Tuesday 12 September 2023

Gardens In Utopia

St Thomas More (1478-1535), Utopia, ed. & trans. by Edward Surtz, S.J. & J.H. Hexter. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965; first pub. 1516 [The Complete Works of St. Thomas More, Volume 4]), p. 120; p. 121:

Hos hortos magnifaciunt. in his uineas, fructus, herbas, flores habent. tanto nitore, cultuque, ut nihil fructuosius usquam uiderim, nihil elegantius. qua in re studium eorum, non ipsa uoluptas modo, sed uicorum quoque inuicem de suo cuiusque horti cultu certamen accendit. & certe modo aliud quicquam temere urbe tota reperias, siue ad usum ciuium, siue ad uoluptatem commodius. eoque nullius rei, quam huiusmodi hortorum, maiorem habuisse curam uidetur in qui condidit.
The Utopians are very fond of their gardens. In them they have vines, fruits, herbs, flowers, so well kept and flourishing that I never saw anything more fruitful and more tasteful anywhere. Their zest in keeping them is increased not merely by the pleasure afforded them but by the keen competition between blocks as to which will have the best kept garden. Certainly you cannot readily find anything in the whole city more productive of profit and pleasure to the citizens. There is nothing which their founder seems to have cared so much for as these gardens.
Jakob Grimmer  - Allegory of Spring