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The Commonwealth of Oceana by James Harrington

Part 6 out of 6

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Annual magistrates and therefore such as may be elected out
of any region; the term of every region having at the tropic one
year at the least unexpired.

The third commissioner of the seal,
The third commissioner of the Treasury.

Triennial magistrates, and therefore such as can be chosen
out of the third region only, as that alone which has the term of
three years unexpired.

"The strategus and the orator sitting, are consuls, or
presidents of the Senate.

"The strategus marching is general of the army, in which case
a new strategus is to be elected in his room.

"The strategus sitting with six commissioners, being
councillors of the nation, are the signory of the commonwealth."

The censors are magistrates of the ballot, presidents of the
Council for Religion, and chancellors of the universities.

"The second part of the tropic perpetuates the Council of
State, by the election of five knights out of the first region of
the Senate, to be the first region of that council consisting of
fifteen knights, five in every region.

"The like is done by the election of four into the Council of
Religion, and four into the Council of Trade, out of the same
region in the Senate; each of these councils consisting of twelve
knights, four in every region.

"But the Council of War, consisting of nine knights, three in
every region, is elected by and out of the Council of State, as
the other councils are elected by and out of the Senate. And if
the Senate add a juncta of nine knights more, elected out of
their own number, for the term of three months, the Council of
War, by virtue of that addition, is Dictator of Oceana for the
said term.

"The signory jointly or severally has right of session and
suffrage in every senatorial council, and to propose either to
the Senate, or any of them. And every region in a council
electing one weekly provost, any two of those provosts have power
also to propose to their respective council, as the proper and
peculiar proposers of the same, for which cause they hold an
academy, where any man, either by word of mouth or writing, may
propose to the proposers.

"Next to the elections of the tropic is the biennial election
of one ambassador-in-ordinary, by the ballot of the house, to the
residence of France; at which time the resident of France removes
to Spain, he of Spain to Venice, he of Venice to Constantinople,
and he of Constantinople returns. So the orb of the residents is
wheeled about in eight years, by the biennial election of one

"The last kind of election is emergent. Emergent elections
are made by the scrutiny. Election by scrutiny is when a
competitor, being made by a council, and brought into the Senate,
the Senate chooses four more competitors to him, and putting all
five to the ballot, he who has most above half the suffrages is
the magistrate. The polemarchs or field officers are chosen by
the scrutiny of the Council of War; an ambassador-extraordinary
by the scrutiny of the Council of State; the judges and
sergeants-at-law by the scrutiny of the seal; and the barons and
prime officers of the Exchequer, by the scrutiny of the

"The opinion or opinions that are legitimately proposed to
any council must be debated by the same, and so many as are
resolved upon the debate are introduced into the Senate, where
they are debated and resolved, or rejected by the whole house;
that which is resolved by the Senate is a decree which is good in
matters of state, but no law, except it be proposed to and
resolved by the prerogative.

"The deputies of the galaxy being three horse and four foot
in a tribe, amount in all the tribes to 150 horse and 200 foot;
which, having entered the prerogative, and chosen their captains,
cornet, and ensign (triennial officers), make the third class,
consisting of one troop and one company; and so, joining with the
whole prerogative, elect four annual magistrates, called
tribunes, whereof two are of the horse and two of the foot. These
have the command of the prerogative sessions, and suffrage in the
Council of War, and sessions without suffrage in the Senate.

"The Senate having passed a decree which they would propose
to the people, cause it to be printed and published, or
promulgated for the space of six weeks, which, being ordered,
they choose their proposers. The proposers must be magistrates,
that is, the commissioners of the seal, those of the Treasury, or
the censors. These being chosen, desire the muster of the
tribunes, and appoint the day. The people being assembled at the
day appointed, and the decree proposed, that which is proposed by
authority of the Senate, and commanded by the people, is the law
of Oceana, or an act of Parliament.

"So the Parliament of Oceana consists of the Senate
proposing, and the people resolving.

"The people or prerogative are also the supreme judicatory of
this nation, having power of hearing and determining all causes
of appeal from all magistrates, or courts provincial or domestic,
as also to question any magistrate, the term of his magistracy
being expired, if the case be introduced by the tribunes, or any
one of them.

"The military orbs consist of the youth, that is, such as are
from eighteen to thirty years of age; and are created in the
following manner:

"Every Wednesday next ensuing the last of December, the youth
of every parish, assembling, elect the fifth of their number to
be their deputies; the deputies of the youth are called
stratiots, and this is the first essay.

"Every Wednesday next ensuing the last of January, the
stratiots, assembling at the hundred, elect their captain and
their ensign, and fall to their games and sports.

"Every Wednesday next ensuing the last of February the
stratiots are received by the lord lieutenant, their
commander-in-chief, with the conductors and the censors; and,
having been disciplined and entertained with other games, are
called to the urns, where they elect the second essay, consisting
of 200 horse and 600 foot in a tribe; that is, of 10,000 horse
and 30,000 foot in all the tribes, which is the standing army of
this nation, to march at any warning. They also elect at the same
time a part of the third essay, by the mixture of balls marked
with the letter M and the letter P, for Marpesia and Panopea;
they of either mark being ten horse and fifty foot in a tribe,
that is, 500 horse and 2,500 foot in all the tribes, which are
forthwith to march to their respective provinces.

"But the third essay of this nation more properly so called,
is when the strategus with the polemarchs (the Senate and the
people or the Dictator having decreed a war) receive in return of
his warrants the second essay from the hands of the conductors at
the rendezvous of Oceana; which army, marching with all
accommodations provided by the Council of War, the Senate elects
a new strategus, and the lords-lieutenant a new second essay.

"A youth, except he be an only son, refusing any one of his
three essays, without sufficient cause shown to the phylarch or
the censors, is incapable of magistracy, and is fined a fifth
part of his yearly rent, or of his estate, for protection. In
case of invasion the elders are obliged to like duty with the
youth, and upon their own charge.

"The provincial orb consisting in part of the elders, and in
part of the youth, is thus created:

"Four knights out of the first region falling, are elected in
the Senate to be the first region of the provincial orb of
Marpesia; these, being triennial magistrates, take their places
in the provincial council, consisting of twelve knights, four in
every region, each region choosing their weekly provosts of the
council thus constituted. One knight more, chosen out of the same
region in the Senate, being an annual magistrate, is president,
with power to propose; and the opinions proposed by the
president, or any two of the provosts, are debated by the
council, and, if there be occasion of further power or
instruction than they yet have, transmitted to the Council of
State, with which the provincial is to hold intelligence.

"The president of this council is also strategus or general
of the provincial army; wherefore the conductors, upon notice of
his election, and appointment of his rendezvous, deliver to him
the stratiots of his letter, which he takes with him into his
province; and the provincial army having received the new
strategus with the third class, the council dismisses the old
strategus with the first class. The like is done for Panopea, or
any other province.

"But whereas the term of every other magistracy or election
in this commonwealth, whether annual or triennial, requires an
equal vacation, the term of a provincial councillor or magistrate
requires no vacation at all. The quorum of a provincial, as also
that of every other council and assembly, requires two-thirds in
a time of health, and one-third in a time of sickness.

"I think I have omitted nothing but the props and scaffolds,
which are not of use but in building. And how much is here? Show
me another commonwealth in this compass? how many things? Show me
another entire government consisting but of thirty orders. If you
now go to law with anybody, there lie to some of our courts 200
original writs: if you stir your hand, there go more nerves and
bones to that motion; if you play, you have more cards in the
pack; nay, you could not sit with your ease in that chair, if it
consisted not of more parts. Will you not then allow to your
legislator, what you can afford your upholsterer. or to the
throne, what is necessary to a chair?

