Imágenes de página

doubted nothing therein. As soone as they attempted to doe otherwise, that is, to marke the halfe pound with the marke of the pound, and the halfe ounce with the marke of the ounce, a wbile their credite made those coines currant. As I read among the Romaynes practized more than once, but assoone as it was espied, the two pieces of halfe pounds went no farther then the one piece of a

whole pound went before. And at length, as much as they wonne What losse at the first, they lost at the last in payment of their rentes, cuscommoth of cre.

tomes, and duties. (And so the neerer east the further from west.) dence. And they consequently lost their credite ; much like as I haue

knowne certen townes in England to haue done, which were wonte to make their clothes of a certayne bredth and length, and to set their seales to the same, while they kept the rate truly, straungers did but looke on the seale, and receaue their ware, whereby these townes had great vent of their clothes, and consequently prospered very well. Afterward some in those townes not contented with reasonable gaines continuall, and desiering more, deuised clothes of lesse length, bredth, and goodnesse, then they were wont to bee, and yet, by the commendacion of the seale, to have as much money for the same as they had before for good clothes, and for a time they gat much, and so abased the credite of their predicessors to their singuler Juker, which was recompensed with ihe losse of their posterity. For after these clothes were founde faulty, for all their seales, they were not onely neuer the better trusted, but much lesse for their seale: yea, though their clothes were well made, for when their vntruth and falshoode was espied, then no man woulde buy their clothes till they were ensearched and vnfoulded, regarding nothing the seale : and yet because they found them vntrue in some parte, they mistrusted them in other, and so would geue lesse for those clothes then for any other like hauing no seales to the same, whereby the credite of the said townes was lost, and the townes vtterly decaied. Did yee not see, that our coyne was discredited immediately vpon the alteration of it, in the late yeares of King Henry the eight, specially among straungers, which euer before desired to serue vs a

fore all other nations, at all our needes, for the goodnes of our coyne. : And then they would let vs haue nothing from them, but onely for

our commodities, as wooll, felles, tallow, butter, cheese, tin, and ledde, and where before time they were wont to bring vs for the same either good golde or siluer, or els as necessary commodities agayne, then they sent vs either such trifles as I spake of before, as glasses, gally pots, tennice balles, papers, gyrdles, brouches, buttons, dyalls, and such light ware, that standeth them in no charge or vse, or els (if it be true that I haue heard) and as I tolde you in your eare before, they sent vs brasse for our treasure of golde and silver; and for our sayd commodities, I warrant you yee sawe no

vs fd


golde nor siluer brought ouer vnto vs, as it was before vsed; and What doe no maruayle : to what purpose should they bring siluer or golde strangers thither, whereas the same was not esteemed? Therefore I haue se

haud our treaheard say for a truth, and I beleeue it the rather to bee true be- sure and cause it is likely, that after that our coyne was based and altered ; chiefe com

modities. straungers counterfayted our coyne, and founde the meanes to haue" great masses of that transported hether, and here vttered it wel for our olde golde and siluer, as also for our chiefe commodities, which thinge I reporte mee vnto you what inconuenience it might bring vnto this realme, if it were suffered, in a small compasse of time.

Knight. There be searchers that might let that matter well ynough if they be true, both for staying of such false coine to come in, and of our olde coyne to goe forth.

Doctor. I sayd so to the man that tolde mee the same tale How our that I tolde you euen now. And he annswered me, there were old

may be many wayes to deceaue the searchers, if they were neuer so true, transportas by putting of the sayde coyne in their shippes ballast, or in ed, and some vesselles of wyne or other lyquor transported either vnto vs the prince

" or her offi. or from vs : then euery creake in thys realme hath not searchers : cers not and if they had, they bee not such saintes as woulde not bee cor- knowing rupted for money. Besides this, was there not made proclama- of it. tions that the olde coyne, specially of golde, should not be currant We denise here aboue such a price: was not that the rediest way to dryne a the redie way our golde from vs? Euery thing will goe where it is most es- ärine away

way to teemed, and therefore our treasure went ouer in heapes.

our trea. Knight. I beleeue well that these were meanes to exhaust the sure. olde treasure from vs, which yee haue reiected: but how it should make euery thing so deare among our selues since that tyme (as yee sayd it doth) I cannot yet perceaue the reason.

