Crusonia and Spensonia:                       Two Utopian Visions

 

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE HISTORY OF ROBINSON CRUSOE, BEING THE HISTORY OF CRUSONIA

by Thomas Spence 1782

 

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After giving a stale Description of Courses and Storms, Manner of Landing. &c. I now proceed to tell you something of the Government, Religion, and Customs of this famous Island, as they are at present, and to give you some Idea of their Rise and Progress.

Soon after Robinson's last Visit to this Island, the People, he left, established a good Understanding with the Savages on the Continent, and got Wives from thence ; by which Means, and on Account of many of their new Relations by these Marriages, coming over, and settling with them, it quickly became so populous, that every Foot of Land was occupied, and claimed by some or other : and by leaving it to their eldest Sons as in England, (for the Europeans taught them their Customs) the better Half of the rising Generation could get no vacant Spot to live on, which occasioned great Uneasiness in the Minds of those unfortunate Youngsters. The Disturbances from this Cause, became at Length so serious, as to make it necessary to settle some Authority and Government to keep the Peace, and to determine what People might call their own. Accordingly for that Purpose, the whole of the People assembled ; when some of the old Europeans, being yet alive, spoke to this Effect.

"The Customs hitherto followed, with Regard to holding Possessions, are not of our Invention, but are copied from our native Country, Europe : and as far as we know, are used in all the World beside. But as the Business we are upon, is the settling of a Form of Government for our common Good, Security, and Satisfaction, it is fit. that every Man offer that Scheme, which to him appears most eligible ; that from the many proposed, the best, or that which shall appear the best, drawn from them all, be chosen. And as we have not experienced, nor indeed know of any other than what we have already introduced from Europe, we beg leave-once more, to lay before you the Outlines as there practised, viz.

1. The Land, in Europe, was at first possessed, and handed down to Posterity, as hath been done among us ; which Method you are nevertheless dissatisfied with.

2. The Possessors, there, may let out, or not let sell, or make over their landed Property, to whom, and upon what Conditions, they will.

3. None but Landowners are admitted into Senates or Parliaments, and other Offices of State or Trust, or allowed to vote for a Representative ; and their Estates must always be in Proportion to their Trust ; as they believe Men of great Estates to be farthest above Temptations to Dishonesty.

This Plan, is the Foundation, upon which some of the freest, and most renowned Governments of the World are built ; which, if we reject, we likely will adopt a worse ; but if any can propose better, he, is welcome."

"That may soon be done," cried the Malcontents, "for sure it is not possible worse can be proposed for our Interest. For we would thereby not only be reduced to Tenants, but Tenants at Will ; and we could not be certain but some Time or other we might be denied a Habitation on the Island, even for Rent, and so be obliged to seek Abode among the Savages, on the Continent, whenever the Interests or Fancies of the Landlords should prompt them thereto. Besides, as the Legislature and all other Authority would be wholly in the Landed Interest, we, and others hereafter in our Condition, would be rendered mute, insignificant Slaves, living on the Earth only by Permission : having our Lives, Liberty, and Subsistence, lying wholly at their Mercy. No, you must first get us to believe we are of some other Species, for at present we think we are Men as well as our Fathers, or elder Brothers, or any Land-owners whatever, and shall act accordingly. We have the same right to Liberty, Subsistence (and consequently to Land) and to be of the Legislature, and other Offices, as they ; and our Posterity, through all Generations, will be born with the same Privileges. So to do Justice to ourselves and Posterity we intend to have no Landlords but the Parishes, and to make every Parish a Corporation, and every Man a Parishioner, or Member of that Parish, and that only, he last dwelt a full Year in, notwithstanding from what other Parish, Country, or Nation, he might come prior to such Settlement. A small Rent or Rate, shall, according to the Determination of the Parishioners, be paid by every Person, suitable to the Valuation of the Houseii and Land he possesses, to the Parish Treasury, to be put to such Uses as the Majority please ; and each Parish shall have all the uncontrollable Power that can possibly be made good Use of by a Corporation, and be connected only by a Parliament for the common Strength and Welfare of the Whole."

This Scheme so favourable to the Malcontents, was immediately adopted by them, nor could all the Precedents, their Opponents, deduced from other Nations, avail any Thing ; for as in all Disputes the Right commonly goes with the Might, so here, the Landlords being the weaker Party, were obliged to submit, and the Parish System took Place.

The above Relation, which I had on my first Enquiries soon after Landing, though confirmed by all I spoke with, could not gain my entire Credit, on Account of the numberless Objections my Mind raised against this Scheme, and Impossibilities I thought attended it. till my own Senses found the Truth of the Story in every one of their Customs ; nay, my Prepossessions were so strong, that I was clear a Society could not subsist upon a Plan so repugnant to any Thing I had either heard or thought of : So to ease my disturbed Mind. I set to work to examine every thing I saw, with the greatest Strictness ; and the first Subject, that fell under my Consideration, was the Town I reside in, which is the Capital of the Island, and all its Colonies.

This Town is built on each Side of a commodious Harbour, a considerable River, falls into it, and at the upper End of the Harbour, there is a most elegant Bridge. The Town extends about a Mile on each Side along the Shore, and about half a Mile outward towards the Country, and contains about fifty thousand Inhabitants. Four Parishes meet and have their Churches in it, two on each Side, whose Steeples are very magnificent, and a great Ornament to the Town. It is full of superb and well furnished Shops, and has every Appearance of Grandeur, Opulence, and Convenience, one can conceive to be in a large Place, flourishing with Trade and Manufactures.

This view quite astonished me, for instead of Anarchy, Idleness, Poverty, and Meanness, the natural Consequences, as I narrowly thought of a ridiculous Levelling Scheme, nothing hut Order, Industry, Wealth, and the most pleasing Magnificence! So being anxious to know the utmost of this new fashioned Commonwealth, I took Occasion to fall into the following Dialogue, with one of my Informers, whose Name is Mann.

 

Captain, And so none, notwithstanding the splendid Appearance they make, and the extensive Manner they carry on Trade, have Estates, nor can purchase any ?

Mr Mann, No, nor is it likely ever will, nor does the Happiness of Human Life, or Business require it to be.

Capt. Would it not tend to make People more industrious if they could lay out their Riches in Possessions ?

Mann. I am surprised to hear you ask that Question. Look either to us or to the Jews, and see if there be any Want of Industry in acquiring Wealth as far as Law allows, though we can buy no Land; but on the contrary you will find a general Industry, not one idle ; for Riches unsupported by an Estate, would soon take Wings and fly away, without some other Supply, which Consideration sets every one on doing something, though they may have Plenty. But in your Country, what great Incitement, pray, can it be to Industry, to be obliged to give the Cream of one's Endeavours, unthanked, to the Landlord ? for what Landlord was ever yet thankful for his Rents? They think the Tenants rather owe Thanks to them for Permission to live on their Earth forsooth ! I can never think of them but with Detestation. I can compare them and their Castles to nothing but the Giants, and their Castles in Romances, who were said to be a Terror and Destruction to all the People around ; and must certainly have been invented for a Satire upon Landlords. For what is there that the Giants did, which the Landlords do not? Did the Giants eat the People and their Children ? The Landlords eat their Meat, and wear their Cloaths. Did the Giants confine them in horrid Dungeons ? How many have the merciless Landlords destroyed in Goals ? How many executed ; and how many more, of their poor Vassals, have they led to the Wars like Bull-dogs, by Virtue of their feudal Tenures ? And in Countries where those Gigantic Powers, are curtailed a little, do they not still make the Laws ? Harass and imprison the miserable Tenants for their exorbitant Rents ? Impress them to defend and conquer Countries wherein, as a Reward for their Labour, they would be severely punished for pulling a Nut. or eating Grass if they could ? And which of them dare meddle with a Hare, or a Partridge ?~ Wherefore I must be allowed to pronounce Landlords proper and real Giants, the Heirs and Successors of the greatest and vilest Monsters ever walked the Face of the Earth. "Giant-killer," must then be. as it hath ever been esteemed, a highly honoured Name : and here you have the Satisfaction of beholding a whole Nation of Giant-killers, and a Land where no such Monsters as Landlords can breed.

Capt. But I am afraid Landlords are as much the Produce of all Lands, as other Kinds of Monsters are of the Nile, and it will be difficult to part or keep them long asunder.

Mann. I agree with you. that where there are Men, there will be Landlords, so Heaven hath ordained ; but then, we have so provided, that we are all Landlords, and yet no Giants ; so that the least Change in our excellent System, would effect the Interest of every one, which makes every one a Guardian to the Commonweal.

Capt. Very true : But I have heard of Bribery doing mischievous Things to Societies, and even overturning some ; for it will make Men vote, fight, or do any Thing against the Interests both of the present Generation, and all that are to come, which makes me tremble for your State.

Mann. And why not tremble for others if they be worth purchasing ? Or would you have us throw away what is good that we may not lose it ? You shall see we have done all we can to secure our Rights, but, if they will go. after all, then, let them go ; when all is over, and at the worst, we can but have Landlords. But in all human Probability neither voting nor fighting can hurt us. For you must understand we never vote but by Ballot, or in a secret Manner, either in Parochial or Parliamentary Business. Now suppose you would bribe the whole of the Voters in any Affair, and I were one of them, I would reason thus with myself : If I vote as I am bribed, I wrong the Interest of the Publick. Posterity, and myself, and if there be but one Vote, against my Briber, he may say it is mine, and if I deny it, so may he that really voted, and has as good a Chance to be believed, there being no Witness ; whereby I will have the Mortification to think I have wronged my Country and Conscience without being able to clear myself of your Suspicions. So in Consequence of this Reasoning I would vote against you. and so would all the others from the same Consideration. Let us see how the Case will stand then ? Why you would chide me privately (for you dnrst not do it publicly) for not voting for you. though hired. I would say, how do you prove that ? Because say you I have not one Vote, and therefore not yours ; (for if you had but one Vote I would lay Claim to it.) Well then I would answer, I have the Comfort to think I am no worse than others. Besides if I had voted for you, others would have had as good a Claim to the Merit of the Action in your Sight, while I would have had the whole of the Guilt, and an equal share of the Blame. You will be ready to say. I did not act like a Man of Honor to you, after taking the Wages, not to do the Work. True. I broke Faith, with a bad Man, that wanted to bring some Evil on my Country, and Posterity ; but. at the same Time, I pleased God and my Conscience, and did a signal Service to my Country, For, we will suppose you so powerful, that it would be dangerous to refuse you to your Face, and so could have no other Way of saving ourselves, which I hope will do so effectually, even from such Temptations : so there is an End to your hurting us by Voting.

Capt. I must own so long as you vote by Ballot or secretly there is no hurting you in that Quarter. But is it not beneath Freemen to vote in such a clandestine Manner as if you had not the Courage to act honestly in the Face of the World? Moreover, you lose all the Praise of your good Deeds, which is a General Incitement to worthy Actions.

Mann. In your Country they vote in the open Manner you commend. What is the Consequence ? Why, the Minister tells you, it is necessary to have a Majority at any Rate for the Dispatch of Business, which is the same Thing as to plead for no Parliament at all. So a Majority he gets, who vote for him. through thick and thin, in Spite of the Sun, and all the Eyes of their Country. The Minority, indeed, harangue and fume, as if something were the Matter, to get the Majority to understand what they know as well as themselves : but they are too fast asleep, in the Lap of Corruption, to regard either them, or the Praises of their Country. So you see the weak Influence of Fame, even among Senators ; what Effect can it then have among the poor Freeholders, and Burgesses after such an Example ! This general Corruption, and Jarring, sets all your Newswriters, and Pamphleteerers, on Work to shew their cobbling Genius in their Schemes for mending the Constitution, and redressing Grievances, by their Place and Triennial Bills, &c. whereas the Shoes were so ill made at first, are so worn, rotten, and patched already, that they are not worth further Trouble or Expeuce. but ought to be thrown to the Dunghill, and a new Pair made, neat and handsome, yet, easy, as for the Foot of one that loves Freedom and Ease. Then would your Controversies ahout this and the other Method of Gobbling be done away, and you walk along the rugged and dirty Path of Life, easy and dry-shod.

And now you shall witness with your own Eyes, that Force is as unlikely to succeed against us as your secret Corruption. Therefore you must go with me To-morrow to a neighbouring Parish about two Miles off, it being their General Review Day, when all the Men thereof are to go through their military Exercise. Every Parish has a General Field day once in a Quarter of a Year appointed by act of Parliament, when they are reviewed by an able General chosen by the same Authority, who goes constantly about from Parish to Parish through his District, which consists of thirty-nine contiguous Parishes, so that he has three to review in a Week, or one every other working- Day throughout the Year, except when the appointed Day happens to be improper on Account of Weather, when it is deferred to the next ; but if that also will not suit, then that Parish will not be reviewed that Quarter, and he goes to the next Parish in Rotation. These Field-days are kept very punctually and are noted in the Almanacs as the Fairs, and serve the young People instead of Wakes." 

 

Accordingly when next Morning came, which was exceedingly fine, we went to the military Ground of the aforesaid Parish, which was very neat and convenient, and tolerably large, surrounded with several Rows of Trees, with Seats underneath for the Spectators, and kept entirely for that and such like public Lses. The Parish Bells rung merrily. Numbers of Spectators from the neighbouring Parishes, with all the old Men, Women, and Children that could get from the same Parish were solacing themselves in the Morning Sun around the Place. Presently the Men of the Parish appeared, those who had good Horses on Horseback, those of a Colour together, others trailing Field-pieces of Brass, and others with Muskets. The Boys too were classed according to their Sizes, with small Muskets and Cannon, suitable to their Strength, and the whole with proper Officers, Colours. Music, and an uniform Dress, which last was peculiar to the Parish, as every Parish has its Uniform, which they generally chuse to wear at all Times. They made a gallant Appearance, and all in their most happy Countenances, as if going to some agreeable Sport. Each emulated another in Obedience to Command, and Dexterity of Action. What contributes greatly to this. is. that nothing but conspicuous Merit can advance any to be Officers and they must go gradually through every Station to the highest, if their Merit can carry them so far. They went through their several Manoeuvres like Veterans, but the Boys in particular were a pleasing Sight. No Play whatever gives them such Delight as this military Exercise, which they apply to with such Eagerness, that before they leave School, or are fit for any other Employment, they have it as compleatly as the oldest among them. For this purpose all due Encouragement is given them, a particular Instance of which appeared at this Time. They made a mock Fight with the Men and drove them off the Field, which closed the Scene.

We spent the Remainder of the Day in the same Parish, where there was nothing but Festivity and Joy : and among other Sports, were Shooting-matches, and Cudgel-playing, which are favourite Diversions, and frequently encouraged by Medals and Premiums from the Parish Treasuries.

I can never enough admire the Beauty of the Country ; it has more the Air of a Garden, or rather a Paradise, than a general Country Scene ; and indeed it is properly a Continuation of Gardens and Orchards. For besides the infinite Number of real Gardens, all the Fields, even for Meadow and Pasture, are strewed very thick with Fruit-Trees, and appear like as many Orchards : and the Corn is cultivated in Rows, and as carefully as Garden-herbs. The Houses and every Thing about them, are surprisinglv neat, and resemble in every Respect the Habitations of Gentry, even so much that I could not imagine tor some Time, where the labouring People resided. The Parish provides good, substantial, and elegant Houses, but obliges the Inhabitants to keep them clean. There is no such Thing through all the Country as a dirty or patched Window, a smoky House, or a broken Pavement. And as the People never dread their Leases being ended or the being turned out. so like other Freeholders they spare no Pains in making such Conveniencies as suit their different Callings and Inclinations, nor in ornamenting their Walls and Gardens with all the Pride of the vegetable World. These delightful Dwellings are scattered, very rank over the whole Country ; and, in a Word, it seems to have been intended both by God and Man, for a Nursery and Habitation, suitable to the Chief of the Creation, and convinces one sufficiently, what the Deity, and rational Creatures can effect.

We growing pretty hearty, and partaking of the universal Joy around us, referred our political Observations till another Time, and so concluding the Day. marched homeward well satisfied with our Entertainment. But meeting again a Day or two after, we fell naturally into the following Dialogue.

 

Mann. Now our whole Country is trained and peopled as you have seen, I suppose you have now no Hopes of fighting us out of our Liberties ; and if there were a Possibility of voting them away, we would not nevertheless part with them. Nay. we will not suffer any Act in the least impolitic, to give us Uneasiness long; for we are too knowing and powerful to be gulled or browbeat, which makes our Parliament very careful how they pass Acts.

Capt. I agree with you that you have good Reason to think yourselves secure ; yet, I have many Doubts, which you must be kind enough to resolve, and this is one : I am surprised howr an uninhabited Island should, in scarce a Century, become so populous.

Mann. You know what Number of Men Robinson left on the Island ; you have seen how they got Wives, with a fresh Addition of People, the Relations of their Wives coming along with them ; and how the Parish System took Place. This last no sooner happened, than they made a Law to admit all Strangers to visit them, and to encourage them to settle among them ; and to that End. to naturalize every one that should rest a Twelvemonth in any Parish ; and at the Expiration of that Term, they were to become free Parishioners, or Members of that Parish ; with the same Privileges of voting, holding Offices. &c. as any Man. This Law was made to encrease the Number of Men in the State, and you shall see how well it answered the Purpose. But you must understand, though they had just before fallen out about the Insufficiency of Land for them all, yet it was not because there was too little to maintain them ; far from it. for it is impossible to determine how many, by good Culture, a Country is capable of maintaining; but those that were first, carved too largely ; for instead of taking as much as just to serve themselves and Families, without wasting it, and leaving the Rest for others to do the like, as is done with the Fish of the Sea. and the Water of the Well, every one took as much as he could with any Face mark off ; by which means many had more than would maintain a Thousand ; and yet their younger Sons, by their fine European Customs, could not get an Inch, which was the Reason, as you have already seen, of the Parish System taking Place. So, to return, as they wanted Men for Strength, and had Plenty of Country and Traffic for their Support, they took all Opportunities of informing the Savages of their Resolutions, and of inviting them over to make Trial of living among them. Many therefore came, and proud of acquiring equal Property and Privileges, in a Parish, or rather little Common-wealth, with every one else, on so short a Settlement, each presently pitched upon a Residence, got a Piece of Ground, and a House huilt on it hy the Parish, and so fell to work; and which was no small Encouragement, what every one earned was his own, without Deduction of Toll or Tax. except the Parish Rate to the Treasury ; which they could not murmur at paying, as it was no more to them than to the oldest Inhabitants, and as they would soon have a Vote in the laying it on, and its Management too. So. one few led the Way for another, and the more that came, the more were ready to come, till no Parish had an un-inhahited Spot left.

In the mean Time the Country was filling with Husbandmen who required Room ; so were the Villages with Merchants, and Robinson Crusoe's, Tack-of-all-Trades' Disciples, the Mechanics ; with ingenious Persons accidentally, or on Purpose, from all the nearest civilized Countries, who only required Houses, Shops, &c. suitable to their respective Businesses. Some Villages, on Account of Accidents, and Con-\cniencies for Trade, encreased above others, and became Towns; and this Town, on Account of the excellent Harbour, encreased above them all. and became the Capital. And thus has this Island become what you see it.

But this is not all. Our excellent Government, by refusing to take none of the human Race under its Protection, and allowing every Man to be equal in his own Neighbourhood, or Parish, with every other Privilege of his Birthright, and, at the same Time, all the Blessings of Society, has not only peopled this Island with Multitudes of happy Beings, but a large Extent of the Continent opposite to us, on the same Plan ; for by the continual Confluence of People, and the surprising Increase from Matrimony, (which every Body entered readily into, and does yet, and will do, while the Parish System lasts, from the Easiness of Living, and the few pernicious Distinctions. &c. we have to lie in the Way to break off Love Affairs, so that it is as rare here to be deprived of one's first Love as it is in your barbarous Countries to enjoy them) it was at last feared, enough of Food could not be raised for the support of them all, notwithstanding the prudent Methods taken by the Parishes, to let no Individual possess more Land than he was likely to manage in the best Manner ; and the giving of Medals and Premiums out of their Treasuries, for the greatest Improvements in Husbandry and Gardening; and for raising the best Crops according to the Extent of Ground, &c. so it was resolved in Parliament, to take a considerable Piece of the Continent, on the Side next us, into Possession, and constitute a Few new Parishes on the Shore ; to settle their Bounderies, and build a Guildhall in the most convenient Place for each; to make a Present to the Treasury of each new Parish, of a sum of Money, from the national Treasury, as a Stock for them to begin upon ; and also a Gratuity to each Person that should first go and settle in them. Whereupon Numbers of all Trades, especially Husbandmen, went over, and soon put them upon a respectable Footing, and in a short Time they were able to send us as much Provisions as we chused. But these too in a small Time, becoming sufficiently stocked, other Parishes were marked out at the Back of them, and begun in the same Manner; and so we eiicrease continually, laying Parish to Parish as Occasion requires. But nobody is allowed to go beyond the Parishes to carve for himself, for nothing less than a whole Parish is taken off the Waste at once, and that is by Parliamentary Authority, as before described; which is taken care not to he done so quickly, as to occasion a Thinness of Inhabitants, or an uncultivated Aspect in the old Parishes. People may hunt, or feed Flocks, and Herds, beyond the Bounds of the Parishes, and pitch Tents; but not appropriate or build.

Capt. Will you please now to let me know the Nature. Number. &c. of your Parliament.

Mann. The Number of Members was settled at Three hundred at the first., when there were but few Parishes and has never been encreased since ; for it is thought to be a sufficient Number, to determine on any Affair ; and they propose new Subjects, Debate, and make their Laws much in the Manner of British Parliaments, excepting that they vote by Ballot, or secretly. At first when the Number of Parishes were few, four or five would have fallen to the Share of each Parish to elect ; and when it happened there were odd Members, besides giving each an equal Number, they cast Lots to know which Parishes should elect them. But there are now, by the vast Encrease of Parishes on the Continent, which have the same Privileges as these on the Island, more Parishes than Senators ; wherefore every so many neighbouring ones, are classed together to elect one among them, that is. the whole Number of Parishes including new and old, wherever situated, are divided into three hundred Lots, or Classes, as equal as possible, and each Class is to elect one Representative.

But these Elections being by Ballot, and every Man voting in his own Parish, occasion neither Animosity nor Confusion : and Bribery as already shewn, being of no Use, is without Existence. So, as all the Parishes in a Class vote always in the same Day, it is presently and quickly decided, by adding the Votes in each Parish for each Candidate together.

It makes no Odds to them whether the Person they chuse for the Senate, or any other Office, be poor or rich, if he be but properly qualified; for all Parish Officers have suitable Cloaths and Salaries, out of their Parish Treasury, and those whose Offices extend beyond the Bounds of a Parish, or to the Service of the Nation in general, as Senators, Officers of State. Ambassadors, Generals. Admirals, &c. have suitable Cloaths and Salaries, out of the National Treasury : And so is every Thing whatever for the public Service in general supported by this General Treasury.

Capt. Pray how is this national Treasury supplied ?

Mann. In a Manner, perhaps, very different from your Conceptions. The Landlords the Parishes, pay all the Taxes here. The Expences of the State, which the Parliament regulates, are divided among them according to their Abilities, and they send their Shares at the Time appointed, and so it is done ; and thus our Nation has no Occasion to run in Debt. The Parish Treasuries are supplied as said before, by the Rate they lay on the Houses, Lands, Mines. &c. according to their Valuation, as well as by the Sale of Wood. &c. and there is neither Toll nor Tax beside. The Parishes build and repair the Houses, make proper Roads and Hedges, plant Trees, and in a word, do all the Business of a Landlord. And you have seen what Sort of Landlords they are. I suppose you do not meet with much amiss, or out of repair. And it is no wonder, for a Parish has many Heads to contrive what is proper to be done, and the Contriver has also the Happiness of being qualified both to propose and vote for the Performance of it. Instead of debating on this and the other Method of cobbling the State, as with you, for ours needs no cobbling, it is common to see all Degrees of People debating how any Thing in their own Neighbourhood might either be embellished or improved to the Public Good. As whether such an unprofitable Spot might be drained, this planted with Trees, or that made into a Close or Garden, &c. for every Man that wishes to rise to Preferment, must be shewing his Neighbours, who have Power to do it, some Specimens of his public Spirit; which keeps up a constant Emulation among them. And you may frequently hear the fond Mother caressing her Darling Boy, and crying he will be an Admiral. General, Senator, or any great Officer she pleases to mention, and yet none can contradict it ; as he may, for ought any Body knows, be one or all that she prophesies, one after another, if his Merit be sufficient. This is great Encouragement for Parents to bring up their Children properly, and indeed makes our Youth, as was observed of Jephthah's Children, each one resemble the Children of a King. And truly in Education they need not be inferior, for every Parish has a Free-School, with the best of Teachers, as also a public Library, containing Copies and Translations of all the best Books in the World, so that every one may read and inform himself as far as he pleases. There is also a national University, which every Parish is allowed to keep one at, where all human Learning is taught to Perfection ; and this one, is chosen by Ballot out of the most promising Youths. But this Spirit of Emulation would make continual Strife, and Dissension, if the Manner of deciding every Affair were not by Ballot, or in a secret Manner, so that none can know who is for or against him. which makes every one sit down contented with his Fate. The being indecently eager for Preferment would be the surest Way too prevent it. — I must not omit that even our Amusements are elegantly provided for out of this Parish Treasury, for every Parish has its Theatre and Assembly Rooms, to which all have Access gratis. Thus each Parish is a little polished Athens, as well as warlike Sparta.

Capt. This delights me much, but I must beg Leave, to make another Objection : Does Nobody repine that the Place they occupy is not their own ; that they have to pay to the Parish Rent for it ; that they cannot sell or give it away ; and, that they cannot put their Posterity in Possession thereof, and all the Improvements they may have made, at their Decease?

Mann. You could not in any Country possess a Place more properly, or have more Encouragement to make Improvements than here. For there is no Fear of Enemies to dispossess you, none would be so mad as to attempt it. As to what you are pleased to call Rent, have Possessions where you will, you must still pay towards Public Affairs, and that to some Purpose. Where are all your Land-taxes, your Cesses. Customs. Tolls, and Tithes which every Freeholder pays. What is paid here is only for the same Purposes that Landlords pay these Taxes, viz. for Public Affairs ; so in that Point you are as properly a Landlord here as any where, and with Regard to the Permanency of Possessions : Indeed a Man with us would not be allowed to let his Land run wild, or destroy his Houses, for this would be to the Hurt of the Society of which he is a Member, and a misusing of their Talent ; they would in Consequence of such Behaviour have a Right to resent it, and put their Talent into other Hands. For the Land is not made for this Man. or that Man, but for all Mankind in general. Even among Savages a Man cannot have an uncontrollable Liberty ; he would not be allowed to make wanton Havock of the Animals and Fruits of the Country, so as to cause others feel the Effects of it. In such a Case they would declare War upon him, and extirpate him as a Nuisance and Pest to the Earth. But if a Person here behave any Thing tolerably, he may remain in his Possession for a thousand Years, if he could live as long, and leave it to any of his Posterity that had not a Possession; but if he have no Posterity, or they be all settled, and unwilling to give up what they have to go to it, (for none can enjoy two Inheritances) then it falls to the Disposal of the Parish, who gives it to the first that applies for it that has not a Possession ; but if more Candidates than one appear, then the Competition is determined by Ballot : Thus is every Indulgence granted that the Nature of real Society can permit, and he that would have more may go live hy himself.

Capt. Aye, and very fit he should.

 

Here, after proper Acknowledgements on my Part, for his Civility, we ended our political Dialogue, when I had been ahout a Month here, and now I have been over great Part of the Country, both on the Island and Continent, and find every Thing not only agreeable to what I was lold, but far exceeding all Description. So that I am determined never more to visit poor wrangling Britannia, once so dear to me, till I be certain this Paradisiacal System has taken Place in it ; and iheii I would do my utmost to be with you to sing "Britons never will be Slaves.' But as it is, Crusons never will be Slaves, seems much the properest.

This puts me in Mind to tell you of the Names given to this famous Island, and these are Cruson or Crusonia. from Robinson Crusoe, the Founder of the Empire ; and the Inhabitants Crusons or Crusonians. They likewise have him, poor Fellow, upon all their Standards. Ensigns, Flags, &c. Just as represented on the Frontispiece of his History, whieh I was mightily pleased to see. as I always respected him from my first Acquaintance. They name the Continent, which they have colonized, Fridinea, from his Man Friday, because it was his Country, but this is only a provincial Name, to distinguish the Continent, from the Island, for the General Name, of the whole Nation, both on the Island and Continent, is the United Parishes of Crusonia; intimating, that each Parish is as independent of each other, as distinct and separate States can be of so small a Size, that like other petty States must be united under one guardian Head, to hinder them from altering their own Constitutions, and for mutual Defence both against the Injustices of one another, and of greater Societies : And as an Emblem of their united Strength, they have a Bundle of Rods on the Colours, lying on the Ground before Robinson Crusoe, with this Motto, "Who can hurt us while thus combined.''

The Independence of these little Comimmilies. prevents going oul of the Parish for Justice, and renders all Lawyers and Attornies unnecessary. For the Laws are few, explicit, and the same in every Parish, being made by their common Legislature ; and there being no Estates to contend for. Litigations are seldom : And the Mayor, with the other Magistrates, together with a Jury, decide in Cases of Debt, Fraud, Assault, or any Thing else, in a final Manner. In these Courts every one pleads his own Cavise, and is certain of having Justice speedily administrated, without a Fee !

As to Religion, which I had almost omited. Toleration is allowed to all Opinions, so long as they do not appear prejudicial to Society ; and whatever Religion the Majority of a Parish is of, is supported by the parish Treasury, which pays the Clergymen's Salaries without any Tithes ; no Perquisites. Fees, or Collections whatever, being allowed but the aforesaid Parish-Rale for Publick Matters of any Kind. This Religion has also the use of the Parish Church, but the Minority if they set up any other Religion must bear the Expence of it themselves. So you will find Lutherianism, Calvinism, Aiiabaptism, Quakerism, and almost all Opinions, have their Parishes, yet all live in Love and Unity ; for they are all too knowing, as remarked before, to differ about the Way of getting to Heaven ; they are glad to see People going by any Road.

It would be endless expatiating on the Executive Power, Magistrates. Judicial Proceedings. Trial by Jury, Liberty of the Press, and of Speech, &c. which I assure you equal any Thing of the Kind in your Country ; for not only your Government, but all Governments, are as well known to Crusonians as to you ; and they are more likely to adopt such Things as suit them, from their uncommon Facility of knowing, and the Impossibility of opposing Reason and Truth among them.

And now be not uneasy though your Curiosity with Regard to every Item should not be fully satisfied, but comfort yourself with this Reflection, that Things may be done properly though you should not be completely informed of the Manner; and indeed I have hopes you will excuse a more circumstantial Detail, as I have given you, in so particular a Manner, the Construction and Movement of the great Wheels of the Machine, that you cannot mistake the Motion of the Smaller. — I shall now Conclude with the Crusonian Creedon Matters of Property, viz.

All Men, to Land, may lay an equal Claim;

But Goods, and Gold, unequal Portions frame :

The first, because, all Men on Land, must live;

The Second's the Reward Industry ought to give.

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The Constitution of Spensonia, title page of version published in 1803 using Spence's phonetic script

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The Constitution of Spensonia

by Thomas Spence

1803

 

Declaration

The Spensonian People convinced that forgetfulness and contempt for the natural Rights of Man, are the only cause of the Crimes and Misfortunes of the World, have resolved to expose in a declaration their sacred and inalienable rights, in order that all citizens being always able to compare the Acts of the Government, with the ends of every social Institution, may never suffer themselves to be oppressed and degraded by Tyranny; and that the people may always have before their eyes the basis of their liberty and happiness; the magistrates, the rule of their conduct and duty; and legislators, the object of their mission.

They acknowledge therefore and proclaim in the presence of the Supreme Being, the following declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens:

1. The end of Society is common happiness. Government is instituted to secure to man the enjoyment of his natural and impresceptible rights.

2. These rights are Equality, Liberty, Safety, and Property, natural and acquired.

3. All human beings are equal by nature and before the law, and have a continual and inalienable property in the Earth, and its natural productions.

4. The law is the free and solemn expression of the general will. It ought to be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. It cannot order but what is just and useful to Society. It cannot forbid but what is hurtful.

5. Social laws, therefore, can never proscribe natural rights.

6. Thus, after a Parish, out of its Rents, has remitted to the State and County, its legal quota towards their expenses, and provided for defraying its own proper contingencies, the remainder of the Rents is the indisputable joint property of all the Men, Women, and Children having settlement in the parish, and ought to be equally divided among them.

7. All male Citizens are equally admissible to public employments. Free people know no other motives of preference in their Elections than virtue and Talents.

8. Liberty is that power which belongs to a Man of doing everything that does not hurt the right of another. Its principle is nature: Its rule justice: Its protection, the law, and its moral limits are defined by this maxim: "Do not to another what you would not wish done unto yourself.

9. The right of manifesting one's thoughts and opinions either by the press or in any other manner: the right of assembling peaceably, and the free exercise of religious worship cannot be forbidden. The necessity of announcing these rights supposes either the presence or the recent remembrance of despotism.

10. Whatever is not forbidden by the law, cannot be prevented. No one can be forced to do that which the law does not order.

11. Safety consists in the protection granted by Society to each Citizen for the preservation of his person, his rights and his property.

12. The law avenges public and individual liberty of the abuses committed against them by power.

13. No person can be accused, arrested, or confined but in cases determined by the law, and according to the form which it prescribes. Every Citizen summoned or seized by the authority of the law ought immediately to obey, he renders himself culpable by resistance.

14. Every act exercised against a Man to which the cases in the law do not apply, and in which its forms are not observed, is arbitrary and tyrannical. Respect for the laws forbid him to submit to such acts; and if attempts are made to execute them by violence he has a right to repel force by force.

15. Those who shall solicit, dispatch, sign, execute, or cause to be executed arbitrary acts are culpable and ought to be punished.

16. Every Man being supposed innocent until he has been declared guilty, if it is judged indispensable to arrest him all severity not necessary to secure his person ought to be strictly repressed by the law.

17. No one ought to be tried and punished until he has been legally summoned, and in virtue of a law published previous to the commission of the crime. A law which should punish crimes committed before it existed would be tyrannical. The retroactive effect given to a law would be a crime.

18. The law ought not to decree any punishments but such as are strictly and evidently necessary. Punishments ought to be proportioned to the crime, and useful to Society.

19. The right of property is that which belongs to every Citizen to enjoy and dispose of according to his pleasure, his property, revenues, labour, and industry. Here his property in land is excepted, which being inseparably incorporated with that of his fellow Parishioners is inalienable.

20. No kind of labour, culture, or commerce can be forbidden to the industrious citizen.

21. Every man may engage his services and his time, but he cannot sell himself; his person is not alienable property. The law does not acknowledge servitude, there can exist only an engagement of care and gratitude between the man who labours and the man who employs him.

22. No one can be deprived of the smallest portion of his property without his consent, except when the public necessity, legally ascertained, evidently require it, and on condition of a just and previous indemnification.

23. No public revenue can be established but for general ability, and to relieve the public wants. Every Citizen has a right to concur in the establishment of such revenue; to watch over the use made of it, and to call for a statement of expenditure.

24. Public aids are a sacred debt. The Society is obliged to provide for the subsistence of the unfortunate, either by procuring them work, or by securing the means of existence to those who are unable to labour.

25. Instruction is the want of all, and the Society ought to favour with all its power the progress of the public reason; and to place Instruction, within the reach of every Citizen.

26. The social guarantee consists in the actions of all to secure to each the enjoyment and preservation of his Rights. This guarantee rests on the national Sovereignty.

27. The Social Guarantee cannot exist if the limits of public functions are not clearly determined by the law, and if the responsibility of all public functionaries is not secured.

28. The Sovereignty resides in the people; it is one and indivisible, imprescriptable and inalienable.

29. No proportion of the people can exercise the power of the whole; but each section of the sovereign assembled ought to enjoy the right of expressing its will in perfect liberty. Every individual who arrogates to himself the Sovereignty, or who usurps the exercise of it, ought to be put to death by freemen.

