[T]he fame of your Honor's most excellent and praiseworthy endeavors in attempting, following, and applying of a plantation of some of our English nation in that remote and yet obscure and desolate country--the country commonly called Newfoundland--hath encouraged and emboldened me, a stranger to your Honor but a well-willer to all such worthy works, to present unto your Honor and to publish under your Honor's name some part of my plain and impolished labors, which for the furtherance and hasting on of those most worthy and, at this present for our country of England, most necessary attempts of plantations in far and foreign parts, but specially and namely in Newfoundland above the rest, I have adventured /44/to offer to the common view, in hope and desire somewhat thereby to move and stir up our people, chiefly the poorer and meaner sort--which for want of plantation abroad are ready by want and penury to pine and perish at home--in better sort to affect and addict themselves to the same.
Which work of mine, though rude and mean, if your Honor shall in consideration of the matter and substance thereof vouchsafe to accept and think not unworthy of passage abroad, as it shall notably protect my labors from the envious minds of the malicious and the carping tongues of the captious, so shall it stir up myself with all hearty affection to rest devoted to your Honor's service and these employments and to pour out my devoutest prayers to the Highest, the Lord of all, for your Honor's all and ever health and happiness.
Your Honor's humbly to command,
The speakers be
Respire, a Farmer
Enrubie, a Merchant
RESPIRE. God bless you, good sir. According to your courteous offer I am come again in hope to be further satisfied by you touching the conference we lately had in hand.
Enrubie. You are very welcome. Let me hear, therefore, what it is that you desire to be further satisfied in.
Respire. The enterprises themselves--plantations, I mean--you have well showed me to be in themselves very commendable and good and for our land and nation at this present exceeding necessary; yet, as I suppose, there cannot or there will not sufficient and convenient means be had for the expedition and performance thereof as is requisite, as may appear by the ill success, the giving over, or slow proceeding of such actions heretofore from time to time, to the notable hindrance of the Gospel, the great dishonor and reproach of our nation, and the /46/extreme loss and disadvantage of the undertakers and adventurers; and then to what end is it to take in hand impossibilities?
The best course to be taken for plantations is by act of Parliament
Enrubie. You say well, and therefore for speedy and due remedy in this behalf, especially and above all other things, as wherein alone the true and perfect cure of those evils doth consist, it were to be wished that by act of Parliament some good courses might speedily be taken throughout the land by which it might effectually be accomplished. For plantations, indeed, are properly a matter of public and general, and not, as the practice is with us, of private and particular action.
If it seem to any a matter too mean and unworthy a Parliamentary consideration, for my part I protest I can in no wise be of their opinion, unless I may plainly be taught and informed that it is no part of a father's care to place abroad his children as they grow up but to keep them still under his own roof till they eat him out of house and home, or of an householder's providence to foresee that his meinie exceed not his means, or of the shepherd's duty when his flock is increased to provide them larger pastures, or of the gardener's charge when his plants and sets are overthick and do encumber the ground to remove and disperse them into other plots where having more room they may bigger grow and better prosper.
Respire. Till that may be obtained--which all men know cannot possibly be on a sudden, and those attempts being now begun do necessarily require speedy and much supply and continual furtherance, lest else, besides all other evils, that befall on us which is written in the Gospel (Luke 14:29), viz., having laid such foundations and being not able to perform them, all that behold them mock us, saying, "These men, these Englishmen, began plantations here and there and now are not able to make an end of any one of them"--what courses might there be taken for the speedy effecting of them in some tolerable measure and commendable manner?
Enrubie. Till some good course that way, a thing in mine opinion much to be desired, may be obtained and provided, if I might be bold to speak my mind--and toward a common good why should it not be free and without offense for any man as a well-willer to so good a work to speak, since as it hath been well and of old observed, Aliquando est olitor opportuna locutus: a mean /47/man may sometime speak to the purpose?--I could be willing to acquaint you or any other with what inferior courses I have conceived might the mean while be taken and followed for the bringing of the same to some tolerable estate and reasonable good effect.
Respire. I pray you, let me hear them; for I hope no man will dislike with any man to put to his helping hand to do any good in this great work which so much concerneth all, specially whenas you intend not to urge or bind any man to your words but leave it free to all men to accept or reject as it pleaseth them.
What inferior courses might be taken to further these attempts Enrubie. Trusting then of favorable acceptation, I will speak what I think. Two things there be above all other most material and necessary for such a business to be provided, that is, men and money--people to go to the plantation and provision to set them forth. Both which, howsoever to some they may be thought impossible to be had, I am persuaded if good courses for them might be used, though not without some difficulty--and what high and worthy enterprise is there that ever hath without some difficulty been achieved?--may sufficiently be obtained.
Money to be had. First, by voluntaries
For money, well known it is that many honorable and other worthy persons have this way employed much and no doubt intend to proceed accordingly.
Secondly, by personal adventurers
It cannot be but that some of those that adventure in person intending there to inhabit do and will go, some of them sufficiently and many of them somewhat, provided that way. Few will go with an empty purse.
Thirdly, by general collections
For procuring what farther shall be needful, it seemeth unto me it were very requisite and a thing not very hard to be obtained by some or other that some letters patent under the Great Seal of England or otherlike course might be set forth for some general and yearly collection or contribution to that purpose, and the briefs--books, rather--for it to be directed either to the Lord Bishops of every diocese or to the sheriff of every shire, by them to be dispersed into every parish. For, likely it is that many well-disposed able men would give to this great and worthy work more liberally than to others many of far less importance--and yet good sums of money have thus been oft collected--specially if men may perceive by the removing and /48/departure of any it redounds indeed, as is pretended, to the common good.
Fourthly, by hospital money
Probable also it is that the justices of every shire, upon good intimation of the cause unto them, would be pleased to bestow some part of that money which quarterly at their sessions is received by the name of hospital money toward the setting forth of some maimed soldiers or some other poor of the said country yearly into some or other of those plantations.
Fifthly, by moneys given to the use of the poor
Neither is it improbable that the churchwardens and overseers for the poor, that have, as in sundry parishes within this land they have, several portions and sums of money by well-disposed people in their last wills or otherwise given and bequeathed for and toward the relief of the poor in their parish committed to their charge and custody, may be persuaded and drawn or otherwise caused to confer and lay out the said portions or sums of money or the greatest part thereof in this sort to the setting forth of some of the poor of their parish, children or other, that else must within the same continually be relieved and maintained.
Respire. That were very unreasonable, and evil too, I think; for what conscience were this to falsify the trust reposed in them and to defraud their poor of their relief?
Enrubie. No evil, no wrong, no defrauding at all, howsoever you upon the sudden do so take it; but rather this were a ready way to employ it indeed to their use to whom by the donors it was properly intended, whereas now for the most part you shall find if you observe it well such moneys and the profit thereof arising are converted to the ease of the rich and not to the relief of the poor. And at the best hand you can reckon it, if the poor be thereby anything relieved, it is but ad diem, for the very present; but being laid out in that manner which I mean and mention, the poor and their posterity too, yea, and the whole parish from whence it is taken, shall thereby be relieved, bettered, and benefited forever.
But not to make a long answer to so short and shallow an objection: whatsoever any shall pretend against that I say, so long as I have the example of that most holy and famous doctor of the church, St. Ambrose, on my side, who for redeeming of Christian /49/captives brake the very vessels of gold and silver that were in his church and, making money thereof, employed it to that use, saying, "The sacraments need not gold which were purchased for us without gold," and Aurum ecclesia habet, non ut servet, sed ut eroget, "The church hath gold not to keep it but to lay it out to good and pious uses," I shall not fear to answer the same. I will infer if St. Ambrose did well to employ bona ecclesiae, even the treasures of the church, upon redemption of the poor, they cannot be proved to do ill that shall employ bona pauperum, the goods of the poor--their own money--upon the poor and to their own uses.
Respire. I see now I did mistake and not you; and I hope you will bear with my ignorance and rashness.
Enrubie. Your words offended not me anything at all, for by your opposition no hurt hath risen to the cause. Truth is never better cleared than when it is somewhat oppugned and contradicted.
Sixthly, by moneys given to the use of the church.
Respire. It seemeth so in this very case; for by your former speeches and example methinks I do now see that it were no fault but a good and pious fact if such moneys also as do belong to churches, as here and there somewhat to that use remaining is yet to be found, were likewise employed to this use we speak of, as which in good probability would be more acceptable to God to be bestowed in such a necessity as this is upon the temples of the Holy Ghost than upon churches made of lime and stone which without these moneys are and may be sufficiently repaired and adorned.
Enrubie. Your collection is good and religious. That must needs be true piety which is coupled with pity, for God will have mercy rather than sacrifice. But let us go on.
Respire. I hearken when you will speak of the lottery which you know was set up in London and in many places abroad in the country many times for Virginia, as it was said.
Seventhly, by the lottery
Enrubie. I dislike not the lottery neither, so as it were well used and people had the wit not to run out by it to their undoing. But I know it hath lost the love of the country, both for that it robbed the country of her money wonderfully--for out of our shire only when it was here but a few years ago it is thought to have carried away many hundred pounds, so /50/that money was never plenty here since--and for that we never heard of any good that was done with it. If they that had the employment of it had made known unto every county, though severally, what had been gotten out of it by the lottery that year, and offered to employ it on so many of the poor of the said county, if they could be gotten to go, as it might conveniently suffice unto, it would have yielded the county good content for the present and have gained a better welcome to itself another time. But the matter being used as it was, if any yet do like of it they may adventure it again if they list, who if they would give voluntarily but the fifth part of that some of them lost desperately that way--for I know some myself that by their own reports lost ten, twenty, yea, thirty pound a man--might be counted good benefactors.
Respire. Of the lottery enough; but besides if you have any more to say I pray you proceed with it.
Eighthly, by some ratable imposition
Enrubie. If the former courses suffice not, I see not but that some ratable imposition might be procured to be laid upon the abler sort, as in time of war for setting forth of soldiers, to be employed upon such as shall be transported from those parts, the parish, tithing, or hundred where it is raised. And I am verily persuaded there is not a parish in the land that would not willingly be at any reasonable charge for the setting forth of any such poor body as should either voluntarily offer himself or by authority be taken up to go in that action from time to time. In truth, I have heard men of good sense and substance say they would be very willing to bestow out of their parish twenty nobles or ten pounds a year towards the appareling and setting forth of some of their poorer sort, so as they might be assured they should not after a year or two, as from the Irish some have done, come home again and encumber them worse than before.
Ninthly, by base moneys for those purposes and places to be stamped
Besides, if it might be thought fit and obtained that for those plantations some store of base moneys, as of brass, copper, or little better, might be stamped--all English coins and plate of gold and silver being there and thence prohibited unless and until the countries themselves do or shall hereafter yield metal for them--I conjecture, how probably let /51/others judge, the use thereof would prove exceeding beneficial to this purpose. Respire. That were a strange course indeed, and is it possible any good this way might be wrought?
The use and benefits of such money
Enrubie. Very much, I think. For thereby, first, the wealth of all such as pass over--any reasonable proportion in the exchange both for value and valor thereof being held--should instantly among themselves be much increased, a thing so material as nothing more, for without infinite store of money can be no good plantation anywhere.
Secondly, such as pass over should be occasioned to lade away with them store of our English commodities for building, for household, etc., which haply they would not have done if they might carry with them their English moneys, and once having such things there they will do them more pleasure and good than till they come there they could presuppose.
Thirdly, such as are there should be the more occasioned to use all industrious means to get up the commodities of those countries, to barter and truck withal for such things as shall merchant-wise be brought to them from hence, knowing well that their money will not much be regarded nor received of our men.
Fourthly, it would make them delight the more in tillage and breed of cattle; because silver and gold coins, the very begetters of hoarding covetousness, wanting, their chiefest riches must needs consist in corn and cattle.
Fifthly, they being rich within themselves--for such money while it holds value is as good where it is current as any other--should yet be poor to others-ward among whom it is not current, which would make them the less desired of and the less to fear any such as seek for spoil and prey.
Sixthly, by this means we should oft receive from them good store of foreign coins received by them for fish and other commodities sold to such as come to trade there.
Seventhly, moreover, hereby the great hurt that some imagine is to be feared by those plantations in carrying away of our gold and silver would easily, and that /52/both to our and their great advantage, be avoided.
Respire. And in truth, many do complain of the carriage away of our money out of our land, and I perceive by you that it is likely a great deal of it goes this way.
Enrubie. It must needs be so if the works go forward in any sort; and then note, whatsoever is gone over sea that way never returns again. We receive back but either nothing at all or else but some commodities of those countries, as fish, timber, salt, etc. And therefore this is a thing in mine opinion that must timely and carefully be looked unto, or else the coin and treasure of our land will by these plantations, if once they go well and roundly forward, within a while be extremely spent and exhausted. For, say for a trial or example there should go twenty thousand, and each of them to carry but ten pounds a man--a small reckoning and poor stock to begin withal--yet that comes to in the whole to two hundred thousand pounds. Now by this, guess of the rest.
Respire. This is very plain; yet men will hardly hear of this base money because of the strangeness and novelty of the matter.
Enrubie. If any think this matter strange, let him but inquire and he shall be informed at full that at the first in all lands such coin was either only or most common; that it is not yet much above one age ago in England itself it was in use; that in our time Ireland had it; and that this day, if travelers tell true, Spain itself, for all her Indian silver mines and golden mountains, upon good policy is not without it. And if it were as strange and new a course as it is old and common, yet if necessity so require, better it is, I think, to be used than some other more usual and less profitable. But leaving that to judgment and consideration of the wise and judicious, I profess that for my own part I do rest resolved: there can no good plantation be made by us anywhere without the use and great store of such base moneys.
Tenthly, by gold and silver coins
Yet I say further: if the continuance of gold and silver coins shall be thought more necessary for these employments than I conceive them to be, that such a course may be taken, the like whereof hath often been practiced in sundry kingdoms and dominions upon less occasion than this, that /53/both our present coins may remain safe within our land and yet many thousands of pounds in gold and silver may be conferred on those that shall dwell and inhabit in those new plantations, without any pound or penny charge almost to those that shall the same on them for their enriching and encouragement there confer and bestow.
Respire. I do not well understand you in this; by better thinking on your words it may be I shall; but for your base moneys, I preconceive one very great inconvenience of it whensoever it shall be called in. The fall of money, as experience hath proved in England many times heretofore, will be a great prejudice and impoverishment unto all them on whom it doth alight.
An objection of the fall of base moneys answered
Enrubie. Firstly, that need not to be feared, unless the countries themselves happen to yield better metals, for many generations yet to come.
Secondly, that loss will be recompensed by the use thereof an hundredfold before any such do fall or can come.
Thirdly, and it may, whensoever it doth come, so equally be divided by times that it may so easily be borne that the posterities may have little cause thereby to complain that they bear some part of the burden of their progenitors. Commoditas quaeque sua fert incommoda secum, no commodity but hath his discommodity with it, which must be borne with for a greater good.
Respire. I cannot dislike that you say. Proceed, I pray you.
Eleventhly, by frugal expenses in diet, etc.
Enrubie. If either order might be taken or people be persuaded that they which go over might leave behind them that, I will not say superfluity and excess which both the place and plenty wherein we live, God be thanked, do and haply may afford us, but that variety, costliness, stateliness, delicacy, bravery, and abundance in apparel, diet, building, and all other provisions which here many do use, it cannot easily be estimated how much it might avail to the speedy furtherance and cheap setting forth of these worthy works. Frugality and parsimony like that of ancient times will better befit the infancy and uprisings of any commonwealth which ever have been and necessarily must be, or else they will never frame well, rude and plain. It was never better with Rome itself--whose best men, saith one of their best authors, /54/in privatis rebus, suisque sumptibus minimo contenti, tenuissimo cultu vivebant, etc., in private estates and matters of their own charges contented with very little, did live with very slender provision--than when her consuls and dictators were taken from the plow and her senators served at the table in earthen plate, and never merrier in England than when farmers would wear none other than their own homemade cloth, when gentlemen delighted to have plenty rather than dainty at their tables, and the best housekeepers held them rather to their own country yield than to foreign and far-fetched provision.
Some be of the mind that though all other means failed, if they alone that roist and riot out their goods and wealth in pride and vanity, in drunkenness and gluttony, and otherlike disordered courses--and many there be, woe be to them therefore, as witnesseth the Holy Ghost (Isa. 5:11 and 22 and chap. 22:13; Ezek. 16:40; Luke 16:19, and many places mo)--that indeed do so lavish and waste that they have by such intemperate and devilish courses as if they were nati consumere fruges, had no other thoughts but how to havoc and spoil and made that the very end of their life here to see the end of all before they go hence--if these, I say, could be either persuaded or compelled to bestow that, or but half that--so luxurious is our land become--which so prodigally and profanely they profuse and spend, upon this pious, good, and necessary use, that that alone would abundantly suffice to supply all the wants of this work and to bring it to a speedy and an excellent end. But since there is little hope that they which will not see their own shame and foresee their and theirs undoing and overthrow should have any mind or care of others (of the common good), I will not vouchsafe the observation thereof any number in my account but leave it as an extravagant to themselves and others, not denying yet but that sometimes quo minime credas gurgite piscis erit: where is least hope there may be some help.
Twelfthly, by the godly parsimony of the richer sort at home
But if the richer and better sort of our people, men of good place and fashion whom God hath blessed with plenty and abundance of worldly wealth and great store of riches, /55/could be pleased and induced, out of their gratuity to God and love to their country and poorer brethren therein, to pare off a little of their superfluities and delicacies, which from their tables and their apparel, etc., might well be spared, and bestow and employ it upon such good uses as these, the helping and setting forth of the poorer sort, the ridding and clearing of this their own country which they see overlaid with multitude, and the planting and inhabiting of other countries, I suppose without any damage and want to themselves they might do a work acceptable to God, beneficial to many, and to these works of plantations much available and helpful. I have read of the Lacedaemons, a people among the heathen of special note for their virtuous and good conditions, that understanding some of their neighbors in a time of famine to be in great want, pitying their distress, and having no other ways wherewith to relieve them, they did by a general consent save one meal apiece and sent that to their needy neighbors, who found themselves thereby wonderfully refreshed. I would not wish that any should pinch his body and eat a bit the less, or wear a garment the worse for this matter; it would abundantly suffice and rise to a great account if those that are able and do abound would spare, I say not one meal in a week, nor two in a month, but an it were but the value of one week's expenses in a whole year, which without any feeling or sign at all, as it were, might easily be deducted from the whole and their bellies nothing the less fed and filled nor their bodies anything the worse clothed and covered. St. Paul in his time found the Macedonians so ready to well-doing that in their poverty, yea, their extreme poverty, their rich liberality abounded even to strangers; and I hope it is not out of hope that our rich English people in our time may be induced and moved out of their superfluity and great abundance to confer somewhat this way on their near neighbors and native countrymen.
Some of these, or rather all these, courses put in practice--for, singula si valeant, iuncta necesse iuneent [sic]--it cannot be there should want in common purse money and means (for what can want where money wants not?) for the speedy and ready /56/expedition and accomplishment of these worthy exploits.
Respire. Your conceits for raising of money seem to me to be exceeding good and sufficient; but I think you cannot as easily conceive like means for getting of people to go to these plantations.
To procure people to go, what means might be used. Firstly, by proclamation
Enrubie. For getting of people to be transported, the intended project I see is that none be constrained thereunto but only such admitted as of themselves be willing and do offer themselves unto it. Which holding, it seemeth to me it were good that either by some proclamation or escript in print, notice of the intended plantation, together with some declaration of the benefits, commodities, and privileges which they of every quality that will go over to inhabit there, specially the three first years, shall receive and enjoy, were given throughout the land, as well in every parish church as in every market town, to try who will be willing. For now many hear not of it at all; many, because it is but a rumor, believe not the report thereof; and in a manner all, because they have no certain intelligence either of the present state of the country to be planted or of the benefit there to be had and of the manner of proceeding therein, regard it not. This way, present trial would be made who would give in their names to that end, and if the inland do not, yet the seacoast towns like enough would somewhat hearken unto it.
Secondly, thereto it would also further much, I suppose, if therewithal some good order might be settled in every city and haven town within the land whither they that dwell near thereto might repair for conditions and agreements about their habitation otherwhere and transportation thither. When men must seek for very notice of these matters a hundred miles or more, it makes them weary to think of it. All the helps that can be had for easy, safe, certain, and commodious notice and removing will be all little enough and exceeding requisite and behooveful.
Thirdly, likewise, if order could be taken that the removing of those that depart hence might be principally made in some parts of the land one year and in some another, that so all that upon good notice thereof had and taken be set there hence to /57/be removed might be removed all together at once, or at twice at the most, this, probable it is, would cause many to be more willing than otherwise they will be to depart hence, while they shall see some good store and company of their kinsfolks, friends, neighbors, and acquaintance to go away together with them. For, going into a strange place, men cannot but, as it were, naturally desire both to go and to be there with such as they know before and are formerly acquainted with, rather than with mere strangers, and be fearful to commit both themselves and all that they have wholly to those that they never saw before.
Fourthly, by provision supplied
Fourthly, this could not but be a good motive and encouragement to many, but a far greater this: if special order shall also be taken that those that shall depart hence be supplied most carefully and sufficiently with all kind of provisions fit and necessary for the life of man which those parts and countries yield not--as food and apparel, corn to sow and plant, cattle great and small for breed and other uses, iron, edge tools, armor, etc.--that so having all such necessaries duly and ordinarily brought unto them they may have everything in their markets to be bought and sold somewhat like as they were used to have them here in England.
And this must be continued not for once or twice only nor at an harbor or two but in every part of the plantations and from time to time till the plantations shall be able of themselves to stand up and continue without them. If people may perceive such order to be settled and like to be carefully observed, as it will well comfort the friends of the departed that remain here behind, so it will both comfort and encourage those that shall depart hence, seeing themselves well to be provided for and not left, being once removed, to all adventures and uncertainties.
This matter is of that moment that it is the first thing and the greatest that troubles the mind of any when speech is made to them of departing hence into any new country, of dwelling in a foreign land: what they shall do there; how they shall live when they come thither. And it takes that deep impression in the heart of many that unless they may /58/foresee a clear and evident resolution thereof there is no more possibility to persuade them to remove than to run themselves into the fire or cast themselves headlong into the sea. This doubt, therefore, being once well cleared and people made to see that they shall not need to fear this way, people will be three times more willing to go than yet they are.
It is not all one for men to go into any of the present plantations as it hath been to go into Ireland, whither if any could go provided of money in any measure he needed nothing else. For there he was sure to have anything he needed for his money at a better and cheaper rate than in England. But in these places he must have all things either carried along with him or brought thither after him, and that at a dearer price and higher reckoning than in England.
People of our breed cannot live as the savages and natives there do, that is, more like beasts than men. Whatsoever, therefore, those countries yield not and people in these have been used to have must most carefully be provided them, lest left destitute that way they seem as cast out into wild and forsaken wildernesses and exposed to famine and other miseries too grievous to them to bear.
Respire. I have heard that our men have in some of our plantations felt much extremity this way.
Enrubie. If any such disastrous accident have befallen any, I wish the notice thereof buried in the gulf of oblivion; and for my part I neither will revive the memory of any such nor by my good will hear it recited by any, because I know it will inflict such a wound in these actions as will not be healed again by the plaster of five times as many good events.
Respire. I think so too; for except a man be of a very dull apprehension he will quickly thence conclude that men were better to abide and live in poverty, yea, in beggary, at home than to perish and die by penury and misery abroad. And indeed, no man can say but that better it were that men were not removed at all than not seconded and supplied at all. Bona bene. Good actions be then good when they be handled and acted in a good sort. But hoping that future times may bring forth fairer events, and former perils -- if any have been, for more may be told than is true -- produce /59/greater carefulness and diligence, for your courses mentioned, though I like them well, yet I cannot believe they will be sufficient to work your intended effect.
Fifthly, by vagrant persons
Enrubie. If these courses suffice not, as I believe also that they will not--for so are men, Englishmen especially, and of them most of all the inland sort, wedded to their native soil like a snail to his shell or, as the fable is, a mouse to his chest, that they will rather even starve at home than seek store abroad--methinks it might be good that strict order were taken to take up all such vagrant persons as now contrary to the statute wander about the country loitering, begging, etc., of which sort many are strong and able persons, such as could and would work and labor well if they were well ordered and employed; and that such, I mean the strong and able ones, were set forth at the common charge of the place either where they are apprehended or ought to be relieved.
Sixthly, to these might be added such as are imprisoned and convicted for any small offenses not deserving death, as for picking and filching, sheepstealing, etc., and some too of an higher degree if the magistrate shall see it good. Of these many commit such crimes for very need and pure hunger--for what will not necessity, which knows no law, and hunger, which breaks stone walls, enforce men unto?--who no doubt, being first chastised and then well governed and of better means provided, may prove honest and good men and women afterward. Let no man despair, no not of such, remembering and considering well what the apostle saith of and to the Corinthians (I Cor. 6:9, 10, and 11, and Titus 3:3, 4, and Gal. 6:1) and what is written of those that followed David before he came to the crown (I Sam. 22:2), which, for brevity's sake, to recite and apply I purposely forbear. These of both sorts might be kept in some houses of correction next adjoining till they can conveniently be shipped away. This course well observed and continued two or three years would so purge the land of evil weeds as Galen never better purged his diseased patients nor Hercules the Augean stables.
Respire. I hearkened when you would reckon up maimed and aged /60/soldiers, of whom the Romans in their colonies, as I have heard, made great reckoning.
Seventhly, maimed soldiers
It may be; but the state of our plantations and their colonies be very different. They provided in theirs liberal maintenance for such as could not labor, but we provide room in ours for them only that can labor. Maimed soldiers are oftentimes not serviceable and therefore will be a burden to the whole where they come. If any of them be fit for labor and able to do themselves and the undertakers good, I doubt not but that they which are to provide for them allowance at home will be as willing and ready to provide it for them otherwhere also, if they may perceive it to be more beneficial for all parties. And in this time of our long-continued peace, God be thanked, the number of them is not increased but decreased to a small account. When occasion doth so require and opportunity serve, there is no doubt but that way they also may be provided for and help to make up the number.
Respire. Proceed, I pray you, with the rest.
Enrubie. There is yet a better course and a readier than any of the former, and that is: whereas there be infinite store of houses erected in corners and waste plots under hedges and by the highways' sides, contrary to the statute of 31 Eliz. 7, if due order might be taken that by a certain day in every year--for all, as evacuation in dangerous aposthumes, cannot be done at once--a certain number, as a third or fourth part of them, designed for the purpose by time, by lot, or otherlike means, might be quite taken down and utterly razed forever, the inhabitants enjoined by that day to provide for themselves otherwhere such houses as by law ought to stand, or else to depart the land to some or other of the places to be inhabited, assured there to be provided for in a far better sort.
To these ought to be added another sort no less cumbersome to the land, viz., inmates, I mean such as, being in no possibility of the reversion of the house wherein they dwell or of any other legal tenement, do, contrary to the statute, /61/likewise thrust into houses with and under the right tenants. Of both which sorts together the land doth so superabound that in many parishes--I speak but what I know--they are half or more than half so many as the right tenants and legal inhabitants are. The riddance of them would be an inestimable clearing of the country of many an untoward generation and a notable disburdening of many a parish of intolerable and annual expenses.
Respire. These above any other I could wish were rid out of the country; ay, and such other poor husbandmen do live much the worse for them. And our land, I am persuaded, can never thrive so long as these drones do encumber it.
Enrubie. Indeed they are a superfluous multitude and fittest of all other to be rid away, as who, not only in regard of their personal estates, have for the most part little here to trust unto, but also are for their bodies and breeding best able--a thing very necessary in these intendments--to endure any hardness or labor by sea or by land, within doors or without, whom therefore it were no reason either foolish pity of the governors on the one side or covetous favor of greedy landlords on the other side should any longer here retain, to their own and the whole country's great hurt and encumbrance.
The states of our land in making of that statute do show sufficiently that they both found then and foresaw that much hurt did and would accrue unto this our land by this superfluous crew, who, if they had as prudently taken order for their placing elsewhere from time to time as they grew up as they did providently enact the not placing of them here, long ere this we should have had some or other New England filed with thousands of them, made as rich and happy by transplantation as now they are poor and needy subjects to our King by their commoration; and we should not, as now we are, be pestered with their abode among us.
To forbid them to build here and not to appoint them place to build and plant in elsewhere, unless they could have forbidden them to be bred and to breed and increase anywhere, was to as little purpose as for a physician to show his /62/patient the disease but to prescribe or give him for his disease no remedy.
Tenthly, soldiers in garrisons. And servants
If all these courses sufficed not--and yet I am persuaded verily the former yield might quickly be of young and old a hundred thousand at the least--I see not any sufficient let or just cause why beyond all these both, soldierlike, a good great press might not be made of some thousands yearly of persons fit to be removed, which being once transplanted thither, as soldiers into garrison, might so be severed as might seat them for habitation and set them, being not loiterers and thriftless fellows but men of employment, handicrafts, laborers, etc., while wars let not, to service and employment for the common and their own private good; and also, servantlike, a good number of poor men's children--both boys and maids, but maids especially of nine or ten years old and upward--be taken up, which according to the statute of 43 Eliz. 2 and 1 James 25 might be placed as servants and apprentices with such as go over to inhabit there.
Respire. If there should be so great a number and such kind of persons as you intimate, it cannot be but that many idlers and unprofitable persons will go among them likewise, which, likely it is, will do more harm than good. Would you then have no respect to be had to some rather than other to go?
Enrubie. It is true that as it is here at home so it will be abroad. In a multitude there will ever be some that are but unprofitable, yet would I have none to be left out, so as they be serviceable and not maimed and utterly unable, that can be had; because there is some hope that necessity, occasion, and opportunity may make many of them to leave loitering there that here haply have nothing else to do; and for that their very presence and number cannot but be some comfort and strength to the plantation.
But withal, and above all, special regard ought to be had to draw thither, as I have before once or twice insinuated, men of special and present employment, that is, men of such trades, faculties, sciences, handicrafts, occupations, and employments as are most necessary for a present and uprising commonwealth, such as without whom there can be no /63/commodious or good dwelling or living at all for men--men of our breed and manner of living--anywhere. For man's life, you know, is such as cannot stand in any good sort without the help and supply of many, very many, other men besides himself.
Respire. What sort of persons are those whom you take to be so necessary that without them there can be no good plantation or cohabitation for men--men of our breed--anywhere?
Divers sorts of men necessary for a plantation
Enrubie. They are these and the like: armorers, bakers, barbers, booksellers, butchers, bowmakers, brewers, bricklayers, carpenters, chandlers, clothiers, coopers, cutlers, dyers, drapers, feltmakers, fishers, fletchers, fowlers, fullers, gardeners, glassmakers, glaziers, glovers, grocers, hatters, horners, husbandmen, innkeepers, joiners, laborers, lime burners, linen weavers, masons, mariners, merchants, millers, millwrights, nailers, net makers, parchment makers, pewterers, physicians, pothecaries, point makers, printers, ropers, saddlers, sailors, salt makers, sawyers, sieviers, shearmen, shipwrights, shoemakers, smiths, soapmakers, soldiers, surgeons, tailors, tanners, thatches, tilers, turners, vintners, upholsterers, wheelwrights, wherrymen, woolen weavers, etc. Of all these sorts of persons there must go some. Some of other sorts, as in a commonwealth furnished there are many, may be expedient likewise; but these are all so necessary that it is hard to say which of them all can be spared and need not presently to be had.
Respire. But most of these sorts of people are so well set awork here in England, and so necessary for our commonwealth, that few or none of them will be induced to go hence and seek their fortunes otherwhere.
Enrubie. Nay, rather they are so ill set awork here that many of them have as much need as any other to seek work, employment, and dwelling otherwhere. For there be so many of all trades, sciences, and occupations that one cannot live for another. They that be workmen do often loiter for lack of work many days and weeks together, and when they can have work are fain to do it better cheap than they can afford and were wont to do. So it is with shopkeepers: they hardly /64/can find any place where to set up shop, all places being already full and overfull. Little utterance of their ware can they make and are often enforced to take money so much underhand that they can hardly get or save thereby.
Secondly, if their own distress and present evil state will not prevail sufficiently with men of these qualities to move them to go, considering that such must be had and of some sorts of them great store--for without them no plantation at all can anywhere be made--such courses may and must be taken, partly by the bettering of their estates there, with promise and assurance of some good portions of lands, houses, and benefits if they will go, and partly by impairing of their estates here with less work and worse utterance if they will not go, as may make them either willing or at least content to go.
Respire. You have spoken much concerning people to be had for a plantation, that for this matter I think you have no more to say.
Eleventhly, ministers of the Word
Enrubie. Yes, very much. For all these hitherto mentioned, though they be a multitude indeed and enough to make a very large plantation out of hand, yet without others conjoined with them will they be for the most part but a rude and silly multitude. You have forgotten, it seemeth, and so had I too almost--and no marvel, for I find them of others but little remembered--one sort of people most needful of all others to be had, I mean, ministers of the Word of God, for whom, if care be not taken that they may be had and, being had, that they may forthwith and condignly be provided for--which is after the example of God Himself, who in dividing the land of Canaan laid out the lot of Levi with the first, and that a fair and goodly one too, as you read (Numbers 18 and 35)--in vain may we look for any notable blessing from God upon the attempts.
How they may be provided for
If they be altogether omitted and neglected, or shifted off for the present with fair words, or led on a little with beggarly stipends--a profane kind of pay--and not made partakers, and that in ample sort, with their people of such means as they do live upon, viz., trade, turf, and tithes, farewell good ministry there forever. Their portions once seized and settled in the hands of laymen, as too much experience shows here at home, will never in good and due manner and measure be gotten out again. /65/Wherefore, as it is necessary and fit that the countries be presently distincted into parishes, so withal, and more than so, necessary and fit it is that the minister's part be allotted and laid out with it--a thing at first, before proper and private rights be settled, as easy, I hope, to be had as to be asked for, which how much the better it is effected, so much the better and the more, be we well assured, shall the work, the main work, prosper and please God.
Respire. But do you think it not lawful to provide for the ministers of the word otherwise than by tithes, which many will hardly yield, now in the time of the Gospel, to be due to them by God's law?
Enrubie. Whether tithes be due de iure divino, I leave to divines. But taking that only which all be agreed upon, that is, that the minister must have a very competent, liberal, and certain maintenance, which cannot be less than the tenth: for allotting thereof, whether they shall like better to follow the example of our own progenitors, the ancient inhabitants of this land, who, imitating God Himself in His practice before touched, as we may see with our eyes everywhere, though a great part thereof be now taken from the church by impropriations and abridged to the church by customs, prescriptions, and otherlike, did not account the church to be sufficiently provided for unless besides tithes and oblations it were endowed with some fair portion of good and convenient ground called the glebe, or instead of both--both tithes and glebe--to allot and allow the church a full tenth of ground only, I mean, the tenth part of every man's tenure: as he that hath a thousand acres of ground to allow an hundred of them to the church and so to pay no tithe at all, as which would be more troublesome to the minister to gather and more grudging and laborsome to the parishioner to lay out, as we find by daily experience here in England, I see no great cause why any should refuse or dislike it. For either way the minister may have a very sufficient, stable, and certain maintenance.
Respire. This latter way ministers of churches shall be too much encumbered with husbandry and distracted from their studies.
Enrubie. They may easily avoid that if of the whole they /66/reserve out for their own table a reasonable quantity only--as their glebe here in England--and divide the rest into tenements which they may let to other men that may yield them rents and fines--as do tenants here in England to their landlords--after which sort also there be in England some lands belonging to benefices with cures.
Respire. I have made you digress a little too much, haply, by my so many questions. I pray you, therefore, now return to that you were saying.
Twelfthly, other scholars for teaching of youth
Enrubie. Besides these ministers of churches, whether it shall not be requisite that as great a number almost of other scholars for the teaching of children and training up of youth, as well in the languages as in all other good literature, be likewise procured and sent forth--for, as it is not fit, so indeed it is not always possible the ministers alone should undergo this charge also--I leave it at large to every man's consideration.
Respire. That such men, viz., ministers and schoolmasters, should be had, it must needs be granted to be most requisite and necessary; but I believe it will not be very easy to procure them. For scholars nowadays are most of them of a tender breed and such as will hardly brook the seas; and England is provided of many good means of maintenance for them and therefore they will be loath to seek after less and worse otherwhere.
Means that may be used for procuring such men to go
Enrubie. To furnish the ministry and schools, the universities of our land, solicited thereunto, cannot do less than send forth either of them yearly some few, an it be but two or three apiece. And there are few dioceses in the land besides which, having in them divers sufficient and able men in those functions not yet in any measure competently provided for, may not also do the like. And fit and necessary it is that for the encouragement of men at the first to these employments there should somewhat more than ordinary shares, as I may say--that is, somewhat more than what will hold but while their breath holds--be proposed and offered to men of that rank. For in them also the old saying haply will be found true, Ducimur omnes praemio.
Secondly, if neither desire to further Christ's kingdom nor to seek their own preferment can prevail with any so far as sua /67/sponte to give themselves to so good a work, I see not why the church itself or the bishop himself should not be thought to have authority and power enough to thrust forth laborers into this harvest and to lay this charge upon such as shall be fit for it, enjoining them to go in the name of God, as was done (Acts 8:14 and 13:2 and 15:22, and Gal. 2:9).
Thirdly, such course and care may also be had at the first in division of parishes that all parishes being made of a competent largeness--and not, as here in England too too many are, so little that they yield the minister neither one-quarter of a comfortable and goodly congregation or auditory, nor one-half of a competent and honest maintenance--both the fewer ministers may suffice and they that be may have competent and commendable allowance to live upon for them and their families.
Fourthly, also, it must be considered that if scholars, that is, graduates and men of note for learning, cannot be had, it may suffice sometimes that such be invited to the ministry as are of mean knowledge, so as they have good utterance and be of sound and honest life and conversation.
Respire. I did little think that you would have thought any such fit for that place.
Enrubie. Why not? In England itself we are fain sometimes to receive such into the ministry, and I believe so it will be as long as England is England; much more may it be borne with in the infancy of a church; where neither schools nor other means for learned and able men are yet planted better such than none.
I have read in an ancient ecclesiastical history that on a time there were two laymen that made a voyage unto the Indians, and remaining there a good while they did in the best manner they could inform and persuade many of them to the Christian faith and found the people very tractable. At length, returning home, one of them, whose name was Frumentius, coming to Alexandria, his city, goeth unto the bishop of the place, which at that time was Athanasius, that renowned clerk surnamed for his great learning and sincerity in faith oculus mundi, the eye of the world, and acquaints him with the matter, praying him withal that he would send a bishop and other teachers thither that might go forward with that work of /68/the Lord, of which he said there was great hope. Athanasius, having called together for that purpose the clergy of his city, considering a little of the matter, stands up and saith, "And where shall we find such men so fit for this employment as yourself, Frumentius, are, in whom is the spirit of our God?" And thereupon presently, all the rest approving it, he made him a minister and a bishop and sent him back with others forthwith to furnish what he had begun, and the Lord made the work to prosper in his hand, confirming the word with many signs and wonders following, saith the history.
By this story you may see that holy men of God, even in the primitive church, did not stand much upon it to admit mean men and not professed scholars only into the ministry where they saw other gifts correspondent; and withal that bishops used in those times, and had power and authority, to send forth men into foreign countries to preach and plant the Gospel. And of these kind of men let this suffice.
Thirteenthly, men of name and note to be governors, etc.
But then farther, besides these last mentioned, and above all these hitherto spoken of, I add, there must be by some means or other drawn and induced to go as governors and leaders of the rest some store of men of name and note--men by whose power and authority, greatness and gravity, purse and presence the multitude afore mentioned may be encouraged, ordered, and guided. Common sense and reason can sufficiently inform every man that no body can consist without a head, nor army without a general, no company without a conductor, and no society without a ruler. And Nature herself, teaching the Amazonian bees not to swarm without their lady and the cranes not to fly without their leader, may easily teach us that we shall transgress the very order of Nature and neglect that instinct which is engraffed in all if we shall make such a removal without the conduct of such men as for their place and power, birth and breed, may be fit to order and rule, to support and settle the rest. And if men of this rank would once roundly set their foot to this way and their hand to this work, as Moses did with the elders of Israel towards the land of Canaan, Aeneas and the noble Trojans into Italy, and Brutus and his allies for this land, it were not to /69/be doubted but their example and industry would more prevail in one year or two to draw multitudes with and after them than all the projects hitherto, without such attempted, have procured.
Respire. If men of place and authority in the temporal state--for of them only you seem to speak--be so necessary unto such a work as you seem to imply, methinks it should be as necessary likewise that there should go some that may carry like authority and place in the estate ecclesiastical.
Fourteenthly, and that in the ecclesiastical estate as well as in the temporal
Enrubie. I am of the same mind also. It cannot be but requisite and necessary that, as well for the governing of ministers themselves already made as also for the ordering or making of more where need is, for the institution of them to churches, for the division of parishes, the endowing, erecting, and consecrating of churches, and otherlike episcopal and ecclesiastical duties and employments, which must be followed and exercised instantly if we mean to make a Christian and religious plantation indeed, there should go some one or more, according to the greatness of the plantation, to be bishop there, and some others besides that shall exercise under him or them ecclesiastical authority and jurisdiction, lest faction and confusion, like tares among the wheat, grow faster there than religion, order, and peace of the church.
Respire. Now I suppose you have said enough for this matter--more it is, I am sure, than ever I heard in all my life--and so much as makes me think certainly that if in such a sort as you have implied and with such persons a plantation were set forth, then it would prosper indeed.
Enrubie. You think I have said all in all that can be said; but I tell you there is one thing yet unsaid which in mine opinion is more material than any one thing whatsoever hitherto mentioned--that, indeed, which must and would give life to all the rest, and without which the whole attempt wheresoever it be seems to me to be like a building on the sand, which you know will in the end have a fall, and the fall thereof will be very great (Matt. 7:27).
Respire. I long to hear what that should be, for I can conceive /70/nothing to be so much yet wanting to this work. I pray you, hold my thoughts in suspense no longer.
The fifteenth and chiefest of all is that his Majesty would entitle himself king of that country in which the present plantation shall be
Enrubie. This it is: that his Majesty would be pleased to entitle himself king and supreme governor of that country wherein the plantation shall proceed, as at this present of Newfoundland, that so they that plant and dwell there may know directly and expressly under whose dominions they dwell and so rest thereby assured of his regal protection and defense upon all occasions as well as if they remained in England. This, this obtained, would encourage and embolden many that now doubt and fear to go willingly and to adventure goods and life therein resolutely. This would make them joyful and jovial to proceed who now are doubtful and fearful, as those that cannot tell in whose land and within those kingdom it is that they shall dwell there and that would be loath to dwell but within his Majesty's dominions.
Respire. That is known sufficiently by his Majesty's letters patents granted to sundry honorable personages and other that send thither.
Enrubie. It is known to them that have the patents but it is not known to all them that should go under the patentees. It is also well known by common fame and rumor but it is not so well known as if by proclamation it were published in every town and city; not so well as if in every church he were prayed for by the name of king of that country as well as of England, France, and Ireland.
Respire. This must be a matter of great moment, out of doubt. It puts me in mind of somewhat that I read a great while ago in our English chronicles in the time of King Edward the Third, viz., how that when he made claim to the crown of France, to which he was the next lawful heir and successor, yet all his certain right and just claim notwithstanding, some of his allies and confederates beyond sea, being but voluntaries, refused to assist him in arms unless he would first and until he did take on him the style and title of King of France.
Enrubie. By that you may perceive there is something in this particular more than many do conceive. And now, touching /71/these two main points before mentioned, viz., the procuring of men and money to such a business as we entreat of, let this suffice.
Respire. And well it may; for unless it be, as you said before, by act of Parliament, which alone is able to settle an absolute course for these excellent designs, this is as much, I think, as by most inferior courses can well be effected; but yet for my further satisfaction, let me, I pray you, be bold to move unto you a doubt or two more that come to my mind.
Certain objections answered
Enrubie. Do you so. I shall do the best I can to put you out of your doubts.
Respire. The course you intimate is a matter of great expense.
Enrubie. It is indeed; but thereof say I, first, many a particular will bear and discharge his own, othersome a great deal of his own, part.
Secondly, a great part of the expenses will soon be repaid again: some in the commodities thence returned; some in the easement and disburdening of their wonted charge and encumbrance here at home.
Thirdly, people cannot live anywhere without expense.
Fourthly, be it a matter of some good quantity that must arise out of the common purse, is not our whole land able to bear it? Suppose there should go ten or twenty thousands yearly for a time unto our plantations, what were that, with the help of particulars, to England's purse? If in time of war it were able without any grievance, almost any feeling, to maintain six or seven, yea, ten or twelve thousand soldiers in the field the whole year, from year to year, for a time, as easily might it be able, or else I am much deceived, to transport, and that with very competent provision yearly, twice as many thousand persons at the least into those plantations.
Respire. The removing of so many may seem superfluous.
Enrubie. I will not say but I may be deceived; but surely, in my conceit it were necessary that there should go rather more than fewer than I have said. My reasons are:
First, the multitude that aboundeth in our land is so exceeding great that without great riddance the benefit thereof at home will be little seen and less felt; for more will yearly /72/arise than are removed. To draw out a proportion somewhat fit in this case: there are in England only at this present eight thousand parishes at the least, as I conjecture, and certain it is, as all the church registers in England, I think, will justify, there are more born every year than buried. Say but two in a parish one with another and that is with the least, I am sure, yet that amounts to sixteen thousand in one year. The increase being such, what decrease there had need be made to bring the whole to abide somewhat equal may soon be perceived. Farther, let men look back to the beginning of the late Queen's reign or thereabout and see in what state the land stood then for people and he shall perceive that even then it did begin to exceed; so that unless it may again be reduced to that mediocrity at least, and there stand, it can be in no tolerable estate. This cannot be effected but by such a number at least removed as I have intimated.
Respire. Indeed, within my remembrance, that is, within these forty or fifty years, our parish is increased in such a sort that there be now almost twice as many houses in it as once there were, and these newly increased but cottages, most of them set up in waste places of the highways, the inhabitants whereof are nothing but a burden unto us and do very much trouble and annoy us that be the ancient tenants and true householders; and I perceive that the removing of one or two of them were to little purpose. The greatest part of them, or rather all, if it were possible, must be rid away or else we shall be little the near for it. And so it had need be, in your understanding, the whole land over.
Enrubie. You conceive me aright.
Secondly, farther, the plantations now in hand are divers; these all cannot be settled in any form, nor brought to any good estate, without the like numbers transported whereby they may be enabled in every of them, first, to occupate or take in forthwith such a large continent of ground as may be fit for settling the bounds of their plantation there; secondly, that they may be able to begin their cities, towns, and parishes in such reasonable spaciousness as may become so worthy an attempt, which cannot be unless their number be such that they may have to begin withal for every city they build a thousand, for every /73/market town an hundred, and for every country parish twenty or thirty households at the least. Which begun with such convenient distance and sufficient ampleness of ground annexed may admit in time a double or treble increase.
And, thirdly, to have and set up among themselves all manner of sciences, trades, handicrafts, and employments necessary and convenient for the cohabitation and life of man.
Respire. This would require a greater number than yet you have spoken of: I think, so great out of all question as in all England is not to be had.
How great a number in England may be spared for plantations
Enrubie. I am not of your mind. Few men do well consider what a number for such a purpose in all England is to be had if there were once good courses taken for the having of them. For my own part, truly, I am fully persuaded that there are few towns and parishes in England but have in them of all sorts one and other that might to such a purpose be spared enough to make and plant in such a sort, as I have said before, as great a town and parish in some new plantation as that within England in which at this present they do dwell and abide, a number, I suppose, sufficient presently to furnish at large more than all any one plantation that is now in hand.
Thirdly, the attempts, at the beginning specially, cannot but be liable to some dangers of the enemy. If, then, their number be but small, and they go forth, as hitherto, by scores or hundreds, alas! What strength can they be of, either to subdue the borderers or resist the invaders? The adversary may wait a time at his best leisure when they are grown a little worth the rifling to displant them of their seats, and as to the French in Terra Florida the Spaniard did to dispatch them of their lives. Whereas, if they go out by thousands, or ten thousands, as all good plantations should and ever have done, first, they shall be able to withstand and, if need be, to subdue the naturals adjacent; and then, within a few years, partly of themselves and partly by the assistance of their confederates, which the stronger they see ours to be the firmer no doubt will they be unto them, they will by God's blessing and aid be so well fortified by land and provided by sea that they shall as little need to fear any foreign forces there as we, God be praised, do /74/here, and haply grow no less famous for martial and civil policy both in that continent than our nation is in this.
Fourthly, now it is a fit time, and we are well at leisure for such a purpose, to attend such an employment; whereas, if any trouble, if any wars by sea or by land, should arise us here--and do we think, or are we sure, these halcyon days will ever hold?--we should have neither time nor means to spare to prosecute any such business abroad. As, therefore, a man that will build a great house must follow it closely while the summer lasteth and the weather is fair lest the winter come on which will both hurt and hinder his work; so it is good for us in this fair time of peace and summerlike weather of leisure and liberty to follow these businesses with speed lest in time we say, "Had we thought this." We know post est occasio calva. This is a point of that worth and weight that it alone, methinks, should be enough to stir up all England to take heed that she do not sit still (Judg. 18:9) and let it slip out of her hands, for saith the poet:
Nec quae praeteriit, cursu revocabitur unda: Nec quae praeteriit, hora redire potest,
Nor can the tide that's ebbed and gone,
int's proper course revoked be:
Nor can the time when once it's past,
return again, we plainly see.
Fifthly, if this work should be intercepted by any unexpected accident before it be brought to some perfection--that is, that the present plantation may, if need be, for a time subsist of itself--in what a misery should they be, poor wretches, that have adventured the first attempt! And, which God forbid, who can tell, if we dally and delay and make not greater speed thither and thereabout than yet we do, whether some other nation of better spirit and worthier resolution may not, to our great shame and confusion, step in before us and stop the gate against us?
/75/Sixthly, besides, the setting forth by great numbers is no small encouragement unto them that do go forth for the present and a notable inducement to others as unto a hopeful business to second them from time to time hereafter; whereas, on the contrary, as experience plainly proves, this going forth by handfuls discomforts them that be sent away, emboldens the adversary, discredits the action, and--but who can reckon up all the evils thereof?--discourageth everyone that heareth thereof to adventure either his person or his purse in it, as doubting lest the attempt come at length, as otherlike heretofore have done, to just nothing, and that they which are thither gone are, as banished and condemned persons, but cast away.
These causes and reasons considered, I rest confident that it is necessary there should into these plantations be removed yearly for a time ten or twelve thousands at the least.
Whom these satisfy not I might send to the beehives, where they may observe that the smallest swarms do seldom prosper but the greatest never lightly fail; or to the locusts of the earth, in whom Solomon (Prov. 30:37) noteth this for a point of their excellent wisdom that they go forth by heaps or great troops. But not resting thereon, though these natural experiments are not to be despised, I will remit them to one of the greatest politicians that ever was among men, I mean, Moses, a man full of the spirit of God and all wisdom, who, conducting the children of Israel to the landward of promise, a land formerly inhabited, a land already builded and planted, a land reasonably well cleared of woods and wild beasts, yet tells them--whose number was not small, as this one instance may declare, viz., that when they came out of Egypt there were of them men, besides children and strangers, six hundred thousand, and this withal that when they passed into the land, forty years after, under the hand of Joshua, out of two tribes and an half that dwelt on this side Jordan there went forty thousand men of war to assist the rest--that therefore the Lord would not destroy their enemies all at once but by little and little, lest the wild beasts of the field should increase upon them (Deut. 7:22). Whence /76/they may gather that if so great a multitude were in Moses' opinion with the least to inhabit an empty land of no greater continent and spaciousness than that was, and it were but for fear of the increase of the wild beasts against them and therefore good policy, and for a time it were better some of the men of that land, the former inhabitants, were suffered to remain among them till themselves were more increased, then may not so small a number as we commonly send into our plantations suffice thereto, and that some greater number than any yet I have intimated, rather than a less, all things considered, were rather more requisite and necessary.
Respire. This, the removing of so great a number, will be a great weakening and impoverishing to our land.
Enrubie. No, none at all. For, first, the strength of a land consisteth not so much in the number of people as in the aptness and ableness of them unto service. Now, whoso will not be blind cannot but see that this multitude, whose removal should chiefly be intended, is neither apt for want of education, being of the ruder sort, nor able for want of means, being for the most part of the poorer sort, to strengthen us. There may be more doubt of them rather lest in time of peace they raise tumults and fall to uproars for their bellies' sake, and in time of war lest they join with the enemy and take parts against us for our pillage and livings' sake, than hope that in peace they will enrich and benefit, or in trouble assist and strengthen our commonwealth and country.
Secondly, if number only be respected, it will no whit be impaired but rather bettered, not diminished but augmented, in that so great a multitude of us being planted otherwhere shall become, as it were, another England, ready and able upon all occasions to join with this. Indeed, if such a number and multitude as is needful to be removed should either die in our land or be translated out of our land into some other prince's dominion, the want of them might haply be some loss and lack unto our land; yet when for forty of [sic MW] fifty years ago it was not so overcloyed and pestered with multitude as now it is, it was not found, God be /77/thanked, to want strength, but abiding still subjects to the same king and members of the same dominion, being made by the benefit of plantation more available to the one and serviceable to the other than before, so far is it off that the absence and want of them shall weaken, that out of all doubt it shall notably strengthen our land.
Thirdly, as for the impoverishing of the land this way, there is thereof nor probability nor possibility, seeing the greatest number of them, whose transplantation is most necessary, are they that above all other do for the present by their abiding here impoverish and beggar it. For on them is bestowed yearly the greatest part of all that money, the sum whereof is almost inestimable, which is by overseers and churchwardens in every several parish of the land collected and distributed. And whereas of this sort of people, this superfluous number, there are increased amongst us, out of all doubt, here in England alone within these fifty years, not so few as an hundred thousand (I say not persons but) families, I presume if view thereof were made it would appear that among them all there would hardly be found one thousand of subsidy men, as you may perceive by the state of our own parish and others near adjoining, wherein if there be now any more subsidy men than were in the Queen's time, they are such only as are of the ancient inhabitants and tenants, and not one, or scarce one, of the late and new increase.
Fourthly, if there do remove hence any of the better and richer sort that shall and may carry some store of wealth with them, as there must if ever there be any good plantation indeed anywhere, yet the number of them both will and need be but few in respect of the rest; and whatsoever the land is damnified by that they carry with them, it will soon be recompensed: partly by their absence; partly in the estates of those which shall be, by having their livings and some other of their means, enriched and bettered by their removal; and lastly by the commodities and benefits which from and by such cannot to this land but redound again out of the plantations.
Respire. But the revenues of the crown must needs be by this /78/means extremely spent and diminished.
Enrubie. That the revenues of the crown of England should thereby be exhausted or impaired seemeth in mine eye so improbable that, altogether contrariwise, it seemeth and must needs be the readiest way and surest course that can be exceedingly to augment the same both at home and abroad.
At home in that they which remain behind shall, the land being thus disburdened and cleared, the better reap to themselves the benefit of the land and so grow and increase in wealth that they may be enabled to pay to his Majesty with the more ease and alacrity and in more quantities his dues and impositions; whereas now, what by the charge they be at for relieving many of these that now encumber their parish on the one side--a charge not so small in many parishes yearly as their part of one whole subsidy to the King--and what by the extreme fines and rents whereto their livings, and the high prices whereto all things to live by, through the excessive multitude of people in our land, are racked and raised on the other side, even they that have reasonable good livings and means are so kept down and, as it were, eaten out from time to time, that they are worse able now than either they or their predecessors for thirty or forty years past either to keep house or pay impositions and duties required.
Abroad, whileas probable it is that by the good of plantation they which go away from hence very poor may within a little while become very rich, they that here were but needy and of mean estate may there arise to be, as we term, men of substance and good ability, subsidy men themselves, and so yield profit and pay to the King's coffers in such store and plenty that, by God's blessing attending on men's endeavors, the income thereto from such only--that I speak nothing now of what may in great probability arise by those great hopes of pearl, metal mines, etc.--may within a little time equal if not surmount the present revenues which now all England yield, whereby, by the help of God--for of the event, if the fault be not in ourselves, there is no doubt--his Majesty shall have less cause than hitherto to be either chargeable /79/or beholding to his subjects at home and yet be as rich in treasure and as well stored in money and means for wealth as any monarch in Christendom.
Respire. I have heard some men better learned than myself say that the truth is never better cleared and manifested than when, by adversaries of the truth seeking to darken it, it is oppugned and contradicted, which I see verified in our conference. For the longer we talk the more I find mine error and ignorance; and the more I object against you the better appears the soundness of your opinion about the things we have talked of.
Enrubie. Whether you spake as you did of ignorance or for trial to prove what I could or would say in these cases, it is not greatly material. I have spoken nothing, I hope, but what is fit and probable in the cause, and the same in such sort as may suffice to satisfy you or any other that will with verity and probability be satisfied in these points; and therefore I trust that you will take all that I have spoken in good part as proceeding from a mind that would willingly gratify all but offend none.
The sum of the Second Part
Respire. You have in truth satisfied me to the full concerning those things of which I desired a resolution and did somewhat doubt with myself that it was not to be had. For now I perceive that to make a good plantation store of people to inhabit and store of provision to enable them to inhabit it are necessary. I perceive also that our land is able to afford both--both people and provision--plentifully, if good courses might be taken for procuring them. Wherefore, as I cannot but acknowledge myself much beholding unto you for that you have brought me out of error into the truth, as out of darkness into light; so I cannot but profess that I now wish with all my heart that I might live to hear and know these or some of these worthy, commendable, and necessary projects brought to some good effect, and will from henceforth be as ready to encourage and persuade others thereunto as I have been heretofore to discourage and dissuade them therefrom.
Enrubie. If you be so well minded, whereof I am very glad, then you have done contradicting, and I shall not need to bethink myself of any further answers. /80/
Respire. I have done objecting and opposing, for I perceive it is to no end; but if there do come anything into my mind concerning these projects wherein I shall need some better information than I can gather to myself, I will make bold to come unto you once more, but that shall be not as an opposite and gainsayer but as a scholar that desireth to learn that so I may have mine own mind and understanding so well informed and prepared that I may be able to confer with and, if need be, to inform others.
Enrubie. Come and welcome, whensoever you see it good.
THE END OF THE SECOND PART