Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

point. I am not forgetful of what you so kindly put me upon. I think nobody ought to live only to eat and drink, and count the days he spends idly. The small remainder of a crazy life I shall, as much as my health will permit, apply to the search of truth, and shall not neglect to propose to myself those that may be the most useful. My paper is more than done, and, I suppose, you tired, and yet I can scarce give off. I am,

Dear Sir,

Your most faithful humble servant,

John LockE.

Mr. MOLYNEUX to Mr. LOCKE.

SIR,

Dublin, March 26, 1695. THEconcern you express for my welfare is extremely obliging, and I never prized my health so much as since thereby I am enabled to enjoy your correspondence and friendship. But whatever becomes of me and my carcase, I can heartily wish you had one more easy, healthful and strong. For I know mankind in general is interested in you; whereas I am sure to fall unlamented to all, save a few particular friends. • I understand my kinsman has enjoyed that which I have earnestly longed for. He tells me, by letter, the great obligations he bears you, for the civilities you showed him, and desires me to acknowledge them..

I am very glad to find your essay like to suffer a third impression; it is a good sign, and shows the world not so averse to truth, when fairly laid open. To have truth prevail, the only way is calmly and meekly to publish it, and let it shift for itself; “magna res est To veritas & prævalebit.” It will make its own party good without fire and faggot, which never promoted, but, I am sure, has often stifled it,

This encourages me, with more vigour, to promote the translation of your work; and to own myself infinitely obliged to you, that you are pleased so readily to comply with the offer I made you in my last. Yesterday I sent for an ingenious young man in the college here to discourse with him about it. The result was, he would make an essay and show it me, and accordingly would proceed or desist. But then, he tells me, that he cannot set himself fully to it till towards the latter end of May; for he designs to stand candidate for a fellowship in the college, which, by the removal of the provost, is to be disposed of about next Trinitysunday; and, in the mean time, he is to prepare himself for the examination they undergo on that occasion. I shall see his first attempt the next week, and shall give you an account. As to any alterations to be made by me, I should be very cautious of meddling therein; I know the whole work has already undergone so exact a judgment, that there is no room left for amendments. However, if any such offer, after your approbation of them, I should venture to insert them.

I must freely confess, that if my notion of enthusiasm agrees with yours, there is no necessity of adding any thing concerning it, more than by the by, and in a single section in chap. 18. lib. iv. I conceive it to be no other than a religious sort of madness, and comprises not in it any mode of thinking, or operation of the mind, different from what you have treated of in your essay. It is true, indeed, the absurdities men em. brace on account of religion are most astonishing; and if in a chapter of enthusiasm, you endeavour to give an account of them, it would be very acceptable. So that (on second thoughts) I do very well approve of what you propose therein, being very desirous of having your sentiments on any subject.

Pere Malebranche's chapter “ of seeing all things in « God," was ever to me absolutely unintelligible; and unless you think a polemic discourse in your essay (which you have hitherto avoided therein) may not be of a piece with the rest, I am sure it highly deserves to be exposed, and is very agreeable to the business of VOL. IX.

AA. i

your work, I would therefore humbly propose it to you, to consider of doing something therein. Pere Male. branche has many curious notions, and some as erroneous and absurd. It is a good while since I read him; but I am now turning him over a second time; he is mostly platonic, and, in some things, almost enthusias tical. I am,

Honoured dear Sir,

Your most obliged humble servant,

WILL. MOLYNEUX,

[ocr errors]

