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The New Atlantis

by Sir Francis Bacon

December, 2000 [Etext 2434#]

The Project Gutenberg Etext of The New Atlantis by Francis Bacon
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Bacon's literary executor, Dr. Rowley, published "The New Atlantis" in
1627, the year after the author's death. It seems to have been
written about 1623, during that period of literary activity which
followed Bacon's political fall. None of Bacon's writings gives in
short apace so vivid a picture of his tastes and aspirations as this
fragment of the plan of an ideal commonwealth. The generosity and
enlightenment, the dignity and splendor, the piety and public spirit,
of the inhabitants of Bensalem represent the ideal qualities which
Bacon the statesman desired rather than hoped to see characteristic of
his own country; and in Solomon's House we have Bacon the scientist
indulging without restriction his prophetic vision of the future of
human knowledge. No reader acquainted in any degree with the
processes and results of modern scientific inquiry can fail to be
struck by the numerous approximations made by Bacon's imagination to
the actual achievements of modern times. The plan and organization of
his great college lay down the main lines of the modern research
university; and both in pure and applied science he anticipates a
strikingly large number of recent inventions and discoveries. In
still another way is "The New Atlantis" typical of Bacon's attitude.
In spite of the enthusiastic and broad-minded schemes he laid down for
the pursuit of truth, Bacon always had an eye to utility. The
advancement of science which he sought was conceived by him as a means
to a practical end the increase of man's control over nature, and the
comfort and convenience of humanity. For pure metaphysics, or any
form of abstract thinking that yielded no "fruit," he had little
interest; and this leaning to the useful is shown in the practical
applications of the discoveries made by the scholars of Solomon's
House. Nor does the interest of the work stop here. It contains much,
both in its political and in its scientific ideals, that we have as
yet by no means achieved, but which contain valuable elements of
suggestion and stimulus for the future.


We sailed from Peru, (where we had continued for the space of one
whole year) for China and Japan, by the South Sea; taking with us
victuals for twelve months; and had good winds from the east, though
soft and weak, for five months space, and more. But the wind came
about, and settled in the west for many days, so as we could make
little or no way, and were sometime in purpose to turn back. But then
again there arose strong and great winds from the south, with a point
east, which carried us up (for all that we could do) towards the north;
by which time our victuals failed us, though we had made good spare
of them. So that finding ourselves, in the midst of the greatest
wilderness of waters in the world, without victuals, we gave ourselves
for lost men and prepared for death. Yet we did lift up our hearts
and voices to God above, who showeth his wonders in the deep,
beseeching him of his mercy, that as in the beginning he discovered
the face of the deep, and brought forth dry land, so he would not
discover land to us, that we might not perish.

And it came to pass that the next day about evening we saw within a
kenning before us, towards the north, as it were thick clouds, which
did put us in some hope of land; knowing how that part of the South
Sea was utterly unknown; and might have islands, or continents, that
hitherto were not come to light. Wherefore we bent our course thither,
where we saw the appearance of land, all that night; and in the
dawning of the next day, we might plainly discern that it was a land;
flat to our sight, and full of boscage; which made it show the more
dark. And after an hour and a half's sailing, we entered into a good
haven, being the port of a fair city; not great indeed, but well built,
and that gave a pleasant view from the sea: and we thinking every
minute long, till we were on land, came close to the shore, and
offered to land. But straightways we saw divers of the people, with
bastons in their hands (as it were) forbidding us to land; yet without
any cries of fierceness, but only as warning us off, by signs that
they made. Whereupon being not a little discomforted, we were
advising with ourselves, what we should do.

During which time, there made forth to us a small boat, with about
eight persons in it; whereof one of them had in his hand a tipstaff of
a yellow cane, tipped at both ends with blue, who came aboard our ship,
without any show of distrust at all. And when he saw one of our
number, present himself somewhat before the rest, he drew forth a
little scroll of parchment (somewhat yellower than our parchment, and
shining like the leaves of writing tables, but otherwise soft and
flexible,) and delivered it to our foremost man. In which scroll were
written in ancient Hebrew, and in ancient Greek, and in good Latin of
the school, and in Spanish, these words: Land ye not, none of you; and
provide to be gone from this coast, within sixteen days, except you
have further time given you. Meanwhile, if you want fresh water or
victuals, or help for your sick, or that your ship needeth repairs,
write down your wants, and you shall have that, which belongeth to
mercy. This scroll was signed with a stamp of cherubim: wings, not
spread, but hanging downwards; and by them a cross. This being
delivered, the officer returned, and left only a servant with us to
receive our answer.

Consulting hereupon amongst ourselves, we were much perplexed. The
denial of landing and hasty warning us away troubled us much; on the
other side, to find that the people had languages, and were so full of
humanity, did comfort us not a little. And above all, the sign of the
cross to that instrument was to us a great rejoicing, and as it were a
certain presage of good. Our answer was in the Spanish tongue; that
for our ship, it was well; for we had rather met with calms and
contrary winds than any tempests. For our sick, they were many, and
in very ill case; so that if they were not permitted to land, they ran
danger of their lives. Our other wants we set down in particular;
adding, That we had some little store of merchandise, which if it
pleased them to deal for, it might supply our wants, without being
chargeable unto them. We offered some reward in pistolets unto the
servant, and a piece of crimson velvet to be presented to the officer;
but the servant tools them not, nor would scarce look upon them; and
so left us, and went back in another little boat, which was sent for

About three hours after we had dispatched our answer, there came
towards us a person (as it seemed) of place. He had on him a gown
with wide sleeves, of a kind o water chamolet, of an excellent azure
colour, fair more glossy than ours; his under apparel was green; and
so was his hat, being in the form of a turban, daintily made, and not
so huge as the Turkish turbans; and the locks of his hair came down
below the brims of it. A reverend man was he to behold. He came in a
boat, gilt in some part of it, with four persons more only in that
boat; and was followed by another boat, wherein were some twenty.
When he was come within a flightshot of our ship, signs were made to
us, that we should send forth some to meet him upon the water; which
we presently did in our ship-boat, sending the principal man amongst
us save one, and four of our number with him.

When we were come within six yards of their boat, they called to us to
stay, and not to approach farther; which we did. And thereupon the
man, whom I before described, stood up, and with a loud voice, in
Spanish, asked, "Are ye Christians?" We answered, "We were;" fearing
the less, because of the cross we had seen in the subscription. At
which answer the said person lifted up his right hand towards Heaven,
and drew it softly to his mouth (which is the gesture they use, when
they thank God;) and then said : "If ye will swear (all of you) by the
merits of the Saviour, that ye are no pirates, nor have shed blood,
lawfully, nor unlawfully within forty days past, you may have licence
to come on land." We said, "We were all ready to take that oath."
Whereupon one of those that were with him, being (as it seemed) a
notary, made an entry of this act. Which done, another of the
attendants of the great person which was with him in the same boat,
after his Lord had spoken a little to him, said aloud: "My Lord would
have you know, that it is not of pride, or greatness, that he cometh
not aboard your ship; but for that in your answer you declare that you
have many sick amongst you, he was warned by the Conservator of Health
of the city that he should keep a distance." We bowed ourselves
towards him, and answered, "We were his humble servants; and accounted
for great honour, and singular humanity towards us, that which was
already done; but hoped well, that the nature of the sickness of our
men was not infectious." So he returned; and a while after came the
Notary to us aboard our ship; holding in his hand a fruit of that
country, like an orange, but of color between orange-tawney and
scarlet; which cast a most excellent odour. He used it (as it
seemeth) for a preservative against infection. He gave us our oath;
"By the name of Jesus, and his merits:" and after told us, that the
next day, by six of the Clock, in the Morning, we should be sent to,
and brought to the Strangers' House, (so he called it,) where we
should be accommodated of things, both for our whole, and for our sick.
So he left us; and when we offered him some pistolets, he smiling
said, "He must not be twice paid for one labour:" meaning (as I take
it) that he had salary sufficient of the State for his service. For
(as I after learned) they call an officer that taketh rewards, twice

The next morning early, there came to us the same officer that came to
us at first with his cane, and told us, "He came to conduct us to the
Strangers' House; and that he had prevented the hour, because we might
have the whole day before us, for our business. For," said he, "if
you will follow my advice, there shall first go with me some few of
you, and see the place, and how it may be made convenient for you; and
then you may send for your sick, and the rest of your number, which ye
will bring on land." We thanked him, and said, "That this care, which
he took of desolate strangers, God would reward." And so six of us
went on land with him: and when we were on land, he went before us,
and turned to us, and said, "He was but our servant, and our guide."
He led us through three fair streets; and all the way we went, there
were gathered some people on both sides, standing in a row; but in so
civil a fashion, as if it had been, not to wonder at us, but to
welcome us: and divers of them, as we passed by them, put their arms a
little abroad; which is their gesture, when they did bid any welcome.

The Strangers' House is a fair and spacious house, built of brick, of
somewhat a bluer colour than our brick; and with handsome windows,
some of glass, some of a kind of cambric oiled. He brought us first
into a fair parlour above stairs, and then asked us, "What number of
persons we were? And how many sick?" We answered, "We were in all,
(sick and whole,) one and fifty persons, whereof our sick were
seventeen." He desired us to have patience a little, and to stay till
he came back to us; which was about an hour after; and then he led us
to see the chambers which were provided for us, being in number
nineteen: they having cast it (as it seemeth) that four of those
chambers, which were better than the rest, might receive four of the
principal men of our company; and lodge them alone by themselves; and
the other fifteen chambers were to lodge us two and two together. The
chambers were handsome and cheerful chambers, and furnished civilly."
Then he led us to a long gallery, like a dorture, where he showed us
all along the one side (for the other side was but wall and window),
seventeen cells, very neat ones, having partitions of cedar wood.
Which gallery and cells, being in all forty, (many more than we needed,
) were instituted as an infirmary for sick persons. And he told us
withal, that as any of our sick waxed well, he might be removed from
his cell, to a chamber; for which purpose there were set forth ten
spare chambers, besides the number we spake of before. This done, he
brought us back to the parlour, and lifting up his cane a little, (as
they do when they give any charge or command) said to us, "Ye are to
know, that the custom of the land requireth, that after this day and
to-morrow, (which we give you for removing of your people from your
ship,) you are to keep within doors for three days. But let it not
trouble you, nor do not think yourselves restrained, but rather left
to your rest and ease. You shall want nothing, and there are six of
our people appointed to attend you, for any business you may have
abroad." We gave him thanks, with all affection and respect, and said,
"God surely is manifested in this land." We offered him also twenty
pistolets; but he smiled, and only said; "What? twice paid! " And so
he left us.

Soon after our dinner was served in; which was right good viands, both
for bread and treat: better than any collegiate diet, that I have
known in Europe. We had also drink of three sorts, all wholesome and
good; wine of the grape; a drink of grain, such as is with us our ale,
but more clear: And a kind of cider made of a fruit of that country; a
wonderful pleasing and refreshing drink. Besides, there were brought
in to us, great store of those scarlet oranges, for our sick; which
(they said) were an assured remedy for sickness taken at sea. There
was given us also, a box of small gray, or whitish pills, which they
wished our sick should take, one of the pills, every night before
sleep; which (they said) would hasten their recovery.

The next day, after that our trouble of carriage and removing of our
men and goods out of our ship, was somewhat settled and quiet, I
thought good to call our company together; and when they were
assembled, said unto them; "My dear friends, let us know ourselves,
and how it standeth with us. We are men cast on land, as Jonas was,
out of the whale's belly, when we were as buried in the deep: and now
we are on land, we are but between death and life; for we are beyond,
both the old world, and the new; and whether ever we shall see Europe,
God only knoweth. It is a kind of miracle bath brought us hither: and
it must be little less, that shall bring us hence. Therefore in
regard of our deliverance past, and our danger present, and to come,
let us look up to God, and every man reform his own ways. Besides we
are come here amongst a Christian people, full of piety and humanity:
let us not bring that confusion of face upon ourselves, as to show our
vices, or unworthiness before them. Yet there is more. For they have
by commandment, (though in form of courtesy) cloistered us within
these wall, for three days: who knoweth, whether it be not, to take
some taste of our manners and conditions?" and if they find them bad,
to banish us straightways; if good, to give us further time. For
these men that they have given us for attendance, may withal have an
eye upon us. Therefore for God's love, and as we love the weal of our
souls and bodies, let us so behave ourselves, as we may be at peace
with God, and may find grace in the eyes of this people." Our company
with one voice thanked me for my good admonition, and promised me to
live soberly and civilly, and without giving any the least occasion of
offence. So we spent our three days joyfully, and without care, in
expectation what would be done with us, when they were expired.
During which time, we had every hour joy of the amendment of our sick;
who thought themselves cast into some divine pool of healing; they
mended so kindly, and so fast.

The morrow after our three days were past, there came to us a new man,
that we had not seen before, clothed in blue as the former was, save
that his turban was white, with a small red cross on the top. He had
also a tippet of fine linen. At his coming in, he did bend to us a
little, and put his arms abroad. We of our parts saluted him in a
very lowly and submissive manner; as looking that from him, we should
receive sentence of life, or death: he desired to speak with some few
of us: whereupon six of us only staid, and the rest avoided the room.
He said, "I am by office governor of this House of Strangers, and by
vocation I am a Christian priest: and therefore am come to you to
offer you my service, both as strangers and chiefly as Christians.
Some things I may tell you, which I think you will not be unwilling to
hear. The State hath given you license to stay on land, for the space
of six weeks; and let it not trouble you, if your occasions ask
further time, for the law in this point is not precise; and I do not
doubt, but my self shall be able, to obtain for you such further time,
as may be convenient. Ye shall also understand, that the Strangers'
House is at this time rich, and much aforehand; for it hath laid up
revenue these thirty-seven years; for so long it is since any stranger
arrived in this part: and therefore take ye no care; the State will
defray you all the time you stay; neither shall you stay one day the
less for that. As for any merchandise ye have brought, ye shall be
well used, and have your return, either in merchandise, or in gold and
silver: for to us it is all one. And if you have any other request to
make, hide it not. For ye shall find we will not make your
countenance to fall by the answer ye shall receive. Only this I must
tell you, that none of you must go above a karan," (that is with them
a mile and an half) "from the walls of the city, without especial

We answered, after we had looked awhile one upon another, admiring
this gracious and parent-like usage; "That we could not tell what to
say: for we wanted words to express our thanks; and his noble free
offers left us nothing to ask. It seemed to us, that we had before us
a picture of our salvation in Heaven; for we that were a while since
in the jaws of death, were now brought into a place, where we found
nothing but consolations. For the commandment laid upon us, we would
not fail to obey it, though it was impossible but our hearts should be
enflamed to tread further upon this happy and holy ground." We added;
"That our tongues should first cleave to the roofs of our mouths, ere
we should forget, either his reverend person, or this whole nation, in
our prayers." We also most humbly besought him, to accept of us as
his true servants; by as just a right as ever men on earth were
bounden; laying and presenting, both our persons, and all we had, at
his feet. He said; "He was a priest, and looked for a priest's reward;
which was our brotherly love, and the good of our souls and bodies."
So he went from us, not without tears of tenderness in his eyes; and
left us also confused with joy and kindness, saying amongst ourselves;
"That we were come into a land of angels, which did appear to us daily,
and prevent us with comforts, which we thought not of, much less

The next day about ten of the clock, the Governor came to us again,
and after salutations, said familiarly; "That he was come to visit us;"
and called for a chair, and sat him down: and we, being some ten of
us, (the rest were of the meaner sort, or else gone abroad,) sat down
with him, And when we were set, he began thus: " We of this island of
Bensalem," (for so they call it in their language,) "have this; that
by means of our solitary situation; and of the laws of secrecy, which
we have for our travellers, and our rare admission of strangers; we
know well most part of the habitable world, and are ourselves unknown.
Therefore because he that knoweth least is fittest to ask questions,
it is more reason, for the entertainment of the time, that ye ask me
questions, than that I ask you."

We answered; "That we humbly thanked him that he would give us leave
so to do: and that we conceived by the taste we had already, that
there was no worldly thing on earth, more worthy to be known than the
state of that happy land. But above all," (we said,) "since that we
were met from the several ends of the world, and hoped assuredly that
we should meet one day in the kingdom of Heaven, (for that we were
both parts Christians,) we desired to know, (in respect that land was
so remote, and so divided by vast and unknown seas, from the land
where our Saviour walked on earth,) who was the apostle of that nation,
and how it was converted to the faith?" It appeared in his face that
he took great contentment in this our question: he said; "Ye knit my
heart to you, by asking this question in the first place; for it
sheweth that you first seek the kingdom o f heaven; and I shall gladly,
and briefly, satisfy your demand.

