Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

together, seem to me to suggest this: What it will produce, time will show. But as you say in that kind let. ter, “ Magna est veritas & prævalebit;" that keeps me at perfect ease in this, and whatever I write; for as soon as I shall discover it not to be truth, my hand shall be the forwardest to throw it in the fire.

You desire to know, what the opinion of the ingeni. ous is, concerning Mr. Whiston's book. I have not heard any one of my acquaintance speak of it, but with great commendation, as I think it deserves. And truly I think he is more to be admired, that he has laid down an hypothesis, whereby he has explained so many wonderful, and, before, inexplicable things in the great changes of this globe, than that some of them should not go easily down with some men, when the whole was entirely new to all. He is one of those sort of writers, that I always fancy should be most esteemed and encouraged. I am always for the builders who bring some addition to our knowledge, or, at least, some new thing to our thoughts. The finders of faults, the confuters and pullers down, do not only erect a barren and useless triumph upon human ignorance, but advance us nothing in the acquisition of truth. Of all the mottos I ever met with, this, writ over a waterwork at Cleve, best pleased me, “ Natura omnes fecit “ judices, paucos artifices.”

I thank you for the account you gave me of your linen manufacture. Private knavery, I perceive, does there as well as here destroy all public good works, and forbid the hope of any advantages by them, where nature plentifully offers what industry would improve, were it but rightly directed, and duly cherished. The corruption of the age gives me so ill a prospect of any success in designs of this kind, ever so well laid, that I am not sorry my ill health gives me so just a reason to desire to be eased of the employment I am in..

Yours of the 5th of January, which brought with it that curious and exact description of that non-descript animal, found me here under the confinement of my ill lungs; but knowing business of several kinds would make it necessary for me to go to London as soon as possible, I thought it better to carry it thither myself, than send it at random to the Royal Society. Accordingly when I went up to town, about a fortnight since, I showed it to Dr. Sloane, and put it into his hands to be communicated to the Royal Society, which he willingly undertook; and I promise myself it will be published in their next Transactions. Dr. Sloane is a very ingenious man, and a very good friend of mine; and, upon my telling him that your correspondence with the secretary of the society had been of late interrupted, he readily told me, that, if you pleased, he would take it up, and be very glad if you would allow him the honour of a constant correspondence with you.

You show your charitable and generous temper, in what you say concerning a friend of mine in Holland, who is truly all that you think of him. He is married there, and has some kind of settlement; but I could be glad, if you in Ireland, or I here, (though of the latter say nothing to others,) could get him a prebendary of 100 or 2001. per annum, to bring him over into our church, and to give him ease, and a sure retreat to write in, where, I think, he might be of great use to the Christian world. If you could do this, you would offer him a temptation would settle him amongst us; if you think you cannot, I am nevertheless obliged to you, for offering to one, whom you take to be a friend of mine, what you are able. If he should miss the effect, yet I have still the obligation to you.

When yours of the 3d instant met me in London, when I was there lately, I was rejoiced at my journey, though I was uneasy in town, because I thought my being there, might give me an opportunity to do you some little service, or at least show you my willingness to do it. To that purpose I went twice or thrice to wait upon Mr. Methwin, though he be a person, in whose company I remember not that I was ever but once in my life. I missed him, by good luck, both times; and my distemper increased so fast upon me, that though I went to London with an intention to make some stay there, yet I was forced away in eight days, and had not an opportunity to see Mr. Methwin at all. You will, per

'haps, wonder to hear me call my missing of him, good luck; but so I must always call that which any way favours my design of serving you, as this did. For hereupon I applied myself to a friend of mine, who lias an interest in him, and one to whom your worth and friendship to me are not unknown, who readily undertook all I desired on your behalf. And I promise myself, from thence, that you will find Mr. Methwin will be as desirous of your acquaintance, as you are of his.

