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The Commonwealth of Oceana by James Harrington

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Secondly, that they were qualified to the same by election in
their boroughs, and if knights of the shire, as no doubt they
are, be as ancient in the counties. Thirdly if it be a good
argument to say that the commons during the reign of the Teutons
were elected into Parliament because they are so now, and no man
can show when this custom began, I see not which way it should be
an ill one to say that the commons during the reign of the
Teutons constituted also a distinct house because they do so now,
unless any man can show that they did ever sit in the same house
with the lords. Wherefore to conclude this part, I conceive for
these, and other reasons to be mentioned hereafter, that the
Parliament of the Teutons consisted of the King, the lords
spiritual and temporal, and the commons of the nation,
notwithstanding the style of divers acts of Parliament, which
runs, as that of Magna Charta, in the King's name only, seeing
the same was nevertheless enacted by the King, peers, and commons
of the land, as is testified in those words by a subsequent act.

The monarchy of the Teutons had stood in this posture about
220 years; when Turbo, Duke of Neustria, making his claim to the
crown of one of their kings that died childless, followed it with
successful arms, and, being possessed of the kingdom, used it as
conquered, distributing the earldoms, thane-lands, bishoprics,
and prelacies of the whole realm among his Neustrians. From this
time the earl came to be called comes, consul, and dux, though
consul and dux grew afterward out of use; the King's thanes came
to be called barons, and their lands baronies; the middle thane
holding still of a mesne lord, retained the name of vavasor.

The earl or comes continued to have the third part of the
pleas of the county paid to him by the sheriff or vice -- comes,
now a distinct officer in every county depending upon the King;
saving that such earls as had their counties to their own use
were now counts-palatine, and had under the King regal
jurisdiction; insomuch that they constituted their own sheriffs,
granted pardons, and issued writs in their own names; nor did the
King's writ of ordinary justice run in their dominions till a
late statute, whereby much of this privilege was taken away.

For barons they came from henceforth to be in different times
of three kinds: barons by their estates and tenures, barons by
writ, and barons created by letters-patent. From Turbo the first
to Adoxus the seventh king from the Conquest, barons had their
denomination from their possessions and tenures. And these were
either spiritual or temporal; for not only the thanelands, but
the possessions of bishops, as also of some twenty six abbots,
and two priors, were now erected into baronies, whence the lords
spiritual that had suffrage in the Teuton Parliament as spiritual
lords came to have it in the Neustrian Parliament as barons, and
were made subject, which they had not formerly been, to knights'
service in chief. Barony coming henceforth to signify all
honorary possessions as well of earls as barons, and baronage to
denote all kinds of lords as well spiritual as temporal having
right to sit in Parliament, the baronies in this sense were
sometimes more, and sometimes fewer, but commonly about 200 or
250, containing in them a matter of 60,000 feuda militum, or
knights' fees, whereof some 28,000 were in the clergy.

It is ill-luck that no man can tell what the land of a
knight's fee, reckoned in some writs at 40 a year, and in others
at 10, was certainly worth, for by such a help we might have
exactly demonstrated the balance of this government. But, says
Coke, it contained twelve plough-lands, and that was thought to
be the most certain account. But this again is extremely
uncertain; for one plough out of some land that was fruitful
might work more than ten out of some other that was barren.
Nevertheless, seeing it appears by Bracton, that of earldoms and
baronies it was wont to be said that the whole kingdom was
composed, as also that these, consisting of 60,000 knights' fees,
furnished 60,000 men for the King's service, being the whole
militia of this monarchy, it cannot be imagined that the
vavasories or freeholds in the people amounted to any
considerable proportion. Wherefore the balance and foundation of
this government were in the 60,000 knights' fees, and these being
possessed by the 250 lords, it was a government of the few, or of
the nobility, wherein the people might also assemble, but could
have no more than a mere name. And the clergy, holding a third of
the whole nation, as is plain by the Parliament-roll, it is an
absurdity (seeing the clergy of France came first through their
riches to be a state of that kingdom) to acknowledge the people
to have been a state of this realm, and not to allow it to the
clergy, who were so much more weighty in the balance, which is
that of all other whence a state or order in a government is
denominated. Wherefore this monarchy consisted of the King, and
of the three ordines regni, or estates, the lords spiritual and
temporal, and the commons; it consisted of these, I say, as to
the balance, though, during the reign of some of these kings, not
as to the administration.

For the ambition of Turbo, and some of those that more
immediately succeeded him, to be absolute princes, strove against
the nature of their foundation, and, inasmuch as he had divided
almost the whole realm among his Neustrians, with some
encouragement for a while. But the Neustrians, while they were
but foreign plants, having no security against the natives, but
in growing up by their princes' sides, were no sooner well rooted
in their vast dominions than they came up according to the
infallible consequence of the balance domestic, and, contracting
the national interest of the baronage, grew as fierce in the
vindication of the ancient rights and liberties of the same, as
if they had been always natives: whence, the kings being as
obstinate on the one side for their absolute power, as these on
the other for their immunities, grew certain wars, which took
their denomination from the barons.

This fire about the middle of the reign of Adoxus began to
break out. And whereas the predecessors of this King had divers
times been forced to summon councils resembling those of the
Teutons, to which the lords only that were barons by dominion and
tenure had hitherto repaired, Adoxus, seeing the effects of such
dominion, began first not to call such as were barons by writ
(for that was according to the practice of ancient times), but to
call such by writs as were otherwise no barons; by which means,
striving to avoid the consequence of the balance, in coming
unwillingly to set the government straight, he was the first that
set it awry. For the barons in his reign, and his successors,
having vindicated their ancient authority, restored the
Parliament with all the rights and privileges of the same, saving
that from thenceforth the kings had found out a way whereby to
help themselves against the mighty by creatures of their own, and
such as had no other support but by their favor.. By which means
this government, being indeed the masterpiece of modern prudence,
has been cried up to the skies, as the only invention whereby at
once to maintain the sovereignty of a prince and the liberty of
the people. Whereas, indeed, it has been no other than a
wrestling-match, wherein the nobility, as they have been
stronger, have thrown the King, or the King, if he has been
stronger, has thrown the nobility; or the King, where he has had
a nobility, and could bring them to his party has thrown the
people, as in France and Spain; or the people, where they have
had no nobility, or could get them to be of their party, have
thrown the King, as in Holland, and of later times in Oceana.

But they came not to this strength, but by such approaches
and degrees as remain to be further opened. For whereas the
barons by writ, as the sixty-four abbots and thirty-six priors
that were so called, were but pro temp ore, Dicotome, being the
twelfth king from the Conquest, began to make barons by
letters-patent, with the addition of honorary pensions for the
maintenance of their dignities to them and their heirs; so that
they were hands in the King's purse and had no shoulders for his
throne. Of these, when the house of peers came once to be full,
as will be seen hereafter, there was nothing more empty. But for
the present, the throne having other supports, they did not hurt
that so much as they did the King; for the old barons, taking
Dicotome's prodigality to such creatures so ill that they deposed
him, got the trick of it, and never gave over setting up and
pulling down their kings according to their various interests,
and that faction of the White and Red, into which they have been
thenceforth divided, till Panurgus, the eighteenth king from the
Conquest, was more by their favor than his right advanced to the
crown. This King, through his natural subtlety, reflecting at
once upon the greatness of their power, and the inconstancy of
their favor, began to find another flaw in this kind of
government, which is also noted by Machiavel namely, that a
throne supported by a nobility is not so hard to be ascended as
kept warm. Wherefore his secret jealousy, lest the dissension of
the nobility, as it brought him in might throw him out, made him
travel in ways undiscovered by them, to ends as little foreseen
by himself, while to establish his own safety, he, by mixing
water with their wine, first began to open those sluices that
have since overwhelmed not the King only, but the throne. For
whereas a nobility strikes not at the throne, without which they
cannot subsist, but at some king that they do not like, popular
power strikes through the King at the throne, as that which is
incompatible with it. Now that Panurgus, in abating the power of
the nobility, was the cause whence it came to fall into the hands
of the people, appears by those several statutes that were made
in his reign, as that for population, those against retainers,
and that for alienations.