"About twenty years after the ascension of our Saviour, it came to
pass, that there was seen by the people of Renfusa, (a city upon the
eastern coast of our island,) within night, (the night was cloudy, and
calm,) as it might be some mile into the sea, a great pillar of light;
not sharp, but in form of a column, or cylinder, rising from the sea a
great way up towards heaven; and on the top of it was seen a large
cross of light, more bright and resplendent than the body of the
pillar. Upon which so strange a spectacle, the people of the city
gathered apace together upon the sands, to wonder; and so after put
themselves into a number of small boats, to go nearer to this
marvellous sight. But when the boats were come within (about) sixty
yards of the pillar, they found themselves all bound, and could go no
further; yet so as they might move to go about, but might not approach
nearer: so as the boats stood all as in a theatre, beholding this
light as an heavenly sign. It so fell out, that there was in one of
the boats one of the wise men, of the society of Salomon's House;
which house, or college (my good brethren) is the very eye of this
kingdom; who having awhile attentively and devoutly viewed and
contemplated this pillar and cross, fell down upon his face; and then
raised himself upon his knees, and lifting up his hands to heaven,
made his prayers in this manner.

"`LORD God of heaven and earth, thou hast vouchsafed of thy grace to
those of our order, to know thy works of Creation, and the secrets of
them: and to discern (as far as appertaineth to the generations o f
men) between divine miracles, works of nature, works of art, and
impostures and illusions of all sorts. I do here acknowledge and
testify before this people, that the thing which we now see before our
eyes is thy Finger and a true Miracle. And forasmuch as we learn in
our books that thou never workest miracles, but to d divine and
excellent end, (for the laws o f nature are thine own laws, and thou
exceedest them not but upon great cause,) we most humbly beseech thee
to prosper this great sign, and to give us the interpretation and use
of it in mercy; which thou dost in some part secretly promise by
sending it unto us.'

"When he had made his prayer, he presently found the boat he was in,
moveable and unbound; whereas all the rest remained still fast; and
taking that for an assurance of leave to approach, he caused the boat
to be softly and with silence rowed towards the pillar. But ere he
came near it, the pillar and cross of light brake up, and cast itself
abroad, as it were, into a firmament of many stars; which also
vanished soon after, and there was nothing left to be seen, but a
small ark, or chest of cedar, dry, and not wet at all with water,
though it swam. And in the fore-end of it, which was towards him,
grew a small green branch of palm; and when the wise man had taken it,
with all reverence, into his boat, it opened of itself, and there were
found in it a Book and a Letter; both written in fine parchment, and
wrapped in sindons of linen. The Book contained all the canonical
books of the Old and New Testament, according as you have them; (for
we know well what the churches with you receive); and the Apocalypse
itself, and some other books of the New Testament, which were not at
that time written, were nevertheless in the Book. And for the Letter,
it was in these words:

"`I, Bartholomew, a servant of the Highest, and Apostle of Jesus
Christ, was warned by an angel that appeareth to me, in a vision of
glory, that I should commit this ark to the floods of the sea.
Therefore I do testify and declare unto that people where God shall
ordain this ark to come to land, that in the same day is come unto
them salvation and peace and good-will, from the Father, and from the
Lord Jesus.'

"There was also in both these writings, as well the Book, as the
Letter, wrought a great miracle, conform to that of the Apostles, in
the original Gift of Tongues. For there being at that time in this
land Hebrews, Persians, and Indians, besides the natives, every one
read upon the Book, and Letter, as if they had been written in his own
language. And thus was this land saved from infidelity (as the
remainder of the old world was from water) by an ark, through the
apostolical and miraculous evangelism of Saint Bartholomew." And here
he paused, and a messenger came, and called him from us. So this was
all that passed in that conference.

The next day, the same governor came again to us, immediately after
dinner, and excused himself, saying; "That the day before he was
called from us, somewhat abruptly, but now he would make us amends,
and spend time with us if we held his company and conference agreeable."
We answered, "That we held it so agreeable and pleasing to us, as
we forgot both dangers past and fears to come, for the time we hear
him speak; and that we thought an hour spent with him, was worth years
of our former life." He bowed himself a little to us, and after we
were set again, he said; "Well, the questions are on your part."

One of our number said, after a little pause; that there was a matter,
we were no less desirous to know, than fearful to ask, lest we might
presume too far. But encouraged by his rare humanity towards us,
(that could scarce think ourselves strangers, being his vowed and
professed servants,) we would take the hardiness to propound it:
humbly beseeching him, if he thought it not fit to be answered, that
he would pardon it, though he rejected it. We said; "We well observed
those his words, which he formerly spake, that this happy island,
where we now stood, was known to few, and yet knew most of the nations
of the world; which we found to be true, considering they had the
languages of Europe, and knew much of our state and business; and yet
we in Europe, (notwithstanding all the remote discoveries and
navigations of this last age), never heard of the least inkling or
glimpse of this island. This we found wonderful strange; for that all
nations have inter-knowledge one of another, either by voyage into
foreign parts, or by strangers that come to them: and though the
traveller into a foreign country, doth commonly know more by the eye,
than he that stayeth at home can by relation of the traveller; yet
both ways suffice to make a mutual knowledge, in some degree, on both
parts. But for this island, we never heard tell of any ship of theirs
that had been seen to arrive upon any shore of Europe; nor of either
the East or West Indies; nor yet of any ship of any other part of the
world, that had made return from them. And yet the marvel rested not
in this. For the situation of it (as his lordship said) in the secret
conclave' of such a vast sea might cause it. But then, that they
should have knowledge of the languages, books, affairs, of those that
lie such a distance from them, it was a thing we could not tell what
to make of; for that it seemed to us a conditioner and propriety of
divine powers and beings, to be hidden and unseen to others, and yet
to have others open and as in a light to them."

At this speech the Governor gave a gracious smile, and said; "That we
did well to ask pardon for this question we now asked: for that it
imported, as if we thought this land, a land of magicians, that sent
forth spirits of the air into all parts, to bring them news and
intelligence of other countries." It was answered by us all, in all
possible humbleness, but yet with a countenance taking knowledge, that
we knew that he spake it but merrily, "That we were apt enough to
think there was somewhat supernatural in this island; but yet rather
as angelical than magical. But to let his lordship know truly what it
was that made us tender and doubtful to ask this question, it was not
any such conceit," but because we remembered, he had given a touch in
his former speech, that this land had laws of secrecy touching
strangers." To this he said; "You remember it aright and therefore in
that I shall say to you, I must reserve some particulars, which it is
not lawful for me to reveal; but there will be enough left, to give
you satisfaction.

"You shall understand (that which perhaps you will scarce think
credible) that about three thousand years ago, or somewhat more, the
navigation of the world, (especially for remote voyages,) was greater
than at this day. Do not think with yourselves, that I know not how
much it is increased with you, within these six-score years: I know it
well: and yet I say greater then than now; whether it was, that the
example of the ark, that saved the remnant of men from the universal
deluge, gave men confidence to adventure upon the waters; or what it
was; but such is the truth. The Phoenicians, and especially the
Tyrians, had great fleets. So had the Carthaginians their colony,
which is yet further west. Toward the east the shipping of Egypt and
of Palestine was likewise great. China also, and the great Atlantis,
(that you call America,) which have now but junks and canoes, abounded
then in tall ships. This island, (as appeareth by faithful registers
of those times,) had then fifteen hundred strong ships, of great
content. Of all this, there is with you sparing memory, or none; but
we have large knowledge thereof.

"At that time, this land was known and frequented by the ships and
vessels of all the nations before named. And (as it cometh to pass)
they had many times men of other countries, that were no sailors, that
came with them; as Persians, Chaldeans, Arabians; so as almost all
nations of might and fame resorted hither; of whom we have some stirps,
and little tribes with us at this day. And for our own ships, they
went sundry voyages, as well to your straits, which you call the
Pillars of Hercules, as to other parts in the Atlantic and Mediterrane
Seas; as to Paguin, (which is the same with Cambaline,) and Quinzy,
upon the Oriental Seas, as far as to the borders of the East Tartary.

"At the same time, and an age after, or more, the inhabitants of the
great Atlantis did flourish. For though the narration and description,
which is made by a great man with you; that the descendants of
Neptune planted" there; and of the magnificent temple, palace, city,
and hill; and the manifold streams of goodly navigable rivers, (which
as so many chains environed the same site and temple); and the several
degrees of ascent, whereby men did climb up to the same, as if it had
been a scala coeli, be all poetical and fabulous: yet so much is true,
that the said country of Atlantis, as well that of Peru, then called
Coya, as that of Mexico, then named Tyrambel, were mighty and proud
kingdoms in arms, shipping and riches: so mighty, as at one time (or
at least within the space of ten years) they both made two great
expeditions; they of Tyrambel through the Atlantic to the Mediterrane
Sea; and they of Coya through the South Sea upon this our island: and
for the former of these, which was into Europe, the same author
amongst you (as it seemeth) had some relation from the Egyptian priest
whom he cited. For assuredly such a thing there was. But whether it
were the ancient Athenians that had the glory of the repulse and
resistance of those forces, I can say nothing: but certain it is,
there never came back either ship or man from that voyage. Neither
had the other voyage of those of Coya upon us had better fortune, if
they had not met with enemies of greater clemency. For the king of
this island, (by name Altabin,) a wise man and a great warrior,
knowing well both his own strength and that of his enemies, handled
the matter so, as he cut off their land-forces from their ships; and
entoiled both their navy and their tamp with a greater power than
theirs, both by sea and land: arid compelled them to render themselves
without striking stroke and after they were at his mercy, contenting
himself only with their oath that they should no more bear arms
against him, dismissed them all in safety.

"But the divine revenge overtook not long after those proud
enterprises. For within less than the space of one hundred years, the
great Atlantis was utterly lost and destroyed: not by a great
earthquake, as your man saith; (for that whole tract is little subject
to earthquakes;) but by a particular' deluge or inundation; those
countries having, at this day, far greater rivers and far higher
mountains to pour down waters, than any part of the old world. But it
is true that the same inundation was not deep; not past forty foot, in
most places, from the ground; so that although it destroyed man and
beast generally, yet some few wild inhabitants of the wood escaped.
Birds also were saved by flying to the high trees and woods. For as
for men, although they had buildings in many places, higher than the
depth of the water, yet that inundation, though it were shallow, had a
long continuance; whereby they of the vale that were not drowned,
perished for want of food and other things necessary.

"So as marvel you not at the thin population of America, nor at the
rudeness and ignorance of the people; for you must account your
inhabitants of America as a young people; younger a thousand years, at
the least, than the rest of the world: for that there was so much time
between the universal flood and their particular inundation. For the
poor remnant of human seed, which remained in their mountains, peopled
the country again slowly, by little and little; and being simple and
savage people, (not like Noah and his sons, which was the chief family
of the earth;) they were not able to leave letters, arts, and civility
to their posterity; and having likewise in their mountainous
habitations been used (in respect of the extreme cold of those
regions) to clothe themselves with the skins of tigers, bears, and
great hairy goats, that they have in those parts; when after they came
down into the valley, and found the intolerable heats which are there,
and knew no means of lighter apparel, they were forced to begin the
custom of going naked, which continueth at this day. Only they take
great pride and delight in the feathers of birds; and this also they
took from those their ancestors of the mountains, who were invited
unto it by the infinite flights of birds that came up to the high
grounds, while the waters stood below. So you see, by this main
accident of time, we lost our traffic with the Americans, with whom of,
all others, in regard they lay nearest to us, we had most commerce.

"As for the other parts of the world, it is most manifest that in the
ages following (whether it were in respect of wars, or by a natural
revolution of time,) navigation did every where greatly decay; and
specially far voyages (the rather by the use of galleys, and such
vessels as could hardly brook the ocean,) were altogether left and
omitted. So then, that part of intercourse which could be from other
nations to sail to us, you see how it hath long since ceased; except
it were by some rare accident, as this of yours. But now of the
cessation of that other part of intercourse, which might be by our
sailing to other nations, I must yield you some other cause. For I
cannot say (if I shall say truly,) but our shipping, for number,
strength, mariners, pilots, and all things that appertain to
navigation, is as great as ever; and therefore why we should sit at
home, I shall now give you an account by itself: and it will draw
nearer to give you satisfaction to your principal question.

"There reigned in this land, about nineteen hundred years ago, a king,
whose memory of all others we most adore; not superstitiously, but as
a divine instrument, though a mortal man; his name was Solamona: and
we esteem him as the lawgiver of our nation. This king had a large
heart, inscrutable for good; and was wholly bent to make his kingdom
and people happy. He therefore, taking into consideration how
sufficient and substantive this land was to maintain itself without
any aid (at all) of the foreigner; being five thousand six hundred
miles in circuit, and of rare fertility of soil in the greatest part
thereof; and finding also the shipping of this country might be
plentifully set on work, both by fishing and by transportations from
port to port, and likewise by sailing unto some small islands that are
not far from us, and are under the crown and laws of this state; and,
recalling into his memory the happy and flourishing estate wherein
this land then was; so as it might be a thousand ways altered to the
worse, but scarce any one way to the better; thought nothing wanted to
his noble and heroical intentions, but only (as far as human foresight
might reach) to give perpetuity to that which was in his time so
happily established. Therefore amongst his other fundamental laws of
this kingdom, he did ordain the interdicts and prohibitions which we
have touching entrance of strangers; which at that time (though it was
after the calamity of America) was frequent; doubting novelties, and
commixture of manners. It is true, the like law against the admission
of strangers without licence is an ancient law in the kingdom of China,
and yet continued in use. But there it is a poor thing; and hath
made them a curious, ignorant, fearful, foolish nation. But our
lawgiver made his law of another temper. For first, he hath preserved
all points of humanity, in taking order and making provision for the
relief of strangers distressed; whereof you have tasted."

At which speech (as reason was) we all rose up and bowed ourselves.
He went on.

"That king also, still desiring to join humanity and policy together;
and thinking it against humanity, to detain strangers here against
their wills, and against policy that they should return and discover
their knowledge of this estate, he took this course: he did ordain
that of the strangers that should be permitted to land, as many (at
all times) might depart as would; but as many as would stay should
have very good conditions and means to live from the state. Wherein
he saw so far, that now in so many ages since the prohibition, we have
memory not of one ship that ever returned, and but of thirteen persons
only, at several times, that chose to return in our bottoms. What
those few that returned may have reported abroad I know not. But you
must think, whatsoever they have said could be taken whore they came
but for a dream. Now for our travelling from henna into parts abroad,
our Lawgiver thought fit altogether to restrain it. So is it not in
China. For the Chinese sail where they will or can; which sheweth
that their lawn of keeping out strangers is a law of pusillanimity and
fear. But this restraint of ours bath one only exception, which is
admirable; preserving the good which cometh by communicating with
strangers, and avoiding the hurt; and I will now open it to you. And
here I shall seem a little to digress, but you will by and by find it

"Ye shall understand (my dear friends) that amongst the excellent acts
of that king, one above all bath the pre-eminence. It was the
erection and institution of an Order or Society, which we call
Salomon's House; the noblest foundation (as we think) that ever was
upon the earth; and the lanthorn of this kingdom. It is dedicated to
the study of the works and creatures of God. Some think it beareth
the founder's name a little corrupted, as if it should be Solamona's
House. But the records write it as it is spoken. So as I take it to
be denominate of the king of the Hebrews, which is famous with you,
and no stranger to us. For we have some parts of his works, which
with you are lost; namely, that natural history, which he wrote, of
all plants, from the cedar o f Libanus to the moss that groweth out of
the wall, and of all things that have life and motion. This maketh me
think that our king, finding himself to symbolize in many things with
that king of the Hebrews (which lived many years before him), honored
him with the title of this foundation. And I am rather induced to be
of this opinion, for that I find in ancient records this Order or
Society is sometimes called Salomon's House, and sometimes the College
of the Six Days Works; whereby I am satisfied that our excellent king
had learned from the Hebrews that God had created the world and all
that therein is within six days: and therefore he instituting that
House for the finding out of the true nature of all things, (whereby
God might have the more glory in the workmanship of them, and inert
the more fruit in the use of them), did give it also that second name.

"But now to come to our present purpose. When the king had forbidden
to all his people navigation into any part that was not under his
crown, he made nevertheless this ordinance; that every twelve years
there should be set forth, out of this kingdom two ships, appointed to
several voyages; That in either of these ships there should be a
mission of three of the Fellows or Brethren of Salomon's House; whose
errand was only to give us knowledge of the affairs and state of those
countries to which they were designed, and especially of the sciences,
arts, manufactures, and inventions of all the world; and withal to
bring unto us books, instruments, and patterns in every kind: That the
ships, after they had landed the brethren, should return; and that the
brethren should stay abroad till the new mission. These ships are not
otherwise fraught, than with store of victuals, and good quantity of
treasure to remain with the brethren, for the buying of such things
and rewarding of such persons as they should think fit. Now for me to
tell you how the vulgar sort of mariners are contained from being
discovered at land; and how they that must be put on shore for any
time, color themselves under the names of other nations; and to what
places these voyages have been designed; and what places of rendezvous
are appointed for the new missions; and the like circumstances of the
practique; I may not do it: neither is it much to your desire. But
thus you see we maintain a trade not for gold, silver, or jewels; nor
for silks; nor for spices; nor any other commodity of matter; but only
for God's first creature, which was Light: to have light (I say) of
the growth of all parts of the world."

And when he had said this, he was silent; and so were we all. For
indeed we were all astonished to hear so strange things so probably
told. And he, perceiving that we were willing to say somewhat but had
it not ready in great courtesy took us off, and descended to ask us
questions of our voyage and fortunes and in the end concluded, that we
might do well to think with ourselves what time of stay we would
demand of the state; and bade us not to scant ourselves; for he would
procure such time as we desired: Whereupon we all rose up, and
presented ourselves" to kiss the skirt of his tippet; but he would not
suffer us; and so took his leave. But when it came once amongst our
people that the state used to offer conditions to strangers that would
stay, we had work enough to get any of our men to look to our ship;
and to keep them from going presently to the governor to crave
conditions. But with much ado we refrained them, till we might agree
what course to take.

We took ourselves now for free men, seeing there was no danger of our
utter perdition; and lived most joyfully, going abroad and seeing what
was to be seen in the city and places adjacent within our tedder; and
obtaining acquaintance with many of the city, not of the meanest
quality; at whose hands we found such humanity, and such a freedom and
desire to take strangers as it were into their bosom, as was enough to
make us forget all that was dear to us in our own countries: and
continually we met with many things right worthy of observation and
relation: as indeed, if there be a mirror in the world worthy to hold
men's eyes, it is that country.

One day there were two of our company bidden to a Feast of the Family,
as they call it. A most natural, pious, and reverend custom it is,
shewing that nation to be compounded of all goodness. This is the
manner of it. It is granted to any man that shall live to see thirty
persons descended of his body alive together, and all above three
years old, to make this feast which is done at the cost of the state.
The Father of the Family, whom they call the Tirsan, two days before
the feast, taketh to him three of such friends as he liketh to choose;
and is assisted also by the governor of the city or place where the
feast is celebrated; and all the persons of the family, of both sexes,
are summoned to attend him. These two days the Tirsan sitteth in
consultation concerning the good estate of the family. There, if
there be any discord or suits between any of the family, they are
compounded and appeased. There, if any of the family be distressed or
decayed, order is taken for their relief and competent means to live.
There, if any be subject to vice, or take ill courses, they are
reproved and censured. So likewise direction is given touching
marriages, and the courses of life, which any of them should take,
with divers other the like orders and advices. The governor assisteth,
to the end to put in execution by his public authority the decrees
and orders of the Tirsan, if they should be disobeyed; though that
seldom needeth; such reverence and obedience they give to the order of
nature. The Tirsan doth also then ever choose one man from among his
sons, to live in house with him; who is called ever after the Son of
the Vine. The reason will hereafter appear.

On the feast day, the father or Tirsan cometh forth after divine
service into a large room where the feast is celebrated; which room
bath an half-pace at the upper end. Against the wall, in the middle
of the half-pace, is a chair placed for him, with a table and carpet
before it. Over the chair is a state, made round or oval, and it is
of ivy; an ivy somewhat whiter than ours, like the leaf of a silver
asp; but more shining; for it is green all winter. And the state is
curiously wrought with silver and silk of divers colors, broiding or
binding in the ivy; and is ever of the work of some of the daughters
of the family; and veiled over at the top with a fine net of silk and
silver. But the substance of it is true ivy; whereof, after it is
taken down, the friends of the family are desirous to have some leaf
or sprig to keep.

The Tirsan cometh forth with all his generation or linage, the males
before him, and the females following him; and if there be a mother
from whose body the whole linage is descended, there is a traverse
placed in a loft above on the right hand of the chair, with a privy
door, and a carved window of glass, leaded with gold and blue; where
she sitteth, but is not seen. When the Tirsan is come forth, he
sitteth down in the chair; and all the linage place themselves against
the wall, both at his back and upon the return of the half-pace, in
order of their years without difference of sex; and stand upon their
feet. When he is set; the room being always full of company, but well
kept and without disorder; after some pause, there cometh in from the
lower end of the room, a taratan (which is as much as an herald) and
on either side of him two young lads; whereof one carrieth a scroll of
their shining yellow parchment; and the other a cluster of grapes of
gold, with a long foot or stalk. The herald and children are clothed
with mantles of sea-water green satin; but the herald's mantle is
streamed" with gold, and hath a train.

Then the herald with three curtesies, or rather inclinations, cometh
up as far as the half-pace; and there first taketh into his hand the
scroll. This scroll is the king's charter, containing gifts of
revenew, and many privileges, exemptions, and points of honour,
granted to the Father of the Family; and is ever styled and directed,
To such do one our well beloved friend and creditor: which is a title
proper only to this case. For they say the king is debtor to no man,
but for propagation of his subjects. The seal set to the king's
charter is the king's image, imbossed or moulded in gold; and though
such charters be expedited of course, and as of right, yet they are
varied by discretion, according to the number and dignity of the
family. This charter the herald readeth aloud; and while it is read,
the father or Tirsan standeth up supported by two of his sons, such as
he chooseth. Then the herald mounteth the half-pace and delivereth
the charter into his hand: and with that there is an acclamation by
all that are present in their language, which is thus much: Happy are
the people o f Bensalem.

Then the herald taketh into his hand from the other child the cluster
of grapes, which is of gold, both the stalk and the grapes. But the
grapes are daintily enamelled; and if the males of the family be the
greater number, the grapes are enamelled purple, with a little sun set
on the top; if the females, then they are enamelled into a greenish
yellow, with a crescent on the top. The grapes are in number as many
as there are descendants of the family. This golden cluster the
herald delivereth also to the Tirsan; who presently delivereth it over
to that son that he had formerly chosen to be in house with him: who
beareth it before his father as an ensign of honour when he goeth in
public, ever after; and is thereupon called the Son of the Vine.

After the ceremony endeth the father or Tirsan retireth; and after
some time cometh forth again to dinner, where he sitteth alone under
the state, as before; and none of his descendants sit with him, of
what degree or dignity soever, except he hap to be of Salomon's House.
He is served only by his own children, such as are male; who perform
unto him all service of the table upon the knee; and the women only
stand about him, leaning against the wall. The room below the
half-pace hath tables on the sides for the guests that are bidden; who
are served with great and comely order; and towards the end of dinner
(which in the greatest feasts with them lasteth never above an hour
and an half) there is an hymn sung, varied according to the invention
of him that composeth it (for they have excellent posy) but the
subject of it is (always) the praises of Adam and Noah and Abraham;
whereof the former two peopled the world, and the last was the Father
of the Faithful: concluding ever with a thanksgiving for the nativity
of our Saviour, in whose birth the births of all are only blessed.

Dinner being done, the Tirsan retireth again; and having withdrawn
himself alone into a place, where he makes some private prayers, he
cometh forth the third time, to give the blessing with all his
descendants, who stand about him as at the first. Then he calleth
them forth by one and by one, by name, as he pleaseth, though seldom
the order of age be inverted. The person that is called (the table
being before removed) kneeleth down before the chair, and the father
layeth his hand upon his head, or her head, and giveth the blessing in
these words: Son of Bensalem, (or daughter of Bensalem,) thy father
with it: the man by whom thou hast breath and life speaketh the word:
the blessing of the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and the
Holy Dove, be upon thee, and make the days of thy pilgrimage good and
many. This he saith to every of them; and that done, if there be any
of his sons of eminent merit and virtue, (so they be not above two,)
he calleth for them again; and saith, laying his arm over their
shoulders, they standing; Sons, it is well ye are born, give God the
praise, and persevere to the end. And withall delivereth to either of
them a jewel, made in the figure of an ear of wheat, which they ever
after wear in the front of their turban or hat. This done, they fall
to music and dances, and other recreations, after their manner, for
the rest of the day. This is the full order of that feast.

By that time six or seven days were spent, I was fallen into straight
acquaintance with a merchant of that city, whose name was Joabin. He
was a Jew and circumcised: for they have some few stirps of Jews yet
remaining among them, whom they leave to their own religion. Which
they may the better do, because they are of a far differing
disposition from the Jews in other parts. For whereas they hate the
name of Christ; and have a secret inbred rancour against the people
among whom they live: these (contrariwise) give unto our Saviour many
high attributes, and love the nation of Bensalem extremely. Surely
this man of whom I speak would ever acknowledge that Christ was born
of a virgin and that he was more than a man; and he would tell how God
made him ruler of the seraphims which guard his throne; and they call
him also the Milken Way, and the Eliah of the Messiah; and many other
high names; which though they be inferior to his divine majesty, yet
they are far from the language of other Jews.

And for the country of Bensalem, this man would make no end of
commending it; being desirous, by tradition among the Jews there, to
have it believed that the people thereof were of the generations of
Abraham, by another son, whom they call Nachoran; and that Moses by a
secret Cabala ordained the Laws of Bensalem which they now use; and
that when the Messiah should come, and sit in his throne at Hierusalem,
the king of Bensalem should sit at his feet, whereas other kings
should keep a great distance. But yet setting aside these Jewish
dreams, the man was a wise man, and learned, and of great policy, and
excellently seen in the laws and customs of that nation.

Amongst other discourses, one day I told him I was much affected with
the relation I had, from some of the company, of their custom, in
holding the Feast of the Family; for that (methought) I had never
heard of a solemnity wherein nature did so much preside. And because
propagation of families proceedeth from the nuptial copulation, I
desired to know of him what laws and customs they had concerning
marriage; and whether they kept marriage well and whether they were
tied to one wife; for that where population is so much affected,' and
such as with them it seemed to be, there is commonly permission of
plurality of wives.

To this he said, "You have reason for to commend that excellent
institution of the Feast of the Family. And indeed we have experience
that those families that are partakers of the blessing of that feast
do flourish and prosper ever after in an extraordinary manner. But
hear me now, and I will tell you what I know. You shall understand
that there is not under the heavens so chaste a nation as this of
Bensalem; nor so free from all pollution or foulness. It is the
virgin of the world. I remember I have read in one of your European
books, of an holy hermit amongst you that desired to see the Spirit of
Fornication; and there appeared to him a little foul ugly AEthiop.
But if he had desired to see the Spirit of Chastity of Bensalem, it
would have appeared to him in the likeness of a fair beautiful
Cherubin. For there is nothing amongst mortal men more fair and
admirable, than the chaste minds of this people. Know therefore, that
with them there are no stews, no dissolute houses, no courtesans, nor
anything of that kind. Nay they wonder (with detestation) at you in
Europe, which permit such things. They say ye have put marriage out
of office: for marriage is ordained a remedy for unlawful
concupiscence; and natural concupiscence seemeth as a spar to marriage.
But when men have at hand a remedy more agreeable to their corrupt
will, marriage is almost expulsed. And therefore there are with you
seen infinite men that marry not, but chose rather a libertine and
impure single life, than to be yoked in marriage; and many that do
marry, marry late,, when the prime and strength of their years is past.
And when they do marry, what is marriage to them but a very bargain;
wherein is sought alliance, or portion, or reputation, with some
desire (almost indifferent) of issue; and not the faithful nuptial
union of man and wife, that was first instituted. Neither is it
possible that those that have cast away so basely so much of their
strength, should greatly esteem children, (being of the same matter,)
as chaste men do. So likewise during marriage, is the case much
amended, as it ought to be if those things were tolerated only for
necessity? No, but they remain still as a very affront to marriage.
The haunting of those dissolute places, or resort to courtesans, are
no more punished in married men than in bachelors. And the depraved
custom of change, and the delight in meretricious embracements, (where
sin is turned into art,) maketh marriage a dull thing, and a kind of
imposition or tax. They hear you defend these things, as done to
avoid greater evils; as advoutries, deflowering of virgins, unnatural
lust, and the like. But they say this is a preposterous wisdom; and
they call it Lot's offer, who to save his guests from abusing, offered
his daughters: nay they say farther that there is little gained in
this; for that the same vices and appetites do still remain and abound;
unlawful lust being like a furnace, that if you stop the flames
altogether, it will quench; but if you give it any.vent, it will rage.
As for masculine love, they have no touch of it; and yet there are
not so faithful and inviolate friendships in the world again as are
there; and to speak generally, (as I said before,) I have not read of
any such chastity, in any people as theirs. And their usual saying is,
That whosoever is unchaste cannot reverence himself; and they say,
That the reverence of a man's self, is, next religion, the chiefest
bridle of all vices."

And when he had said this, the good Jew paused a little; whereupon I,
far more willing to hear him speak on than to speak myself, yet
thinking it decent that upon his pause of speech I should not be
altogether silent, said only this; "That I would say to him, as the
widow of Sarepta said to Elias; that he was come to bring to memory
our sins; and that I confess the righteousness of Bensalem was greater
than the righteousness of Europe." At which speech he bowed his head,
and went on in this manner:

"They have also many wise and excellent laws touching marriage. They
allow no polygamy. They have ordained that none do intermarry or
contract, until a month be past from their first interview. Marriage
without consent of parents they do not make void, but they mulct" it
in the inheritors: for the children of such marriages are not admitted
to inherit above a third part of their parents' inheritance. I have
read in a book of one of your men, of a Feigned Commonwealth, where
the married couple are permitted, before they contract, to see one
another naked. This they dislike; for they think it a scorn to give a
refusal after so familiar knowledge: but because of many hidden
defects in men and women's bodies, they have a more civil way; for
they have near every town a couple of pools, (which they call Adam and
Eve's pools,) where it is permitted to one of the friends of the men,
and another of the friends of the woman, to see them severally bathe

And as we were thus in conference, there came one that seemed to be a
messenger, in a rich huke, that spake with the Jew: whereupon he
turned to me and said; "You will pardon me, for I am commanded away in
haste." The next morning he came to me again, joyful as it seemed,
and said; "There is word come to the Governor of the city, that one of
the Fathers of Salomon's House will be here this day seven-night: we
have seen none of them this dozen years. His coming is in state; but
the cause of his coming is secret. I will provide you and your
fellows of a good standing to see his entry." I thanked him, and told
him, I was most glad of the news.

The day being come, he made his entry. He was a man of middle stature
and age, comely of person, and had an aspect as if he pitied men. He
was clothed in a robe of fine black cloth, with wide sleeves and a
cape. His under garment was of excellent white linen down to the foot,
girt with a girdle of the same; and a sindon or tippet of the same
about his neck. He had gloves, that were curious,`' and set with
stone; and shoes of peach-coloured velvet. His neck was bare to the
shoulders. His hat was like a helmet, or Spanish montera; and his
locks curled below it decently: they were of colour brown. His beard
was cut round, and of the same colour with his hair, somewhat lighter.
He was carried in a rich chariot without wheels, litter-wise; with
two horses at either end, richly trapped in blue velvet embroidered;
and two footmen on each side in the like attire. The chariot was all
of cedar, gilt, and adorned with crystal; save that the fore-end had
panels of sapphires, set in borders of gold; and the hinder-end the
like of emeralds of the Peru colour. There was also a sun of gold,
radiant, upon the top, in the midst; and on the top before, a small
cherub of gold, with wings displayed. The chariot was covered with
cloth of gold tissued upon blue. He had before him fifty attendants,
young men all, in white satin loose coats to the mid leg; and
stockings of white silk; and shoes of blue velvet; and hats of blue
velvet; with fine plumes of diverse colours, set round like hat-bands.
Next before the chariot, went two men, bare-headed, in linen garments
down the foot, girt, and shoes of blue velvet; who carried, the one a
crosier, the other a pastoral staff like a sheep-hook; neither of them
of metal, but the crosier of balm-wood, the pastoral staff of cedar.
Horsemen he had none, neither before nor behind his chariot: as it
seemeth, to avoid all tumult and trouble. Behind his chariot went all
the officers and principals of the companies of the city. He sat
alone, upon cushions of a kind of excellent plush, blue; and under his
foot curious carpets of silk of diverse colours, like the Persian, but
far finer. He held up his bare hand as he went, as blessing the
people, but in silence. The street was wonderfully well kept: so that
there was never any army had their men stand in better battle-array
than the people stood. The windows likewise were not crowded, but
every one stood in them as if they had been placed.

When the shew was past, the Jew said to me; "I shall not be able to
attend you as I would, in regard of some charge the city hath laid
upon me, for the entertaining of this great person." Three days after
the Jew came to me again, and said; "Ye are happy men; for the Father
of Salomon's House taketh knowledge of your being here, and commanded
me to tell you that he will admit all your company to his presence,
and have private conference with one of you, that ye shall choose: and
for this hath appointed the next day after to-morrow. And because he
meaneth to give you his blessing, he hath appointed it in the forenoon.

We came at our day and hour, and I was chosen by my fellows for the
private access. We found him in a fair chamber, richly hanged, and
carpeted under foot without any degrees to the state. He was set upon
a low Throne richly adorned, and a rich cloth of state over his head,
of blue satin embroidered. He was alone, save that he had two pages
of honour, on either hand one, finely attired in white. His under
garments were the like that we saw him wear in the chariot; but
instead of his gown, he had on him a mantle with a cape, of the same
fine black, fastened about him. When we came in, as we were taught,
we bowed low at our first entrance; and when we were come near his
chair, he stood up, holding forth his hand ungloved, and in posture of
blessing; and we every one of us stooped down, and kissed the hem of
his tippet. That done, the rest departed, and I remained. Then he
warned" the pages forth of the room, and caused me to sit down beside
him, and spake to me thus in the Spanish tongue.

"God bless thee, my son; I will give thee the greatest jewel I have.
For I will impart unto thee, for the love of God and men, a relation
of the true state of Salomon's House. Son, to make you know the true
state of Salomon's House, I will keep this order. First, I will set
forth unto you the end of our foundation. Secondly, the preparations
and instruments we have for our works. Thirdly, the several
employments and functions whereto our fellows are assigned. And
fourthly, the ordinances and rites which we observe.

"The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and secret
motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to
the effecting of all things possible.

"The Preparations and Instruments are these. We have large and deep
caves of several depths: the deepest are sunk six hundred fathom: and
some of them are digged and made under great hills and mountains: so
that if you reckon together the depth of the hill and the depth of the
cave, they are (some of them) above three miles deep. For we find,
that the depth of a hill, and the depth of a cave from the flat, is
the same thing; both remote alike, from the sun and heaven's beams,
and from the open air. These caves we call the Lower Region; and we
use them for all coagulations, indurations, refrigerations, and
conservations of bodies. We use them likewise for the imitation of
natural mines; and the producing also of new artificial metals, by
compositions and materials which we use, and lay there for many years.
We use them also sometimes, (which may seem strange,) for curing of
some diseases, and for prolongation of life in some hermits that
choose to live there, well accommodated of all things necessary, and
indeed live very long; by whom also we learn many things.

"We have burials in several earths, where we put diverse cements, as
the Chineses do their porcellain. But we have them in greater variety,
and some of them more fine. We have also great variety of composts"
and soils, for the making of the earth fruitful.

"We have high towers; the highest about half a mile in height; and
some of them likewise set upon high mountains; so that the vantage of
the hill with the tower is in the highest of them three miles at least.
And these places we call the Upper Region; accounting the air
between the high places and the low, as a Middle Region. We use these
towers, according to their several heights, and situations, for
insolation, refrigeration, conservation; and for the view of divers
meteors; as winds, rain, snow, hail; and some of the fiery meteors
also. And upon them, in some places, are dwellings of hermits, whom
we visit sometimes, and instruct what to observe.

"We have great lakes, both salt, and fresh; whereof we have use for
the fish and fowl. We use them also for burials of some natural
bodies: for we find a difference in things buried in earth or in air
below the earth, and things buried in water. We have also pools, of
which some do strain fresh water out of salt; and others by art do
turn fresh water into salt. We have also some rocks in the midst of
the sea, and some bays upon the shore for some works, wherein is
required the air and vapor of the sea,. We have likewise violent
streams and cataracts, which serve us for many motions: and likewise
engines for multiplying and enforcing of winds, to set also on going
diverse motions.

"We have also a number of artificial wells and fountains, made in
imitation of the natural sources and baths; as tincted upon" vitriol,
sulphur, steel, brass, lead, nitre, and other minerals. And again we
have little wells for infusions of many things, where the waters take
the virtue quicker and better, than in vessels or basins. And amongst
them we have a water which we call Water of Paradise, being, by that
we do to it made very sovereign for health, and prolongation of life.

"We have also great and spacious houses where we imitate and
demonstrate meteors; as snow, hail, rain, some artificial rains of
bodies and not of water, thunders, lightnings; also generations of
bodies in air; as frogs, flies, and divers others.

"We have also certain chambers, which we call Chambers of Health,
where we qualify the air as we think good and proper for the cure of
divers diseases, and preservation of health.

"We have also fair and large baths, of several mixtures, for the cure
of diseases, and the restoring of man's body from arefaction: and
others for the confirming of it in strength of sinewes, vital parts,
and the very juice and substance of the body.

"We have also large and various orchards and gardens; wherein we do
not so much respect beauty, as variety of ground and soil, proper for
divers trees and herbs: and some very spacious, where trees and
berries are set whereof we make divers kinds of drinks, besides the
vineyards. In these we practise likewise all conclusions of grafting,
and inoculating as well of wild-trees as fruit-trees, which produceth
many effects. And we make (by art) in the same orchards and gardens,
trees and flowers to come earlier or later than their seasons; and to
come up and bear more speedily than by their natural course they do.
We make them also by art greater much than their nature; and their
fruit greater and sweeter and of differing taste, smell, colour, and
figure, from their nature. And many of them we so order, as they
become of medicinal use.

"We have also means to make divers plants rise by mixtures of earths
without seeds; and likewise to make divers new plants, differing from
the vulgar; and to make one tree or plant turn into another.

"We have also parks and enclosures of all sorts of beasts and birds
which we use not only for view or rareness, but likewise for
dissections and trials; that thereby we may take light what may be
wrought upon the body of man. Wherein we find many strange effects;
as continuing life in them, though divers parts, which you account
vital, be perished and taken forth; resuscitating of some that seem
dead in appearance; and the like. We try also all poisons and other
medicines upon them, as well of chirurgery, as physic. By art
likewise, we make them greater or taller than their kind is; and
contrariwise dwarf them, and stay their growth: we make them more
fruitful and bearing than their kind is; and contrariwise barren and
not generative. Also we make them differ in colour, shape, activity,
many ways. We find means to make commixtures and copulations of
different kinds; which have produced many new kinds, and them not
barren, as the general opinion is. We make a number of kinds of
serpents, worms, flies, fishes, of putrefaction; whereof some are
advanced (in effect) to be perfect creatures, like bests or birds; and
have sexes, and do propagate. Neither do we this by chance, but we
know beforehand, of what matter and commixture what kind of those
creatures will arise.

"We have also particular pools, where we make trials upon fishes, as
we have said before of beasts and birds.

"We have also places for breed and generation of those kinds of worms
and flies which are of special use; such as are with you your
silk-worms and bees.

"I will not hold you long with recounting of our brewhouses,
bake-houses, and kitchens, where are made divers drinks, breads, and
meats, rare and of special effects. Wines we have of grapes; and
drinks of other juice of fruits, of grains, and of roots; and of
mixtures with honey, sugar, manna, and fruits dried, and decocted;
Also of the tears or woundings of trees; and of the pulp of canes.
And these drinks are of several ages, some to the age or last of forty
years. We have drinks also brewed with several herbs, and roots, and
spices; yea with several fleshes, and white-meats; whereof some of the
drinks are such, as they are in effect meat and drink both: so that
divers, especially in age, do desire to live with them, with little or
no meat or bread. And above all, we strive to have drink of extreme
thin parts, to insinuate into the body, and yet without all biting,
sharpness, or fretting; insomuch as some of them put upon the back of
your hand will, with a little stay, pass through to the palm, and yet
taste mild to the mouth. We have also waters which we ripen in that
fashion, as they become nourishing; so that they are indeed excellent
drink; and.many will use no other. Breads we have of several grains,
roots, and kernels; yea and some of flesh and fish dried; with divers
kinds of leavenings and seasonings: so that some do extremely move
appetites; some do nourish so, as divers do live of them, without any
other meat; who live very long. So for meats, we have some of them so
beaten and made tender and mortified,' yet without all corrupting, as
a weak heat of the stomach will turn them into good chylus; as well as
a strong heat would meat otherwise prepared. We have some meats also
and breads and drinks, which taken by men enable them to fast long
after; and some other, that used make the very flesh of men's bodies
sensibly' more hard and tough and their strength far greater than
otherwise it would be.

"We have dispensatories, or shops of medicines. Wherein you may
easily think, if we have such variety of plants and living creatures
more than you have in Europe, (for we know what you have,) the simples,
drugs, and ingredients of medicines, must likewise be in so much the
greater variety. We have them likewise of divers ages, and long
fermentations. And for their preparations, we have not only all
manner of exquisite distillations and separations, and especially by
gentle heats and percolations through divers strainers, yea and
substances; but also exact forms of composition, whereby they
incorporate almost, as they were natural simples.

"We have also divers mechanical arts, which you have not; and stuffs
made by them; as papers, linen, silks, tissues; dainty works of
feathers of wonderful lustre; excellent dies, and, many others; and
shops likewise, as well for such as are not brought into vulgar use
amongst us as for those that are. For you must know that of the
things before recited, many of them are grown into use throughout the
kingdom; but yet, if they did flow from our invention, we have of them
also for patterns and principals.

"We have also furnaces of great diversities, and that keep great
diversity of heats; fierce and quick; strong and constant; soft and
mild; blown, quiet; dry, moist; and the like. But above all, we have
heats, in imitation of the Sun's and heavenly bodies' heats, that pass
divers inequalities, and (as it were) orbs, progresses, and returns,
whereby we produce admirable effects. Besides, we have heats of dungs;
and of bellies and maws of living creatures, and of their bloods and
bodies; and of hays and herbs laid up moist; of lime unquenched; and
such like. Instruments also which generate heat only by motion. And
farther, places for strong insulations; and again, places under the
earth, which by nature, or art, yield heat. These divers heats we use,
as the nature of the operation, which we intend, requireth.

"We have also perspective-houses, where we make demonstrations of all
lights and radiations; and of all colours: and out of things
uncoloured and transparent, we can represent unto you all several
colours; not in rain-bows, (as it is in gems, and prisms,) but of
themselves single. We represent also all multiplications of light,
which we carry to great distance, and make so sharp as to discern
small points and lines. Also all colourations of light; all delusions
and deceits of the sight, in figures, magnitudes, motions, colours all
demonstrations of shadows. We find also divers means, yet unknown to
you, of producing of light originally from divers bodies. We procure
means of seeing objects afar off; as in the heaven and remote places;
and represent things near as afar off; and things afar off as near;
making feigned distances. We have also helps for the sight, far above
spectacles and glasses in use. We have also glasses and means to see
small and minute bodies perfectly and distinctly; as the shapes and
colours of small flies and worms, grains and flaws in gems, which
cannot otherwise be seen, observations in urine and blood not
otherwise to be seen. We make artificial rain-bows, halo's, and
circles about light. We represent also all manner of reflexions,
refractions, and multiplications' of visual beams of objects.

"We have also precious stones of all kinds, many of them of great
beauty, and to you unknown; crystals likewise; and glasses of divers
kinds; and amongst them some of metals vitrificated, and other
materials besides those of which you make glass. Also a number of
fossils, and imperfect minerals, which you have not. Likewise
loadstones of prodigious virtue; and other rare stones, both natural
and artificial.

"We have also sound-houses, where we practise and demonstrate all
sounds, and their generation. We have harmonies which you have not,
of quarter-sounds, and lesser slides of sounds. Divers instruments of
music likewise to you unknown, some sweeter than any you have,
together with bells and rings that are dainty and sweet. We represent
small sounds as great and deep; likewise great sounds extenuate and
sharp; we make divers tremblings and warblings of sounds, which in
their original are entire. We represent and imitate all articulate
sounds and letters, and the voices and notes of beasts and birds. We
have certain helps which set to the ear do further the hearing greatly.
We have also divers strange and artificial echoes, reflecting the
voice many times, and as it were tossing it: and some that give back
the voice louder than it came, some shriller, and some deeper; yea,
some rendering the voice differing in the letters or articulate sound
from that they receive. We have also means to convey sounds in trunks
and pipes, in strange lines and distances.

"We have also perfume-houses; wherewith we join also practices of
taste. We multiply smells, which may seem strange. We imitate smells,
making all smells to breathe outs of other mixtures than those that
give them. We make divers imitations of taste likewise, so that they
will deceive any man's taste. And in this house we contain also a
confiture-house; where we make all sweet-meats, dry and moist; and
divers pleasant wines, milks, broths, and sallets; in far greater
variety than you have.

"We have also engine-houses, where are prepared engines and
instruments for all sorts of motions. There we imitate and practise
to make swifter motions than any you have, either out of your muskets
or any engine that you have: and to make them and multiply them more
easily, and with small force, by wheels and other means: and to make
them stronger and more violent than yours are; exceeding your greatest
cannons arid basilisks. We represent also ordnance and instruments of
war, and engines of all kinds: and likewise new mixtures and
compositions of gun-powder, wild-fires burning in water, and
unquenchable. Also fireworks of all variety both for pleasure and use.
We imitate also flights of birds; we have some degrees of flying in
the air. We have ships and boats for going under water, and brooking
of seas; also swimming-girdles and supporters. We have divers curious
clocks, and other like motions of return: and some perpetual motions.
We imitate also motions of living creatures, by images, of men, beasts,
birds, fishes, and serpents. We have also a great number of other
various motions, strange for equality, fineness, and subtilty.

"We have also a mathematical house, where are represented all
instruments, as well of geometry as astronomy, exquisitely made.

"We have also houses of deceits of the senses; where we represent all
manner of feats of juggling, false apparitions, impostures, and
illusions; and their fallacies. And surely you will easily believe
that we that have so many things truly natural which induce admiration,
could in a world of particulars deceive the senses, if we would
disguise those things and labour to make them seem more miraculous.
But we do hate all impostures, and lies; insomuch as we have severely
forbidden it to all our fellows, under pain of ignominy and fines,
that they do not show any natural work or thing, adorned or swelling;
but only pure as it is, and without all affectation of strangeness.

"These are (my son) the riches of Salomon's House.

"For the several employments and offices of our fellows; we have
twelve that sail into foreign countries, under the names of other
nations, (for our own we conceal); who bring us the books, and
abstracts, and patterns of experiments of all other parts. These we
call Merchants of Light.

"We have three that collect the experiments which are in all books.
These we call Depredators.

"We have three that collect the experiments of all mechanical arts;
and also of liberal sciences; and also of practices which are not
brought into arts. These we call Mystery-men.

"We have three that try new experiments, such as themselves think good.
These we call Pioneers or Miners.

"We have three that draw the experiments of the former four into
titles and tables, to give the better light for the drawing of
observations and axioms out of them. These we call Compilers.

"We have three that bend themselves, looking into the experiments of
their fellows, and cast about how to draw out of them things of use
and practise for man's life, and knowledge, as well for works as for
plain demonstration of causes, means of natural divinations, and the
easy and clear discovery of the virtues and parts of bodies. These we
call Dowry-men or Benefactors.

"Then after divers meetings and consults of our whole number, to
consider of the former labours and collections, we have three that
take care, out of them, to direct new experiments, of a higher light,
more penetrating into nature than the former. These we call Lamps.

"We have three others that do execute the experiments so directed, and
report them. These we call Inoculators.

"Lastly, we have three that raise the former discoveries by
experiments into greater observations, axioms, and aphorisms. These
we call Interpreters of Nature.

"We have also, as you must think, novices and apprentices, that the
succession of the former employed men do not fail; besides, a great
number of servants and attendants, men and women. And this we do also:
we have consultations, which of the inventions and experiences which
we have discovered shall be published, and which not: and take all an
oath of secrecy, for the concealing of those which we think fit to
keep secret: though some of those we do reveal sometimes to the state
and some not.

"For our ordinances and rites: we have two very long and fair
galleries: in one of these we place patterns and samples of all manner
of the more rare and excellent inventions in the other we place the
statues of all principal inventors. There we have the statue of your
Columbus, that discovered the West Indies: also the inventor of ships:
your- monk that was the inventor of ordnance and of gunpowder: the
inventor of music: the inventor of letters: the inventor of printing:
the inventor of observations of astronomy: the inventor of works in
metal: the inventor of glass: the inventor of silk of the worm: the
inventor of wine: the inventor of corn and bread: the inventor of
sugars: and all these, by more certain tradition than you have. Then
have we divers inventors of our own, of excellent works; which since
you have not seen, it were too long to make descriptions of them; and
besides, in the right understanding of those descriptions you might
easily err. For upon every invention of value, we erect a statue to
the inventor, and give him a liberal and honourable reward. These
statues are some of brass; some of marble and touch-stone; some of
cedar and other special woods gilt and adorned; some of iron; some of
silver; some of gold.

"We have certain hymns and services, which we say daily, of Lord and
thanks to God for his marvellous works: and forms of prayers,
imploring his aid and blessing for the illumination of our labours,
and the turning of them into good and holy uses.

"Lastly, we have circuits or visits of divers principal cities of the
kingdom; where, as it cometh to pass, we do publish such new
profitable inventions as we think good. And we do also declare
natural divinations of diseases, plagues, swarms-of hurtful creatures,
scarcity, tempests, earthquakes, great inundations, comets,
temperature of the year, and divers other things; and we give counsel
thereupon, what the people shall do for the prevention and remedy of

And when he had said this, he stood up; and I, as I had been taught,
kneeled down, and he laid his right hand upon my head, and said; "God
bless thee, my son; and God bless this relation, which I have made. I
give thee leave to publish it for the good of other nations; for we
here are in God's bosom, a land unknown." And so he left me; having
assigned a value of about two thousand ducats, for a bounty to me and
my fellows. For they give great largesses where they come upon all

[The rest was not perfected.]

End of this Project Gutenberg Etext of "The New Atlantis" by Francis Bacon

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