Scinditur incertum studia in contraria vulgus.

OXFORD, Printed by W. HALL for F. BOWMAN. Anno Domini M. DC. LIX.


THE Present I am about to make You is like the Legacy, of that old Graecian, who be­queath'd [Page] his Friend, a Widow without a Joynture, and a Daughter without a Portion: These Papers come to live upon You, and to put You to charges to maintain them. My first Application to you in the Considerations on the Commonwealth of Oce­ana, having made the Au­thor of that Book look upon you as one averse from his Principles and Designes, It is very likely that these Dis­courses which now address themselves to you, (being augmented in their Offence to [Page] Him as well as their Bulke) will excite the utmost rage of that Passionate Gentleman. But this being a matter Sir, I have so often seen you laugh at, takes up no part of my Cares. But I must profess my self deeply afflicted, that I have been used as an Occasion of throwing so disingenious a Contumely upon your Ʋni­versity, as MR Harrington in his last Book goes about to fasten upon it. Though I ne­ver was a Member of your Body, I have alwaies had thoughts of the highest Vene­ration [Page] for you, And my incli­nations are thus far founded upon Gratitude, that I have for some yeares breathed your Aire, and been admitted to a Familiarity with your gea­test, both Dead and Living Treasuries of Learning. Though I have no confidence that these Discourses beare Testimony of my profiting by that Converse, I must alwaies own my obligation for it, both to the Ʋniversity in Common, and to those particular Per­sons with whose Friendship I have been honoured: That [Page] you are one of these, Sir, it is my Glory to declare, and to be known for

Your most constant Humble Servant. M. WREN.


THAT Mr Harring­ton In Epist. who undertakes to vindicate the reason of Popular Govern­ment and I who have professed my selfe a Friend to Monarchy, should from the obser­vation of the same Naturall Causes, and of the same Actions in Historie, forme different Judgements, is no more a wonder then that two Men viewing the same Object by various lights, should judge it to be of various Colours. But it seems a little strange that even in such things where We both make use of the same light, and where it is my interest to be of his Opinion, our [Page] Jugements should not be reconcileable. I speak this in reference to the Apologie He makes for Private Mens dealing in State Affaires, and obtruding Models of Government upon the World, or teaching new arts of Policy to those Men whose Experience has rendred them Ma­sters of that Trade: Which though I alwaies reputed a great Vanity, I conclude more blam­able since I have seen the Excuses he is able to make for it. For though it is not to be denied that Aristotle, Machiavel, and Sr Thomas More are great Persons, and may by their Au­thority give Protection to any man who is ad­mitted into their Train, yet the Question still remains, Whether this Privilege can be ex­tended to every little Writer that puts himself into their Livery. The workes of those Persons have met with an applause in the World equall to their merit, because keeping themselves with­in generall Terms, The have preserved the Freedome of Philosophers; Or if at any time They have descended to particulars, it has been without any reflection upon a particular Time or Place; This can be no justification to a Book which professes to have nothing of Fiction or Romance, but to be adapted to the Occasions or Necessities of a particular Juncture, And is not proposed with the Temper and Moderation becoming a Philosophicall Opinion, but with the heat and passion belonging to a Design. Which way of writing has no more affinity with the o­ther, then a Libell has with a serious Tract, or a [Page] Pasquin with History; Those men indeed who can [...]e perswaded that Christoph. Columbus made Praefat. [...] Card in his Cabinet that found out the In­ [...]ies may perhaps believe also that Mr Harring­ton may frame a good Commonwealth without any Experience in State Affaires; But they who understand that Columbus must first have been at the Indies before he could make a Card to teach other Men the way thither, will goe neere to suspect Mr Harrington's Abilities in Mo­delling a Commonwealth, till he has spent some yeares in the Ministry of State. I must there­fore acknowledge that I doe not lay claim to Pardon for having thrust my self into a Di­spute of Government, by any part of the Apolo­gie Mr Harrington has made for it: But I do not despaire of doing it by representing, That what I have said is all by way of Ʋniversall Position, without any private Aime or Design; That I was not without reluctancy at first drawn to it by the Authority of some Friends, from whom Mr Harrington did by all ima­ginable Importunity endeavour to extort some­thing by way of Objection; That afterward I was willing to preserve the Freedome of my own and other Mens Opinions, and not suffer that They who pretend so much to Liberty, should with insupportable Tyranny bring a sla­very upon our Discourse and Reason.

I wish that this could have been effected by some other Method then by managing a Con­troversie; For that way of writing has a suspi­tion [Page] of ill Nature upon it, and looks more like an improvement of Contention, then an inquiry into Truth. It is by a very happy Metaphore called drawing the Saw, For the Noise We make teares the Eares of such as stand by, And the Dust We raise puts out their Eies. Besides when one Book is shackled to another (like Spaniels in Couples) It is impossible by ranging to spring new Matter, or to give the Reader any thing of Delight or Diversion.

But I am more then ordinarily unfortunate by having to deale with an Adversary who mul­tiplies upon Me all the inconveniencies of Con­troversie, by having banished from it that Calmness of which it is Capable, and that Sin­cerity with which it ought to be managed; For to speak modestly, Mr Harrington's Arguments are not alwaies Demonstrations nor his Ex­pressions Complements. But for my part I intend not to enter into Competition with him for be­ing either an able Sophister or Calumniator; but I will preserve that Temper which belongs to a Man who disliking Passion in other People, ought to detest it in himself; And notwithstand­ing all his provocations, I will more consider what it is fit for Me to speake then Him to heare. In my present Answer to his Reply to the Considerations on Oceana, I have not been cu­rious of any other Method then his own, but have made twelve Chapters confronting his, in discussion of the twelve Questions he has pro­pounded; And in the Margin I have by the [Page] leter H. cited such Passages of his Book to which my Answers are particularly applyed.

To confess a secret, I am so much gratifyed by something in Mr Harrington's Booke, that I know not how to be offended with Him. In seve­rall places he insinuates as if the Considerati­ons on his Commonwealth of Oceana were not my own, but had been composed by the Univer­sity, or at least by some eminent Persons in it: This is beyond measure obliging, For with those men who are persuaded by him that the Consi­derations had not much of sence in them, the Discned it slides off from me upon other People; But if any man shall still retain a good Opinion of that Pamphlet, It must need be infinitely ad­vanced by the thought, That so renowned an University should in any measure concur to it.

Yet I could have been well contented He would have afforded me his Belief, when I assu­red him I had no relation to the University: That would I am sure have saved him a great deale of unnecessary Paines, And He should not need so vainly to have pursued Me through the various shapes of a Divine, a Doctor, an Head of a Colledg, a Professor, a Prevaricator, a Mathematician. He might also by that have concealed the Pique He has so unjustly taken up against Universities and Mathema­tiques, and some particular persons who have an interest in both. One passage of his referring to this Head, is a little less intelligible then so fine a piece ought to be, and therefore I will [Page] do Him and the World the right to make a short Comment vpon it. He has said in h [...] Epistle Delicatory, That the University Wit [...] or good Companies, are good at two things, at diminishing a Commonwealth and at Mul­tiplying a Louse. In the first place it must be known that the thing he alludes to is a limbe of Mathematiques, and therefore it is not to be expected that Mr Harrington, who holds no understanding either with Mathematiques or Mathematicians, should take care for expres­sing himself properly about it; What he call Multiplying a Louse ought to have been Mag­nifying, for the thing is done by a Microscope or Magnifying Glass; But about this no man need be troubled. We are then to understand That a Gentleman in the University who is both a Divine, a Doctor, an head of a College, and a Mathematician, has the Satisfaction to see frequently at his Lodging an assembly of Men who are known both at home and abroad to be of the most learned persons of this Age; The imployment of this Company is by making Experiments and by communicating their Ob­servations to carry on a discovery of Nature, in order to which They have sometimes had occasion to inquire, by the help of a Microscope, into the Figure and position of those smaller parts of which all Bodies are composed; At other times applying the Microscope to some little Animals, as a Flea, a Louse, or a Mite, They have been convinced that the Fabrik of [Page] them is Artificiall to wonder, and that the Wisedome of the great Architect of Nature is not more conspicuous in the larger Bulks of an Elephant or Camel, then in these little Creatures. The pictures of these Animals in that enlarged proportion which the Glass represents them in are drawn by a Mathematician a member of this Assembly, who has invented a way to measure the apparent magnitude of them, and are seen with Delight and Instruction by all Stran­gers; And not only so, but have been received with applause by Foreign Princes. This is that multiplying a Louse, for which Mr Harring­ton laughs at the Ʋniversity wits, though he might have made a more serious and profitable use of it; As it is said Monsieur Peiresk did, who having put a Louse and a Flea into a Microscope, He observed that the Louse grow­ing Gassend. in vita Peresk. lib. 6. angry, his blood ran up and down from head to foot, and from foot to head again; Whence he gathered how great a Commoti­on of Humours and Spirits, and what a di­sturbance of all the Faculties, Anger must needs make, And what harme that man a­voides who shuns passion. I know not whether this sight would have had the same operation upon Mr Harrington, in freeing him from his Choler, But I am sure it inclines me to no un­pleasant thoughts, by putting me in mind of a certain Author, who aestuates and torments him­self, and yet an haire is enough to hold him.

The only Complement I have for the Reader remaines, which is to assure him That this is the last time He shall receive a Trouble from Me in this Controversie, I doe not expect that Mr Harrington should give over, but I promise my selfe He can not reply any thing to which an Answer may not be easily fitted out of those Reasons and Maximes which I have already laid down. I have cause to think by his last Book, that his stores of Reason and Arguments are brought very low, but withall I believe his Treasures of Reproaches are inexhaustible: And to silence such a person is as impossible as to disarme that Man who can use the next Dung­hill for a Magazin.



Whether Prudence be well distinguished into Antient and Moderne.

FOr the Vindicating the Con­siderations on the Com­monwealth of Oceana, I shall not need to do much more then give a true and accurate state of the Points that fell in question between Mr Harrington and Me; for [...]e being equally carelesse of what I have said, and what He himselfe saies, does almost alwaies fly of [...]om the true subject of the debate between us. And I do not know any more proper Method of [...]eclaiming such Extravagant Writers, then what men take with starting Horses, To bring them close [...]p to take a View of that at which before they [Page 2] boggled. In effecting which if Mr Harrington be sometimes put to feele the Rebukes both of the Spur and Bit, no blame can justly befall Me, who am necessitated to so rough a Manage.

Mr Harrington at the very beginning of his Common-wealth of Oceana, had laid downe a di­vision of Government (pretended to be taken out of Giannotti) into Antient and Moderne Prudence, the Antient unanimously followed by the Greeks and Romans ending with Caesar, the Moderne in­troduced by the Barbarous Nations: Now know­ing that Antiquity is considered with Veneration by almost all Men, and that even They who pro­fesse to slight it, make great Advantage of it when they imagine it is on their side, He intitles to An­tient Prudence that way of Popular Government which his Book applauds, and fastens upon Mo­dern Prudence that Monarchicall Government which it Decries. And that He is not wronged by Oceana p. 2. this Interpretation of his Designe, appeares mani­festly by his subsequent Definitions of Govern­ment. Against this Partition of Prudence into Antient and Modern, and the Application of it that way, the Author of the Considerations ad­vanced these objections.

1. That though the Greeks and Romans de­spised all the World but themselves, We had no Reason to do so, it being in them no better then Pride, Pedantry, and slavery to narrow thoughts.

2. That the Examples of the Assyrian, Persian, and Egyptian Monarchies would not consist with this Division, all of which were more antient then the Greeks and Romans.

[Page 3]3. That Macedon one of the Noblest parts of Greece it selfe, had alwaies been under the Power of Monarchs.

4. That in the rest of Greece Regall Govern­ment was more Antient then Popular; for which (to avoid the uselesse Prolixity of particular Proofs, which are almost infinite) one Generall Authority was produced out of Thucydides.

5. That in Rome also Popular Government must give the precedence of Time to Monarchy.

He that after all this, will maintaine Prudence to have been well distinguisht into Antient & Modern, and that by Antient Prudence is to be understood­the Policy of a Common-wealth, gives us great Occasion to expect from him Evident and Satisfa­ctory Answers to every one of these Objections.

But to the first of them Mr Harrington's Answer (when all the Foame is wiped away) comes only to this, that the Greeks and Romans who were H. p. 57 such Jealous Conservators of Liberty, and Masters of such excellent parts of knowledge can not with any Truth or Sence be charged with Pedantry, or slavery to narrow Principles. To which it may be replied in short (for the dispute taken thus is become very remote from the Principall matter) that both Romans and Greeks were indeed a brave and a wise People, and such as put a great Value upon themselves, which when done upon just grounds is an effect of Magnanimity; But they have withall been ever Responsible to the learned part of the World, for their Arrogance in not ac­knowledging how much they profited by the Ea­sterne Nations, from whom it is demonstrable [Page 4] They borrowed the greatest part of what they had of Arts and Sciences. The Greeks and Ro­mans possest Much, yet what they wanted was More; But they taking the Much to be All, were in that Slaves to their owne thoughts which were much Narrower then the Nature of things.

To the second Objection, Mr Harrington gives somewhat an unexpected Answer; That having opened the Policy of Turky, He has not neglected ibid. that of the Babylonians and Persians, which are sum­med up in the other. The Controversie is about the Antiquity of Regall and Popular Government, And because it is manifest that many Common­wealths are more Antient then the Turkish Monar­chy, which is of about three or foure hundred yeares, Must it therefore be concluded also that they are Antienter then the Assyrian and Persian Monar­chies, which are of three or foure thousand yeares standing? We are not more beholding to Mr Har­rington for his Discovery of the Ballance, then for the Invention of this excellent forme of Arguing.

The third Instance is by Mr Harrington passed over in wise silence.

As little Answer is returned to the Fourth. But upon occasion of a Citation out of Thucydides, Mr Harrington pleases himselfe that He has found something in that Author that makes for the Bal­lance, which (slipping from the subject in hand) He runs away with, and prosecutes at large. But this Discourse being somewhat unfortunately scattered in this Place, with Mr Harrington's Permission it shall be transplanted to the Chapter See cahp. 3. of the Ballance, a soile more proper for it. And [Page 5] well we can part so; For it is to be doubted whether the Considerer is like to get so well off another place of the same Author; Never, saies Mr Harrington, did man make a more un­lucky Choice for himselfe then the Considerer has H. p. 3. of Thucydides, seeing what He affirmeth to have been Antient Prudence, is deposed by his own Witness to have been the Imbecility of Antient Times. Thucyd. lib. 1. Pag. 3. Truly the Con­siderer is a very unhappy Man, but his unhap­piness lies not in the mistaking of Thucydides, but of Mr Harrington, from whom he expected to have seen some Probation, that the Pru­dence which was Antient belonged not to Mo­narchies; But He finds the Question fraudu­lently transferred from the Antiquity, to the Prudence of Monarchicall Government, which in this Place came never before into Debate, and was supposed by Mr Harrington himselfe both in his Division and Definitions of Govern­ment. The Considerer will thank any man to tell him, Who is the Prevaricator now?

Having thus detected the Cheat which was out of Thucydides put upon us concerning the Antiquity of Monarchicall Government among the Graecians, I shall not need to do more then admonish, That (in answer to the fift Obje­ction) the same is indeavoured out of Florus in Reference to the Romans.

I make no Doubt there is enough said for my own Vindication; but it were a criminall In justice to the memory of the excellent Gian­notti, if I should not extend this Vindication [Page 6] to Him also, and bring him off from that share of the Absurdity into which Mr Harrington has drawen him, by making him Author of the Division of Prudence into Antient and Modern. It is no longer a Wonder to Me that Mr Har­rington's Adversaries are used with so little Ci­vility, when I see his Friends meet with so little Honesty; The injury he does Giannotti is ve­ry apparent, seeing the two Limits or Epocha's of time which Giannotti fixes have no refe­rence to Prudence, or Monarchicall and Po­pular Government, but respect only the affli­cted Gi [...]n. p. 7. Condition of Italy; One of these, saies He, in which was the beginning of the ruine of Italy and the Roman Empire, was when Rome was op­prest by the Arms of Caesar: The other, in which was the height of the Italian misery, was when Italy was overrunne and sackt by the Hunnes, &c. This surely has nothing to do with the Go­vernment of King and People, or Antient and Modern Prudence; That Distinction is Mr Har­rington's own, & Giannotti is not at all Respon­sible for the Impropriety of it, then which no­thing can be greater.

There is besides these Answers to my Obje­ctions something in Mr Harrington's first Chap­ter relating to the University (for which He had not from Me the least shadow of an Occa­sion) which approaches very neere to Raving, and gives Me cause to suspect I have fallen into a wrong Course of curing his Politicall distem­per, For whereas I think to do it by giving him more Light, knowing men are of Opinion, [Page 7] that I ought to have closed up the Windowes, and admitted no Light at all.

Now then after all, I resolve to joyne issue with Mr Harrington, and let the Reader know He need look no farther then this Chapter to see what Answer has been made to the Considerati­ons on the Common-wealth of Oceana.


Whether a Common-wealth be rightly defined to be a Government of Laws, and not of Men, And a Monarchy to be the Government of some Man or few Men, and not of Laws.

IN the very Entrance of this Chapter I am charged by Mr Harrington with an Habituall Falshood and Fraudulence in reciting his Words, for which I am thankfull to him, as for a seasonable Discovery of his good Nature. The only Evidence to make good this Accusa­tion will be found to be, that instead of the Word Art, as it was in his Book, Act is twice printed in the Considerations. That this is an Error of the Presse, I might appeale to my own Copie, if it were not sufficient to appeale to the Indifferent Reader, whether there can be any frandulence in such a Variation, of which I make no Use, and which is not in the least conducing to my Design. I envy Mr Harrington this handsome Confidence, that having been him­selfe so miserably handled by Printers, He should [Page 8] think fit to make Me responsible for all the sinnes of the Press. But though I praise his Confi­dence, I cannot imitate his slender Ingenuity, by laying at his Doore the Nonsense and Mi­stakes in this last Book, though order be there taken, that they should be imputed unto the Author himselfe, In as much as the Printer pre­tends (upon the last Page) to have corrected the Errors of his Press.

The Question under Debate in this Chapter is little more then a Controversie about Words and Names, yet cannot be safely omitted be­cause by the use of those Names the People have been alwaies deluded, and have (taking a Cloud for Juno) embraced them as Substan­tiall Goods: Lawes and Liberty being the only True Charms, that I know of, in Nature, which by the meere sound of Words produce Great and Reall Effects.

That Law proceeds from the Will of Man, I H. p. 7. have Mr Harrington's owne Confession, and consequently am justified for having said, That Government is not in the Law, but in the Per­son whose Will gave a being to that Law. But I am complained of for wanting Honesty to Con­sider that this Will must have a Mover, and that this Mover is Interest. I never knew, that to be Honest, it was necessary to see more in another Man's businesse then He sees himself: I was at that time only concerned to find some­what in Government beyond Lawes, and such was the Will of the Person which creates those Lawes; If Mr Harrington does now think fit to [Page 9] consider that this Will must be moved by In­terest, I neither need nor meane to oppose him in it. I can be not only Honest but Liberall to Mr Harrington, yet not to that Excess as to give him an Almes, when he begs no less then the whole Question; For so much it amounts to where he saies, That the Interest of the whole ibid. People coming up to the Publique Interest may be truly called the Empire of Lawes and not of Men, In order to this, let Me demand of him Whe­ther the Commands imposed upon the Pub­lique by One or a few Men are to be accounted Lawes? He has already taught Us they are to be so accounted where he saies That Law equal­ly ibid. proceeds from Will, whither of the whole People as in a Common-wealth, of one Man, as in an Ab­solute, of few Men as in a Regulated Monarchy If so, what pretence of Reason can there be, That an Absolute or Regulated Monarchy should be esteemed less a Government of Lawes then is a Common-wealth? On the other side let Me aske Him, Whether though one single Person, or Ten or an Hundred Persons making Lawes are to be lookt on as Men, yet if they a­mount to Ten or an hundred thousand Per­sons, or include the whole People, They shall then cease to be Men? Unless He will affirm this, How is it possible that a Common-wealth should be less a Government of Men, then ei­ther an Absolute or a Regulated Monarchy? To be plaine, If the Declared Will of the Supream Power be considered as the Immediate Cause of Government, then a Monarchy is as much [Page 10] as a Common-wealth an Empire of Lawes and not of men: If we look further back, and consider the Persons whose Will is received as Law, a Common-wealth is as much as a Monarchy an Empire of Men and not of Lawes. This is so ma­nifest, and yet Mr Harrington so firmely resolved not to understand it, that considering his Tem­per I must needs applaud his Resolution of ha­ving nothing to do with the Mathematiques, For halfe this Obstinacy would be enough to keep him from apprehending, That the three Angles of a Triangle are equall to two Right Angles.

Though I have said more then enough in Answer to this double Question, Whether a Common-wealth be rightly defined to be a Government of Lawes, and not of Men, And a Monarchy to be the Government of some Man or few Men, and not of Lawes; Yet I may seeme to have said too little, unlesse I take no­tice of an Argument which by Occasion of this Dispute has been started against Monarchy. Let it be admitted, may some Democratique say, that Monarchy is as much as a Commonwealth an Empire of Lawes, yet a Common-wealth must necessarily be an Empire of better Lawes ibid. then a Monarchy; For in a Monarchy the Lawes being made according to the Interest of one Man or a few Men, must needs be more private and Partiall then suites with the Nature of Justice, Whereas in a Common-wealth Lawes being made by the whole People, They come up to the Publique Interest, which is Common Right and Justice. This Proposition has indeed Sence in it, which [Page 11] the other wanted, but not any more Truth, as will be apparent if We examine the Differing Tempers of a single Person, and of a Multitude enacting Lawes.

When a single Person or Monarch begins to think of establishing any Law, He must in all Reason be then most sensible of those Vast Cares which are never so pressing as at the un­dertaking an Action which drawes after it a long Traine of Consequences; For upon the Establishment and Execution of Good Lawes depends that Justice which preserves every Man in his owne; The fruits of Justice are the Sa­tisfaction and Welfare of the People, and from these flow Publique Peace and Security, which are a Princes first and Greatest Interest: Hence it is evident that when a Monarch acts the Le­gislator's part, He ought to be so farre from Partiality or respecting his owne private Inte­rest, that He is then chiefly to Direct his Thoughts to the Common Good, and take the largest Prospect of Publique Utility, in which his owne is so eminently included. Nor do I believe there can be many Examples pro­duced of Princes who in enacting Lawes have considered their owne private Personall Inte­rest, since almost every where We see that in buying and selling, and other private Contracts, Princes are Content to tye themselves up to the same Rules which they prescribe to others. And even in those Cases where the Lawes made by Princes seeme most directed to their owne Interest, before We condemne them, It ought [Page 12] to be examined, Whether such Lawes be not Requisite to the attaining the Ends of Govern­ment, And Whether the Advantages in Power which Princes gaine by them be not absolutely Necessary for the Conservation of Publique Peace and Tranquillity; For then the Private Interest of the Prince, and the Publique Interest do no longer differ, but are one and the same thing.

On the other side there cannot be a fonder Imagination then to think That when a Multi­tude is assembled to enact Lawes, is is necessary their Resolutions should be consonant to Pub­lique Justice, and the Universall Interest; For a great Part will not for want of Capacity com­prehend what this Justice and Interest is; The abler sort will presently be divided into factions and Iuntas, and under Pretence of Publique In­terest will prosecute their own Designs. I cannot understand how it is the Publique Interest of the whole People to Govern and make Lawes, but indeed to be so Governed and live under such Lawes, that Justice may be impartially admini­stred, and Every Man preserved in the Injoyment of his Own, which I have shown to be a Mo­narch's chiefe Care. It is to be remembred also that the greatest Part of Lawes concern such Matters as are the continuall Occasion of Con­troversie between the People of a Nation; Such are the Lawes which respect the Regulation of all Contracts and Bargains, the Privileges of Companies and Corporations, the Encourage­ments and Limitations of Manufactures, the Li­cences [Page 13] and Prohibitions of Traffique, with ma­ny more of the same Nature, by all which some Part of the People being Gainers, and another Part Loosers, They cannot where their Interests are thus divided be so fitly qualified for Legisla­tors, as is a Prince who having no private Con­cernment going, can have no aime but the Common good. After all, it being essentiall to Popular Assemblies that the Plurality of Votes should oblige the whole Body, those Lawes which lay claime to the Consent of all, are very often the Resolutions of but a little more then halfe, And must consequently go lesse in their Pretensions to Publique Interest.

Let Us see how these Things have been car­ried in Experience: And We shall every where find, That those Lawes which are reputed the People's greatest Security against In justice and Oppression have been establisht by the Autho­rity of some Prince; Thus Alfred, Edward, Lewis, Alfonso, in their severall Ages and Dominions, haue been excellent Legislators; But above all, Severall of the Roman Emperours, and chiefly Justinian, have (by the Advice of a few private Men whose Assistance they voluntarily thought fit to make use of) fabricated those Lawes so much admired for their Reason and Equity, which have stretcht themselves further then e­ver the Roman Legions were able to march, and which are still embraced by those People who have long since ceased to acknowledge the Roman Empire.

But on the other side, Those Commonwealths [Page 14] which have beene most celebrated for their Lawes, have received them from the hands of a sole Legislator, as Athens and Sparta; Or else the People conscious of their owne Incapa­city that way, have invested some few Men with a Supreme Power for the Constitution of Laws, as the Romans did the Decem viri. And there­fore it may well be doubted, whether these People thought so well of themselves as Mr Harrington seemes to do of all Popular Assem­blies, while He with such repeated Confidence asserts that the People never faile to judge truly of the Publique Interest where the Senate Oceana p. 183. discharge their Duty; If the Senate divide well He undertakes for the People they shall be sure, to make a good Choice. For my part I con­fesse that this is too hard for my Faith, and that I rather think if Anacharsis were againe in the World, He would meet with Occasion to renew the Observation He made of the Grae­cian Popular Assemblies, That wise Men pro­pounded Plut. in Solon. Matters, and Fooles decided them.

To discover all the weake Arguments and false Inferences of Mr Harrington is a Work, to Others of so small Profit, and to my selfe of so little Glory, that I resolve to passe very slightly over that Paragraph where He tells Us, That it is not the Declaration of the Will of the So­vereigne Power which constitutes and revokes Lawes, but that it is with Lawes as with a Bond, which continues in force till all the Parties agree to repeal or Cancell it: He foresaw the objection against this Example, That it is a private One, And [Page 15] therefore puts the Case between severall Princes H. p. 8. States, or Governments, or between severall States of the same Principality or Government. But though it may sute very well with Mr Har­rington's Occasions to Put this Case, it will not become Us to admit of it, who ought to un­derstand that the Leagues and Confederacies between severall Princes or States have nothing of the Nature of a Bond in them; For when either Party thinks fit to recede from them (though in it selfe it may be an Act of Injustice) there is no superiour Tribunall to appeale to, by which the Party can be constrained to stand to the Obligation, but the Businesse must be determined by a War. Much lesse have they any thing of the Nature of Law in them, unlesse, as Mr Harrington seemes to be of Opinion, Princes or States may make Lawes not only for themselves but for their Neighbours too; Which Maxime agreeing so well with his Le­gislative humour, may one day serve to produce as fine Models of Government for France or Spaine, as he has given us for England. Nor is the Case altered by putting it betweene the ibid. severall States of the same Principality or Go­vernment, For if any one of these States have, in Case of Difference, a just Power to force the obedience of the Other, it is all one as if they were private Persons; But if no One of them be acknowledged to have such Power over the Rest, Then in case of their Disagree­ment, there remaines no knowne Sovereigne Power, but that Nation is reduced to the State [Page 16] of War; From whence it is evident That they were not at first to have been considered as se­verall States of the same Government, but as equall Independent Ones which were only joyn­ed together by some League or Union.

Before I finish this Chapter I must retract an Error of which Hr Harrington has convinced Me: He had affirmed That for Mr Hobs to say Aristotle and Cicero wrote not the Rules of their Politiques from the Principles of Nature but transcribed them into their Books out of the Practise of their own Common-wealths, was as if a Man should say of famous Harvey that He transcribed his Circulation of the Blood, not out of the Principles of Nature; but out of the Anatomy of this or that Body: To which I replied, That the whole force of the Objection amounted but to this, That because Harvey in his Circulation hath followed the Principles of Nature, therefore Aristotle and Cicero have done so in their Discourses of Go­vernment. I confess, The Affirmation not be­ing of it selfe manifest, and I ignorant of any Ob­ligation to take it upon Mr Harrington's Word, I thought the Probation of it must lye in the Resemblance of Aristotle's and Livie's Books of Government with Harveys of Circulation: But this was an Error in Me, and an Injury to Mr Harrington, For in his last book He has assured H. p. 9. Me, that He produced it only as a Similitude, and never intended that any Man should look for Reason or Argument in it. I heartily crave his Pardon, and by way of Reparation to him, [Page 17] I make here a solemn Declaration, That for the future He shall have no Cause to accuse Me for expecting Reason or Argument in any of his Discourses.


Whether the Ballance of Dominion in Land be the Naturall Cause of Empire.

I Shall lye under a very great Discouragement in the Prosecution of this Contest with Mr Harrington, unless some such Rules may be esta­blish't between Us, as are observed by the Cham­pions at a Country Wake; That He who gets a broken Head is for that Time Hors du jeu, and must not take up the Cudgels any more. For if Mr Harrington may continue the Liberty of re­peating (notwithstanding my Answers) whole Pages of his Oceana without any Addition of Argument, It will be easy for him every Month to impregnate the Press with a New great Book. Of this his Repitition I give Notice once for all, being unwilling to be so frequent in the Admo­nition as He is in the Practise of it.