By the statute of population, all houses of husbandry that
were used with twenty acres of ground and upward, were to be
maintained and kept up forever with a competent proportion of
land laid to them, and in no wise, as appears by a subsequent
statute, to be severed. By which means the houses being kept up,
did of necessity enforce dwellers; and the proportion of land to
be tilled being kept up, did of necessity enforce the dweller not
to be a beggar or cottager, but a man of some substance, that
might keep hinds and servants and set the plough a-going. This
did mightily concern, says the historian of that prince, the
might and manhood of the kingdom, and in effect amortize a great
part of the lands to the hold and possession of the yeomanry or
middle people, who living not in a servile or indigent fashion,
were much unlinked from dependence upon their lords, and living
in a free and plentiful manner, became a more excellent infantry,
but such a one upon which the lords had so little power, that
from henceforth they may be computed to have been disarmed.

And as they had lost their infantry after this manner, so
their cavalry and commanders were cut off by the statute of
retainers; for whereas it was the custom of the nobility to have
younger brothers of good houses, mettled fellows, and such as
were knowing in the feats of arms about them, they who were
longer followed with so dangerous a train, escaped not such
punishments as made them take up.

Henceforth the country lives and great tables of the
nobility, which no longer nourished veins that would bleed for
them, were fruitless and loathsome till they changed the air, and
of princes became courtiers; where their revenues, never to have
been exhausted by beef and mutton, were found narrow, whence
followed racking of rents, and at length sale of lands, the
riddance through the statute of alienations being rendered far
more quick and facile than formerly it had been through the new
invention of entails.

To this it happened that Coraunus, the successor of that
King, dissolving the abbeys, brought, with the declining state of
the nobility, so vast a prey to the industry of the people, that
the balance of the commonwealth was too apparently in the popular
party to be unseen by the wise Council of Queen Parthenia, who,
converting her reign through the perpetual love tricks that
passed between her and her people into a kind of romance, wholly
neglected the nobility. And by these degrees came the House of
Commons to raise that head, which since has been so high and
formidable to their princes that they have looked pale upon those
assemblies. Nor was there anything now wanting to the destruction
of the throne, but that the people, not apt to see their own
strength, should be put to feel it; when a prince, as stiff in
disputes as the nerve of monarchy was grown slack, received that
unhappy encouragement from his clergy which became his utter
ruin, while trusting more to their logic than the rough
philosophy of his Parliament, it came to an irreparable breach;
for the house of peers, which alone had stood in this gap, now
sinking down between the King and the commons, showed that
Crassus was dead and the isthmus broken. But a monarchy, divested
of its nobility, has no refuge under heaven but an army.
Wherefore the dissolution of this government caused the war, not
the war the dissolution of this government.

Of the King's success with his arms it is not necessary to
give any further account than that they proved as ineffectual as
his nobility; but without a nobility or an army (as has been
shown) there can be no monarchy. Wherefore what is there in
nature that can arise out of these ashes but a popular
government, or a new monarchy to be erected by the victorious

To erect a monarchy, be it never so new, unless like
Leviathan you can hang it, as the country-fellow speaks, by
geometry (for what else is it to say, that every other man must
give up his will to the will of this one man without any other
foundation?), it must stand upon old principles -- that is, upon
a nobility or an army planted on a due balance of dominion. Aut
viam inveniam aut faciam, was an adage of Caesar, and there is no
standing for a monarchy unless it finds this balance, or makes
it. If it finds it, the work is done to its hand; for, where
there is inequality of estates, there must be inequality of
power; and where there is inequality of power, there can be no
commonwealth. To make it, the sword must extirpate out of
dominion all other roots of power, and plant an army upon that
ground. An army may be planted nationally or provincially. To
plant it nationally, it must be in one of the four ways
mentioned, that is, either monarchically in part, as the Roman
beneficiarii; or monarchically, in the whole, as the Turkish
Timariots; aristocratically that is, by earls and barons, as the
Neustrians were planted by Turbo; or democratically, that is, by
equal lots, as the Israelitish army in the land of Canaan by
Joshua. In every one of these ways there must not only be
confiscations, but confiscations to such a proportion as may
answer to the work intended.

Confiscation of a people that never fought against you, but
whose arms you have borne, and in which you have been victorious,
and this upon premeditation and in cold blood, I should have
thought to be against any example in human nature, but for those
alleged by Machiavel of Agathocles, and Oliveretto di Fermo, the
former whereof being captain-general of the Syracusans, upon a
day assembled the Senate and the people, as if he had something
to communicate with them, when at a sign given he cut the
senators in pieces to a man, and all the richest of the people,
by which means he came to be king. The proceedings of Oliveretto,
in making himself Prince of Fermo, were somewhat different in
circumstances, but of the same nature. Nevertheless Catiline, who
had a spirit equal to any of these in his intended mischief,
could never bring the like to pass in Rome. The head of a small
commonwealth, such a one as was that of Syracuse or Fermo, is
easily brought to the block; but that a populous nation, such as
Rome, had not such a one, was the grief of Nero. If Sylvia or
Caesar attained to be princes, it was by civil war, and such
civil war as yielded rich spoils, there being a vast nobility to
be confiscated; which also was the case in Oceana, when it
yielded earth by earldoms, and baronies to the Neustrian for the
plantation of his new potentates. Where a conqueror finds the
riches of a land in the hands of the few, the forfeitures are
easy, and amount to vast advantage; but where the people have
equal shares, the confiscation of many comes to little, and is
not only dangerous but fruitless.

The Romans, in one of their defeats of the Volsci, found
among the captives certain Tusculans, who, upon examination,
confessed that the arms they bore were by command of their State;
whereupon information being given to the Senate by the general
Camillus, he was forthwith commanded to march against Tusculum
which doing accordingly, he found the Tusculan fields full of
husbandmen, that stirred not otherwise from the plough than to
furnish his army with all kinds of accommodations and victuals.
Drawing near to the city, he saw the gates wide open, the
magistrates coming out in their gowns to salute and bid him
welcome; entering, the shops were all at work, and open, the
streets sounded with the noise of schoolboys at their books;
there was no face of war. Whereupon Camillus, causing the Senate
to assemble, told them, that though the art was understood, yet
had they at length found out the true arms whereby the Romans
were most undoubtedly to be conquered, for which cause he would
not anticipate the Senate, to which he desired them forthwith to
send, which they did accordingly; and their dictator with the
rest of their ambassadors being found by the Roman senators as
they went into the house standing sadly at the door were sent for
in as friends, and not as enemies; where the dictator having
said, "If we have offended, the fault was not so great as is our
penitence and your virtue," the Senate gave them peace forthwith,
and soon after made the Tusculans citizens of Rome.

But putting the case, of which the world is not able to show
an example, that the forfeiture of a populous nation, not
conquered, but friends, and in cool blood, might be taken, your
army must be planted in one of the ways mentioned. To plant it in
the way of absolute monarchy, that is, upon feuds for life, such
as the Timars, a country as large and fruitful as that of Greece,
would afford you but 16,000 Timariots, for that is the most the
Turk (being the best husband that ever was of this kind) makes of
it at this day: and if Oceana, which is less in fruitfulness by
one-half, and in extent by three parts, should have no greater a
force, whoever breaks her in one battle, may be sure she shall
never rise; for such (as was noted by Machiavel) is the nature of
the Turkish monarchy, if you break it in two battles, you have
destroyed its whole militia, and the rest being all slaves, you
hold it without any further resistance. Wherefore the erection of
an absolute monarchy in Oceana, or in any other country that is
no larger, without making it a certain prey to the first invader
is altogether impossible.

To plant by halves, as the Roman emperors did their
beneficiaries, or military colonies, it must be either for life;
and this an army of Oceaners in their own country, especially
having estates of inheritance, will never bear because such an
army so planted is as well confiscated as the people; nor had the
Mamelukes been contented with such usage in Egypt, but that they
were foreigners, and daring not to mix with the natives, it was
of absolute necessity to their being.