Mr. Locke to Mr. MOLYNEUX.
SIR,

Oates, April 26, 1695. YOU look with the eyes, and speak the language of friendship, when you make my life of much more con. cern to the world than your own. I take it, as it is, for an effect of your kindness, and so shall not aceuse you of compliment; the mistakes and over-valuings of good will being always sincere, even when they exceed what common truth allows. This on my side, I must beg you to believe, that my life would be much more pleasant and useful to me, if you were within my reach, that I might sometimes enjoy your conversation, and, upon twenty occasions, lay my thoughts before you, and have the advantage of your judgment. I cannot complain that I have not my share of friends of all panks, and such, whose interest, assistance, affection, and opinions too, in fit cases, I can rely on. But me. thinks, for all this, there is one place vacant, that I know nobody that would so well fill as yourself; I want one near me to talk freely with,“ de quolibet ente;" to propose to the extravagancies that rise in my mind; one with whom I would debate several doubts and questions, to see what was in them. Meditating by one's self, is like digging in the mine; it often, perhaps, brings up maiden earth, which never came near the light before ; but whether it contains any metal in it, is never so well tried as in conversation with a knowing judicious friend who carries about with him the true touch-stone, which is love of truth in a clear-thinking head. Men of parts and judgment the world usually gets hold of, and by a great mistake (that their abilities of mind are lost, if not employed in the pursuit of wealth or power) engages them in the ways of fortune and interest, which usually leave but little freedom or leisure of thought for pure disinterested truth. And such who give theniselves up frankly, and in earnest to the full latitude of real knowledge, are not every-where to be met with. Wonder not, therefore, that I wish so much for you in my neighbourhood; I should be too happy in a friend of your make, were you within my reach. But yet I cannot but wish that some business would once bring you within distance, and it is a pain to me to think of leaving the world without the happiness of seeing you.

I do not wonder that a kinsman of yours should magnify civilities that scarce deserve the name; I know not wherein they consisted, but in being glad to see one that was any way related to you, and was himself a very ingenious man; either of those was a title to more than I did, or could show him. I am sorry I have not yet had an opportunity to wait on him in London, and I fear he should be gone before I am able to get thither. This long winter, and cold spring, has hung very heavy upon may lungs, and they are not yet in a case to be ventured in London air, which must be my excuse for not waiting upon him and Dr. Ashe yet.

The third edition of my essay has already, or will be speedily, in the press. But what perhaps will seem stranger, and possibly please you better, an abridgment is now making (if it be not already done) by one of the university of Oxford, for the use of young scholars, in the place of the ordinary system of logic. From the acquaintance I had of the temper of that place, I did not expect to have it get much footing there. But so it is, I some time since received a very civil letter from

A AQ

one, wholly a stranger to me there, concerning such a design; and, by another from him since, I conclude it near done. He seems to be an ingenious man, and he writes sensibly about it, but I can say nothing of it till I see it; and he, of his own accord, has offered that it shall wholly be submitted to my opinion, and disposal of it. And thus, sir, possibly that which you once proposed may be attained to, and I was pleased with the gentleman's design for your sake.

You are a strange man, you oblige me very much by the care you take to have it well translated, and you thank me for complying with your offer. In my last, as I remember, I told you the reason why it was so long before I writ, was an expectation of an answer from London, concerning something I had to communicate to you: it was in short this; I was willing to know what my bookseller would give for a good Latin copy; he told me, at last, twenty pounds. His delay was, because he would first have known what the translator demanded. But I forced him to make his proposal, and so I send it to you, to make what use of it you please. He since writ me word, that a friend of his at Oxford would, in some time, be at leisure to do it, and would undertake it. I bid him excuse himself to him, for that it was in hands I approved of, and some part of it now actually done. For I hope the essay (he was to show you the next week after you writ to me last) pleased you. Think it not a compliment, that I desire you to make what alterations you think fit. One thing particularly you will oblige me and the world in, and that is, in paring off some of the superfluous repetitions, which I left in for the sake of illiterate men, and the softer sex, not used to abstract notions and reasonings. But much of this reasoning will be out of doors in a Latin translation. I refer all to your judgment, and šo am secure it will be done as is best.

What I shall add concerning enthusiasm, I guess, will very much agree with your thoughts, since yours jump so right with mine, about the place where it is to come in, I having designed it for chap. 18. lib. iv. as a false principle of reasoning often made use of. But, to give

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »