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176.–LABOUR IN UTOPIA.

SIR T. MORE. Sin THOMAS MORE is one of those few statesmen who have won the affection of the readers of history. In him we see no intrigue and double-dealing, the orator is yet "friend to truth." Erasmus has described the beautiful domestic life of this lord chancellor : “ with him you might imagine yourself in the academy of Plato. But I should do injustice to his house by comparing it to the academy of Plato, where numbers and geometrical figures, and sometimes moral virtues, were the subjects of discussion: it would be more just to call it a school and an exercise of the Christian religion. All its inhabitants, male and female, applied their leisure to liberal studies and profitable reading, although piety was their first care. No wrangling, no angry word, was heard in it; no one was idle; every one did his duty with alacrity, and not without a temperate cheerfulness."

Thomas More, the son of Sir John More, one of the justices of the Court of King's Bench, was born in 1480; was first taught at St. Anthony's School in Threadneedle Street; and finished his education at Oxford. He attained to the highest reputation at the bar; was employed by Henry VIII. in various public affairs; and was made chancellor in 1529, on the downfall of Wolsey. More's conscientious scruples as to the divorce of Henry, and as to his ecclesiastical supremacy, brought him to the block on the absurd charge of high treason. He was beheaded on the 6th of July, 1535. His · Utopia,' written in Latin, was published in 1516. The extract which we give is from the old translation by Robinson, published in 1551. This philosophical romance contains many just maxims on morals and government, mixed with some theories which More's judgment must have shown him to be impracticable.]

Husbandry is a science common to them all in general, both men and women, wherein they be all expert and cunning. In this they be all instructed even from their youth: partly in their schools with traditions and precepts, and partly in the country nigh the city, brought up as it were in playing, not only beholding the use of it, but by occasion of exercising their bodies, practising it also. Besides husbandry, which (as I said) is common to them all, every one of them learneth one or other several and particular science, as his own proper craft. That is, most commonly, either cloth-working in wool or flax, or masonry, or the smith's craft, or the carpenter's science : fur there is none other occupation that any number, to speak of, doth use there.

For their garments, these throughout all the island be of one fashion (saving that there is a difference between the man's garment and the woman's, between the married and the unmarried); and this one continueth for evermore unchanged, seemly and comely to the eye, no let to the moving and welding of the body, also fit both for winter and summer : as for these garments (I say), every family maketh their own. But of the other foresaid crafts, every man learneth one ; and not only the men but also the women. But the women, as the weaker sort, be put to the easier crafts, as to work wool and flax. The more laborious sciences be committed to the men. For the most part every man is brought up in his father's craft; for most commonly they be naturally thereto bent and inclined. But if a man's mind stand to any other, he is by adoption put into a family of that occupation which he doth most fancy. Whom not only his father, but also the magistrate, do diligently look to,

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that he be put to a discreet and an honest householder. Yea, and if any person, when he hath learned one craft, be desirous to learn also another, he is likewise suffered and permitted. When he hath learned both, he occupieth whether he will, unless the city hath more need of the one than the other. The chief and almost the only office of the Siphogrants is, to see and take heed that no man sit idle, but that every one apply his own craft with earnest diligence. And yet for all that, not to be wearied from early in the morning to late in the evening with continual work, like labouring and toiling beasts. For this is worse than the miserable and wretched condition of bondmen.

Which, nevertheless, is almost every where the life of workmen and artificers, saving in Utopia. For they, dividing the day and the night into twenty-four just hours, appoint and assign only six of those hours to work; three of those hours before noon, upon the which they go straight to dinner ; and after dinner, when they have rested two hours, then they work three hours, and upon that they go to supper. About eight of the clock in the evening (counting one of the clock the first hour after noon) they go to bed : eight hours they give to sleep. All the void time that is between the hours of work, sleep, and meat, that they be suffered to bestow every man as he liketh best himself. Not to the intent that they should misspend this time in riot or slothfulness ; but being then licensed from the labour of their own occupations, to bestow the time well and thriftily upon some other science, as shall please them; for it is a solemn custom there to have lectures daily, early in the morning, whereto they only be constrained to be present that be chosen and appointed to learning. Howbeit, a great multitude of every sort of people, both men and women, go to hear lectures, some one and some another, as every man's nature is inclined. Yet, this notwithstanding, if any man had rather bestow this time upon his own occupation, as it chanceth in many (whose minds rise not in the contemplation of any science liberal), he is not letted or prohibited, but is also praised and commended, as profitable to the commonwealth. After supper they bestow one hour in play; in summer in their gardens, in winter in their common halls, where they dine and sup. There they exercise themselves in music, or else in honest and wholesome communication. Dice-play, and such other foolish and pernicious games they know not; but they use two games, not much unlike the chess.

The one is the battle of numbers, wherein one number stealeth away another. The other is where vices fight with virtues, as it were in battle array on a set field. In the which game is very properly showed, both the strife and discord that the vices have among themselves, and again, their unity and concord against virtues. And also, what vices be repugnant to what virtues : with what power and strength they assail them openly : by what wiles and subtilty they assault them secretly: with what help and aid the virtues resist and overcome the puissance of the vices: by what craft they frustrate their purposes : and finally by what sleight or means the one getteth the victory. But here, lest you be deceived, one thing you must look more narrowly upon. For seeing they bestow but six hours in work, perchance you may think that the lack of some necessary things thereof may ensue. But this is nothing so ; for that small time is not only enough, but also too much for the store and abundance of all things that be requisite, either for the necessity or commodity of life. The which thing you also shall perceive, if you weigh and consider with yourselves how great a part of the people in other countries liveth idle. First, almost all women, which be the half of the whole number: or else, if the women be somewhere occupied, there most commonly in their stead the men be idle. Besides this, how great and how idle a company is there of priests and religious men, as they call them; put thereto all rich men, specially all landed men, which commonly be called gentlemen and noblemen-take into this pumber also their servants:

I mean all that flock of stout bragging rushbucklers. Join to them also sturdy and valiant beggars, cloaking their idle life under the colour of some disease or sickness.

And truly you shall find them much fewer than you thought, by whose labour all these things are wrought, that in men's affairs are now daily used and frequented. Now, consider within yourself, of these few that do work, how few be occupied in necessary work. For where money beareth all the swing, there many vain and superfluous occupations must needs be used to serve only for riotous superfluity, and unhonest pleasure : for the same multitude that now is occupied in work, if they were divided into so few occupations, as the necessary use of nature requireth, in so great plenty of things as then of necessity would ensue, doubtless the prices would be too little for the artificers to maintain their livings.

But if all these, that be now busied about unprofitable occupations, with all the whole flock of them that live idly and slothfully, which consume and waste every one of them more of these things that come by other men's labour, than two of the workmen themselves do: if all these (I say) were set to profitable occupations, you casily perceive how little time would be enough, yea, and too much, to store us with all things that may be requisite either for necessity or commodity, yea, or for pleasure, so that the same pleasure be true and natural. And this in Utopia the thing itself maketh manifest and plain. For there, in all the city, with the whole country or shire adjoining to it, scarcely five hundred persons of all the wholo number of men and women, that be neither too old nor too weak to work, be licensed and discharged from labour. Among them be the Siphogrants, (who, though they be by the laws exempt and privileged from labour,) yet they exempt not themselves : to the intent they may the rather by their example provoke others to work.

The same vacation from labour do they also enjoy, to whom the people, persuaded by the commendation of the priests, and secret election of the Siphogrants, have given a perpetual licence from labour to learning. But if any one of them prove not according to the expectation and hope of him conceived, he is forthwith plucked back to the company of artificers, and contrariwise. And often it chanceth that a handy craftsman doth so earnestly bestow his vacant and spare hours in learning, and through diligence so profiteth therein, that he is taken from his handy occupation and promoted to the company of the learned. Out of this order of the learned be chosen ambassadors, priests, Tranibores, and finally the prince himself. Whom they in their oid tongue call Barzanes, and by a newer name Adamus.

The residue of the people being neither idle, nor yet occupied about unprofitable exercises, it may be easily judged in how few hours how much good work by them may be done and dispatched, towards those things that I have spoken of. This commodity they have also above other, that in the most part of necessary occupations they need not so much work as other nations do. For first of all the building or repairing of houses asketh every where so many men's continual labour, because that the unthrifty heir suffereth the houses that his father builded, in continuance of time, to fall in decay. So that which he might have upholden with little cost, his successor is constrained to build it again anew to his great charge. Yea, many times also, the house that stood one man in much money-another is of so nice and so delicate a mind, that he setteth nothing by it! and it being neglected, and therefore shortly falleth into ruin, he buildeth up another in another place with no less cost and charge.

But among the Utopians, where all things be set in good order, and the commonwealth in a good stay, it seldom chanceth that they choose a new plot to build an house upon. And they do not only find speedy and quick remedies for present faults, but also prevent them that be like to fall. And by this means, their houses continue and last very long with little labour and small reparations ; insomuch, that these kind of workmen sometimes have almost nothing to do. But then they be commanded to hew timber at home, and to square and trim up stones, to the intent that, if any work chance, it may the speedilier rise.

Now, Sir, in their apparel, mark (I pray you) how few workmen they need. First of all, whilst they be at work, they be covered homely with leather, or skins, that will last seven years. When they go forth abroad, they cast upon them a cloak which hideth the other homely apparel. These cloaks throughout the whole island be all of one colour, and that is the natural colour of the wool. They, therefore, do not only spend much less woollen cloth than is spent in other countries, but also the same standeth them in much less cost. But linen cloth is made with much less labour, and is therefore had more in use. But in linen cloth, only whiteness, in woollen, only cleanliness, is regarded. As for the smallness or fineness of the thread, that is nothing passed for. And this is the cause wherefore, in other places, four or five cloth gowns of divers colours, and as many silk coats, be not enough for one man. Yea, and if he be of the delicate and nice sort, ten be too few: whereas there one garment will serve a man most commonly two years; for why should he desire more ? seeing if he had them he should not be the better hapt or covered from cold, neither in his apparel any whit the comelier! Wherefore, seeing they be all exercised in profitable occupations, and that few artificers in the same craft be sufficient : this is the cause that plenty of all things be among them. They do sometimes bring forth an innumerable company of people to amend the highways, if any be broken. Many times also, when they have no such work to be occupied about, an open proclamation is made that they shall bestow fewer hours in work ; for the magistrates do not exercise their citizens against their wills in unneedful labours. For why, in the institution of the weal-public, this end is only and chiefly pretended and minded—that what time may possibly be spared from the necessary occupations and affairs of the commonwealth, all that the citizens should withdraw from the bodily service to the free liberty of the mind, and garnishing of the same, For therein they suppose the felicity of this life to consist.

177.—THE SCHOOL-MISTRESS.

SHENSTONE. [The poems of William Shenstone are well-nigh forgotten. His Damons and Delias, his Corydons and Phillises, belong to another age. This wholesale neglect is not just. Shenstone was a country gentleman of elegant taste, who ruined himself in making his patrimony of the Leasowes, near Hales Owen, the most beautiful of landscape gardens. Here he built and planted, and wrote songs and pastoral ballads. His obelisks and urns have gone to ruin; and when a recent tourist inquired at a bookseller's shop at Hales Owen for a copy of Shenstone's Poems, the worthy lady of the shop said she had never heard of Shenstone, but recommended the works of “Samuel Salt, the Hales Owen tee-total poet." Such is fame. Shenstone was born at the Leasowes in 1714, and there died in 1763. If he had written nothing but the following charming "Imitation of Spenser,' his name ought to be remembered.]

Ah me! full sorely is my lieart forlorn,
To think how modest worth neglected lies;
While partial fame doth with her blasts adorn
Such deeds alone, as pride and pomp disguise;
Deeds of ill sort, and mischievous emprise:
Lend me thy clarion, goddess ! let me try
To sound the praise of merit, ere it dies;

Such as I oft have chanced to espy,
Lost in the dreary shades of dull obscurity,

In every village mark'd with little spire,
Embower'd in trees, and hardly known to fame,
There dwells, in lowly shed, and mean attire,
A matron old, whom we school-mistress name;
Who boasts unruly brats with birch to tame; .
They grieven sore, in piteous durance pent,
Aw'd by the pow'r of this relentless dame;

And oft-times, on vagaries idly bent,
For unkempt hair, or task unconn'd, are sorely shent.

And all in sight doth rise a birchen tree,
Which learning near her little dome did stow;
Whilom a twig of small regard to see,
Though now so wide its waving branches flow;
And work the simple vassals mickle woe;
For not a wind might curl the leaves that blew,
But their limbs shudder'd and their pulse beat low;

And as they look'd, they found their horror grew,
And shaped it into rods, and tingled at the view.

So have I seen, (who has not, may conceive,)
A lifeless phantom near a garden placed;
So doth it wanton birds of peace bereave,
Of sport, of song, of pleasure, of repast;
They start, they stare, they wheel, they look aghast;
Sad servitude! such comfortless annoy
May no bold Briton's riper age e'er taste!

Ne superstition clog his dance of joy,
Ne vision empty, vain, his native bliss destroy.

Near to this dome is found a patch so green,
On which the tribe their gambols do display;
And at the door impris'ning board is seen,
Lest weakly wights of smaller size should stray;
Eager, perdie, to bask in supny day!
The noises intermix’d, which thence resound,
Do learning's little tenement betray:

Where sits the dame, disguised in look profound,
And eyes her fairy throng, and turns her wheel around.

Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,
Emblem right meet of decency does yield;
Her apron dy'd in grain, as blue, I trow,
As is the hare-bell that adorns the field :
And in her hand, for sceptre, she does wield
Tway birchen sprays; with anxious fear entwin'd,
With dark distrust, and sad repentance fill'd;

And stedfast hate, and sharp affliction join'd,
And fury uncontroll’d, and chastisement unkind.

Few but have kend, in semblance meet portray'd,
The childish faces of old Eol's train;
Libs, Notus, Auster: these in frowns array'd,
How then would faro or carth, or sky, or main,

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