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practicable in this Nation, or included in or subordinate to the former, as shearing of Sheepe, Thrashing of Corne, &c, or not vulgarly taken for the parts of Husbandry, (though indeed they are so) as the Digging of Coal-Pits, and production of all Minerals, Quarries of Stone, or useful earths, &c. As these are encouraged and enabled, so is a Nation more or lesse prosperous, or outwardly happy; both these in their distinct natures or uses are most excellent; and are also (at least ought to be) inseparable companions: of which if either precede it is Ingenuity; for that Industry as it is distinct from Ingenuity, can do nothing till the other have contrived what and how. Men take him for a fool or a mad man, that having store of wealth in his trunck, doth yet complain of want. What though the key be rusty for want of use ? 'tis easier to get that Scoured, than to obtaine such another treasure. And surely I may upon most sure grounds say, that our Native Countrey, hath in its bowels an (even almost) infinite, and inexhaustible treasure; much of which hath long laine hid, and is but new begun to be discovered. It may seem a large boast or meer Hyperbole to say, We enjoy it not, know not, use not, the one-tenth part of that plenty or wealth and happinesse, that our earth can, and (Ingenuity and Industry well encouraged) will (by God's blessing) yield.
Now whereas there hath been earnestly desired (in the mean time, till the Publique Magistrate shall be at leasure, to give a more strong and ample encouragement and assistance to a designe so exceedingly for the Honour and advancement of the whole nation) the erection of a private Colledge or Society of good Husbandry; wherein some may teach, some learne, and all practise the whole and every part of this so honourable an art, so deep a mystery, and that not onely in the more customary and common way, but according to the most excellent rules, that Ingenuity and Experience gained by rational trials and real experiments have or can attaine to; that so the honour, wealth, and happines of this state may be multiplied, even before itself is aware, and the duller members thereof worne by emulation or example to such practises for their own private and publique good, as no persueasion nor force could ever have effectually led them to. And in respect that there are already divers propositions made, and some engagements also in order thereto; so as the worke hath begun to move, and is dayly advanced, and endeavored to be advanced by some such faithfull branches; as first and chiefly seek the prosperity of the whole stock, but have not sufficient power in their owne hands to go through with, and bring to perfection this great and good work; It is therefore propounded. First, to those, whose great wealth is joired with as great vertue and love to their Countrey; And will as well as Power to advance the Publique good, without seeking their own private benefit.
That whereas it is manifest; that such a colledge or society can not be erected without the building or buying (at least a long lease at an easie rent, if not the inheritance) of some large and convenient house, with some good quantity of land adjoyning, and belonging to it, (though that is not all the land which must be had for this purpose ;) and it is as manifest that such a purchase can not be made without good sums of money.
It is therefore desired, that all such well-wishers to their countrey's wealth and prosperity; be pleased to contribute such sums to this good and laudable worke, as in their own wisdomes and bounties appear necessary, and deliver the same into the hands of Mr. Samuel Hartlib, whose abundant zeale for the publique good, renders him most worthy to be intrusted therewith, till there shall be a competent stock obtained for the setting forward of this great and good worke before mentioned; and to subscribe their names and sums; that so the whole Society (when erected) and the whole nation (when in due time they shall have tasted the sweet effects from hence proceeding,) may know to whome to render all due thanks through all ages, as to the bountiful promoters of, by contributing to a designe so much conducing to the good of the present and prosperity of all ages to come: a plentifull reward to every noble spirit.
It is therefore also propounded, secondly:
To those whose good wills possibly are great, but their powers lesser then the former; and are therefore necessarily withheld from such free and voluntary contributing
That whereas the knowledge and good influence of the actings of this society and its members, can not without a good large, and considerable stock encrease in its number and power, nor cast itselfe into all the formes of practise in the several parts of this art before mentioned, or that may be mentioned: and for want of which, the maine end of the erection of this Colledge or Society would not be obtained, viz., the infusing into the more sturdy Husbandmen of the nation in generall (now too much wedded to their more customary and lesser profitable working) the more perfect principles of their own art, and such additional uses and instruments, as shall make their practises more national, easie, and really effectual, and beneficial, as to themselves: so to the advancement and encrease of publique plenty and wellfare. It is therefore offered, that whosoever shall disburse and engage any sum, for the encrease of that stock, and consequently the imployment of the Society: Shall by an unerring, unaltering rule, receive yearly; while his money remaines in the hands of the Said Colledge, for every 100. pound, 20. pound, and so for a greater or lesser sum proportionably. And if any particular person shall desire to have his sum disbursed, to be imployed in any one particular single part of this copious art here before mentioned; he shall have his desire fulfill’d: provided that his stock be sufficient to drive on that way; and that he be contented to forbeare his revenue till Nature hath produced the returne. And whosoever shall thus engage, shall at any time (upon six moneths warning given) call in and again receive his sum formerly disbursed. And all those that shall thus engage, are desired to enter their names and Sums, by subscribing and delivering the money into the hands of Mr. Samuel Hartlib. And for security they shall have; As to law, the Propounders bond; as to Love, the word of him that desires to prove himselfe a just and honest Man, to God and man, (to his utmost power) and to all engagers a faith. ful Steward.
