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and natural history: I think it is not much; but he is an ingenious man, and we like him very well for our purpose; and I have a particular obligation to you, for the re on why you inquired concerning him.
I come now to yours of the 28th of October, wherein you have found by this time, that you prophecied right concerning the bishop of W......, and if you can remember what you said therein, concerning abundance of words, you will not, I suppose, forbear smiling, when you read the first leaf of his last answer.
If there be not an evidence of sense and truth, which is apt and fitted to prevail on every human understanding, as far as it is open and unprejudiced; there is at least a harmony of understandings in some men, to whom sense and nonsense, truth and falsehood, appear equally in the respective discourses they meet with. This I find perfectly so between you and me, and it serves me to no small purpose to keep me in countenance. When I see a man disinterested as you are, a Joyer of truth as I know you to be, and one that has clearness and coherence enough of thought to make long mathematical, i. e. sure deductions, pronounce of J. H. and J. S.'s books, that they are unintelligible to. you; I do not presently condemn myself of pride, prejudice, or a perfect want of understanding, for laying aside those authors, because I can find neither sense or coherence in them. If I could think that discourses and arguments to the understanding were like the sea veral sorts of cates to different palates and stomachs, some nauseous and destructive to one, which are plea. sant and restorative to another; I should no more think of books and study, and should think my time better employed at push-pin than in reading or writing. But I am convinced to the contrary: I know there is truth opposite to falsehood, that it may be found if people will, and is worth the seeking, and is not only the most valuable, but the pleasantest thing in the world. And therefore I am no more troubled and disturbed with all the dust that is raised against it, than I should be to see from the top of an high steeple, where I had clear air and sun-shine, a company of great boys or little boys (for it is all one) throw up dust in the air, which reached not me, but fell down in their own eyes. · Your answer to your friend the bishop was certainly a very fit and full one to what he had said, and I am obliged to you for it: but he nevertheless thought his objections so good, that I imagine he communicated them to my antagonist; for you will find the very same in his answer, and almost in the same words. But they will receive an answer at large in due time.
It will not be at all necessary to say any thing to you concerning the linen bill, which made so great a part of your letter of Oct. 4th, and was the whole business of that of Oct. 16th. You know (I believe) as well as I, what became of that bill. Pray return my humble thanks to Mr. Hamilton for his kind expressions concerning me, and for the favour he did me in thinking me any ways able to serve his country in that matter. I am so concerned for it, and zealous in it, that I desire you to assure him, and to believe yourself, that I will neglect no pains or interest of mine to promote it as far as I am able; and I think it a shame, that whilst Ireland is so capable to produce flax and hemp, and able to nourish the poor at so cheap à rate, and consequently to have their labour upon so easy terms, that so much money should go yearly out of the king's dominions, to enrich foreigners, for those materials, and the manufactures made out of them, when his people of Ireland, by the advantage of their soil, situation, and plenty, might have every penny of it, if that business were but once put in the right way. I perceive by one of your letters, that you have seen the proposals for an act sent from hence. I would be very glad that you and Mr. Hamilton, or any other man, whom you know able, and a disinterested well-wisher of his country, would consider them together, and tell me whether you think that project will do, or wherein it is either impracticable or will fail, and what may be added or altered in it to make it effectual to that end. I know, to a man, a stranger to your country, as I am, many things may be overseen, which by reason of the circumstances of the place, or state of the people, may
acknowledoner from mestions youclerc, in
in practice have real difficulties. If there be any such in regard of that project, you will do me a favour to inform me of them. The short is, I mightily have it upon my heart to get the linen manufacture established in a flourishing way in your country. I am sufficiently sensible of the advantages it will be to you, and shall be doubly rejoiced in the success of it, if I should be so happy that you and I could be instrumental in it, and have the chief hand in forming any thing that might conduce to it. Employ your thoughts therefore I beseech you about it, and be assured what help I can give to it here shall be as readily and as carefully employed, as if you and I alone were to reap all the profit of it.