"My lords, if you will have fewer orders in a commonwealth,
you will have more; for where she is not perfect at first, every
day, every hour will produce a new order, the end whereof is to
have no order at all, but to grind with the clack of some
demagogue. Is he providing already for his golden thumb? Lift up
your heads; away with ambition, that fulsome complexion of a
statesman, tempered, like Sylla's, with blood and muck. 'And the
Lord give to his senators wisdom; and make our faces to shine,
that we may be a light to them that sit in darkness and the
shadow of death, to guide their feet in the way of peace.' -- In
the name of God, what's the matter?"

Philadelphus, the secretary of the council, having performed
his task in reading the several orders as you have seen, upon the
receipt of a packet from his correspondent Boccalini, secretary
of Parnassus, in reading one of the letters, burst forth into
such a violent passion of weeping and downright howling, that the
legislators, being startled with the apprehension of some horrid
news, one of them had no sooner snatched the letter out of his
hand, than the rest crying, "Read, read," he obeyed in this

"The 3d instant his Phoebean majesty having taken the nature
of free states into his royal consideration, and being steadily
persuaded that the laws in such governments are incomparably
better and more surely directed to the good of mankind than in
any other; that the courage of such a people is the aptest tinder
to noble fire; that the genius of such a soil is that wherein the
roots of good literature are least worm-eaten with pedantism, and
where their fruits have ever come to the greatest maturity and
highest relish, conceived such a loathing of their ambition and
tyranny, who, usurping the liberty of their native countries,
become slaves to themselves, inasmuch as (be it never so contrary
to their own nature or consciences) they have taken the earnest
of sin, and are engaged to persecute all men that are good with
the same or greater rigor than is ordained by laws for the
wicked, for none ever administered that power by good which he
purchased by ill arts -- Phoebus, I say, having considered this,
assembled all the senators residing in the learned court at the
theatre of Melpomene, where he caused Caesar the Dictator to come
upon the stage, and his sister Actia, his nephew Augustus, Julia
his daughter, with the children which she had by Marcus Agrippa,
Lucius and Caius Caesars, Agrippa Posthumus, Julia, and
Agrippina, with the numerous progeny which she bore to her
renowned husband Germanicus, to enter. A miserable scene in any,
but most deplorable in the eyes of Caesar, thus beholding what
havoc his prodigious ambition, not satisfied with his own bloody
ghost, had made upon his more innocent remains, even to the total
extinction of his family. For it is (seeing where there is any
humanity, there must be some compassion) not to be spoken without
tears, that of the full branches deriving from Octavia the eldest
sister, and Julia the daughter of Augustus, there should not be
one fruit or blossom that was not cut off or blasted by the
sword, famine, or poison.

"Now might the great soul of Caesar have been full; and yet
that which poured in as much or more was to behold that execrable
race of the Claudii, having hunted and sucked his blood, with the
thirst of tigers, to be rewarded with the Roman Empire, and
remain in full possession of that famous patrimony: a spectacle
to pollute the light of heaven! Nevertheless, as if Caesar had
not yet enough, his Phoeban majesty caused to be introduced on
the other side of the theatre, the most illustrious and happy
prince Andrea Doria, with his dear posterity, embraced by the
soft and constant arms of the city of Genoa, into whose bosom,
ever fruitful in her gratitude, he had dropped her fair liberty
like the dew of heaven, which, when the Roman tyrant beheld, and
how much more fresh that laurel was worn with a firm root in the
hearts of the people than that which he had torn off, he fell
into such a horrid distortion of limbs and countenance, that the
senators, who had thought themselves steel and flint at such an
object, having hitherto stood in their reverend snow-like thawing
Alps, now covered their faces with their large sleeves."

"My lords," said the Archon, rising, "witty Philadelphus has
given us grave admonition in dreadful tragedy. Discite justitiam
moniti, et non temnere divos. Great and glorious Caesar the
highest character of flesh, yet could not rule but by that part
of man which is the beast; but a commonwealth is a monarchy; to
her God is king, inasmuch as reason, his dictate, is her
sovereign power." Which said, he adjourned the Council. And the
model was soon after promulgated. Quod bonum, foelix, faustumque
sit huic reipublicoe. Agite quirites, censuere patres, jubeat
populus. (The sea roared, and the floods clapped their hands.)


The Proclamation of his Highness the Lord Archon of Oceana upon
Promulgation of the Model

"Whereas his Highness and the Council, in the framing of the
model promulgated, have not had any private interest or ambition
but the fear of God and the good of this people before their
eyes; and it remains their desire that this great work may be
carried on accordingly. This present greeting is to inform the
good people of this land, that as the Council of Prytans sat
during the framing of the model, to receive from time to time
such propositions as should be offered by any wise-hearted or
public-spirited man, toward the institution of a well-ordered
commonwealth, so the said Council is to sit as formerly in the
great hall of the Pantheon during promulgation (which is to
continue for the space of three months) to receive, weigh, and,
as there shall be occasion, transmit to the Council of
Legislators, all such objections as shall be made against the
said model, whether in the whole or in any part. Wherefore that
nothing be done rashly or without the consent of the people,
such, of what party soever, with whom there may remain any doubts
or difficulties, are desired with all convenient speed to address
themselves to the said prytans; where, if such objections,
doubts, or difficulties receive solution to the satisfaction of
the auditory, they shall have public thanks, but if the said
objections, doubts, or difficulties receive no solution to the
satisfaction of the auditory, then the model promulgated shall be
reviewed, and the party that was the occasion of the review,
shall receive public thanks, together with the best horse in his
Highness's stable, and be one of the Council of Legislators. And
so God have you in his keeping."

I should now write the same Council of the Prytans, but for
two reasons: the one, that having had but a small time for that
which is already done, I am over-labored; the other, that there
may be new objections. Wherefore, if my reader has any such as to
the model, I entreat him to address himself by way of oration, as
it were, to the prytans, that when this rough draught comes to be
a work, his speech being faithfully inserted in this place, may
give or receive correction to amendment; for what is written will
be weighed. But conversation, in these days, is a game at which
they are best provided that have light gold; it is like the sport
of women that make flowers of straws, which must be stuck up but
may not be touched. Nor, which is worse, is this the fault of
conversation only: but to the examiner I say if to invent method
and teach an art be all one, let him show that this method is not
truly invented, or this art is faithfully taught.

I cannot conclude a circle (and such is this commonwealth)
without turning the end into the beginning. The time of
promulgation being expired, the surveyors were sent down, who
having in due season made report that their work was perfect, the
orators followed, under the administration of which officers and
magistrates the commonwealth was ratified and established by the
whole body of the people, in their parochial, hundred, and county
assemblies. And the orators being, by virtue of their scrolls or
lots, members of their respective tribes, were elected each the
first knight of the third list, or galaxy; wherefore, having at
their return assisted the Archon in putting the Senate and the
people or prerogative into motion, they abdicated the magistracy
both of orators and legislators.

Part IV


FOR the rest (says Plutarch, closing up the story of Lycurgus)
when he saw that his government had taken root, and was in the
very plantation strong enough to stand by itself, he conceived
such a delight within him, as God is described by Plato to have
done when he had finished the creation of the world, and saw his
own orbs move below him: for in the art of man (being the
imitation of nature, which is the art of God) there is nothing so
like the first call of beautiful order out of chaos and
confusion, as the architecture of a well-ordered commonwealth.
Wherefore Lycurgus, seeing in effect that his orders were good,
fell into deep contemplation how he might render them, so far as
could be effected by human providence, unalterable and immortal.
To which end he assembled the people, and remonstrated to them:
That for aught he could perceive, their policy was already such,
and so well established, as was sufficient to entail upon them
and theirs all that virtue and felicity whereof human life is
capable: nevertheless that there being another thing of greater
concern than all the rest, whereof he was not yet provided to
give them a perfect account, nor could till he had consulted the
oracle of Apollo, he desired that they would observe his laws
without any change or alteration whatsoever till his return from
Delphos; to which all the people cheerfully and unanimously
engaged themselves by promise, desiring him that he would make as
much haste as he could. But Lycurgus, before he went, began with
the kings and the senators, and thence taking the whole people in
order, made them all swear to that which they had promised, and
then took his journey. Being arrived at Delphos, he sacrificed to
Apollo, and afterward inquired if the policy which he had
established was good and sufficient for a virtuous and happy

By the way, it has been a maxim with legislators not to give
checks to the present superstition, but to make the best use of
it, as that which is always the most powerful with the people;
otherwise, though Plutarch, being a priest, was interested in the
cause, there is nothing plainer than Cicero, in his book "De
Divinatione" has made it, that there was never any such thing as
an oracle, except in the cunning of the priests. But to be civil
to the author, the god answered to Lycurgus that his policy was
exquisite, and that his city, holding to the strict observation
of his form of government, should attain to the height of fame
and glory. Which oracle Lycurgus causing to be written, failed
not of transmitting to his Lacedaemon. This done, that his
citizens might be forever inviolably bound by their oath, that
they would alter nothing till his return, he took so firm a
resolution to die in the place, that from thenceforward,
receiving no manner of food, he soon after performed it
accordingly. Nor was he deceived in the consequence; for his city
became the first in glory and excellency of government in the
whole world. And so much for Lycurgus, according to Plutarch.

