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Who can desire more content, that hath small meanes; or but only his merit to aduance his fortune, then to tread, and plant that ground hee hath purchased by the hazard of his life? If he haue but the taste of virtue, and magnanimitie, what to such a minde can bee more pleasant, then planting and building a foundation for his Posteritie, gotte from the rude earth, by Gods blessing & his owne industrie, without preiudice to any? If hee haue any graine of faith or zeale in Religion, what can hee doe lesse hurtfull to any; or more agreeable to God, then to seeke to conuert those poore Saluages to know Christ, and humanitie, whose labors with discretion will triple requite thy charge and paines? What so truely sutes with honour and honestie, as the discouering things vnknowne? erecting Townes, peopling Countries, informing the ignorant, reforming things vniust, teaching virtue; & gaine to our Natiue mother-countrie a kingdom to attend her; finde imployment for those that are idle, because they know not what to doe: so farre from wronging any, as to cause Posteritie to remember thee; and remembring thee, euer honour that remembrance with praise? Consider : What were the beginnings and endings of the Monarkies of the Chaldeans, the Syrians, the Grecians, and Romanes, but this one rule; What was it they would not doe, for the good of the commonwealth, or their Mother-citie? For example: Rome, What made her such a Monarchesse, but onely the aduentures of her youth, not in riots at home ; but in dangers abroade? and the iustice and iudgement out of their experience, when they grewe aged. What was their ruine and hurt, but this; The excesse of idlenesse, the fondnesse of Parents, the want of experience in Magistrates, the admiration of their vndeserued honours, the contempt of true merit, their vniust iealosies, their politicke incredulities, their hypocriticall seeming goodnesse, and their deeds of secret lewdnesse? finally, in fine, growing onely formall temporists, all that their predecessors got in many years, they lost in few daies. Those by their pains & vertues became Lords of the world; they by their ease and vices became slaues to their seruants. This is the difference betwixt the vse of Armes in the field, & on the monuments of stones; the golden age and the leaden age, prosperity and miserie, iustice and corruption, substance and shadowes, words and deeds, experience and imagination, making Commonwealths and marring Commonwealths, the fruits of vertue and the conclusions of vice.
Then, who would liue at home idly (or thinke in himselfe any worth to liue) onely to eate, drink, and sleepe, and so die? Or by consuming that carelesly, his friends got worthily? Or by vsing that miserably, that maintained vertue honestly? Or, for being descended nobly, pine with the vaine vaunt of great kindred, in penurie? Or (to maintaine a silly shewe of brauery) toyle out thy heart, soule, and time, basely, by shifts, tricks, cards, & dice? Or by relating newes of others actions, sharke here or there for a dinner, or supper; deceiue thy friends, by faire promises, and dissimulation, in borrowing where thou neuer intendest to pay; offend the lawes, surfeit with excesse, burden thy Country, abuse thy selfe, despaire in want, and then couzen thy kindred, yea euen thine owne brother, and wish thy parents death (I will not say damnation) to haue their estates? though thou seest what honours, and rewards, the world yet hath for them will seeke them and worthily deserue them.
I would be sory to offend, or that any should mistake my honest meaning: for I wish good to all, hurt to none. But rich men for the most part are growne to that dotage, through their pride in their wealth, as though there were no accident could end it, or their life. And what
hellish care do such take to make it their owne miserie, and their Countries spoile, especially when there is most neede of their imployment? drawing by all manner of inuentions, from the Prince and his honest subiects, euen the vitall spirits of their powers and estates: as if their Bagges, or Bragges, were so powerfull a defence, the malicious could not assault them; when they are the onely baite, to cause vs not to be onely assaulted;
but betrayed and murdered in our owne security, ere we well perceiue it.
May not the miserable ruine of Constantinople, their impregnable walles, riches, and pleasures last taken by the Turke (which are but a bit, in comparison of their now mightines) remember vs, of the effects of priuate couetousness? at which time the good
Emperour held himselfe rich enough, to haue such rich subiects, so formall in all excesse of vanity, all kinde of delicacie, and prodigalitie. His pouertie when the Turke besieged, the citizens (whose marchandizing thoughts were onely to get wealth, little conceiuing the desperate resolution of a valiant expert enemy) left the Emp. so long to his conclusions, hauing spent all he had to pay his young, raw, discontented Souldiers; that sodainly he, they, and their citie were all a prey to the deuouring Turke. And what they would not spare for the maintenance of them who aduentured their liues to defend them, did serue onely their enemies to torment them, their friends, and countrey, and all Christendome to this present day. Let this lamentable example remember you that are rich (seeing here are such great theeues in the world to robbe you) not grudge to lend some proportion, to breed them that haue little, yet willing to learne how to defend you: for, it is too late when the deede is a-doing. The Romanes estate hath beene worse then this: for, the meere couetousnesse and extortion of a few of them, so mooued the rest, that not hauing any imployment, but contemplation; their great iudgements grew to so great malice, as themselues were sufficient to destroy themselues by faction: Let this mooue you to embrace imployment, for those whose educations, spirits, and iudgements, want but your purses; not onely to preuent such accustomed dangers, but also to gaine more thereby then you haue. And you fathers that are either so foolishly fond, or so miserably couetous, or so willfully ignorant, or so negligently carelesse, as that you will rather maintaine your children in idle wantonness, till they growe your masters; or become so basely vnkinde, as they wish nothing but your deaths; so that both sorts growe dissolute: and although you would wish them any where to escape the gallowes, and ease your cares; though they spend you here one, two, or three hundred pound a yeer; you would grudge to giue halfe so much in aduenture with them, to obtaine an estate, which in a small time but with a little assistance of your prouidence, might bee better then your owne. But if an Angell should tell you, that any place yet vnknowne can afford such fortunes; you would not beleeue him, no more then Columbus was beleeued there was any such Land as is now the well knowne abounding America; much lesse such large Regions as are yet vnknowne, as well in America, as in Affrica, and Asia, and Terra incognita; where were courses for gentlemen (and them that would be so reputed) more suiting their qualities, then begging from their Princes generous disposition, the labours of his subiects, and the very marrow of his maintenance.
I haue not beene so ill bred, but I haue tasted of Plenty and Pleasure, as well as
Want and Miserie: nor doth necessity yet, or occasion of discontent, force me to these endeauors: nor am I ignorant what small thanke I shall haue for my paines; or that many would haue the Worlde imagine them to be of great iudgement, that can but blemish these my designes, by their witty obiections and detractions: yet (I hope) my reasons with my deeds, will so preuaile with some, that I shall not want imployment in these affaires, to make the most blinde see his owne senselesnesse, & incredulity; Hoping that gaine will make them affect that, which Religion, Charity, and the Common good cannot. It were but a poore deuice in me, To deceiue my selfe; much more the King, & State, my Friends, and Countrey, with these inducements: which, seeing his Maiestie hath giuen permission, I wish all sorts of worthie, honest, industrious spirits, would vnderstand: and if they desire any further satisfaction, I will doe my best to giue it: Not to perswade them to goe onely; but goe with them: Not leaue them there; but liue with them there. I will not say, but by ill prouiding and vndue managing, such courses may be taken, may make vs miserable enough: But if I may haue the execution of what I haue proiected; if they want to eate, let them eate or neuer digest Me. If I performe what I say, I desire but that reward out of the gaines may sute my paines, quality, and condition. And if I abuse you with my tongue, take my head for satisfaction. If any dislike at the yeares end, defraying their charge, by my consent they should freely returne. I feare not want of companie sufficient, were it but knowne what I know of those Countries; & by the proofe of that wealth I hope yearely to returne, if God please to blesse me from such accidents, as are beyond my power in reason to preuent: For, I am not so simple, to thinke, that euer any other motiue then wealth, will euer erect there a Commonweale; or draw companie from their ease and humours at home, to stay in New England to effect my purposes. And lest any should thinke the toile might be insupportable, though these things may be had by labour, and diligence: I assure my selfe there are who delight extreamly in vaine pleasure, that take much more paines in England, to enioy it, then I should doe heere to gaine wealth sufficient: and yet I thinke they should not haue halfe such sweet content: for, our pleasure here is still gaines; in England charges and losse. Heer nature and liberty affords vs that freely, which in England we want, or it costeth vs dearely. What pleasure can be more, then (being tired with any occasion a-shore) in planting Vines, Fruits, or Hearbs, in contriuing their owne Grounds, to the pleasure of their owne mindes, their Fields, Gardens, Orchards, Buildings, Ships, and other works, &c. to recreate themselues before their owne doores, in their owne boates vpon the Sea, where man woman and childe, with a small hooke and line, by angling, may take diuerse sorts of excellent fish, at their pleasures? And is it not pretty sport, to pull vp two pence, six pence, and twelue pence, as fast as you can hale and veare a line? He is a very bad fisher, cannot kill in one day with his hooke and line, one, two, or three hundred Cods: which dressed and dryed, if they be sould there for ten shillings the hundred, though in England they will giue more then twentie; may not both the seruant, the master, and marchant, be well content with this gaine ? If a man worke but three dayes in seauen, he may get more then hee can spend, vnlesse he will be excessiue. Now that Carpenter, Mason, Gardiner, Taylor, Smith, Sailer, Forgers, or what other, may they not make this a pretty recreation though they fish but an houre in a day, to take more then they eate in a weeke? or if they will not eate it, because there is so much better choise; yet sell it, or change it, with the fisher men, or marchants, for any thing they want. And what sport doth yeeld a more pleasing content, and lesse hurt or charge then angling with a hooke, and crossing the sweete ayre from Ile to Ile, ouer the silent streames of a calme Sea? wherein the most curious may finde pleasure, profit, and content. Thus, though all men be not fishers: yet all men, whatsoeuer, may in other matters doe as well. For necessity doth in these cases so rule a Commonwealth, and each in their seuerall functions, as their labours in their qualities may be as profitable, because there is a necessary mutuall vse of all.
For Gentlemen, what exercise should more delight them, then ranging dayly those vnknowne parts, vsing fowling and fishing, for hunting and hauking? and yet you shall see the wilde haukes giue you some pleasure, in seeing them stoope (six or seauen after one another) an houre or two together, at the skuls of fish in the faire harbours, as those ashore at a foule; and neuer trouble nor torment your selues, with watching, mewing, feeding, and attending them: nor kill horse and man with running & crying, See you not a hauk? For hunting also: the woods, lakes, and riuers, affoord not onely chase sufficient, for any that delights in that kinde of toyle, or pleasure; but such beasts to hunt, that besides the delicacy of their bodies for food, their skins are so rich, as may well recompence thy dayly labour, with a Captains pay.
For labourers, if those that sowe hemp, rape, turnups, parsnips, carrats, cabidge, and such like; giue 20, 30, 40, 50 shillings yearely for an acre of ground, and meat drinke and wages to vse it, and yet grow rich: when better, or at least as good ground, may be had and cost nothing but labour; it seemes strange to me, any such should there grow poore.
My purpose is not to perswade children from their parents; men from their wiues; nor seruants from their masters: onely, such as with free consent may be spared: But that each parish, or village, in Citie, or Countrey, that will but apparell their fatherlesse children, of thirteene or fourteen years of age, or young maried people, that haue small wealth to liue on; heere by their labour may liue exceeding well: prouided alwaies that first there bee a sufficient power to command them, houses to receiue them, meanes to defend them, and meet prouisions for them; for, any place may bee ouerlain: and it is most necessarie to haue a fortresse (ere this grow to practice) and sufficient masters (as, Carpenters, Masons, Fishers, Fowlers, Gardiners, Husbandmen, Sawyers, Smiths, Spinsters, Taylors, Weauers, and such like) to take ten, twelue, or twentie, or as ther is occasion, for Apprentises. The Masters by this may quicklie growe rich; these may learne their trades themselues, to doe the like; to a generall and an incredible benefit, for King, and Countrey, Master, and Seruant.