I have not yet heard a word from Mons. le Clerc, in answer to my inquiries, and the questions you asked, or else you had heard sooner from me. I must beg you to return my acknowledgments to Mr. Molesworth in the civilest language you can find, for the great compliment you sent me from him. If he could see my confusion as often 'as I read that part of your letter, that would express my sense of it better than any words I am master of. I can only say that I am his most humble servant, and I have been not a little troubled, that I could not meet with the opportunities I sought to improve the advantages I proposed to myself
in an acquaintance with so ingenious and extraordinary · a man as he is.
. I read your brother's treatise, which he did me the honour to put into my hands, with great pleasure, and thought it so unreasonable to rob the public of so grate ful a present by any delay of mine, that I forthwith put it into Dr. Sloane's hand to be published, and I ex. pected to have seen it in print long ere this time. What has retarded it I have not yet heard from Dr. Sloane, who has not writ to me since I came into the country: but I make no doubt but he takes care of so curious a piece, and the world will have it speedily. I must depend on you, not only for excusing my silence to yourself, but I must be obliged to you to excuse, me to your brother for not having written to him VOL. IX.
myself to thank him for the favour he did me. I hope ere long to find an opportunity to testify my respects to him more in form, which he would find I have in reality for him, if any occasion of that kind should come in my way. In the mean time I believe, if he saw the length of this letter, he would think it enough for one of a family to be persecuted by so voluminous a scribbler, and would be glad that I spared him, I am both his, and,
and most humble servant,
and most humbia.
Dublin, March 15, 1697-8. · IN the midst of my trouble for your long silence, soon after I had writ to two or three friends to inquire after your health, I was happily relieved by yours of last January the 10th from Oates." I am heartily concerned that you passed over the last winter with so much indisposition: but I rejoice with you that you have escaped it, and hope you will yet pass over many more. I could make to you great complaints likewise of my own late illness; but they are all drowned in this one, that I am hindered for a while in seeking a remedy for them. I fully purposed to be at the Bath this spring early; but I am disappointed at present, and cannot stir from hence till my lord chancellor Methwin return to this kingdom. It has pleased the young lord Woodstock, by directions from his majesty, to choose, my lord chancellor Methwin, Mr. Van Homrigh, present lord mayor of this city, and myself, to be his guardians, and managers of his affairs in this kingdom. Nothing can be done without two of us; so I am tied by the leg. Were it only in my health that I am disappointed, I could the easier bear it; but I arn delayed from em. bracing my dear friend, which is most grievous of all. Yet I hope it will be so but for a time; but if my lord chancellor comes over in any convenient season, I will certainly get loose. But this I cannot hope for till the parliament in England rises. I should be glad to know from you when that is expected; for indeed they bear very hard upon us in Ireland. How justly they can bind us without our consent and representatives, I leave the author of the Two Treatises of Government to consider. But of this I shall trouble you farther another time, for you will hear more hereafter.
I have seen the bishop of Worcester's answer to your second letter. It is of a piece with the rest, and you know my thoughts of them already. I begin to be al. most of old Hobbes's opinion, that, were it men's interest, they would question the truth of Euclid's Ele. ments, as now they contest almost as full evidences.
I am very glad Mons. Coste is so well settled as you tell me; I designed fully to invite him over hither; and if you know any other ingenious Frenchman of that sort, or any such hereafter comes to your knowledge, I should be very glad you would give me intimation thereof.
I had certainly answered that part of your letter re. lating to the linen manufacture, but that I daily expected to do it more effectually by Mr. Hamilton him. self, who gave me hopes of his going into England, and was resolved personally to wait on you about it. He is master of the whole mystery (and that I cannot pretend to be) and would have discoursed you most satisfactorily concerning it. I promised him a letter to you whenever he goes over, which will now be very speedily, and then I doubt not but you will concert matters together much for the good of this poor kingdom,
My brother gives you his most humble service, and thanks you for the care you took about his discourse concerning chafers. We hear from Dr. Sloane that it is printed. I am
Your most humble servant,