My Lord Archon, when he beheld not only the rapture of
motion, but of joy and harmony, into which his spheres (without
any manner of obstruction or interfering, but as if it had been
naturally) were cast, conceived not less of exultation in his
spirit; but saw no more necessity or reason why he should
administer an oath to the Senate and the people that they would
observe his institutions, than to a man in perfect health and
felicity of constitution that he would not kill himself.
Nevertheless whereas Christianity, though it forbids violent
hands, consists no less in self-denial than any other religion,
he resolved that all unreasonable desires should die upon the
spot; to which end that no manner of food might be left to
ambition, he entered into the Senate with a unanimous applause,
and having spoken of his government as Lycurgus did when he
assembled the people, he abdicated the magistracy of Archon. The
Senate, as struck with astonishment, continued silent, men upon
so sudden an accident being altogether unprovided of what to say;
till the Archon withdrawing, and being almost at the door, divers
of the knights flew from their places, offering as it were to lay
violent hands on him, while he escaping, left the Senate with the
tears in their eyes, of children that had lost their father and
to rid himself of all further importunity, retired to a country
house of his, being remote, and very private, insomuch that no
man could tell for some time what was become of him.

Thus the law-maker happened to be the first object and
reflection of the law made; for as liberty of all things is the
most welcome to a people, so is there nothing more abhorrent from
their nature than ingratitude. We, accusing the Roman people of
this crime against some of their greatest benefactors, as
Camillus, heap mistake upon mistake; for being not so competent
judges of what belongs to liberty as they were, we take upon us
to be more competent judges of virtue. And whereas virtue, for
being a vulgar thing among them, was of no less rate than jewels
are with such as wear the most, we are selling this precious
stone, which we have ignorantly raked out of the Roman ruins, at
such a rate as the Switzers did that which they took in the
baggage of Charles of Burgundy. For that Camillus had stood more
firm against the ruin of Rome than her capitol, was acknowledged;
but on the other side, that he stood as firm for the patricians
against the liberty of the people, was as plain; wherefore he
never wanted those of the people that would die at his foot in
the field, nor that would withstand him to his beard in the city.
An example in which they that think Camillus had wrong, neither
do themselves right, nor the people of Rome; who in this signify
no less than that they had a scorn of slavery beyond the fear of
ruin, which is the height of magnanimity.

The like might be shown by other examples objected against
this and other popular governments, as in the banishment of
Aristides the Just from Athens, by the ostracism, which, first,
was no punishment, nor ever understood for so much as a
disparagement; but tended only to the security of the
commonwealth, through the removal of a citizen (whose riches or
power with a party was suspected) out of harm's way for the space
of ten years, neither to the diminution of his estate or honor.
And next, though the virtue of Aristides might in itself be
unquestioned, yet for him under the name of the Just to become
universal umpire of the people in all cases, even to the neglect
of the legal ways and orders of the commonwealth, approached so
much to the prince, that the Athenians, doing Aristides no wrong,
did their government no more than right in removing him; which
therefore is not so probable to have come to pass, as Plutarch
presumes, through the envy of Themistocles, seeing Aristides was
far more popular than Themistocles, who soon after took the same
walk upon a worse occasion. Wherefore as Machiavel, for anything
since alleged, has. irrefragably proved that popular governments
are of all others the least ungrateful, so the obscurity, I say,
into which my Lord Archon had now withdrawn himself caused a
universal sadness and clouds in the minds of men upon the glory
of his rising commonwealth.

Much had been ventilated in private discourse, and the people
(for the nation was yet divided into parties that had not lost
their animosities), being troubled, bent their eyes upon the
Senate, when after some time spent in devotion, and the solemn
action of thanksgiving, his Excellency Navarchus de Paralo in the
tribe of Dorean, lord strategus of Oceana (though in a new
commonwealth a very prudent magistrate) proposed his part or
opinion in such a manner to the Council of State, that, passing
the ballot of the same with great unanimity and applause, it was
introduced into the Senate, where it passed with greater.
Wherefore the decree being forthwith printed and published,
copies were returned by the secretaries to the phylarchs (which
is the manner of promulgation) and the commissioners of the seal,
that is to say, the Right Honorable Phosphorus de Auge in the
tribe of Eudia, Dolabella d'Enyo in the tribe of Turmae, and
Linceus de Stella in the tribe of Nubia, being elected proposers
pro tempore, bespoke of the tribunes a muster of the people to be
held that day six weeks, which was the time allowed for
promulgation at the halo.

The satisfaction which the people throughout the tribes
received upon promulgation of the decree, loaded the carriers
with weekly letters between friend and friend, whether
magistrates or private persons. But the day for proposition being
come, and the prerogative upon the place appointed in discipline,
Sanguine de Ringwood in the tribe of Saltum, captain of the
Phoenix, marched by order of the tribunes with his troop to the
piazza of the Pantheon, where his trumpets, entering into the
great hall, by their blazon gave notice of his arrival; at which
the sergeant of the house came down, and returning, in formed the
proposers, who descending, were received at the foot of the
stairs by the captain, and attended to the coaches of state, with
which Calcar de Gilvo in the tribe of Phalera, master of the
horse, and the ballotins upon their great horses, stood waiting
at the gate.

The proposers being in their coaches, the train for the pomp,
the same that is used at the reception of ambassadors, proceeded
in this order. In the front marched the troop with the cornet in
the van and the captain in the rear; next the troop came the
twenty messengers or trumpets, the ballotins upon the curvet with
their usher in the van, and the master of the horse in the rear;
next the ballotins, Bronchus de Rauco, in the tribe of Bestia,
king of the heralds, with his fraternity in their coats-of-arms,
and next to Sir Bronchus, Boristhenes de Holiwater in the tribe
of Ave, master of the ceremonies; the mace and the seal of the
chancery went immediately before the coaches, and on either side,
the doorkeepers or guard of the Senate, with their pole-axes,
accompanied with some 300 or 400 footmen belonging to the knights
or senators, the trumpeters, ballotins, guards, postilions,
coachmen and footmen, being very gallant in the liveries of the
commonwealth, but all, except the ballotins, without hats, in
lieu whereof they wore black velvet calots, being pointed with a
little peak at the forehead. After the proposers came a long file
of coaches full of such gentlemen as use to grace the
commonwealth upon the like occasions. In this posture they moved
slowly through the streets (affording, in the gravity of the pomp
and the welcomeness of the end, a most reverend and acceptable
prospect to the people all the way from the Pantheon, being about
half a mile) and arrived at the halo, where they found the
prerogative in a close body environed with scaffolds that were
covered with spectators. The tribunes received the proposers, and
conducted them into a seat placed in the front of the tribe, like
a pulpit, but that it was of some length, and well adorned by the
heralds with all manner of birds and beasts, except that they
were ill-painted, and never a one of his natural color. The
tribunes were placed at a table that stood below the long seat,
those of the horse in the middle, and those of the foot at either
end, with each of them a bowl or basin before him, that on the
right hand being white, and the other green: in the middle of the
table stood a third, which was red. And the housekeepers of the
pavilion, who had already delivered a proportion of linen balls
or pellets to every one of the tribe, now presented boxes to the
ballotins. But the proposers as they entered the gallery, or long
seat, having put off their hats by way of salutation, were
answered by the people with a shout; whereupon the younger
commissioners seated themselves at either end; and the first,
standing in the middle, spoke after this manner:


"While I find in myself what a felicity it is to salute you
by this name, and in every face, anointed as it were with the oil
of gladness, a full and sufficient testimony of the like sense,
to go about to feast you with words, who are already filled with
that food of the mind which, being of pleasing and wholesome
digestion, takes in the definition of true joy, were a needless
enterprise. I shall rather put you in mind of that thankfulness
which is due, than puff you up with anything that might seem
vain. Is it from the arms of flesh that we derive these
blessings? Behold the Commonwealth of Rome falling upon her own
victorious sword. Or is it from our own wisdom, whose counsels
had brought it even to that pass, that we began to repent
ourselves of victory? Far be it from us, my lords, to sacrifice
to our own nets, which we ourselves have so narrowly escaped! Let
us rather lay our mouths in the dust, and look up (as was taught
the other day when we were better instructed in this lesson) to
the hills with our gratitude. Nevertheless, seeing we read how
God upon the neglect of his prophets has been provoked to wrath,
it must needs follow that he expects honor should be given to
them by whom he has chosen to work as his instruments. For which
cause, nothing doubting of my warrant, I shall proceed to that
which more particularly concerns the present occasion, the
discovery of my Lord Archon's virtues and merit, to be ever
placed by this nation in their true meridian.

"My lords, I am not upon a subject which persuades me to
balk, but necessitates me to seek out the greatest examples. To
begin with Alexander, erecting trophies common to his sword and
the pestilence: to what good of mankind did he infect the air
with his heap of carcasses? The sword of war, if it be any
otherwise used than as the sword of magistracy, for the fear and
punishment of those that do evil, is as guilty in the sight of
God as the sword of a murderer; nay more, for if the blood of
Abel, of one innocent man, cried in the ears of the Lord for
vengeance, what shall the blood of an innocent nation? Of this
kind of empire, the throne of ambition, and the quarry of a
mighty hunter, it has been truly said that it is but a great
robbery. But if Alexander had restored the liberty of Greece, and
propagated it to mankind, he had done like my Lord Archon, and
might have been truly called the Great. Alexander cared not to
steal a victory that would be given; but my Lord Archon has torn
away a victory which had been stolen, while we went tamely
yielding up obedience to a nation reaping in our fields, whose
fields he has subjected to our empire, and nailed them with his
victorious sword to their native Caucasus.

"Machiavel gives a handsome caution: 'Let no man,' says he,
'be circumvented with the glory of Caesar, from the false
reflection of their pens, who through the longer continuance of
his empire in the name than in the family, changed their freedom
for flattery. But if a man would know truly what the Romans
thought of Caesar, let them observe what they said of Catiline.'"
And yet by how much he who has perpetrated some heinous crime is
more execrable than he who did but attempt it, by so much is
Caesar more execrable than Catiline. On the contrary, let him
that would know what ancient and heroic times, what the Greeks
and Romans would both have thought and said of my Lord Archon,
observe what they thought and said of Solon, Lycurgus, Brutus,
and Publicola. And yet by how much his virtue, that is crowned
with the perfection of his work, is beyond theirs, who were
either inferior in their aim, or in their performance; by so much
is my Lord Archon to be preferred before Solon, Lycurgus, Brutus,
and Publicola.

"Nor will we shun the most illustrious example of Scipio:
this hero, though never so little less, yet was he not the
founder of a commonwealth; and for the rest, allowing his virtue
to have been of the most untainted ray in what did it outshine
this of my Lord Archon? But if dazzling the eyes of the
magistrates it overawed liberty, Rome might be allowed some
excuse that she did not like it, and I, if I admit not of this
comparison: for where is my Lord Archon? Is there a genius, how
free soever, which in his presence would not find itself to be
under power? He is shrunk into clouds, he seeks obscurity in a
nation that sees by his light. He is impatient of his own glory,
lest it should stand between you and your liberty "

Liberty! What is even that, if we may not be grateful? And if
we may, we have none: for who has anything that he does not owe?
My lords, there be some hard conditions of virtue: if this debt
were exacted, it were not due; whereas being cancelled, we are
all entered into bonds. On the other side, if we make such a
payment as will not stand with a free people, we do not enrich my
Lord Archon, but rob him of his whole estate immense glory.

"These particulars had in due deliberation and mature debate,
according to the order of this commonwealth, it is proposed by
authority of the Senate, to you my lords the people of Oceana:

"I. That the dignity and office of Archon, or protector of
the commonwealth of Oceana, be and are hereby conferred, by the
Senate and the people of Oceana, upon the most illustrious Prince
and sole legislator of this commonwealth, Olphaus Megaletor,
pater patrioe, whom God preserve, for the term of his natural
life. yet remaining of the ancient "

II. That 350,000 per annum revenue, be estated upon the said
illustrious Prince, or Lord Archon, for the said term, and to the
proper and peculiar use of his Highness.

III. That the Lord Archon have the reception of all foreign
ambassadors, by and with the Council of State, according to the
orders of this commonwealth.

"IV. That the Lord Archon have a standing army of 12,000
defrayed upon a monthly tax, during the term of three years, for
the protection of this commonwealth against dissenting parties,
to be governed, directed, and commanded by and with the advice of
the Council of War, according to the orders of this commonwealth.

"V. That this commonwealth make no distinction of persons or
parties, but every man being elected and sworn, according to the
orders of the same, be equally capable of magistracy, or not
elected, be equally capable of liberty, and the enjoyment of his
estate free from all other than common taxes.

"VI. That a man putting a distinction upon himself, refusing
oath upon election, or declaring himself of a party not
conformable to the civil government, may within any time of his
the three years' standing of the army transport himself and his
estate, without molestation or impediment, into any other nation.

"VII. That in case there remains any distinction of parties
not conforming to the civil government of this commonwealth,
after the three years of the standing army being expired, and the
commonwealth be thereby forced to prolong the term of the said
army, the pay from henceforth of the said army be levied upon the
estates of such parties so remaining unconformable to the civil

The proposer having ended his oration, the trumpets sounded;
and the tribunes of the horse being mounted to view the ballot,
caused the tribe (which thronging up to the speech, came almost
round the gallery) to retreat about twenty paces, when Linceus de
Stella, receiving the propositions, repaired with Bronchus de
Rauco the herald, to a little scaffold erected in the middle of
the tribe, where he seated himself, the herald standing bare upon
his right hand. The ballotins, having their boxes ready, stood
before the gallery, and at the command of the tribunes marched,
one to every troop on horseback, and one to every company on
foot, each of them being followed by other children that bore red
boxes: now this is putting the question whether the question
should be put. And the suffrage being very suddenly returned to
the tribunes at the table, and numbered in the view of the
proposers, the votes were all in the affirmative, whereupon the
red or doubtful boxes were laid aside, it appearing that the
tribe, whether for the negative or affirmative, Was clear in the
matter. Wherefore the herald began from the scaffold in the
middle of the tribe, to pronounce the first proposition, and the
ballotins marching with the negative or affirmative only,
Bronchus, with his voice like thunder, continued to repeat the
proposition over and over again, so long as it was in balloting.
The like was done for every clause, till the ballot was finished,
and the tribunes assembling, had signed the points, that is to
say, the number of every suffrage, as it was taken by the
secretary upon the tale of the tribunes, and in the sight of the
proposers; for this may not be omitted: it is the pulse of the
people. Now whereas it appertains to the tribunes to report the
suffrage of the people to the Senate, they cast the lot for this
office with three silver balls and one gold one; and it fell upon
the Right Worshipful Argus de Crookhorn, in the tribe of Pascua,
first tribune of the foot. Argus, being a good sufficient man in
his own country, was yet of the mind that he should make but a
bad spokesman, and therefore became something blank at his luck,
till his colleagues persuaded him that it was no such great
matter, if he could but read, having his paper before him. The
proposers, taking coach, received a volley upon the field, and
returned in the same order, save that, being accompanied with the
tribunes, they were also attended by the whole prerogative to the
piazza of the Pantheon, where, with another volley, they took
their leaves. Argus, who had not thought upon his wife and
children all the way, went very gravely up: and everyone being
seated, the Senate by their silence seemed to call for the
report, which Argus, standing up, delivered in this wise:


"So it is, that it has fallen to my lot to report to your
excellencies in the votes of the people, taken upon the 3d
instant, in the first year of this commonwealth, at the halo; the
Right Honorable Phosphorus de Auge in the tribe of Eudia,
Dolabella d'Enyo in the tribe of Turmae, and Linceus de Stella in
the tribe of Nubia, lords commissioners of the great seal of
Oceana, and proposers pro temporibus, together with my brethren
the tribunes, and myself being present. Wherefore these are to
certify to your fatherhoods, that the said votes of the people
were as follows, that is to say:

To the first proposition, nemine contradicente;

To the second, nemine contradicente;

To the third, the like;

To the fourth, 211, above half;

To the fifth, 201, above half;

To the sixth, 150, above half, in the affirmative;

To the seventh, nemine contradicente again, and so forth.

"My Lords, it is a language that is out of my prayers, and if
I be out at it, no harm --

"But as concerning my Lord Archon (as I was saying) these are
to signify to you the true-heartedness and goodwill which are in
the people, seeing by joining with you, as one man, they confess
that all they have to give is too little for his highness. For
truly fathers, if he who is able to do harm, and does none, may
well be called honest; what shall we say to my Lord Archon's
highness, who having had it in his power to have done us the
greatest mischief that ever befell a poor nation, so willing to
trust such as they thought well of, has done us so much good, as
we should never have known how to do ourselves? Which was so
sweetly delivered by my Lord Chancellor Phosphorus to the people,
that I dare say there was never a one of them could forbear to do
as I do-and, it please your fatherhoods, they be tears of joy.
Aye, my Lord Archon shall walk the streets (if it be for his ease
I mean) with a switch, while the people run after him and pray
for him; he shall not wet his foot; they will strew flowers in
his way; he shall sit higher in their hearts, and in the judgment
of all good men, than the kings that go upstairs to their seats;
and one of these had as good pull two or three of his fellows out
of their great chairs as wrong him or meddle with him; he has two
or three hundred thousand men, that when you say the word, shall
sell themselves to their shirts for him, and die at his foot. His
pillow is of down, and his grave shall be as soft, over which
they that are alive shall wring their hands. And to come to your
fatherhoods, most truly so called, as being the loving parents of
the people, truly you do not know what a feeling they have of
your kindness, seeing you are so bound up, that if there comes
any harm, they may thank themselves. And, alas! poor souls, they
see that they are given to be of so many minds, that though they
always mean well, yet if there comes any good, they may thank
them that teach them better. Wherefore there was never such a
thing as this invented, they do verily believe that it is no
other than the same which they always had in their very heads, if
they could have but told how to bring it out. As now for a
sample: my lords the proposers had no sooner said your minds,
than they found it to be that which heart could wish. And your
fatherhoods may comfort yourselves, that there is not a people in
the world more willing to learn what is for their own good, nor
more apt to see it, when you have showed it them. Wherefore they
do love you as they do their own selves; honor you as fathers;
resolve to give you as it were obedience forever, and so thanking
you for your most good and excellent laws, they do pray for you
as the very worthies of the land, right honorable lords and
fathers assembled in Parliament."

Argus came off beyond his own expectation; for thinking
right, and speaking as he thought, it was apparent by the house
and the thanks they gave him, that they esteemed him to be
absolutely of the best sort of orators; upon which having a mind
that till then misgave him, he became very crounse, and much
delighted with that which might go down the next week in print to
his wife and neighbors. Livy makes the Roman tribunes to speak in
the same style with the consuls, which could not be, and
therefore for aught in him to the contrary, Volero and Canuleius
might have spoken in no better style than Argus. However, they
were not created the first year of the commonwealth; and the
tribunes of Oceana are since become better orators than were
needful. But the laws being enacted, had the preamble annexed,
and were delivered to Bronchus, who loved nothing in the earth so
much as to go staring and bellowing up and down the town, like a
stag in a forest, as he now did, with his fraternity in their
coats-of-arms, and I know not how many trumpets, proclaiming the
act of parliament; when, meeting my Lord Archon, whom from a
retreat that was without affectation, as being for devotion only
and to implore a blessing by prayer and fasting upon his labors,
now newly arrived in town, the herald of the tribe of Bestia set
up his throat, and having chanted out his lesson, passed as
haughtily by him as if his own had been the better office, which
in this place was very well taken, though Bronchus for his high
mind happened afterward upon some disasters, too long to tell,
that spoiled much of his embroidery.

My Lord Archon's arrival being known, the signory,
accompanied by the tribunes, repaired to him, with the news he
had already heard by the herald, to which my lord strategus added
that his highness could not doubt upon the demonstrations given,
but the minds of men were firm in the opinion that he could be no
seeker of himself in the way of earthly pomp and glory, and that
the gratitude of the Senate and the people could not therefore be
understood to have any such reflection upon him. But so it was,
that in regard of dangers abroad, and parties at home, they durst
not trust themselves without a standing army, nor a standing army
in any man's hands but those of his highness.

The Archon made answer, that he ever expected this would be
the sense of the Senate and the people; and this being their
sense, he should have been sorry they had made choice of any
other than himself for a standing general; first, because it
could not have been more to their own safety, and secondly
because so long as they should have need of a standing army, 'his
work was, not done, that he would not dispute against the
judgment of the Senate and the people, nor ought that to be.
Nevertheless, he made little doubt but experience would show
every party their own interest in this government, and that
better improved than they could expect from any other; that men's
animosities should overbalance their interest for any time was
impossible, that humor could never be lasting, nor through the
constitution of the government of any effect at the first charge.
For supposing the worst, and that the people had chosen no other
into the Senate and the prerogative than royalists, a matter of
1,400 men must have taken their oaths at their election, with an
intention to go quite contrary not only to their oaths so taken,
but to their own interest; for being estated in the sovereign
power, they must have decreed it from themselves (such an example
for which there was never any experience, nor can there be any
reason), or holding it, it must have done in their hands as well
every wit as in any other. Furthermore, they must have removed
the government from a foundation that apparently would hold, to
set it upon another which apparently would not hold; which things
if they could not come to pass, the Senate and the people
consisting wholly of royalists, much less by a parcel of them
elected. But if the fear of the Senate and of the people derived
from a party without, such a one as would not be elected, nor
engage themselves to the commonwealth by an oath; this again must
be so large, as would go quite contrary to their own interest,
they being as free and as fully estated in their liberty as any
other, or so narrow that they could do no hurt, while the people
being in arms, and at the beck of the strategus, every tribe
would at any time make a better army than such a party; and there
being no parties at home, fears from abroad would vanish. But
seeing it was otherwise determined by the Senate and the people,
the best course was to take that which they held the safest, in
which, with his humble thanks for their great bounty, he was
resolved to serve them with all duty and obedience.

A very short time after the royalists, now equal citizens,
made good the Archon's judgment, there being no other that found
anything near so great a sweet in the government. For he who has
not been acquainted with affliction, says Seneca, knows but half
the things of this world.

Moreover they saw plainly, that to restore the ancient
government they must cast up their estates into the hands of 300
men; wherefore in case the Senate and the prerogative, consisting
of 1,300 men, had been all royalists, there must of necessity
have been, and be forever, 1,000 against this or any such vote.
But the Senate, being informed by the signory that the Archon had
accepted of his dignity and office, caused a third chair to be
set for his Highness, between those of the strategus and the
orator in the house, the like at every council; to which he
repaired, not of necessity, but at his pleasure, being the best,
and as Argus not vainly said, the greatest prince in the world;
for in the pomp of his court he was not inferior to any, and in
the field he was followed with a force that was formidable to
all. Nor was there a cause in the nature of this constitution to
put him to the charge of guards, to spoil his stomach or his
sleep: insomuch, as being handsomely disputed by the wits of the
academy, whether my Lord Archon, if he had been ambitious, could
have made himself so great, it was carried clear in the negative;
not only for the reasons drawn from the present balance, which
was popular, but putting the case the balance had been
monarchical. For there be some nations, whereof this is one, that
will bear a prince in a commonwealth far higher than it is
possible for them to bear a monarch. Spain looked upon the Prince
of Orange as her most formidable enemy; but if ever there be a
monarch in Holland, he will be the Spaniard's best friend. For
whereas a prince in a commonwealth derives his greatness from the
root of the people, a monarch derives his from one of those
balances which nip them in the root; by which means the Low
Countries under a monarch were poor and inconsiderable, but in
bearing a prince could grow to a miraculous height, and give the
glory of his actions by far the upper hand of the greatest king
in Christendom. There are kings in Europe, to whom a king of
Oceana would be put a petit companion. But the Prince of this
commonwealth is the terror and judge of them all.

That which my Lord Archon now minded most was the agrarian,
upon which debate he incessantly thrust the Senate and the
Council of State, to the end it might be planted upon some firm
root, as the main point and basis of perpetuity to the

And these are some of the most remarkable passages that
happened in the first year of this government. About the latter
end of the second, the army was disbanded, but the taxes
continued at 30,000 a month, for three years and a half. By
which means a piece of artillery was planted, and a portion of
land to the value of 50 a year purchased for the maintenance of
the games, and of the prize arms forever, in each hundred.

With the eleventh year of the commonwealth, the term of the
excise, allotted for the maintenance of the Senate and the people
and for the raising of a public revenue, expired. By which time
the Exchequer, over and above the annual salaries, amounting to
300,000 accumulating every year out of 1,000,000 income,
700,000 in banco, brought it with a product of the sum, rising
to about 8,000,000 in the whole: whereby at several times they
had purchased to the Senate and the people 400,000 per annum
solid revenue; which, besides the lands held in Panopea, together
with the perquisites of either province, was held sufficient for
a public revenue. Nevertheless, taxes being now wholly taken off,
the excise, of no great burden (and many specious advantages not
vainly proposed in the heightening of the public revenue), was
very cheerfully established by the Senate and the people, for the
term of ten years longer, and the same course being taken, the
public revenue was found in the one-and-twentieth year of the
commonwealth to be worth 1,000,000 in good land. Whereupon the
excise was so abolished for the present, as withal resolved to be
the best, the most fruitful and easy way of raising taxes,
according to future exigencies.

But the revenue being now such as was able to be a yearly
purchaser, gave a jealousy that by this means the balance of the
commonwealth, consisting in private fortunes, might be eaten out,
whence this year is famous for that law whereby the Senate and
the people, forbidding any further purchase of lands to the
public within the dominions of Oceana and the adjacent provinces,
put the agrarian upon the commonwealth herself. These increases
are things which men addicted to monarchy deride as impossible,
whereby they unwarily urge a strong argument against that which
they would defend. For having their eyes fixed upon the pomp and
expense, by which not only every child of a king, being a prince,
exhausts his father's coffers, but favorites and servile spirits,
devoted to the flattery of those princes, grow insolent and
profuse, returning a fit gratitude to their masters, whom, while
they hold it honorable to deceive, they suck and keep eternally
poor: it follows that they do not see how it should be possible
for a commonwealth to clothe herself in purple, and thrive so
strangely upon that which would make a prince's hair grow through
his hood, and not afford him bread. As if it were a miracle that
a careless and prodigal man should bring 10,000 a year to
nothing, or that an industrious and frugal man brings a little to
10,000 a year. But the fruit of one man's industry and frugality
can never be like that of a commonwealth; first, because the
greatness of the increase follows the greatness of the stock or
principal; and, secondly, because a frugal father is for the most
part succeeded by a lavish son; whereas a commonwealth is her own

This year a part was proposed by the Right Honorable Aureus
de Woolsack in the tribe of Pecus, first commissioner of the
Treasury, to the Council of State, which soon after passed the
ballot of the Senate and the people, by which the lands of the
public revenue, amounting to 1,000,000, were equally divided
into 5,000 lots, entered by their names and parcels into a
lot-book preserved in the Exchequer. And if any orphan, being a
maid, should cast her estate into the Exchequer for 1,400, the
Treasury was bound by the law to pay her quarterly 200 a year,
free from taxes, for her life, and to assign her a lot for her
security; if she married, her husband was neither to take out the
principal without her consent (acknowledged by herself to one of
the commissioners of the Treasury, who, according as he found it
to be free, or forced, was to allow or disallow of it), nor any
other way engage it than to her proper use. But if the principal
were taken out, the Treasury was not bound to repay any more of
it than 1,000, nor might that be repaid at any time, save within
the first year of her marriage: the like was to be done by a half
or quarter lot respectively.

This was found to be a great charity to the weaker sex, and
as some say, who are more skilful in the like affairs than
myself, of good profit to the commonwealth.

Now began the native spleen of Oceana to be much purged, and
men not to affect sullenness and pedantism. The elders could
remember that they had been youths. Wit and gallantry were so far
from being thought crimes in themselves, that care was taken to
preserve their innocence. For which cause it was proposed to the
Council for Religion by the Right Honorable Cadiscus de Clero, in
the tribe of Stamnum, first censor, that such women as, living in
gallantry and view about the town, were of evil fame, and could
not show that they were maintained by their own estates or
industry. or such as, having estates of their own, were yet
wasteful in 'their way of life, and of ill-example to others,
should be obnoxious to the animadversion of the Council of
Religion, or of the censors: in which the proceeding should be
after this manner. Notice should be first given of the scandal to
the party offending, in private: if there were no amendment
within the space of six months, she should be summoned and
rebuked before the said Council or censors; and, if after other
six months it were found that neither this availed, she should be
censored not to appear at any public meetings, games, or
recreations, upon penalty of being taken up by the doorkeepers or
guards of the Senate, and by them to be detained, till for every
such offence 5 were duly paid for her enlargement.

Furthermore, if any common strumpet should be found or any
scurrility or profaneness represented at either of the theatres,
the prelates for every such offence should be fined 20 by the
said Council, and the poet, for every such offence on his part,
should be whipped. This law relates to another, which was also
enacted the same year upon this occasion.

The youth and wits of the Academy having put the business so
home in the defence of comedies that the provosts had nothing but
the consequences provided against by the foregoing law to object,
prevailed so far that two of the provosts of the Council of State
joined in a proposition, which after much ado came to a law,
whereby 100,000 was allotted for the building of two theatres on
each side of the piazza of the halo: and two annual magistrates
called prelates, chosen out of the knights, were added to the
tropic, the one called the prelate of the buskin, for inspection
of the tragic scene called Melpomene; and the other the prelate
of the sock, for the comic called Thalia, which magistrates had
each 500 a year allowed out of the profits of the theatres; the
rest, except 800 a year to four poets, payable into the
Exchequer. A poet laureate created in one of these theatres by
the strategus, receives a wreath of 500 in gold, paid out of the
said profits. But no man is capable of this creation that had not
two parts in three of the suffrages at the Academy, assembled
after six weeks' warning and upon that occasion.

These things among us are sure enough to be censured, but not
know the nature of a commonwealth; that they are free, and yet to
curb the genius in a lawful recreation to which they are
naturally is to tell a tale of a tub. I have heard the Protestant
ministers in France, by men that were wise and of their own
profession, much blamed in that they forbade dancing, a
recreation to which the genius of that air is so inclining that
they lost many who would not lose that: nor do they less than
blame the former determination of rashness, who now gently
connive at that which they had so roughly forbidden. These sports
in Oceana are so governed, that they are pleasing for private
diversion, and profitable to the public: for the theatres soon
defrayed their own charge, and now bring in a good revenue. All
this is so far from the detriment of virtue, that it is to the
improvement of it, seeing women that heretofore made havoc of
their honor that they might have their pleasures are now
incapable of their pleasures if they lose their honor.

About the one-and-fortieth year of the commonwealth, the
censors, according to their annual custom, reported the pillar of
Nilus, by which it was found that the people were increased very
near one-third. Whereupon the Council of War was appointed by the
Senate to bring in a state of war, and the treasurers the state
of the Treasury. The state of war, or the pay and charge of an
army, was soon after exhibited by the Council in this account:


The lord strategus, marching 10,000

General of the horse... 2,000

Lieutenant-general... 2,000

General of the artillery.... 1,000

Commissary-general... 1,000

Major-general.... 1,000

Quartermaster-general... 1,000
Two adjutants to the major-general... 1,000
Forty colonels..... 40,000
100 captains of horse, at 500 a man... 50,000
300 captains of foot, at 300 a man... 90,000
100 cornets, at 100 a man.... 10,000
300 ensigns, at 50 a man.... 15,000
800 Quartermasters, Sergeants, Trumpeters,

Drummers, 20,000
10,000 horse, at 2s 6d per day each... 470,000
30,000 foot, at 1s per day each.... 500,000
Chirurgeons... 400
40,000 auxiliaries, amounting to within a

little as much... 1,100,000
The charge of mounting 20,000 horse.. 300,000
The train of artillery, holding a 3d to

the whole 900,000

Sum total 3,514,400

Arms and ammunition are not reckoned, as those which are
furnished out of the store or arsenal of Emporium: nor wastage,
as that which goes upon the account of the fleet, maintained by
the customs; which customs, through the care of the Council for
Trade and growth of traffic, were long since improved to about
1,000,000 revenue. The house being thus informed of a state of
war, the commissioners brought in --


Received from the one-and-twentieth of the commonwealth:

By 700,000 a year in bank, with the product of the sum


Expended from the one-and-twentieth of this commonwealth:

Imprimis, for the addition of arms for 100,000 men to

the arsenal, or tower of Emporium.........
For the storing of the same with artillery...
For the storing of the same with ammunition...
For beautifying the cities, parks, gardens, public walks,

and places for recreation of Emporium and Hiera, with

public buildings, aqueducts, statues,

and fountains, etc......
Extraordinary embassies...


Remaining in the Treasury, the salaries of the

Exchequer being defalked.......

By comparison of which accounts if a war with an army of
80,000 men were to be made by the penny, yet was the commonwealth
able to maintain such a one above three years without levying a
tax. But it is against all experience, sense, and reason that
such an army should not be soon broken, or make a great progress;
in either of which cases, the charge ceases; or rather if a right
course be taken in the latter, profit comes in: for the Romans
had no other considerable way but victory whereby to fill their
treasury, which nevertheless was seldom empty. Alexander did not
consult his purse upon his design for Persia: it is observed by
Machiavel, that Livy, arguing what the event in reason must have
been had that King invaded Rome, and diligently measuring what on
each side was necessary to such a war, never speaks a word of
money. No man imagines that the Gauls, Goths, Vandals, Huns,
Lombards, Saxons, Normans, made their inroads or conquests by the
strength of the purse; and if it be thought enough, according to
the dialect of our age, to say in answer to these things that
those times are past and gone: what money did the late Gustavus,
the most victorious of modern princes, bring out of Sweden with
him into Germany? An army that goes upon a golden leg will be as
lame as if it were a wooden one; but proper forces have nerves
and muscles in them, such for which, having 4,000,000 or
5,000,000, a sum easy enough, with a revenue like this of
Oceana, to be had at any time in readiness, you need never, or
very rarely, charge the people with taxes. What influence the
commonwealth by such arms has had upon the world, I leave to
historians, whose custom it has been of old to be as diligent
observers of foreign actions as careless of those domestic
revolutions which (less pleasant it may be, as not partaking so
much of the romance) are to statesmen of far greater profit; and
this fault, if it be not mine, is so much more frequent with
modern writers, as has caused me to undertake this work; on which
to give my own judgment, it is performed as much above the time I
have been about it, as below the dignity of the matter.

But I cannot depart out of this country till I have taken
leave of my Lord Archon, a prince of immense felicity who having
built as high with his counsels as he digged deep with his sword,
had now seen fifty years measured with his own unerring orbs.

Timoleon (such a hater of tyrants that, not able to persuade
his brother Timophanes to relinquish the tyranny of Corinth, he
slew him) was afterward elected by the people (the Sicilians
groaning to them from under the like burden) to be sent to their
relief: whereupon Teleclides, the man at that time of most
authority in the Commonwealth of Corinth, stood up, and giving an
exhortation to Timoleon, how he should behave himself in this
expedition, told him that if he restored the Sicilians to
liberty, it would be acknowledged that he destroyed a tyrant; if
otherwise, he must expect to hear he had murdered a king.
Timoleon, taking his leave with a very small provision for so
great a design, pursued it with a courage not inferior to, and a
felicity beyond, any that had been known to that day in mortal
flesh, having in the space of eight years utterly rooted out of
all Sicily those weeds of tyranny, through the detestation
whereof men fled in such abundance from their native country that
whole cities were left desolate, and brought it to such a pass
that others, through the fame of his virtues and the excellency
of the soil, flocked as fast from all quarters to it as to the
garden of the world: while he, being presented by the people of
Syracuse with his town-house and his country retreat, the
sweetest places in either, lived with his wife and children a
most quiet, happy, and holy life; for he attributed no part of
his success to himself, but all to the blessing and providence of
the gods. As he passed his time in this manner, admired and
honored by mankind, Laphistius, an envious demagogue, going to
summon him upon some pretence or other to answer for himself
before the assembly, the people fell into such a mutiny as could
not be appeased but by Timoleon, who, understanding the matter,
reproved them, by repeating the pains and travel which he had
gone through, to no other end than that every man might have the
free use of the laws. Wherefore when Daemenetus, another
demagogue, had brought the same design about again, and blamed
him impertinently to the people for things which he did when he
was general, Timoleon answered nothing, but raising up his hands,
gave the gods thanks for their return to his frequent prayers,
that he might but live to see the Syracusans so free, that they
could question whom they pleased.

Not long after, being old, through some natural imperfection,
he fell blind; but the Syracusans by their perpetual visits held
him, though he could not see, their greatest object: if there
arrived strangers, they brought him to see this sight. Whatever
came in debate at the assembly, if it were of small consequence,
they determined it themselves; but if of importance, they always
sent for Timoleon, who, being brought by his servants in a chair,
and set in the middle of the theatre, there ever followed a great
shout, after which some time was allowed for the benedictions of
the people; and then the matter proposed, when Timoleon had
spoken to it, was put to the suffrage; which given, his servants
bore him back in his chair, accompanied by the people clapping
their hands, and making all expressions of joy and applause,
till, leaving him at his house, they returned to the despatch of
their business. And this was the life of Timoleon, till he died
of age, and dropped like a mature fruit, while the eyes of the
people were as the showers of autumn.

The life and death of my Lord Archon (but that he had his
senses to the last, and that his character, as not the restorer,
but the founder of a commonwealth, was greater) are so exactly
the same, that (seeing by men wholly ignorant of antiquity I am
accused of writing romance) I shall repeat nothing: but tell you
that this year the whole nation of Oceana, even to the women and
children, were in mourning, where so great or sad a funeral pomp
had never been seen or known. Some time after the performance of
the obsequies a Colossus, mounted on a brazen horse of excellent
fabric, was erected in the piazza of the Pantheon, engraved with
this inscription on the eastern side of the pedestal:




And on the wester with the following:


Piae et Perpetuae Memorie







Invincible in the Field The Greatest of Captains
Inviolable in his Faith The Best of Princes
Unfeigned in his Zeal The Happiest of Legislators
Immortal in his Fame The Most Sincere of Christians

Who setting the Kingdoms of Earth at Liberty,
Took the Kingdom of the Heavens by Violence.

Anno AEtat. suoe 116

Hujus Reipub. 50


OCEANA is saluted by the panegyrist after this manner: "O the
most blessed and fortunate of all countries, Oceana! how
deservedly has nature with the bounties of heaven and earth
endued thee! Thy ever fruitful womb not closed with ice nor
dissolved by the raging star; where Ceres and Bacchus are
perpetual twins: thy woods are not the harbor of devouring
beasts, nor thy continual verdure the ambush of serpents, but the
food of innumerable herds and flocks presenting thee, their
shepherdess, with distended dugs or golden fleeces. The wings of
thy night involve thee not in the horror of darkness, but have
still some white feather; and thy day is (that for which we
esteem life) the longest." But this ecstasy of Pliny, as is
observed by Bertius, seems to allude as well to Marpesia and
Panopea, now provinces of this commonwealth, as to Oceana itself.

To speak of the people in each of these countries. This of
Oceana, for so soft a one, is the most martial in the whole
world. "Let States that aim at greatness," says Verulamius, "take
heed how their nobility and gentlemen multiply too fast, for that
makes the common subject grow to be a peasant and base swain
driven out of heart, and in effect but a gentleman's laborer;
just as you may see in coppice woods, if you leave the staddels
too thick, you shall never have clean underwood, but shrubs and
bushes; so in countries, if the gentlemen be too many, the
commons will be base; and you will bring it to that at last, that
not the hundreth poll will be fit for a helmet, specially as to
the infantry, which is the nerve of an army, and so there will be
great population and little strength. This of which I speak has
been nowhere better seen than by comparing of Oceana and France,
whereof Oceana, though far less in territory and population, has
been nevertheless an overmatch, in regard the middle people of
Oceana make good solders, which the peasants in France do not."
In which words Verulamius, as Machiavel has done before him,
harps much upon a string which he has not perfectly tuned, and
that is, the balance of dominion or property, as it follows more
plainly, in his praise "of the profound and admirable device of
Panurgus, King of Oceana, in making farms and houses of husbandry
of a standard; that is, maintained with such a proportion of land
to them as may breed a subject to live in convenient plenty, and
no servile condition, and to keep the plough in the hands of the
owners, and not mere hirelings. And thus, indeed," says he, "you
shall attain to Virgil's character which he gives of ancient
Italy." But the tillage, bringing up a good soldiery, brings up a
good commonwealth; which the author in the praise of Panurgus did
not mind, nor Panurgus in deserving that praise; for where the
owner of the plough comes to have the sword, too, he will use it
in defence of his own; whence it has happened that the people of
Oceana, in proportion to their property, have been always free.
And the genius of this nation has ever had some resemblance with
that of ancient Italy, which was wholly addicted to
commonwealths, and where Rome came to make the greatest account
of her rustic tribes, and to call her consuls from the plough;
for in the way of parliaments, which was the government of this
realm, men of country lives have been still intrusted with the
greatest affairs, and the people have constantly had an aversion
to the ways of the court. Ambition, loving to be gay and to fawn,
has been a gallantry looked upon as having something in it of the
livery; and husbandry, or the country way of life, though of a
grosser spinning, as the best stuff of a commonwealth, according
to Aristotle, such a one being the most obstinate assertress of
her liberty and the least subject to innovation or turbulency.
Wherefore till the foundations, as will be hereafter shown, were
removed, this people was observed to be the least subject to
shakings and turbulency of any; whereas commonwealths, upon which
the city life has had the stronger influence, as Athens, have
seldom or never been quiet, but at the best are found to have
injured their own business by overdoing it. Whence the urban
tribes of Rome, consisting of the Turba forensis, and libertines
that had received their freedom by manumission, were of no
reputation in comparison of the rustics. It is true that with
Venice it may seem to be otherwise, in regard the gentlemen (for
so are all such called as have a right to that government) are
wholly addicted to the city life; but then the Turba forensis,
the secretaries, Cittadini, with the rest of the populace, are
wholly excluded. Otherwise a commonwealth consisting but of one
city would doubtless be stormy, in regard that ambition would be
every man's trade; but where it consists of a country, the plough
in the hands of the owner finds him a better calling, and
produces the most innocent and steady genius of a commonwealth,
such as is that of Oceana.

Marpesia, being the northern part of the same island, is the
dry-nurse of a populous and hardy nation, but where the staddels
have been formerly too thick, whence their courage answered not
their hardiness, except in the nobility, who govern much after
the manner of Poland, but that the King was not elective till the
people received their liberty; the yoke of the nobility being
broken by the commonwealth of Oceana, which in grateful return is
thereby provided with an inexhaustible magazine of auxiliaries.

Panopea, the soft mother of a slothful and pusillanimous
people, is a neighbor island, anciently subjected by the arms of
Oceana; since almost depopulated for shaking the yoke, and at
length replanted with a new race. But, through what virtues of
the soil or vice of the air soever it be, they come still to
degenerate. Wherefore seeing it is neither likely to yield men
fit for arms, nor necessary it should, it had been the interest
of Oceana so to have disposed of this province, being both rich
in the nature of the soil, and full of commodious ports for
trade, that it might have been ordered for the best in relation
to her purse, which in my opinion, if it had been thought upon in
time, might have been best done by planting it with Jews,
allowing them their own rites and laws; for that would have
brought them suddenly from all parts of the world, and in
sufficient numbers. And though the Jews be now altogether for
merchandise, yet in the land of Canaan (except since their exile
from whence they have not been landlords) they were altogether
for agriculture; and there is no cause why a man should doubt,
but having a fruitful country and excellent ports, too, they
would be good at both. Panopea, well peopled, would be worth a
matter of 4,000,000 dry-rents; that is, besides the advantage of
the agriculture and trade, which, with a nation of that industry,
come at least to as much more. Wherefore Panopea, being farmed
out to the Jews and their heirs forever, for the pay of a
provincial army to protect them during the term of seven years,
and for 2,000,000 annual revenue from that time forward, besides
the customs, which would pay the provincial army, would have been
a bargain of such advantage, both to them and this commonwealth,
as is not to be found otherwise by either. To receive the Jews
after any other manner into a commonwealth were to maim it; for
they of all nations never incorporate, but taking up the room of
a limb, are of no use office to the body, while they suck the
nourishment which would sustain a natural and useful member.

If Panopea had been so disposed of, that knapsack, with the
Marpesian auxiliary, had been an inestimable treasure; the
situation of these countries being islands (as appears by Venice
how advantageous such a one is to the like government) seems to
have been designed by God for a commonwealth. And yet that,
through the straitness of the place and defect of proper arms,
can be no more than a commonwealth for preservation; whereas
this, reduced to the like government, is a commonwealth for
increase, and upon the mightiest foundation that any has been
laid from the beginning of the world to this day.

"Illam arcta capiens Neptunus compede stringit:
Hanc autem glaucis captus complectitur ulnis."

The sea gives law to the growth of Venice, but the growth of
Oceana gives law to the sea.

These countries, having been anciently distinct and hostile
kingdoms, came by Morpheus the Marpesian, who succeeded by
hereditary right to the crown of Oceana, not only to be joined
under one head, but to be cast, as it were by a charm, into that
profound sleep, which, broken at length by the trumpet of civil
war, has produced those effects that have given occasion to the
preceding discourse, divided into four parts.

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