ficeth to maintain their Bridge, and Conduits, and to pay their Officers and Servants. Their Toll doth not any more than pay their Fee-Farm that they pay to the Prince. Their Issues for Default of Appearances be never levied, and the Profits of their Courts of Justice do go to particular Mens Hands. Arguments hereof be these two; one, that they can do nothing of extraordinary Charge, without a general Contribution: Another, that they have suffered such as have born the chief Office amongst them, and were become Bankrupt, to depart the City without Relief; which I think they neither would nor could have done, if the common Treausre had sufficed to cover their Shame; hereof therefore we need not be afraid. The publick Armour and Munition of this City remaineth in the Halls of the Companies, as it doth throughout the whole Realm, for a great Part, in the Parish Churches; neither is that kept together, but only for Obedience to the Law, which commandeth it; and therefore if that threaten Danger to the State, it may, by another Law, be taken from them, and committed to a more safe Armory.

The private Riches of London, resteth chiefly in the Hands of the Merchants and Retailers; for Artificers have not much to spare; and Labourers had Need that it were given unto them. Now how necessary and serviceable the Estate of Merchandize is to this Realm, it may partly appear by the Practice of that peaceable, politck, and rich Prince, King Henry the Seventh, of whom Polydore (writing his Life) saith thus, Mercatores ille sæpenumero pecunia multa data gratuite juvabat, ut mercatura ars una omnium cunctis æquè mortalibus tum commoda, tum necessaria, in suo Regno copiosior esset; i.e. He often freely helped the Merchants, by giving them much Money, that the Trade of Merchandize, so equally both profitable and necessary to all, without Exception, might encrease in his Realm: But chiefly by the inestimable Commodities that grow thereby. For who knoweth not that we have extream Need of many Things, whereof foreign Countries have great Store, and that we may spare many Things whereof they have Need? Or who is ignorant of this, that we have no Mines of Silver or Gold within our Realm, so that the Increase of our Coin and Bullion cometh from elsewhere; and yet nevertheless, we be both fed, clad, and otherwise served with foreign Commodities and Delights, as plentiful as with our domestical? Which thing cometh to pass by the Means of Merchandize only, which importeth Necessaries from other Countries, and exporteth the Superfluities of our own. For seeing we have no Way to increase our Treasure, by Mines of Gold or Silver at Home, and can have nothing without Money or Ware from other Countries abroad, it followeth necessarily, that if we follow the Counsel of that good old Husband Marcus Cato, saying, Oportet patremfamilias vendacem esse, non emacem; i.e. It behoves the Master of a Family to be a Seller, not a Buyer. And do carry more Commodities in Value over the Seas, than we bring hither from thence; that then the Realm shall receive that Overplus in Money: But if we bring from beyond the Seas Merchandize of more Value than that which we do send over may countervail; then the Realm payeth for that Overplus in ready Money, and consequently is a Loser by that ill Husbandry. And therefore in this Part great and needful Regard must be had, that Symmetria and due Proportion be kept; least otherwise either the Realm be defrauded of her Treasure, or the Subjects corrupted in Vanity, by excessive Importation of superfluous and needless Merchandize; or else that we feel Penury, even in our greatest Plenty and Store, by immoderate Exportation of our own needful Commodities. Other the Benefits that Merchandize bringeth, shall hereafter appear in the general Recital of the Commodities that come by London.

The private Wealth.

The Benefit of Merchandize.

And therefore it resteth that I speak a Word of Retailers, and finally shew , that much Good groweth by them both. The chief Part of Retailing is but a Hand-maid to Merchandizing, dispersing by Piecemeal that which the Merchant bringeth in Growth: Of which Trade be Mercers, Grocers, Vintners, Haberdashers, Inronmongers, Millaners, and all such as sell Wares, growing or made beyond the Seas. And therefore so long as Merchandize itself shall be profitable, and such Proportion kept, as neither we lose our Treasure thereby, nor be cloyed with unnecessary foreign Ware, this Kind of Retailing is to be retained also.

Retailers; the Benefit of them.

Now, that Merchants and Retailers of London be very rich and great, it is so far from any Harm, that it is a Thing both praise-worthy and profitable: For Mercatura (saith Cicero) si tenuis est, sordida putanda est; sin magna est & copiosa, non est vituperanda; i.e. If Traffick be small, it is to be reckoned base; if it be great and plentiful, it is a Matter to be praised. And truly Merchants and Retailers do not altogether intus canere, and profit themselves only: For the Prince and Realm both are inriched by their Riches; the Realm winneth Treasure, if their Trade be so moderated by Authority, that it break not Proportion: And they beside bear a good Fleece, which the Prince may share, when he seeth good.

But here, before I conclude this Part, I have shortly to answer the Accusation of those Men, which charge London with the Loss and Decay of many (or most) of the ancient Cities, corporate Towns and Markets within this Realm, by drawing from them to herself alone, say they, both all Trade of Traffick by Sea, and the retailing of Wares, and Exercise of manual Arts also. Touching Navigation, which I must confess, is apparently decayed in many Port Towns, and flourisheth only or chiefly at London, I impute that partly to the Fall of the Staple, the which being long since a great Trade, and bestowed sometimes at one Town, and sometimes at another within the Realm, did much enrich the Place where it was, and being now not only diminished in Force, but also translated over the Seas, cannot but bring some Decay with it; Partly, to the impairing of Havens, which in many Places have impoverished those Towns, whose Estate doth ebb and flow with them; and partly to the Dissolution of religious Houses, by whose Wealth and Haunt, many of those Places were chiefly fed and nourished. I mean not to rehearse particular Examples of every Sort: For the Thing itself speaketh, and I haste to an End.

An Objection against the Wealth of London.


The true Reason of the Decay of Towns and Corporations in the Country.

As for Retailers thereof, and Handicrafts-men, it is no Marvel of they abandon Country Towns, and resort to London: For not only the Court, which is now a-Days much greater, and more gallant than in former Times, and which was wont to be contented to remain with a small Company, sometimes at an Abby or Priory, sometimes at a Bishop's House, and sometimes at some mean Manour of the King's own, is now for the most Part either abiding at London, or else so near unto it, that the Provision of Things most fit for it, may easily be fetched from thence; but also by Occasion thereof, the Gentlemen of all Shires do fly and flock to this City; the younger Sort of them to see and shew Vanity, and the elder to save the Cost and Charge of Hospitality and House-keeping. For hereby it cometh to pass, that the Gentlemen being either for a good Portion of the Year out of the Country, or playing the Farmers, Grasiers,

The Reason of the great Resort to London.