Or planting them upon inheritance, whether aristocratically
as the Neustrians, or democratically as the Israelites, they grow
up by certain consequences into the national interest, and this,
if they be planted popularly, comes to a commonwealth; if by way
of nobility, to a mixed monarchy, which of all other will be
found to be the only kind of monarchy whereof this nation, or any
other that is of no greater extent, has been or can be capable;
for if the Israelites, though their democratical balance, being
fixed by their agrarian, stood firm, be yet found to have elected
kings, it was because, their territory lying open, they were
perpetually invaded, and being perpetually invaded, turned
themselves to anything which, through the want of experience,
they thought might be a remedy; whence their mistake in election
of their kings, under whom they gained nothing, but, on the
contrary, lost all they had acquired by their commonwealth, both
estates and liberties, is not only apparent, but without
parallel. And if there have been, as was shown, a kingdom of the
Goths in Spain, and of the Vandals in Asia, consisting of a
single person and a Parliament (taking a parliament to be a
council of the people only, without a nobility), it is expressly
said of those councils that they deposed their kings as often as
they pleased; nor can there be any other consequence of such a
government, seeing where there is a council of the people they do
never receive laws, but give them; and a council giving laws to a
single person, he has no means in the world whereby to be any
more than a subordinate magistrate but force: in which case he is
not a single person and a parliament, but a single person and an
army, which army again must be planted as has been shown, or can
be of no long continuance.

It is true, that the provincial balance bring in nature quite
contrary to the national, you are no way to plant a provincial
army upon dominion. But then you must have a native territory in
strength, situation, or government, able to overbalance the
foreign, or you can never hold it. That an army should in any
other case be long supported by a mere tax, is a mere fancy as
void of all reason and experience as if a man should think to
maintain such a one by robbing of orchards; for a mere tax is but
pulling of plum-trees, the roots whereof are in other men's
grounds, who, suffering perpetual violence, come to hate the
author of it; and it is a maxim, that no prince that is hated by
his people can be safe. Arms planted upon dominion extirpate
enemies and make friends; but maintained by a mere tax, have
enemies that have roots, and friends that have none.

To conclude, Oceana, or any other nation of no greater
extent, must have a competent nobility, or is altogether
incapable of monarchy; for where there is equality of estates,
there must be equality of power, and where there is equality of
power, there can be no monarchy.

To come then to the generation of the commonwealth. It has
been shown how, through the ways and means used by Panurgus to
abase the nobility, and so to mend that flaw which we have
asserted to be incurable in this kind of constitution, he
suffered the balance to fall into the power of the people, and so
broke the government; but the balance being in the people, the
commonwealth (though they do not see it) is already in the nature
of them. There wants nothing else but time, which is slow and
dangerous, or art, which would be more quick and secure, for the
bringing those native arms, wherewithal they are found already,
to resist, they know not how, everything that opposes them, to
such maturity as may fix them upon their own strength and bottom.

But whereas this art is prudence, and that part of prudence
which regards the present work is nothing else but the skill of
raising such superstructures of government as are natural to the
known foundations, they never mind the foundation, but through
certain animosities, wherewith by striving one against another
they are infected, or through freaks, by which, not regarding the
course of things, nor how they conduce to their purpose, they are
given to building in the air, come to be divided and subdivided
into endless parties and factions, both civil and ecclesiastical,
which, briefly to open, I shall first speak of the people in
general, and then of their divisions.

A people, says Machiavel, that is corrupt, is not capable of
a commonwealth. But in showing what a corrupt people is, he has
either involved himself, or me; nor can I otherwise come out of
the labyrinth, than by saying, the balance altering a people, as
to the foregoing government, must of necessity be corrupt; but
corruption in this sense signifies no more than that the
corruption of one government, as in natural bodies, is the
generation of another. Wherefore if the balance alters from
monarchy, the corruption of the people in this case is that which
makes them capable of a commonwealth. But whereas I am not
ignorant that the corruption which he means is in manners, this
also is from the balance. For the balance leading from
monarchical into popular abates the luxury of the nobility, and,
enriching the people, brings the government from a more private
to a more public interest which coming nearer, as has been shown,
to justice and right reason, the people upon a like alteration is
so far from such a corruption of manners as should render them
incapable of a commonwealth, that of necessity they must thereby
contract such a reformation of manners as will bear no other kind
of government. On the other side, where the balance changes from
popular to oligarchical or monarchical, the public interest, with
the reason and justice included in the sane, becomes more
private; luxury is introduced in the room of temperance, and
servitude in that of freedom, which causes such a corruption of
manners both in the nobility and people, as, by the example of
Rome in the time of the Triumvirs, is more at large discovered by
the author to have been altogether incapable of a commonwealth.

But the balance of Oceana changing quite contrary to that of
Rome, the manners of the people were not thereby corrupted, but,
on the contrary, adapted to a commonwealth. For differences of
opinion in a people not rightly informed of their balance, or a
division into parties (while there is not any common ligament of
power sufficient to reconcile or hold them) is no sufficient
proof of corruption. Nevertheless, seeing this must needs be
matter of scandal and danger, it will not be amiss, in showing
what were the parties, to show what were their errors.

The parties into which this nation was divided, were temporal
or spiritual; and the temporal parties were especially two, the
one royalists, the other republicans, each of which asserted
their different causes, either out of prudence or ignorance, out
of interest or conscience.

For prudence, either that of the ancients is inferior to the
modern, which we have hitherto been setting face to face, that
anyone may judge, or that of the royalist must be inferior to
that of the commonwealths man. And for interest, taking the
commonwealths man to have really intended the public, for
otherwise he is a hypocrite and the worst of men, that of the
royalist must of necessity have been more private. Wherefore, the
whole dispute will come upon matter of conscience, and this,
whether it be urged by the right of kings, the obligation of
former laws, or of the oath of allegiance, is absolved by the

For if the right of kings were as immediately derived from
the breath of God as the life of man, yet this excludes not death
and dissolution. But, that the dissolution of the late monarchy
was as natural as the death of man, has been already shown.
Wherefore it remains with the royalists to discover by what
reason or experience it is possible for a monarchy to stand upon
a popular balance; or, the balance being popular, as well the
oath of allegiance, as all other monarchical laws, imply an
impossibility, and are therefore void.

To the commonwealths man I have no more to say, but that if
he excludes any party, he is not truly such, nor shall ever found
a commonwealth upon the natural principle of the same, which is
justice. And the royalist for having not opposed a commonwealth
in Oceana, where the laws were so ambiguous that they might be
eternally disputed and never reconciled, can neither be justly
for that cause excluded from his full and equal share in the
government; nor prudently for this reason, that a commonwealth
consisting of a party will be in perpetual labor for her own
destruction: whence it was that the Romans, having conquered the
Albans, incorporated them with equal right into the commonwealth.
And if the royalists be "flesh of your flesh," and nearer of
blood than were the Albans to the Romans, you being also both
Christians, the argument is the stronger. Nevertheless there is
no reason that a commonwealth should any more favor a party
remaining in fixed opposition against it, than Brutus did his own
sons. But if it fixes them upon that opposition, it is its own
fault, not theirs; and this is done by excluding them. Men that
have equal possessions and the same security for their estates
and their liberties that you have, have the same cause with you
to defend both; but if you will liberty, though for monarchy; and
be trampling, they fight for you for tyranny, though under the
name of a commonwealth: the nature of orders in a government
rightly instituted being void of all jealousy, because, let the
parties which it embraces be what they will, its orders are such
as they neither would resist if they could, nor could if they
would, as has been partly already shown, and will appear more at
large by the following model.

The parties that are spiritual are of more kinds than I need
mention; some for a national religion, and others for liberty of
conscience, with such animosity on both sides, as if these two
could not consist together, and of which I have already
sufficiently spoken, to show that indeed the one cannot well
subsist without the other But they of all the rest are the most
dangerous, who, holding that the saints must govern, go about to
reduce the commonwealth to a party, as well for the reasons
already shown, as that their pretences are against Scripture,
where the saints are commanded to submit to the higher powers,
and to be subject to the ordinance of man. And that men,
pretending under the notion of saints or religion to civil power,
have hitherto never failed to dishonor that profession, the world
is full of examples, whereof I shall confine myself at present
only to a couple, the one of old, the other of new Rome.

In old Rome, the patricians or nobility pretending to be the
godly party, were questioned by the people for engrossing all the
magistracies of that commonwealth, and had nothing to say why
they did so, but that magistracy required a kind of holiness
which was not in the people; at which the people were filled with
such indignation as had come to cutting of throats, if the
nobility had not immediately laid by the insolency of that plea;
which nevertheless when they had done, the people for a long time
after continued to elect no other but patrician magistrates.

The example of new Rome in the rise and practice of the
hierarchy (too well known to require any further illustration) is
far more immodest.

This has been the course of nature; and when it has pleased
or shall please God to introduce anything that is above the
course of nature, he will, as he has always done, confirm it by
miracle; for so in his prophecy of the reign of Christ upon earth
he expressly promises, seeing that "the souls of them that were
beheaded for Jesus, shall be seen to live and reign with him;"
which will be an object of sense, the rather, because the rest of
the dead are not to live again till the thousand years be
finished. And it is not lawful for men to persuade us that a
thing already is, though there be no such object of our sense,
which God has told us shall not be till it be an object of our

The saintship of a people as to government, consists in the
election of magistrates fearing God, and hating covetousness, and
not in their confining themselves, or being confined, to men of
this or that party or profession. It consists in making the most
prudent and religious choice they can; yet not in trusting to
men, but, next God, to their own orders. "Give us good men, and
they will make us good laws," is the maxim of a demagogue, and is
(through the alteration which is commonly perceivable in men,
when they have power to work their own wills) exceeding fallible.
But "give us good orders, and they will make us good men," is the
maxim of a legislator, and the most infallible in the politics.

But these divisions (however there be some good men that look
sadly on them) are trivial things; first as to the civil concern,
because the government, whereof this nation is capable, being
once seen, takes in all interests. And, secondly, as to the
spiritual; because as the pretence of religion has always been
turbulent in broken governments, so where the government has been
sound and steady, religion has never shown itself with any other
face than that of its natural sweetness and tranquillity, nor is
there any reason why it should, wherefore the errors of the
people are occasioned by their governors. If they be doubtful of
the way, or wander from it, it is because their guides misled
them; and the guides of the people are never so well qualified
for leading by any virtue of their own, as by that of the

The government of Oceana (as it stood at the time whereof we
discourse, consisting of one single Council of the people,
exclusively of the King and the Lords) was called a Parliament:
nevertheless the parliaments of the Teutons and of the Neustrians
consisted, as has been shown, of the King, lords, and commons;
wherefore this, under an old name, was a new thing a parliament
consisting of a single assembly elected by the people, and
invested with the whole power of the government, without any
covenants, conditions, or orders whatsoever. So new a thing, that
neither ancient nor modern prudence can show any avowed example
of the like. And there is scarce anything that seems to me so
strange as that (whereas there was nothing more familiar with
these councillors than to bring the Scripture to the house) there
should not be a man of them that so much as offered to bring the
house to the Scripture, wherein, as has been shown, is contained
that original, whereof all the rest of the commonwealths seem to
be copies. Certainly if Leviathan (who is surer of nothing than
that a popular commonwealth consists but of one council)
transcribed his doctrine out of this assembly, for him to except
against Aristotle and Cicero for writing out of their own
commonwealths was not so fair play; or if the Parliament
transcribed out of him, it had been an honor better due to Moses.
But where one of them should have an example but from the other,
I cannot imagine, there being nothing of this kind that I can
find in story, but the oligarchy of Athens, the Thirty Tyrants of
the same, and the Roman Decemvirs.

For the oligarchy, Thucydides tells us, that it was a Senate
or council of 400, pretending to a balancing council of the
people consisting of 5,000, but not producing them; wherein you
have the definition of an oligarchy, which is a single council
both debating and resolving, dividing and choosing, and what that
must come to was shown by the example of the girls, and is
apparent by the experience of all times; wherefore the thirty set
up by the Lacedaemonians (when they had conquered Athens) are
called tyrants by all authors, Leviathan only excepted, who will
have them against all the world to have been an aristocracy, but
for what reason I cannot imagine; these also, as void of any
balance, having been void of that which is essential to every
commonwealth, whether aristocratical or popular, except he be
pleased with them, because that, according to the testimony of
Xenophon, they killed more men in eight months than the
Lacedaemonians had done in ten years; "oppressing the people (to
use Sir Walter Raleigh's words) with all base and intolerable

The usurped government of the Decemvirs in Rome was of the
same kind. Wherefore in the fear of God let Christian legislators
(setting the pattern given in the Mount on the one side, and
these execrable examples on the other) know the right hand from
the left; and so much the rather, because those things which do
not conduce to the good of the governed are fallacious, if they
appear to be good for the governors. God, in chastising a people,
is accustomed to burn his rod. The empire of these oligarchies
was not so violent as short, nor did they fall upon the people,
but in their own immediate ruin. A council without a balance is
not a commonwealth, but an oligarchy; and every oligarchy, except
it be put to the defence of its wickedness or power against some
outward danger, is factious. Wherefore the errors of the people
being from their governors (which maxim in the politics bearing a
sufficient testimony to itself, is also proved by Machiavel), if
the people of Oceana have been factious, the cause is apparent,
but what remedy?

In answer to this question, I come now to the army, of which
the most victorious captain and incomparable patriot, Olphaus
Megaletor, was now general, who being a much greater master of
that art whereof I have made a rough draught in these
preliminaries, had such sad reflections upon the ways and
proceedings of the Parliament as cast him upon books and all
other means of diversion, among which he happened on this place
of Machiavel: "Thrice happy is that people which chances to have
a man able to give them such a government at once, as without
alteration may secure them of their liberties; seeing it was
certain that Lacedaemon, in observing the laws of Lycurgus,
continued about 800 years without any dangerous tumult or
corruption." My lord general (as it is said of Themistocles, that
he could not sleep for the glory obtained by Miltiades at the
battle of Marathon) took so new and deep an impression at these
words of the much greater glory of Lycurgus, that, being on this
side assaulted with the emulation of his illustrious object, and
on the other with the misery of the nation, which seemed (as it
were ruined by his victory) to cast itself at his feet, he was
almost wholly deprived of his natural rest, till the debate he
had within himself came to a firm resolution, that the greatest
advantages of a commonwealth are, first, that the legislator
should be one man; and, secondly, that the government should be
made all together, or at once. For the first, it is certain, says
Machiavel, that a commonwealth is seldom or never well turned or
constituted, except it has been the work of one man; for which
cause a wise legislator, and one whose mind is firmly set, not
upon private but the public interest, not upon his posterity but
upon his country, may justly endeavor to get the sovereign power
into his own hands, nor shall any man that is master of reason
blame such extraordinary means as in that case will be necessary,
the end proving no other than the constitution of a well-ordered

The reason of this is demonstrable; for the ordinary means
not failing, the commonwealth has no need of a legislator, but
the ordinary means failing, there is no recourse to be had but to
such as are extraordinary. And, whereas a book or a building has
not been known to attain to its perfection if it has not had a
sole author or architect, a commonwealth, as to the fabric of it,
is of the like nature. And thus it may be made at once; in which
there be great advantages; for a commonwealth made at once, takes
security at the same time it lends money; and trusts not itself
to the faith of men, but launches immediately forth into the
empire of laws, and, being set straight, brings the manners of
its citizens to its rule, whence followed that uprightness which
was in Lacedaemon. But manners that are rooted in men, bow the
tenderness of a commonwealth coming up by twigs to their, bent,
whence followed the obliquity that was in Rome, and those
perpetual repairs by the consuls' axes, and tribunes' hammers,
which could never finish that commonwealth but in destruction.

My lord general being clear in these points, and of the
necessity of some other course than would be thought upon by the
Parliament, appointed a meeting of the army, where he spoke his
sense agreeable to these preliminaries with such success to the
soldiery, that the Parliament was soon after deposed; had he
himself, in the great hall of the Pantheon or palace of justice,
situated in Emporium, the capital city, was created by the
universal suffrage of the army, Lord Archon, or sole legislator
of Oceana, upon which theatre you have, to conclude this piece, a
person introduced, whose fame shall never draw its curtain.

The Lord Archon being created, fifty select persons to assist
him, by laboring in the mines of ancient prudence, and bringing
its hidden treasures to new light, were added, with the style
also of legislators, and sat as a council, whereof he was the
sole director and president.



OF this piece, being the greater half of the whole work, I shall
be able at this time to give no further account, than very
briefly to show at what it aims.

My Lord Archon, in opening the Council of legislators, made
it appear how unsafe a thing it is to follow fancy in the fabric
of a commonwealth; and how necessary that the archives of ancient
prudence should be ransacked before any councillor should presume
to offer any other matter in order to the work in hand, or toward
the consideration to be had by the Council upon a model of
government. Wherefore he caused an urn to be brought, and every
one of the councillors to draw a lot. By the lots as they were

The Commonwealth of Fell to

Israel...... Phosphorus de Auge
Athens..... Navarchus de Paralo
Lacedaemon..... Laco de Scytale
Carthage.. Mago de Syrtibus
The Achaeans, AEtolians, and Lycians....Aratus de Isthmo
The Switz Alpester de Fulmine
Holland and the United Provinces Glaucus de Ulna
Rome...... Dolabella de Enyo
Venice..... Lynceus de Stella

These contained in them all those excellencies whereof a
commonwealth is capable; so that to have added more had been to
no purpose. Upon time given to the councillors, by their own
studies and those of their friends, to prepare themselves, they
were opened in the order, and by the persons mentioned at the
Council of legislators, and afterward by order of the same were
repeated at the council of the prytans to the people; for in
drawing of the lots, there were about a dozen of them inscribed
with the letter P, whereby the councillors that drew them became

The prytans were a committee or council sitting in the great
hall of Pantheon, to whom it was lawful for any man to offer
anything in order to the fabric of the commonwealth; for which
cause, that they might not be oppressed by the throng, there was
a rail about the table where they sat, and on each side of the
same a pulpit; that on the right hand for any man that would
propose anything, and that on the left for any other that would
oppose him. And all parties (being indemnified by proclamation of
the Archon) were invited to dispute their own interests, or
propose whatever they thought fit (in order to the future
government) to the council of the prytans, who, having a guard of
about two or three hundred men, lest the heat of dispute might
break the peace, had the right of moderators, and were to report
from time to time such propositions or occurrences as they
thought fit, to the Council of legislators sitting more privately
in the palace called Alma.

This was that which made the people (who were neither safely
to be admitted, nor conveniently to be excluded in the framing of
the commonwealth) verily believe, when it came forth, that it was
no other than that whereof they themselves had been the makers.

Moreover, this Council sat divers months after the publishing
and during the promulgation of the model to the people; by which
means there is scarce anything was said or written for or against
the said model but you shall have it with the next impression of
this work, by way of oration addressed to and moderated by the

By this means the Council of legislators had their necessary
solitude and due aim in their greater work, as being acquainted
from time to time with the pulse of the people, and yet without
any manner of interruption or disturbance.

Wherefore every commonwealth in its place having been opened
by due method -- that is, first, by the people; secondly, by the
Senate; and, thirdly, by the magistracy-the Council upon mature
debate took such results or orders out of each, and out of every
part of each of them, as upon opening the same they thought fit;
which being put from time to time in writing by the clerk or
secretary, there remained no more in the conclusion, than putting
the orders so taken together, to view and examine them with a
diligent eye, that it might be clearly discovered whether they
did interfere, or could anywise come to interfere or jostle one
with the other. For as such orders jostling or coming to jostle
one another are the certain dissolution of the commonwealth, so,
taken upon the proof of like experience, and neither jostling nor
showing which way they can possibly come to jostle one another,
they make a perfect and (for aught that in human prudence can be
foreseen) an immortal commonwealth.

And such was the art whereby my Lord Archon (taking council
of the Commonwealth of Israel, as of Moses; and of the rest of
the commonwealths, as of Jethro) framed 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 introduced
or erected an entire commonwealth at once, happened, 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 published with more brevity and less illustration
than are necessary for their understanding who have not been
acquainted with the whole proceedings of the Council of
legislators, and of the prytans, where it was asserted and
cleared 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
itself in some years' revolutions (as Dicearchus is said to have
done that of Lacedaemon, first transcribed by his hand some 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 used in the institution or rise of the building,
not to be so well conceived, without some knowledge given of the
engines wherewithal the mighty weight was moved. But through the
entire omission of the Council of legislators or workmen that
squared every stone to this structure in the quarries of ancient
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 testimonies in this place.

The first is taken out of the Commonwealth of Israel: "So
Moses hearkened to the voice of Jethro, his father-in-law, and
did all that he had said. And Moses chose able men out of all
Israel, and made them heads over the people;" tribunes, 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 fifties, 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 opened in the

The second is taken out of Lacedaemon, as Lycurgus (for the
greater impression of his institutions upon the minds of his
citizens) pretended to have received the model of that
commonwealth from the oracle of Apollo at Delphos, the words
whereof are thus recorded by Plutarch in the life of that famous
legislator: "When thou shalt have divided the people into tribes
(which were six) and oboe (which were five in every tribe), thou
shalt constitute the Senate, consisting, with the two Kings, of
thirty councillors, who, according as occasion requires, shall
cause the congregation to be assembled between the bridge and the
river Gnacion, where the Senate shall propose to the people, and
dismiss them without suffering them to debate." The oboe were
lineages 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 called the mora, was subdivided
into troops and companies that were kept in perpetual discipline
under the command of a magistrate called the polemarch.

The third is taken out of the Commonwealth of Rome, or those
parts of it which are comprised 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, whereof he
elected, by three out of each curia, the Senate, which, from his
reign to that or Servius Tullius, proposed to the parishes or
parochial congregations; and these being called 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 killed his sister; till, in the reign
of Servius (for the other kings kept not to the institution of
Romulus), the people being grown somewhat, 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 sense of valuation of their estates, into six
classes, every one containing about forty centuries, divided into
youth and elders; the youth for field-service, the elders for the
defence of their territory, all armed and under continual
discipline, in which they assembled both upon military and civil
occasions. But when the Senate proposed to the people, the horse
only, whereof there were twelve centuries, consisting of the
richest sort over and above those of the foot enumerated, were
called with the first classes of the foot to the suffrage; or if
these accorded not, then the second classes were called to them,
but seldom or never any of the rest. Wherefore the people, after
the expulsion of the kings, growing impatient of this inequality,
rested not till they had reduced the suffrage as it had been in
the Comitia curiato 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 exigencies made
laws without the Senate, which laws were called plebiscita. This
Council is that in regard whereof Cicero and other great wits so
frequently inveigh against the people, and sometimes even Livy as
at the first institution of it. To say the truth, it was a kind
of anarchy, whereof the people could not be excusable, if there
had not, through the courses taken by the Senate, been otherwise
a necessity that they must have seen the commonwealth run into

The manner how the Comitia curiata, centuriata or tributa
were called, during the time of the commonwealth, to the
suffrage, was by lot: the curia, century, or tribe, whereon the
first lot fell, being styled principium, or the prerogative; and
the other curioe, centuries or tribes, whereon the second, third,
and fourth lots, etc., fell, the jure vocatoe. From henceforth
not the first classes, as in the times of Servius, but the
prerogative, whether curia, century, or tribe, came first to the
suffrage, whose vote was called omen proerogativum, and seldom
failed to be leading to the rest of the tribes. The jure vocatoe,
in the order of their lots, came next: the manner of giving
suffrage was, by casting wooden tablets, marked for the
affirmative or the negative, into certain urns standing upon a
scaffold, as they marched over it in files, which for the
resemblance it bore was called the bridge. The candidate, 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 curioe, centuries, or tribes, carried the magistracy.

These three places being premised, as such upon which there
will be frequent reflection, I come to the narrative, divided
into two parts, the first containing the institution, the second
the constitution of the commonwealth, in each whereof 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.

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.

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 done by
the ensuing orders.

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.

The second order "distributes citizens into youth and elders
(such as are from eighteen years of age to thirty, being
accounted youth; and such as are of thirty and upward, elders),
and establishes that the youth shall be the marching armies, and
the elders the standing garrisons 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 though a city, if one swallow makes a summer, may thus chance
to be safe, yet shall it never be great; for if Carthage or
Venice acquired any fame in their arms, it is known to have
happened through the mere virtue of their captains, and not of
their orders; wherefore Israel, Lacedaemon, and Rome entailed
their arms upon the prime of their citizens, divided, at least in
Lacedaemon and Rome, into youth and elders: the youth for the
field, and the elders for defence of the territory.

The third order "distributes the citizens into horse and
foot, by the sense or valuation of their estates; they who have
above 100 a year in lands, goods, or moneys, being obliged 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

Citizens are not only to defend the commonwealth, but
according to their abilities, as the Romans under Servius Tullius
(regard had to their estates), were some enrolled in the horse
centuries, and others of the foot, with arms enjoined
accordingly, nor could it be otherwise in the rest of the
commonwealths, though 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 some
measure in the nature of industry, and the use of it to the
public. "The Roman people," says Julius Exuperantius, "were
divided into classes, and taxed according to the value of their
estates. All that were worth the sums appointed were employed 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 polled only for their heads (which was
all they had) and kept in garrison at home in time of war; for
these might betray the armies for bread, by reason of their
poverty, which is the reason that Marius, to whom the care of the
government ought not to have been committed, was the first that
led them 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 comes to touch
the public money, makes a commonwealth bankrupt.

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: wherefore
you have the Israelitish divisions into rulers of thousands, of
hundreds, of fifties, and of tens; and of the whole commonwealth
into tribes: the Laconic into oboe, moras, and tribes; the Roman
into tribes, centuries, and classes; and something there must of
necessity be in every government of the like nature, as that in
the late monarchy -- by counties. But this being the only
institution in Oceana, except that of the agrarian, which
required any charge or included any difficulty, engages me to a
more particular description of the manner how it was performed,
as follows:

A thousand surveyors, commissioned 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 whereof
contains about 10,000 parishes, some ten of those being assigned
to each surveyor; for as to this matter there needed no great
exactness, it tending only by showing whither everyone was to,
begin, to the more orderly carrying repair and whereabout to on
of the work; the nature of their instructions otherwise regarding
rather the number of the inhabitants than of the parishes. The
surveyors, therefore, being every one furnished with a convenient
proportion of urns, balls, and balloting-boxes -- in the use
whereof they had been formerly exercised -- and now arriving each
at his respective parish, being with the people by teaching them
their first lesson, which was the ballot; and though they found
them in the beginning somewhat froward, as at toys, with which,
while they were in expectation of greater matters from a Council
of legislators, they conceived themselves to be abused, they came
within a little while to think them pretty sport, and at length
such as might very soberly be used in good earnest; whereupon the
surveyors began the institution included in --

The first order, requiring "That upon the first Monday next
ensuing the last of December the bigger bell in every parish
throughout 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 done ringing, where, dividing themselves into
two equal numbers, or as near equal as may be, they shall take
their places according to their dignities, if they be of divers
qualities, 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 done, they shall make
oath to the overseers of the parish for the time being (instead
of these the surveyors were to officiate 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 explained, of such persons, amounting to a fifth part
of their whole number, to be their deputies, and to exercise
their power in manner hereafter explained, 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 proceed to election, if the
elders of the parish amount to 1,000 by the ballot of the tribe,
as it is in due place explained, and if the elders of the parish
amount to fifty or upward, but within the number of 1,000, by the
ballot of the hundred, as it is in due place explained. But, if
the elders amount not to fifty, then they shall proceed to the
ballot of the parish, as it is in this place and after this
manner explained.

"The two overseers for the time being shall seat themselves
at the upper end of the middle alley, with a table before them,
their faces being toward 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, whereof 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 come up the middle alley 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 alley 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 named shall withdraw while the congregation is
balloting his name by the double box or boxes appointed and
marked on the outward part, to show which side is affirmative and
which negative, being carried 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 though 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 returned 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 numbered by the first overseer; and the negative into a green
bowl standing on the left hand, to be numbered by the second
overseer; and the suffrages being numbered, he who has the major
part in the affirmative is one of the deputies of the parish, and
when so many deputies are chosen as amount to a full fifth part
of the whole number of the elders, the ballot for that time shall
cease. The deputies 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

Anno Domini


A.A. Equestrian Order, First Deputy
B.B. Second Deputy,
C.C. Third Deputy,
D.D. Fourth Deputy,
E.E. Fifty Deputy,

Of the parish of in the hundred of and the tribe
of , which parish at the present election contains twenty
elders, whereof one is of the horse or equestrian order.

"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 deputies 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 registered in a book diligently kept and preserved by the
overseers, who are responsible in their places, for these and
other duties 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 families 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. in Israel, the sovereign 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 raised her Senate, 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-

"She raises up her head unto the skies,

Near as her root unto the centre lies."

And if the Commonwealth of Rome was born of thirty parishes,
this of Oceana was born of 10,000. But whereas 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, engrossing all the magistracies, was
indeed the destruction of Rome; but to a knight or one of the
equestrian order, says Horace,

"Si quadringentis sex septem millia desunt,

Plebs eris."

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; wherefore you shall never find that it disquieted the
commonwealth, nor does 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
registered, took each of them copies of those lists which were
within their allotments, which done they produced --

The sixth order, directing "in case a parson or vicar of a
parish comes to be removed 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 universities of this nation with a certificate signed
by the overseers, and addressed to the vice-chancellor, which
certificate, 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 receipt thereof, 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
returned 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 expired, 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 gathered congregations, or from time
to time shall join with any of them, are in no wise obliged 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 choose,
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 desired to make choice, and such manner as they best
like, of certain magistrates in every one of their congregations,
which we could wish might be four in each of them, to be auditors
in cases of differences or distaste, if any through variety of
opinions, that may be grievous or injurious to them, shall fall
out. And such auditors or magistrates shall have power to examine
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 magistrates introduce shall from time to time be
heard and determined according to such laws as are or shall
hereafter be provided by the Parliament for the just defence 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, though not in English yet in
Scripture, where the apostles ordained elders by the holding up
of hands in every congregation, that is, by the suffrage of the
people, which was also given in some of those cities by the
ballot. And though it may be shown that the apostles ordained
some by the laying on of hands, it will not be shown that they
did so in every congregation.

Excommunication, as not clearly provable out of the
Scripture, being omitted, the second part of the order implies
and establishes a national religion; for there be degrees of
knowledge in divine things; true religion is not to be learned
without searching the Scripture; the Scriptures cannot be
searched 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 alleged we have been)
beguiled or misled by the translation, while we should be
searching the true sense of the Scripture, which cannot be
attained in a natural way (and a commonwealth is not to presume
upon that which is supernatural) but by the knowledge of the
original and of antiquity, acquired by our own studies, or those
of some others, for even faith comes by hearing. Wherefore a
commonwealth not making provision of men from time to time,
knowing in the original languages wherein the Scriptures were
written, and versed in those antiquities to which they so
frequently relate, that the true sense of them depends in great
part upon that knowledge, can never be secure that she shall not
lose the Scripture, and by consequence her religion; which to
preserve she must institute some method of this knowledge, and
some use of such as have acquired it, which amounts to a national

The commonwealth having thus performed her duty toward 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 comes 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
proceeding she follows that (as was shown in the preliminaries)
of Israel, who, though her national religion was always a part of
her civil law, gave to her prophets the upper hand of all her

But the surveyors. having now done with the parishes, took
their leave; so a parish is the first division of land occasioned
by the first collection of the people of Oceana, whose function
proper to that place is comprised in the six preceding orders.

The next step in the progress of the surveyors was to a
meeting of the nearest of them, as their work lay, by twenties;
where conferring their lists, and computing the deputies
contained therein, as the number of them in parishes, being
nearest neighbors, amounted to 100, or as even as might
conveniently be brought with that account, they cast them and
those parishes into the precinct which (be the deputies ever
since more or fewer) is still called 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 rendezvous;
which done, each surveyor, returning to his hundred, and
summoning the deputies contained in his lists to the rendezvous,
they appeared and received --

The seventh order, requiring, "That upon the first Monday
next ensuing the last of January, the deputies of every parish
annually assemble in arms at the rendezvous 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 coroner, 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
officiate 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 suits of gold balls, and one dozen of
every suit; whereof the first shall be marked 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 suits 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 suit 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 marked
with the letter A into the urn, with so many silver ones as shall
bring them even with the number of the deputies, who being sworn,
as before, at the ballot of the parish to make a fair election,
shall be called to the urn; and every man coming in manner as was
there shown, shall draw one ball, which, if it be silver, he
shall cast it into a bowl standing at the foot of the urn, and
return to his place: but the first that draws a gold ball
(showing 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 placed 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 private, the first elector shall name a
person to the first office in the list; and if the person so
named, 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 done, 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 be returned to the
overseers, or such as the overseers, in case they or either of
them happened to be electors, have substituted in his or their
place or places; and the overseers or substitutes having caused
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 carried 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 entered into a register, to be
kept at the rendezvous of the hundred, under inspection of the
magistrates of the same, after the manner following:

Anno Domini


A.A. Equestrian Order, Justice of the Peace,
B.B. Equestrian Order, First Juryman,
C.C. Equestrian Order, Captain of the Hundred,
D.D. Equestrian Order, Ensign,
E.E. Second Juryman,
F.F. High Constable,
G.G. Coroner,

Of the hundred of in the tribe of , which hundred
consists at this election of 105 deputies.

