Utopiensibus

utopians-dining

Syphograntorum praecipuum ac prope unicum negotium est curare ac prospicere, ne quisquam desideat otiosus, sed uti suae quisque arti sedulo incumbat, nec ab summo mane tamen ad multam usque noctem perpetuo labore, uelut iumenta, fatigatus. nam ea plusquam servilis aerumna est; quae tamen ubique fere opificum vita est, exceptis Utopiensibus; qui, cum in horas viginti quattuor aequales diem, connumerata nocte, dividant, sex dumtaxat operi deputant; tres ante meridiem, a quibus prandium ineunt; atque a prandio duas pomeridianas horas cum interquieverint, tres deinde rursus labori datas, cena claudunt. cum primam horam ab meridie numerent, sub octavam cubitum eunt; horas octo somnus vindicat.
quicquid inter operis horas ac somni cibique medium esset, id suo cuiusque arbitrio permittitur, non quo per luxum aut segnitiem abutatur, sed quod ab opificio suo liberum ex animi sententia in aliud quippiam studii bene collocet. has intercapedines plerique impendunt litteris. sollemne est enim publicas cotidie lectiones haberi antelucanis horis, quibus ut intersint, ii dumtaxat adiguntur, qui ad litteras nominatim selecti sunt; ceterum ex omni ordine, mares simul ac feminae, multitudo maxima ad audiendas lectiones alii alias, prout cuiusque fert natura, confluit. hoc ipsum tempus tamen, si quis arti suae malit insumere, quod multis usu venit, quorum animus in nullius contemplatione disciplinae consurgit, haud prohibetur; quin laudatur quoque ut utilis reipublicae. super cenam tum unam horam ludendo producunt, aestate in hortis, hieme in aulis illis communibus, in quibus comedunt. ibi aut musicen exercent, aut se sermone recreant.
(Thomas More, Utopia 2)

The chief, and almost the only, business of the Syphogrants is to take care that no man may live idle, but that every one may follow his trade diligently; yet they do not wear themselves out with perpetual toil from morning to night, as if they were beasts of burden, which as it is indeed a heavy slavery, so it is everywhere the common course of life amongst all mechanics except the Utopians: but they, dividing the day and night into twenty-four hours, appoint six of these for work, three of which are before dinner and three after; they then sup, and at eight o’clock, counting from noon, go to bed and sleep eight hours: the rest of their time, besides that taken up in work, eating, and sleeping, is left to every man’s discretion; yet they are not to abuse that interval to luxury and idleness, but must employ it in some proper exercise, according to their various inclinations, which is, for the most part, reading. It is ordinary to have public lectures every morning before daybreak, at which none are obliged to appear but those who are marked out for literature; yet a great many, both men and women, of all ranks, go to hear lectures of one sort or other, according to their inclinations: but if others that are not made for contemplation, choose rather to employ themselves at that time in their trades, as many of them do, they are not hindered, but are rather commended, as men that take care to serve their country. After supper they spend an hour in some diversion, in summer in their gardens, and in winter in the halls where they eat, where they entertain each other either with music or discourse. (tr. Robert M. Adams)

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