Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Commonwealth of Oceana by James Harrington

Part 5 out of 6

Adobe PDF icon
Download The Commonwealth of Oceana pdf
File size: 0.7 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

men under the former administration, when the burden of some of
these magistracies lay for life, were oftentimes chosen not for
their fitness, but rather unfitness, or at least unwillingness to
undergo such a weight, whereby they were put at great rates to
fine for their ease; a man might now take his share in magistracy
with that equity which is due to the public, and without any
inconvenience to his private affairs. Secondly, whereas the city
(inasmuch as the acts of the aristocracy, or court of aldermen,
in their former way of proceeding, were rather impositions than
propositions) was frequently disquieted with the inevitable
consequence of disorder in the power of debate exercised by the
popular part, or common council; the right of debate being
henceforth established in the court of aldermen, and that of
result in the common council, killed the branches of division in
the root. Which for the present may suffice to have been said of
the city of Emporium.

"That of Hiera consists as to the national government of two
tribes, the first called agoroea, the second propola; but as to
the peculiar policy of twelve manipuls, or wards divided into
three cohorts, each cohort containing four wards, whereof the
wards of the first cohort elect for the first year four
burgesses, one in each ward, the wards of the second cohort for
the second year four burgesses, one in each ward, and the wards
of the third cohort for the third year four burgesses, one in
each ward, all triennial magistrates; by which the twelve
burgesses, making one court for the government of this city
according to their instructions by act of Parliament, fall
likewise into an annual, triennial, and perpetual revolution.

"This court being thus constituted, makes election of divers
magistrates; as first, of a high steward, who is commonly some
person of quality, and this magistracy is elected in the Senate
by the scrutiny of this court; with him they choose some able
lawyer to be his deputy, and to hold the court; and last of all
they elect out of their own number six censors.

"The high steward is commander-in-chief of the two tribes,
whereof he in person brings up the one at the national muster to
the ballot, and his deputy the other at a distinct pavilion; the
six censors chosen by the court officiating by three in each
tribe at the urns; and these tribes have no other phylarch but
this court.

"As for the manner of elections and suffrage, both in
Emporium and Hiera, it may be said, once for all, that they are
performed by ballot, and according to the respective rules
already given.

"There be other cities and corporations throughout the
territory, whose policy being much of this kind, would be tedious
and not worth the labor to insert, nor dare I stay. Juvenum manus
emicat ardens."

I return, according to the method of the commonwealth, to the
remaining parts of her orbs, which are military and provincial;
the military, except the strategus, and the polemarchs or
field-officers, consIsting of the youth only, and the provincial
consisting of a mixture both of elders and of the youth.

To begin with the youth, or the military orbs, they are
circles to which the commonwealth must have a care to keep close.
A man is a spirit raised by the magic of nature; if she does not
stand safe, and so that she may set him to some good and useful
work, he spits fire, and blows up castles; for where there is
life, there must be motion or work; and the work of idleness is
mischief, but the work of industry is health. To set men to this,
the commonwealth must begin betimes with them, or it will be too
late; and the means whereby she sets them to it is education, the
plastic art of government. But it is as frequent as sad in
experience (whether through negligence, or, which in the
consequence is all one or worse, over-fondness in the domestic
performance of this duty) that innumerable children come to owe
their utter perdition to their own parents, in each of which the
commonwealth loses a citizen.

Wherefore the laws of a government, how wholesome soever in
themselves, are such as, if men by a congruity in their education
be not bred to find a relish in them, they will be sure to loathe
and detest. The education therefore of a man's own children is
not wholly to be committed or trusted to himself. You find in
Livy the children of Brutus, having been bred under monarchy, and
used to a court life, making faces at the Commonwealth of Rome:
"A king (say they) is a man with whom you may prevail when you
have need there should be law, or when you have need there should
be no law; he has favors in the right, and he frowns not in the
wrong place; he knows his friends from his enemies. But laws are
deaf, inexorable things, such as make no difference between a
gentleman and an ordinary fellow; a man can never be merry for
them, for to trust altogether to his own innocence is a sad
life." Unhappy wantons! Scipio, on the other side, when he was
but a boy (about two or three and twenty), being informed that
certain patricians of Roman gentlemen, through a qualm upon the
defeat which Hannibal had given them at Cannae, were laying their
heads together and contriving their flight with the
transportation of their goods out of Rome, drew his sword, and
setting himself at the door of the chamber where they were at
council, protested "that who did not immediately swear not to
desert the commonwealth, he would make his soul to desert his
body." Let men argue as they please for monarchy, or against a
commonwealth, the world shall never see any man so sottish or
wicked as in cool blood to prefer the education of the sons of
Brutus before that of Scipio; and of this mould, except a Melius
or a Manlius, was the whole youth of that commonwealth, though
not ordinarily so well cast.

Now the health of a government and the education of the youth
being of the same pulse, no wonder if it has been the constant
practice of well-ordered commonwealths to commit the care and
feeling of it to public magistrates. A duty that was performed in
such a manner by the Areopagites, as is elegantly praised by
Isocrates. "the Athenians (says he) write not their laws upon
dead walls, nor content themselves with having ordained
punishments for crimes, but provide in such a way, by the
education of their youth, that there be no crimes for
punishment." He speaks of those laws which regarded manners, not
of those orders which concerned the administration of the
commonwealth, lest you should think he contradicts Xenophon and
Polybius. The children of Lacedaemon, at the seventh year of
their age, were delivered to the poedonomi, or schoolmasters, not
mercenary, but magistrates of the commonwealth, to which they
were accountable for their charge; and by these at the age of
fourteen they were presented to other magistrates called the
beidioei, having the inspection of the games and exercises, among
which that of the platanista was famous, a kind of fight in
squadrons, but somewhat too fierce. When they came to be of
military age they were listed of the mora, and so continued in
readiness for public service under the discipline of the
polemarchs. But the Roman education and discipline by the
centuries and classes is that to which the Commonwealth of Oceana
has had a more particular regard in her three essays, being
certain degrees by which the youth commence as it were in arms
for magistracy, as appears by --

The twenty-sixth order, instituting, "That if a parent has
but one son, the education of that one son shall be wholly at the
disposition of that parent. But whereas there be free schools
erected and endowed, or to be erected and endowed in every tribe
of this nation, to a sufficient proportion for the education of
the children of the same (which schools, to the end there be no
detriment or hindrance to the scholars upon case of removing from
one to another, are every of them to be governed by the strict
inspection of the censors of the tribes, both upon the
schoolmaster's manner of life and teaching, and the proficiency
of the children, after the rules and method of that in Hiera) if
a parent has more sons than one, the censors of the tribes shall
animadvert upon and punish him that sends not his sons within the
ninth year of their age to some one of the schools of a tribe,
there to be kept and taught, if he be able, at his own charges;
and if he be not able, gratis, till they arrive at the age of
fifteen years. And a parent may expect of his sons at the
fifteenth year of their age, according to his choice or ability,
whether it be to service in the way of apprentices to some trade
or otherwise, or to further study, as by sending them to the inns
of court, of chancery, or to one of the universities of this
nation. But he that takes not upon him one of the professions
proper to some of those places, shall not continue longer in any
of them than till he has attained to the age of eighteen years;
and every man having not at the age of eighteen years taken upon
him, or addicted himself to the profession of the law, theology,
or physic, and being no servant, shall be capable of the essays
of the youth, and no other person whatsoever, except a man,
having taken upon him such a profession, happens to lay it by ere
he arrives at three or four and twenty years of age, and be
admitted to this capacity by the respective. Phylarchs being
satisfied that he kept not out so long with any design to evade
the service of the commonwealth; but, that being no sooner at his
own disposal, it was no sooner in his choice to come in. And if
any youth or other person of this nation have a desire to travel
into foreign countries upon occasion of business, delight, or
further improvement of his education, the same shall be lawful
for him upon a pass obtained from the censors in Parliament,
putting a convenient limit to the time, and recommending him to
the ambassadors by whom he shall be assisted, and to whom he
shall yield honor and obedience in their respective residences.
Every youth at his return from his travel is to present the
censors with a paper of his own writing, containing the interest
of state or form of government of the countries, or some one of
the countries, where he has been; and if it he good, the censors
shall cause it to be printed and published, prefixing a line in
commendation of the author.

"Every Wednesday next ensuing the last of December, the whole
youth of every parish, that is to say, every man (not excepted by
the foregoing part of the order), being from eighteen years of
age to thirty, shall repair at the sound of the bell to their
respective church, and being there assembled in presence of the
overseers, who are to govern the ballot, and the constable who is
to officiate at the urn, shall, after the manner of the elders,
elect every fifth man of their whole number (provided that they
choose not above one of two brothers at one election, nor above
half if they be four or upward) to be a stratiot or deputy of the
youth; and the list of the stratiots so elected being taken by
the overseers, shall be entered in the parish book, and
diligently preserved as a record, called the first essay. They
whose estates by the law are able, or whose friends are willing,
to mount them, shall be of the horse, the rest are of the foot.
And he who has been one year of this list, is not capable of
being re-elected till after another year's interval.

"Every Wednesday next ensuing the last of January, the
stratiots being mustered at the rendezvous of their respective
hundreds, shall, in the presence of the jurymen, who are
overseers of that ballot, and of the high constable who is to
officiate at the urn, elect out of the horse of their troop or
company one captain, and one ensign or cornet, to the command of
the same. And the jurymen having entered the list of the hundred
into a record to be diligently kept at the rendezvous of the
same, the first public game of this commonwealth shall begin and
be performed in this manner. Whereas there is to be at every
rendezvous of a hundred, one cannon, culverin, or saker, the
prize arms being forged by sworn armorers of this commonwealth,
and for their proof, besides their beauty, viewed and tried at
the tower of Emporium, shall be exposed by the justice of peace
appertaining to that hundred (the said justice with the jurymen
being judges of the game), and the judges shall deliver to the
horseman that gains the prize at the career, one suit of arms
being of the value 20, to the pikeman that gains the prize at
throwing the bullet, one suit of arms of the value of 10, to the
musketeer that gains the prize at the mark with his musket, one
suit of arms of the value of 10, and to the cannoneer that gains
the prize at the mark with the cannon, culverin, or saker, a
chain of silver being the value of 10, provided that no one man
at the same muster plays above one of the prizes. Whosoever gains
a prize is bound to wear it (if it be his lot) upon service; and
no man shall sell or give away any armor thus won, except he has
lawfully attained to two or more of them at the games.

"The games being ended, and the muster dismissed, the captain
of the troop or company shall repair with a copy of the list to
the lord lieutenant of the tribe, and the high constable with a
duplicate of the same to the custos rotulorum, or muster-master
general, to be also communicated to the censors; in each of which
the jurymen, giving a note upon every name of an only son, shall
certify the list is without subterfuge or evasion; or, if it be
not, an account of those upon whom the evasion or subterfuge
lies, to the end that the phylarch or the censors may animadvert

"And every Wednesday next ensuing the last of February, the
lord lieutenant, custos rotulorum, the censors, and the
conductor, shall receive the whole muster of the youth of that
tribe at the rendezvous of the same, distributing the horse and
foot with their officers, according to the directions given in
the like case for the distribution of the elders; and the whole
squadron being put by that means in battalia, the second game of
this commonwealth shall begin by the exercise of the youth in all
the parts of their military discipline according to the orders of
Parliament, or direction of the Council of War in that case. And
the 100 allowed by the Parliament for the ornament of the muster
in every tribe, shall be expended by the phylarch upon such
artificial castles, citadels, or the like devices, as may make
the best and most profitable sport for the youth and their

"Which being ended, the censors having prepared the urns by
putting into the horse-urn 220 gold balls, whereof ten are to be
marked with the letter M and other ten with the letter P; into
the foot-urn 700 gold balls, whereof fifty are to be marked, with
the letter M and fifty with the letter P; and after they have
made the gold balls in each urn, by the addition of silver balls
to the same, in number equal with the horse and foot of the
stratiots, the lord lieutenant shall call the stratiots to the
urns, where they that draw the silver balls shall return to their
places, and they that draw the gold balls shall fall off to the
pavilion, where, for the space of one hour, they may chop and
change their balls according as one can agree with another, whose
lot he likes better.

But the hour being out, the conductor separating them whose
gold balls have no letter from those whose balls are marked,
shall cause the crier to call the alphabet, as first A; whereupon
all they whose gold balls are not marked, and whose surnames
begin with the letter A, shall repair to a clerk appertaining to
the custos rotulorum, who shall first take the names of that
letter; then those of B, and so on, till all the names be
alphabetically enrolled. And the youth of this list being 600
foot in a tribe, that is, 30,000 foot in all the tribes; and 200
horse in a tribe, that is, 10,000 horse in all the tribes, are
the second essay of the stratiots, and the standing army of this
commonwealth to be always ready upon command to march. They whose
balls are marked with M, amounting, by twenty horse and fifty
foot in a tribe, to 2,500 foot and 500 horse in all the tribes,
and they whose balls are marked with P, in every point
correspondent, are parts of the third essay; they in M being
straight to march for Marpesia, and they of P for Panopea, to the
ends and according to the further directions following in the
order for the provincial orbs.

"If the polemarchs or field officers be elected by the
scrutiny of the Council of War, and the strategus commanded by
the Parliament or the Dictator to march, the lord lieutenants
(who have power to muster and discipline the youth so often as
they receive orders for the same from the Council of War) are to
deliver the second essay, or so many of them as shall be
commanded, to the conductors, who shall present them to the lord
strategus at the time and place appointed by his Excellency to be
the general rendezvous of Oceana, where the Council of War shall
have the accommodation of horses and arms for his men in
readiness; and the lord strategus having armed, mounted, and
distributed them, whether according to the recommendation of
their prize arms, or otherwise, shall lead them away to his
shipping, being also ready and provided with victuals,
ammunition, artillery, and all other necessaries; commanding
them, and disposing of the whole conduct of the war by his sole
power and authority. And this is the third essay of the
stratiots, which being shipped, or marched out of their tribes,
the lord lieutenants shall re-elect the second essay out of the
remaining part of the first, and the Senate another strategus.

"If any veteran or veterans of this nation, the term of whose
youth or militia is expired, having a desire to be entertained in
the further service of the commonwealth, shall present him or
themselves at the rendezvous of Oceana to the strategus, it is in
his power to take on such and so many of them as shall be agreed
by the polemarchs, and to send back an equal number of the

"And for the better managing of the proper forces of this
nation, the lord strategus, by appointment of the Council of War,
and out of such levies as they shall have made in either or both
of the provinces to that end, shall receive auxiliaries by sea or
elsewhere at some certain place, not exceeding his proper arms in

"And whosoever shall refuse any one of his three essays,
except upon cause shown, he be dispensed withal by the phylarch,
or, if the phylarch be not assembled, by the censors of his
tribe, shall be deemed a helot or public servant, shall pay a
fifth part of his yearly revenue, besides all other taxes, to the
commonwealth for his protection, and be incapable of bearing any
magistracy except such as is proper to the law. Nevertheless if a
man has but two sons, the lord lieutenant shall not suffer above
one of them to come to the Urn at one election of the second
essay, and though he has above two sons, there shall not come
above half the brothers at one election; and if a man has but one
son, he shall not come to the urn at all without the consent of
his parents, or his guardians, nor shall it be any reproach to
him or impediment to his bearing of magistracy"

This order, with relation to foreign expeditions, will be
proved and explained together with --

The twenty-seventh order, "Providing, in case of invasion
apprehended, that the lords high sheriffs of the tribes, upon
commands received from the Parliament or the Dictator, distribute
the bands of the elders into divisions, after the nature of the
essays of the youth; and that the second division or essay of the
elders, being made and consisting of 30,000 foot and 10,000
horse, be ready to march with the second essay of the youth, and
be brought also by the conductors to the strategus.

"The second essay of the elders and youth being marched out
of their tribes, the lords high sheriffs and lieutenants shall
have the remaining part of the annual bands both of elders and
youth in readiness, which, if the beacons be fired, shall march
to the rendezvous to be in that case appointed by the Parliament
or the Dictator: And the beacons being fired, the curiata
comitia, or parochial congregations, shall elect a fourth both of
elders and youth to be immediately upon the guard of the tribes,
and dividing themselves as aforesaid, to march also in their
divisions according to orders, which method in case of extremity
shall proceed to the election of a third, or the levy of a
second, or of the last man in the nation, by the power of the
lords high sheriffs, to the end that the commonwealth in her
utmost pressure may show her trust that God in his justice will
remember mercy, by humbling herself, and yet preserving her
courage, discipline, and constancy, even to the last drop of her
blood and the utmost farthing.

"The services performed by the youth, or by the elders, in
case of invasion, and according to this order, shall be at their
proper cost and charges that are any ways able to endure it; but
if there be such as are known in their parishes to be so indigent
that they cannot march out of their tribes, nor undergo the
burden in this case incumbent, then the congregations of their
parishes shall furnish them with sufficient sums of money to be
repaid upon the certificate of the same by the Parliament when
the action shall be over. And of that which is respectively
enjoined by this order, any tribe, parish, magistrate, or person
that shall fail, is to answer for it, at the Council of War, as a
deserter of his country."

The Archon, being the greatest captain of his own, if not of
any age, added much to the glory of this commonwealth, by
interweaving the militia with more art and lustre than any
legislator from or before the time of Servius Tullius, who
constituted the Roman militia. But as the bones or skeleton of a
man, though the greatest part of his beauty be contained in their
proportion or symmetry, yet shown without flesh are a spectacle
that is rather horrid than entertaining, so without discourses
are the orders of a commonwealth; which, if she goes forth in
that manner, may complain of her friends that they stand mute and
staring upon her. Wherefore this order was thus fleshed by the
Lord Archon:


"Diogenes seeing a young fellow drunk, told him that his
father was drunk when he begot him. For this, in natural
generation, I must confess I see no reason; but in the political
it is right. The vices of the people are from their governors;
those of their governors from their laws or orders; and those of
their laws or orders from their legislators. Whatever was in the
womb imperfect, as to her proper work, comes very rarely or never
at all to perfection afterward; and the formation of a citizen in
the womb of the commonwealth is his education.

"Education by the first of the foregoing orders is of six
kinds: at the school, in the mechanics, at the universities, at
the inns of court or chancery, in travels, and in military
discipline, some of which I shall but touch, and some I shall
handle more at large.

"That which is proposed for the erecting and endowing of
schools throughout the tribes, capable of all the children of the
same, and able to give to the poor the education of theirs
gratis, is only matter of direction in case of very great
charity, as easing the needy of the charge of their children from
the ninth to the fifteenth year of their age, during which time
their work cannot be profitable; and restoring them when they may
be of use, furnished with tools whereof there are advantages to
be made in every work, seeing he that can read and use his pen
has some convenience by it in the meanest vocation. And it cannot
be conceived but that which comes, though in small parcels, to
the advantage of every man in his vocation, must amount to the
advantage of every vocation, and so to that of the whole
commonwealth. Wherefore this is commended to the charity of every
wise-hearted and well-minded man, to be done in time, and as God
shall stir him up or enable him; there being such provision
already in the case as may give us leave to proceed without

"Parents, under animadversion of the censors, are to dispose
of their children at the fifteenth year of their age to
something; but what, is left, according to their abilities or
inclination, at their own choice. This, with the multitude, must
be to the mechanics, that is to say to agriculture or husbandry,
to manufactures, or to merchandise.

"Agriculture is the bread of the nation; we are hung upon it
by the teeth; it is a mighty nursery of strength, the best army,
and the most assured knapsack; it is managed with the least
turbulent or ambitious, and the most innocent hands of all other
arts. Wherefore I am of Aristotle's opinion, that a commonwealth
of husbandmen -- and such is ours -- must be the best of all
others. Certainly my lords, you have no measure of what ought to
be, but what can be, done for the encouragement of this
profession. I could wish I were husband good enough to direct
something to this end; but racking of rents is a vile thing in
the richer sort, an uncharitable one to the poorer, a perfect
mark of slavery, and nips your commonwealth in the fairest
blossom. On the other side, if there should be too much ease
given in this kind, it would occasion sloth, and so destroy
industry, the principal nerve of a commonwealth. But if aught
might be done to hold the balance even between these two, it
would be a work in this nation equal to that for which Fabius was
surnamed Maximus by the Romans.

"In manufactures and merchandise the Hollander has gotten the
start of us; but at the long run it will be found that a people
working upon a foreign commodity does but farm the manufacture,
and that it is really entailed upon them only where the growth of
it is native; as also that it is one thing to have the carriage
of other men's goods, and another for a man to bring his own to
the best market. Wherefore (nature having provided encouragement
for these arts in this nation above all others, where, the people
growing, they of necessity must also increase) it cannot but
establish them upon a far more sure and effectual foundation than
that of the Hollanders. But these educations are in order to the
first things or necessities of nature; as husbandry to the food,
manufacture to the clothing, and merchandise to the purse of the

"There be other things in nature, which being second as to
their order, for their dignity and value are first; and such to
which the other are but accommodations; of this sort are
especially these: religion, justice, courage, and wisdom.

"The education that answers to religion in our government is
that of the universities. Moses, the divine legislator, was not
only skilful in all the learning of the Egyptians, but took also
into the fabric of his commonwealth the learning of the
Midianites in the advice of Jethro; and his foundation of a
university laid in the tabernacle, and finished in the Temple,
became that pinnacle from whence (according to many Jewish and
Christian authors) all the learning in the world has taken wing;
as the philosophy of the Stoics from the Pharisees; that of the
Epicureans from the Sadducees; and from the learning of the Jews,
so often quoted by our Saviour, and fulfilled in him, the
Christian religion. Athens was the most famous university in her
days; and her senators, that is to say, the Areopagites, were all
philosophers. Lacedaemon, to speak truth, though she could write
and read, was not very bookish. But he that disputes hence
against universities, disputes by the same argument against
agriculture, manufacture, and merchandise; every one of these
having been equally forbid by Lycurgus, not for itself (for if he
had not been learned in all the learning of Crete, and well
travelled in the knowledge of other governments, he had never
made his commonwealth), but for the diversion which they must
have given his citizens from their arms, who, being but few, if
they had minded anything else, must have deserted the
commonwealth. For Rome, she had ingenium par ingenio, was as
learned as great, and held our College of Augurs in much
reverence. Venice has taken her religion upon trust. Holland
cannot attend it to be very studious. Nor does Switzerland mind
it much; yet are they all addicted to their universities. We cut
down trees to build houses; but I would have somebody show me, by
what reason or experience the cutting down of a university should
tend to the setting up of a commonwealth. Of this I am sure, that
the perfection of a commonwealth is not to be attained without
the knowledge of ancient prudence, nor the knowledge of ancient
prudence without learning, nor learning without schools of good
literature, and these are such as we call universities.

"Now though mere university learning of itself be that which
(to speak the words of Verulamius) 'crafty men contemn, and
simple men only admire, yet is it such as wise men have use of;
for studies do not teach their own use, but that is a wisdom
without and above them, won by observation. Expert men may
execute, and perhaps judge, of particulars one by one; but the
general councils and the plots, and the marshalling of affairs,
come best from those that are learned.' Wherefore if you would
have your children to be statesmen, let them drink by all means
of these fountains, where perhaps there were never any. But what
though the water a man drinks be not nourishment, it is the
vehicle without which he cannot be nourished.

Nor is religion less concerned in this point than government:
for take away your universities, and in a few years you lose it.
"The holy Scriptures are written in Hebrew and Greek; they that
have neither of these languages may think light of both; but find
me a man that has one in perfection, the study of whose whole
life it has not been. Again, this is apparent to us in daily
conversation, that if four or five persons that have lived
together be talking, another speaking the same language may come
in, and yet understand very little of their discourse, in that it
relates to circumstances, persons, things, times and places which
he knows not. It is no otherwise with a man, having no insight of
the times in which they were written, and the circumstances to
which they relate, in the reading of ancient books, whether they
be divine or human. For example, when we fall upon the discourse
about baptism and regeneration that was between our Saviour and
Nicodemus, where Christ reproaches him with his ignorance in this
matter. 'Art thou a doctor in Israel, and understandest not these
things?, What shall we think of it? or wherefore should a doctor
in Israel have understood these things more than another, but
that both baptism and regeneration, as was showed at large by my
Lord Phosphorus, were doctrines held in Israel? I instance in one
place of a hundred, which he, that has not mastered the
circumstances to which they relate, cannot understand. Wherefore
to the understanding of the Scripture, it is necessary to have
ancient languages, and the knowledge of ancient times, or the aid
of them who have such knowledge; and to have such as may be
always able and ready to give such aid (unless you would borrow
it of another nation, which would not only be base, but
deceitful) it is necessary to a commonwealth that she have
schools of good literature, or universities of her own.

"We are commanded, as has been said more than once, to search
the Scriptures; and which of them search the Scriptures, they
that take this pains in ancient languages and learning, or they
that will not, but trust to translations only, and to words as
they sound to present circumstances? than which nothing is more
fallible, or certain to lose the true sense of Scriptures,
pretended to be above human understanding, for no other cause
than that they are below it. But in searching the Scriptures by
the proper use of our universities, we have been heretofore blest
with greater victories and trophies against the purple hosts and
golden standards of the Romish hierarchy than any nation; and
therefore why we should relinquish this upon the presumption of
some, that because there is a greater light which they have, I do
not know. There is a greater light than the sun, but it does not
extinguish the sun, nor does any light of God's giving extinguish
that of nature, but increase and sanctify it. Wherefore, neither
the honor bore by the Israelitish, Roman, or any other
commonwealth that I have shown, to their ecclesiastics, consisted
in being governed by them, but in consulting them in matters of
religion, upon whose responses or oracles they did afterward as
they thought fit.

"Nor would I be here mistaken, as if, by affirming the
universities to be, in order both to religion and government, of
absolute necessity, I declared them or the ministry in any wise
fit to be trusted, so far as to exercise any power not derived
from the civil magistrate in the administration of either. if the
Jewish religion were directed and established by Moses, it was
directed and established by the civil magistrate; or if Moses
exercised this administration as a prophet, the same prophet did
invest with the same administration the Sanhedrim, and not the
priests; and so does our commonwealth the Senate, and not the
clergy. They who had the supreme administration or government of
the national religion in Athens, were the first Archon, the rex
sacrificulus, or high-priest, and a polemarch, which magistrates
were ordained or elected by the holding up of hands in the
church, congregation, or comitia of the people. The religion of
Lacedaemon was governed by the kings, who were also high-priests,
and officiated at the sacrifice; these had power to substitute
their pythii, ambassadors, or nuncios, by which, not without
concurrence of the Senate, they held intelligence with the oracle
of Apollo at Delphos. And the ecclesiastical part of the
Commonwealth of Rome was governed by the pontifex maximus, the
rex sacrificulus, and the Flamens, all ordained or elected by the
people, the pontifex by the tribes, the King by the centuries,
and the Flamens by the parishes.

"I do not mind you of these things, as if, for the matter,
there were any parallel to be drawn out of their superstitions to
our religion, but to show that for the manner, ancient prudence
is as well a rule in divine as human things; nay, and such a one
as the apostles themselves, ordaining elders by the holding up of
hands in every congregation, have exactly followed; for some of
the congregations where they thus ordained elders were those of
Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, the countries of Lycaona,
Pisidia, Pamphilia, Perga, with Attalia. Now that these cities
and countries, when the Romans propagated their empire into Asia,
were found most of them commonwealths, and that many of the rest
were endued with like power, so that the people living under the
protection of the Roman emperors continued to elect their own
magistrates, is so known a thing, that I wonder whence it is that
men, quite contrary to the universal proof of these examples,
will have ecclesiastical government to be necessarily distinct
from civil power, when the right of the elders ordained by the
holding up of hands in every congregation to teach the people,
was plainly derived from the same civil power by which they
ordained the rest of their magistrates. And it is not otherwise
in our commonwealth, where the parochial congregation elects or
ordains its pastor. To object the Commonwealth of Venice in this
place, were to show us that it has been no otherwise but where
the civil power has lost the liberty of her conscience by
embracing popery; as also that to take away the liberty of
conscience in this administration from the civil power, were a
proceeding which has no other precedent than such as is popish.

"Wherefore your religion is settled after the following
manner: the universities are the seminaries of that part which is
national, by which means others with all safety may be permitted
to follow the liberty of their own consciences, in regard that,
however they behave themselves, the ignorance of the unlearned in
this case cannot lose your religion nor disturb your government,
which otherwise it would most certainly do; and the universities
with their emoluments, as also the benefices of the whole nation,
are to be improved by such augmentations as may make a very
decent and comfortable subsistence for the ministry, which is
neither to be allowed synods nor assemblies, except upon the
occasion shown in the universities, when they are consulted by
the Council of State, and suffered to meddle with affairs of
religion, nor to be capable of any other public preferment
whatsoever; by which means the interest of the learned can never
come to corrupt your religion, nor disturb your government, which
otherwise it would most certainly do. Venice, though she does not
see, or cannot help the corruption of her religion, is yet so
circumspect to avoid disturbance of her government in this kind,
that her Council proceeds not to election of magistrates till it
be proclaimed fora papalini, by which words such as have
consanguinity with red hats, or relation to the Court of Rome,
are warned to withdraw.

"If a minister in Holland meddles with matter of state, the
magistrate sends him a pair of shoes; whereupon, if he does not
go, he is driven away from his charge. I wonder why ministers, of
all men, should be perpetually tampering with government; first
because they, as well as others, have it in express charge to
submit themselves to the ordinances of men; and secondly because
these ordinances of men must go upon such political principles as
they of all others, by anything that can be found in their
writings or actions, least understand: whence you have the
suffrage of all nations to this sense, that an ounce of wisdom is
worth a pound of clergy. Your greatest clerks are not your wisest
men: and when some foul absurdity in state is committed, it is
common with the French, and even the Italians, to call it 'pas de
clerc,' or 'governo de prete.' They may bear with men that will
be preaching without study, while they will be governing without
prudence. My lords, if you know not how to rule your clergy, you
will most certainly, like a man that cannot rule his wife, have
neither quiet at home nor honor abroad. Their honest vocation is
to teach your children at the schools and the universities, and
the people in the parishes, and yours is concerned to see that
they do not play the shrews, of which parts does consist the
education of your commonwealth, so far as it regards religion.

"To justice, or that part of it which is commonly executive,
answers the education of the inns of court and chancery. Upon
which to philosophize, requires a public kind of learning that I
have not. But they who take upon them any profession proper to
the educations mentioned -- that is, theology, physic, or law --
are not at leisure for the essays. Wherefore the essays, being
degrees whereby the youth commence for all magistracies, offices,
and honors in the parish, hundred, tribe, Senate, or prerogative;
divines, physicians, and lawyers not taking these degrees,
exclude themselves from all such magistracies, offices, and
honors. And whereas lawyers are likest to exact further reason
for this, they (growing up from the most gainful art at the bar
to those magistracies upon the bench which are continually
appropriated to themselves, and not only endowed with the
greatest revenues, but also held for life) have the least reason
of all the rest to pretend to any other, especially in an equal
commonwealth, where accumulation of magistracy or to take a
person engaged by his profit to the laws, as they stand, into the
power, which is legislative, and which should keep them to what
they were, or ought to he, were a solecism in prudence. It is
true that the legislative power may have need of advice and
assistance from the executive magistracy, or such as are learned
in the law; for which cause the judges are, as they have
heretofore been, assistants in the Senate. Nor, however it came
about, can I see any reason why a judge, being but an assistant
or lawyer, should be member of a legislative council.

"I deny not that the Roman patricians were all patrons, and
that the whole people were clients, some to one family and some
to another, by which means they had their causes pleaded and
defended in some appearance gratis; for the patron took no money,
though if he had a daughter to marry, his clients were to pay her
portion, nor was this so great a grievance. But if the client
accused his patron, gave testimony or suffrage against him, it
was a crime of such a nature that any man might lawfully kill him
as a traitor; and this, as being the nerve of the optimacy, was a
great cause of ruin to that commonwealth; for when the people
would carry anything that pleased not the Senate, the senators
were ill provided if they could not intercede-that is, oppose it
by their clients; with whom, to vote otherwise than they pleased,
was the highest crime. The observation of this bond till the time
of the Gracchi -- that is to say, till it was too late, or to no
purpose to break it -- was the cause why, in all the former heats
and disputes that had happened between the Senate and the people,
it never came to blows, which indeed was good; but withal, the
people could have no remedy, which was certainly evil. Wherefore
I am of opinion that a senator ought not to be a patron or
advocate, nor a patron or advocate to be a senator; for if his
practice be gratis it debauches the people, and if it be
mercenary it debauches himself: take it which way you will, when
he should be making of laws, he will be knitting of nets.

"Lycurgus, as I said, by being a traveller became a
legislator, but in times when prudence was another thing.
Nevertheless we may not shut out this part of education in a
commonwealth, which will be herself a traveller; for those of
this make have seen the world, especially because this is certain
(though it be not regarded in our times, when things being left
to take their chance, it fares with us accordingly) that no man
can be a politician except he be first a historian or a
traveller; for except he can see what must be, or what may be, he
is no politician. Now if he has no knowledge in history he cannot
tell what has been, and if he has not been a traveller, he cannot
tell what is; but he that neither knows what has been, nor what
is, can never tell what must be, or what may be. Furthermore, the
embassies-in-ordinary by our constitution are the prizes of young
men, more especially such as have been travellers. Wherefore they
of these inclinations, having leave of the censors, owe them an
account of their time, and cannot choose but lay it out with some
ambition of praise or reward, where both are open, whence you
will have eyes abroad, and better choice of public ministers,
your gallants showing themselves not more to the ladies at their
balls than to your commonwealth at her Academy when they return
from their travels.

"But this commonwealth being constituted more especially of
two elements, arms and councils, drives by a natural instinct at
courage and wisdom; which he who has attained is arrived at the
perfection of human nature. It is true that these virtues must
have some natural root in him that is capable of them; but this
amounts not to so great a matter as some will have it. For if
poverty makes an industrious, a moderate estate a temperate, and
a lavish fortune a wanton man, and this be the common course of
things, wisdom then is rather of necessity than inclination. And
that an army which was meditating upon flight, has been brought
by despair to win the field, is so far from being strange, that
like causes will evermore produce like effects. Wherefore this
commonwealth drives her citizens like wedges; there is no way
with them but thorough, nor end but that glory whereof man is
capable by art or nature. That the genius of the Roman families
commonly preserved itself throughout the line (as to instance in
some, the Manlii were still severe, the Publicolae lovers, and
the Appii haters of the people) is attributed by Machiavel to
their education; nor, if interest might add to the reason why the
genius of a patrician was one thing, and that of a plebeian
another, is the like so apparent between different nations, who,
according to their different educations, have yet as different
manners. It was anciently noted, and long confirmed by the
actions of the French, that in their first assaults their courage
was more than that of men, and for the rest less than that of
women, which nevertheless, through the amendment of their
discipline, we see now to be otherwise. I will not say but that
some man or nation upon an equal improvement of this kind may be
lighter than some other; but certainly education is the scale
without which no man or nation can truly know his or her own
weight or value. By our histories we can tell when one Marpesian
would have beaten ten Oceaners, and when one Oceaner would have
beaten ten Marpesians. Marc Antony was a Roman, but how did that
appear in the embraces of Cleopatra? You must have some other
education for your youth, or they, like that passage, will show
better in romance than true story.

"The custom of the Commonwealth of Rome in distributing her
magistracies without respect of age, happened to do well in
Corvinus and Scipio; for which cause Machiavel (with whom that
which was done by Rome, and that which is well done, are for the
most part all one) commends this course. Yet how much it did
worse at other times, is obvious in Pompey and Caesar, examples
by which Boccalini illustrates the prudence of Venice in her
contrary practice, affirming it to have been no small step to the
ruin of the Roman liberty, that these (having tasted in their
youth of the supreme honors) had no greater in their age to hope
for, but by perpetuating of the same in themselves; which came to
blood and ended in tyranny. The opinion of Verulamius is safe:
'The errors,' says he, 'of young men are the ruin of business;
whereas the errors of old men amount but to this, that more might
have been done, or sooner.' But though their wisdom be little,
their courage is great; wherefore (to come to the main education
of this commonwealth) the militia of Oceana is the province of

"The distribution of this province by the essays is so fully
described in the order, that I need repeat nothing; the order
itself being but a repetition or copy of that original, which in
ancient prudence is of all others the fairest, as that from
whence the Commonwealth of Rome more particularly derived the
empire of the world. And there is much more reason in this age,
when governments are universally broken, or swerved from their
foundations, and the people groan under tyranny, that the same
causes (which could not be withstood when the world was full of
popular governments) should have the like effects.

"The causes in the Commonwealth of Rome, whereof the empire
of the world was not any miraculous, but a natural (nay, I may
safely say a necessary) consequence, are contained in that part
of her discipline which was domestic, and in that which she
exercises in her provinces or conquest. Of the latter I shall
have better occasion to speak when we come to our provincial
orbs; the former divided the whole people by tribes, amounting,
as Livy and Cicero show, at their full growth to thirty-five, and
every tribe by the sense or valuation of estates into five
classes: for the sixth being proletary, that is the nursery, or
such as through their poverty contributed nothing to the
commonwealth but children, was not reckoned nor used in arms. And
this is the first point of the militia, in which modern prudence
is quite contrary to the ancient; for whereas we, excusing the
rich and arming the poor, become the vassals of our servants,
they, by excusing the poor and arming such as were rich enough to
be freemen, became lords of the earth. The nobility and gentry of
this nation, who understand so little what it is to be the lords
of the earth that they have not been able to keep their own
lands, will think it a strange education for their children to be
common soldiers, and obliged to all the duties of arms;
nevertheless it is not for four shillings a week, but to be
capable of being the best man in the field or in the city the
latter part of which consideration makes the common soldier
herein a better man than the general of any monarchical army.

"And whereas it may be thought that this would drink deep of
noble blood, I dare boldly say, take the Roman nobility in the
heat of their fiercest wars, and you shall not find such a
shambles of them as has been made of ours by mere luxury and
slothfulness; which, killing the body, kill the soul also:
Animasque in vulnere ponunt. Whereas common right is that which
he who stands in the vindication of, has used that sword of
justice for which he receives the purple of magistracy. The glory
of a man on earth can go no higher, and if he falls he rises
again, and comes sooner to that reward which is so much higher as
heaven is above the earth. To return to the Roman example: every
class was divided, as has been more than once shown, into
centuries, and every century was equally divided into youth and
elders; the youth for foreign service, and the elders for the
guard of the territory. In the first class were about eighteen
centuries of horse, being those which, by the institution of
Servius, were first called to the suffrage in the centurial
assemblies. But the delectus, or levy of an army, which is the
present business, proceeded, according to Polybius, in this

"Upon a war decreed, the Consuls elected four-and-twenty
military tribunes or colonels, whereof ten, being such as had
merited their tenth stipend, were younger officers. The tribunes
being chosen, the Consuls appointed a day to the tribes, when
those in them of military age were to appear at the capitol. The
day being come, and the youth assembled accordingly, the Consuls
ascended their tribunal, and the younger tribunes were straight
divided into four parts after this manner: four were assigned to
the first legion (a legion at the most consisted of 6,000 foot
and 300 horse), three to the second, four to the third, and three
to the fourth. The younger tribunes being thus distributed, two
of the elder were assigned to the first legion, three to the
second, two to the third, and three to the fourth; and the
officers of each legion thus assigned, having drawn the tribes by
lot, and being seated according to their divisions at a
convenient distance from each other, the tribe of the first lot
was called, whereupon they that were of it knowing the business,
and being prepared, presently bolted out four of their number, in
the choice whereof such care was taken that they offered none
that was not a citizen, no citizen that was not of the youth, no
youth that was not of some one of the five classes, nor any one
of the five classes that was not expert at his exercises.
Moreover, they used such diligence in matching them for age and
stature, that the officers of the legion, except they happened to
be acquainted with the youth so bolted, were forced to put
themselves upon fortune, while they of the first legion chose
one, they of the second the next, they of the third another and
the fourth youth fell to the last legion; and thus was the
election (the legions and the tribes varying according to their
lots) carried on till the foot were complete.

"The like course with little alteration was taken by the
horse officers till the horse also were complete. This was called
giving of names, which the children of Israel did also by lot;
and if any man refused to give his name, he was sold for a slave,
or his estate confiscated to the commonwealth. 'When Marcus
Curius the Consul was forced to make a sudden levy, and none of
the youth would give in their names, all the tribes being put to
the lot, he commanded the first name drawn out of the urn of the
Pollian tribe (which happened to come first) to be called; but
the youth not answering, he ordered his goods to be sold; which
was conformable to the law in Israel, according to which Saul
took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them
throughout the tribes, saying, 'Whosoever comes not forth to
battle after Saul and Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen.'
By which you may observe also that they who had no cattle were
not of the militia in Israel. But the age of the Roman youth by
the Tullian law determined at thirty; and by the law (though it
should seem by Machiavel and others that this was not well
observed) a man could not stand for magistracy till he was miles
emeritus, or had fulfilled the full term of his militia, which
was complete in his tenth stipend or service, nor was he
afterward obliged under any penalty to give his name, except the
commonwealth were invaded, in which case the elders were as well
obliged as the youth. The Consul might also levy milites
evocatos, or soldiers, commanded men out of such as had served
their turn, and this at his discretion. The legions being thus
complete, were divided by two to each consul, and in these no man
had right to serve but a Roman citizen; now because two legions
made but a small army, the Romans added to every one of their
arms an equal number of foot, and a double number of horse levied
among their Latin or Italian associates; so a consular army, with
the legions and auxiliaries, amounted to about 30,000, and
whereas they commonly levied two such armies together, these
being joined made about 60,000.

"The steps whereby our militia follows the greatest captain,
are the three essays; the first, elected by a fifth man in the
parishes, and amounting in the whole to 100,000, choose their
officers at the hundreds, where they fall also to their games or
exercises, invited by handsome prizes, such as for themselves and
the honor of them will be coveted, such as will render the
hundred a place of sports, and exercise of arms all the year
long, such as in the space of ten years will equip 30,000 men
horse and foot, with such arms for their forge, proof, and
beauty, as (notwithstanding the argyraspides, or silver shields
of Alexander's guards) were never worn by so many, such as will
present marks of virtue and direction to your general or
strategus in the distribution of his army, which doubles the
value of them to the proprietors, who are bound to wear them, and
eases the commonwealth of so much charge, so many being armed

"But here will be the objection now. How shall such a revenue
be compassed? Fifty pounds a year in every hundred is a great
deal, not so easily raised; men will not part with their money,
nor would the sum, as it is proposed by the order of Pompey, rise
in many years. These are difficulties that fit our genius
exactly, and yet 1,000 in each hundred, once levied, establishes
the revenue forever. Now the hundreds one with another are worth
10,000 a year dry-rent, over and above personal estates, which
bring it to twice the value, so that a twentieth part of one
year's revenue of the hundred does it. if you cannot afford this
while you pay taxes, though from henceforth they will be but
small ones, do it when you pay none. if it be then too much for
one year, do it in two; if it be too much for two years, do it in
four. What husbands have we hitherto been? what is become of
greater sums? My lords, if you should thus cast your bread upon
the waters, after many days you shall find it; stand not huckling
when you are offered corn and your money again in the mouth of
the sack.

"But to proceed: the first essay being officered at the
hundreds, and mustered at the tribes (where they are entertained
with other sports, which will be very fine ones), proceeds to the
election of the second essay, or standing army of this nation,
consisting of 30,000 foot and 10,000 horse; and these, upon a war
decreed, being delivered at the rendezvous of Oceana to the
strategus, are the third essay, which answers to the Roman
legions. But you may observe, that whereas the consuls elected
the military tribunes, and raised commanded men out of the
veterans at their own discretion, our polemarchs, or field
officers, are elected by the scrutiny of the Council of War, and
our veterans not otherwise taken on than as volunteers, and with
the consent of the polemarchs, which may serve for the removal of
certain scruples which might otherwise be incident in this place,
though without encouragement by the Roman way of proceeding, much
less by that which is proposed. But whereas the Roman legions in
all amounted not in one army to above 30,000 men, or little more,
you have here 40,000; and whereas they added auxiliaries, it is
in this regard that Marpesia will be a greater revenue to you
than if you had the Indies; for whereas heretofore she has
yielded you nothing but her native thistles, in ploughing out the
rankness of her aristocracy by your agrarian, you will find her
an inexhaustible magazine of men, and to her own advantage, who
will make a far better account by the arms than by the pins of
Poland. Wherefore as a consular army consisted of about an equal
number of auxiliaries added to their legions by their Latin or
Italian associates, you may add to a parliamentary army an equal
number of Marpesians or Panopeans, as that colony shall hereafter
be able to supply you, by which means the commonwealth will be
able to go forth to battle with 80,000 men.

"To make wars with small forces is no husbandry, but a waste,
a disease, a lingering and painful consumption of men and money
the Romans making theirs thick, made them short, and had little
regard to money, as that which they who have men enough can
command where it is fittest that it should be levied. All the
ancient monarchies by this means got on wing, and attained to
vast riches. Whereas your modern princes being dear purchasers of
small parcels, have but empty pockets. But it may be some will
accuse the order of rashness, in that it commits the sole conduct
of the war to the general; and the custom of Venice by her
proveditori, or checks upon her commanders-in-chief, may seem to
be of greater prudence; but in this part of our government
neither Venice nor any nation that makes use of mercenary forces
is for our instruction. A mercenary army, with a standing
general, is like the fatal sister that spins; but proper forces,
with an annual magistrate, are like her that cuts the thread.
Their interests are quite contrary, and yet you have a better
proveditor than the Venetian, another strategus sitting with an
army standing by him; whereupon that which is marching, if there
were any probability it should, would find as little possibility
that it could recoil, as a foreign enemy to invade you. These
things considered, a war will appear to be of a contrary nature
to that of all other reckonings, inasmuch as of this you must
never look to have a good account if you be strict in imposing
checks. Let a council of huntsmen, assembled beforehand, tell you
which way the stag shall run, where you shall cast about at the
fault, and how you shall ride to be in at the chase all the day;
but these may as well do that, as a council of war direct a
general. The hours that have painted wings, and of different
colors, are his council; he must be like the eye that makes not
the scene, but has it so soon as it changes. That in many
counsellors there is strength, is spoken of civil
administrations; as to those that are military, there is nothing
more certain than that in many counsellors there is weakness.
Joint commissions in military affairs, are like hunting your
hounds in their couples. In the Attic War Cleomenes and
Demaratus, Kings of Lacedaemon, being thus coupled, tugged one
against another; and while they should have joined against the
Persian, were the cause of the common calamity, whereupon that
commonwealth took better counsel, and made a law whereby from
henceforth there went at once but one of her kings to battle.

"'The Fidenati being in rebellion, and having slain the
colony of the Romans, four tribunes with consular power were
created by the people of Rome, whereof one being left for the
guard of the city, the other three were sent against the
Fidenati, who, through the division that happened among them,
brought nothing home but dishonor, whereupon the Romans created
the Dictator, and Livy gives his judgment in these words: "The
three tribunes with consular power were a lesson how useless in
war is the joint command of several generals; for each following
his own counsels, while they all differed in their opinions, gave
by this opportunity an advantage to the enemy." When the consuls
Quintus and Agrippa were sent against the AEqui, Agrippa for this
reason refused to go with his colleague, saying: "That in the
administration of great actions it was most safe that the chief
command should be lodged in one person." And if the ruin of
modern armies were well considered, most of it would be found to
have fallen upon this point, it being in this case far safer to
trust to any one man of common prudence, than to any two or more
together of the greatest parts.' The consuls indeed, being equal
in power, while one was present with the Senate, and the other in
the field with the army, made a good balance; and this with us is
exactly followed by the election of a new strategus upon the
march of the old one.

"The seven-and-twentieth order, whereby the elders in case of
invasion are obliged to equal duty with the youth, and each upon
their own charge, is suitable to reason (for every man defends
his own estate) and to our copy, as in the war with the Samnites
and Tuscans. 'The Senate ordered a vacation to be proclaimed, and
a levy to be made of all sorts of persons, and not only the
freemen and youths were listed, but cohorts of the old men were
likewise formed.' This nation of all others is the least
obnoxious to invasion. Oceana, says a French politician, is a
beast that cannot be devoured but by herself. Nevertheless, that
government is not perfect which is not provided at all points;
and in this (ad triarios res rediit) the elders being such as in
a martial state must be veterans, the commonwealth invaded
gathers strength like Antaeus by her fall, while the whole number
of the elders, consisting of 500,000, and the youth of as many,
being brought up according to the order, give twelve successive
battles, each battle consisting of 80,000 men, half elders and
half youth. And the commonwealth, whose constitution can be no
stranger to any of those virtues which are to be acquired in
human life, grows familiar with death ere she dies. If the hand
of God be upon her for her transgressions, she shall mourn for
her sins, and lie in the dust for her iniquities, without losing
her manhood.

"'Si fractus illabatur orbis,

Impavidam ferient ruinoe.'"

The remaining part, being the constitution of the provincial
orb, is partly civil, or consisting of the elders; and partly
military, or consisting of the youth. The civil part of the
provincial orb is directed by --

The twenty-eighth order, "Whereby the council of a province
being constituted of twelve knights, divided by four into three
regions (for their term and revolution conformable to the
Parliament), is perpetuated by the annual election at the tropic
of four knights (being triennial magistrates) out of the region
of the Senate whose term expires; and of one knight out of the
same region to be strategus or general of the province, which
magistracy is annual. The strategus or magistrate thus chosen
shall be as well president of the provincial council with power
to propose to the same, as general of the army. The council for
the rest shall elect weekly provosts, having any two of them also
right to propose after the manner of the senatorian councils of
Oceana. And whereas all provincial councils are members of the
Council of State, they may and ought to keep diligent
correspondence with the same, which is to be done after this
manner: Any opinion or opinions legitimately proposed and debated
at a provincial council, being thereupon signed by the strategus
or any two of the provosts, may be transmitted to the Council of
State in Oceana; and the Council of State proceeding upon the
same in their natural course (whether by their own power, if it
be a matter within their instructions; or by authority of the
Senate thereupon consulted, if it be a matter of state which is
not in their instructions; or by authority of the Senate and
command of the people, if it be a matter of law, as for the
levies of men or money upon common use and safety) shall return
such answers, advice, or orders as in any of the ways mentioned
shall be determined upon the case.

"The provincial councils of Marpesia and Panopea respectively
shall take special care that the agrarian laws, as also all other
laws that be or shall from time to time be enacted by the
Parliament of Oceana, for either of them, be duly put in
execution; they shall manage and receive the customs of either
nation for the shipping of Oceana, being the common guard; they
shall have a care that moderate and sufficient pay upon the
respective province be duly raised for the support and
maintenance of the officers and soldiers, or army of the same, in
the most effectual, constant, and convenient way; they shall
receive the regalia, or public revenues of those nations, out of
which every councillor shall have for his term, and to his proper
use, the sum of 500 per annum, and the strategus 500 as
president, beside his pay as general, which shall be 1,000, the
reminder to go to the use of the knights and deputies of the
respective provinces, to be paid, if it will reach, according to
the rates of Oceana; if not, by an equal distribution,
respectively, or the overplus, if there be any, to be returned to
the Treasury of Oceana. They shall manage the lands (if there be
any such held in either of the provinces by the commonwealth of
Oceana, in dominion) and return the rents into the Exchequer. If
the commonwealth comes to be possessed of richer provinces, the
pay of the general or strategus, and of the councils, may be
respectively increased. The people for the rest shall elect their
own magistrates, and be governed by their own laws, having power
also to appeal from their native or provincial magistrates, if
they please, to the people of Oceana. And whereas there may be
such as receiving injury, are not able to prosecute their appeals
at so great a distance, eight sergeants-at-law, being sworn by
the commissioners of the seal, shall be sent by four into each
province once in two years; who, dividing the same by circuits,
shall hear such causes, and having gathered and introduced them,
shall return to the several appellants, gratis, the
determinations and decrees of the people in their several cases.

"The term of a knight in a provincial orb, as to domestic
magistracies, shall be esteemed a vacation, and no bar to present
election to any other honor, his provincial magistracy being

"The quorum of a provincial council, as also of every other
council or assembly in Oceana, shall in time of health consist of
two parts in three of the whole number proper to that council or
assembly; and in a time of sickness, of one part in three; but of
the Senate there can be no quorum without three of the signory,
nor of a council without two of the provosts."

The civil part of the provincial orb being declared by the
foregoing order, the military part of the same is constituted by

The twenty-ninth order, "Whereby the stratiots of the third
essay having drawn the gold balls marked with the letter M, and
being ten horse and fifty foot in a tribe, that is to say, 500
horse and 2,500 foot in all, the tribes shall be delivered by the
respective conductors to the provincial strategus or general, at
such a time and place, or rendezvous, as he shall appoint by
order and certificate of his election, and the strategus having
received the horse and foot mentioned, which are the third
classes of his provincial guard or army, shall forthwith lead
them away to Marpesia, where the army consists of three classes,
each class containing 3,000 men, whereof 500 are horse; and
receiving the new strategus with the third class, the old
strategus with the first class shall be dismissed by the
provincial council. The same method with the stratiots of the
letter P, is to be observed for the provincial orb of Panopea;
and the commonwealth coming to acquire new provinces, the Senate
and the people may erect new orbs in like manner, consisting of
greater or less numbers, according as is required by the
respective occasion. If a stratiot has once served his term in a
provincial orb, and happens afterward to draw the letter of a
province at the election of the second essay, he may refuse his
lot; and if he refuses it, the censor of that urn shall cause the
files balloting at the same to make a halt; and if the stratiot
produces the certificate of his strategus or general, that he has
served his time accordingly, the censor throwing the ball that he
drew into the urn again, and taking out a blank, shall dismiss
the youth, and cause the ballot to proceed."

To perfect the whole structure of this commonwealth, some
directions are given to the third essay, or army marching, in--

The thirtieth order. "'When thou goest to battle against thy
enemies, and seest horses and chariots, and a people more than
thou, be not afraid of them, for the Lord thy God is he that goes
with thee to fight for thee against thy enemies. And when thou
dividest the spoil, it shall be as a statute and an ordinance to
thee, that as his part is that goes down to the battle, so shall
his part be that tarries by the stuff; that is (as to the
commonwealth of Oceana) the spoil takin of the enemy (except
clothes, arms, horses, ammunition, and victuals, to be divided to
the soldiery by the strategus and the polemarchs upon the place
according to their discretion) shall be delivered to four
commissaries of the spoils elected and sworn by the Council of
War, which commissaries shall be allowed shipping by the State,
and convoys according as occasion shall require by the strategus,
to the end that having a bill of lading signed by three or more
of the polemarchs, they may ship and bring, or cause such spoils
to be brought to the prize-office in Oceana, where they shall be
sold, and the profit arising by such spoils shall be divided into
three parts, whereof one shall go to the Treasury, another shall
be paid to the soldiery of this nation, and a third to the
auxiliaries at their return from their service, provided that the
said auxiliaries be equal in number to the proper forces of this
nation, otherwise their share shall be so much less as they
themselves are fewer in number; the rest of the two-thirds to go
to the officers and soldiers of the proper forces. And the spoils
so divided to the proper forces, shall be subdivided into three
equal parts, whereof one shall go to the officers, and two to the
common soldiers, the like for the auxiliaries. And the share
allotted the officers shall be divided into four equal parts,
whereof one shall go to the strategus, another to the polemarchs,
a third to the colonels, and a fourth to the captains, cornets,
ensigns, and under-officers, receiving their share of the spoil
as common soldiers, the like for the auxiliaries. And this upon
pain, in the case of failure, of what the people of Oceana (to
whom the cognizance of peculation or crimes of this nature is
properly appertaining) shall adjudge or decree."