Yet We are not to think that there is nothing New in his last Book, for though his Reasons stand at a stay, his Confidence improves hugely, and He now tels Us, that (in Despight of Ma­thematiques) by the Doctrine of the Ballance He H. p. 11. has made the Politiques the most Demonstrable of any Art whatsoever. I am sorry I have so little Credit with Him, else I should soberly advise [Page 18] him to obtain from this Word Demonstration, for though it fiils his Mouth admirably, some have taken Occasion to doubt it has left a great dealeof empty roome in his Head.

The Invention of the Ballance He jealously asserts to be his own; Though in another place he begins to doubt that Phaleas the Chalcedo­nian may dispute it with Him; And that with great Reason, seeing it is evident out of Aristo­tle (though it be rejected by him, as I shall hereafter discover) that Phaleas did many Ages since light upon the same Phansie, I feare also that He will in another Respct prove of the younger house, for many Months before the Publication of his Oceana, there came forth a Letter, pretended to be sent from an Officer of the Army in Ireland to his Highness the LORD PROTECTOR, concerning his changing of the Government, in which the Doctrine of the Ballance, was not obscurely hinted. But this last will (it may be) trouble Mr Harrington but little, since it is not unlikely the Author of that Letter goes a share in the Commonwealth of Oceana. However, I shall not make my selfe Judge of this Controversie, but rather, being Mr Harrington has thought fit to walk over the same Ground again in this Chapter of the Bal­lance, take that Occasion to apply my selfe to a more accurate Discussion of the whole Questi­on, then I before thought Necessary. Which will be best performed by these Graduall Asser­tions.

First, That Dominion in Land is a meere [Page 19] Effect of Empire, and therefore cannot be the Cause of it, unless to be the Cause and the Ef­fect be but one and the same thing. Originally every man had Right to every thing, and no One Man had more Title to one Piece of Land, then He had to any other Piece, and then Eve­ry Man had to the same Piece: Or if this As­sertion be thought too large, at least There was no setled Propriety before the Establishment of Empire, nor could any Man be said to have the Dominion of that Land, from whence He might be immediatly ejected by the Violence of the next Invader. But after the Establishment of Empire, when the United Force of those who became Subject to One Sovereign Power was grown greater then could be resisted by Parti­cular Men, Then and not before was Propriety and Dominion in Land fixed according to such Rule and Proportion as the Sovereign Power thought Requisite. As for those two waies of Naturall and Violent Revolution by which Mr Harrington imagines Propriety may come to have a being before Empire, they are not to be admit­ted further then in Reference to this or that par­ticular Empire, and so indeed Propriety may be said to be before Empire, as the Propriety of the Families of Nassau or Brederode to their Lands, was before the Empire of the States of Holland: But then this Propriety depended up­on some former Empire, and would no longer continue to be Propriety if the succeeding Em­pire, (be it either by Naturall or Violent Re­volution) did not allow and Authorize it. [Page 20] Wherefore it is evident, That seeing Dominion in Land depends meerly upon Empire, it must needs be a gross Absurdity to say, That the Bal­lance of Dominion in Land is the Naturall Cause of Empire. If notwithstanding this it can be made out, that there is such a Complication of Empire with the Ballance in Land that the Con­formity of the Ballance is necessary to the health and long Life of Empire, To fit Empire to the Ballance is to set the Sun by the Clock, The Do­minion in Land being in that Case to be redu­ced to such a Ballance as best sutes with the Em­pire: Which inverts the Aime, and at once over­throws the whole Modell of the Commonwealth of Oceana.

But in the second Place, This Illation need not be persued, because I think it may with very good Reason be asserted That Justice is that by which all Empires subsist, and come to be (as far as humane Instability permits) Eternall. It is an Error to think (as has been already touch­ed) that the Generality of a People are infected with a Desire of Sovereign Power, and will not be satisfied with Protection in their present Pos­sessions, and Incouragement in Acquiring more by the way of a Regular Industrie. The Multi­tude, Arist. Polit. lib. 4. cap. 13. & lib. 4. cap. 8. saies Aristole, are not disgusted at being excluded from the Government, but rather are very well pleased to sit Quiet and be at leasure to follow their own Business, unless they are op­prest and see their Governours make havock of the Publique. If a Prince be carefull of the Administration of Justice, and do not by any [Page 21] Publique, or signall private Violation of it ex­asperate his Subjects, He need not fear the want of their Assistance for the Defence of his Throne, All Popular Commotions that hap­pen in a Nation being grounded upon Pretence, at least, of some Injustice in the Governour. And though this Prince be overballanced in Land by any Part of the People, it does not therefore follow, That they will refuse to continue under his Government, as long as it is administred with Justice: For it is a chief Part of the Function of the Supream Magistrate to be as it were a Pub­lique Arbitrator, to whom the Decision of all Controversies among his Subjects is referred, and We know that in an Arbitrator, it is not Riches but Integrity and Ability that Men look after; Nor have I heard any reason why a Poore Man, if known to be honest, may not be trusted to keep stakes in a Wager for more then his Estate comes to.

Yet because the Actions of a Prince though in themselves just, may though Mistake or Ma­lice not be considered as such by a People, I do not meane that a Prince should be deve­sted of all Power but what He gains by the Opinion of his Justice and Innocence; And therefore in the third Place I descend to exa­mine how far Riches conduce to Sovereign Power, and Whether an Estate in Land is na­turally Productive of Empire more then any other Revenue.

The Reparation of our Substance by conti­nuall [Page 22] Supplies of Meat and Drink, And the De­fence of our Bodies (in cold Countreys espe­cially) from the Injuries of the Weather by Garments and Habitations, are the first and most Naturall Cares of Mankind; We did not long continue satisfied with what was purely necessary of this Sort, but soon grew up to de­sire Convenience and the Reall pleasing our Senses, And at last came to seek after things of Luxurie and Vanity, which depend altogether upon Opinion. And because no Man by his single Power could be secure in the Possessi­on of any of these Things, there was an early Willingness in Men to submit to Empire, that by their United Force (which is that We call Sovereign Power) They might be maintained (upon such Terms as the Sovereign Power pleased to establish) in the Acquiring and Pos­sessing such Things as tended to the Ends alrea­dy mentioned: This was the Introduction of Propriety. At first this consisted only in the Fruits of the Earth and Cattle, And He who had Land enough to bring forth more of these then He could consume, was a Rich Man, and might with the Superfluity drive some little Commerce by way of Exchange with the Neighbourhood. But after that Men had found out a way of Entercourse with People far re­mote, and a more considerable Traffique be­gan to be set on foot, Something was fixed up­on by generall Consent which might be the Common Measure of the Value of all Things needfull to Man; This is called Mony, which [Page 23] by it's Portability and Currentness having a great Advantage in the Use of it, a Value came also to be put upon That, known by the Name of Usury or Interest. And now He that abounds with Mony, need not be in want of such Things as are Usefull to him, because other Men will for his Mony be glad to let him have part of their Superfluity.

Out of this We may infer, That since the E­stablishment of Propriety by the Sovereign Pow­er has rendred it neither Free nor Safe for par­ticular Men to make Use of Force in gaining such Things as they stand in need of, Riches do highly conduce to Power; For Men that are unprovided of other meanes of acquiring such Things as They can not want, are faine to apply themselves to the Rich for obtaining of them, Who do not use to part with them, but in Exchange of some Service or Subjection by which they grow Powerfull. Yet this Power gained by Riches is alwaies dependant upon the Sovereign Power which Institutes and preserves Propriety; For against a Force strong enough (such as are Conquests and succesfull Rebel­lions) to overthrow the setled Propriety by the Subversion of the Sovereign Power, Riches are not of any Defence, but rather matter of Invitation to an Enemy by the greatness of the Booty.

We may also infer That where there is no Traffique or Mony, as in new Plantations, the Riches which conduce to Power consist in Do­minion of Land able to produce such Things as [Page 24] are necessary or Convenient to Subsistence; But in other Places where the Estimate and Purchase of all usefull things is reduced to Mony, there the Influence which Riches have upon Power flows not from an Estate in Land only, but principally and immediatly from ready Mony; Or to make use of Mr Harrington's Words, The Ballance of Dominion in Land is not the Naturall Cause of Empire.

This was of old known to Aristotle, who having related the Project of Phaleas the Chalcedonian to settle a Government by reducing Estates to an Equality, with the expedient invented by him to bring it to pass, At last He rejects it for this Reason chiefly; That He had not considered aright of Arist. Polit. lib. 2. cap. 7. this equality, having only indeavoured to in­troduce it in Land, (What is this but Mr Harrington's Ballance in Land?) Whereas Riches consisted as well in Slaves, and Cattle, and Mony, and Furniture, in all of which He ought to have setled the same Equality or Moderate Pro­portion, or else altogether to have omitted that Phansie.

In this Particular also Mr Harrington seems to have lost ground to the Considerer; for whereas He at first maintained that the Ballance Oceana p. 5. in Mony can be equall to that of Land only in Places of great Trade and little no Land as H. p. 14. Holland and Genoa, He is now faine to con­fess that in Israel and Lacedaemon too, the Countreys being narrow and the Lots at a [Page 25] low scantling, if Usury in the One and in the other Mony had not been forbid, Mony would have eaten out the Ballance of Land. This is upon the Matter to surrender the whole Question, and to Allow that in all Places where there is mony enough to hold any considerable Proportion to the Land (And the Considerer was not so senseless to think there could be weight in empty Bags) There the Ballance in Mony does concur to Empire as much as that in Land.

So then Mr Harrington's Assertion is not a little streightned, and He that undertook to make good in the Generall that Empire rests upon the Ballance in Land, is content it should prove so only in a Territory of such extent as H. p. 15. Spain or England, where the Land can not be overballanced by Mony. For this He offers three Arguments, the first of which belongs not it seems to the Matter but the Man. The Considerer had said that to make Wisedome or Riches the first Principle of Government, were as unjust as it would be to oblige Mr Harrington to give his Cloths or Mony to ibid. the next Man he meets Wiser or Richer then himself. If he had said stronger, saies Mr Harrington, he had spoiled all. Tis very true, the Considerer knew that, and therefore did not say so. Is that a Crime? He has in more then one place of the Conside­rations made appeare what Influence He thinks force had Originally upon Government, and therefore there is no Reason to take it ill [Page 26] that He did not in this place contradict his own Opinion: But, Mr Harrington continues to urge, The Richer as to the Case in Debate is the stron­ger, and if the People have Riches, that is Clothe; or Mony of their own, they must rise out of the Propriety or Cultivation of Land, and so the Bal­lance of Land must of Necessity be in the People themselves, who having that will never give their H. p. 16. Clothes or Mony or Obedience unto a single Person or a Nobility, though these should be the richer in Mony, whence it is evident that in such a Terri­trry as England or Spain, Mony can never come to overballance Land. A fine Modest Argument this, which though it be called a Demonstra­tion, I should never suspected to have been meant for a Mathematicall One, but that I find it going upon certain Data or Postulata, two of which by Misfortune happen to be the very things which were to be proved, As first, that if the People have Riches they must rise out of the Propriety or Cultivation of Land, And then that Ready Mony though in never so great a Quantity cannot outweigh the Ballance in Land. To speak freely, This whole Pas­sage has so little Affinity with sense, that I must believe Mr Harrington was in Choler, and in­tended it as a Piece of Revenge against the Con­siderer, for having dared to put a Supposition that any Man could be Wiser then the Author of Oceana.

His second Argument (and that's called a Demonstration too) is that Henry the seventh, ibid. though the richest in Mony of English Princes did [Page 27] by making Farms of a Standard, and cutting of Retainers begin that Breach in the Ballance of Land, which hath since ruin'd the Government. But did that Ruine swallow up the Govern­ment while that ready mony was in being? Or did not his Son Henry the eight by his Plea­sures and unprofitable Wars exhaust all that Treasure in a few of the first years of his Reign? I may with Modesty and Truth enough let Mr Harrington know that if the Exchecquer had eighteen years agoe been as well furnisht as Hen­ry the seventh left it, He might now probably have wanted the Occasion of shewing his Skill in Modelling a Commonwealth.

The third Argument is, That the Monarchy of Spain since that King had the Indies, stands upon the same Ballance in the Lands of the Nobi­lity, on which it alwaies stood. This it seems We must believe for Mr Harrington's sake without any further Proof, though the Opposite Asser­tion, That it does not stand upon the same Ballance, was profered as an Instance against him by the Consider; Who can now fortify his Side by this Observation, That from the Discovery of the American Mines to the yeare 1640 (a Tract of time of more then 120 years) the Crown of Spain has not been disturbed by any Domestick sedition of the Nobility, for which there cannot any so Probable Reason be assigned, as the Increase of the King's Revenue in ready Mony by which he is inabled to main­tain a Force that overballances their Estates in Land.

Mr Harrington's Arguments being thus fit­ted with Replies, it will be expedient to re­sume the Consideration of those waies by which a Revenue both Private and Publique may be raised, that so We may the better judge, Whether in such a Territory as Spain or England Mony may not come to over­ballance Land: But I do not think it belongs to Me to do this with the Accurateness either of a Philosopher who discourses (as Ari­stotle does in the second of his Oeconomicks) of all the severall possible waies of managing an Estate, Or of a Financier who makes a Proposition for the raising a present summe of Ready Mony. It will be enough to observe in generall the most ready and Naturall Me­thods by which a Considerable Revenue may be obtained.

The First of these is by the Propriety and Cultivation of Lands, which is a very generall Way, and the sole Considerable One in such Places where the Methods hereafter exprest are not practicable. Out of this, in some Places, a certain Tax or Proportion is payable to the Sovereign Power, by which the Owner looses no part of his Propriety, yet has as it were a Rent Charge laid upon his Estate.

The second is taken from the Bowels of the Earth, which in some Parts are fertile of those Metals that need only the stroke of an Ham­mer to make them Current Mony; These are either belonging solely to the Supream Power though taken out of other Men's Ground, as [Page 29] here in England, Or at least a great share of them belongs to the Prince, as it is with the King of Spain in respect of all the Gold and Sil­ver of America.

The third is by Traffique and Commerce; And that either Private and Domestick, as carrying the Commodities of a Man's own Grouth to Market, and Mean Artisans selling their Work to the Neighbourhood, which are often charged by the Publique with some Excise or Gabell; Or else Publique and For­reign, when by Publique Authority Com­panies are formed for the better Exportation and Importation of Goods and Manufacture: And out of these some considerable Duties and Customes, do almost every where issue to the Publique Revenue.

The fourth and last is from the Profit of Mony by Usury, And that also either Pri­vate, when every Man puts out his own Mo­ny, upon which some Assessement, payable by the Lender, to the Publique ought in all Reason to be imposed, Usurers being other­wise very unprofitable Members of a State, and the only Men who contribute nothing to the Publique Charge: Or else Publique under the Inspection and Security of the Su­pream Power, commonly known by the name of Banks, by which no small Reve­nue uses to accrue to the Publique.

Now to shew that in Spain or England the three last waies of raising a Revenue may [Page 30] be more considerable then the first, Or, which is all One, that Mony may overballance Land, will not be difficult, if We consider that Spain (And if Henry the seventh had given eare to Columbus his Profer England had been Mi­stress of the same Treasures) is possest of all the Bullion of the West Indies amounting annually (not to mention greater Summes gained at the first Discovery of those Countries) to 3 or 4 millions of our Mony, which is by Mr Har­rington's Calculation a full third of all the Land in England. Next, Spain or England are either of them by Nature endowed with all Advan­tages for taking the whole Traffique of the World into their Hands, and are inferiour to the Dutch who injoy it, in nothing but Industrie: What the Importance of this is or might be, the Dutch will best help Us to Understand, Who by that alone without any considerable Land, have been able to baffle Spain, and con­test with England. And if Spain or England have or may have such a Traffique; They may also when they please erect a Bank for any the Greatest summe of Mony.

Against this Mr Harrington has but One Objection in store, which is, That the Purse of a Prince never yet made a Bauke, nor till Spen­ding H. p. 17. and Trading Mony be all one, ever shall; Where there is a Bank, Ten to One there is a Commonwealth. This does Us no hurt, For if England or Spain were a Commonwealth, their Ballance in Mony might then outweigh that in Land, which is the Thing contended for. But [Page 31] He will be in Danger to loose his Wager, and his Credit to boot; For some Monarchs have been as great Traders as any Commonwealths; The example of the Medices he yields Me, to that I will adde the Crown of Portugall, which presently after the Discovery of the Cape of good Hope did manage that mighty Lucra­tive Traffique which now the Dutch and Eng­lish share with them: The Examples of the Mo­gor and other Eastern Princes may also be al­ledged, who though Monarchs are very great Traders. And where there is a Traffique, it is undeniable but that, if it be found expedient, there may be a Bank; Or is Antwerp a Com­monwealth, or the Monti at Rome planted in a Popular Government?

It would not be unfit also that before We consent to resolve that in such a Territory as England Mony can never overballance Land, We did a little reflect upon the Successes of our last Wars, and inquire Whether it was not the Mo­ny of the City of London which turned the Scales.

Having thus examined what the Influence of Riches is upon Empire, What the Importance of Propriety in Land, and What that of ready Mony, in such a Territory particularly as Spain or England, I may with reason expect not to be thought to have strained very much at the H. p. 18. Doctrine of the Ballance, much less, to have been choaked with it. I consess I cannot swallow it so fast as Mr Harrington, but that, it may be, does not hinder Me from digesting it better. [Page 32] At least I have leisure to observe that while He attributes so much to the Ballance, He com­mits an Error in making an Army depend meerly upon the Riches of those who have the Disposing of it: For though it be true That an Army is a Beast with a great Belly which subsisteth not without very large Pastures, It is as true that this Beast is none of those tame Ones that are kept within Fences, or imprisoned in a Severall: When an Army is once on foot, the Inclosure of the Law is too weak to hold it in, And Propriety is no better then an Hedge of rotten Sticks. It was the Observation of Him who had Wit and Experience enough to be the Founder of the Roman Monarchy, That Men Dion. Cass. lib. 42. and Mony are the two Things by which Power is acquired and preserved, And that these two do mutually support One another; For as by Mony an Army is brought together, So He that has Arms in his hand need not want Mony. Thus e­ven after the Settlement of Propriety by Go­vernment and Lawes, Force goes a share with Riches, and is not wholly excluded from con­curring to the Establishment of Empire.

Nay further, If there comes to be a Contest between Gold and Iron, the Advantage gene­rally remains with the harder Metall, And He that has Arms in his Hand, may when He plea­ses both command the Mony in his Neighbours Pocket, and also gather the Rents of his Lands: As it of old fell out among the Thurians, Where the Nobility had ingrost all Offices and Magi­stracy into their own Hands, and had bought [Page 33] (though against the Law) the Lands of the Arist. Polit. whole Country; Yet the People being exercised & inured to the Wars, proved too hard for the Nobility and their Guard, And dismissed them of their Power and excessive Possessions in Land. From which Example these two Co­rollaries are evidently deduceable, That an Agrarian Law is not a sufficient Provision for fixing the Ballance, And that the Conformity of the Ballance to the establish't Government does not necessarily secure a State from Chan­ges and Revolutions.

One thing more remains to dispatch this Question of the Ballance, And that is to pro­duce Examples of such Governments as have been setled contrary to the Ballance in Land; But I find by the whole Course of Mr Har­rington's Reply to Me, that this way of argu­ing is of no great Efficacy with Him, For ei­ther He takes no Notice of such Examples, or by some pitifull unmanly Cavill seeks to elude them. Wherefore I am put to make use of another Method, that is to bring him as a Witness against himself, and to prove this Point by the Authority of his own Asserti­ons. In the 73 page of his Discourse con­cerning Ordination against Dr Hamond, He has imparted this Lesson to Us; The People of Egypt till having sold their Lands they came to loose their Popular Ballance, were not servants unto Pharaoh, wherefore when Joseph was made Governour over all Egypt they were Free. [Page 34] And in Consequence to this We are told by him H. p. 56. in another Place, That the Ballance of abso­lute Monarchy or of a Nobility came into E­gypt by the Purchase of Joseph. But it is evident that the Exercise of Sovereign Power was be­fore belonging to the Kings of Egypt in a most Absolute manner, seeing the People when not only their whole Fortunes and Estates, but their very Lives also lay at stake by the Extre­mity of the Famine, had not force enough to break open the Granaries and take out Corne for their sustenance, but were faine to buy it of the King at his own Price. And if the People of Egypt had not in the Case of extream hunger (which uses to inrage the most abject and sla­vish People of the whole World) Power e­nough to serve themselves when there was e­nough of Corne in the Land, It is ridiculous to think they could retain any Power or Liberty in reference to the Government. Wherefore the Ballance of Egypt being Popular, and the Government Absolute Monarchy, Mr Harring­ton himself has furnished Us with a cleare Ex­ample of a Government that has been setled contrary to the Ballance in Land.

I might by this time lawfully hope for a Re­lease from this Dispute of the Ballance, if I were not ingaged by my Promise in the first Chap­ter, to examine that place of Thucydides, which by diverting the Discourse gave Mr Harrington the Opportunity of saying something upon a Subject in which He must otherwise have been silent. But what He has there said is so extra­vagant [Page 35] and wandering from the true meaning of Thucydides, that I must needs think either He has parted with his own Understanding, or believes his Readers willing to part with theirs. Let the first 12 or 14 Pages of Thucydides, which serve as an Introduction to his Historie, be con­siderately perused, And it will be found to be the Author's aime to make it appear, That the Actions he goes about to describe were more great and considerable then any had formerly been performed by the Graecians. To this end He relates, That of old, Greece was not constant­ly Thucyd. p. 2. inhabited, but that at first there were often Re­movals, every One easily leaving the place of his Abode to the Violence of some greater Number. E­very Man so husbanded the Ground, as but barely to live upon it without any stock of Riches, and planted Nothing, but made account to be Masters in any Place of such necessary Sustenance, as might serve from day to day. And for this Cause Id. p. 3. they were of no Ability at all, either for greatness of Cities, or other Provision. And the Imbecil­lity of Antient Times is not a little demonstrated also by this, That before the Trojan War nothing appeareth to have been done by Greece in Common. This then is Manifest to have been the oldest Condition of Greece, That though the People were not absolutely destitute of Civill Society, yet those Societies being of very small Numbers were too weak to improve by Plantation or Traffique, but were forced to abandon their Habitations to the Violence of such whom the fatness of the Soile invited thither. And as [Page 36] these Societies of Men were of themselves weak and inconsiderable, so were they without any League or Union in Common, by which this their Imbecillity might have received a Cure. Sutable to their Condition was their manner of living, To weare Iron, or be alwaies in Arms, Id. p. 4. and to count Theeving the best means of their li­ving, being a Matter at that time no where in Disgrace, but rather carrying with it something of Glory. But Minos having built a Navy, Na­vigators had the Sea more free, For He expelled the Malefactors out of the Islands, and in most of Id. p. 5. & 6. them planted Colonies of his own. By which meanes They who inhabited the Sea coasts, becoming more addicted to Riches, grew more constant to their dwellings; Of whom some grown now Rich com­passed their Towns about with Wals. For out of desire of gaine, the meaner sort underwent Servi­tude with the Mighty; And the Mighty with their Wealth brought the lesser Cities into Subjection. It appeares by this that the first considerable increment of Greece was by King Minos, who having supprest the Pirates, and render'd Na­vigation safe, the Maritime Cities by their Traffique soon began to grow Rich, and for their Security fortified themselves, and by these Advantages (People in want flocking to their Service) they prevailed over the lesser Cities, and grew up to some indifferent Force, with which the War of Troy was undertaken: Which Enterprize though of greater Name then any be­fore it was through want of Mony but weake, and Id. p. 8. in fact beneath the Fame and report which, by [Page 37] meanes of the Poets, now goeth of it. After the Trojan War also the Graecians continued still their Shiftings and Transplantations, insomuch as ne­ver resting they improved not their Power. But after a long time Greece had constant Rest, and shifting their seats no longer at length sent Co­loniesId. p. 9.ahroad. When the Power of Greece was now improved, and the desire of Mony with­all, their Revenues being inlarged in most of the Cities there were erected Tyrannies. (For be­fore that time Kingdomes with Honours limit­ed were Hereditary.) And the Graecians built Navies, and became more seriously addicted to the Affaires of the Sea. Yet was not their Navall force very great, for having spoken of such Fleets as had been brought together ei­ther by Tyrants or Cities, and of the Actions performed by them, He concludes, That if Men consider of the War he describes by the Acts done in the same, It will manifest it self to be greater then any of those before mentioned. These Id. p. 13. are the Passages of Thucydides out of which Mr Harrington goes about, by an unheard of Chymistry, to extract the Doctrine of the Ballance; But He must give Me leave to ob­serve these Errors and False Consequences in his Operation.

First He saies that When out of desire of gain the Meaner Sort underwent Servitude with the Mighty, It caused Hereditary Kingdomes with Honours limited; As happened also with Ʋs since the times of the Goths and Vandals. Good! So H. p. 2 [...] We will be content to acknowledge this ima­ginary [Page 38] Force of the Ballance, that Prudence which He himself cals Modern, and will have to be first introduced into the World after the breaking of the Roman Empire, shall be allow­ed to be more ancient then the most ancient Re­publiques. But I beseech him Where does He find that the Servitude the meaner Sort under­went with the Mighty caused Hereditary King­domes? Thucydides owns no such Causality, Nor do those two passages of His thus joyned together by Mr Harrington appear to have any Reference to one another. Nay on the contra­ry it is manifest that Hereditary Kingdomes were before that Servitude, seeing that Servitude happened not till after Minos, who was a King, had by scouring the Seas of Pirates and de­stroying their Nests, given Security to Traf­fique, by which and not by the Ballance of Land these Cities grew Potent.

In the second Place, He attributes the Power of Pelops to the Ballance in Land, Whereas Thu­cydides saies expresly, He obtained this Power by the abondance of Wealth He brought with him out of Asia, to Men in want. Did He transport his Land with Him? Or is not this a cleare Instance of the Prevalence of Mony against the Ballance in Land?

But then thirdly, He at the same time sup­poses no Propriety in Land till after the Trojan War, And yet makes before that War the Over­ballancing of the Mighty to be the Cause of He­reditary Kingdomes. This has the aspect of a Contradiction, into which it is likely he slipt, [Page 39] by not having a true apprehension of Thucydi­des, who does not affirm there was in those remote Ages He treats of, a time when there was no Propriety, but only that Men being not yet united into great Nations, but living in small Clans, there joynt Force was not sufficient to defend them against the Violence of such who had any small oddes in Number, which was the Cause of so frequent Transmigrations.

Fourthly, He will have the Revenues of Greece which were inlarged about the Time of erecting the Tyrannies, to consist only in Land, unless forsooth We can shew there was Usurie at that Time: He must pardon Me for this also, It is enough that there then began to be great Trading, which is plainly testified by Thucydi­des where He saies That the Graecians became more seriously addicted to the Affaires of the Sea.

Fifthly, He imagines the difference between the old Hereditary Monarchies and the new ere­cted Tyrannies to have been only in the Peoples Apprehension of them, who being grown Rich called that Government Tyrannie, which be­fore during their Poverty, They had been con­tent to own for a lawfull Monarchy. This is indeed to be a true Servant to his own Suppo­sition, but not to be a faithfull Historian of the Actions of other Men; For in some of these Ty­rannies the change from Monarchy must be at­tributed to the Princes themselves, Who upon Arist. Polit. lib. 3. cap. 15. & lib. 5. cap. 10. the increase of Wealth having put off the Sobri­ety and Moderation of their Predecessors, and [Page 40] addicted themselves to Avarice and Luxurie, or as Thucydides expresses it, Their desire of Mo­ny being improved with their Power, governed their People with all manner of Insolence and Oppression. But most of the Tyrannies were then at that time first erected, for the old Mo­narchies having by the failing of the Royall Arist. Polit. lib. 3. cap. 14. & lib. 5. cap. 5. Lines, or by the remisseness of the Princes been changed into Commonwealths, the Supream Power was afterward usurped by such Persons who having no just Claime, were forced to se­cure themselves by Violent and Tyrannicall Courses.

Last of all, Because Thucydides comparing only the Actions of the old Graecians with those He is about to describe, gives the Ad­vantage to the latter, calling the other the Im­becillity of Antient Times, He would therefore have it thought, that the Considerer has made an unlucky choise of Thucydides his Testimo­ny. But it is easy for Me to convince him, that though I had on my side no other Testi­mony (which by the way is untrue, the mat­ter being attested by all the Greek Histories of those remote Ages) but this of Thucydides I were upon Terms secure enough: For first Thucydides mentions this Imbecillity only in reference to the times before the Trojan War, and not the whole time that Greece was go­verned by Hereditary Monarchs; And then a­gain, this Imbecillity is no diminution of the Antiquity of that Government, (which was the sole thing at that time in Debate between [Page 41] Us) nor yet any Imputation to the Prudence of it; For it is not to be understood of any Morall or Politicall Imbecillity radicated in the Nature of that Government, but of a Natu­rall one equally attending the Infancy of all Governments; Arms, Shipping, Mony and the other Provision by which a Nation frees it self from this Imbecillity, being not origi­nall or essentiall Members of any Govern­ment, but like Haire the Productions of Age and Grouth.

I could not at a less Expence of Time and Pains satisfie my Promise to consider these Pas­sages of Thucydides; To some Readers it will not, possibly, be unacceptable to have been rescued from an Erroneous Apprehension of of that excellent Author; For my own part I gain by it the satisfaction of observing that I am not the only Person who suffer by Mr Harrington.


Whether the Ballance of Empire be well divi­ded into Nationall and Provinciall; And whether these two, or Nations that are of di­stinct Ballance, coming to depend upon one and the same Head, such a mixture create a New Ballance?

TO make recompence for the length of the last Chapter, this shall be a very short one. The Question was put by the Considerer, Whe­ther there may not be a Mixture of the Natio­nall and Provinciall Ballance, so that the seve­rall Parts of an Empire may come to poise one another, and by that produce a New Ballance? To this Mr Harrington gives a Solution in the H. p. 22. Negative, by saying that No one Government whatsoever hath any more then One of two Bal­lances; That of Land which is Nationall, or that of Arms which is Provinciall. I might without Prejudice to my Cause abstain from any further Discussion of this Question, for coming just now from digging up the Roots of the Doctrine of the Ballance, these Branches of it must of them­selves wither and fall off. Yet to show that I did not at first without Reason propose the Question, this shall be added in Explication of it.

There is scarse any one of the Considerable Dominions of Europe which is not (like a rich Fur composed of Tips of Sables) made up of [Page 43] severall Pieces; Spain consists of the Crowns of Castile, Arragon, Navarre and Granada, be­sides divers Kingdomes Islands and Provinces in distant Parts of the World: France, though it looks like an entire Piece, is constituted by se­verall Provinces which have by various Occa­sions come to be united in that Potent King­dome: In Spain the power of the Castilian Kings was more absolute then that of the Ara­gonese; In France some of the Provinces retain Priviledges not injoyed by the rest, as the Li­berty of Assembling their particular Estates, and the like. The Considerer, to prove the Mix­ture of the Ballance, made Instance in the King­dome of Arragon, where since the Union with Castile, the Regall Power is very much advan­ced, And yet without reducing it to a Provin­ciall Ballance, seeing Arragon is still, as to the maine, governed by their own Lawes, and by their own Officers, and not by an Army. This Instance is rejected by Mr Harrington, because the Ballance both in Castile and Aragon being that of a Nobility, They both, saies He, conti­nue Nationall. I am desirous of giving him all faire Satisfaction, and therefore am Content to lay aside this Instance, and instead of it fix up­on One in France which is not liable to the same Objection, And this shall be the Imperiall Ci­ties of Metz, Thoul, and Verdun. These Ci­ties were free Members of the Empire, govern­ed in the way of a Republique by their own Citizens, as Strasbourg and other Imperiall Ci­ties are at this day, and by Consequence their [Page 44] Ballance must necessarily have been Popular: They were somewhat more then an hundred yeares agoe surprized by the French, who have since incorporated them into the Crown, the Ballance of which is by a Nobility; And the last King of France erected a Parliament there, after the manner of the other Members of that Crown.

Now I am to demand of Mr Harrington Whether the Ballance in these Cities be chang­ed from Popular, to that by a Nobility? If He affirms it to be changed, We shall not be ob­liged to believe him unless He brings Proofs strong enough to overthrow the Vehement Pre­sumption that We may have for the Contrary, by observing that these Cities continue still to be of great Traffique, which must of Necessity keep the Wealth in the People's hands. If He replies that the Ballance of them is Provinciall, It will be very difficult to apprehend the Truth of that Answer, seeing the Inhabitants of them injoy all the Privileges of French Subjects, and are governed by the same Lawes, and the same Forme of Administration of Justice with the rest of France. Tis true indeed they live under the Power of a Governour, but in that They differ not from Picardie, Champagne, Languedoc and all other Parts of that King­dome, whose Ballance notwithstanding is not therefore Provinciall; Nor can it be denied that they have a Garrison upon them, but in this their Case is the same with all the Frontire Towns in France, which are secured with Gar­risons, [Page 45] not so much out of Jealousie of the Peo­ple, as of a Forreign Enemy.

If then the Ballance of these Cities can neither be said to be the Nationall One of the Crown they live under, nor yet Provinciall, I had Rea­son to put the Question, Whether there might not be a Mixture of the Nationall and Provin­ciall Ballance, or a poising of one another by the severall Parts of an Empire. Of which We may with facility obtain this farther Concep­tion, That as the pretended force of the Bal­lance in any one Countrey, secures the Power in the Hands of such Persons on whose side the Ballance is, So in the Union of severall Coun­treys under One Empire, the Power remains with those to whom the Ballance resulting from the whole belongs: And as in one Single Coun­try, Men are necessitated to submit to the Bal­lance, because they despaire of Power to Op­pose it, So in the Union of Severall Countreys, Some one of them may be obliged to live un­der a Government different from their own Ballance, as knowing themselves to be out­weighed by the Ballance of the Rest.


Whether there be any Common Right or Inte­rest of Mankind distinct from the Parts ta­ken severally; And how by the Orders of a Commonwealth it may best be distinguish't from private Interest.

IF I had not been taught by Mr Harrington himself that many Passages of his are to be understood by way of Similitude only, not of H. p. 9. Argument or Probation, I should have been very much at a loss how to answer this Chap­ter: But now by the help of that Instruction I perceive this is intended for a Chapter of Simi­litudes, And it would be too unkind a Part to oppose a Gentleman in the choise of such Simi­les as He thinks fit to make use of for the adorn­ing his stile. I am sensible of my having alrea­dy erred in this Point, and justly incurred Mr Harrington's Anger, by thinking his Similitudes Chap. 2. included somewhat of Reason in them, There­fore I shall imploy my Care in this Chapter to impart that Caution to the Reader which I my self have received, least He should do these Si­militudes or their Author so much wrong as to mistake them for Reasons.

The first Place where this Care may be sea­sonably imploy'd, is about a Similitude which, though it be taken from Beasts, We are not to expect should have foure Feet. Divers of the Beasts (it is Grotius who has observed it) ab­stain [Page 47] from their owne Profit, either in regard of Oceana p. 5. those of the same kind, or at least of their Young. Mankind then (infers Mr Harrington) must ei­ther be less just then the Creature, or acknowledg also his Common Interest to be Common Right. To go about upon this Occasion to discover the Causes of that Affection which Brute Crea­tures beare to their Foetus, And how a Part separated from an Animal to which it had been long united may by the Perpetuall stream of Ef­fluviums emitted from it, continue to have an Operation upon that Animall, would be a Dis­quisition too remote from our present Subject. I will rather make Mr Harrington a Gift of the whole Inference, and allow That Men have the same Affections with the Creatures, And do deny themselves their own Profit for the Ad­vantage of their Familie: But what will He gaine by this Concession? This will at most serve to prove something of a Common Interest of every Familie within it self, but fals infinite­ly short of making out a Common Interest of all Mankind; And I do justly suspect He will not be much gratified with any Instances taken from Paternity, or the naturall Administration or Interests of Families, seeing there is not in that whole Oeconomy one Particular, which does not largely disfavour the Pretensions of Popular Government.

And therefore He cals in another Similitude to the Rescue, and tels Us out of Hooker, That even stones or heavy things forsake their ordinary mont or Center, and fly upwards, to relieve the H. p. 24. [Page 48] Distress of Nature in Common. If I should now take this Hint to discourse of Vacuum Dissemi­natum, of Magneticall Motion, of the Gravita­tion and Impulsion of Aire, of the Protrusion of less heavy Bodies by those that are more Heavy, and of severall other Principles belonging to this Subject, Mr Harrington would think Me very Fond of my Naturall Philosophie, and more then ordinarily Covetous of an Occasion to di­vulge it. It is enough that this is but a Simili­tude, and as such did very well become Mr Hooker in a Rhetoricall Exaggeration, Nor shall Mr Harrington be denied the same Liber­ty while He appeares either as Poet or Orator, but when He acts the Legislator's Part, and pretends to fix the Principles of Government, He must not wonder if We remain unsatisfied with such thin Discourses.

Indeed He himself seems to place no great Confidence in them, but has thought fit to H. p. 25. give Us this farther Demonstration: All Civill Lawes acknowledge that there is a Common Inte­rest of Mankind, and all Civill Lawes proceed from the Nature of Man, therefore it is in the Na­ture of Man to acknowledge that there is a Com­mon Interest of Mankind. How? Do all Civill Lawes proceed from the Nature of Man? This New Maxime will make strange Havock among the pore School-men and Authors de Legibus, and quite Ruine all their Divisions and Defini­tions of Jus Naturale, Jus Gentium, and Jus Civile; But of all Men honest Ʋspian will be in the worst Condition who has had the ill For­tune [Page 49] to give us this Account of Civill Lawes; Jus Civile est quod neque in totum à Naturali Digest. de Just. & Jur. leg. 6. vel Gentium recedit, nec per omnia ei servit: Itaque cum aliquid addimus vel detrahimus juri communi, Jus proprium, id est Civile efficimus. Which is beyond Dispute thus far true, That the Obligation of Civill Lawes consists proper­ly in such Things to which Men were not bound by Nature, nor by any other Argu­ment but their Subjection to the Power which constitutes those Lawes; For otherwise the same Civill Lawes must obtain through the whole World, seeing all Men are equally bound to what proceeds from Nature: But though Mr Harrington's Assertion were true, the Con­siderer were not at all concerned in it, For He at first denying there was any Common Inte­rest of Mankind, only with Reference to Man­kind before they had voluntarily listed them­selves into Societies, and so rendred themselves Subject to Civill Lawes, is not now with any Equity to be oppugned by any Observations taken from the Condition of Mankind after it was become Subject to the Power of Civill Lawes. I must alwaies assert, That though O­riginally in the State of Nature, and Ante­cedently to all Society, there was no Com­mon Interest of Mankind distinct from the Parts taken severally; (the Obligation laid upon Families by Paternall Power only excep­ted) but that every particular Man had Right to prosecute his own Advantage, though to the Ruine of other Men, yet since the Instituti­on [Page 50] of Government, Men are obliged besides, nay in many Cases above, their own Private Interest, to advance the Publique or Common One: The reason of which is taken from hence, That unless Every private Man does devest him­self of his private Interest as well as his private Power, and contribute it to the Publique, the Sovereign Power will be disabled from effecting the Design and Aime of Government; And Par­ticular Men will in vain expect from that Pow­er, which has by themselves been so unwisely limited, Protection and the Benefit of Lawes: By this Protection and Benefit of Lawes, Every Man's Power and Interest which He had parted with, comes home to him again with Increase, the Observation of such Lawes as the Sovereign Power finds usefull for the Preservation of So­ciety being in an Eminent Manner the Interest of every private Man: For Instance, A man that Steales is put to Death; This is not only the Pub­lique Interest, but the Private Interest of every Particular Man, who by the Terrour of such a Punishment is in some Measure secured from an Invasion on his Propriety. This Assertion is I confesse contradictory to Mr Harrington's, That a Man who steales is not put to Death for H. p. 25. any Man's private Interest, in which, as in this whole Thing called Demonstration, I meet with so little Reason, that it pities Me there is nothing in it which might make it pass for a Similitude.

Seeing then the Addresses of Reason have been so unsuccessefull, I do not wonder to find [Page 51] The other Potent Rivall Passion, has obtained so far upon Mr Harrington's Soule. He pretends That the whole Philosophie of the Soule which con­cerns Policy is demonstrated throughout the Com­monwealth of Oceana, And that it consists in de­posing Ibid. Passion and advancing Reason unto the Throne of Empire. But it will not be Rationall to believe this of a Commonwealth whose Au­thor and Legislator is himself a slave of Passion, and not a Subject of Reason; And I make my Appeale to all uninteressed Persons, Whether through his whole Reply Reason or Passion beare the greatest sway with Mr Harrington, And in reference to this particular Chapter, I desire them to Judge, Whether it be not an heap of very Pitifull Petulancies and Calum­nies. Yet it is not to be thought but that in this Anger He has Wit, of which if any Man be unconvinced, He is to be remitted to that admirable Oration He makes to the two Girles, which being a Treasury of such Rare Conceits, ought in all Prudence to be inserted with the other Speeches into the following Editions of Oceana.

But though his Wit be admirable, his Dis­cretion still has the upper hand; To repeat 40 or 50 lines out of his Commonwealth of Ocea­na, was not very troublesome, but to examine the Reasons alledged by the Considerer to prove that the Case of the two Girles dividing and choosing their Cake was not applicable to the Institution of a Commonwealth, was too stubborn a Matter to be wrought to his Pur­pose, [Page 52] and is therefore silently past over. It is but Justice that I should have leave to repeat too, and put Mr Harrington in mind that He goes upon a false Supposition; For unless the two Girles lived under some Power grea­ter then their own, (And if so they were Mem­bers of some Society, and obliged in Dispo­sing of their Cake to behave themselves accor­ding to the establisht Lawes of it) They would never have divided the Cake, but the stron­ger of the two Girles would have taken the whole, or at least so much of it as She thought usefull to her.

In like Manner, If some One Person or Per­sons who have acquired the Supream Pow­er (by what Method or Artifice is not as to this purpose Materiall) shall think fit to frame a Government where the whole People shall be divided into two Assemblies, with one of which shall be the right of dividing or Deba­ting, and with the other that of choosing or Resolving, there is no great Reason to doubt but that this Temper may be effectuall to the attaining the Ends of Government: Yet even in this Case, it will be a Necessary Caution, That by mixing the Function of the severall Members of the Government, it be not ren­dered disputable in which of them the Sove­reign Power resides, For this destroyes the Design of Government, and must frequently reduce things to the State of War. But all this while this is nothing to Mr Harrington's Purpose, and serves not at all to make out [Page 53] the Naturall Right of a Commonwealth, see­ing this Frame of a Commonwealth depen­ded upon some former Sovereign Power; And to imagine that without the Influence of such a Power, Men unreduced or broken to the Rules of Society, should of themselves con­trive themselves into two Assemblies, One of which should divide and the other choose, And that the strongest would not rather en­gross the whole Right both of dividing and choosing, Is to suppose that which can ne­ver be granted, And for which I do not be­lieve there can ever be any stronger Reason produced then Mr Harrington's bare Affirma­tion.

For as for that Notion of a Naturall Demo­cracy and a Naturall Aristocracy, Or that among H. p. 27. twenty Men there will be some few (perhaps Six) excelling the Fourteen in greatness of Parts, It is altogether Arbitrary and destitute of any good ground in Experience; Among the twenty per­haps there will be but One, perhaps Sixteen, who excell the Rest in Parts: Or if this Pro­portion of about a third be allowed him, it will not be enough to help him over the stile; For though among twenty Men (not related to one another, nor as yet united in any Society) Six be apparently Wiser then the Fourteen, Must the Fourteen therefore necessarily intrust the Six with the Debate of such things as concern their Interest? Is it not much more Naturall to every Man to think him­self Wise enough to advise about his own [Page 54] Affaires, and to suspect all Persons of a greater Reach then himself? Indeed upon a Supposi­tion that there were any known Common In­terest of these twenty Men, it were not impro­bable that such of them as by Experience were known to be the Wisest, might be intrusted by the Rest with their Common Affaires; But it has been already demonstrated that there can be no such Common Interest ( I adde now also, Nor no such Experience of one another's Abilities) unless those twenty Men had been before united in some Society, that is, reduced under some Government. Wherefore Mr Har­rington stands Convict of Obstinacy in this Pa­ralogisme, That He by Supposition puts the twenty Men into a Condition that of Necessity infers them to be already reduced to some Go­vernment, And yet at the same time Imagines them free to dispose of themselves as if They lived under no Government, and did but then begin to think of Constituting One.

To go yet a little farther with him, Admit that at first by some strange Accident a People should happen thus to distribute themselves into two Assemblies, a dividing One, or Senate, and a choosing One or Popular Assembly: Is this Foundation firm enough to sustain the whole Weight of a Commonwealth? May not either of these Assemblies repent of the Bargain, and indeavour to draw the whole Power both of the Debate and Result to themselves? That the Senate may do it by deluding the People, and confounding their Judgments in the Choice or [Page 55] Result seems not improbable; Nor is it Anti­dote enough to say that The People in a Com­monwealth are their own Army, unless it were also Certain that a more subtle Party never had nor could dispossess a simple and ignorant One of the Power of the Sword. But that on the other side the People should not invade the Fun­ction of the Senate and take upon themselves the Right of Debate as well as of the Result, can not without some shame be denied by him who has complained of the Athenian, Cartha­ginian, and Roman People for this very thing. It is true None of these People did go about to take away the Senate wholly, but the diffe­rence is not great between dissolving an Assem­bly, and rendring it altogether Insignificant by robbing it of that Employment for which it was at first Instituted. When the Lion is to choose, the Fox knows his Division must be such as gives all to One side and leaves nothing to the other; If a People be once inraged, the Senate will find themselves concerned to please them in the Division as well as in the Choice. And this was the Condition of the Senate of Capua after the Fright they were put into by Pacuvius, I am verò nihil in Senatu actum aliter, quàm si Plebis ibi esset Consilium. That whole Liv. Scene was laid by Pacuvius with a Design to preserve the Senators and satisfie the People, and by that at once bring them both into a Depen­dance upon himself; His surprize of the People was indeed very Ingenious, but had He given them time to consider, They would without [Page 56] doubt have found out some among themselves whom They would have thought Wise enough to make a Senate: If not, It must have been for want of Instruction in Mr Harrington's new Do­ctrine, That the pretended Depth and Difficulty H. p. 133. in Matter of State is a meere Cheat. From the be­ginning of the World unto this day, you never found a Commonwealth, where the Leaders having Ho­nesty enough, wanted skill enough to lead her unto her true Interest at home or abroad.

By this it appeares, That there is no Com­mon Right or Interest of Mankind (except that of Families arising from Paternall Power) an­tecedent to the Reduction of Mankind under Government; As also, That the Office of Di­viding, or debating, and Choosing or Resolv­ing, Or the different Functions of the Senate and People in a Commonwealth, are not founded upon any Naturall Right, but meerly upon an Artificiall One proceeding from the Designati­on of some preceding Sovereign Power. And this being the true Case of a Commonwealth, the two distinct Assemblies of the Senate and People have not as to this any more advantage then is between any Parties who give and take Coun­sell; Counsell is nothing but Ratiocination a­bout the Affaires of another Man, and Ratio­cination is the Addition or Subtraction of Pro­positions; The Operation belongs to the Per­son who gives Counsell, and the Proof or Exa­men of it remains in his hand who receives the Counsell: This Mr Harrington is pleased to call dividing and choosing, which in this Sence be­longs [Page 57] to a Monarchy as much as to a Common­wealth; For when a Prince askes any Man his Ad­vise (and I think there never was Prince who advised not with some Body) that Man divides, and the Prince makes the Choise; Only here is the Difference, an able Prince if his Counsell has committed an Error in the Operation knows both how to detect and Rectifie it, but a Popular Assembly being of themselves unfit for a Debate, are forced to acquiesce in the Division or Debate of the Senate.

And what if after all the Popular Assembly, fixes upon the wrong Member of the Division? To judge of the Utility or Disutility of a Pro­position in matter of State, is I hope another thing from discerning which is the biggest or least Piece of a Cake, And a Discourse about which much of understanding and Experience must be imployed, is not of so easy and certain Dispatch, as a Matter which is submitted to the Determination of sense. In one respect, the Choise or Result is an Action of greater Difficulty then the Division or Debate, For an Active Fancie which suddenly Ranges over a great deale of ground, may easily find out the various Methods of which any Business is Capable, but to discern which of them is the most conducing, is the Work of an exact and well-poised Judgment. To affirm That because every Man hath an Inte­rest H. p. 27. what to choose, therefore that which sutes with every Man's Interest, cometh up to the Publique In­terest, Is in the first Place not true; For it most fre­quently fals out that Particular Men have a Private [Page 58] Interest of their own differing from if not con­trary to the Publique One, by which they are more potently inclined then by their Affection to the Publique; But secondly if it were alwaies true the Difficulty is left still remaining; For to suppose that every Man in a Popular Assembly should in a matter of State be able to discern his true Interest, is to suppose the Meanest and most unqualified of the People infallible in those things, where the most Consummate Politici­ans do often mistake, And is besides repugnant to the Experience of all Commonwealths, whose Histories are full of Examples of pernitious Councels which have been embraced by the People.

Notwithstanding all that has been said, it must be confessed that a Commonwealth gaines one great Advantage by the Debate of the Se­nate; For the People being composed of Igno­rance, Obstinacy, and Tumult would certain­ly in a Moment teare to pieces any Business that should be thrown among them; Whereas by reserving the Debate to the Senate, the People have no other imployment but to let fall a little piece of Linnen at all Adventures into one of two Boxes, So that being thus brought within a Disjunction of the Matter, It can be but an even lay against them that they do Miscarry.


Whether the Senatusconsulta, or Decrees of the Roman Senate had the Power of Lawes?

IN discussing this Question it will in the first Place be necessary to make known what is to be understood by the Word Lawes. And though it be easy to take up severall Definitions of Law, none is so appropriate to the present Subject as that of Justinian. Lex est quod Populus Roma­nus Senatorio Magistratu interrogante (veluti Instit. de jur. nat. Parag. [...] 4. Consule) constituebat. This Definition puts a difference between Leges and Plebiscita, which having not been attended to by Ateius Capito in Gellius, He involves himself; For the Plebis­cita were such Constitutions as without the Senate or the Intervention of any Senatorian Magistrate were framed by the Common People under the Authority of their Tribunes. At first Obedience was due from the Romans only to such Lawes as were establish't by the Votes of the People (including the Senate,) and had been proposed by some of the greater Magistrates: But after that the Plebs or Common People had by their Seditions gained ground so far upon the Senate, as to obtain the Tribunes a Magi­stracy elected out of their own Body, They soon began to frame Orders called Plebiscita, which at the beginning obliged only their own Order, and concerned not the Nobility, but [Page 60] were after a while improved to the full Autho­rity of Lawes. whether this were enacted by the Lex Horatia, the Lex Publilia, or the Lex Hortensia, as is by various Authors variously reported, Or Whether the later of these Lawes were any more then a reviving of the former, We shall not be concerned to inquire; It will be enough to take notice that the Plebiscita having attained the Power of Lawes, Pomponius had Digest. de Orig. Juris leg. 9. very good Reason to observe Quod inter Plebis­cita & Legem species constituendi interessent, Po­testas eadem esset.

As the Plebiscita or Decrees of the Common People were not Lawes, nor ever so called, and yet had the whole Power of Lawes, So the Senatusconsulta or Decrees of the Senate had the same Power. Senatusconsultum est quod Instit. de jur. nat. Parag. 5. Senatus jubet atque constituit. Nam cùm auctus esset Populus Romanus in eum modum, ut diffi­cile esset in unum eum convocari, Legis sanci­endae causâ; aequum visum est, Senatum vice Po­puli consuli. And least Justinian should be thought to have lived in too remote an Age, to be a Witness in this Case, We have a much earlier Testimony of Pomponius to the same Purpose. Quia difficilè Plebs convenire coepit, Populus multò difficiliùs in tantâ turbâ hominum, Necessitas ipsa curam Reipublicae ad Senatum de­duxit. Digest. sup. eod. Ita coepit Senatus se interponere: & quic­quid instituisset observabatur. Idque jus appellaba­tur Senatusconsultum. With which agrees that of Digest. inf. de Leg. & SC. Ʋlpian, Non ambigitur Senatum jus facere posse.

To determine at what time the Senatuscon­sulta [Page 61] attained to the Power of Lawes, is more then I will undertake; It is very probable that this was not establish't at Once, but grew on by insensible Degrees. But for Mr Harrington without the least profer of any Probation to affirm, That the Senatusconsulta were not Lawes in that they were Senatusconsula, or proposed by H. p. 31. the Senate, but in that They were allowed by Justinian or the Prince, in whom was now the Right of the People, is to take to himself grea­ter Authority then ever was given to the Di­ctator. For in the first Place it is manifest by the order of the Discourse both in the Institu­tions and the Digests, That the Senatuscon­sulta had attained the Power there affirmed to belong to them before the time of the Empe­rors. And then the Occasion by which the Senatusconsulta are said to have grown into that Power, was the Difficulty of Assembling the People for making of Lawes, by which it is ne­cessarily inferred, That the People had not then passed away the Right of making Lawes, nor by the Lex Regia invested the Emperour with it.

I need not conceale that Mr Harrington in this Point walkes in a Path traced out for him by Hotoman; Who indeed accuses Tribo­nian of Error or Assentation, And saies that the Senatusconsulta had not the Power of Lawes before it was given them by the Empe­rours, who by that thought to fortifie the Power they had usurped over the People. But We must be cautious in admitting Hotoman's Judgment in these Matters; For He was [Page 62] not only a professed Condemner of Tribonian's Labours in compiling that Body of Civill Law which is at present extant in the World, but having been during the Civill Wars of France ingaged in a Popular Faction, He acquired there some Bitterness of Spirit against Kings, which He frequently discovers in his Writings. If it be Hotoman's Authority which must beare Me down in this Point, I shall cover my self with the Authority of Cujacius, Connanus, Rivallius, Tholosanus, Gothofred, Calvin, Schardius, and the whole stream of Interpreters who run on the o­ther side: If Hotoman's Arguments are thought strong enough to carry it, I must desire they may be examined, and then they will appeare to prove no more then this, That whereas Caesar had left the Election of halfe the Magi­strates, with some other small Remaines of Pow­er in the Peoples hands, Tiberius transferred all to the Senate: Which is so far from making good his Assertion, that it is a strong Presump­tion of the Contrary, Seeing it is not likely that by such an Innovation in Favour of the Senate, Tiberius would have incurred the Discontent of the People, if they had not been habituated in other Cases to see such Power in the Senate's Possession.

It was not then by any new Power conferred by the Emperours, but only by their Permis­sion to retain an Antient One, that the Decrees of the Roman Senate had the Power of Lawes, and as such found place in the Compilement of the Roman Lawes by Justinian. That the [Page 63] S C. Macedonianum (which I wonder so great a Master as Mr Harrington should call Mace­donicum, and not have skill enough to distin­gnish the Adjective derived of Macedonia, One of the Noblest Provinces in Greece, from that other which sprang of Macedo an infamous U­surer at Rome in the time of Vespasian) is of a younger Date then the first Roman Emperour I willingly allow, and make no difficulty in con­fessing as much of almost all the S C. mentio­ned in the Body of the Law: For the more an­tient Ones having from time to time been whol­ly repealed, or in part reformed by succeeding Constitutions, they were omitted by Justinian in his Compilement, whose Design it was to cut off all antiquated and useless Lawes, and leave only such new Ones as continued in Force. We are deprived of the accurate knowledge of Aymar. Ri­vall. Hist. Jur. Civ. lib. 3. these Antient Senatusconsulta by the loss of that Instrument into which both They and the Ple­biscita, from the time of their first Institution, were collected by Vespasian: Yet it is not very hard to pick out considerable Footsteps of them, As the two Senatusconsulta against the passing of Rubicon by any Roman Generall with an Army, still extant upon old Marbles; The S C. Antonianum, Fannianum, and others men­tioned by Gellius; The Form of the SC. Sum­mum or Supremum, by which the whole Com­monwealth was put into the Hands of One or both the Consuls, from whom after that lay no Appeale to the People; The severall Sena­tusconsulta so frequently spoken of by Cicero, [Page 64] both in his Epistles and Orations; And finally in the Body of the Law it self (not to hunt af­ter other Places) Digest. de Colleg. & Corp. l. 3. The Senatusconsulta there referred to were One of them made A. Ʋ. C. 685. L. Caecilio & Q. Marcio COSS. And the other A. U. C. 697. Lentulo & Metello COSS. (both before Caesar's second Consulate from which the Roman Empire beares Date) as is out of Cicero and Asconius proved by the learned Go­thofred.

The Solution of this Question may give Birth to a New One, Whether Mr Harrington be the better Civill Lawyer or Mathematician?


Whether the Ten Commandments were propo­sed by God or Moses, and Voted by the Peo­ple of Israel?

THis Chapter is a Peculiar, and claims an Exemption from the Ordinary Rules by which Politicall Disputes are Governed; For though God has declared Universally That by Him Kings reign, yet in reference to the Peo­ple of Israel He was pleased to own a more par­ticular Concernment, And did by an express Declaration of his Will to and by Moses, both at first enact their Lawes and Modell their Govern­ment, and reserve to himself the Result of their most important Affaires. So that whereas an [Page 65] Error concerning the Frame of any other Go­vernment amounts at most but to a Deficiency of Understanding or Diligence, a Mistake in that of Israel may easily become an Impiety, in as much as it may imply a false or Scandalous Conception of God's Actions. The Conside­ration of this begat in Me at first a Tenderness in Reference to this Subject, and presently after a Resolution to leave it in the hands of the Clergy, upon whom it had also been obtru­ded by Mr Harrington. At present I must go on to profess that his having in his last Book singled out so weighty a new Adversary, can be no Temptation to Me to change that Re­solution, or undertake any part of this Dis­pute.


Whether a Commonwealth coming up to the Perfection of the Kind, come up to the Perfection of Government, and have no flaw in it.

I Am not ignorant of the Advantage Mr Har­rington may seem to gaine in this and the two next Chapters, by having inverted the Order of his own Assertions and my Replies; For passing by the first and second, He fals here upon his third Assertion, and in that fixes up­on the fourth and fift Branches. But I am not willing to contend about a Matter of no [Page 66] greater Consequence, but will rather embrace his own new Method, and take the Question as He has stated it, first examining the fourth Branch or matter of Fact, concerning Lacedae­mon and Venice, And then giving my Opinion about the Fift, That a Commonwealth not­withstanding all its pretensions to equality, is not secure from being infested with Sediti­on.

Mr Harrington was told by the Considerer, That if there appeares to have been a more then Ordinary Calm in the state of Lacedaemon, this was not so much to be attributed to the Form of their Government, as to their severe Education and affected Poverty, by which all things that served as Baits to Sedition, were driven out of the Country: So that it can not be Rationall to expect the same Effects from the same Government, where the same Edu­cation and manner of Life is wanting. Since He has been content to spare himself the Pains of taking Notice of this, I shall suppose it does not stand in need of any farther Elucidation, unless perhaps in the Discovery of the Lacedae­monian Agrarian it prove convenient to insist a little upon it.

To descend then to his Answer to what I had objected about the frequent Insurrecti­ons of the Helots; He saies that Lacedaemon is H. p. 40. either to be considered as not taking in the Helots, and then she was an equall Commonwealth, or taking them in, and so she was unequall. This is just the Man in the Fable who inquired of [Page 67] the Oracle, Whether the Sparrow in his Fist would come out Dead or alive, when it was in his own Power to make the choise; So Mr Harrington will have the Power, according as it sutes with his Occasions, to make Lace­daemon an equall or an unequall Commonwealth. But to make short, If she were an equall Com­monwealth, What has He to say to the Sedi­tions of the Helots? If she were Unequall, Why did he play the Mountebanck in using her as the Example of an Equall One?

A second sort of Instances alledged by Me to prove Lacedaemon not to have been free from Seditions, were the Contests which have hap­pened about the Succession to the Crown. These, saies Mr Harrington, being determi­ned by the Ephori, that is by a Court of Ju­stice, H. p. 41. and not by the Sword, it is most ridicu­lous to infer from thence that the Government is Seditious. Hold a little; Can those Contro­versies be said to be determined by a Court of Justice, when the Interessed Parties make their Appeale to their own Sword, And are able to perswade a Foreign Prince to draw his also in their Quarrell? If any Member of a Commonwealth being discontented have In­terest and Power enough to fill his Countrey with Forreign Armies, I think that Man would not seem very Sober who should at that time go about to applaud that Country for not be­ing Subject to Seditions.

But this was after Lysander and the Spoiles Ibid. of Athens had broken the Agrarian and so ruined [Page 68] Lacedaemon. When I first made use of these Examples, I could not foresee that Mr Har­rington would be so easy in parting with those Advantages which He pretended to draw from the Agrarian of Lacedaemon: But now that He is willing to allow the Agrarian of Lacedaemon was not sufficient to preserve that Common­wealth, but was it self overballanced by the ready Mony brought in by Lysander, I have no reason but to be content also, and to remit him for my farther Thoughts in this Particu­lar to the Chapters of the Ballance and Agra­rian. Only I must desire Him that when among his Proselytes (whether it be in the Circle or the Ruelle) he Plumes himself over the Com­monwealth of Lacedaemon, He would be so Inge­nuous as to strike all the time after Athens was taken, which is a matter of 200 years, out of the Account, And shut up the Glories of that Com­monwealth with the Actions of Lysander, from which by a Common mistake of Historie, they have hither to been thought to beare Date.

The Considerer brought Instances of a third sort of Seditions in Lacedaemon, which it seems prove not for Mr Harrington's Con­venience to remember; There is no scarsity in Historie of such Instances, and it will not be unseasonable to commend a few more of them to his Forgetfulness. First the Sedition of those young Men who (Because their Mo­thers were unmarried Women, such as the state had for greater Population injoyned to make use of a Promiscuous Propagation) were [Page 69] called Partheniae, and after they were supprest Arist. Polit. lib. 5. c. 7. were sent to inhabit Tarentum in Italie. Then the Sedition of them who during the Masseniac War demanded a new Division of the Lands. After that the Attempt of King Pausanias to make himself absolute Master of the Common­wealth. And then the two dangerous Conspi­racies in the Neck of one another during the Theban Invasion, in the first of which about 200 discontented Persons had seized upon the Tem­ple of Diana, one of the strongest and most de­fensible Quarters of the City, from whence it Plut. in Ages. would have been very difficult to drive them out, had not Agesilaus by a sudden Fetch of Wit cheated them out of their Post and Resolution; The second consisted of a Caball of Spartans of good Quality who had their secret Assemblies for the Innovating Publique Affaires, And when they were detected, the Senate durst not bring them to an open Triall, but they were privately executed by the Authority of Agesilaus and the Ephores, whereas before that time no Spartan had ever been put to Death without the due form of Justice. These Instances being all either older then Lysander, or immediately upon his time, are not liable to any of Mr Harrington's exceptions, but serve abundantly to evince, that Lacedaemon has not been exempted from the Fate of all other Commonwealths, but has had her Portion of seditions.

As for the City of Venice, though she be possest of severall Advantages by her situation, yet she is not at all beholden to that, if we be­lieve [Page 70] Mr Harrington, for her tranquillity with­in Doores; For saies he, she is like a man in a H. p. 41. Citadel who thereby may be the safer from his Ene­mies, but nere a whit the safer from Diseases. But before we can allow of this similitude, We must desire him to remember, That as in the Body of man, so in a Commonwealth, some Diseases are like Feavors caused by a Disorder in the Blood or Humors, others like Plagues are communicated by an Externall Contagion; From the first indeed the situation of Venice gives her not any security, but against the last it is a sovereign Antidote, And of this Familie are the Diseases most frequently incident to a State. Of old the Lacedaemonian & Cretan Re­publiques scarse differed in their Constitution, the Lacedaemonian being but a Copy wrought by Lycurgus after the Cretan Originall; yet the Cretans were never molested with any insurre­ctions of their slaves, from which the Lacedae­monians, in any the least Publique Adversity, were rarely free; And the cause of this Diversi­ty assigned by Aristotle is, That the Argives, Messenians and Arcadians, all neighbouring States, did continually foment the Discontents of the Lacedaemonian slaves, But Crete being an Island, no Enemy was neare enough to tempt their slaves to a Defection. In like manner the Venetian Republique being comprehended within her Islands, she by that situation is secu­red from those Practises by which her Enemies might indeavour to excite seditions among her subjects.

Though the City of Venice it self is seated out of the reach of all Enemies, her Frontire extends to two very dangerous Ones, the great Turk, and the House of Austria, whose known Rapacity obliges her to a great deale of Mode­sty and Reservedness at home; And though the Frontires of all states are bounded by the Territo­ries of other Princes, Yet all have not such Po­tent Neighbours, against whom their whole Care and Power is alwaies necessary: Those who have, will in all Probability think them­selves concerned not to weaken their Force by any Domestick Tumults, there being nothing more Naturall then That the Feare of a Com­mon Enemy should preserve Union and Agree­ment between Friends. This Truth is observed to have been very Operative with the Romans, who were not overrun with the Seditions of the Nobility and People, before that by the De­struction of the emulous Power of Carthage, They were freed from the Feare and Danger of any Common Enemy.

If I produced Examples of Seditions at Ve­nice; which are older then the last Reiglement H. p. 40. (this Word was thought no bad English by the Lord Bacon) in the time of Piero Gradenigo, I made Use of my just Liberty, Mr Harrington having not any where put in a Bar against such Examples: Yet now that He has restrained the Inquiry within the Compass of that Reforma­tion, I am willing to omit the Mutiny upon Oc­casion of the new Impositions in Duke Rinieri Zeno's time, with all other examples which [Page 72] might be added of Seditions before the Reign of Gradenigo. And if the Matter be thus stated, What hurt if We grant him all that He de­mands? That in the whole World, through the course of all Ages, there may be found one Commonwealth, which by the help of those concurring causes already mentioned, has for something above 300 yeares been free from Se­ditions. Is this that Giant Argument which must extirpate Monarchicall Government out of the World, and in spite of Fate reduce Us all to a Commonwealth?

Yet even this Liberality is more then Mr Harrington can with Honesty receive, as long as the Actions of Bocconi, Tiepoli, and Faliero, manifest that Venice has been disturbed with Seditions even since her last Reformation. He indeavours indeed to perswade that those Acti­ons do not imply any Sedition in the Govern­ment; For saies He, Bocconi would have killed the Duke and was hanged before he could do it, H. p. 42. Felton did kill a Duke and was hanged after­wards. Under favour the Cases are not at all alike; Felton (though perhaps animated by zeale) killed the Duke upon a private Revenge; Bocconi went about to kill the Duke that he might afterward change the Government; Fel­ton made use of no other assistance but his own Arm, Bocconi engaged many Complices. If We would find a Parallel in the Venetian storie for Felton's Assassinate, We must not take Bocconi, but Andrea Contarini, who being repulsed in his sute for an Employment, grew into that [Page 73] Vindicative Passion against Duke Foscaro, that Sabell. Dec. 3. lib. 1. He attempted his Life, and had undoubtedly taken it away, if the blow had not been diver­ted by the next Person from Foscaro's Breast to his Face. But this being only the Issue of a private Quarrell, He does not find Me making any Advantage of it, Faliero and his Complices, continueth He, would have destroyed the great Councell, but were hanged before they could do it, Vaux and his Accomplices would have blown up the Parliament but were hanged before they could do it; Therefore England was in this Relation a Seditious Government, else why was Venice? I do not know that the Considerer ever under­took to prove that the Government of Eng­land was alwaies free from Seditions; If He had, that One Instance of the Powder Treason had been enough to confute Him. Such attempts, as they are of a more dangerous Nature, so they deserve a Name of more Horror, then Seditions: For Seditions, like storms gather­ed a far of, give some warning before They fall, There is Roome for Prudence to seek some way to divert them, The Interposition of Moderate and Acceptable Persons does of­ten prevent or soon pacifie them, At worst their Fury may be avoided by a speedy Re­treat; But these secret Conspiracies, like vio­lent subterraneous Eruptions, in a Moment destroy all, And if they be not discovered be­fore the Execution (which no state be it either a Monarchy or Republique can [Page 74] by it's Orders have any Security to do) the Publique is involved in an inevitable Ru­ine.

The Conspiracy of Tiepoli Mr Harrington confesses came to blowes, yet can not Venice be called a Seditious Commonwealth. You find no H. p. 43. man accusing Rome of Sedition in that she had a Manlius or a Melius who dangerously affected Mo­narchie, &c. Yet Florus has placed the Account of Manlius his attempt under the Title de Se­ditionibus, and Livy in relating the same Acti­on imploies the word Seditio five or fix times: But to let that pass. It would have been faire­ly done and might have prevented many mi­stakes, if where He interprets the Words of his Lexicon, He had told Us what He understands H. p. 84. by this Word Sedition: In this Place He seems to limit it very odly, allowing it only to signi­fy, in a Commonwealth the Dissension of the Peo­ple and Senate, in a Monarchy by a Nobility that of the King and Nobles, in a Monarchy by Arms that of the Prince and Souldiery, because these only can be derived from the Orders of the Government. By this Rule the Contest of the Fregosi and Adorni at Genova, not being be­tween the People and the Senate, but between two Factions of the Nobility, was no Sedition; Nor by the same Rule are the late Insurrections at Naples and Moscow to be reputed Seditions, For they were not excited by the Nobility or Souldiery, but by the Common People. This is a very poore Evasion, for there was incum­bent upon Mr Harrington an Obligation to [Page 75] prove, That an equall Commonwealth (of which he produced Venice as an Example) had no flaw in it, and was such as No Man could have the Interest or Power to disturb with Sedition. Of this He has not performed the least part, but indeavours to put Us of with an impertinent Nicety about the Notation of the Word Sedi­tion. Now for what Purpose serves this Pre­tension to shut the great Gate of Sedition, if so many back Doores of Disorder be left open by which Miserie and Destruction may enter into a Commonwealth? As if it were not all One, if a Man must necessarily receive a Mortall Wound, Whether it be given him with a Sci­mitar or a Penknife. Besides all this Mr Har­rington bestows a large Fallacie upon Us in the Application of this Example: For if the Free­dome of Venice from Seditions be only to be understood in reference to the Agreement of the Senate and People, the Commonwealth of Oceana is like to gain very little Credit or Se­curity from it; In Venice the People (as We are often told) are the Grand Counsell, all of them Men of Noble Extraction and Excellent education, not actually armed, constantly re­siding under the view of the Magistrates, in number not exceeding three thousand, so that the Publique Employments being very many make swift Returns as they circulate through them. In Oceana the People are no lesse then two hundred thousand, having Arms in their hand, made up of Men of all Ranks and Con­ditions, inhabiting the face of a wide-spread [Page 76] Countrey, and few of them having Rationall hopes to attain any Considerable Magistracy. Let any Man weigh the Oppositions in the Temper of these Commonwealths, and then judge whether there can be any good Infe­rence made from the Quietness of the One to the stability of the other. To Me the Conse­quence lookes like that of the Young Gentle­man, who because he had never seen a storm upon his Father's Fish-pond, concluded there could not be any upon the Caspian Sea.

But though all what has been said concern­ing Lacedaemon and Venice should be admitted, Mr Harrington is still secure; At most He can but loose a brace of Examples, and be put to say (as He does of Florence and Genua in a like Case) that if Lacedaemon and Venice have been disturbed with Seditions, then they also must have been unequall Commonwealths: For in H. p. 46. generall it is most certain, That a Government which attains to perfect equality hath such a Li­bration in the Frame of it, that No man in or under it can contract such Interest or Power, as should be able to disturb the Commonwealth with H. p. 36. Sedition. And the whole Commonwealth of O­ceana being the Exemplification of such an equall Government, If Men are still to seek for a Com­monwealth that has been free from Seditions, the Fault is their own that they make no more hast to come under so happy a Government. This then is a state of the Question which ought to be determin'd by Experiment rather then Argument; But the Ingredients to the Ex­periment [Page 77] (the safety of three Nations) be­ing of two great Expense, We are obliged to better Husbandry, and must be content to make our Judgment of the future Successes of this Government by the Paper Modell of it which has been given Us, And examine Whe­ther that contains any Security, that this Go­vernment has no Possibility of being disturbed with Sedition: The Truth or Falsehood of which Proposition will best be discovered, by referring the particular Frame of the Com­monwealth of Oceana, to the Generall Idea of Government.

The Apprehension of a Disability in every particular Man (or at least in every particular Familie) of preserving by his own single Power either his Life or any thing usefull to life, was the first inducement of Mankind to come under Go­vernment; Now it was impossible to establish a­ny Government without a Sovereign Power ve­sted in some One Man or Assembly of Men, For without that Every particular Man must still have been left to the Protection of his own strength, and must have continued to do all o­ther Men whatsoever Mischief did any way conduce to his own Profit or Preservation, the avoiding the Inconveniences of which Life was that which Men intended by submitting them­selves to Government; And therefore every Par­ticular Man was necessitated to part with his Native Power and intrust it with the Sove­reign, whose Actions He did thereby Autho­rise and make his own. The Sovereignty being [Page 78] thus fixt, The next work was to enact Lawes, or prescribe Rules of behaviour both in Refe­rence of the Service to himself which the So­vereign thought fit to require, and the Inter­course or Commerce between every Particu­lar Man united under him. But here it soon began to appear how irregular the Passions of Man are, and how infirm and Erroneous his Discourse, For Men presently indeavoured to resume the Liberty which They had so lately parted with, and violated those Lawes which had been newly Authorised by themselves. Yet the Inconvenience was not great, as long as this Irregularity exceeded not a few Persons, such as were apparently too weak to resist the Sovereign Power; For then these Offences, as Murder, Theft, and the like, were presently attended by the Punishments ordained for them by the Sovereign, and the Facinorous Persons being made Examples of Justice; served to con­tain other Men within the Bounds of their Du­ty.

But if the Number of those who were Desi­rous to resume the Power they had parted with, or who otherwise by reason of their Crimes were concerned that the Course of Ju­stice should be intercepted, did at any time prove great enough to beare up against the So­vereign Power, Then were Matters reduced again to a Condition of War, and Government with all the Pacts on which it had been found­ed trampled under Foot. It may seem contra­ry to Reason that the Motives which were at [Page 79] first strong enough to make Men submit to Go­vernment and Lawes, should afterward prove too weake to inforce their Obedience to them; And without doubt if Men did in all their A­ctions govern themselves by Calm and solid Reason, They would never hearken so far ei­ther to the stimulations of their own Passions, or to the Incitements of other Men, as to be in­gaged in a Design of reversing the Sovereign Power, For the greatest Mischiefs that can be suffered by any Government, are not compara­ble to those Occasioned by the Absence of Go­vernment when Men live in the Wild and Law­less condition of War, Nor can it be any thing but Madness voluntarily to expose ones self to Miserie for the taking away a Power, in room of which another equall Power must of Neces­sity be substituted. Yet Experience teaches Us that this is too little to make the World Wise, at which We ought no more to wonder, then that the Certainty of Punishment should not be enough to make men abstain from violating Lawes, Nor the Feare of Hell Torments (even to those who are sufficiently perswaded of the Certitude of them) to keep Men from sinning. So that the Wisedome of those Men is a little to be suspected, who think any Governours can be secured, by the unreasonableness that would be in their Subjects Disobedience; For there ever were and will eternally be some Men who will mistake in this Point, and think it their In­terest to subvert the Sovereign Power.

This False Opinion has been very much helpt [Page 80] forward by the Sense of those Pressures which are sometimes sustain'd under Government; For whilst Men considering only their private Uti­lity expect to live free from all Incommodity, They usually charge the Government with those Grievances which are inseperable from the in­firm Condition of Humanity, or perhaps are Consequences of their own Inconformity to the true and Necessary temper of Subjection; There being nothing which Men more Naturally for­get, Then that the Exercise of Sovereign Pow­er requires a large Expence, toward which it is necessary for every particular Man to contri­bute a Part, thereby to secure the Rest to Him­self.

Yet it can not be denied That sometimes there has been much of Iniquity in the Manage of Sovereign Power; At first, it is likely, the Person or Assembly trusted with it were known to be of just and Generous Principles, but by Succession the Power being devolved upon Men Weak or Vitious, They have frequently trifled away the Lives, Honours, and Fortunes of their Subjects, which They ought not to have im­ployed but upon just and Probable Occasi­ons. The Desire to prevent this Inconvenience brought forth an Expedient into the World, commonly known under the Name of mixt Government, in which, Though there seem to be a Sovereign Instituted, the People do not part with their whole Power to him, but re­tain some Part of it in their own Hands; So as to some Actions in which the Lives and [Page 81] Fortunes of every particular Man seem most concerned (such are the making Lawes and rai­sing Mony, and the like) the Sovereign in ap­pearance can do nothing by himself, but the Consent of the People by their Collective or Representative Body is still necessary. But this Expedient (though in some Places it might be for a while by reason of some externall Acci­dents not unprosperous) fell short of effecting the thing desired, And had besides this irrepa­rable Breach in it, That while the Persons to whom the severall Parts of Sovereign Power were thus committed, fell into little Jealousies and Contests about their severall Respective Rights and Privileges, the Government was weakened, and left as it were without Legs or Arms; And when these little Jealousies came to be improved into open Dissensions, the severall Parties assuming to themselves the Exercise of the whole Sovereign Power, and the Advantages remaining with either not being conspicuous e­nough to determine the Matter otherwaies, the Nation which happened to be the Seat of so un­fortunate a Controversie was necessarily redu­ced into a State of War; From which it has sel­dome been known to have been redeemed, but by destroying that Mixture which was preten­ded to, and rendring one of the Parties abso­lute in their Power.

Beyond this I know but of One Artefice to which Humane Invention has pretended, and that is to contrive a way how the People may govern themselves without Instituting any So­vereign, [Page 82] so that the Ends of Government may be attained and yet no Man devest himself of his Native Power and Liberty. It is confest by those Men who indeavour to introduce this kind of Government, that the People in their diffused condition are incapable of all Govern­ment; ignorant of such Counsels as are necessa­ry to their Preservation, and unable to put the least part of them in Execution: Therefore it is of Necessity that the People should be assembled together, that there should be a Senate to consult, and Magistrates to Execute. But the advantage of this Government is pretended to consist in this, That the People not parting with their Power, but reserving to themselves the last Result in all Business, They are secured from all Injurie and Oppression, seeing the People can not be supposed to agree to do themselves Hurt: And as for the Magistrates and Senate they can not be Authors of any Violence, be­cause they shall have only a very limited Power, the Exercise of which also is terminated within the Compass of a few Months, after which they are againe to be melted down into the Mass of the People, from which They were at first se­parated. In Fabricating this great Engine, and contriving all the Movements and Ressorts be­longing to it consists the whole Mysterie of Po­pular Government; Of which the most perfect Modell, that ever was produced Mr Harrington assures Us is his Commonwealth of Oceana. So that we need only to examine that Common­wealth by the Notions & Maximes already laid [Page 83] down, to know Whether Popular Government has that advantage over all other Governments, as to have no Flaw in it, and not to be exposed to a Possibility of being disturbed with Sedition.

In the first Place it is manifest that Popular Government is equally with any other Govern­ment exposed to this Inconvenience; That Par­ticular Men will have an Interest to disturb it with Sedition; For it being impossible there should be any Government without Lawes, and all Lawes consisting either in a Prohibition of doing somewhat which before it was free to do, or in a Command of doing somewhat which before might have been omitted, Men must under Popular Government also needs re­gret the loss of that Liberty which was Naturall to them. If it be objected that under Popular Government Men give their Consent to the en­acting of all Lawes, and therefore can not be rationally thought averse from what was their own Act, It must be remembred that in all o­ther Government also, every Man did by that One Generall Act of resigning his Power and Authorising the Actions of the Sovereign, give his Consent to all the establisht Laws, which notwithstanding is known to be insufficient for inforcing a Plenary Obedience to Lawes. And it is little less then ridiculous to think, That when under Popular Government Men have committed such Crimes as by the Lawes of it deserve Death, They should not apprehend it to be their Interest, by disturbing the Govern­ment with Sedition to secure, if it be possible, [Page 84] their own Lives. Whensoever therefore under Popular Government, the number of those whose offences have rendered them lyable to the severity of Laws, is considerable enough to qualify them for the Attempt, Popular Govern­ment has no more security than any other of being free from Seditions. Of this Originall and Extraction as to the main, was Catalines At­tempt upon the Roman Commonwealth.

Secondly, The Constitution of the Com­monwealth of Oceana supposing a Senate and a Representative of the People called the Prero­gative Tribe, consisting of about thirteen hun­dred Men, I aske Whether that Representative (taking the Senate and present Magistrates with it) be indued with the Sovereign Power, that is such as cannot be resisted by any Man or Men within the Commonwealth of Oceana? If they have such Power, Then it is manifest They may whensoever they think it their Interest, perpe­tuate this power, and by repealing the Orders of Rotation, render themselves a standing Assem­bly, which dashes to peeces the whole frame of popular Government, and puts the publique Affaires (which is contrary to the Designe and supposition of a free Commonwealth) into the hands of a Sovereign Assembly. Now that the Representative may come to think this their In­terest is manifest also; For the Desire of Power being Naturall to man, a far greater share of Power remaines with every particular Man, when the Svereign Power is divided among thirteen hundred, then when the same Power [Page 85] is divided among two hundred thousand men. It is very true, as Mr Harrington has observed That the Power or Effect of a greater People is H. pag. 39. proportionably greater then the Power or Effect of a lesser people; But that is not to be brought to account under this Head, For it is not now inquired, Whether the Power of thirteen hun­dred or two hundred thousand Men be greater, but Whether if the same Power belong to thir­teen hundred or two hundred thousand men, Every particular person of the thirteen hun­dred will not have more Power than every par­ticular person of the two hundred thousand men. And what has been said of Power the same is to be understood of Riches. So that in the Commonwealth of Oceana, the Magistrates, Senate, and Prerogative Tribe for the time be­ing, have both power and Interest to dissolve the Frame of the Goverment. And that a Re­presentative is not incapable of making such an attempt as this, will, (it is not improbable) ea­sily find Belief with those who are acquainted with the Actions of these last eighteen yeares.

But now let us resume the other member of the Disjunction, and suppose that the Magi­strate, Senate and Prerogative Tribe, have not the Sovereign power, but that it remaines still with the Body of the People in Oceana. Hence it must follow that in the Commonwealth of Oceana there is no Sovereign power at all, And that the People of it are either in a Condition of Warr, or ready to fall into it. For the people of Oceana being too numerous and too much [Page 86] dispersed to Assemble Personally in one place, They cannot concur to any Act but by their Representative; But that Representative not ha­ving the Sovereign power, there is not any such Power constituted, and consequently every Par­ticular Man is left to the Protection of his own Power and strength, which is the Condition of War, and implies the Absence of all Government.

It will, perhaps, be replied that the Sovereign Power resides in the lesser Assemblies, as the Parish, Hundred, or Tribe, where the People personally concur to the Election of their De­puties: But this is not to make One but a great many Sovereign Powers, and to shatter One great Commonwealth, into as many little Ones as there are Parishes in Oceana. Nor is the Difficulty removed by it, For these lesser So­vereign Assemblies being not put into any Me­thod of concurring in any Common Opinion, but by the Deputies they send to the Represen­tative or Prerogative Tribe, If those Deputies be sent with Sovereign Power, the Common­wealth relapses into the Danger before insisted on of being supplanted by that Representative.

But if these Deputies be not sent to the Pre­rogative Tribe with Sovereign Power, then the Prerogative Tribe has no such Power and by Consequence can not make Lawes, or impose any other Resolution upon the Common­wealth; If notwithstanding this the Preragative Tribe does de facto make Lawes, the Authority with which they are armed, is not that of the Representative it self, but of the lesser Sovereign [Page 87] Assemblies, who in that They do not declare their Dissent, are presumed to allow of such things as have been resolved on by their De­puties. So that upon the Matter, Oceana, is not a Single Commonwealth, but a Compund­ed One made up by a tacite League of so many Commonwealths as there are lesser Sovereign Assemblies in Oceana. Now the Leagues between Sovereigns are of no longer Duration then their Common Interest, which whensoever it hap­pens to be divided, such Leagues Vanish; And therefore whensoever the lesser Sovereign As­semblies in Oceana come to be divided in their Interest, the Commonwealth must fall in Pieces. But that They may come to be so divided is probable, if not necessary; Antiently They were divided both in respect of the Saxon Heptar­chie, and the Welch Princes under the Norman Kings; The difference of Language (One of the greatest separators of Men's Affections) is not quite worn out; The inhabiting the same Island is not a sufficient Argument of Union, for then Scotland and We should make but One Nation; In fine, there can be no cause assigned of the Union of this Nation under One Govern­ment but the Power of former Princes, which by the Institution of this new Commonwealth is quite obliterated. More then all this, The Concernments of the Severall Parts of this Na­tion are very different in Reference to Proprie­ty and Riches; some Parts subsist upon Mines and Cole, Others upon Manufacture, Some up­on Corne, Others upon the Profits of Cattle, [Page 88] London and the Sea Ports upon Exportation and Importation; And it is not possible but that when those severall things come to be regulated by Lawes, the Different Parts of the Nation must necessarily espouse very Different Interests.

This is also very conformable to Experience; Greece was a Country much less then England, The People of it (with an inconsiderable varie­ty of Dialect) spoke the same Language, They had the same Common Enemy the Persian, and were united in many other particular Interests: Yet all this was not enough to reduce them in­to one great Commonwealth, but We find a­mong them almost as many Republiques, as Ci­ties. The Condition of Sicilie, Magna Graecia, and the Coasts of Asia serve also to make good the same Observation. Nay in Israel (which Mr Harrington will have pass for a Common­wealth) though the Countrey was so Narrow, the People all descended of one Familie, and cemented together by a Million of common Concernments and Obligations, this Thing is very apparent also; For though it did not pro­duce a totall Dissolution of the Government, yet It for some time suspended it, and threw the People into a Civill War, as in the Case of Jeph­thah between the Men of Ephraim and Gilead, Jud. cap. 12. & 20. and in that of the Levites Concubine, between the Tribe of Benjamin and the rest of Israel.

There is but One imaginable case more to be put concerning the Sovereign Power in the Com­monwealth of Oceana, Which is, That though the People have parted with their Power, They [Page 89] have not intrusted it all in One hand, but have so equally divided it among the Magistrates, Senate, and Prerogative Tribe, that No publique Action can be performed without the Concur­rence of all; Now there is nothing more impro­bable then that all these should concur to the Oppressing the People, changing the Government, or disturbing it with Sedition; Then which greater Security is not attainable in Matter of Government. But all this rises no higher then the Case of mixt Government. For the Power being wholly past from the People, and divided equally among these severall Persons, This equality of Power must upon their Disagreement reduce the Commonwealth to a Civill War, seeing it is not otherwaies to be judged which of them has the Sovereign Power, and by that a Right to the Obedience of the Rest. Now that they can­not long Agree, is a Consequence of that Desire of Power which is confest to dwell with Man, and will not permit him to rest satisfied with Part of that Sovereign Power, which He may fairely hope to possess Intire. And if there are any Examples of Persons thus Possest of equall Power, who have for a while maintained a good Correspondence with one another, and so preserved the Commonwealth in Peace, This must not be attributed to the Frame or Tem­per of the Government, but to some externall Cause, such as the Apprehension of some Com­mon Impending danger, Or an over high Esti­mation of one another's strength, by which there is generated in them a mutuall Fear of one [Page 90] another: As two Armies when neither of them has any Visible Advantage of strength, do very often forbeare engaging out of a mutuall doubt of the Success, which notwithstanding is not a state of Peace, seeing both are intent upon the Opportunities of procuring one anothers Ruine.

It having been thus Proved, That the Com­monwealth of Oceana, which was given us as the Example of a most equall Commonwealth, is which way soever the Case be stated, liable not only to Sedition, but which is more, to a totall Dissolution, It is at the same time evin­ced, That a Commonwealth coming up to the Per­fection of the kind, comes not up to the Perfection of Government, but has a Flaw in it. I do not sus­pect that after this Mr Harrington will any lon­ger think fit to accuse Me of hudling things to­gether H. p. 40. or neglecting of Principles; It is true I can not admit of his Principles, because, as I have often told him, They are meerly Effects & Consequences of Government, that is no Prin­ciples at all. And while He thus goes astray in the Principles, His Labour must needs be un­profitable, both in examining the Models of For­mer Commonwealth's, and in proposing New Ones of his own; For at this Rate New Models of Government may be contrived with as much ease, as a French Tayler invents new Fashions. It is the Foundation of Government upon un­deniable Principles, and the Diductions from them, which render Politiques a Compleat Sci­ence, without which the greatest Conversati­on with particular Commonwealths can but at most make Men Empiricks in Policy.


Whether Monarchy coming up to the Perfecti­on of the Kind, come short of the Perfecti­on of Government, and have some Flaw in it?

IT can not be with Reason expected that I should assert Monarchie to be so far Privileg­ed as not to have a Flaw in it; For having in the preceding Discourse laid it down for a Max­ime, That Men will eternally mistake the Point of Government, and think it their Interest to Sub­vert the Supream Power, I should now contra­dict my self by affirming that of Monarchicall Government in particular, which I before deni­ed of all Government in Generall. Yet does not Mr Harrington gaine any Advantage by this, For though I confess that Monarchie comes not up to the imaginary Perfection of Government which He dreams of, but is indeed neither in a Monarchie nor a Commonwealth, nor yet in Na­ture, I am not at all diffident of making Good, That a Supream Hereditary Monarchie attaines to a greater Degree of Perfection, and has fewer Flaws in it then a Commonwealth or any other kind of Government.

I do not think it needfull to repeat either the Principles or Conclusions of the last Chapter, Only it will be usefull to examine somewhat more at large the Causes or Reasons why Men are not content with the Government they live [Page 92] under, but do by a continuall Indeavour to subvert the Sovereign Power, disturb it with Se­dition. Of which in Generall three Reasons may be assigned.

The first is a Desire of Immunity from Pu­nishment in such Persons as have by their Crimes render'd themselves obnoxious to the Lawes; For it being impossible as long as Men are subject to Passions, but that such Faults will be committed as the Sovereign Power has thought fit to punish with Death or the loss of Estate, The Persons who have commited those Faults will indubitably seek to avoid the Pu­nishment, which can not be done but by raising a Party able to resist the Sovereign Power. And as Criminall Persons seek to avoid Punishment for Crimes already committed, So Persons ex­treamly in Debt or Indigent, who being desti­tute of that Industrie which might procure them a Subsistence in a Regular Way, know not how to live but by Rapine and Invading other Men's Propriety desire to disturb the Government that they may find Security in those Crimes which for the Future they resolve to Commit.

The second is a Want of Judgment to discern the Miseries which attend War; For when a Peo­ple have so long injoyed Peace that the Memory of the wretched Effects of a Civill War is defa­ced, They are very Frequently deafe to the Ad­monitions of Wiser Men, to the Histories of for­mer times, and to the Example of other Nati­ons, And so out of meer Wantoness throw away their own Happiness, by suffering themselves to [Page 93] be ingaged in a War against the Sovereign, the Consequences of which they had never taken the least pains to Consider. And to this they are very easily brought, whensoever those Men who are by some other Motive ingaged to seek the subversion of the Government, have Credit enough with the People to impose a Cheat upon them, by making Use of the Names of Religion or Liberty, or some other like specious Pretence.

The third is that Desire of Power which Men commonly understand by the Name of Ambiti­on; This seems so twisted with the being of Man that it is thought naturall to him, and no more separable then his Affections or Passions. Yet if any Ambitious Man should take himself to a strict Account, and demand a Reason of his own Thoughts and Actions, If He should contemplate Power with all the Dangers, Cares, and Inquie­tudes intayled upon it, And strip it of that gaw­dy Dress with which the Deluded World has adorned it, He would find his Pursuit of Pow­er extreamly Irrationall, unless so far as it did necessarily conduce to his own Preservation. The Desire of self Preservation was (as I said formerly) the first step to Government, and the Institution of Sovereign Power was the Caution that every Man had of every other Man for his Preservation; Yet this did not satisfy, because it quickly appeared that though good Laws were ordained for every Man's Protection, yet they could not alwaies come in time enough to pre­vent particular Mischiefs, So that Men judged it Rationall, besides the generall Protection they [Page 94] injoyed from the Sovereign, to arme them­selves with a particular Power against particu­lar Dangers. Nor did Men stop here, but out of their incurable Suspition of all other Men, They became as much afraid of the Sovereign Power as they were before of one another, And so continually endeavoured to acquire such Power as might even defend them from the Sovereign, which Design could never be thought fully attained by them untill the Sovereign Pow­er it self was in their Possession.

The Desire then of such a Power as may pre­serve a Man, in such Cases where the Laws are not sufficient to do it, from other private Men, implying a Submission to the Sovereign, and a­cting in a Method not prohibited by him, can never bring danger to Government. But the Desire of a Power able to defend them from the Sovereign, is properly that Ambition which is the Fountaine from whence flow the chiefest Dangers that threaten Government, And is al­waies unjust though more or less condemnable according to the Temper of those who injoy the Sovereign Power; For if They are just and Vertuous Persons, and use not to make any In­vasions on the Lives and Fortunes of their Sub­jects, this Ambition is the more Criminall be­cause the first Motive to it was false and Irratio­nall; But if they are known Oppressors of the People, and such who consider not that They injure themselves by trampling upon the Lives and Fortunes of their Subjects, It is a little more excusable, being an indeavour (though [Page 95] by an unjust Method) of preserving such Things as deserve not to be wilfully thrown away.

I have studiously abstained from reckoning the Desire of Riches among the Causes of Sedi­tion; For if it be a Desire of Moderate Riches such as are subservient to the Necessities or Conveniences of Man's Life, or to the attaining Innocent and Honest Pleasures, They may with far greater ease and Probability be acquired by private and Legall Industrie then by disturbing the Government; And it is in Experience that those Men who are most taken up with this De­sign, are of all People the least turbulent, and do most abominate Commotions. But if it be a Desire of excessive Riches, such Riches can not be desirable in themselves but only as They are the Instruments of Power; And so this Desire is to be reduced to the Desire of Power.

If Revenge, Love, or any other Passion has sometimes given the first Impulse to the Disso­lution of Government, these Accidents are so Particular and Infrequent, that they can not de­serve to have Place in a Generall Discourse.

Having thus in generall discovered the first Causes of Sedition in all Government, the next Work must be to show by what Art or Provi­dence the Sovereign may prevent the Mischief, and suspend the Effects in their Causes. And for obviating the first Cause of Sedition, many particular Cares are necessary; As the diligent Execution of Lawes, that so every Offence may be overtaken by the Punishment; then the En­couragement [Page 96] of Manufactures and Traffique which fetching Wealth from abroad, cure the Subject of Want and Necessity at home; After that a Prohibition of Excess in such things (as Gaming, Clothes, and the like) by which Men go in Chace of Poverty; And last of all, When notwithstanding all these Cares, Crimi­nall and Indigent Persons grow Numerous, A seasonable Dreyning of them away by a Foreign War or Plantations.

The Prevention of the second Cause of Sedi­tions consists in having the People sufficiently instructed in the Sad and Miserable Conse­quences of a Civill War, in Comparison of which the greatest Pressures under the worst of Governments are no Evils. But it must be con­fest that this is a Text upon which the Wise part of the World has used in vaine to Preach to the Fooles, And therefore there is a mix­ture of Fortune in it, which very much secures those Princes who come in just upon the last Act of a Civill War; For there being no Man then alive in whom there is not a fresh Memo­rie of the Calamities of War, They have them in such Detestation, as that They are willing to suffer any thing rather then be a second time plunged into that miserable Condition.

Against the third Cause of Seditions, the Virtue and Innocence of the Prince is a Grand Remedy; for if his Subjects find Protection from him against all other Men, and have no just ground to suspect any Prejudice from him in their Lives or Fortunes, It would be despe­rately [Page 97] unreasonable to enter into any Diffidence of Him, or out of an Ambitious Desire of Pow­er, to seek to subvert the Government. Yet be­cause all Mankind are not Philosophers, And a great part of those over whom Sovereign Power is to be exercised, are not guided by Reason, but misled by Passion and false Consequences, It will be necessary to arm a Sovereign with somewhat more then his own Innocence, and give him a Power sufficient to repress those Brutish and Irrationall Subjects.

Here then it will concern Us to inquire what are the Advantages of the Sovereign over his Subjects. It is manifest that these consist not in the personall strength of a Monarch, nor yet of a Sovereign Assembly; For the first is but the strength of one Man, and the other but of a few Men, who beare no Proportion to those who are to be governed by them: Therefore the Advantages of the Sovereign Power proceed from this, That their Subjects have given up their particular strengths to be imployed at the Discretion of the Sovereign, So that in the So­vereign the diffused strength of a Multitude is united in One Person, which in a Monarchy is a Naturall Person, in a State an Artificiall One procreated by a majority of Votes. The Desire in particular Men of retracting this Gift, or Reassuming the Power they had confer­red upon the Sovereign, (which proceeds from some of the Causes already mentioned but most particularly from the third) is the begin­ning of all Sedition; This at first can be the De­sire [Page 98] of but One Man, who upon discovery of Symptomes of like Inclinations may impart it to some Few, and they afterward Communicate it to more, so as at length to be able to form a Party sufficient to disturb the Government with Sedition. So that in Effect, the Advantage of the Sovereign over his Mutinous Subjects, is the same that an United strength has over a divided One, or an Army over a greater Multitude of dispersed and Scattered People. In consequence of which it may be inferred, That the Great Art of Governing (next to that of withdrawing the Causes and Matter of Sedition by the Virtue & Innocence of the Sovereign's Actions) con­sists in being verst in those Methods by which a Number of Discontented Persons may be hin­derd from becoming a Party, that is framing such a Correspondence among themselves as to be able to Act with one Common Consent and Design.

To discourse of the Vigilance of the Sove­reign in observing all the Motions of his Sub­jects, or of the Intelligence He ought to main­tain for discovering all their Cabals, belongs not to this Place; These things are according to the different Complexions of Times and Af­faires infinitely various, and depend every where upon the particular Sufficiency of the Ministers. Only I may observe, That where there are con­stant Assemblies of any considerable part of the People which depend not wholly upon the So­vereign, both as to the times of their Conven­tion and Dissolution, and as to the Matter and [Page 99] Manner of their Consulations, such Assemblies do easily become the Cradles of Sedition, and are therefore very Dangerous, and scarse to be with Prudence permitted by the Sovereign.

Let Us therefore consider a Sedition as ready to go alone, and just fitted to walk abroad and take the Aire. The first Steps of it must neces­sarily be infirm and staggering, For They who first Discover themselves are sure to be imme­diately attaqued by the United Force of the So­vereign, against which They can have little hope to prevaile; For their own Party being unsetled and Raw, And that of the Sovereign formed before hand the Oddes must needs be very Great; And therefore the Broachers of Seditions, are generally Men altogether Despe­rate, who despise the Certitude of those Dan­gers by which all Considering Men are deter­red. This then is the Grand Security of all So­vereigns, whether single Persons or Assemblies, That the united Force of their Subjects with which They are invested, is sufficient to sup­press the Beginnings of all Seditions, And be­yond this No Government has any Amulets that can preserve it; For if some Seditions have been suppressed after they were broke out into actu­all Civill Wars, That has not been by any Vir­tue of the Government, but is to be attributed to the same Causes that serve to determine the Successes of Wars between distinct Sovereign Powers. And therefore No Sovereign ought to expect his safety from any Frame or Temper of the Government, or from the settled orders [Page 100] of the Commonwealth, but from his own Vir­tue in withdrawing the Matter, his Prudence and Dexterity in preventing the Contrivance, And his Celerity and Resolution in suppressing the Beginnings of Seditions.

What then remaines is only to take a View of the particular Method which a Monarch is capacitated to observe, in order to his Secu­rity, And to Compare it with the Methods of other Governments. Seeing the first Compact of every Man to part with his private Power, upon which Sovereignty was founded, is by experience found too weak to support the Go­vernment, All Monarchs have found it necessary to communicate some Part of this Power with which themselves are vested, to some subordi­nate Ministers who by this have a more pecu­liar Interest in the safety of the Monarch then the rest of his Subjects, and therefore are more likely in any Danger to stand by him: This Pow­er according to the severall Intentions of the Monarch, either upon the Death of the Person to whom it was committed reverts again to the Monarch, or is transmitted to his next Heire, as one from whom the Monarch has reason to expect the same Services; This last Case is the Generation of a Nobility, who use to be distin­guish't from other Men by such Titles with which the Monarch has thought fit to adorn them. And because Riches (whether in Land or other Revenue) are a principall Fountain of all such Power as is subordinate to the Sove­reign Power, either the Nobility uses to have [Page 101] considerable Riches conferred upon them by the Sovereign, or else such Persons as by their own Industrie have attained considerable Riches are advanced to be of the Nobility. Thus has a Monarch attained the first Degree of his Security, That there are a considerable Num­ber of Persons who being intrusted with some Portion of Power by him, have by that both an Ability and Interest to defend him against all such as go about to disturb the Government with Sedition; For some of these Persons being present in all Quarters of the Dominion, and injoying by the Monarch's Authority an united Power, can not be supposed to faile in suppres­sing the Weake and Disjoynted beginnings of all Seditions.

It has been and still is a Question, Whether it be most advantagious for a Monarch to com­municate this Power only by Commission to such Persons as He finds most capable of doing him Service, and that without any Promissory Obligation upon himself either to continue it to their Posterity, or to themselves longer theu his Good Pleasure, Or whether it be best for Him to transmit it to their Posterity, and by that to constitute a Nobility. But I think it will not be hard to determine the Question in favour of a Nobility out of these Considerati­ons.

First, That there is more Safety in a Nobi­lity then in the other way of temporary Com­missions, against a Forreign Enemy; Seeing it is the Interest of the whole Nobility to defend [Page 102] to the utmost Extremity that Monarch, from whom They and their Posterity injoy a grea­ter share of Power then They have Reason to expect from a Conquerour.

Secondly, That even against his own Peo­ple the Security a Monarch gains by a Nobility is greater then He can have the other Way; For there being a radicated Power in a Nobility, the Impressions of Awe and Reverence upon the People are greater from them, then they can be from any temporary Commander.

Thirdly, It being so naturall to all Men to desire the Welfare of their Posterity, a Nobility has greater Interests to preserve the Monarch by whose Favour both They and their Children are possest of a confiderable Power, then They can have who wanting a Promise from the Mo­norch for the Continuation of this Power, may justly look upon themselves as Tenants at Will, And so may have a Concernment to endeavour by some Innovation in the Government, to as­scertain this Power to themselves.

Yet this is not to be taken Absolutely and without Restriction; For seeing a Nobility, is subject to the same Passions with other Men, a Monarch is not to make Account that the Greatness of the Benefits They injoy by Him, should be enough to keep his Nobility within the Bounds of Duty: Nay farther, That Am­bition which We have Defined to be a Desire of Power sufficient to defend one from the So­vereign Power, is chiefly incident to the Nobi­lity, because They possessing Much, are most [Page 103] apt to think themselves a Prey considerable e­nough to tempt the Sovereign's Avarice. And therefore as a Nobility is a Monarchs Guard a­gainst the People, so a Monarch may stand in need of another Guard against the Nobility, to secure him against such Dangers as otherwise He might incur from their Ambition.

These Dangers are of two kinds; For either They proceed from some particular Persons of the Nobility, excelling the rest of their Order in Power or Dignity, Or they arise from the whole Body of the Nobility. If a Monarch has out of the Consideration of neerness of Blood, or his own Affections, or Greatness of Merit, conferred a large share of Power upon one Per­son or Familie, with leave to transmit it to their Posterity, this Power may easily become Mat­ter of Danger, if not to Him, at least to his suc­cessors. Thus the Successors of Charles the Great in Germanie, and this Hugh Capet in France, by conferring upon some of the Nobi­lity an Hereditary Power over Provinces large enough to raise and maintain an Army, broke those two great Monarchies into a Multitude of little Ones, though the latter of them has had the Fortune to recover, and be again consoli­dated into one great Empire. At first, no doubt, there were some such Duties reserved by the supream Monarch as served to manifest the De­pendance of these lesser Ones upon him, But they easily degenerating into Matters of meere Forme and Ceremony, and the People want­ing Eyes to look beyond the next Object; These [Page 104] Dependant Monarchs were by their Subjects soone considered as Absolute Ones, and thought to shine by their own Native Light though it were at first derived to them from the great Luminary of the Sovereign Power. Where the Error of former Monarchs has thus deformed the Naturall shape of Empire, and rendered Go­vernment a Monster with more Heads then One, It is it vaine for the Prince to expect Security, or for the Subjects to hope for Peace and Tran­quillity: For if the exorbitant Power of these Great On [...]s among the Nobility can not be re­trench't, the State can have no Assurance of Safety but that casuall One which is obtained from the Content and Satisfaction of these Great Persons; And that is not like to continue longer then they are taken up with some consi­derable Imployment abroad, they being in this like tame Lions, whose Keepers are no longer out of Danger of being torne in Pieces, then they maintain them full gorged.

The Dangers that arise from the whole Body of the Nobility, are when the Nobility is pos­sest of a Right to Assemble themselves for the Electing a Successour to the Monarchy, or for making of War and Peace, or for nominating the great Ministers of State, or for performing any other Act which by the Nature of it is insepa­rable from the Sovereign Power. This Happens either when the Monarch did at first, out of Co­vetousness of Reigning, accept of the Kingdome with a less share of Power then was necessary for attaining the Ends of Government, or has [Page 105] since parted with this power out of an erro­neous beliefe, That Sovereignty could sub­sist without it. And if in these Cases the Go­vernment has been Seditious, this can be no Argument against a Soverign Monarch, be­cause those Cases suppose the Prince to want that power which was requifite to make him Sovereign. Though even in these Cases, there want not examples of some able Princes who by their Artifice in Ballancing the severall Fa­ctions of the Nobility, have for a long time preserved themselves and People in safety.

Where neither some few persons of the Nobility are possest of excessive power and Command, nor where the whole body of the Nobility has a Right to assemble for the ends be­fore mentioned, It is not imaginable how a No­bility should be dangerous to a Monarch; For though the Nobility are not so great a multitude as the People, yet they are a multitude, and by Consequence exposed, in proportion to the same Difficulties and Dangers in carrying on a Designe for disturbing the Government; & the same remedies are applicable against them, which were by them made use of against the People.

These Remedies are in generall two; First that the Monarch have continually in pay a sufficient Militia to be alwaies ready to march for sup­pressing the first motions or tendency toward a Sedition; Secondly that seing every Country has some places of strength where a few may be secure against a great number, these Pla­ces be kept at the Monarch's Devotion [Page 106] by a convenient proportion of Souldiers, for in this case the Nobility wanting places of Defence to secure themselves at the beginning of their Attempt, And knowing assuredly that they shall be exposed to the danger of being cut in pieces by the Militia entertained by the Monarch, They cannot be supposed so Irratio­nall as out of vain and uncertain Hopes of grea­ter power to incur the forfeit of that of which they are already possest.

To assign the number of this Souldiery can never be done, not only because Different Mo­narchies stand in need of Different Proportions, but the same Monarchy may require Different proportions at different times; Only in gene­rall, it may pass for a necessary Maxime, That this Militia ought not to amount to a com­pleat full Army; For besides that the Expence would devonr any Monarch, The experience of the Roman and Turkish Emperours and all other Princes who have kept great Armies as a guard to their Persons and Empire, teach us that this is to walke upon precipices, There be­ing no possibility of preventing such an Army (especially if they lye still without Imploy­ment) from acquiring an Interest distinct from that of the Prince. Therefore this Militia must be so instituted as that it can have no Interest besides the Pay it receives from the Monarch, nor any hopes of being safe in their own strength if they should withdraw themselves from the Service and Obedience due to him.

This is that mixture of a Monarchy by a Nobility, and a Monarchy by Armes in which consists the perfection of Monarchicall Govern­ment. Nor do I enter into despaire of living to enjoy my share of the Felicities which will be­long to the Subjects of such a Government, though Mr Harrington be positive in asserting, That the wit of man never found, nor shall find this H. pag. 72. Monarchy, there being no such thing in Nature. And his Reason for this most Tyrannous Con­fidence, is only this That there is nothing in H. pag. 71. Nature that hath not had a naturall effect by some example. I believe Mr Harrington would not think himself sincerely dealt with, if he should be told, There is no such thing in nature as an equall Commonwealth, because there is no­thing in Nature that hath not had a Naturall Effect by some Example; But the Common­wealth of Oceana is (by his own Confession) Ocena. p. 23. the first example of a Commonwealth that is per­fectly equall. It is his own Argument for a Com­monwealth, and therefore I doe not understand how he can prohibit me the use of the same Logique in Defence of Monarchy, That it is the ibid. Government which if it have been seditious, it hath not been from any Imperfection in the kind, but for want of this mixture in the particular Con­stitution; which where ever the like hath hap­pened must have wanted this mixture.

He is willing to suppose that I understand H. pag. 70. France as an instance of this mixture; But that France cannot be an Instance of it is manifest by this, That the Princes of the Blood do there [Page 108] possess such an excessive power, as I have de­clared inconsistent with this mixture, a conse­quence of which power have been all the con­siderable seditions of France in this last age. In many other things I allow that France is not far remote from this mixture, much of which also may be discovered in the Castilian Monar­chy, in the administration of the Duke of Florence's Government, and the Pope's Tempo­rall Domiuion in Italy. But it must be remem­bred, That to make good the possibility of this mixture, I am not obliged to produce the Example of a Monarchy that has continued free from Seditions, since I have endeavoured to prove that it is impossible any Government should be altogether free from them: It is abun­dantly enough if the Reigns of able Monarch; have not been troubled with Seditions, or on­ly with such as have been immediately supprest, For the art of apprehending and preserving this mixture is not attainable by any universall Rules or Frame of Policy, but is a personall Ef­fect of the Capacity and Experience of every Monarch: And therefore to expect that a weak Prince can long continue to Govern securely by the maximes and Constitutions of a wise predecessor, is all one as to imagine that the Tools of some excellent Artificer falling into the Hands of an ignorant person should serve to make good worke.

And this seems to be the only considerable objection against us, That this mixture cannot H. p. 72. be durable, because the Nobility in this case would [Page 109] not keep down the People, but fetch them up (as did the Barons) into their scale, that together they might weigh down the Army; which is the infallible Consequence of this mixture. Where the Nobility has already got too great Head, and where the Prince by the unseasonable applica­tion of an Army goes about to reduce them, I deny not but this may perhaps be the Conse­quence; But then this Case supposes the Nobi­lity possest of a power from which They will be excluded by this mixture; And as this mix­ture takes from them the power so does it the Interest also, it being impossible for the Nobility to League with the People, or fetch them up in­to their scale, without loosing some part of that power which by the Monarch they injoyed over the People. This Case of the Nobility and People uniting against the Monarch can never happen unless the Monarch is at once become through his own Vices and Cruelty universally odious, and through his Imprudence and Irre­solution universally contemptible; And I doe with much readinesse confesse, That such Princes are not to look for security, it being not in the Design of God or Nature, or in the power of Art to make those men Happy who will not cooperate toward the attaining their own Happiness.

This Temper of a Monarchy is the High­water Marke beyond which no Government can rise; That all other Government must needs fall a great deale short of it I am in the last place to make Evident. And that a popular Govern­ment [Page 110] or Commonwealth must doe so is apparent by the last Chapter, where it has been proved That this kind of Government is necessarily ex­posed not only to Sedition but totall Dissoluti­on. For a Government by a Sovereign Assembly or Aristocracy, As it is exposed to all the same Originall Causes of Sedition with a Monar­chy, so it wants the Remedies which consist in Secrecie and Celerity, that are the peculiar Advantages of a single person's Administration: Besides, this Inconvenience belongs particu­larly to a Sovereign Assembly, that one or more persons of it carrying on a secret Design to change the Government may have Cre­dit enough in the Assembly to corrupt their Consultations, and so make the Assembly an Instrument to their own subversion. Lastly for a Monarchy either by Armes or a Nobility taken singly, This Mixture of both curing the Infirmi­ties of each must necessarily have the Advantage of them.

If Mr Harrington be of Opinion that I ought to have laid down a particular Modell of this kind of Government, I must in this also ac­knowledge the Difference of my Judgement from his; For though a Generall Discourse concerning Government may fairly become any Gentleman, the proposing (or imposing rather) a particular Modell seems to relish too much of a Design, and wants that Modestie and submission that ought to be in all Private Men.


Whether a Commonwealth that was not first broken by her selfe, were ever conquered by the Armes of any Monarch.

IN this Chapter Mr Harrington is forced to be of the Considerer's mind, though to keep up his Credit, He seems to be upon high Con­tradictions with Him. For He tells Us that He is not to be argued against out of the little Cities in Asia, which having no considerable Army, if H. pag. 75. they should be subdued by some potent Monarch, concerns the Government no more then if they had been overwhelmed by some Inundation or swallow­ed up by some Earthquake. This is perfectly con­formable to the Considerers sence, who has declared that He thinks the Inference Fallaci­ous which is made from the successe of Arms to the perfection of Government. But it concer­ned Mr Harrington to have thought of this sooner, it being now too late to Retreat with Honor, or to clog that Proposition with Re­strictions which had before been so positively and universally laid down by him, That a Com­monwealth was never conquered by any Monarch from the beginning of the world unto this Day.

Yet that the Considerer may have no Temp­tation to be proud, Mr Harrington lets Him see how he lies at Mercy, and how his project of a Monarchy (whensoever it shall be thought [Page 112] fit to use so killing an Argument) may be to­tally H. p. 74. ruined by the Example of the King of Yvetot: I acknowledg the great importance of that Argument, and am willing to come to termes with him about it; And so long as he will consent to suppress this Example of Yvetot in exchange of the kindness I promise him not to draw any Argument for the Advantage of Monarchy, from the Antient and Illustrious Reign of King Oberon.

But the Considerer must not seem to be left in the possession of any truth, And therefore the first generall Answer will not serve Mr Har­ringtons turn, but he goes on to deny that there is any truth in the instances which I brought to prove that Commonwealths have been conque­red by Monarchs. The first of those was ta­ken from the Commonwealths of the Grecians planted on the Coasts of Asia, concerning which I am chalenged to shew that they H. p. 75. came under the power of the Lydian and Persian Monarchs by Conquest, or otherwise then by the purchase of Croesus his mony. I am ashamed that Mr Harrington should thus go on to oblige me; He has taught a new way by Me neer thought on, for the dissolution of a Commonwealth; Let a People be united into a Republique, Let their City be fortifyed with Walls, let them have Armes in their Hands, Nay let the Ballance be fixt by an Agrarian Law; To what purpose serves all this? There comes one with a little ready Mony in his purse, and He for twenty yeares [Page 113] Purchase or thereabouts) buyes Lands, Bal­lance, Lawes, Liberty and all; And as Larks are caught with Daring, this People being dazled with a little Gold, are of Free Men content to become slaves to a Monarch. This is so pretty, that I am sorry I can not leave it thus, but am obliged to examine what Hero­dotus has said in Reference to the way by which Croesus obtained the Asiatick Cities. This Croesus was the first Barbarian We know Herod. lib. 1 of who forced some of the Graecians to become his Tributaries, and made others of them his Friends; The Jonians, Aeolians, and Dorians which in­habit Asia, He forced to pay him Tribute, and the Lacedaemonians he made His friends But before the Reign of Croesus all the Graecians were Free. This for their Subiugation by the Lydian Monarch, concerning the Persian We will once more trie our Fortune with a Te­stimony out of Thucydides; As others by other Thucyd. lib. 1. pag. 10. meanes were kept back from growing great, so also the Jonians by this, That the Persian Af­faires prospering, Cyrus and the Persian King­dome, after the Defeat of Croesus, made War upon all that lieth from the River Halys to the Sea side, and so subdued all the Cities which they possessed in the Continent; And Darius afterward, when he had overcome the Phoenis­sian Fleet did the like to them in the Islands. Both which Testimonies are summed up by Strabo, where He tels Us, That the Persians were the first who obtained Dominion over the Strabo. l. 15. Graecians, For though the Lydians had Com­mand [Page 114] of them, it was not through all Asia, but only of a small part of it which lies with­in the River Halys, and that only for a small time during the Reigns of Craesus and Alyattes. But they being overcome by the Persians, lost to them whatsoever Glorie they had gained. For the Persians as soon as they had subdued the Medes, presently made themselves Masters of the Lydi­ans, and brought into Subjection the Graecians in Asia. Upon the Defeat of Croesus the Asiatick Republiques had, it seems, recovered their Liberty so far, as to be in a Condition to dis­pute it with Cyrus, which is clearly implyed by Herodotus, when having related the Suc­cesses of that War, He saies It was the second time those Graecians were brought into Servi­tude. And though during the prosperous For­tune of the Europaean Graecians many Attempts were made to free the Asiatick Ones from that Yoake, They were finally necessitated to sub­mit to it, being by an express Article of the Xenoph. Gr. Hist. lib. 5. Peace concluded between Artaxerxes and the Graecians (which from the Lacedaemonian Envoyè who negotiated it was called the Peace of Antalcidas) left under the Power of the Persian Kings. With Permission then I say it, This Example does more then presume. It con­cludes as firmly as can be done by Historicall Proofs; And what Mr Harrington has so con­fidently H. pag. 74. assumed, That these Cities can not be shewn to have had the Command of any Conside­rable Army will not serve to enervate it. Of the Jonians were eleven or twelve Cities, of [Page 115] the Aeolians as many, of the Dorians five, with their Territories, all united by Leagues and Confederacies; Now by granting that these had no considerable Army (which lies under a great Suspition of Falsehood, for they had one good enough to venture the hazard of a Battle with Harpagus one of Cyrus his Lieutenant Gene­rals) He grants the Vanity of his own Con­ceit, That military Virtue should be the ne­cessary Effect of Popular Government, Or that Commonwealths have meerly by Virtue of their Policy been preserved from being conquered by Monarchs.

