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bassadors themselves, covered with gold and chains, they looked upon them as slaves, and shewed them no respect. You might have heard children, who had thrown away their jewels, cry to their mothers, see that great fool, wearing pearls and gems as if he was yet a child; and the mothers as innocently replying, peace, this must be one of the ambassador's fools.
Others censured the fashion of their chains, and observed, they were of no use. For their slaves could easily break them; and they hung so loosely, that they thought it easy to throw them away. But when the ambassadors had been a day among them, and had seen the vast quantity of gold in their houses, as much despised by them as esteemed by others; when they beheld more gold and silver in the chains and fetters of one slave, than in all their ornaments, their crests fell, they were ashamed of their glory, and laid it aside ; a resolution which they took, in consequence of engaging in free conversation with the Utopians, and discovering their sense of these things, and their other cus- . toms.
The Utopians wonder that any man should be so enamoured of the lustre of a jewel, when he can behold a star or the sun; or that he should value himself upon his cloth being made of a finer thread. For, however fine this thread, it was once the fleece of a sheep, which remained a sheep notwithstanding it wore it.
They marvel much to hear, that gold, in itself so useless, should be everywhere so much sought, that even men, for whom it was made, and by them hath its value, should be less esteemed. That a stupid fellow, with no more sense than a log, and as base as he is foolish, should have many wise and good men to serve him because he possesseth a heap of it. And that, should an accident, or a law-quirk (which sometimes produceth as great changes as chance herself), pass this wealth from the master to his meanest slave, he would soon become the servant of the other, as if he was an appendage of his wealth, and bound to follow it.
But they much more wonder at and detest the folly of those, who, when they see a rich man, though they owe him nothing, and are not in the least dependent on his bounty, are ready to pay him divine honours because he is rich, even though they know him at the same time to be so covetous and mean-spirited, that notwithstanding all his wealth, he will not part with one farthing of it to them as long as he liveth.
These and the like notions hath this people imbibed, partly from education (being bred in a country whose laws and customs oppose such follies) and partly from their studies. For though there be few in any town, who are so wholly excused froin labour, as to devote themselves entirely to study (these being such only as from their infancy discover an extraordinary capacity and disposition for let
ters), yet their children, and many of their grown persons of both sexes, are taught to spend those hours in which they are not obliged to work in reading. And this they do through their lives.
All their learning is in their own language, which is copious and pleasant, admitting of the fullest expression of ideas. It is spoken over a vast tract of country, but is not equally pure everywhere. They had not even heard the names of any of those philosophers who are so celebrated in these parts of the world, before we went among them; yet they had made the same discoveries as the Greeks in music, 'logic, arithmetic, and geometry.
Equal in almost every thing to the ancient philosophers, they greatly excel our modern logicians; for they have never yet fallen into those barbarous subtleties which youth are obliged to learn in our trifling logical schools. They nevertheless know astronomy, and have many excellent instruments for ascertaining the course and position of the heavenly bodies. But as for divining by the stars, their oppositions or conjunctions, this hath never entered their thoughts.
They have particular skill, founded on much observation, in judging of the weather; and know when to expect rain, wind, or other changes. But as for the philosophy of these things, the saltness of the sea, its ebb and flow, and the original and nature of the earth and heavens, they dispute of them, partly in the manner of our ancient philosophers, and partly on new hypotheses; in which they not only differ from them, but agree not entirely among themselves.
· In regard to moral philosophy, they have the same disputes as we have. They examine what is properly good for the body and mind, and whether any thing external can be called truly good, or if that term be appropriate to the soul. They inquire likewise into the nature of virtue and pleasure. But their chief dispute is concerning man's happiness, and wherein it consists, whether in one thing or in many. They incline indeed to the opinion which placeth, if not the whole, yet a great part of human happiness in pleasure; and, what may seem more strange, they derive arguments from religion, notwithstanding her restrictions, in support of that opinion. For they never dispute of happiness, without drawing arguments from the principles of religion, as well as from natural reason ; esteeming all our inquiries after happiness but conjectural and defective without the former.
*Their religious tenets are these. The soul of man is immortal,—God of his goodness hath designed it should be happy; he hath therefore appointed reward for virtue and punishment for vice, after this life. Though these principles be handed down to them traditionally, they think reason herself determineth man to believe and acknowledge them; and that, were they removed, no man would be so
insensible as not to seek pleasure by all possible means, lawful or otherwise ; taking care only, that a less pleasure might not stand in the way of a greater, and that none ought to be pursued which should incur much pain. For they deem it the excess of madness to pursue virtue, a sour and difficult pursuit, and not only to renounce the pleasures of life, but willingly to undergo much pain and trouble, without a prospect of reward. And what reward can there be for one who hath passed his life, not only without pleasure, but in pain, if there be no expectation after death?
th? . . .
Yet they place not happiness in every kind of pleasure, but in that only which is honest and good. One party among them placeth happiness barely in virtue ; another thinketh our nature is conducted by virtue to happiness, as man's chief good. They define virtue, living according to nature, and think we are created for that end. They believe man to follow nature when he followeth reason ; and say that the first dictate of reason is love and reverence for the Divine Majesty, to whom we owe all we have and all we can hope for.
Secondly, reason directs us to keep our minds as free from passion, and as cheerful as we can; and that we should consider ourselves bound by the ties of good-nature and humanity, to use our utmost endeavours in promoting the happiness of others. For no one was ever so severe a pursuer of virtue and enemy to pleasure, that though he