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Trad. But, what do you hear in the Exchange? I conceive you trade in knowledge, and here is no place to traffick for it; neither in the book of rates is there any imposition upon such commodities : So that you have no great business either here, or at the custom-house. Come, let us go into the fields ; I am a traveller, and can tell you strange news, and much knowledge; and I have brought it over the sea, without paying any custom, though it be worth all the merchandise in the world.
Schol. We scholars love to hear news, and to learn knowledge ; I will wait upon you, go whither you will.
Trav. Well, we will go into Moorfields, and take a turn or two; there we shall be out of this noise, and throng of people.
Schol. Agreed; but, as we go, what good news do you hear of the parliament
Trav. I hear that they are generally bent to make a good reformation; but that they have some stops and hinderances, so that they cannot make such quick dispatch as they would ; and if any experience, which I have learned in my long travels, may stand them in stead, I would willingly impart it for the publick good.
Schol. I like that well; I pray you declare some good experience, that I may say that I have gained something by the company of travellers.
Trav. In a kingdom called Macaria, the king and the governors do live in great honour and riches, and the people do live in great plenty, prosperity, health, peace, and happiness, and have not half so much trouble as they have in these European countries.
Schol. That seemeth to me impossible : You travellers must take heed of two things principally in your relations ; first, that you say nothing that is generally deemed impossible ; secondly, that your relation hath no contradiction in it, or else all men will think that you make use of the traveller's privilege, to wit, to lye by authority.'
Trav. If I co'ild change all the minds in England, as easily as, I suppose, I shall change yours, this kingdom would be presently like to it: When you hear the manner of their government, you will deem it to be very possible, and, withal, very easy,
Schol. I pray you, declare the manner of their government, for I think long till I hear it.
Trav. As for brevity in discourse, I shall answer your desire. They have a great 'council, like to the parliament of England; but it sitteth once a year for a short space, and they hear no complaints against any but ministers of state, judges, and officers ; those they trounce soundly, if there be cause : Besides, they have five under councils ; to wit
A Council of Husbandry.
These sit once a year, for a short space, and have power to hear and determine, and to punish malefactors severely, and to reward benefactors honourably, and to make new laws, not repugnant to the laws of the great council, for the whole kingdom, like as court-leets and corporations have, within their own precincts and liberties, in England.
Schol. I pray you, Sir, declare some of the principal laws made by those councils.
Trav. The Council of Husbandy hath ordered, that the twentieth part of every man's goods, that dieth, shall be employed about the improving of lands, and making highways fair, and bridges over rivers; by which means the whole kingdom is become like to a fruitful garden, the highways are paved, and are as fair as the streets of a city ; and, as for bridges over rivers, they are so high, that none are ever drowned in their travels.
Also, they have established a law, that, if any man holdeth more land than he is able to improve to the utmost, he shall be admonished, first, of the great hinderance which it doth to the commonwealth ; secondly, of the prejudice to himself; and if he do not amend his husbandry, within a year's space, there is a penalty set upon him, which is yearly doubled, till his lands be forfeited, and he banished out of the kingdom, as an enemy to the commonwealth.
In the Council of Fishing, there are laws established, whereby im. mense riches are yearly drawn out of the ocean.
In the Council of Trade by Land, there are established laws, so that there are not too many tradesmen, nor too few, by enjoying longer or shorter times of apprentiships.
In the Council of Trade by Sea, there is established a law, that all traffick is lawful, which may inrich the kingdom.
In the Council for new Plantations, there is established a law, that every year a certain number shall be sent out, strongly fortified, and provided for at the publick charge, till such times as they may subsist by their own endeavours : And this number is set down by the said council, wherein they take diligent notice of the surplusage of people that may be spared.
Schol. But you spoke of peace to be permanent in that kingdom, how can that be?
Trav. Very easily, for they have a law, that, if any prince shall attempt any invasion, his kingdom shall be a lawful prize: And the inhabitants of this happy country are so numerous, strong, and rich, that they have destroyed some, without any considerable resistance; and the rest take warning.
Schol. But you spoke of health, how can that be procured by a better way, than we have here in England ?
Trav. Yes, very easily; for they have an house, or College of Experience, where they deliver out, yearly, such medicines as they find out by experience; and all such as shall be able to demonstrate any experiment, for the health or wealth of men, are honourably rewarded at the publick charge, by which their skill in husbandy, physick, and surgery, is most excellent.
Schol. But this is against physicians.
Trav. In Macaria, the parson of every parish is a good physician, aud doth execute both functions ; to wit, cura animarum, cura corporum *; and they think it as absurd for a divine to be without the skill of physick, as it is to put new wine into old bottles; and the physicians, being true naturalists, may as well become good divines, as the divines do become good physicians.
Schol. But you spoke of the great facility that these men have in their functions, how can that be?
Trav. Very easily; for the divines, by reason that the society of experiments is liable to an action, if they shall deliver out any false receipt, are not troubled to try conclusions, or experiments, but only to consider of the diversity of natures, complexions, and constitutions, which they are to know, for the cure of souls, as well as of budies.
Schol. I know divers divines in England that are physicians, and therefore I hold well with this report: and I would that all were such, for they have great estim ition with the people, and can rule them at their pleasure.
But how cometh the facility of becoming good divines ? ! Trav. They are all of approved ability in human learning, before they take in hand that function; and then they have such rules, that they need no considerable study to accomplish all knowledge fit for divines, by reason that there is no diversity of opinions amongst them.
Schol. How can that be ?
Trav. Very easily; for they have a law, that, if any divine shall publish a new opinion to the common people, he shall be accounted a disturber of the publick peace, and shall suffer death for it.
Schol. But that is the way to keep them in error perpetually, if they be once in it.
Trad. You are deceived; for, if any one hath conceived a new opinion, he is allowed every year freely to dispute it before the great council; if he overcome his adversaries, or such as are appointed to be opponents, then it is generally received for truth; if he be overcome, then it is declared to be false.
Schol. It seemeth that they are Christians by your relation of the parochial ministers, but whether are they Protestants or Papists?
Trav. Their religion consists not in taking notice of several opinions and sects, but is made up of infallible tenets, which may be proved by invincible arguments, and such as will abide the grand test of extreme dispute ; by which means none have power to stir up schisms and heresies ; neither are any of their opinions ridiculous to those who are of contrary minds.
Schol. But you spoke of great honour, which the governors have in the kingdom of Macaria.
Trav. They must needs receive great honour of the people, by reason that there is no injustice done, or very seldom, perhaps once
in an age.
• The care both of souls and bodies.
Schol. But how come they by their great riches which you speak of?
Trad. It is holden a principal policy in state, to allow to the ministers of state, judges, and chief officers, great revenues ; for that, in case they do not their duty, in looking to the kingdom's safety, for conscience-sake, yet they may do it for fear of losing their own great estates.
Schol. But how can the King of Macaria be so rich as you speak of?
Trad. He taketh a strict course that all his crown lands be improved to the utmost, as forests, parks, chaces, &c. by which means his revenues are so great, that he seldom needeth to put impositions upon bis subjects, by reason he hath seldom any wars; and, if there be cause, the subjects are as ready to give, as he to demand; for they hold it to be a principal policy in state, to keep the King's coffers full, and so full, that it is an astonishment to all invaders.
Schol. But, how cometh the King's great honour which you speak of
Trav. Who can but love and honour such a prince, who, in his tender and parental care of the publick good of his loving subjects, useth no pretences for realities, like to some princes, in their acts of state, edicts, and proclamations ?
Schol. But you travellers must take heed of contradictions in your relations ; you have affirmed, that the governors in Macaria have not half so much trouble, as you have in these European kingdoms, and yet by your report they have a great council, like to our parliament in England, which sits once a year; besides that, they have five under-councils, which sit once a year; then how cometh this facility in government ?
Trav. The great council heareth no complaints, but against ministers of state, judges, and chief officers; these, being sure to be trounced once a year, do never, or very seldom, offend : So that their meeting is rather a festivity, than a trouble. And, as for the judges and chief officers, there is no hope that any man can prevail in his suit by bribery, favour, or corrupt dealing; so that they have few causes to be troubled withal. Schol. I have read over Sir Thomas Moore's Utopia, and
Lord Bacon's New Atalantis, which he called so in imitation of Plato's old one; but none of them giveth me satisfaction, how the kingdom of England may be happy, so much as this discourse, which is brief and pithy, and easy to be effected, if all men be willing.
Trao. You divines have the sway of men's minds, you may as easily persuade them to good as to bad, to truth as well as to falshood.
Schol. Well, in my next sermon I will make it manifest, that those, that are against this honourable design, are, first, enemies to God and goodness ; secondly, enemies to the commonwealth ; thirdly, enemies to themselves and their posterity.
Trav. And you may put in, that they are enemies to the King and his posterity, and so, consequently, traitors; for he that would not have
the King's honour and riches to be advanced, and his kingdom to be permanent to him, and to his heirs, is a traitor, or else I know not what a traitor meaneth.
Schol. Well, I see that the cause is not in God, but in men's fooleries, that the people live in misery in this world, when they may so easily be relieved ; I will join my forces with you, and we will try a conclusion, to make ourselves and posterity to be happy.
Trav. Well, what will you do towards the work?
Schol. I have told you before, I will publish it in my next sermon, and I will use means that, in all visitations and meetings of divines, they may be exhorted to do the like.
Trav. This would do the feat, but that the divines in England, having not the skill of physick, are not so highly esteemed, nor bear so great a sway as they do in Macaria.
Schol. Well, what will you do towards the work ?
Trav. I will propound a book of husbandry * to the high court of parliament, whereby the kingdom may maintain double the number. of people, which it doth now, and in more plenty and prosperity than now they enjoy.
Schol. That is excellent; I cannot conceive, but that, if a kinga dom may be improved to maintain twice as many people as it did before, it is as good as the conquest of another kingdom, as great, if not better.
Trav. Nay, it is certainly better; for, when the towns are thin and far distant, and the people scarce and poor, the King cannot raise men and money upon any sudden occasion, without great difficulty.
Schol. Have you a copy of that book of husbandry about you, which is to be propounded to the parliament ?
Trav. Yes, here is a copy; peruse it, whilst I go about a little business, Well, have you perused my book?
Schol. Yes, Sir, and find that you shew the transmutation of sublunary bodies, in such a manner, that any man may be rich that will be industrious ; you shew also, how great cities, which formerly devoured the fatness of the kingdom, may yearly make a considerable retribution without any man's prejudice, and your demonstrations are infallible ; this book will certainly be highly accepted by the highe court of parliament.
Trav. Yes, I doubt it not, for I have shewed it to divers parliamento men, who have all promised me fair, as, soon as a seasonable time cometh for such occasions,
Schol. Were I a parliament-man, I would labour to have this book to be dispatched, the next thing that is done ; for, with all my seven liberal arts I cannot discover, how any business can be of more weight than this, wherein the publick good is so greatly furthered; which to further, we are all bound by the law of God and nature.
Trav. If this conference be seriously considered of, it is no laughing-matter; for you hear of the combustions in France, Spain, Germany, and other christian countries; you know that a house
• This elludes to Hartlib's book of Husbandry, which was offered with such proposals.