In the Example of the Sicilian Republiques which I next made use of, Mr Harrington saies H. pag. 75. there is not so much as a Presumption in my Fa­vour; But either his skill or his Fidelity in point of Historie is so slender, that We can not rely upon his Word. The Condition of Sicilie, in the Age We dispute about was not unlike that of Greece, the Seacoasts being planted with se­verall Populous and Opulent Cities, which injoying their Liberty, made so many distinct Commonwealths subsisting by themselves, and joyned only by Leagues not durable, but tran­sient and changing according to the Exigence of Affaires. The chief and most considerable of these was Syracuse, which knew so ill how to conserve her Liberty, that for the greatest Part she lived under the Power of Absolute Princes, Whom the Popular Graecians, then the only Masters of Appellations, taught the World to call Tyrants, though some of them [Page 116] are known to have been Princes of excellent Virtue and Goodness. That these were in­trusted by the Syracusians themselves, and so can not be accounted to have come to their Power by Conquest I have no need to deny, For Mr Harrington erres very much if He thinks these are the Examples I at first inten­ded; I shall only insist upon such Acquisitions as have been made by these absolute Princes of Syracuse over the Sicilian Republiques, in respect of whom their Arms were Forreign, and their Successes pure Conquests. It being only a piece of Ostentation to heape together a multitude of Examples, I will neglect such as the Reigns of Gelon and the first Hiero do furnish, and fix only upon those of Dionysius the Elder. This Prince, 'tis true, did from meane beginnings clime up to a great Fortune, and at length juggled himself into the Throne; But yet his Government was signalised by ma­ny great Actions, against the Carthaginians especially who had newly begun to settle in Sicilie: But that in which We are concer­ned, is the Advantage he obtained over some Diod. Sic. lib. 14. of the Sicilian Commonwealths, three of which, Naxus, Catana, and the Leontines, He reduced in one Expedition, destroyed their Cities, and transplanted the People into o­ther Places. A while after the Tauromeni­ans, abandoned by the Carthaginians, did not run a much gentler Fortune. From thence let Us follow him into the Southern part of Italie, (which, though in the stile of a later [Page 117] Age, is Sicilie too) and there We may ob­serve him Defeating in a very great Battle, the Crotoniates with the Confoederate Forces of all the Graecian Republiques in Italie, the Ru­ine of one of which called Caulonia, was the first consequence of his Victorie. The yeare after, Rhegium a Commonwealth so power­full as to have a Fleet of threescore and ten Gallies at Sea, was after an obstinate Siege of eleven Months forced to surrender to Him, and those Inhabitants which survived the War and Famine, were put to their Ransome, or sold for Slaves. These are the Instances by which the Sicilian Commonwealths are truly asserted to have been conquered by the Arms of a Monarch.

To these many other Examples out of anci­ent Historie might easily be added, but that Mr Harrington is not in a Disposition to pro­fit by them. The severall Republiques con­quer'd by Darius might be enumerated, The Cities of Cyprus and Phoenicia that were sub­dued by Euagoras might be inquired into, The Commonwealths in Asia (One of which that of the Sambestans brought an Army of sixty thousand Foot and six thousand Horse into the Field) that stoop't to Alexander's Victorious Sword might be insisted on; But they shall be all let pass, since it is not the Number but Evidence of Arguments by which Truth is established.

The two Modern Examples of Genova and Florence remain; Concerning the first of which Mr Harrington's Confession that She was sub­dued saves Me the Pains of proving the Matter [Page 118] of Fact: What He has to object is but this, H. pag. 76. and 77. First That though she has been under, being yet standing she can not be said to be conquered, but remaineth as she was before Doria was born: And then That there is nothing plainer then that this Commonwealth was subdued by her own Sediti­on. But if a Commonwealth has been subdued by a Forreign Prince, has by her Magistrates sworn Fealty to Him, has received a Gover­nour and Garrison, and has lived under this Power many yeares, (all which things concur­red in the case of Genova) Shall she still be said not to have been conquered, Because by the Assistance and Protection of another Forreign Prince she afterward happened to recover her Liberty? We may as well maintain that because the Israelites were restored to their Country and law by the Medes and Persians, They can not be said to have been conquer'd by the As­syrians. Nor does Genoa remain as she did be­fore Doria was born, as will be apparent to him that will take the Pains to examine the Histo­ries of those times and Actions: Of doing which there is the more need because Mr Harrington (I will not give him one of his own Compli­ments, H. pag. 6. and say he does it, as is usuall with him, falsely and fraudulently) has confounded the Distinct and different Conditions of this Re­publique before and after the Restauration of it by Doria. To the next Point, That this Commonwealth was subdued by her own Sedition, I have no more to say, but That this Reply is fitted for all Arguments, and would serve for [Page 119] a Million of Instances (if so many could be pro­duced) as well as for this, there being no van­quish't State which has not in some Measure cooperated to it's own Ruine. In the mean while I know not whether I should laugh at or Pity my self, for being put to deale with a Man, who thinks his own and a Commonwealth's Credit secured by such Answers.

The History of the Florentines and Familie of Medicis is not so sincerely deduced by Mr Har­rington, that We should abstain from making some Remarques upon it. Though Cosimo and Laurence of Medicis had, for a Commonwealth, obtaind a very extraordinary Power at Flo­rence, And though Peter had indiscreetly stretcht, it farther then the other two had done, yet was that Familie far from being absolute Ma­sters of Florence, their Power being all this while Sotto nome, & con dimostrationi quasi ci­vili; The Signorie, the Supream Magistracy Guicciard. lib. 1. of the Commonwealth continued still on foot, which upon the first Discredit that Peter's Af­faires were fallen into at the approach of the French Army, had Authority enough to pro­claime him Rebell, and drive him out of the City. Peter de Medicis being thus banished, Florence returned to a Popular Government, which had faire leisure to settle it self, meeting with no disturbance from the Medici ex [...] one little Conspiracy not well managed, whose Detection served only to confirm the Govern­ment by the Execution and Exile of Peter's best friends. But in the yeare 1512, and 18 yeares [Page 120] after the expulsion of the Medici, yet be­fore Leo was Pope or Charles Emperour, (for Leo was not made Pope till after the first Resti­tution of his Family to Florence, and was dead before the second, So that He could not be, as Mr Harrington has represented him Au­thor H. pag. 77, of either) the Medici were restored to Florence by the Arms of the King of Aragon under the Conduct of the Viceroy of Naples: For it being perceived that there was no Pos­sibility of withdrawing the Florentines from the Friendship of the French unless by altering the Government, the Viceroy suddenly fell with his Army into Tuscany, and having by the storming of Prato, made the Florentines de­spaire of being able to defend themselves, the City came to an Accommodation with him; And He to secure his Master of their Affecti­ons for the Future, restored the Medtci to the Power their Familie injoyed before the yeare 1494, yet still with an Appearance of a Commonwealth, a Counsell of about 50 Jovius. Persons (some Authors make them more) being constituted in whom should reside the Power of the whole People. The succeed­ing Reigns of Pope Leo the tenth, and Cle­ment the seventh, both of the Familie of Me­dicis, conduced not a little to the Confir­mation of their Power in Florence; Yet all p [...]as blown up againe in the yeare 1527, When the Florentines animated by the Sacking of Rome and Pope Clement's Imprisonment, [Page 121] revolted from the Medici and reestablisht their Commonwealth which continued in being untill the Mysterious and unexpected Recon­ciliation of the Pope and Emperour; In con­sequence of which the Emperour having by Hist. del Con­cil. Trident. a difficult War, brought the Florentines to sub­mit upon Discretion gave the Command of the City to Alexander de Medicis, and his Heires for ever. It is now 127 years that they have continued in possession of this power, And if Mr Harrington's thoughts had not been wholly taken up on the other side the Apennine at Venice, he could not but have observed, That as the Authority of the Prince is scarse any where more absolute, so the Peace and Prosperity of the People is no where greater.

What does he mean then to tell us, That the purse of Cosimo had done that long before H. p. 75. which is here attributed to the Armes of the Pope and Emperour? To state the matter with the greatest advantage to him, We will imagine that those summes which Ma­chiavel saies the Considerable Men of Flo­rence had received from Cosimo, were still unpaid and might be demanded by his Heires; But this would have made it the Interest of all those particular Men to maintain the Commonwealth, and keep out the Me­dici, because by that Course they would also have avoided the payment of their own Debts: And in Effect, When after the Death [Page 122] of Cosimo, his son Peter did by the advice of Machiav. [...] Hist. lib. 7. Dietisalvi Neroni call in those summes his Fa­ther had freely lent, It excited such a Tempest in Florence as came within a little of sinking him and his whole Familie. The mony that was borrowed of Cosimo having been thus repaid to his son Peter it must needs be impertinent to attribute to the purse of Cosimo such good Fortune as befell his Posterity fifty yeares after his Death, before which time the Riches he left behind him were so much dissipated, that Hist. lib. 8. Machiavell assures us, the Commonwealth was faine to affist his Grandchild Lawrence of Medici with a great summe of Mony. I doe not see how it can be avoided, but we must believe the Purse of Cosimo had besides the mony, an old Charme in it, which made the Florentines let fall their Armes, and suffer the Medici to reassume the Government: Without doubt there is somewhat of Witchcraft in it, For if the Purse had wrought it by any naturall vir­tue, It had been much more easy to have kept the Medici in their possession, then to restore them when they were fallen from it.

But is it not still more strange that Florence Guicc. lib. 2. should not deserve the name of a Commonwealth? Had she not her private Councels debating, her Great Councell resolving, and her Magistrates Executing? Was not the Rotation too provi­ded for by the Annual Election of her Gonfa­lionere? All these things which sound so big in Westminster Hall, in Florence are not to be counted such Orders as deserve the name of a [Page 123] Commonwealth. Truly it is not generously done of Mr Harrington thus to adde to the Afflicti­ons of a poore unfortunate Lady Republique. But to what purpose do we dispute any longer? If Genova be shewn to have been conquered by a Monarch, We are told She was subdued by her own Seditions; If Florence has run the same For­tune, she had never attained such Orders as de­serve the name of a Commonwealth. What pitty is it that a worthy Patriot should be forced to take Sanctuary in a Mousehole? In this posture I confesse I know not how to come at him, but must leave him as a fit imploiment for the for­midable H. in Epist. Rat-catcher of his own Erection.

After so liberall a tast of Mr Harrington's in­genuity in reference to these examples both Ancient and Modern, I am never to be perswa­ded He meanes Good Faith when he calls for Reason and Experience to decide the Question H. p7. 77 about the Fate of Empires. In Humane Actions the Dependance of Effects upon their Causes is so obscure, That the wisest Historians doe but make conjectures when they indeavour to penetrate into them; Nor can any Discourse of that Nature be so convincing from which so great a Master of Cavils as Mr Harrington may not find an Evasion. Yet if I were to convince any Rationall uninterested Person, That the Fate of Empires has not born a proportion to the Perfection of their Government, I need one­ly put him in mind that the Chinese and Persi­ans did for perfection of Government very far excell the rude Tartarians, by whom they have [Page 124] been more then once conquered; That the Greek Emperours had a better Policy then the wild Arabians, to whom they lost so great a part of their Dominions; That the very Roman Empire can not be thought to have been at such a decay of Policy and Govern­ment, but that it was still at a better passe then the Barbarous Nations by whom it was rent in pieces; For by that time it was pretty well cu­red of its worst Maladie, the Insolence of the Souldiers, who were grown less dangerous after the Empire came to be in a manner Hereditary.

But He proceeds to tell us, That the Armes of ibid. Israel were alwaies victorious till the death of Josua, whereupon the Orders of that Common­wealth being neglected, they came afterwards to be seldome prosperous. Had it not first been fit (seing the state under Josua, Be it what it will from the first to the last was but of ten yeares) He should have torn the History of David's forty yeares succesfull Reign out of his Bible? The Arms of Rome during the popular Govern­ment were at such a pitch as if Victorie had known no other Wings but those of her Eagles. How then came it about that Augustus and Trajan brought the Parthians to Reason, who had destroyed Crassus and the Com­monwealth's Army? Alexander with an H. p. 80. handfull of freer men overcame the hugest Ar­mie, the most vast and populous Empire in the world. But with what did he overcome the Thebans who were freer men than his? Or why was He not overcome by those seve­rall [Page 125] thousands of freer Grecians who under Memon the Rhodian & Choeredemus served Darius? I wonder that a man should take such pains to be ridiculous, and should not rather ap­prehend this easie distinction, That though success belongs to valour and Military disci­pline, Valour and Military Discipinle belong not to one forme of Government or Policy, but are attainable in any,

What he observes out of Sr Francis Bacon about the French and English, comes to little more then this, that the one affecting to fight on horseback and the other on foot, the French have had a good Cavalry, and the English, a good Infantry; Though that too be now almost out of Date, for at pre­sent the English fight well enough on horse­back and in French on foot. The successes of the English in France were never durable enough to have any thing of this Nature inferred from them; And we may observe they always followed the Person of the Prince: With us Edward the third, and Henry the fifth wise & valiant Princes gaining, Richard the second and Henry the sixt weak Princes loosing; With them John and Charles the sixt Men of no Ability loosing, Charles the fift and Charles the seventh Brave Princes re­covering. Nor does Mr Harrington now stand in need of being taught that during the Wars between the English and French, France was scarse half what she is now, We then alwaies finding a Duke of Britain or Burgundy to take our part.

In one point Mr Harrington has dealt very H. p. 97. discretly, when putting off the Robe of Le­gislator, He takes to him the Mantle of Pro­phet, and with as little remorse as an Almanack­maker when he plays the interpreter to a Co­mete, predicts what shall befall Europe: For this not belonging to the present Age, will not be to be confuted būt by our Great-Grand­children. Yet I am not aware of any Rea­son he can have to enter into so Tragicall an Humour for if he be offended that the Wars of Europe are of no more Dispatch, Paruta's Discourses would have furnisht him with severall Reasons for it, of which this is one, That Europe being parcelled out into severall States, all Armed and watchfull over their own and their Neighbour's Interest, the grouth of any one State is presently ballanced by a League of some of the other; At which worke the Ministers of state are every where become so expert, that to keep Europe equally poised, is little more with them then to trim a London Wherry. If I were disposed to take my turne of Prediction, I might let Mr Harrington know that when by the Accession of some Mar­riage, or any great unthought of Revolution, the Houses of France and Austria cease to be a drawn Match, then will he see those great changes in Europe, which before it will be but in vain to expect. In the meane while he ought not to impute this to any Defect of Policy either in Germanie or Europe, more then of old in Greece, when being Can­ton'd [Page 127] into a multitude of Republiques she did from the Peloponesiac War to the Reign of A­lexander fight so long time to so little Pur­pose.

For Ragusa and San Marino, Mr Harring­ton takes them by the wrong handle; They were not by Me made use of to shew that a Commonwealth has been conquer'd by the Arms of a Monarch, but only to prove that the Suc­cess of Arms has no necessary Dependance upon Perfection of Government, Seeing these Com­monwealths have a good Government, yet never were successefull in Arms. Which part of the Argument is by Mr Harrington left untouch't and in full Force.

There has been enough said to evince the Falsehood of Mr Harrington's first Assertion, That a Commonwealth was never Conquer'd by any Monarch from the beginning of the World to this Day; In discussing which, Occasion has been also given to manifest the Vanity of another of his Conceptions, That the Success of Arms depends upon the Perfection of the Government or Policy. His second Assertion was, That a Commonwealth was the Government, which hath frequently led mighty Monarchs in Triumph. This the Considerer replied was to run upon the Foile, it being only the Conversion of the First: Upon this Mr Harrington Triumphs too as well as his Commonwealth, and would have it thought that the Considerer took this for a Logicall Conversion of the Terms. But where H. pag. 80. did the Considerer reveale this to Him? If [Page 128] Mr Harrington had not been at such Enmity with Mathematiques and Mathematicians, He might have learn't there is a Conversion of Proportion, or of the Consequence of things; And that this is not such an one He will never be able to shew till he has made new Lawes of Ratiocination as well as of Government.

If any Man should chance to wonder how Mr Harrington's last Paragraph comes to belong to this Chapter, He is to be advertised that the Coherence is both Elegant and Naturall, And consists in this, Burning the fingers, and Blistring the tongue, Blistring, You know, uses to follow Burning. This Blister forsooth, is rai­sed upon the Considerers tongue for having in­titled Mr Harrington to this Assertion, That the Senate of Venice at the first institution took in the whole People, Whereas he affirmed it not of the Senate but Commonwealth of Venice. But in doing this I wronged my selfe more then Mr Harrington, it being neither my intention nor concernment to disprove that Assertion to be true of the Senate, but of the Grand Counsell in which consists the Commonwealth. Now that tha Grand Counsell or Commonwealth did not, H. p. 81. even at the first institution, take in the whole People of Venice, will appeare to be more then Perhaps. Gianotti does by very many and those concluding Arguments make it out, That the first Institution of the Grand Counsell was in the Reign of Sebastian Ciani, which began Anno 1175, And the bringing of it to Perfection in Gradenigo's time who entred upon the Go­vernment [Page 129] Anno 1297. This Councell never con­sisted of more then 4500 Persons, And that these should be the whole People is repugnant to all Histories of the Increase and Power of the Commonwealth at that time. Giannotti also saies plainly, That it took in only such of the People as were considerable for Estate and Quality. Nor is it materiall that Machiavel whom Mr Harrington followes is of the con­trary opinion, for his Discourse carries its own Refutation along with it, in as much as He sup­poses the Grand Counsell or distinction of Gen­tlemen and People to have been made at the very Mach. Disc. lib. 1. cap. 6. Institution of the Commonwealth, whereas Giannotti has proved it to be of a later Origi­nall by many hundred yeares. A great part of the People being then excluded from the Go­vernment, which in respect of them was une­quall, The inquiry was how these were kept in Obedience, of which an account was given out of Contarini. This account Mr Harrington can­not accuse of any thing but an improper speech (for the intention plainly looks another way) whilst I attributed that to the Senate which be­longs to the whole Commonwealth; For which also He saves Me the paines of making any Apo­logie, since He confesses it to be a way of Locu­tion made use of by very good Authors.


Whether there be an Agrarian, or some Law, or Lawes of that Nature to supply the De­fect of it in every Commonwealth: And whether the Agrarian as it is stated in Oce­ana, be equall and satisfactory to all In­terests.

BEcause it concerned Mr Harrington to shew his utmost Activity in this Chapter, That the Reader might take the less notice of the Slights and Tricks that were to be put upon him, he first of all confounds the state of the Question, by complicating severall distinct Par­ticulars; These I have untwisted & they resolve themselves into three Questions, Of the Agra­rian in every Commonwealth, Of the Lawes supplying the Defect of it, Of the Agrarian as it is stated in Oceana. To each of which se­parately.

I do not intend to be so far carryed out of the way by keeping Mr Harrington Company, as in this place once more to repeat the Do­ctrine of the Ballance; It will be enough to re­flect how in that Chapter it has been proved, First That Riches do put in part, & that depen­dantly upon the Sovereign Power wch constitutes Propriety, conduce to Empire; And secondly, That so far as Riches doe conduce to Empire, it is to be understood indifferently of all sorts of Riches and not to be restrained to Propriety [Page 131] or the Ballance in Land unless in such places where there is no considerable Wealth but what arises immediately from the Revenue or Cultivation of Land. This I might justly plead as a Privilege to exempt Me from handling this Chapter, seeing Mr Harrington's Propositions about an Agrarian are no other­wise Materiall, then upon a supposition that his Doctrine of the Ballance remains firme and un­confuted.

Yet not to refuse any leap Mr Harrington sets Me, I will in the first place examine Aristotle's opinion of the Ballance, whom Mr Harrington does here pretend to bring to his side by help­ing the Translation a little. And that the Gentle­man has indeed been a Translator of Poets is not unknown, but that he should in translating a Philosopher in Prose use a Liberty more then Poeticall seems not very alowable. He will have the words [...], and [...] rendred H. p. 85 by the Words Politicall Ballance, understood as He has stated the thing. Let him then produce one Interpreter of Aristotle or one Lexicographer who is of his mind, and I will yeild my share in the Question; Nay let him shew how it is possible this should be Aristotle's meaning, when He has directly condemned, not without Derision, Phaleas the Chalcedo­nian for having introduced the Ballance and Arist. Polit. lib. 2. c. 7 Agrarian into his Commonwealth. If He can do neither of these, He must give Me leave to tell Him, that He offers an Intollerable violence to the Text and Sence of Aristotle. This he does [Page 132] as often as he cites Aristotle in this Chapter, but let one Instance serve for all. Inequality is the source of all sedition, as when the Riches of one or a few come to cause such overballance as draws the Commonwealth into Monarchy or Oligarchy; For preventing of which the Ostracism hath been of use in divers Places as at Argos and Athens, The words of Aristotle run thus; [...] (the Verb [...] or the like must be understood) [...] Here he renders [...], by Riches that came to cause an Overballance, though nothing can be more ma­nifest then that Aristotle in this place is not to be understood of Riches only but of Interest, Reputation, Command, and all other things which may any way contribute to supreme Power. This will be put past all Contradiction if we observe that Aristotle in this place speak­ing of a Disease in a Commonwealth, gives an account also of the Cure, For by the Method of the Cure the Disease may be certain­ly known: And for this excesse of power, this [...] that was greater then suted with the [...] of the Commonwealth, We are told that at Athens the Ostracism was prescribed. Now the Ostracism both by the Institution and Practise of it is known not to have been levelled at the Riches of men only, but at any ex­traordinary [Page 133] Power, Credit, or Interest they had acquired in the Commonwealth; Ari­stides was banished by the Ostracism for having rendred himselfe Popular by his equity in arbitrating Law sutes, And when he dyed He was so poore that the City was fain to be at the Charges of his Funerall, and to give his Daughters Portions. Again, How could the Ostracism be a preservative against the Over­ballance in Riches, when notwithstanding the Ostracism a man retained the possession of his whole Estate? It is therefore evident to be against all Reason that Mr Harrington should render the words [...] by the H. p. 8 [...] words Politicall Ballance, understood as He has stated the thing; And his own Dilemma recoiles upon him, For He will not have the more of Authority in this point of the Ballance, since Aristotle knew of it only to disapprove it, Nor yet the less of Competition in it, because it was so long since stumbled upon by Phaleas the Chalcedonian.

Having thus traduced Aristotle, in the next ibid. place he does as much for the Considerer, whom he accuses for throwing onely at Israel Lacedemon and Oceana, when he had set him all the Commonwealths in the World. But is it faire play to say He set Me that which while now He kept in his sleeve? Are there in Oceana any examples of Commonwealths pro­posed that are pretended to be equall in their Agrarian, except Israel and Lacedemon? Is it not expresly said by him that Athens and [Page 134] Rome were unequall as to their Agrarian, that of Athens being infirm, that of Rome none Ocena. p. 26. at all? For those new examples of Venice, Germanie, &c. which Mr Harrington does at present pretend to set Me, I may with great Reason refuse to throw at them, as being false mony; Not one of them amounting to an example of an Agrarian, but at most of such Lawes as have been instituted to supply the Defect of one.

I pass on then to make good what has in the Considerations been objected against the Agrarian of Israel taken in Mr Harrington's sence; And that is reducible to these Heads. 1. That the Division of the Land of Canaan was not a Politique Institution intended as the Basis of the Government, but was an Effect of Gods Promise to Abraham, that He would give that Land to his seed after him; 2. That this is ma­nifested by the Law of the Jubile, which other­waies had been a weak provision, neare fifty yeares time being by that afforded for any man to multiply his Lot to that Height as would ne­cessarily have subverted the Government; 3. That the Government of Israel had subsisted forty five yeares without the pretended Agrari­an; 4. And finally, That in the Division the Lots must needs have been very unequall, it be­ing else impossible there should on the one side have been hereditary Princes of the Tribes, and on the otherside men so extreamly poore as to sell themselves for slaves.

The first of these propositions he playes with [Page 135] very wantonly, and askes, If the Right of an H. p. 87. Oceaner unto his Land must derive from the Promise of God unto Abraham? Now to aske him again, Who saies so? Is no toying, but very good earnest. And Mr Harrington, if he had intended to deale fairely, might perceive He was bound to shew, That the like division of the Lands in Oceana is necessary notwithstanding there be no such cause, as was the promise of God unto Abraham upon which the Division of Canaan inseperably depended. But he con­tinues his gay Humour, and (as Tumblers divert the Company with an Hoope) frisks a­bout this Circle, He proposes the Division of the Lands in Israel as an equall Agrarian on whch their Popular Government was founded; He is told by Me, That this division of the Land Gceanap. 26. look't not at the Government, but followed the promise of God unto Abraham, And that there is not any Footstep of the other Defign in the whole Bible. He replies, That God in ordaining the Ballance of Israel having ordained the Cause, ordained also the Effect which was Popular Govern­ment. Thus supposing at all adventures that Go­verment to be Popular, he will have the Agra­rian (that he Fancies) to be the Cause & Foundation of it, And at the next step to shew that this Agra­rian is the Cause, He supposes Popular Govern­ment to be the Effect. What can any Reasonable man desire more of a new Beginner? But he must pardon Me, I am still upon the same Ground; He must by some express place of Scripture (for that place Num. 26. 53. going no farther then [Page 136] Tribes or at most then Families fals short of doing it as I have shewed Consid. pag. 57.) prove, That the division of the Lands by Lot was intended for the foundation of the Go­vernment, Or He must not think by such weak and precary Diductions from his own Notion of a Ballance to peswade us that God had any such Design in it.

What he answers about the Jubile is meere Cavilling; For it belongs not to Me to shew how in fifty yeares one Lot might be so increa­sed as to subvert the Government, but to him to shew that the possibility of this was prevented by the Agrarian Law contained in the Jubile. Yet a man may without giving occasion to be H. p. 86. accused of boasting, own Mathematiques enough to demonstrate how if not one, yet a few men (which as to to the present subject creates no Difference) might come to be owners of the whole Land of Canaan in the tme between two Jubiles. For the Israelites being no where for­bid Merchandise, let it be supposed that some few of them addicted themselves to Traffique, and by the success of it annually improved their estates twenty in the hundred, which a mong Merchants is not reputed an immoderate gaine. The increase of 20 per Cent. in 50 yeares which is the distance of two Jubiles, multiplyes an estate 7676 times, as will be manifest if in a Geometricall Progression of 50 Terms, accor­ding to the proportion of 100 to 120, or 5 to 6 the last Terme be found out. Now the whole Number of Lots in the Land of Canaan was [Page 137] 600000, which being divided by 7676 gives Us 78 for the Number of Men who might in the time between two Jubiles acquire the Pro­priety of the whole Land. But it is enough to H. p. 12. possess three Parts in foure to cause an over­ballance, Wherefore Sixty Men might notwith­standing the Jubile come to overballance the rest of Israel and by that overthrow the Popular Government; By which it appeares that the Ju­bile could not be intended for an Agrarian Law, to lie at the Foundation of the Government.

Nor is his Exception against the Argument drawn from that space of 45 yeares during which the Government of Israel subsisted with­out this pretended Agrarian, fraught with any honester meaning: It is not to be doubted, that the Israelites received many Lawes in the Wilderness that were not to be put in Execu­tion, till after their Settlement in the Land of Canaan, Of which that was one, Judges and Officers shalt thou make thee in all thy Gates. But He has taught Us to put a Difference between H. p. 88. the Foundation and the Superstructures: There­fore though the Government of Israel subsisted well enough in the Wilderness without an Order that depended totally upon their locall Distribu­tion in the Land of Canaan, This is no Argument that it might do so without an Order which is represented as Necessary and Fundamentall to the Government. Before they had Gates, They neither could have nor needed Judges in them, but that does not make the Wonder cease how their Government could subsist 45 [Page 138] yeares without an Agrarian, if that must be reputed the Basis of their Commonwealth. And whereas Mr Harrington saies, The Israelites under Moses were an Army, What is that to purpose unless this Army must be thought to have been governed by Him by Martial Law? Which can never be affirmed by Mr Harring­ton, who has made their Government beare Ocean. p. 16. Date, and exemplified in some of the most im­portant Orders of it, so many yeares before.

But all the Considerer's Faults have been hi­therto but Peccadillos, He is now accused of no less then taking part with the Divell, and that H. pag. 90. for having said He was not aware of any Pre­rogative of Authority belonging to the Israe­litish more then any other Republique, If any Man will take the Pains to look upon that Pas­sage of the Considerations pag. 39. He will find two Advantages of Authority expresly there set down by Me, which the Jewish had above all other Commonwealths; If there be any more, Mr Harrington would have done Honestly to inform Us; But not having been able to do that, and yet to charge Me with the quite contrary of what I asserted, will leave it out of Dispute which of Us takes part with the Divell, who We know, was a Lyer from the Be­ginning.

For as to his Distinction of the Power and Authority of a Commonwealth, it is in it self Insignificant, and as to this Place and Purpose, Impertinent; The whole Authority of the Jew­ish Republique is included in those two Points [Page 139] by Me explained in the Considerations. And what if the Romans being resolved to erect a Popular Government, to save themselves the pains of contriving, were content to borrow their Twelve Tables of the Athenians? Must We therefore be inforced to have recourse to the Jewes, though We neither have Need of nor Roome for any of their Particular Constituti­ons? This may give just cause to suspect his Design is to introduce the Judaicall Law, And that there is nothing to choose between James Harrington Legislator, and William Medley Scribe. Concerning the Jewish Agrarian then, it is enough that Mr Harrington's Replies to the Considerer's Objections are thus manifest­ed to be unsatisfactory.

All that is alledged in Opposition to the Con­siderer's Apprehensions of the Lacedaemonian Agrarian is so Insignificant, that I can have No­thing to reply; For of Nothing is produced No­thing. I will therefore make use of this Leisure Mr Harrington affords Me, to make out a little more fully, from the Historie of Lacedaemon my former Assertions about the Agrarian of that Republique.

Lycurgus when he had begun to new Modell the Commonwealth, finding the greater part of the People to be desperately Poore, and some few very Rich, out of a Design to banish on the one side Envy and Insidiation, on the other Insolence and Luxury, and together with these, Riches and Poverty, the Mother Diseases of a Commonwealth, He perswaded them to come [Page 140] to a New and equall Division of Lands; And that for the future they should live upon equall Terms with one another, not aiming at Priori­ty in any thing but Merit, and reputing there ought to be no difference between Man and Man, but what arises from the Praise of Vir­tue and Reproach of Vice. After He had ac­complish't this, They say that passing through ibid. the Countrey in Harvest, and seeing the Shocks of Corne all of a size, He smiled and said the Countrey look't as if it belonged to Brothers who had newly parted their Inheritance. In setting out these Lots He seems to have look't only at fitting the People, by a bare and neces­sitous Life, for the Trade of War; without that He might have made their Lots as large againe, having Territory enough ( [...]) Plut. in Solon. for twice as many People, the surplusage of which, perhaps, lay wast, or was injoyed by their Slaves. Nor was it lawfull for any Spartan to improve this Lot to the best, by living upon it, for they were strictly prohibited all Occupations, even that of Agriculture, and their Hinds or Helots paid Plut. in Lyc. them only an Annuall Quantity of Corne, Wine and other Fruits. This Institution had served to little purpose, if it had been free for the La­cedaemonians to possess what Personall Estates they thought fit, and therefore Lycurgus (ha­ving failed in attempting a like Division in Move­ables) first forbid the Use of Gold and Silver, and then by the extream debasing of their o­ther Coine, cut off all possibility of Traffique [Page 141] with their Neighbours; So that No Man of any Art or Trade tending to Elegancy, Vani­ty, or Luxurie could have any hopes of gain­ing a Livelyhood at Sparta: And withall such Offences as are every where committed out of Desire of mony, did of themselves soon cease, Mony it self being become of so little worth. In all other Points also the Institution of the La­cedaemonians was very severe, and serving meer­ly to accustome them during Peace to the In­commodities of War. Therefore the Raillery of that Italian was sharp enough, who said Plut. in Pelop. the Lacedaemonians did no great matter in be­ing so daring in the Wars, if it were only to free themselves of a laborious and miserable Life.

Though these things had been with so much Care provided for by Lycurgus, his Lawes were exposed to the same Fate with those of all o­ther Legislators, and wanted a Power to make themselves be observed. It was very early, in Croesus time, that the Lacedaemonians began to cast amorous Glances upon Gold, for be­ing corrupted by him, they connived at the Paus. Messen Slavery he brought upon the Graecian Repub­liques in Asia. Their Agrarian also, so far was it from being the Immoveable Basis of the Commonwealth, was soon confounded as well as those of the Argives and Messenians, and that, as Aristotle intimates, by the defect of Lycurgus his own Lawes; For though Polit. lib. 2. cap. 9. he forbad Men to alienate their Lots by sale, He left it free for them to give [Page 142] and bequeath what they thought fit. So that Arist. P ol lib. 5. c. 7. during the Messeniac War, a sedition was rai­sed of them who demanded a new Division of the Lands. I know that is generally held these innovations were of a much later Date, & Plutarch names Epitadeus one of the Ephores as author of them, But the obligation is Mr Plut. in Agid. Harrington's not mine, to reconcile these Authors. However it is manifest, that this Breach in their Laws was soon taken, for they preserved themselves in the Integrity of their Manners and Institution, till after the taking of Athens by Lysander. But the Booty gained in that War being very great, Lysander prevailed, that the Gold and Silver might be brought to Sparta for the erecting a Publique Treasury, without which it would be impossible to carry on the Design of making themselves the Captaines and Leaders of all Greece. This was with some reluctancy consen­ted to, yet not without this previous Caution, That the mony should serve only for Publique Uses, and that it should be Death for any pri­vate man to have Gold or Silver in his house, which Law was put in Execution upon the person of Thorax, But it was in vaine to forbid Plut. in Lysand. that in Private, which was allowed in Publique; For with the possession of mony imediately en­tred Covetousness; & after that an inclination to Ease and Luxurie, which presenly overthrew the sober and masculine temper of their Com­monwealth. Instead of that Probity toward their Friends and Neghbours which accom­panyed [Page 143] their Poverty, now Pride, Insolence and Avarice took Place. So that becoming weake & Effeminate at home, & Odious abroad, their Commonwealth soon fell from all its Virtue and Glory. And this shewed the Provi­dence of Lycurgus who knowing that the equa­lity of their scant Lots was not a sufficient. Bar to the mischiefs produced by Riches, had at the beginning condemned the use of Gold and Silver; for these miseries befell the State a good while before they grew so expert at breaking of Lawes as to violate their Agrarian. At length that went after the Rest, and the Common­wealth being totally abandoned to Luxurie and Corruption (having first made a weak attempt or two to revert to her ancient Discipline) came to utter Ruine.

Thus have I given you a Crayon of the Commonwealth of Lacedaemon in reference to her Agrarian; Which appeares to have been instituted by Lycurgus: only as a necessary Pro­vision for attaining that Poverty and Virility, which he intended to incorporate with his Commonwealth. Against this Mr Harrington will scarse have any more to object then he has done already, which is in effect just Nothing. He brings indeed Aristotle and Plutarch to a false Muster, but Aristotle has been already re­scued from his Abuses, and the Place of Plu­tarch is the same (excepting only his want of sincerity in citing it) with that I first produced in this Discourse.

I am now delivered from this first Question [Page 144] of the Agrarian, and, according to the Method I proposed, the second Question which belongs to Such Lawes as supply the Defect of an Agra­rian in severall Commonwealth's, comes to be discussed; In doing which I shall not have occa­sion to spend much Time.

The first Instance Mr Harrington gives, is of H. pag. 86. the Ostracism which supplied the Defect in the Graecian Cities of an Agrarian. That the O­stracism was not inflicted upon Men for their excessive Riches, so much as for diminishing the Power and Credit which by their Virtue and Great Actions They had attained to in the Commonwealth, I have already made appear; And by Consequence Mr Harrington's Fancie that it supplied the Defect of an Agrarian taken in his Sense must needs be without Ground. To which it will only be needfull to adde, that when the Athenians thought of putting Nicias to the Ostracism, (then the Richest Subject of Greece, and most obnoxious to a Law that studied to prevent excess of Wealth) their Motives were, His reserved, stately, and un­popular Manner of Life, together with his Firm­ness in adhering to the Publique Good, and opposing the rash Desires of the People: And though his Riches also are mentioned by Plu­tarch among the rest, yet so as that they were the Object of their Envy rather then their Fear. I wonder why Mr Harrington, who goes off Fist after every Flie, did not mention the Pe­talism of Syracuse as well as the Ostracism of Athens in imitation of which it was invented: [Page 145] But it is to be presumed he abstained from it because of the Success, which discovered how pernicious this Device was to the Publique. For upon the Institution of this Law, the Sy­racusans of better Quality (a People, it seems, not of so unquiet and enterprizing a Temper as the Athenians) who by their Wisdome and Experience were capacitated to have ser­ved the Commonwealth, retired themselves from all Publique Affaires, thereby to avoid the danger of Banishment. And so the Care of the Publique being abandoned to the most indigent and Impudent Persons, who took Diod. Sic. lib. 11. care of nothing but how to slatter the Peo­ple in their Orations, the Commonwealth was plunged into so many Disorders and Se­ditions, that there was no hopes of her Re­covery, unless by repealing the Petalism, to invite Men of worth to resume the Conduct of Affaires.

For what concerns the Agrarian of Rome, Mr Harrington has long since said it was none at Ocean. p. 26. all, and in effect saies now the same; For if They did but strive for it, it is evident they never ob­tained it.

That at Venice the Officers of the Pomp should supply the Defect of an Agrarian, will scarse be believed by him, who knows how slightly the Accurate Giannotti passes over the Description of that Office. I think also it will not be easy to comprehend how a Law that preserves the Nobility from laying themselves out upon vain and Gawdy. Apparencies should tend to the li­miting [Page 146] their Estates. But, he saies, a Venetian that H. pag 86. should keep a Table or have his house furnisht with Retainers would be obnoxious. Does any Italian affect that expensive way of Popularity? Or how should a Noble Venetian need to do it, when he may notwithstanding entertain in Pension eight or ten Bravos?

Follow him to the German Republiques, and You will find they have no more to supply the De­fect of this Law, then that Estates descending are divided among the Children: And grant this in Oceana, and You grant the whole Agrarian. By these Republiques sure We are not to under­stand Nuremberg, Strasburg, &c. but the Prince­ly houses of Austria, Saxonie, the Rhine, &c. all which maintain this Custome: But these are all Monarchies by a Nobility, or at least Members of that Great one the Empire. Wherefore Mr Harrington commits a great Error in his Ap­prehension of the German Agrarian, or has in­curred a far greater one in his Modell of a Commonwealth, in proposing that Agrarian as fit for an equall Commonwealth, which by his own Confession belongs to a Monarchy by No­bility.

And this brings Me to the third Question, concerning the Agrarian as it is stated in Ocea­na; Which as it has no community with that of Israel in the originall of its institution, so has it very little Resemblance with that of Lace­daemon in the aime and Method of its Establish­ment. This was acknowledged long since by the Considerer, and Mr Harrington could not [Page 147] but see it, though He makes so pitifull an En­deavour to mistake my Meaning. But I am at a Loss; The Dialect of the next Pages makes Me think I am fallen into the Company of Cheats, And that it is not Aristotle or Plutarch that can now bring Me off, but that the late Act of Par­liament against Gaming must do it. This is at least made evident by it, That Mr Harrington is conversant in the Mysteries of other Boxes besides Ballotting Ones, and is no less Quali­fied for Secretary to the Comb-makers Ordi­nary, then to a Commonwealth. I envy not his high endowments, but I must soberly let him know, that though, while he maintains the Dignity of a Philosopher, and a Gentleman, I count my self obliged to return him a Serious Answer, When he thinks fit to play the Buffoon, I can laugh as unconcernedly as any other Man. And to Laughter only (my Pity excepted) am I disposed by seeing how he disports himself in shaking the 15 false Dice he pretends to find in one of my Throwes: Gentlemen, (for it is necessary I should appeale to the Lookers on) the Dice I threw were all true, for which he has in taking them up, set down these False Ones; Not any one of those 15 Absurdities be­longs to Me, but are all framed by himself, ei­ther by a willing Mistake of my meaning, or by a childish Distortion of my Words. My first Argument therefore, That his Modell of an A­grarian is unjust, remains unconfuted, and is not ever to be answered by any Man who, like Mr Harrington, makes Propriety the Ground H. p. 93. [Page 148] of Government. He ventures indeed to say, that his Agrarian does not alter Propriety, but only obliges a great landed Man to divide it a­mong his Children: But he ought to have re­membred that the Liberty of disposing as a Man thinks fit of his own, is Essentiall to the Propriety We now Dispute of; And if it be the Piety of dividing the land among all the Chil­dren he is taken with, his Hypocrisie may be a little suspected, in regard he has made this Law only to concern the Surplusage of 2000l. p. an.

The second Argument which in the Consi­derations I made use of against the Agrarian of Oceana was this, That the Rate of 2000. l. p. an. at which it is stated can never be fixt, but that it will continually be in danger of be­ing still brought lower, till at length it be so far debased, That the keeping it from going a­ny lower will be the Concernment of a greater Number of Men, then They make up who have an Interest in the further debasing of it. This Argument Mr Harrington has thought sit to anticipate, by pretending to answer it in his eight Chapter. I must therefore go back to that Place, which I find to be not only dislo­cated, but so strangely shattered, that it will be very hard for Me to Splinter up the broken confused Pieces of it. But to make as much of his Answer as I can, He seems to say in the first Place, That the People are naturally inca­pable H. p. 44. of such a Design as Levelling or reducing the Standard of Estates to the lowest Rate, see­ing [Page 149] never any People (except a faint Attempt of the Romans) went about it; And if there be any such thing familiar with the Nature of the Peo­ple, why appeared it but once, and vanished with­out Effect? This Method of arguing à non esse ad non posse, or affirming because a Thing has not yet been it can never be, is peculiar to Mr Harrington; But there is some reason to doubt, other men will not look upon this as suffici­ent Security, especially if They consider how the People are now taught Principles before unknown to them, That the Ballance of Domi­nion in Land is the Naturall Cause of Empire, And That the Ballance ought to be fixt by an Agrarian Law. For in Oceana every Man (who is not a Servant) above 18 yeares of age being obliged to have Armes, and every Man above 30 being capable of Magistracy, the People finding the Empire in their own hands, must of necessity conclude the Ballance ought to be there too, and consequently must endea­vour to take down the standard of the Agra­rian so low as that the Land may come to be divided among the whole Body of the People. And if the People in other Governments, for Example under the late Monarchy, did never H. pag. 44. so much as think of Levelling the Nobility, It was partly because They did not then ap­prehend it, as They will do now, to be a thing just and necessary; And partly be­cause They wanted Power to do it, their Arms depending upon the Nobilitie, And their Vote in the Commons house being insig­nificant [Page 150] without the Consent of the King and Lords. But in the Commonwealth of Oceana the People can not want Power and Interest to effect it, either by the way of Arms or Vote: By the way of Arms, the People amounting to 200000 armed Men, with Commanders and Officers chosen by themselves out of their own Body, and having a certain Rendezvous ap­pointed in reference to their Musters, need but declare their Resolution to have the Agra­rian taken down to a less Rate then 2000l. p. an. And the whole Business is dispatch't. For They who can have an Interest to keep it up at that Rate, not being above 5000 Men, can not possibly resist so much a greater Multi­tude, that is already armed and formed in­to a Body. So that the People of Oceana ought not to be deterred from this Attempt by the Feare of a Civill War, and the Loss they may sustain by it, (Though, by the way, If that Reflection were enough to keep the People Q [...]uet, there would be little need ever to feare their stirring) seeing the 5000 Men can not do otherwise then immediatly sub­mit, as being apparently too weak to main­tain themselves in the State of War. But if the People of Oceana choose rather to manage this Design by the way of Vote, They may with more ease effect it; For the Elders or Men capable of Magistracy in Oceana, being 100000 in number, And they who possess 2000l. p. an. being but 5000 in number, The same Proportion, according to an equall [Page 151] Calculation, must hold in the Deputies at the Prerogative Tribe; Wherefore in the Repre­sentative or Prerogative Tribe there will be twenty for one who will have an Interest to Vote the Agrarian down to a lower Stan­dard. Yet I do not think that this will come to absolute Levelling, or giving to every Man (as Mr Harrington computes it) ten pounds H. pag. 45. a yeare; But I do not see how it is possible it should stay sooner then at about 200 pounds a yeare; But that being made the measure of the Agrarian, or the greatest Estate which a­ny man can possess in Land, there can not be less then 50000 Persons concerned to keep it from going lower, which number will, it is likely, prove considerable enough to fix it at that Rate.

In his Answer to my third Argument, He takes Pleasure in straying out of a plain Way, and will understand Me as if I had said, The old Jewes during their being Inhabitants of Ca­naan were great Traders. I am not aware that any Ambiguity in my Words could give him an Occasion of this Thought; But how­soever, I am content to explaine my self better by declaring that I meant this of the Modern Jewes, who though dispossest of Canaan, are every where so Rich, that unless perhaps in Solomons time, their Ancestours could never have compared Estates with them. And as They having no Land are all Merchants, so in Oceana the Possession of Land being limit­ed, Men who aimed at farther Riches or [Page 152] Power, would convert their stock into Traf­fique, by which Emporium would be increast beyond the Proportion consisting with the Se­curity of the Commonwealth. These were the Considerer's thoughts, which Mr Harrington seems not to disallow of, but only in the last particular, that the greatness of Emporium can prove dangerous to the Commonwealth of Oceana. To make this Probable, I must be­gin a Good way off. Of Commonwealths both Antient and Modern, some have been founded upon one Great City, in which are Resident not only the Magistrates and Senate, but also the whole Body of the People which constitues the Commonwealth; Such were of old, Athens, Syracuse, Carthage, Rome, at present Venice and Genoa. These Cities are both the Heart and Head of their severall Commonwealths, In them the Principall Actions of Life are per­formed, and from thence Bloud and Spirits are conveyed into all the Parts: Their Increase is the Augmentation of the whole, and as long as they continue in Health, the Repub­lique can not die. Hereupon have all wise Le­gislators contrived and incouraged the In­crease of these Cities both in Population and Riches, for the whole Commonwealth being in a manner comprehended within their Walls, their inlargement can never cause any ine­quality or Danger to the Publique. If it be Ocean. p. 147 H. p. 98. thought that I commit an Error in placing Rome in this Classis of Commonwealths, seeing her Rustick Tribes were the most considerable [Page 153] both for number and Reputation. My induce­ments to it were, First that at the Institution of the Rustick Tribes they were so neere adjacent to the City, that there was scarse any difference, as to the facility of Assembling together, be­tween them and the Inhabitants of the City it self; And then secondly, That before Rome had attained any considerable Greatness, the Tribes were no longer to be taken in a Locall accepti­on but only as so many divisions of the People, to some one of which every Citizen where­soever inhabiting must necessarily relate; As with us every freeman of London must be of some one of the old Companies. And it was in this sense that the Patricians chose to be of some Rustick Tribe, which is no more then that my Lord Major is a Skinner or a Mer­chant Taylor. But thirdly though Rome had her Rustick Tribes, and Athens her [...] or Populations in the Country, none of these had Right to assemble within their own precincts, for choosing Magistrates or nominating Depu­ties to represent them, nor had any capaci­ty of dealing in Publique Affaires, unless They in person repaired to the Capitall City, so that this City still remained the Seat of the Commonwealth, all Pub­lique Business being transacted within her Walls.

Other Commonwealths have not been raised upon the greatness of one City, but have con­sisted of the Confederacy or League of many, of which sort so many examples occur among the [Page 154] Grecians it is needlesse to name any; Of Modern ones the Union of the Netherlandish Provinces is of this Nature. And in this case no one City can acquire an extraordinary Greatness with­out danger to the Liberties of all the rest, or at least of Dissolution to the Union: Thus the City of Thebes being grown Powerfull, took a­way the Liberty of the Boeotians their Confede­rates: And thus the Elians being inrich't by the Conflux of People to the Olympian Games, incroch't upon the Privileges of the Neigh­bouring Towns. That Amstredam of late yeares hugely advanced by Traffique, is in a Condition to do as much for the United States; and has in part attempted it, was intimated by the Considerer: The Actions are fresh, and those Relations and Discourses which are Pub­lished, make every man a judge; If Mr Har­rington be satisfyed that their actions resisted not H. p. 98. the Interest of Liberty, but of a Lord, He may de­serve a pension in communicating this satisfa­ction to them of Zealand, Frizeland and Over­yssell.

A third sort of Commonwealths are those which consist not of Leagues or Unions, nei­ther are seated in some one great City, but are diffused through a whole Nation, and are not to be assembled but by the Mediation of a Repre­sentative Body: Of this kind you are not to expect many Examples; Israel (when it shall be evinced to have been a Commonwealth) must needs have been such an one, and such an one is the proposed Modell of a Commonwealth for [Page 155] Oceana. In these the disproportionate Greatness of any one City, becomes still more dangerous, for now this City is no longer to be reputed the Head or Heart, but the Spleen or Liver, whose overgrowth brings the rest of the Body to Decay or Ruine. Any one City so overtop­ping the Rest constitutes Rem-publicam in Re­publica, and the Inhabitants of it will alwaies stand united in reference to their own Interest even when it looks a squint upon that of the Commonwealth. In Israel indeed they need not to feare this Inconvenience, for it does not ap­peare that before the establishment of the Mo­narchy, any one City had so much advantage over the rest as to claim the Dignity of a Me­tropolis. But in Monarchies the Mischief has been frequent; Paris both formerly and in our time has been the Rise and Retreat of severall Re­bellions, Ghendt and Liege have more then once done as much for their Princes, In Spain the War de las Communidades took its beginning from Toledo, Valladolid, Valentia and two or three more great Towns. And that the mischief should be multiplyed in a Commonwealth, I have one reason more to think, wch is that a Monarch can by the Residence of his Court, that brings so ample profit to a City, lay an obligation up­on them, which in a Commonwealth can amount to very little, or rather Nothing. To make an end, the City of Emporium is already so Potent That it may will be doubted whether she will be content with that portion Mr Harrington has allowed her in his Commonwealth of Oceana, [Page 156] and whether when she looses the Honor of obeying a Prince, she will not think her Com­mon Councell as good as the Prerogative Tribe, and her Commander in Chiefe as the Strategus of Oceana.

Therefore those of the Nobility who have disposed of their Sons in the City may fairely expect to see them Princes, The rest may doe well to consider whether the Beare's skin will keep them warme while it is upon the Beares back, and whether they can live upon the re­version of those Estates Mr Harrington has pro­mised H. p. 100. them in the first Provinces his Common­wealth conquers.

The fourth Argument was taken from the dif­ficulty of making the Agrarian equall and sted­dy in reference to the inconstant value of mony: But this saies He, was sufficiently provided for H. p. 101. where it is said that a new survey at the present Rent being taken, the Agrarian should ordain that no man should thenceforth hold above so much Land as there is valued at the rate of 2000l. per an. Though this was omitted in the Order, I deny not that it was hinted in one of the speeches; but this is to recompence one errour by committing another that is greater, or to cure an Ague by a Feavour; The value of mo­ny'tis true is alwaies in motion, but not in so swift and irregular one, as the Improvement of Land I speak not of the improvement of Rent, or the advantage the Landlord makes upon the Farmer, but of that Naturall one which sometimes consist in the Meliorating of the soile [Page 157] it self, as by derivation of Water; Sometimes in the Discovery of a profitable Minerall; And sometimes by imploying the ground to a new Husbandry as the planting Tabacco, Hops, and many other things which have already and may for the future be invented. By all these waies, the value of Land may come to be many times multiplyed, and consequently the Agrarian notwithstanding this Provision must soon re­cede from the first Design of its institution. He need not now have been put in mind of this, if he would have learn't this Lesson of Aristotle, That those Orders in a Commonwealth Pol. lib. 5. cap. 8. which relate to the Census or Valuation of Estates, must be renewed and adapted continually to the Census through all its shiftings and Changes, and this at furthest once in five yeares.

That the Agrarian does not stem, but follow the Tide of Custome in this Nation, will scarse meet with Belief, notwithstanding Mr Harrington's undertaking, as long as We have before our eyes so many examples of Elder Brothers and great Purchasers. But I mean not to trouble him with any Discourses about keeping or breaking old Customes; That would be as to this subject but a Common place of talke, and if the Agrarian be a thing so custo­mary, his paines in discovering of it, merit the less of thanks from the Publique; For thogh we usually give Mony to those who shew Us an Hare or Patridge, it has not been made a fashion to reward such as bring Us to a Crow or a Jack-Daw.

After all this, that an Agrarian is necessary H. pag. 102. unto Government be it what it will, and as much to Kings as unto Commonwealths, I can not give my assent; The Reasons of my not doing so, have been made out abundantly, unless I have had the ill fortune to throw away all that has been said in this Chapter and that of the Bal­lance. I doe not deny that these Notions are of good concernment, if taken in generall, and without this severe Restriction to Estates in Land. I lay it for a ground that Princes ought to consider Riches as one of the principall in­struments of Governing; That in order to this They should not think a Crown worth wea­ring, unless provided with a Constant Revenue, (or at least a way of raising it) large enough for all Publique Occasions; That they weare the Key of their Treasury, with the same Jealousy as their Sword, permitting neither to be taken out of their own hands. For the rest, That they take care those men whose interest is de­pendant upon the Prince's may be possest of such estates as shall bring them a Returne of Respect and Power. The favour of the Prince, the Profit of Offices, the Advantages arising from Publique Imployment both Military and of State, joyned with other Arts of Governing, will in a Monarchy put faire for attaining this, without the necessity of an Agrarian Law: Nor on the other side does a Prince stand in need of that help to abate the Power of any Subject that is grown dangerous, but is readily presented with some more silent way of effecting it from [Page 159] the present Juncture of Business. And indeed universally Monarchies have this advantage over Commonwealths, that Commonwealths are like Engines which being wound up can not in the greatest necessity vary from the Designation of the Artificer, but Monarchies are animate Bodies, moving and acting according to all exigencies by vertue of their own Soules: The former like the wooden Eagle which met the Emperour limited in her flight by the will of the Engineer, The other has Wings of her own, and when she sees the Quarry, failes not to make a gallant flight.


Whether Courses or Rotation be necessary to a well ordered Commonwealth, &c.

IN this long Chapter the Considerer has a very small share. It is intended against ano­ther sort of People who though they are passi­onate Doters on a Commonwealth, profess to dislike the Introduction of a Rotation. This has proceeded so far as to cause a Schisme among the Commonwealths-Men, For whilst some of them think that without the Rotation a Common­wealth must (like Pharoah's Chariots) clog and drive heavily; others suspect this continnall whirling would produce nothing but giddiness and a Danger of overturning. Yet there is some [Page 160] Reason to doubt this Difference is not rooted in their Judgements so much as in their Inter­ests: They who expect to fill a place in a stan­ding Counsell, are not pleased to think of re­signing, after a certain Terme, their Cushions to new Commers; But such who despaire of that advantage, rather then be wholly shut out would willingly take Turns, governing them­selves by the Advice of our wise Ancestors, ra­ther to be content with halfe a Loafe then have no Bread.

But this being matter of conjecture, I will let it pass, left I happen to mistake their mean­ing as much as Mr Harrington does mine; Who all along this Chapter treats me as one of those who maintain a Commonwealth while she is fixt upon standing Counsels and Armies, to be bet­ter ordered then when she goes upon Rotation. But this is manifest; That I concede Rotation to have been the practise of Ancient Republiques, and I doe not any where discover that I think a Commonwealth can be safe without it. It is true that judging Rotation to be in it self not very just, and often prejudiciall to publique Affairs, I can not approve of that Government which stands in need of such an Order; so that my Quarrell lyes not against Rotation where I find it in a Commonwealth, but against Commonwealths because they are by the necessary care of their Preservation, forced to embrace Rotation.

The Examples therefore of Israel, Athens and Venice do not any way concern Me: Though it were an easie matter to shew that [Page 161] the Proofs of a Rotation in Israel are very wild and unconcluding, if I had not an Obligation upon Me to abstain from inquiring any further into that Government. Concerning Venice, as He has brought forth nothing that's new to one who is not a stranger to Giannotti, so will his Riddle easily meet with a Solution out of that Author. If he would make 2 or 3 dozen of these Riddles, and put them into Rime, (which to him cannot be difficult) if they did not please the Counsell of State, they would at least be admirably usefull to the new Junta of Politi­call Ladies, who by them would find Diversion for Winter Evenings, without descending from the Gravity of their new affected studies, Lawes and Government.

All then that I need to do is to make good this Assertion, That Commonwealths have by the Observation of their Rotation been put upon great and Dangerous Inconveniences. To prove this the Examples of Veturius, Varro, Mancinus and other weak and passionate Commanders imployed by the Romans, were insisted on by the Considerer: Which Mr Harrington inter­prets most extravagantly as if there were but H. pag. 122. three weake or unfortunate Generals in the whole course of Rome. He that names three, with the addition of a generall clause comprehending the rest, is not, I conceive, with any Honesty to be understood, as if he thought there were but three in all. If it be any pleasure to Mr Har­rington to view a List of unfortunate Roman Generals, let him cast his eyes upon the Fabii, [Page 162] Sulpitius Longus Q. and P. Servilius, Claudius Pulcher, Sempronius, C. Flaminius, Vitilius, Plautius, Popilius, Manilius, Lentulus, Piso, Hyp­soeus, L. Cassius, Scaurus, Coepio, Rutilius, and ma­ny more which might be reckoned up if it were my design to count the black daies in the Roman Calendar. I selected those three because by their want of Experience and Conduct Rome received the greatest and most ignominious defeats that ever befell Her.