Doctor. Why? doe yee not perceiue that by reason hereof, wee payed dearer presently for euery thing that we haue from beyonde the sea, then wee were wont to doe before ?

Knight. That cannot be denyed.
Doctor. By howe much thinke you?
Knight. By the thirde part well in all maner of thinges.

Doctor. Must not they that buy deare, sell deare agayne theyr wares ?

Knight. That is true, if they intend to thriue ; for he that selleth good cheape and buyeth deare, shall neuer thriue.

Doctor. Yee haue your selfe declared the reason, why things Why within the realme proued after that time so deare; for we must thmge

within the buy deare all things bought from beyond the sea, and therefore wee realnie must sell agayne as deare our thinges, or els we make ill bargaynes for should be our selues. And though that reason maketh it plaine, yet the expe- so de rience of the thing maketh it playner: for where yee say that euery


What sorten these men hemen, and

thinge bought beyond the sea, is commonly dearer by the thirde parte then it was : doe yee not see the same proportion reised in our wares, if it be not more?

Knight. What losse haue wee by this, when wee sell our commodities as deare as we buy others ?

Doctor. I graunte to one sorte of men, I accompt it no losse, yea to some other a gaine more then any losse, and yet to some other sorte a greater losse then it is profit to the other, yea generally to the vtter empouerishing of the realme, and weaking of the queenes maiesties power exceedingly.

Knight. I pray you what be those sortes that ye meane. And first of those that ye thinke should haue no losse hereby.

Doctor. I meane all these that liues by buying and selling, for as they buy deare they sell thereafter.

Knight. What is the next sorte that ye say would win by it? Some had Doctor. Mary, all such as haue takinges or fearmes in their gaynes by owne manurance at the olde rent, for where they pay after the olde the altera rate, they sell after the newe: that is, they pay for theyr lande tion of the coyne.

good cheape, and sell all things growing therof deare.

Knight. What sorte is that which yee sayde should haue greater losse hereby, then these men had profit.

Doctor. It is all noble men, gentlemen, and all other that lyue either by a stented rent or stypend, or doe not mannure the ground, or doe occupy no buying or selling.

Knight. I pray you peruse these sortes as ye did the other, one by one, and by course.

Doctor. I will gladly, first the noble men and gentlemen liue for the moste parte on the yerely reuenues of their lands and fees, geuen them of the prince. Then ye kuow he that may spende now by such reuenues and fees three hundred pounds a yere may not keepe no better port then his father, or any other before him, that coulde spend but nigh two hundred pounds; and so ye may perceiue, it is a great abatement of a mans countenaunce to take away the thirde parte of his liuing, and therefore gentlemen do study so much the increase of theyr landes, and enhaunsing of theire rentes, and to take fearmes and pastures to their owne handes, as yee see they doe; and all to seeke to mainteine their countenaunces as their predecessors did, and yet they came shorte there in. Some other seeing the charges of householde encrease so much, as by no prouision they can make, it can be holpen : geue ouer theyr householdes and get them chambers in London or aboute the courte, and there spende their time some of them with a seruaunt or two, where he was wont to keepe thirty or forty persons daily in his house, and to doe good in the countrey, in keeping good order and rule among his neighbors. The other sorte be euen seruingmen, and men of warre, that hauing but their olde stented wages, can- Who had not finde themselues therewith, as they might afore time, without lost by the

das alteration rauin or spoile. As ye know twelue pence a day now will not go of coyne. 80 far as eight pence would afore time. And there fore yee baue men so euill willing to serue the prince now a daies, from that they were wont to bee. Also where forty shillinges a yere was honest wages for a yeoman afore this time, and twenty pence a weeke borde wages was sufficient : now double as much will skante beare their charge.

