« PreviousContinue »
and all and such thinges as are good cheape with them, it costeth but their mar
laboures onely, and their peoples, which els should be idle, yet chauntes bring
these things be some what after the price in other places vendible thinges as well as heere. But when wee feele the lacke of iron, steele, that bee
e salt, hempe, flaxe, and such other, such light wares as yee speake best cheape to of will not be desired here, but reiected, and these other looked them and for : what other things els will they bring trowe you? deerest
Knight. Percase yee meane silkes, wynes, and spyces ? with vs.
Doctor. No, not that, for those bee in good price els where.
Knight. What then should they haue to vtter to vs, that is best cheape with them and deerest with vs ?
Doctor Brasse, for it should go with them but for brasse in deede, and therefore good cheape, and heere with vs a great part for siluer, and therefore deere with vs, and that they would bringe vnto vs. · Knight. How, in brasse pots, pans, and other uessel of brasse?
Doctor. Not so: no man would take such stuffe but for brasse in deede.
Knight. How then? Then the Doctor tolde mee, (Doctor) that it was in coyne made beyonde sea like in all thinges to our coyne, which they brought ouer in beapes, and when they see that esteemed heere as siluer, they bringe that for our commodities, as for our woolles, felles, cheese, butter, cloth, tinne and ledde, which thing euery man will bee glad to sell for the most they can get: and beinge offered of straungers more of our coine then they may get within the countrey, they wil sell them to straungers, rather then vs with whom the price is set: then straungers may aforde that coine good cheape, for they make it them selues, and the stuffe is good cheape that they make it of, and so they will geeue thereof for our sayde commodities as much as ye will aske. Then though they made not such coyne themselues, yet seeing they must pay more for our wares, or els no man would bring them to them, when hee may haue as much at home of his neighbours, the straungers must needes haue a consideration of that in the price of the sayd outwarde marchaundize that they sell, and also holde them deerer. And thus by the one way they may exhaust our chiefe commodities, and gieue vs brasse for them, where with wee cannot buy such like other necessary
commodities againe, as wee shoulde want if they were not plenty Glauci & wythin our realme. Much like the exchaunge that Homer sayeth Diomédis Glaucus made with Diomedes, when he gaue to this man his golde tio.
en harnesse for brasen. But the other way they must needes be brought to sell their wares deerer to vs, and then if this husbandman and gentleman, and so all other within this realme should be compelled to sell their thinges good cheape, and yet buy all thinges deere that commeth from beyonde the sea : I canyot see how they
should long prosper, for I neuer knew him that bought deere and He that soulde good cheape, and vse it any long space, to thriue.
cheape and Knight. There may be searchers made for such coyners as yee buieth speake of comming in, and punishments deuised therefore, and for deere shall going forth of uictayles also, that none shall passe this realme. not lightly
Doctor. There may be no deuise imagined so strong, but that“. yee may be deceaued in both those points, as wel in such coyne It is not brought in, as in victailes caried forth : for many heads wil deuise possible to
keepe our many wayes to get any thing by, and though wee bee enuyroened ir with a good poole (that is the sea) yet there is so many posterns of from going it to get out and in, vnwares of the maister. Whosoeuer hath but forth of the a prety house with any family of his owne, and but oue gate to go be
realme, if it forth and come in at, and the maister of the house neuer so atten- estimation tiue, yet somewhat shal be purloined forth, much more out of such elswhere. a larg realme as this is, hauinge so many wayes and posterns to goe forth at and come in. And yet if straungers shoulde be content to take but our wares for theirs, what shoulde let them to aduaunce the prices of their wares, though ours were good cheape vnto them, and then shall wee be still losers and they at the winning hand with vs, while they sell deere and buy good cheape, and consequently enrich themselues and impouerishe vs. Yet bad I leauer aduaunce our wares in price as they aduaunce theirs (as wee nowe doe) thoughe some bee losers thereby, but yet not so many as should bee the other way. And yet, what businesse shoulde there be in making of prices of euery trifle, for so it would be, if the price of any one thinge bee abated by commaundement: and therefore I cannot That the perceaue that it may be remedied by either of you both (I meane derth rose
ç neither at you gentleman and you good husbandman) for if it rose at either of th
the gentle your hands, so it might be remedied likewise at the same, by re- man nor leasing the thing agayne at either of your handes that was the cause husbandof this dearth.
man's But if either you should release your rent, or you handa the price of your victayle to the olde rate, yet that coulde not compell straungers to bring downe the price of theirs as I haue sayde: and so longe as their commodities be deere, it were neither expedient, nor yet could yee though yee woulde : make your commodities good cheape (except yee can deuise away how to liue without them, and they without you) which I thinke impossible : or else to vse ex- Permuta. chaunge of ware for ware without coyne (as it was before coyne
thinges he: was founde) as I reade in the time of Homer it was, and also the fore coyne. ciuile lawe doth affirme the same, which were very cumbersome, and would require much cariage of ware vp and down, where nowe by the benefit of coyne a man may by those tokens fetch the wares that hee lacketh afar of, without great trouble of cariage: and hard were it readily to finde all wares that the one hath to pay the other, of equall value.
Husband. If neither the gentleman nor I may remedy this matter, at whose hands lyeth it to bee holpen then?
Doctor. I will tell my mynde therein heereafter, but first let vs boulte out the cause of this dearth. And therefore let mee learne,
what other thing should be the cause thereof. Complaynt Capper. Mary, these inclosures and great pastures are a great against cause of the same. Whereby men du turne the erable land being Sheepe. a liuing for diuerse poore men before time, now to one man's hand, maisters.
and where both corne of all sorte, and also cattell of all kinds, were reared aforetime, now there is nothing but onely sheepe. And in steede of one hundred or two hundred persons that had their liuing thereon, now be there but three or foure sheepherds and the mais.
ter onely that hath a liuing thereof. That inclo- Doctor. Yee touch a matter that is much to be considered, alsures is the best I tokenot that to be occasion of
the beit I take not that to be onely the cause of this dearth at this time, desolation but this I thinke in my minde, that if that kinde of inclosing doe and weak. asmuch increase in thirty yeares to come, as it hath done in thirty ing the power of
f yeares past, it may come to the great desolation and weaking of the the realme. strength of this realme, which is more to be feared then dearth, and
I thinke to be the most occasion of any thing yee spake yet, of these wilde and vnhappy vprores that hath bene among vs; for by reason of these inclosures many subiectes baue no grounde to liue vpon, as they had before time, and occupations be not alwayes set a worke all a like, and therefore the people still increasinge, and their liuings diminishing, it must nedes come to passe that a great part of the people shalbe idle and lacke liuinge, for hunger is a bitter thing to beare. Wherefore they must veedes whan they lacke, murmur agayne them that liaue plenty, and so stirre these tumults.
Knight. Experience should seeme to proue playnely, that inclosures should be profitable and not hurtfull to the common weale;
for we see the countreys where most inclusiers be are most wealthy, Quod in as Essex, Kent, North Hamptonshire, &c. And I bane heard a communi ciuilion once say, that it was taken for a maxime in his lawe (this ab omni
etur saying) that ulrich is possessed of many in common is neglected of bus negli- all, and experience sheweth that fenaunts in common be not so gitur. good husbandes as when euery man hath his parte in seueralty, Reasons to also I haue heard say that in the most countreyes beyonde the sea, defend in- they knowe not what a common grounde meaneth. closurs.
Doctor. I meane not of all inclosures, nor yet all commins, What but onely of such inclosures as turneth common and erable fields kinde
into pasture, and violent inclosures of commins without iust res of inclo
compence of them that have right to commen therein : for if land sures is hurtfull. were seuerally enclosed to the intent to continewe husbandry
thereon, and euery man that hath right to commen had for his portion a piece of the same to himself inclosed, I thinke no harme but rather good should come thereof, if euery man did agree there
to : but yet it woulde not be sodaynely done, for there be many poore cottages in England, which hauing no lands of their own to liue one, but their handy labour, and some refreshinge vpon the sayde commens, which if they were sodaynely thrust out from that. commodity, might make a great tumult and a disorder in the commonweale, and percase also if men were suffred to inclose their grounds vnder the pretence to keepe it still in tillage, within a while after they would turne all to pasture, as wee see they doe nowe, too fast.
Knight. If they finde more profit thereby then otherwise, why should they not?
Doctor. I can tel why they should not wel ynough, for they Whether may not purchase themselves profit by that which may be hurtfull
is profitato other ; but how to bring them that they would not so doe, is al ble to one the matter, for so long as they finde more profit by pasture then may be by tillage, they will still inclose and turne erable land' to pastures.'!
"10 pasiunc. to all other (Quoth the Knight,) That well may be restrained by lawes, if it if they vse were thought most profitable for the common weale, but all men the same
feate. doe not agree to that poynte.
Doctor. I wot well they doe not, and therefore it were hard to make a lawe therein ; so many as haue profit by that matter resisting it. And if such a law were made, yet men studying still of there most profit, would defraud the lawe by one ineane or other.
Knight. I haue heard oftentimes much reasoning in this matter, and some in maintenaunce of these inclosures would make this reason, euery man is a member of the commonweale, and that which is profitable to one man may be profitable to another, if he would exercise the same feate. Therefore that which is profitable to mee, and so to another, may be profitable to all, and so to the whole commonweale: as a great masse of treasure consisteth of many pence, and one penny added to another, and so to the thirde and fourth, &c. maketh vp a great summe, so doth each man added one to another make vp the whole body of a commonweale.
Doctor. That reason is good adding some what more to it, true it is, that, the thing which is profitable to each man by himselfe, so it be not preiudiciall to any other, is profitable to the whole commonweale, and not otherwise, or else stealing or robbing, which percase is profitable to some men, were profitable to the commonweale, which no man wil admit, but this feate of inclosinge is so, that where it is profitable to one man it is preiudiciall to many, therefore I thinke that reason sufficiently aunswered.
Knight. Also they will laye forth another reason, saying, that, that which is our owne commodity should bee alwayes aduaunced as much as might be, and these sheepes profit is one of the greatest commodity wee haue, therefore it ought to be aduaunced as high as it may bee.
Euery Doctor. I could aunswere that argument with the like reason as commodiTu must be I did the other : true it is, we ought to aduaunce our owne commoaduaunced dity as much as wee can; so it bee not to as much more the hinderso as it be aunce of our other commodities. Or else where as the breede of not preiu. diciali to coneyes, deere, and such like is a commodity of this realme. Yet other if wee shoulde turne all our erable grounde to nourishe that comgreater modity, and geue vp the plough and all other commodities for it, it commodi. ties.
were a great folly.
Knight. They will say agayne, that all groundes bee not meete for sheepe.
Doctor. It is a very ill grounde but either it serueth to breede sheepe, or to feede then vpon: and if al that is meete either for the one, were turned to the mayntenaunce of sheepe, and none other thing, where shall wee haue our other commodities growe?
Knight. All cannot doe so, though some doe.
Doctor. What should let them all to do that which they see some do ? Yea, what should better encourage them thereto, then to see them that do it be come notable riche men in short time by the doing thereof. And then if euery man should do so, one following the example of another, what should ensue thereof but a meere solitude and vtter desolation of the whole realme? furnished onely with sheepe, and sheepherdes in steede of good men : whereby it might be a pray to the enemyes that first would set vpon it, for then the sheepe maysters and their sheepherds could make no resistaunce to the contrary.
Knight. Who can let them to make their most aduantage of
that which is their owne ? No man Doctor. Yes mary, men may not vse their owne thinges to the may abuse damage of the commonweale : yet for all this that I see, it is a
is own. thinge most necessary to be prouided for, yet I cannot perceaue it things to
oreiu. should be the only cause of this dearth, for this inclosinge and dice of the greate grasinge if it were occasion of that dearth of any thing it common must be of corne chiefly, and nowe these many yeares past we had weale.
corne good cheape inough. And the dearth that was then most was of cattell, as biefes and muttons, and the broode of these are rather increased then diminished by pastures and inclosinges.
Knight. Why should men bee then so much offended with these inclosures.
Doctor. Yes, and not without great cause, for thoughe these many yeares past through the great bounty of God, we haue had much plenty of corne whereby it hath bene good cheape, one acer bearing as much corne as two most commonly were wont to do : yet if these yeares had chaunced to be but meanely fruitfull of corne (no doubt) we should haue had as great dearth of corne as we had of other thinges. And then it had bene, in a maner, an vndoing of the poore commens. And if heereafter there should