"The list being entered, the high constable shall take three
copies of the same, whereof 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, through the want
of such magistrates at the first muster, may be returned to the
orator, to be appointed for that tribe. To the observation of all
and every part of this order, the officers and deputies of the
hundred are all and every of them obliged, 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 Parliament." 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 Lacedaemon, and to the century in Rome. The jurymen,
being two in a hundred, and so forty in a tribe, give the
latitude allowed by the law for exceptions. And whereas the
golden balls at this ballot begin to be marked with letters,
whereof one is to be drawn immediately before it begins, this is
to the end that the letter being unknown, men may be frustrated
of tricks or foul play, whereas 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 copies of these lists,
had accomplished their work in the hundreds.

So a hundred is the second division of land occasioned by the
second collection of the people, whose civil and military
functions proper to this place are comprised in the foregoing

Having stated the hundreds, they met once again by twenties,
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 10,000
parishes, came to be cast into 1,000 hundreds, and into fifty
tribes. In every tribe at the place appointed for the annual
rendezvous of the same, were then, or soon after begun those
buildings which are now called pavilions; each of them standing
with one open side upon fair columns, like the porch of some
ancient temple, and looking into a field capable of the muster of
some 4,000 men; before each pavilion stand three pillars
sustaining urns for the ballot, that on the right hand equal in
height to the brow of a horseman, being called 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 called the foot
urn, and the middle urn, with a bridge on the side toward the
foot urn, the other side, as left for the horse, being without
one; and here ended the whole work of the surveyors, who returned
to the Lord Archon with this --


Imprimis: Urns, balls, and balloting-boxes for 10,000 parishes,
the same being wooden-ware, 20,000
Item: Provision of the like kind for a thousand hundreds

Item: Urns and balls of metal, with balloting-boxes for fifty

Item: For erecting of fifty pavilions,

Item: Wages for four surveyors-general at 1,000 a man

Item: Wages for the rest of the surveyors, being 1,000 at 250 a


Sum Total 339,000

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 money for once, though 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 abused in this kind) to subsist; for if
no regard should be had of the charge (though that may go deep),
yet the debauchery and corruption whereto, by negligence in
accounts, it infallibly exposes its citizens, and thereby lessens
the public faith, which is the nerve and ligament of government,
ought to be prevented. But the surveyors being despatched, the
Lord Archon was very curious in giving names to his tribes, which
having caused to be written in scrolls cast into an urn, and
presented to the councillors, 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 congratulate with the tribes, and assist at the first
muster in some things of necessity to be differently carried from
the established administration and future course of the

The orators being arrived, every one as soon as might be, at
the rendezvous of his tribe, gave notice to the hundreds, and
summoned the muster which appeared for the most part upon good
horses, and already indifferently well armed; 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
welcome, applied himself to his business, which began with --

The eighth order requiring "That the lord high sheriff as
commander-in-chief, and the lord custos rotulorum as
muster-master of the tribe (or the orator for the first muster),
upon reception of the lists of their hundreds, returned 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 100 in
number, to be inscribed First, Second, or Third troop, etc.,
according to the order agreed upon by the said magistrates; which
done, they shall list the foot in like manner, and inscribe the
companies in like order. These lists upon the eve of the muster
shall be delivered to certain trumpeters and drummers, whereof
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 awhile, each of them shall begin to call and
continue calling the names of the deputies, as they come into the
field, till both the horse and foot be gathered 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 marked with
the figures 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., as there be troops of horse in the
field, together with so many silver balls as there be companies,
marked 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 done by the conductor
at the same time for the ensigns at another urn; and they that
draw the gold balls shall be cornets, the left 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 marshalling, whereas by virtue of this the
tribe is no sooner in the field than in battalia, nor sooner in
battalia than called to the urns or the ballot by virtue of --

The ninth order, "Whereby 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 magistrates, to be elected by the
ensuing orders, that is to say, by the first list called the
prime magnitude, six; and by the second called the galaxy, nine.
Wherefore 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 unequal, unequally, by an arithmetical proportion. The
like shall be done the second day of the muster for the second
list, except that the censors shall put into the middle urn
thirty-six gold balls with twenty-four 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 prepared their notes, as has
been shown, and being come 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 used 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
observed, taking a special care that no man be suffered to come
above once to the urn (whereof it more particularly concerns the
sub-censors, 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 observed by the censors, it is not possible
for the people, if they can but draw the balls, though they
understand nothing at all of the ballot, to be out. To
philosophize further upon this art, though there be nothing more
rational, were not worth the while, because in writing it will be
perplexed, 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 done to his hand, for the
tribe, as eager upon a business of this nature, had retained one
of the surveyors, out of whom (before the orator arrived) they
had got the whole mystery by a stolen muster, at which in order
to the ballot they had made certain magistrates pro tempore.
Wherefore 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 prepared with a just number of balls for
the first ballot, to become 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
slanting with noble plumes to direct the march of the people.

Wherefore he proceeded to --

The tenth order, "Requiring of the deputies 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 rendezvous of the tribe, where, being in
discipline, 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 favor, and of such only as they shall judge
fittest for the commonwealth, the conductor shill take three
balls, the one inscribed 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 thereupon inscribed, and the
ballot shall begin accordingly. For example, if the ball be
inscribed '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 followed by
all the rest of the files as they are next to them in order. The
like shall be done by the inward, or by the outward files in case
they be first called. And the files, as every man has drawn his
ball, if it be silver, shall behind at the urn to countermarch to
their places, but he that has drawn a gold ball at a side urn
shall proceed to the middle urn, where if the balls he draws be
silver he shall also countermarch, but if it be gold he shall
take his place upon a form set across the pavilion, with his face
toward the lord high sheriff, who shall be seated in the middle
of the pavilion, with certain clerks 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 clerk that understands the ballot, immediately to a little
tent standing before the pavilion in his eye, to which no other
person but themselves, during the election, shall approach. The
list shall be written in this manner:

Anno Domini


1. The Lord High Sheriff, Commander-in-Chief,
2. Lord Lieutenant,
3. Lord Custos Rotulorum, Muster-Master-General,
4. The Conductor, being Quarter-master General,
5. The First Censor,
6. The Second Censor,

Of the tribe of Nubia, containing at the present muster 700 horse
and 1,500 foot, in all 22,000 deputies.

"And the electors of the first band or order, being six,
shall each of them name to his respective magistracy in the left
such as are not already elected in the hundreds, till one
competitor be chosen to every magistracy in the list by the
ballot of the electors of the first order, which done, the list
with the competitors thereunto annexed shall be returned to the
lord high sheriff by the clerk attending that order, but the
electors shall keep their places; for they have already given
their suffrage, and may not enter into the ballot of the tribe.
If there arises any dispute in an order of electors, one of the
censors or sub-censors appointed by them in case they be
electors, shall enter into the tent of that order, and that order
shall stand to his judgment in the decision of the controversy.
The like shall be done exactly by each other order of electors,
being sent as they are drawn, each with another copy of the same
list, into a distinct tent, till there be returned to the lord
high sheriff four competitors to every magistracy in the list;
that is to say, one competitor elected to every office in every
one of the four orders, which competitors the lord high sheriff
shall cause to be pronounced or read by a crier to the
congregation, and the congregation having heard the whole lists
repeated, the names shall be put by the lord high sheriff to the
tribe, one by one, beginning with the first competitor in the
first order, thence proceeding to the first competitor in the
second order, and so to the first in the third and fourth orders.
And the suffrages being taken in boxes by boys (as has been
already shown) shall be poured into the bowls standing before the
censors, who shall be seated at each end of the table in the
pavilion, the one numbering the affirmatives and the other the
negatives, and he of the four competitors to the first magistracy
that has most above half the suffrages of the tribe in the
affirmative, is the first magistrate. The like is to be done
successively by the rest of the competitors in their order. But
because soon after the boxes are sent out for the first name,
there be others sent out for the second, and so for the third,
etc., by which means divers names are successively at one and the
same time in balloting; the boy that carries a box shall sing or
repeat continually the name of the competitor for whom that box
is carrying, with that also of the magistracy to which he is
proposed. A magistrate of the tribe happening to be an elector,
may substitute any one of his own order to execute his other
function. The magistrates of the prime magnitude being thus
elected, shall receive the present charge of the tribe."

