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Utopians plying their trades; from a 1730 French translation of 'Utopia'

Excerpt from Utopia, Book 2.

[TRADES OF THE UTOPIANS]

      Beside agriculture, so common to them, every man hath some peculiar trade, as the manufacture of wool or flax, masonry, smith's or carpenter's work. No other trade is in great esteem among them. Throughout the island they wear one sort of clothes, without any other distinction than what is necessary for different sexes, and the married and unmarried. The fashion, never changes, is easy and agreeable, suited to the climate, and for summer as well as winter.

      Every family maketh clothes for itself; and women as well as men all learn some one of the trades before mentioned. The women generally engage in the wool and flax, leaving the ruder trades to the men. One trade is generally followed by father and son, their inclinations often agreeing. But if any man's genius pointeth another way, he is adopted into a family professing the trade he prefers, and care is taken by his father and by the magistrate that his master be a proper person. If, when one hath learned a certain trade, he desire to acquire another, that is also allowed, and is managed as before. And when he hath learned both, he follows that which he prefers, unless the public hath more occasion for one than the other.




Cayley, Arthur, the Younger, ed. Memoirs of Sir Thomas More, &c.. Vol II.
London: Cadell and Davis, 1808. 63-64.




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