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OCEANA: THE MODEL OF THE Commonwealth of OCEANA. - James Harrington, The Oceana and Other Works 
The Oceana and Other Works of James Harrington, with an Account of His Life by John Toland (London: Becket and Cadell, 1771).
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OCEANA: THE MODEL OF THE Commonwealth of OCEANA.
WHEREAS my Lord Archon being from Moses and Lycurgus the first legislator that hitherto is found in history to have introduc’d or erected an intire commonwealth at once, happen’d, like them also, to be more intent upon putting the same into execution or action, than into writing; by which means the model came to be promulgated or publish’d with more brevity and less illustration than is necessary for their understanding who have not bin acquainted with the whole procedings of the council of legislators, and of the prytans, where it was asserted and clear’d from all objections and doubts: to the end that I may supply what was wanting in the promulgated epitome to a more full and perfect narrative of the whole, I shall rather take the commonwealth practically; and as it has now given an account of it self in som years revolutions (as Dicearchus is said to have don that of Lacedemon, first transcrib’d by his hand som three or four hundred years after the institution) yet not omitting to add for proof to every order such debates and speeches of the legislators in their council, or at least such parts of them as may best discover the reason of the government; nor such ways and means as were us’d in the institution or rise of the building, not to be so well conceiv’d, without som knowlege given of the engins wherwithal the mighty weight was mov’d. But thro the intire omission of the council of legislators or workmen that squar’d every stone to this structure in the quarrys of antient prudence, the proof of the first part of this discourse will be lame, except I insert, as well for illustration as to avoid frequent repetition, three remarkable testimonys in this place.Suidas.
Exod. 18. 24.The first is taken out of the commonwealth of Israel: SoMoseshearken’d to the voice of (Jethro) his father-in-law, and did all that he had said.Numb. 1. 16.AndMoseschose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people; tribuns, as it is in the vulgar Latin; or phylarchs, that is, princes of the tribes, sitting upon twelve* thrones, and judging the twelve tribes of Israel: and next to these he chose rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fiftys, and rulers of tens, which were the steps and rise of this commonwealth from its foundation or root to its proper elevation or accomplishment in the sanhedrim, and the congregation, already open’d in the preliminarys.Matth.
The second is taken out of Lacedemon, as Lycurgus (for the greater impression of his institutions upon the minds of his citizens) pretended to have receiv’d the model of that commonwealth from the oracle of Apollo at Delphos, the words wherof are thus recorded by Plutarch in the life of that famous legislator: ‘When thou shalt have divided the people into tribes (which were fix) and obas (which were five in every tribe) thou shalt constitut the senat,Crag. de Rep. consisting, with the two kings, of thirty counsellors, who, according as occasion requires, shall cause the congregation to be assembled between the bridg and the river Gnacion,Lac. lib. 1. c. 6. where the senat shall propose to the people, and dismiss them without suffering them to debate.’ The obæ were linages into which every tribe was divided, and in each tribe there was another division containing all those of the same that were of military age; which being call’d the mora, was subdivided into troops and companys that were kept in perpetual disciplin under the command of a magistrat call’d the polemarch.
The third is taken out of the commonwealth of Rome, or those parts of it which are compris’d in the first and second books of Livy, where the people, according to the institution by Romulus, are first divided into thirty curias or parishes, wherof he elected (by three out of each curia) the senat, which from his reign to that of Servius Tullus proposed to the parishes or parochial congregations; and these being call’d the comitia curiata, had the election of the* kings, the confirmation of their† laws, and the last appeal in matters of judicature, as appears in the case of Horatius that kill’d his sister; till in the reign of Servius (for the other kings kept not to the institution of Romulus) the people being grown somwhat, the power of the curiata was for the greater part translated to the centuriata comitia instituted by this king, which distributed the people according to the cense or valuation of their estates into six classes, every one containing about forty centurys, divided into youth and elders; the youth for field-service, the elders for the defence of their territory, all arm’d and under continual disciplin, in which they assembl’d both upon military and civil occasions.Halicar. But when the senat propos’d to the people, the horse only, wherof there were twelve centurys consisting of the richest sort over and above those of the foot enumerated, were call’d with the first classis of the foot to the suffrage; or if these accorded not, then the second classis was call’d to them, but seldom or never any of the rest. Wherfore the people after the expulsion of the kings, growing impatient of this inequality, rested not till they had reduc’d the suffrage as it had bin in the comitia curiata to the whole people again: but in another way, that is to say, by the comitia tributa, which thereupon were instituted, being a council where the people in exigencys made laws without the senat; which laws were call’d phlebiscita. This council is that in regard wherof Cicero and other great wits so frequently inveigh against the people, and somtimes even Livy, as at the first‡ institution of it. To say the truth, it was a kind of anarchy, wherof the people could not be excusable, if there had not, thro the courses taken by the senat, bin otherwise a necessity that they must have seen the commonwealth run into oligarchy.
Sigonius.The manner how the comitia curiata, centuriata or tributa, were call’d, during the time of the commonwealth, to the suffrage, was by lot: the curia, century, or tribe, whereon the first lot fell, being stil’d principium, or the prerogative; and the other curiæ, centurys or tribes, whereon the second, third, and fourth lots, & c. fell, the jure vocatæ: From henceforth not the first classis, as in the times of Servius, but the prerogative, whether curia, century, or tribe, came first to the suffrage, whose vote was call’d omen prærogativum, and seldom fail’d to be leading to the rest of the tribes. The jure vocatæ in the order of their lots came next: the manner of giving suffrage was, by casting wooden tablets, mark’d for the affirmative or the negative, into certain urns standing upon a scaffold, as they march’d over it in files; which for the resemblance it bore, was call’d the bridg. The candidat or competitor, who had most suffrages in a curia, century, or tribe, was said to have that curia, century, or tribe; and he who had most of the curiæ, centurys, or tribes, carry’d the magistracy.
These three places being premis’d, as such upon which there will be frequent reflection, I com to the narrative, divided into two parts, the first containing the institution, the second the constitution of the commonwealth; in each wherof I shall distinguish the orders, as those which contain the whole model, from the rest of the discourse, which tends only to the explanation or proof of them.
Institution of the commonwealth.In the institution or building of a commonwealth, the first work (as that of builders) can be no other than fitting and distributing the materials.
Divisions of the people.The materials of a commonwealth are the people; and the people of Oceana were distributed by casting them into certain divisions, regarding their quality, their age, their wealth, and the places of their residence or habitation, which was don by the insuing orders.
1 Order. Into freemen and servants.The first ORDER distributes the people into freemen or citizens, and servants, while such; for if they attain to liberty, that is, to live of themselves, they are freemen or citizens.
This order needs no proof, in regard of the nature of servitude, which is inconsistent with freedom, or participation of government in a commonwealth.
2 Order. Into youth and elders.The second ORDER distributes citizens into youth and elders (such as are from 18 years of age to 30, being accounted youth; and such as are of 30 and upwards, elders) and establishes that the youth shall be the marching armys, and the elders the standing garisons of this nation.
A commonwealth whose arms are in the hands of her servants, had need be situated (as is elegantly said of Venice by*Contarini) out of the reach of their clutches; witness the danger run by that of Carthage in the rebellion of Spendius and Matho. But tho a city (if one swallow makes a summer) may thus chance to be safe, yet shall it never be great; for it Carthage or Venice acquir’d any fame in their arms, it is known to have happen’d thro the mere virtue of their captains, and not of their orders: wherefore Israel, Lacedemon, and Rome intail’d their arms upon the prime of their citizens, divided (at least in Lacedemon and Rome) into youth and elders; the youth for the field, and the elders for defence of the territory.
3 Order. Into horse and foot.The third ORDER distributes the citizens into horse and foot by the cense or valuation of their estates; they who have above one hundred pounds a year in lands, goods, or monys, being oblig’d to be of the horse; and they who have under that sum, to be of the foot. But if a man has prodigally wasted and spent his patrimony, he is neither capable of magistracy, office, or suffrage in the commonwealth.
Citizens are not only to defend the commonwealth, but according to their abilitys, as the Romans under Servius Tullus (regard had to their estates) were som inrol’d in the horse centurys, and others of the foot, with arms injoin’d accordingly; nor could it be otherwise in the rest of the commonwealths, tho out of historical remains, that are so much darker, it be not so clearly probable. And the necessary prerogative to be given by a commonwealth to estates, is in som measure in the nature of industry, and the use of it to the public.§The Roman people, saysJulius Exuperantius,were divided into classes, and tax’d according to the value of their estates. All that were worth the sums appointed were imploy’d in the wars; for they most eagerly contend for the victory, who fight for liberty in defence of their country and possessions. But the poorer sort were pol’d only for their heads (which was all they had) and kept in garison at home in time of war: for these might betray the armys for bread, by reason of their poverty; which is the reason thatMarius,to whom the care of the government ought not to have bin committed, was the first that led ’em into the field; and his success was accordingly. There is a mean in things; as exorbitant riches overthrow the balance of a commonwealth, so extreme poverty cannot hold it, nor is by any means to be trusted with it. The clause in the order concerning the prodigal is Athenian, and a very laudable one; for he that could not live upon his patrimony, if he coms to touch the public mony, makes a commonwealth bankrupt.
4 Order. Into parishes, hundreds, and tribes.The fourth ORDER distributes the people according to the places of their habitation, into parishes, hundreds, and tribes.
For except the people be methodically distributed, they cannot be methodically collected; but the being of a commonwealth consists in the methodical collection of the people: wherfore you have the Israelitish divisions into rulers of thousands, of hundreds, of fiftys, and of tens; and of the whole commonwealth into tribes: the Laconic into obas, moras, and tribes; the Roman into tribes, centurys, and classes; and somthing there must of necessity be in every government of the like nature; as that in the late monarchy, by countys. But this being the only institution in Oceana (except that of the agrarian) which requir’d any charge or included any difficulty, engages me to a more particular description of the manner how it was perform’d, as follows.
The use and method of the surveyors.A thousand surveyors commissionated and instructed by the lord Archon and the council, being divided into two equal numbers, each under the inspection of two surveyors general, were distributed into the northern and southern parts of the territory, divided by the river Hemisua, the whole wherof contains about ten thousand parishes, som ten of those being assign’d to each surveyor: for as to this matter there needed no great exactness, it tending only (by shewing whither every one was to repair, and wherabout to begin) to the more orderly carrying on of the work; the nature of their instructions otherwise regarding rather the number of the inhabitants, than of the parishes. The surveyors therfore being every one furnish’d with a convenient proportion of urns, balls and balloting boxes (in the use wherof they had bin formerly exercis’d) and now arriving each at his respective parishes, began with the people, by teaching them their first lesson, which was the ballot; and tho they found them in the beginning somewhat forward as at toys, with which (while they were in expectation of greater matters from a council of legislators) they conceiv’d themselves to be abus’d, they came within a little while to think them pretty sport, and at length such as might very soberly be us’d in good earnest: wherupon the surveyors began the institution included in
5 Order. Institution of the parishes, of the ballot, and of the deputys.The first ORDER, requiring, That upon the first Monday next insuing the last of December, the bigger bell in every parish throout the nation be rung at eight of the clock in the morning, and continue ringing for the space of one hour; and that all the elders of the parish respectively repair to the church, before the bell has don ringing; where dividing themselves into two equal numbers, or as near equal as may be, they shall take their places according to their dignitys (if they be of divers qualitys) and according to their seniority (if they be of the same) the one half on the one side, and the other half on the other, in the body of the church: which don, they shall make oath to the overseers of the parish for the time being (instead of these the surveyors were to officiat at the institution or first assembly) by holding up their hands, to make a fair election according to the laws of the ballot, as they are hereafter explain’d, of such persons, amounting to a fifth part of their whole number, to be their deputys, and to exercise their power in manner hereafter explain’d, as they shall think in their consciences to be fittest for that trust, and will acquit themselves of it to the best advantage of the commonwealth. And oath being thus made, they shall procede to election, if the elders of the parish amount to one thousand by the ballot of the tribe (as it is in due place explain’d) and if the elders of the parish amount to fifty or upwards, but within the number of one thousand, by the ballot of the hundred (as it is in due place explain’d). But if the elders amount not to fifty, then they shall procede to the ballot of the parish, as it is in this place, and after this manner explain’d. The two overseers for the time being shall seat themselves at the upper end of the middle ally, with a table before them, their faces being towards the congregation: and the constable for the time being shall set an urn before the table, into which he shall put so many balls as there be elders present, wherof there shall be one that is gilded, the rest being white; and when the constable has shaken the urn, sufficiently to mix the balls, the overseers shall call the elders to the urn, who from each side of the church shall com up the middle ally in two files, every man passing by the urn, and drawing out one ball; which if it be silver, he shall cast into a bowl standing at the foot of the urn, and return by the outward ally on his side to his place. But he who draws the golden ball is the proposer, and shall be seated between the overseers, where he shall begin in what order he pleases, and name such as (upon his oath already taken) he conceives fittest to be chosen, one by one, to the elders; and the party nam’d shall withdraw while the congregation is ballotting hisname by the double box or boxes appointed and mark’d on the outward part, to shew which side is affirmative and which negative, being carry’d by a boy or boys appointed by the overseers, to every one of the elders, who shall hold up a pellet made of linen rags between his finger and his thumb, and put it after such a manner into the box, as tho no man can see into which side he puts it, yet any man may see that he puts in but one pellet or suffrage. And the suffrage of the congregation being thus given, shall be return’d with the box or boxes to the overseers, who opening the same, shall pour the affirmative balls into a white bowl standing upon the table on the right hand, to be number’d by the first overseer; and the negative into a green bowl standing on the left hand, to be number’d by the second overseer: and the suffrages being number’d, he who has the major part in the affirmative is one of the deputys of the parish: and when so many deputys are chosen as amount to a full fifth part of the whole number of the elders, the ballot for that time shall cease. The deputys being chosen are to be listed by the overseers in order as they were chosen, except only that such as are horse must be listed in the first place with the rest, proportionable to the number of the congregation, after this manner:
THE first and second in the list are overseers by consequence: the third is the constable, and the fourth and fifth are churchwardens; the persons so chosen are deputys of the parish for the space of one year from their election, and no longer; nor may they be elected two years together. This list being the primum mobile, or first mover of the commonwealth, is to be register’d in a book diligently kept and preserv’d by the overseers, who are responsible in their places for these and other dutys to be hereafter mentioned, to the censors of the tribe: and the congregation is to observe the present order, as they will answer the contrary to the phylarch, or prerogative troop of the tribe; which, in case of failure in the whole or any part of it, have power to fine them or any of them at discretion, but under an appeal to the parliament.
For proof of this order; first, in reason: it is with all politicians past dispute, that paternal power is in the right of nature; and this is no other than the derivation of power from fathers of familys, as the natural root of a commonwealth. And for experience, if it be otherwise in that of Holland, I know no other example of the like kind.Jos. 24. 1. In Israel, the soverain power came clearly from the natural root, the elders of the whole people; and Rome was born (comitiis curiatis) in her parochial congregations, out of which Romulus first rais’d her senat, then all the rest of the orders of that commonwealth, which rose so high: for the depth of a commonwealth is the just height of it.
And if the commonwealth of Rome was born of thirty parishes, this of Oceana was born of ten thousand. But wheras mention in the birth of this is made of an equestrian order, it may startle such as know that the division of the people of Rome, at the institution of that commonwealth into orders, was the occasion of its ruin. The distinction of the patrician as a hereditary order from the very institution, ingrossing all the magistracys, was indeed the destruction of Rome; but to a knight or one of the equestrian order, says Horace,
By which it should seem that this order was not otherwise hereditary than a man’s estate, nor did it give any claim to magistracy; wherfore you shall never find that it disquieted the commonwealth; nor dos the name denote any more in Oceana, than the duty of such a man’s estate to the public.
But the surveyors both in this place and in others, forasmuch as they could not observe all the circumstances of this order, especially that of the time of election, did for the first as well as they could; and, the elections being made and register’d, took each of them copys of those lists which were within their allotments; which don they produc’d
6 Order. Of ordination, a national religion, and liberty of conscience.The sixth ORDER, directing, in case a parson or vicar of a parish coms to be remov’d by death or by the censors, that the congregation of the parish assemble and depute one or two elders by the ballot, who upon the charge of the parish shall repair to one of the universitys of this nation with a certificat sign’d by the overseers, and addrest to the Vice-Chancellor: which certificat giving notice of the death or removal of the parson or vicar, of the value of the parsonage or vicarage, and of the desire of the congregation to receive a probationer from that university, the Vice-Chancellor upon the receit therof shall call a convocation, and having made choice of a fit person, shall return him in due time to the parish, where the person so return’d shall return the full fruits of the benefice or vicarage, and do the duty of the parson or vicar, for the space of one year, as probationer: and that being expir’d, the congregation of the elders shall put their probationer to the ballot: and if he attains not to two parts in three of the suffrage affirmative, he shall take his leave of the parish, and they shall send in like manner as before for another probationer; but if their probationer obtains two parts in three of the suffrage affirmative, he is then pastor of that parish. And the pastor of the parish shall pray with the congregation, preach the word, and administer the sacraments to the same, according to the directory to be hereafter appointed by the parliament. Nevertheless such as are of gather’d congregations, or from time to time shall join with any of them, are in no wise oblig’d to this way of electing their teachers, or to give their votes in this case, but wholly left to the liberty of their own consciences, and to that way of worship which they shall chuse, being not Popish, Jewish, or idolatrous.And to the end they may be the better protected by the state in the exercise of the same, they are desir’d to make choice, in such manner as they best like, of certain magistrats in every one of their congregations, which we could wish might be four in each of them, to be auditors in cases of differences of distast, if any thro variety of opinions, that may be grievous or injurious to them, shall fall out. And such auditors or magistrats shall have power to examin the matter, and inform themselves, to the end that if they think it of sufficient weight, they may acquaint the phylarch with it, or introduce it into the council of religion; where all such causes as those magistrats introduce, shall from time to time be heard and determin’d according to such laws as are or shall hereafter be provided by the parlament for the just defeuce of the liberty of conscience.
This order consists of three parts, the first restoring the power of ordination to the people, which, that it originally belongs to them, is clear, tho not in English yet in Scripture, where the apostles ordain’d elders by the holding up of hands in every congregation, that is, by the suffrage of the people, which was also giver.Acts 14. 23. in som of those citys by the ballot. And tho it may be shewn that the apostles ordain’d som by the laying on of hands, it will not be shewn that they did so in every congregation.
Excommunication, as not clearly provable out of the scripture, being omitted, the second part of the order implys and establishes a national religion: for there be degrees of knowlege in divine things; true religion is not to be learnt without searching the Scripture: the Scriptures cannot be search’d by us unless we have them to search: and if we have nothing else, or (which is all one) understand nothing else but a translation, we may be (as in the place alleg’d we have bin) beguil’d or misled by the translation, while we should be searching the true sense of the Scripture, which cannot be attain’d in a natural way (and a commonwealth is not to presume upon that which is supernatural) but by the knowlege of the original and of antiquity, acquir’d by our own studys, or those of som others, for even faith coms by hearing. Wherfore a commonwealth not making provision of men from time to time, knowing in the original languages wherin the Scriptures were written, and vers’d in those antiquitys to which they so frequently relate, that the true sense of them depends in great part upon that knowlege, can never be secure that she shall not lose the Scripture, and by consequence her religion; which to preserve she must institut som method of this knowlege, and som use of such as have acquir’d it, which amounts to a national religion.
The commonwealth having thus perform’d her duty towards God, as a rational creature, by the best application of her reason to Scripture, and for the preservation of religion in the purity of the same, yet pretends not to infallibility, but coms in the third part of the order, establishing liberty of conscience according to the instructions given to her council of religion, to raise up her hands to heaven for further light; in which proceding she follows that (as was shewn in the preliminarys) of Israel, who tho her national religion was always a part of her civil law, gave to her prophets the upper hand of all her orders.
Definition of a parish.But the surveyors having now done with the parishes, took their leaves; so a parish is the first division of land occasion’d by the first collection of the people of Oceana, whose function proper to that place is compriz’d in the six preceding orders.
Institution of the hundred.The next step in the progress of the surveyors was to a meeting of the nearest of them, as their work lay, by twentys; where conferring their lists, and computing the deputys contain’d therin, as the number of them in parishes, being nearest neighbors, amounted to one hundred, or as even as might conveniently be brought with that account, they cast them and those parishes into the precinct which (be the deputys ever since more or fewer) is still call’d the hundred: and to every one of these precincts they appointed a certain place, being the most convenient town within the same, for the annual rendevouz; which don, each surveyor returning to his hundred, and summoning the deputys contain’d in his lists to the rendevouz, they appear’d and receiv’d
7 Order.The seventh ORDER, requiring, That upon the first Monday next insuing the last of January, the deputys of every parish annually assemble in arms at the rendevouz of the hundred, and there elect out of their number one justice of the peace, one juryman, one captain, one ensign of their troop or century, each of these out of the horse; and one juryman, one crowner, one high constable, out of the foot; the election to be made by the ballot in this manner. The jurymen for the time being are to be overseers of the ballot (instead of these, the surveyors are to officiat at the first assembly) and to look to the performance of the same according to what was directed in the ballot of the parishes, saving that the high constable setting forth the urn, shall have five several sutes of gold balls, and one dozen of every sute; wherof the first shall be mark’d with the letter A, the second with the letter B, the third with C, the fourth with D, and the fifth with E: and of each of these sutes he shall cast one ball into his hat, or into a little urn, and shaking the balls together, present them to the first overseer, who shall draw one, and the sute which is so drawn by the overseer, shall be of use for that day, and no other: for example, if the overseer drew an A, the high constable shall put seven gold balls mark’d with the letter A into the urn, with so many silver ones as shall bring them even with the number of the deputys, who being sworn, as before, at the ballot of the parish to make a fair election, shall be call’d to the urn; and every man coming in manner as was there shew’d, shall draw one ball, which if it be silver, he shall cast it into a bowl standing at the foot of the urn, aad return to his place; but the first that draws a gold ball (shewing it to the overseers, who, if it has not the letter of the present ballot, have power to apprehend and punish him) is the first elector, the second the second elector, and so to the seventh; which order they are to observe in their function. The electors as they are drawn shall be plac’d upon the bench by the overseers, till the whole number be complete, and then be conducted, with the list of the officers to be chosen, into a place apart, where being privat, the first elector shall name a person to the first office in the list; and if the person so nam’d, being balloted by the rest of the electors, attains not to the better half of the suffrages in the affirmative, the first elector shall continue nominating others, till one of them so nominated by him attains to the plurality of the suffrages in the affirmative, and be written first competitor to the first office. This don, the second elector shall observe in his turn the like order; and so the rest of the electors, naming competitors each to his respective office in the list, till one competitor be chosen to every office: and when one competitor is chosen to every office, the first elector shall begin again to name a second competitor to the first office, and the rest successively shall name to the rest of the offices till two competitors be chosen to every office; the like shall be repeated till three competitors be chosen to every office. And when three competitors are chosen to every office, the list shall bereturn’d to the overseers, or such as the overseers, in case they or either of them happen’d to be electors, have substituted in his or their place or places: and the overseers or substitutes having caus’d the list to be read to the congregation, shall put the competitors, in order as they are written, to the ballot of the congregation: and the rest of the proceedings being carry’d on in the manner directed in the fifth order, that competitor, of the three written to each office, who has most of the suffrages above half in the affirmative, is the officer. The list being after this manner completed, shall be entred into a register, to be kept at the rendevouz of the hundred, under inspection of the magistrats of the same, after the manner following:
THE list being enter’d, the high constable shall take three copys of the same, wherof he shall presently return one to the lord high sheriff of the tribe, a second to the lord custos rotulorum, and a third to the censors; or these, thro the want of such magistrats at the first muster, may be return’d to the orator, to be appointed for that tribe. To the observation of all and every part of this order, the officers and deputys of the hundred are all and every of them oblig’d, as they will answer it to the phylarch, who has power in case of failure in the whole or any part, to fine all or any of them so failing at discretion, or according to such laws as shall hereafter be provided in that case; but under an appeal to the parlament.
There is little in this order worthy of any further account, but that it answers to the rulers of hundreds in Israel, to the mora or military part of the tribe in Lacedemon, and to the century in Rome. The jurymen, being two in a hundred, and so forty in a tribe, give the latitude allow’d by the law for exceptions. And wheras the golden balls at this ballot begin to be mark’d with letters, wherof one is to be drawn immediatly before it begins; this is to the end that the letter being unknown, men may be frustrated of tricks or foul play, wheras otherwise a man may bring a golden ball with him, and make as if he had drawn it out of the urn. The surveyors, when they had taken copys of these lists, had accomplish’d their work in the hundreds.
Definition of the hundred.So a hundred is the second division of land occasion’d by the second collection of the people, whose civil and military functions proper to this place are compriz’d in the foregoing order.
Having stated the hundreds, they met once again by twentys, where there was nothing more easy than to cast every twenty hundreds, as they lay most conveniently together, into one tribe; so the whole territory of Oceana, consisting of about ten thousand parishes, came to be cast into one thousand hundreds, and into fifty tribes.Institution of the tribe. In every tribe at the place appointed for the annual rendevouz of the same, were then, or soon after, begun those buildings which are now call’d pavilions; each of them standing with one open side upon fair columns, like the porch of som antient temple, and looking into a field, capable of the muster of som four thousand men:Of the pavilion. before each pavilion stand three pillars sustaining urns for the ballot, that on the right-hand equal in height to the brow of a horsman, being call’d the horse urn; that on the left-hand, with bridges on either side to bring it equal in height with the brow of a footman, being call’d the foot urn; and the middle urn with a bridg on the side towards the foot urn, the other side, as left for the horse, being without one: and here ended the whole work of the surveyors, who return’d to the lord Archon with this
This is no great matter of charge for the building of a commonwealth, in regard that it has cost (which was pleaded by the surveyors) as much to rig a few ships. Nevertheless that proves not them to be honest, nor their account to be just; but they had their mony for once, tho their reckoning be plainly guilty of a crime, to cost him his neck that commits it another time, it being impossible for a commonwealth (without an exact provision that it be not abus’d in this kind) to subsist: for if no regard should be had of the charge (tho that may go deep) yet the debauchery and corruption, wherto, by negligence in accounts, it infallibly exposes its citizens, and therby lessens the public faith, which is the nerve and ligament of government, ought to be prevented. But the surveyors being dispatch’d, the lord Archon was very curious in giving names to his tribes, which having caus’d to be written in scrols cast into an urn, and presented to the counsillors, each of them drew one, and was accordingly sent to the tribe in his lot, as orators of the same, a magistracy no otherwise instituted, than for once and pro tempore, to the end that the council upon so great an occasion might both congratulat with the tribes, and assist at the first muster in som things of necessity to be differently carry’d from the establish’d administration, and future course of the commonwealth.
The orators being arriv’d, every one as soon as might be, at the rendevouz of his tribe, gave notice to the hundreds, and summon’d the muster, which appear’d for the most part upon good horses, and already indifferently well arm’d; as to instance in one for all, the tribe of Nubia, where Hermes de Caduceo, lord orator of the same, after a short salutation and a hearty welcom, apply’d himself to his business, which began with
8 Order.The eighth ORDER, requiring, That the lord high sheriff as commander in chief, and the lord Custos Rotulorum as mustermaster of the tribe (or the orator for the first muster) upon reception of the lists of their hundreds, return’d to them by the high constables of the same, presently cause them to be cast up, dividing the horse from the foot, and listing the horse by their names in troops, each troop containing about a hundred in number, to be inscrib’d, first, second or third troop, &c. according to the order agreed upon by the said magistrats: which don, they shall list the foot in like manner, and inscribe the companys in like order. These lists upon the eve of the muster shall be deliver’d to certain trumpeters and drummers, wherof there shall be fifteen of each sort (as well for the present as otherwise to be hereafter mentioned) stipendiated by the tribe. And the trumpeters and drummers shall be in the field before the pavilion, upon the day of the muster, so soon as it is light, where they shall stand every one with his list in his hand, at a due distance, placed according to the order of the list; the trumpeters with the lists of the horse on the right hand, and the drummers with the lists of the foot on the left hand: where having sounded a while, each of them shall begin to call, and continue calling the names of the deputys, as they com into the field, till both the horse and foot be gather’d by that means into their due order. The horse and foot being in order, the lord lieutenant of the tribe shall cast so many gold balls mark’d with the figures, 1, 2, 3, 4, &c. as there be troops of horse in the field, together with so many silver balls as there be companys, mark’d in the same manner, into a little urn, to which he shall call the captains; and the captains drawing the gold balls shall command the horse, and those that draw the silver the foot, each in the order of his lot. The like shall be don by the conductor at the same time for the ensigns at another urn; and they that draw the gold balls shall be cornets, the rest ensigns.
This order may puzzle the reader, but tends to a wonderful speed of the muster, to which it would be a great matter to lose a day in ranging and martialling, wheras by virtue of this the tribe is no sooner in the field than in battalia, nor sooner in battalia than call’d to the urns or the ballot by virtue of
9 Order.The ninth ORDER, wherby the censors (or the orator for the first muster) upon reception of the lists of the hundreds from the high constables, according as is directed by the seventh order, are to make their notes for the urns beforehand, with regard had to the lists of the magistrats, to be elected by the ensuing orders, that is to say, by the first list call’d the prime magnitude, six; and by the second call’d the galaxy, nine. Wherfore the censors are to put into the middle urn for the election of the first list twenty four gold balls, with twenty six blanks or silver balls, in all sixty; and into the side urns sixty gold balls divided into each according to the different number of the horse and foot: that is to say, if the horse and the foot be equal, equally; and if the horse and the foot be inequal, inequally, by an arithmetical proportion. The like shall be don the second day of the muster, for the second list, except that the censors shall put into the middle urn 36 gold balls with 24 blanks, in all sixty; and sixty gold balls into the side urns, divided respectively into the number of the horse and the foot: and the gold balls in the side urns at either ballot are by the addition of blanks to be brought even with the number of the ballotants at either urn respectively. The censors having prepar’d their notes, as has bin shewn, and being com at the day appointed into the field, shall present a little urn to the lord high sheriff, who is to draw twice for the letters to be us’d that day, the one at the side urns, and the other at the middle. And the censors having fitted the urns accordingly, shall place themselves in certain movable seats or pulpits (to be kept for that use in the pavilion) the first censor before the horse urn, the second before the foot urn, the lord lieutenant doing the office of censor pro tempore at the middle urn; where all and every one of them shall cause the laws of the ballot to be diligently observ’d, taking a special care that no man be suffer’d to com above once to the urn, (wherof it more particularly concerns the subcensors, that is to say, the overseers of every parish, to be careful; they being each in this regard responsible for their respective parishes) or to draw above one ball, which if it be gold, he is to present to the censor, who shall look upon the letter; and if it be not that of the day, and of the respective urn, apprehend the party, who for this or any other like disorder, is obnoxious to the phylarch.
This order being observ’d by the censors, it is not possible for the people, if they can but draw the balls, tho they understand nothing at all of the ballot, to be out. To philosophize further upon this art, tho there be nothing more rational, were not worth the while; because in writing it will be perplex’d, and the first practice of it gives the demonstration: whence it came to pass, that the orator, after some needless pains in the explanation of the two foregoing orders, betaking himself to exemplify the same, found the work don to his hand; for the tribe, as eager upon a business of this nature, had retain’d one of the surveyors, out of whom (before the orator arriv’d) they had got the whole mystery by a stoln muster, at which in order to the ballot they had made certain magistrats pro tempore. Wherfore he found not only the pavilion (for this time a tent) erected with three posts, supplying the place of pillars to the urns; but the urns being prepar’d with a just number of balls for the first ballot, to becom the field, and the occasion very gallantly, with their covers made in the manner of helmets, open at either ear to give passage to the hands of the ballotants, and flanting with noble plumes to direct the march of the people. Wherfore he proceeded to
10 Order.The tenth ORDER, requiring of the deputys of the parishes, That upon every Monday next ensuing the last of February, they make their personal appearance, horse and foot in arms accordingly, at the rendevouz of the tribe; where being in disciplin, the horse upon the right, and the foot upon the left, before the pavilion, and having made oath by holding up their hands upon the tender of it by the lord high sheriff, to make election without favour, and of such only as they shall judg fittest for the commonwealth: the conductor shall take three balls, the one inscrib’d with these words [outward files] another with these words [inward files] and the third with these [middle files] which balls he shall cast into a little urn, and present it to the lord high sheriff, who drawing one, shall give the words of command, as they are therupon inscrib’d, and the ballot shall begin accordingly. For example, if the ball be inscrib’d middle files, the ballot shall begin by the middle; that is, the two files that are middle to the horse, shall draw out first to the horse urn, and the two files that are middle to the foot, shall draw out first to the foot urn, and be follow’d by all the rest of the files as they are next to them in order. The like shall be don by the inward, or by the outward files, in case they be first call’d. And the files, as every man has drawn his ball, if it be silver, shall begin at the urn to countermarcb to their places; but he that has dxawn a gold ball at a side urn, shall procede to the middle urn, where if the ball he draws be silver, he shall also countermarch: but if it be gold, he shall take his place upon a form set cross the pavilion, with his face toward the lord high sheriff, who shall be seated in the middle of the pavilion, with certain clercs by him, one of which shall write down the names of every elector, that is, of every one that drew a gold ball at the middle urn, and in the order his ball was drawn, till the electors amount to six in number. And the first six electors, horse and foot promiscuously, are the first order of electors; the second six (still accounting them as they are drawn) the second order; the third six, the third order; and the fourth six, the fourth order of electors: every elector having place in his order, according to the order wherein he was drawn. But so soon as the first order of electors is complete, the lord high sheriff shall send them with a copy of the following list, and a clerc that understands the ballot, immediatly to a little tent standing before the pavilion in his ey, to which no other person but themselves, during the election, shall approach. The list shall be written in this manner:
If it be objected against this order, that the magistrats to be elected by it, will be men of more inferior rank than those of the hundreds, in regard that those are chosen first; it may be remember’d, that so were the burgesses in the former government, nevertheless the knights of the shire were men of greater quality: and the election at the hundred is made by a council of electors, of whom less cannot be expected than the discretion of naming persons fittest for those capacitys, with an ey upon these to be elected at the tribe. As for what may be objected in point of difficulty, it is demonstrable by the foregoing orders, that a man might bring ten thousand men (if there were occasion) with as much ease, and as suddenly to perform the ballot, as he can make five thousand men (drawing them out by double files) to march a quarter of a mile. But because at this ballot, to go up and down the field, distributing the linen pellets to every man, with which he is to ballot or give suffrage, would lose a great deal of time, therfore a man’s wife, his daughters, or others, make him his provision of pellets before the ballot; and he coms into the field with a matter of a score of them in his pocket. And now I have as good as don with the sport. The next is
11 Order. Functions of the magistrats of the prime magnitude.The eleventh ORDER, explaining the dutys and functions of the magistrats contain’d in the list of the prime magnitude: and those of the hundreds, beginning with the lord high sheriff, who, over and above his more antient offices, and those added by the former order, is the first magistrat of the phylarch, or prerogative troop. The lord lieutenant, over and above his duty mentioned, is commander in chief of the musters of the youth, and second magistrat of the phylarch. The custos rotulorum is to return the yearly muster-rolls of the tribe, as well that of the youth as of the elders, to the rolls in emporium, and is the third magistrat of the phylarch. The censors by themselves, and their subcensors, that is, the overseers of the parishes, are to see that the respective laws of the ballot be observ’d in all the popular assemblys of the tribe. They have power also to put such national ministers, as in preaching shell intermeddle with matters of government, out of their livings: except the party appeals to the phylarch, or to the council of religion, where in that case the censors shall prosecute. All and every one of these magistrats, together with the justices of peace, and the jurymen of the hundreds, amounting in the whole number to threescore and six, are the prerogative troop or phylarch of the tribe.
THE function of the phylarch or prerogative troop is fivesold.
Functions of the phylarch.First, They are the council of the tribe, and as such to govern the musters of the same according to the foregoing orders, having cognizance of what has past in the congregation or elections made in the parishes or the hundreds, with power to punish any undue practices, or variation from their respective rules and orders, under an appeal to the parlament. A marriage legitimatly is to be pronounc’d by the parochial congregation, the muster of the hundred, or the phylarch. And if a tribe have a desire (which they are to express at the muster by their captains, every troop by his own) to petition the parlament, the phylarch, as the counsil, shall frame the petition in the pavilion, and propose it by clauses to the ballot of the whole tribe; and the clauses that shall be affirm’d by the ballot of the tribe, and sign’d by the hands of the six magistrats of the prime magnitude, shall be receiv’d and esteem’d by the parlament as the petition of the tribe, and no other.
Secondly, The phylarch has power to call to their assistance what other troops of the tribe they please (be they elders or youth, whose disciplin will be hereafter directed) and with these to receive the judges itinerant in their circuits, whom the magistrats of the phylarch shall assist upon the bench, and the jurys elsewhere in their proper functions according to the more antient laws and customs of this nation.
Thirdly, The phylarch shall hold the court called the quarter sessions according to the antient custom, and therin shall also hear causes in order to the protection of liberty of conscience, by such rules as are or shall hereafter be appointed by the parlament.
Fourthly, All commissions issu’d into the tribes by the parlament, or by the chancery, are to be directed to the phylarch, or som of that troop, and executed by the same respectively.
Fifthly, In the case of levys of mony the parlament shall tax the phylarchs, the phylarchs shall tax the hundreds, the hundreds the parishes, and the parishes shall levy it upon themselves. The parishes having levy’d the tax-mony, accordingly shall return it to the officers of the hundreds, the hundreds to the phylarchs, and the phylarchs to the Exchequer. But if a man has ten children living, he shall pay no taxes; if he has five living, he shall pay but half taxes; if he has bin marry’d three years, or be above twenty five years of age, and has no child or children lawfully begotten, he shall pay double taxes. And if there happen to grow any dispute upon these or such other orders as shall or may hereto be added hereafter, the phylarchs shall judg the tribes, and the parlament shall judg the phylarchs. For the rest, if any man shall go about to introduce the right or power of debate into any popular council or congregation of this nation, the phylarch or any magistrat of the hundred, or of the tribe, shall cause him presently to be sent in custody to the council of war.
Institution of the roll call’d the pillar of Nilus.The part of the order relating to the rolls in Emporium being of singular use, is not unworthy to be somwhat better open’d. In what manner the lists of the parishes, hundreds, and tribes are made, has bin shewn in their respective orders, where after the partys are elected, they give an account of the whole number of the elders or deputys in their respective assemblys or musters; the like for this part exactly is don by the youth in their disciplin (to be hereafter shewn) wherfore the lists of the parishes, youth and elders, being sum’d up, give the whole number of the people able to bear arms; and the lists of the tribes, youth and elders, being sum’d up, give the whole number of the people bearing arms. This account, being annually recorded by the master of the rolls, is call’d the pillar of Nilus, because the people being the riches of the commonwealth, as they are found to rise or fall by the degrees of this pillar, like that river, give an account of the public harvest.
Thus much for the description of the first day’s work at the muster, which happen’d, as has bin shewn, to be done as soon as said: for as in practice it is of small difficulty, so requires it not much time, seeing the great council of Venice, consisting of a like number, begins at twelve of the clock, and elects nine magistrats in one afternoon. But the tribe being dismist for this night, repair’d to their quarters, under the conduct of their new magistrats. The next morning returning to the field very early, the orator proceded to
12 Order. Institution of the galaxy.The twelfth ORDER, directing the muster of the tribe in the second day’s election, being that of the list call’d the galaxy; in which the censors shall prepare the urns according to the directions given in the ninth order for the second ballot; that is to say, with 36 gold balls in the middle urn, making four orders, and nine electors in every order, according to the number of the magistrats in the list of the galaxy, which is as follows:
THE rest of the ballot shall procede exactly according to that of the first day. But forasmuch as the commonwealth demands as well the fruits of a man’s body as of his mind, he that has not bin marry’d shall not be capable of these magistracys till he be marry’d. If a deputy, already chosen to be an officer in the parish, in the hundred, or in the tribe, be afterwards chosen of the galaxy, it shall be lawful for him to delegat his office in the parish, in the hundred, or in the tribe, to any one of his own order, being not already chosen into office. The knights and deputys being chosen, shall be brought to the head of the tribe by the lord high sheriff, who shall administer to them this oath; Ye shall well and truly observe and keep the orders and customs of this commonwealth which the people have chosen. And if any of them shall refuse the oath, he shall be rejected, and that competitor which had the most voices next shall be call’d, in his place; who if he takes the oath shall be entered in the list; but if he also refuses the oath, he who had most voices next shall be call’d, and so till the number of nine out of those competitors which had most voices be sworn knights and deputys of the galaxy. [This clause, in regard of the late divisions, and to the end that no violence be offer’d to any man’s conscience, to be of force but for the first three years only.] The knights of the galaxy being elected and sworn, are to repair, by the Monday next insuing the last of March, to the pantheon or palace of justice, situated in the metropolis of this commonwealth (except the parlament, by reason of a contagious sickness, or som other occasion, has adjourn’d to another part of the nation) where they are to take their places in the senat, and continue in full power and commission as senators for the full term of three years next insuing the date of their election. The deputys of the galaxy are to repair by the same day (except as before excepted) to the halo situated in Emporium, where they are to be listed of the prerogative tribe, or equal representative of the people; and to continue in full power and commission as their deputys for the full term of three years next insuing their election. But forasmuch as the term of every magistracy or office in this commonwealth requires an equal vacation, a knight or deputy of the galaxy, having fulfill’d his term of three years, shall not be reelected into the same galaxy, or any other, till he has also fulfill’d his three years vacation.
Whoever shall rightly consider the foregoing orders, will be as little able to find how it is possible, that a worshipful knight should declare himself in ale and beef worthy to serve his country, as how my lord high sheriff’s honour, in case he were protected from the law, could play the knave. But tho the foregoing orders, so far as they regard the constitution of the senat and the people, requiring no more as to an ordinary election than is therin explain’d, that is but one third part of their knights and deputys, are perfect; yet must we in this place, and as to the institution, of necessity erect a scaffold. For the commonwealth to the first creation of her councils in full number, requir’d thrice as many as are eligible by the foregoing orders. Wherfore the orator, whose aid in this place was most necessary, rightly informing the people of the reason, staid them two days longer at the muster, and took this course. One list containing two knights and seven deputys, he caus’d to be chosen upon the second day; which list being call’d the first galaxy, qualify’d the partys elected of it with power for the term of one year and no longer: another list containing two knights and seven deputys more, he caus’d to be chosen the third day, which list being call’d the second galaxy, qualify’d the partys elected of it with power for the term of two years and no longer. And upon the fourth day he chose the third galaxy, according as it is directed by the order, impower’d for three years; which lists successively falling (like the sign: or constellations of one hemisphere, which setting, cause those of the other to rise) cast the great orbs of this commonwealth into an annual, triennial, and perpetual revolution.
The business of the muster being thus happily finish’d, Hermes de Caduceo, lord orator of the tribe of Nubia, being now put into her first rapture, caus’d one of the censors pulpits to be planted in front of the squadron, and ascending into the same, spake after this manner.
My lords, the magistrats and the people of the tribe of Nubia.
“WE have this day solemniz’d the happy nuptials of the two greatest princes that are upon the earth or in nature, arms and councils: in the mutual embraces wherof consists your whole commonwealth; whose councils upon their perpetual wheelings, marches, and countermarches, create her armys; and whose armys with the golden vollys of the ballot at once create and salute her councils. There be those (such is the world at present) that think it ridiculous to see a nation exercising its civil functions in military disciplin; while they, committing their buff to their servants, com themselves to hold trenchards. For what avails it such as are unarm’d, or (which is all one) whose education acquaints them not with the proper use of their swords, to be call’d citizens? What were two or three thousand of you, tho never so well affected to your country, but naked, to one troop of mercenary soldiers? If they should com upon the field and say, Gentlemen, It is thought fit that such and such men should be chosen by you; where were your liberty; Or, Gentlemen, parlaments are exceeding good, but you are to have a little patience, these times are not so fit for them; where were your commonwealth? What causes the monarchy of the Turcs but servants in arms? What was it that begot the glorious commonwealth of Rome, but the sword in the hands of her citizens? Wherfore my glad eys salute the serenity and brightness of this day with a showr that shall not cloud it. Behold the army of Israel becom a commonwealth, and the commonwealth of Israel remaining an army, with her rulers of tens and of fiftys, her rulers of hundreds and thousands, drawing near (as this day throout our happy fields) to the lot by her tribes, increas’d above threefold, and led up by her phylarchs or princes, to sit upon* fifty thrones, judging the fifty tribes of Oceana! Or, Is it Athens, breaking from her iron sepulcher, where she has bin so long trampled by hosts of janizarys? For certainly that is the voice of Theseus, having gather’d his scatter’d Athenians into one city.† This freeborn nation lives not upon the dole or bounty of one man, but distributing her annual magistracys and honours with her own hand, is herself king PEOPLE—at which the orator was a while interrupted with shouts, but at length proceded)—Is it grave Lacedemon in her arm’d tribe divided by her obæ and her mora, which appears to chide me that I teach the people to talk, or conceive such language as is drest like a woman, to be a fit usher of the joys of liberty into the hearts of men? Is it Rome in her victorious arms (for so she held her concio or congregation) that congratulats with us, for finding out that which she could not hit on, and binding up her comitia curiata, centuriata, and tributa, in one inviolable league of union? Or is it the great council of incomparable Venice, bowling forth by the self-same ballot her immortal commonwealth? For, neither by reason nor by experience is it impossible that a commonwealth should be immortal; seeing the people being the materials, never dy; and the form, which is motion, must, without opposition, be endless. The bowl which is thrown from your hand, if there be no rub, no impediment, shall never cease: for which cause the glorious luminarys that are the bowls of God, were once thrown for ever; and next these, those of Venice. But certainly, my lords, whatever these great examples may have shewn us, we are the first that have shewn to the world a commonwealth establish’d in her rise upon fifty such towers, and so garnizon’d as are the tribes of Oceana, containing a hundred thousand elders upon the annual list, and yet but an outguard; besides her marching armys to be equal in the disciplin, and in the number of her youth.
“And forasmuch as soverain power is a necessary but a formidable creature, not unlike the pouder which (as you are soldiers) is at once your safety and your danger, being subject to take fire against you as well as for you; how well and securely is she by your galaxys so collected as to be in full force and vigor, and yet so distributed that it is impossible you should be blown up by your own magazine? Let them who will have it, that power if it be confin’d cannot be soverain, tell us, whether our rivers do not enjoy a more secure and fruitful reign within their proper banks, than if it were lawful for them, in ravaging our harvests, to spill themselves? whether souls, not confin’d to their peculiar bodys, do govern them any more than those of witches in their trances? whether power, not confin’d to the bounds of reason and virtue, has any other bounds than those of vice and passion? or if vice and passion be boundless, and reason and virtue have certain limits, on which of these thrones holy men should anoint their soverain? but to blow away this dust, the soverain power of a commonwealth is no more bounded, that is to say straitned, than that of a monarch; but is balanc’d. The eagle mounts not to her proper pitch, if she be bounded; nor is free, if she be not balanc’d. And lest a monarch should think he can reach further with his scepter, the Roman eagle upon such a balance spread her wings from the ocean to Euphrates. Receive the soverain power; you have received it, hold it fast, imbrace it for ever in your shining arms. The virtue of the loadstone is not impair’d or limited, but receives strength and nourishment by being bound in iron. And so giving your lordships much joy, I take my leave of this tribe.”
The orator descending, had the period of his speech made with a vast applause and exultation of the whole tribe, attending him for that night to his quarter, as the phylarch with some commanded troops did the next day to the frontiers of the tribe, where leave was taken on both sides with more tears than grief.
Definition of the tribe.So, a tribe is the third division of land occasion’d by the third collection of the people, whose functions proper to that place are contain’d in the five foregoing orders.
The institution of the commonwealth was such as needed those props and scaffolds which may have troubled the reader; but I shall here take them away, and com to the constitution which stands by it self, and yields a clearer prospect.
Constitution of the commonwealth.The motions, by what has bin already shown, are spherical; and spherical motions have their proper center: for which cause (e’er I procede further) it will be necessary, for the better understanding of the whole, that I discover the center wherupon the motions of this commonwealth are form’d.
The center, or basis of every government, is no other than the fundamental laws of the same.
Fundamental laws are such as state what it is that a man may call his own, that is to say, property; and what the means be wherby a man may enjoy his own, that is to say, protection. The first is also call’d dominion, and the second empire or soverain power, wherof this (as has been shewn) is the natural product of the former: for such as is the balance of dominion in a nation, such is the nature of its empire.
Wherfore the fundamental laws of Oceana, or the center of this commonwealth, are the agrarian and the ballot: the agrarian by the balance of dominion preserving equality in the root; and the ballot by an equal rotation conveying it into the branch, or exercise of soverain power: as, to begin with the former, appears by
The thirteenth ORDER, constituting the agrarian laws of Oceana, Marpesia, and Panopea, wherby it is ordain’d, first, for all such lands as are lying and being within the proper territorys of Oceana, that every man who is at present possest, or shall hereafter be possest of an estate in land exceeding the revenue of two thousand pounds a year, and having more than one son, shall leave his lands either equally divided among them, in case the lands amount to above 2000 l. a year to each; or so near equally in case they com under, that the greater part or portion of the same remaining to the eldest, excede not the value of two thousand pounds revenue. And no man, not in present possession of lands above the value of two thousand pounds by the year, shall receive, enjoy (except by lawful inheritance) acquire, or purchase to himself lands within the said territorys, amounting, with those already in his possession, above the said revenue. And if a man has a daughter, or daughters, except she be an heiress, or they be heiresses, he shall not leave or give to any one of them in marriage, or otherwise, for her portion, above the value of one thousand five hundred pounds in lands, goods, and monys. Nor shall any friend, kinsman, or kinswoman, add to her or their portion or portions that are so provided for, to make any one of them greater. Nor shall any man demand, or have more in marriage with any woman. Nevertheless an heiress shall enjoy her lawful inheritance, and a widow, whatsoever the bounty or affection of her husband shall bequeath to her, to be divided in the first generation, wherein it is divisible according as has bin shewn.
Secondly, For lands lying and being within the territorys of Marpesia, the agrarian shall hold in all parts as it is established in Oceana, except only in the standard or proportion of estates in land, which shall be set for Marpesia at five hundred pounds. And,
Thirdly, For Panopea, the agrarian shall hold in all parts, as in Oceana. And whosoever possessing above the proportion allow’d by these laws, shall be lawfully convicted of the same, shall forfeit the overplus to the use of the state.
Agrarian laws of all others have ever bin the greatest bugbears, and so in the institution were these, at which time it was ridiculous to see how strange a fear appear’d in every body of that which, being good for all, could hurt no body. But instead of the proof of this order, I shall out of those many debates that happen’d e’er it could be past, insert two speeches that were made at the council of legislators, the first by the right honourable Philautus de Garbo, a young man, being heir apparent to a very noble family, and one of the counsillors, who exprest himself as follows.
May it please your highness, my lordArchonof Oceana.
“IF I did not, to my capacity, know from how profound a counsillor I dissent, it would certainly be no hard task to make it as light as the day: first, That an agrarian is altogether unnecessary. Secondly, That it is dangerous to a commonwealth. Thirdly, That it is insufficient to keep out monarchy. Fourthly, That it ruins familys. Fifthly, That it destroys industry. And last of all, That tho it were indeed of any good use, it will be a matter of such difficulty to introduce in this nation, and so to settle that it may be lasting, as is altogether invincible.
“First, That an agrarian is unnecessary to a commonwealth, what clearer testimony can there be, than that the commonwealths which are our cotemporarys (Venice, to which your highness gives the upperhand of all antiquity, being one) have no such thing? and there can be no reason why they have it not, seeing it is in the soverain power at any time to establish such an order, but that they need it not; wherfore no wonder if Aristotle, who pretends to be a good commonwealthsman has long since derided Phaleas, to whom it was attributed by the Greecs, for his invention.
“Secondly, That an agrarian is dangerous to a commonwealth is affirm’d upon no slight authority, seeing Machiavel is positive, that it was the dissension which happen’d about the agrarian that caus’d the destruction of Rome; nor do I think that it did much better in Lacedemon, as I shall shew anon.
“Thirdly, That it is insufficient to keep out monarchy cannot without impiety be deny’d, the holy Scriptures bearing witness, that the commonwealth of Israel, notwithstanding her agrarian, submitted her neck to the arbritrary yoke of her princes.
“Fourthly, therfore to com to my next assertion, That it is destructive to familys; this also is so apparent, that it needs pity rather than proof. Why, alas, do you bind a nobility (which no generation shall deny to have bin the first that freely sacrific’d their blood to the antient libertys of this people) on an unholy altar? why are the people taught, that their liberty, which, except our noble ancestors had bin born, must have long since bin bury’d, cannot now be born except we be bury’d? a commonwealth should have the innocence of the dove. Let us leave this purchase of her birth to the serpent, which eats itself out of the womb of its mother.
“Fifthly, but it may be said, perhaps, That we are fallen from our first love, becom proud and idle. It is certain, my lords, that the hand of God is not upon us for nothing. But take heed how you admit of such assaults and sallys upon mens estates, as may slacken the nerve of labor, and give others also reason to believe that their sweat is vain; or else, whatsoever be pretended, your agrarian (which is my fifth assertion) must indeed destroy industry. For, that so it did in Lacedemon is most apparent, as also that it could do no otherwise, where every man having his 40 quarters of barly, with wine proportionable, supply’d him out of his own lot by his laborer or helot; and being confin’d in that to the scantling above which he might not live, there was not any such thing as a trade, or other art, except that of war, in exercise. Wherfore a Spartan, if he were not in arms, must sit and play with his fingers, whence insu’d perpetual war, and, the estate of the city being as little capable of increase as that of the citizens, her inevitable ruin. Now what better ends you can propose to your selves in the like ways, I do not so well see as I perceive that there may be worse: for Lacedemon yet was free from civil war: but if you employ your citizens no better than she did, I cannot promise you that you shall fare so well, because they are still desirous of war that hope it may be profitable to them; and the strongest security you can give of peace, is to make it gainful. Otherwise men will rather chuse that wherby they may break your laws, than that wherby your laws may break them. Which I speak not so much in relation to the nobility or such as would be holding, as to the people or them that would be getting; the passion in these being so much the stronger, as a man’s felicity is weaker in the fruition of things, than in their prosecution and increase.
“Truly, my lords, it is my fear, that by taking of more hands, and the best from industry, you will farther indamage it, than can be repair’d by laying on a few, and the worst; while the nobility must be forc’d to send their sons to the plow, and, as if this were not enough, to marry their daughters also to farmers.
“Sixthly, but I do not see (to come to the last point) how it is possible that this thing should be brought about, to your good I mean, tho it may to the destruction of many. For that the agrarian of Israel, or that of Lacedemon might stand, is no such miracle; the lands, without any consideration of the former proprietor, being survey’d and cast into equal lots, which could neither be bought, nor sold, nor multiply’d: so that they knew wherabout to have a man. But in this nation no such division can be introduc’d, the lands being already in the hands of proprietors, and such whose estates ly very rarely together, but mix’d one with another; being also of tenures in nature so different, that as there is no experience that an agrarian was ever introduc’d in such a case, so there is no appearance how, or reason why it should: but that which is against reason and experience is impossible.”
The case of my lord Philautus was the most concern’d in the whole nation; for he had four younger brothers, his father being yet living to whom he was heir of ten thousand pounds a year. Wherfore being a man both of good parts and esteem, his words wrought both upon mens reason and passions, and had born a stroke at the head of the business, if my lord Archon had not interpos’d the buckler in this oration.
My lords, the legislators of Oceana,
“MY lord Philautus has made a thing which is easy to seem hard; if the thanks were due to his eloquence, it would be worthy of less praise, than that he ows it to his merit, and the love he has most deservedly purchas’d of all men: nor is it rationally to be fear’d, that he who is so much beforehand in his privat, should be in arrear in his public capacity. Wherfore my lord’s tenderness throout his speech arising from no other principle than his solicitude lest the agrarian should be hurtful to his country; it is no less than my duty to give the best satisfaction I am able to so good a patriot, taking every one of his doubts in the order propos’d. And,
“First, Wheras my lord, upon observation of the modern commonwealths, is of opinion, that an agrarian is not necessary: it must be confest, that at the first sight of them there is som appearance favoring his assertion, but upon accidents of no precedent to us. For the commonwealths of Switzerland and Holland, I mean of those leagues, being situated in countrys not alluring the inhabitants to wantonness, but obliging them to universal industry, have an implicit agrarian in the nature of them: and being not obnoxious to a growing nobility (which, as long as their former monarchys had spread the wing over them, conld either not at all be hatch’d, or was soon broken) are of no example to us, whose experience in this point has bin to the contrary. But what if even in these governments there be indeed an explicit agrarian? for when the law commands an equal or near equal distribution of a man’s estate in land among his children, as it is don in those countrys, a nobility cannot grow; and so there needs no agrarian, or rather there is one. And for the growth of the nobility in Venice (if so it be, for Machiavel observes in that republic, as a cause of it, a great mediocrity of estates) it is not a point that she is to fear, but might study, seeing she consists of nothing else but nobility; by which, whatever their estates fuck from the people, especially, if it coms equally, is digested into the better blood of that commonwealth, which is all, or the greatest benefit they can have by accumulation. For how inequal soever you will have them to be in their incoms, they have officers of the pomp, to bring them equal in expences, or at least in the ostentation or shew of them. And so unless the advantage of an estate consists more in the measure than in the use of it, the authority of Venice dos but inforce our agrarian; nor shall a man evade or elude the prudence of it, by the authority of any other commonwealth. For if a commonwealth has bin introduc’d at once, as those of Israel and Lacedemon, you are certain to find her underlaid with this as the main foundation; nor, if she is oblig’d more to fortune than prudence, has she rais’d her head without musing upon this matter, as appears by that of Athens, which thro her defect in this point, says Aristotle, introduc’d her ostracism, as most of the democracys of Grece.Polit. 1. 3. c. 9. But, not to restrain a fundamental of such latitude to any one kind of government, do we not yet see, that if there be a sole landlord of a vast territory, he is the Turc? that if a few landlords overbalance a populous country, they have store of servants? that if a people be in an equal balance, they can have no lords? that no government can otherwise be erected, than upon som one of these foundations? that no one of these foundations (each being else apt to change into som other) can give any security to the government, unless it be fix’d: that thro the want of this fixation, potent monarchy and commonwealths have faln upon the heads of the people, and accompany’d their own sad ruins with vast effusions of innocent blood? let the fame, as was the merit of the antient nobility of this nation, be equal to, or above what has bin already said, or can be spoken; yet have we seen not only their glory, but that of a throne, the most indulgent to, and least invasive for so many ages upon the liberty of a people that the world has known, thro the mere want of fixing her foot by a proportionable agrarian upon her proper foundation, to have faln with such horror, as has bin a spectacle of astonishment to the whole earth. And were it well argu’d from one calamity, that we ought not to prevent another? nor is Aristotle so good a commonwealthsman for deriding the invention of Phaleas, as in recollecting himself, where he says, That democracys, when a less part of their citizens overtop the rest in wealth, degenerat into oligarchys and principalitys; and, which coms nearer to the present purpose, that the greater part of the nobility of Tarentum coming accidentally to be ruin’d, the government of the few came by consequence to be chang’d into that of the many.Polit. l. 5. c. 3.
“These things consider’d, I cannot see how an agrarian, as to the fixation or security of a government, can be less than necessary. And if a cure be necessary, it excuses not the patient, his disease being otherwise desperat, that it is dangerous; which was the case of Rome, not so stated by Machiavel, where he says, That the strife about the agrarian caus’d the destruction of that commonwealth. As if when a senator was not rich (as Crassus held) except he could pay an army, that commonwealth could expect nothing but ruin whether in strife about the agrarian, or without it.*Of late, says Livy,riches have introduc’d avarice;and voluptuous pleasures abounding, have thro lust and luxury begot a desire of blasting and destroying all good orders. If the greatest security of a commonwealth consists in being provided with the proper antidote against this poison, her greatest danger must be from the absence of an agrarian, which is the whole truth of the Roman example. For the laconic, I shall reserve the farther explication of it, as my lord also did, to another place: and first see whether an agrarian proportion’d to a popular government be sufficient to keep out monarchy. My lord is for the negative, and fortify’d by the people of Israel electing a king. To which I say, That the action of the people therin exprest is a full answer to the objection of that example: for the monarchy neither grew upon them, nor could, by reason of the agrarian, possibly have invaded them, if they had not pull’d it upon themselves by the election of a king. Which being an accident, the like wherof is not to be found in any other people so planted, nor in this, till, as it is manifest, they were given up by God to infatuation (for says he to Samuel,They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them) has somthing in it which is apparent, by what went before, to have bin besides the course of nature, and by what follow’d. For the king having no other foundation than the calamitys of the people, so often beaten by their enemys, that despairing of themselves, they were contented with any change; if he had peace as in the days of Solomon, left but a slippery throne to his successor, as appear’d by Rehoboam. And the agrarian, notwithstanding the monarchy thus introduc’d, so faithfully preserv’d the root of that commonwealth, that it shot forth oftner, and by intervals continu’d longer than any other government, as may be computed from the institution of the same by Joshua, 1465 years before Christ, to the total dissolution of it, which happen’d in the reign of the emperor Adrian, 135 years after the incarnation. A people planted upon an equal agrarian, and holding to it, if they part with their liberty, must do it upon good-will, and make but a bad title of their bounty. As to instance yet further in that which is propos’d by the present order to this nation, the standard wherof is at 2000 l. a year: the whole territory of Oceana being divided by this proportion, amounts to 5000 lots. So the lands of Oceana being thus distributed, and bound to this distribution, can never fall to fewer than five thousand proprietors. But five thousand proprietors so seiz’d will not agree to break the agrarian, for that were to agree to rob one another; nor to bring in a king, because they must maintain him, and can have no benefit by him; nor to exclude the people, because they can have as little by that, and must spoil their militia. So the commonwealth continuing upon the balance propos’d, tho it should come into five thousand hands, can never alter; and that it should ever come into five thousand hands, is as improbable as any thing in the world that is not altogether impossible.
“My lord’s other considerations are more privat: as that this order destroys familys; which is as if one should lay the ruin of some antient castle to the herbs which usually grow out of them; the destruction of those familys being that indeed which naturally produc’d this order. For we do not now argue for that which we would have, but for that which we are already possest of; as would appear, if a note were but taken of all such as have at this day above two thousand pounds a year in Oceana. If my lord should grant (and I will put it with the most) that they who are proprietors in land, exceeding this proportion, exceed not three hundred; with what brow can the interest of so few be balanc’d with that of the whole nation? or rather, what interest have they to put in such a balance? they would live as they had bin accustom’d to do; who hinders them? they would enjoy their estates; who touches them? they would dispose of what they have according to the interest of their familys: it is that which we desire. A man has one son; let him be call’d: would he enjoy his father’s estate? it is his, his son’s, and his son’s son’s after him. A man has five sons; let them be call’d: would they enjoy their father’s estate? it is divided among them: for we have four votes for one in the same family, and therefore this must be the interest of the family, or the family knows not its own interest. If a man shall dispute otherwise, he must draw his arguments from custom, and from greatness, which was the interest of the monarchy, not of the family: and we are now a commonwealth. If the monarchy could not bear with such divisions because they tended to a commonwealth; neither can a commonwealth connive at such accumulations, because they tend to a monarchy. If the monarchy might make bold with so many for the good of one, we may make bold with one for the good of so many; nay, for the good of all. My lords, it coms into my mind, that which upon occasion of the variety of partys enumerated in our late civil wars, was said by a friend of mine coming home from his travels, about the latter end of these troubles: That he admir’d how it came to pass, that younger brothers, especially being so many more in number than their elder, did not unite as one man against a tyranny, the like wherof has not bin exercis’d in any other nation. And truly, when I consider that our countrymen are none of the worst natur’d, I must confess I marvel much how it coms to pass, that we should use our children as we do our puppys; take one, lay it in the lap, feed it with every good bit, and drown five: nay yet worse; forasmuch as the puppys are once drown’d, wheras the children are left perpetually drowning. Really, my lords, it is a flinty custom! and all this for his cruel ambition, that would raise himself a pillar, a golden pillar for his monument, tho he has children, his own reviving flesh, and a kind of immortality. And this is that interest of a family, for which we are to think ill of a government that will not indure it. But quiet ourselves: the land thro which the river Nilus wanders in one stream, is barren; but where it parts into seven, it multiplys its fertil shores by distributing, yet keeping and improving such a propriety and nutrition, as is a prudent agrarian to a well-order’d commonwealth.
“Nor (to com to the fifth assertion) is a political body render’d any fitter for industry, by having one gouty and another wither’d leg, than a natural. It tends not to the improvement of merchandize that there be som who have no need of their trading, and others that are not able to follow it. If confinement discourages industry, an estate in mony is not confin’d; and lest industry should want wherupon to work, land is not ingrost or intail’d upon any man, but remains at its devotion. I wonder whence the computation can arise, that this should discourage industry. Two thousand pounds a year a man may enjoy in Oceana, as much in Panopea, five hundred in Marpesia: there be other plantations, and the commonwealth will have more. Who knows how far the arms of our agrarian may extend themselves? and whether he that might have left a pillar, may not leave a temple of many pillars to his more pious memory? where there is som measure in riches, a man may be rich; but if you will have them to be infinit, there will be no end of starving himself, and wanting what he has: and what pains dos such a one take to be poor! furthermore, if a man shall think that there may be an industry less greasy, or more noble, and so cast his thoughts upon the commonwealth, he will have leisure for her, and she riches and honors for him; his sweat shall smell like Alexander’s. My lord Philautus is a young man, who enjoying his ten thousand pounds a year, may keep a noble house in the old way, and have homely guests; and having but two, by the means propos’d, may take the upper hand of his great ancestors; with reverence to whom, I may say, there has not bin one of them would have disputed his place with a Roman consul. My lord, do not break my heart; the nobility shall go to no other plows than those which we call our consuls. But, says he, it having bin so with Lacedemon, that neither the city nor the citizens were capable of increase, a blow was given by that agrarian, which ruin’d both. And what are we concern’d with that agrarian, or that blow, while our citizens and our city (and that by our agrarian) are both capable of increase? the Spartan, if he made a conquest, had no citizens to hold it: the Oceaner will have enow: the Spartan could have no trade, the Oceaner may have all. The agrarian in Laconia, that it might bind on knapsacs, forbidding all other arts but that of war, could not make an army of above 30000 citizens. The agrarian in Oceana without interruption of traffic, provides us in the fifth part of the youth an annual source or fresh spring of 100000, besides our provincial auxiliarys, out of which to draw marching armys; and as many elders, not feeble, but men most of them in the flower of their age, and in arms for the defence of our territorys. The agrarian in Laconia banish’d mony, this multiplys it: that allow’d a matter of twenty or thirty acres to a man; this two or three thousand: there is no comparison between them. And yet I differ so much from my lord, or his opinion that the agrarian was the ruin of Lacedemon, that I hold it no less than demonstrable to have bin her main support. For if, banishing all other diversions, it could not make an army of above 30000; then letting in all other diversions, it must have broken that army. Wherfore Lysander bringing in the golden spoils of Athens, irrecoverably ruin’d that commonwealth; and is a warning to us, that in giving incouragement to industry, we also remember, that covetousness is the root of all evil. And our agrarian can never be the cause of those seditions threaten’d by my lord, but is the proper cure of them, as*Lucan notes well in the state of Rome before the civil wars, which happen’d thro the want of such an antidote.
“Why then are we mistaken, as if we intended not equal advantages in our commonwealth to either sex, because we would not have womens fortunes consist in that metal, which exposes them to cutpurses? if a man cuts my purse, I may have him by the heels or by the neck for it; wheras a man may cut a woman’s purse, and have her for his pains in fetters. How brutish, and much more than brutish, is that commonwealth, which prefers the earth before the fruits of the womb? if the people be her treasure, the staff by which she is sustain’d and comforted, with what justice can she suffer them, by whom she is most inrich’d, to be for that cause the most impoverish’d? and yet we see the gifts of God, and the bountys of heaven in fruitful familys, thro this wretched custom of marrying for mony, becom their insupportable grief and poverty. Nor falls this so heavy upon the lower sort, being better able to shift for themselves, as upon the nobility or gentry. For what avails it in this case, from whence their veins have deriv’d their blood; while they shall see the tallow of a chandler sooner converted into that beauty which is requir’d in a bride? I appeal, whether my lord Philautus or my self be the advocat of nobility; against which in the case propos’d by me, there would be nothing to hold the balance. And why is a woman, if she may have but fifteen hundred pounds, undon? if she be unmarry’d, what nobleman allows his daughter in that case a greater revenu, than so much mony may command? and if she marry, no nobleman can give his daughter a greater portion than she has. Who is hurt in this case? nay, who is not benefited? if the agrarian gives us the sweat of our brows without diminution; if it prepares our table, if it makes our cup to overflow; and above all this, in providing for our children, anoints our heads with that oil which takes away the greatest of worldly cares; what man, that is not besotted with a covetousness as vain as endless, can imagin such a constitution to be his poverty? seeing where no woman can be considerable for her portion, no portion will be considerable with a woman; and so his children will not only find better preferments without his brokage, but more freedom of their own affections. We are wonderful severe in laws, that they shall not marry without our consent; as if it were care and tenderness over them: but is it not lest we should not have the other thousand pounds with this son, or the other hundred pounds a year more in jointure for that daughter? these, when we are crost in them, are the sins for which we water our couch with tears, but not of penitence; seeing wheras it is a mischief beyond any that we can do to our enemys, we persist to make nothing of breaking the affection of our children. But there is in this agrarian a homage to pure and spotless love, the consequence wherof I will not give for all your romances. An alderman makes not his daughter a countess till he has given her 20000 l. nor a romance a considerable mistriss till she be a princess; these are characters of bastard love. But if our agrarian excludes ambition and covetousness, we shall at length have the care of our own breed, in which we have bin curious as to our dogs and horses. The marriage-bed will be truly legitimat, and the race of the commonwealth not spurious.
“But(impar magnanimis ausis, imparque dolori) I am hurl’d from all my hopes by my lord’s last assertion of impossibility, that the root from whence we imagin these fruits, should be planted or thrive in this soil. And why? because of the mixture of estates, and variety of tenures. Nevertheless, there is yet extant in the exchequer an old survey of the whole nation; wherfore such a thing is not impossible. Now if a new survey were taken at the present rates, and the law made, that no man should hold hereafter above so much land as is valu’d therein at 2000 l. a year, it would amount to a good and sufficient agrarian. It is true, that there would remain som difficulty in the different kind of rents, and that it is a matter requiring not only more leisure than we have, but an authority which may be better able to bow men to a more general consent, than is to be wrought out of them by such as are in our capacity. Wherfore, as to the manner, it is necessary that we refer it to the parlament; but as to the matter, they cannot otherwise fix their government upon the right balance.
“I shall conclude with a few words to som parts of the order, which my lord has omitted. As first to the consequences of the agrarian to be settled in Marpesia, which irreparably breaks the aristocracy of that nation; being of such a nature, as standing, it is not possible that you should govern. For while the people of that country are little better than the cattel of the nobility, you must not wonder if, according as these can make their markets with foren princes, you find those to be driven upon your grounds. And if you be so tender, now you have it in your power, as not to hold a hand upon them that may prevent the slaughter which must otherwise insue in like cases, the blood will lie at your door. But in holding such a hand upon them, you may settle the agrarian; and in settling the agrarian, you give that people not only liberty, but lands; which makes your protection necessary to their security; and their contribution due to your protection, as to their own safety.
“For the agrarian of Panopea, it allowing such proportions of so good land, men that conceive themselves straiten’d by this in Oceana, will begin there to let themselves forth, where every citizen will in time have his villa. And there is no question, but the improvement of that country by this means must be far greater than it has bin in the best of former times.
“I have no more to say, but that in those antient and heroic ages (when men thought that to be necessary which was virtuous) the nobility of Athens having the people so much ingag’d in their debt, that there remain’d no other question among these, than which of those should be king, no sooner heard Solon speak than they quitted their debts, and restor’d the commonwealth; which ever after held a solemn and annual feast call’d the Sisacthia, or Recision, in memory of that action. Nor is this example the phœnix; for at the institution by Lycurgus, the nobility having estates (as ours here) in the lands of Laconia, upon no other valuable consideration than the commonwealth propos’d by him, threw them up to be parcel’d by his agrarian. But now when no man is desir’d to throw up a farthing of his mony, or a shovel full of his earth, and that all we can do is but to make a virtue of necessity; we are disputing whether we should have peace or war: for peace you cannot have without som government, nor any government without the proper balance. Wherfore if you will not fix this which you have, the rest is blood, for without blood you can bring in no other.”
By these speeches made at the institution of the agrarian, you may perceive what were the grounds of it. The next is
14 Order.The fourteenth ORDER, constituting the ballot of Venice, as it is fitted by several alterations, and appointed to every assembly, to be the constant and only way of giving suffrage in this commonwealth, according to the following scheme.
I shall indeavour by the preceding figure to demonstrat the manner of the VENETIAN BALLOT (a thing as difficult in discourse or writing, as facil in practice) according to the use of it in Oceana. The whole figure represents the senat, containing, as to the house or form of sitting, a square and a half; the tribunal at the upper end being ascended by four steps. On the uppermost of these sit the magistrats that constitute the signory of the commonwealth, that is to say, A the strategus; B the orator; C the three commissioners of the great seal; D the three commissioners of the treasury, whereof one, E, exercises for the present the office of a censor at the middle urn F.
To the two upper steps of the tribunal answer GG. GG. the two long benches next the wall on each side of the house; the outwardmost of which are equal in height to the uppermost step, and the innermost equal in height to the next. Of these four benches consists the first seat; as the second seat consists in like manner of those four benches HH. HH. which being next the floor, are equal in height to the two nethermost steps of the throne. So the whole house is distributed into two seats, each consisting of four benches.
This distribution causes not only the greater conveniency, as will be shewn, to the senators in the exercise of their function at the ballot, but a greater grace to the aspect of the senat. In the middle of the outward benches stand I. I. the chairs of the censors, those being their ordinary places, tho upon occasion of the ballot they descend, and sit where they are shewn by K. K. at each of the outward urns L. L. Those M. M. that sit with their tables, and the bowls N. N. before them, upon the half space or second step of the tribunal from the floor, are the clercs or secretarys of the house. Upon the short seats O. O. on the floor (which should have bin represented by woolsacks) sit P the two tribuns of the horse; Q the two tribuns of the foot; and RR. RR. the judges: all which magistrats are assistants, but have no suffrage. This posture of the senat consider’d, the ballot is perform’d as follows.
First, whereas the gold balls are of several sutes, and accordingly mark’d with several letters of the alphabet, a secretary presents a litle urn (wherin there is one ball of every sute or mark) to the strategus and the orator; and look what letter the strategus draws, the same and no other is to be us’d for that time in the middle urn F; the like for the letter drawn by the orator is to be observ’d for the side urns L. L. that is to say, if the strategus drew a ball with an A, all the gold balls in the middle urn for that day are mark’d with the letter A; and if the orator drew a B, all the gold balls in the side urn for that day are mark’d with the letter B: which don immediatly before the ballot, and so the letter unknown to the ballotants, they can use no fraud or jugling; otherwise a man might carry a gold ball in his hand, and seem to have drawn it out of an urn. He that draws a gold ball at any urn, delivers it to the censor or assessor of that urn, who views the character, and allows accordingly of his lot.
The strategus and the orator having drawn for the letters, the urns are prepar’d accordingly by one of the commissioners and the two censors. The preparation of the urns is after this manner. If the senat be to elect, for example, the list call’d the tropic of magistrats, which is this;
This list or schedule consists of six magistracys, and to every magistracy there are to be four competitors, that is, in all four and twenty competitors propos’d to the house. They that are to propose the competitors are call’d electors, and no elector can propose above one competitor: wherfore for the proposing of four and twenty competitors you must have four and twenty electors; and wheras the ballot consists of a lot and of a suffrage, the lot is for no other use than for the designation of electors; and he that draws a gold ball at the middle urn is an elector. Now, as to have four and twenty competitors propos’d, you must have four and twenty electors made; so to have four and twenty electors made by lot, you must have four and twenty gold balls in the middle urn; and these (because otherwise it would be no lot) mix’d with a competent number of blanks, or silver balls. Wherfore to the four and twenty gold balls cast six and twenty silver ones, and those (reckoning the blanks with the prizes) make fifty balls in the middle urn. This don (because no man can com to the middle urn that has not first drawn a gold ball at one of the side urns) and to be sure that the prizes or gold balls in this urn be all drawn, there must com to it fifty persons: therfore there must be in each of the side urns five and twenty gold balls, which in both com to fifty; and to the end that every senator may have his lot, the gold balls in the side urns are to be made up with blanks equal to the number of the ballotants at either urn: for example, the house consisting of 300 senators, there must be in each of the side urns 125 blanks and 25 prizes, which com in both the side urns to 300 balls. This is the whole mystery of preparing the urns, which the censors having skill to do accordingly, the rest of the ballot, whether the partys balloting understand it or no, must of necessary consequence com right; and they can neither be out, nor fall into any confusion in the exercise of this art.
But the ballot, as I said, is of two parts, lot and suffrage, or the proposition and result. The lot determins who shall propose the competitors; and the result of the senat, which of the competitors shall be the magistrats. The whole, to begin with the lot, procedes in this manner.
The first secretary with an audible voice reads first the list of the magistrats to be chosen for the day; then the oath for fair election, at which the senators hold up their hands; which don, another secretary presents a little urn to the strategus, in which are four balls, each of them having one of these four inscriptions: FIRST SEAT AT THE UPPER END. FIRST SEAT AT THE LOWER END. SECOND SEAT AT THE UPPER END. SECOND SEAT AT THE LOWER END. And look which of them the strategus draws, the secretary pronouncing the inscription with a loud voice, the seat so call’d coms accordingly to the urns: this in the figure is the SECOND SEAT AT THE UPPER END. The manner of their coming to the side urns is in double files, there being two holes in the cover of each side urn, by which means two may draw at once. The senators therfore SS. SS. are coming from the upper end of their seats HH. HH. to the side urns L. L. The senators TT. T. are drawing. The senator V has drawn a gold ball at his side urn, and is going to the middle urn F, where the senator W having don the like at the other side urn, is already drawing. But the senators XX. XX. having drawn blanks at their side urns, and thrown them into the bowls Y. Y. standing at the feet of the urns, are marching by the lower end into their seats again; the senator a having don the like at the middle urn, is also throwing his blank into the bowl b, and marching to his seat again: for a man by a prize at a side urn gains no more than right to com to the middle urn, where if he draws a blank, his fortune at the side urn comes to nothing at all; wherfore he also returns to his place. But the senator c has had a prize at the middle urn, where the commissioner having viewed his ball, and found the mark to be right, he marches up the steps to the seat of the electors, which is the form d set cross the tribunal, where he places himself according as he was drawn with the other electors e e e drawn before him. These are not to look back, but sit with their faces towards the signory or state, till their number amount to that of the magistrats to be that day chosen, which for the present, as was shewn, are six; wherfore six electors being made, they are reckon’d according as they were drawn: first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, in their order; and the first six that are chosen are the FIRST ORDER OF ELECTORS.
THE first order of electors being made, are conducted by a secretary with a copy of the list to be chosen, out of the senat, and into a committee or council-chamber, being neither suffered by the way, nor in their room (till the ballot be ended) to have conference with any but themselves; wherfore the secretary, having given them their oath that they shall make election according to the law and their conscience, delivers them the list, and seats himself at the lower end of the table with his pen and paper, while another secretary keeps the door.
By such time as the first order of electors are thus seated, the second order of electors is drawn, who with a second copy of the same list are conducted into another committee-chamber, by other secretarys performing the same office with the former.
The like exactly is don by the third and by the fourth orders (or hands, as the Venetians call them) of electors, by which means you have the four and twenty electors divided according to the four copys of the same list, by six, into four hands or orders; and every one of these orders names one competitor to every magistracy in the list; that is to say, the first elector names to the first magistracy, the second elector to the second magistracy, and so forth. But tho the electors, as has bin shewn, are chosen by mere lot, yet the competitors by them nam’d are not chosen by any lot, but by the suffrage of the whole order: for example; the first elector in the first order proposes a name to be Strategus, which name is balloted by himself and the other five electors: and if the name so balloted attain not to above half the suffrages, it is laid aside, and the first elector names another to the same magistracy; and so in case this also fails, another, till one he has nam’d, whether it be himself, or som other, has attained to above half the suffrages in the affirmative; and the name so attaining to above half the suffrages in the affirmative is written to the first magistracy in the list by the secretary; which being don, the second elector of the first order names to the second magistracy till one of his nomination be chosen to the same. The like is don by the rest of the electors of the first order, till one competitor be chosen, and written to every magistracy in their list. Now the second, third, and fourth orders of electors doing exactly after the same manner, it coms to pass that one competitor to every magistracy being chosen in each order, there be in all four competitors chosen to every magistracy.
If any controversy arises in an order of electors, one of the censors (these being at this game the groomporters) is advertis’d by the secretary, who brings him in, and the electors, disputing are bound to acquiesce in his sentence. For which cause it is that the censors do not ballot at the urns; the signory also abstains, lest it should deform the house: wherfore the blanks in the side urns are by so many the fewer. And so much for the lot, which is of the greater art but less consequence, because it concerns proposition only: but all, (except the tribuns and the judges, which being but assistants have no suffrage) are to ballot at the result, to which I now com.
The four orders of electors having perfected their lists, the face of the house is chang’d: for the urns are taken away, and every senator and magistrat is seated in his proper place, saving the electors, who, having given their suffrages already, may not stir out of their chambers till the house have given theirs, and the rest of the ballot be perform’d; which follows in this manner.
The four lists being presented by the secretarys of each council of electors to the signory, are first read, according to their order, to the house with an audible voice; and then the competitors are put to the ballot or suffrage of the whole senat in this manner: A. A. nam’d to be strategus in the first order; wherupon eight ballotins or pages, such as are express’d by the figures f. f. take eight of the boxes represented, tho rudely, by the figures, g. g. and go four on the one, and four on the other side of the house, that is, one to every bench, signifying A. A. nam’d to be the strategus in the first order: and every magistrat or senator (beginning by the strategus and the orator first) holds up a little pellet of linen, as the box passes, between his finger and his thumb, that men may see he has but one, and then puts it into the same. The box consisting in the inner part of two boxes, being painted on the outside white and green, to distinguish the affirmative from the negative side, is so made, that when your hand is in it, no man can see to which of the sides you put the suffrage, nor hear to which it falls, because the pellet being linen, makes no noise. The strategus and the orator having begun, all the rest do the like.
The ballotins having thus gather’d the suffrages, bring them before the signory, in whose presence the outward boxes being open’d, they take out the inner boxes, wherof the affirmative is white, and the negative green, and pour the white in the bowl N. on the right hand, which is white also, and the green into the bowl N. on the left, which is also green. These bowls or basons (better represented at the lower end of the figure by h. i.) being upon this occasion set before the tables of the secretarys at the upper end N. N. the white on the right hand, and the green on the left, the secretarys on each side number the balls: by which if they find that the affirmatives amount not to above one half, they write not the name that was balloted; but if they amount to above one half, they write it, adding the number of above half the suffrages to which it attain’d. The first name being written, or laid aside, the next that is put is B. B. nam’d to be strategus in the second order; the third C. C. nam’d to be strategus in the third order; the fourth D. D. nam’d to be strategus in the fourth order: and he of these four competitors that has most above half in the affirmative, is the magistrat; or if none of them attain to above half, the nomination for that magistracy is to be repeated by such new electors as shall be chosen at the next ballot. And so, as is exemplify’d in the first magistracy, proceeds the ballot of the rest; first in the first, then in the second, and so in the third and fourth orders.
Now wheras it may happen that A. A. (for example) being nam’d strategus in the first order, may also be nam’d to the same or som one or more other magistracys in one or more of the other orders; his name is first balloted where it is first written, that is to the more worthy magistracy, wherof if he misses, he is balloted as it coms in course for the next, and so for the rest, if he misses of that, as often as he is nam’d.
And because to be nam’d twice, or oftner, whether to the same or som other magistracy, is the stronger recommendation; the note must not fail to be given upon the name, at the proposition in this manner; A. A. nam’d to be strategus in the first, and in the second order: or A. A. nam’d to be strategus in the first and the third; in the first and the fourth, &c. But if he be nam’d to the same magistracy in the first, second, third, and fourth orders, he can have no competitor; wherfore attaining to above half the suffrages, he is the magistrat. Or thus: A. A. nam’d to be strategus in the first, to be censor in the second, to be orator in the third, and to be commissioner of the seal in the fourth order, or the like in more or fewer orders: in which cases if he misses of the first magistracy, he is balloted to the second; if he misses of the second, to the third; and if he misses of the third, to the fourth.
The ballot not finish’d before sunset, tho the election of the magistrats already chosen be good, voids the election of such competitors as being chosen are not yet furnish’d with magistracys, as if they had never bin nam’d (for this is no jugling box, but an art that must see the sun) and the ballot for the remaining magistracys is to be repeated the next day by new orders of electors, and such competitors as by them shall be elected. And so in the like manner, if of all the names propos’d to the same magistracy, no one of them attains to above half the suffrages in the affirmative.
The senatorian ballot of Oceana being thus describ’d, those of the parish, of the hundred, and of the tribe, being so little different, that in this they are all contain’d, and by this may be easily understood, are yet fully describ’d, and made plain enough before in the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th orders.
This therfore is the general order, whence those branches of the ballot, som wherof you have already seen, are deriv’d; which, with those that follow were all read and debated in this place at the institution. When my lord Epimonus de Garrula, being one of the counsellors, and having no farther patience (tho the rulers were compos’d by the agent of this commonwealth, residing for that purpose at Venice) than to hear the direction for the parishes, stood up and made way for himself in this manner.
May it please your highness, my lordArchon,
“UNDER correction of Mr. Peregrin Spy, our very learn’d agent and intelligencer, I have seen the world a little, Venice, and (as gentlemen are permitted to do) the great council balloting. And truly I must needs say, that it is for a dumb shew the goodliest that I ever beheld with my eys. You should have som would take it ill, as if the noble Venetians thought themselves too good to speak to strangers, but they observ’d them not so narrowly. The truth is, they have nothing to say to their acquaintance; or men that are in council sure would have tongues: for a council, and not a word spoken in it, is a contradiction. But there is such a pudder with their marching and countermarching, as, tho never a one of them draw a sword, you would think they were training; which till I found that they did it only to entertain strangers, I came from among them as wise as I went thither. But in the parlament of Oceana you had no balls nor dancing, but sober conversation; a man might know and be known, shew his parts, and improve ’em. And now if you take the advice of this same fellow, you will spoil all with his whimsys. Mr. Speaker,—Cry you mercy, my lord Archon, I mean; set the wisest man of your house in the great council of Venice, and you will not know him from a fool. Wheras nothing is more certain, than that flat and dull fellows in the judgment of all such as us’d to keep company with them before, upon election into our house, have immediatly chitted like barley in the fat, where it acquires a new spirit, and flow’d forth into language, that I am as confident as I am here, if there were not such as delight to abuse us, is far better than Tully’s; or, let any body but translate one of his orations, and speak it in the house, and see if every body do not laugh at him. This is a great matter, Mr. Speaker; they do not cant it with your book-learning, your orbs, your centers, your prime magnitudes, and your nebulones, things I profess that would make a sober man run stark mad to hear ’em; while we, who should be considering the honor of our country, and that it gos now or never upon our hand, whether it shall be ridiculous to all the world, are going to nineholes, or trow madam for our business, like your dumb Venetian, whom this same Sir Politic your resident, that never saw him do any thing but make faces, would insinuat into you, at this distance, to have the only knack of state. Wheras if you should take the pains, as I have don, to look a little nearer, you would find these same wonderful things to be nothing else but mere natural fopperys, or capricios, as they call them in Italian, even of the meanest of that nation. For, put the case you be travelling in Italy, ask your contadino, that is, the next country-fellow you meet, som question, and presently he ballots you an answer with a nod, which is affirmative; or a shake with his head, which is the negative box; or a shrug with his shoulder, which is the bossolo di non sinceri.—Good! You will admire Sands for telling you, that grotta di cane is a miracle: and I shall be laugh’d at for assuring you, that it is nothing else but such a damp (continu’d by the neighborhood of certain sulphur mines) as thro accidental heat dos somtimes happen in our coalpits. But ingratitude must not discorage an honest man from doing good. There is not, I say, such a tonguety’d generation under heaven as your Italian; that you should not wonder if he make signs. But our people must have somthing in their diurnals, we must ever and anon be telling ’em our minds; or if we be at it when we raise taxes, like those gentlemen with the finger and the thumb, they will swear that we are cutpurses.—Com, I know what I have heard ’em say, when som men had mony that wrought hard enough for it; and do you conceive they will be better pleas’d when they shall be told, that upon like occasions you are at mumchance or stoolball? I do not speak for myself; for tho I shall always acknowledge, that I got more by one year’s sitting in the house, than by my three years travels, it was not of that kind. But I hate that this same spy, for pretending to have play’d at billiards with the most serene commonwealth of Venice, should make such fools of us here, when I know that he must have had his intelligence from som corncutter upon the Rialta; for a noble Venetian would be hang’d if he should keep such a fellow company. And yet if I do not think he has made you all dote, never trust me, my lord Archon is somtimes in such strange raptures. Why, good my lord, let me be heard as well as your apple squire; Venice has fresh blood in her cheeks, I must confess, yet she is but an old lady. Nor has he pick’d her cabinet; these he sends you are none of her receits, I can assure you; he bought them for a Julio at St. Marc’s of a mountebank. She has no other wash, upon my knowlege, for that same envy’d complexion of hers but her marshes, being a little better scented, saving your presence, than a chamberpot. My lords, I know what I say, but you will never have don with it, That neither the great Turc, nor any of those little Turcs her neighbors, have bin able to spoil her! Why you may as well wonder that weesels do not suck egs in swans nests. Do you think that it has lain in the devotion of her beads; which you that have puk’d so much at Popery, are now at length resolv’d shall consecrat M. Parson, and be drop’d by every one of his congregation, while those same whimsical intelligences your surveyors (you will break my heart) give the turn to your primum mobile? and so I think they will; for you will find, that mony is the primum mobile, and they will turn you thus out of som three or four hundred thousand pounds: a pretty sum for urns and balls, for boxes and pills, which these same quacksalvers are to administer to the parishes; and for what disease I marvel! Or how dos it work? Out coms a constable, an overseer, and a churchwarden! Mr. Speaker, I am amaz’d!”
Never was there goose so stuck with lard as my lord Epimonus’s speech with laughter; the Archon having much ado to recover himself, in such manner as might enable him to return these thanks.
“IN your whole lives, my lords, were you never entertain’d with so much ingenuity; my lord Epimonus having at once mended all the faults of travellers. For, first, wheras they are abominable lyars, he has not told you (except som malicious body has misinform’d him concerning poor Spy) one syllable of falshood. And, secondly, wheras they never fail to give the upper hand in all their discourses to foren nations, still justling their own into the kennel; he bears an honor to his country that will not dissolve in Cephalonia, nor be corrupted with figs and melons, which I can assure you is no ordinary obligation: and therfore hold it a matter of public concern, that we be no occasion of quenching my lord’s affections; nor is there any such great matter between us, but, in my opinion, might be easily reconcil’d: for tho that which my lord gain’d by sitting in the house, I stedfastly believe, as he can affirm, was got fairly; yet dare I not, nor do I think, that upon consideration he will promise so much for other gamesters, especially when they were at it so high, as he intimats not only to have bin in use, but to be like enough to come about again. Wherfore, say I, let them throw with boxes; for unless we will be below the politics of an ordinary, there is no such bar to cogging. It is known to his lordship, that our game is most at a throw, and that every cast of our dice is in our suffrages; nor will he deny, that partiality in a suffrage is downright cogging. Now if the Venetian boxes be the most soverain of all remedys against this same cogging, is it not a strange thing that they should be thrown first into the fire by a fair gamester? Men are naturally subject to all kinds of passions: som you have that are not able to withstand the brow of an enemy; and others that make nothing of this, are less proof against that of a friend. So that if your suffrage be barefac’d, I dare say you shall not have one fair cast in twenty. But whatever a man’s fortune be at the box, he neither knows whom to thank, nor whom to challenge. Wherfore (that my lord may have a charitable opinion of the choice affection which I confess to have, above all other beautys, for that of incomparable Venice) there is in this way of suffrage no less than a demonstration that it is the most pure: and the purity of the suffrage in a popular government is the health, if not the life of it; seeing the soul is no otherwise breath’d into the soverain power, than by the suffrage of the people. Wherfore no wonder if Postellus be of opinion, that this use of the ball is the very same with that of the bean in Athens; or, that others, by the text concerning Eldad and Medad, derive it from the commonwealth of Israel. There is another thing, tho not so material to us, that my lord will excuse me if I be not willing to yield, which is, that Venice subsists only by her situation. It is true, that a man in time of war may be more secure from his enemys by being in a citadel, but not from his diseases: wherfore the first cause, if he lives long, is his good constitution, without which his citadel were to little purpose; and it is not otherwise with Venice.”
With this speech of the Archon I conclude the proof of the agrarian, and the ballot, being the fundamental laws of this commonwealth; and com now from the center to the circumferences or orbs, wherof som have bin already shewn: as how the parishes annually pour themselves into the hundreds, the hundreds into the tribes, and the tribes into the galaxys; the annual galaxy of every tribe consisting of two knights and seven deputys, wherof the knights constitute the senat; the deputys, the prerogative tribe, commonly call’d the people; and the senat and people constitute the soverain power or parlament of Oceana. Wherof to shew what the parlament is, I must first open the senat, and then the prerogative tribe.
The face of the senat.To begin with the senat, of which (as a man is differently represented by a picturedrawer, and by an anatomist) I shall first discover the face or aspect, and then the parts, with the use of them. Every Monday morning in the summer at seven, and in the winter at eight, the great bell in the clockhouse at the pantheon begins, and continues ringing for the space of one hour: in which time the magistrates of the senat, being attended according to their quality, with a respective number of the ballotins, doorkeepers, and messengers; and having the ensigns of their magistracys born before them, as the sword before the strategus, the mace before the orator, a mace with the seal before the commissioners of the chancery, the like with the purse before the commissioners of the treasury; and a silver wand, like those in use with the universitys, before each of the censors, being chancellors of the same. These with the knights, in all three hundred, assemble in the house or hall of the senat.
The house or hall of the senat, being situated in the pantheon or palace of justice, is a room consisting of a square and a half. In the middle of the lower end is the door; at the upper end hangs a rich state overshadowing the greater part of a large throne, or half pace of two stages; the first ascended by two steps from the floor, and the second about the middle rising two steps higher. Upon this stand two chairs, in that on the right hand sits the strategus, in the other the orator, adorn’d with scarlet robes, after the fashion that was us’d by the dukes in the aristocracy. At the right end of the upper stage stand three chairs, in which the three commissioners of the seal are plac’d; and at the other end sit the three commissioners of the treasury, every one in a robe or habit like that of the earls. Of these magistrats of this upper stage consists the signory. At either end of the lower stage stands a little table, to which the secretarys of the senat are set with their tufted sleeves in the habit of civil lawyers. To the four steps, wherby the two stages of the throne are ascended, answer four long benches, which successively deriving from every one of the steps, continue their respective height, and extend themselves by the side walls towards the lower end of the house, every bench being divided by numeral characters into the thirty seven parts or places. Upon the upper benches sit the censors in the robes of barons; the first in the middle of the right hand bench, and the second directly opposit to him on the other side. Upon the rest of the benches sit the knights, who if they be call’d to the urns, distributing themselves by the figures, com in equal files, either by the first seat, which consists of the two upper benches on either side; or by the second seat, consisting of the two lower benches on either side: beginning also at the upper, or at the lower ends of the same, according to the lot wherby they are call’d; for which end the benches are open, and ascended at either end with easy stairs and large passages. The rest of the ballot is conformable to that of the tribe; the censors of the house sitting at the side urn, and the youngest magistrat of the signory at the middle: the urns being plac’d before the throne, and prepar’d according to the number of the magistrats to be at that time chosen by the rules already given to the censors of the tribes. But before the benches of the knights on either side stands one being shorter; and at the upper end of this sit the two tribuns of the horse. At the upper end of the other, the two tribuns of the foot in their arms; the rest of the benches being cover’d by the judges of the land in their robes. But these magistrats have no suffrage, nor the tribuns, though they derive their presence in the senat from the Romans; nor the judges, though they derive theirs from the antient senat of Oceana. Every Monday this assembly sits of course; at other times, if there be occasion, any magistrat of the house, by giving order for the bell, or by his lictor or ensignbearer, calls a senat. And every magistrat or knight during his session has the title, place and honor, of a duke, earl, baron, or knight, respectively. And every one that has born the same magistracy by his third session, has his respective place and title during the term of his life, which is all the honor confer’d by this commonwealth, except upon the master of the ceremonys, the master of the horse, and the king of the heralds, who are knights by their places. And thus you have the face of the senat, in which there is scarce any feature that is not Roman or Venetian; nor do the horns of the crescent extend themselves much unlike those of the sanhedrim, on either hand of the prince, and of the father of that senat. But upon beauty, in which every man has his phansy, we will not otherwise philosophize than to remember that there is something more than decency in the robe of a judg, that would not be well spar’d from the bench; and that the gravest magistrat, to whom you can commit the sword of justice, will find a quickness in the spurs of honour, which if they be not laid to virtue, will lay themselves to that which may rout a commonwealth.
Constitution of the senat.To com from the face of the senat, to the constitution and use of the parts; It is contain’d in the peculiar orders. And the orders which are peculiar to the senat, are either of election or instruction.
Elections in the senat are of three sorts, annual, biennial, and extraordinary.
Annual elections are performed by the schedule call’d the tropic: and the tropic consists of two parts; the one containing the magistrats, and the other the councils to be yearly elected. The schedule or tropic of the magistrats is as follows in
15 Order. Tropic of the magistrats.The fifteenth ORDER, requiring, That upon every Monday next insuing the last of March, the knights of the annual galaxys taking their places in the senat, be call’d the third region of the same; and that the house having dismiss’d the first region, and receiv’d the third, procede to election of the magistrats contain’d in the first part of the tropic, by the insuing schedule:
THE annual magistrats (provided that no one man bears above one of those honors during the term of one session) may be elected out of any region. But the triennial magistrats may not be elected out of any other than the third region only, left the term of their session expire before that of their honor; and (it being unlawful for a man to bear magistracy any longer than he is therto qualify’d by the election of the people) cause a fraction in the rotation of this commonwealth.
Of the strategus.THE strategus is first president of the senat, and general of the army, if it be commanded to march; in which case there shall be a second strategus elected to be first president of the senat, and general of the second army: and if this also be commanded to march, a third strategus shall be chosen; and so on, as long as the commonwealth sends forth armys.
Of the orator.THE lord orator is the second and more peculiar president of the senat to whom it appertains to keep the house to orders.
Of the censors.THE censors, whereof the first by consequence of his election is chancellor of the university of Clio, and the second of that of Calliope, are presidents of the council for religion and magistrats, to whom it belongs to keep the house to the order of the ballot. They are also inquisitors into the ways and means of acquiring magistracy; and have power to punish indirect proceedings in the same, by removing a knight or magistrat out of the house, under appeal to the senat.
Of the commissioners of the seal.THE commissioners of the seal being three, wherof the third is annually chosen out of the third region, are judges in chancery.
Of the commissioners of the treasury.THE commissioners of the treasury being three, wherof the third is annually chosen out of the third region, are judges in the exchequer; and every magistrat of this schedule has right to propose to the senat.
Of the signory.BUT the strategus with the six commissioners, are the signory of this commonwealth, having right of session and suffrage in every council of the senat, and power either jointly or severally to propose in all or any of them.
I have little in this order to observe and prove, but that the strategus is the same honor both in name and thing that was born, among others, by Philopemen and Aratus in the commonwealth of the Achæans; the like having bin in use also with the Ætolians. The orator, call’d otherwise the speaker, is with small alteration the same that had bin of former use in this nation. These two, if you will, may be compar’d to the consuls in Rome, or the suffetes in Carthage; for their magistracy is scarce different.
The censors derive their power of removing a senator from those of Rome; the government of the ballot, from those of Venice; and that of animadversion upon the ambitus, or canvass for magistracy from both.
Thesignory, with the whole right and use of that magistracy, to be hereafter more fully explain’d, is almost purely Venetian.
The second part of the tropic is directed by
16 Order. Constitution of the councils.The sixteenth ORDER, wherby the constitution of the councils, being four; that is to say, the council of state, the council of war, the council of religion, and the council of trade, is render’d conformable in their revolutions to that of the senat. As, first, by the annual election of five knights out of the first region of the senat into the council of state, consisting of fifteen knights, five in every region.Of the council of state. Secondly, By the annual election of three knights out of the third region of the council of state, to be propos’d by the provosts, and elected by that council, into the council of war,Of the council of war. consisting of nine knights, three in every region, not excluded by this election from remaining members also of the council of state. The four tribuns of the people have right of session and suffrage in the council of war.Of the council of religion. Thirdly, By the annual election of four knights out of the third region of the senat into the council of religion, consisting of twelve knights, four in every region. Of this council the censors are presidents Fourthly,Of the council of trade. By the annual election of four knights out of the third region of the senat into the council of trade, consisting of twelve knights, four in every region. And each region, in every one of these councils thus constituted,Of the provosts. shall weekly and interchangeably elect one provost, whose magistracy shall continue for one week; nor shall he be reelected into the same, till every knight of that region in the same council has once born the same magistracy.Of the council of the provosts. And the provosts being one in every region, three in every council, and twelve in all, beside their other capacitys, shall assemble and be a council, or rather an academy apart, to certain ends and purposes to be hereafter further explain’d with those of the rest of the councils.
This order is of no other use than the frame and turn of the councils, and yet of no small one: for in motion consists life; and the motion of a commonwealth will never be current, unless it be circular. Men that, like my lord Epimonus, not enduring the resemblance of this kind of government to orbs and spheres, fall on physicing and purging it, do no more than is necessary; for if it be not in rotation both as to persons and things, it will be very sick. The people of Rome, as to persons, if they had not bin taken up by the wheel of magistracy, had overturn’d the chariot of the senat. And those of Lacedemon, as to things, had not bin so quiet when the senat trash’d their business, by incroaching upon the result, if by the institution of the ephors they had not brought it about again. So that if you allow not a commonwealth her rotation, in which consists her equality, you reduce her to a party, and then it is necessary that you be physicians indeed, or rather farriers; for you will have strong patients, and such as must be halter’d and cast, or your selves may need bonesetters. Wherfore the councils of this commonwealth, both in regard of their elections, and, as will be shewn, of their affairs, are uniform with the senat in their revolutions; not as whirlpits to swallow, but to bite, and with the scrues of their rotation to hold and turn a business (like the vice of a smith) to the hand of the workman. Without engins of which nature it is not possible for the senat, much less for the people, to be perfect artificers in a political capacity. But I shall not hold you longer from
17 Order. Constitution of the biennial election or orb of ambassadors in ordinary.The seventeenth ORDER, directing biennial elections, or the constitution of the orb of ambassadors in ordinary, consisting of four residences, the revolution wherof is perform’d in eight years, and preserv’d thro the election of one ambassador in two years by the ballot of the senat to repair to the court of France, and reside there for the term of two years; and the term of two years being expir’d, to remove from thence to the court of Spain, there to continue for the space of two years, and thence to remove to the state of Venice; and after two years residence in that city, to conclude with his residence at Constantinople for a like term of time, and so to return. A knight of the senat, or a deputy of the prerogative, may not be elected ambassador in ordinary, because a knight or deputy so chosen, must either lose his session, which would cause an unevenness in the motion of this commonwealth, or accumulat magistracy, which agrees not with the equality of the same. Nor may any man be elected into this capacity that is above five and thirty years of age, lest the commonwealth lose the charge of his education, by being depriv’d at his return of the fruit of it, or else injoy it not long thro the defects of nature.
This order is the perspective of the commonwealth, wherby she foresees; danger or the traffic, wherby she receives every two years the return of a statesinan inrich’d with eight years experience, from the prime marts of negotiation in Europe. And so much for the elections in the senat that are ordinary; such as are extraordinary follow in
18 Order. Constitution of election extraordinary, or by the scrutiny.The eighteenth ORDER, appointing all elections upon emergent occasions, except that of the dictator, to be made by the scrutiny, or that kind of election, wherby a council coms to be a fifth order of electors. For example, if there be occasion of an ambassador extraordinary, the provosts of the council of state, or any two of them, shall propose to the same, till one competitor be chosen by that council: and the council having chosen a competitor, shall bring his name into the senat, which in the usual way shall chuse four more competitors to the same magistracy; and put them, with the competitor of the council, to the ballot of the house, by which he of the five that is chosen is said to be elected by the scrutiny of the council of state. A vice-admiral, a polemarch, or field officer, shall be elected after the same manner, by the scrutiny of the council of war. A judg or serjeant at law, by the scrutiny of the commissioners of the seal. A baron, or considerable officer of the exchequer, by the scrutiny of the commissioners of the treasary. Men in magistracy, or out of it, are equally capable of election by the scrutiny; but a magistrat or officer elected by the scrutiny to a military imployment, if he be neither a knight of the senat, nor a deputy of the prerogative, ought to have his office confirm’d by the prerogative, because the militia in a commonwealth, where the people are soverain, is not lawful to be touch’d injussu populi.
TheRomans were so curious, that tho their consuls were elected in the*centuriat assemblys, they might not touch the militia, except they were confirm’d in the†parochial assemblys: for a magistrat not receiving his power from the people, takes it from them; and to take away their power, is to take away their liberty. As to the election by the scrutiny, it is easily perceiv’d to be Venetian, there being no such way to take in the knowledge, which in all reason must be best in every council of such men as are most fit for their turns, and yet to keep them from the biass of particular affection or interest under that pretence: for the cause why the great council in Venice scarce ever elects any other than the name that is brought in by the scrutiny, is very probable to be, that they may . . . . . This election is the last of those appertaining to the senat. The councils being chosen by the orders already shewn, it remains that we come to those wherby they are instructed: and the orders of instruction to the councils are two, the first for the matter wherupon they are to procede: and the second for the manner of their proceding. The matter of the councils is distributed to them by
19 Order. Instructions for the councils as to their matter.The nineteenth ORDER, distributing to every council such businesses as are properly to belong to their cognizance, whereof som they shall receive and determin; and others they shall receive, prepare, and introduce into the house: as, first,
For the council of state.THE council of state is to receive all addresses, intelligences, and letters of negotiation; to give audience to ambassadors sent to, and to draw up instructions for such as shall be sent by, this commonwealth; to receive propositions from, and hold intelligence with the provincial councils; to consider upon all laws to be enacted, amended, or repeal’d; and upon all levys of men or money, war or peace, leagues or associations to be made by this commonwealth, so far forth as is conducible to the orderly preparation of the same to be introduc’d by them into the senat. Provided that all such affairs, as otherwise appertaining to the council of state, are, for the good of the commonwealth, to be carry’d with greater secrecy, be manag’d by the council of war, with power to receive and send forth agents, spys, emissarys, intelligencers, frigots; and to manage affairs of that nature, if it be necessary, without communication to the senat, till such time as it may be had without detriment to the business.For the council of war. But they shall have no power to engage the commonwealth in a war without the consent of the senat and the people. It appertains also to this council to take charge of the fleet as admiral; and of all storehouses, armorys, arsenals, and magazins appertaining to this commonwealth. They shall keep a diligent record of the military expeditions from time to time reported by him that was strategus or general, or one of the polemarchs in that action; or at least so far as the experience of such commanders may tend to the improvement of the military disciplin, which they shall digest and introduce into the senat: and if the senat shall therupon frame any article, they shall see that it be observ’d in the musters or education of the youth. And wheras the council of war is the sentinel or scout of this commonwealth, if any person or persons shall go about to introduce debate into any popular assembly of the same, or otherwise to alter the present government, or strike at the root of it, they shall apprehend, or cause to be apprehended, seiz’d, imprison’d; and examin, arraign, acquit, or condemn, and cause to be executed any such person or persons, by their proper power and authority, and without appeal.
For the council of religion.THE council of religion, as the arbiter of this commonwealth in cases of conscience more peculiarly appertaining to religion, christian charity, and a pious life, shall have the care of the national religion, and the protection of the liberty of conscience, with the cognizance of all causes relating to either of them. And first as to the national religion; they shall cause all places or preferments of the best revenue in either of the universitys to be conser’d upon no other than such of the most learn’d and pious men, as have dedicated themselves to the study of theology. They shall also take a special care that by such augmentations as be or shall hereafter be appointed by the senat, every benefice in this nation be improv’d at least to the value of one hundred pounds a year. And to the end that there be no interest at all, wherby the divines or teachers of the national religion may be corrupted, or corrupt religion, they shall be capable of no other kind of imployment or preferment in this commonwealth. And wheras a directory for the administration of the national religion is to be prepar’d by this council, they shall in this and other debates of this nature procede in manner following: a question arising in matter of religion shall be put and stated by the council in writing; which writing the censors shall send by their beadles (being proctors chosen to attend them) each to the university wherof he is chancellor; and the vice-chancellor of the same receiving the writing, shall call a convocation of all the divines of that univerfity, being above forty years of age. And the universitys upon a point so propos’d, shall have no manner of intelligence or correspondence one with another, till their debates be ended, and they have made return of their answers to the council of religion by two or three of their own members, that they may clear their sense, if any doubt should arise, to the council; which don, they shall return, and the council having receiv’d such information, shall procede according to their own judgments, in the preparation of the whole matter for the senat: that so the interest of the learned being remov’d, there may be a right application of reason to scripture, which is the foundation of the national religion.
SECONDLY, This council, as to the protection of the liberty of conscience, shall suffer no coercive power in the matter of religion to be exercis’d in this nation: the teachers of the natural religion being no other than such as voluntarily undertake that calling; and their auditors or hearers, no other than are also voluntary. Nor shall any gather’d congregation be molested or interrupted in their way of worship (being neither Jewish or idolatrous) but vigilantly and vigorously protected and defended in the injoyment, practice, and prosession of the same. And if there be officers or auditors appointed by any such congregation for the introduction of causes into the council of religion, all such causes so introduc’d shall be receiv’d, heard, and determin’d by the same, with recourse had, if need be, to the senat.
THIRDLY, Every petition addrest to the senat, except that of a tribe, shall be receiv’d, examin’d, and debated by this council; and such only as they, upon such examination and debate had, shall think fit, may be introduc’d into the senat.
For the council of trade.THE council of trade being the vena porta of this nation, shall hereafter receive instructions more at large. For the present, their experience attaining to a right understanding of those trades and mysterys that feed the veins of this commonwealth, and a true distinction of them from those that suck or exhaust the same, they shall acquaint the senat with the conveniences and inconveniences, to the end that incouragement may be apply’d to the one, and remedy to the other.
For the academy of the provosts.THE academy of the provosts, being the affability of the commonwealth, shall assemble every day towards the evening in a fair room, having certain withdrawing rooms therto belonging. And all sorts of company that will repair thither for conversation or discourse, so it be upon matters of government, news, or intelligence, or to propose any thing to the councils, shall be freely and affably receiv’d in the outer chamber, and heard in the way of civil conversation, which is to be manag’d without any other aw or ceremony than is therto usually appertaining; to the end that every man may be free, and that what is propos’d by one, may be argu’d or discours’d by the rest, except the matter be of secrecy; in which case the provosts, or som of them, shall take such as desire audience into one of the withdrawing rooms. And the provosts are to give their minds, that this academy be so govern’d, adorn’d, and preserv’d, as may be most attractive to men of parts and good affections to the commonwealth, for the excellency of the conversation.
FURTHERMORE, if any man, not being able or willing to com in person, has any advice to give which he judges may be for the good of the commonwealth, he may write his mind to the academy of the provosts, in a letter sign’d or not sign’d; which letter shall be left with the doorkeeper of the academy. Nor shall any person delivering such a letter be seiz’d, molested, or detain’d, tho it should prove to be a libel. But the letters so deliver’d shall be presented to the provosts; and in case they be so many that they cannot well be perus’d by the provosts themselves, they shall distribute them as they please to be read by the gentlemen of the academy, who finding any thing in them material, will find matter of discourse: or if they happen upon a business that requires privacy, return it with a note upon it to a provost. And the provosts by the secretarys attending shall cause such notes out of discourses or letters to be taken as they please, to the end that they may propose, as occasion serves, what any two of them shall think fit out of their notes so taken to their respective councils: to the end that not only the ear of the commonwealth be open to all, but that men of such education being in her ey, she may upon emergent elections or occasions be always provided of her choice of fit persons.
For the attendance of the councils.EVERY council being adorn’d with a state for the signory, shall be attended by two secretarys, two doorkeepers, and two messengers in ordinary, and have power to command more upon emergencys, as occasion requires. And the academy shall be attended with two secretarys, two messengers, and two doorkeepers; this with the other councils being provided with their farther conveniences at the charge of the state.
For the dictator.BUT wheras it is incident to commonwealths, upon emergencys requiring extraordinary speed or secrecy, either thro their natural delays or unnatural hast, to incur equal danger, while holding to the slow pace of their orders, they com not in time to defend themselves from som sudden blow; or breaking them for the greater speed, they but hast to their own destruction: if the senat shall at any time make election of nine knights extraordinary, to be added to the council of war, as a juncta for the term of three months, the council of war, with the juncta so added, is for the term of the same dictater of Oceana, having power to levy men and mony, to make war and peace, as also to enact laws, which shall be good for the space of one year (if they be not sooner repcol’d by the senat and the people) and for no longer time, except they be confirm’d by the senat and the people. And the whole administration of the commonwealth for the term of the said three months shall be in the dictator; provided, that the dictator shall have no power to do any thing that tends not to his proper end and institution, but all to the preservation of the commonwealth as it is establish’d, and for the sudden restitution of the some to the natural channel and common course of government. And all acts, orders, decrees, or laws of the council of war with the juncta, being thus created, shall be sign’d,
This order of instructions to the councils being (as in a matter of that nature is requisit) very large, I have us’d my best skill to abbreviat it in such manner as might shew no more of it than is necessary to the understanding of the whole; tho as to the parts, or further dutys of the councils, I have omitted many things of singular use in a commonwealth. But it was discours’d at the council by the Archon in this manner:
My lords, the legislators,
“YOUR councils, except the dictator only, are proper and native springs and sources, you see, which (hanging a few sticks and straws, that, as less considerable, would otherwise be more troublesom, upon the banks of their peculiar channels) derive the full stream of business into the senat, so pure, and so far from the possibility of being troubl’d or stain’d (as will undeniably appear by the course contain’d in the insuing order) with any kind of privat interest or partiality, that it shall never be possible for any assembly hearkning to the advice or information of this or that worthy member (either instructed upon his pillow, or while he was making himself ready, or by the petition or ticket which he receiv’d at the door) to have half the security in his faith, or advantage by his wisdom; such a senat or council being, thro the incertainty of the winds, like a wave of the sea. Nor shall it otherwise mend the matter by flowing up into dry ditches, or referring businesses to be better examin’d by committees, than to go farther about with it to less purpose; if it dos not ebb back again with the more mud in it. For in a case refer’d to an occasional committee, of which any member that is desirous may get himself nam’d, and to which nobody will com, but either for the sake of his friend, or his own interest; it fares little better as to the Information of the senat, than if it had bin refer’d to the partys. Wherfore the Athenians being distributed into four tribes, out of which by equal numbers they annually chose four hundred men, call’d, the senat of the Bean (because the ballot at their election was perform’d by the use of beans) divided them by fiftys into eight parts. And every fifty in their turn, for one eighth part of the year, was a council apart call’d the Prytans. The Prytans in their distinct council receiving all comers, and giving ear to every man that had any thing to propose concerning the commonwealth, had power to debate and prepare all the businesses that were to be introduc’d into the senat. The Achæans had ten selected magistrats call’d the demiurgs, constituting a council apart call’d the synarchy, which with the strategus prepar’d all the business that was introduc’d into their senat. But both the senat of the Athenians, and that of the Achæans, would have wonder’d if a man had told them, that they were to receive all comers and discourses, to the end that they might refer them afterwards, to the Prytans or the synarchy; much less to an occasional committee, expos’d to the catch that catch may of the partys interested. And yet Venice, in this, as in most of her orders, excels them all by the constitution of her councils, that of the college, and the other of the dieci, or council of ten. The course of the college is exactly describ’d in the insuing order: and for that of the dieci, it so little differs from what it has bestow’d upon our dictator, that I need not make any particular description of it. But to dictatorian power in general, and the use of it, because it must needs be of difficult digestion to such as, puking still at antient prudence, shew themselves to be in the nursery of motherwit; it is no less than necessary to say somthing. And, first, in a commonwealth that is not wrought up, or perfected, this power will be of very frequent, if not continual use; wherfore it is said more than once, upon defects of the government, in the book of Judges, that in those days there was no king in Israel. Nor has the translator, tho for no king he should have said no judg, abus’d you so much; seeing that the dictator (and such was the judg of Israel) or the dictatorian power being in a single person, so little differs from monarchy, which follow’d in that, that from the same cause there has bin no other effect in any commonwealth; as in Rome was manifest by Sylla and Cesar, who to make themselves absolute or soverain, had no more to do than to prolong their magistracy; for* the dictatorian power was reputed divine, and therfore irresistible. Nevertheless, so it is, that without this power, which is so dangerous, and subject to introduce monarchy, a commonwealth cannot be safe from falling into the like dissolution; unless you have an expedient in this case of your own, and bound up by your providence from recoiling. Expedients in som cases you must not only have, but be beholden for them to such whom you must trust at a pinch, when you have not leisure to stand with them for security; which will be a thousand times more dangerous. And there can never be a commonwealth otherwise than by the order in debate wrought up to that perfection; but this necessity must somtimes happen in regard of her natural slowness and openness, and the suddenness of assaults that may be made upon her, as also the secresy which in som cases may be of absolute necessity to her affairs. Whence Machiavel concludes it positively, that a commonwealth unprovided of such a refuge, must fall to ruin: for her course is either broken by the blow in one of those cases, or by herself, while it startles her out of her orders. And indeed a commonwealth is like a greyhound, which having once coasted, will never after run fair, but grow slothful; and when it coms to make a common practice of taking nearer ways than its orders, it is dissolv’d: for the being of a commonwealth consists in its orders. Wherfore at this lift you will be expos’d to danger, if you have not provided before-hand for the safety of your resort in the like cases: nor is it sufficient that your resort be safe, unless it be as secret and quick; for if it be slow or open, your former inconveniences are not remedy’d. Now for our imitation in this part, there is nothing in experience like that of the council of ten in Venice; the benefit wherof would be too long to be shewn in the whole piece, and therfore I shall take but a pattern out of Janotti. In the war, says he, which the Venetians had with Florence in Casentin, the Florentins finding a necessity in their affairs far from any other inclination in themselves to ask their peace, sent ambassadors about it to Venice, where they were no sooner heard, than the bargain was struck up by the council of ten: and every body admiring (seeing this commonwealth stood upon the higher ground) what should be the reason of such hast; the council upon the return of the ambassadors imparted letters to the senat, wherby it appear’d, that the Turc had newly lanch’d a formidable fleet against their state; which had it bin understood by the Florentins, it was well enough known they would have made no peace. Wherfore the service of the ten was highly applauded by the senat, and celebrated by the Venetians. Wherby may appear, not only in part what use there is of dictatorian power in that government, but that it is assum’d at the discretion of that council; wheras in this of Oceana it is not otherwise intrusted than when the senat, in the election of nine knights extraordinary, gives at once the commission, and takes security in a balance, added to the council of war, tho securer before by the tribuns of the people than that of Venice, which yet never incur’d jealousy: for if the younger nobility have bin often girding at it, that happen’d not so much thro the apprehension of danger in it to the commonwealth, as thro the aw of it upon themselves. Wherfore the graver have doubtlesly shewn their prudence in the law; wherby the magistracy of these counsillors being to last till their successors be created, the council is establish’d.
The instructions of the councils for their matter being shewn, it remains that I shew the instructions for the manner of their proceding, as they follow in
20 Order. Instructions for the councils as to their manner of proceding.The twentieth ORDER, containing the method of debates to be observ’d by the magistrats and the councils successively in order to a decree of the senat.
THE magistrats of the signory, as counsillors of this commonwealth, shall take into their consideration all matters of state, or of government; and, having right to propose in any council, may any one or more of them propose what business he or they please in that council to which it most properly belongs. And, that the councils may be held to their duty, the said magistrats are superintendants and inspectors of the same, with right to propose to the senat.
THE censors have equal power with these magistrats, but in relation to the council of religion only.
ANY two of the three provosts in every council may propose to, and are the more peculiar proposers of, the same council; to the end that there be not only an inspection and superintendency of business in general, but that every work be also committed to a peculiar hand.
ANY one or more of the magistrats, or any two of the provosts respectively having propos’d, the council shall debate the business so propos’d, to which they of the third region that are willing shall speak first in their order; they of the second, next; and they of the first, last: and the opinions of those that propos’d or spoke, as they shall be thought the most considerable by the council, shall be taken by the secretary of the same in writing, and each of them sign’d with the name of the author.
THE opinions being thus prepar’d, any magistrat of the signory, the censors, or any two of the provosts of that council, upon this occasion may assemble the senat.
THE senat being assembled, the opinions (for example, if they be four) shall be read in their order, that is, according to the order or dignity of the magistrats or counsillors by which they were sign’d. And being read, if any of the council introducing them will speak, they, as best acquainted with the business, shall have precedence; and after them the senators shall speak according to their regions, beginning by the third first, and so continuing till every man that will has spoken: and when the opinions have bin sufficiently debated, they shall be put all together to the ballot after this manner.
FOUR secretarys carrying each of them one of the opinions in one hand, with a white box in the other, and each following the other, according to the order of the opinions, shall present his box, naming the author of his opinion to every senator; and one secretary or ballotin with a green box shall follow the four white ones; and one secretary or ballotin with a red box shall follow the green one: and every senator shall put one ball into som one of these six boxes. The suffrage being gather’d and open’d before the signory, if the red box or nonsincere had above half the suffrages, the opinions shall be all cast out, for the major part of the house is not clear in the business. If no one of the four opinions had above half the suffrages in the affirmative, that which had fewest shall be cast out, and the other three shall be balloted again. If no one of the three had above half, that which had fewest shall be cast out, and the other two shall ballot again. If neither of the two had above half, that which had fewest shall be cast out, and the remaining opinion shall be balloted again. And if the remaining opinion has not above half, it shall also be cast out. But the first of the opinions that arrives at most above half in the affirmative, is the decree of the senat. The opinions being all of them cast out by the nonsincere, may be review’d, if occasion permits, by the council, and brought in again. If they be cast out by the negative, the case being of advice only, the house approves not, and there is an end of it: the case being necessary, and admitting delay, the council is to think again upon the business, and to bring in new opinions; but the case being necessary, and not admitting delay, the senat immediately electing the juncta, shall create the dictator.*And let the dictator, as the Roman saying is, take care that the commonwealth receives no harm.
THIS in case the debate concludes not in a decree. But if a decree be past, it is either in matter of state or government according to law enacted already, and then it is good without going any further: or it is in matter of law to be enacted, repeal’d or amended; and then the decree of the senat, especially if it be for a war, or for a levy of men or mony, is invalid, without the result of the commonwealth, which is in the prerogative tribe, or representative of the people.
THE senat having prepar’d a decree to be propos’d to the people, shall appoint their proposers; and no other may propose for the senat to the people but the magistrats of the house: that is to say, the three commissioners of the seal, or any two of them; the three of the treasury, or any two of them; or the two censors.
THE senat having appointed their proposers, shall require of the tribuns a muster of the people at a set time and place: and the tribuns or any two of them having muster’d the people accordingly, the proposers shall propose the sense or decree of the senat by clauses to the people. And that which is propos’d by the authority of the senat, and resolv’d by the command of the people, is the law of Oceana.
To this order, implicitly containing the sum very near of the whole civil part of the commonwealth, my lord Archon spoke thus in council.
My dear lords;
“THERE is a saying, that a man must cut his coat according to his cloth. When I consider what God has allow’d or furnish’d to our present work, I am amaz’d. You would have a popular government, he has weigh’d it to you in the present balance, as I may say, to a dram; you have no more to do, but to fix it. For the superstructures of such a government, they require a good aristocracy: and you have, or have had a nobility or gentry the best study’d, and the best writers, at least next that of Italy, in the whole world; nor have they bin inferior, when so exercis’d, in the leading of armys. But the people are the main body of a commonwealth; shew me from the treasurys of the snow (as it is in Job) to the burning zone, a people whose shoulder so universally and so exactly fit the corslet. Nevertheless it were convenient to be well provided with auxiliaries. There is Marpesia thro her fruitfulness inexhaustible of men, and men thro her barrenness not only inur’d to hardship, but in your arms. It may be said, that Venice, excepting only that she takes not in the people, is the most incomparable situation of a commonwealth. You are Venice taking in your people and your auxiliarys too. My lords, the children of Israel were makers of brick, before they were builders of a commonwealth: but our brick is made, our morter temper’d, the cedars of Lebanon are hew’d and squar’d to our hands. Has this bin the work of man? or is it in man to withstand this work? shall he that contends with the Almighty, instruct him? he that reproves God, let him answer it. For our parts, every thing is so laid, that when we come to have use of it, it is the next at hand; and unless we can conceive that God and nature do any thing in vain, there is no more for us to do but to dispatch. The piece, which we have reach’d to us in the foregoing orders, is the aristocracy. Athens, as has bin shewn, was plainly lost thro the want of a good aristocracy. But the sufficiency of an aristocracy gos demonstrably upon the hand of the nobility or gentry: for that the politics can be master’d without study, or that the people can have leisure to study, is a vain imagination; and what kind of aristocracy divines and lawyers would make, let their incurable running upon their own narrow biass, and their perpetual invectives against Machiavel (tho in som places justly reprovable, yet the only politician, and incomparable patron of the people) serve for instruction. I will stand no more to the judgment of lawyers and divines in this work, than to that of so many other tradesmen; but if this model chances to wander abroad, I recommend it to the Roman speculativi (the most complete gentlemen of this age) for their censure: or with my lord Epimonus his leave, send three or four hundred copys to your agent at Venice to be presented to the magistrats there; and when they have consider’d them, to be propos’d to the debate of the senat, the most competent judges under heaven, who, tho they have great affairs, will not refuse to return you the oracle of their ballot. The counsillors of princes I will not trust; they are but journymen. The wisdom of these later times in princes affairs (says Verulamius) is rather fine deliverys and shiftings of dangers when they be near, than solid and grounded courses to keep them off. Their counsillors do not derive their procedings from any sound root of government that may contain the demonstration, and assure the success of them, but are expedient-mongers, givers of themselves to help a lame dog over a stile; else how coms it to pass, that the fame of cardinal Richlieu has bin like thunder, wherof we hear the noise, but can make no demonstration of the reason? but to return, if neither the people, nor divines, and lawyers, can be the aristocracy of a nation, there remains only the nobility; in which stile, to avoid farther repetition, I shall understand the gentry also, as the French do by the word noblesse.
“Now to treat of the nobility in such sort as may be less obnoxious to mistake, it will be convenient, and answerable to the present occasion, that I divide my discourse into four parts.
“The first treating of nobility, and the kinds of it.
“The second, of their capacity of the senat.
“The third, of the divers kinds of senats.
“The fourth, of the senat, according to the foregoing orders.
“Nobility may be defin’d divers ways; for it is either antient riches, or antient virtue, or a title confer’d by a prince or a commonwealth.
“Nobility of the first kind may be subdivided into two others, such as hold an overbalance in dominion or property to the whole people, or such as hold not an overbalance. In the former case, a nobility (such was the Gothic, of which sufficient has bin spoken) is incompatible with popular government; for to popular government it is essential that power should be in the people, but the overbalance of a nobility in dominion draws the power to themselves. Wherfore in this sense it is that Machiavel is to be understood, where he says,† that these are pernicious in a commonwealth; and of France, Spain, and Italy, that they are nations‡ which for this cause are the corruption of the world: for otherwise nobility may according to his definition (which is, that they are such as live upon their own revenues in plenty, without ingagement either to the tilling of their lands, or other work for their livelihood) hold an underbalance to the people; in which cafe they are not only safe, but necessary to the natural mixture of a well-order’d commonwealth. For how else can you have a commonwealth that is not altogether mechanic? or what comparison is there of such commonwelaths as are, or com nearest to mechanic, for example, Athens, Switzerland, Holland, to Lacedemon, Rome, and Venice, plum’d with their aristocracys? your mechanics, till they have first feather’d their nests, like the fowls of the air, whose whole imployment is to seek their food, are so busy’d in their private concernments, that they have neither leisure to study the public, nor are safely to be trusted with it,* because a man is not faithfully imbark’d in this kind of ship, if he has no share in the freight. But if his share be such as gives him leisure by his privat advantage to reflect upon that of the public, what other name is there for this sort of men, being a leur aise, but (as Machiavel you see calls them) Nobility? especially when their familys com to be such as are noted for their services don to the commonwealth, and so take into their antient riches antient virtue, which is the second definition of nobility, but such a one as is scarce possible in nature without the former. For as the baggage, says Verulamius,is to an army, so are riches to virtue; they cannot be spar’d nor left behind, tho they be impediments, such as not only hinder the march, but sometimes thro the care of them lose or disturb the victory. Of this latter sort is the nobility of Oceana; the best of all others, because they, having no stamp whence to derive their price, can have it no otherwise than by their intrinsic value. The third definition of nobility, is a title, honor, or distinction from the people, confer’d or allow’d by the prince or the commonwealth. And this may be two ways, either without any stamp or privilege, as in Oceana; or with such privileges as are inconsiderable, as in Athens after the battel of Plateæ, whence the nobility had no right, as such, but to religious offices, or inspection of the public games, to which they were also to be elected by the people: or with privileges, and those considerable ones, as the nobility in Athens before the battel of Plateæ, and the Patricians in Rome, each of which had right, or claim’d it, to the senat and all the magistracys; wherin for som time they only by their stamp were current.
“But to begin higher, and to speak more at large of nobility in their several capacitys of the senat. The phylarchs or princes of the tribes of Israel were the most ren wn’d, or, as the Latin, the most noble of the congregation, wherof by hereditary right they had the leading and judging.Numb. 1. 16. The patriarchs, or princes of familys, according as they declar’d their pedigrees, had the like right as to their familys; but neither in these nor the former, was there any hereditary right to the sanhedrim:Ver. 18. tho there be little question but the wise men, and understanding, and known among their tribes, which the people took or elected into those or other magistracys, and whom Moses made rulers over them, must have bin of these; seeing they could not chuse but be the most known among the tribes, and were likeliest by the advantages of education to be the most wise and understandingDeut. 1. 13.
“Solon having found the Athenians neither locally nor genealogically, but by their different ways of life, divided into four tribes, that is, into the soldiery, the tradesmen, the husbandmen, and the goatherds, instituted a new distribution of them, according to the cense or valuation of their estates, into four classes: the first, second, and third, consisting of such as were proprietors in land, distinguish’d by the rate of their freeholds, with that stamp upon them, which making them capable of adding honor to their riches, that is to say, of the senat, and all the magistracys, excluded the fourth, being the body of the people, and far greater in number than the former three, from all other right, as to those capacitys, except the election of these, who by this means became a hereditary aristocracy or senatorian order of nobility. This was that course which came afterwards to be the destruction of Rome, and had now ruin’d Athens. The nobility, according to the inevitable nature of such a one, having laid the plot how to devest the people of the result, and so to draw the whole power of the commonwealth to themselves; which in all likelihood they had don, if the people, coming by mere chance to be victorious in the battel of Plateæ, and famous for defending Greece against the Persians, had not return’d with such courage as irresistibly broke the classes, to which of old they had born a white tooth, brought the nobility to equal terms, and the senat with the magistracys to be common to both; the magistracys by suffrage, and the senat (which was the mischief of it, as I shall shew anon in that constitution) by lot only.
“TheLacedemonians were in the manner, and for the same cause with the Venetians at this day, no other than a nobility, even according to the definition given of nobility by Machiavel; for they neither exercis’d any trade, nor labor’d their lands or lots, which was don by their helots: wherfore som nobility may be far from pernicious in a commonwealth by Machiavel’s own testimony, who is an admirer of this, tho the servants therof were more in number than the citizens. To these servants I hold the answer of Lycurgus, when he bad him who ask’d why he did not admit the people to the government of his commonwealth, to go home and admit his servants to the government of his family, to relate: for neither were the Lacedemonians servants, nor farther capable of the government, unless, wheras the congregation had the result, he should have given them the debate also; every one of these that attain’d to sixty years of age, and the major vote of the congregation, being equally capable of the senat.
“The nobility of Rome, and their capacity of the senat, I have already describ’d by that of Athens before the battel of Plateæ; saving only that the Athenian was never eligible into the senat without the suffrage of the people, till the introduction of the lot, but the Roman nobility ever: for the patricians were elected into the senat by the kings, by the consuls, or the censors; or if a plebeian happen’d to be conscrib’d, he and his posterity became patricians. Nor, tho the people had many disputes with the nobility, did this ever com in controversy, which, if there had bin nothing else, might in my judgment have bin enough to overturn that commonwealth.
“TheVenetian nobility, but that they are richer, and not military, resemble at all other points the Lacedemonian, as I have already shewn. These Machiavel excepts from his rule, by saying, that their estates are rather personal than real, or of any great revenue in land; which coms to our account, and shews, that a nobility or party of the nobility, not overbalancing in dominion, is not dangerous, but of necessary use in every commonwealth, provided it be rightly order’d; for if it be so order’d as was that of Rome, tho they do not overbalance at the beginning, as they did not there, it will not be long e’er they do, as is clear both in reason and experience towards the latter end. That the nobility only be capable of the senat, is there only not dangerous, where there be no other citizens, as in this government and that of Lacedemon.
“The nobility of Holland and Switzerland, tho but few, have privileges not only distinct from the people, but so great, that in som soveraintys they have a negative voice; an example which I am far from commending, being such as (if those governments were not cantoniz’d, divided, and subdivided into many petty soveraintys that balance one another, and in which the nobility, except they had a prince at the head of them, can never join to make work) would be the most dangerous that ever was but the Gothic, of which it savors. For in antient commonwealths you shall never find a nobility to have had a negative but by the poll, which, the people being far more in number, came to nothing; wheras these have it, be they never so few, by their stamp or order.
“Ours of Oceana have nothing else but their education and their leisure for the public, furnish’d by their ease and competent riches: and their intrinsic value, which, according as it coms to hold weight in the judgment or suffrage of the people, is their only way to honor and preferment. Wherfore I would have your lordships to look upon your children as such, who if they com to shake off som part of their baggage, shall make the more quick and glorious march: for it was nothing else but the baggage sordidly plunder’d by the nobility of Rome, that lost the victory of the whole world in the midst of her triumph.
“Having follow’d the nobility thus close, they bring us, according to their natural course and divers kinds, to the divers constitutions of the senat.
“That of Israel (as was shew’d by my right noble lord Phosphorus de Augf, in the opening of the commonwealth) consisted of seventy elders, elected at first by the people. But wheras they were for life, they ever after (tho without any divine precept for it) substituted their successors by ordination, which ceremony was most usually perform’d by imposition of hands; and by this means a commonwealth of as popular institution as can be found, became, as it is accounted by Josephus, aristocratical. From this ordination derives that which was introduc’d by the apostles into the Christian church; for which cause I think it is, that the Presbyterians would have the government of the church to be aristocratical: tho the apostles, to the end, as I conceive, that they might give no occasion to such a mistake, but shew that they intended the government of the church to be popular, ordain’d elders, as has bin shewn, by the holding up of hands (or free suffrage of the people) in every congregation or ecclesia: for that is the word in the original, being borrow’d from the civil congregations of the people in Athens and Lacedemon, which were so call’d; and the word for holding up of hands in the text, is also the very same, which signify’d the suffrage of the people in Athens, χειϱοτονήσαντες; for the suffrage of the Athenians was given per chirotonian, says Emmius.
“The council of the bean (as was shewn by my lord Navarchus de Paralo in his full discourse) being the proposing senat of Athens (for that of the areopagits was a judicatory) consisted of four, som say five hundred senators, elected annually, all at once, and by a mere lot without suffrage. Wherfore tho the senat, to correct the temerity of the lot, had power to cast out such as they should judg unworthy of that honor; this related to manners only, and was not sufficient to repair the commonwealth, which by such means became impotent: and forasmuch as her senat consisted not of the natural aristocracy, which in a commonwealth is the only spur and rein of the people, it was cast headlong by the rashness of her demagogs or grandees into ruin; while her senat, like the Roman tribuns (*who almost always, instead of governing, were rather govern’d by the multitude) propos’d not to the result only, but to the debate also of the people, who were therefore call’d to the pulpits, where som vomited, and others drank poison.
“The senat of Lacedemon, most truly discover’d by my lord Laco de Scytale, consisted but of 30 for life, wherof the two kings having but single votes, were hereditary, the rest elected by the free suffrage of the people, but out of such as were sixty years of age. These had the whole debate of the commonwealth in themselves, and propos’d to the result only of the people. And now the riddle which I have heretofore found troublesom to unfold, is out; that is to say, why Athens and Lacedemon, consisting each of the senat and the people, the one should be held a democracy, and the other an aristocracy, or laudable oligarchy, as it is term’d by Isocrates; for that word is not, wherever you meet it, to be branded, seeing it is us’d also by Aristotle, Plutarch, and others, somtimes in a good sense. The main difference was, that the people in this had the result only, and in that the debate and result too. But for my part, where the people have the election of the senat, not bound to a distinct order, and the result, which is the soverain power, I hold them to have that share in the government (the senat being not for life) wherof, with the safety of the commonwealth, they are capable in nature; and such a government, for that cause, to be democracy: tho I do not deny, but in Lacedemon, the paucity of the senators consider’d, it might be call’d oligarchy, in comparison of Athens; or, if we look on their continuance for life, tho they had bin more, aristocracy.
“The senat of Rome (whose fame has bin heard to thunder in the eloquence of my lord Dolabella d’Enyo) consisting of 300, was, in regard of the number, less oligarchical than that of Lacedemon; but more in regard of the patrician, who, having a hereditary capacity of the same, were not elected to that honor by the people; but, being conscrib’d by the censors, injoy’d it for life. Wherfore these, if they had their wills, would have resolv’d as well as debated; which set the people at such variance with them, as dissolv’d the commonwealth; wheras if the people had injoy’d the result, that about the agrarian, as well as all other strife, must of necessity have ceas’d.
“The senats of Switzerland and Holland (as I have learnt of my lords Alpester and Glaucus) being bound up (like the sheaf of arrows which the latter gives) by leagues, ly like those in their quivers: but arrows, when they com to be drawn, fly som this way, and som that; and I am contented that these concern’d us not.
“That of Venice (by the faithful testimony of my most excellent lord Linceus de Stella) has oblig’d a world, sufficiently punish’d by its own blindness and ingratitude, to repent and be wiser: for wheras a commonwealth in which there is no senat, or where the senat is corrupt, cannot stand; the great council of Venice, like the statue of Nilus, leans upon an urn or waterpot, which pours forth the senat in so pure and perpetual a stream, as being inabled to stagnat, is for ever incapable of corruption. The fuller description of this senat is contain’d in that of Oceana; and that of Oceana in the foregoing orders. To every one of which, because somthing has bin already said, I shall not speak in particular. But in general, your senat, and the other assembly, or the prerogative, as I shall shew in due place, are perpetual, not as lakes or puddles, but as the rivers of Eden; and are beds made, as you have seen, to receive the whole people, by a due and faithful vicissitude, into their current. They are not, as in the late way, alternat. Alternat life in government is the alternat* death of it.
“This was the Gothic work, wherby the former government (which was not only a ship, but a gust too) could never open her fails, but in danger to overset herself; neither could make any voyage, nor ly safe in her own harbor. The wars of later ages, says Verulamius, seem to be made in the dark, in respect of the glory and honor which reflected on men from the wars in antient times. Their shipping of this sort was for voyages, ours dare not lanch; nor lys it safe at home. Your Gothic politicians seem to me rather to have invented som new ammunition or gunpowder, in their king and parlament, than government. For what is becom of the princes (a kind of people) in Germany? blown up. Where are the estates, or the power of the people in France? blown up. Where is that of the people in Arragon, and the rest of the Spanish kingdoms? blown up. On the other side, where is the king of Spain’s power in Holland? blown up. Where is that of the Austrian princes in Switzerland? blown up. This perpetual peevishness and jealousy, under the alternat empire of the prince, and of the people, is obnoxious to every spark. Nor shall any man shew a reason that will be holding in prudence, why the people of Oceana have blown up their king, but that their kings did not first blow up them. The rest is discourse for ladys. Wherfore your parlaments are not henceforth to com out of the bag of Æolus, but by your galaxys, to be the perpetual food of the fire of Vesta.
“Your galaxys, which divide the house into so many regions, are three; one of which constituting the third region is annually chosen, but for the term of three years; which causes the house (having at once blossoms, fruit half ripe, and others dropping off in full maturity) to resemble an orange tree, such as is at the same time an education or spring, and a harvest too: for the people have made a very ill choice in the man, who is not easily capable of the perfect knowlege in one year of the senatorian orders; which knowledge, allowing him for the first to have bin a novice, brings him the second year to practice, and time enough. For at this rate you must always have two hundred knowing men in the government. And thus the vicissitude of your senators is not perceivable in the steadiness and perpetuity of your senat; which, like that of Venice, being always changing, is for ever the same. And tho other politicians have not so well imitated their pattern, there is nothing more obvious in nature, seeing a man who wears the same flesh but a short time, is nevertheless the same man, and of the same genius; and whence is this but from the constancy of nature, in holding a man to her orders? Wherfore keep also to your orders. But this is a mean request, your orders will be worth little, if they do not hold you to them: wherfore imbark. They are like a ship, if you be once aboard, you do not carry them, but they you; and see how Venice stands to her tackling: you will no more forsake them, than you will leap into the sea.
“But they are very many, and difficult. O, my lords, what seaman casts away his card, because it has four and twenty points of the compass? and yet those are very near as many, and as difficult as the orders in the whole circumference of your commonwealth. Consider, how have we bin tost with every wind of doctrin, lost by the glib tongues of your demagogs and grandees in our own havens? A company of fidlers that have disturb’d your rest for your groat; two to one, three thousand pounds a year to another, has bin nothing. And for what? Is there one of them that yet knows what a commonwealth is? And are you yet afraid of such a government in which these shall not dare to scrape, for fear of the statute? Themistocles could not fiddle, but could make of a small city a great commonwealth: these have fiddel’d, and for your mony, till they have brought a great commonwealth to a small city.
“It grieves me, while I consider how, and from what causes imaginary difficultys will be aggravated, that the foregoing orders are not capable of any greater clearness in discourse or writing: but if a man should make a book, describing every trick and passage, it would fare no otherwise with a game at cards; and this is no more, if a man plays upon the square. There is a great difference, says Verulamius,between a cunning man and a wise man (between a demagog and a legistator) not only in point of honesty, but in point of ability: as there be that can pack the cards, and yet cannot play well; so there be som that are good in canvasses and factions, that are otherwise weak men. Allow me but these orders, and let them com with their cards in their sleeves, or pack if they can. Again, says he, it is one thing to understand persons, and another to understand matters; for many are perfect in men’s humors, that are not greatly capable of the real part ofbusiness: which is the constitution of one that has study’d men more than books. But there is nothing more hurtful in a state, than that cunning men should pass for wise. His words are an oracle. As Dionysius, when he could no longer exercise his tyranny among men, turn’d schoolmaster, that he might exercise it among boys. Allow me but these orders, and your grandees so well skill’d in the baits and palats of men, shall turn ratcatchers.
“And wheras councils (as is discretely observ’d by the same author in his time) are at this day, in most places, but familiar meetings (somwhat like the academy of our provosts) where matters are rather talk’d on than debated, and run too swift to order an act of council; give me my orders, and see if I have not puzzel’d your demagogs.
“It is not so much my desire to return upon hants, as theirs that will not be satisfy’d; wherfore if, notwithstanding what was said of dividing and chusing in our preliminary discourses, men will yet be returning to the question, Why the senat must be a council apart (tho even in Athens, where it was of no other constitution than the popular assembly, the distinction of it from the other was never held less than necessary) this may be added to the former reasons, that if the aristocracy be not for the debate, it is for nothing; but if it be for debate, it must have convenience for it: and what convenience is there for debate in a croud, where there is nothing but jostling, treading upon one another, and stirring of blood, than which in this case there is nothing more dangerous? Truly, it was not ill said of my lord Epimonus, That Venice plays her game, as it were, at billiards or nineholes; and so may your lordships, unless your ribs be so strong, that you think better of footbal: for such sport is debate in a popular assembly, as, notwithstanding the distinction of the senat, was the destruction of Athens.”
This speech concluded the debate which happen’d at the institution of the senat. The next assembly is that of the people or prerogative tribe.
The face of the prerogative tribe.The face, or mien of the prerogative tribe for the arms, the horses, and the disciplin, but more especially for the select men, is that of a very noble regiment, or rather of two; the one of horse, divided into three troops, (besides that of the provinces, which will be shewn hereafter) with their captains, cornets, and two tribuns of the horse at the head of them; the other of foot in three companys (besides that of the provinces) with their captains, ensigns, and two tribuns of the foot at the head of them. The first troop is call’d the phœnix; the second the pelican; and the third the swallow. The first company the cypress; the second the myrtle; and the third the spray. Of these again (not without a near resemblance of the Roman division of a tribe) the phœnix and the cypress constitute the first class; the pelican and the myrtle the second; and the swallow with the spray the third, renew’d every spring by
21 Order. The change or election of the triennial officers of the prerogative.The one and twentieth ORDER, directing, that upon every Monday next insuing the last of March, the deputys of the annual galaxy arriving at the pavilion in the halo, and electing one captain and one cornet of the swallow (triennial officers) by and out of the cavalry at the horse urn, according to the rules contain’d in the ballot of the hundred; and one captain with one ensign of the spray (triennial officers) by and out ofthe infantry at the foot urn, after the same way of ballotting; constitute and becom the third classes of the prerogative tribe.
Seven deputys are annually return’d by every tribe, wherof three are horse, and four are foot; and there be fifty tribes: so the swallow must consist of 150 horse, the spray of 200 foot. And the rest of the classes being two, each of them in number equal; the whole prerogative (besides the provinces, that is, the knights and deputys of Marpesia and Panopea) must consist of 1050 deputys. And these troops and companys may as well be call’d centurys as those of the Romans; for the Romans related not, in so naming theirs, to the number. And wheras they were distributed according to the valuation of their estates, so are these; which by virtue of the last order, are now accommodated with their triennial officers. But there be others appertaining to this tribe, whose election, being of far greater importance, is annual, as follows in
22 Order. The charge or election of the annual magistrats of the prerogative.The twenty-second ORDER; wherby the first class having elected their triennial officers, and made oath to the old tribuns, that they will neither introduce, cause, nor to their power suffer debate to be introduc’d into any popular assembly of this government, but to their utmost be aiding and assisting to seize and deliver any person or persons in that way offending, and striking at the root of this commonwealth, to the council of war; are to procede with the other two classes of the prerogative tribe to election of the new tribuns, being four annual magistrats, wherof two are to be elected out of the cavalry at the horse urn, and two out of the infantry at the foot urn, according to the common ballot of the tribes. And they may be promiscuously chosen out of any classis, provided that the same person shall not be capable of bearing the tribunitian honor twice in the term of one galaxy. The tribuns thus chosen shall receive the tribe (in reference to the power of mustering and disciplining the same) as commanders in chief; and for the rest as magistrats, whose proper function is prescrib’d by the next order. The tribuns may give leave to any number of the prerogative, not exceeding one hundred at a time, to be absent, so they be not magistrats, nor officers, and return within three months. If a magistrat or officer has a necessary occasion, he may also be absent for the space of one month; provided, that there be not above three cornets or ensigns, two captains, or one tribun so absent at one time.
To this the Archon spoke at the institution after this manner.
“IT is affirm’d by Cicero in his oration for Flaccus, that the commonwealths of Greece were all shaken or ruin’d by the intemperance of their comitia, or assemblys of the people. The truth is, if good heed in this point be not taken, a commonwealth will have bad legs. But all the world knows he should have excepted Lacedemon, where the people, as has bin shewn by the oracle, had no power at all of debate, nor (till after Lysander, whose avarice open’d a gulf, that was not long e’er it swallow’d up his country) came it ever to be exercis’d by them. Whence that commonwealth stood longest and firmest of any other, but this, in our days, of Venice: which having underlaid her self with the like institution, ows a great, if not the greatest part of her steddiness to the same principle; the great council, which is with her the people, by the authority of my lord Epimonus, never speaking a word. Nor shall any commonwealth, where the people in their political capacity is talkative, ever see half the days of one of these: but being carry’d away by vain-glorious men (that, as Overbury says, piss more than they drink) swim down the stream; as did Athens, the most prating of these dames, when that same ranting fellow Alcibiades fell a demagoging for the Sicilian war. But wheras debate by the authority and experience of Lacedemon and Venice, is not to be committed to the people in a well order’d government, it may be said, That the order specify’d is but a slight bar in a matter of like danger; for so much as an oath, if there be no recourse upon the breach of it, is a weak ty for such hands as have the sword in them: wherfore what should hinder the people of Oceana, if they happen not to regard an oath, from assuming debate, and making themselves as much an anarchy as those of Athens? To which I answer, Take the common sort in a privat capacity, and, except they be injur’d, you shall find them to have a bashfulness in the presence of the better sort, or wiser men; acknowleging their abilitys by attention, and accounting it no mean honor to receive respect from them: but if they be injur’d by them, they hate them, and the more for being wife or great, because that makes it the greater injury. Nor refrain they in this case from any kind of intemperance of speech, if of action. It is no otherwise with a people in their political capacity; you shall never find that they have assum’d debate for it self, but for somthing else. Wherfore in Lacedemon where there was, and in Venice where there is nothing else for which they should assume it, they have never shewn so much as an inclination to it. Nor was there any appearance of such a desire in the people of Rome (who from the time of Romulus had bin very well contented with the power of result either in the* parochial assemblys, as it was settled upon them by him; or in the meetings of the† hundreds, as it was alter’d in their regard for the worse by Servius Tullius) till news was brought som fifteen years after the exile of Tarquin their late king (during which time the senat had govern’d pretty well) that he was dead at the court of Aristodemus the tyrant of Cumæ.‡ Wherupon the patricians, or nobility, began to let out the hitherto-dissembl’d venom, which is inherent in the root of oligarchy, and fell immediatly upon injuring the people beyond all moderation. For wheras the people had serv’d both gallantly and contentedly in arms upon their own charges, and, tho joint purchasers by their swords of the conquer’d lands, had not participated in the same to above two acres a man (the rest being secretly usurp’d by the patricians) they thro the meanness of their support, and the greatness of their expence, being generally indebted, no sooner return’d home with victory to lay down their arms, than they were snatch’d up by their creditors, the nobility, to cram goals. Wherupon, but with the greatest modesty that was ever known in the like case, they first fell upon debate, affirming,§that they were opprest and captivated at home, while abroad they fought for liberty and empire; and that the freedom of the common peoplewas safer in time of war than peace, among their enemys than their fellow-citizens. It is true, that when they could not get the senat, thro fear, as was pretended by the patricians, to assemble and take their grievances into consideration, they grew so much the warmer, that it was glad to meet; where Appius Claudius, a fierce spirit, was of opinion, that recourse should be had to consular power, wherby som of the brands of sedition being taken off, the flame might be extinguish’d. Servilius being of another temper, thought it better and safer to try if the people might be bow’d than broken. But this debate was interrupted by tumultuous news of the near approach of the Volsci, a case in which the senat had no recourse but to the people, who contrary to their former custom upon the like occasions would not stir a foot, but fell a laughing, and saying,* Let them fight that have something to fight for. The senat that had purses, and could not sing so well before the thief, being in a great perplexity, found no possible way out of it, but to beseech Servilius, one of a genius well known to be popular, That he would accept of the consulship, and make som such use of it as might be helpful to the patrician interest. Servilius accepting of the offer, and making use of his interest with the people, persuaded them to hope well of the good intention of the fathers, whom it would little beseem to be forc’d to those things which would lose their grace, and that in view of the enemy, if they came not freely; and withal publish’d an edict, that no man should withhold a citizen of Rome by imprisonment from giving his name (for that was the way, as I shall have opportunity hereafter to shew more at large, wherby they drew out their armys) nor to seize or sell any man’s goods or children that was in the camp. Wherupon the people with a mighty concourse immediatly took arms, march’d forth, and (which to them was as easy as to be put into the humor, and that, as appears in this place, was not hard) totally defeated the Volsci first, then the Sabins (for the neighbor nations, hoping to have had a good bargain of the discord in Rome, were up in arms on all sides) and after the Sabins, the Aurunci. Whence returning victorious in three battels, they expected no less than that the senat would have made good their words: when Appius Claudius, the other consul, of his innate pride, and that he might frustrat the faith of his collegue, caus’d the soldiers (who being set at liberty, had behav’d themselves with such valor) to be restor’d at their return to their creditors and their goals. Great resort upon this was made by the people to Servilius, shewing him their wounds, calling him to witness how they had behav’d themselves, and minding him of his promise. Poor Servilius was sorry, but so overaw’d with the headiness of his collegue, and the obstinacy of the whole faction of the nobility, that not daring to do any thing either way, he lost both partys: the fathers conceiving that he was ambitious, and the people that he was false; while the consul Claudius continuing to countenance such as daily seiz’d and imprison’d som of the indebted people, had still new and dangerous controversys with them, insomuch that the commonwealth was torn with horrid division, and the people (because they found it not so safe, or so effectual in public) minded nothing but laying their heads together in privat conventicles. For this Aulus Virginius, and Titus Vetusius, the new consuls, were reprov’d by the senat as slothful, and upbraided with the virtue of Appius Claudius. Wherupon the consuls having desir’d the senat, that they might know their pleasure, shew’d afterwards their readiness to obey it, by summoning the people according to command, and requiring names wherby to draw forth an army for diversion, but no man would answer. Report hereof being made to the senat, the younger sort of the fathers grew so hot with the consuls, that they desir’d them to abdicat the magistracy, which they had not the courage to defend.
“The consuls, tho they conceiv’d themselves to be roughly handled, made this soft answer: fathers conscript, that you may please to take notice it was foretold som horrid sedition is at hand, we shall only desire, that they whose valor in this place is so great, may stand by us to see how we behave our selves, and then be as resolute in your commands as you will: your fatherhoods may know if we be wanting in the performance.
“At this som of the hot young noblemen return’d with the consuls to the tribunal, before which the people were yet standing; and the consuls having generally requir’d names in vain, to put it to somthing, requir’d the name of one that was in their ey particularly; on whom, when he mov’d not, they commanded a lictor to lay hands: but the people thronging about the party summon’d, forbad the lictor, who durst not touch him; at which the hotspurs that came with the consuls, inrag’d by the affront, descended from the throne to the aid of the lictor; from whom in so doing they turn’d the indignation of the people upon themselves with such heat, that the consuls interposing, thought fit, by remitting the assembly, to appease the tumult; in which nevertheless there had bin nothing but noise. Nor was there less in the senat, being suddenly rally’d upon this occasion, where they that receiv’d the repulse, with others whose heads were as addle as their own, fell upon the business as if it had bin to be determin’d by clamor, till the consuls, upbraiding the senat that it differ’d not from the marketplace, reduc’d the house to orders. And the fathers having bin consulted accordingly, there were three opinions; Publius Virginius conceiv’d, that the consideration to be had upon the matter in question, or aid of the indebted and imprison’d people, was not to be further extended than to such as had ingag’d upon the promise made by Servilius: Titus Largius, that it was no time to think it enough, if mens merits were acknowleg’d, while the whole people, sunk under the weight of their debts, could not emerge without som common aid; which to restrain, by putting som into a better condition than others, would rather more inflame the discord than extinguish it. Appius Claudius (still upon the old hant) would have it, that the people were rather wanton than fierce: it was not oppression that necessitated, but their power that invited them to these freaks; the empire of the consuls since the appeal to the people (wherby a Plebeian might ask his fellows if he were a thief) being but a mere scarecrow. Go to, says he, let us create the dictator, from whom there is no appeal, and then let me see more of this work, or him that shall forbid my lictor. The advice of Appius was abhor’d by many; and to introduce a general recision of debts with Largius, was to violat all faith: that of Virginius, as the most moderat, would have past best, but that there were privat interests, that constant bane of the public, which withstood it. So they concluded with Appius, who also had bin dictator, if the consuls, and som of the graver sort had not thought it altogether unseasonable, at a time when the Volsci and the Sabins were up again, to venture so far upon alienation of the people: for which cause Valerius, being descended from the Publicolas, the most popular family, as also in his own person of a mild nature, was rather trusted with so rigid a magistracy. Whence it happen’d, that the people, tho they knew well enough against whom the dictator was created, fear’d nothing from Valerius; but upon a new promise made to the same effect with that of Servilius, hop’d better another time, and throwing away all disputes, gave their names roundly, went out, and to be brief, came home again as victorious as in the former action, the dictator entring the city in triumph. Nevertheless when he came to press the senat to make good his promise, and do somthing for the ease of the people, they regarded him no more as to that point than they had don Servilius. Wherupon the dictator, in disdain to be made a stale, abdicated his magistracy, and went home. Here then was a victorious army, without a captain, and a senat pulling it by the beard in their gowns. What is it (if you have read the story, for there is not such another) that must follow? can any man imagin, that such only should be the opportunity upon which this people could run away? alas, poor men, the Æqui and the Volsci, and the Sabins were nothing, but the fathers invincible! there they sat som three hundred of them arm’d all in robes, and thundering with their tongues, without any hopes in the earth to reduce them to any tolerable conditions. Wherfore, not thinking it convenient to abide long so near them, away marches the army, and incamps in the fields. This retreat of the people is call’d the secession of Mount Aventin, where they lodg’d very sad at their condition; but not letting fall so much as a word of murmur against the fathers. The senat by this time were great lords, had the whole city to themselves; but certain neighbours were upon the way that might com to speak with them, not asking leave of the porter. Wherfore their minds became troubl’d, and an orator was posted to the people to make as good conditions with them as he could; but, whatever the terms were, to bring them home, and with all speed. And here it was covenanted between the senat and the people, that these should have magistrats of their own election, call’d the tribuns; upon which they return’d.
“To hold you no longer, the senat having don this upon necessity, made frequent attempts to retract it again; while the tribuns on the other side, to defend what they had got, instituted their tributa comitia, or council of the people; where they came in time, and, as disputes increas’d, to make laws without the authority of the senat, call’d plebiscita. Now to conclude in the point at which I drive; such were the steps wherby the people of Rome came to assume debate: nor is it in art or nature to debar a people of the like effect, where there is the like cause. For Romulus having in the election of his senat squar’d out a nobility for the support of a throne, by making that of the Patricians a distinct and hereditary order, planted the commonwealth upon two contrary interests or roots, which shooting forth in time produc’d two commonwealths, the one oligarchical in the nobility, the other a mere anarchy of the people, and ever after caus’d a perpetual feud and enmity between the senat and the people, even to death.
“There is not a more noble or useful question in the politics than that which is started by Machiavel, Whether means were to be found wherby the enmity that was between the senat and the people of Rome could have bin remov’d? nor is there any other in which we, or the present occasion, are so much concern’d, particularly in relation to this author; forasmuch as his judgment in the determination of the question standing, our commonwealth falls. And he that will erect a commonwealth against the judgment of Machiavel, is oblig’d to give such reasons for his enterprize as must not go a begging. Wherfore to repeat the politician very honestly, but somwhat more briefly, he disputes thus:
“Mach. Disc. B. 1. c. 6.THERE be two sorts of commonwealths, the one for preservation, as Lacedemon and Venice; the other for increase, as Rome.
“Lacedemon being govern’d by a king and a small senat, could maintain it self a long time in that condition, because the inhabitants, being few, having put a bar upon the reception of strangers, and living in a strict observation of the laws of Lycurgus, which now had got reputation, and taken away all occasion of tumults, might well continue long in tranquillity. For the laws of Lycurgus introduc’d a greater equality in estates, and a less equality in honours, whence there was equal poverty; and the Plebeians were less ambitious, because the honors or magistracys of the city could extend but to a few, and were not communicable to the people: nor did the nobility by using them ill, ever give them a desire to participat of the same. This proceded from the kings, whose principality being plac’d in the midst of the nobility, had no greater means wherby to support it self, than to shield the people from all injury; whence the people not fearing empire, desir’d it not: and so all occasion of enmity between the senat and the people was taken away. But this union happen’d especially from two causes; the one, that the inhabitants of Lacedemon being few, could be govern’d by the few: the other, that, not receiving strangers into their commonwealth, they did not corrupt it, nor increase it to such a proportion as was not governable by the few.
“Venice has not divided with her Plebeians, but all are call’d gentlemen that be in administration of the government; for which government she is more beholden to chance than the wisdom of her lawmakers: for many retiring to those islands, where that city is now built, from the inundations of Barbarians that overwhelm’d the Roman empire, when they were increas’d to such a number, that to live together it was necessary to have laws; they ordain’d a form of government, wherby assembling often in council upon affairs, and finding their number sufficient for government, they put a bar upon all such as repairing afterwards to their city should becom inhabitants, excluding them from participation of power. Whence they that were included in the administration had right; and they that were excluded, coming afterwards, and being receiv’d upon no other conditions to be inhabitants, had no wrong; and therfore had no occasion, nor (being never trusted with arms) any means to be tumultuous. Wherfore this commonwealth might very well maintain it self in tranquillity.
“THESE things consider’d, it is plain that the Roman legislators, to have introduc’d a quiet state, must have don one of these two things; either shut out strangers, as the Lacedemonians; or, as the Venetians, not allow’d the people to bear arms. But they did neither. By which means the people having power and increase, were in perpetual tumult. Nor is this to be help’d in a commonwealth for increase, seeing if Rome had cut off the occasion of her tumults, she must have cut off the means of her increase, and by consequence of her greatness.
“WHERFORE let a legislator consider with himself, whether he would make his commonwealth for preservation, in which case she may be free from tumults; or for increase, in which case she must be infested with them.
“IF he makes her for preservation, she may be quiet at home; but will be in danger abroad. First, Because her foundation must be narrow, and therfore weak, as that of Lacedemon, which lay but upon 30000 citizens; or that of Venice, which lys but upon 3000. Secondly, Such a commonwealth must either be in peace, or war: if she be in peace, the few are soonest effeminated and corrupted, and so obnoxious also to faction. If in war, succeding ill, she is an easy prey; or succeding well, ruin’d by increase: a weight which her foundation is not able to bear. For Lacedemon, when she had made her self mistriss, upon the matter, of all Greece, thro a slight accident, the rebellion of Thebes, occasion’d by the conspiracy of Pelopidas discovering this infirmity of her nature, the rest of her conquer’d citys immediatly fell off, and in the turn as it were of a band reduc’d her from the fullest tide to the lowest eb of her fortune. And Venice having possest her self of a great part of Italy by her purse, was no sooner in defence of it put to the trial of arms, than she lost all in one battel.
“WHENCE I conclude, that in the ordination of a commonwealth a legislator is to think upon that which is most honourable; and laying aside models for preservation, to follow the example of Rome conniving at, and temporizing with the enmity between the senat and the people, as a necessary step to the Roman greatness. For that any man should find out a balance that may take in the conveniences, and shut out the inconveniences of both, I do not think it possible. These are the words of the author, tho the method be somewhat alter’d, to the end that I may the better turn them to my purpose.
“My Lords, I do not know how you hearken to this sound; but to hear the greatest artist in the modern world, giving sentence against our commonwealth, is that with which I am nearly concern’d. Wherfore, with all honor due to the prince of politicians, let us examin his reasoning with the same liberty which he has asserted to be the right of a free people. But we shall never com up to him, except by taking the business a little lower, we descend from effects to their causes. The causes of commotion in a commonwealth are either external or internal. External are from enemys, from subjects, or from servants. To dispute then what was the cause why Rome was infested by the Italian, or by the servil wars; why the slaves took the capitol; why the Lacedemonians were near as frequently troubl’d with their helots, as Rome with all those; or why Venice, whose situation is not trusted to the faith of men, has as good or better quarter with them whom she governs, than Rome had with the Latins; were to dispute upon external causes. The question put by Machiavel is of internal causes; whether the enmity that was between the senat and the people of Rome might have bin remov’d. And to determin otherwise of this question than he dos, I must lay down other principles than he has don. To which end I affirm, that a commonwealth internally consider’d, is either equal or inequal. A commonwealth that is internally equal, has no internal cause of commotion, and therfore can have no such effect but from without. A commonwealth internally inequal has no internal cause of quiet, and therfore can have no such effect but by diversion.
“To prove my assertions, I shall at this time make use of no other than his examples. Lacedemon was externally unquiet, because she was externally inequal, that is as to her belots; and she was internally at rest, because she was equal in her self, both in root and branch: in the root by her agrarian, and in branch by the senat, inasmuch as no man was therto qualify’d, but by election of the people.Arist. Polit. b. 2. Which institution of Lycurgus is mention’d by Aristotle, where he says, that rendering his citizens emulous (not careless) of that honor, he assign’d to the people the election of the senat. Wherfore Machiavel in this, as in other places, having his ey upon the division of Patrician and Plebeian familys as they were in Rome, has quite mistaken the orders of this commonwealth, where there was no such thing. Nor did the quiet of it derive from the power of the kings, who were so far from shielding the people from the injury of the nobility, of which there was none in his sense but the senat, that one declar’d end of the senat at the institution was to shield the people from the kings, who from that time had but single votes. Neither did it procede from the straitness of the senat, or their keeping the people excluded from the government, that they were quiet, but from the equality of their administration, seeing the senat (as is plain by the oracle, their fundamental law) had no more than the debate, and the result of the commonwealth belong’d to the people. Wherfore when Theopompus and Polydorus kings of Lacedemon, would have kept the people excluded from the government, by adding to the antient law this clause, If the determination of the people be faulty, it shall be lawful for the senat to resume the debate; the people immediately became unquiet, and resum’d that debate, which ended not till they had set up their ephors, and caus’d that magistracy to be confirm’d by their kings.*For whenTheopompusfirst ordain’d that the ephori or overseers should be created at Lacedemon, to be such a restraint upon the kings there as the tribuns were upon the consuls at Rome, the queen complain’d to him, that by this means he transmitted the royal authority greatly diminisk’d to his children: I leave indeed less, answer’d he, but more lasting. And this was excellently said; for that power only is safe which is limited from doing hurt.Theopompustherfore, by confining the kingly power within the bounds of the laws, did recommend it by so much to the people’s affection, as he remov’d it from being arbitrary. By which it may appear, that a commonwealth for preservation, if she coms to be inequal, is as obnoxious to enmity between the senat and the people, as a commonwealth for increase; and that the tranquillity of Lacedemon was deriv’d from no other cause than her equality.
“ForVenice, to say that she is quiet because she disarms her subjects, is to forget that Lacedemon disarm’d her helots, and yet could not in their regard be quiet; wherfore if Venice be defended from external causes of commotion, it is first thro her situation, in which respect her subjects have no hope (and this indeed may be attributed to her fortune); and, secondly, thro her exquisit justice, whence they have no will to invade her. But this can be attributed to no other cause than her prudence; which will appear to be greater, as we look nearer; for the effects that procede from fortune, if there be any such thing, are like their cause, inconstant. But there never happen’d to any other commonwealth so undisturb’d and constant a tranquillity and peace in her self, as is in that of Venice; wherfore this must procede from som other cause than chance. And we see that as she is of all others the most quiet, so the most equal commonwealth. Her body consists of one order, and her senat is like a rolling stone, as was said, which never did, nor, while it continues upon that rotation, never shall gather the moss of a divided or ambitious interest; much less such a one as that which grasp’d the people of Rome in the talons of their own eagles. And if Machiavel, averse from doing this commonwealth right, had consider’d her orders, as his reader shall easily perceive he never did, he must have bin so far from attributing the prudence of them to chance, that he would have touch’d up his admirable work to that perfection, which, as to the civil part, has no pattern in the universal world but this of Venice.
“Rome, secure by her potent and victorious arms from all external causes of commotion, was either beholden for her peace at home to her enemys abroad, or could never rest her head. My LORDS, you that are parents of a commonwealth, and so freer agents than such as are merely natural, have a care. For, as no man shall shew me a commonwealth born streight, that ever became crooked; so, no man shall shew me a commonwealth born crooked, that ever became streight. Rome was crooked in her birth, or rather prodigious. Her twins the Patricians and Plebeian orders came, as was shewn by the foregoing story, into the world, one body but two heads, or rather two bellys: for, notwithstanding the fable out of Æsop, wherby Menenius Agrippa the orator that was sent from the senat to the people at mount Aventin, shew’d the fathers to be the belly, and the people to be the arms and the legs (which except that, how slothful soever it might seem, they were nourish’d, not these only, but the whole body must languish and be dissolv’d) it is plain, that the fathers were a distinct belly; such a one as took the meat indeed out of the people’s mouths, but abhorring the agrarian, return’d it not in the due and necessary nutrition of a commonwealth. Nevertheless, as the people that live about the cataracts of Nilus are said not to hear the noise, so neither the Roman writers, nor Machiavel the most conversant with them, seem among so many of the tribunitian storms, to hear their natural voice: for tho they could not miss of it so far as to attribute them to the strife of the people for participation in magistracy, or, in which Machiavel more particularly joins, to that about the agrarian; this was to take the business short, and the remedy for the disease.
“A people, when they are reduc’d to misery and despair, becom their own politicians, as certain beasts when they are sick becom their own physicians, and are carry’d by a natural instinct to the desire of such herbs as are their proper cure; but the people, for the greater part, are beneath the beasts in the use of them. Thus the people of Rome, tho in their misery they had recourse by instinct, as it were, to the two main fundamentals of a commonwealth, participation of magistracy, and the agrarian, did but tast and spit at them, not (which is necessary in physic) drink down the potion, and in that their healths. For when they had obtain’d participation of magistracy, it was but lamely, not to a full and equal rotation in all elections; nor did they greatly regard it in what they had got. And when they had attain’d to the agrarian, they neglected it so far as to suffer the law to grow obsolete: but if you do not take the due dose of your medicins (as there be slight tasts which a man may have of philosophy that incline to atheism) it may chance to be poison, there being a like tast of the politics that inclines to confusion, as appears in the institution of the Roman tribuns, by which magistracy and no more, the people were so far from attaining to peace, that they in getting but so much, got but heads for an eternal feud; wheras if they had attain’d in perfection either to the agrarian, they had introduc’d the equality and calm of Lacedemon, or to rotation, and they had introduc’d that of Venice: and so there could have bin no more enmity between the senat and the people of Rome, than there was between those orders in Lacedemon, or is now in Venice. Wherfore Machiavel seems to me, in attributing the peace of Venice more to her luck than her prudence, of the whole stable to have saddled the wrong horse; for tho Rome* in her military part could beat it better, beyond all comparison, upon the sounding hoof, Venice for the civil part has plainly had the wings of Pegasus.
“The whole question then will come upon this point, Whether the people of Rome could have obtain’d these orders? and first, to say, that they could not have obtain’d them without altering the commonwealth, is no argument; seeing neither could they, without altering the commonwealth, have obtain’d their tribuns, which nevertheless were obtain’d. And if a man considers the posture that the people were in when they obtain’d their tribuns, they might as well, and with as great ease (forasmuch as the reason why the nobility yielded to the tribuns was no other, than that there was no remedy) have obtain’d any thing else. And for experience, it was in the like case that the Lacedemonians did set up their ephors, and the Athenians after the battel of Plateæ bow’d the senat (so hard a thing it is for a commonwealth that was born crooked to becom streight) as much the other way. Nor, if it be objected, that this must have ruin’d the nobility (and in that depriv’d the commonwealth of the greatness which she acquir’d by them) is this opinion holding; but confuted by the sequel of the story, shewing plainly, that the nobility thro the defect of such orders, that is to say, of rotation and the agrarian, came to eat up the people: and battening themselves in luxury, to be, as Salust speaks of them,†a most sluggish and lazy nobility, in whom, besides the name, there was no more than in a statue; and to bring so mighty a commonwealth, and of so huge a glory, to so deplorable an end. Wherfore means might have bin found to remove the enmity that was between the senat and the people of Rome.
“My lords, If I have argu’d well, I have given you the comfort and assurance, that notwithstanding the judgment of Machiavel, your commonwealth is both safe and sound: but if I have not argu’d well, then take the comfort and assurance which he gives you while he is firm, That a legislator is to lay aside all other examples, and follow that of Rome only, conniving and temporizing with the enmity between the senat and the people, as a necessary step to the Roman greatness. Whence it follows, that your commonwealth, at the worst, is that which he has given you his word is the best.
“I have held your lordships long, but upon an account of no small importance, which I can now sum up in these few words: Where there is a liquorishness in a popular assembly to debate, it proceeds not from the constitution of the people, but of the commonwealth. Now that your commonwealth is of such a constitution as is naturally free from this kind of intemperance, is that which, to make good, I must divide the remainder of my discourse into two parts.
“The first, shewing the several constitutions of the assemblys of the people in other commonwealths.
“The second, comparing our assembly of the people with theirs; and shewing how it excludes the inconveniences, and embraces the conveniences of them all.
“In the beginning of the first part I must take notice, that among the popular errors of our days it is no small one, that men imagin the antient governments of this kind to have consisted for the most part of one city, that is, of one town; wheras by what we have learnt of my lords that open’d them, it appears that there was not any considerable one of such a constitution but Carthage, till this in our days of Venice.
“For to begin with Israel, it consisted of the twelve tribes, locally spread or quarter’d throout the whole territory; and these being call’d together by trumpets, constituted the church or assembly of the people. The vastness of this weight, as also the slowness thence inavoidable, became a great cause (as has bin shewn at large by my lord Phosphorus) of the breaking that commonwealth; notwithstanding that the temple, and those religious ceremonys for which the people were at least annually oblig’d to repair thither, were no small ligament of the tribes, otherwise but slightly tack’d together.
“Athens consisted of four tribes, taking in the whole people both of the city and of the territory; not so gather’d by Theseus into one town, as to exclude the country, but to the end that there might be som capital of the commonwealth: tho true it be, that the congregation consisting of the inhabitants within the walls, was sufficient to all intents and purposes, without those of the country. These also being exceding numerous, became burdensom to themselves, and dangerous to the commonwealth; the more for their ill education, as is observ’d by Xenophon and Polybius, who compare them to mariners that in a calm are perpetually disputing and swaggering one with another, and never lay their hands to the common tackling or safety, till they be all indanger’d by som storm. Which caus’d Thucydides, when he saw this people thro the purchase of their misery becom so much wiser, as to reduce their comitia or assemblys to five thousand, to say in his eighth book; And now, at least in my time, the Athenians seem to have order’d their state aright, consisting of a moderat temper both of the few (by which he means the senat of the bean) and of the many, or the five thousand. And he does not only give you his judgment, but the best proof of it; for this, says he, was the first thing that, after so many misfortunes past, made the city again to raise her head. The place I would desire your lordships to note, as the first example that I find, or think is to be found, of a popular assembly by way of representative.
“Lacedemon consisted of thirty thousand citizens dispers’d throout Laconia, one of the greatest provinces in all Greece, and divided, as by som authors is probable, into six tribes. Of the whole body of these, being gather’d, consisted the great church or assembly, which had the legislative power; the little church, gather’d somtimes for matters of concern within the city, consisted of the Spartans only. These happen’d, like that of Venice, to be good constitutions of a congregation, but from an ill cause the infirmity of a commonwealth, which thro her paucity was oligarchical.
“Wherfore, go which way you will, it should seem, that without a representative of the people, your commonwealth consisting of a whole nation, can never avoid falling either into oligarchy or confusion.
“This was seen by the Romans, whose rustic tribes extending themselves from the river Arno to the Vulturnus, that is, from Fesulæ or Florence to Capua, invented a way of representative by lots: the tribe upon which the first fell, being the prerogative; and som two or three more that had the rest, the jure vocatæ. These gave the suffrage of the commonwealth in* two meetings; the prerogative at the first assembly, and the jure vocatæ at a second.
“Now to make the parallel, all the inconveniences that you have observ’d in these assemblys are shut out, and all the conveniences taken into your prerogative. For first, it is that for which Athens, shaking off the blame of Xenophon and Polybius, came to deserve the praise of Thucydides, a representative. And, secondly, not as I suspect in that of Athens, and is past suspicion in this of Rome, by lot, but by suffrage, as was also the late house of commons, by which means in your prerogatives all the tribes of Oceana are jure vocatæ; and if a man shall except against the paucity of the standing number, it is a wheel, which in the revolution of a few years turns every hand that is fit, or fits every hand that it turns to the public work. Moreover, I am deceiv’d if upon due consideration it dos not fetch your tribes, with greater equality and ease to themselves and to the government, from the frontiers of Marpesia, than Rome ever brought any one of hers out of her pomæria, or the nearest parts of her adjoining territorys. To this you may add, That wheras a commonwealth, which in regard of the people is not of facility in execution, were sure enough in this nation to be cast off thro impatience; your musters and galaxys are given to the people, as milk to babes, wherby when they are brought up thro four days election in a whole year (one at the parish, one at the hundred, and two at the tribe) to their strongest meat, it is of no harder digestion, than to give their negative or affirmative as they see cause. There be gallant men among us that laugh at such an appeal or umpire; but I refer it whether you be more inclining to pardon them or me, who I confess have been this day laughing at a sober man, but without meaning him any harm, and that is Petrus Cunæus, where speaking of the nature of the people, he says, that taking them apart, they are very simple, but yet in their assemblys they see and know somthing: and so runs away without troubling himself with what that somthing is. Wheras the people, taken apart, are but so many privat interests; but if you take them together, they are the public interest. The public interest of a commonwealth, as has bin shewn, is nearest that of mankind, and that of mankind is right reason; but with aristocracy (whose reason or interest, when they are all together, as appear’d by the Patricians, is but that of a party) it is quite contrary: for as, taken apart, they are far wiser than the people consider’d in that manner; so being put together, they are such fools, who by deposing the people, as did those of Rome, will saw off the branch wherupon they sit, or rather destroy the root of their own greatness. Wherfore Machiavel following Aristotle, and yet going before him, may well assert,*That the people are wiser and more constant in their resolutions than a prince: which is the prerogative of popular government for wisdom. And hence it is that the prerogative of your commonwealth, as for wisdom so for power, is in the people: which (tho I am not ignorant that the Roman prerogative was so call’d à prærogando, because their suffrage was first ask’d) gives the denomination to your prerogative tribe.”
The elections, whether annual or triennial, being shewn by the twenty-second, that which coms in the next place to be consider’d is
23 Order. The constitution, function, and manner of proceding of the prerogative.The twenty-third ORDER, shewing the power, function, and manner of proceding of the prerogative tribe.
THE power or function of the prerogative is of two parts, the one of result, in which it is the legislative power; the other of judicature, in which regard it is the highest court, and the last appeal in this commonwealth.
FOR the former part (the people by this constitution being not oblig’d by any law that is not of their own making or confirmation, by the result of the prerogative, their equal representative) it shall not be lawful for the senat to require obedience from the people, nor for the people to give obedience to the senat in or by any law that has not bin promulgated, or printed and publish’d for the space of six weeks; and afterwards propos’d by the authority of the senat to the prerogative tribe, and resolv’d by the major vote of the same in the affirmative. Nor shall the senat have any power to levy war, men, or mony, otherwise than by the consent of the people so given, or by a law so enacted, except in cases of exigence, in which it is agreed, that the power both of the senat and the people shall be in the dictator, so qualify’d, and for such a term of time, as is according to that constitution already prescrib’d. While a law is in promulgation, the censors shall animadvert upon the senat, and the tribuns upon the people, that there be no laying of heads together, no conventicles or canvassing to carry on or oppose any thing; but that all may be don in a free and open way.
FOR the latter part of the power of the prerogative, or that wherby they are the supreme judicatory of this nation, and of the provinces of the same, the cognizances of crimes against the majesty of the people, such as high treason, as also of peculat, that is, robbery of the treasury, or defraudation of the commonwealth, appertains to this tribe. And if any person or persons, provincials or citizens, shall appeal to the people, it belongs to the prerogative to judg and determin the case; provided that if the appeal be from any court of justice in this nation or the provinces, the appellant shall first deposit a hundred pounds in the court from which he appeals, to be forfeited to the same, if he be cast in his suit by the people. But the power of the council of war being the expedition of this commonwealth, and the martial law of the strategus in the field, are those only from which there shall ly no appeal to the people.
THE proceding of the prerogative in case of a proposition, is to be thus order’d. The magistrats, proposing by authority of the senat, shall rehearse the whole matter, and expound it to the people: which don, they shall put the whole together to the suffrage, with three boxes, the negative, the affirmative, and the nonsincere: and the suffrage being return’d to the tribuns, and number’d in the presence of the proposers, if the major vote be in the nonsincere, the proposers shall desist, and the senat shall resume the debate. If the major vote be in the negative, the proposers shall desist, and the senat too. But if the major vote be in the affirmative, then the tribe is clear, and the proposers shall begin and put the whole matter, with the negative and the affirmative (leaving out the nonsincere) by clauses; and the suffrages being taken and number’d by the tribuns in the presence of the proposers, shall be written and reported by the tribuns to the senat. And that which is propos’d by the authority of the senat, and confirm’d by the command of the people, is the law of Oceana.
THE proceding of the prerogative in a case of judicature is to be thus order’d. The tribuns being auditors of all causes appertaining to the cognizance of the people, shall have notice of the suit or trial, whether of appeal or otherwise, that is to be commenc’d; and if any one of them shall accept of the same, it appertains to him to introduce it. A cause being introduc’d, and the people muster’d or assembl’d for the decision of the same, the tribuns are presidents of the court, having power to keep it to orders, and shall be seated upon a scaffold erected in the middle of the tribe. Upon the right hand shall stand a seat, or large pulpit assign’d to the plaintiff, or the accuser; and, upon the left, another for the defendant, each if they please with his council. And the tribuns (being attended upon such occasions with so many ballotins, secretarys, doorkeepers, and messengers of the senat as shall be requisit) one of them shall turn up a glass of the nature of an hourglass, but such a one as is to be of an hour and a half’s running; which being turn’d up, the party or council on the right hand may begin to speak to the people. If there be papers to be read, or witnesses to be examin’d, the officer shall lay the glass sideways till the papers be read, and the witnesses examin d, and then turn it up again; and so long as the glass is running, the party on the right hand has liberty to speak, and no longer. The party on the right hand having had his time, the like shall be don in every respect for the party on the left. And the cause being thus heard, the tribuns shall put the question to the tribe with a white, a black, and a red box (or nonsincere) whether guilty, or not guilty. And if the suffrage being taken, the major vote be in the nonsincere, the cause shall be reheard upon the next juridical day following, and put to the question in the same manner. If the major vote coms the second time in the nonsincere, the cause shall be heard again upon the third day; but at the third hearing the question shall be put without the nonsincere. Upon the first of the three days in which the major vote coms in the white box, the party accus’d is absolv’d; and upon the first of them in which it coms in the black box, the party accus’d is condemn’d. The party accus’d being condemn’d, the tribuns (if the case be criminal) shall put with the white and the black box these questions, or such of them, as, regard had to the case, they shall conceive most proper.
THESE, or any three of these questions, whether simple or such as shall be thought fitly mix’d, being put by the tribuns, that which has most above half the votes in the black box is the sentence of the people, which the troop of the third classis is to see executed accordingly.
BUT wheras by the constitution of this commonwealth it may appear that neither the propositions of the senat, nor the judicature of the people, will be so frequent as to hold the prerogative in continual imployment; the senat, a main part of whose office it is to teach and instruct the people, shall duly (if they have no greater affairs to divert them) cause an oration to be made to the prerogative by som knight or magistrat of the senat, to be chosen out of the ablest men, and from time to time appointed by the orator of the house, in the great hall of the pantheon, while the parlament resides in the town; or in some grove or sweet place in the field, while the parlament for the heat of the year shall reside in the country; upon every Tuesday, morning or afternoon.
AND the orator appointed for the time to this office, shall first repeat the orders of the commonwealth with all possible brevity; and then making choice of one or som part of it, discourse therof to the people. An oration or discourse of this nature, being afterwards perus’d by the council of state, may as they see cause be printed and publish’d.
The Archon’s comment upon the order I find to have bin of this sense:
“TO crave pardon for a word or two in farther explanation of what was read, I shall briefly shew how the constitution of this tribe or assembly answers to their function; and how their function, which is of two parts, the former in the result or legislative power, the latter in the supreme judicature of the commonwealth, answers to their constitution. Machiavel has a discourse, where he puts the question, Whether the guard of liberty may with more security be committed to the nobility, or to the people? Which doubt of his arises thro the want of explaining his terms; for the guard of liberty can signify nothing else but the result of the commonwealth: so that to say, that the guard of liberty may be committed to the nobility, is to say, that the result may be committed to the senat, in which case the people signify nothing. Now to shew it was a mistake to affirm it to have bin thus in Lacedemon, sufficient has bin spoken; and wheras he will have it to be so in Venice also,*They, says Contarini,in whom resides the supreme power of the whole commonwealth, and of the laws, and upon whose orders depends the authority as well of the senat as of all the other magistrats, is the GREAT COUNCIL. It is institutively in the great council, by the judgment of all that know that commonwealth; tho for the reasons shewn, it be somtimes exercis’d by the senat. Nor need I run over the commonwealths in this place for the proof of a thing so doubtless, and such as has bin already made so apparent, as that the result of each was in the popular part of it. The popular part of yours, or the prerogative tribe, consists of seven deputys (wherof three are of the horse) annually elected out of every tribe of Oceana; which being fifty, amounts to one hundred and fifty horse, and two hundred foot. And the prerogative consisting of three of these lists, consists of four hundred and fifty horse, and six hundred foot, besides those of the provinces to be hereafter mention’d; by which means the overbalance in the suffrage remaining to the foot by one hundred and fifty votes, you have to the support of a true and natural aristocracy, the deepest root of a democracy that has bin ever planted. Wherfore there is nothing in art or nature better qualify’d for the result than this assembly. It is noted out of Cicero by Machiavei, That the people, tho they are not so prone to find out truth of themselves, as to follow custom, or run into error; yet if they be shewn truth, they not only acknowledge and imbrace it very suddenly, but are the most constant and faithful guardians and conservators of it. It is your duty and office, wherto you are also qualify’d by the orders of this commonwealth, to have the people as you have your hauks and greyhounds, in leases and slips, to range the fields, and beat the bushes for them; for they are of a nature that is never good at this sport, but when you spring or start their proper quarry. Think not that they will stand to ask you what it is, or less know it than your hauks and greyhounds do theirs; but presently make such a flight or course, that a huntsman may as well undertake to run with his dogs, or a falconer to fly with his hauk, as an aristocracy at this game to compare with the people. The people of Rome were possest of no less a prey than the empire of the world, when the nobility turn’d tails, and perch’d among daws upon the tower of monarchy. For tho they did not all of them intend the thing, they would none of them indure the remedy, which was the agrarian.
“But the prerogative tribe has not only the result, but is the supreme judicature, and the ultimat appeal in this commonwealth. For the popular government that makes account to be of any standing, must make sure in the first place of the† appeal to the people. As an estate in trust becoms a man’s own, if he be not answerable for it, so the power of a magistracy not accountable to the people, from whom it was receiv’d, becoming of privat use, the commonwealth loses her liberty. Wherfore the right of supreme judicature in the people (without which there can be no such thing as popular government) is confirm’d by the constant practice of all commonwealths; as that of Israel in the cases of Achan, and of the tribe of Benjamin, adjudg’d by the congregation. The dicasterian or court call’d the heliaia in Athens, which (the comitia of that commonwealth consisting of the whole people, and so being too numerous to be a judicatory) was constituted somtimes of five hundred, at others of one thousand, or, according to the greatness of the cause, of fifteen hundred, elected by the lot out of the whole body of the people, had with the nine Archons that were presidents, the cognizance of such causes as were of highest importance in that state. The five ephors in Lacedemon, which were popular magistrats, might question their kings, as appears by the cases of Pausanias, and of Agis, who being upon his trial in this court, was cry’d to by his mother to appeal to the people, as Plutarch has it in his life. The tribuns of the people of Rome (like, in the nature of their magistracy, and for som time in number, to the ephors, as being, according to Halicarnasseus and Plutarch, instituted in imitation of them) had power* to summon any man, his magistracy at least being expir’d (for from the dictator there lay no appeal) to answer for himself to the people. As in the case of Coriolanus, who was going about to force the people, by withholding corn from them in a famin, to relinquish the magistracy of the tribuns; in that of Spurius Cassius for affecting tyranny; of Marcus Sergius for running away at Veii; of Caius Lucretius for spoiling his province; of Junius Silanus for making war, without a command from the people, against the Cimbri; with divers others. And the crimes of this nature were call’d læsæ majestatis, or high treason. Examples of such as were arrain’d or try’d for peculat, or defraudation of the commonwealth, were Marcus Curius, for intercepting the mony of the Samnits;Salinator, for the inequal division of spoils to his soldiers; Marcus Posthumius, for cheating the commonwealth by a feign’d shipwreck. Causes of these two kinds were of a more public nature; but the like power upon appeals was also exercis’d by the people in privat matters, even during the time of the kings; as in the case of Horatius. Nor is it otherwise with Venice, where the doge Loredano was sentenc’d by the great council; and Antonio Grimani, afterwards doge, question’d, for that he being admiral had suffer’d the Turc to take Lepanto in view of his fleet.
“Nevertheless, there lay no appeal from the Roman dictator to the people; which if there had, might have cost the commonwealth dear, when Spurius Melius affecting empire, circumvented and debauch’d the tribuns: wherupon Titus Quintus Cincinnatus was created dictator; who having chosen Servilius Ahala to be his lieutenant, or magister equitum, sent him to apprehend Melius, whom, while he disputed the commands of the dictator, and implor’d the aid of the people, Ahala cut off upon the place. By which example you may see in what cases the dictator may prevent the blow which is ready somtimes to fall e’er the people be aware of the danger. Wherefore there lys no appeal from the dieci, or the council of ten, in Venice, to the great council, nor from our council of war to the people. For the way of proceding of this tribe, or the ballot, it is, as was once said for all, Venetian.
“This discourse of judicatorys wherupon we are faln, brings us rather naturally than of design from the two general orders of every commonwealth, that is to say, from the debating part or the senat, and the resolving part or the people, to the third, which is the executive part or the magistracy, wherupon I shall have no need to dwell: for the executive magistrats of this commonwealth are the strategus in arms; the signory in their several courts, as the chancery, the exchequer; as also the councils in divers cases within their instructions; the censors as well in their proper magistracy, as in the council of religion; the tribuns in the government of the prerogative, and that judicatory; and the judges with their courts: of all which so much is already said or known as may suffice.
“The Tuesday lectures or orations to the people will be of great benefit to the senat, the prerogative, and the whole nation. To the senat, because they will not only teach your senators elocution, but keep the system of the government in their memorys. Elocution is of great use to your senators; for if they do not understand rhetoric (giving it at this time for granted, that the art were not otherwise good) and com to treat with, or vindicat the cause of the commonwealth against som other nation that is good at it, the advantage will be subject to remain upon the merit of the art, and not upon the merit of the cause. Fucthermore, the genius or soul of this government being in the whole and in every part, they will never be of ability in determination upon any particular, unleis at the same time they have an idea of the whole. That this therfore muit be, in that regard, of equal benefit to the prerogative, is plain; tho these have a greater concernment in it. For this commonwealth is the estate of the people: and a man, you know, tho he be virtuous, yet if he dos not understand his estate, may run out or be cheated of it. Last of all, the treasures of the politics will by this means be so open’d, rifled, and dispers’d, that this nation will as soon dote, like the Indians, upon glass beads, as disturb your government with whimsys and freaks of motherwit; or suffer themselves to be stutter’d out of their libertys. There is not any reason why your grandees, your wise men of this age, that laugh out and openly at a commonwealth as the most ridiculous thing, do not appear to be, as in this regard they are, mere idiots, but that the people have not eys.
There remains no more relating to the senat and the people than
24 Order. Constitution of the provincial part of the senat and the people.The twenty-fourth ORDER, wherby it is lawful for the province of Marpesia to have 30 knights of their own election continually present in the senat of Oceana, together with 60 deputys of horse, and 120 of foot in the prerogative tribe, indu’d with equal power (respect had to their quality and number) in the debate and result of this commonwealth: provided that they observe the course or rotation of the same by the annual return of 10 knights, 20 deputys of the horse, and 40 of the foot. The like in all respects is lawful for Panopea; and the horse of both the provinces amounting to one troop, and the foot to one company, one captain and one cornet of the horse shall be annually chosen by Marpesia, and one captain and one ensign of the foot shall be annually chosen by Panopea.
The orb of the prerogative being thus complete, is not unnaturally compar’d to that of the moon, either in consideration of the light borrow’d from the senat, as from the sun; or of the ebs and stoods of the people, which are mark’d by the negative or affirmative of this tribe.Constitution of the parlament. And the constitution of the senat and the people being shewn, you have that of the parlament of Oceana, consisting of the senat proposing, and of the people resolving; which amounts to an act of parlament. So the parlament is the heart, which, consisting of two ventricles, the one greater and replenish’d with a grosser matter, the other less and full of a purer, sucks in, and spouts forth the vital blood of Oceana by a perpetual circulation. Wherfore the life of this government is no more unnatural or obnoxious upon this score to dissolution, than that of a man; nor to giddiness than the world: seeing the earth, whether it be it self or the heavens that are in rotation, is so far from being giddy, that it could not subsist without motion. But why should not this government be much rather capable of duration and steddiness by motion? than which God has ordain’d no other to the universal commonwealth of mankind: seeing one generation coms, and another gos, but the earth remains firm for ever; that is, in her proper situation or place, whether she be mov’d or not mov’d upon her proper center. The senat, the people, and the magistracy, or the parlament so constituted, as you have seen, is the guardian of this commonwealth, and the husband of such a wife as is elegantly describ’d by Solomon.Prov. 31.She is like the merchant’s ships; she brings her food from far. She considers a field; and buys it: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She perceives that her merchandize is good. She stretches forth her hands to the poor. She is not afraid of the snow for her houshold; for all her houshold are cloth’d with scarlet. She makes her self coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known (by his robes) in the gates, when he sits among the senators of the land. The gates, or inferior courts, were branches as it were of the sanhedrim or senat of Israel. Nor is our commonwealth a worse houswife, or she has less regard to her magistrats; as may appear by
25 Order.The twenty-fifth ORDER: That, wheras the public revenue is thro the late civil wars dilapidated, the excise, being improv’d or improvable to the revenue of one million, be apply’d for the space of eleven years to com, to the reparation of the same, and for the present maintenance of the magistrats, knights, deputys, and other officers, who, according to their several dignitys and functions, shall annually receive towards the support of the same, as follows:
The lord strategus marching, is, upon another account, to have field pay as general.
OUT of the personal estates of every man, who at his death bequeaths not above forty shillings to the muster of that hundred wherin it lys, shall be levy’d one per cent. till the solid revenue of the muster of the hundred amounts to 50 l. per annum for the prizes of the youth.
THE twelve ballotins are to be divided into three regions, according to the course of the senat; the four of the first region to be elected at the tropic out of such children as the knights of the same shall offer, not being under eleven years of age, nor above thirteen. And their election shall be made by the lot at an urn set by the serjeant of the house for that purpose in the hall of the pantheon. The livery of the commonwealth for the fashion or the color may be chang’d at the election of the strategus according to his phansy. But every knight during his session shall be bound to give to his footman, or some one of his footmen, the livery of the commonwealth.
The prerogative tribe shall receive as follows:
THE dignity of the commonwealth, and aids of the several magistracys and offices therto belonging, being provided for as aforesaid, the overplus of the excise, with the product of the sum rising, shall be carefully manag’d by the senat and the people thro the diligence of the officers of the exchequer, till it amount to eight millions, or to the purchase of about four hundred thousand pounds solid revenue. At which time, the term of eleven years being expir’d, the excise, except it be otherwise order’d by the senat and the people, shall be totally remitted and abolish’d for ever.
At this institution the takes, as will better appear in the corollary, were abated about one half, which made the order when it came to be tasted, to be of good relish with the people in the very beginning; tho the advantages then were no ways comparable to the consequences to be hereafter shewn. Nevertheless, my lord Epimonus, who with much ado had bin held till now, found it midsummer moon, and broke out of bedlam in this manner:
“I Have a singing in my head like that of a cartwheel, my brains are upon a rotation; and som are so merry, that a man cannot speak his griefs, but if your highshod prerogative, and those same slouching fellows your tribuns, do not take my lord strategus’s, and my lord orator’s heads, and jole them together under the canopy, then let me be ridiculous to all posterity. For here is a commonwealth, to which if a man should take that of the prentices in their ancient administration of justice at Shrovetide, it were an aristocracy. You have set the very rabble with troncheons in their hands, and the gentry of this nation, like cocks with scarlet gills, and the golden combs of their salarys to boot, lest they should not be thrown at.
“Not a night can I sleep for som horrid apparition or other; one while these myrmidons are measuring silks by their quarterstaves; another stuffing their greasy pouches with my lord high treasurer’s jacobusses. For they are above a thousand in arms to three hundred, which, their gowns being pull’d over their ears, are but in their doublets and hose. But what do I speak of a thousand? there be two thousand in every tribe, that is, a hundred thousand in the whole nation, not only in the posture of an army, but in a civil capacity sufficient to give us what laws they please. Now every body knows, that the lower sort of people regard nothing but mony; and you say it is the duty of a legislator to presume all men to be wicked: wherfore they must fall upon the richer, as they are an army; or, lest their minds should misgive them in such a villany, you have given them incouragement that they have a nearer way, seeing it may be don every whit as well as by the overbalancing power which they have in elections. There is a fair which is annually kept in the center of these territorys at Kiberton, a town famous for ale, and frequented by good fellows; where there is a solemnity of the pipers and fidlers of this nation (I know not whether Lacedemon, where the senat kept account of the stops of the flutes and of the fiddle-strings of that commonwealth, had any such custom) call’d the bulrunning; and he that catches and holds the bull, is the annual and supreme magistrat of that comitia or congregation, call’d king piper; without whose licence it is not lawful for any of those citizens to injoy the liberty of his calling; nor is he otherwise legitimatly qualify’d (or civitate donatus) to lead apes or bears in any perambulation of the same. Mine host of the bear, in Kiberton, the father of ale, and patron of good footbal and cudgelplayers, has any time since I can remember, bin grand chancellor of this order. Now, say I, seeing great things arise from small beginnings, what should hinder the people, prone to their own advantage, and loving mony, from having intelligence convey’d to them by this same king piper and his chancellor, with their loyal subjects the minstrils and bearwards, masters of ceremonys, to which there is great recourse in their respective perambulations, and which they will commission and instruct, with directions to all the tribes, willing and commanding them, that as they with their own good, they chuse no other into the next primum mobile, but of the ablest cudgel and footbal-players? which don as soon as said, your primum mobile consisting of no other stuff, must of necessity be drawn forth into your nebulones, and your galimosrys; and so the silken purses of your senat and prerogative being made of sows ears, most of them blacksmiths, they will strike while the iron is hot, and beat your estates into hobnails; mine host of the bear being strategus, and king piper lord orator. Well, my lords, it might have bin otherwise exprest, but this is well enough a conscience. In your way, the wit of man shall not prevent this or the like inconvenience; but if this (for I have confer’d with artists) be a mathematical demonstration, I could kneel to you, that e’er it be too late we might return to som kind of sobriety.
“If we empty our purses with these pomps, salarys, coaches, lacquys, and pages, what can the people say less, than that we have drest a senat and a prerogative for nothing, but to go to the park with the ladys?”
My lord Archon, whose meekness resembl’d that of Moses, vouchsaf’d this answer:
“FOR all this, I can see my lord Epimonus every night in the park, and with ladys; nor do I blame this in a young man, or the respect which is and ought to be given to a sex that is one half of the commonwealth of mankind, and without which the other would be none: but our magistrats, I doubt, may be somwhat of the oldest to perform this part with much acceptation; and, as the Italian proverb says,*Servire & non gradire è cosa da far morire. Wherfore we will lay no certain obligation upon them in this point, but leave them, if it please you, to their own fate or discretion. But this (for I know my lord Epimonus loves me, tho I can never get his esteem) I will say, if he had a mistress should use him so, he would find it a sad life; or I appeal to your lordships, how I can resent it from such a friend, that he puts king piper’s politics in the balance with mine. King piper, I deny not, may teach his bears to dance, but they have the worst ear of all creatures. Now how he should make them keep time in fifty several tribes, and that two years together, for else it will be to no purpose, may be a small matter with my lord to promise; but it seems to me of impossible performance. First, thro the nature of the bean; and, secondly, thro that of the ballot; or how what he has hitherto thought so hard, is now com to be easy: but he may think, that for expedition they will eat up these balls like apples. However, there is so much more in their way by the constitution of this, than is to be found in that of any other commonwealth, that I am reconcil’d; it now appearing plainly, that the points of my lord’s arrows are directed at no other white, than to shew the excellency of our government above others; which, as he procedes further, is yet plainer; while he makes it appear, that there can be no other elected by the people but smiths,
“Brontesque Steropesque & nudus membra Pyracmon:
“Othoniel, Aod, Gideon, Jephtha, Samson, as in Israel:Miltiades, Aristides, Themistocles, Cimon, Pericles, as in Athens:Papyrius, Cincinnatus, Camillus, Fabius Scipio, as in Rome: smiths of the fortune of the commonwealth; not such as forg’d hob-nails, but thunderbolts. Popular elections are of that kind, that all the rest of the world is not able, either in number or glory, to equal those of these three commonwealths. These indeed were the ablest cudgel and footbal-players; bright arms were their cudgels, and the world was the ball that lay at their feet. Wherfore we are not so to understand the maxim of legislators, which holds all men to be wicked, as if it related to mankind or a commonwealth, the interests wherof are the only strait lines they have wherby to reform the crooked; but as it relates to every man or party, under what color soever he or they pretend to be trusted apart, with or by the whole. Hence then it is deriv’d, which is made good in all experience, that the aristocracy is ravenous, and not the people. Your highwaymen are not such as have trades, or have bin brought up to industry; but such commonly whose education has pretended to that of gentlemen. My lord is so honest, he does not know the maxims that are of absolute necessity to the arts of wickedness; for it is most certain, if there be not more purses than thieves, that the thieves themselves must be forc’d to turn honest, because they cannot thrive by their trade: but now if the people should turn thieves, who sees not that there would be more thieves than purses? wherfore that a whole people should turn robbers or levellers, is as impossible in the end as in the means. But that I do not think your artist which you mention’d, whether astronomer or arithmetician, can tell me how many barlycorns would reach to the sun; I could be content he were call’d to the account, with which I shall conclude this point: when by the way I have chid my lords the legislators, who, as if they doubted my tackling could not hold, would leave me to flag in a perpetual calm, but for my lord Epimonus, who breaths now and then into my sails, and stirs the waters. A ship makes not her way so briskly, as when she is handsomly brush’d by the waves, and tumbles over those that seem to tumble against her; in which case I have perceiv’d in the dark, that light has bin struck even out of the sea, as in this place, where my lord Epimonus seigning to give us a demonstration of one thing, has given it of another, and of a better. For the people of this nation, if they amount in each tribe to two thousand elders, and two thousand youths, upon the annual roll, holding a fifth to the whole tribe; then the whole of a tribe, not accounting women and children, must amount to twenty thousand; and so the whole of all the tribes being fifty, to one million. Now you have ten thousand parishes, and reckoning these one with another, each at one thousand pounds a year dry rent, the rent or revenue of the nation, as it is or might be let to farm, amounts to ten millions; and ten millions in revenue divided equally to one million of men, coms but to ten pounds a year to each wherwith to maintain himself, his wife and children. But he that has a cow upon the common, and earns his shilling by the day at his labor, has twice as much already as this would com to for his share; because if the land were thus divided, there would be no body to set him on work. So my lord Epimonus’s footman, who costs him thrice as much as one of these could thus get, would certainly lose by his bargain. What should we speak of those innumerable trades wherupon men live, not only better than others upon good shares of lands, but becom also purchasers of greater estates? is not this the demonstration which my lord meant, that the revenue of industry in a nation, at least in this, is three or fourfold greater than that of the mere rent? if the people then obstruct industry, they obstruct their own livelihood; but if they make a war, they obstruct industry. Take the bread out of the peoples mouths, as did the Roman Patricians, and you are sure enough of a war, in which case they may be levellers; but our agrarian causes their industry to flow with milk and hony. It will be own’d, that this is true, if the people were given* to understand their own happiness; but where is it they do that? let me reply with the like question, where do they not? they do not know their happiness it should seem in France, Spain and Italy: but teach them what it is, and try whose sense is the truer. As to the late wars in Germany, it has bin affirm’d to me there, that the princes could never make the people to take arms while they had bread, and have therfore suffer’d countrys now and then to be wasted, that they might get soldiers. This you will find to be the certain pulse and temper of the people; and if they have bin already prov’d to be the most wife and constant order of a government, why should we think (when no man can produce one example of the common soldiery in an army mutinying because they had not captains pay) that the prerogative should jole the heads of the senat together, because these have the better salarys; when it must be as evident to the people in a nation as to the soldiery in an army, that it is no more possible their emoluments of this kind should be afforded by any commonwealth in the world to be made equal with those of the senat, than that the common soldiers should be equal with the captains? it is enough for the common soldier, that his virtue may bring him to be a captain, and more to the prerogative, that each of them is nearer to be a senator.
“If my lord thinks our salarys too great, and that the commonwealth is not houswife enough; whether is it better houswifery that she should keep her family from the snow, or suffer them to burn her house that they may warm themselves? for one of these must be. Do you think that she came off at a cheaper rate, when men had their rewards by a thousand, two thousand pounds a year in land of inheritance? if you say, that they will be more godly than they have bin, it may be ill taken; and if you cannot promise that, it is time we find out som way of stinting at least, if not curing them of that same sacra fames. On the other side, if a poor man (as such a one may save a city) gives his sweat to the public, with what conscience can you suffer his family in the mean time to starve? but he that lays his hand to this plow, shall not lose by taking it off from his own: and a commonwealth that will mend this, shall be penny wise. The sanhedrim of Israel being the supreme, and a constant court of judicature, could not chuse but be exceding gainful. The senat of the bean in Athens, because it was but annual, was moderatly salariated; but that of the areopagits being for life, bountifully: and what advantages the senators of Lacedemen had, where there was little mony or use of it, were in honors for life. The Patricians having no profit, took all. Venice being a situation, where a man goes but to the door for his imployment, the honor is great, and the reward very little: but in Holland a counsillor of state has fifteen hundred Flemish pounds a year, besides other accommodations. The states general have more. And that commonwealth looks nearer her penny than ours needs to do.
“For the revenue of this nation, besides that of her industry, it amounts, as has bin shewn, to ten millions; and the salarys in the whole com not to three hundred thousand pounds a year. The beauty they will add to the commonwealth will be exceding great, and the people will delight in this beauty of their commonwealth; the incouragement they will give to the study of the public being very profitable, the accommodation they will afford to your magistrats very honorable and easy. And the sum, when it or twice as much was spent in hunting and housekeeping, was never any grievance to the people. I am asham’d to stand huckling upon this point; it is sordid. Your magistrats are rather to be provided with further accommodations. For what if there should be sickness? whither will you have them to remove? and this city in the soundest times, for the heat of the year, is no wholsom abode: have a care of their healths to whom you commit your own. I would have the senat and the people, except they see cause to the contrary, every first of June to remove into the country air for the space of three months. You are better fitted with summerhouses for them, than if you had built them to that purpose. There is som twelve miles distant the convallium upon the river Halcionia, for the tribuns and the prerogative, a palace capable of a thousand men: and twenty miles distant you have mount Celia, reverend as well for the antiquity as state of a castle completely capable of the senat: the proposers having lodgings in the convallium, and the tribuns in Celia, it holds the correspondency between the senat and the people exactly. And it is a small matter for the proposers, being attended with the coaches and officers of state, besides other conveniences of their own, to go a matter of five or ten miles (those seats are not much further distant) to meet the people upon any heath or field that shall be appointed: where, having dispatch’d their business, they may hunt their own venizon (for I would have the great wall’d park upon the Halcionia to belong to the signory, and those about the convallium to the tribuns) and so go to supper. Pray, my lords, see that they do not pull down these houses to sell the lead of them; for when you have consider’d on’t, they cannot be spar’d. The founders of the school in Hiera provided that the boys should have a summer seat. You should have as much care of these magistrats. But there is such a selling, such a Jewish humor in our republicans, that I cannot tell what to say to it; only this, any man that knows what belongs to a commonwealth, or how diligent every nation in that case has bin to preserve her ornaments, and shall see the wast lately made (the woods adjoining to this city, which serv’d for the delight and health of it, being cut down to be sold for three pence) will tell you, that they who did such things would never have made a commonwealth. The like may be said of the ruin or damage don upon our cathedrals, ornaments in which this nation excels all others. Nor shall this ever be excus’d upon the score of religion; for tho it be true that God dwells not in houses made with hands, yet you cannot hold your assemblys but in such houses, and these are of the best that have bin made with hands. Nor is it well argu’d that they are pompous, and therfore profane, or less proper for divine service; seeing the christians in the primitive church, chose to meet with one accord in the temple; so far were they from any inclination to pull it down.”
The orders of this commonwealth, so far, or near so far as they concern the elders, together with the several speeches at the institution, which may serve for the better understanding of them as so many commentaries, being shewn; I should now com from the elders to the youth, or from the civil constitution of this government to the military, but that I judg this the fittest place wherinto, by the way, to insert the government of the city, tho for the present but perfunctorily.
The government of Emporium.THE metropolis or capital city of Oceana is commonly call’d Emporium, tho it consists of two citys distinct, as well in name as in government, wherof the other is call’d Hiera: for which cause I shall treat of each apart, beginning with Emporium.
The city tribes and wards.Emporium with the libertys is under a twofold division, the one regarding the national, and the other the urban or city government. It is divided, in regard of the national government, into three tribes, and in respect of the urban into twenty-six, which for distinction sake are call’d wards, being contain’d under three tribes but inequally: wherfore the first tribe containing ten wards is call’d scazon, the second containing eight metoche, and the third containing as many telicouta: the bearing of which names in mind concerns the better understanding of the government.
Wardmote.EVERY ward has her wardmote, court, or inquest, consisting of all that are of the clothing or liverys of companys residing within the same.
The liverys.SUCH are of the livery or clothing as have attain’d to the dignity to wear gowns and particolor’d hoods or tippets, according to the rules and ancient customs of their respective companys.
The companys.A COMPANY is a brotherhood of tradesmen professing the same art, govern’d according to their charter by a master and wardens. Of these there be about sixty, wherof twelve are of greater dignity than the rest, that is to say, the mercers, grocers, drapers, fishmongers, goldsmiths, skinners, merchant-taylors, haberdashers, salters, ironmongers, vintners, clothworkers; which, with most of the rest, have common halls, divers of them being of antient and magnificent structure, wherin they have frequent meetings at the summons of their master or wardens for the managing and regulation of their respective trades and mysterys.Common halls. These companys, as I shall shew, are the roots of the whole government of the city. For the liverys that reside in the same ward, meeting at the wardmote inquest (to which it belongs to take cognizance of all sorts of nusances, and violations of the customs and orders of the city, and to present them to the court of aldermen) have also power to make election of two sorts of magistrats or officers; the first of elders or aldermen of the ward, the second of deputys of the same, otherwise call’d common-council men.
Election of aldermen, and of the common-council men.THE wards in these elections, because they do not elect all at once, but som one year, and som another, observe the distinction of the three tribes; for example, the scazon consisting of ten wards, makes election the first year of ten aldermen, one in each ward, and of one hundred and fifty deputys, fifteen in each ward: all which are triennial magistrats or officers, that is to say, are to bear their dignity for the space of three years.
THE second year the metoche, consisting of eight wards, elects eight aldermen, one in each ward, and a hundred and twenty deputys, fifteen in each ward; being also triennial magistrats.
THE third year telicouta, consisting of a like number of wards, elects an equal number of like magistrats for a like term. So that the whole number of the aldermen, according to that of the wards, amounts to twenty-six; and the whole number of the deputys, to three hundred and ninety.
The court of aldermen.THE aldermen thus elected have divers capacities: for, first, they are justices of the peace for the term, and in consequence of their election. Secondly, they are presidents of the wardmote, and governors each of that ward wherby he was elected. And last of all, these magistrats being assembled together, constitute the senat of the city, otherwise call’d the court of aldermen: but no man is capable of this election that is not worth ten thousand pounds. This court upon every new election, makes choice of nine censors out of their own number.
The common council.THE deputys in like manner being assembled together, constitute the prerogative tribe of the city, otherwise call’d the common council: by which means the senat and the people of the city were comprehended, as it were, by the motion of the national government, into the same wheel of annual, triennial, and perpetual revolution.
The common hall.BUT the liverys, over and above the right of these elections by their divisions mention’d, being assembled all together at the guild of the city, constitute another assembly call’d the common hall.
The election of the lord mayor and sheriffs.THE common hall has the right of two other elections; the one of the lord mayor, and the other of the two sheriffs, being annual magistrats. The lord mayor can be elected out of no other than one of the twelve companys of the first ranks; and the common hall agrees by the plurality of suffrages upon two names: which being presented to the lord mayor for the time being, and the court of aldermen, they elect one by their scrutiny; for so they call it, tho it differs from that of the commonwealth. The orator or assistant to the lord mayor in holding of his courts, is som able lawyer elected by the court of aldermen, and call’d the recorder of Emporium.
THE lord mayor being thus elected, has two capacitys; one regarding the nation, and the other the city. In that which regards the city, he is president of the court of aldermen, having power to assemble the same, or any other council of the city, as the common council or common hall, at his will and pleasure: and in that which regards the nation, he is commander in chief of the three tribes wherinto the city is divided; one of which he is to bring up in person at the national muster to the ballot, as his vicecomites, or high sheriffs, are to do by the other two, each at their distinct pavilion, where the nine aldermen, elected censors, are to officiat by three in each tribe, according to the rules and orders already given to the censors of the rustic tribes. And the tribes of the city have no other than one common phylarch, which is the court of aldermen and the common council; for which cause they elect not at their muster the first list call’d the prime magnitude.
Some conveniences in this alteration.THE conveniences of this alteration of the city government, besides the bent of it to a conformity with that of the nation, were many, wherof I shall mention but a few: as first, wheras men under the former administration, when the burden of som of these magistracys lay for life, were oftentimes chosen not for their fitness, but rather unfitness, or at least unwillingness to undergo such a weight, wherby they were put at great rates to fine for their ease; a man might now take his share in magistracy with that equity which is due to the public, and without any inconvenience to his privat affairs. Secondly, wheras the city (inasmuch as the acts of the aristocracy, or court of aldermen, in their former way of proceding, were rather impositions than propositions) was frequently disquieted with the inevitable consequence of disorder in the power of debate exercis’d by the popular part, or common council; the right of debate being henceforth establish’d in the court of aldermen, and that of result in the common council, kill’d the branches of division in the root. Which for the present may suffice to have bin said of the city of Emporium.
The government of Hiera.THAT of Hiera consists as to the national government of two tribes, the first call’d agoræa, the second propola: but as to the peculiar policy of twelve manipuls, or wards divided into three cohorts, each cohort containing four wards; wherof the wards of the first cohort elect for the first year four burgesses, one in each ward; the wards of the second cohort for the second year four burgesses, one in each ward; and the wards of the third cohort for the third year four burgesses, one in each ward; all triennial magistrats:The court. by which the twelve burgesses, making one court for the government of this city, according to their instructions by act of parlament, fall likewise into an annual, triennial, and perpetual revolution.
The high steward.THIS court being thus constituted, makes election of divers magistrats; as first, of a high steward, who is commonly som person of quality, and this magistracy is elected in the senat by the scrutiny of this court; with him they chuse som able lawyer to be his deputy, and to hold the court; and last of all they elect out of their own number six censors.
THE high steward is commander in chief of the two tribes, wherof he in person brings up the one at the national muster to the ballot, and his deputy the other at a distinct pavilion; the six censors chosen by the court, officiating by three in each tribe at the urns; and these tribes have no other phylarch but this court.
AS for the manner of elections and suffrage, both in Emporium and Hiera, it may be said once for all, that they are perform’d by ballot, and according to the respective rules already given.
THERE be other citys and corporations throout the territory, whose policy being much of this kind, would be tedious and not worth the labor to insert, nor dare I stay. Juvenum manus emicat ardens.
I return, according to the method of the commonwealth, to the remaining parts of her orbs, which are military and provincial; the military, except the strategus, and the polemarchs or field officers, consisting of the youth only, and the provincial consisting of a mixture both of elders and of the youth.
To begin with the youth, or the military orbs, they are circles to which the commonwealth must have a care to keep close. A man is a spirit rais’d by the magic of nature; if she dos not stand safe, and so that she may set him to som good and useful work, he spits fire, and blows up castles: for where there is life, there must be motion or work; and the work of idleness is mischief, but the work of industry is health. To set men to this, the commonwealth must begin betimes with them, or it will be too late: and the means wherby she sets them to it, is EDUCATION, the plastic art of government. But it is as frequent as sad in experience (whether thro negligence, or, which in the consequence is all one or worse, overfondness in the domestic performance of this duty) that innumerable children com to ow their utter perdition to their own parents; in each of which the commonwealth loses a citizen. Wherfore the laws of a government, how wholsom soever in themselves, are such as, if men by a congruity in their education be not bred to find a relish in them, they will be sure to loath and detest. The education therefore of a man’s own children is not wholly to be committed or trusted to himself. You find in*Livy the children of Brutus having bin bred under monarchy, and us’d to a court life, making faces at the commonwealth of Rome: A king (say they) is a man with whom you may prevail when you have need there should be law, or when you have need there should be no law; he has favors in the right, and he frowns not in the wrong place; he knows his friends from his enemys. But laws are deaf inexorable things, such as make no difference between a gentleman and an ordinary fellow; a man can never be merry for them, for to trust altogether to his own innocence is a sad life. Unhappy wantons! Scipio on the other side, when he was but a boy (about two or three and twenty) being inform’d that certain Patricians of Roman gentlemen, thro a qualm upon the defeat which Hannibal had given them at Cannæ, were laying their heads together and contriving their flight with the transportation of their goods out of Rome, drew his sword, and setting himself at the door of the chamber where they were at council, protested, That who did not immediatly swear not to desert the commonwealth, he would make his soul to desert his body. Let men argue as they please for monarchy, or against a commonwealth, the world shall never see any man so sottish or wicked as in cool blood to prefer the education of the sons of Brutus before that of Scipio; and of this mould, except a Melius or a Manlius, was the whole youth of that commonwealth, tho not ordinarily so well cast. Now the health of a government, and the education of the youth being of the same pulse, no wonder if it has bin the constant practice of well-order’d commonwealths to commit the care and feeling of it to public magistrats. A duty that was perform’d in such a manner by the areopagits, as is elegantly prais’d by Isocrates.The Athenians, says he, write not their laws upon dead walls, nor content themselves with having ordain’d punishments for crimes, but provide in such a way by the education of their youth, that there be no crimes for punishment. He speaks of those laws which regarded manners, not of those orders which concerned the administration of the commonwealth, lest you should think he contradicts Xenophon and Polybius. The children of Lacedemon, at the seventh year of their age, were delivered to the pædonomi, or schoolmasters, not mercenary, but magistrats of the commonwealth, to which they were accountable for their charge: and by these at the age of fourteen they were presented to other magistrats call’d the beidiæi, having the inspection of the games and exercises, among which that of the platanista was famous, a kind of fight in squadrons, but somwhat too fierce. When they came to be of military age, they were listed of the mora, and so continu’d in readiness for public service under the discipline of the polemarchs. But the Roman education and disciplin by the centurys and classes is that to which the commonwealth of Oceana has had a more particular regard in her three essays, being certain degrees by which the youth commence as it were in arms for magistracy, as appears by
26 Order.The twenty-sixth ORDER, instituting, That if a parent has but one son, the education of that one son shall be wholly at the disposition of that parent. But wheras there be free schools erected and endow’d, or to be erected and endow’d in every tribe of this nation, to a sufficient proportion for the education of the children of the same (which schools, to the end there be no detriment or hindrance to the scholars upon case of removing from one to another, are every of them to be govern’d by the strict inspection of the censors of the tribes, both upon the schoolmasters manner of life and teaching, and the proficiency of the children, after the rules and method of that in Hiera) if a parent has more sons than one, the censors of the tribes shall animadvert upon and punish him that sends not his sons within the ninth year of their age to som one of the schools of a tribe, there to be kept and taught, if he be able, at his own charges; and if he be not able, gratis, till they arrive at the age of fifteen years. And a parent may expect of his sons at the fifteenth year of their age according to his choice or ability, whether it be to service in the way of apprentices to som trade or otherwise, or to further study, as by sending them to the inns of court, of chancery, or to one of the universitys of this nation. But he that takes not upon him one of the professions proper to som of those places, shall not continue longer in any of them than till he has attain’d to the age of eighteen years; and every man having not at the age of eighteen years taken upon him, or addicted himself to the profession of the law, theology, or physic, and being no servant, shall be capable of the essays of the youth, and no other person whatsoever: except a man, having taken upon him such a profession, happens to lay it by, e’er he arrives at three or four and twenty years of age, and be admitted to this capacity by the respective phylarch, being satisfy’d that he kept not out so long with any design to evade the service of the commonwealth; but, that being no sooner at his own disposal, it was no sooner in his choice to com in. And if any youth or other person of this nation have a desire to travel into foren countrys upon occasion of business, delight, or further improvement of his education; the same shall be lawful for him upon a pass obtain’d from the censors in parliament, putting a convenient limit to the time, and recommending him to the embassadors by whom he shall be assisted, and to whom he shall yield honor and obedience in their respective residences. Every youth at his return from his travel is to present the censors with a paper of his own writing, containing the interest of state or form of government of the countrys, or som one of the countrys where he has bin; and if it be good, the censors shall cause it to be printed and publish’d, prefixing a line in commendation of the author.
EVERY Wednesday next insuing the last of December, the whole youth of every parish, that is to say every man (not excepted by the foregoing part of the order) being from eighteen years of age to thirty, shall repair at the sound of the bell to their respective church, and being there assembled in presence of the overseers, who are to govern the ballot, and the constable who is to officiat at the urn, shall, after the manner of the elders, elect every fifth man of their whole number (provided that they chuse not above one of two brothers at one election, nor above half if they be four or upward) to be a stratiot or deputy of the youth; and the list of the stratiots so elected being taken by the overseers, shall be enter’d in the parish book, and diligently preserv’d as a record, call’d the first essay. They whose estates by the law are able, or whose friends are willing to mount them, shall be of the horse, the rest are of the foot. And he who has bin one year of this list, is not capable of being reelected till after another year’s interval.
EVERY Wednesday next insuing the last of January, the stratiots being muster’d at the rendevouz of their respective hundred, shall in the presence of the jurymen, who are overseers of that ballot, and of the high constable who is to officiat at the urn, elect out of the horse of their troop or company one captain, and one ensign or cornet, to the command of the same. And the jurymen having enter’d the list of the hundred into a record to be diligently kept at the rendevouz of the same; the first public game of this commonwealth shall begin and be perform’d in this manner. Wheras there is to be at every rendevouz of a hundred one cannon, culverin, or saker; the prize arms being forg’d by sworn armorers of this commonwealth, and for their proof, besides their beauty, view’d and try’d at the tower of Emporium, shall be expos’d by the justice of peace appertaining to that hundred (the said justice with the jurymen being judges of the game) and the judges shall deliver to the horseman that gains the prize at the career, one sute of arms being of the value of twenty pouns; to the pikeman that gains the prize at throwing the bullet, one sute of arms of the value of ten pounds; to the musketeer that gains the prize at the mark with his musket, one sute of arms of the value of ten pounds; and to the cannoneer that gains the prize at the mark with the cannon, culverin, or saker, a chain of silver being the value of ten pounds; provided, that no one man at the same muster plays above one of the prizes. Whosoever gains a prize is bound to wear it (if it be his lot) upon service; and no man shall sell or give away any armor thus won, except he has lawfully attain’d to two or more of them at the games.
THE games being ended, and the muster dismist, the captain of the troop or company shall repair with a copy of the list to the lord lieutenant of the tribe, and the high constable with a duplicat of the same to the custos rotulorum, or mustermaster general, to be also communicated to the censors; in each of which the jurymen giving a note upon every name of an only son, shall certify that the list is without subterfuge or evasion; or, if it be not, an account of those upon whom the evasion or subterfuge lys, to the end that the phylarch or the censors may animadvert accordingly.
AND every Wednesday next insuing the last of February, the lord lieutenant, custos rotulorum, the censors, and the conductor, shall receive the whole muster of the youth of that tribe at the rendevouz of the same, distributing the horse and foot with their officers, according to the directions given in the like case for the distribution of the elders; and the whole squadron being put by that means in battalia, the second game of this commonwealth shall begin by the exercise of the youth in all the parts of their military disciplin according to the orders of parlament, or direction of the council of war in that case. And the hundred pounds allow’d by the parlament for the ornament of the muster in every tribe, shall be expended by the phylarch upon such artificial castles, citadels, or the like devices, as may make the best and most profitable sport for the youth and their spectators. Which being ended, the censors having prepar’d the urns by putting into the horse-urn 220 gold balls, wherof ten are to be mark’d with the letter M, and other ten with the letter P; into the foot-urn 700 gold balls, whereof 50 are to be mark’d with the letter M, and 50 with the letter P: and after they have made the gold balls in each urn, by the addition of silver balls to the same, in number equal with the horse and foot of the stratiots, the lord lieutenant shall call the stratiots to the urns, where they that draw the silver balls shall return to their places, and they that draw the gold balls shall fall off to the pavilion, where, for the space of one hour, they may chop and change their balls according as one can agree with another, whose lot he likes better But the hour being out, the conductor separating them whose gold balls have no letter, from those whose balls are mark’d, shall cause the cryer to call the alphabet, as first A; wherupon all they whose gold balls are not mark’d, and whose sirnames begin with the letter A, shall repair to a clerc appertaining to the custos rotulorum, who shall first take the names of that letter; then those of B, and so on, till all the names be alphabetically inrol’d. And the youth of this list being six hundred foot in a tribe, that is, 30000 foot in all the tribes; and two hundred horse in a tribe, that is, 10000 horse in all the tribes, are the second essay of the stratiots, and the standing army of this commonwealth to be always ready upon command to march. They whose balls are mark’d with M, amounting, by 20 horse and 50 foot in a tribe, to 2500 foot, and 500 horse in all the tribes; and they whose balls are mark’d with P, in every point correspondent, are parts of the third essay: they in M being straight to march for Marpesia, and they of P for Panopea, to the ends, and according to the further directions following in the order for the provincial orbs.
IF the polemarchs or field officers be elected by the scrutiny of the council of war, and the strategus commanded by the parlament or the dictator to march, the lord lieutenants (who have power to muster and disciplin the youth so often as they receive orders for the same from the council of war) are to deliver the second essay, or so many of them as shall be commanded, to the conductors, who shall present them to the lord strategus at the time and place appointed by his excellency to be the general rendevouz of Oceana, where the council of war shall have the accommodation of horses and arms for his men in readiness: and the lord strategus having arm’d, mounted and distributed them, whether according to the recommendation of their prize arms, or otherwise, shall lead them away to his shipping, being also ready and provided with victuals, ammunition, artillery, and all other necessarys; commanding them, and disposing of the whole conduct of the war by his sole power and authority. And this is the third essay of the stratiots, which being ship’d, or march’d out of their tribes, the lord lieutenants shall reelect the second essay out of the remaining part of the first; and the senat another strategus.
IF any veteran or veterans of this nation, the term of whose youth or militia is expir’d, having a desire to be entertain’d in the further service of the commonwealth, shall present him or themselves at the rendevouz of Oceana to the strategus, it is in his power to take on such and so many of them as shall be agreed by the polemarchs, and to send back an equal number of the stratiots.
AND for the better managing of the proper forces of this nation, the lord strategus, by appointment of the council of war, and out of such levys as they shall have made in either or both of the provinces to that end, shall receive auxiliaries by sea or elsewhere at som certain place, not exceeding his proper arms in number.
AND whosoever shall refuse any one of his three essays, except upon cause shewn he be dispens’d withal by the phylarch; or, if the phylarch be not assembled, by the censors of his tribe, shall be deem’d a helot or public servant, shall pay a fifth part of his yearly revenue, besides all other taxes, to the commonwealth for his protection, and be incapable of bearing any magistracy except such as is proper to the law. Nevertheless if a man has but two sons, the lord lieutenant shall not suffer above one of them to come to the urn at one election of the second essay: and tho he has above two sons, there shall not com above half the brothers at one election; and if a man has but one son, he shall not com to the urn at all without the consent of his parents, or his guardians; nor shall it be any reproach to him, or impediment to his bearing of magistracy.
This order, with relation to foren expeditions, will be prov’d and explain’d together with
27 Order.The twenty-seventh ORDER, providing, in case of invasion apprehended, that the lords high sherifs of the tribes upon commands receiv’d from the parlament, or the dictator, distribute the bands of the elders into divisions after the nature of the essays of the youth; and that the second division or essay of the elders, being made and consisting of 30000 foot, and 10000 horse, be ready to march with the second essay of the youth, and be brought also by the conductors to the strategus.
THE second essay of the elders and youth being march’d out of their tribes, the lords high sherifs and lieutenants shall have the remaining part of the annual hands both of elders and youth in readiness, which, if the beacons be fir’d, shall march to the rendevouz to be in that case appointed by the parlament, or the dictator. And the beacons being fir’d, the curiata comitia, or parochial congregations, shall elect a fourth both of elders and youth to be immediatly upon the guard of the tribes, and dividing themselves as aforesaid, to march also in their divisions according to orders: which method in case of extremity shall procede to the election of a third, or the levy of a second, or of the last man in the nation, by the power of the lords high sherifs; to the end that the commonwealth in her utmost pressure may shew her trust that God in his justice will remember mercy, by humbling her self, and yet preserving her courage, disciplin and constancy, even to the last drop of her blood, and the utmost farthing.
THE services perform’d by the youth, or by the elders, in case of invasion, and according to this order shall be at their proper cost and charges that are any ways able to endure it; but if there be such as are known in their parishes to be so indigent that they cannot march out of their tribes, nor undergo the burden in this case incumbent, then the congregations of their parishes shall furnish them with sufficient sums of mony to be repaid upon the certificat of the same by the parlament when the action shall be over. And of that which is respectively injoin’d by this order, any tribe, parish, magistrat, or person that shall fail, is to answer for it at the council of war, as a deserter of his country.
The Archon, being the greatest captain of his own, if not of any age, added much to the glory of this commonwealth, by interweaving the militia with more art and luster than any legislator from or before the time of Servius Tullius, who constituted the Roman militia. But as the bones or skeleton of a man, tho the greatest part of his beauty be contain’d in their proportion or symmetry, yet shewn without flesh, are a spectacle that is rather horrid than entertaining; so without discourses are the orders of a commonwealth; which, if she gos forth in that manner, may complain of her friends that they stand mute, and staring upon her. Wherfore this order was thus flesh’d by the lord Archon.
“DIOGENES seeing a young fellow drunk, told him that his father was drunk when he begot him. For this, in natural generation I must confess I see no reason; but in the political it is right. The vices of the people are from their governors; those of their governors from their laws or orders; and those of their laws or orders from their legislators.* Whatever was in the womb imperfect, as to her proper work, coms very rarely, or never at all to perfection afterwards: and the formation of a citizen in the womb of the commonwealth is his education.
“Education by the first of the foregoing orders is of six kinds: at the school, in the mechanics, at the universitys, at the ins of court or chancery, in travels, and in military disciplin: som of which I shall but touch, and som I shall handle more at large.
Schools.“That which is propos’d for the erecting and indowing of schools throout the tribes, capable of all the children of the same, and able to give to the poor the education of theirs gratis, is only matter of direction in case of very great charity, as easing the needy of the charge of their children from the ninth to the fifteenth year of their age, during which time their work cannot be profitable; and restoring them when they may be of use, furnished with tools wherof there are advantages to be made in every work, seeing he that can read and use his pen has som convenience by it in the meanest vocation. And it cannot be conceiv’d, but that which coms, tho in small parcels, to the advantage of every man in his vocation, must amount to the advantage of every vocation, and so to that of the whole commonwealth. Wherfore this is commended to the charity of every wisehearted and welminded man, to be don in time, and as God shall stir him up or inable him; there being such provision already in the case, as may give us leave to procede without obstruction.
Mechanics in general.“Parents, under animadversion of the censors, are to dispose of their children at the fifteenth year of their age to somthing; but what, is left, according to their abilitys or inclination, at their own choice. This, with the multitude, must be to the mechanics, that is to say, to agriculture or husbandry; to manufactures, or to merchandize.
Husbandry.“Agriculture is the bread of the nation; we are hung upon it by the teeth; it is a mighty nursery of strength, the best army, and the most assur’d knapsac; it is manag’d with the least turbulent or ambitious, and the most innocent hands of all other arts. Wherfore I am of Aristotle’s opinion, that a commonwealth of husbandmen, and such is ours, must be the best of all others. Certainly, my lords, you have no measure of what ought to be, but what can be don for the incouragement of this profession. I could wish I were husband good enough to direct somthing to this end; but racking of rents is a vile thing in the richer sort, an uncharitable one to the poorer, a perfect mark of slavery, and nips your commonwealth in the fairest blossom. On the other side, if there should be too much ease given in this kind, it would occasion sloth, and so destroy industry, the principal nerve of a commonwealth. But if ought might be don to hold the balance even between these two, it would be a work in this nation equal to that for which Fabius was sirnam’d Maximus by the Romans.
Manufactures and merchandize.“In manufactures and merchandize the Hollander has gotten the start of us; but at the long run it will be found, that a people working upon a foren commodity dos but farm the manufacture, and that it is really intail’d upon them only, where the growth of it is native: as also that it is one thing to have the carriage of other mens goods, and another for a man to bring his own to the best market. Wherfore (nature having provided incouragement for these arts in this nation above all others, where, the people growing, they of necessity must also increase) it cannot but establish them upon a far more sure and effectual foundation than that of the Hollanders. But these educations are in order to the first things, or necessitys of nature; as husbandry to the food, manufacture to the clothing, and merchandize to the purse of the commonwealth.
“There be other things in nature, which being second as to their order, for their dignity and value are first, and such to which the other are but accommodations; or this sort are especially these, religion, justice, courage, and wisdom.
Universitys.“The education that answers to religion in our government is that of the universitys. Moses the divine legislator was not only skilful in all the learning of the Egyptians, but took also into the fabric of his commonwealth the learning of the Midianites in the advice of Jethro; and his foundation of a university laid in the tabernacle, and finish’d in the temple, became that pinacle from whence (according to many Jewish and Christian authors) all the learning in the world has taken wing; as the philosophy of the Stoics from the Pharisees; that of the Epicureans from the Sadduces; and from the learning of the Jews so often quoted by our Savior, and fulfilled in him, the Christian religion.Acts 17. 18.Athens was the most famous university in her days; and her senators, that is to say, the Areopagits, were all philosophers. Lacedemon, to speak truth, tho she could write and read, was not very bookish. But he that disputes hence against universitys, disputes by the same argument against agriculture, manufacture, and merchandize; every one of these having bin equally forbid by Lycurgus, not for itself (for if he had not bin learn’d in all the learning of Crete, and well travell’d in the knowledge of other governments, he had never made his commonwealth) but for the diversion which they must have given his citizens from their arms, who, being but few, if they had minded any thing else, must have deserted the commonwealth. For Rome, she had ingenium par ingenio, was as learned as great, and held her college of augurs in much reverence. Venice has taken her religion upon trust. Holland cannot attend it to be very studious. Nor dos Switzerland mind it much; yet are they all addicted to their universitys. We cut down trees to build houses; but I would have som body shew me, by what reason or experience the cutting down of a university should tend to the setting up of a commonwealth. Of this I am sure, that the perfection of a commonwealth is not to be attain’d without the knowlege of antient prudence; nor the knowlege of antient prudence without learning; nor learning without schools of good literature: and these are such as we call universitys. Now tho mere university learning of itself be that which (to speak the words of Verulamius) crafty men contemn, and simple men only admire, yet is it such as wife men have use of; for studys do not teach their own use, but that is a wisdom without and above them, won by observation. Expert men may execute, and perhaps judge of particulars one by one; but the general counsils and the plots, and the marshalling of affairs, com best from those that are learned. Wherfore if you would have your children to be statesmen, let them drink by all means of these fountains, where perhaps there were never any. But what tho the water a man drinks be not nourishment; it is the vehicle without which he cannot be nourish’d. Nor is religion less concern’d in this point than government; for take away your universitys, and in a few years you lose it.
“The holy Scriptures are written in Hebrew and Greec: they that have neither of these languages may think light of both; but find me a man that has one in perfection, the study of whose whole life it has not bin. Again, this is apparent to us in daily conversation, that if four or five persons that have liv’d together be talking, another speaking the same language may com in, and yet understand very little of their discourse, in that it relates to circumstances, persons, things, times and places, which he knows not. It is no otherwise with a man, having no insight of the times in which they were written, and the circumstances to which they relate, in the reading of antient books, whether they be divine or human. For example, when we fall upon the discourse about baptism and regeneration that was between our Savior and Nicodemus, where Christ reproaches him with his ignorance in this matter: Art thou a doctor in Israel, and understandest not these things? What shall we think of it? or wherfore should a doctor in Israel have understood these things more than another, but that both baptism and regeneration, as was shew’d at large by my lord Phosphorus, were doctrins held in Israel? I instance in one place of a hundred, which he, that has not master’d the circumstances to which they relate, cannot understand. Wherfore to the understanding of the Scripture, it is necessary to have antient languages, and the knowlege of antient times, or the aid of them who have such knowlege: and to have such as may be always able and ready to give such aid (unless you would borrow it of another nation, which would not only be base, but deceitful) it is necessary to a commonwealth that she have schools of good literature, or universitys of her own. We are commanded, as has been said more than once, to search the Scriptures; and which of ’em search the Scriptures, they that take this pains in antient languages and learning, or they that will not, but trust to translations only, and to words as they sound to present circumstances? than which nothing is more fallible, or certain to lose the true sense of Scriptures, pretended to be above human understanding, for no other cause than that they are below it. But in searching the Scriptures by the proper use of our universitys, we have bin heretofore blest with greater victorys and trophys against the purple hosts and golden standards of the Romish hierarchy, than any nation; and therfore why we should relinquish this upon the presumption of som, that because there is a greater light which they have, I do not know. There is a greater light than the sun, but it does not extinguish the sun, nor does any light of God’s giving extinguish that of nature, but increase and sanctify it. Wherfore, neither the honor born by the Israelitish, Roman, or any other commonwealth that I have shewn, to their ecclesiastics, consisted in being govern’d by them, but in consulting them in matters of religion; upon whose responses or oracles they did afterwards as they thought fit. Nor would I be here mistaken, as if, by affirming the universitys to be, in order both to religion and government, of absolute necessity, I declar’d them or the ministry in any wife fit to be trusted, so far as to exercise any power not deriv’d from the civil magistrat in the administration of either. If the Jewish religion were directed and established by Moses, it was directed and establish’d by the civil magistrat; or if Moses exercis’d this administration as a prophet, the same prophet did invest with the same administration the sanhedrim, and not the priests; and so dos our commonwealth the senat, and not the clergy. They who had the supreme administration or government of the national religion in Athens, were the first Archon, the rex sacrificus, or high priest, and a polemarch; which magistrats were ordain’d or elected* by the holding up of hands in the church, congregation or comitia of the people. The religion of Lacedemon was govern’d by the kings, who were also high priests, and officiated at the sacrifice; these had power to substitute their pythii, embassadors, or nuncios, by which, not without concurrence of the senat, they held intelligence with the oracle of Apollo at Delphos. And the ecclesiastical part of the commonwealth of Rome was govern’d by the pontifex maximus, the rex sacrificulus, and the Flamins, all ordain’d or elected by the people, the pontifex by the† tribes, the king by the‡ centurys, and the Flamins by the§ parishes. I do not mind you of these things as if, for the matter, there were any parallel to be drawn out of their superstitions to our religion; but to shew that for the manner, antient prudence is as well a rule in divine as human things; nay, and such a one as the apostles themselves, ordaining elders by the holding up of hands in every congregation, have exactly follow’d: for som of the congregations where they thus ordain’d elders were those of Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, the countrys of Lycaonia, Pisidia, Pampbilia, Perga, with Attalia Now that these citys and countrys, when the Romans propagated their empire into Asia, were found most of them commonwealths, and that many of the rest were indu’d with like power, so that the people living under the protection of the Roman emperors, continu’d to elect their own magistrats, is so known a thing, that I wonder whence it is that men, quite contrary to the universal proof of these examples, will have ecclesiastical government to be necessarily distinct from civil power, when the right of the elders ordain’d by the holding up of hands in every congregation to teach the people, was plainly deriv’d from the same civil power by which they ordain’d the rest of their magistrats. And it is not otherwise in our commonwealth, where the parochial congregation elects or ordains its pastor. To object the commonwealth of Venice in this place, were to shew us that it has bin no otherwise but where the civil power has lost the liberty of her conscience by imbracing popery; as also that to take away the liberty of conscience in this administration from the civil power, were a proceding which has no other precedent than such as is popish. Wherfore your religion is settled after the following manner: the universitys are the seminarys of that part which is national, by which means others with all safety may be permitted to follow the liberty of their own consciences, in regard that, however they behave themselves, the ignorance of the unlearned in this case cannot lose your religion nor disturb your government, which otherwise it would most certainly do; and the universitys with their emoluments, as also the benefices of the whole nation, are to be improv’d by such augmentations as may make a very decent and comfortable subsistence for the ministry, which is neither to be allow’d synods nor assemblys, except upon the occasion shewn in the universitys, when they are consulted by the council of state, and suffer’d to meddle with affairs of religion, nor to be capable of any other public preferment whatsoever; by which means the interest of the learned can never com to corrupt your religion, nor disturb your government, which otherwise it would most certainly do. Venice, tho she dos not see, or cannot help the corruption of her religion, is yet so circumspect to avoid disturbance of her government in this kind, that her council procedes not to election of magistrats, till it be proclaim’d, fora papalini, by which words such as have consanguinity with red hats, or relation to the court of Rome, are warm’d to withdraw. If a minister in Holland meddles with matter of state, the magistrat sends him a pair of shoes; wherupon, if he dos not go, he is driven away from his charge. I wonder why ministers, of all men, should be perpetually tampering with government; first because they, as well as others, have it in express charge to submit themselves to the ordinances of men; and secondly, because these ordinances of men must go upon such political principles, as they of all others, by any thing that can be found in their writings or actions, least understand: whence you have the suffrage of all nations to this sense, that an ounce of wisdom is worth a pound of clergy. Your greatest clercs are not your wisest men: and when som foul absurdity in state is committed, it is common with the French, and even the Italians, to call it pas de clerc, or, governo de prete. They may bear with men that will be preaching without study, while they will be governing without prudence. My lords, if you know not how to rule your clergy, you will most certainly, like a man that cannot rule his wife, have neither quiet at home, nor honor abroad. Their honest vocation is to teach your children at the schools and the universitys, and the people in the parishes; and yours is concern’d to see that they do not play the shrews: of which parts dos consist the education of your commonwealth, so far as it regards religion.
The ins of court and chancery.“To Justice, or that part of it which is commonly executive, answers the education of the ins of court and chancery. Upon which to philosophize requires a public kind of learning that I have not. But they who take upon them any profession proper to the educations mention’d, that is, theology, physic, or law, are not at leisure for the essays. Wherfore the essays being degrees wherby the youth commence for all magistracys, offices, and honors in the parish, hundred, tribe, senat or prerogative; divines, physicians, and lawyers, not taking these degrees, exclude themselves from all such magistracys, offices, and honors. And wheras lawyers are likest to exact further reason for this, they (growing up from the most gainful art at the bar to those magistracys upon the bench, which are continually appropriated to themselves, and not only indow’d with the greatest revenues, but also held for life) have the least reason of all the rest to pretend to any other; especially in an equal commonwealth, where accumulation of magistracy, or to take a person ingag’d by his profit to the laws, as they stand, into the power, which is legislative, and which should keep them to what they were, or ought to be, were a solœcism in prudence. It is true, that the legislative power may have need of advice and assistance from the executive magistracy, or such as are learned in the law; for which cause the judges are, as they have heretofore bin, assistants in the senat. Nor, however it came about, can I see any reason why a judg, being but an assistant or lawyer, should be member of a legislative council.
“I deny not, that the Roman patricians were all patrons, and that the whole people were clients, som to one family, and som to another, by which means they had their causes pleaded and defended in som appearance gratis; for the patron took no mony, tho if he had a daughter to marry, his clients were to pay her portion: nor was this so great a grievance. But if the client accus’d his patron, gave testimony or suffrage against him, it was a crime of such a nature, that any man might lawfully kill him as a traitor; and this, as being the nerve of the optimacy, was a great cause of ruin to that commonwealth: for when the people would carry any thing that pleas’d not the senat, the senators were ill provided if they could not intercede, that is, oppose it by their clients; with whom, to vote otherwise than they pleas’d, was the highest crime. The observation of this bond till the time of the Gracchi, that is to say, till it was too late, or to no purpose to break it, was the cause, why in all the former heats and disputes that had happen’d between the senat and the people, it never came to blows, which indeed was good: but withal, the people could have no remedy, which was certainly evil. Wherfore I am of opinion, that a senator ought not to be a patron or advocat, nor a patron or advocat to be a senator: for if his practice be gratis, it debauches the people; and if it be mercenary, it debauches himself: take it which way you will, when he should be making of laws, he will be knitting of nets.
“Lycurgus, as I said, by being a traveller became a legislator, but in times when prudence was another thing. Nevertheless we may not shut out this part of education in a commonwealth, which will be herself a traveller; for those of this make have seen the world, especially because this is certain (tho it be not regarded in our times, when things being left to take their chance, it fares with us accordingly) that no man can be a politician, except he be first a historian or a traveller; for except he can see what must be, or what may be, he is no politician. Now if he has no knowledge in story, he cannot tell what has bin; and if he has not bin a traveller, he cannot tell what is: but he that neither knows what has bin, nor what is, can never tell what must be, or what may be. Furthermore, the embassys in ordinary by our constitution are the prizes of young men, more especially such as have bin travellers. Wherfore they of these inclinations having leave of the censors, ow them an account of their time, and cannot chuse but lay it out with som ambition of praise or reward, where both are open: whence you will have eys abroad, and better choice of public ministers; your gallants shewing themselves not more to the ladys at their balls, than to your commonwealth at her academy, when they return from their travels.
“But this commonwealth being constituted more especially of two elements, arms and councils, drives by a natural instinct at courage and wisdom; which he who has attain’d, is arriv’d at the perfection of human nature. It is true, that these virtues must have some natural root in him that is capable of them; but this amounts not to so great a matter as some will have it. For if poverty makes an industrious, a moderate estate a temperat, and a lavish fortune a wanton man, and this be the common course of things; wisdom then is rather of necessity than inclination. And that an army which was meditating upon flight, has bin brought by despair to win the field, is so far from being strange, that like causes will evermore produce like effects. Wherfore this commonwealth drives her citizens like wedges; there is no way with them but thorow, nor end but that glory wherof man is capable by art or nature. That the genius of the Roman familys commonly preserv’d it self throout the line (as to instance in som, the Manlii were still severe, the Publicolæ lovers, and the Appii haters of the people) is attributed by Machiavel to their education: nor, if interest might add to the reason why the genius of a Patrician was one thing, and that of a Plebeian another, is the like so apparent between different nations, who, according to their different educations, have yet as different manners. It was antiently noted, and long confirm’d by the actions of the French, that in their first assaults their courage was more than that of men; and for the rest less than that of women: which nevertheless, thro the amendment of their disciplin, we see now to be otherwise. I will not say, but that som man or nation upon an equal improvement of this kind may be lighter than som other; but certainly, education is the scale without which no man or nation can truly know his or her own weight or value. By our historys we can tell when one Marpesian would have beaten ten Oceaners, and when one Oceaner would have beaten ten Marpesians.Marc Anthony was a Roman, but how did that appear in the imbraces of Cleopatra? you must have som other education for your youth; or they, like that passage, will shew better in romance than true story.
“The custom of the commonwealth of Rome in distributing her magistracys without respect of age, happen’d to do well in Corvinus and Scipio; for which cause Machiavel (with whom that which was done by Rome, and that which is well don, is for the most part all one) commends this course. Yet how much it did worse at other times, is obvious in Pompy and Cæsar; examples by which Boccalini illustrats the prudence of Venice in her contrary practice, affirming it to have bin no small step to the ruin of the Roman liberty, that these (having tasted in their youth of the supreme honors) had no greater in their age to hope for, but by perpetuating of the same in themselves; which came to blood, and ended in tyranny. The opinion of Verulamius is safe: the errors, says he, of young men are the ruin of business; wheras the errors of old men amount but to this, that more might have bin don, or sooner. But tho their wisdom be little, their courage is great: wherfore (to com to the main education of this commonwealth) the militia of Oceana is the province of youth.
“The distribution of this province by the essays is so fully describ’d in the order, that I need repeat nothing: the order itself being but a repetition or copy of that original, which in antient prudence is of all others the fairest: as that from whence the commonwealth of Rome more particularly deriv’d the empire of the world. And there is much more reason in this age, when governments are universally broken, or swerv’d from their foundations, and the people groan under tyranny, that the same causes (which could not be withstood when the world was full of popular governments) should have the like effects.
“The causes in the commonwealth of Rome, wherof the empire of the world was not any miraculous, but a natural (nay I may safely say a necessary) consequence, are contain’d in that part of her disciplin which was domestic, and in that which she exercis’d in her provinces or conquest. Of the latter I shall have better occasion to speak when we com to our provincial orbs; the former divided the whole people by tribes, amounting, as Livy and Cicero shew, at their full growth to thirty-five, and every tribe by the cense or valuation of estates into five classes: for the sixth being proletary, that is the nursery, or such as thro their poverty contributed nothing to the commonwealth but children, was not reckon’d nor us’d in arms. And this is the first point of the militia, in which modern prudence is quite contrary to the antient; for wheras we, excusing the rich, and arming the poor, becom the vassals of our servants, they, by excusing the poor, and arming such as were rich enough to be freemen, became lords of the earth. The nobility and gentry of this nation, who understand so little what it is to be the lords of the earth, that they have not bin able to keep their own lands, will think it a strange education for their children to be common soldiers, and oblig’d to all the dutys of arms: nevertheless it is not for 4 s. a week, but to be capable of being the best man in the field or in the city; the latter part of which consideration makes the common soldier herin a better man than the general of any monarchical army. And wheras it may be thought, that this would drink deep of noble blood, I dare boldly say, take the Roman nobility in the heat of their fiercest wars, and you shall not find such a shambles of them as has bin made of ours by mere luxury and slothfulness; which, killing the body, kill the soul also; Animasque in vulnere ponunt. Wheras common right is that which he who stands in the vindication of, has us’d that sword of justice for which he receives the purple of magistracy. The glory of a man on earth can go no higher, and if he falls he rises again, and coms sooner to that reward which is so much higher as heaven is above the earth. To return to the Roman example: every classis was divided, as has bin more than once shewn into centurys, and every century was equally divided into youth and elders; the youth for foren service, and the elders for the guard of the territory. In the first classis were about eighteen centurys of horse, being those which by the institution of Servius were first call’d to the suffrage in the* centurial assemblys. But the delectus, or levy of an army, which is the present business, proceded, according to Polybius, in this manner.
“Upon a war decreed, the consuls elected four and twenty military tribuns or colonels; wherof ten, being such as had merited their tenth stipend, were younger officers. The tribuns being chosen, the consuls appointed a day to the tribes, when those in them of military age were to appear at the capitol; the day being com, and the youth assembl’d accordingly, the consuls ascended their tribunal, and the younger tribuns were straight divided into four parts after this manner: four were assign’d to the first legion (a legion at the most consisted of 6000 foot, and 300 horse) three to the second, four to the third, and three to the fourth. The younger tribuns being thus distributed, two of the elder were assign’d to the first legion, three to the second, two to the third, and three to the fourth. And the officers of each legion thus assign’d, having drawn the tribes by lot, and being seated according to their divisions at a convenient distance from each other, the tribe of the first lot was call’d: wherupon they that were of it knowing the business, and being prepar’d, presently bolted out four of their number, in the choice wherof such care was taken, that they offer’d none that was not a citizen; no citizen that was not of the youth; no youth that was not of som one of the five classes; nor any one of the five classes that was not expert at his exercises. Moreover, they used such diligence in matching them for age and stature, that the officers of the legions, except they happen’d to be acquainted with the youth so bolted, were forc’d to put themselves upon fortune, while they of the first legion chose one; they of the second, the next; they of the third another; and the fourth youth fell to the last legion: and thus was the election (the legions and the tribes varying according to their lots) carry’d on till the foot were complete. The like course with little alteration was taken by the horse officers till the horse also were complete.Judg. 20. 9. This was call’d giving of names, which the children of Israel did also by lot; and if any man refus’d to give his name, he was sold for a slave, or his estate confiscated to the commonwealth. When†Marcus Curiusthe consul was forc’d to make a sudden levy, and none of the youth would give in their names, all the tribes being put to the lot, he commanded the first name drawn out of the urn of the Pollian tribe (which happen’d to com first) to be call’d; but the youth not answering, he order’d his goods to be sold: which was conformable to the law in Israel, according to which Saul took a yoke of oxen, and hew’d them in pieces, and sent them throout the tribes, saying, Whosoever coms not forth to battel afterSaulandSamuel,so shall it be done to his oxen.1 Sam. 11. 7. By which you may observe also, that they who had no cattel were not of the militia in Israel. But the age of the Roman youth by the Tullian law determin’d at 30; and by the law (tho it should seem by Machiavel and others, that this was not well observ’d) a man could not stand for magistracy till he was miles emeritus, or had fulfil’d the full term of his militia, which was complete in his tenth stipend or service: nor was he afterwards oblig’d under any penalty to give his name, except the commonwealth were invaded, in which case the elders were as well oblig’d as the youth.† The consul might also levy milites evocatos, or soldiers, commanded men out of such as had serv’d their turn, and this at his discretion. The legions being thus complete, were divided by two to each consul; and in these no man had right to serve but a Roman citizen: now because two legions made but a small army, the Romans added to every one of their arms an equal number of foot, and a double number of horse levy’d among their Latin or Italian associats; so a consular army, with the legions and auxiliarys, amounted to about thirty thousand: and wheras they commonly levy’d two such armys together, these being join’d made about sixty thousand.
“The steps wherby our militia follows the greatest captain, are the three essays; the first, elected by a fifth man in the‡ parishes, and amounting in the whole to one hundred thousand, chuse their officers at the§ hundreds, where they fall also to their games or exercises, invited by handsom prizes, such as for themselves and the honor of them will be coveted; such as will render the hundred a place of sports, and exercise of arms all the year long; such as in the space of ten years will equip 30000 men horse and foot, with such arms for their forge, proof, and beauty, as (notwithstanding the argyraspides, or silver shields of Alexander’s guards) were never worn by so many; such as will present marks of virtue and direction to your general or strategus in the distribution of his army, which doubles the value of them to the proprietors, who are bound to wear them, and eases the commonwealth of so much charge, so many being arm’d already.
“But here will be the objection now. How shall such a revenue be compas’d? fifty pounds a year in every hundred is a great deal, not so easily rais’d: men will not part with their mony; nor would the sum as it is propos’d by the order of Pompey, rise in many years. These are difficulties that fit our genius exactly: and yet a thousand pounds in each hundred once levy’d, establishes the revenue for ever. Now the hundreds one with another are worth ten thousand pounds a year dry rent, over and above personal estates, which bring it to twice the value: so that a twentieth part of one year’s revenue of the hundred dos it. If you cannot afford this while you pay taxes, tho from henceforth they will be but small ones, do it when you pay none. If it be then too much for one year, do it in two: if it be too much for two years, do it in four. What husbands have we hitherto bin? what is becom of greater sums? my lords, if you should thus cast your bread upon the waters, after many days you shall find it: stand not huckling when you are offer’d corn and your mony again in the mouth of the sack.
“But to proceed: the first essay being officer’d at the hundreds, and muster’d at the* tribes (where they are entertain’d with other sports, which will be very fine ones) procedes to the election of the second essay, or standing army of this nation, consisting of thirty thousand foot, and ten thousand horse; and these, upon a war decreed, being deliver’d at the rendevous of Oceana to the strategus, are the third essay, which answers to the Roman legions. But you may observe, that wheras the consuls elected the military tribuns, and rais’d commanded men out of the veterans at their own discretion: our polemarchs or field officers are elected by the scrutiny of the council of war: and our veterans not otherwise taken on than as volunteers, and with the consent of the polemarchs; which may serve for the removal of certain scruples which might otherwise be incident in this place, tho without incouragement by the Roman way of proceding, much less by that which is propos’d. But wheras the Roman legions in all amounted not in one army to above 30000 men, or little more, you have here forty thousand; and wheras they added auxiliarys, it is in this regard that Marpesia will be a greater revenue to you, than if you had the Indys; for wheras heretofore she has yielded you nothing but her native thistles, in plowing out the rankness of her aristocracy by your agrarian, you will find her an inexhaustible magazin of men, and to her own advantage, who will make a far better account by the arms, than by the pins of Poland. Wherfore as a consular army consisted of about an equal number of auxiliarys added to their legions by their Latin or Italian associats, you may add to a parlamentary army an equal number of Marpesians or Panopeans, as that colony shall hereafter be able to supply you: by which means the commonwealth will be able to go forth to battel with fourscore thousand men. To make wars with small forces is no husbandry, but a wast, a disease, a lingring and painful consumtion of men and mony; the Romans making theirs thick, made them short, and had little regard to mony; as that which they who have men enow, can command where it is fittest that it should be levy’d. All the antient monarchys by this means got on wing, and attain’d to vast riches. Wheras your modern princes being dear purchasers of small parcels, have but emty pockets. But it may be som will accuse the order of rashness, in that it commits the sole conduct of the war to the general; and the custom of Venice by her proveditori, or checks upon her commanders in chief, may seem to be of greater prudence: but in this part of our government neither Venice nor any nation that makes use of mercenary forces is for our instruction. A mercenary army, with a standing general, is like the fatal sister that spins; but proper forces, with an annual magistrat, are like her that cuts the thred. Their interests are quite contrary, and yet you have a better proveditor than the Venetian, another strategus sitting with an army standing by him; wherupon that which is marching, if there were any probability it should, would find as little possibility that it could recoil, as a foren enemy to invade you. These things consider’d, a war will appear to be of a contrary nature to that of all other reckonings, inasmuch as of this you must never look to have a good account if you be strict in imposing checks. Let a council of huntsmen assembled beforehand, tell you which way the stag shall run, where you shall cast about at the fault, and how you shall ride to be in at the chase all the day: but these may as well do that, as a council of war direct a general. The hours that have painted wings, and of different colors, are his council: he must be like the ey that makes not the scene, but has it so soon as it changes. That in many counsillors there is strength, is spoken of civil administrations: as to those that are military, there is nothing more certain, than that in many counsillors there is weakness. Joint commissions in military affairs, are like hunting your hounds in their couples. In the Attic war Cleomenes and Demaratus, kings of Lacedemon, being thus coupl’d, tug’d one against another; and while they should have join’d against the Persian, were the cause of the common calamity: wherupon that commonwealth took better counsil, and made a law, wherby from thenceforth there went at once but one of her kings to battel.
“THE Fidenati being in rebellion, and having slain the colony of the Romans, four tribuns with consular power were created by the people of Rome, wherof one being left for the guard of the city, the other three were sent against the Fidenati, who, thro the division that happen’d among them, brought nothing home but dishonor: wherupon the Romans created the dictator, and Livy gives his judgment in these words:*the three tribuns with consular power were a lesson how useless in war is the joint command of several generals; for each following his own counsils, while they all differ’d in their opinions, gave by this opportunity an advantage to the enemy. When the consuls, Quintius and Agrippa were sent against the Æqui, Agrippa for this reason refus’d to go with his colleague, saying,§That in the administration of great actions it was most safe that the chief command should be lodg’d in one person. And if the ruin of modern armys were well consider’d, most of it would be found to have faln upon this point: it being in this case far safer to trust to any one man of common prudence, than to any two or more together of the greatest parts. The consuls indeed being equal in power, while one was present with the senat, and the other in the field with the army, made a good balance; and this with us is exactly follow’d by the election of a new strategus upon the march of the old one.
“The seven and twentieth order, wherby the elders in case of invasion are oblig’d to equal duty with the youth, and each upon their own charge, is suitable to reason (for every man defends his own estate) and to our copy, as in the war with the Samnits and Tuscans.†The senat order’d a vacation to be proclaim’d, and a levy to be made of all sorts of persons: and not only the freemen and youths were listed, but cohorts of the old men were likewise form’d. This nation of all others is the least obnoxious to invasion. Oceana, says a French politician, is a beast that cannot be devour’d but by herself; nevertheless, that government is not perfect which is not provided at all points; and in this (ad triarios res rediit) the elders being such as in a martial state must be veterans, the commonwealth invaded gathers strength like Antæus by her fall, while the whole number of the elders consisting of five hundred thousand, and the youth of as many, being brought up according to the order, give twelve successive battels, each battel consisting of eighty thousand men, half elders and half youth. And the commonwealth whose constitution can be no stranger to any of those virtues which are to be acquir’d in human life, grows familiar with death ere she dys. If the hand of God be upon her for her transgressions, she shall mourn for her sins, and ly in the dust for her iniquitys, without losing her manhood.
The remaining part, being the constitution of the provincial orb, is partly civil, or consisting of the elders; and partly military, or consisting of the youth. The civil part of the provincial orb is directed by
28 Order. Constitution of the civil part of the provincial orb.The twenty eighth ORDER, wherby the council of a province being constituted of twelve knights, divided by four into three regions (for their term and revolution conformable to the parlament) is perpetuated by the annual election at the tropic of four knights (being triennial magistrats) out of the region of the senat whose term expires; and of one knight out of the same region to be strategus or general of the province, which magistracy is annual. The strategus or magistrat thus chosen, shall be as well president of the provincial council with power to propose to the same, as general of the army. The council for the rest shall elect weekly provosts, having any two of them also right to propose after the manner of the senatorian councils of Oceana. And wheras all provincial councils are members of the council of state, they may and ought to keep diligent correspondence with the same, which is to be don after this manner: any opinion or opinions legitimately propos’d and debated at a provincial council, being therupon sign’d by the strategus, or any two of the provosts, may be transmitted to the council of state in Oceana; and the council of state proceding upon the same in their natural course (whether by their own power, if it be a matter within their instructions, or by authority of the senat therupon consulted, if it be a matter of state which is not in their instructions; or by authority of the senat and command of the people, if it be a matter of law, as for the levys of men or mony upon common use and safety) shall return such answers, advice, or orders, as in any of the ways mention’d shall be determin’d upon the case. The provincial councils of Marpesia and Panopea respectivly shall take special care that the agrarian laws, as also all other laws that be or shall from time to time be enacted by the parlament of Oceana, for either of them, be duly put in execution: they shall manage and receive the customs of either nation for the shipping of Oceana, being the common guard: they shall have a care that moderat and sufficient pay upon the respective province be duly rais’d for the support and maintenance of the officers and soldiers, or army of the same, in the most effectual, constant and convenient way: they shall receive the regalia, or public revenues of those nations, out of which every counsillor shall have for his term, and to his proper use, the sum of 500 l. per annum, and the strategus 500 l. as president, besides his pay as general, which shall be 1000 pounds: the remainder to go to the use of the knights and deputys of the respective provinces, to be paid, if it will reach, according to the rates of Oceana; if not, by an equal distribution, respectively; or the overplus, if there be any, to be return’d to the treasury of Oceana. They shall manage the lands (if there be any such held in either of the provinces by the commonwealth of Oceana, in dominion) and return the rents into the exchequer. If the commonwealth coms to be possest of richer provinces, the pay of the general or strategus, and of the councils, may be respectively increas’d. The people for the rest shall elect their own magistrats, and be govern’d by their own laws, having power also to appeal from their native or provincial magistrats, if they please, to the people of Oceana. And wheras there may be such as receiving injury, are not able to prosecute their appeals at so great a distance, eight serjeants at law being sworn by the commissioners of the seal, shall be sent by four into each province once in two years; who, dividing the same by circuits, shall hear such causes; and having gather’d and introduc’d them, shall return to the several appellants, gratis, the determinations and decrees of the people in their several cases.
THE term of a knight in a provincial orb, as to domestic magistracys, shall be esteemed a vacation, and no bar to present election to any other honor, his provincial magistracy being expir’d.
THE quorum of a provincial council, as also of every other council or assembly in Oceana, shall in time of health consist of two parts in three of the whole number proper to that council or assembly; and in a time of sickness, of one part in three: but of the senat there can be no quorum without three of the signory; nor of a council without two of the provosts.
The civil part of the provincial orb being declar’d by the foregoing order; the military part of the same is constituted by
29 Order. Constitution of the military part of the provincial orb.The twenty ninth ORDER; wherby the stratiots of the third essay having drawn the gold balls mark’d with the letter M, and being ten horse and fifty foot in a tribe, that is to say, five hundred horse, and two thousand five hundred foot in all, the tribes shall be deliver’d by the respective conductors to the provincial strategus or general, at such a time and place, or rendevous, as he shall appoint by order and certificat of his election: and the strategus having receiv’d the horse and foot mention’d, which are the third classis of his provincial guard or army, shall forthwith lead them away to Marpesia, where the army consists of three classes, each classis containing three thousand men, wherof five hundred are horse; and receiving the new strategus with the third classis, the old strategus with the first classis shall be dismist by the provincial council. The same method with the stratiots of the letter P, is to be observ’d for the provincial orb of Panopea: and the commonwealth coming to acquire new provinces, the senat and the people may erect new orbs in like manner, consisting of greater or less numbers, according as is requir’d by the respective occasion. If a stratiot has once serv’d his term in a provincial orb, and happens afterwards to draw the letter of a province at the election of the second essay, he may refuse his lot; and if he refuses it, the censor of that urn shall cause the files ballotting at the same to make a halt; and if the stratiot produces the certificat of his strategus or general, that he has serv’d his time accordingly, the censor throwing the ball that he drew into the urn again, and taking out a blank, shall dismiss the youth, and cause the ballot to procede.
To perfect the whole structure of this commonwealth, som directions are given to the third essay, or army marching, in
30 Order.The thirtieth ORDER. When thou goest to battel against thy enemys, and seest horses and chariots, and a people more than thou;Deut. 20. 1.be not afraid of them, for the Lord thy God is he that gos with thee to fight for thee against thy enemys.1 Sam. 30 24.And when thou dividest the spoil, it shall be as a statute and an ordinance to thee, that as his part is that gos down to the battel, so shall his part be that tarrys by the stuff: that is, (as to the commonwealth of Oceana) the spoil taken of the enemy (except clothes, arms, horses, ammunition and victuals, to be divided to the soldiery by the strategus and the polemarchs upon the place according to their discretion) shall be deliver’d to four commissarys of the spoils elected and sworn by the council of war; which commissarys shall be allow’d shipping by the state, and convoys according as occasion shall require by the strategus; to the end that having a bill of lading sign’d by three or more of the polemarchs, they may ship and bring, or cause such spoils to be brought to the prize-office in Oceana, where they shall be sold; and the profit arising by such spoils shall be divided into three parts, wherof one shall go to the treasury, another shall be paid to the soldiery of this nation, and a third to the auxiliarys at their return from their service, provided that the said auxiliarys be equal in number to the proper forces of this nation, otherwise their share shall be so much less as they themselves are fewer in number: the rest of the two thirds to go to the officers and soldiers of the proper forces. And the spoils so divided to the proper forces, shall be subdivided into three equal parts, wherof one shall go to the officers, and two to the common soldiers: the like for the auxiliarys. And the share allotted to the officers shall be divided into four equal parts, wherof one shall go to the strategus, another to the polemarchs, a third to the colonels, and a fourth to the captains, cornets, ensigns, and under officers, receiving their share of the spoil as common soldiers: the like for the auxiliarys. And this upon pain, in the case of failure, of what the people of Oceana (to whom the cognizance of peculat or crimes of this nature is properly appertaining) shall adjudg or decree.
Upon these three last orders the Archon seem’d to be haranguing at the head of his army in this manner:
My dear lords and excellent patriots,
“A Government of this make is a commonwealth for increase. Of those for preservation, the inconveniences and frailtys have bin shewn: their roots are narrow, such as do not run, have no fibers, their tops weak and dangerously expos’d to the weather; except you chance to find one, as Venice, planted in a flowerpot; and if she grows, she grows top-heavy, and falls too. But you cannot plant an oak in a flowerpot; she must have earth for her root, and heaven for her branches.
Imperium Oceano, famam quæ terminet astris.
“ROME was said to be broken by her own weight, but poetically: for that weight by which she was pretended to be ruin’d, was supported in her emperors by a far slighter foundation. And in the common experience of good architecture, there is nothing more known, than that buildings stand the firmer and the longer for their own weight; nor ever swerve thro any other internal cause, than that their materials are corruptible: but the people never dy; nor, as a political body, are subject to any other corruption than that which derives from their government. Unless a man will deny the chain of causes, in which he denys God, he must also acknowledge the chain of effects; wherfore there can be no effect in nature, that is not from the first cause, and those successive links of the chain, without which it could not have bin. Now except a man can shew the contrary in a commonwealth; if there be no cause of corruption in the first make of it, there can never be any such effect. Let no man’s superstition impose profaneness upon this assertion; for as man is sinful, but yet the universe is perfect, so may the citizen be sinful, and yet the commonwealth be perfect. And as man, seeing the world is perfect, can never commit any such sin as shall render it imperfect, or bring it to a natural dissolution; so the citizen, where the commonwealth is perfect, can never commit any such crime as will render it imperfect, or bring it to a natural dissolution. To com to experience; Venice, notwithstanding we have found some flaws in it, is the only commonwealth in the make wherof no man can find a cause of dissolution; for which reason we behold her (tho she consists of men that are not without sin) at this day with one thousand years upon her back, yet for any internal cause, as young, as fresh, and free from decay, or any appearance of it, as she was born: but whatever in nature is not sensible of decay by the course of a thousand years, is capable of the whole age of nature; by which calculation, for any check that I am able to give my self, a commonwealth, rightly order’d, may, for any internal causes, be as immortal or longliv’d as the world. But if this be true, those commonwealths that are naturally fall’n, must have deriv’d their ruin from the rise of them. Israel and Athens dy’d not natural but violent deaths; in which manner the world itself is to dy. We are speaking of those causes of dissolution which are natural to government; and they are but two, either contradiction or inequality: if a commonwealth be a contradiction, she must needs destroy her self; and if she be inequal, it tends to strife, and strife to ruin. By the former of these fell Lacedemon, by the latter Rome. Lacedemon being made altogether for war, and yet not for increase, her natural progress became her natural dissolution, and the building of her own victorious hand too heavy for her foundation; so that she fell indeed by her own weight. But Rome perish’d thro her native inequality, which how it inveterated the bosoms of the senat and the people each against other, and even to death, has bin shewn at large.
“Look well to it, my lords, for if there be a contradiction or inequality in your commonwealth, it must fall; but if it has neither of these, it has no principle of mortality. Do not think me impudent; if this be truth, I shall commit a gross indiscretion in concealing it. Sure I am that Machiavel is for the immortality of a commonwealth upon far weaker principles.Dis. b. 3. c. 22 b 3. c. 29.If a commonwealth, says he, were so happy as to be provided often with men, that, when she is swerving from her principles, should reduce her to her institution, she would be immortal. But a commonwealth, as we have demonstrated, swerves not from her principles, but by and thro her institution; if she brought no biass into the world with her, her course for any internal cause must be streight forward, as we see is that of Venice. She cannot turn to the right hand, nor to the left, but by som rub, which is not an internal but external cause; against such she can be no way fortify’d, but thro her situation, as is Venice; or thro her militia, as was Rome: by which examples a commonwealth may be secure of those also. Think me not vain, for I cannot conceal my opinion here; a commonwealth that is rightly instituted can never swerve, nor one that is not rightly instituted be secur’d from swerving by reduction to her first principles: wherfore it is no less apparent in this place, that Machiavel understood not a commonwealth as to the whole piece, than where having told you, That a tribun, or any other citizen of Rome, might propose a law to the people, and debate it with them; he adds, this order was good, while the people were good; but when the people became evil, it became most pernicious.Dis. b. 1. c. 18. As if this order (thro which, with the like, the people most apparently became evil) could ever have bin good; or that the people, or the commonwealth could ever have becom good, by being reduc’d to such principles as were the original of their evil. The disease of Rome was, as has bin shewn, from the native inequality of her balance, and no otherwise from the empire of the world, than as, this falling into one scale, that of the nobility (an evil in such a fabric inevitable) kick’d out the people. Wherfore a man that could have made her to throw away the empire of the world, might in that have reduc’d her to her principles; and yet have bin so far from rendring her immortal, that going no further, he should never have cur’d her. But your commonwealth is founded upon an equal agrarian; and if the earth be given to the sons of men, this balance is the balance of justice, such a one as in having due regard to the different industry of different men, yet faithfully judges the poor.Prov. 29. 14.And the king that faithfully judges the poor, his throne shall be establish’d for ever; much more the commonwealth, seeing that equality which is the necessary dissolution of monarchy, is the generation, the very life and soul of a commonwealth. And now, if ever, I may be excusable, seeing my assertion, that the throne of a commonwealth may be establish’d for ever, is consonant to the holy scriptures.
“The balance of a commonwealth that is equal, is of such a nature, that whatever falls into her empire, must fall equally; and if the whole earth falls into your scales, it must fall equally; and so you may be a greater people, and yet not swerve from your principles one hair. Nay, you will be so far from that, that you must bring the world in such a case to your balance, even to the balance of justice. But hearken, my lords; are we on earth? do we see the sun? or are we visiting those shady places which are feign’d by the poets?
Continuò auditæ voces, vagitus & ingens.
“These Gothic empires that are yet in the world, were at the first, tho they had legs of their own, but a heavy and unweildy burden; but their foundations being now broken, the iron of them enters even into the souls of the opprest; and hear the voice of their comforters: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. Hearken, I say; if thy brother crys to thee in affliction, wilt thou not hear him? this is a commonwealth of the fabric, that has an open ear and a public concern; she is not made for her self only, but given as a magistrat of God to mankind, for the vindication of common right, and the law of nature. Wherfore says Cicero of the like, that of the Romans,*we have rather undertaken the patronage, than the empire of the world. If you, not regarding this example, like som other nations that are upon the point to smart for it, shall, having attain’d to your own liberty, bear the sword of your common magistracy in vain, sit still, and fold your arms, or, which is worse, let out the blood of your people to tyrants, to be shed in the defence of their yokes like water, and so not only turn the grace of God into wantonness, but his justice into wormwood: I say if you do thus, you are not now making a commonwealth, but heaping coals of fire upon your own heads. A commonwealth of this make is a minister of God upon earth, to the end that the world may be govern’d with righteousness. For which cause (that I may com at length to our present business) the orders last rehears’d are buds of empire, such as with the blessing of God may spread the arms of your commonwealth, like a holy asylum to the distress’d world, and give the earth her sabbath of years, or rest from her labors, under the shadow of your wings. It is upon this point where the writings of Machiavel, having for the rest excel’d all other authors, com as far to excel themselves.
Dis. b. 2. c. 4.“COMMONWEALTHS, says he, have had three ways of propagating themselves, one after the manner of monarchys, by imposing the yoke, which was the way of Athens, and towards the latter times of Lacedemon; another by equal leagues, which is the way of Switzerland; (I shall add of Holland, tho since his time) a third by inequal leagues, which, to the shame of the world, was never practis’d, nay nor so much as seen or minded, by any other commonwealth but that only of Rome. They will each of them, either for caution or imitation, be worthy to be well weigh’d, which is the proper work of this place. Athens and Lacedemon have bin the occasion of great scandal to the world, in two, or at least one of two regards: the first their emulation, which involv’d Greece in perpetual wars; the second their way of propagation, which by imposing yokes upon others, was plainly contradictory to their own principles.
“For the first: governments, be they of what kind soever, if they be planted too close, are like trees, that impatient in their growth to have it hinder’d, eat out one another. It was not unknown to these in speculation, or, if you read the story of Agesilaus, in action, that either of them with thirty thousand men might have master’d the east; and certainly, if the one had not stood in the other’s light, Alexander had com too late to that end, which was the means (and wou’d be if they were to live again) of ruin, at least to one of them: wherfore with any man that understands the nature of government this is excusable. So it was between Oceana and Marpesia; so it is between France and Spain, tho less excusable; and so it ever will be in the like cases. But to com to the second occasion of scandal by them given, which was in the way of their propagation, it is not excusable: for they brought their confederats under bondage; by which means Athens gave occasion of the Peloponnesian war, the wound of which she dy’d stinking, when Lacedemon, taking the same infection from her carcase, soon follow’d.
“Wherfore, my lords, let these be warnings to you, not to make that liberty which God has given you a snare to others in practising this kind of inlargement to your selves.
“The second way of propagation or inlargement us’d by commonwealths, is that of Switzerland and Holland, equal leagues: this, tho it be not otherwise mischievous, is useless to the world, and dangerous to themselves: useless to the world; for as the former governments were storks, these are blocks, have no sense of honor, or concern in the sufferings of others. But as the Ætolians, a state of the like fabric, were reproach’d by Philip of Macedon, to prostitute themselves, by letting out their arms to the lusts of others, while they leave their own liberty barren, and without legitimat issue; so I do not defame these people: the Switzer for valor has no superior, the Hollander for industry no equal; but themselves in the mean time shall so much the less excuse their governments, seeing that to the Switz it is well enough known that the ensigns of his commonwealth have no other motto than in te converte manus: and that of the Hollander, tho he sweats more gold than the Spaniard digs, lets him languish in debt; for she herself lives upon charity. These are dangerous to themselves, precarious governments, such as do not command, but beg their bread from province to province, in coats that being patch’d up of all colors are in effect of none. That their cantons and provinces are so many arrows, is good; but they are so many bows too, which is naught.
“Like to these was the commonwealth of the antient Tuscans, hung together like bobbins, without a hand to weave with them: therfore easily overcom by the Romans, tho at that time, for number, a far less considerable people. If your liberty be not a root that grows, it will be a branch that withers; which consideration brings me to the paragon, the commonwealth of Rome.
“The ways and means wherby the Romans acquir’d the patronage, and in that the empire of the world, were different, according to the different condition of their commonwealth in her rise, and in her growth: in her rise she proceded rather by colonys; in her growth by inequal leagues. Colonys without the bounds of Italy she planted none (such dispersion of the Roman citizen as to plant him in foren parts, till the contrary interest of the emperors brought in that practise, was unlawful) nor did she ever demolish any city within that compass, or devest it of liberty; but wheras the most of them were commonwealths, stir’d up by emulation of her great felicity to war against her, if she overcame any, she confiscated som part of their lands that were the greatest incendiarys, or causes of the trouble, upon which she planted colonys of her own people, preserving the rest of their lands and libertys for the natives or inhabitants. By this way of proceding, that I may be as brief as possible, she did many and great things. For in confirming of liberty, she propagated her empire; in holding the inhabitants from rebellion, she put a curb upon the incursion of enemys; in exonerating her self of the poorer sort, she multiply’d her citizens; in rewarding her veterans, she render’d the rest less seditious; and in acquiring to her self the reverence of a common parent, she from time to time became the mother of newborn citys.
“In her farther growth the way of her propagation went more upon leagues, which for the first division were of two kinds, social and provincial.
“Again, social leagues, or leagues of society, were of two kinds.
“The first call’d latinity or Latin, the second Italian right.
“The league between the Romans and the Latins, or Latin right, approach’d nearest to jus quiritium, or the right of a native Roman. The man or the city that was honor’d with this right, was civitate donatus cum suffragio, adopted a citizen of Rome, with the right of giving suffrage with the people in som cases, as those of confirmation of law, or determination in judicature, if both the consuls were agreed, not otherwise; wherfore that coming to little, the greatest and most peculiar part of this privilege was, that who had born magistracy (at least that of ædil or quæstor) in any Latin city, was by consequence of the same, a citizen of Rome at all points.
“Italianright was also a donation of the city, but without suffrage: they who were in either of these leagues, were govern’d by their own laws and magistrats, having all the rights, as to liberty, of citizens of Rome, yielding and paying to the commonwealth as head of the league, and having in the conduct of all affairs appertaining to the common cause, such aid of men and mony as was particularly agreed to upon the merit of the cause, and specify’d in their respective leagues, whence such leagues came to be call’d equal or inequal accordingly.
“Provincialleagues were of different extension, according to the merit and capacity of a conquer’d people; but they were all of one kind: for every province was govern’d by Roman magistrats, as a prætor or a proconsul, according to the dignity of the province, for the civil administration and conduct of the provincial army; and a quæstor for the gathering of the public revenue, from which magistrats a province might appeal to Rome.
“For the better understanding of these particulars, I shall exemplify in as many of them as is needful: and first in Macedon.
“TheMacedonians were thrice conquer’d by the Romans, first under the conduct of Titus Quintus Flaminius; secondly, under that of Lucius Æmilius Paulus; and, thirdly, under that of Quintus Cæcilius Metellus, thence call’d Macedonicus.
“For the first time Philip of Macedon, who (possest of acrocorinthus) boasted no less than was true, that he had Greece in fetters, being overcom by Flaminius, had his kingdom restor’d to him, upon condition that he should immediatly set all the citys which he held in Greece and in Asia at liberty; and that he should not make war out of Macedon, but by leave of the senat of Rome; which Philip (having no other way to save any thing) agreed should be don accordingly.
“TheGrecians being at this time assembl’d at the Isthmian games, where the concourse was mighty great, a crier, appointed to the office by Flaminius, was heard among them proclaiming all Greece to be free; to which the people being amaz’d at so hopeless a thing, gave little credit, till they receiv’d such testimony of the truth as put it past all doubt, wherupon they fell immediatly on running to the proconsul with flowers and garlands, and such violent expressions of their admiration and joy, as, if Flaminius, a young man, about thirty-three, had not also bin very strong, he must have dy’d of no other death than their kindness, while every one striving to touch his hand, they bore him up and down the field with an unruly throng, full of such ejaculations as these: How! Is there a people in the world, that at their own charge, at their own peril, will fight for the liberty of another? Did they live at the next door to this fire? Or what kind of men are these, whose business it is to pass the seas, that the world may be govern’d with righteousness? The citys of Greece and of Asia shake off their iron fetters at the voice of a cryer! Was it madness to imagin such a thing, and is it don? O virtue! O felicity! O fame!
“In this example your lordships have a donation of liberty, or of Italian right to a people, by restitution to what they had formerly injoy’d; and som particular men, familys or citys, according to their merit of the Romans, if not upon this, yet upon the like occasions, were gratify’d with latinity.
“But Philip’s share by this means did not please him, wherfore the league was broken by his son Perseus; and the Macedonians therupon for the second time conquer’d by Æmilius Paulus, their king taken, and they som time after the victory summon’d to the tribunal of the general; where remembring how little hope they ought to have of pardon, they expected som dreadful sentence: when Æmilius in the first place declar’d the Macedonians to be free, in the full possession of their lands, goods, and laws, with right to elect annual magistrats, yielding and paying to the people of Rome one half of the tribute which they were accustom’d to pay to their own kings. This don he went on, making so skilful a division of the country in order to the methodizing of the people, and casting them into the form of popular government, that the Macedonians, being first surpriz’d with the virtue of the Romans, began now to alter the scene of their admiration, that a stranger should do such things for them in their own country, and with such facility, as they had never so much as once imagin’d to be possible. Nor was this all; for Æmilius, as if not dictating to conquer’d enemys, but to som well-deserving friends, gave them in the last place laws so suitable, and contriv’d with such care and prudence, that long use and experience (the only correctress of works of this nature) could never find a fault in them.
“In this example you have a donation of liberty, or of Italian right, to a people that had not tasted of it before, but were now taught how to use it.
“My lords, the royalists should compare what we are doing, and we what hitherto we have don for them, with this example. It is a shame that while we are boasting up our selves above all others, we should yet be so far from imitating such examples as these, that we do not so much as understand that if government be the parent of manners, where there are no heroic virtues, there is no heroic government.
“But the Macedonians rebelling, at the name of a false Philip, the third time against the Romans were by them judg’d incapable of liberty, and reduc’d by Metellus to a province.
“Now wheras it remains, that I explain the nature of a province, I shall rather chuse that of Sicily, because having bin the first which the Romans made, the descriptions of the rest relate to it.
“WE have so receiv’d the Sicilian citys into amity, says Cicero,that they injoy their antient laws; and upon no other condition than of the same obedience to the people of Rome, which they formerly yielded to their own princes or superiors. So the Sicilians, wheras they had bin parcel’d out to divers princes, and into divers states (the cause of perpetual wars, wherby, hewing one another down, they became sacrifices to the ambition of their neighbors, or of som invader) were now receiv’d at the old rate into a new protection which could hold them, and in which no enemy durst touch them; nor was it possible, as the case then stood, for the Sicilians to receive, or for the Romans to give more.
“A Romanprovince is defin’d by Sigonius,a region having provincial right. Provincial right in general was to be govern’d by a Roman prætor, or consul, in matters at least of state, and of the militia: and by a quæstor, whose office it was to receive the public revenue. Provincial right in particular was different, according to the different leagues or agreements between the commonwealth, and the people reduc’d into a province. Siculi hoc jure sunt, ut quod civis cum cive agat, domi certet suis legibus; quod siculus cum siculo non ejusdem civitatis, ut de eo prætor judices, ex P. Rupilii decreto, sortiatur. Quod privatus a populo petit, aut populus a privato, senatus ex aliqua civitate, qui judicet, datur, cui alternæ civitates rejectæ sunt. Quod vivis Romanus a siculo petit, siculus judex datur; quod siculus a cive Romano, civis Romanus datur. Cæterarum rerum selecti judices ex civium Romanorum conventu proponi solent. Inter aratores & decumanos lege frumentaria, quam Hicronicam appellant, judicia fiunt. Because the rest would oblige me to a discourse too large for this place, it shall suffice that I have shew’d you how it was in Sicily.
“My lords, Upon the fabric of your provincial orb I shall not hold you; because it is sufficiently describ’d in the order, and I cannot believe that you think it inferior to the way of a prætor and a quæstor. But wheras the provincial way of the Roman commonwealth was that wherby it held the empire of the world, and your orbs are intended to be capable at least of the like use; there may arise many controversys: as whether such a course be lawful; whether it be feizible; and, seeing that the Romans were ruin’d upon that point, whether it would not be to the destruction of the commonwealth.
“For the first, If the empire of a commonwealth be an occasion to ask whether it be lawful for a commonwealth to aspire to the empire of the world, it is to ask whether it be lawful for it to do its duty, or to put the world into a better condition than it was before.
“And to ask whether this be feizible, is to ask why the Oceaner, being under the like administration of government, may not do as much with two hundred men as the Roman did with one hundred; for comparing their commonwealths in their rise, the difference is yet greater: now that Rome (seris avaritia luxuriaque) thro the natural thirst of her constitution, came at length with the fulness of her provinces to burst herself, this is no otherwise to be understood, than as when a man that from his own evil constitution had contracted the dropsy, dys with drinking: it being apparent that in case her agrarian had held, she could never have bin thus ruin’d: and I have already demonstrated that your agrarian being once pois’d, can never break or swerve.
“Wherfore to draw towards some conclusion of this discourse, let me inculcat the use, by selecting a few considerations out of many. The regard had in this place to the empire of the world appertains to a well-order’d commonwealth, more especially for two reasons:
“1. The facility of this great enterprize, by a government of the model propos’d.
“2. The danger that you would run in the omission of such a government.
“The facility of this enterprize, upon the grounds already laid, must needs be great, forasmuch as the empire of the world has bin, both in reason and experience, the necessary consequence of a commonwealth of this nature only: for tho it has bin given to all kinds to drive at it, since that of Athens or Lacedemon, if the one had not hung in the other’s light might have gain’d it; yet could neither of them have held it: not Athens, thro the manner of her propagation, which, being by downright tyranny, could not preserve what she had; nor Lacedemon, because she was overthrown by the weight of a less conquest. The facility then of this great enterprize being peculiar to popular government, I shall consider it, first, In gaining; and secondly, In holding
“For the former, volenti non fit injuria; it is said of the people under Eumenes, that they would not have chang’d their subjection for liberty; wherfore the Romans gave them no disturbance. If a people be contented with their government, it is a certain sign that it is good, and much good do them with it. The sword of your magistracy is for a terror to them that do evil. Eumenes had the sear of God, or of the Romans before his eys; concerning such he has given you no commission.
“But till we can say here are the Romans, where is Eumenes? do not think that the late appearances of God to you have bin altogether for your selves; hehas surely seen the affliction of your brethren, and heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters. For to believe otherwise, is not only to be mindless of his ways, but altogether deaf. If you have ears to hear, this is the way in which you will certainly be call’d upon: for if, while there is no stock of liberty, no sanctuary of the afflicted, it be a common object to behold a people casting themselves out of the pan of one prince into the fire of another; what can you think, but if the world should see the Roman eagle again, she would renew her age, and her flight? nor did ever she spread her wings with better omen, than will be read in your ensigns; which if, call’d in by an oppress’d people they interpose between them and their yoke, the people themselves must either do nothing in the mean time, or have no more pains to take for their wish’d fruit than to gather it, if that be not likewise don for them. Wherfore this must needs be easy, and yet you have a greater facility than is in the arm of flesh; for if the cause of mankind be the cause of God, the Lord of Hosts will be your captain, and you shall be a praise to the whole earth.
“The facility of holding is in the way of your propagation; if you take that of Athens and Lacedemon, you shall rain snares; but either catch, or hold nothing. Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord: if setting up for liberty, you impose yokes, he will infallibly destroy you. On the other side, to go about a work of this nature by a league without a head, is to abdicat that magistracy, wherwith he has not only indu’d you, but wherof he will require an account of you; for, cursed is he that dos the work of the Lord negligently. Wherfore you are to take the course of Rome: if you have subdu’d a nation that is capable of liberty, you shall make them a present of it, as did Flaminius to Greece, and Æmilius to Macedon, reserving to your selves some part of that revenue which was legally paid to the former government, together with the right of being head of the league, which includes such levys of men and mony as shall be necessary for the carrying on of the public work. For if a people have by your means attain’d to freedom, they ow both to the cause and you, such aid as may propagat the like fruit to the rest of the world. But wheras every nation is not capable of her liberty to this degree, lest you be put to doing and undoing of things, as the Romans were in Macedon, you shall diligently observe what nation is fit for her liberty to this degree, and what not: which is to be don by two marks, the first if she be willing to help the Lord against the mighty; for if she has no care of the liberty of mankind, she deserves not her own. But because in this you may be deceiv’d by pretences, which, continuing for a while specious, may afterwards vanish; the other is more certain, and that is if she be capable of an equal agrarian; which that it was not observ’d by excellent Æmilius in his donation of liberty, and introduction of a popular state among the Macedonians, I am more than mov’d to believe for two reasons: the first, because at the same time the agrarian was odious to the Roman Patricians; the second, that the Pseudo-Philip could afterwards so easily recover Macedon, which could not have happen’d but by the nobility, and their impatience, having great estates, to be equal’d with the people; for that the people should otherwise, at the mere sound of a name, have thrown away their liberty, is incredible. Wherfore be assur’d, that the nation where you cannot establish an equal agrarian, is incapable of its liberty as to this kind of donation. For example, except the aristocracy in Marpesia be dissolv’d, neither can that people have their liberty there, nor you govern at home; for they continuing still liable to be sold by their lords to foren princes, there will never (especially in a country of which there is no other profit to be made) be want of such merchants and drovers, while you must be the market where they are to receive their second payment.
“Nor can the aristocracy there be dissolv’d but by your means, in relation wherto you are provided with your provincial orb; which being proportion’d to the measure of the nation that you have vindicated or conquer’d, will easily hold it: for there is not a people in the world more difficult to be held than the Marpesians, which tho by themselves it be ascrib’d to their own nature, is truly to be attributed to that of their country. Nevertheless you having nine thousand men upon the continual guard of it, that, threaten’d by any sudden insurrection, have places of retreat; and an army of forty thousand men upon a day’s warning ready to march to their rescue; it is not to be rationally shewn which way they can possibly slip out of your hands. And if a man should think that upon a province more remote and divided by the sea, you have not the like hold, he has not so well consider’d your wings as your talons, your shipping being of such a nature, as makes the descent of your armys almost of equal facility in any country: so that what you take you hold, both because your militia, being already populous, will be of great growth in it self; and also thro your confederats, by whom in taking and holding you are still more inabled to do both.
“Nor shall you easier hold, than the people under your empire or patronage may be held. My lords, I would not go to the door to see whether it be close shut; this is no underhand dealing, nor a game at which he shall have any advantage against you who sees your cards, but on the contrary the advantage shall be your own: for with eighteen thousand men (which number I put, because it circulats your orb by the annual change of six thousand) having establish’d your matters in the order shewn, you will be able to hold the greatest province; and eighteen thousand men, allowing them greater pay than any prince ever gave, will not stand the province in one million revenue;* in consideration wherof, they shall have their own estates free to themselves, and be govern’d by their own laws and magistrats; which, if the revenue of the province be in dry rent (as there may be som that are four times as big as Oceana) forty millions, will bring it with that of industry to speak with the least to twice the value: so that the people there, who at this day are so opprest that they have nothing at all wheron to live, shall for one million paid to you, receive at least seventy nine to their proper use: in which place I appeal to any man, whether the empire describ’d can be other than the patronage of the world.
“Now if you add to the propagation of civil liberty (so natural to this commonwealth that it cannot be omitted) the propagation of the liberty of conscience, this empire, this patronage of the world is the kingdom of Christ: for as the kingdom of God the father was a commonwealth, so shall the kingdom of God the son; the people shall be willing in the day of his power.Psal. 110. 3.
“Having shew’d you in this and other places, som of those inestimable benefits of this kind of government, together with the natural and facil emanation of them from their fountain, I com (lest God who has appear’d to you, for he is the God of nature, in the glorious constellation of these subordinat causes, wherof we have hitherto bin taking the true elevation, should shake off the dust of his feet against you) to warn you of the dangers which you, not taking the opportunity, will incur by omission.
“MACHIAVEL speaking of the defect of Venice, thro her want of proper arms, crys our,*This cut her wings, and spoil’d her mount to heaven. If you lay your commonwealth upon any other foundation than the people, you frustrat your self of proper arms, and so lose the empire of the world; nor is this all, but som other nation will have it.
“COLUMBUS offer’d gold to one of your kings, thro whose happy incredulity another prince has drunk the poison, even to the consumtion of his people; but I do not offer you a nerve of war that is made of pursestrings, such a one as has drawn the face of the earth into convulsions, but such as is natural to her health and beauty. Look you to it, where there is tumbling and tossing upon the bed of sickness, it must end in death or recovery. Tho the people of the world, in the dregs of the Gothic empire, be yet tumbling and tossing upon the bed of sickness, they cannot dy; nor is there any means of recovery for them but by antient prudence, whence of necessity it must com to pass, that this drug be better known. If France, Italy, and Spain, were not all sick, all corrupted together, there would be none of them so; for the sick would not be able to withstand the sound, nor the sound to preserve their health without curing of the sick. The first of these nations (which, if you stay her leisure, will in my mind be France) that recovers the health of antient prudence, shall certainly govern the world; for what did Italy when she had it? and as you were in that, so shall you in the like case be reduced to a province; I do not speak at random. Italy, in the consulship of Lucius Æmilius Papus, and Caius Atilius Regulus, arm’d upon the Gallic tumult that then happen’d of her self, and without the aid of foren auxiliarys, seventy thousand horse, and seven hundred thousand foot: but as Italy is the least of those three countrys in extent, so is France now the most populous.
I, decus, I, nostrum, melioribus utere fatis.
“MY dear lords, Oceana is as the rose of Sharon, and the lilly of the vally. As the lilly among thorns, such is my love among the daughters. She is comly as the tents of Kedar, and terrible as an army with banners. Her neck is as the tower of David, builded for an armory, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers and shields of mighty men. Let me hear thy voice in the morning, whom my soul loves. The south has drop’d, and the west is breathing upon thy garden of spices. Arise, queen of the earth, arise, holy spouse of Jesus; for lo the winter is past, the rain is over and gon; the flowers appear on the earth, the time for the singing of birds is com, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. Arise, I say, com forth, and do not tarry: ah! wherfore should my eys behold thee by the rivers of Babylon, hanging thy harps upon the willows, thou fairest among women?
“Excellent PATRIOTS; if the people be soverain, here is that which establishes their prerogative: if we be sincere, here is that which disburdens our souls, and makes good all our ingagements: if we be charitable, here is that which imbraces all partys: if we would be settl’d, here is that which will stand, and last for ever.
“If our religion be any thing else but a vain boast, scratching and defacing human nature or reason, which, being the image of God, makes it a kind of murder; here is that empire whence justice shall run down like a river, and judgment like a mighty stream.Amos 5 24. Who is it then that calls us? or what is in our way? a lion! is it not the dragon that old serpent? for what wretched shifts are these? here is a great deal, might we not have som of this at one time, and som at another?
“My LORDS, permit me to give you the sum, or brief
Epitome of the whole Commonwealth.
THE center or fundamental laws are, first, the agrarian, proportion’d at two thousand pounds a year in land, lying and being within the proper territory of Oceana, and stating property in land at such a balance, that the power can never swerve out of the hands of the many.
SECONDLY, the ballot conveying this equal sap from the root, by an equal election or rotation, into the branches of magistracy or soverain power.
THE orbs of this commonwealth being civil, military or provincial, are, as it were, cast upon this mold or center by the divisions of the people; first, into citizens and servants: secondly, into youth and elders: thirdly, into such as have one hundred pounds a year in lands, goods or monys, who are of the horse; and such as have under, who are of the foot: fourthly, they are divided by their usual residence, into parishes, hundreds, and tribes.
THE civil orbs consist of the elders, and are thus created; every Monday next insuing the last of December, the elders in every parish elect the fifth man to be a deputy; which is but half a day’s work: every Monday next insuing the last of January, the deputys meet at their respective hundred, and elect out of their number one justice of the peace, one juryman, one coroner, and one high constable of the foot; one day’s work.
EVERY Monday next insuing the last of February, the hundreds meet at their respective tribe, and there elect the lords high sherif, lieutenant, custos rotulorum, the conductor, the two censors out of the horse, the magistrats of the tribe and of the hundreds, with the jurymen constituting the phylarch, and who assist in their respective offices at the assizes, hold the quarter-sessions, &c. The day following the tribe elects the annual galaxy, consisting of two knights, and three deputys out of the horse, with four deputys out of the foot, therby indu’d with power, as magistrats of the whole nation, for the term of three years. An officer chosen at the hundred may not be elected a magistrat of the tribe; but a magistrat or officer either of the hundred or of the tribe, being elected into the galaxy, may substitute any one of his own order to his magistracy or office in the hundred, or in the tribe. This of the muster is two days work. So the body of the people is annually, at the charge of three days work and a half, in their own tribes, for the perpetuation of their power, receiving over and above the magistracys so divided among them.
EVERY Monday next insuing the last of March, the knights, being a hundred in all the tribes, take their places in the senat; the knights, having taken their places in the senat, make the third region of the same; and the house procedes to the senatorian elections. Senatorian elections are annual, biennial, or emergent.
THE annual are perform’d by the tropic.
THE tropic is a schedule consisting of two parts; the first by which the senatorian magistrats are elected; and the second, by which the senatorian councils are perpetuated.
THE first part is of this tenor:
THE strategus and the orator sitting, are consuls, or presidents of the senat.
THE strategus marching is general of the army, in which case a new strategus is to be elected in his room.
THE strategus sitting with six commissioners, being counsillors of the nation, are the signory of the commonwealth.
THE censors are magistrats of the ballot, presidents of the council for religion, and chancellors of the universitys.
THE second part of the tropic perpetuats the council of state, by the election of five knights out of the first region of the senat, to be the first region of that council consisting of fifteen knights, five in every region.
THE like is don by the election of four into the council of religion, and four into the council of trade, out of the same region in the senat; each of these councils consisting of twelve knights, four in every region.
BUT the council of war consisting of nine knights, three in every region, is elected by and out of the council of state, as the other councils are elected by and out of the senat. And if the senat add a juncta of nine knights more, elected out of their own number, for the term of three months, the council of war by virtue of that addition, is dictator of Oceana for the said term.
THE signory jointly or severally has right of session and suffrage in every senatorial council, and to propose either to the senat, or any of them. And every region in a council electing one weekly provost, any two of those provosts have power also to propose to their respective council, as the proper and peculiar proposers of the same: for which cause they hold an academy, where any man either by word of mouth, or writing, may propose to the proposers.
NEXT to the elections of the tropic is the biennial election of one embassador in ordinary, by the ballot of the house, to the residence of France; at which time the resident of France removes to Spain, he of Spain to Venice, he of Venice to Constantinople, and he of Constantinople returns. So the orb of the residents is wheel’d about in eight years, by the biennial election of one embassador in ordinary.
THE last kind of election is emergent. Emergent elections are made by the scrutiny. Election by scrutiny is when a competitor being made by a council, and brought into the senat, the senat chuses four more competitors to him; and putting all five to the ballot, he who has most above half the suffrages, is the magistrat. The polemarchs or field officers are chosen by the scrutiny of the council of war; an embassador extraordinary by the scrutiny of the council of state; the judges and serjeants at law by the scrutiny of the seal; and the barons and prime officers of the exchequer, by the scrutiny of the treasury.
THE opinion or opinions that are legitimatly propos’d to any council must be debated by the same, and so many as are resolv’d upon the debate are introduc’d into the senat, where they are debated and resolved, or rejected by the whole house: that which is resolv’d by the senat is a decree which is good in matters of state, but no law, except it be propos’d to and resolv’d by the prerogative.
THE deputys of the galaxy being three horse and four foot in a tribe, amount in all the tribes to one hundred and fifty horse, and two hundred foot; which, having enter’d the prerogative, and chosen their captains, cornet and ensign (triennial officers) make the third classis, consisting of one troop, and one company; and so joining with the whole prerogative, elect four annual magistrats, call’d tribuns, wherof two are of the horse, and two of the foot. These have the command of the prerogative sessions, and suffrage in the council of war, and sessions without suffrage in the senat.
THE senat having past a decree which they would propose to the people, cause it to be printed and publish’d, or promulgated for the space of six weeks; which being order’d, they chuse their proposers. The proposers must be magistrats, that is, the commissioners of the seal, those of the treasury, or the censors. These being chosen, desire the muster of the tribuns, and appoint the day. The people being assembl’d at the day appointed, and the decree propos’d, that which is propos’d by authority of the senat, and commanded by the people, is the law of Oceana, or an act of parlament.
SO the parlament of Oceana consists of the senat proposing, and the people resolving.
THE people or prerogative are also the supreme judicatory of this nation, having power of hearing and determining all causes of appeal from all magistrats, or courts provincial, or domestic; as also to question any magistrat, the term of his magistracy being expir’d, if the case be introduc’d by the tribuns, or any one of them.
THE military orbs consist of the youth, that is, such as are from eighteen to thirty years of age; and are created in the following manner:
EVERY Wednesday next ensuing the last of December, the youth of every parish assembling, elect the fifth of their number to be their deputys; the deputys of the youth are call’d stratiots, and this is the first essay.
EVERY Wednesday next insuing the last of January, the stratiots assembling at the hundred, elect their captain and their ensign, and fall to their games and sports.
EVERY Wednesday next insuing the last of February, the stratiots are receiv’d by the lord lieutenant their commander in chief, with the conductors and the censors; and, having bin disciplin’d and entertain’d with other games, are call’d to the urns, where they elect the second essay, consisting of two hundred horse and six hundred foot in a tribe; that is, of ten thousand horse, and thirty thousand foot in all the tribes, which is the standing army of this nation, to march at any warning. They also elect at the same time a part of the third essay, by the mixture of balls mark’d with the letter M. and the letter P. for Marpesia and Panopea; they of either mark being ten horse and fifty foot in a tribe, that is, five hundred horse, and two thousand five hundred foot in all the tribes, which are forthwith to march to their respective provinces.
BUT the third essay of this nation more properly so call’d, is when the strategus with the polemarchs (the senat and the people, or the dictator having decreed a war) receive in return of his warrants the second essay from the hands of the conductors at the rendevous of Oceana; which army marching with all accommodations provided by the council of war, the senat elects a new strategus, and the lords lieutenants a new second essay.
A YOUTH, except he be an only son, refusing any one of his three essays, without sufficient cause shewn to the phylarch or the censors, is incapable of magistracy, and is fin’d a fifth part of his yearly rent, or of his estate, for protection. In case of invasion the elders are oblig’d to like duty with the youth, and upon their own charge.
THE provincial orb consisting in part of the elders, and in part of the youth, is thus created:
FOUR knights out of the first region falling, are elected in the senat to be the first region of the provincial orb of Marpesia; these being triennial magistrats, take their places in the provincial council, consisting of twelve knights, four in every region, each region chusing their weekly provosts of the council thus constituted. One knight more chosen out of the same region in the senat, being an annual magistrat, is president, with power to propose; and the opinions propos’d by the president, or any two of the provosts, are debated by the council, and, if there be occasion of farther power or instruction than they yet have, transmitted to the council of state, with which the provincial is to hold intelligence.
THE president of this council is also strategus, or general of the provincial army; wherfore the conductors upon notice of his election, and appointment of his rendevous, deliver to him the stratiots of his letter, which he takes with him into his province: and the provincial army having receiv’d the new strategus with the third classis, the council dismisses the old strategus with the first classis. The like is don for Panopea, or any other province.
BUT wheras the term of every other magistracy or election in this commonwealth, whether annual or triennial, requires an equal vacation, the term of a provincial counsiller or magistrat requires no vacation at all. The quorum of a provincial, as also that of every other council and assembly, requires two thirds in a time of health, and one third in a time of sickness.
“I think I have omitted nothing but the props and scaffolds, which are not of use but in building. And how much is here? shew me another commonwealth in this compass? how many things? shew me another intire government consisting but of thirty orders. If you now go to law with any body, there ly to som of our courts two hundred original writs: if you stir your hand, there go more nerves and bones to that motion: if you play, you have more cards in the pack; nay you could not sit with your ease in that chair, if it consisted not of more parts. Will you not then allow to your legislator, what you can afford your upholster; or to the throne, what is necessary to a chair?
“My LORDS, if you will have fewer orders in a commonwealth, you will have more; for where she is not perfect at first, every day, every hour will produce a new order, the end wherof is to have no order at all, but to grind with the clack of som demagog. Is he providing already for his golden thum? lift up your heads; away with ambition, that fulsom complexion of a statesman, temper’d, like Sylla’s, with blood and muck. And the Lord give to his senators wisdom; and make our faces to shine, that we may be a light to them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide their feet in the way of peace.—In the name of God, what’s the matter!
Philadelphus the secretary of the council having perform’d his task in reading the several orders as you have seen, upon the receipt of a packet from his correspondent Boccalini, secretary of Parnassus, in reading one of the letters, burst forth into such a violent passion of weeping and downright howling, that the legislators being startled with the apprehension of som horrid news; one of them had no sooner snatch’d the letter out of his hand, than the rest crying, read, read, he obey’d in this manner:
THE 3d instant his Phœbean majesty having taken the nature of free states into his royal consideration, and being steadily perswaded that the laws in such governments are incomparably better and more surely directed to the good of mankind than in any other; that the courage of such a people is the aptest tinder to noble fire; that the genius of such a soil is that wherin the roots of good literature are least worm-eaten with pedantism, and where their fruits have ever com to the greatest maturity and highest relish; conceiv’d such a loathing of their ambition and tyranny, who, usurping the liberty of their native countrys, becom slaves to themselves, inasmuch as (be it never so contrary to their own nature or consciences) they have taken the earnest of sin, and are ingag’d to persecute all men that are good with the same or greater rigor than is ordain’d by laws for the wicked:Trajano Boccalini, Centuria 1. Raggual. 21. for*none ever administer’d that power by good, which he purchas’d by ill arts: Phoebus, I say, having consider’d this, assembl’d all the senators residing in the learned court at the theatre of Melpomene, where he caus’d Cæsar the dictator to com upon the stage, and his sister Actia, his nephew Augustus, Julia his daughter, with the children which she had by Marcus Agrippa, Lucius and Caius Cæsars, Agrippa Posthumus, Julia, and Agrippina, with the numerous progeny which she bore to her renown’d husband Germanicus, to enter. A miserable scene in any, but most deplorable in the eys of Cæsar, thus beholding what havock his prodigious ambition, not satisfy’d with his own bloody ghost, had made upon his more innocent remains, even to the total extinction of his family. For it is (seeing where there is any humanity, there must be som compassion) not to be spoken without tears, that of the full branches deriving from Octavia the eldest sister, and Julia the daughter of Augustus, there should not be one fruit or blossom that was not cut off or blasted by the sword, famin, or poison. Now might the great soul of Cæsar have bin full; and yet that which pour’d in as much or more, was to behold that execrable rate of the Claudii, having hunted and suck’d his blood with the thirst of tigers, to be rewarded with the Roman empire, and remain in full possession of that famous patrimony: a spectacle to pollute the light of heaven! nevertheless as if Cæsar had not yet enough, his Phœbean majesty caus’d to be introauc’d on the other side of the theatre, the most illustrious and happy prince Andrea Doria, with his dear posterity, imbrac’d by the soft and constant arms of the city of Genoa, into whose bosom, ever fruitful in her gratitude, he had dropt her fair Liberty like the dew of heaven; which when the Roman tyrant beheld, and how much more fresh that laurel was worn with a firm root in the hearts of the people, than that which he had torn off, he fell into such a horrid distortion of limbs and countenance, that the senators who had thought themselves steel and flint at such an object, having hitherto stood in their reverend snowlike thawing Alps, now cover’d their faces with their large sleeves.
“MY lords, said the Archon rising, witty Philadelphus has given us grave admonition in dreadful tragedy. Discite justitiam moniti, & non temnere divos. Great and glorious Cæsar, the highest character of flesh, yet could not rule but by that part of man which is the beast: but a commonwealth is a monarchy; to her God is king, in as much as reason, his dictat, is her soverain power.”
Which said, he adjourn’d the council. And the model was soon after promulgated. Quod bonum, fœlix, faustumque sit huic reipublicæ. Agite quirites, censuere patres, jubeat populus: The sea roar’d, and the floods clapt their hands.
See the course of the decemvirs in the promulgation of the first ten of their twelve tables in LIVY.WHeras his highness and the council, in the framing of the model promulgated, have not had any private interest, or ambition, but the fear of God, and the good of this people before their eys; and it remains their desire that this great work may be carry’d on accordingly: This present greeting is to inform the good people of this land, that as the council of prytans sat during the framing of the model, to receive from time to time such propositions as should be offer’d by any wisehearted or public spirited man, towards the institution of a well-order’d commonwealth, so the said council is to sit as formerly in the great hall of the pantheon during promulgation (which is to continue for the space of three months) to receive, weigh, and, as there shall be occasion, transmit to the council of legislators, all such objections as shall be made against the said model, whether in the whole, or in any part. Wherfore that nothing be don rashly, or without the consent of the people, such, of what party soever, with whom there may remain any doubts or difficultys, are desir’d with all convenient speed to address themselves to the said prytans; where, if such objections, doubts, or difficultys, receive solution to the satisfaction of the auditory, they shall have public thanks: but if the said objections, doubts, or difficultys, receive no solution to the satisfaction of the auditory then the model promulgated shall be reviewed, and the party that was the occasion of the review, shall receive public thanks, together with the best horse in his highness’s stable, and be one of the council of legislators. And so God have you in his keeping.
I should now write the same council of the prytans, but for two reasons; the one, that having had but a small time for that which is already don, I am overlabour’d; the other, that there may be new objections. Wherfore, if my reader has any such as to the model, I intreat him to address himself by way of oration, as it were, to the prytans, that when this rough draught coms to be a work, his speech being faithfully inserted in this place, may give or receive correction to amendment: for what is written will be weigh’d. But conversation, in these days, is a game, at which they are best provided that have light gold: it is like the sport of women that make flowers of straws, which must be stuck up, but may not be touch’d. Nor, which is worse, is this the fault of conversation only: but to the examiner, I say, If to invent method, and teach an art, be all one, let him shew that this method is not truly invented, or this art is faithfully taught.Arist. Rhet.
I cannot conclude a circle (and such is this commonwealth) without turning the end into the beginning. The time of promulgation being expir’d, the surveyors were sent down, who having in due season made report that their work was perfect, the orators follow’d; under the administration of which officers and magistrats the commonwealth was ratify’d and establish’d by the whole body of the people, in their* parochial, hundred, and county assemblys. And the orators being, by virtue of their scrols or lots, members of their respective tribes, were elected each the first knight of the third list, or galaxy; wherfore having at their return assisted the Archon in putting the senat and the people or prerogative into motion, they abdicated the magistracy both of orators and legislators.
FOR the rest (says Plutarch, closing up the story of Lycurgus) when he saw that his government had taken root, and was in the very plantation strong enough to stand by it self, he conceiv’d such a delight within him, as GOD is describ’d by Plato to have don when he had finish’d the creation of the world, and saw his own orbs move below him: for in the art of man (being the imitation of nature, which is the∥ art of GOD) there is nothing so like the first call of beautiful order out of chaos and confusion, as the architecture of a well-order’d commonwealth. Wherfore Lycurgus seeing in effect, that his orders were good, fell into deep contemplation how he might render them, so far as could be effected by human providence, inalterable and immortal. To which end he assembl’d the people, and remonstrated to them, That for ought he could perceive, their policy was already such, and so well establish’d, as was sufficient to intail upon them and theirs all that virtue and felicity wherof human life is capable: nevertheless that there being another thing of greater concern than all the rest, wherof he was not yet provided to give them a perfect account, nor could till he had consulted the oracle of Apollo, he desired that they would observe his laws without any change or alteration whatsoever, till his return from Delphos; to which all the people chearfully and unanimously ingag’d themselves by promise, desiring him that he would make as much haste as he could. But Lycurgus, before he went, began with the kings and the senators, and thence taking the whole people in order, made them all swear to that which they had promis’d, and then took his journy. Being arriv’d at Delphos, he sacrific’d to Apollo, and afterwards inquir’d if the policy which he had establish’d, was good and sufficient for a virtuous and happy life? By the way it has bin a maxim with legislators not to give checks to the present superstition, but to make the best use of it, as that which is always the most powerful with the people; otherwise tho Plutarch being a priest, was interested in the cause, there is nothing plainer than Cicero in his book De Divinatione has made it, that there was never any such thing as an oracle, except in the cunning of the priests. But to be civil to the author, The God answer’d to Lycurgus, that his policy was exquisit, and that his city, holding to the strict observation of his form of government, should attain to the height of fame and glory. Which oracle Lycurgus causing to be written, fail’d not of transmitting to his Lacedemon. This don, that his citizens might be for ever inviolably bound by their oath, that they would alter nothing till his return, he took so firm a resolution to dy in the place, that from thenceforward receiving no manner of food, he soon after perform’d it accordingly. Nor was he deceiv’d in the consequence; for his city became the first in glory and excellency of government in the whole world. And so much for Lycurgus, according to Plutarch.
My lord Archon, when he beheld not only the rapture of motion, but of joy and harmony, into which his spheres (without any manner of obstruction or interfering, but as if it had been naturally) were cast, conceiv’d not less of exultation in his spirit; but saw no more necessity or reason why he should administer an oath to the senat and the people that they would observe his institutions, than to a man in perfect health and felicity of constitution, that he would not kill himself. Nevertheless wheras Christianity, tho it forbids violent hands, consists no less in selfdenial than any other religion, he resolv’d that all unreasonable desires should dy upon the spot; to which end that no manner of food might be left to ambition, he enter d into the senat with a unanimous applause, and having spoken of his government as Lycurgus did when he assembl’d the people, he abdicated the magistracy of Archon. The senat, as struck with astonishment, continu’d silent; men upon so sudden an accident being altogether unprovided of what to say; till the Archon withdrawing, and being almost at the door, divers of the knights flew from their places, offering as it were to lay violent hands on him, while he escaping left the senat with the tears in their eyes, of children that had lost their father; and to rid himself of all farther importunity, retir’d to a country house of his, being remote, and very privat, in so much that no man could tell for some time what was becom of him.Never ingratitude, but too much love, the constant fault of the people. Thus the lawmaker happen’d to be the first object and reflection of the law made: for as liberty of all things is the most welcom to a people, so is there nothing more abhorrent from their nature than ingratitude. We accusing the Roman people of this crime against som of their greatest benefactors, as Camillus, heap mistake upon mistake; for being not so competent judges of what belongs to liberty as they were, we take upon us to be more competent judges of virtue. And wheras virtue, for being a vulgar thing among them, was of no less rate than jewels are with such as wear the most; we are selling this precious stone, which we have ignorantly rak’d out of the Roman ruins at such a rate as the Switzers did that which they took in the baggage of Charles of Burgundy. For that Camillus had stood more firm against the ruin of Rome than her capitol, was acknowleg’d; but on the other side that he stood as firm for the Patricians against the liberty of the people, was as plain: wherfore he never wanted those of the people that would dy at his foot in the field, nor that would withstand him to his beard in the city. An example in which they that think Camillus had wrong, neither do themselves right, nor the people of Rome; who in this signify no less than that they had a scorn of slavery beyond the fear of ruin, which is the height of magnanimity. The like might be shewn by other examples objected against this, and other popular governments, as in the banishment of Aristides the Just from Athens, by the ostracism, which, first, was no punishment, nor ever understood for so much as a disparagement; but tended only to the security of the commonwealth, thro the removal of a citizen (whose riches or power with a party was suspected) out of harm’s way for the space of ten years, neither to the diminution of his estate or honor. And next, tho the virtue of Aristides might in it self be unquestion’d, yet for him under the name of the Just to becom universal umpire of the people in all cases, even to the neglect of the legal ways and orders of the commonwealth, approach’d so much to the prince, that the Athenians, doing Aristides no wrong, did their government no more than right in removing him; which therfore is not so probable to have com to pass, as Plutarch presumes, thro the envy of Themistocles, seeing Aristides was far more popular than Themistocles, who soon after took the same walk upon a worse occasion. Wherfore as Machiavel, for any thing since alledg’d, has irrefragably prov’d that popular governments are of all others the least ingrateful; so the obscurity, I say, int which my lord Archon had now withdrawn himself, caus’d a universal sadness and clouds in the minds of men upon the glory of his rising commonwealth.
Much had bin ventilated in privat discourse, and the people (for the nation was yet divided into partys that had not lost their animositys) being troubl’d, bent their eys upon the senat, when, after some time spent in devotion, and the solemn action of thanksgiving, his excellency Navarchus de Paralo in the tribe of Dorean, lord Strategus of Oceana (tho in a new commonwealth a very prudent magistrat) propos’d his part or opinion in such a manner to the council or state, that passing the ballot of the same with great unanimity and applause, it was introduc’d into the senat, where it past with greater. Wherfore the decree being forthwith printed and publish’d, copys were return’d by the secretarys to the phylarchs (which is the manner of promulgation) and the commissioners of the seal, that is to say, the right honourable Phosphorus de Auge in the tribe of Eudia,Dolabella d’Enyo in the tribe of Turmæ, and Linceus de Stella in the tribe of Nubia, being elected proposers pro tempore, bespoke of the tribuns a muster of the people to be held that day six weeks, which was the time allow’d for promulgation at the Halo
The satisfaction which the people throout the tribes receiv’d upon promulgation of the decree, loaded the carriers with weekly letters between friend and friend, whether magistrats or privat persons. But the day for proposition being com, and the prerogative upon the place appointed in discipline, Sanguine de Ringwood in the tribe of Saltum, captain of the phœnix, march’d by order of the tribuns with his troop to the piazza of the pantheon, where his trumpets entering into the great hall by their blazon gave notice of his arrival; at which the serjeant of the house came down, and returning inform’d the proposers, who descending were receiv’d at the foot of the stairs by the captain, and attended to the coaches of state with which Calcar de Gilvo in the tribe of Phalera master of the horse, and the ballotins upon their great horses, stood waiting at the gate.
The proposers being in their coaches, the train for the pomp, the same that is us’d at the reception of ambassadors, proceded in this order: In the front march’d the troop with the cornet in the van, and the captain in the rear: next the troop came the twenty messengers or trumpets; the ballotins upon the curvet with their usher in the van, and the master of the horse in the rear: next the ballotins, Bronchus de Rauco in the tribe of Bestia king of the heralds, with his fraternity in their coats of arms; and next to Sir Bronchus, Boristhenes de Holiwater in the tribe of Ave, master of the ceremonys: the mace and the seal of the chancery went immediately before the coaches; and on either side, the doorkeepers or guard of the senat, with their poleaxes, accompany’d with som three or four hundred footmen belonging to the knights or senators; the trumpeters, ballotins, guards, postilions, coachmen and footmen, being very gallant in the liverys of the commonwealth; but all, except the ballotins, without hats, in lieu wherof they wore black velvet calots, being pointed with a little peak at the forehead. After the proposers came a long file of coaches full of such gentlemen as use to grace the commonwealth upon the like occasions. In this posture they mov’d slowly thro the streets (affording in the gravity of the pomp, and the welcomness of the end, a most reverend and acceptable prospect to the people all the way from the pantheon, being about half a mile) and arriv’d at the Halo, where they found the prerogative in a close body inviron’d with scaffolds that were cover’d with spectators. The tribuns receiv’d the proposers, and conducted them into a seat plac’d in the front of the tribe, like a pulpit, but that it was of som length, and well adorn’d by the heralds with all manner of birds and beasts, except that they were ill painted, and never a one of his natural color. The tribuns were plac’d at a table that stood below the long seat, those of the horse in the middle, and those of the foot at either end, with each of them a boul or bason before him, that on the right hand being white, and the other green: in the middle of the table stood a third which was red. And the housekeepers of the pavilion, who had already deliver’d a proportion of linen balls or pellets to every one of the tribe, now presented boxes to the ballotins. But the proposers as they enter’d the gallery, or long seat, having put off their hats by way of salutation, were answer’d by the people with a shout; wherupon the younger commissioners seated themselves at either end; and the first standing in the middle, spoke after this manner:
My lords, the people of Oceana,
“WHILE I find in myself what a felicity it is to salute you by this name, and in every face, anointed as it were with the oil of gladness, a full and sufficient testimony of the like sense, to go about to feast you with words, who are already fill’d with that food of the mind, which being of pleasing and wholsom digestion, takes in the definition of true joy, were a needless enterprize. I shall rather put you in mind of that thankfulness which is due, than puff you up with any thing that might seem vain. Is it from the arms of flesh that we derive these blessings? Behold the commonwealth of Rome falling upon her own victorious sword. Or is it from our own wisdom, whose counsils had brought it even to that pass, that we began to repent our selves of victory? Far be it from us, my lords, to sacrifice to our own nets, which we our selves have so narrowly escap’d! Let us rather lay our mouths in the dust, and look up (as was taught the other day when we were better instructed in this lesson) to the hills with our gratitude. Nevertheless seeing we read how God upon the neglect of his prophets has bin provok’d to wrath, it must needs follow that he expects honor should be given to them by whom he has chosen to work as his instruments. For which cause, nothing doubting of my warrant, I shall proceed to that which more particularly concerns the present occasion, the discovery of my lord Archon’s virtues and merit, to be ever plac’d by this nation in their true meridian.
“I am not upon a subject which persuades me to balk, but necessitats me to seek out the greatest examples. To begin with Alexander erecting trophys common to his sword and the pestilence; To what good of mankind did he infect the air with his heap of carcasses? The sword of war, if it be any otherwise us’d than as the sword of magistracy, for the fear and punishment of those that do evil, is as guilty in the sight of God, as the sword of a murderer; nay more, for if the blood of Abel, of one innocent man, cry’d in the ears of the Lord for vengeance, what shall the blood of an innocent nation? Of this kind of empire, the throne of ambition, and the quarry of a mighty hunter, it has bin truly said, that it is but a great robbery. But if Alexander had restor’d the liberty of Greece, and propagated it to mankind, he had don like my lord Archon, and might have bin truly call’d the Great. Alexander car’d not to steal a victory that would be given: but my lord Archon has torn away a victory which had bin stolen, while we went tamely yielding up obedience to a* nation reaping in our fields, whose fields he has subjected to our empire, and nail’d them with his victorious sword to their native Caucasus.
“MACHIAVEL gives a handsom caution, Let no man, says he, be circum vented with the glory of Cæsar, from the false reflection of their pens, who thro the longer continuance of his empire in the name than in the family, chang’d their freedom for flattery. But if a man would know truly what the Romans thought of Cæsar, let them observe what they said of Catilin.
“And yet by how much he who has perpetrated som heinous crime, is more execrable than he who did but attemt it; by so much is Cæsar more execrable than Catilin. On the contrary, let him that would know what antient and heroic times, what the Greecs and Romans would both have thought and said of my lord Archon, observe what they thought and said of Solon, Lycurgus, Brutus, and Publicola. And yet by how much his virtue, that is crown’d with the perfection of his work, is beyond theirs, who were either inferior in their aim, or in their performance; by so much is my lord Archon to be prefer’d before Solon, Lycurgus, Brutus, and Publicola.
“Nor will we shun the most illustrious example of Scipio: this hero, tho never so little less, yet was he not the founder of a commonwealth; and for the rest, allowing his virtue to have bin of the most untainted ray, in what did it outshine this of my lord Archon? But if dazling the eys of the magistrats it overaw’d liberty, Rome might be allow’d som excuse that she did not like it, and I, if I admit not of this comparison: for where is my lord Archon? Is there a genius, how free soever, which in his presence would not find it self to be under power? He is shrunk into clouds, he seeks obscurity in a nation that sees by his light. He is impatient of his own glory, lest it should stand between you and your liberty.
“Liberty! What is even that, if we may not be grateful? And if we may, we have none: for who has any thing that he dos not ow? My lords, there be som hard conditions of virtue: if this debt were exacted, it were not due; wheras being cancell’d, we are all enter’d into bonds. On the other side, if we make such a payment as will not stand with a free people, we do not inrich my lord Archon, but rob him of his whole estate, and his immense glory.
“These particulars had in due deliberation and mature debate, according to the order of this commonwealth, It is propos’d by authority of the senat, to you my lords the people of Oceana:
“I. That the dignity and office of Archon, or protector of the commonwealth of Oceana, be, and is hereby conferr’d by the senat and the people of Oceana, upon the most illustrious prince, and sole legislator of this commonwealth, Olphaus Megaletorpater patriæ, whom God preserve, for the term of his natural life.
“II. That three hundred and fifty thousand pounds per annum yet remaining of the antient revenue, be estated upon the said illustrious prince, or lord Archon, for the said term, and to the proper and peculiar use of his highness.
“III. That the lord Archon have the reception of all foren embassadors, by and with the council of state, according to the orders of this commonwealth.
“IV. That the lord Archon have a standing army of twelve thousand men, defray’d upon a monthly tax, during the term of three years, for the protection of this commonwealth against dissenting partys; to be governed, directed, and commanded by and with the advice of the council of war, according to the orders of this commonwealth.
“V. That this commonwealth make no distinction of persons or partys, but every man being elected and sworn, according to the orders of the same, be equally capable of magistracy; or not elected, be equally capable of liberty, and the injoyment of his estate free from all other than common taxes.
“VI. That a man putting a distinction upon himself, refusing the oath upon election, or declaring himself of a party not conformable to the civil government, may within any time of the three years standing of the army, transport himself and his estate, without molestation or impediment, into any other nation.
“VII. That in case there remains any distinction of partys not conforming to the civil government of this commonwealth, after the three years of the standing army being expir’d, and the commonwealth be therby forc’d to prolong the term of the said army, the pay from thenceforth of the said army be levy’d upon the estates of such partys so remaining unconformable to the civil government.”
The proposer having ended his oration, the trumpets sounded; and the tribuns of the horse being mounted to view the ballot, caus’d the tribe (which thronging up to the speech, came almost round the gallery) to retreat about twenty paces, when Linceus de Stella receiving the propositions, repair’d with Bronchus de Rauco the herald, to a little scaffold erected in the middle of the tribe, where he seated himself, the herald standing bare upon his right hand. The ballotins having their boxes ready, stood before the gallery, and at the command of the tribuns march’d, one to every troop on horseback, and one to every company on foot; each of them being follow’d by other children that bore red boxes: now this is putting the question whether the question should be put. And the suffrage being very suddenly return’d to the tribuns at the table, and number’d in the view of the proposers, the votes were all in the affirmative: wherupon the red or doubtful boxes were laid aside, it appearing that the tribe, whether for the negative or affirmative, was clear in the matter. Wherfore the herald began from the scaffold in the middle of the tribe, to pronounce the first proposition, and the ballotins marching with the negative or affirmative only, Bronchus, with his voice like thunder, continu’d to repeat the proposition over and over again, so long as it was in balloting. The like was don for every clause, till the ballot was finish’d, and the tribuns assembling, had sign’d the points, that is to say, the number of every suffrage, as it was taken by the secretary upon the tale of the tribuns, and in the sight of the proposers; for this may not be omitted, it is the pulse of the people. Now wheras it appertains to the tribuns to report the suffrage of the people to the senat, they cast the lot for this office with three silver balls, and one gold one; and it fell upon the right worshipful Argus de Crookhorn in the tribe of Pascua, first tribun of the foot. Argus being a good sufficient man in his own country, was yet of the mind that he should make but a bad spokesman; and therfore became somthing blank at his luck, till his collegues perswaded him that it was no such great matter, if he could but read, having his paper before him. The proposers taking coach, receiv’d a volly upon the field, and return’d in the same order, save that being accompany’d with the tribuns, they were also attended by the whole prerogative to the piazza of the Pantheon, where with another volly they took their leaves. Argus, who had not thought upon his wife and children all the way, went very gravely up: and every one being seated, the senat by their silence seem’d to call for the report; which Argus standing up, deliver’d in this wife:
Right honorable lords and fathers assembl’d in parlament;
SO it is, that it has fal’n to my lot to report to your excellencys the votes of the people, taken upon the third instant, in the first year of this commonwealth, at the Halo; the right honorable Phosphorus de Auoe in the tribe of Eudia,Dolabella de Enyo in the tribe of Turmæ, and Linceus de Stella in the tribe of Nubia, lords commissioners of the great seal of Oceana, and proposers pro temporibus—together with my brethren the tribuns, and my self being present. Wherfore these are to certify to your fatherhoods, that the said votes of the people were as follows; that is to say:
“My LORDS, It is a language that is out of my prayers, and if I be out at it, no harm—
“But as concerning my lord Archon (as I was saying) these are to signify to you the true-heartedness and good-will which is in the people, seeing by joining with you, as one man, they confess that all they have to give, is too little for his highness. For truly, fathers, if he who is able to do harm, and dos none, may well be call’d honest; what shall we say to my lord Archon’s highness, who having had it in his power to have don us the greatest mischief that ever befel a poor nation, so willing to trust such as they thought well of, has don us so much good, as we should never have known how to do ourselves? which was so sweetly deliver’d by my lord chancellor Phosphorus to the people, that I dare say there was never a one of them could forbear to do as I do—An’t please your fatherhoods, they be tears of joy. Ay, my lord Archon shall walk the streets (if it be for his ease I mean) with a switch, while the people run after him and pray for him: he shall not wet his foot; they will strew flowers in his way: he shall sit higher in their hearts, and in the judgment of all good men, than the kings that go up stairs to their seats; and one of these had as good pull two or three of his fellows out of their great chairs, as wrong him, or meddle with him; he has two or three hundred thousand men, that when you say the word, shall sell themselves to their shirts for him, and dy at his foot. His pillow is of down, and his grave shall be as soft, over which they that are alive shall wring their hands. And to com to your fatherhoods, most truly so call’d, as being the loving parents of the people, truly you do not know what a feeling they have of your kindness, seeing you are so bound up, that if there coms any harm, they may thank themselves. And, alas! poor souls, they see that they are given to be of so many minds, that tho they always mean well, yet if there coms any good, they may thank them that teach them better. Wherfore there was never such a thing as this invented, they do verily believe that it is no other than the same which they always had in their very heads, if they could have but told how to bring it out. As now for a sample; my lords the proposers had no sooner said your minds, than they found it to be that which heart could wish. And your fatherhoods may comfort yourselves, that there is not a people in the world more willing to learn what is for their own good, nor more apt to see it, when you have shew’d it them. Wherfore they do love you as they do their own selves; honour you as fathers; resolve to give you as it were obedience for ever: and so thanking you for your most good and excellent laws, they do pray for you as the very worthys of the land, right honorable lords and fathers assembl’d in parlament.”
ARGUS came off beyond his own expectation; for thinking right, and speaking as he thought, it was apparent by the house, and the thanks they gave him, that they esteem’d him to be absolutely of the best sort of orators; upon which having a mind that till then misgave him, he became very crounse, and much delighted with that which might go down the next week in print to his wife and neighbors. Livy makes the Roman tribuns to speak in the same stile with the consuls, which could not be, and therfore for ought in him to the contrary, Volero and Canuleius might have spoken in no better stile than Argus. However, they were not created the first year of the commonwealth; and the tribuns of Oceana are since becom better orators than were needful. But the laws being enacted, had the preamble annex’d, and were deliver’d to Bronchus, who lov’d nothing in the earth so much as to go staring and bellowing up and down the town, like a stag in a forest, as he now did, with his fraternity in their coats of arms, and I know not how many trumpets, proclaiming the act of parlament; when meeting my lord Archon, who from a retreat that was without affectation, as being for devotion only, and to implore a blessing by prayer and fasting upon his labors, now newly arriv’d in town, the herald of the tribe of Bestia set up his throat, and having chanted out his lesson, past as haughtily by him, as if his own had bin the better office; which in this place was very well taken, tho Bronchus for his high mind happen’d afterward upon som disasters, too long to tell, that spoil’d much of his imbroidery.
My lord Archon’s arrival being known, the signory, accompany’d by the tribuns, repair’d to him, with the news he had already heard by the herald; to which my lord strategus added, that his highness could not doubt upon the demonstrations given, but the minds of men were firm in the opinion, that he could be no seeker of himself in the way of earthly pomp and glory; and that the gratitude of the senat, and the people, could not therfore be understood to have any such reflection upon him. But so it was, that in regard of dangers abroad, and partys at home, they durst not trust themselves without a standing army, nor a standing army in any man’s hands but those of his highness.
The Archon made answer, that he ever expected this would be the sense of the senat and the people; and this being their sense, he should have bin sorry they had made choice of any other than himself for a standing general: first, because it could not have bin more to their own safety: and, secondly, because so long as they should have need of a standing army, his work was not done: that he would not dispute against the judgment of the senat and the people, nor ought that to be. Nevertheless, he made little doubt but experience would shew every party their own interest in this government, and that better improv’d than they could expect from any other; that mens animositys should overbalance their interest for any time, was impossible; that humour could never be lasting, nor thro the constitution of the government, of any effect at the first charge. For supposing the worst, and that the people had chosen no other into the senat and the prerogative than royalists, a matter of fourteen hundred men must have taken their oaths at their election, with an intention to go quite contrary, not only to their oaths so taken, but to their own interest; for being estated in the soverain power, they must have decreed it from themselves (such an example for which there was never any experience, nor can there be any reason) or holding it, it must have don in their hands as well every whit as in any other. Furthermore, they must have remov’d the government from a foundation that apparently would hold, to set it upon another which apparently would not hold; which things if they could not com to pass, the senat and the people consisting wholly of royalists, much less by a parcel of them elected. But if the fear of the senat and of the people deriv’d from a party without, such a one as would not be elected, nor ingage themselves to the commonwealth by an oath; this again must be so large, as would go quite contrary to their own interest, they being as free and as fully estated in their liberty as any other, or so narrow that they could do no hurt, while the people being in arms, and at the beck of the strategus, every tribe would at any time make a better army than such a party: and there being no partys at home, fears from abroad would vanish. But seeing it was otherwise determin’d by the senat and the people, the best course was to take that which they held the safest, in which with his humble thanks for their great bounty, he was resolv’d to serve them with all duty and obedience.
A very short time after the royalists, now equal citizens, made good the Archon’s judgment, there being no other that found any thing near so great a sweet in the government. For he who has not bin acquainted with affliction, says Seneca, knows but half the things of this world.
Moreover they saw plainly, that to restore the ancient government they must cast up their estates into the hands of three hundred men; wherfore in case the senat and the prerogative, consisting of thirteen hundred men, had bin all royalists, there must of necessity have bin, and be for ever, one thousand against this or any such vote. But the senat being inform’d by the signory, that the Archon had accepted of his dignity and office, caus’d a third chair to be set for his highness, between those of the strategus and the orator in the house, the like at every council; to which he repair’d, not of necessity, but at his pleasure, being the best, and, as Argus not vainly said, the greatest prince in the world: for in the pomp of his court he was not inferior to any, and in the field he was follow’d with a force that was formidable to all. Nor was there a cause in the nature of this constitution to put him to the charge of guards, to spoil his stomach or his sleep: insomuch, as being handsomly disputed by the wits of the academy, whether my lord Archon, if he had bin ambitious, could have made himself so great, it was carry’d clear in the negative; not only for the reasons drawn from the present balance, which was popular; but putting the case the balance had bin monarchical. For there be som nations, wherof this is one, that will bear a prince in a commonwealth far higher than it is possible for them to bear a monarch. Spain look’d upon the prince of Orange as her most formidable enemy; but if ever there be a monarch in Holland, he will be the Spaniards best friend. For wheras a prince in a commonwealth derives his greatness from the root of the people, a monarch derives his from one of those balances which nip them in the root; by which means the low countrys under a monarch were poor and inconsiderable, but in bearing a prince could grow to a miraculous height, and give the glory of his actions by far the upper hand of the greatest king in Christendom. There are kings in Europe, to whom a king of Oceana would be put a petit companion. But the prince of this commonwealth is the terror and judg of them all.
That which my lord Archon now minded most, was the agrarian, upon which debate he incessantly thrust the senat and the council of state; to the end it might be planted upon som firm root, as the main point and basis of perpetuity to the commonwealth.
And these are som of the most remarkable passages that happen’d in the first year of this government. About the latter end of the second, the army was disbanded, but the taxes continu’d at thirty thousand pounds a month, for three years and a half. By which means a piece of artillery was planted, and a portion of land to the value of 50 l. a year purchas’d for the maintenance of the games, and of the prize arms for ever, in each hundred.
With the eleventh year of the commonwealth, the term of the excise, allotted for the maintenance of the senat and the people and for the raising of a public revenue expir’d. By which time the exchequer, over and above the annual salarys, amounting to three hundred thousand pounds, accumulating every year out of one million incom seven hundred thousand pounds in banco, brought it with a product of the sum, rising to about eight millions in the whole: wherby at several times they had purchas’d to the senat and the people four hundred thousand pounds per annum solid revenue; which, besides the lands held in Panopea, together with the perquisits of either province, was held sufficient for a public revenue. Nevertheless, taxes being now wholly taken off, the excise of no great burden (and many specious advantages not vainly propos’d in the heightning of the public revenue) was very chearfully establish’d by the senat and the people, for the term of ten years longer; and the same course being taken, the public revenue was found in the one and twentieth of the commonwealth, to be worth one million in good land. Wherupon the excise was so abolish’d for the present, as withal resolv’d to be the best, the most fruitful and easy way of raising taxes, according to future exigences. But the revenue being now such as was able to be a yearly purchaser, gave a jealousy that by this means the balance of the commonwealth, consisting in privat fortunes, might be eaten out; whence this year is famous for that law wherby the senat and the people forbidding any further purchase of lands to the public within the dominions of Oceana and the adjacent provinces, put the agrarian upon the commonwealth herself. These increases are things which men, addicted to monarchy, deride as impossible, wherby they unwarily urge a strong argument against that which they would defend. For having their eys fix’d upon the pomp and expence, by which not only every child of a king being a prince, exhausts his father’s coffers; but favorits and servil spirits, devoted to the flattery of those princes, grow insolent and profuse, returning a fit gratitude to their masters, whom while they hold it honorable to deceive, they suck and keep eternally poor: it follows that they do not see how it should be possible for a commonwealth to clothe her self in purple, and thrive so strangely upon that which would make a prince’s hair grow thro his hood, and not afford him bread. As if it were a miracle that a careless and prodigal man should bring ten thousand pounds a year to nothing, or that an industrious and frugal man brings a little to ten thousand pounds a year. But the fruit of one man’s industry and frugality can never be like that of a commonwealth; first, because the greatness of the increase follows the greatness of the stock or principal: and, secondly, because a frugal father is for the most part succeded by a lavish son; wheras a commonwealth is her own heir.
This year a part was propos’d by the right honourable Aureus de Woolsack in the tribe of Pecus, first commissioner of the treasury, to the council of state, which soon after past the ballot of the senat and the people: by which the lands of the public revenue, amounting to one million, were equally divided into five thousand lots, enter’d by their names and parcels into a lotbook preserv’d in the exchequer. And if any orphan, being a maid, should cast her estate into the exchequer for fourteen hundred pounds, the treasury was bound by the law to pay her quarterly two hundred pounds a year, free from taxes, for her life, and to assign her a lot for her security: if she marry’d, her husband was neither to take out the principal without her consent (acknowleg’d by her self to one of the commissioners of the treasury, who according as he found it to be free, or forc’d, was to allow or disallow of it) nor any other way ingage it, than to her proper use. But if the principal were taken out, the treasury was not bound to repay any more of it than one thousand pounds; nor might that be repaid at any time, save within the first year of her marriage: the like was to be don by a half or quarter lot respectively.
This was found to be a great charity to the weaker sex, and as som say, who are more skilful in the like affairs than my self, of good profit to the commonwealth.
Now began the native spleen of Oceana to be much purg’d, and men not to affect sullenness and pedantism. The elders could remember that they had bin youth. Wit and gallantry were so far from being thought crimes in themselves, that care was taken to preserve their innocence. For which cause it was propos’d to the council for religion by the right honorable Cadiscus de Clero, in the tribe of Stamnum, first censor, that such women as living in gallantry and view about the town, were of evil fame, and could not shew that they were maintain’d by their own estates or industry; or such as having estates of their own, were yet wastful in their way of life, and of ill example to others, should be obnoxious to the animadversion of the council of religion, or of the censors: in which the proceding should be after this manner. Notice should be first given of the scandal to the party offending, in privat: if there were no amendment within the space of six months, she should be summon’d and rebuk’d before the said council or censors; and, if after other six months it were found that neither this avail’d, she should be censured not to appear at any public meetings, games, or recreations, upon penalty of being taken up by the doorkeepers, or guards of the senat, and by them to be detain’d, till for every such offence, five pounds were duly paid for her inlargement.
Furthermore, if any common strumpet should be found or any scurrility or profaneness represented at either of the theaters, the prelats for every such offence should be fin’d twenty pounds by the said council, and the poet, for every such offence on his part, should be whipt. This law relates to another, which was also enacted the same year upon this occasion.
The youth and wits of the academy having put the business so home in the defence of comedys, that the provosts had nothing but the consequences provided against by the foregoing law to object, prevail’d so far, that two of the provosts of the council of state join’d in a proposition, which after much ado came to a law, wherby one hundred thousand pounds was allotted for the building of two theaters on each side of the piazza of the Halo: and two annual magistrats called prelats, chosen out of the knights, were added to the tropic, the one call’d the prelat of the buskin, for inspection of the tragic scene call’d Melpomene; and the other the prelat of the sock, for the comic called Thalia, which magistrats had each five hundred pounds a year allow’d out of the profits of the theaters; the rest, except eight hundred a year to four poets, payable into the exchequer. A poet laureat created in one of these theaters, by the strategus receives a wreath of five hundred pounds in gold, paid out of the said profits. But no man is capable of this creation, that had not two parts in three of the suffrages at the academy, assembl’d after six weeks warning, and upon that occasion.
These things among us are sure enough to be censur’d, but by such only as do not know the nature of a commonwealth: for to tell men that they are free, and yet to curb the genius of a people in a lawful recreation, to which they are naturally inclin’d, is to tell a tale of a tub. I have heard the Protestant ministers in France, by men that were wise, and of their own profession, much blam’d in that they forbad dancing, a recreation to which the genius of that air is so inclining, that they lost many who would not lose that: nor do they less than blame the former determination of rashness, who now gently connive at that which they had so roughly forbidden. These sports in Oceana are so govern’d, that they are pleasing for privat diversion, and profitable to the public: for the theaters soon defray’d their own charge, and now bring in a good revenue. All this is so far from the detriment of virtue, that it is to the improvement of it, seeing women that heretofore made havock of their honors that they might have their pleasures, are now incapable of their pleasures, if they lose their honors.
About the one and fortieth year of the commonwealth, the censors, according to their annual custom, reported the pillar of Nilus, by which it was found that the people were increas’d very near one third. Wherupon the council of war was appointed by the senat to bring in a state of war, and the treasurers the state of the treasury. The state of war, or the pay and charge of an army, was soon after exhibited by the council in this account.
Arms and ammunition are not reckon’d, as those which are furnisht out of the store or arsenal of Emporium: nor waftage, as that which gos upon the account of the fleet, maintain’d by the customs; which customs, thro the care of the council for trade, and growth of traffic, were long since improv’d to about a million revenue. The house being thus inform’d of a state of war, the commissioners brough in
THE State of the Treasury this present Year, being the one and fortieth of the Commonwealth.
RECEIVED from the one and twentieth of this commonwealth, by 700000 l. a year in bank, with the product of the sum rising } 16000000
EXPENDED from the one and twentieth of this Commonwealth.
Remaining in the treasury, the salarys of the exchequer being defalk’d, 12000000
By comparison of which accounts if a war with an army of 80000 men were to be made by the penny, yet was the commonwealth able to maintain such a one above three years without levying a tax. But it is against all experience, sense and reason, that such an army should not be soon broken, or make a great progress; in either of which cases, the charge ceases; or rather if a right course be taken in the latter, profit coms in: for the Romans had no other considerable way but victory wherby to fill their treasury, which nevertheless was seldom emty. Alexander did not consult his purse upon his design for Persia: it is observ’d by Machiavel, that Livy arguing what the event in reason must have bin had that king invaded Rome, and diligently measuring what on each side was necessary to such a war, never speaks a word of mony. No man imagins that the Gauls, Goths, Vandals, Huns, Lombards, Saxons, Normans, made their inroads or conquests, by the strength of the purse; and if it be thought enough, according to the dialect of our age, to say in answer to these things, that those times are past and gon: what mony did the late Gustavus, the most victorious of modern princes, bring out of Sweden with him into Germany? an army that gos upon a golden leg, will be as lame as if it were a wooden one; but proper forces have nerves and muscles in them, such for which, having four or five millions, a sum easy enough, with a revenue like this of Oceana, to be had at any time in readiness, you need never, or very rarely charge the people with taxes. What influence the commonwealth by such arms has had upon the world, I leave to historians, whose custom it has bin of old, to be as diligent observers of foren actions, as careless of those domestic revolutions which (less pleasant it may be, as not partaking so much of the romance) are to statesmen of far greater profit; and this fault, if it be not mine, is so much more frequent with modern writers, as has caus’d me to undertake this work; on which to give my own judgment, it is perform’d as much above the time I have bin about it, as below the dignity of the matter.
But I cannot depart out of this country, till I have taken leave of my lord Archon, a prince of immense felicity, who having built as high with his counsils, as he dig’d deep with his sword, had now seen fifty years measur’d with his own inerring orbs.
Plutarch in the life of Timoleon.TIMOLEON (such a hater of tyrants that not able to persuade his brother Timophanes to relinquish the tyranny of Corinth, he slew him) was afterwards elected by the people (the Sicilians groaning to them from under the like burden) to be sent to their relief: wherupon Teleclides the man at that time of most authority in the commonwealth of Corinth, stood up, and giving an exhortation to Timoleon, how he should behave himself in this expedition, told him, that if he restor’d the Sicilians to liberty, it would be acknowledg’d that he destroy’d a tyrant; if otherwise, he must expect to hear he had murder’d a king. Timoleon taking his leave, with a very small provision for so great a design, pursu’d it with a courage not inferior to, and a felicity beyond any that had bin known to that day in mortal flesh, having in the space of eight years utterly rooted out of all Sicily those weeds of tyranny, thro the detestation wherof men fled in such abundance from their native country, that whole citys were left desolat; and brought it to such a pass, that others thro the fame of his virtues, and the excellency of the soil, flock’d as fast from all quarters to it, as to the garden of the world: while he, being presented by the people of Syracusa with his town-house, and his country retreat, the sweetest places in either, liv’d with his wife and children a most quiet, happy, and holy life; for he attributed no part of his success to himself, but all to the blessing and providence of the Gods. As he past his time in this manner, admir’d and honour’d by mankind, Laphistius an envious demagog, going to summon him upon som pretence or other to answer for himself before the assembly, the people fell into such a mutiny, as could not be appeas’d but by Timoleon, who understanding the matter, reprov’d them, by repeating the pains and travel which he had gone thro, to no other end than that every man might have the free use of the laws. Wherfore when Dæmenetus another demagog, had brought the same design about again, and blam’d him impertinently to the people for things which he did when he was general. Timoleon answer’d nothing, but raising up his hands, gave the Gods thanks for their return to his frequent prayers, that he might but live to see the Syracusians so free, that they could question whom they pleas’d.
Not long after, being old, thro som natural imperfection, he fell blind; but the Syracusians by their perpetual visits held him, tho he could not see, their greatest object: if there arriv’d strangers, they brought him to see this sight. Whatever came in debate at the assembly, if it were of small consequence, they determin’d it themselves; but if of importance, they always sent for Timoleon; who being brought by his servants in a chair, and set in the middle of the theater, there ever followed a great shout, after which som time was allow’d for the benedictions of the people; and then the matter propos’d, when Timoleon had spoken to it, was put to the suffrage; which given, his servants bore him back in his chair, accompany’d by the people clapping their hands, and making all expressions of joy and applause, till leaving him at his house, they return’d to the dispatch of their business. And this was the life of Timoleon, till he dy’d of age, and drop’d like a mature fruit while the eye of the people were as the showers of autumn.
The life and death of my lord Archon (but that he had his senses to the last, and that his character, as not the restorer, but the founder of a commonwealth, was greater) is so exactly the same, that (seeing by men wholly ignorant of antiquity, I am accus’d of writing romance) I shall repeat nothing: but tell you that this year the whole nation of Oceana, even to the women and children, were in mourning, where so great or sad a funeral pomp had never bin seen or known. Somtime after the performance of the exequys, a Colossus, mounted on a brazen horse of excellent fabric, was erected in the piazza of the pantheon, ingrav’d with this inscription on the eastern side of the pedestal:
HIS NAME IS AS PRECIOUS OINTMENT.
And on the Western with the following:
Piæ & Perpetuæ Memoriæ
OLPHAUS MEGALETOR LordArchon,and soleLegislatorof OCEANA.
THE PREROGATIVE of POPULAR GOVERNMENT.
BEING A POLITICAL DISCOURSE IN TWO BOOKS.
Concerning the first Preliminary of Oceana, inlarg’d, interpreted, and vindicated from all such Mistakes or Slanders as have bin alleg’d against it under the Notion of Objections.
Concerning Ordination, against Dr. H. Hammond, Dr. L. Seaman, and the Authors they follow.
In which two Books is contain’d the whole Commonwealth of the Hebrews, or of Israel, Senat, People, and Magistracy, both as it stood in the Institution by Moses, and as it came to be form’d after the Captivity.
As also the different Policys introduc’d into the Church of Christ, during the Time of the Apostles.
Without Council Purposes are disappointed; but in the Multitude of Counsillors they are established.
La multitudine è piu Savia è piu costante ch’un Principe.
EPISTLE to the READER.
WHOSOEVER sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made he man. If this rule holds as well in shedding the blood of a Turk as of a Christian, then that wherin man is the image of God is REASON. Of all controversys those of the pen are the most honorable: for in those of force, there is more of the image of the beast, but in those of the pen there is more of the image of God. In the controversys of the sword, there is but too often no other reason than force; but the controversy of the pen has never any force but reason. Of all controversys of the pen next those of religion, those of government are the most honorable, and the most useful; the true end of each, tho in a different way, being that the will of God may be don in earth as it is in heaven. Of all controversys of government, those in the vindication of popular government are the most noble, as being that constitution alone, from whence all we have that is good is descended to us; and which, if it had not existed, mankind at this day had bin but a herd of beasts. The prerogative of popular government must either be in an ill hand, or else it is a game against which there is not a card in the whole pack; for we have the books of Moses, those of the Greecs and of the Romans, not to omit Machiavel, all for it. What have the asserters of monarchy; what can they have against us? a sword; but that rusts, or must have a scabbard; and the scabbard of this kind of sword is a good frame of government.
A MAN may be possest of a piece of ground by force, but to make use or profit of it, he must build upon it, and till it by reason; for whatever is not founded upon reason, cannot be permanent. In reason there are two parts, invention and judgment: as to the latter, in a multitude of counsillors (say both Solomon and Machiavel) there is strength. Nay as for judgment, there is not that order in art or nature that can compare with a popular assembly. THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE IS THE VOICE OF GOD. Hence it is that in all well-order’d policys the people have the ultimat result: but unless there be som other to invent, a popular assembly can be of no effect at all but confusion. Invention is a solitary thing. All the physicians in the world put together, invented not the circulation of the blood, nor can invent any such thing, tho in their own art; yet this was invented by one alone, and being invented is unanimously voted and embrac’d by the generality of physicians. The plow and wheels were at first, you must think, the invention of some rare artists; but who or what shall ever be able to tear the use of them from the people? hence, where government is at a loss, a sole legislator is of absolute necessity; nay where it is not at a loss, if well model’d as in Venice, the proposers, tho frequently changeable, as in that case is necessary, are very few, as the counsillors, the savi, the provosts. Wherever a commonwealth is thus propos’d to, the balance or popular assembly will do her duty to admiration, but till then never. Yet so it has bin with us of late years, that altho in royal authority there was no more than the right of proposing, and the king himself was to stand (legibus & consuetudinibus quas vulgus elegerit) to the result of the people, yet the popular council has bin put upon invention, and they that have bin the prevailing party have us’d means to keep the result to themselves, quite contrary to the nature of popular administration. Let one speak, and the rest judg. Of whatever any one man can say or do, mankind is the natural and competent judg, in which is contain’d the very reason of parlaments; thro the want of understanding this came in confusion. Man that is in honor, and has no understanding, is like the beasts that perish. Nor can we possibly return to order, but by mending the hedg where it was broken. A prudent, intire and fit proposition made to a free parlament, recovers all. To them who are of the greatest eminency or authority in a commonwealth, belongs naturally that part of reason which is invention; and using this, they are to propose: but what did our grandees ever invent or propose, that might shew so much as that themselves knew what they would be at? and yet how confidently do they lay the fault upon the people, and their unfitness, forsooth, for government: in which they are wondrous wise! for, this I will boldly say, Where there was an aristocracy that perform’d their duty, there never was, nor ever can be a people unfit for government; but on the contrary, where the aristocracy have fail’d, the people being once under orders, have held very often. But while they are not under orders, if they fail it is not their fault, but the fault of the aristocracy; for who else should model a government but men of experience? there is not in England, I speak it to their shame, one Grandee that has any perfect knowledge of the orders of any one commonwealth that ever was in the world. Away with this same grave complexion, this huff of wisdom maintain’d by making faces. The people cannot do their duty consisting in judgment, but by virtue of such orders as may bring them together, and direct them; but the duty of the aristocracy consisting in invention, may be don by any one man, and in his study; and where is that one man among all the grandees that studys? they are so far from knowing their own duty, that a man for proposing that in which none can find a flaw, has don enough to be ridiculous to them, who are themselves ridiculous to the whole world, in that they could never yet propose any thing that would hold.
BUT if this amounts to a demonstration, it amounts to a clear detection of your profound grandees, and a full proof that they are phanatical persons, state jesuits, such as have reduc’d the politics to mental reservation, and implicit faith in their nods or nightcaps.
GOD, to propose his commandments to the people of Israel, wrote them on two tables; the Decemviri to propose their commandments to the people of Rome, wrote them on twelve tables; the Athenians propos’d in writing, sign’d with the name of the particular inventor; after this pattern do the Venetians, as was said, the same at this day. But no goosquill, no scribling: your grandees are above this.
MOSES, who was the first writer in this kind, shall be pardon’d; but Machiavel, the first in later times that has reviv’d his principles, or trod in his steps, is deservedly pelted for it by sermons. They are not for the Scripture, but the cabala.
I WILL tell you a story out of Boccalini: Apollo having spy’d the philosopher and great master of silence Harpocrates in the court of Parnassus, us’d such importunity with him, that for once he was persuaded to speak; upon which such apparent discovery was made of the hypocrite, and the gross ignorance he had so long harbor’d under a deceitful silence, that he was immediately banish’d the court. Were there cause, I could be modest; but this virtue, to the diminution of sound and wholsom principles, would be none: wherfore let a grandee write, and I will shew you Harpocrates.
THUS having sufficiently defy’d Sir Guy, I may with the less impeachment of reputation descend to Tom Thum. Not that I hold my self a fit person to be exercis’d with boys play, but that som, who should have more wit, have so little as to think this somthing. A good ratcatcher is not so great a blessing to any city, as a good jugglercatcher would be to this nation. Now because I want an office, I shall shew my parts to my country, and how fit I am for the white staff, or long pole of so worshipful a preferment.
Ridiculus ne sis, esto.
THE FIRST BOOK, CONTAINING
The first Preliminary of Oceana, inlarg’d, interpreted, and vindicated from all such Mistakes or Slanders as have bin alleg’d against it under the Notion of Objections.
A full Answer to all such Objections as have hitherto bin made against Oceana.
NEITHER the author or authors of the considerations upon Oceana, nor any other, have yet so much as once pretended one contradiction or one inequality to be in the whole commonwealth. Now this is certain, That frame of government which is void of any contradiction, or any inequality, is void of all internal causes of dissolution, and must, for so much as it imbraces, have attain’d to full perfection. This by wholesale is a full answer to the considerations, with all other objections hitherto; and will be (with any man that comprehends the nature of government) to thousands of such books, or myriads of such tittle tattle. Nevertheless, because every man is not provided with a sum, in the following discourse I shall comply with them that must have things by retail, or somwhat for their farthing.
[* ]Sellis Curulibus. Grot.
[* ]Quirites, regem create; ita patribus visum est: Tullum Hostilium regem populus jussit. Patres authotes facti.
[† ]Ut ad Romulo traditum, suffiagium viritim eadem vi, eodemque jure omnibus datum est.
[‡ ]Hunc annum infignem maximè comitia tributa efficiunt res major victoriâ suscepti certaminis quam usu. plus enim dignitatis comitiis ipsis detractum est, patribus ex concilio submovendis, quam virium aut plebi additum aut demtum patribus.
[* ]Lontana della fede degli huomini.
[§ ]Populus Romanus per classes divisus erat, & pro patrimonii facultate censebantur; ex iis, omnes quibus res erat, ad militiam ducebantur; diligenter enim pro victoria laborabant, qui ex libertate bona patriam defendebant: illi autem quibus nullæ opes erant, caput suum, quod solum possidebant, censebantur, & belli tempore in mœnibus residebant; facile enim poterant existere proditores, quia egestas hand facile habetur sine damno. Hos igitur Marius, quibus non fuerat resp. committenda, duxit ad bellum.
[* ]Sellis Curulibu
[* ]Nuper divitiæ avaritiam, & abundantes voluptates desiderium, per luxum atque libidinem, pereundi perdendique omnia invexere. Liv. in Præf.
[† ]Curiatis Comitiis.
[* ]Dictatoris imperium quasi numen. Liv.
[* ]Et videat dictator ne quid respub. detrimenti capiat.
[† ]Questi tali sono pernitiosi in ogni republica, & in ogni provincia.
[‡ ]Lequali tutte insieme sono la corruttela del mondo.
[* ]Egestas haud facile habetur sine damno.
[* ]Qui serè semper regebantur à multitudine magis quam regebant.
[* ]Ut fratrem Pollux alterna morte redemit.
[* ]Comitiis Curiatis.
[‡ ]Eo nuncio erecti patres, erecta plebs. Sed patribus nimis luxuriosa ea fuit lætitia; plebi, cui ad eam diem summâ ope inservitum erat, injuriæ à primoribus fieri cœpére. Liv. l. 2.
[§ ]Se foris pio libertate & imperio dimicantes, domi a civibus captos & oppressos esse: tutioremque in bello quam in pace, inter hostes quam inter cives, libertarem plebis esse.
[* ]Patres militatent, patres arma caperent, ut penes eosdem pericula belli, penes quos præmia, essent.
[* ]Nam cum primus instituisset Theopompus ut Ephori Lacedæmone crearentur, ita futuri regiæ potestati oppositi quemadmodam Romæ Tribuni plebis consulari imperio sunt objecti; atque illi uxor dixisset, id egisse illum ut fihis minorem potestatem relinqueret: Relinquam, inquit, sed diuturniorem. Optime quidem: Ea enim denium tuta est potentia, quæ virious suis modum imponit. Theopompus igitur legitimis regnum vinculis constringendo, quo longius à licentia retraxit, hoc propius ad benevolentiam civium admovit. Val. Max l. 4. c. 1. de externis, § 8.
[† ]Inertissimi nobiles, in quibus, sicut in statua, præter nomen nihil erat additamenti.
[* ]Binis Comitiis.
[* ]Che la multitudine è piu savia & piu constante che un prencipe.
[* ]Quello appresso il quale e la somma autorita di tutta la città, e delle leggi & decreti, de i quali pende l’autorità cosi del senato come ancora di tutti i magistrati, e il consiglio grande.
[† ]Ante omnes de provocatione adversus magistratus ad populum, sacrandoque cum bonis capite ejus, qui regni occupandi consillia iniisiet.
[* ]Diem dicere.
[* ]To love and not injoy, is the way to break one’s heart.
[* ]Assueti more regio vivere—inter se conquerebantur—Regem hominem esse à quo impetres ubi jos, ubi injuria opus sit; esse grat æ locum, esse beneficio; & irasci & ignoscere posre; inter amicum & inimicum di crimen nosse. Leges rem surdam, inexorabilem esse; salubriorem, melioremque inopi quam potenti; nihil laxamenti nec veniæ habere, si modum excesseris; periculosum esse in tot humanis erroribus sola innocentia vivere. Liv. l. 2.
[* ]Ut male posuimus initia, sic cætera sequuntur. Cic.
[* ]Per χει[Editor: illegible character]οτο[Editor: illegible character]αν.
[§ ]Curiatis comitiis.
[† ]Marcus Curius Consul cum subitum delectum edicere coactus esset, & juniorum nemo respondisset, conjectis in sortem omnibus, Polliæ quæ proxima exierat, primum nomen urnâ extractum citari jussit, neque eo respondente, bona adolescentis hasta subjecit. Val.
[† ]Quod per magnos tumultus fieri soiitum erat, justitio indicto, delectus sine vacationibus habitus est. Liv.
[* ]Tres tribuni, potestate consulari, documento fuêre, quàm plurium imperium bello inutile esset; tendendo ad sua quisque consilia, cum alii aliud videretu, aperuerunt ad occasionem, locum hosti.
[§ ]Saluberrimum in administratione magnarum rerum, summam imperii apud unum esse.
[† ]Senatus justitium indici, delectum omnis generis hominum haberi jussit: nec ingenui modo, & juniores sacramento adacti sunt, sed seniorum etiam cohortes factæ.
[* ]Nos magis patronatum orbis terrarum suscepimus, quam imperium.
[* ]This by the pay of a parlamentary army, is demonstrated in the corollary.
[* ]Questo taglioli le gambe da montar in cielo.
[* ]Nemo unquam imperium flagi io quæsitum bonis artibus exercuit.
[* ]Curiatis, centuriatis, & tributis comitiis.
[* ]The Scotish royal line.