Knight. That is longe of theyr excesse, aswell in apparell as in fare, for now a dayes serningmen go more costely in apparell, and looke to fare more deintely, then their maisters were wont to do in times past :

Doctor. No doubt that is one great cause of the greater charge of exces of householde. For I know when a seruingman was content to go in apparell in a Kendall coate in sommer, and a frise cote in winter, and with and fare. a plaine white hose made meete for his body; and with a piece of biefe or some other dish of sodde meate all the weeke longe : now he will looke to haue at the least for sommer a coate of the finest cloth that may bee gotten for money, and his hosen of the finest kersey, and that of some straunge die, as Flaunders die, or french puke, that a prince or great lord can weare no finer, if he weare cloth. Then their coates shalbe garded cut and stitched, and the breches of their hose so drawen with silke, that the workmanship shall farre passe the price of the stuffe: and this thing is not restrained as it should be, but rather cherished of the maisters, one striuing with the other, who may bee most proude, and whose retinue may go most lauish and gay for a time of showe, whereas through such excesse they are fayne all the rest of the yere to keepe the fewer seruauntes. And so in excesse of meates they fare at some times in the yeare, that in the whole yeare after they keepe either no houses at all, or if they do it shall be very small : like excesses, aswell in apparell as in fare were vsed in Rome a litle before the declination of the empyre, so as wise men haue thought it was occasion of the decay thereof. And therefore Cato and diuerse wise senatours at that time, would haue had lawes made for restrainte of such excesses, and for that through the insolencie of some, that maintained the contrary, the same were not duly executed, much pride ensued there : and of pride diuision: and through deuision vtter desolation of the common weale. I pray Godthis realme may beware by that example, specially London the head of this empire, where such excesses (by reason the wealth al most of al this realme is heaped there vp, as the corne of a fielde into a barne) be most vsed: for in other parties cominonly of thys realme, the lawe of necessitie keepes men in good case for exceding

In peace Joke for warre.

either in apparel or fare. I thinke wee were as much dread or more of our enemies, when our gentlemen went simply, and our seruingmen plainely, without cuts or gards, bearing theyr heauy swordes and buckelers on their thighes in sted of cuts and gardes, and light daunsing swordes : and when they rode carying good speares in their hands in stede of white rods, which they cary now more like ladies, or gentlewomen, then men, all which delicacies maketh our men cleane effeminate and without strength.

Knight. We may thanke our longe peace and quiet within the realme that men be not forced to ride so strong. It was a troblous world, as well within the realme as without, when men went and rode as you do speake.; "

Doctor. What can you tell what time, or how sone, such a worlde may come againe, wise men do say, that in peace men most looke and prouide for warre, and in warre again for peace. If men might be alwaies sure of peace, then needed no man to keepe men at all. But sith it is otherwise, and that the iniquitie of men is such as they cannot bee longe wythoute warre; and that wee recken here in Englande our chiefe strength to be in our seruingmen and yeomen, it were wisedome to exercise them in tyme of peace somwhat with such apparell, fare, and hardenes, as they must needes sustayne in time of warre, then the same shal be no nouelty to them when they come to it: and their bodies shall be stronge and harder to beare that, that they were somewhat accustomed wichall aforé. Let this that I say, be of no credite, if delicacie and tendernes was not the most occasion of the subduing of the greatest empires that were.

Knight. Surely ye say very well, and that which soundeth to good reason. I must needes alowe that I haue found true my self, for my men are so tenderly vsed in time of peace, that they can not away with any heauy armour in time of warre, but either shirts of maile or coates of linnen ragges, which at a shotte may perhaps deceiue vs. Then what saye you by our buildinges that wee haue here in Englande of late dayes, farre more excessiue then at any time heretofore. Doch not that impouerish the realme, and cause men to keepe lesse houses..

Doctor. I say that all these thinges be tokens of ornamentes of peace, and that no doubt is cause of esse housholdes : sith the buildings and trimning of those houses spendes away that, that should be otherwise spent in houshold. But it doth not empouerish the realme at all, for all the expences of buildings, for the most part is spent amonges our selues, and amonges our neighbours and countreymen. As amonges carpenters, masons, and labourers, except men wil fall to guilding or peinting of these houses. For in that much treasure may be spent, and to no vşe. Also, the areses,

« AnteriorContinuar »