You will, in a little time, see that I have obeyed, or rather anticipated a command of yours, towards the latter end of your last letter. What sentiments I have of the usage I have received from the person you there mention, I shall shortly more at large acquaint you. What he says, is, as you observe, not of that moment much to need an answer; but the sly design of it I think necessary to oppose ; for I cannot allow any one's great name a right to use me ill. All fair contenders for the opinions they have, I like mightily; but there are so few that have opinions, or at least seem, by their way of defending them, to be really persuaded of the opinions they profess, that I am apt to think there is in the world a great deal more scepticism, or at least want of concern for truth, than is imagined. When I was in town I had the happiness to see Mr. Burridge; he is, he says, speedily returning to you, where I hope his book, which is received with great applause, will procure him something more solid than the name it has got him here; which I look upon as a good forerunner of greater things to come. He spoke something of his intention to set about my book, but that I must leave to you and him. There is lately fallen into my hand a paper of Mons. L- , writ to a gentleman here in England, concerning several things in my Essay. I was told, when I was in London, that he had lately ordered his correspondent to communicate them to me, and something else he has since writ hither. He treats me all along with great civility, and more compliment than I can deserye. And being, as he is, a very great man, it is not for me to say there appears to me no great weight in the exceptions he makes to some passages in my book; but his great name and knowledge in all parts of learning, ought to make me think, that a man of his parts says nothing but what has great weight in it; only I suspect he has, in some places, a little mistaken my sense, which is easy for a stranger, who has (as I think) learned English out of England. The servant I have now cannot copy French, or else you should see what he says: when I have all his papers you shall hear farther from me. I repine, as often as I think of the distance between this and Dublin.

I read that passage of your letter to my lady Masham which concerned her sight; she bid me tell you, that she hopes to see you here this summer. You will, possibly, wonder at the miracle, but that you must find in Mr. Norris's book. She has, it is true, but weak eyes, which Mr. Norris, for reasons he knew best, was resolved to make blind ones. And having fitted his epistle to that supposition, could not be hindered from publishing it so; though my lady, to prevent it, writ him word that she was not blind, and hoped she never should be. It is a strange power, you see, we authors take to ourselves; but there is nothing more ordinary, than for us to make whomsoever we will blind, and give them out to the world for such, as boldly as Bayard himself. But it is time to spare you and your eyes. I am, with the utmost respect and sincerity,

SIR,
Your most humble and most affectionate servant,

John LOCKE.

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. LOCKE.

Dublin, March 16, 1696-7. I MUST confess, dear sir, I have not lately (if ever in my life) been under a greater concern, than at your long silence. Sometimes I was angry with myself, but I could not well tell why; and then I was apt to blame

you, but I could less tell why. As your silence continued my distraction increased; till, at last, I was hap. pily relieved by yours of the 22d of February, which came not to my hands till the 10th instant. I then perceived I was to charge some part of my troubled time to the conveyance of your letter, which was almost three weeks on its way hither; and that which added to my concern was, the want of even your shadow before me, for to this moment I have not received that, which will be apt, on its appearance, to make me an idolater. Mr. Howard writes me word, he has sent it from London about five weeks ago; but I hear nothing of it from our correspondènt, to whom it is consigned in Chester, However, seeing I know the substance to be in safety, and well, I can bear the hazard of the shadow with some patience, and doubt not but my expectation will be satisfied in due time.

Both Whiston and Bentley are positive against the idea of God being innate; and I had rather rely on them (if I would rely on any man) than on Dr. S-It is true, the latter has a great name, but that, I am sure, weighs not with you or me. Besides, you rightly observe, the doctor is no obstinate heretic, but may veer about when another opinion comes in fashion; for some men alter their notions as they do their clothes, in compliance to the mode. I have heard of a master of the Temple, who during the siege of Limerick, writ over hither to a certain prelate, to be sure to let him know, by the first opportunity, whenever it came to be surrendered, which was done accordingly; and imme. diately the good doctor's eyes were opened, and he plainly saw the oaths to K. William and Q. Mary were not only expedient but lawful, and our duty. A good roaring train of artillery is not only the “ratio ultima “ regum, but of other men besides.

I fancy I pretty well guess what it is that some men find mischievous in your Essay: it is opening the eyes of the ignorant, and rectifying the methods of reasoning, which perhaps may undermine some received errours, and so abridge the empire of darkness; wherein, though the subjects wander deplorably, yet the rulers

VOL. IX.

DD

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »