Free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook. Published in , and originally composed in the Latin language, this book is a frame narrative primarily depicting a fictional. Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Utopia by Saint Thomas More. No cover available. Download. This public document was automatically mirrored from caite.infoal filename: Utopia Thomas caite.info URL.
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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. Utopia. Map of Utopia 4. Utopian Alphabet 5. Four Verses in the Utopian Tongue 7. A Short published in , the translations and editions of this book, not to. Full text books - archive of free books, texts, documents, classic literature, Utopia by Thomas More Download this document as caite.info: File size: MB.
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. Some of these visit the sick. But as they force no man to go into any foreign war against his will. Thus three ambassadors made their entry with attendants, all clad in garments of different colors, 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, ear-rings, and rings of gold: This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. Yet they do not pun- ish them. Their Slaves They do not make slaves of prisoners of war.
The provocative pronounce- ment is described. God has commanded us not to kill. But if one shall say. He has given us a greater license to cruelty than He did to the Jews. Thus they have no wars among them. They condemned such as they found guilty of great crimes to work their whole lives in quarries. In some places they are set to no public work. They suffer no other uneasiness but this of constant labor.
They go about loose and free. The thieves are con- demned to serve in the public works. We who do as it is in other places. Their friends are noblemen consider allowed to give them either meat. By this means there is always some piece of work or other to be done by them. If they go lazily about their task he may quicken them with the whip. Those of every division of the country are distin- guished by a peculiar mark. It is death for any other slave to be accessory to it.
Nor is there any hazard of their falling back to their old customs. None are quite hopeless of recovering their freedom. The only danger to be feared from them is their conspiring against the government. To this he answered. I had nothing to give them. There was a Jester standing by. A playful allusion to that quip of pleased at it. Now the Jester thought he was in his element.
There was a Divine present. I do tale! I might have contracted it. We have. I have run out into a tedious story. Dionysius the Younger. The Republic. Plato visited and offered advice to both. I cannot change my opinion. But Plato judged right. I should either be turned out of his court. One proposes a league with the Venetians. For instance. Secretly he is dissuading the in his hearing.
The hardest point of all is. Italy how the Venetians. Except- ing. I should propose to A noteworthy them the resolutions of the Achorians. Upon which the good prince was forced to quit his new kingdom to one of his friends who was not long after dethroned.
When they saw this. To this I would add that after all those war- like attempts. A third offers some old musty laws that have been antiquated by a long disuse and which.
A fourth proposes the Another proposes a pretense of a war. This would serve two ends. For if the judges but differ in opinion. Whereas necessity and poverty blunts them.
I should rise up and assert that such counsels were both unbecoming a king and mischievous to him. It will either be said that equity lies of his side. Roman politician named Manius Curius Dentatus. Nor is it so becoming the dignity of a king to reign over beggars as over rich and happy subjects.
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. 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. The saying attributed to him. Let him live upon what belongs to him without wronging others. And let him never take any penalty for the breach of them to which a judge would not give way in a private man. Let him not rashly revive laws that are abrogated by disuse. So he that can find no other way for correcting the errors of his people but by taking from them the conveniences of life.
Let him punish crimes. He himself ought rather to shake off his sloth. He also thought that it was a good provision for that free circulation of money so necessary for the course of commerce and exchange. Such a king as this will be the terror of ill men. He thought that moderate sum might be sufficient for any accident. Discourses so much out of the road could not avail anything.
This law. I should talk of these or such-like things to men that had taken their bias another way. And when a king must distribute all those extraordinary accessions that increase treasure beyond the due pitch. This philosophical way of speculation is not unpleasant among friends in a free conversation. Therefore go through with the play that is acting the best you can. 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: I am sure I cannot do it.
Aristotle uses the leaden rule as a metaphor for adaptable morality in his Ethics, V. I confess. I grow more favorable to Plato. I balance all these things in my thoughts.
So that there will be two sorts of people among them. These laws. How can there be any plenty where every man will excuse himself from labor? For as the hope of gain doth not excite him. If people come to I do not deny but we are more ingenious than they are.
They knew little concerning us before our arrival among them. But if such an accident has at any time brought any from thence into Europe.
And this is the true cause of their being better governed and living happier than we. When he saw that we were very intent upon it he paused a little to recollect himself. I ordered my servants to take care that none might come and interrupt us.
For even they themselves could not pass it safe if some marks that are on the coast did not direct their way. In the middle of it there is one single garrison rock which appears above water.
Its figure is not unlike a crescent. In this bay there is no great current. On the other side of the island there are likewise many harbors. Between its island of Utopia horns the sea comes in eleven miles broad. The channel is known only to the natives. But the entry into the bay. Having soon subdued them.
As he set a vast number of men to work. To greater than accomplish this he ordered a deep channel to be dug. But they report and there remains good marks of it to make it credible that this was no island at The island.
There is a master and a mistress set over every family. Every city sends three of their wisest senators once a year to Amaurot.
The jurisdiction of The distribution of lands every city extends at least twenty miles. Inhabitants Agriculture is the primary concern are sent. No town desires to enlarge its bounds. What matters. They breed an infinite An extraordinary multitude of chickens in a very curious manner.
The duties of These husbandmen till the ground. By this means such as dwell in those country farms are never ignorant of agriculture. But though there is every year such a shifting of the husbandmen to prevent any man being forced against his will to fol- low that hard course of life too long.
When the time of harvest comes. Food and drink for they drink either wine. When they want anything in the country which it does not produce. For though their horses are The use of oxen stronger. They sow no corn but that which is to be their bread. And the magistrates of the town take care to see it given them.
And even when they are so worn out that they are no more fit for labor. Its figure is almost square. The description It lies upon the side of a hill.
I shall therefore describe one of them. Their Cities. The Anyder rises about the River Anyder eighty miles above Amaurot. I having lived five years all together in it. But other brooks falling into it. There is a bridge cast over the river. There is. Between the town and the sea. The town is compassed The fortifications of the city with a high and thick wall.
London is also consistent with fair stone. And for those places of the town to which the water of that small river cannot be conveyed. Thames and above that. The inhabitants have fortified the fountain-head of this river.
The tide comes up about thirty The same thing happens in England miles so full that there is nothing but salt water in the on the River river. The utility of And there is. Their doors have all two leaves. The streets are twenty feet broad. These are large. The The kinds of streets streets are very convenient for all carriage. And this humor of ordering their gardens so well is not only kept up by the pleasure they find in it. So praised by Virgil that he who founded the town seems to have taken care of nothing more than of their gardens.
They cultivate their gardens with great care. They say the whole scheme of the town was designed at first by Utopus. Their buildings are good. Their Magistrates Thirty families choose every year a magistrate. But now their houses are three stories high. Agis IV was recognized for his egalitarian ideals and proposals for reform.
Their records. Windows of glass or clothed in linen ties of glass among them. Like Utopus. They have great quanti. Agis IV was crowned king of Sparta.
Their roofs are flat. The Prince is for life. The Tranibors are new chosen every year. Like steward. Quickly settling The Tranibors meet every third day. It is a fundamental rule of their Nothing hastily decided government. It is death for any to meet and consult concerning the State. One rule observed in their council is. 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.
Similarity in Throughout the island they wear the same sort of clothing clothes. Every family makes their own clothes.
No citizen lacks All among them. Their Occupations Agriculture. Besides agriculture. The fashion never alters. When he has learned both. The rest of their time. Idle men must be driven from the but that every one may follow his trade diligently. The same trade generally passes down from father to son. The chief. After supper they spend an hour in some diversion. It is ordinary to have public lectures every morning before daybreak. Entertainment at in summer in their gardens.
They do not so much as know Yet now dice is the dice. They game of princes have. Types of idle people ally do little. Then consider how few of those that work are employed in labors that are of real service.
Spear-bearers of noblemen made up of idle persons. This appears very plainly in Utopia. Even the Syphogrants. Out of these they choose are called to official their ambassadors.
The building or the repairing of houses among us employ many hands. But among the Utopians all things are so regulated that men very seldom build upon a new piece of ground. And thus. While in other places four or five upper garments of woolen cloth of different colous. As they need less woolen cloth than is used anywhere else. As to their clothes. No family may have less than ten and more than sixteen persons in it. As their cities are composed of families. Their women. Their Social Relations But it is now time to explain to you the mutual inter- course of this people.
The magistrates never engage the people in unneces- sary labor. If an acci- dent has so lessened the number of the inhabitants of But if the natives refuse to conform themselves to their laws they drive them out of those bounds which they mark out for themselves. What is brought thither. Every city is divided into four equal parts. There is no reason for giving a denial to any person. But to return to their manner of living in society: The Syphogrants dwell in those that are set over thirty families.
They have belonging to every town four hospitals. In every street there are great halls. There are also. Decay and filth outside their towns. The care of the sick But they take more care of their sick than of any oth- ers. In these halls they all meet and have their repasts. Near these markets there are others for all sorts of provisions. The hospitals are furnished and stored with all things that are convenient for the ease and recovery of the sick.
After the steward of the hospitals has taken for the sick whatsoever the physician prescribes. At the hours of dinner and supper the whole Syphogranty being called together by sound of trum- pet. All the children under five years The education of old sit among the nurses. Women are but the dressing and cooking their meat.
All the uneasy and sordid services about these halls are performed by their slaves. They sit at three or more tables. Every child is nursed by its own mother if death or sickness does not intervene. Dishes are not served up to the whole table at first. From hence the old men take occasion to entertain those about them The old men distribute to the younger any curious meats that happen to be set before them.
Both dinner and supper are begun with some lecture Nowadays the monks scarcely of morality that is read to them. If there is a temple within the Syphogranty. The younger are mixed with the they say. In the middle of the first table. The priest is placed above the prince. Thus old men are honored with a particular respect. 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.
Their Travel If any man has a mind to visit his friends that live in some other town, or desires to travel and see the rest. Such as travel carry with them a passport from the Prince, which both certifies the license that is granted for traveling, and limits the time of their return. They are furnished with a wagon and a slave, who drives the oxen and looks after them; but, unless there are women in the company, the wagon 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.
If any man goes out of the city to which he belongs without leave, and is found rambling without a pass- port, 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.
Thus you see that there are no idle persons among O holy them, nor pretenses of excusing any from labor. 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 The Common- exchange; for, according to their plenty or scarcity, they wealth is nothing supply or are supplied from one another, so that indeed other than a kind of big family the whole island is, as it were, one family.
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 mer- chandise 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 O how they are nowhere not bound, but the writing runs in the name of the mindful of their town; and the towns that owe them money raise own community! 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;. So that it is plain they must iron. For this end they have an incredible treasure. It is certain that all things appear incredible to us in proportion as they differ from known customs.
This I have the more rea- son to apprehend because. The folly of men has Of the same metals they like- wise make chains and fetters for their slaves. They eat and drink out of vessels of earth or glass. To prevent all these inconveniences they have fallen upon an expedient which. If they should work it into vessels. If these metals were laid up in any tower in the king- dom it would raise a jealousy of the Prince and Senate. I never saw a clearer instance of the opposite impres- sions that different customs make on people than I A choice tale observed in the ambassadors of the Anemolians.
As they came to treat of affairs of great consequence. They find pearls on their coasts. The ambassadors of the nations that lie near Utopia. Thus three ambassadors made their entry with a hundred attendants. It was not unpleasant to see.
I believe. You might have seen the children who were grown big enough to despise their playthings. It appeared so ridiculous a show to all that had never stirred out of their country.
But they They won- der much to hear that gold. The interests and They have all their learning in their own tongue. But for the cheat of divining by Yet such astrologers rule as kings among the stars. They have a They are so far from minding At this point he seems to be on the chimeras and fantastical images made in the mind that edge of satire 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.
But as they Music. 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. Arithmetic are almost in everything equal to the ancient philoso- phers. Ethics As to moral philosophy. But their chief dispute is concerning the happiness of a man. They seem. They inquire. They examine what are properly good.
Though these principles of religion are conveyed have doubts. There is a party among them who place happiness in bare virtue. These are their religious principles: That the soul of The theology of the Utopians man is immortal. Yet they do not place happiness in all sorts of pleasures. The immortality of souls. And what reward can there be for one that has of virtue passed his whole life.
They say that the first dictate of reason is the kindling in us a love and reverence for the Divine Majesty. In the next place. A life of pleasure is either a real evil. 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 oth- ers.
Upon this they infer that no man ought to seek his own conveniences so eagerly as to prejudice others. They think it is an evidence of true wisdom for a man to pursue his own Since no man can be more would be more bound to look after the good of another than after his gladly borne if they were to befall own.
Nature inclines us to enter into society. Thus as they define virtue to be happened due to living according to Nature. They also observe that in order to our supporting the pleasures of life. They are also persuaded that God will make up the loss of those small pleasures with a vast and endless joy.
Thus they cautiously limit pleasure only to those appetites to which Nature leads us. There are many things that in themselves have nothing that is truly delightful. And yet these men. Among those who pursue these sophisticated pleasures they reckon such as I mentioned before.
The error of those who think highly of ter for having fine clothes. For if you consider the use of clothes. But they look upon those delights which men by False pleasures a foolish. The Utopians have no better opinion of those who are much taken with gems and precious stones.
The jeweler is then made to give good security. And yet it is wonderful to see how this false notion of pleasure bewitches many who delight themselves with the fancy of their nobil- Pretend nobility ity. Yet they do not think themselves a whit the less noble. Those are no better whose error is somewhat different from the former. But they have asked us.
Or can it be thought that they who heap up a useless mass of wealth. The delight they find is only a false shadow of joy. If it should fiction be stole.
And yet the owner. Thus though the rabble of mankind look upon these. Therefore all this business of hunting is. But if the pleasure lies in seeing the hare killed and torn by the dogs. They look on the desire of the bloodshed. They reckon up several sorts of pleasures. There is another kind of pleasure that arises neither from our receiving what the body requires. The pleasures of the mind lie in knowl- edge. But this opinion has been long ago excluded from among them. Another kind of bodily pleasure is that which results from an undisturbed and vigor- ous constitution of body.
This subject has been very nar- rowly canvassed among them. This lively health. They look upon freedom from pain. 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? They account health the chief pleasure that belongs to And if any should say that sickness is not really pain. It is all one. And being thus refreshed it finds a pleasure in that conflict. And they reason thus: For as a wise man desires rather to avoid diseases than to take physic. These are. The pain of hunger must give us the pleasure of eating.
If any man imagines that there is a real happiness in these enjoyments. They think. And as the pain is more vehe- ment. 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. But they think it madness for a man to wear out the beauty of his face or the force of his natural strength. This point should This is their notion of virtue and of pleasure: I am sure that whatever may be said of their the Utopians and a notions. Margaret Roper. As a young man contemplating the priesthood he frequently fasted. I have not now the leisure to examine whether they think right or wrong in this matter.
Their bodies are vig- orous and lively. The people are industrious. Their principal motive for this is the convenience of carriage. I believe that they were a colony of the Greeks. Tricius Apinatus. As for Aldus: I had also Theophrastus on Plants. As for the poets. They seized the hints we gave them. We showed them some books printed by Aldus. Two things they owe to us. The minds of the Utopians. If any man was to go among them that had some extraordinary talent. Which merchants desire rather to export than import to a strange country: Very few go among them on the account of traffic.
Their Slaves They do not make slaves of prisoners of war. They are kept at perpetual labor. Another sort of slaves are the poor of the neighboring countries. They visit them often and take great pains to make their time pass off easily. Such as are wrought on by these persuasions either starve themselves of their own accord. Voluntary death being assured that if they thus deliver themselves from torture.
But no man is forced on this way of ending his life. Before marriage some grave not modest. Such disorders cast a great reproach upon the master and mistress of the family in which they hap- pen. In choosing their wives they use a method that would appear to us very absurd and ridiculous. The reason of punishing this so severely is. But they. All men are not so wise as to choose a woman only for her good qualities.
There was so much the more reason for them to make a regulation in this matter. None are suffered to put away their wives against their wills. They punish severely those that defile the marriage bed. But it frequently falls out that when a married couple do not well agree. Husbands have magistrates power to correct their wives and parents to chastise their children. For the most part slavery is the punishment even of the greatest crimes. If their slaves rebel. But those who bear their punishment patiently.
Pleasure derived They take great pleasure in fools. They all see that no beauty recommends a wife so much to her husband as the probity of her life and her obedience. If any man should reproach another for his being misshaped or imperfect in any part of his body.
If any man aspires to any office he is sure never to Canvassing for office is condemned 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 honor the more freely because The honor of magistrates 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 dignity of the Prince 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 constitu- Few laws tion that they need not many. They very much condemn other nations whose laws, together with the commentar- ies 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.
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: In this they seem to have fallen upon a very good expedient for their own happi- ness 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 Neighbors; but those to whom they have been of more particular service, Friends; and as all other nations are perpetually either mak- ing leagues or breaking them, they never enter into an Concerning treaties alliance with any state.
They think leagues are useless. Princes and popes were fre- quently far from just and good, and were rarely revered, while trea- ties were routinely violated.
By this means it is that all sort of justice passes in the world for a low-spirited and vulgar virtue. These practices of the princes that lie about Utopia.
Perhaps they would change their mind if they lived among us. Their Military Affairs They detest war as a very brutal thing. This they count a juster cause of war than the other. This they think to be not only just when one neigh- bor makes an inroad on another by public order. This is not because they consider their neigh- bors more than their own citizens. They would be both troubled and ashamed of a Victory dearly bought 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 honor 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 understanding.
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. 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.
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 proclamations become not only distrustful of their fellow-citizens, but are jeal- ous 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. 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 pre- vent 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 they cannot disunite them by domestic broils, then they engage their neighbors 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. 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: 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 labor, 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: Even today, the pope has his Swiss Guards and Switzerland is famous for its banks.
There are few wars in which they make not a considerable part of the armies of both sides: Great numbers of them will frequently go out. So entirely does their avarice influence them. The Uto- pians hold this for a maxim. Next to these. This animates them to adventure again. When they draw out troops of their own people.
There are two sent with him. They also place together those who are related. But as they force no man to go into any foreign war against his will. But if an invasion is made on their country. If their enemies stand before them: So that. Their skill in military affairs increases their courage: The general in In the greatest heat of action the bravest of their particular ought to youth.
They sometimes seem to fly when it is far from their thoughts. 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.
It is hard to tell whether they are more dexterous in laying or avoiding ambushes. If they see they are ill posted. They are very good at finding out warlike machines. Concerning truces If they agree to a truce. They hurt no They have no swords. They fortify their camps with a deep and large trench. All that are trained up to war practice swimming.
The types of Their armor is very strong for defense. Both horse and foot make great use of arrows. If they retire in the daytime. When a town is surrendered to them. It is out of these lands that they assign rewards to such as they encourage to adventure on desperate attempts. This they most commonly do. They send some of their own people to receive these revenues.
When a war is ended. Him they call the Father of All. Yet the greater and wiser sort of them worship none of these. Some worship such men as have been eminent in former times for virtue or glory.
Their Religions There are several sorts of religions. He is also that great essence to whose glory and majesty all honors are ascribed by the consent of all nations. By degrees they fall off from the various superstitions that are among them. I shall not determine whether this proceeded from any secret inspiration of God.
After they had heard from us an account of the doctrine. From whichsoever of these motives it might be. They have had great disputes among themselves. Those among them that have not received our religion do not fright any from it. Upon his having fre- by praise quently preached in this manner he was seized. He being newly baptized did.
But as two of our number were dead. After he had subdued them he made a law that every man might be of what religion he pleased. This law was made by Utopus. He judged it not fit to determine anything rashly. Utopus hav- ing understood that before his coming among them the old inhabitants had been engaged in great quarrels concerning religion. And supposing that only one religion was really true.
Thus they are far from looking on such men as fit for human society. There are many among them that run far to the other extreme. Yet they do not pun- ish them. They never raise any that hold these maxims.
They think that An extraordinary opinion concerning the souls of beasts are immortal. They are almost all of them very firmly persuaded that good men will be infinitely happy in another state: They believe They think such respect paid to the memory of good men is both the greatest incitement to engage others to follow their example. When they come from the funeral. They are struck with horror when they see any die in this manner. There are many among them that upon a motive of religion neglect learning.
From hence they engage in all their affairs with the greater confidence of success. They think contem- plating God in His works. They despise and laugh at auguries. Of these there are two sorts: Others fell and cleave timber. Some of these visit the sick. Another sort of them is less willing to put themselves to much toil. There is nothing in which they are more cautious than in giving their opinion positively concerning any sort of religion.
They would indeed laugh at any man who. Their priests are men of eminent piety. The men that lead those severe lives are called in the language of their country Buthrescas.
It is a reproach to a man to be sent for by any of them. The education of youth belongs to the priests. The care of all sacred things. They are chosen by the people as the other magistrates are. The wives of their priests are the most extraordinary women of the whole country. Women as priests nor are any but ancient widows chosen into that order. Perhaps the author had something in mind putting it in this place. 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 town; so that 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 shall river cannot be conveyed, they have great cisterns for receiving the rain-water, which supplies the want of the other.
The town is cormpassed 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.
They cultivate their gardens with great care, so that they have 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 humor 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 backward 1, 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 stories high: 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 tranibor, but of late the archphilarch.
All the syphogrants, who are in number , 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 their voices secretly, so that it is not known for whom everyone 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.
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. 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: 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 of 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: But the time appointed for labor 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 how few of those that work are employed in labors 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 labor 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 labor, 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 , either men or women, by their age and strength, are capable of labor, 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 labor, 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 labor, you may easily make the estimate how much may be done in those few hours in which they are obliged to labor.
But besides all that has been already said, it is to be considered that the needful arts among them are managed with less labor 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: 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: As to their clothes, observe how little work is spent in them: 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 labor, 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: 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 labor, and since they content themselves with fewer things, it falls out that there is a great abundance of all things among them: But when no public undertaking is to be performed, the hours of working are lessened.
The magistrates never engage the people in unnecessary labor, since the chief end of the constitution is to regulate labor by the necessities of the public, and to allow all 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 grandchildren, live still in the same house, in great obedience to their common parent, unless age has weakened his understanding: 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 6, families, besides those of the country round 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 neighboring 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 marketplace: 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: 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: 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 at 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. 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: If there is a temple within that syphogranty, the priest and his wife sit with the syphogrant ahove all the rest: 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 honored 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: 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: Thus do those that are in the towns live together; but in the country, where they live at great distance, everyone 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: They are furnished with a wagon, and a slave who drives the oxen and looks after them; but unless there are women in the company, the wagon 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 nothing, but are everywhere treated as if they were at home. If they stay in any place longer than a night, everyone 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.
Thus you see that there are no idle persons among them, nor pretences of excusing any from labor. There are no taverns, no alehouses nor stews among them; nor any other occasions of corrupting each other, of getting into corners, or forming themselves into parties: 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 unfavorable season, they order an exportation of the overplus, 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: 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: In great extremities or sudden accidents they employ it in hiring foreign troops, whom they more willingly expose to danger than their own people: It is certain that all things appear incredible to us, in proportion as they differ from our own 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: 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 was 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 coast, 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 afterward 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 splendor.
Thus three ambassadors made their entry with attendants, all clad in garments of different colors, 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, ear-rings, and rings of gold: 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: 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.
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 formerly 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: They wonder much to hear that gold which in itself is so useless a thing, should be everywhere so much esteemed, that even men 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 honors, 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 has 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 labor 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: 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, 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 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 everyone, 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 causes of the saltness of the sea, of its ebbing and flowing, and of the origin 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 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? 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 of 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 endeavors 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 favorite 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 advantages as far as the laws allow it. 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 that 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: 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: 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 stolen, 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: 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 of it so often should give one a surfeit of it: 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: 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 the frequent returns of so brutal a pleasure must degenerate into it.
Thus, though the rahble 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: They reckon up several sorts of pleasures, which they call true ones: 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: 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 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 arises out of true virtue, and the witnesses 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: 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 anyone may easily see would be not only a base but a miserable state of 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 is to be valued any further than as it is 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 seasonings 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.