Abbildungen der Seite

it gives, and perhaps he is the happier on that score.

§ 94. St. Evremont to the Count De Lionne.


Perhaps you are not at Paris; perhaps you are; and in this last cafe, your silence may be rather the effect of your forgetfulness, than of your absence. But, suppose it were, I am too much beholden to you for your past services, to complain of your present indifference. I don't enquire after you, to fatigue you for an answer,or renew a correspondence that would rob you of some hours, which you know how to bestow to better purpose. But, Sir, you still owe something to our friendship, and you will discharge the obligation, if you can find some way, either by yourself, or any body else, to let me know that you are in health. This piece of news will give me a joy, in which you are more concerned than any other ; and if you were of my temper, you would be of my opinion, that to be well is better than to command the whole world. No treasures are worth one year's health. Pardon, Sir, the chat of an infirm man, who enjoying a quarter of an hour's health, thinks no other subject so proper to be talked on. You were, perhaps, of my humour, when you enjoyed some ease of the pains occasioned by your broken arm, and your other wounds. Now you are perfectly cured, relish the pleasures of it, and let me make melancholy reflections on the song you have taught me:

But oh! when age benumbs our veins,
No longer sprightly joy remains.

If there be any airs as agreeable as this in the music of the Feast of Versailles, I desire you to fend them me, and you will oblige one who is more than ever, &c.

§ 95. Mr. Locke t* Mr. Molyneux.

Sir, Oates, Sept. 3, 1694.

I have so much the advantage in the bargain, if friendship may be called one, that whatsoever satisfaction you find in yourself on that account, you must allow in me with a large overplus. The only riches I have valued, or laboured to ac

quire, has been the friendship of inge« nious and worthy men ; and therefore, you cannot blame me if I so forwardly laid held of the first occasion that opened me a way to yours. That I have so well succeeded in it, I count one of my greatest happinesses, and a sufficient reward for writing my book, had I no other benefit by it. The opinion you have of it gives me farther hopes ; for it is no small reward to one who loves truth, to be persuaded that he has made some discoveries of it, and any ways helped to propagate it to others. I depend so much upon your judgment and candor, thatl think myself secure in you from peevish criticism or flattery; only give me leave to suspect that kindness and friendship do sometimes carry your expressions a little too far on the favourable side. This, however, makes me not apprehend you will silently pass by any thing you are not thoroughly satisfied of in it. The use I have made of the advertisements I have received from you of this kind will satisfy you that I desire the office of friendship from you, not out of compliment, but for the use of truth, and that your animadversions will not be lost upon me. Any faults you shall meet with in reasoning, in, perspicuity, in expression, or of the press, I desire you to take notice of, and fend me word of; especially if you have any where any doubt; for I am persuaded, that upon debate, you and I cannot be of two opinions; nor, I think, any two men used to think with freedom, who really prefer truth to opiniatrety, and a little foolish vain-glory of not having made a mistake. I shall not need to justify what I have said of you in my book : the learned world will be vouchers for me; and that in an age not very free from envy and censure. Butyou are very kind to me, since, for my sake, you allow yourself to own that part which I am more particularly concerned in, and permit me to call you my friend, whilstyour modestychecks atthe other part of your character. But assure yourself, I am as well persuaded of the truth of it, as of any thing else in mv book; it had not else been put down in it : it only wants a great deal more 1 had Pp to to say, had that been a place to draw your picture at large. Herein I pretend not to any peculiar obligation above others that know you. For though perhaps I may love you better than many others; yet, I conclude, I cannot think better of you than others do. I am very glad you were provided cf a tutor nearer home; and it had this particular good luck in it, that other. wife you had been disappointed, if you had depended on Mr. Gibbs, as a letter I writ to you from London about it, I hope, acquainted you. I am, dear Sir,

Your roost affectionate

and most humble servant, John Locke.

§ 96. Mr, Locke foMr. MolyneuxSir, London, Sept. 12, 1696.

Could the painter have made a picture of me capable of your conversation, I should have fat to him with more delight than ever I did any thing in my life. Thehonouryou dome, in giving me thus a place in your house, I look upon as the effect of having a place already in your esteem and affection 3 and that made me more easily submit to what methought looked too much like vanity in me. Painting was designed to represent the Gods, or the great men that Hood next to them. But friendship, I fee, takes no measure of any thing, but by itself: and where it is great and high, will make its object so, and raise it above its levei. This is that v.'bich has deceived you into my picture, and made you put so great a compliment upon me: and I do not know what you will find to justify yourself to those who shall see it in your possession, You mav indeed tell them, the original is as much yours as the picture; but this will be no great boast, when the man is not more considerable than his shadow. When I looked upon it after it was done, methought it had not that tountenance I ought to accost yoa with. I know not whetner the secret displeasure I felt whilst 1 was sitting, from the consideration ihit the doing of my picture brought us no nearer together, jiiade me-look grave: bat this 1 muit

own, that tt was not without regret that I remembered, that this counterfeit would be before me with the man that I so much desired to be with, and could not tell him how much I longed to put myself into his hands, and to have him in my arms. One thing pray let it mind you of, and when you look on it at any time, pray believe, that the colours of that face on the cloth are more fading and changeable than those 'thoughts which will always represent you to my mind, as the most valuable person in the world, whose face I do not know, and one whose company is so desireable to me, that I shall not be happy till I do. Though I know how little service I am able to do, yet my conscience will never reproach me for not wishing well to my country: by which I mean Englishmen, and their interest every where. There hsis been, of late years, a manufacture of linen carried on in Ireland, if I mistake not: I would be glad to learn from you the condition it is in; and, if it thrives not, what are the rubs and hindrances that stop it. I suppose you have land very proper to produce flax and hemp; why could not there be enough, especially of the latter, produced there to supply his Majesty's navy.' I should be obliged by your thoughts about it, and how it might be brought about. I have heard there is a law requiring a certain quantity of hemp to be sown every year: if it be so, how comes it to be.neglected 1 1 know you have the fame public aims for the good of your country that I have, and therefore, without any apology, I take this liberty with you. I received an account of your health, and your remembrance of me, not long since, by Mr. Howard, for which I return you my thanks. I troubled you with a long letter about the beginning of the last month; and am, Sir. Your most affectionate

and most humble servant,
John Locke.

% 97. Mr. Moi.YHEtix/sMr. Locki.

Dublin, Sept. 20, 1698. Honourable dear Sir, I arrived hvre safely the 15th instant: tigue of my journey is a little over, I fit down to a talk, which I must confess is the hardest I was ever under in my life; I mean, expressing my thanks to you suitable to the favours I received from you, and suitable to the inward sense I have of them in my mind. Were jt possible for me to do either, I should in some measure be satisfied ; but my inability of paying my debts makes me ashamed to appear before my creditor. However, thus much with the strictest sincerity I will venture to assert to you, that I cannot recollect, through the whole course of my life, such lignal instances of real friendship, as when I had the happiness of your company for five weeks together in London. 'Tis with the greatest satisfaction imaginable, that I recollect what then passed between us, and I reckon it the happiest scene of my whole life. That part thereof especially which I passed at Oates, has made such an agreeable impression on my mind, that nothing can be more pleasing. To all in that excellent family, I beseech you, give my most humble respects. 'Tis my duty to make my acknowledgments there in a particular letter; but I beg of you to make my excuse for omitting it at this time, because I am a little pressed by some business that is thrown upon me since my arrival: to which also you are obliged for not being troubled at present with a more tedious letter from, Sir, your most obliged

ftnnt: and now that the ruffling and sa- as my friend, and therefore used no ce

and entirely affectionate
friend and servant,

William Molyneux,

$98. Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

London, Sept. 29, 1698. Dear Sir, Yours of the 20th has now discharged me from my daily employment of looking upon the weather.cock, and hearkening how loud the wind blowed. Though I do not like this distance, and such a ditch betwixt us, yet I am glad to hear that you are safe and sound on t'other side the water. But prav you speak not in so magnificent and courtly a style of what you received from me iere. I lived with you and treated you

