Utopia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 139 pages of information about Utopia.
with the more ancient; which, they say, was appointed on this account:  that the gravity of the old people, and the reverence that is due to them, might restrain the younger from all indecent words and gestures.  Dishes are not served up to the whole table at first, but the best are first set before the old, whose seats are distinguished from the young, and, after them, all the rest are served alike.  The old men distribute to the younger any curious meats that happen to be set before them, if there is not such an abundance of them that the whole company may be served alike.

“Thus old men are honoured with a particular respect, yet all the rest fare as well as they.  Both dinner and supper are begun with some lecture of morality that is read to them; but it is so short that it is not tedious nor uneasy to them to hear it.  From hence the old men take occasion to entertain those about them with some useful and pleasant enlargements; but they do not engross the whole discourse so to themselves during their meals that the younger may not put in for a share; on the contrary, they engage them to talk, that so they may, in that free way of conversation, find out the force of every one’s spirit and observe his temper.  They despatch their dinners quickly, but sit long at supper, because they go to work after the one, and are to sleep after the other, during which they think the stomach carries on the concoction more vigorously.  They never sup without music, and there is always fruit served up after meat; while they are at table some burn perfumes and sprinkle about fragrant ointments and sweet waters—­in short, they want nothing that may cheer up their spirits; they give themselves a large allowance that way, and indulge themselves in all such pleasures as are attended with no inconvenience.  Thus do those that are in the towns live together; but in the country, where they live at a great distance, every one eats at home, and no family wants any necessary sort of provision, for it is from them that provisions are sent unto those that live in the towns.

OF THE TRAVELLING OF THE UTOPIANS

If any man has a mind to visit his friends that live in some other town, or desires to travel and see the rest of the country, he obtains leave very easily from the Syphogrant and Tranibors, when there is no particular occasion for him at home.  Such as travel carry with them a passport from the Prince, which both certifies the licence that is granted for travelling, and limits the time of their return.  They are furnished with a waggon and a slave, who drives the oxen and looks after them; but, unless there are women in the company, the waggon is sent back at the end of the journey as a needless encumbrance.  While they are on the road they carry no provisions with them, yet they want for nothing, but are everywhere treated as if they were at home.  If they stay in any place longer than a night, every one follows

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Utopia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.