Upon these three last orders the Archon seemed to be
haranguing at the head of his army in this manner:


"A government of this make is a commonwealth for increase. Of
those for preservation, the inconveniences and frailties have
been shown: their roots are narrow, such as do not run, have no
fibres; their tops weak and dangerously exposed to the weather,
except you chance to find one, as Venice, planted in a
flower-pot, and if she grows, she grows topheavy, and falls, too.
But you cannot plant an oak in a flowerpot; she must have earth
for her root, and heaven for her branches.

"'Imperium Oceano, famam quoe terminet astris.'

"Rome was said to be broken by her own weight, but
poetically; for that weight by which she was pretended to be
ruined was supported in her emperors by a far slighter
foundation. And in the common experience of good architecture,
there is nothing more known than that buildings stand the firmer
and the longer for their own weight, nor ever swerve through any
other internal cause than that their materials are corruptible;
but the people never die, nor, as a political body, are subject
to any other corruption than that which derives from their
government. Unless a man will deny the chain of causes, in which
he denies God, he must also acknowledge the chain of effects;
wherefore there can be no effect in nature that is not from the
first cause, and those successive links of the chain without
which it could not have been. Now except a man can show the
contrary in a commonwealth, if there be no cause of corruption in
the first make of it, there can never be any such effect. Let no
man's superstition impose profaneness upon this assertion; for as
man is sinful, but yet the universe is perfect, so may the
citizen be sinful, and yet the commonwealth be perfect. And as
man, seeing the world is perfect, can never commit any such sin
as shall render it imperfect, or bring it to a natural
dissolution, so the citizen, where the commonwealth is perfect,
can never commit any such crime as will render it imperfect, or
bring it to a natural dissolution.

"To come to experience: Venice, notwithstanding we have found
some flaws in it, is the only commonwealth in the make whereof no
man can find a cause of dissolution; for which reason we behold
her (though she consists of men that are not without sin) at this
day with 1,000 years upon her back, yet for any internal cause,
as young, as fresh, and free from decay, or any appearance of it,
as she was born; but whatever in nature is not sensible of decay
by the course of 1,000 years, is capable of the whole age of
nature; by which calculation, for any check that I am able to
give myself, a commonwealth, rightly ordered, may for any
internal causes be as immortal or long-lived as the world. But if
this be true, those commonwealths that are naturally fallen, must
have derived their ruin from the rise of them. Israel and Athens
died, not natural, but violent deaths, in which manner the world
itself is to die. We are speaking of those causes of dissolution
which are natural to government; and they are but two, either
contradiction or inequality. If a commonwealth be a
contradiction, she must needs destroy herself; and if she be
unequal, it tends to strife, and strife to ruin. By the former of
these fell Lacedaemon, by the latter Rome. Lacedaemon being made
altogether for war, and yet not for increase, her natural
progress became her natural dissolution, and the building of her
own victorious hand too heavy for her foundation, so that she
fell, indeed, by her own weight. But Rome perished through her
native inequality, which how it inveterated the bosoms of the
Senate and the people each against other, and even to death, has
been shown at large.

"Look well to it, my lords, for if there be a contradiction
or inequality in your commonwealth, it must fall; but if it has
neither of these, it has no principle of mortality. Do not think
me impudent; if this be truth, I shall commit a gross
indiscretion in concealing it. Sure I am that Machiavel is for
the immortality of a commonwealth upon far weaker principles. 'If
a commonwealth,' says he, 'were so happy as to be provided often
with men, that, when she is swerving from her principles, should
reduce her to her institution, she would be immortal.' But a
commonwealth, as we have demonstrated, swerves not from her
principles, but by and through her institution; if she brought no
bias into the world with her, her course for any internal cause
must be straightforward, as we see is that of Venice. She cannot
turn to the right hand nor to the left, but by some rub, which is
not an internal, but external, cause: against such she can be no
way fortified but through her situation, as is Venice, or through
her militia, as was Rome, by which examples a commonwealth may be
secure of those also. Think me not vain, for I cannot conceal my
opinion here; a commonwealth that is rightly instituted can never
swerve, nor one that is not rightly instituted be secured from
swerving by reduction to her first principles; wherefore it is no
less apparent in this place that Machiavel understood not a
commonwealth as to the whole piece, than where having told you
that a tribune, or any other citizen of Rome, might propose a law
to the people, and debate it with them, he adds, 'this order was
good while the people were good; but when the people became evil,
it became most pernicious.' As if this order (through which, with
the like, the people most apparently became evil) could ever have
been good, or that the people or the commonwealth could ever have
become good, by being reduced to such principles as were the
original of their evil.

"The disease of Rome was, as has been shown, from the native
inequality of her balance, and no otherwise from the empire of
the world, than as, this falling into one scale, that of the
nobility (an evil in such a fabric inevitable) kicked out the
people. Wherefore a man that could have made her to throw away
the empire of the world, might in that have reduced her to her
principles, and yet have been so far from rendering her immortal
that, going no further, he should never have cured her. But your
commonwealth is founded upon an equal agrarian; and if the earth
be given to the sons of men, this balance is the balance of
justice, such a one as in having due regard to the different
industry of different men, yet faithfully judges the poor' And
the king that faithfully judges the poor, his throne shall be
established forever;, much more the commonwealth, seeing that
equality, which is the necessary dissolution of monarchy, is the
generation, the very life and soul, of a commonwealth. And now,
if ever, I may be excusable, seeing my assertion, that the throne
of a commonwealth may be established forever, is consonant to the
holy Scriptures.

"The balance of a commonwealth that is equal is of such a
nature that whatever falls into her empire must fall equally; and
if the whole earth falls into your scales, it must fall equally,
and so you may be a greater people and yet not swerve from your
principles one hair. Nay, you will be so far from that that you
must bring the world in such a case to your balance, even to the
balance of justice. But hearken, my lords; are we on earth, do we
see the sun, or are we visiting those shady places which are
feigned by the poets?

"'Continuo auditoe voces, vagitus et ingens.'

These Gothic empires that are yet in the world, were at the
first, though they had legs of their own, but a heavy and
unwieldy burden; but their foundations being now broken, the iron
of them enters even into the souls of the oppressed; and hear the
voice of their comforters: 'My father hath chastised you with
whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.' Hearken, I say,
if thy brother cries to thee in affliction, wilt thou not hear
him? This is a commonwealth of the fabric that has an open ear
and a public concern; she is not made for herself only, but given
as a magistrate of God to mankind, for the vindication of common
right and the law of nature. Wherefore says Cicero of the like,
that of the Romans, 'We have rather undertaken the patronage than
the empire of the world.' If you, not regarding this example,
like some other nations that are upon the point to smart for it,
shall, having attained to your own liberty, bear the sword of
your common magistracy in vain, sit still and fold your arms, or,
which is worse, let out the blood of your people to tyrants, to
be shed in the defence of their yokes like water, and so not only
turn the grace of God into wantonness, but his justice into
wormwood: I say if you do thus, you are not now making a
commonwealth, but heaping coals of fire upon your own heads. A
commonwealth of this make is a minister of God upon earth, to the
end that the world may be governed with righteousness. For which
cause (that I may come at length to our present business) the
orders last rehearsed are buds of empire, such as with the
blessing of God may spread the arms of your commonwealth, like a
holy asylum, to the distressed world, and give the earth her
sabbath of years, or rest from her labors, under the shadow of
your wings. It is upon this point where the writings of
Machiavel, having for the rest excelled all other authors, come
as far to excel themselves.

"Commonwealths, says he, have had three ways of propagating
themselves: One after the manner of monarchies, by imposing the
yoke, which was the way of Athens, and, toward the latter times,
of Lacedaemon; another by equal leagues, which is the way of
Switzerland (I shall add of Holland, though since his time); a
third by unequal leagues, which, to the shame of the world, was
never practised, nay, nor so much as seen or minded, by any other
commonwealth but that only of Rome. They will each of them,
either for caution or imitation, be worthy to be well weighed,
which is the proper work of this place. Athens and Lacedaemon
have been the occasion of great scandal to the world, in two, or
at least one of two regards: the first, their emulation, which
involved Greece in perpetual wars; the second, their way of
propagation, which by imposing yokes upon others, was plainly
contradictory to their own principles.

"For the first: governments, be they of what kind soever, if
they be planted too close, are like trees, that impatient in
their growth to have it hindered, eat out one another. It was not
unknown to these in speculation, or, if you read the story of
Agesilaus, in action, that either of them with 30,000 men might
have mastered the East; and certainly, if the one had not stood
in the other's light, Alexander had come too late to that end,
which was the means (and would be if they were to live again) of
ruin, at least to one of them; wherefore with any man that
understands the nature of government this is excusable. So it was
between Oceana and Marpesia; so it is between France and Spain,
though less excusable; and so it ever will be in the like cases.
But to come to the second occasion of scandal by them given,
which was in the way of their propagation, it is not excusable;
for they brought their confederates under bondage, by which means
Athens gave occasion of the Peloponnesian War, the wound of which
she died stinking, when Lacedaemon, taking the same infection
from her carcass, soon followed.

"Wherefore, my lords, let these be warnings to you not to
make that liberty which God has given you a snare to others in
practising this kind of enlargement to yourselves.

"The second way of propagation or enlargement used by
commonwealths is that of Switzerland and Holland, equal leagues;
this, though it be not otherwise mischievous, is useless to the
world, and dangerous to themselves: useless to the world, for as
the former governments were storks, these are blocks, have no
sense of honor, or concern in the sufferings of others. But as
the AEtolians, a state of the like fabric, were reproached by
Philip of Macedon to prostitute themselves; by letting out their
arms to the lusts of others, while they leave their own liberty
barren and without legitimate issue; so I do not defame these
people; the Switzer for valor has no superior, the Hollander for
industry no equal; but themselves in the meantime shall so much
the less excuse their governments, seeing that to the Switz it is
well enough known that the ensigns of his commonwealth have no
other motto than in te converte manus; and that of the Hollander,
though he sweats more gold than the Spaniard digs, lets him
languish in debt; for she herself lives upon charity. These are
dangerous to themselves, precarious governments, such as do not
command, but beg their bread from province to province, in coats
that being patched up of all colors are in effect of none. That
their cantons and provinces are so many arrows, is good; but they
are so many bows too, which is naught.

"Like to these was the commonwealth of the ancient Tuscans,
hung together like bobbins, without a hand to weave with them;
therefore easily overcome by the Romans, though at that time, for
number, a far less considerable people. If your liberty be not a
root that grows, it will be a branch that withers, which
consideration brings me to the paragon, the Commonwealth of Rome.

"The ways and means whereby the Romans acquired the
patronage, and in that the empire, of the world were different,
according to the different condition of their commonwealth in her
rise and in her growth: in her rise she proceeded rather by
colonies, in her growth by unequal leagues. Colonies without the
bounds of Italy she planted none (such dispersion of the Roman
citizen as to plant him in foreign parts, till the contrary
interest of the emperors brought in that practice, was unlawful),
nor did she ever demolish any city within that compass, or divest
it of liberty; but whereas the most of them were commonwealths,
stirred 'up by emulation of her great felicity to war against
her, if she overcame any, she confiscated some part of their
lands that were the greatest incendiaries, or causes of the
trouble, upon which she planted colonies of her own people,
preserving the rest of their lands and liberties for the natives
or inhabitants. By this way of proceeding, that I may be as brief
as possible, she did many and great things. For in confirming of
liberty, she propagated her empire; in holding the inhabitants
from rebellion, she put a curb upon the incursion of enemies; in
exonerating herself of the poorer sort, she multiplied her
citizens; in rewarding her veterans, she rendered the rest less
seditious; and in acquiring to herself the reverence of a common
parent, she from time to time became the mother of new-born

"In her further growth the way of her propagation went more
upon leagues, which for the first division were of two kinds,
social and provincial.

"Again, social leagues, or leagues of society, were of two

"The first called Latinity or Latin, the second Italian
right." The league between the Romans and the Latins, or Latin
right, approached nearest to jus quiritium, or the right of a
native Roman. The man or the city that was honored with this
right, was civitate donatus cum suffragio, adopted a citizen of
Rome, with the right of giving suffrage with the people in some
cases, as those of conformation of law, or determination in
judicature, if both the Consuls were agreed, not otherwise;
wherefore that coming to little, the greatest and most peculiar
part of this privilege was, that who had borne magistracy (at
least that of oedile or quoestor) in any Latin city, was by
consequence of the same a citizen of Rome at all points.

"Italian right was also a donation of the city, but without
suffrage: they who were in either of these leagues, were governed
by their own laws and magistrates, having all the rights, as to
liberty, of citizens of Rome, yielding and praying to the
commonwealth as head of the league, and having in the conduct of
all affairs appertaining to the common cause, such aid of men and
money as was particularly agreed to upon the merit of the cause,
and specified in their respective leagues, whence such leagues
came to be called equal or unequal accordingly.

"Provincial leagues were of different extension, according to
the merit and capacity of a conquered people; but they were all
of one kind, for every province was governed by Roman
magistrates, as a praetor or a proconsul, according to the
dignity of the province, for the civil administration and conduct
of the provincial army, and a quaestor for the gathering of the
public revenue, from which magistrates a province might appeal to

"For the better understanding of these particulars, I shall
exemplify in as many of them as is needful, and first in Macedon:

"The Macedonians were thrice conquered by the Romans, first
under the conduct of Titus Quintus Flaminius; secondly, under
that of Lucius AEmilius Paulus; and, thirdly under that of
Quintus Caecilius Metellus, thence called Macedonicus.

"For the first time Philip of Macedon, who (possessed of
Acrocorinthus) boasted no less than was true, that he had Greece
in fetters, being overcome by Flaminius, had his kingdom restored
to him, upon condition that he should immediately set all the
cities which he held in Greece and in Asia at liberty, and that
he should not make war out of Macedon but by leave of the Senate
of Rome; which Philip (having no other way to save anything)
agreed should be done accordingly.

"The Grecians being at this time assembled at the isthmian
games, where the concourse was mighty great, a crier, appointed
to the office by Flaminius, was heard among them proclaiming all
Greece to be free; to which the people being amazed at so
hopeless a thing, gave little credit, till they received such
testimony of the truth as put it past all doubt, whereupon they
fell immediately on running to the proconsul with flowers and
garlands, and such violent expressions of their admiration and
joy, as, if Flaminius, a young man, about thirty-three, had not
also been very strong, he must have died of no other death than
their kindness, while everyone striving to touch his hand, they
bore him up and down the field with an unruly throng, full of
such ejaculations as these: How is there a people in the world,
that at their own charge, at their own peril, will fight for the
liberty of another? Did they live at the next door to the fire?
Or what kind of men are these, whose business it is to pass the
seas, that the world may be governed with righteousness? The
cities of Greece and of Asia shake off their iron fetters at the
voice of a crier was it madness to imagine such a thing, and is
it done? O virtue! O felicity! O fame!

"In this example your lordships have a donation of liberty or
of Italian right to a people, by restitution to what they had
formerly enjoyed; and some particular men, families or cities,
according to their merit of the Romans, if not upon this, yet
upon the like occasions, were gratified with Latinity." But
Philip's share by this means did not please him, wherefore the
league was broken by his son Perseus; and the Macedonians
thereupon for the second time conquered by AEmilius Paulus, their
King taken, and they some time after the victory summoned to the
tribunal of the general; where, remembering how little hope they
ought to have of pardon, they expected some dreadful sentence:
when AEmilius, in the first place, declared the Macedonians to be
free, in the full possession of their lands, goods, and laws,
with right to elect annual magistrates, yielding and paying to
the people of Rome one-half of the tribute which they were
accustomed to pay to their own kings. This done he went on,
making so skilful a division of the country in order to the
methodizing of the people, and casting them into the form of
popular government, that the Macedonians, being first surprised
with the virtue of the Romans, began now to alter the scene of
their admiration, that a stranger should do such things for them
in their own country, and with such facility as they had never so
much as once imagined to be possible. Nor was this all; for
AEmilius, as if not dictating to conquered enemies, but to some
well-deserving friends, gave them in the last place laws so
suitable, and contrived with such care and prudence, that long
use and experience (the only correctness of works of this nature)
could never find a fault in them.

"In this example you have a donation of liberty, or of
Italian right, to a people that had not tasted of it before, but
were now taught how to use it.

"My lords, the royalists should compare what we are doing,
and we what hitherto we have done for them, with this example. It
is a shame that while we are boasting up ourselves above all
others, we should yet be so far from imitating such examples as
these, that we do not so much as understand that if government be
the parent of manners, where there are no heroic virtues, there
is no heroic government.

"But the Macedonians rebelling, at the name of a false
Philip, the third time against the Romans, were by them judged
incapable of liberty, and reduced by Metellus to a province.

"Now whereas it remains that I explain the nature of a
province, I shall rather choose that of Sicily, because, having
been the first which the Romans made, the descriptions of the
rest relate to it.

"'We have so received the Sicilian cities into amity,' says
Cicero, 'that they enjoy their ancient laws; and upon no other
condition than of the same obedience to the people of Rome, which
they formerly yielded to their own princes or superiors.' So the
Sicilians, whereas they had been parcelled out to divers princes,
and into divers states (the cause of perpetual wars, whereby,
hewing one another down, they became sacrifices to the ambition
of their neighbors, or of some invader), were now received at the
old rate into a new protection which could hold them, and in
which no enemy durst touch them; nor was it possible, as the case
then stood, for the Sicilians to receive, or for the Romans to
give more.

"A Roman province is defined by Sigonius as a region having
provincial right. Provincial right in general was to be governed
by a Roman praetor, or consul, in matters at least of state, and
of the militia; and by a quaeStor, whose office it was to receive
the public revenue. Provincial right in particular was different,
according to the different leagues or agreements between the
commonwealth, and the people reduced into a province. 'Siculi hoc
jure sunt, ut quod civis cum cive agat, domi certet suis legibus;
quod siculus cum siculo non ejusdem civitatis, ut de eo proetor
judices, ex P. Rupilii decreto, sortiatur. Quod privatus a populo
petit, aut populus a privato, senatus ex aliqua civitate, qui
judicet, datur, cui alternoe civitates rejectoe sunt. Quod vivis
Romanus a siculo petit, siculus judex datur quod siculus a cive
Romano, civis Romanus datur. Coeterarum rerum selecti judices ex
civium Romanorum conventu proponi solent. Inter aratores et
decumanos lege frumentaria, quam Hieronicam appellant, judicia
fiunt.' Because the rest would oblige me to a discourse too large
for this place, it shall suffice that I have showed you how it
was in Sicily.

"My lords, upon the fabric of your provincial orb I shall not
hold you; because it is sufficiently described in the order, and
I cannot believe that you think it inferior to the way of a
praetor and a quaestor. But whereas the provincial way of the
Roman Commonwealth was that whereby it held the empire of the
world, and your orbs are intended to be capable at least of the
like use, there may arise many controversies, as whether such a
course be lawful, whether it be feasible; and, seeing that the
Romans were ruined upon that point, whether it would not be to
the destruction of the commonwealth.

"For the first: if the empire of a commonwealth be an
occasion to ask whether it be lawful for a commonwealth to aspire
to the empire of the world, it is to ask whether it be lawful for
it to do its duty, or to put the world into a better condition
than it was before.

"And to ask whether this be feasible, is to ask why the
Oceaner, being under the like administration of government, may
not do as much with 200 men as the Roman did with 100; for
comparing their commonwealths in their rise, the difference is
yet greater: now that Rome (seris avaritia luxuriaque), through
the natural thirst of her constitution, came at length with the
fulness of her provinces to burst herself, this is no otherwise
to he understood than as when a man that from his own evil
constitution had contracted the dropsy, dies with drinking, it
being apparent that in case her agrarian had held, she could
never have been thus ruined, and I have already demonstrated that
your agrarian being once poised, can never break or swerve.

"Wherefore to draw toward some conclusion of this discourse,
let me inculcate the use, by selecting a few considerations out
of many. The regard had in this place to the empire of the world
appertains to a well-ordered commonwealth, more especially for
two reasons:

"1. The facility of this great enterprise, by a government of
the model proposed;

"2. The danger that you would run in the omission of such a

"The facility of this enterprise, upon the grounds already
laid, must needs be great, forasmuch as the empire of the world
has been, both in reason and experience, the necessary
consequence of a commonwealth of this nature only; for though it
has been given to all kinds to drive at it, since that of Athens
or Lacedaemon, if the one had not hung in the other's light,
might have gained it, yet could neither of them have held it; not
Athens, through the manner of her propagation, which, being by
downright tyranny, could not preserve what she had, nor
Lacedaemon, because she was overthrown by the weight of a less
conquest. The facility then of this great enterprise being
peculiar to popular government, I shall consider it, first, in
gaining, and secondly, in holding.

"For the former, volenti non fit injuria. It is said of the
people under Eumenes, that they would not have changed them no
their subjection for liberty; wherefore the Romans gave
disturbance. If a people be contented with their government, it
is a certain sign that it is good, and much good do them with it.
The sword of your magistracy is for a terror to them that do
evil. Eumenes had the fear of God, or of the Romans, before his
eyes; concerning such he has given you no commission.

"But till we can say, here are the Romans, where is Eumenes?
do not think that the late appearances of God to you have been
altogether for yourselves; 'He has surely seen the affliction of
your brethren, and heard their cry by reason of their task
masters.' For to believe otherwise is not only to be mindless of
his ways, but altogether deaf. If you have ears to hear, this is
the way in which you will certainly be called upon; for if, while
there is no stock of liberty no sanctuary of the afflicted, it be
a common object to behold a people casting themselves out of the
pan of one prince into the fire of another, what can you think,
but if the world should see the Roman 'eagle again, she would
renew her age and her flight? Nor did ever she spread her wings
with better omen than will be read in your ensigns; which if,
called in by an oppressed people they interpose between them and
their yoke, the people themselves must either do nothing in the
meantime or have no more pains to take for their wished fruit
than to gather it, if that be not likewise done for them.
Wherefore this must needs be easy, and yet you have a greater
facility than is in the arm of flesh; for if the cause of mankind
be the cause of God, the Lord of Hosts will be your captain, and
you shall be a praise to the whole earth.

"The facility of holding is in the way of your propagation;
if you take that of Athens and Lacedemon, you shall rain snares,
but either catch or hold nothing. Lying lips are an abomination
to the Lord: if setting up for liberty you impose yokes, he will
infallibly destroy you. On the other side, to go about a work of
this nature by a league without a head, is to abdicate that
magistracy wherewith he has not only endued you, but whereof he
will require an account of you; for, 'cursed is he that does the
work of the Lord negligently.' Wherefore you are to take the
course of Rome: if you have subdued a nation that is capable of
liberty, you shall make them a present of it, as did Flaminius to
Greece, and AEmilius to Macedon, reserving to yourselves some
part of that revenue which was legally paid to the former
government, together with the right of being head of the league,
which includes such levies of men and money as shall be necessary
for the carrying on of the public work.

"For if a people have by your means attained to freedom, they
owe both to the cause and you such aid as may propagate the like
fruit to the rest of the world. But whereas every nation is not
capable of her liberty to this degree, lest you be put to doing
and undoing of things, as the Romans were in Macedon, you shall
diligently observe what nation is fit for her liberty to this
degree, and what not; which is to be done by two marks, the first
if she be willing to 'help the Lord against the mighty;' for if
she has no care of the liberty of mankind she deserves not her
own. But because in this you may be deceived by pretences, which,
continuing for a while specious, may afterward vanish; the other
is more certain, and that is if she be capable of an equal
agrarian; which that it was not observed by excellent AEmilius in
his donation of liberty, and introduction of a popular state
among the Macedonians, I am more than moved to believe for two
reasons; the first, because at the same time the agrarian was
odious to the Roman patricians; the second, that the
pseudo-Philip could afterward so easily recover Macedon, which
could not have happened but by the nobility, and their
impatience, having great estates, to be equalled with the people;
for that the people should otherwise, at the mere sound of a
name, have thrown away their liberty, is incredible. Wherefore be
assured that the nation where you cannot establish an equal
agrarian, is incapable of its liberty as to this kind of
donation. For example, except the aristocracy in Marpesia be
dissolved, neither can that people have their liberty there, nor
you govern at home; for they continuing still liable to be sold
by their lords to foreign princes, there will never (especially
in a country of which there is no other profit to be made) be
want of such merchants and drovers, while you must be the market
where they are to receive their second payment.

"Nor can the aristocracy there be dissolved but by your
means, in relation whereto you are provided with your provincial
orb; which, being proportioned to the measure of the nation that
you have vindicated or conquered, will easily hold it: for there
is not a people in the world more difficult to be held than the
Marpesians, which, though by themselves it be ascribed to their
own nature, is truly to be attributed to that of their country.
Nevertheless, you having 9,000 men upon the continual guard of
it, that, threatened by any sudden insurrection, have places of
retreat, and an army of 40,000 men upon a day's warning ready to
march to their rescue, it is not to be rationally shown which way
they can possibly slip out of your hands. And if a man should
think that upon a province more remote and divided by the sea,
you have not the like hold, he has not so well considered your
wings as your talons, your shipping being of such a nature as
makes the descent of your armies almost of equal facility in any
country, so that what you take you hold, both because your
militia, being already populous, will be of great growth in
itself, and also through your confederates, by whom in taking and
holding you are still more enabled to do both.

"Nor shall you easier hold than the people under your empire
or patronage may be held. My lords, I would not go to the door to
see whether it be close shut; this is no underhand dealing, nor a
game at which he shall have any advantage against you who sees
your cards, but, on the contrary the advantage shall be your own:
for with 18,000 men (which number I put, because it circulates
your orb by the annual change of 6,000) having established your
matters in the order shown, you will, be able to hold the
greatest province; and 18,000 men, allowing them greater pay than
any prince ever gave, will not stand the province in 1,000,000
revenue; in consideration whereof, they shall have their own
estates free to themselves, and be governed by their own laws and
magistrates; which, if the revenue of the province be in dry-rent
(as there may be some that are four times as big as Oceana)
40,000,000, will bring it with that of industry, to speak with
the least, to twice the value: so that the people there, who at
this day are so oppressed that they have nothing at all whereon
to live, shall for 1,000,000 paid to you, receive at least
79,000,000 to their proper use: in which place I appeal to any
man, whether the empire described can be other than the patronage
of the world.

"Now if you add to the propagation of civil liberty (so
natural to this commonwealth that it cannot be omitted) the
propagation of the liberty of conscience, this empire, this
patronage of the world, is the kingdom of Christ: for as the
kingdom of God the Father was a commonwealth, so shall the
kingdom of God the Son; 'the people shall be willing in the day
of his power.'

"Having showed you in this and other places some of those
inestimable benefits of this kind of government, together with
the natural and facile emanation of them from their fountain, I
come (lest God who has appeared to you, for he is the God of
nature, in the glorious constellation of these subordinate
causes, whereof we have hitherto been taking the true elevation,
should shake off the dust of his feet against you) to warn you of
the dangers which you, not taking the opportunity, will incur by

"Machiavel, speaking of the defect of Venice, through her
want of proper arms, cries out, 'This cut her wings, and spoiled
her mount to heaven.' If you lay your commonwealth upon any other
foundation than the people, you frustrate yourself of proper
arms, and so lose the empire of the world; nor is this all, but
some other nation will have it.

"Columbus offered gold to one of your kings, through whose
happy incredulity another prince has drunk the poison, even to
the consumption of his people; but I do not offer you a nerve of
war that is made of purse-strings, such a one as has drawn the
face of the earth into convulsions, but such as is natural to her
health and beauty. Look you to it, where there is tumbling and
tossing upon the bed of sickness, it must end in death or
recovery. Though the people of the world, in the dregs of the
Gothic empire, be yet tumbling and tossing upon the bed of
sickness, they cannot die; nor is there any means of recovery for
them but by ancient prudence, whence of necessity it must come to
pass that this drug be better known. if France, Italy, and Spain
were not all sick, all corrupted together, there would be none of
them so; for the sick would not be able to withstand the sound,
nor the sound to preserve their health, without curing of the
sick. The first of these nations (which if you stay her leisure,
will in my mind be France) that recovers the health of ancient
prudence, shall certainly govern the world; for what did Italy
when she had it? and as you were in that, so shall you in the
like case be reduced to a province; I do not speak at random.
Italy, in the consulship of Lucius AEmilius Papus and Caius
Attilius Regulus, armed, upon the Gallic tumult that then
happened of herself, and without the aid of foreign auxiliaries,
70,000 horse and 700,000 foot; but as Italy is the least of those
three countries in extent, so is France now the most populous.

"'I, decus, I, nostrum, melioribus utere fatis.'

"My dear lords, Oceana is as the rose of Sharon, and the lily
of the valley. As the lily among thorns, such is my love among
the daughters. She is comely as the tents of Kedar, and terrible
as an army with banners. Her neck is as the tower of David,
builded for an armory, whereon there hang 1,000 bucklers and
shields of mighty men. Let me hear thy voice in the morning, whom
my soul loves. The south has dropped, and the west is breathing
upon thy garden of spices. Arise, queen of the earth, arise, holy
spouse of Jesus; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and
gone; the flowers appear on the earth, the time for the singing
of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our
land. Arise, I say, come forth, and do not tarry: ah! wherefore
should my eyes behold thee by the rivers of Babylon, hanging thy
harps upon the willows, thou fairest among women?

"Excellent patriots, if the people be sovereign, here is that
which establishes their prerogative; if we be sincere, here is
that which disburdens our souls, and makes good all our
engagements; if we be charitable, here is that which embraces all
parties; if we would be settled, here is that which will stand,
and last forever.

"If our religion be anything else but a vain boast,
scratching and defacing human nature or reason, which, being the
image of God, makes it a kind of murder, here is that empire
whence 'justice shall run down like a river, and judgment like a
mighty stream.' Who is it then that calls us? or, what is in our
way? A lion! Is it not the dragon, that old serpent? For what
wretched shifts are these? Here is a great deal; might we not
have some of this at one time, and some at another?

"My lords, permit me to give you the sum, or brief


"The centre or fundamental laws are, first, the agrarian,
proportioned at 2,000 a year in land, lying and being within the
proper territory of Oceana, and stating property in land at such
a balance, that the power can never swerve out of the hands of
the many.

"Secondly, the ballot conveying this equal sap from the root,
by an equal election or rotation, into the branches of magistracy
or sovereign power.

"The orbs of this commonwealth being civil, military, or
provincial, are, as it were, cast upon this mould or centre by
the divisions of the people; first, into citizens and servants;
secondly, into youth and elders; thirdly, into such as have 100
a year in lands, goods, or moneys, who are of the horse; and such
as have under, who are of the foot; fourthly, they are divided by
their usual residence into parishes, hundreds, and tribes.

"The civil orbs consist of the elders, and are thus created:
every Monday next ensuing the last of December, the elders in
every parish elect the fifth man to be a deputy, which is but
half a day's work; every Monday next ensuing the last of January,
the deputies meet at their respective hundred, and elect out of
their number one justice of the peace, one juryman, one coroner,
and one high constable of the foot, one day's work.

"Every Monday next ensuing the last of February, the hundreds
meet at their respective tribe, and there elect the lords high
sheriff, lieutenant, custos rotulorum, the conductor, the two
censors out of the horse, the magistrates of the tribe and of the
hundreds, with the jurymen constituting the phylarch, and who
assist in their respective offices at the assizes, hold the
quarter-sessions, etc. The day following the tribe elects the
annual galaxy, consisting of two knights and three deputies out
of the horse, with four deputies out of the foot, thereby endued
with power, as magistrates of the whole nation, for the term of
three years. An officer chosen at the hundred may not be elected
a magistrate of the tribe; but a magistrate or officer either of
the hundred or of the tribe, being elected into the galaxy, may
substitute any one of his office in the hundred or in own order
to his magistracy or office in the hundred or in the tribe. This
of the muster is two days' work. So the body of the people is
annually, at the charge of three days' work and a half, in their
own tribes, for the perpetuation of their power, receiving over
and above the magistracies so divided among them.

"Every Monday next ensuing the last of March, the knights,
being 100 in all the tribes, take their places in the Senate. The
knights, having taken their places in the Senate, make the third
region of the same, and the house proceeds to the senatorian
elections. Senatorian elections are annual, biennial, or

"The annual are performed by the tropic.

"The tropic is a schedule consisting of two parts; the first
by which the senatorian magistrates are elected; and the second,
by which the senatorian councils are perpetuated.

"The first part is of this tenor:

The lord strategus,
The lord orator,
The first censor,
The second censor,

Facebook Google Reddit Twitter Pinterest