If it be objected against this order that the magistrates 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
remembered 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 capacities, with an eye 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 10,000 men, if there were occasion, with
as much ease, and as suddenly to perform the ballot, as he can
make 5,000 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, therefore a man's wife, his daughters, or others, make
him his provision of pellets before the ballot, and he comes into
the field with a matter of a score of them in his pocket. And now
I have as good as done with the sport. The next is --

The eleventh order, "Explaining the duties and functions of
the magistrates contained in the list of the prime magnitude, and
those of the hundreds, beginning with the lord high sheriff, who,
over and above his more ancient offices, and those added by the
former order, is the first magistrate 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 magistrate 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 magistrate of the phylarch. The censors by themselves and
their sub-censors, that is, the overseers of the parishes, are to
see that the respective laws of the ballot be observed in all the
popular assemblies of the tribe. They have power also to put such
national ministers, as in preaching shall 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
magistrates, 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

"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 passed 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 Parliament. A marriage
legitimately is to be pronounced 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 Parliament the
phylarch, as the council, 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 affirmed by the ballot of
the tribe, and signed by the hands of the six magistrates of the
prime magnitude, shall be received and esteemed by the Parliament
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 (he they elders or
youth, whose discipline will be hereafter directed), and with
these to receive the judges itinerant in their circuits, whom the
magistrates of the phylarch shall assist upon the bench, and the
juries elsewhere in their proper functions according to the more
ancient laws and customs of this nation.

"Thirdly, the phylarch shall hold the court called the
quartersessions according to the ancient custom, and therein
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 Parliament.

"Fourthly, all commissions issued into the tribes by the
Parliament, or by the chancery, are to be directed to the
phylarch, or some of that troop, and executed by the same

"Fifthly, in the case of levies of money the Parliament 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 levied the tax-money accordingly,
shall return it to the officers of the hundreds, the hundred 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 been married 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
judge the tribes, and the Parliament shall judge 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 magistrate of the hundred, or of the
tribe, shall cause him presently to be sent in custody to the
Council of War.

The part of the order relating to the rolls in Emporium being
of singular use, is not unworthy to be somewhat better opened. In
what manner the lists of the parishes, hundreds, and tribes are
made, has been shown in their respective orders, where, after the
parties are elected, they give an account of the whole number of
the elders or deputies in their respective assemblies or musters;
the like for this part exactly is done by the youth in their
discipline (to be hereafter shown) wherefore the lists of the
parishes, youth and elders, being summed up, give the whole
number of the people able to bear arms, and the lists of the
tribes, youth and elders, being summed up, give the whole number
of the people bearing arms. This account, being annually recorded
by the master of the rolls, is called 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 happened (as has been shown) 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
magistrates in one afternoon. But the tribe being dismissed for
this night, repaired to their quarters, under the conduct of
their new magistrates. The next morning returning to the field
very early, the orator proceeded to --

The twelfth order, "Directing the muster of the tribe in the
second day's election, being that of the list called 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 thirty-six gold balls in the middle urn, making
four orders, and nine electors in every order, according to the
number of the magistrates in the list of the galaxy, which is as

1. Knight
2. Knight

To be chosen out of the horse.
3. Deputy
4. Deputy
5. Deputy

To be chosen out of the horse.
6. Deputy
7. Deputy
8. Deputy
9. Deputy

To be chosen out of the foot.

"The rest of the ballot shall proceed 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 been married shall not be capable of these magistracies till
he be married. If a deputy already chosen to be an officer in the
parish, in the hundred, or in the tribe, be afterward chosen of
the galaxy, it shall be lawful for him to delegate 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
deputies being chosen, shall he 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 called 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 called, and so till the number of nine out of those
competitors which had most voices be sworn knights and deputies
of the galaxy. (This clause, in regard to the late divisions, and
to the end that no violence be offered 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 ensuing to the last of March, to the Pantheon or
palace of justice, situated in the metropolis of this
commonwealth (except the Parliament, by reason of a contagious
sickness, or some other occasion, has adjourned to another part
of the nation), where they are to take their places in the
Senate, and continue in full power and commission as senators for
the full term of three years next ensuing the date of their
election. The deputies 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 deputies for the full term of three years
next ensuing 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 fulfilled his
term of three years, shall not be re-elected into the same galaxy
or any other, till he has also fulfilled his three years'

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 honor, in case he were
protected from the law, could play the knave. But though the
foregoing orders, so far as they regard the constitution of the
Senate and the people, requiring no more as to an ordinary
election than is therein explained, that is but one-third part of
their knights and deputies, 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, required thrice as many as are eligible by the
foregoing orders. Wherefore the orator whose aid in this place
was most necessary, rightly informing the people of the reason,
stayed them two days longer at the muster, and took this course.
One list, containing two knights and seven deputies, he caused to
be chosen upon the second day; which list being called the first
galaxy, qualified the parties elected of it with power for the
term of one year, and no longer: another list, containing two
knights and seven deputies more, he caused to be chosen the third
day, which list being called the second galaxy, qualified the
parties 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, empowered for three
years; which lists successively falling (like the signs 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 finished,
Hermes de Caduceo, lord orator of the tribe of Nubia, being now
put into her first rapture, caused one of the censor's pulpits to
be planted in front of the squadron, and ascending into the same,
spake after this manner:


"We have this day solemnized the happy nuptials of the two
greatest princes that are upon the earth or in nature, arms and
councils, in the mutual embraces whereof consists your whole
commonwealth; whose councils upon their perpetual wheelings,
marches, and countermarches, create her armies, and whose armies
with the golden volleys 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 discipline; while they, committing their
buff to their servants, come themselves to hold trenchards. For
what avails it such as are unarmed, or (which is all one) whose
education acquaints them not with the proper use of their swords,
to be called citizens? What were 2,000 or 3,000 of you, though
never so well affected to your country, but naked, to one troop
of mercenary soldiers? If they should come 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,
parliaments 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 Turks but servants
in arms? What was it that begot the glorious Commonwealth of Rome
but the sword in the hands of her citizens? Wherefore my glad
eyes salute the serenity and brightness of this day with a shower
that shall not cloud it.

"Behold the army of Israel become a commonwealth, and the
Commonwealth of Israel remaining an army, with her rulers of tens
and of fifties, her rulers of hundreds and thousands, drawing
near (as this day throughout our happy fields) to the lot by her
tribes, increased 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 sepulchre, where
she has been so long trampled by hosts of Janizaries? For
certainly that is the voice of Theseus, having gathered his
scattered Athenians into one city. This freeborn nation lives not
upon the dole or bounty of one man, but distributing her annual
magistracies and honors with her own hand, is herself King People
-- (At which the orator was awhile interrupted with shouts, but
at length proceeded.) is it grave Lacedaemon in her armed tribe,
divided by her oboe and her mora, which appears to chide me that
I teach the people to talk, or conceive such language as is
dressed 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 congratulates 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 selfsame 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 die; 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 luminaries that are the
bowls of God, were once thrown forever; and next these, those of
Venice. But certainly, my lords, whatever these great examples
may have shown us, we are the first that have shown to the world
a commonwealth established in her rise upon fifty such towers,
and so garrisoned as are the tribes of Oceana, containing 100,000
elders upon the annual list, and yet but an outguard; besides her
marching armies to be equal in the discipline, and in the number
of her youth.

"And forasmuch as sovereign power is a necessary but a
formidable creature, not unlike the powder 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 galaxies so collected as to be in full

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