A description of the famous kingdome of Macaria, shewing its excellent government wherein the inhabitants live in great prosperity, health, and happiness : the king obeyed, the nobles honoured, and all good men respected, vice punished, and vertue rewarded : an example to other nations between a schollar and a traveller.
Hartlib, Samuel, d. 1662.
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A DESCRIPTION OF THE FAMOUS. KINGDOME OF MACARIA; SHEWING ITS EXCELLENT GOVERNMENT: WHEREIN The Inhabitants live in great Prosperity, Health, and Happinesse; the King obeyed, the Nobles honoured; and all good men respected, Vice punished, and vertue rewarded. An Example to other Nations.

In a Dialogue between a Schollar and a Traveller.

LONDON, Printed for Francis Constable, Anno 1641.

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TO THE HIGH AND HONOURABLE COURT OF PARLIAMENT.

WHereas I am confi∣dent, that this Hono∣rable Court will lay the Corner Stone of the worlds happinesse before the final recesse thereof, I have adventured to cast in my widowes mite into the Treasurie; not as an Instructer, or Counsellour, to this Honourable Assembly, but have Page  [unnumbered] delivered my conceptions in a Ficti∣on, as a more mannerly way, having for my pattern Sir Thomas Moore, and Sir Francis Bacon once Lord Chancellour of England; and hum∣bly desire that this honourable As∣sembly will be pleased to make use of any thing therein contained, if it may stand with their pleasures, and to laugh at the rest, as a solace to my minde, being enclined to doe good to the publick. So humbly craving leave, that I may take my leave, I rest this 25. of October 1641.

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A DESCRIPTION OF THE FAMOUS KINGDOME OF MACARIA. SHEWING ITS EXCELLENT GOVERNMENT.

Traveller.

WEll met sir, your habit professes scho∣larship, are you a Graduate?

Schollar.

Yes sir, I am a Master of Arts.

Trav.

But what doe you heare in the Exchange; I conceive you trade in knowledge, and here is no place to traffick for it; neither in the book of rates is there any imposition upon such commodities: so Page  2 that you have no great businesse either here or at the Custome-house. Come let us goe into the fields, I am a Traveller, and can tell you strange newes, and much knowledge, and I have brought it over the sea without paying any Custome, though it bee worth all the merchandize in the king∣dome.

Schol.

We Scholars love to heare newes, and to learne knowledge, I will wait upon you, goe whi∣ther you will.

Trav.

Well, we will goe into Moore fields, and take a turne or two, there we shall be out of this noise, and throng of people.

Sch.

Agreed; but as we goe, what good newes doe you heare of the Parliament?

Trav.

I heare that they are generally bent to make a good reformation, but that they have some stops and hinderances, so that they cannot make such quick dispatch as they would; and if any ex∣perience which I have learned in my long travels, may stand them in stead, I would willingly impart it for the publick good.

Sch.

I like that well, I pray you declare some good experience, that I may say that I have gained some thing by the company of Travellers.

Trav.

In a Kingdome called Macatia, the King and the Governours doe live in great honour and riches, and the people doe live in great plenty, pro∣speritie, health, peace, and happinesse, and have not halfe so much trouble as they have in these Europe∣an Countreyes.

Sch.

That seemeth to me impossible: you Tra∣vellers Page  3 must take heed of two things principally in your relations; first, that you say nothing that is generally deemed impossible. Secondly, that your relation hath no contradiction in it, or else all men will think that you make use of the Travellers privi∣ledge, to wit, to lie by authority.

Trav.

If I could change all the minds in Eng∣land as easily as I suppose I shall change yours, this Kingdome would be presently like to it: when you heare the manner of their government, you will deeme it to be very possible, and withall very easie.

Sch.

I pray you sir declare the manner of their government, for I think long till I heare it.

Trav.

As for brevitie in discourse, I shall answer your desire. They have a Great Councell like to the Parliament in England, but it sitteth once a yeer for a short space, and they heare no complaints a∣gainst any but Ministers of State, Judges, and Offi∣cers; those they trounce soundly, if there because: Besides, they have five under Councels; to wit,

  • A Councell of Husbandry.
  • A Councell of Fishing.
  • A Councell of Trade by Land.
  • A Councell of Trade by Sea.
  • A Councell for new Plantations.

These sit once a yeere for a very short space, and have power to heare and determine, and to punish Malefactors severely, and to reward Benefactors ho∣nourable, and to make new lawes, not repugnant to the lawes of the Great Councell, for the whole Page  4 Kingdome, like as Court Leets, and Corporations have within their owne Precincts and Liberties in England.

Sch.

I pray you sir declare some of the principall Lawes made by those under Councels.

Trav.

The Councell of Husbandry hath ordered, that the twentieth part of every mans goods that dieth shall be employed about the improving of lands, and making of High-wayes faire, and bridges over Rivers; by which meanes the whole King∣dome is become like to a fruitfull Garden, the High-wayes are paved, and are as faire as the streets of a Citie; and as for Bridges over Rivers, they are so high, that none are ever drowned in their tra∣vels.

Also they have established a law, that if any man holdeth more land than he is able to improve to the utmost, he shall be admonished, first, of the great hinderance which it doth to the Common-wealth. Secondly, of the prejudice to himselfe; and if hee doe not amend his Husbandry within a yeares space, there is a penalty set upon him, which is yeerely doubled, till his lands be forfeited, and he banished out of the Kingdome, as an enemy to the common-wealth.

In the Councell of Fishing there are lawes esta∣blished, whereby immense riches are yeerly drawne out of the Ocean.

In the Councell of Trade by Land there are esta∣blished Lawes, so that there are not too many Tradesmen, nor too few, by enjoyning longer or shorter times of Apprentiships.

Page  5 In the Councell of Trade by Sea there is esta∣blished a law, that all Traffick is lawfull which may enrich the Kingdome.

In the Councell for new Plantations there is established a law, that every yeere a certaine num∣ber shall be sent our, strongly fortified, and provided for at the publike charge, till such times as they may subsist by their owne endevours: and this number is set downe by the said Councell, wherein they take diligent notice of the surplusage of people that may be spared.

Sch.

But you spoke of peace to be permanent in that Kingdome, how can that be?

Trav.

Very easily; for they have a law, that if any Prince shall attempt any invasion, his kingdome shall be lawfull prize: and the Inhabitants of this happy Countrey are so numerous, strong, and rich, that they have destroyed some without any consi∣derable resistance; and the rest take warning.

Sch.

But you spoke of health, how can that be procured by a better way than wee have here in England?

Trav.

Yes very easily; for they have an house, or Colledge of experience, where they deliver out yeerly such medicines as they find out by experi∣ence; and all such as shall be able to demonstrate any experiment for the health or wealth of men, are honourably rewarded at the publike charge, by which their skill in Husbandry, Physick, and Surge∣rie, is most excellent.

Page  6
Sch.

But this is against Physicians.

Trav.

In Macaria the Parson of every Parish is a good Physician, and doth execute both functions, to wit, cura animarum, & cura corporum; and they think it as absurd for a Divine to be without the skill of Physick, as it is to put new wine into old bottles; and the Physicians being true Naturalists, may as well become good Divines, as the Divines doe be∣come good Physicians.

Sch.

But you spoke of grat facilitie that these men have in their functions, how can that be?

Trav.

Very easily: for the Divines, by reason that the Societie of Experimenters is liable to an action, if they shall deliver out any false receit, are not troubled to trie conclusions, or experi∣ments, but onely to consider of the diversitie of natures, complexions, and constitutions, which they are to know, for the cure of soules, as well as of bodies.

Sch.

I know divers Divines in England that are Physicians, and therefore I hold well with this re∣port, and I would that all were such, for they have great estimation with the people, and can rule them at their pleasure?

Sch.

But how cometh the facilitie of becoming good Divines?

Trav.

They are all of approved abilitie in hu∣mane learning, before they take in hand that functi∣on, and then they have such rules, that they need no considerable studie to accomplish all knowledge fit Page  7 for Divines, by reason that there are no diversitie of opinions amongst them.

Sch.

How can that be?

Trav.

Very easily: for they have a law, that if any Divine shall publish a new opinion to the Com∣mon people, he shall be accounted a disturber of the publick peace, and shall suffer death for it.

Sch.

But that is the way to keep them in errour perpetually, if they be once in it.

Trav.

You are deceived; for if any one hath conceived a new opinion, he is allowed everie yeere freely to dispute it before the Great Councell; if he overcome his Adversaries, or such as are ap∣pointed to be Opponents, then it is generally re∣ceived for truth; if he be overcome, then it is de∣clared to be false.

Sch.

It seemeth that they are Ghristians by your relation of the Parochiall Ministers, but whe∣ther are they Protestants or Papists?

Trav.

Their Religion consists not in taking no∣tice of severall opinions and sects, but is made up of insallible tenets, which may be proved by in∣vincible arguments, and such as will abide the grand test of extreme dispute; by which meanes none have power to stirre up Schismes and Here∣sies; neither are any of their opinions ridiculous to those who are of contrarie minds.

Schol.

But you spoke of great honour which the Governours have in the Kingdome of Ma∣caria.

Page  8
Trav.

They must needs receive great honour of the people, by reason that there is no inju∣stice done, or very seldome, perhaps once in an age.

Sch.

But how come they by their great riches which you speak of?

Trav.

It is holden a principall policie in State to allow to the ministers of State, Judges, and chiefe Officers, great revenues; for that, in case they doe not their dutie, in looking to the King∣domes safety, for conscience sake, yet they may doe it for feare of loosing their owne great E∣states.

Sch.

But how can the King of Macaria be so rich as you speak of?

Trav.

He taketh a strict course that all his Crown lands be improved to the utmost, as Forrests, Parkes, Chases, &c. by which meanes his reve∣nues are so great, that hee seldome needeth to put impositions upon his Subjects, by reason hee hath seldome any warres; and if there bee cause, the Subjects are as ready to give, as hee to de∣mand: for they hold it to bee a principall policie in State, to keep the Kings Cofers full, and so full, that it is an astonishment to all Invaders.

Sch.

But how cometh the Kings great honour which you speak of?

Trav.

Who can but love and honour such a Prince, which in his tender and parentall care of the publick good of his loving Subjects, useth no Page  9 pretences for realities, like to some Princes, in their Acts of State, Edicts, and Proclamations?

Sch.

But you Travellers must take heed of con∣tradictions in your relations; you have affirmed, that the Governours in Macaria have not halfe so much trouble, as they have in these European Kingdomes, and yet by your report they have a Great Councell, like to our Parliament in Eng∣land, which sit once a yeare: besides that, they have five Under Councels, which sit once a yeare, then how commeth this facility in government?

Trav.

The Great Councell heareth no com∣plaints, but against Ministers of State, Judges, and chiefe Officers; these, being sure to bee trounsed once a yeare, doe never, or very seldome offend: So that their meeting is rather a festivity, than a trou∣ble. And as for the Judges and chiefe Officers, there is no hope that any man can prevaile in his suit by bribery, favour, or corrupt dealing; so that they have few causes to be troubled withall.

Sch.

I have read over Sr. Thomas Mores Vtopia, and my Lord Bacons New Atlantis, which hee called so in imitation of Plato's old one, but none of them giveth mee satisfaction, how the Kingdome of Eng∣land may be happy, so much as this discourse, which is briefe and pithy, and easie to be effected, if all men be willing.

Trav.

You Divines have the sway of mens minds, you may as easily perswade them to good as to bad, to truth as well as to falshood.

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Sch.

Well, in my next Sermon I will make it manifest, that those that are against this honou∣rable designe, are first, enimies to God and good∣nesse; secondly, enimies to the Common-wealth; thirdly, enimies to themselves, and their poste∣rity.

Trav.

And you may put in, that they are enimies to the King, and to his posterity, and so consequent∣ly, traitors: for hee that would not have the Kings honour, and riches to be advanced, and his King∣dome to bee permanent to him, and to his heires, is a traitor, or else I know not what treason mea∣neth.

Sch.

Well, I see that the cause is not in God, but in mens fooleries, that the people live in misery in this world, when they may so easily bee relieved: I will joyne my forces with you, and wee will try a conclusion, to make our selves and posterity to bee happy.

Trav.

Well, what will you doe towards the worke?

Sch.

I have told you before, I will publish it in my next Sermon, and I will use meanes that in all Visitations and meetings of Divines, they may bee exhorted to doe the like.

Trav.

This would doe the feat, but that the Di∣vines in England, having not the skill of Physick, are not so highly esteemed, nor beare so great a sway as they doe in Macaria.

Sch.

Well, what will you doe toward the worke?

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Trav.

I will propound a book of Husbandry to the high Court of Parliament, whereby the King∣dome may maintaine double the number of people, which it doth now, and in more plenty and prospe∣rity, than now they enjoy.

Sch.

That is excellent: I cannot conceive, but that if a Kingdome may be improved to maintaine twice as many people as it did before, it is as good as the conquest of another Kingdome, as great, if not better.

Trav.

Nay, it is certainly better; for when the Townes are thin, and farre distant, and the people scarce and poore, the King cannot raise men and money upon any sudden occasion, without great difficulty.

Sch.

Have you a coppy of that booke of Husban∣dry about you, which is to bee propounded to the Parliament?

Trav.

Yes, here is a coppy, peruse it, whilest I goe about a little businesse, and I will present∣ly returne to you. Well, have you perused my book?

Sch.

Yes Sir: and finde that you shew the trans∣mutation of sublunary bodies, in such manner, that any man may be rich that will be industrious; you shew also, how great cities, which formerly devou∣red the fatnesse of the Kingdome, may yearely make a considerable retribution without any mans pre∣judice, and your demonstrations are infallible; this Page  12 booke will certainly be highly accepted by the high Court of Parliament.

Trav.

Yes, I doubt it not; for I have shewed it to divers Parliament men, who have all promised mee faire, so soone as a seasonable time commeth for such occasions.

Sch.

Were I a Parliament man, I would labour to have this book to bee dispatched, the next thing that is done; for with all my seven Liberall Arts I cannot discover, how any businesse can bee of more weight than this, wherein the publike good is so greatly furthered; which to further, we are all bound by the law of God, and Nature.

Trav.

If this conference bee seriously considered of, it is no laughing matter; for you heare of the combustions in France, Spaine, Germanie, and other Christian Countreys; you know that a house divi∣ded against it selfe cannot stand: This may give the Turke an advantage, so that England may feare to have him a neerer neighbour than they desire. Why should not all the inhabitants of England joyne with one consent, to make this countrey to bee like to Macaria, that is numerous in people, rich in trea∣sure and munition, that so they may bee invinci∣ble?

Sch.

None but fooles or mad men will be against it: you have changed my minde, according to your former prediction, and I will change as many minds as I can, by the waies formerly mentioned, and I Page  13 pray you, that for a further means, this Conference may be printed.

Trav.

Well, it shall be done forthwith.

Sch.

But one thing troubleth me, that many Di∣vines are of opinion, that no such Reformation as we would have, shall come before the day of judge∣ment.

Trav.

Indeed there are many Divines of that o∣pinion, but I can shew an hundred Texts of Scrip∣ture, which doe plainly prove, that such a Re∣formation shall come before the day of judge∣ment.

Sch.

Yea, I have read many plaine Texts of Scrip∣ture to that purpose, but when I searched the Expo∣sitors, I found that they did generally expound them mystically.

Trav.

That is true; but worthy St. Hierome, con∣sidering that those places of Scripture would not beare an Allegoricall exposition, said thus, Possumus ficut & multi alii omnia haec spiritualiter exponere, sed vereor, ne hujusmodi expositionem, prudentes lectores nequaquam recipiant.

Sch.

I am of St. Hierom's minde, and therefore with clacrity let us pursue our good intentions, and bee good instruments in this worke of Reforma∣tion.

Trav.

There be naturall causes also to further it; for the Art of Printing will so spread knowledge, that the common people, knowing their own rights and liberties, will not be governed by way of oppres∣sion; Page  14 and so, by little and little, all Kingdomes will be like to Macaria.

Sch.

That will bee a good change, when as well superiors as inferiors shall bee more happy: Well, I am imparadised in my minde, in thinking that Eng∣land may bee made happy, with such expedition and facility.

Trav.

Well, doe you know any man that hath any secrets, or good experiments? I will give him gold for them, or others as good in exchange; that is all the trade I have driven a long time, those riches are free from Customes and Impositions, and I have travelled through many Kingdomes, and paid nei∣ther fraight nor Custome for my wares, though I valued them above all the riches in the King∣dome.

Sch.

I know a Gentleman that is greatly addi∣cted to try experiments, but how hee hath pro∣spered I am not certaine; I will bring you acquain∣ted with him, perhaps you may doe one another good.

Trav.

Well, I have appointed a meeting at two of the clocke this day, I love to discourse with Scholars, yet wee must part; if you meet mee here the next Munday at the Exchange, I will declare to you some more of the Lawes, Customes, and manners of the inhabitants of Macaria.

Sch.

I will not faile to meet you for any world∣ly respect; and if I should bee sicke, I would come in a Sedan: I never received such satisfaction Page  15 and contentment by any discourse in my life: I doubt not but wee shall obtaine our desires, to make England to bee like to Macaria; for which our posterity which are yet unborne, will fare the better: and though our neighbour Countreys are pleased to call the English a dull Nation, yet the ma∣jor part are sensible of their owne good, and the good of their posterity, and those will sway the rest; so wee and our posterity shall bee all hap∣pie.

FINIS.