English Utopian Fictions, 1516–1800
Chapter IV Utopian Institutions, Utopian People
The paradigmatic mode of constructing the macro- and micro-spaces of the utopian land manifesting itself in the strict organisation of its “physi- cal” aspects, often accompanied by their aestheticisation,1 applies also to the socio-political organisation which exhibits the same qualities of order, regularity, balance, and aptness as its “material” elements forming a con- sistent sequence of a metonymic mise-en-abîme: “This Cittie is not onely adorned with beautie of sumptuous Temples, Towers & costly Houses, pleasant Orchards, & sweete Gardens, but cheefely decked with notable gouerment and celestial Justice” (Listra, 293); “[I]t was so well ordered that it could not be mended; for it was governed without secret and deceiving Policy; neither was there any ambitious, factions, malicious detractions, civil dissentions, or home-bred quarrels, divisions in Religion, Foreign Wars, &c. but all the people lived in a peaceful society, united Tranquility, and Religious Conformity” (The Blazing World, 102). In the kingdom of Macaria “the Kings and the Governours doe live in great honour and riches, and the people doe live in great plenty, prosperitie, health, peace, and happiness” (2), and in the land of Sevarambians “there is such an excel- lent order and harmony in all respects, that we injoy Peace both in Divine and Civil Af fairs, and there is no jarring, disputations, and dissensions, as amongst you in Europe, but a blessed concord and agreement” (89). The aesthetic aspect of the social and political organisation is explicitly stated in A Description of Spensonia: “The wise and beneficent regulations...
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