remony, nor can receive any thank; but what I owe you doubly, both for your company, and the pains you were at to bestow that happiness on me. If you keep your woru, and do me the fame kindness again next >ear, I shall have reason to think you value me more than you say, thsugh you fay more than I can with modeliy read. I find you were befet with business when you writ your letter to me, and do not wonder at it; but yet, for all that, I cannot forgive your silence concerning your health,and your son. My service to him, your brother, and Mr. Burridge : ana do me the justice to believe that I am, with a perfect affection, dear Sir,

Your most humble

and most faithful servant, John Locke.

§99. Mr. Locke toMr. Burridce.

London, Oate;, Oct. 27. Sir, 1698.

Yflu guessed not amiss, when you siiid in the beginning of yours of the 13th instant, that you gave me the trouble of a letter : for I have received few letters in my life, the contents wliereosh.^ve so much troubled and afflicted me, as that of yours. I parted with my excellent friend, when he went from England, with ail the hopes arid promises to myself cf seeing him again, and erjoying him longer in the next spring. This was a satisfaction that helped me to bear our separation ; and the short taste I had of him here, in this our first interview, I hoped would be made up in a longer conversation, which he promised me the next time: But it has served only to give me a greater sense of my loss in. an eternal farewel in this world. Your earlier acquaintance may have given you a longer knowledge of his virtue and excellent endowments: A fuller fight, or grentcr esteem of them, you conld not have than I. Hi* worth and his friendship to me made him nn inestimable treasure: which 1 mast regret the loss of the little remaii.dcr of my life, without ?.ny hopes of repairing it any way. I should be glad, if what I owed the father, could enable me to do P p a any

any servlpe to his son. He deserves it for his own fake, as well as for his father's. I desire you therefore to assure those who have the care of him, that if there be any thing, wherein I at this distance may be any way serviceable to young Mr. Molyneux, they cannot do me a greater pleasure than to give me the opportunity to (hew that my friendship died not with his father. Pray give roy most humble service to Dr. Molyneux, and to his nephew. I am, Sir, Your most faithful and humble servant, John Locke.

% ioo. Mr. Locke to the Lady Cal


Madam, Whatever reason you have to look on me as one of the flow men of London, you have this time given me an excuse for being so: for you cannot expect a quick answer to a letter, which took me up a good deal os time to get to the beginning of it. I turned, and turned it on every side; looked at it again and again, at the top of every page; but could not get into the fense and secret of it, till I apply'd myself to the middle. You, Madam, who are acquainted with all the skill and methods of the anxients, have not, I suppose, taken up with this hieroglyphical way of writing for nothing: and since you were going to putintoyourletter things that might be the reward of the highest merit, you would,by this mystical in timation.put me into the way of virtue, to deserve them. Eat whatever your ladyship intended, this is certain, that in the best words in the world, you gave me the greatest humiliation imaginable. Had I as much vanity as,a pert citizen, that sets up for a wit in his parish, you have said enough in your letter to content me: and if I could be svoln that way, you h-ive taken a great deal of pains to blow me up, and make me the finest gaudy bubble in the world, as I am painted by your colours. I know the emperors of the East suffer not strangers to appear before thf m, till they are dressed up out of their own wardrobe? : is it so too in the empire of wit? and must you cover

me with your own embroidery, that I may be a fit object for your thoughts and conversation? This, Madam, may suit your greatness, but doth not at all satisfy my ambition. He, who has once flattered himself with the hopes of your friendship, knows not the true value of things, if he can content himself with these splendid ornaments. As soon as I had read your letter, I looked in my glass, felt my pulse, and sighed; for I sound in neither of those the promises of thirty years to come. For at the rate I have hitherto advanced, and at the distance I see by this complimental way of treatment I still am, I shall not have time enough in this world to get to you. I do not mean to the place, where you now fee the pole elevated, as you fay, 64 degrees. Apost-horse, or a coach, would quickly carry me thither. But when (half we be acquainted, at this rate? Is that happiness reserved to be completed by the gossiping bowl, at your grand* daughter's lying-in ? If I were sure, that when you leave this dirty place, I should meet you in the fame star where you are to shine next, and that you would then admit me to your conversation, I might perhaps have a little more patience. But methinks it is much better to be sure of something, than to be put off to expectations of so much uncertainty. If there be different elevations of the pole here, that keep you at so great a distance from those who languish in your absence; who knows but in the other world there are different elevations of persons? And you, perhaps, will be out of sight among theseraphims; while we are left behind, in some dull planet. This, the high flight of your elevated genius gives us just augury of, whilst you are here. But yet, pray take not your place there before your time; nor keep us poormortals atagreaterdistance than you need. When you have granted me all the nearness that acquaintance and friendship can give, you have oth?r advantages enough still, to make me fee how much I am beneath you. This will be only ah enlargement of your goodness, without lessening the adoration due to your othrr excellencies. You seem 10 have some thoughts of the town again. If the parliament, or the


term, which draw some by thaname and appearance of business; or if company and music-meetings, and other such entertainments,which have the attractions of pleasure and delight, were os any consideration with you ; you would not have much to say for Yorkshire, at this time of the year. But these are no arguments to you, who carry your own satisfaction, and I know not how many worlds always about you. I would be glad you would think of putting all these up in a coach, and bringing them this way. For though you lhould be never the better, yet there be a great many here that would, and amongst them, The humblest of

your ladyship's servants, John Locke.

J 10!. Mr. Locke to Anthony ColLins, Esq. Sir, Oates, Sept. 20, 1703. Yours of the 7th, which I just now received, is the only letter I have a long time wished for, and thewelcomest that could come; for I long'd to hear that you were well, that you were returned, and that I might have the opportunity to return you my thanks for the books you sent me, which came safe, and to acknowledge my great obligations to you, for one of the most villainous books, that 1 think ever was printed •. It is a present that I highly value. I had heard something os it, when a young man in the university ; but possibly should never have seen this quintessence of railing, but for your kindness. It ought to be kept as the pattern and standard of that fort of writing, as the man he spends it upon ought for that of good temper, and clear and strong arguing. I am, &c.

§ 102. To the same.

Oates, Nov. 17, 1703.

books I received from you to

1 the kind letter accompany.

far more valuable than the

:ter of enlarging myself

The common offices of

nstanty receive from

manner, give

me scope enough, and afford me large matter of acknowledgment. But when I think of you, I feel something of nearer concernment that touches me; and that noble principle of the love of truth, which possesses you, makes me almost forget those other obligations, which I should be very thankful for to another. In good earnest, Sir, you cannot think what a comfort it is to me, to have found out such a man: and not only so, but I have the satisfaction that he is my friend. This gives a gusto to all the good things you fay to me in your letter. For though I cannot attribute them to myself (for I know my own defects too well) yet I a,m ready to persuade myself you mean as you fay; and to confess the truth to you, I am almost loth to undeceive you, so much do I value your good opinion. But to set it upon the right ground, you must know that I am a poor ignorant man, and if I have any thing to boast os, it is that I sincerely love and seek truth, with indifferency whom it pleases or displeases. I take you to be of the fame school, and so embrace you. And if it please God to afford me so much life as to fee you again, I sliall communicate to you some of my thoughts tending that way. You need not make any apology for any book that is not yet come. I thank you for those you have sent me: they are more, I think, than I shall use ; for the indisposition of my health has beaten me almost quite out of the use of books; and the growing uneasinessof mydistemper * makes me good for nothing. I am, &c.


§ 103. To the same.

Oates, Jan. 24,

Sir, 1703-4.

Till your confidence in my friendship, and freedom with me, can preserve you from thinking you have need to make apologies for your silence, whenever you omit a post or two, when in your kind way of reckoningyou judge a letter to be due; you know me not so well as I could wish: nor am I so little • burdensome to you as I desire. I could be pleased to hear from you every day; because the very thoughts of you every

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »