Portrait of John Milton

Milton argues that a Monarchy wants the people to be prosperous only so it can better fleece them (1660)

Found in: The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth

In the year that the English Commonwealth was replaced by the restored monarchy of the Stuarts (1660), the poet and revolutionary politician John Milton (1608-1674) contrasts a Commonwealth, which wants its people to flourish for their own sakes, with a Monarchy, which wants them to be prosperous so it can fleece them:

Presidents, Kings, Tyrants, & Despots

[F]or of all governments a Commonwealth aims most to make the people flourishing, vertuous, noble and high spirited. Monarchs will never permitt: whose aim is to make the people, wealthy indeed perhaps and wel-fleec’t for thir own shearing , and [for] the supply of regal prodigalitie; but otherwise softest, basest, vitiousest, servilest, easiest to be kept under; and not only in fleece, but in minde also sheepishest.