30. A people have always the right of revising, amending, and changing their constitution. One Generation cannot subject to its law future generations.

31. Every Citizen has an equal right of concurring in the formation of the law and in the nomination of his mandatores or agents.

32. Public Functions cannot be considered as distinctions or rewards, but as duties.

33. Crimes committed by the mandatores of the people and their agents ought never to remain unpunished. No one has a right to pretend to be more inviolable than other Citizens.

34. The right of presenting petitions to the depositories of Public Authority belongs to every individual. The exercise of this right cannot in any case be forbidden, suspended, or limited.

35. Resistance to oppression is the consequence of the other rights of man.

36. Oppression is exercised against the social body, when even one of its members is oppressed. Oppression is exercised against each member when the social body is oppressed.

37. When the Government violates the rights of the people, Insurrection becomes to the people, and to every portion of the people, the most sacred and the most indispensible of duties.

OF THE COMMONWEALTH

1. The Spensonian Commonwealth is one and indivisible.

OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE PEOPLE

2. The Spensonian people are distributed for the exercise of its sovereignty and for the management of its landed property into parishes.

3. It is distributed for administration and for justice into counties and parishes.

OF THE STATE OF CITIZENS

4. Every Man or Woman born, or otherwise having acquired a settlement in a parish of Spensonia and of the age of twenty-one years complete; is admitted to the exercise of the rights of a Spensonian Citizen, as far as their sex will allow.

5. Female Citizens have the same right of suffrage in their respective parishes as the Men: because they have equal property in the country, and are equally subject to the laws, and, indeed, they are in every respect, as well on their own account as on account of their children, as deeply interested in every public transaction. But in consideration of the delicacy of their sex, they are exempted from, and are ineligible to, all public employments.

6. Every Man, Woman, and Child, whether born in wedlock or not (for nature and justice know nothing of illegitimacy), is entitled quarterly to an equal share of the rents of the parish where they have settlement. But the public aids to the State, and the County, must first be deducted, and the expenses of the parish provided for.

7. The settlement of every man whether native or foreigner is in that parish wherein he last dwelt a full year.

8. The Settlement of every Woman when married and living with her husband is in her husband's parish.

9. The settlement of every Widow or unmarried Woman, or Woman separated from her husband is in the parish wherein she last dwelt a full year.

10. The settlement of Children while living with their Father, is in his parish — while living with their Mother only, in hers: and if Orphans or deserted their settlement is in the parish where they became so.

11. No person can receive dividends, or have a vote in two Parishes at the same time.

12. A child, though born in the last hour of the quarter, and a person dying in the first hour of the quarter, shall nevertheless each of them be entitled to their quarterly dividends. Because such occasions are expensive, and the parish must lean to the generous side.

13. The exercise of the rights of a citizen with respect to voting, or public employments, is suspended by the state of accusation, and by condemnation to punishments infamous or afflictive, till recapitation; but his right to a share of the parish revenues, as a human being, can never be annulled but by death or banishment.

OF THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PEOPLE

14. The Sovereign people is the universality of Spensonian citizens.

15. It nominates directly its deputies.

16. It deligates to Electors, the choice of administrators, of public arbitrators, or Criminal Judges, and Judges of appeal.

17. It deliberates on the Laws.

OF THE PARISHES

18. The land with its natural appurtenances, (according to the law of nature) is the common estate of the inhabitants, a parish is therefore a compact portion of the Country, designedly not too large that it may the more easily be managed by the inhabitants with respect to its revenues and police.

19. A parish can levy no tolls or assessments, but the rents of its territory.

20. Its police appertains to it.

21. It nominates its own officers.

22. It supports a public school.

23. Farmers and such as are able to build and repair their own houses, must have leases of twenty-one years, but no longer, that the most desirable situations may not be always engrossed in the same hands, and that Farms and other Tenements may now and then find their value in order that the Parish Revenue receive no damage, by places being let for less than they will bring.

24. For the more effectual preservation of justice in this business, all considerable Farms and Tenements, must at the Expiration Lease be let by public auction, after due Advertisement in the Public Prints.

25. Every Lease-holder must build according to the regulations laid down by the Parish for the sake of order and duration.

26. They must also leave their Buildings, Fixtures, Fences, etc., at the end of their Leases in good tenantable repair and condition, and their lands in good tilth becoming the public spirit of Spensonia.

27. No deputy Landlords are allowed. Therefore no leaseholder can parcel out his houses or lands to sub-tenants. All unfurnished lodgings or parcels of land can only be let by the parish.

28. Nevertheless an innkeeper or private person may occasionally accommodate strangers or others, with lodging in their own furnished apartments, and their cattle with pasturage, etc.

29. And a settlement may be gained by thus residing a great part, or even the whole of the year in the parish in such furnished lodgings.

30. Strangers from abroad, or Spensonians from other parishes, who may become necessitous through sickness or otherwise before they have gained a settlement, must be supported by the parish in which they then sojourn. But such poor being accounted the poor of the nation at large the parishes before they send off their quarterly poundage to the state, shall deduct therefrom the expenses they have been at in supporting such poor strangers.

31. Parishes in Towns, must always keep a sufficiency of small and convenient apartments in good repair for the accommodation of Labourers, Journeymen Mechanics, Widows and others who desire and require but little room. These shall be let by the quarter at equitable rents.

32. Country Parishes shall have a sufficiency of cottages or small and convenient dwellings with little parcels of land adjoining for gardens, etc., to accommodate Labourers in Husbandry, Smiths, Cartwrights and other Tradesmen and people wishing to live in the Country. These to be let by the year at equitable rents.

33. If a Competition arise about one of these small Tenements in Town or Country on account of its more than common desirable situation, etc., it shall be let by auction, and a lease granted. This will prevent murmuring, and also the Tenements from being let under value to the detriment of the parish.

34. If any parish in town or country should become so full of inhabitants as to have all its small tenements occupied, and yet more should be wanted, then it shall divide the first large sort of tenement that becomes vacant by the expiration of its lease into such small tenements, that the free course of population be not impeded.

35. It shall not be deemed unconstitutional to hold more tenements or leases than one, and even in sundry parishes — because a person's health or business may require him to occupy Tenements in different situations at the same time; as, for instance, in both town and country: — or he may wish to secure the possession of some desirable tenement, that is to let before the lease of the place he holds at present expires.

36. In such cases as this where settlements in more parishes than one are acquired, such pluralist shall yet vote and receive dividends but in one parish, which parish shall be that which he makes choice of. This restriction is necessary to check the natural ambition and rapacity of the rich.

37. A lease-holder may give up his lease when he pleases to the parish, or sell it for the remainder of the term it has to run to another person.

38. The parishes shall receive rent quarterly from the state, and the county, for the ground which they may have occasion respectively to occupy by their buildings, at a fair valuation: - as State Palaces, Castles, Fortifications, Magazines, Dockyards, etc., County Halls, Hospitals, Jails, etc.

39. Every parish shall constantly have a quantity of corn laid up in store, in proportion to its population, as a reserve against famine or scarcity from bad seasons: and by selling off yearly the oldest, and replacing the quantity with new corn, have it always in the best state.

40. To prevent the parishes from imbibing hereby a spirit of speculation in corn, to the detriment of the country at large, the law will properly regulate this business.

41. The parishes shall take care, that all the hedges do consist only of standard and low spreading grafted Fruit Trees, Shrubs valued for their Fruits and Flowers, and Trees indispensably necessary for their wood, instead of Thorns, Briars, and Brambles. The Spensonians, being the Landlords, are so much interested in the welfare of the Husbandman, and so public-spirited from their childhood that they will never break his fences or trespass on his grounds, and therefore he may safely cultivate the most inviting vegetables close to the highway side. He has only cattle to guard against.

42. Hunting is forbidden, being inadmissible in a country so highly cultivated, because of the unavoidable destruction it must make. The game, therefore, is considered as going with the ground, and as the sole property of the occupier, who alone may kill all he finds on his premises.

43. All rents shall be brought to the parish counting-house by Twelve o'clock on quarter-day that the books may then be closed. On quarter-day the rents shall be paid to the Parish Officers at their Counting House.

44. During the ensuing week, the parish accounts shall be made up, and after setting aside the poundages due to the state and the county, and settling all internal parochial business, and finding how much of the rent remains to be returned to the people, the accounts shall be minutely printed, including the names of all the Men, Women, and Children, who are entitled to dividends as parishioners, distinguishing those of age to vote by an asterisk.

45. The Eighth day after quarter-day, and the two following (which are always days of festivity) the people come for their dividends, which together with copies of the parish accounts is given to the heads of families, according to the number of their respective households, and to single claimants.

OF THE NATIONAL REPRESENTATION

46. The parishes are the sole basis of the national representation.

47. There is one deputy for each parish if the number of parishes in the nation do not exceed one thousand.

48. If above one thousand, then the parishes in each county shall be classed in pairs of adjacent parishes, after first, if there be an odd parish, determining by lot which shall be it, for it will have the privilege of sending a deputy of itself, as if it were a pair.

49. If the parishes in the nation exceed two thousand, the parishes in each county are divided into classes consisting each of three adjacent parishes, after first deciding by lot as above, if there be one or two odd, which they are, and erecting it or them into a class, observing if there be two that they be adjacent. And so in like manner with any number of parishes that the national representation may never exceed one thousand.

50. The election proceeds in every parish of a class on the same day, and after casting up the votes, send a Commissioner for the general casting up, to the place pointed out by the parish.

51. The nomination is made by the absolute majority of individual suffrages.

52. If the casting up does not give an absolute majority, a second vote is proceeded to, and the votes are taken for the two Citizens who had the most voices.

53. In case of equality of voices, the eldest has the preference, either to be on the ballot or elected. In case of equality of age, lot decides.

54. Every male Citizen exercising the rights of Citizens, is eligible through the extent of the Commonwealth.

55. Each deputy belongs to the whole nation.

56. In case of non-acceptance, resignation, forfeiture, or death of a deputy, he is replaced by the parish or parishes, which nominated him.

57. A deputy who has given in his resignation cannot quit his past, but after the admission of his successor.

58. The Spensonian people assemble every year in their parishes on the first of May, for the elections.

59. They proceed whatever be the number of Citizens present, having a right to vote.

OF ELECTORAL ASSEMBLIES

60. The Citizens meet in their parishes, nominate two Electors for the County.

61. The electoral assembles proceed in their elections as the parishes.

OF THE LEGISLATIVE BODY

62. The Legislative Body is one and indivisible and permanent.

63. Its Session is for a year.

64. It meets the first of July.

65. The National Assembly cannot be constituted if it does not consist of one more than the half the deputies.

66. The Deputies cannot be examined, accused or tried at any time for the opinions they have delivered in the legislative body.

67. They may for a criminal act be seized, but a warrant of arrest, or a warrant summoning to appear, cannot be granted against them, unless authorised by the Legislative Body.

HOLDING OF THE SITTINGS OF THE LEGISLATIVE BODY

68. The Sittings of the National Assembly are public.

69. The Minutes of the Sittings are printed.

70. It cannot deliberate if it be not composed of — Members at least.

71. It cannot refuse to hear its members speak in the order which they have demanded to be heard.

72. It deliberates by a majority of the members present.

73. Fifty members have a right to require the appeal nominal.

74. It has the right of censure on the conduct of its members in its bosom.

75. The police appertains to it in the place of its sittings, and in the external circuit which it has determined.

OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE LEGISLATIVE BODY

76. The Legislative Body, proposes laws and passes decrees.

77. Under the general name of laws are comprehended the acts of the Legislative Body concerning the legislation, civil and criminal; the general administration of the National Revenues, and the ordinary expenses of the Commonwealth; the title, the weight and impression, and the denomination of money; the declaration of war; the public instruction; the public honours to the memory of great men.

78. Under the particular name of Decrees are included the acts of the Legislative Body concerning the annual establishment of the Land and Sea Forces; the permission or the prohibition of the passage of foreign Troops, through the Spensonian Territory; the introduction of Foreign Naval Forces into the ports of the Commonwealth; the measures of general safety and tranquility; the annual and momentary distribution of public succours and works; the orders for the fabrication of money of every kind; the unforeseen and extraordinary expenses; the measures local and particular to an administration, or any kind of public works; the defence of the territory; the ratification of Treaties; the nomination and the removal of Commanders in Chief of Armies; the prosecution of the responsibility of members of the Council, and the public functionaries; the accusation of persons charged with plots against the general safety of the Commonwealth all changed in the partial distribution of the Spensonian Territory; national recompenses.

OF THE FORMATION OF THE LAW

79. The plans of laws are preceded by reports.

80. The Discussion cannot be opened, and the law cannot be provisionally resolved upon till fifteen days after the report.

81. The plan is printed and sent to all the parishes of the Commonwealth, under this title "Law Proposed".

82. Forty days after the sending of the Law proposed, if in more than one half of the Counties, the tenth of the Parishes have not objected to it, the plan is accepted and becomes Law.

83. If there be an objection the Legislative Body convokes the parishes.

OF THE ENTITLING OF LAWS AND DECREES

84. Laws, Decrees, Judgments, and all Public Acts are entitled: "In the Name of the Spensonian People, the year of the Spensonian Commonwealth".

OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

85. There is one Executive Council composed of Twenty-four Members.

86. The Electoral Assembly of each county nominates One Candidate, if the number of Counties in the nation exceeds Twenty: Four, but if under then each County nominates Two. The Legislative Body chooses the members of the Council from the general list.

87. One half of it is renewed by each Legislature in the last month of the Session.

88. The Council is charged with the direction and superintendence of the General Administration. It cannot act but in Execution of the Laws, and Decrees of the Legislative Body.

89. It nominates not of its own body, the agents in chief of the general administration of the Commonwealth.

90. The Legislative Body determines the number and functions of these Agents.

91. These Agents do not form a Council. They are separated without any intermediate correspondence between them; they exercise no personal authority.

92. The Council nominates not of its own body, the external agents of the Commonwealth.

93. It negotiates Treaties.

94. The members of the Council in case of malversation are accused by the Legislative Body.

95. The Council is responsible for the non-execution of laws, and decrees, and for abuses which it does not denounce.

96. It recalls and replaces the Agents in its nomination.

97. It is bound to denounce them if there be occasion before the Judicial Authorities.

OF THE CONNEXION OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL WITH THE LEGISLATIVE BODY

98. The Executive Council resides near the Legislative Body. It has admittance and a separate seat in the place

of sittings.

99. It is heard as often as it has an account to give.  

100. The Legislative Body calls it into the place of its Sittings in whole or in part when it thinks fit.

THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND COUNTY BODIES

101. There is a central administration in each County.

102. The Officers arid Administrators are nominated by the electoral assemblies of the County.

103. The administrations are renewed one half every year.

104. The Administrators and County Officers have no character of representation; they cannot in any case modify the Acts of the Legislative Body, or suspend the execution of them.

105. The Legislative Body determines the functions of the County Officers and Administrators, the rules of their subordination, and the penalties they may incur.

106. The Sittings of Administrations are public.

107. The Electoral Assemblies assess their parishes by a pound rate, quarterly, towards defraying the public expenses of the County, as in building and repairing the County Edifices, such as Halls, Hospitals, Jails, Bridges, and in making and repairing Harbours, Roads, etc.

108. The accounts of the County are settled annually, and, being as minutely printed as to give satisfaction, are sent to the Parishes.

OF CIVIL JUSTICE

109. The code of Civil and Criminal Laws, is uniform for all the Commonwealth.

110. No infringement can be made of the right which Citizens have, to cause their differences to be pronounced upon by Arbitrators of their choice.

111. The decision of these arbitrators is final if the Citizens have not reserved the right of objecting to them.

112. There are Justices of the Peace elected by the Citizens in the parishes.

113. They conciliate and judge without expense.

114. There are public arbitrators elected by the Electoral Assemblies.

115. Their number and their circuits are fixed by the Legislative Body.

116. They take cognizance of disputes which have not been finally determined by the private arbitrations of the Justices of the Peace.

117. They deliberate in public, they give their opinions aloud; they pronounce in the last resort on verbal defences or simple memorials without Procedures, and without expense; they assign the reasons of their decision.

118. The Justices of the Peace and the public arbitrators are elected every year.

OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

119. In Criminal cases no Citizen can be tried but by an examination received by a Jury, or decreed by the Legislative Body, the accused have counsel chosen by themselves or nominated officially; the process is public; the fact and the intention are declared by a Jury of Judgement; the punishment is applied by a Criminal Tribunal.

120. Criminal Judges are elected every year by the Electoral Assemblies.

OF THE TRIBUNAL OF APPEAL

121. There is one Tribunal of Appeal for all the Commonwealth.

122. This Tribunal does not take cognisance of the merits of the case: it pronounces on the violation of forms and an express contravention of the Law.

123. The members of the Tribunal are nominated every year by the Electoral Assembly.

OF THE NATIONAL TREASURY

124. The National Treasury is the central point of the receipts and expenses of the Commonwealth.

125. It is supplied by an assessment raised quarterly of — in the pound, on the rents of the parishes by the Legislative

Body.

126. This assessment being sufficient for all national purposes, and being sent up by the parishes every quarter without expenses, renders revenues, laws and officers unnecessary.

127. The affairs of the Treasury are administered by accountable agents, nominated by the Executive Council.

128. These agents are superintended by Commissioners nominated by the Legislative Body, not of its own members, and responsible for abuses which they do not denounce.

OF ACCOUNTABILITY

129. The accounts of the agents of the national treasure, and of the administrators of the public money are given in annually to responsible Commissioners nominated by the Executive Council.

130. These verifications are superintended by Commissioners in the nomination of the Legislative Body, not of its own members, and responsible for errors, and abuses which they do not denounce; the Legislative Body passes the accounts.

131. The National Accounts are printed yearly sufficiently minute to give satisfaction, and sent to the parishes.

OF THE FORCES OF THE COMMONWEALTH

132. The General Forces of the Commonwealth are composed of the whole people.

133. The Commonwealth maintains in its pay, even in times of peace, an armed force by sea and land.

134. All the Spensonians are soldiers; they are all exercised in the use of Arms.

135. There is no Generalissimo.

136. Difference of ranks, their distinctive marks, and subordination subsist only with relation to service, and during its continuance.

137. The public force employed for maintaining order and peace in the interior, does not act but on the requisition in writing of the Constituted Authorities.

138. The public force employed against enemies from without acts under the order of the Executive Council.

139. No armed bodies can deliberate.

OF THE REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION

140. If in one more than half of the Counties, the tenth of the parishes of each regularly assembled demand the revision of the constitutional act or the change of some of its articles, the legislative body is bound to convoke all the parishes of the Commonwealth, to know if there be ground for a revision of the Constitution.

141. The assembly of revision is formed by two members from each County.

142. The assembly of revision exercises no function of legislation or of Government; it confines itself to the revision of the Constitutional Laws.

143. All the authorities continue the exercise of their functions, till the change proposed in the assembly of revision, shall have been accepted by the people, and till the new Authorities shall have been put in motion.

144. The assembly of revision addresses immediately to the parishes, the plan of reform which it has agreed upon. It is dissolved as soon as its plan has been addressed.

OF THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THE SPENSONIAN COMMONWEALTH, WITH OTHER NATIONS

145. The Spensonian people is the friend and natural ally of every free people.

146. It does not interfere in the Government of other Nations. It does not suffer other nations to interfere in its own.

147. It gives an asylum to Foreigners banished from their Country for the cause of liberty; it refuses it to Tyrants.

148. It does not make peace with an enemy that occupies its territory.

OF THE GUARANTEE OF RIGHTS

149. The Constitution guarantees to all the Spensonians, Equality, Liberty, Safety, Property, parochial and private, the free exercise of worship, a common instruction, public succours; the indefinite liberty of the Press, the right of petition, the right of meeting in popular Societies, the enjoyment of all the Rights of Man.

150. The Spensonian Commonwealth honours Loyalty, courage, filial piety, misfortune. It puts the deposit of its Constitution under the guard of all virtues.

151. The declaration of rights, and the Constitutional Act are engraven on tables in the bosom of the Legislative Body and in the public places.

OF COLONISATION

152. Spensonia disclaims all financial benefits from foreign Provinces, Dominions, or Colonies.

153. Yet because the unparalleled encouragement to marriage, and of the influx of Foreigners, must inevitably so increase the number of inhabitants under this Constitution, that Colonies enjoying the same blessings must be established as inviting offings for the redundance of population on the Mother Country to flow to.

154. All the Colonies (therefore) that now belong to Spensonia, or shall be hereafter established by her, are declared independent states, as soon as they adopt and put in practice similar Constitutions. They shall then be considered as in the most intimate state of alliance, and entitled to all the protection the Mother Country can afford.

155. To promote cleanliness and refresh the spirit of men and labouring animals, the weeks in Spensonia are but five days each; every fifth day being a day or Sabbath of Rest. Thus will the fourth day of the week be always a market day and a pay day for labourers.

EPILOGUE

What pity Friends that we should be,

So much deprived of Liberty!

Indictments one upon another

Continually do us bother.

How carefully we're forced to seek

For words before we dare to speak!

But let what will upon me come,

I scorn to close my work quite dumb.

'And though my book's in queer lingo,

I will it send to St. Domingo:

To the Republic of the Incas,

For an example how to frame Laws.

For who can tell but the Millennium

May take its rise from my poor Cranium?

And who knows but it God may please

It should come by the West Indies?

No harm I mean by this reflection;

And thus I end my application.

 

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BELOW: IF THE LAW REQUIRES IT WE WILL WALK THUS

reverse: ROUSE BRITANNIA  (cap of liberty falling from Britannia)

 

 

 
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