PROPOSITIONS, for the erecting a Colledge of Husbandry: and in order thereto for the taking in of Pupills or apprentices: and also Friends or Fellowes of the Same Colledge or Society.
I PROPOUND, that there may be a Colledge or School of all the sorts and parts of good-Husbandry erected; that so the knowledge and practise may become more universal, and men may have more sweet invitations and stronger allurements, to seek the knowledge of this deep and excellent mystery; and practise it to the advancement of a more general and Publique good; Not as now in a sordid clownish way for meer selfe profit; nor as now according to unsound and rather customary than rational rules and grounds; Nor as now in a dishonorable drudging way; which indeed is the grand cause that hinders or takes off the most ingenious spirits (which yet are most fit to be engaged.) For it is plain, that the chief reason, why this so excellent an art, hath hitherto arrived at no greater perfection, is; that no publique course of incouragement and high prizing the same hath been thought of; and so the best wits shut out, that should have searched it out, and discovered this art more perfoctly; which once generally known, together with the vast advantages thereby arising, as to the whole Nation; so to every particular practitioner; we need not fear to want disciples. It is most evident, that those few ingenious persons, that have looked into the wayes of improvement (having some thing also to work upon) of late years have advanced their particular interests to a double or trebble proportion. I am very confident, that those very improvements may again be doubled by yet better wayes.
That therefore Ingenuity may be ransomed from her too tedious captivity; and Industry awaked from a kind of lethargie; occasioned through wonted discontent; I PROPOUND more particularly, (to lay a little foundation for such a Colledge or Society, which I doubt not, time, emulation, and my own profit, will agree to finish) That If any person of quality have a son or kins-man 15 years old or upwards, with whom he will give (besides well suiting him with all necessary wearing apparel, and more, to the value of twenty marks; in such other necessaries, as the undertaker shall appoint) 60l. 18. in ready (£ I suppose) money at his first entrance, and bind him apprentice for seven years; he shall be in that time faithfully instructed in both the Theorick and Practick parts of this (of all others) most auncient, noble, and honestly gainfull art, Trade, or Mystery. And at the end of that time, he shall receive at one entire payment to set up withal, 300 pound. And shall for foure years next ensuing the end of the said seven years, receive at the end of every year 100. pound more; tho better to support him till he have taken sufficient root.
NOTE, That none are to be actually entertained till there be at least 10. entered; at which entrance, they are to pay onely 10. pound apiece, and for farther performances reciprocal Subscriptions. And when there are 10. entered, they are all to be ready upon a moneths warning to appear, pay down the other 50. pound apiece.
Note, That not above 361. will be entertained at first, neither afterwards; but as by death, expiration of time, &c., there shall happen to be some wanting of that Number.
Into this Colledge also any man may enter himselfe as a free-man, or friend to, and Member of the Society; upon the following conditions.
1. He must pay down at his entrance 50. pound, as given to the Society for the encouragement of Ingenuity in the practise of Experiments, for the obtaining of yet more and more perfection in this (almost) infinite Science.
2. He must bring with him some skill, at least Ingenuity; and testifie himself to be a well-willer to the profession and professors of Good-Husbandry; and particularly to the Master and Fellowes of this Society.
3. He must produce at least 250. pound as a Stock to set up for Himselfe, to be driven by himselfe, according to the best direction and assistance to be given by the Master and Fellowes of the Colledge.
4. He shall (not Swear, but) Subscribe himself under hand and Seale, a faithful seeker of the advancement of the Mystery and Society; and to be aiding and assisting, to the Master and the Fellowes to his power, at all times, and in all cases, (his own interest alwayes preserved) and to consent and submit to all such orders, as shall be from time to time made, by the agreement of the Master and the major part of the Fellowes of the said Colledge, for and concerning the same Society, and to stand to their award in any case of difference: and not directly or indirectly to discover all or any part of the same art, or Mystery to any person whatsoever, upon any pretence whatsoever, without their consent first had and obtained.
5. He must be alwayes in commons at the Hall of the said Society; at the rate of 8s. per week, or such other rates more or lesse, as the then present state of things shall require. And he is alwayes to pay off all arreares at the end of each moneth at the farthest, without any deductions for absence how long or short soever. But if he keep a servant (who must also be in commons when present) he shall be allowed to deduct for his absence. As also he is not to be accomptable to the stable for his horse when absent.
6. He shall at his first entrance, pay for himselfe 10. pound, for his servant 5. pound, for his horse 40s. for their habitation; besides providing for all necessary furniture; but be ever after free till death or departure.