Veturius (or Posthumius if he will needs lay the miscarriage chiefly upon him) threw a­way himself and the Roman Army very ridicu­lously; For having taken no Care, by Spies or Intelligence of his own, to be informed of the Posture and Condition of the Enemy, He relied wholly upon the Report of Prisoners, which Liv. lib. 9. is alwaies uncertain and very often Suborned. Being thus put upon a long March with a thought to find that Enemy at Luceria who was then close by him, he engaged the Army in a deep Valley shut up on every side with steep Rocks and thick Forests, accessible only by two narrow and difficult Passages: And here he committed an Error far more gross and withall irreparable; For either he did omit, contrary to the known Maximes of War, to discover the Countrey through which his March lay, or knowing it (as is more probable) he negle­cted, by a strange Stupidity, to secure himself of either of the two Passes; So that finding the furthest guarded and barricadoed by the Ene­my, before he could get back the other was [Page 163] surprized also, and the whole Roman Army caught in this Trap. Now it is evident that this loss befell the Romans, not by the Valour or Experience of their Enemies, but meerly by the Insufficiency of their own Commanders, who probably had never been imployed, but for the Orders of their Rotation; The Com­monwealth had at that time Fabius, Papyrius, and many other brave Commanders, who in submitting to the Rotation were fain to resign the Conduct of the Army to such raw Men as could Court the Suffrages of the People for the Consulship.

As for Varro, it is observable that his Ele­ction (like that of Flaminius the Consul of the Liv. lib. 22. former yeare who lost the great Battle at the Lake of Thrasimene) was carried meerly upon a Faction against the Nobility, without any o­ther Merit in the Person, then his Sycophantry in accusing the Conduct of the Senate, and flat­tery to the People in promising them to put a sudden end to the War: In his yeare was that Stupendous defeat received at Cannae which is by Polybius wholly imputed to his ill Manage We may fairely take notice that the Dangers in­to which Rome was so often precipitated du­ring the War with Annibal, took their Rise from the frequent Change of Commanders; For there is just ground in the Histories of those A­ctions of believing that if Scipio the elder, Fa­bius, or Marcellus had had the sole manage of the War, Hannibal could never have setled him­self in Italie, but being consumed by want and [Page 164] small Skirmishes must presently have abandoned the Countrey; Whilst on the other hand, the Commanders being changed every yeare, un­experienced Men came to be at the head of the Army, who hoping to get Honour, at the Charges of the Commonwealth, put things upon the hazardous Issue of set Battles And this is na­turally and directly to be charged upon their Orders of Rotation.

Concerning Hostilius Mancinus, the foulness of his miscarriage appeares in this, that ha­ving 30000 Men he was defeated by 4000. Numantines; And that the fault was only in the Generall, was the Judgment of the Romans Florus & Brev. Livii. lib. 55. & 57. themselves, who therefore committing the care of the War to Scipio (though expresly against their Lawes of Rotation) he made an end of it with the same Forces which had been so of­ten beaten. But it can not scape our wonder, that Mr Harrington should think fit to com­municate H. p. 125. the Guilt of those Miscarriages to Pompey the Great, who had no being in the World till thirty yeare after: It is true that Q. Pompeius Rufus received a foile from the Numantines, Anno Ʋ. C. 616. but by what secret Participation of Guilt can this concern Cn. Pompeius Magnus who was not born till about the yeare Ʋ. C. 647? We might with equall Justice make the Translator of Virgill be responsible for all the faults in the Transla­tion of Orlando Furioso.

Having thus sufficiently proved that these three great Defeats befell the Romans meerely [Page 165] through the weakness of their Commanders, as also that these weake Commanders could not, (in all Probability) ever have come into that Imployment but through the Or­ders of Rotation, it would be altogether use­less to accumulate any more Examples out of the Roman Stories. I may then go on to confirm the same Observation out of the A­thenian Historie; Which Commonwealth besides the annuall Rotation of her Generals, was good at another Trick often made Use of by Republiques out of a Jealousy of tru­sting too much Power in one hand: This was to confer the Command, not upon a­ny one Person, but to place it upon many, or in a Commission, so that They have frequently had at once in one Army ten Ge­nerals. At Aegos-potamos they were no few­er, and their Sottishness as well as their Number considered, I can not study out a­ny Term to fit them so properly as that of a Rabble. Conon was indeed a brave Com­mander, but his single Vote could not pre­vaile against the Obstinacy of his Compani­ons. At that time Alcibiades was the only Thueyd. l. 6. Man who had credit and Ability enough to have saved the Athenian State; But He out of the Peoples Jealousy of him, and by the Orders of their Rotation being laid a side, Tydeus, Philocles, and as many as served to make up the halfe Score of Generals, were intrusted with the whole Navall Power then remaining to the Athenian Commonwealth, Plut. & Xenoph. [Page 166] which they totally lost at Aegos-potamos by one of the most Palpable and wilfull Errors that perhaps, was ever committed in War. It is not to be expected I should bring another Example from the Athenian Historie, since this Error was one of those which can not be com­mitted twice, and Athens it self being a while after taken in Consequence of this Defeat, They had not any more Fleets or Armies to throw away by their Rotation.

But, replies Mr Harrington, had there been formerly no Rotation in Athens how should there have been Men of Valour and Conduct to lie by the Wals? And if Rotation thenceforth should H. pag. 125. have ceased, how could those Men of Valour and Conduct have done other then lie by the Wals? So this unavoidably confesseth, that Rotation was the Means whereby Athens came to be stored with Per­sons of Valour and Conduct, and They to be ca­pable of Imployment. In Answer to this good­ly Argument, let Me inquire of him, What Ro­tation was there in the Armies of the Nether­lands? Yet we know there was a time when al­most all the able Souldiers of Christendome came out of that Schoole. Or let him show Me the Orders of Rotation at present in France, which Crown notwithstanding abounds with more Persons capable of high Commands, then all Europe besides. In small Imployments, it is not Rotation, or the passing through many hands, that can beget able Men, and in great Actions Men of great Abilities will grow up without the help of Rotation; So that if A­thens [Page 167] or Rome have produced such Illustrious H. pag. 126. Examples, it is very Impertinent to attri­bute this to Rotation or the Integrity of Po­pular, Suffrage, but to the great Imployments, in which by reason of their continuall Wars, those Commonwealths brought up their Sub­jects.

Since He has mentioned the Integrity of Po­pular Suffrage, it must not be let pass without our Animadversion, where he saies That the Ibid. Ballot bars Canvasing, beyond all Possibility of any such thing. No doubt the Secrecy introduced by the Ballot, is a faire Guardian of Liberty in Voting; but if We examine the matter more narrowly, We shall easily perceive that this hardly extends to more then a removing the Awe imposed upon Men by Feare, and that all the Engagements of Affection, Flattery, and Bribery are not in the least weakened by the Ballot. And therefore We may justly infer that the Orders of Oceana are in this point Defe­ctive, (for the Provision in the ninth order fals far short of a Cure) as were those of Ve­nice before the Introduction of the Censor's Of­fice: For till then, notwithstanding the Ballot, the Gentlemen held secret Correspondences for the mutuall gratifying one another's Ambition, and some directly sold their Votes; which makes Giannotti judge, That, without the Censors who have power given them to prevent it, This single Disorder had been enough to have ever­ted the Commonwealth. And conformable to this is the Experience of the Conclaves held for [Page 168] Electing of the Popes, where since Gregory the 15, all waies of making the Pope are forbid, but that of secret Scrutiny which is so managed that in effect it is the same thing with the Ballot: And yet the Examples of succeeding Conclaves Relat. Ital. M. S. delli Conclavi. testify, That the Power and Influence of the Heads of Factions over their Creatures, is scarse at all diminished by this Course.

To returne to Rotation, As the mischiess by it derived upon a Commonwealth are appa­rent, in the next place I am to show how it has not been counted so Sacred, but that it has of­ten been sacrificed to the Publique Exigencies. Machiavel furnishes Me with the early Example of Publilius Philo at Palepolis. When the Nu­mantines had by the bravery of their Resistance provoked the Rage and Disdain of the Roman People, not to trifle out the War any longer under weake Commanders, The People gave Scipio the Consulship, though he were then un­capable of it by the Law of Rotation which re­quired a Vacation of ten yeares between two Brev. Liv. Consulships. The Lacedemonians indeed were more Hypocriticall, while out of scruple of vio­lating their Rotation they cheated themselves with the Name and outside of things; The case I refer to was in Lysander, who had in the yeare Plut. Xenoph. of his Admiralty laid great Designs for carrying on the War against Athens, and rendered him­selfe very acceptable to the Lacedemonian Confederates on the coasts of Asia; At Sparta there was a Law that no man should be twice Admirall, and yet it being highly expedient for [Page 169] their Affaires to give Lysander the Com­mand again, They fell upon an expedi­ent somewhat ridiculous in the hands of Wise men; Aracus an inconsiderable Person was made Admirall, and Lysander had the Commission of Viceadmirall with the whole Power and authority of Admirall. Such shifts are those States put to who think the supreame Publique interest can be regulated by any cer­tain Lawes?

If then the Lawes of Rotation have so fre­quently vailed Bonnet to the Ambition or Desire of Acquisition in Commonwealths, it cannot seem strange they should doe so in case of necessary preservation. In all the course of the Roman Affaires We can scarse meet with a time more destitute of great Actions, and by consequence of great Commanders, then that immediately following the third Punick and Numantine Wars: Yet in that time the blackest and fiercest tempest broke upon the Romans that ever they were exposed to, except that which some hundreds of yeares after ship­wrackt their Empire; The Cimbres, Teutons, and Ambrons, fierce Northern Nations, to the num­ber of at least 300000 fighting men; besides an aequall Company of Women and Children to supply them with Recruits, poured themselves down upon Italy; Foure Roman Armies had Plut. in Mar. been defeated by them, nor could the Alpes and Winter to boot, be any obstacle to their March; In this condition what should the Romans doe? They had but one Commander [Page 170] C. Marius, to whom in the Publique Judg­ment the manage of the War could be with any safety committed, And he was at that time un­capable by the Laws of Rotation: Should they violate the Law? Or suffer the Barbarous Na­tions to come up to Rome without Opposition? The grave Statists were for the observation of the Law, but here it was the Peoples turn to be wise, and their feares were their best Counsel­lers. They thought fit to make bold with the Law for the Publique Utility, and gave three Consulships together to Marius, in whose hands only they counted the Commonwealth secure. Brev. Liv. Lib. 3. cap. 3. Actum erat, saies Florus, nisi Marius illi soeculo contigisset.

That this Prolongation of Empire to Marius, was the first step toward the Destruction of the Commonwealth is observed by Mr Harrington out of Machiavel; And yet it is the consent of Png. 126, 127, & 128. Historians that without the help of Marius the Commonwealth had then been destroyed by the Cimbres; This does beyond all Exception fortify my Notion, That a Commonwealth is an Imperfect forme of Government, since she may be reduced to that Exigence as by either observing or violating her Lawes to plunge her self into a certain Ruine. If Machiavel has observed no other Dilemma in this, then That if a Common­wealth will not be so slow in her Acquisition as is required by Rotation, She will be less sure then is requisite to her Preservation, I am not responsible for his Inadvertency: But it was reasonable for me to expect that Mr Harrington, when I [Page 171] had presented him with a paire of Spectacles should have seen a little better and have taken notice that the prolongation of Empire to C. Marius was not in order to Conquest or Acquisition, but to the Preservation of Italie, and Rome it self.

We have all this while advanced very little, if this Flaw which in Reference to Rotation, has been discovered in Commonwealths, be no less discernable in Monarchies; For then it is not a weakness seated in one Limbe or Member, but a Disease that has seized upon the whole Body of Government: And this Mr Harrington insinuates when he tels Us, That a Prince whose H. p. 129. Providence supplies not the defect of Rotation with something of like Nature, exposeth Himself if not his Empire as much unto Danger as a Com­monwealth. Here I must put him in mind of the Difference, formerly observed by Me, between the Actions of a Prince and a Commonwealth even when they do the same Thing. A Commonwealth having no eies of her own is forced to resign her self to the Conduct of Lawes, which are blind too, though in a known Road they faith­fully and without wandring performe the part of a Guide; But if a stone be laid, or a pit be digged in this Path, the Blind leading the Blind, they both fall, and then she runs a danger of her Neck. If in this Case a Commonwealth be beholding to some hand to lead her to avoid the Danger, it is oddes she will never be able to free herself of the new Guide, who carrying her through unknown Waies in the end ravi­shes [Page 172] or strangles her. But a Prince having his Eyes about him chuses his own Way, and though for the Generall he keeps on the High Way of Lawes, yet when that leads to a Preci­pice, he can see how to goe about, till having scaped the Danger, he may safely returne to the common Road. In disposing then of Publique Imployments a wise Prince observes no other Rotation but what is measured by the Ability and Integrity of the Person's imployed, the present Necessity and future security of his Af­faires, from the due mixture of all which re­sults the Princes behaviour as to the Placing, Displacing and Transplacing his Publique Mini­sters whether Military or Civill; And all this is performed without being lyable (unless by a particular error of the Princes Judgment) to mistake or Danger. Whereas a Commonwealth that is tyed up by the Lawes of Rotation, knows not how to refuse the service of her weakest Subjects, or to imbrace her most Able and Faithfull ones (even in her greatest Exigencies) during the time of their Vacation, unless at the same moment she open a Gap to the Ambition of such men who will of servants indeavour to become her Masters. And this befalls a Common­wealth as shee is a Government of Lawes, which being framed upon an universall prospect, can not possibly, be fitted to particular incident oc­casions; so that a Government making professi­on to regulate it self in all things by Lawes, must need be sometimes at a Loss, and is not unlike the great Land Crabs in some parts of America [Page 173] which walke alwaies in a strait Line, and will rather then vary from it, climb over an house or a Tree.

To what purpose then serves the Pompous Enumeration of such Princes as have been sup­planted H. p. 129. by their Favourites, or deposed by the Generals of their Armies? Yet it must not pass without Animadversion, That this Tragicall List is in great Part made up of such Persons (as Sejanus, Perennis, Ruffinus Stilico, Walle­stein &c.) whose unsuccesfull Ambition serves for an excellent Lesson to keep great men with­in the bounds of Duty and Moderation. But at worst, if some weake and careless Princes by neg­lecting the Oportunities of their own Safety, have faln by the hands of such as they trusted, this is no more an argument for Rotation, then it would be for going unarm'd because some men have been killed by their own swords. I ra­ther suspect that upon this occasion Mr Har­rington intended a secret blow at the Head of Monarchy, by shewing how lyable that Govern­ment is to be ruined by the Usurpation of such Persons to whom Princes commit any extraor­dinary Power either in Civill or Military Af­faires. But this he will find to be a common Calamity, not to be prevented by the Orders of any Government, but only by the particular Dexterity and Prudence of a Prince: I adde not, Or of the Chief Ministers of a Commonwealth, because the Cure in a Commonwealth is in a manner Desperate, it being scarse Possible that any Citizen should arrive at so much Power as [Page 174] to become Dangerous, but that at the same time he will have Barricadoed all waies tending to the publique Preservation, since those Counsels where it is to be debated, will be filled with his Friends and Dependents. And there­fore we may put in the other scale, a great Heap of Instances of such Commonwealths as have been opprest by those Persons to whom they had committed the conduct of their Affaires. Thus Pisistratus became Master of Athens, Cyp­selus, and after his Familie Timophanes of Co­rinth, Dionysius and Agathocles of Syracuse, Panoetius and Icetes of Leontium, Cleander of Gela, Anaxilaus of Rhegium, Theagenes of Megara, Abantidas of Sicyon, Aristomachus o Argos, Polyphron of Larissa, Machanidas and Nabis of Lacedaemon. By this Caesar was enabled to convert the Roman Commonwealth into a Monarchy. And after that out of the Ruines of this Monarchy (like some goodly Palace pulled down to build Tenements) severall Republiques had been erected, They almost all were exposed to the same Fortune. Thus Pisa came under the Power of Ʋguccione della Faggivola, Lucca of Castrucio Castracana, Siena of Petrucci, Florence of the Duke of Athens, Milan of the Count Francis Sforza, to omit the Examples of all the smaller Commonwealths. If I can not follow Mr Harrington into the East, it is because that wiser Quarter of the World have not been known to own any other then Monarchicall Government.

But let other Commonwealths answer for their [Page 175] own Follies or Misfortunes, the Commonwealth of Oceana is promised better success, and assu­red that she shall never want Men of Honesty and Ability to lead her to her true Interest at home and abroad. Nay more, Her Education for her Subjects is so excellent, that three yeares Ex­perience will serve to make them all very able H. p. 1 [...]3. Leaders. Is this a wounder to you? It is a meer Cheat this pretended Depth and Difficulty in mat­ter of State; The Business rests upon the skill in managing the Balloting Box, and if a man have but the the Wit to know the Difference btween White and Black, & Red, What can hinder him P. 130. from being a very expert Statesman? Though no man can continue longer then three yeares in any Magistracy, his going of the Stage will but make roome for one as able as himself, other­wise how came it about that in Athens and Rome, where every body pressed forward to­ward Magistracy, (which with them was annu­all) the Magistrates were for illustrious Examples, more in weight and number then are to be found in all the rest of the World? Of this I have newly given an account, and will only adde, That at Rome the Senate (which bred the able men) was perpetuall, and both in Athens and Rome the Body of the People inhabiting within the walls of those Cities, they might continually be conversant in Business, and have a share in all Publique Transactions: Whereas in England the People being dispersed through the whole Na­tion, are incapable of Business unless by their Representatives, which being all limited to [Page 176] Terms and Vacations, their Time of acquiring Experience may with very probable reason be thought too short. The only proper Judge of this Controversy is Experiment, and in that I think Mr Harrington, as well as the Nation, very Fortunate, that He is delivered from all Probability of seeing his Project reduced to Practise, For that would be more Terrible to Him, then a thousand Reames of Objections, and would easily detect those Errors and Defects in his Modell of Government, which at present are but lightly viewed in passing, or not at all discovered.


AN APPENDIX By way of reply to what Mr Harrington cals A full Answer to all Objections.

IT is a pretty Artifice in Mr Harrington to insinuate that because no man has gone about to discover any Contradiction or, Inequality in the Model of his Commonwealth; therefore it must be taken for granted his Commonwealth has not any such in it, and must consequently be void of all Internall causes of Dissolution. By this he indeavours to draw the world into an Opinion that his Commonwealth is Invnlnerable, and at the same time to fix a Disreputation upon the Author of the Considerations, as if he had failed in making out what he under­took. For what concerns Me as Author of the Considerations, having at the beginning made profession to restrain them to the first Preliminaries of Oceana, Mr Harrington is injurious in accusing Me in neglecting that which was no part of my Business, and which I alwaies declared I did not intend to meddle with.

But before that other Men make a surren­der of their Judgement to Mr Harrington and believe upon the credit of this Argument that his Commonwealth has attained unto full Perfection, It will be convenient They should reflect, That in a Modell of Government the Conformity of the severall Parts to one an­other is not a sufficient argument of the Perfection of the whole; For as in a Fiction, the severall Members may be so contrived as not to give one another the Lie, but be all contained within the limits of verisimilitude, and yet the whole remain without the least syllable of Truth; Or as for the Explication of any Motion in Nature, various Hypothe­ses may be excogitated including no Absur­dity within themselves, and yet perhaps, not any one of them prove to be the true Me­thod of Nature; so in Government, It is not difficult to invent variety of Formes, the parts of each of which taken separately, may maintain a faire Correspondence and Agree­ment among themselves, and yet the Whole be far enough from attaining to Perfection.

The Materials of Government are Mankind, and the Architect wo disposes of these Ma­terials is man also; so that Government is nothing else but an Art by which one part of Mankind disposes of the other for attain­ing the Common Utility of both, which consists in ariving at such a Degree of Plenty and Security as Mankind is capable of by [Page 179] society. This Art is not obliged to one soli­tary Method for attaining the End and De­sign proposed to it, but has sometimes made use of a Monarchy, sometimes of an Aristo­cratie, sometimes of a Democratie, and in all these of severall Frames and Models. But this art of Governing has a very disadvanta­geous Difference from all other Arts, for in them the Artificer makes choice only of such Materials as have the greatest aptitude for his worke but in Government the Artificer is ob­liged to his Materials, and must grapple with all the Stubborness and Reluctancy He meets with in them; And it is an Error very inci­dent to Mankind, that every particular Man thinks Government was instituted for his pe­culiar Advantage, which if he meets not with in a degree sutable to his Desire in the Go­vernment He lives under, He presently indea­vours to subvert that Government out of hopes to meet with it in the next: Which is just as if the steele of which the Index of a Watch is composed should refuse to move out of a Discontent it was not imployed a­bout the Spring or Ballance; and at this rate I believe the ablest Watch-maker would de­spaire of giving us a true movement. So that though it should be allowed Mr Harrington that his Commonwealth has no Inequality in it, yet it would faile of attaining the perfection of Government, seeing there is an inequality in the Nature of Man, which is not rectifyed [Page 180] by the Modell of his Commonwealth. What this Inequality consists in, how far it is capa­ble of Cure, and how Mr Harrington has failed of performing it, was the subject of my 8th and 9th Chapters, and therefore is not now to be repeated.

I doe not intend to imploy my selfe in picking the Feathers off Mr Harrington's Cloake, or going in search of the Inequali­ties or Contradictions in the orders of his Modell; but I would be glad to know, Whe­ther He be not unequall to Himself as well as the Nobility in such orders as particularly concern them Having by his Agrarian re­duced the Nobility (under which name I al­so comprehend the Gentry of higher Quali­ty) unto the Condition of clypt Mony, He Ocean. p. 25. notwithstanding appeares very solicitous They should still be currant, and not be re­fused in the uses of the Commonwealth. To This purpose distinguishes the whole people into Horse and Foot, making the Horse to consist of such as have above one hundred pounds a yeare, and has provided that the Horse shall have diverse advantages as that (to omit the lesser ones) the Senate and Great Magistrates shall consist of Knights ele­cted out of their Number. But this favour to them is all this while but an handsome piece of Dissimulation; For though there be care taken that at the Assembly of the Hun­dred and Tribe such and such Magistrates [Page 181] shall be elected out of the Horse, there is no necessary provision there should be any Horse there, out of which to elect; For the Deputies at the Hundred and Tribe consi­sting of the Deputies elected at the Parish, It is a meer chance if in the Parish there were any Horse at all elected: The Elector or Proposer at the Parish are designed by the hap of drawing a Golden Ball out of the Urn, and these Electors or Proposer nomi­nate the rest of the Deputies to be proposed to the Ballot, so that unless one of the Horse chance to prove an Elector by drawing a Golden Ball, the nomination is wholly in the power of the Foot, who would be very senceless, by nominating any of the Horse to part with that power which Fortune has put into their Hands. Now what small pro­bability there is that any of the Horse should chance to draw a Golden Ball, will appeare by the great disparity in number between the whole Body of the People and such as may only be capable of being of the Horse; It is confest by Mr Harrington there is no­thing in the Nature of the Agrarian to hin­der, but that the whole Land in Oceana may come into the hands of 5000 Men; But the Elders or Men capable of Election are confest to be 100000 Men; Wherefore the 5000 Men or the Horse (though they should as is most unprobable, be all of 30 yeares of Age and so Capable of Election) are but a [Page 182] twentieth part of Foot, and by Consequence it is twenty to one that at every Election of the Parish not any of the Horse come to be elected. By which it is evident there is a very great inequality in his Commonwealth, seing by the orders of it Matters may with great Probability be reduced to that pass, That those men who have the whole Propriety in Land may be wholly excluded from having any share in the Government. It is apparent also, That the upper Roomes of his Com­monwealth, such as are the Hundred, Tribe, Senate and Prerogative, are built upon a most ruinous Foundation, the Basis of the Parishes being too weake to support them, Thus ha­ving reduced the Nobility and Gentry to 2000l. per an. and having devested them of all the Advantages of Birth and Descent, He leaves them also after all at the discretion of their good Neighbours with the High shoon, in reference to their whole interest in the Go­vernment.

But for all this he has dealt more kindly with the Nobility and Gentry, then with the three Faculties of Divines, Lawyers and Physitians; For though the Ballance of Land, prove unprofitable to the Nobility, yet the Ballance of Beef remaies still with them, And if against an Election Day they Feast my Lords of the People handsomely, They may still have hopes to be nominated by some of them; But the other are beyond all Possibi­lity [Page 183] of retriving it, excluded from having any share in the Government; And that for this generall Reason, They who take upon them the Profession of Theologie, Physick or Law, are not Ocean. p. 224 at leisure for the Essays whereby the Youth com­mence for all Magistracies, Offices and Honours in a Commonwealth. It seems that he who has under a stall imployed his Life in the Repara­tions of old shooes is qualifyed to fall to worke with the Breaches of the State; And he whose converse has been nothing but whistling to Horses, has a sufficient Capacity to give Law to Mankind; But if any mans Education has been laid out in Pursuit of Truth and in a Familiarity with such Univer­sall Notions & Reasons of Things, as tend to the advancement of Humane Nature, If He has afterward addicted himself in particular to such Studies upon which depend the safety of every Man in private, and of society in Common, That man must be deposed from the Privelege of a Citizen, and forfeit that Liberty which is the Foundation of all Popular Government, That every Man should concur to the making those Lawes by which He is to be governed.

The Clergy then or Divines will have Occasion to make use of all the Patience and Humility they preach to others, in reference to their submission to a Government which treats them as People uncapable of the Com­mon Privileges of Men; The Quality of [Page 184] Embassadours from Heaven which is usually attributed to them seems to be understood litterally by Mr Harrington, For He consi­ders them as Aliens, and so denies them the Libertie due to all English Men; And he has made a little bold with the Apostles argument, by changing the Inference of it, That be­cause They serve at the Altar, therefore they are to be used as Slaves and Helots.

For the poore Physitians I least of all under­stand why They should be shut out from the Government whilst their Apothecaries are admitted to it, And why the Farrier should be made a better man then the Doctor. But there is no Help, They must be content to swallow this Pill, unless They can out of hand find Hellebore enough for our new Legislator.

As to the Lawyers, there is a particular reason why they should have nothing to do with making of Lawes, because it is enough for them that they can understand them when they are made; Yet there may be some cause to doubt, whether the whole Bench, and all the Innes of Court could find the way to understand such Lawes as would be made by those men who are themselves obliged not to understand any. Howsoever Mr Harrington has that good perswasion of the whole profession of Lawyers, that He thinks they would betray the Publique good, to the profit of their own Practise, and [Page 185] therefore resolves to banish them from all Interest in the Government; so that the Lawyers are in this, at least, highly obliged to Him, That he has given them faire leisure to turn their Books.

Though every branch of these Orders be fertile of very dectructive Consequences, I do not intend to prosecute any of them, but am Content in generall to observe, that the Com­monwealth of Oceana which pretends so much to Equality, does wholly shut out the Pro­fessions of Divinity, Law, and Physick from any share in the Government, and leaves the Nobility and Gentry in a great probability of being reduced to the same Condition.

WHile a Government is under Dispute, the Liberty of pro­posing one's sence about it ought not to be denyed; But if it come once to be setled, Private men have nothing left but obedience. Having through the whole Book acted by the first Branch of this Maxime, it is fit I should now shew how I can comply with the latter. And being conscious of a Disability in serving the Commonwealth of Oceana in any more important matter, I desire to shew a respect to the Gentlemen of the Academy of the Provosts by presenting them with these following Collections.

[Page 188] A Catalogue of such pieces of Wit in Mr Harrington's last Book which (though in themselves inimitable) may serve as a Ocean. p. 130. Pattern for the Gentlemen of the Aca­demie.

THE Considerer hath doft his consider­ing Cap. in Praefat. A pig of my own Sow. p. 13. Monti and Bankes, Mountebank­ing. p. 17. A man to be made of Ginger­bread, and his veins to run Malmesy. p. 21. You tumble Dick upon Sis. p. 23. The Ostra­cism of Billinsgate. p. 26. Paralogism and Parakeetism. p. 28. My Hypothesis, his Hypo­thites. p. 30. Sons of the University, Brothers of the Colledg, Heads and Points. ibid. If she who should have some care of the Vineyard of Truth, should lie pigging of wide bores to grunt in this manner and feare with the Tush, and I happen to ring some of them, (as I have done this Marcassin for rooting) there is nothing in my faith why such tryall of their Noses should be sin. p. 76. Besides these a great number of choice Metaphores from Bowling, Carding, Dicing, and the like.

[Page] An account of severall Formes of Complement and Address used by Mr Harrington, which may be serviceable to the great De­sign of improving Civility and Conver­sation,Ocean. p. 130which is intrusted with the Aca­demie.

PRaevaricator, Infidell, Wretch, Rude fellow, Uulucky Boy, Tom Thumb, Bestia, Parrat, Ape, Tinker, Neither Honest Man nor good Bowler, Cheat, Blind Bayard &c. these are applicable to a person. For a Book such appellations as these may be used. Most victorious Nonsense, Slanders, Fopperies, Vagaries, Knavery, Tittle tattle, Verjuice. A Doctor is to be saluted thus; You are a Doctor of fine things, Your Cap is squarer then your play, you have more in your sleeves then the scarlet, &c. You are a Bog, Informis limus, stygiaeque Paludes, This would do admirably to our neighbours of the Low Countries. You jole your presumptuous head not only against ancient prudence but against God himself. You take part with the Devill &c.


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