pay them all
the marks of honour the more freely because none are exacted from them.
The Prince himself has no distinction, either of garments or of a crown;
but is only distinguished by a sheaf of corn carried before him; as the
High Priest is also known by his being preceded by a person carrying a
wax light.

"They have but few laws, and such is their constitution that they need
not many.  They very much condemn other nations whose laws, together with
the commentaries on them, swell up to so many volumes; for they think it
an unreasonable thing to oblige men to obey a body of laws that are both
of such a bulk, and so dark as not to be read and understood by every one
of the subjects.

"They have no lawyers among them, for they consider them as a sort of
people whose profession it is to disguise matters and to wrest the laws,
and, therefore, they think it is much better that every man should plead
his own cause, and trust it to the judge, as in other places the client
trusts it to a counsellor; by this means they both cut off many delays
and find out truth more certainly; for after the parties have laid open
the merits of the cause, without those artifices which lawyers are apt to
suggest, the judge examines the whole matter, and supports the simplicity
of such well-meaning persons, whom otherwise crafty men would be sure to
run down; and thus they avoid those evils which appear very remarkably
among all those nations that labour under a vast load of laws.  Every one
of them is skilled in their law; for, as it is a very short study, so the
plainest meaning of which words are capable is always the sense of their
laws; and they argue thus: all laws are promulgated for this end, that
every man may know his duty; and, therefore, the plainest and most
obvious sense of the words is that which ought to be put upon them, since
a more refined exposition cannot be easily comprehended, and would only
serve to make the laws become useless to the greater part of mankind, and
especially to those who need most the direction of them; for it is all
one not to make a law at all or to couch it in such terms that, without a
quick apprehension and much study, a man cannot find out the true meaning
of it, since the generality of mankind are both so dull, and so much
employed in their several trades, that they have neither the leisure nor
the capacity requisite for such an inquiry.

"Some of their neighbours, who are masters of their own liberties (having
long ago, by the assistance of the Utopians, shaken off the yoke of
tyranny, and being much taken with those virtues which they observe among
them), have come to desire that they would send magistrates to govern
them, some changing them every year, and others every five years; at the
end of their government they bring them back to Utopia, with great
expressions of honour and esteem, and carry away others to govern in
their stead.  In this they seem to have fallen upon a very good expedient
for their own happiness and safety; for since the good or ill condition
of a nation depends so much upon their magistrates, they could not have
made a better choice than by pitching on men whom no advantages can bias;
for wealth is of no use to them, since they must so soon go back to their
own country, and they, being strangers among them, are not engaged in any
of their heats or animosities; and it is certain that when public
judicatories are swayed, either by avarice or partial affections, there
must follow a dissolution of justice, the chief sinew of society.

"The Utopians call those nations that come and ask magistrates from them
Neighbours; but those to whom they have been of more particular service,
Friends; and as all other nations are perpetually either making leagues
or breaking them, they never enter into an alliance with any state.  They
think leagues are useless things, and believe that if the common ties of
humanity do not knit men together, the faith of promises will have no
great effect; and they are the more confirmed in this by what they see
among the nations round about them, who are no strict observers of
leagues and treaties.  We know how religiously they are observed in
Europe, more particularly where the Christian doctrine is received, among
whom they are sacred and inviolable! which is partly owing to the justice
and goodness of the princes themselves, and partly to the reverence they
pay to the popes, who, as they are the most religious observers of their
own promises, so they exhort all other princes to perform theirs, and,
when fainter methods do not prevail, they compel them to it by the
severity of the pastoral censure, and think that it would be the most
indecent thing possible if men who are particularly distinguished by the
title of 'The Faithful' should not religiously keep the faith of their
treaties.  But in that new-found world, which is not more distant from us
in situation than the people are in their manners and course of life,
there is no trusting to leagues, even though they were made with all the
pomp of the most sacred ceremonies; on the contrary, they are on this
account the sooner broken, some slight pretence being found in the words
of the treaties, which are purposely couched in such ambiguous terms that
they can never be so strictly bound but they will always find some
loophole to escape at, and thus they break both their leagues and their
faith; and this is done with such impudence, that those very men who
value themselves on having suggested these expedients to their princes
would, with a haughty scorn, declaim against such craft; or, to speak
plainer, such fraud and deceit, if they found private men make use of it
in their bargains, and would readily say that they deserved to be hanged.

"By this means it is that all sort of justice passes in the world for a
low-spirited and vulgar virtue, far below the dignity of royal
greatness--or at least there are set up two sorts of justice; the one is
mean and creeps on the ground, and, therefore, becomes none but the lower
part of mankind, and so must be kept in severely by many restraints, that
it may not break out beyond the bounds that are set to it; the other is
the peculiar virtue of princes, which, as it is more majestic than that
which becomes the rabble, so takes a freer compass, and thus lawful and
unlawful are only measured by pleasure and interest.  These practices of
the princes that lie about Utopia, who make so little account of their
faith, seem to be the reasons that determine them to engage in no
confederacy.  Perhaps they would change their mind if they lived among
us; but yet, though treaties were more religiously observed, they would
still dislike the custom of making them, since the world has taken up a
false maxim upon it, as if there were no tie of nature uniting one nation
to another, only separated perhaps by a mountain or a river, and that all
were born in a state of hostility, and so might lawfully do all that
mischief to their neighbours against which there is no provision made by
treaties; and that when treaties are made they do not cut off the enmity
or restrain the licence of preying upon each other, if, by the
unskilfulness of wording them, there are not effectual provisoes made
against them; they, on the other hand, judge that no man is to be
esteemed our enemy that has never injured us, and that the partnership of
human nature is instead of a league; and that kindness and good nature
unite men more effectually and with greater strength than any agreements
whatsoever, since thereby the engagements of men's hearts become stronger
than the bond and obligation of words.


They detest war as a very brutal thing, and which, to the reproach of
human nature, is more practised by men than by any sort of beasts.  They,
in opposition to the sentiments of almost all other nations, think that
there is nothing more inglorious than that glory that is gained by war;
and therefore, though they accustom themselves daily to military
exercises and the discipline of war, in which not only their men, but
their women likewise, are trained up, that, in cases of necessity, they
may not be quite useless, yet they do not rashly engage in war, unless it
be either to defend themselves or their friends from any unjust
aggressors, or, out of good nature or in compassion, assist an oppressed
nation in shaking off the yoke of tyranny.  They, indeed, help their
friends not only in defensive but also in offensive wars; but they never
do that unless they had been consulted before the breach was made, and,
being satisfied with the grounds on which they went, they had found that
all demands of reparation were rejected, so that a war was unavoidable.
This they think to be not only just when one neighbour makes an inroad on
another by public order, and carries away the spoils, but when the
merchants of one country are oppressed in another, either under pretence
of some unjust laws, or by the perverse wresting of good ones.  This they
count a juster cause of war than the other, because those injuries are
done under some colour of laws.  This was the only ground of that war in
which they engaged with the Nephelogetes against the Aleopolitanes, a
little before our time; for the merchants of the former having, as they
thought, met with great injustice among the latter, which (whether it was
in itself right or wrong) drew on a terrible war, in which many of their
neighbours were engaged; and their keenness in carrying it on being
supported by their strength in maintaining it, it not only shook some
very flourishing states and very much afflicted others, but, after a
series of much mischief ended in the entire conquest and slavery of the
Aleopolitanes, who, though before the war they were in all respects much
superior to the Nephelogetes, were yet subdued; but, though the Utopians
had assisted them in the war, yet they pretended to no share of the

"But, though they so vigorously assist their friends in obtaining
reparation for the injuries they have received in affairs of this nature,
yet, if any such frauds were committed against themselves, provided no
violence was done to their persons, they would only, on their being
refused satisfaction, forbear trading with such a people.  This is not
because they consider their neighbours more than their own citizens; but,
since their neighbours trade every one upon his own stock, fraud is a
more sensible injury to them than it is to the Utopians, among whom the
public, in such a case, only suffers, as they expect no thing in return
for the merchandise they export but that in which they so much abound,
and is of little use to them, the loss does not much affect them.  They
think, therefore, it would be too severe to revenge a loss attended with
so little inconvenience, either to their lives or their subsistence, with
the death of many persons; but if any of their people are either killed
or wounded wrongfully, whether it be done by public authority, or only by
private men, as soon as they hear of it they send ambassadors, and demand
that the guilty persons may be delivered up to them, and if that is
denied, they declare war; but if it be complied with, the offenders are
condemned either to death or slavery.

"They would be both troubled and ashamed of a bloody victory over their
enemies; and think it would be as foolish a purchase as to buy the most
valuable goods at too high a rate.  And in no victory do they glory so
much as in that which is gained by dexterity and good conduct without
bloodshed.  In such cases they appoint public triumphs, and erect
trophies to the honour of those who have succeeded; for then do they
reckon that a man acts suitably to his nature, when he conquers his enemy
in such a way as that no other creature but a man could be capable of,
and that is by the strength of his understanding.  Bears, lions, boars,
wolves, and dogs, and all other animals, employ their bodily force one
against another, in which, as many of them are superior to men, both in
strength and fierceness, so they are all subdued by his reason and

"The only design of the Utopians in war is to obtain that by force which,
if it had been granted them in time, would have prevented the war; or, if
that cannot be done, to take so severe a revenge on those that have
injured them that they may be terrified from doing the like for the time
to come.  By these ends they measure all their designs, and manage them
so, that it is visible that the appetite of fame or vainglory does not
work so much on there as a just care of their own security.

"As soon as they declare war, they take care to have a great many
schedules, that are sealed with their common seal, affixed in the most
conspicuous places of their enemies' country.  This is carried secretly,
and done in many places all at once.  In these they promise great rewards
to such as shall kill the prince, and lesser in proportion to such as
shall kill any other persons who are those on whom, next to the prince
himself, they cast the chief balance of the war.  And they double the sum
to him that, instead of killing the person so marked out, shall take him
alive, and put him in their hands.  They offer not only indemnity, but
rewards, to such of the persons themselves that are so marked, if they
will act against their countrymen.  By this means those that are named in
their schedules become not only distrustful of their fellow-citizens, but
are jealous of one another, and are much distracted by fear and danger;
for it has often fallen out that many of them, and even the prince
himself, have been betrayed, by those in whom they have trusted most; for
the rewards that the Utopians offer are so immeasurably great, that there
is no sort of crime to which men cannot be drawn by them.  They consider
the risk that those run who undertake such services, and offer a
recompense proportioned to the danger--not only a vast deal of gold, but
great revenues in lands, that lie among other nations that are their
friends, where they may go and enjoy them very securely; and they observe
the promises they make of their kind most religiously.  They very much
approve of this way of corrupting their enemies, though it appears to
others to be base and cruel; but they look on it as a wise course, to
make an end of what would be otherwise a long war, without so much as
hazarding one battle to decide it.  They think it likewise an act of
mercy and love to mankind to prevent the great slaughter of those that
must otherwise be killed in the progress of the war, both on their own
side and on that of their enemies, by the death of a few that are most
guilty; and that in so doing they are kind even to their enemies, and
pity them no less than their own people, as knowing that the greater part
of them do not engage in the war of their own accord, but are driven into
it by the passions of their prince.

"If this method does not succeed with them, then they sow seeds of
contention among their enemies, and animate the prince's brother, or some
of the nobility, to aspire to the crown.  If they cannot disunite them by
domestic broils, then they engage their neighbours against them, and make
them set on foot some old pretensions, which are never wanting to princes
when they have occasion for them.  These they plentifully supply with
money, though but very sparingly with any auxiliary troops; for they are
so tender of their own people that they would not willingly exchange one
of them, even with the prince of their enemies' country.

"But as they keep their gold and silver only for such an occasion, so,
when that offers itself, they easily part with it; since it would be no
convenience to them, though they should reserve nothing of it to
themselves.  For besides the wealth that they have among them at home,
they have a vast treasure abroad; many nations round about them being
deep in their debt: so that they hire soldiers from all places for
carrying on their wars; but chiefly from the Zapolets, who live five
hundred miles east of Utopia.  They are a rude, wild, and fierce nation,
who delight in the woods and rocks, among which they were born and bred
up.  They are hardened both against heat, cold, and labour, and know
nothing of the delicacies of life.  They do not apply themselves to
agriculture, nor do they care either for their houses or their clothes:
cattle is all that they look after; and for the greatest part they live
either by hunting or upon rapine; and are made, as it were, only for war.
They watch all opportunities of engaging in it, and very readily embrace
such as are offered them.  Great numbers of them will frequently go out,
and offer themselves for a very low pay, to serve any that will employ
them: they know none of the arts of life, but those that lead to the
taking it away; they serve those that hire them, both with much courage
and great fidelity; but will not engage to serve for any determined time,
and agree upon such terms, that the next day they may go over to the
enemies of those whom they serve if they offer them a greater
encouragement; and will, perhaps, return to them the day after that upon
a higher advance of their pay.  There are few wars in which they make not
a considerable part of the armies of both sides: so it often falls out
that they who are related, and were hired in the same country, and so
have lived long and familiarly together, forgetting both their relations
and former friendship, kill one another upon no other consideration than
that of being hired to it for a little money by princes of different
interests; and such a regard have they for money that they are easily
wrought on by the difference of one penny a day to change sides.  So
entirely does their avarice influence them; and yet this money, which
they value so highly, is of little use to them; for what they purchase
thus with their blood they quickly waste on luxury, which among them is
but of a poor and miserable form.

"This nation serves the Utopians against all people whatsoever, for they
pay higher than any other.  The Utopians hold this for a maxim, that as
they seek out the best sort of men for their own use at home, so they
make use of this worst sort of men for the consumption of war; and
therefore they hire them with the offers of vast rewards to expose
themselves to all sorts of hazards, out of which the greater part never
returns to claim their promises; yet they make them good most religiously
to such as escape.  This animates them to adventure again, whenever there
is occasion for it; for the Utopians are not at all troubled how many of
these happen to be killed, and reckon it a service done to mankind if
they could be a means to deliver the world from such a lewd and vicious
sort of people, that seem to have run together, as to the drain of human
nature.  Next to these, they are served in their wars with those upon
whose account they undertake them, and with the auxiliary troops of their
other friends, to whom they join a few of their own people, and send some
man of eminent and approved virtue to command in chief.  There are two
sent with him, who, during his command, are but private men, but the
first is to succeed him if he should happen to be either killed or taken;
and, in case of the like misfortune to him, the third comes in his place;
and thus they provide against all events, that such accidents as may
befall their generals may not endanger their armies.  When they draw out
troops of their own people, they take such out of every city as freely
offer themselves, for none are forced to go against their wills, since
they think that if any man is pressed that wants courage, he will not
only act faintly, but by his cowardice dishearten others.  But if an
invasion is made on their country, they make use of such men, if they
have good bodies, though they are not brave; and either put them aboard
their ships, or place them on the walls of their towns, that being so
posted, they may find no opportunity of flying away; and thus either
shame, the heat of action, or the impossibility of flying, bears down
their cowardice; they often make a virtue of necessity, and behave
themselves well, because nothing else is left them.  But as they force no
man to go into any foreign war against his will, so they do not hinder
those women who are willing to go along with their husbands; on the
contrary, they encourage and praise them, and they stand often next their
husbands in the front of the army.  They also place together those who
are related, parents, and children, kindred, and those that are mutually
allied, near one another; that those whom nature has inspired with the
greatest zeal for assisting one another may be the nearest and readiest
to do it; and it is matter of great reproach if husband or wife survive
one another, or if a child survives his parent, and therefore when they
come to be engaged in action, they continue to fight to the last man, if
their enemies stand before them: and as they use all prudent methods to
avoid the endangering their own men, and if it is possible let all the
action and danger fall upon the troops that they hire, so if it becomes
necessary for themselves to engage, they then charge with as much courage
as they avoided it before with prudence: nor is it a fierce charge at
first, but it increases by degrees; and as they continue in action, they
grow more obstinate, and press harder upon the enemy, insomuch that they
will much sooner die than give ground; for the certainty that their
children will be well looked after when they are dead frees them from all
that anxiety concerning them which often masters men of great courage;
and thus they are animated by a noble and invincible resolution.  Their
skill in military affairs increases their courage: and the wise
sentiments which, according to the laws of their country, are instilled
into them in their education, give additional vigour to their minds: for
as they do not undervalue life so as prodigally to throw it away, they
are not so indecently fond of it as to preserve it by base and unbecoming
methods.  In the greatest heat of action the bravest of their youth, who
have devoted themselves to that service, single out the general of their
enemies, set on him either openly or by ambuscade; pursue him everywhere,
and when spent and wearied out, are relieved by others, who never give
over the pursuit, either attacking him with close weapons when they can
get near him, or with those which wound at a distance, when others get in
between them.  So that, unless he secures himself by flight, they seldom
fail at last to kill or to take him prisoner.  When they have obtained a
victory, they kill as few as possible, and are much more bent on taking
many prisoners than on killing those that fly before them.  Nor do they
ever let their men so loose in the pursuit of their enemies as not to
retain an entire body still in order; so that if they have been forced to
engage the last of their battalions before they could gain the day, they
will rather let their enemies all escape than pursue them when their own
army is in disorder; remembering well what has often fallen out to
themselves, that when the main body of their army has been quite defeated
and broken, when their enemies, imagining the victory obtained, have let
themselves loose into an irregular pursuit, a few of them that lay for a
reserve, waiting a fit opportunity, have fallen on them in their chase,
and when straggling in disorder, and apprehensive of no danger, but
counting the day their own, have turned the whole action, and, wresting
out of their hands a victory that seemed certain and undoubted, while the
vanquished have suddenly become victorious.

"It is hard to tell whether they are more dexterous in laying or avoiding
ambushes.  They sometimes seem to fly when it is far from their thoughts;
and when they intend to give ground, they do it so that it is very hard
to find out their design.  If they see they are ill posted, or are like
to be overpowered by numbers, they then either march off in the night
with great silence, or by some stratagem delude their enemies.  If they
retire in the day-time, they do it in such order that it is no less
dangerous to fall upon them in a retreat than in a march.  They fortify
their camps with a deep and large trench; and throw up the earth that is
dug out of it for a wall; nor do they employ only their slaves in this,
but the whole army works at it, except those that are then upon the
guard; so that when so many hands are at work, a great line and a strong
fortification is finished in so short a time that it is scarce credible.
Their armour is very strong for defence, and yet is not so heavy as to
make them uneasy in their marches; they can even swim with it.  All that
are trained up to war practise swimming.  Both horse and foot make great
use of arrows, and are very expert.  They have no swords, but fight with
a pole-axe that is both sharp and heavy, by which they thrust or strike
down an enemy.  They are very good at finding out warlike machines, and
disguise them so well that the enemy does not perceive them till he feels
the use of them; so that he cannot prepare such a defence as would render
them useless; the chief consideration had in the making them is that they
may be easily carried and managed.

"If they agree to a truce, they observe it so religiously that no
provocations will make them break it.  They never lay their enemies'
country waste nor burn their corn, and even in their marches they take
all possible care that neither horse nor foot may tread it down, for they
do not know but that they may have use for it themselves.  They hurt no
man whom they find disarmed, unless he is a spy.  When a town is
surrendered to them, they take it into their protection; and when they
carry a place by storm they never plunder it, but put those only to the
sword that oppose the rendering of it up, and make the rest of the
garrison slaves, but for the other inhabitants, they do them no hurt; and
if any of them had advised a surrender, they give them good rewards out
of the estates of those that they condemn, and distribute the rest among
their auxiliary troops, but they themselves take no share of the spoil.

"When a war is ended, they do not oblige their friends to reimburse their
expenses; but they obtain them of the conquered, either in money, which
they keep for the next occasion, or in lands, out of which a constant
revenue is to be paid them; by many increases the revenue which they draw
out from several countries on such occasions is now risen to above
700,000 ducats a year.  They send some of their own people to receive
these revenues, who have orders to live magnificently and like princes,
by which means they consume much of it upon the place; and either bring
over the rest to Utopia or lend it to that nation in which it lies.  This
they most commonly do, unless some great occasion, which falls out but
very seldom, should oblige them to call for it all.  It is out of these
lands that they assign rewards to such as they encourage to adventure on
desperate attempts.  If any prince that engages in war with them is
making preparations for invading their country, they prevent him, and
make his country the seat of the war; for they do not willingly suffer
any war to break in upon their island; and if that should happen, they
would only defend themselves by their own people; but would not call for
auxiliary troops to their assistance.


"There are several sorts of religions, not only in different parts of the
island, but even in every town; some worshipping the sun, others the moon
or one of the planets.  Some worship such men as have been eminent in
former times for virtue or glory, not only as ordinary deities, but as
the supreme god.  Yet the greater and wiser sort of them worship none of
these, but adore one eternal, invisible, infinite, and incomprehensible
Deity; as a Being that is far above all our apprehensions, that is spread
over the whole universe, not by His bulk, but by His power and virtue;
Him they call the Father of All, and acknowledge that the beginnings, the
increase, the progress, the vicissitudes, and the end of all things come
only from Him; nor do they offer divine honours to any but to Him alone.
And, indeed, though they differ concerning other things, yet all agree in
this: that they think there is one Supreme Being that made and governs
the world, whom they call, in the language of their country, Mithras.
They differ in this: that one thinks the god whom he worships is this
Supreme Being, and another thinks that his idol is that god; but they all
agree in one principle, that whoever is this Supreme Being, He is also
that great essence to whose glory and majesty all honours are ascribed by
the consent of all nations.

"By degrees they fall off from the various superstitions that are among
them, and grow up to that one religion that is the best and most in
request; and there is no doubt to be made, but that all the others had
vanished long ago, if some of those who advised them to lay aside their
superstitions had not met with some unhappy accidents, which, being
considered as inflicted by heaven, made them afraid that the god whose
worship had like to have been abandoned had interposed and revenged
themselves on those who despised their authority.

"After they had heard from us an account of the doctrine, the course of
life, and the miracles of Christ, and of the wonderful constancy of so
many martyrs, whose blood, so willingly offered up by them, was the chief
occasion of spreading their religion over a vast number of nations, it is
not to be imagined how inclined they were to receive it.  I shall not
determine whether this proceeded from any secret inspiration of God, or
whether it was because it seemed so favourable to that community of
goods, which is an opinion so particular as well as so dear to them;
since they perceived that Christ and His followers lived by that rule,
and that it was still kept up in some communities among the sincerest
sort of Christians.  From whichsoever of these motives it might be, true
it is, that many of them came over to our religion, and were initiated
into it by baptism.  But as two of our number were dead, so none of the
four that survived were in priests' orders, we, therefore, could only
baptise them, so that, to our great regret, they could not partake of the
other sacraments, that can only be administered by priests, but they are
instructed concerning them and long most vehemently for them.  They have
had great disputes among themselves, whether one chosen by them to be a
priest would not be thereby qualified to do all the things that belong to
that character, even though he had no authority derived from the Pope,
and they seemed to be resolved to choose some for that employment, but
they had not done it when I left them.

"Those among them that have not received our religion do not fright any
from it, and use none ill that goes over to it, so that all the while I
was there one man was only punished on this occasion.  He being newly
baptised did, notwithstanding all that we could say to the contrary,
dispute publicly concerning the Christian religion, with more zeal than
discretion, and with so much heat, that he not only preferred our worship
to theirs, but condemned all their rites as profane, and cried out
against all that adhered to them as impious and sacrilegious persons,
that were to be damned to everlasting burnings.  Upon his having
frequently preached in this manner he was seized, and after trial he was
condemned to banishment, not for having disparaged their religion, but
for his inflaming the people to sedition; for this is one of their most
ancient laws, that no man ought to be punished for his religion.  At the
first constitution of their government, Utopus having understood that
before his coming among them the old inhabitants had been engaged in
great quarrels concerning religion, by which they were so divided among
themselves, that he found it an easy thing to conquer them, since,
instead of uniting their forces against him, every different party in
religion fought by themselves.  After he had subdued them he made a law
that every man might be of what religion he pleased, and might endeavour
to draw others to it by the force of argument and by amicable and modest
ways, but without bitterness against those of other opinions; but that he
ought to use no other force but that of persuasion, and was neither to
mix with it reproaches nor violence; and such as did otherwise were to be
condemned to banishment or slavery.

"This law was made by Utopus, not only for preserving the public peace,
which he saw suffered much by daily contentions and irreconcilable heats,
but because he thought the interest of religion itself required it.  He
judged it not fit to determine anything rashly; and seemed to doubt
whether those different forms of religion might not all come from God,
who might inspire man in a different manner, and be pleased with this
variety; he therefore thought it indecent and foolish for any man to
threaten and terrify another to make him believe what did not appear to
him to be true.  And supposing that only one religion was really true,
and the rest false, he imagined that the native force of truth would at
last break forth and shine bright, if supported only by the strength of
argument, and attended to with a gentle and unprejudiced mind; while, on
the other hand, if such debates were carried on with violence and
tumults, as the most wicked are always the most obstinate, so the best
and most holy religion might be choked with superstition, as corn is with
briars and thorns; he therefore left men wholly to their liberty, that
they might be free to believe as they should see cause; only he made a
solemn and severe law against such as should so far degenerate from the
dignity of human nature, as to think that our souls died with our bodies,
or that the world was governed by chance, without a wise overruling
Providence: for they all formerly believed that there was a state of
rewards and punishments to the good and bad after this life; and they now
look on those that think otherwise as scarce fit to be counted men, since
they degrade so noble a being as the soul, and reckon it no better than a
beast's: thus they are far from looking on such men as fit for human
society, or to be citizens of a well-ordered commonwealth; since a man of
such principles must needs, as oft as he dares do it, despise all their
laws and customs: for there is no doubt to be made, that a man who is
afraid of nothing but the law, and apprehends nothing after death, will
not scruple to break through all the laws of his country, either by fraud
or force, when by this means he may satisfy his appetites.  They never
raise any that hold these maxims, either to honours or offices, nor
employ them in any public trust, but despise them, as men of base and
sordid minds.  Yet they do not punish them, because they lay this down as
a maxim, that a man cannot make himself believe anything he pleases; nor
do they drive any to dissemble their thoughts by threatenings, so that
men are not tempted to lie or disguise their opinions; which being a sort
of fraud, is abhorred by the Utopians: they take care indeed to prevent
their disputing in defence of these opinions, especially before the
common people: but they suffer, and even encourage them to dispute
concerning them in private with their priest, and other grave men, being
confident that they will be cured of those mad opinions by having reason
laid before them.  There are many among them that run far to the other
extreme, though it is neither thought an ill nor unreasonable opinion,
and therefore is not at all discouraged.  They think that the souls of
beasts are immortal, though far inferior to the dignity of the human
soul, and not capable of so great a happiness.  They are almost all of
them very firmly persuaded that good men will be infinitely happy in
another state: so that though they are compassionate to all that are
sick, yet they lament no man's death, except they see him loath to part
with life; for they look on this as a very ill presage, as if the soul,
conscious to itself of guilt, and quite hopeless, was afraid to leave the
body, from some secret hints of approaching misery.  They think that such
a man's appearance before God cannot be acceptable to Him, who being
called on, does not go out cheerfully, but is backward and unwilling, and
is as it were dragged to it.  They are struck with horror when they see
any die in this manner, and carry them out in silence and with sorrow,
and praying God that He would be merciful to the errors of the departed
soul, they lay the body in the ground: but when any die cheerfully, and
full of hope, they do not mourn for them, but sing hymns when they carry
out their bodies, and commending their souls very earnestly to God: their
whole behaviour is then rather grave than sad, they burn the body, and
set up a pillar where the pile was made, with an inscription to the
honour of the deceased.  When they come from the funeral, they discourse
of his good life, and worthy actions, but speak of nothing oftener and
with more pleasure than of his serenity at the hour of death.  They think
such respect paid to the memory of good men is both the greatest
incitement to engage others to follow their example, and the most
acceptable worship that can be offered them; for they believe that though
by the imperfection of human sight they are invisible to us, yet they are
present among us, and hear those discourses that pass concerning
themselves.  They believe it inconsistent with the happiness of departed
souls not to be at liberty to be where they will: and do not imagine them
capable of the ingratitude of not desiring to see those friends with whom
they lived on earth in the strictest bonds of love and kindness: besides,
they are persuaded that good men, after death, have these affections; and
all other good dispositions increased rather than diminished, and
therefore conclude that they are still among the living, and observe all
they say or do.  From hence they engage in all their affairs with the
greater confidence of success, as trusting to their protection; while
this opinion of the presence of their ancestors is a restraint that
prevents their engaging in ill designs.

"They despise and laugh at auguries, and the other vain and superstitious
ways of divination, so much observed among other nations; but have great
reverence for such miracles as cannot flow from any of the powers of
nature, and look on them as effects and indications of the presence of
the Supreme Being, of which they say many instances have occurred among
them; and that sometimes their public prayers, which upon great and
dangerous occasions they have solemnly put up to God, with assured
confidence of being heard, have been answered in a miraculous manner.

"They think the contemplating God in His works, and the adoring Him for
them, is a very acceptable piece of worship to Him.

"There are many among them that upon a motive of religion neglect
learning, and apply themselves to no sort of study; nor do they allow
themselves any leisure time, but are perpetually employed, believing that
by the good things that a man does he secures to himself that happiness
that comes after death.  Some of these visit the sick; others mend
highways, cleanse ditches, repair bridges, or dig turf, gravel, or stone.
Others fell and cleave timber, and bring wood, corn, and other
necessaries, on carts, into their towns; nor do these only serve the
public, but they serve even private men, more than the slaves themselves
do: for if there is anywhere a rough, hard, and sordid piece of work to
be done, from which many are frightened by the labour and loathsomeness
of it, if not the despair of accomplishing it, they cheerfully, and of
their own accord, take that to their share; and by that means, as they
ease others very much, so they afflict themselves, and spend their whole
life in hard labour: and yet they do not value themselves upon this, nor
lessen other people's credit to raise their own; but by their stooping to
such servile employments they are so far from being despised, that they
are so much the more esteemed by the whole nation.

"Of these there are two sorts: some live unmarried and chaste, and
abstain from eating any sort of flesh; and thus weaning themselves from
all the pleasures of the present life, which they account hurtful, they
pursue, even by the hardest and painfullest methods possible, that
blessedness which they hope for hereafter; and the nearer they approach
to it, they are the more cheerful and earnest in their endeavours after
it.  Another sort of them is less willing to put themselves to much toil,
and therefore prefer a married state to a single one; and as they do not
deny themselves the pleasure of it, so they think the begetting of
children is a debt which they owe to human nature, and to their country;
nor do they avoid any pleasure that does not hinder labour; and therefore
eat flesh so much the more willingly, as they find that by this means
they are the more able to work: the Utopians look upon these as the wiser
sect, but they esteem the others as the most holy.  They would indeed
laugh at any man who, from the principles of reason, would prefer an
unmarried state to a married, or a life of labour to an easy life: but
they reverence and admire such as do it from the motives of religion.
There is nothing in which they are more cautious than in giving their
opinion positively concerning any sort of religion.  The men that lead
those severe lives are called in the language of their country
Brutheskas, which answers to those we call Religious Orders.

"Their priests are men of eminent piety, and therefore they are but few,
for there are only thirteen in every town, one for every temple; but when
they go to war, seven of these go out with their forces, and seven others
are chosen to supply their room in their absence; but these enter again
upon their employments when they return; and those who served in their
absence, attend upon the high priest, till vacancies fall by death; for
there is one set over the rest.  They are chosen by the people as the
other magistrates are, by suffrages given in secret, for preventing of
factions: and when they are chosen, they are consecrated by the college
of priests.  The care of all sacred things, the worship of God, and an
inspection into the manners of the people, are committed to them.  It is
a reproach to a man to be sent for by any of them, or for them to speak
to him in secret, for that always gives some suspicion: all that is
incumbent on them is only to exhort and admonish the people; for the
power of correcting and punishing ill men belongs wholly to the Prince,
and to the other magistrates: the severest thing that the priest does is
the excluding those that are desperately wicked from joining in their
worship: there is not any sort of punishment more dreaded by them than
this, for as it loads them with infamy, so it fills them with secret
horrors, such is their reverence to their religion; nor will their bodies
be long exempted from their share of trouble; for if they do not very
quickly satisfy the priests of the truth of their repentance, they are
seized on by the Senate, and punished for their impiety.  The education
of youth belongs to the priests, yet they do not take so much care of
instructing them in letters, as in forming their minds and manners
aright; they use all possible methods to infuse, very early, into the
tender and flexible minds of children, such opinions as are both good in
themselves and will be useful to their country, for when deep impressions
of these things are made at that age, they follow men through the whole
course of their lives, and conduce much to preserve the peace of the
government, which suffers by nothing more than by vices that rise out of
ill opinions.  The wives of their priests are the most extraordinary
women of the whole country; sometimes the women themselves are made
priests, though that falls out but seldom, nor are any but ancient widows
chosen into that order.

"None of the magistrates have greater honour paid them than is paid the
priests; and if they should happen to commit any crime, they would not be
questioned for it; their punishment is left to God, and to their own
consciences; for they do not think it lawful to lay hands on any man, how
wicked soever he is, that has been in a peculiar manner dedicated to God;
nor do they find any great inconvenience in this, both because they have
so few priests, and because these are chosen with much caution, so that
it must be a very unusual thing to find one who, merely out of regard to
his virtue, and for his being esteemed a singularly good man, was raised
up to so great a dignity, degenerate into corruption and vice; and if
such a thing should fall out, for man is a changeable creature, yet,
there being few priests, and these having no authority but what rises out
of the respect that is paid them, nothing of great consequence to the
public can proceed from the indemnity that the priests enjoy.

"They have, indeed, very few of them, lest greater numbers sharing in the
same honour might make the dignity of that order, which they esteem so
highly, to sink in its reputation; they also think it difficult to find
out many of such an exalted pitch of goodness as to be equal to that
dignity, which demands the exercise of more than ordinary virtues.  Nor
are the priests in greater veneration among them than they are among
their neighbouring nations, as you may imagine by that which I think
gives occasion for it.

"When the Utopians engage in battle, the priests who accompany them to
the war, apparelled in their sacred vestments, kneel down during the
action (in a place not far from the field), and, lifting up their hands
to heaven, pray, first for peace, and then for victory to their own side,
and particularly that it may be gained without the effusion of much blood
on either side; and when the victory turns to their side, they run in
among their own men to restrain their fury; and if any of their enemies
see them or call to them, they are preserved by that means; and such as
can come so near them as to touch their garments have not only their
lives, but their fortunes secured to them; it is upon this account that
all the nations round about consider them so much, and treat them with
such reverence, that they have been often no less able to preserve their
own people from the fury of their enemies than to save their enemies from
their rage; for it has sometimes fallen out, that when their armies have
been in disorder and forced to fly, so that their enemies were running
upon the slaughter and spoil, the priests by interposing have separated
them from one another, and stopped the effusion of more blood; so that,
by their mediation, a peace has been concluded on very reasonable terms;
nor is there any nation about them so fierce, cruel, or barbarous, as not
to look upon their persons as sacred and inviolable.

"The first and the last day of the month, and of the year, is a festival;
they measure their months by the course of the moon, and their years by
the course of the sun: the first days are called in their language the
Cynemernes, and the last the Trapemernes, which answers in our language,
to the festival that begins or ends the season.

"They have magnificent temples, that are not only nobly built, but
extremely spacious, which is the more necessary as they have so few of
them; they are a little dark within, which proceeds not from any error in
the architecture, but is done with design; for their priests think that
too much light dissipates the thoughts, and that a more moderate degree
of it both recollects the mind and raises devotion.  Though there are
many different forms of religion among them, yet all these, how various
soever, agree in the main point, which is the worshipping the Divine
Essence; and, therefore, there is nothing to be seen or heard in their
temples in which the several persuasions among them may not agree; for
every sect performs those rites that are peculiar to it in their private
houses, nor is there anything in the public worship that contradicts the
particular ways of those different sects.  There are no images for God in
their temples, so that every one may represent Him to his thoughts
according to the way of his religion; nor do they call this one God by
any other name but that of Mithras, which is the common name by which
they all express the Divine Essence, whatsoever otherwise they think it
to be; nor are there any prayers among them but such as every one of them
may use without prejudice to his own opinion.

"They meet in their temples on the evening of the festival that concludes
a season, and not having yet broke their fast, they thank God for their
good success during that year or month which is then at an end; and the
next day, being that which begins the new season, they meet early in
their temples, to pray for the happy progress of all their affairs during
that period upon which they then enter.  In the festival which concludes
the period, before they go to the temple, both wives and children fall on
their knees before their husbands or parents and confess everything in
which they have either erred or failed in their duty, and beg pardon for
it.  Thus all little discontents in families are removed, that they may
offer up their devotions with a pure and serene mind; for they hold it a
great impiety to enter upon them with disturbed thoughts, or with a
consciousness of their bearing hatred or anger in their hearts to any
person whatsoever; and think that they should become liable to severe
punishments if they presumed to offer sacrifices without cleansing their
hearts, and reconciling all their differences.  In the temples the two
sexes are separated, the men go to the right hand, and the women to the
left; and the males and females all place themselves before the head and
master or mistress of the family to which they belong, so that those who
have the government of them at home may see their deportment in public.
And they intermingle them so, that the younger and the older may be set
by one another; for if the younger sort were all set together, they
would, perhaps, trifle away that time too much in which they ought to
beget in themselves that religious dread of the Supreme Being which is
the greatest and almost the only incitement to virtue.

"They offer up no living creature in sacrifice, nor do they think it
suitable to the Divine Being, from whose bounty it is that these
creatures have derived their lives, to take pleasure in their deaths, or
the offering up their blood.  They burn incense and other sweet odours,
and have a great number of wax lights during their worship, not out of
any imagination that such oblations can add anything to the divine nature
(which even prayers cannot do), but as it is a harmless and pure way of
worshipping God; so they think those sweet savours and lights, together
with some other ceremonies, by a secret and unaccountable virtue, elevate
men's souls, and inflame them with greater energy and cheerfulness during
the divine worship.

"All the people appear in the temples in white garments; but the priest's
vestments are parti-coloured, and both the work and colours are
wonderful.  They are made of no rich materials, for they are neither
embroidered nor set with precious stones; but are composed of the plumes
of several birds, laid together with so much art, and so neatly, that the
true value of them is far beyond the costliest materials.  They say, that
in the ordering and placing those plumes some dark mysteries are
represented, which pass down among their priests in a secret tradition
concerning them; and that they are as hieroglyphics, putting them in mind
of the blessing that they have received from God, and of their duties,
both to Him and to their neighbours.  As soon as the priest appears in
those ornaments, they all fall prostrate on the ground, with so much
reverence and so deep a silence, that such as look on cannot but be
struck with it, as if it were the effect of the appearance of a deity.
After they have been for some time in this posture, they all stand up,
upon a sign given by the priest, and sing hymns to the honour of God,
some musical instruments playing all the while.  These are quite of
another form than those used among us; but, as many of them are much
sweeter than ours, so others are made use of by us.  Yet in one thing
they very much exceed us: all their music, both vocal and instrumental,
is adapted to imitate and express the passions, and is so happily suited
to every occasion, that, whether the subject of the hymn be cheerful, or
formed to soothe or trouble the mind, or to express grief or remorse, the
music takes the impression of whatever is represented, affects and
kindles the passions, and works the sentiments deep into the hearts of
the hearers.  When this is done, both priests and people offer up very
solemn prayers to God in a set form of words; and these are so composed,
that whatsoever is pronounced by the whole assembly may be likewise
applied by every man in particular to his own condition.  In these they
acknowledge God to be the author and governor of the world, and the
fountain of all the good they receive, and therefore offer up to him
their thanksgiving; and, in particular, bless him for His goodness in
ordering it so, that they are born under the happiest government in the
world, and are of a religion which they hope is the truest of all others;
but, if they are mistaken, and if there is either a better government, or
a religion more acceptable to God, they implore His goodness to let them
know it, vowing that they resolve to follow him whithersoever he leads
them; but if their government is the best, and their religion the truest,
then they pray that He may fortify them in it, and bring all the world
both to the same rules of life, and to the same opinions concerning
Himself, unless, according to the unsearchableness of His mind, He is
pleased with a variety of religions.  Then they pray that God may give
them an easy passage at last to Himself, not presuming to set limits to
Him, how early or late it should be; but, if it may be wished for without
derogating from His supreme authority, they desire to be quickly
delivered, and to be taken to Himself, though by the most terrible kind
of death, rather than to be detained long from seeing Him by the most
prosperous course of life.  When this prayer is ended, they all fall down
again upon the ground; and, after a little while, they rise up, go home
to dinner, and spend the rest of the day in diversion or military

"Thus have I described to you, as particularly as I could, the
Constitution of that commonwealth, which I do not only think the best in
the world, but indeed the only commonwealth that truly deserves that
name.  In all other places it is visible that, while people talk of a
commonwealth, every man only seeks his own wealth; but there, where no
man has any property, all men zealously pursue the good of the public,
and, indeed, it is no wonder to see men act so differently, for in other
commonwealths every man knows that, unless he provides for himself, how
flourishing soever the commonwealth may be, he must die of hunger, so
that he sees the necessity of preferring his own concerns to the public;
but in Utopia, where every man has a right to everything, they all know
that if care is taken to keep the public stores full no private man can
want anything; for among them there is no unequal distribution, so that
no man is poor, none in necessity, and though no man has anything, yet
they are all rich; for what can make a man so rich as to lead a serene
and cheerful life, free from anxieties; neither apprehending want
himself, nor vexed with the endless complaints of his wife?  He is not
afraid of the misery of his children, nor is he contriving how to raise a
portion for his daughters; but is secure in this, that both he and his
wife, his children and grand-children, to as many generations as he can
fancy, will all live both plentifully and happily; since, among them,
there is no less care taken of those who were once engaged in labour, but
grow afterwards unable to follow it, than there is, elsewhere, of these
that continue still employed.  I would gladly hear any man compare the
justice that is among them with that of all other nations; among whom,
may I perish, if I see anything that looks either like justice or equity;
for what justice is there in this: that a nobleman, a goldsmith, a
banker, or any other man, that either does nothing at all, or, at best,
is employed in things that are of no use to the public, should live in
great luxury and splendour upon what is so ill acquired, and a mean man,
a carter, a smith, or a ploughman, that works harder even than the beasts
themselves, and is employed in labours so necessary, that no commonwealth
could hold out a year without them, can only earn so poor a livelihood
and must lead so miserable a life, that the condition of the beasts is
much better than theirs?  For as the beasts do not work so constantly, so
they feed almost as well, and with more pleasure, and have no anxiety
about what is to come, whilst these men are depressed by a barren and
fruitless employment, and tormented with the apprehensions of want in
their old age; since that which they get by their daily labour does but
maintain them at present, and is consumed as fast as it comes in, there
is no overplus left to lay up for old age.

"Is not that government both unjust and ungrateful, that is so prodigal
of its favours to those that are called gentlemen, or goldsmiths, or such
others who are idle, or live either by flattery or by contriving the arts
of vain pleasure, and, on the other hand, takes no care of those of a
meaner sort, such as ploughmen, colliers, and smiths, without whom it
could not subsist?  But after the public has reaped all the advantage of
their service, and they come to be oppressed with age, sickness, and
want, all their labours and the good they have done is forgotten, and all
the recompense given them is that they are left to die in great misery.
The richer sort are often endeavouring to bring the hire of labourers
lower, not only by their fraudulent practices, but by the laws which they
procure to be made to that effect, so that though it is a thing most
unjust in itself to give such small rewards to those who deserve so well
of the public, yet they have given those hardships the name and colour of
justice, by procuring laws to be made for regulating them.

"Therefore I must say that, as I hope for mercy, I can have no other
notion of all the other governments that I see or know, than that they
are a conspiracy of the rich, who, on pretence of managing the public,
only pursue their private ends, and devise all the ways and arts they can
find out; first, that they may, without danger, preserve all that they
have so ill-acquired, and then, that they may engage the poor to toil and
labour for them at as low rates as possible, and oppress them as much as
they please; and if they can but prevail to get these contrivances
established by the show of public authority, which is considered as the
representative of the whole people, then they are accounted laws; yet
these wicked men, after they have, by a most insatiable covetousness,
divided that among themselves with which all the rest might have been
well supplied, are far from that happiness that is enjoyed among the
Utopians; for the use as well as the desire of money being extinguished,
much anxiety and great occasions of mischief is cut off with it, and who
does not see that the frauds, thefts, robberies, quarrels, tumults,
contentions, seditions, murders, treacheries, and witchcrafts, which are,
indeed, rather punished than restrained by the seventies of law, would
all fall off, if money were not any more valued by the world?  Men's
fears, solicitudes, cares, labours, and watchings would all perish in the
same moment with the value of money; even poverty itself, for the relief
of which money seems most necessary, would fall.  But, in order to the
apprehending this aright, take one instance:--

"Consider any year, that has been so unfruitful that many thousands have
died of hunger; and yet if, at the end of that year, a survey was made of
the granaries of all the rich men that have hoarded up the corn, it would
be found that there was enough among them to have prevented all that
consumption of men that perished in misery; and that, if it had been
distributed among them, none would have felt the terrible effects of that
scarcity: so easy a thing would it be to supply all the necessities of
life, if that blessed thing called money, which is pretended to be
invented for procuring them was not really the only thing that obstructed
their being procured!

"I do not doubt but rich men are sensible of this, and that they well
know how much a greater happiness it is to want nothing necessary, than
to abound in many superfluities; and to be rescued out of so much misery,
than to abound with so much wealth: and I cannot think but the sense of
every man's interest, added to the authority of Christ's commands, who,
as He was infinitely wise, knew what was best, and was not less good in
discovering it to us, would have drawn all the world over to the laws of
the Utopians, if pride, that plague of human nature, that source of so
much misery, did not hinder it; for this vice does not measure happiness
so much by its own conveniences, as by the miseries of others; and would
not be satisfied with being thought a goddess, if none were left that
were miserable, over whom she might insult.  Pride thinks its own
happiness shines the brighter, by comparing it with the misfortunes of
other persons; that by displaying its own wealth they may feel their
poverty the more sensibly.  This is that infernal serpent that creeps
into the breasts of mortals, and possesses them too much to be easily
drawn out; and, therefore, I am glad that the Utopians have fallen upon
this form of government, in which I wish that all the world could be so
wise as to imitate them; for they have, indeed, laid down such a scheme
and foundation of policy, that as men live happily under it, so it is
like to be of great continuance; for they having rooted out of the minds
of their people all the seeds, both of ambition and faction, there is no
danger of any commotions at home; which alone has been the ruin of many
states that seemed otherwise to be well secured; but as long as they live
in peace at home, and are governed by such good laws, the envy of all
their neighbouring princes, who have often, though in vain, attempted
their ruin, will never be able to put their state into any commotion or

When Raphael had thus made an end of speaking, though many things
occurred to me, both concerning the manners and laws of that people, that
seemed very absurd, as well in their way of making war, as in their
notions of religion and divine matters--together with several other
particulars, but chiefly what seemed the foundation of all the rest,
their living in common, without the use of money, by which all nobility,
magnificence, splendour, and majesty, which, according to the common
opinion, are the true ornaments of a nation, would be quite taken
away--yet since I perceived that Raphael was weary, and was not sure
whether he could easily bear contradiction, remembering that he had taken
notice of some, who seemed to think they were bound in honour to support
the credit of their own wisdom, by finding out something to censure in
all other men's inventions, besides their own, I only commended their
Constitution, and the account he had given of it in general; and so,
taking him by the hand, carried him to supper, and told him I would find
out some other time for examining this subject more particularly, and for
discoursing more copiously upon it.  And, indeed, I shall be glad to
embrace an opportunity of doing it.  In the meanwhile, though it must be
confessed that he is both a very learned man and a person who has
obtained a great knowledge of the world, I cannot perfectly agree to
everything he has related.  However, there are many things in the
commonwealth of Utopia that I rather wish, than hope, to see followed in
our governments.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Utopia" ***

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