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too little for the artificers to maintain their livings. But if all these that be now busied about unprofitable occupations, with all the whole flock of them that live idly and slothfully, which consume and waste every one of them more of these things that come by other men's labor than two of the workmen themselves do; if all these (I say) were set to profitable occupations, you easily perceive how little time would be enough, yea and too much, to store us with all things that may be requisite either for necessity or for commodity, yea or for pleasure, so that the same pleasure be true and natural.

And this in Utopia the thing itself maketh manifest and plain. For there, in all the city, with the whole country or shire adjoining to it, scarcely five hundred persons of all the whole number of men and women, that be neither too old nor too weak to work, be licensed and discharged from labor. Among them be the Syphogrants, who, though they be by the laws exempt and privileged from labor, yet they exempt not themselves; to the intent that they may the rather by their example provoke others to work. The same vacation from labor do they27 also enjoy to whom the people, persuaded by the commendation of the priests and secret election of the Syphogrants, have given a perpetual licence from labor to learning. But if any one of them prove not according to the expectation and hope of him conceived, he is forthwith plucked back to the company of artificers. And, contrariwise, often it chanceth that a handicraftsman doth so earnestly bestow his vacant and spare hours in learning, and through diligence so profiteth therein, that he is taken from his handy28 occupation and promoted to the company of the learned. Out of this order of the learned be chosen ambassadors, priests, Tranibores,* and finally the prince himself, whom they in their old tongue call Barzanes, and by a newer name, Adamus.2" The residue of the people being neither idle, nor yet occupied about unprofitable exercises, it may be easily judged in how few hours how much good work by them may be done and dispatched towards those things that I have spoken of.

This commodity they have also above others, that in the most part of necessary occupations they need not so much work as other nations do. For first of all the building or repairing of houses asketh everywhere so many men's

continual labor, because that the unthrifty heir suffereth the houses that his father builded in continuance of time to fall in decay. So, that which he might have upholden with little cost, his successor is constrained to build it again anew, to his great charge. Yea, many times also the house that stood one man in30 much money, another is of so nice and so delicate a mind that he setteth nothing by it. And it being neglected, and therefore shortly falling into ruin, he buildeth up another in another place with no less cost and charge. But among the Utopians, where all things be set in a good order, and the commonwealth in a good stay,31 it very seldom chanceth that they choose a new plot to build an house upon. And they do not only find speedy and quick remedies for present faults, but also prevent them that be like to fall. And by this means their houses continue and last very long with little labor and small reparations, in so much that this kind of workmen sometimes have almost nothing to do, but that they be commanded to hew timber at home, and to square and trim up stones, to the intent that if any work chance, it may the speedlier rise.

Now, sir, in their apparel, mark (I pray you) how few workmen they need. First of all, whiles they be at work, they be covered homely with leather or skins that will last seven years. When they go forth abroad, they cast upon them a cloak, which hideth the other homely apparel. These cloaks throughout the whole island be all of one color, and that is the natural color of the wool. They therefore do not only spend much less woolen cloth than is spent in other countries, but also the same standeth them in much less cost. But linen cloth is made with less labor, and is therefore had more in use. But in linen cloth only whiteness, in woolen only cleanliness, is regarded. As for the smallness or fineness of the thread, that is nothing passed for.32 And this is the cause wherefore in other places four or five cloth gowns of divers colors, and as many silk coats, be not enough for one man. Yea, and if he be of the delicate and nice sort, ten be too few; whereas there one garment will serve a man most commonly two years. For why should he desire more? Seeing if he had them, he should not be the better hapt33 or covered from cold, neither in his apparel any whit the comelier.

Wherefore, seeing they be all exercised in profitable occupations, and that few artificers

28 manual 29 Or Ademus, "folkless" Magistrates, twenty in number, superior to the 30 cost Syphogrants.

31 state

32 not at all heeded 33 wrapt

in the same crafts be sufficient, this is the cause that, plenty of all things being among them, they do sometimes bring forth an innumerable company of people to amend the highways, if any be broken. Many times also, when they have no such work to be occupied about, an open proclamation is made that they shall bestow fewer hours in work. For the magistrates do not exercise their citizens against their wills in unneedful labors. why, in the institution of that weal public this end is only and chiefly pretended34 and minded, that what time may possibly be spared from the necessary cccupations and affairs of the commonwealth, all that the citizens should withdraw from the bodily service to the free liberty of the mind and garnishing of the same. For herein they suppose the felicity of this life to consist.



But if any be desirous to visit either their friends dwelling in another city, or to see the place itself, they easily obtain licence of their Syphogrants and Tranibores, unless there be some profitable let.35 No man goeth out alone; but a company is sent forth together with their prince's letters, which do testify that they have licence to go that journey, and prescribeth also the day of their return. They have a wagon given them, with a common bondman,* which driveth the oxen, and taketh charge of them. But unless they have women in their company, they send home the wagon again, as an impediment and a let. And though they carry nothing forth with them, yet in all their journey they lack nothing. For wheresoever they come, they be at home. If they tarry in a place longer than one day, then there every one

of them falleth to his own occupation, and be very genteelly entertained of36 the workmen and companies of the same crafts. If any man of his own head and without leave walk out of his precinct and bounds, taken without the prince's letters, he is brought again for a fugitive or a runaway with great shame and rebuke, and is sharply punished. If he be taken in that fault again, he is punished with


If any be desirous to walk abroad into the fields, or into the country that belongeth to

36 by

34 aimed at 35 business hindranc Transgressors of the law in 'topia were made slaves and attached to the soil. Each farm had at least two bondmen.

the same city that he dwelleth in, obtaining the good will of his father, and the consent of his wife, he is not prohibited. But into what part of the country soever he cometh he hath no meat given him until he have wrought out his forenoon's task, or dispatched so much work as there is wont to be wrought before supper. Observing this law and condition, he may go whither he will within the bound of his own city. For he shall be no less profitable to the city than if he were within it.

Now you see how little liberty they have to loiter; how they can have no cloak or pretence to idleness. There be neither wine-taverns, nor ale-houses, nor stews,37 nor any occasion of vice or wickedness, no lurking corners, no places of wicked counsels or unlawful assemblies. But they be in the present sight and under the eyes of every man. So that of necessity they must either apply38 their accustomed labors, or else recreate themselves with honest and laudable pastimes. This fashion and trade of life being used among the people, it cannot be chosen but that they must of necessity have store and plenty of all things..

They keep at home all the treasure which they have, to be holpen and succored by it either in extreme jeopardies, or in sudden dangers; but especially and chiefly to hire therewith, and that for unreasonable great wages, For they had rather put strange soldiers. strangers in jeopardy than their own countrymen; knowing that for money enough their enemies themselves many times may be bought or sold, or else through treason be set together by the cars among themselves. For this cause they keep an inestimable treasure; but yet not as a treasure; but so they have it, and use it, as in good faith I am ashamed to show, fearing that my words shall not be believed. And this I have more cause to fear, for that I know

how difficultly and hardly I myself would have believed another man telling the same if I had not presently seen it with mine own eyes. For it must needs be that how far a thing is dissonant and disagreeing from the guise and trade39 of the hearers, so far shall it be out of their belief. Howbeit, a wise and indifferent esteemer40 of things will not greatly marvel, perchance, seeing all their other laws and customs do so much differ from ours, if the use also of gold and silver among them be applied rather to their own fashions than to ours. I mean in that they occupy411 not money them.

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selves, but keep it for that chance; which as it may happen, so it may be that it shall never come to pass.

In the meantime gold and silver, whereof money is made, they do so use, as none of them doth more esteem it than the very nature of the thing deserveth. And then who doth not plainly see how far it is under iron? as without the which men can no better live than without fire and water. Whereas to gold and silver nature hath given no use that we may not well lack if that the folly of men had not set it in higher estimation for the rareness' sake. But of43 the contrary part, nature, as a most tender and loving mother, hath placed the best and most necessary things open abroad: as the air, the water, and the earth itself; and hath removed and hid farthest from us vain and unprofitable things. Therefore if these metals among them should be fast locked up in some tower, it might be suspected that the prince and the Council (as the people is ever foolishly imagining) intended by some subtlety to deceive the commons, and to take some profit of it to themselves. Furthermore, if they should make thereof plate and such other finely and cunningly wrought stuff; if at any time they should have occasion to break it, and melt it again, therewith to pay their soldiers wages, they see and perceive very well that men would be loth to part from those things that they once began to have pleasure and delight in.

To remedy all this they have found out. a means, which, as it is agreeable to all their other laws and customs, so it is from ours (where gold is so much set by, and so diligently kept) very far discrepant and repugnant; and therefore uncredible, but only to them that be wise. For whereas they eat and drink in earthen and glass vessels, which indeed be curiously and properly made, and yet be of very small value; of gold and silver they make commonly other vessels that serve for vile uses, not only in their common halls, but in every man's private house. Furthermore, of the same metals they make great chains, fetters, and gyves, wherein they tie their bondmen. Finally, whosoever for any offense be infamed,44 by their ears hang rings of gold; upon their fingers they wear rings of gold, and about their necks chains of gold; and, in conclusion, their heads be tied about with gold. Thu by all means possible they procure to har gold and silver among them in reproach and infamy. And these metals which other 44 disgraced

42 fr 47 Dr

nations do so grievously and sorrowfully forego as in a manner their own lives, if they should altogether at once be taken from the Utopians, no man there would think that he had lost the worth of one farthing.

They gather also pearls by the seaside, and diamonds and carbuncles upon certain rocks, and yet they seek not for them; but by chance finding them, they cut and polish them. And therewith they deck their young infants. Which, like as in the first years of their childhood they make much and be fond and proud of such ornaments, so when they be a little more grown in years and discretion, perceiving that none but children do wear such toys and trifles, they lay them away even of their own shamefastness, without any bidding of their parents; even as our children, when they wax big, do cast away nuts, brooches, and puppets. Therefore these laws and customs, which be so far different from all other nations, how divers fantasies also and minds they do cause, did I never so plainly perceive, as in the ambassadors of the Anemolians.

These ambassadors came to Amaurote whilst I was there. And because they came to entreat of great and weighty matters, those three citizens apiece out of every city* were comen thither before them. But all the ambassadors of the next countries which had been there before and knew the fashions and manners of the Utopians, among whom they perceived no honor given to sumptuous apparel, silks to be contemned, gold also to be infamed and reproachful, were wont to come thither in very homely and simple array. But the Anemolians, because they dwell far thence and had very little acquaintance with them, hearing that they were all apparelled alike, and that very rudely and homely, thinking them not to have the things which they did not wear, being therefore more proud than wise, determined in the gorgeousness of their apparel to represent very gods, and with the bright shining and glistering of their gay clothing to dazzle the eyes of the silly45 poor Utopians.

So there came in three ambassadors with one hundred servants all apparelled in changeable colors, the most of them in silks, the ambassadors themselves (for at home in their own country they were noblemen) in cloth of gold, with great chains of gold, with gold hanging at their ears, with gold rings upon their fingers, with brooches and aiglets of gold upon

45 simple

Utopian delegates mentioned in a previous chapter,

And on the other side it was no less pleasure to consider how much they were deceived, and how far they missed of their purpose, being contrariwise taken than they thought they should have been. For to the eyes of all the Utopians, except very few which had been in other countries for some reasonable cause, all that gorgeousness of apparel seemed shameful and reproachful. In so much that they most reverently saluted the vilest and most abject of them for lords; passing over the ambassadors themselves without any honor, judging them by their wearing of gold chains to be bondmen. Yea, you should have seen children also, that had cast away their pearls and precious stones, when they saw the like sticking on the ambassadors' caps, dig and push their mothers under the sides, saying thus to them: "Look, mother, how great a lubber doth yet wear pearls and precious stones, as though he were a little child still." But the mother, yea and that also in good earnest: "Peace, son,'' saith she, "I think he be some of the ambassadors' fools." Some found fault at their golden chains, as to no use nor purpose, being so small and weak that a bondman might easily break them, and again so wide and large that, when it pleased him, he might cast them off and run away at liberty whither he would.

But when the ambassadors had been there a day or two and saw so great abundance of gold so lightly esteemed, yea in no less reproach than it was with them in honor; and besides that, more gold in the chains and gyves of one fugitive bondman than all the costly ornaments of them three was worth; they began to abate their courage, and for very shame laid away all that gorgeous array whereof they were so proud; and specially when they had talked familiarly with the Utopians, and had learned all their fashions and opinions. For they marvel that any men be so foolish as t 40 with 47 coverings

their caps, which glistered full of pearls and precious stones; to be short, trimmed and adorned with all those things which among the Utopians were either the punishment of bondmen, or the reproach of infamed persons, or else trifles for young children to play withal.46 Therefore it would have done a man good at his heart to have seen how proudly they dis-wear; and yet was she all that time no other played their peacocks' feathers, how much they made of their painted sheaths,47 and how loftily they set forth and advanced themselves when they compared their gallant apparel with the poor raiment of the Utopians. For all the people were swarmed forth into the streets.

have delight and pleasure in the doubtful glistering of a little trifling stone, which+8 may behold any of the stars, or else the sun itself; or that any man is so mad as to count himself the nobler for the smaller or finer thread of wool, which self-same wool (be it now in never so fine a spun thread) a sheep did once

thing than a sheep.

These and such like opinions have they conceived, partly by education, being brought up in that commonwealth whose laws and customs | be far different from these kinds of folly, and partly by good literature and learning. For though there be not many in every city which be exempt and discharged from all other labors and appointed only to learning, that is to say, such in whom even from their very childhood they have perceived a singular towardness, a fine wit, and a mind apt to good learning; yet all in their childhood be instruct in learning. And the better part of the people, both men and women, throughout all their whole life do bestow in learning those spare hours which we said they have vacant from bodily labors.*

ROGER ASCHAM (1515-1568)



To all Gentlemen and Yeomen of England:

Bias, the wise man, came to Croesus, the rich king, on a time when he was making new ships, purposing to have subdued by water the out isles lying betwixt Greece and Asia Minor. "What news now in Greece?'' saith the king

48 who

It may be worth noting that our word "school"
is derived from schola, "leisure."
"Toxophilus" means a lover of the bow," and

the book is in the form of a dialogue between
Toxophilus, an archer, and Philologus, a
scholar. Two centuries before, at the battle
of Crecy, the British yeomen had shown the
superiority of the long bow in battle to the
equipment of the armed knight, and archery
had been assiduously cultivated, though when
Ascham wrote this (1545) it was, for purposes
of war, gradually giving way to fire-arms. If
Ascham was conservative in clinging to this
old-time weapon, in another respect he was
courageously radical. That is in his employ-
ment of the English vernacular for a learned
prose treatise. That he was conscious of
making a literary departure is manifest in
this Preface, and also in the dedication to
King Henry which preceded it, where he de
fended himself for having "written this Eng
lish matter in the English tongue for English
men." although to have written it "either i
Latin or Greek had been more easier." Se
Eng. Lit., p. 81.

to Bias. "None other news but these,'' saith, I have labored only in this book, showing how Bias, "that the isles of Greece have prepared fit shooting is for all kinds of men, how hona wonderful company of horsemen to overrun est a pastime for the mind, how wholesome an Lydia withal." "There is nothing under exercise for the body, not vile for great men heaven," saith the king, "that I would so soon to use, not costly for poor men to sustain, not wish, as that they durst be so bold to meet lurking in holes and corners for ill men at us on the land with horse."' "And think their pleasure to misuse it, but abiding in the you," saith Bias, "that there is anything open sight and face of the world for good men, which they would sooner wish than that you if it fault, by their wisdom to correct it. And should be so fond2 to meet them on the water here I would desire all gentlemen and yeomen with ships?" And so Croesus, hearing not the to use this pastime in such a mean that the true news, but perceiving the wise man's mind outrageousness of gaming should not hurt the and counsel, both gave then over making of his honesty of shooting, which of his own nature ships, and left also behind him a wonderful is always joined with honesty, yet for men's example for all commonwealths to follow: that faults oftentimes blamed unworthily, as all is, evermore to regard and set most by that good things have been and evermore shall be. thing whereunto nature hath made them most apt and use hath made them most fit.

By this matter I mean the shooting in the long bow, for English men. Which thing with all my heart I do wish, and if I were of authority I would counsel, all the gentlemen and yeomen of England not to change it with any other thing, how good soever it seem to be, but that still, according to the old wont of England, youth should use it for the most honest pastime in peace, that men might handle it as a most sure weapon in war. Other strong weapons which both experience doth prove to be good, and the wisdom of the King's Majesty and his Council provides to be had, are not ordained to take away shooting; but that both, not compared together whether3 should be better than the other, but so joined together that the one should be always an aid and help for the other, might so strengthen the realm on all sides that no kind of enemy, in any kind of weapon, might pass and go beyond us.


If any man would blame me, either for tak ing such a matter in hand, or else for writing it in the English tongue, this answer I may make him, that what the best of the realm think it honest5 for them to use, I, one of the meanest sort, ought not to suppose it vile for me to write. And though to have written it in another tongue had been both more profitable for my study and also more honest5 for my name, yet I can think my labor well bestowed if, with a little hindrance of my profit and name, may come any furtherance to the pleasure or commodity of the gentlemen and yeomen of England, for whose sake I took this matter in hand. And as for the Latin or Greek tongue, everything is so excellently done in them that none can do better; in the English tongue, contrary, everything in a manner so meanly, both for the matter and handling, that no man can do worse. For therein the least learned for the most part have been always most ready to write, and they which had least hope in Latin have been most bold in English; when surely every man that is most ready to talk is not most able to write. He that will write well in any tongue must follow this counsel of Aristotle:-to speak as the common people do, to think as wise men do; and so should every man understand him, and the judgment of wise men allow him.

For this purpose, I, partly provoked by the counsel of some gentlemen, partly moved by the love which I have always borne toward shooting, have written this little treatise, wherein if I have not satisfied any man, I trust he will the rather be content with my doing, because I am, I suppose, the first which hath said any thing in this matter; and few beginnings be perfect, saith wise men. And also because, if I have said amiss, I am content that any man amend it, or if I have said too little, any man that will to add what him pleaseth to it.

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Many English writers have not done so, but using strange words, as Latin, French, and Italian, do make all things dark and hard. Once I communed with a man which reasoned the English tongue to be enriched and increased thereby, saying: Who will not praise that feast where a man shall drink at a dinner both wine, ale, and beer? Truly, quoth I, they be all good, every one taken by himself alone, but if you put malmsey and sack, red wine and

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