7. Lastly, he must be a single man; and if he shall at any time marry, he is from thenceforth to be accompted dead to the Society, to all intents and purposes whatsoever; save onely in point of debt or discovery. HONORED SIR
The more I finde and consider of the generall backwardnesse of men, to accept or joine with me in the wayes by me propounded, for Mutual Prosperity; the more I am taught to view and review the things propounded, and that impartially. In order to this, I finde upon enquiry, that the maine objections against what I offer are three, viz:
First, The supposed impossibility of performing on my part) the thing promised.
Secondly, The Newnesse of the Invention or Contrivance, which renders it within the list of things suspected.
Thirdly, The non appearance of any such good security as is held sufficient to encourage men to joyne with me freely, fully and speedily (that is, seasonably,) to these I answer thus:
First, upon most assured, and generally experimented grounds I affirme; that one acre of good ground to be sowed with wheate in the more usuall way of Husbandry, will one place in this nation with another) require the charges or expence following, viz., for rent 138. 4d. Dung 24 loads at ls. 3d. per load £1 10s. Seed 9 pecks, usually worth 138. 6d. (now more) twice ploughing, sowing, harrowing, &c., usually 10s. (now more,) for weeding 3s., for reaping, &c., 6s. 8d. for fencing one (acre amongst many,) 3s. 4d. Which in all amounts to £3. 198. 10d. Out of which deduct 20s. which will remaine to be accompted with the following crops, in respect of the vertue of the Dung remaining still in the land. Thus the charge of sowing one acre of Wheat, amounts to 2 pound 198. 10d., and for the returne of this, it is not unusuall to have 3, 4 or 5 quarters: but tako it at the lesser, and more generally certain rate, of three quarters on an acre, and value that at the more constant and lesser price of 58. a bushel, or 40s, a qr., yet the returne amounts to 6 pound, which is double to the charge. I could illustrate this with many other examples as full, but let this suffice.
To the second I say, that the newnesse of my better way of planting or disposing of Corne into the ground, so as (God blessing my endeavors) to obtaine a yet greater increase; is so farre (well weighed) from being a reason to hinder:
that it is to me, and may be to others (when once rightly understood) a spurre to hasten towards such an engagement or conjunction: When it is considered that the invention is yet our own, entirely; and consequently the most just and ready way to wealth and all that outward honor and happiness (that accompanies riches well gotten) is open to us, and to us principally; we having the opportunity (while we prepare for, and open the door to so great a Publique Good.) to christen our own childe first, (as they say) which also is most lawful and appointed, that the ox that treadeth out the fodder, shall not be muzled. Which of all those (almost infinite) wayes or means, by which man bath been made instrumental to the increase of his own well-being, was not in one age or other, as New as this Invention of mine doth seem to be in this? Ceartainly it is not the Newnesse, but the Vanity or Invalidity of any Invention, that layes it open to the dislike of the more wise and noble persons: or if the newnesse of an invention can any way render it fit to be. Suspected, it is onely in such as being altogether new, seem also to disagree with natural reason, and treado quite beside the path of experience; of this kinde it would be, if a man should pretend to make bread of stones; but to say, that I can make more or better bread of the same wheate, will appear impossible to none but inconsiderate persons. And the thing which I hold forth is nothing else, but to screw the most profound mystery of good Husbandry a note or two Higher; but to do the same thing by a better way, and to more advantage.
To the third and last, before I answer I will so farre digresse, as to enquire, what is or can be here meant by security? If it be required in the most high and strict sence, 'tis vaine and impossible to be had in humane affaires, and is not to be bad or hoped for in this world, where the moth and rust do corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: this is only to be had in Heaven; and can be no way procured on earth; but by laying up the treasures of good workes: therefore he that will put forth his money upon good security indeed, must vent it in the wayes of Charity and Piety, as relating to God's glory and his soules eternal happinesse; at least in a way of bounty and noblenesse for the Publique good of his neighbour and native countrye, as relating to his good fame after death. But if by security be meant something more moderate and ingenuous, onely a providential care to defend a man's selfe from being abused; so farre as such prosecutions are just, and agreeable to good reason, and the nature of the thing in question. I allow; and approve of it altogether; but not when it rather proceeds from forwardnesses base and groundlesse suspition, and a naturall aversness and enmity to all good. Thus when a man lends to another Politically as a meer man, he requires bills, bonds, morgages, or the like. But if he gives he doth not so, neither if he lend to the poor, or to persons so just, that he esteems their word sufficient. I suppose there are very many in London, that do frequently take up great sums without giving any formal security; nay that would take it for a great affront to have such a thing required of them; and yet surely it is no absolute miracle to see such a one break: why then are men so easie in that, and so difficult in this? or is it for the Mutual advance of Trade? Why, that very argument serves here too; unlesse they be resolved to advance no trade but their own. And even that also comes in here; for what trade can more advance the Engagers Private, then that which is faithfully driven on for the properity of him and his posterity? or what can more magnify a great and populous city, then to stand in the midst