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John Locke, The Works of John Locke, vol. 8 (Some Thoughts Concerning Education, Posthumous Works, Familiar Letters) [1690]

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John Locke, The Works of John Locke in Nine Volumes, (London: Rivington, 1824 12th ed.). Vol. 8. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1444

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This volume contains Some Thoughts Concerning Education, his posthumous works, and a number of letters.

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THE WORKS of JOHN LOCKE, IN NINE VOLUMES.
THE TWELFTH EDITION.
VOLUME THE EIGHTH.
LONDON:
printed for c. and j. rivington; t. egerton, j. cuthell; j. and a. arch; longman and co; t. cadell; j. richardson; j. and w. t. clarke; j. mawman; baynes and son; harding and co.; baldwin and co.; harvey and darton; r. scholey; j. bohn; j. collingwood; t. tegg; g. and w. b. whittaker; g. mackie; w. mason; hurst, robinson, and co.; j. hearne; j. brumby; simpkin and marshall; s. prowett; w. pickering; r. saunders; j. parker, oxford; and stirling and slade, edinburgh.
1824.
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C. Baldwin, Printer, New Bridge-street, London.

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CONTENTS OF THIS VOLUME.

  • SOME Thoughts concerning Education - - - - page 1
  • An Examination of P. Malebranche’s Opinion of seeing all Things in God - - - - - - - 211
  • A Discourse of Miracles - - - - - - 256
  • Memoirs relating to the Life of Anthony, first Earl of Shaftsbury - - - - - - - - - 266
  • Some familiar Letters between Mr. Locke and several of his Friends - - - - - - - - 285
  • Index.
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SOME THOUGHTS CONCERNING EDUCATION.

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JOHN LOCKE
LOCKE, JOHN
March 7, 1690
EDWARD CLARKE
CLARKE, EDWARD

TO EDWARD CLARKE, OF CHIPLEY, Esq.

sir,

These Thoughts concerning Education, which now come abroad into the world, do of right belong to you, being written several years since for your sake, and are no other than what you have already by you in my letters. I have so little varied any thing, but only the order of what was sent you at different times, and on several occasions, that the reader will easily find, in the familiarity and fashion of the style, that they were rather the private conversation of two friends, than a discourse designed for public view.

The importunity of friends is the common apology for publications men are afraid to own themselves forward to. But you know I can truly say, that if some, who having heard of these papers of mine, had not pressed to see them, and afterwards to have them printed, they had lain dormant still in that privacy they were designed for. But those whose judgment I defer much to, telling me, that they were persuaded, that this rough draught of mine might be of some use, if made more public, touched upon what will always be very prevalent with me. For I think it every man’s indispensable duty, to do all the service he can to his country; and I see not what difference he puts between himself and his cattle, who lives without that thought. This subject is of so great concernment, and a right way of education is of so general advantage, that did I find my abilities answer my wishes, I should not have needed exhortations or importunities from others. However, the meanness of these papers, and my just distrust of them, shall not keep me, by the shame of Edition: current; Page: [iv] doing so little, from contributing my mite, where there is no more required of me, than my throwing it into the public receptacle. And if there be any more of their size and notions, who liked them so well, that they thought them worth printing, I may flatter myself, they will not be lost labour to every body.

I myself have been consulted of late by so many, who profess themselves at a loss how to breed their children; and the early corruption of youth is now become so general a complaint; that he cannot be thought wholly impertinent, who brings the consideration of this matter on the stage, and offers something, if it be but to excite others, or afford matter of correction. For errours in education should be less indulged than any: these, like faults in the first concoction, that are never mended in the second or third, carry their afterwards-incorrigible taint with them, through all the parts and stations of life.

I am so far from being conceited of any thing I have here offered, that I should not be sorry, even for your sake, if some one abler and fitter for such a task, would in a just treatise of education, suited to our English gentry, rectify the mistakes I have made in this: it being much more desirable to me, that young gentlemen should be put into (that which every one ought to be solicitous about) the best way of being formed and instructed, than that my opinion should be received concerning it. You will however, in the mean time, bear me witness, that the method here proposed has had no ordinary effects upon a gentleman’s son, it was not designed for. I will not say the good temper of the child did not very much contribute to it, but this I think, you and the parents are satisfied of, that a contrary usage, according to the ordinary disciplining of children, would not have mended that temper, nor have brought him to be in love with his book; to take a pleasure in learning, and to desire, as he does, to be taught more, than those about him think fit always to teach him.

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But my business is not to recommend this treatise to you, whose opinion of it I know already; nor it to the world, either by your opinion or patronage. The well educating of their children is so much the duty and concern of parents, and the welfare and prosperity of the nation so much depends on it, that I would have every one lay it seriously to heart; and after having well examined and distinguished what fancy, custom, or reason advises in the case, set his helping hand to promote every-where that way of training up youth, with regard to their several conditions, which is the easiest, shortest, and likeliest to produce virtuous, useful, and able men in their distinct callings: though that most to be taken care of, is the gentleman’s calling. For if those of that rank are by their education once set right, they will quickly bring all the rest into order.

I know not whether I have done more than shown my good wishes towards it in this short discourse; such as it is the world now has it; and if there be any thing in it worth their acceptance, they owe their thanks to you for it. My affection to you gave the first rise to it, and I am pleased, that I can leave to posterity this mark of the friendship has been between us. For I know no greater pleasure in this life, nor a better remembrance to be left behind one, than a long continued friendship, with an honest, useful, and worthy man, and lover of his country.

I am, SIR,
Your most humble
And most faithful servant,
JOHN LOCKE.
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§ 1. A sound mind in a sound body, is a short, but full description of a happy state in this world; he that has these two, has little more to wish for; and he that wants either of them, will be but little the better for any thing else. Men’s happiness, or misery, is most part of their own making. He whose mind directs not wisely, will never take the right way; and he whose body is crazy and feeble, will never be able to advance in it. I confess, there are some men’s constitutions of body and mind so vigorous, and well framed by nature, that they need not much assistance from others; but, by the strength of their natural genius, they are, from their cradles, carried towards what is excellent; and, by the privilege of their happy constitutions, are able to do wonders. But examples of this kind are but few; and I think I may say, that, of all the men we meet with, nine parts of ten are what they are, good or evil, useful or not, by their education. It is that which makes the great difference in mankind. Edition: current; Page: [7] The little, or almost insensible, impressions on our tender infancies, have very important and lasting consequences; and there it is, as in the fountains of some rivers, where a gentle application of the hand turns the flexible waters into channels, that make them take quite contrary courses; and by this little direction, given them at first, in the source, they receive different tendencies, and arrive at last at very remote and distant places.

§ 2. I imagine the minds of children, as easily turned, this or that way, as water itself; and though this be the principal part, and our main care should be about the inside, yet the clay cottage is not to be neglected. I shall therefore begin with the case, and consider first the healthHealth. of the body, as that which perhaps you may rather expect, from that study I have been thought more peculiarly to have applied myself to; and that also which will be soonest despatched, as lying, if I guess not amiss, in a very little compass.

§ 3. How necessary health is to our business and happiness; and how requisite a strong constitution, able to endure hardships and fatigue, is, to one that will make any figure in the world; is too obvious to need any proof.

§ 4. The consideration I shall here have, of health, shall be, not what a physician ought to do, with a sick or crazy child; but what the parents, without the help of physic, should do for the preservation and improvement of an healthy, or, at least, not sickly constitution, in their children: and this perhaps might be all dispatched in this one short rule, viz. that gentlemen should use their children, as the honest farmers and substantial yeomen do theirs. But because the mothers, possibly, may think this a little too hard, and the fathers, too short, I shall explain myself more particularly; only laying down this, as a general and certain observation for the women to consider, viz. that most children’s constitutions are either spoiled, or at least harmed, by cockering and tenderness.Tenderness.

§ 5. The first thing to be taken care of, is, that children be not too warmlyWarmth. clad or Edition: current; Page: [8] covered, winter or summer. The face, when we are born, is no less tender than any other part of the body: it is use alone hardens it, and makes it more able to endure the cold. And therefore the Scythian philosopher gave a very significant answer to the Athenian, who wondered how he could go naked in frost and snow: “How,” said the Scythian, “can you endure your face exposed to the sharp winter air?” “My face is used to it,” said the Athenian. “Think me all face,” replied the Scythian. Our bodies will endure any thing, that from the beginning they are accustomed to.

An eminent instance of this, though in the contrary excess of heat, being to our present purpose, to show what use can do, I shall set down in the author’s words, as I meet with it in a late ingenious voyage:* ‘The heats, says he, are more violent in Malta, than in any part of Europe: they exceed those of Rome itself, and are perfectly stifling; and so much the more, because there are seldom any cooling breezes here. This makes the common people as black as gypsies: but yet the peasants defy the sun: they work on, in the hottest part of the day, without intermission, or sheltering themselves from his scorching rays. This has convinced me that nature can bring itself to many things, which seem impossible, provided we accustom ourselves from our infancy. The Malteses do so, who harden the bodies of their children, and reconcile them to the heat, by making them go stark naked, without shirt, drawers, or any thing on their head, from their cradles, till they are ten years old.’

Give me leave, therefore, to advise you, not to fence too carefully against the cold of this our climate: there are those in England, who wear the same clothes winter and summer, and that without any inconvenience, or more sense of cold than others find. But if the mother will needs have an allowance for frost and snow, for fear of harm; and the father, for fear of censure; be sure let not his winter-clothing be too warm: and Edition: current; Page: [9] amongst other things remember, that when nature has so well covered his head with hair, and strengthened it with a year or two’s age, that he can run about by day without a cap, it is best that by night a child should also lie without one; there being nothing that more exposes to head-ach, colds, catarrhs, coughs, and several other diseases, than keeping the head warm.

§ 6. I have said [he] here, because the principal aim of my discourse is, how a young gentleman should be brought up from his infancy, which in all things will not so perfectly suit the education of daughters; though, where the difference of sex requires different treatment, it will be no hard matter to distinguish.

§ 7. I would also advise his feetFeet. to be washed every day in cold water; and to have his shoes so thin, that they might leak and let in water, whenever he comes near it. Here, I fear, I shall have the mistress, and maids too, against me. One will think it too filthy; and the other, perhaps, too much pains to make clean his stockings. But yet truth will have it, that his health is much more worth than all such considerations, and ten times as much more. And he that considers how mischievous and mortal a thing, taking wet in the feet is, to those who have been bred nicely, will wish he had, with the poor people’s children, gone bare-foot; who, by that means, come to be so reconciled by custom, to wet their feet, that they take no more cold or harm by it, than if they were wet in their hands. And what is it, I pray, that makes this great difference between the hands and the feet in others, but only custom? I doubt not, but if a man from his cradle had been always used to go bare-foot, whilst his hands were constantly wrapped up in warm mittens, and covered with handshoes, as the Dutch call gloves; I doubt not, I say, but such a custom would make taking wet in his hands as dangerous to him, as now taking wet in their feet is to a great many others. The way to prevent this, is to have his shoes made so, as to leak water; and his feet washed constantly every day in cold water. It is recommendable for its cleanliness: but that which I aim at in it, is health. And therefore I Edition: current; Page: [10] limit it not precisely to any time of the day. I have known it used every night, with very good success, and that, all the winter, without the omitting it so much as one night, in extreme cold weather: when thick ice covered the water, the child bathed his legs and feet in it; though he was of an age not big enough to rub and wipe them himself; and when he began this custom, was puling and very tender. But the great end being to harden those parts, by a frequent and familiar use of cold water, and thereby to prevent the mischiefs, that usually attend accidental taking wet in the feet, in those who are bred otherwise; I think it may be left to the prudence and convenience of the parents, to choose either night or morning. The time I deem indifferent, so the thing be effectually done. The health and hardiness procured by it, would be a good purchase at a much dearer rate. To which if I add the preventing of corns, that to some men would be a very valuable consideration. But begin first in the spring with lukewarm, and so colder and colder every time, till in a few days you come to perfectly cold water, and then continue it so, winter and summer. For it is to be observed in this, as in all other alterationsAlterations. from our ordinary way of living, the changes must be made by gentle and insensible degrees; and so we may bring our bodies to any thing, without pain, and without danger.

How fond mothers are like to receive this doctrine, is not hard to foresee. What can it be less than to murder their tender babes to use them thus? What! put their feet in cold water in frost and snow, when all one can do is little enough to keep them warm! A little to remove their fears by examples, without which the plainest reason is seldom hearkened to; Seneca tells us of himself, ep. 53 and 83, that he used to bathe himself in cold spring water in the midst of winter. This, if he had not thought it not only tolerable, but healthy too, he would scarce have done, in an exuberant fortune, that could well have borne the expence of a warm bath; and in an age (for he was then old) that would have excused greater indulgence. If we think his Edition: current; Page: [11] stoical principles led him to this severity; let it be so, that this sect reconciled cold water to his sufferance: what made it agreeable to his health? for that was not impaired by this hard usage. But what shall we say to Horace, who armed not himself with the reputation of any sect, and least of all affected stoical austerities? yet he assures us he was wont in the winter season to bathe himself in cold water. But perhaps Italy will be thought much warmer than England, and the chilliness of their waters not to come near ours in winter. If the rivers of Italy are warmer, those of Germany and Poland are much colder, than any in this our country; and yet in these, the jews, both men and women, bathe all over, at all seasons of the year, without any prejudice to their health. And every one is not apt to believe it is a miracle, or any peculiar virtue of St. Winifred’s well, that makes the cold waters of that famous spring do no harm to the tender bodies that bathe in it. Every one is now full of the miracles done, by cold baths, on decayed and weak constitutions, for the recovery of health and strength; and therefore they cannot be impracticable, or intolerable, for the improving and hardening the bodies of those who are in better circumstances.

If these examples of grown men be not thought yet to reach the case of children, but that they may be judged still to be too tender and unable to bear such usage; let them examine what the Germans of old, and the Irish now do to them; and they will find that infants too, as tender as they are thought, nay, without any danger, endure bathing, not only of their feet, but of their whole bodies in cold water. And there are, at this day, ladies in the highlands of Scotland, who use this discipline to their children, in the midst of winter; and find that cold water does them no harm, even when there is ice in it.

§ 8. I shall not need here to mention swimming,Swimming. when he is of an age able to learn, and has any one to teach him. It is that saves many a man’s life: and the Romans thought it so necessary, that they ranked it with letters; and it was the common phrase to mark one ill-educated, and good for Edition: current; Page: [12] nothing; that he had neither learned to read, nor to swim: “Nec literas didicit, nec natare.” But besides the gaining a skill, which may serve him at need; the advantages to health, by often bathing in cold water, during the heat of summer, are so many, that I think nothing need to be said to encourage it; provided this one caution be used, that he never go into the water, when exercise has at all warmed him, or left any emotion in his blood or pulse.

§ 9. Another thing, that is of great advantage to every one’s health, but especially children’s, is, to be much in the open air,Air. and very little, as may be, by the fire, even in winter. By this he will accustom himself also to heat and cold, shine and rain; all which if a man’s body will not endure, it will serve him to very little purpose in this world: and when he is grown up, it is too late to begin to use him to it: it must be got early and by degrees. Thus the body may be brought to bear almost any thing. If I should advise him to play in the wind and sun without a hat, I doubt whether it could be born. There would a thousand objections be made against it, which at last would amount to no more, in truth, than being sunburnt. And if my young master be to be kept always in the shade, and never exposed to the sun and wind, for fear of his complexion, it may be a good way to make him a beau, but not a man of business. And although greater regard be to be had to beauty in the daughters, yet I will take the liberty to say, that the more they are in the air, without prejudice to their faces, the stronger and healthier they will be; and the nearer they come to the hardships of their brothers in their education, the greater advantage will they receive from it, all the remaining part of their lives.

§ 10. Playing in the open air has but this one danger in it, that I know: and that is, that when he is hot with running up and down, he should sit or lie down on the cold or moist earth. This, I grant, and drinking cold drink, when they are hot with labour or exercise, brings more people to the grave, or to the brink of it, by fevers, and other diseases, than any thing I know. Edition: current; Page: [13] These mischiefs are easily enough prevented, whilst he is little, being then seldom out of sight. And if during his childhood he be constantly and rigorously kept from sitting on the ground, or drinking any cold liquor, whilst he is hot, the custom of forbearing, grown into a habit,Habits. will help much to preserve him, when he is no longer under his maid’s or tutor’s eye. This is all I think can be done in the case. For, as years increase, liberty must come with them; and, in a great many things, he must be trusted to his own conduct, since there cannot always be a guard upon him; except what you put into his own mind, by good principles and established habits, which is the best and surest, and therefore most to be taken care of. For, from repeated cautions and rules, ever so often inculcated, you are not to expect any thing, either in this, or any other case, farther than practice has established them into habit.

§ 11. One thing the mention of the girls brings into my mind, which must not be forgot; and that is, that your son’s clothesClothes. be never made strait, especially about the breast. Let nature have scope to fashion the body, as she thinks best. She works of herself a great deal better and exacter, than we can direct her. And if women were themselves to frame the bodies of their children in their wombs, as they often endeavour to mend their shapes, when they are out, we should as certainly have no perfect children born, as we have few well-shaped, that are strait-laced, or much tampered with. This consideration should, methinks, keep busy people (I will not say ignorant nurses and boddice-makers) from meddling in a matter they understand not; and they should be afraid to put nature out of her way, in fashioning the parts, when they know not how the least and meanist is made. And yet I have seen so many instances of children receiving great harm from strait lacing, that I cannot but conclude, there are other creatures, as well as monkies, who, little wiser than they, destroy their young ones, by senseless fondness, and too much embracing.

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§ 12. Narrow breasts, short and stinking breath, ill lungs, and crookedness, are the natural and almost constant effects of hard boddice, and clothes that pinch. That way of making slender waists, and fine shapes, serves but the more effectually to spoil them. Nor can there, indeed, but be disproportion in the parts, when the nourishment, prepared in the several offices of the body, cannot be distributed, as nature designs. And therefore, what wonder is it, if, it being laid where it can, or some part not so braced, it often makes a shoulder, or hip, higher or bigger than its just proportion? It is generally known, that the women of China, (imagining I know not what kind of beauty in it,) by bracing and binding them hard from their infancy, have very little feet. I saw lately a pair of china shoes, which I was told were for a grown woman; they were so exceedingly disproportioned to the feet of one of the same age, amongst us, that they would scarce have been big enough for one of our little girls. Besides this, it is observed, that their women are also very little, and short-lived; whereas the men are of the ordinary stature of other men, and live to a proportionable age. These defects in the female sex of that country, are by some imputed to the unreasonable binding of their feet; whereby the free circulation of the blood is hindered, and the growth and health of the whole body suffers. And how often do we see, that some small part of the foot being injured, by a wrench or a blow, the whole leg or thigh thereby loses its strength and nourishment, and dwindles away? How much greater inconveniencies may we expect, when the thorax, wherein is placed the heart and seat of life, is unnaturally compressed, and hindered from its due expansion?

§ 13. As for his diet,Diet. it ought to be very plain and simple; and, if I might advise, flesh should be forborn, as long as he is in coats, or at least, till he is two or three years old. But whatever advantage this may be, to his present and future health and strength, I fear it will hardly be consented to, by parents, misled by the custom of eating too much flesh themselves; Edition: current; Page: [15] who will be apt to think their children, as they do themselves, in danger to be starved, if they have not flesh, at least twice a day. This I am sure, children would breed their teeth with much less danger, be freer from diseases whilst they were little, and lay the foundations of an healthy and strong constitution much surer, if they were not crammed so much as they are, by fond mothers and foolish servants, and were kept wholly from flesh, the first three or four years of their lives.

But if my young master must needs have flesh, let it be but once a day, and of one sort, at a meal. Plain beef, mutton, veal, &c. without other sauce than hunger, is best: and great care should be used, that he eat bread plentifully both alone and with every thing else. And whatever he eats, that is solid, make him chew it well. We English are often negligent herein; from whence follows indigestion, and other great inconveniencies.

§ 14. For breakfast and supper, milk, milk-pottage, water-gruel, flummery, and twenty other things, that we are wont to make in England, are very fit for children: only in all these let care be taken, that they be plain, and without much mixture, and very sparingly seasoned with sugar, or rather none at all: especially all-spice, and other things that may heat the blood, are carefully to be avoided. Be sparing also of salt, in the seasoning of all his victuals, and use him not to high-seasoned meats. Our palates grow into a relish and liking of the seasoning and cookery, which by custom they are set to; and an over-much use of salt, besides that it occasions thirst, and over-much drinking, has other ill effects upon the body. I should think that a good piece of well-made and well-baked brown bread, sometimes with, and sometimes without, butter or cheese, would be often the best breakfast for my young master. I am sure it is as wholesome, and will make him as strong a man as greater delicacies; and if he be used to it, it will be as pleasant to him. If he at any time calls for victuals between meals, use him to nothing but dry bread. If he be hungry, more Edition: current; Page: [16] than wanton, bread alone will down; and if he be not hungry, it is not fit the should eat. By this you will obtain two good effects: 1. That by custom he will come to be in love with bread; for, as I said, our palates and stomachs too are pleased with the things we are used to. Another good you will gain hereby is, that you will not teach him to eat more nor oftener than nature requires. I do not think that all people’s appetites are alike; some have naturally stronger, and some weaker stomachs. But this I think, that many are made gormands and gluttons by custom, that were not so by nature: and I see, in some countries, men as lusty and strong, that eat but two meals a day, as others that have set their stomachs by a constant usage, like larums, to call on them for four or five. The Romans usually fasted till supper: the only set meal, even of those who ate more than once a day: and those who used breakfasts, as some did at eight, some at ten, others at twelve of the clock, and some later, neither ate flesh, nor had any thing made ready for them. Augustus, when the greatest monarch on the earth, tells us, he took a bit of dry bread in his chariot. And Seneca in his 83d epistle, giving an account how he managed himself, even when he was old, and his age permitted indulgence, says, that he used to eat a piece of dry bread for his dinner, without the formality of sitting to it: though his estate would have as well paid for a better meal (had health required it) as any subject’s in England, were it doubled. The masters of the world were bred up, with this spare diet: and the young gentlemen of Rome felt no want of strength or spirit, because they ate but once a day. Or if it happened by chance, that any one could not fast so long, as till supper, their only set meal; he took nothing but a bit of dry bread, or at most a few raisins, or some such slight thing with it, to stay his stomach. This part of temperance was found so necessary, both for health and business, that the custom of only one meal a day held out against that prevailing luxury, which their eastern conquests and spoils had brought in amongst them: and those, who had given up their old frugal Edition: current; Page: [17] eating, and made feasts, yet began them not till the evening. And more than one set meal a day was thought so monstrous, that it was a reproach, as low down as Cæsar’s time, to make an entertainment, or sit down to a full table, till towards sun-set. And therefore, if it would not be thought too severe, I should judge it most convenient, that my young master should have nothing, but bread too for breakfast. You cannot imagine of what force custom is; and I impute a great part of our diseases in England to our eating too much flesh, and too little bread.

§ 15. As to his meals,Meals. I should think it best, that, as much as it can be conveniently avoided, they should not be kept constantly to an hour. For, when custom hath fixed his eating to certain stated periods, his stomach will expect victuals at the usual hour, and grow peevish if he passes it; either fretting itself into a troublesome excess, or flagging into a downright want of appetite. Therefore I would have no time kept constantly to, for his breakfast, dinner, and supper, but rather varied, almost every day. And if, betwixt these, which I call meals, he will eat, let him have, as often as he calls for it, good dry bread. If any one think this too hard and sparing a diet for a child, let them know, that a child will never starve, nor dwindle for want of nourishment, who, besides flesh at dinner, and spoon-meat, or some such other thing at supper, may have good bread and beer, as often as he has a stomach: for thus, upon second thoughts, I should judge it best for children to be ordered. The morning is generally designed for study, to which a full stomach is but an ill preparation. Dry bread, though the best nourishment, has the least temptation: and nobody would have a child crammed at breakfast, who has any regard to his mind or body, and would not have him dull and unhealthy. Nor let any one think this unsuitable to one of estate and condition. A gentleman, in any age, ought to be so bred, as to be fitted to bear arms, and be a soldier. But he that in this, breeds his son so, as if he designed him to Edition: current; Page: [18] sleep over his life, in the plenty and ease of a full fortune he intends to leave him, little considers the examples he has seen, or the age he lives in.

§ 16. His drinkDrink. should be only small beer: and that too he should never be suffered to have between meals, but after he had eat a piece of bread. The reasons why I say this are these:

§ 17. 1. More fevers and surfeits are got by people’s drinking when they are hot, than by any one thing I know. Therefore, if by play he be hot and dry, bread will ill go down; and so if he cannot have drink, but upon that condition, he will be forced to forbear. For if he be very hot, he should by no means drink. At least, a good piece of bread first to be eaten, will gain time to warm the beer blood-hot, which then he may drink safely. If he be very dry, it will go down so warmed, and quench his thirst better: and if he will not drink it so warmed, abstaining will not hurt him. Besides, this will teach him to forbear, which is an habit of great use for health of body and mind too.

§ 18. 2. Not being permitted to drink without eating, will prevent the custom of having the cup often at his nose; a dangerous beginning and preparation to good fellowship. Men often bring habitual hunger and thirst on themselves by custom. And, if you please to try, you may, though he be weaned from it, bring him by use to such a necessity of drinking in the night, that he will not be able to sleep without it. It being the lullaby, used by nurses, to still crying children; I believe mothers generally find some difficulty to wean their children from drinking in the night, when they first take them home. Believe it, custom prevails, as much by day as by night; and you may, if you please, bring any one to be thirsty every hour.

I once lived in a house, where, to appease a froward child, they gave him drink, as often as he cried; so that he was constantly bibbing: and though he could not speak, yet he drank more in twenty-four hours than I did. Try it when you please, you may with small, as well as with strong beer, drink yourself into a drought. The great thing to be minded in education Edition: current; Page: [19] is, what habitsHabits. you settle: and therefore in this, as all other things, do not begin to make any thing customary, the practice whereof you would not have continue and increase. It is convenient for health and sobriety, to drink no more than natural thirst requires: and he that eats not salt meats, nor drinks strong drink, will seldom thirst between meals, unless he has been accustomed to such unseasonable drinking.

§ 19. Above all, take great care that he seldom, if ever, taste any wine, or strong drink.Strong drink. There is nothing so ordinarily given children in England, and nothing so destructive to them. They ought never to drink any strong liquor, but when they need it as a cordial, and the doctor prescribes it. And in this case it is, that servants are most narrowly to be watched, and most severely to be reprehended, when they transgress. Those mean sort of people, placing a great part of their happiness in strong drink, are always forward to make court to my young master, by offering him that which they love best themselves: and, finding themselves made merry by it, they foolishly think it will do the child no harm. This you are carefully to have your eye upon, and restrain with all the skill and industry you can: there being nothing, that lays a surer foundation of mischief, both to body and mind, than children’s being used to strong drink; especially to drink in private with the servants.

§ 20. FruitFruit. makes one of the most difficult chapters in the government of health, especially that of children. Our first parents ventured paradise for it: and it is no wonder our children cannot stand the temptation, though it cost them their health. The regulation of this cannot come under any one general rule: for I am by no means of their mind, who would keep children almost wholly from fruit, as a thing totally unwholesome for them: by which strict way they make them but the more ravenous after it; and to eat good and bad, ripe or unripe, all that they can get, whenever they come at it. Melons, peaches, most sort of plums, and all sorts of grapes in England, Edition: current; Page: [20] I think children should be wholly kept from, as having a very tempting taste, in a very unwholesome juice; so that, if it were possible, they should never so much as see them, or know there were any such thing. But strawberries, cherries, goose-berries, or currants, when thorough ripe, I think may be very safely allowed them, and that with a pretty liberal hand, if they be eaten with these cautions. 1. Not after meals, as we usually do, when the stomach is already full of other food. But I think they should be eaten rather before, or between meals, and children should have them for their breakfasts. 2. Bread eaten with them. 3. Perfectly ripe. If they are thus eaten, I imagine them rather conducing, than hurtful to our health. Summer-fruits, being suitable to the hot season of the year they come in, refresh our stomachs, languishing and fainting under it: and therefore I should not be altogether so strict in this point, as some are to their children: who being kept so very short, instead of a moderate quantity of well-chosen fruit, which being allowed them, would content them, whenever they can get loose, or bribe a servant to supply them, satisfy their longing with any trash they can get, and eat to a surfeit.

Apples and pears too, which are thorough ripe, and have been gathered some time, I think may be safely eaten at any time, and in pretty large quantities; especially apples, which never did any body hurt, that I have heard, after October.

Fruits also dried without sugar I think very wholesome. But sweetmeats of all kinds are to be avoided; which, whether they do more harm to the maker or eater, is not easy to tell. This I am sure, it is one of the most inconvenient ways of expence, that vanity hath yet found out: and so I leave them to the ladies.

§ 21. Of all that looks soft and effeminate, nothing is more to be indulged children than sleep.Sleep. In this alone they are to be permitted to have their full satisfaction; nothing contributing more to the growth and health of children, than sleep. All that is to be regulated in it is, in what part of the twenty-four hours they should take it: which will easily be resolved, Edition: current; Page: [21] by only saying, that it is of great use to accustom them to rise early in the morning. It is best so to do, for health: and he that, from his childhood, has by a settled custom made rising betimes easy and familiar to him, will not, when he is a man, waste the best and most useful part of his life in drowziness and lying a-bed. If children therefore are to be called up early in the morning, it will follow of course, that they must go to bed betimes; whereby they will be accustomed to avoid the unhealthy and unsafe hours of debauchery, which are those of the evenings: and they who keep good hours, seldom are guilty of any great disorders. I do not say this, as if your son, when grown up, should never be in company past eight, nor never chat over a glass of wine till midnight. You are now, by the accustoming of his tender years, to indispose him to those inconveniences as much as you can; and it will be no small advantage, that contrary practice having made sitting-up uneasy to him, it will make him often avoid, and very seldom propose midnight revels. But if it should not reach so far, but fashion and company should prevail, and make him live, as others do, above twenty, it is worth the while to accustom him to early rising and early going to bed, between this and that; for the present improvement of his health, and other advantages.

Though I have said, a large allowance of sleep, even as much as they will take, should be made to children when they are little; yet I do not mean, that it should always be continued to them, in so large a proportion, and they suffered to indulge a drowzy laziness in their beds, as they grow up bigger. But whether they should begin to be restrained at seven, or ten years old, or any other time, is impossible to be precisely determined. Their tempers, strength, and constitutions must be considered: but some time between seven and fourteen, if they are too great lovers of their beds, I think it may be seasonable to begin to reduce them, by degrees, to about eight hours, which is generally rest enough for healthy grown people. If you have accustomed him, as you should do, to rise constantly very early in the Edition: current; Page: [22] morning, this fault of being too long in bed will easily be reformed, and most children will be forward enough to shorten that time themselves, by coveting to sit up with the company at night: though, if they be not looked after, they will be apt to take it out in the morning, which should by no means be permitted. They should constantly be called up, and made to rise at their early hour: but great care should be taken in waking them, that it be not done hastily, nor with a loud or shrill voice, or any other sudden violent noise. This often affrights children, and does them great harm. And sound sleep, thus broke off with sudden alarms, is apt enough to discompose any one. When children are to be wakened out of their sleep, be sure to begin with a low call, and some gentle motion; and so draw them out of it by degrees, and give them none but kind words and usage, till they are come perfectly to themselves, and being quite dressed, you are sure they are thoroughly awake. The being forced from their sleep, how gently soever you do it, is pain enough to them: and care should be taken not to add any other uneasiness to it, especially such as may terrify them.

§ 22. Let his bedBed. be hard, and rather quilts than feathers. Hard lodging strengthens the parts: whereas being buried every night in feathers, melts and dissolves the body, is often the cause of weakness, and the forerunner of an early grave. And, besides the stone, which has often its rise from this warm wrapping of the reins, several other indispositions, and that which is the root of them all, a tender weakly constitution, is very much owing to down-beds. Besides, he that is used to hard lodging at home, will not miss his sleep (where he has most need of it) in his travels abroad, for want of his soft bed and his pillows laid in order. And therefore I think it would not be amiss, to make his bed after different fashions; sometimes lay his head higher, sometimes lower, that he may not feel every little change he must be sure to meet with, who is not designed to lie always in my young master’s bed at home, and to have his maid lay all things in print, and tuck him in warm. The great cordial of nature Edition: current; Page: [23] is sleep. He that misses that, will suffer by it; and he is very unfortunate, who can take his cordial only in his mother’s fine gilt cup, and not in a wooden dish. He that can sleep soundly takes the cordial: and it matters not, whether it be on a soft bed, or the hard boards. It is sleep only that is the thing necessary.

§ 23. One thing more there is, which hath a great influence upon the health, and that is going to stool regularly; people that are very loose, have seldom strong thoughts, or strong bodies. But the cure of this, both by diet and medicine, being much more easy than the contrary evil, there needs not much to be said about it: for if it come to threaten, either by its violence, or duration, it will soon enough, and sometimes too soon, make a physician be sent for: and if it be moderate or short, it is commonly best to leave it to nature. On the other side, costivenessCostiveness. has too its ill effects, and is much harder to be dealt with by physic; purging medicines, which seem to give relief, rather increasing than removing the evil.

§ 24. It being an indisposition I had a particular reason to inquire into, and not finding the cure of it in books, I set my thoughts on work, believing that greater changes than that, might be made in our bodies, if we took the right course, and proceeded by rational steps.

1. Then I considered, that going to stool was the effect of certain motions of the body, especially of the peristaltic motion of the guts.

2. I considered, that several motions that were not perfectly voluntary, might yet, by use and constant application, be brought to be habitual, if by an unintermitted custom they were at certain seasons endeavoured to be constantly produced.

3. I had observed some men, who, by taking after supper a pipe of tobacco, never failed of a stool; and began to doubt with myself, whether it were not more custom than the tobacco, that gave them the benefit of nature; or at least, if the tobacco did it, it was rather by exciting a vigorous motion in the guts, than Edition: current; Page: [24] by any purging quality; for then it would have had other effects.

Having thus once got the opinion, that it was possible to make it habitual; the next thing was to consider, what way and means were the likeliest to obtain it.

4. Then I guessed, that if a man, after his first eating in the morning, would presently solicit nature, and try whether he could strain himself so as to obtain a stool, he might in time, by a constant application, bring it to be habitual.

§ 25. The reasons that made me choose this time, were:

1. Because the stomach being then empty, if it received any thing grateful to it, (for I would never, but in case of necessity, have any one eat, but what he likes, and when he has an appetite,) it was apt to embrace it close by a strong constriction of its fibres; which constriction, I supposed, might probably be continued on in the guts, and so increase their peristaltic motion: as we see in the ileus, that an inverted motion being begun any-where below, continues itself all the whole length, and makes even the stomach obey that irregular motion.

2. Because when men eat, they usually relax their thoughts; and the spirits, then free from other employments, are more vigorously distributed into the lower belly, which thereby contribute to the same effect.

3. Because, whenever men have leisure to eat, they have leisure enough also to make so much court to madam Cloacina, as would be necessary to our present purpose; but else, in the variety of human affairs and accidents, it was impossible to affix it to any hour certain; whereby the custom would be interrupted: whereas men in health seldom failing to eat once a day, though the hour be changed, the custom might still be preserved.

§ 26. Upon these grounds, the experiment began to be tried, and I have known none, who have been steady in the prosecution of it, and taken care to go constantly to the necessary-house, after their first eating, whenever Edition: current; Page: [25] that happened, whether they found themselves called on or no, and there endeavoured to put nature upon her duty; but in a few months they obtained their desired success, and brought themselves to so regular an habit, that they seldom ever failed of a stool, after their first eating, unless it were by their own neglect. For, whether they have any motion or no, if they go to the place, and do their part, they are sure to have nature very obedient.

§ 27. I would therefore advise that this course should be taken with a child every day, presently after he has eaten his breakfast. Let him be set upon the stool, as if disburdening were as much in his power, as filling his belly; and let not him or his maid know any thing to the contrary, but that it is so: and if he be forced to endeavour, by being hindered from his play, or eating again till he has been effectually at stool, or at least done his utmost, I doubt not but in a little while it will become natural to him. For there is reason to suspect that children, being usually intent on their play and very heedless of any thing else, often let pass those motions of nature, when she calls them but gently; and so they, neglecting the seasonable offers, do by degrees bring themselves into an habitual costiveness. That by this method costiveness may be prevented, I do more than guess: having known by the constant practice of it for some time, a child brought to have a stool regularly after his breakfast, every morning.

§ 28. How far any grown people will think fit to make trial of it, must be left to them; though I cannot but say, that considering the many evils that come from that defect, of a requisite easing of nature, I scarce know any thing more conducing to the preservation of health than this is. Once in four and twenty hours, I think is enough; and nobody, I guess, will think it too much. And by this means it is to be obtained without physic, which commonly proves very ineffectual in the cure of a settled and habitual costiveness.

§ 29. This is all I have to trouble you with, concerning his management, in the ordinary course of his health. Perhaps it will be expected from Edition: current; Page: [26] me, that I should give some directions of physic,Physic. to prevent diseases: for which, I have only this one, very sacredly to be observed: never to give children any physic for prevention. The observation of what I have already advised, will, I suppose, do that better than the ladies diet-drinks, or apothecary’s medicines. Have a great care of tampering that way, lest, instead of preventing, you draw on diseases. Nor even upon every little indisposition is physic to be given, or the physician to be called to children; especially if he be a busy man, that will presently fill their windows with gally-pots, and their stomachs with drugs. It is safer to leave them wholly to nature, than to put them into the hands of one forward to tamper, or that thinks children are to be cured in ordinary distempers, by any thing but diet, or by a method very little distant from it; it seeming suitable both to my reason and experience, that the tender constitutions of children should have as little done to them as is possible, and as the absolute necessity of the case requires. A little cold-stilled red poppy-water, which is the true surfeit-water, with ease, and abstinence from flesh, often puts an end to several distempers in the beginning, which, by too forward applications, might have been made lusty diseases. When such a gentle treatment will not stop the growing mischief, nor hinder it from turning into a formed disease, it will be time to seek the advice of some sober and discreet physician. In this part, I hope, I shall find an easy belief; and nobody can have a pretence to doubt the advice of one, who has spent some time in the study of physic, when he counsels you not to be too forward in making use of physic and physicians.

§ 30. And thus I have done with what concerns the body and health, which reduces itself to these few and easily observable rules. Plenty of open air, exercise, and sleep: plain diet, no wine or strong drink, and very little or no physic; not too warm and strait clothing; especially the head and feet kept cold, and the feet often used to cold water and exposed to wet.

§ 31. Due care being had to keep the body in strength and vigour, so that it may be able Edition: current; Page: [27] to obey and execute the orders of the mind;Mind. the next and principal business is, to set the mind right, that on all occasions it may be disposed to consent to nothing, but what may be suitable to the dignity and excellency of a rational creature.

§ 32. If what I have said in the beginning of this discourse be true, as I do not doubt but it is, viz. that the difference to be found in the manners and abilities of men, is owing more to their education than to any thing else; we have reason to conclude, that great care is to be had of the forming children’s minds, and giving them that seasoning early, which shall influence their lives always after. For when they do well or ill, the praise or blame will be laid there: and when any thing is done awkwardly, the common saying will pass upon them, that it is suitable to their breeding.

§ 33. As the strength of the body lies chiefly in being able to endure hardships, so also does that of the mind. And the great principle and foundation of all virtue and worth is placed in this, that a man is able to deny himself his own desires, cross his own inclinations, and purely follow what reason directs as best, though the appetite lean the other way.

Early.§ 34. The great mistake I have observed in people’s breeding their children has been, that this has not been taken care enough of in its due season; that the mind has not been made obedient to discipline, and pliant to reason, when at first it was most tender, most easy to be bowed. Parents being wisely ordained by nature to love their children, are very apt, if reason watch not that natural affection very warily; are apt, I say, to let it run into fondness. They love their little ones, and it is their duty: but they often with them cherish their faults too. They must not be crossed, forsooth; they must be permitted to have their wills in all things: and they being in their infancies not capable of great vices, their parents think they may safely enough indulge their little irregularities, and make themselves sport with that pretty perverseness, which they think well enough becomes that innocent age. But to a fond parent, that would not have Edition: current; Page: [28] his child corrected for a perverse trick, but excused it, saying it was a small matter; Solon very well replied, “Aye, but custom is a great one.”

§ 35. The fondling must be taught to strike, and call names; must have what he cries for, and do what he pleases. Thus parents, by humouring and cockering them when little, corrupt the principles of nature in their children, and wonder afterwards to taste the bitter waters, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain. For when their children are grown up, and these ill habits with them; when they are now too big to be dandled, and their parents can no longer make use of them as playthings; then they complain, that the brats are untoward and perverse; then they are offended to see them wilful, and are troubled with those ill humours, which they themselves infused and fomented in them; and then, perhaps too late, would be glad to get out those weeds which their own hands have planted, and which now have taken too deep root to be easily extirpated. For he that has been used to have his will in every thing, as long as he was in coats, why should we think it strange that he should desire it, and contend for it still, when he is in breeches? Indeed, as he grows more towards a man, age shows his faults the more, so that there be few parents then so blind, as not to see them! few so insensible as not to feel the ill effects of their own indulgence. He had the will of his maid before he could speak or go; he had the mastery of his parents ever since he could prattle; and why, now he is grown up, is stronger and wiser than he was then, why now of a sudden must he be restrained and curbed? why must he at seven, fourteen, or twenty years old, lose the privilege which the parent’s indulgence, till then, so largely allowed him? Try it in a dog, or an horse, or any other creature, and see whether the ill and resty tricks they have learned when young, are easily to be mended when they are knit: and yet none of those creatures are half so wilful and proud, or half so desirous to be masters of themselves and others, as man.

§ 36. We are generally wise enough to begin with them, when they are very young; and discipline betimes Edition: current; Page: [29] those other creatures we would make useful and good for somewhat. They are only our own offspring, that we neglect in this point; and having made them ill children, we foolishly expect they should be good men. For if the child must have grapes, or sugar-plums, when he has a mind to them, rather than make the poor baby cry, or be out of humour; why, when he is grown up, must he not be satisfied too, if his desires carry him to wine or women? They are objects as suitable to the longing of twenty-one or more years, as what he cried for, when little, was to the inclinations of a child. The having desires accommodated to the apprehensions and relish of those several ages, is not the fault; but the not having them subject to the rules and restraints of reason: the difference lies not in the having or not having appetites, but in the power to govern, and deny ourselves in them. He that is not used to submit his will to the reason of others, when he is young, will scarce hearken or submit to his own reason, when he is of an age to make use of it. And what kind of a man such a one is like to prove, is easy to foresee.

§ 37. These are oversights usually committed by those who seem to take the greatest care of their children’s education. But, if we look into the common management of children, we shall have reason to wonder, in the great dissoluteness of manners, which the world complains of, that there are any footsteps at all left to virtue. I desire to know what vice can be named, which parents, and those about children, do not season them with, and drop into them the seeds of, as often as they are capable to receive them? I do not mean by the examples they give, and the patterns they set before them, which is encouragement enough; but that which I would take notice of here, is the downright teaching them vice, and actual putting them out of the way of virtue. Before they can go, they principle them with violence, revenge, and cruelty. “Give me a blow that I may beat him,” is a lesson, which most children every day hear: and it is thought nothing, because their hands have not strength enough to do any mischief. But I ask, does not this Edition: current; Page: [30] corrupt their minds? is not this the way of force and violence, that they are set in? and if they have been taught when little, to strike and hurt others by proxy, and encouraged to rejoice in the harm they have brought upon them, and see them suffer; are they not prepared to do it, when they are strong enough to be felt themselves, and can strike to some purpose?

The coverings of our bodies, which are for modesty, warmth, and defence, are, by the folly or vice of parents, recommended to their children for other uses. They are made matter of vanity and emulation. A child is set a longing after a new suit, for the finery of it: and when the little girl is tricked up in her new gown and commode, how can her mother do less than teach her to admire herself, by calling her, “her little “queen,” and “her princess?” Thus the little ones are taught to be proud of their clothes, before they can put them on. And why should they not continue to value themselves for this outside fashionableness of the taylor or tire-woman’s making, when their parents have so early instructed them to do so?

Lying and equivocations, and excuses little different from lying, are put into the mouths of young people, and commended in apprentices and children, whilst they are for their master’s or parent’s advantage. And can it be thought that he, that finds the straining of truth dispensed with, and encouraged, whilst it is for his godly master’s turn, will not make use of that privilege for himself, when it may be for his own profit?

Those of the meaner sort are hindered by the streightness of their fortunes, from encouraging intemperance in their children, by the temptation of their diet, or invitations to eat or drink more than enough: but their own ill examples, whenever plenty comes in their way, show that it is not the dislike of drunkenness or gluttony that keeps them from excess, but want of materials. But if we look into the houses of those who are a little warmer in their fortunes, there eating and drinking are made so much the great business and happiness of life, that children are thought neglected, if they have Edition: current; Page: [31] not their share of it. Sauces, and ragouts, and foods disguised by all the arts of cookery, must tempt their palates, when their bellies are full: and then, for fear the stomach should be overcharged, a pretence is found for the other glass of wine, to help digestion, though it only serves to increase the surfeit.

Is my young master a little out of order? the first question is, “What will my dear eat? what shall I get for thee?” Eating and drinking are instantly pressed: and every body’s invention is set on work to find out something luscious and delicate enough to prevail over that want of appetite, which nature has wisely ordered in the beginning of distempers, as a defence against their increase; that, being freed from the ordinary labour of digesting any new load in the stomach, she may be at leisure to correct and master the peccant humours.

And where children are so happy in the care of their parents, as by their prudence to be kept from the excess of their tables, to the sobriety of a plain and simple diet; yet there too they are scarce to be preserved from the contagion that poisons the mind. Though by a discreet management, whilst they are under tuition, their healths, perhaps, may be pretty well secured; yet their desires must need yield to the lessons, which every-where will be read to them upon this part of epicurism. The commendation that eating well has every-where, cannot fail to be a successful incentive to natural appetite, and bring them quickly to the liking and expence of a fashionable table. This shall have from every one, even the reprovers of vice, the title of living well. And what shall sullen reason dare to say against the public testimony? or can it hope to be heard, if it should call that luxury, which is so much owned, and universally practised by those of the best quality.

This is now so grown a vice, and has so great supports, that I know not whether it do not put in for the name of virtue; and whether it will not be thought folly, or want of knowledge of the world, to open one’s mouth against it. And truly I should suspect, that what I have here said of it might be censured, as a little satire out of my way, did I not mention it with this Edition: current; Page: [32] view, that it might awaken the care and watchfulness of parents in the education of their children; when they see how they are beset on every side, not only with temptations, but instructors to vice, and that perhaps in those they thought places of security.

I shall not dwell any longer on this subject; much less run over all the particulars, that would show what pains are used to corrupt children, and instil principles of vice into them: but I desire parents soberly to consider, what irregularity or vice there is, which children are not visibly taught; and whether it be not their duty and wisdom to provide them other instructions.

Craving.§ 38. It seems plain to me, that the principle of all virtue and excellency lies in a power of denying ourselves the satisfaction of our own desires, where reason does not authorise them. This power is to be got and improved by custom, made easy and familiar by an early practice. If therefore I might be heard, I would advise, that, contrary to the ordinary way, children should be used to submit their desires, and go without their longings, even from their very cradles. The very first thing they should learn to know, should be, that they were not to have any thing, because it pleased them, but because it was thought fit for them. If things suitable to their wants were supplied to them, so that they were never suffered to have what they once cried for, they would learn to be content without it; would never with bawling and peevishness contend for mastery; nor be half so uneasy to themselves and others as they are, because from the first beginning they are not thus handled. If they were never suffered to obtain their desire by the impatience they expressed for it, they would no more cry for other things, than they do for the moon.

§ 39. I say not this, as if children were not to be indulged in any thing, or that I expected they should, in hanging-sleeves, have the reason and conduct of counsellors. I consider them as children, who must be tenderly used, who must play, and have play-things. That which I mean is, that whenever they craved what was not fit for them to have, or do, they should not be Edition: current; Page: [33] permitted it, because they were little and desired it: nay, whatever they were importunate for, they should be sure, for that very reason, to be denied. I have seen children at a table, who, whatever was there, never asked for any thing, but contentedly took what was given them: and at another place I have seen others cry for every thing they saw, must be served out of every dish, and that first too. What made this vast difference but this, that one was accustomed to have what they called or cried for, the other to go without it? The younger they are, the less, I think, are their unruly and disorderly appetites to be eomplied with; and the less reason they have of their own, the more are they to be under the absolute power and restraint of those, in whose hands they are. From which I confess, it will follow, that none but discreet people should be about them. If the world commonly does otherwise, I cannot help that. I am saying what I think should be; which, if it were already in fashion, I should not need to trouble the world with a discourse on this subject. But yet I doubt not but, when it is considered, there will be others of opinion with me, that the sooner this way is begun with children, the easier it will be for them, and their governors too: and that this ought to be observed as an inviolable maxim, that whatever once is denied them, they are certainly not to obtain by crying or importunity; unless one has a mind to teach them to be impatient and troublesome, by rewarding them for it, when they are so.

Early.§ 40. Those therefore that intend ever to govern their children, should begin it whilst they are very little; and look that they perfectly comply with the will of their parents. Would you have your son obedient to you when past a child? Be sure then to establish the authority of a father, as soon as he is capable of submission, and can understand in whose power he is. If you would have him stand in awe of you, imprint it in his infancy; and, as he approaches more to a man, admit him nearer to your familiarity; so shall you have him your obedient subject (as is fit) whilst he Edition: current; Page: [34] is a child, and your affectionate friend when he is a man. For methinks they mightily misplace the treatment due to their children, who are indulgent and familiar when they are little, but severe to them, and keep them at a distance, when they are grown up. For liberty and indulgence can do no good to children: their want of judgment makes them stand in need of restraint and discipline. And, on the contrary, imperiousness and severity is but an ill way of treating men, who have reason of their own to guide them, unless you have a mind to make your children, when grown up, weary of you; and secretly to say within themselves, “When will you die, father?”

§ 41. I imagine every one will judge it reasonable, that their children, when little, should look upon their parents as their lords, their absolute governors; and, as such, stand in awe of them: and that, when they come to riper years, they should look on them as their best, as their only sure friends: and, as such, love and reverence them. The way I have mentioned, if I mistake not, is the only one to obtain this. We must look upon our children, when grown up, to be like ourselves; with the same passions, the same desires. We would be thought rational creatures, and have our freedom; we love not to be uneasy under constant rebukes and browbeatings; nor can we bear severe humours, and great distance in those we converse with. Whoever has such treatment, when he is a man, will look out other company, other friends, other conversation, with whom he can be at ease. If therefore a strict hand be kept over children from the beginning, they will in that age be tractable, and quietly submit to it, as never having known any other: and if, as they grow up to the use of reason, the rigour of government be, as they deserve it, gently relaxed, the father’s brow more smoothed to them, and the distance by degrees abated: his former restraints will increase their love, when they find it was only a kindness for them, and a care to make them capable to deserve the favour of their parents and the esteem of every body else.

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§ 42. Thus much for the settling your authority over children in general. Fear and awe ought to give you the first power over their minds, and love and friendship in riper years to hold it: for the time must come, when they will be past the rod and correction; and then, if the love of you make them not obedient and dutiful; if the love of virtue and reputation keep them not in laudable courses; I ask, what hold will you have upon them, to turn them to it? Indeed, fear of having a scanty portion, if they displease you, may make them slaves to your estate; but they will be nevertheless ill and wicked in private, and that restraint will not last always. Every man must some time or other be trusted to himself, and his own conduct; and he that is a good, a virtuous, and able man, must be made so within. And therefore what he is to receive from education, what is to sway and influence his life, must be something put into him betimes; habits woven into the very principles of his nature; and not a counterfeit carriage, and dissembled outside, put on by fear, only to avoid the present anger of a father, who perhaps may disinherit him.

§ 43. This being laid down in general, as the course ought to be taken, it is fit we come now to consider the parts of the discipline to be used a little more particularly. I have spoken so much of carrying a strict hand over children, that perhaps I shall be suspected of not considering enough what is due to their tender age and constitutions. But that opinion will vanish, when you have heard me a little farther. For I am very apt to think, that great severity of punishmentPunishments. does but very little good; nay, great harm in education: and I believe it will be found, that, cæteris paribus, those children who have been most chastised, seldom make the best men. All that I have hitherto contended for, is, that whatsoever rigour is necessary, it is more to be used, the younger children are; and, having by a due application wrought its effect, it is to be relaxed, and changed into a milder sort of government.

§ 44. A compliance and suppleness of their wills, being by a steady hand introduced by parents, before children have memories to retain the beginnings Edition: current; Page: [36] of it, will seem natural to them, and work afterwards in them as if it were so; preventing all occasions of struggling, or repining. The only care is, that it be begun early, and inflexibly kept to, till aweAwe. and respect be grown familiar, and there appears not the least reluctancy in the submission, and ready obedience of their minds. When this reverence is once thus established, (which it must be early, or else it will cost pains and blows to recover it, and the more, the longer it is deferred,) it is by it, mixed still with as much indulgence, as they made not an ill use of, and not by beating, chiding, or other servile punishments, they are for the future to be governed, as they grow up to more understanding.

Self-denial.§ 45. That this is so, will be easily allowed, when it is but considered what is to be aimed at, in an ingenuous education; and upon what it turns.

1. He that has not a mastery over his inclinations, he that knows not how to resist the importunity of present pleasure or pain, for the sake of what reason tells him is fit to be done, wants the true principle of virtue and industry, and is in danger of never being good for any thing. This temper, therefore, so contrary to unguided nature, is to be got betimes; and this habit, as the true foundation of future ability and happiness, is to be wrought into the mind, as early as may be, even from the first dawnings of any knowledge or apprehension in children; and so to be confirmed in them, by all the care and ways imaginable, by those who have the oversight of their education.

§ 46. 2. On the other side, if the mind be curbed, and humbled too much in children; if their spirits be abased and broken much, by too strict an hand over them; they lose all their vigour and industry, and are in a worse state than the former. For extravagant young fellows, that have liveliness and spirit, come sometimes to be set right, and so make able and great men: but dejectedDejected. minds, timorous and tame, and low spirits, are hardly ever to be raised, and very seldom attain to any thing. To avoid the danger that is on either hand is the great art: and he that has Edition: current; Page: [37] found a way how to keep up a child’s spirit, easy, active, and free; and yet, at the same time, to restrain him from many things he has a mind to, and to draw him to things that are uneasy to him; he, I say, that knows how to reconcile these seeming contradictions, has, in my opinion, got the true secret of education.

Beating.§ 47. The usual lazy and short way by chastisement, and the rod, which is the only instrument of government that tutors generally know, or ever think of, is the most unfit of any to be used in education; because it tends to both those mischiefs; which as we have shown, are the Scylla and Charybdis, which, on the one hand or the other, ruin all that miscarry.

§ 48. 1. This kind of punishment contributes not at all to the mastery of our natural propensity to indulge corporal and present pleasure, and to avoid pain at any rate; but rather encourages it; and thereby strengthens that in us, which is the root, from whence spring all vicious actions, and the irregularities of life. From what other motive, but of sensual pleasure, and pain, does a child act, who drudges at his book against his inclination, or abstains from eating unwholesome fruit, that he takes pleasure in, only out of fear of whipping. He in this only prefers the greater corporal pleasure, or avoids the greater corporal pain. And what is it to govern his actions, and direct his conduct, by such motives as these? what is it, I say, but to cherish that principle in him, which it is our business to root out and destroy? And therefore I cannot think any correction useful to a child, where the shame of suffering for having done amiss does not work more upon him than the pain.

§ 49. 2. This sort of correction naturally breeds an aversion to that which it is the tutor’s business to create a liking to. How obvious is it to observe, that children come to hate things which were at first acceptable to them, when they find themselves whipped and chid, and teased about them; and it is not to be wondered at in them; when grown men would not be able to be reconciled to any thing by such ways. Who is there Edition: current; Page: [38] that would not be disgusted with any innocent recreation, in itself indifferent to him, if he should with blows, or ill language, be hauled to it, when he had no mind? or be constantly so treated, for some circumstances in his application to it? This is natural to be so. Offensive circumstances ordinarily infect innocent things, which they are joined with; and the very sight of a cup, wherein any one uses to take nauseous physic, turns his stomach; so that nothing will relish well out of it, though the cup be ever so clean, and well shaped, and of the richest materials.

§ 50. 3. Such a sort of slavish discipline makes a slavish temper. The child submits, and dissembles obedience, whilst the fear of the rod hangs over him; but when that is removed, and, by being out of sight, he can promise himself impunity, he gives the greater scope to his natural inclination; which by this way is not at all altered, but on the contrary heightened and increased in him; and after such restraint, breaks out usually with the more violence. Or,

§ 51. 4. If severity carried to the highest pitch does prevail, and works a cure upon the present unruly distemper, it is often bringing in the room of it worse and more dangerous disease, by breaking the mind; and then, in the place of a disorderly young fellow, you have a low-spirited moped creature: who, however with his unnatural sobriety he may please silly people, who commend tame inactive children, because they make no noise, nor give them any trouble; yet, at last, will probably prove as uncomfortable a thing to his friends, as he will be, all his life, an useless thing to himself and others.

§ 52. Beating then, and all other sorts of slavish and corporal punishments, are not the discipline fit to be used in the education of those who would have wise, good, and ingenuous men: and therefore very rarely to be applied, and that only on great occasions and cases of extremity. On the other side, to flatter children by rewardsRewards. of things that are pleasant to them, is as carefully to be avoided. He that will give to his son apples, or sugar-plums, or what else of this Edition: current; Page: [39] kind he is most delighted with, to make him learn his book, does but authorise his love of pleasure, and cocker up that dangerous propensity, which he ought by all means to subdue and stifle in him. You can never hope to teach him to master it, whilst you compound for the check you give his inclination in one place, by the satisfaction you propose to it in another. To make a good, a wise, and a virtuous man, it is fit he should learn to cross his appetite, and deny his inclination, to riches, finery, or pleasing his palate, &c whenever his reason advises the contrary, and his duty requires it. But when you draw him to do any thing that is fit, by the offer of money; or reward the pains of learning his book, by the pleasure of a luscious morsel; when you promise him a lace-cravat, or a fine new suit, upon performance of some of his little tasks; what do you, by proposing these as rewards, but allow them to be the good things he should aim at, and thereby encourage his longing for them, and accustom him to place his happiness in them? Thus people, to prevail with children to be industrious about their grammar, dancing, or some other such matter, of no great moment to the happiness or usefulness of their lives, by misapplied rewards and punishments, sacrifice their virtue, invert the order of their education, and teach them luxury, pride, or covetousness, &c. For in this way, flattering those wrong inclinations, which they should restrain and suppress, they lay the foundations of those future vices, which cannot be avoided, but by curbing our desires, and accustoming them early to submit to reason.

§ 53. I say not this, that I would have children kept from the conveniencies or pleasures of life, that are not injurious to their health or virtue: on the contrary, I would have their lives made as pleasant, and as agreeable to them as may be, in a plentiful enjoyment of whatsoever might innocently delight them: provided it be with this caution, that they have those enjoyments, only as the consequences of the state of esteem and acceptation they are in with their parents and governors; but they should never be offered or bestowed on Edition: current; Page: [40] them, as the reward of this or that particular performance, that they show an aversion to, or to which they would not have applied themselves without that temptation.

§ 54. But if you take away the rod on one hand, and these little encouragements, which they are taken with, on the other; how then (will you say) shall children be governed? Remove hope and fear, and there is an end of all discipline. I grant, that good and evil, reward and punishment, are the only motives to a rational creature, these are the spur and reins, whereby all mankind are set on work and guided, and therefore they are to be made use of to children too. For I advise their parents and governors always to carry this in their minds, that children are to be treated as rational creatures.

§ 55. Rewards, I grant, and punishments must be proposed to children, if we intend to work upon them. The mistake, I imagine, is, that those that are generally made use of, are ill chosen. The pains and pleasures of the body are, I think, of ill consequence, when made the rewards and punishments whereby men would prevail on their children: for, as I said before, they serve but to increase and strengthen those inclinations, which it is our business to subdue and master. What principle of virtue do you lay in a child, if you will redeem his desires of one pleasure by the proposal of another? This is but to enlarge his appetite, and instruct it to wander. If a child cries for an unwholesome and dangerous fruit, you purchase his quiet by giving him a less hurtful sweet-meat. This perhaps may preserve his health, but spoils his mind, and sets that farther out of order. For here you only change the object; but flatter still his appetite, and allow that must be satisfied, wherein, as I have showed, lies the root of the mischief: and till you bring him to be able to bear a denial of that satisfaction, the child may at present be quiet and orderly, but the disease is not cured. By this way of proceeding you foment and cherish in him that which is the spring from whence all the evil flows; which will be sure on the next occasion to break out again Edition: current; Page: [41] with more violence, give him stronger longings, and you more trouble.

Reputation.§ 56. The rewards and punishments then whereby we should keep children in order, are quite of another kind; and of that force, that when we can get them once to work, the business, I think, is done, and the difficulty is over. Esteem and disgrace are, of all others, the most powerful incentives to the mind, when once it is brought to relish them. If you can once get into children a love of credit, and an apprehension of shame and disgrace, you have put into them the true principle, which will constantly work, and incline them to the right. But it will be asked, How shall this be done?

I confess, it does not, at first appearance, want some difficulty; but yet I think it worth our while to seek the ways (and practise them when found) to attain this, which I look on as the great secret of education.

§ 57. First, children (earlier perhaps than we think) are very sensible of praise and commendation. They find a pleasure in being esteemed and valued, especially by their parents, and those whom they depend on. If therefore the father caress and commend them, when they do well; show a cold and neglectful countenance to them upon doing ill; and this accompanied by a like carriage of the mother, and all others that are about them; it will in a little time make them sensible of the difference: and this, if constantly observed, I doubt not but will of itself work more than threats or blows, which lose their force, when once grown common, and are of no use when shame does not attend them; and therefore are to be forborn, and never to be used, but in the case hereafter mentioned, when it is brought to extremity.

§ 58. But secondly, to make the sense of esteem or disgrace sink the deeper, and be of the more weight, other agreeable or disagreeable things should constantly accompany these different states; not as particular rewards and punishments of this or that particular action, but as necessarily, belonging to, and constantly attending one, who by his carriage has brought himself into Edition: current; Page: [42] a state of disgrace or commendation. By which way of treating them, children may as much as possible be brought to conceive, that those that are commended and in esteem for doing well, will necessarily be beloved and cherished by every body, and have all other good things as a consequence of it; and, on the other side, when any one by miscarriage falls into dis-esteem, and cares not to preserve his credit, he will unavoidably fall under neglect and contempt: and, in that state, the want of whatever might satisfy or delight him, will follow. In this way the objects of their desires are made assisting to virtue; when a settled experience from the beginning teaches children, that the things they delight in, belong to, and are to be enjoyed by those only, who are in a state of reputation. If by these means you can come once to shame them out of their faults, (for besides that, I would willingly have no punishment,) and make them in love with the pleasure of being well thought on, you may turn them as you please, and they will be in love with all the ways of virtue.

§ 59. The great difficulty here is, I imagine, from the folly and perverseness of servants, who are hardly to be hindered from crossing herein the design of the father and mother. Children, discountenanced by their parents for any fault, find usually a refuge and relief in the caresses of those foolish flatterers, who thereby undo whatever the parents endeavour to establish. When the father or mother looks sour on the child, every body else should put on the same coldness to him, and nobody give him countenance, till forgiveness asked, and a reformation of his fault, has set him right again, and restored him to his former credit. If this were constantly observed, I guess there would be little need of blows or chiding: their own ease and satisfaction would quickly teach children to court commendation, and avoid doing that, which they found every body condemned, and they were sure to suffer for, without being chid or beaten. This would teach them modesty and shame; and they would quickly come to have a natural abhorrence for that, which they found made Edition: current; Page: [43] them slighted and neglected by every body. But how this inconvenience from servants is to be remedied, I must leave to parents care and consideration. Only I think it of great importance; and that they are very happy, who can get discreet people about their children.

§ 60. Frequent beating or chiding is therefore carefully to be avoided; because this sort of correction never produces any good, farther than it serves to raise shameShame. and abhorrence of the miscarriage that brought it on them. And if the greatest part of the trouble be not the sense that they have done amiss, and the apprehension that they have drawn on themselves the just displeasure of their best friends, the pain of whipping will work but an imperfect cure. It only patches up for the present, and skins it over, but reaches not to the bottom of the sore. Ingenuous shame, and the apprehension of displeasure, are the only true restraints; these alone ought to hold the reins, and keep the child in order. But corporal punishments must necessarily lose that effect, and wear out the sense of shame, where they frequently return. Shame in children has the same place that modesty has in women; which cannot be kept, and often transgressed against. And as to the apprehension of displeasure in the parents, they will come to be very insignificant, if the marks of that displeasure quickly cease, and a few blows fully expiate. Parents should well consider what faults in their children are weighty enough to deserve the declaration of their anger: but when their displeasure is once declared to a degree that carries any punishment with it, they ought not presently to lay by the severity of their brows, but to restore their children to their former grace with some difficulty; and delay a full reconciliation, till their conformity, and more than ordinary merit, make good their amendment. If this be not so ordered, punishment will by familiarity become a mere thing of course, and lose all its influence; offending, being chastised, and then forgiven, will be thought as natural and necessary as noon, night, and morning, following one another.

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§ 61. Concerning reputation,Reputation. I shall only remark this one thing more of it: that, though it be not the true principle and measure of virtue, (for that is the knowledge of a man’s duty, and the satisfaction it is to obey his Maker, in following the dictates of that light God has given him, with the hopes of acceptation and reward,) yet it is that which comes nearest to it: and being the testimony and applause that other people’s reason, as it were, by a common consent, gives to virtuous and well-ordered actions, it is the proper guide and encouragement of children, till they grow able to judge for themselves, and to find what is right by their own reason.

§ 62. This consideration may direct parents, how to manage themselves in reproving and commending their children. The rebukes and chiding, which their faults will sometimes make hardly to be avoided, should not only be in sober, grave, and unpassionate words, but also alone and in private: but the commendations children deserve they should receive before others. This doubles the reward, by spreading their praise; but the backwardness parents show in divulging their faults, will make them set a greater value on their credit themselves, and teach them to be the more careful to preserve the good opinion of others, whilst they think they have it: but when, being exposed to shame, by publishing their miscarriages, they give it up for lost, that check upon them is taken off; and they will be the less careful to preserve others good thoughts of them, the more they suspect that their reputation with them is already blemished.

§ 63. But if a right course be taken with children, there will not be so much need of the application of the common rewards and punishments, as we imagined, and as the general practice has established. For all their innocent folly, playing, and childishChildishness. actions, are to be left perfectly free and unrestrained, as far as they can consist with the respect due to those that are present; and that with the greatest allowance. If these faults of their age, rather than of the children themselves, were, as they should be, left Edition: current; Page: [45] only to time, and imitation, and riper years to cure, children would escape a great deal of misapplied and useless correction; which either fails to overpower the natural disposition of their childhood, and so, by an ineffectual familiarity, makes correction in other necessary cases of less use; or else if it be of force to restrain the natural gaiety of that age, it serves only to spoil the temper both of body and mind. If the noise and bustle of their play prove at any time inconvenient, or unsuitable to the place or company they are in, (which can only be where their parents are,) a look or a word from the father or mother, if they have established the authority they should, will be enough either to remove, or quiet them for that time. But this gamesome humour, which is wisely adapted by nature to their age and temper, should rather be encouraged, to keep up their spirits, and improve their strength and health, than curbed or restrained: and the chief art is to make all that they have to do, sport and play too.

§ 64. And here give me leave to take notice of one thing I think a fault in the ordinary method of education; and that is, the charging of children’s memories, upon all occasions, with rulesRules. and precepts, which they often do not understand, and are constantly as soon forgot as given. If it be some action you would have done, or done otherwise; whenever they forget or do it awkwardly, make them do it over and over again, till they are perfect: whereby you will get these two advantages: First, to see whether it be an action they can do, or is fit to be expected of them. For sometimes children are bid to do things, which, upon trial, they are found not able to do; and had need be taught and exercised in, before they are required to do them. But it is much easier for a tutor to command, than to teach. Secondly, another thing got by it will be this, that by repeating the same action, till it be grown habitual in them, the performance will not depend on memory, or reflection, the concomitant of prudence and age, and not of childhood; but will be natural in them. Thus, bowing to a gentleman when he salutes him, and looking in his face when he Edition: current; Page: [46] speaks to him, is by constant use as natural to a wellbred man, as breathing; it requires no thought, no reflection. Having this way cured in your child any fault, it is cured for ever: and thus, one by one, you may weed them out all, and plant what habits you please.

§ 65. I have seen parents so heap rules on their children, that it was impossible for the poor little ones to remember a tenth part of them, much less to observe them. However, they were either by words or blows corrected for the breach of those multiplied and often very impertinent precepts. Whence it naturally followed, that the children minded not what was said to them; when it was evident to them, that no attention they were capable of, was sufficient to preserve them from transgression, and the rebukes which followed it.

Let therefore your rules to your son be as few as is possible, and rather fewer than more than seem absolutely necessary. For if you burden him with many rules, one of these two things must necessarily follow, that either he must be very often punished, which will be of ill consequence, by making punishment too frequent and familiar; or else you must let the transgressions of some of your rules go unpunished, whereby they will of course grow contemptible, and your authority become cheap to him. Make but few laws, but see they be well observed, when once made. Few years require but few laws; and as his age increases, when one rule is by practice well established, you may add another.

§ 66. But pray remember, children are not to be taught by rules, which will be always slipping out of their memories. What you think necessary for them to do, settle in them by an indispensable practice, as often as the occasion returns; and, if it be possible, make occasions. This will beget habitsHabits. in them, which, being once established, operate of themselves, easily and naturally, without the assistance of the memory. But here let me give two cautions: 1. The one is, that you keep them to the practice of what you would have grow into a habit in them, by Edition: current; Page: [47] kind words and gentle admonitions, rather as minding them of what they forget, than by harsh rebukes and chiding as if they were wilfully guilty. 2dly, Another thing you are to take care of, is, not to endeavour to settle too many habits at once, lest by a variety you confound them, and so perfect none. When constant custom has made any one thing easy and natural to them, and they practise it without reflection, you may then go on to another.

This method of teaching children by a repeated practice,Practice. and the same action done over and over again, under the eye and direction of the tutor, till they have got the habit of doing it well, and not by relying on rules trusted to their memories; has so many advantages, which way soever we consider it, that I cannot but wonder (if ill customs could be wondered at in any thing) how it could possibly be so much neglected. I shall name one more that comes now in my way. By this method we shall see, whether what is required of him be adapted to his capacity, and any way suited to the child’s natural genius and constitution: for that too must be considered in a right education. We must not hope wholly to change their original tempers, nor make the gay pensive and grave, nor the melancholy sportive, without spoiling them. God has stamped certain characters upon men’s minds, which, like their shapes, may perhaps be a little mended; but can hardly be totally altered and transformed into the contrary.

He therefore that is about children, should well study their natures and aptitudes, and see, by often trials, what turn they easily take, and what becomes them; observe what their native stock is, how it may be improved, and what it is fit for: he should consider what they want, whether they be capable of having it wrought into them by industry, and incorporated there by practice; and whether it be worth while to endeavour it. For in many cases, all that we can do, or should aim at, is, to make the best of what nature has given, to prevent the vices and faults to which such a constitution is most inclined, and give it all the advantages it Edition: current; Page: [48] is capable of. Every one’s natural genius should be carried as far as it could; but to attempt the putting another upon him, will be but labour in vain; and what is so plaistered on, will at best sit but untowardly, and have always hanging to it the ungracefulness of constraint and affectation.

AffectationAffectation. is not, I confess, an early fault of childhood, or the product of untaught nature: it is of that sort of weeds, which grow not in the wild uncultivated waste, but in garden-plots, under the negligent hand, or unskilful care of a gardener. Management and instruction, and some sense of the necessity of breeding, are requisite to make any one capable of affectation, which endeavours to correct natural defects, and has always the laudable aim of pleasing, though it always misses it; and the more it labours to put on gracefulness, the farther it is from it. For this reason it is the more carefully to be watched, because it is the proper fault of education; a perverted education indeed, but such as young people often fall into, either by their own mistake, or the ill conduct of those about them.

He that will examine wherein that gracefulness lies, which always pleases, will find it arises from that natural coherence, which appears between the thing done, and such a temper of mind, as cannot but be approved of as suitable to the occasion. We cannot but be pleased with an humane, friendly, civil temper, whereever we meet with it. A mind free, and master of itself and all its actions, not low and narrow, not haughty and insolent, not blemished with any great defect; is what every one is taken with. The actions, which naturally flow from such a well-formed mind, please us also, as the genuine marks of it; and being, as it were, natural emanations from the spirit and disposition within, cannot but be easy and unconstrained. This seems to me to be that beauty, which shines through some men’s actions, sets off all that they do, and takes with all they come near; when by a constant practice they have fashioned their carriage, and made all those little expressions of civility and respect, which Edition: current; Page: [49] nature or custom has established in conversation, so easy to themselves, that they seem not artificial or studied, but naturally to follow from a sweetness of mind and a well-turned disposition.

On the other side, affectation is an awkward and forced imitation of what should be genuine and easy, wanting the beauty that accompanies what is natural; because there is always a disagreement between the outward action, and the mind within, one of these two ways: 1. Either when a man would outwardly put on a disposition of mind, which then he really has not, but endeavours by a forced carriage to make show of; yet so, that the constraint he is under, discovers itself: and thus men affect sometimes to appear sad, merry, or kind, when, in truth, they are not so.

2. The other is, when they do not endeavour to make show of dispositions of mind, which they have not, but to express those they have by a carriage not suited to them: and such in conversation are all constrained motions, actions, words, or looks, which, though designed to show either their respect or civility to the company, or their satisfaction and easiness in it, are not yet natural nor genuine marks of the one or the other; but rather of some defect or mistake within. Imitation of others, without discerning what is graceful in them, or what is peculiar to their characters, often makes a great part of this. But affectation of all kinds, whencesoever it proceeds, is always offensive: because we naturally hate whatever is counterfeit; and condemn those who have nothing better to recommend themselves by.

Plain and rough nature, left to itself, is much better than an artificial ungracefulness, and such studied ways of being ill-fashioned. The want of an accomplishment, or some defect in our behaviour, coming short of the utmost gracefulness, often escapes observation and censure. But affectation in any part of our carriage, is lighting up a candle to our defects; and never fails to make us be taken notice of, either as wanting sense, or wanting sincerity. This governors ought the more diligently to look after; because as I above observed, it Edition: current; Page: [50] is an acquired ugliness, owing to mistaken education; few being guilty of it, but those who pretend to breeding, and would not be thought ignorant of what is fashionable and becoming in conversation; and, if I mistake not, it has often its rise from the lazy admonitions of those who give rules, and propose examples, without joining practice with their instructions, and making their pupils repeat the action in their sight, that they may correct what is indecent or constrained in it, till it be perfected into an habitual and becoming easiness.

§ 67. Manners,Manners. as they call it, about which children are so often perplexed, and have so many goodly exhortations made them, by their wise maids and governesses, I think, are rather to be learned by example than rules; and then children, if kept out of ill company, will take a pride to behave themselves prettily, after the fashion of others, perceiving themselves esteemed and commended for it. But, if by a little negligence in this part, the boy should not put off his hat, nor make legs very gracefully, a dancing-master will cure that defect, and wipe off all that plainness of nature, which the à-la-mode people call clownishness. And since nothing appears to me to give children so much becoming confidence and behaviour, and so to raise them to the conversation of those above their age, as dancing;Dancing. I think they should be taught to dance, as soon as they are capable of learning it. For, though this consist only in outward gracefulness of motion, yet, I know not how, it gives children manly thoughts and carriage, more than any thing. But otherwise I would not have little children much tormented about punctilios, or niceties of breeding.

Never trouble yourself about those faults in them, which you know age will cure. And therefore want of well-fashioned civility in the carriage, whilst civility is not wanting in the mind, (for there you must take care to plant it early,) should be the parents least care, whilst they are young. If his tender mind be filled with a veneration for his parents and teachers, which consists in love and esteem, and a fear to offend them; and Edition: current; Page: [51] with respect and good-will to all people; that respect will of itself teach those ways of expressing it, which he observes most acceptable. Be sure to keep up in him the principles of good-nature and kindness; make them as habitual as you can, by credit and commendation, and the good things accompanying that state; and when they have taken root in his mind, and are settled there by a continued practice, fear not; the ornaments of conversation, and the outside of fashionable manners, will come in their due time, if, when they are removed out of their maid’s care, they are put into the hands of a well-bred man to be their governor.

Whilst they are very young, any carelessness is to be borne with in children, that carries not with it the marks of pride or ill-nature: but those, whenever they appear in any action, are to be corrected immediately, by the ways above mentioned. What I have said concerning manners, I would not have so understood, as if I meant that those, who have the judgment to do it, should not gently fashion the motions and carriage of children, when they are very young. It would be of great advantage, if they had people about them, from their being first able to go, that had the skill, and would take the right way to do it. That which I complain of is the wrong course that is usually taken in this matter. Children who were never taught any such thing as behaviour, are often (especially when strangers are present) child for having some way or other failed in good manners, and have thereupon reproofs and precepts heaped upon them, concerning putting off their hats, or making of legs, &c. Though in this those concerned pretend to correct the child, yet, in truth, for the most part, it is but to cover their own shame: and they lay the blame on the poor little ones, sometimes passionately enough, to divert it from themselves, for fear the by-standers should impute to their want of care and skill the child’s ill behaviour.

For, as for the children themselves, they are never one jot bettered by such occasional lectures: they at other times should be shown what to do, and by reiterated Edition: current; Page: [52] actions be fashioned before-hand into the practice of what is fit and becoming; and not told, and talked to do upon the spot, what they have never been accustomed to, nor know how to do as they should: to hare and rate them thus at every turn, is not to teach them, but to vex and torment them to no purpose. They should be let alone, rather than chid for a fault, which is none of theirs, nor is in their power to mend for speaking to. And it were much better their natural, childish negligence, or plainness, should be left to the care of riper years, than that they should frequently have rebukes misplaced upon them, which neither do, nor can give them graceful motions. If their minds are well disposed, and principled with inward civility, a great part of the roughness, which sticks to the outside for want of better teaching, time and observation will rub off, as they grow up, if they are bred in good company; but if in ill, all the rules in the world, all the correction imaginable, will not be able to polish them. For you must take this for a certain truth, that let them have what instructions you will, and ever so learned lectures of breeding daily inculculated into them, that which will most influence their carriage, will be the company they converse with, and the fashion of those about them. Children (nay, and men too) do most by example. We are all a sort of chameleons, that still take a tincture from things near us: nor is it to be wondered at in children, who better understand what they see, than what they hear.

§ 68. I mentioned above, one great mischief that came by servants to children, when by their flatteries they take off the edge and force of the parents rebukes, and so lessen their authority. And here is another great inconvenience, which children receive from the ill examples which they meet with, amongst the meaner servants.

They are wholly, if possible, to be kept from such conversation: for the contagion of these ill precedents, both in civility and virtue, horribly infects children, as often as they come within reach of it. They frequently Edition: current; Page: [53] learn, from unbred or debauched servants, such language, untowardly tricks and vices, as otherwise they possibly would be ignorant of all their lives.

§ 69. It is a hard matter wholly to prevent this mischief. You will have very good luck if you never have a clownish or vicious servant, and if from them your children never get any infection. But yet, as much must be done towards it, as can be; and the children kept as much as may be* in the companyCompany. of their parents, and those to whose care they are committed. To this purpose, their being in their presence should be made easy to them: they should be allowed the liberties and freedom suitable to their ages, and not be held under unnecessary restraints, when in their parent’s or governor’s sight. If it be a prison to them, it is no wonder they should not like it. They must not be hindered from being children, or from playing or doing as children; but from doing ill. All other liberty is to be allowed them. Next, to make them in love with the company of their parents, they should receive all their good things there, and from their hands. The servants should be hindered from making court to them, by giving them strong drink, wine, fruit, playthings, and other such matters, which may make them in love with their conversation.

§ 70. Having named company, I am almost ready to throw away my pen, and trouble you no farther on this subject. For since that does more than all precepts, rules, and instructions, methinks it is almost wholly in vain to make a long discourse of other things, and to talk of that almost to no purpose. For you will be ready to say, “What shall I do with my son? If I keep him always at home, he will be in danger to be my young master; and if I send him abroad, how is it possible to keep him from the contagion of rudeness and vice, which is every-where so in fashion? Edition: current; Page: [54] In my house he will perhaps be more innocent, but more ignorant too of the world: wanting there change of company, and being used constantly to the same faces, he will, when he comes abroad, be a sheepish or conceited creature.”

I confess, both sides have their inconveniencies. Being abroad, it is true, will make him bolder, and better able to bustle and shift amongst boys of his own age; and the emulation of school-fellows often puts life and industry into young lads. But till you can find a school, wherein it is possible for the master to look after the manners of his scholars, and can show as great effects of his care of forming their minds to virtue, and their carriage to good breeding, as of forming their tongues to the learned languages; you must confess, that you have a strange value for words, when, preferring the languages of the ancient Greeks and Romans to that which made them such brave men, you think it worth while to hazard your son’s innocence and virtue, for a little Greek and Latin. For, as for that boldness and spirit, which lads get amongst their play-fellows at school, it has ordinarily such a mixture of rudeness, and an ill-turned confidence, that those misbecoming and disingenuous ways of shifting in the world must be unlearned, and all the tincture washed out again, to make way for better principles, and such manners as make a truly worthy man. He that considers how diametrically opposite the skill of living well, and managing, as a man should do, his affairs in the world, is to that malapertness, tricking, or violence, learnt among school-boys, will think the faults of a privater education infinitely to be preferred to such improvements; and will take care to preserve his child’s innocence and modesty at home, as being nearer of kin, and more in the way of those qualities, which make a useful and able man. Nor does any one find, or so much as suspect, that the retirement and bashfulness, which their daughters are brought up in, makes them less knowing or less able women. Conversation, when they come into the world, soon gives them a becoming Edition: current; Page: [55] assurance; and whatsoever, beyond that, there is of rough and boisterous, may in men be very well spared too: for courage and steadiness, as I take it, lie not in roughness and ill breeding.

Virtue is harder to be got, than a knowledge of the world; and, if lost in a young man, is seldom recovered. Sheepishness and ignorance of the world, the faults imputed to a private education, are neither the necessary consequences of being bred at home; nor, if they were, are they incurable evils. Vice is the more stubborn, as well as the more dangerous evil of the two; and therefore, in the first place, to be fenced against. If that sheepish softness, which often enervates those, who are bred like fondlings at home, be carefully to be avoided, it is principally so for virtue’s sake; for fear lest such a yielding temper should be too susceptible of vicious impressions, and expose the novice too easily to be corrupted. A young man, before he leaves the shelter of his father’s house, and the guard of a tutor, should be fortified with resolution, and made acquainted with men, to secure his virtue; lest he should be led into some ruinous course, or fatal precipice, before he is sufficiently acquainted with the dangers of conversation, and has steadiness enough not to yield to every temptation. Were it not for this, a young man’s bashfulness, and ignorance of the world, would not so much need an early care. Conversation would cure it in a great measure; or, if that will not do it early enough, it is only a stronger reason for a good tutor at home. For, if pains be to be taken to give him a manly air and assurance betimes, it is chiefly as a fence to his virtue, when he goes into the world, under his own conduct.

It is preposterous, therefore, to sacrifice his innocency to the attaining of confidence, and some little skill of bustling for himself among others, by his conversation with ill-bred and vicious boys; when the chief use of that sturdiness, and standing upon his own legs, is only for the preservation of his virtue. For if confidence or cunning come once to mix with vice, and support his miscarriages, he is only the surer lost; and you must undo again, and strip him of that he has got Edition: current; Page: [56] from his companions, or give him up to ruin. Boys will unavoidably be taught assurance by conversation with men, when they are brought into it; and that is time enough. Modesty and submission, till then, better fits them for instruction: and therefore there needs not any great care to stock them with confidence beforehand. That which requires most time, pains, and assiduity, is to work into them the principles and practice of virtue and good breeding. This is the seasoning they should be prepared with, so as not easily to be got out again: this they had need to be well provided with. For conversation, when they come into the world, will add to their knowledge and assurance, but be too apt to take from their virtue; which therefore they ought to be plentifully stored with, and have that tincture sunk deep into them.

How they should be fitted for conversation, and entered into the world, when they are ripe for it, we shall consider in another place. But how any one’s being put into a mixed herd of unruly boys, and there learning to wrangle at trap, or rook at span-farthing, fits him for civil conversation, or business, I do not see. And what qualities are ordinarily to be got from such a troop of play-fellows, as schools usually assemble together, from parents of all kinds, that a father should so much covet it, is hard to divine. I am sure, he who is able to be at the charge of a tutor, at home, may there give his son a more genteel carriage, more manly thoughts, and a sense of what is worthy and becoming, with a greater proficiency in learning into the bargain, and ripen him up sooner into a man; than any at school can do. Not that I blame the school-master in this, or think it to be laid to his charge. The difference is great between two or three pupils in the same house, and three or fourscore boys lodged up and down. For, let the master’s industry and skill be ever so great, it is impossible he should have 50 or 100 scholars under h s eye, any longer than they are in the school together: nor can it be expected, that he should instruct them successfully in any thing but their books; the forming of their minds and manners requiring a constant attention, Edition: current; Page: [57] and particular application to every single boy; which is impossible in a numerous flock, and would be wholly in vain, (could he have time to study and correct every one’s particular defects and wrong inclinations,) when the lad was to be left to himself, or the prevailing infection of his fellows, the greatest part of the four-and-twenty hours.

But fathers, observing that fortune is often most successfully courted by bold and bustling men, are glad to see their sons pert and forward betimes; take it for an happy omen, that they will be thriving men, and look on the tricks they play their school-fellows, or learn from them, as a proficiency in the art of living, and making their way through the world. But I must take the liberty to say, that he that lays the foundation of his son’s fortune in virtue and good breeding, takes the only sure and warrantable way. And it is not the waggeries or cheats practised among school-boys, it is not their roughness one to another, nor the well-laid plots of robbing an orchard together, that makes an able man; but the principles of justice, generosity, and sobriety, joined with observation and industry, qualities which I judge school-boys do not learn much of one another. And if a young gentleman, bred at home, be not taught more of them, than he could learn at school, his father has made a very ill choice of a tutor. Take a boy from the top of a grammar-school, and one of the same age, bred as he should be in his father’s family, and bring them into good company together; and then see which of the two will have the more manly carriage, and address himself with the more becoming assurance to strangers. Here I imagine the school-boy’s confidence will either fail or discredit him; and if it be such as fits him only for the conversation of boys, he had better be without it.

Vice,Vice. if we may believe the general complaint, ripens so fast now-a-days, and runs up to seed so early in young people, that it is impossible to keep a lad from the spreading contagion, if you will venture him abroad in the herd, and trust to chance, or his own inclination, for the choice of his company Edition: current; Page: [58] at school. By what fate vice has so thriven amongst us these few years past, and by what hands it has been nursed up into so uncontrolled a dominion, I shall leave to others to inquire. I wish that those who complain of the great decay of christian piety and virtue everywhere, and of learning and acquired improvements in the gentry of this generation, would consider how to retrieve them in the next. This I am sure, that, if the foundation of it be not laid in the education and principling of the youth, all other endeavours will be in vain. And if the innocence, sobriety, and industry of those who are coming up, be not taken care of and preserved, it will be ridiculous to expect, that those who are to succeed next on the stage, should abound in that virtue, ability, and learning, which has hitherto made England considerable in the world. I was going to add courage too, though it has been looked on as the natural inheritance of Englishmen. What has been talked of some late actions at sea, of a kind unknown to our ancestors, gives me occasion to say, that debauchery sinks the courage of men; and when dissoluteness has eaten out the sense of true honour, bravery seldom stays long after it. And I think it impossible to find an instance of any nation, however renowned for their valour, who ever kept their credit in arms, or made themselves redoubtable amongst their neighbours, after corruption had once broke through, and dissolved the restraint of discipline; and vice was grown to such a head, that it durst show itself barefaced, without being out of countenance.

It is virtueVirtue. then, direct virtue, which is the hard and valuable part to be aimed at in education; and not a forward pertness, or any little arts of shifting. All other considerations and accomplishments should give way, and be postponed, to this. This is the solid and substantial good, which tutors should not only read lectures, and talk of; but the labour and art of education should furnish the mind with, and fasten there, and never cease till the young man had a true relish of it, and placed his strength, his glory, and his pleasure in it.

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The more this advances, the easier way will be made for other accomplishments in their turns. For he that is brought to submit to virtue, will not be refractory, or resty, in any thing that becomes him. And therefore I cannot but prefer breeding of a young gentleman at home in his father’s sight, under a good governor, as much the best and safest way to this great and main end of education; when it can be had, and is ordered as it should be. Gentlemen’s houses are seldom without variety of company:Company. they should use their sons to all the strange faces that come there, and engage them in conversation with men of parts and breeding, as soon as they are capable of it. And why those, who live in the country, should not take them with them, when they make visits of civility to their neighbours, I know not: this I am sure, a father that breeds his son at home, has the opportunity to have him more in his own company, and there give him what encouragement he thinks fit: and can keep him better from the taint of servants, and the meaner sort of people, than is possible to be done abroad. But what shall be resolved in the case, must in great measure be left to the parents, to be determined by their circumstances and conveniencies. Only I think it the worst sort of good husbandry for a father not to strain himself a little for his son’s breeding; which, let his condition be what it will, is the best portion he can leave him. But if, after all, it shall be thought by some, that the breeding at home has too little company, and that at ordinary schools not such as it should be for a young gentleman; I think there might be ways found out to avoid the inconveniencies on the one side and the other.

§ 71. Having under consideration howgreat the influence of company is, and how prone we are all, especially children, to imitation; I must here take the liberty to mind parents of this one thing, viz. that he that will have his son have a respect for him and his orders, must himself have a great reverence for his son. “Maxima debetur pueris reverentia.” You must do nothing before him, which Edition: current; Page: [60] you would not have him imitate. If any thing escape you, which you would have pass for a fault in him, he will be sure to shelter himself under your example,Example. and shelter himself so, as that it will not be easy to come at him to correct it in him the right way. If you punish him for what he sees you practise yourself, he will not think that severity to proceed from kindness in you, or carefulness to amend a fault in him; but will be apt to interpret it the peevishness and arbitrary imperiousness of a father, who, without any ground for it, would deny his son the liberty and pleasures he takes himself. Or if you assume to yourself the liberty you have taken, as a privilege belonging to riper years, to which a child must not aspire, you do but add new force to your example, and recommend the action the more powerfully to him. For you must always remember, that children affect to be men earlier than is thought: and they love breeches, not for their cut, or ease, but because the having them is a mark or a step towards manhood. What I say of the father’s carriage before his children, must extend itself to all those who have any authority over them, or for whom he would have them have any respect.

§ 72. But to return to the business of rewards and punishments.Punishment. All the actions of childishness, and unfashionable carriage, and whatever time and age will of itself be sure to reform, being (as I have said) exempt from the discipline of the rod, there will not be so much need of beating children, as is generally made use of. To which if we add learning to read, write, dance, foreign languages, &c. as under the same privilege, there will be but very rarely any occasion for blows or force in an ingenuous education. The right way to teach them those things, is, to give them a liking and inclination to what you propose to them to be learned, and that will engage their industry and application. This I think no hard matter to do, if children be handled as they should be, and the rewards and punishments above mentioned be carefully applied, and with them these few rules observed in the method of instructing them.

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§ 73. 1. None of the things they are to learn should ever be made a burden to them, or imposed on them as a task.Task. Whatever is so proposed, presently becomes irksome: the mind takes an aversion to it, though before it were a thing of delight or indifferency. Let a child be but ordered to whip his top at a certain time of the day, whether he has, or has not a mind to it; let this be but required of him as a duty, wherein he must spend so many hours morning and afternoon, and see whether he will not soon be weary of any play at this rate. Is it not so with grown men? What they do cheerfully of themselves, do they not presently grow sick of, and can no more endure, as soon as they find it is expected of them as a duty? Children have as much a mind to show that they are free, that their own good actions come from themselves, that they are absolute and independent, as any of the proudest of you grown men, think of them as you please.

§ 74. 2. As a consequence of this, they should seldom be put about doing even those things you have got an inclination in them to, but when they have a mind and dispositionDisposition. to it. He that loves reading, writing, music, &c. finds yet in himself certain seasons wherein those things have no relish to him: and, if at that time he forces himself to it, he only pothers and wearies himself to no purpose. So it is with children. This change of temper should be carefully observed in them, and the favourable seasons of aptitude and inclination be heedfully laid hold of: and if they are not often enough forward of themselves, a good disposition should be talked into them, before they be set upon any thing. This I think no hard matter for a discreet tutor to do, who has studied his pupil’s temper, and will be at a little pains to fill his head with suitable ideas, such as may make him in love with the present business. By this means a great deal of time and tiring would be saved: for a child will learn three times as much when he is in tune, as he will with double the time and pains, when he goes awkwardly, or is dragged unwillingly to it. If this were Edition: current; Page: [62] minded as it should, children might be permitted to weary themselves with play, and yet have time enough to learn what is suited to the capacity of each age. But no such thing is considered in the ordinary way of education, nor can it well be. That rough discipline of the rod is built upon other principles, has no attraction in it, regards not what humour children are in, nor looks after favourable seasons of inclination. And indeed it would be ridiculous, when compulsion and blows have raised an aversion in the child to his task, to expect he should freely of his own accord leave his play, and with pleasure court the occasions of learning: whereas, were matters ordered right, learning any thing they should be taught, might be made as much a recreation to their play, as their play is to their learning. The pains are equal on both sides: nor is it that which troubles them; for they love to be busy, and the change and variety is that which naturally delights them. The only odds is, in that which we call play they act at liberty, and employ their pains (whereof you may observe them never sparing) freely; but what they are to learn, is forced upon them; they are called, compelled, and driven to it. This is that which at first entrance, balks and cools them; they want their liberty: get them but to ask their tutor to teach them, as they do often their play-fellows, instead of his calling upon them to learn; and they being satisfied that they act as freely in this, as they do in other things, they will go on with as much pleasure in it, and it will not differ from their other sports and play. By these ways, carefully pursued, a child may be brought to desire to be taught any thing you have a mind he should learn. The hardest part, I confess, is with the first or eldest; but when once he is set aright, it is easy by him to lead the rest whither one will.

§ 75. Though it be past doubt, that the fittest time for children to learn any thing is, when their minds are in tune, and well disposed to it; when neither flagging of spirit, nor intentness of thought upon something else, makes them awkward and averse; yet two things are to be taken care of: 1. that these seasons either not Edition: current; Page: [63] being warily observed, and laid hold on, as often as they return; or else not returning as often as they should; the improvement of the child be not thereby neglected, and so he be let grow into an habitual idleness, and confirmed in this indisposition. 2. That though other things are ill learned when the mind is either indisposed, or otherwise taken up; yet it is of great moment, and worth our endeavours, to teach the mind to get the mastery over itself; and to be able, upon choice, to take itself off from the hot pursuit of one thing, and set itself upon another with facility and delight; or at any time to shake off its sluggishness, and vigorously employ itself about what reason, or the advice of another, shall direct. This is to be done in children, by trying them sometimes; when they are by laziness unbent, or by avocation bent another way, and endeavouring to make them buckle to the thing proposed. If by this means the mind can get an habitual dominion over itself, lay by ideas or business, as occasion requires, and betake itself to new and less acceptable employments, without reluctancy or discomposure, it will be an advantage of more consequence than Latin or logic, or most of those things children are usually required to learn.

Compulsion.§ 76. Children being more active and busy in that age, than in any other part of their life, and being indifferent to any thing they can do, so they may be but doing; dancing and scotch-hoppers would be the same thing to them, were the encouragements and discouragements equal. But to things we would have them learn, the great and only discouragement I can observe, is, that they are called to it; it is made their business; they are teased and chid about it, and do it with trembling and apprehension; or, when they come willingly to it, are kept too long at it, till they are quite tired: all which intrenches too much on that natural freedom they extremely affect. And it is that liberty alone, which gives the true relish and delight to their ordinary play-games. Turn the tables, and you will find, they will soon change their application; especially if they see the examples of others, Edition: current; Page: [64] whom they esteem and think above themselves. And if the things which they observe others to do, be ordered so that they insinuate themselves into them, as the privilege of an age or condition above theirs; then ambition, and the desire still to get forward, and higher, and to be like those above them, will set them on work, and make them go on with vigour and pleasure; pleasure in what they have begun by their own desire. In which way the enjoyment of their dearly beloved freedom will be no small encouragement to them. To all which, if there be added the satisfaction of credit and reputation, I am apt to think, there will need no other spur to excite their application and assiduity, as much as is necessary. I confess, there needs patience and skill, gentleness and attention, and a prudent conduct to attain this at first. But why have you a tutor, if there needed no pains? But when this is once established, all the rest will follow more easily, than in any more severe and imperious discipline. And I think it no hard matter to gain this point; I am sure it will not be, where children have no ill examples set before them. The great danger therefore, I apprehend, is only from servants, and other ill-ordered children, or such other vicious or foolish people, who spoil children, both by the ill pattern they set before them in their own ill manners, and by giving them together, the two things they should never have at once; I mean, vicious pleasures and commendation.

§ 77. As childrenChiding. should very seldom be corrected by blows; so, I think, frequent, and especially, passionate chiding, of almost as ill consequence. It lessons the authority of the parents, and the respect of the child: for I bid you still remember, they distinguish early betwixt passion and reason: and as they cannot but have a reverence for what comes from the latter, so they quickly grow into a contempt of the former; or if it causes a present terrour, yet it soon wears off; and natural inclination will easily learn to slight such scare-crows, which make a noise, but are not animated by reason. Children being to be restrained by the parents only in vicious (which, in their Edition: current; Page: [65] tender years, are only a few) things, a look or nod only ought to correct them, when they do amiss: or, if words are sometimes to be used, they ought to be grave, kind, and sober, representing the ill, or unbecomingness of the faults, rather than a hasty rating of the child for it, which makes him not sufficiently distinguish whether your dislike be not more directed to him than his fault. Passionate chiding usually carries rough and ill language with it, which has this further ill effect, that it teaches and justifies it in children; and the names that their parents or preceptors give them they will not be ashamed or backward to bestow on others, having so good authority for the use of them.

Obstinacy.§ 78. I foresee here it will be objected to me: what then, will you have children never beaten, nor chid, for any fault? this will be to let loose the reins to all kind of disorder. Not so much as is imagined, if a right course has been taken in the first seasoning of their minds, and implanting that awe of their parents above mentioned. For beating, by constant observation, is found to do little good, where the smart of it is all the punishment is feared or felt in it; for the influence of that quickly wears out, with the memory of it. But yet there is one, and but one fault, for which, I think, children should be beaten; and that is obstinacy or rebellion. And in this too, I would have it ordered so, if it can be, that the shame of the whipping, and not the pain, should be the greatest part of the punishment. Shame of doing amiss, and deserving chastisement, is the only true restraint belonging to virtue. The smart of the rod, if shame accompanies it not, soon ceases, and is forgotten, and will quickly, by use, lose its terrour. I have known the children of a person of quality kept in awe, by the fear of having their shoes pulled off, as much as others by apprehensions of a rod hanging over them. Some such punishment I think better than beating; for it is shame of the fault, and the disgrace that attends it, that they should stand in fear of, rather than pain, if you would have them have a temper truly ingenuous. But stubbornness, and an obstinate disobedience, must be mastered Edition: current; Page: [66] with force and blows: for this there is no other remedy. Whatever particular action you bid him to do, or forbear, you must be sure to see yourself obeyed; no quarter, in this case, no resistance. For when once it comes to be a trial of skill, a contest for mastery betwixt you, as it is, if you command, and he refuses; you must be sure to carry it, whatever blows it costs, if a nod or words will not prevail; unless, for ever after, you intend to live in obedience to your son. A prudent and kind mother, of my acquaintance, was, on such an occasion, forced to whip her little daughter, at her first coming home from nurse, eight times successively, the same morning, before she could master her stubbornness, and obtain a compliance in a very easy and indifferent matter. If she had left off sooner, and stopped at the seventh whipping, she had spoiled the child for ever; and, by her unprevailing blows, only confirmed her refractoriness, very hardly afterwards to be cured: but wisely persisting, till she had bent her mind, and suppled her will, the only end of correction and chastisement, she established her authority thoroughly in the very first occasions, and had ever after a very ready compliance and obedience in all things from her daughter. For, as this was the first time, so, I think, it was the last too she ever struck her.

The pain of the rod, the first occasion that requires it, continued and increased without leaving off, till it has thoroughly prevailed; should first bend the mind, and settle the parents authority: and then gravity, mixed with kindness, should for ever after keep it.

This, if well reflected on, would make people more wary in the use of the rod and the cudgel; and keep them from being so apt to think beating the safe and universal remedy, to be applied at random, on all occasions. This is certain however, if it does no good, it does great harm; if it reaches not the mind, and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender; and, whatever pain he has suffered for it, it does but endear to him his beloved stubbornness, which has got him this time the victory, and prepares him to contest and hope for it for the future. Thus, I doubt not, but by illordered Edition: current; Page: [67] correction, many have been taught to be obstinate and refractory, who otherwise would have been very pliant and tractable. For, if you punish a child so, as if it were only to revenge the past fault, which has raised your choler; what operation can this have upon his mind, which is the part to be amended? If there were no sturdy humour or wilfulness mixed with his fault, there was nothing in it, that required the severity of blows. A kind, or grave admonition is enough, to remedy the slips of frailty, forgetfulness, or inadvertency, and is as much as they will stand in need of. But, if there were a perverseness in the will, if it were a designed, resolved disobedience, the punishment is not to be measured by the greatness or smallness of the matter wherein it appeared, but by the opposition it carries, and stands in, to that respect and submission that is due to the father’s orders; which must always be rigorously exacted, and the blows by pauses laid on, till they reach the mind, and you perceive the signs of a true sorrow, shame, and purpose of obedience.

This, I confess, requires something more than setting children a task, and whipping them without any more ado, if it be not done, and done to our fancy. This requires care, attention, observation, and a nice study of children’s tempers, and weighing their faults well, before we come to this sort of punishment. But is not that better, than always to have the rod in hand, as the only instrument of government; and, by frequent use of it, on all occasions, misapply and render inefficacious this last and useful remedy, where there is need of it? For, what else can be expected, when it is promiscuously used upon every little slip? When a mistake in concordance, or a wrong position in verse, shall have the severity of the lash, in a well-tempered and industrious lad, as surely as a wilful crime in an obstinate and perverse offender; how can such a way of correction be expected to do good on the mind, and set that right? which is the only thing to be looked after; and, when set right, brings all the rest that you can desire along with it.

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§ 79. Where a wrong bent of the will wants not amendment, there can be no need of blows. All other faults, where the mind is rightly disposed, and refuses not the government and authority of the father or tutor, are but mistakes, and may often be over-looked; or, when they are taken notice of, need no other but the gentle remedies of advice, direction, and reproof; till the repeated and wilful neglect of those shows the fault to be in the mind, and that a manifest perverseness of the will lies at the root of their disobedience. But whenever obstinacy, which is an open defiance, appears, that cannot be winked at, or neglected, but must, in the first instance, be subdued and mastered; only care must be had, that we mistake not; and we must be sure it is obstinacy, and nothing else.

§ 80. But since the occasions of punishment, especially beating, are as much to be avoided as may be, I think it should not be often brought to this point. If the awe I spoke of be once got, a look will be sufficient in most cases. Nor indeed should the same carriage, seriousness, or application be expected from young children, as from those of riper growth. They must be permitted, as I said, the foolish and childish actions, suitable to their years, without taking notice of them; inadvertency, carelessness, and gaiety, is the character of that age. I think the severity I spoke of, is not to extend itself to such unseasonable restraints; nor is that hastily to be interpreted obstinacy or wilfulness, which is the natural product of their age or temper. In such miscarriages they are to be assisted, and helped towards an amendment, as weak people under a natural infirmity; which, though they are warned of, yet every relapse must not be counted a perfect neglect, and they presently treated as obstinate. Faults of frailty, as they should never be neglected, or let pass without minding; so, unless the will mix with them, they should never be exaggerated, or very sharply reproved; but with a gentle hand set right, as time and age permit. By this means, children will come to see what is in any miscarriage, that is chiefly offensive, and so learn to avoid it. This will encourage them to keep their wills right, Edition: current; Page: [69] which is the great business; when they find, that it preserves them from any great displeasure; and that in all their other failings they meet with the kind concern and help, rather than the anger and passionate reproaches of their tutor and parents. Keep them from vice, and vicious dispositions, and such a kind of behaviour in general will come, with every degree of their age, as is suitable to that age, and the company they ordinarily converse with: and as they grow in years, they will grow in attention and application. But that your words may always carry weight and authority with them, if it shall happen, upon any occasion, that you bid him leave off the doing of any even childish things, you must be sure to carry the point, and not let him have the mastery. But yet, I say, I would have the father seldom interpose his authority and command in these cases, or in any other, but such as have a tendency to vicious habits. I think there are better ways of prevailing with them; and a gentle persuasion in reasoning (when the first point of submission to your will is got) will most times do much better.

§ 81. It will perhaps be wondered, that I mention reasoningReasoning. with children: and yet I cannot but think that the true way of dealing with them. They understand it as early as they do language; and, if I mis-observe not, they love to be treated as rational creatures, sooner than is imagined. It is a pride should be cherished in them, and, as much as can be, made the greatest instrument to turn them by.

But when I talk of reasoning, I do not intend any other, but such as is suited to the child’s capacity and apprehension. Nobody can think a boy of three or seven years old should be argued with as a grown man. Long discourses, and philosophical reasonings, at best, amaze and confound, but do not instruct, children. When I say, therefore, that they must be treated as rational creatures, I mean that you should make them sensible, by the mildness of your carriage, and the composure, even in your correction of them, that what you do is reasonable in you, and useful and necessary for them; and that it is not out of caprice, passion, or Edition: current; Page: [70] fancy, that you command or forbid them any thing. This they are capable of understanding; and there is no virtue they should be excited to, nor fault they should be kept from, which I do not think they may be convinced of: but it must be by such reasons as their age and understanding are capable of, and those proposed always in very few and plain words. The foundations on which several duties are built, and the fountains of right and wrong, from which they spring, are not, perhaps, easily to be let into the minds of grown men, not used to abstract their thoughts from common received opinions. Much less are children capable of reasonings from remote principles. They cannot conceive the force of long deductions: the reasons that move them must be obvious and level to their thoughts, and such as may (if I may so say) be felt and touched. But yet, if their age, temper, and inclinations, be considered, they will never want such motives, as may be sufficient to convince them. If there be no other more particular, yet these will always be intelligible, and of force, to deter them from any fault, fit to be taken notice of in them, viz. that it will be a discredit and disgrace to them, and displease you.

§ 82. But, of all the ways whereby children are to be instructed, and their manners formed, the plainest, easiest, and most efficacious, is to set before their eyes the examplesExamples. of those things you would have them do or avoid. Which, when they are pointed out to them, in the practice of persons within their knowledge, with some reflections on their beauty or unbecomingness, are of more force to draw or deter their imitation, than any discourses which can be made to them. Virtues and vices can by no words be so plainly set before their understandings, as the actions of other men will show them, when you direct their observation, and bid them view this or that good or bad quality in their practice. And the beauty or uncomeliness of many things, in good and ill breeding, will be better learnt, and make deeper impressions on them, in the examples of others, than from any rules or instructions can be given about them.

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This is a method to be used, not only whilst they are young; but to be continued, even as long as they shall be under another’s tuition or conduct. Nay, I know not whether it be not the best way to be used by a father, as long as he shall think fit, on any occasion, to reform any thing he wishes mended in his son; nothing sinking so gently, and so deep, into men’s minds, as example. And what ill they either overlook, or indulge in themselves, they cannot but dislike, and be ashamed of, when it is set before them in another.

§ 83. It may be doubted concerning whipping,Whipping. when, as the last remedy, it comes to be necessary; at what times, and by whom it should be done: whether presently upon the committing the fault, whilst it is yet fresh and hot; and whether parents themselves should beat their children. As to the first; I think it should not be done presently, lest passion mingle with it: and so, though it exceed the just proportion, yet it loses of its due weight; for even children discern when we do things in passion. But, as I said before, that has most weight with them, that appears sedately to come from their parents reason; and they are not without this distinction. Next, if you have any discreet servant capable of it, and has the place of governing your child, (for if you have a tutor, there is no doubt,) I think it is best the smart should come more immediately from another’s hand, though by the parent’s order, who should see it done; whereby the parent’s authority will be preserved, and the child’s aversion, for the pain it suffers, rather be turned on the person that immediately inflicts it. For I would have a father seldom strike his child, but upon very urgent necessity, and as the last remedy; and then perhaps it will be fit to do it so, that the child should not quickly forget it.

§ 84. But, as I said before, beating is the worst, and therefore the last, means to be used in the correction of children; and that only in cases of extremity, after all gentler ways have been tried, and proved unsuccessful: which, if well observed, there will be very seldom any need of blows. For, it not being to be imagined that Edition: current; Page: [72] a child will often, if ever, dispute his father’s present command in any particular instance; and the father not interposing his absolute authority, in peremptory rules, concerning either childish or indifferent actions, wherein his son is to have his liberty; or concerning his learning or improvement, wherein there is no compulsion to be used; there remains only the prohibition of some vicious actions, wherein a child is capable of obstinacy, and consequently can deserve beating: and so there will be but very few occasions of that discipline to be used by any one, who considers well, and orders his child’s education as it should be. For the first seven years, what vices can a child be guilty of, but lying, or some ill-natured tricks; the repeated commission whereof, after his father’s direct command against it, shall bring him into the condemnation of obstinacy, and the chastisement of the rod? If any vicious inclination in him be, in the first appearance and instances of it, treated as it should be, first, with your wonder; and then, if returning again a second time, discountenanced with the severe brow of the father, tutor, and all about him, and a treatment suitable to the state of discredit before mentioned; and this continued till he be made sensible and ashamed of his fault; I imagine there will be no need of any other correction, nor ever any occasion to come to blows. The necessity of such chastisement is usually the consequence only of former indulgences or neglects. If vicious inclinations were watched from the beginning, and the first irregularities which they caused, corrected by those gentler ways, we should seldom have to do with more than one disorder at once; which would be easily set right without any stir or noise, and not require so harsh a discipline as beating. Thus, one by one, as they appeared, they might all be weeded out, without any signs or memory that ever they had been there. But we letting their faults (by indulging and humouring our little ones) grow up, till they are sturdy and numerous, and the deformity of them makes us ashamed and uneasy; we are fain to come to the plough and the harrow; the spade and the pick-ax must go Edition: current; Page: [73] deep to come at the roots, and all the force, skill, and diligence we can use, is scarce enough to cleanse the vitiated seed-plat, overgrown with weeds, and restore us the hopes of fruits to reward our pains in its season.

§ 85. This course, if observed, will spare both father and child the trouble of repeated injunctions, and multiplied rules of doing and forbearing. For I am of opinion, that of those actions, which tend to vicious habits, (which are those alone that a father should interpose his authority and commands in,) none should be forbidden children, till they are found guilty of them. For such untimely prohibitions, if they do nothing worse, do at least so much towards teaching and allowing them, that they suppose that children may be guilty of them, who would possibly be safer in the ignorance of any such faults. And the best remedy to stop them, is, as I have said, to show wonder and amazement at any such action as hath a vicious tendency, when it is first taken notice of in a child. For example, when he is first found in a lye, or any ill-natured trick, the first remedy should be, to talk to him of it as a strange monstrous matter, that it could not be imagined he would have done: and so shame him out of it.

§ 86. It will be (it is like) objected, that whatsoever I fancy of the tractableness of children, and the prevalency of those softer ways of shame and commendation; yet there are many, who will never apply themselves to their books, and to what they ought to learn, unless they are scourged to it. This, I fear, is nothing but the language of ordinary schools and fashion, which have never suffered the other to be tried as it should be, in places where it could be taken notice of. Why, else, does the learning of Latin and Greek need the rod, when French and Italian need it not? Children learn to dance and fence without whipping: nay, arithmetic, drawing, &c. they apply themselves well enough to, without beating: which would make one suspect, that there is something strange, unnatural, and disagreeable to that age, in the things required in grammar-schools, or in the methods used there, that children cannot be Edition: current; Page: [74] brought to, without the severity of the lash, and hardly with that too; or else, that it is a mistake, that those tongues could not be taught them without beating.

§ 87. But let us suppose so some negligent or idle, that they will not be brought to learn by the gentle ways proposed (for we must grant, that there will be children found of all tempers); yet it does not thence follow, that the rough discipline of the cudgel is to be used to all. Nor can any one be concluded unmanageable by the milder methods of government, till they have been thoroughly tried upon him; and, if they will not prevail with him to use his endeavours, and do what is in his power to do, we make no excuses for the obstinate: blows are the proper remedies for those: but blows laid on, in a way different from the ordinary. He that wilfully neglects his book, and stubbornly refuses any thing he can do, required of him by his father, expressing himself in a positive serious command, should not be corrected with two or three angry lashes, for not performing his task, and the same punishment repeated again and again, upon every the like default: but, when it is brought to that pass, that wilfulness evidently shows itself, and makes blows necessary; I think the chastisement should be a little more sedate, and a little more severe, and the whipping (mingled with admonition between) so continued, till the impressions of it on the mind were found legible in the face, voice, and submission of the child, not so sensible of the smart, as of the fault he has been guilty of, and melting in true sorrow under it. If such a correction as this, tried some few times at fit distances, and carried to the utmost severity, with the visible displeasure of the father all the while, will not work the effect, turn the mind, and produce a future compliance; what can be hoped from blows, and to what purpose should they be any more used? Beating, when you can expect no good from it, will look more like the fury of an enraged enemy, than the good-will of a compassionate friend; and such chastisement carries with it only provocation, without any prospect of amendment. If it be any father’s misfortune to have a son thus perverse Edition: current; Page: [75] and untractable, I know not what more he can do but pray for him. But I imagine, if a right course be taken with children from the beginning, very few will be found to be such; and when there are any such instances, they are not to be the rule for the education of those who are better natured, and may be managed with better usage.

§ 88. If a tutorTutor. can be got, that, thinking himself in his father’s place, charged with his care, and relishing these things, will at the beginning apply himself to put them in practice, he will afterwards find his work very easy: and you will, I guess, have your son in a little time a greater proficient in both learning and breeding, than perhaps you imagine. But let him by no means beat him, at any time, without your consent and direction: at least till you have experience of his discretion and temper. But yet, to keep up his authority with his pupil, besides concealing that he has not the power of the rod, you must be sure to use him with great respect yourself, and cause all your family to do so too. For you cannot expect your son should have any regard for one, whom he sees you, or his mother, or others slight. If you think him worthy of contempt, you have chosen amiss; and if you show any contempt of him, he will hardly escape it from your son: and whenever that happens, whatever worth he may have in himself, and abilities for this employment, they are all lost to your child, and can afterwards never be made useful to him.

§ 89. As the father’s example must teach the child respect for his tutor; so the tutor’s example must lead the child into those actions he would have him do. His practice must by no means cross his precepts, unless he intend to set him wrong. It will be to no purpose for the tutor to talk of the restraint of the passions, whilst any of his own are let loose: and he will in vain endeavour to reform any vice or indecency in his pupil, which he allows in himself. Ill patterns are sure to be followed more than good rules: and therefore he must also carefully preserve him from the influence of ill precedents, especially the most dangerous of Edition: current; Page: [76] all, the examples of the servants; from whose company he is to be kept, not by prohibitions, for that will but give him an itch after it, but by other ways I have mentioned.

Governor.§ 90. In all the whole business of education, there is nothing like to be less hearkened to, or harder to be well observed, than what I am now going to say; and that is, that children should, from their first beginning to talk, have some discreet, sober, nay wise person about them, whose care it should be to fashion them aright, and keep them from all ill, especially the infection of bad company. I think this province requires great sobriety, temperance, tenderness, diligence, and discretion; qualities hardly to be found united in persons, that are to be had for ordinary salaries: nor easily to be found any-where. As to the charge of it, I think it will be the money best laid out that can be about our children; and therefore, though it may be expensive more than is ordinary, yet it cannot be thought dear. He that at any rate procures his child a good mind, well-principled, tempered to virtue and usefulness, and adorned with civility and good-breeding, makes a better purchase for him, than if he had laid out the money for an addition of more earth to his former acres. Spare it in toys and play-games, in silk and ribbons, laces and other useless expences, as much as you please; but be not sparing in so necessary a part as this. It is not good husbandry to make his fortune rich, and his mind poor. I have often, with great admiration, seen people lavish it profusely in tricking up their children in fine clothes, lodging, and feeding them sumptuously, allowing them more than enough of useless servants; and yet at the same time starve their minds, and not take sufficient care to cover that, which is the most shameful nakedness, viz. their natural wrong inclinations and ignorance. This I can look on as no other than a sacrificing to their own vanity; it showing more their pride, than true care of the good of their children. Whatsoever you employ to the advantage of your son’s mind will show your true kindness, though it be to Edition: current; Page: [77] the lessening of his estate. A wise and good man can hardly want either the opinion or reality of being great and happy. But he that is foolish or vicious, can be neither great nor happy, what estate soever you leave him: and I ask you, whether there be not men in the world, whom you had rather have your son be, with 500l. per annum, than some other you know, with 5000l.?

§ 91. The consideration of charge ought not, therefore, to deter those who are able: the great difficulty will be, where to find a proper person. For those of small age, parts, and virtue, are unfit for this employment: and those that have greater, will hardly be got to undertake such a charge. You must therefore look out early, and inquire every-where; for the world has people of all sorts: and I remember, Montaigne says in one of his essays, that the learned Castalio was fain to make trenchers at Basil, to keep himself from starving, when his father would have given any money for such a tutor for his son, and Castalio have willingly embraced such an employment upon very reasonable terms; but this was for want of intelligence.

§ 92. If you find it difficult to meet with such a tutor as we desire, you are not to wonder. I only can say, spare no care nor cost to get such an one. All things are to be had that way: and I dare assure you, that, if you can get a good one, you will never repent the charge; but will always have the satisfaction to think it the money, of all other, the best laid out. But be sure take nobody upon friends, or charitable, no, nor bare great commendations. Nay, if you will do as you ought, the reputation of a sober man, with a good stock of learning, (which is all usually required in a tutor,) will not be enough to serve your turn. In this choice be as curious, as you would be in that of a wife for him: for you must not think of trial, or changing afterwards; that will cause great inconvenience to you, and greater to your son. When I consider the scruples and cautions I here lay in your way, methinks it looks as if I advised you to something, which I would have offered at, but in effect not done. But he that shall Edition: current; Page: [78] consider, how much the business of a tutor, rightly employed, lies out of the road; and how remote it is from the thoughts of many, even of those who propose to themselves this employment; will perhaps be of my mind, that one, fit to educate and form the mind of a young gentleman, is not every-where to be found; and that more than ordinary care is to be taken in the choice of him, or else you may fail of your end.

§ 93. The character of a sober man, and a scholar, is, as I have above observed, what every one expects in a tutor.Tutor. This generally is thought enough, and is all that parents commonly look for. But when such an one has emptied out, into his pupil, all the Latin and logic he has brought from the university, will that furniture make him a fine gentleman? Or can it be expected that he should be better bred, better skilled in the world, better principled in the grounds and foundations of true virtue and generosity, than his young tutor is?

To form a young gentleman, as she should be, it is fit his governor himself should be well-bred, understand the ways of carriage, and measures of civility, in all the variety of persons, times, and places; and keep his pupil, as much as his age requires, constantly to the observation of them. This is an art not to be learnt, nor taught by books: nothing can give it, but good company and observation joined together. The taylor may make his clothes modish, and the dancing-master give fashion to his motions; yet neither of these, though they set off well, make a well-bred gentleman: no, though he have learning to boot; which, if not well managed, makes him more impertinent and intolerable in conversation. Breeding is that, which sets a gloss upon all his other good qualities, and renders them useful to him, in procuring him the esteem and good-will of all that he comes near. Without good-breeding, his other accomplishments make him pass but for proud, conceited, vain, or foolish.

Courage, in an ill-bred man, has the air, and escapes not the opinion, of brutality: learning becomes pedantry; wit, buffoonery; plainness, rusticity; good-nature, Edition: current; Page: [79] fawning: and there cannot be a good quality in him, which want of breeding will not warp, and disfigure to his disadvantage. Nay, virtue and parts, though they are allowed their due commendation, yet are not enough to procure a man a good reception, and make him welcome wherever he comes. Nobody contents himself with rough diamonds, and wears them so, who would appear with advantage. When they are polished and set, then they give a lustre. Good qualities are the substantial riches of the mind; but it is good-breeding sets them off: and he that will be acceptable, must give beauty, as well as strength, to his actions. Solidity, or even usefulness, is not enough: a graceful way and fashion, in every thing, is that which gives the ornament and liking. And, in most cases, the manner of doing is of more consequence than the thing done; and upon that depends the satisfaction, or disgust, wherewith it is received. This, therefore, which lies not in the putting off the hat, nor making of compliments, but in a due and free composure of language, looks, motion, posture, place, &c. suited to persons and occasions, and can be learned only by habit and use, though it be above the capacity of children, and little ones should not be perplexed about it; yet it ought to be begun, and in a good measure learned, by a young gentleman, whilst he is under a tutor, before he comes into the world upon his own legs; for then usually it is too late to hope to reform several habitual indecencies, which lie in little things. For the carriage is not as it should be, till it is become natural in every part; falling, as skilful musicians fingers do, into harmonious order, without care, and without thought. If in conversation a man’s mind be taken up with a solicitous watchfulness about any part of his behaviour, instead of being mended by it, it will be constrained, uneasy, and ungraceful.

Besides, this part is most necessary to be formed by the hands and care of a governor: because, though the errours committed in breeding are the first that are taken notice of by others, yet they are the last that any one is told of. Not but that the malice of the world is forward Edition: current; Page: [80] enough to tattle of them; but it is always out of his hearing, who should make profit of their judgment, and reform himself by their censure. And indeed this is so nice a point to be meddled with, that even those who are friends, and wish it were mended, scarce ever dare mention it, and tell those they love, that they are guilty in such or such cases of ill breeding. Errours in other things may often with civility be shown another; and it is no breach of good manners, or friendship, to set him right in other mistakes: but good-breeding itself allows not a man to touch upon this; or to insinuate to another, that he is guilty of want of breeding. Such information can come only from those who have authority over them: and from them too it comes very hardly and harshly to a grown man; and, however softened, goes but ill down with any one, who has lived ever so little in the world. Wherefore it is necessary, that this part should be the governor’s principal care; that an habitual gracefulness, and politeness in all his carriage, may be settled in his charge, as much as may be, before he goes out of his hands: and that he may not need advice in this point, when he has neither time nor disposition to receive it, nor has any body left to give it him. The tutor therefore ought, in the first place, to be well-bred: and a young gentleman, who gets this one qualification from his governor, sets out with great advantage; and will find, that this one accomplishment will more open his way to him, get him more friends, and carry him farther in the world, than all the hard words, or real knowledge, he has got from the liberal arts, or his tutor’s learned encyclopædia; not that those should be neglected, but by no means preferred, or suffered to thrust out the other.

§ 94. Besides being well-bred, the tutor should know the world well; the ways, the humours, the follies, the cheats, the faults of the age he is fallen into, and particularly of the country he lives in. These he should be able to show to his pupil, as he finds him capable; teach him skill in men, and their manners; pull off the mask, which their several callings and pretences cover them with; and make his pupil discern what lies at Edition: current; Page: [81] the bottom, under such appearances; that he may not, as unexperienced young men are apt to do, if they are unwarned, take one thing for another, judge by the outside, and give himself up to show, and the insinuation of a fair carriage, or an obliging application. A governor should teach his scholar to guess at, and beware of, the designs of men he hath to do with, neither with too much suspicion, nor too much confidence; but, as the young man is by nature most inclined to either side, rectify him, and bend him the other way. He should accustom him to make, as much as is possible, a true judgment of men by those marks, which serve best to show what they are, and give a prospect into their inside; which often shows itself in little things, especially when they are not in parade, and upon their guard. He should acquaint him with the true state of the world, and dispose him to think no man better or worse, wiser or foolisher, than he really is. Thus, by safe and insensible degrees, he will pass from a boy to a man; which is the most hazardous step in all the whole course of life. This therefore should be carefully watched, and a young man with great diligence handed over it; and not, as now usually is done, be taken from a governor’s conduct, and all at once thrown into the world under his own, not without manifest danger of immediate spoiling; there being nothing more frequent, than instances of the great looseness, extravagancy, and debauchery, which young men have run into, as soon as they have been let loose from a severe and strict education: which, I think, may be chiefly imputed to their wrong way of breeding, especially in this part; for, having been bred up in a great ignorance of what the world truly is, and finding it quite another thing, when they come into it, than what they were taught it should be, and so imagined it was; are easily persuaded, by other kind of tutors, which they are sure to meet with, that the discipline they were kept under, and the lectures that were read to them, were but the formalities of education, and the restraints of childhood; that the freedom belonging Edition: current; Page: [82] to men, is to take their swing in a full enjoyment of what was before forbidden them. They show the young novice the world, full of fashionable and glittering examples of this every-where, and he is presently dazzled with them. My young master, failing not to be willing to show himself a man, as much as any of the sparks of his years, lets himself loose to all the irregularities he finds in the most debauched; and thus courts credit and manliness, in the casting off the modesty and sobriety he has till then been kept in; and thinks it brave, at his first setting out, to signalize himself in running counter to all the rules of virtue, which have been preached to him by his tutor.

The showing him the world as really it is, before he comes wholly into it, is one of the best means, I think, to prevent this mischief. He should, by degrees, be informed of the vices in fashion, and warned of the applications and designs of those who will make it their business to corrupt him. He should be told the arts they use, and the trains they lay; and now and then have set before him the tragical or ridiculous examples of those who are ruining, or ruined, this way. The age is not like to want instances of this kind, which should be made land-marks to him; that by the disgraces, diseases, beggary, and shame of hopeful young men, thus brought to ruin, he may be precautioned, and be made see, how those join in the contempt and neglect of them that are undone, who, by pretences of friendship and respect, led them into it, and helped to prey upon them whilst they were undoing; that he may see, before he buys it by a too dear experience, that those who persuade him not to follow the sober advices he has received from his governors, and the counsel of his own reason, which they call being governed by others, do it only, that they may have the government of him themselves; and make him believe, he goes like a man of himself, by his own conduct, and for his own pleasure, when, in truth, he is wholly as a child, led by them into those vices, which best serve their purposes. This is a knowledge, Edition: current; Page: [83] which, upon all occasions, a tutor should endeavour to instil, and by all methods try to make him comprehend, and thoroughly relish.

I know it is often said, that to discover to a young man the vices of the age is to teach them him. That, I confess, is a good deal so, according as it is done; and therefore requires a discreet man of parts, who knows the world, and can judge of the temper, inclination, and weak side of his pupil. This farther is to be remembered, that it is not possible now (as perhaps formerly it was) to keep a young gentleman from vice, by a total ignorance of it; unless you will all his life mew him up in a closet, and never let him go into company. The longer he is kept thus hood-winked, the less he will see, when he comes abroad into open day-light, and be the more exposed to be a prey to himself and others. And an old boy, at his first appearance, with all the gravity of his ivy-bush about him, is sure to draw on him the eyes and chirping of the whole town volery; amongst which, there will not be wanting some birds of prey, that will presently be on the wing for him.

The only fence against the world, is a thorough knowledge of it: into which a young gentleman should be entered by degrees, as he can bear it; and the earlier the better, so he be in safe and skilful hands to guide him. The scene should be gently opened, and his entrance made step by step, and the dangers pointed out that attend him, from the several degrees, tempers, designs, and clubs of men. He should be prepared to be shocked by some, and caressed by others; warned who are like to oppose, who to mislead, who to undermine him, and who to serve him. He should be instructed how to know and distinguish men; where he should let them see, and when dissemble the knowledge of them, and their aims and workings. And if he be too forward to venture upon his own strength and skill, the perplexity and trouble of a misadventure now and then, that reaches not his innocence, his health, or reputation, may not be an ill way to teach him more caution.

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This, I confess, containing one great part of wisdom, is not the product of some superficial thoughts, or much reading; but the effect of experience and observation in a man, who has lived in the world with his eyes open, and conversed with men of all sorts. And therefore I think it of most value to be instilled into a young man, upon all occasions which offer themselves, that when he comes to launch into the deep himself, he may not be like one at sea without a line, compass, or sea-chart; but may have some notice before-hand of the rocks and shoals, the currents and quick-sands, and know a little how to steer, that he sink not, before he get experience. He that thinks not this of more moment to his son, and for which he more needs a governor, than the languages and learned sciences, forgets of how much more use it is to judge right of men, and manage his affairs wisely with them, than to speak Greek and Latin, or argue in mood and figure; or to have his head filled with the abstruse speculations of natural philosophy and metaphysics; nay, than to be well versed in Greek and Roman writers, though that be much better for a gentleman, than to be a good peripatetic or cartesian: because those ancient authors observed and painted mankind well, and give the best light into that kind of knowledge. He that goes into the eastern parts of Asia, will find able and acceptable men, without any of these: but without virtue, knowledge of the world, and civility, an accomplished and valuable man can be found no-where.

A great part of the learning now in fashion in the schools of Europe, and that goes ordinarily into the round of education, a gentleman may, in a good measure, be unfurnished with, without any great disparagement to himself, or prejudice to his affairs. But prudence and good-breeding are, in all the stations and occurrences of life, necessary; and most young men suffer in the want of them; and come rawer, and more awkward, into the world, than they should, for this very reason; because these qualities, which are, of all other, the most necessary to be taught, and stand most Edition: current; Page: [85] in need of the assistance and help of a teacher, are generally neglected, and thought but a slight, or no part of a tutor’s business. Latin and learning make all the noise: and the main stress is laid upon his proficiency in things, a great part whereof belongs not to a gentleman’s calling; which is to have the knowledge of a man of business, a carriage suitable to his rank, and to be eminent and useful in his country, according to his station. Whenever either spare hours from that, or an inclination to perfect himself in some parts of knowledge, which his tutor did but just enter him in, set him upon any study; the first rudiments of it, which he learned before, will open the way enough for his own industry to carry him as far as his fancy will prompt, or his parts enable him to go: or, if he thinks it may save his time and pains, to be helped over some difficulties by the hands of a master, he may then take a man that is perfectly well skilled in it, or choose such an one, as he thinks fittest for his purpose. But to initiate his pupil in any part of learning, as far as is necessary for a young man in the ordinary course of his studies, an ordinary skill in the governor is enough. Nor is it requisite that he should be a thorough scholar, or possess in perfection all those sciences, which it is convenient a young gentleman should have a taste of, in some general view, or short system. A gentleman, that would penetrate deeper, must do it by his own genius and industry afterwards: for nobody ever went far in knowledge, or became eminent in any of the sciences, by the discipline and constraint of a master.

The great work of a governor is to fashion the carriage, and form the mind; to settle in his pupil good habits, and the principles of virtue and wisdom; to give him, by little and little, a view of mankind; and work him into a love and imitation of what is excellent and praise-worthy; and, in the prosecution of it, to give him vigour, activity, and industry. The studies which he sets him upon, are but, as it were, the exercises of his faculties, and employment of his time, to keep him from sauntering and idleness, to teach him application, and accustom him to take pains, and to Edition: current; Page: [86] give him some little taste of what his own industry must perfect. For who expects, that under a tutor a young gentleman should be an accomplished critic, orator, or logician; go to the bottom of metaphysics, natural philosophy, or mathematics; or be a master in history or chronology? though something of each of these is to be taught him; but it is only to open the door, that he may look in, and, as it were, begin an acquaintance, but not to dwell there: and a governor would be much blamed, that should keep his pupil too long, and lead him too far in most of them. But of good breeding, knowledge of the world, virtue, industry, and a love of reputation, he cannot have too much: and, if he have these, he will not long want what he needs or desires of the other.

And, since it cannot be hoped he should have time and strength to learn all things, most pains should be taken about that which is most necessary; and that principally looked after, which will be of most and frequentest use to him in the world.

Seneca complains of the contrary practice in his time: and yet the Burgersdiciuses and the Scheiblers did not swarm in those days, as they do now in these. What would he have thought, if he had lived now, when the tutors think it their great business to fill the studies and heads of their pupils with such authors as these? He would have had much more reason to say, as he does, “Non vitæ, sed scholæ discimus;” We learn not to live, but to dispute; and our education fits us rather for the university than the world. But it is no wonder, if those who make the fashion, suit it to what they have, and not to what their pupils want. The fashion being once established, who can think it strange, that in this, as well as in all other things, it should prevail; and that the greatest part of those, who find their account in an easy submission to it, should be ready to cry out heresy, when any one departs from it? It is nevertheless matter of astonishment, that men of quality and parts should suffer themselves to be so far misled by custom and implicit faith. Reason, if consulted with, would advise, that their children’s time Edition: current; Page: [87] should be spent in acquiring what might be useful to them, when they come to be men, rather than to have their heads stuffed with a deal of trash, a great part whereof they usually never do (it is certain they never need to) think on again as long as they live; and so much of it, as does stick by them, they are only the worse for. This is so well known, that I appeal to parents themselves, who have been at cost to have their young heirs taught it, whether it be not ridiculous for their sons to have any tincture of that sort of learning, when they come abroad into the world; whether any appearance of it would not lessen and disgrace them in company. And that certainly must be an admirable acquisition, and deserves well to make a part in education, which men are ashamed of, where they are most concerned to show their parts and breeding.

There is yet another reason, why politeness of manners, and knowledge of the world, should principally be looked after in a tutor: and that is, because a man of parts and years may enter a lad far enough in any of those sciences, which he has no deep insight into himself. Books in these will be able to furnish him, and give him light and precedency enough to go before a young follower: but he will never be able to set another right in the knowledge of the world, and, above all, in breeding, who is a novice in them himself.

This is a knowledge he must have about him, worn into him by use and conversation, and a long forming himself by what he has observed to be practised and allowed in the best company. This, if he has it not of his own, is no-where to be borrowed, for the use of his pupil: or if he could find pertinent treatises of it in books, that would reach all the particulars of an English gentleman’s behaviour; his own ill-fashioned example, if he be not well-bred himself, would spoil all his lectures; it being impossible, that any one should come forth well-fashioned out of unpolished, ill-bred company.

I say this, not that I think such a tutor is every day to be met with, or to be had at the ordinary rates: but that those, who are able, may not be sparing of inquiry Edition: current; Page: [88] or cost, in what is of so great moment; and that other parents, whose estates will not reach to greater salaries, may yet remember, what they should principally have an eye to, in the choice of one, to whom they would commit the education of their children; and what part they should chiefly look after themselves, whilst they are under their care, and as often as they come within their observation; and not think, that all lies in Latin and French, or some dry systems of logic and philosophy.

§ 95. But to return to our method again. Though I have mentioned the severity of the father’s brow, and the awe settled thereby in the mind of children when young, as one main instrument, whereby their education is to be managed; yet I am far from being of an opinion, that it should be continued all along to them: whilst they are under the discipline and government of pupilage, I think it should be relaxed, as fast as their age, discretion, and good behaviour could allow it; even to that degree, that a father will do well, as his son grows up, and is capable of it, to talk familiarlyFamiliarity. with him; nay, ask his advice, and consult with him, about those things wherein he has any knowledge or understanding. By this the father will gain two things, both of great moment. The one is, that it will put serious considerations into his son’s thoughts, better than any rules or advices he can give him. The sooner you treat him as a man, the sooner he will begin to be one: and if you admit him into serious discourses sometimes with you, you will insensibly raise his mind above the usual amusements of youth, and those trifling occupations which it is commonly wasted in. For it is easy to observe, that many young men continue longer in the thought and conversation of school-boys, than otherwise they would, because their parents keep them at that distance, and in that low rank, by all their carriage to them.

§ 96. Another thing of greater consequence, which you will obtain by such a way of treating him, will be his friendship. Many fathers, though they proportion to their sons liberal allowances, according to their age Edition: current; Page: [89] and condition; yet they keep the knowledge of their estates and concerns from them with as much reservedness, as if they were guarding a secret of state from a spy or an enemy. This, if it looks not like jealousy, yet it wants those marks of kindness and intimacy, which a father should show to his son; and, no doubt, often hinders, or abates that cheerfulness and satisfaction, wherewith a son should address himself to, and rely upon his father. And I cannot but often wonder to see fathers, who love their sons very well, yet so order the matter, by a constant stiffness, and a mien of authority and distance to them all their lives, as if they were never to enjoy or have any comfort from those they love best in the world, till they have lost them by being removed into another. Nothing cements and establishes friendship and good-will, so much as confident communication of concernments and affairs. Other kindnesses, without this, leave still some doubts; but when your son sees you open your mind to him; when he finds, that you interest him in your affairs, as things you are willing should, in their turn, come into his hands, he will be concerned for them as for his own; wait his season with patience, and love you in the mean time, who keep him not at the distance of a stranger. This will also make him see, that the enjoyment you have, is not without care; which the more he is sensible of, the less will he envy you the possession, and the more think himself happy under the management of so favourable a friend, and so careful a father. There is scarce any young man of so little thought, or so void of sense, that would not be glad of a sure friend, that he might have recourse to, and freely consult on occasion. The reservedness and distance that fathers keep, often deprive their sons of that refuge, which would be of more advantage to them, than an hundred rebukes and chidings. Would your son engage in some frolic, or take a vagary; were it not much better he should do it with, than without your knowledge? For since allowances for such things must be made to young men, the more you know of his intrigues and designs, the better will you be able to prevent great mischiefs; Edition: current; Page: [90] and, by letting him see what is like to follow, take the right way of prevailing with him to avoid less inconveniencies. Would you have him open his heart to you, and ask your advice? You must begin to do so with him first, and by your carriage beget that confidence.

§ 97. But whatever he consults you about, unless it lead to some fatal and irremediable mischief, be sure you advise only as a friend of more experience; but with your advice mingle nothing of command or authority, nor more than you would to your equal, or a stranger. That would be to drive him for ever from any farther demanding or receiving advantage from your counsel. You must consider, that he is a young man, and has pleasures and fancies, which you are passed. You must not expect his inclinations should be just as yours, nor that at twenty he should have the same thoughts you have at fifty. All that you can wish is, that since youth must have some liberty, some outleaps; they might be with the ingenuity of a son, and under the eye of a father, and then no very great harm can come of it. The way to obtain this, as I said before, is (according as you find him capable) to talk with him about your affairs, propose matters to him familiarly, and ask his advice; and when he ever lights on the right, follow it as his; and, if it succeed well, let him have the commendation. This will not at all lessen your authority, but increase his love and esteem of you. Whilst you keep your estate, the staff will still be in your own hands; and your authority the surer, the more it is strengthened with confidence and kindness. For you have not that power you ought to have over him, till he comes to be more afraid of offending so good a friend, than of losing some part of his future expectation.

§ 98. Familiarity of discourse, if it can become a father to his son, may much more be condescended to by a tutor to his pupil. All their time together should not be spent in reading of lectures, and magisterially dictating to him what he is to observe and follow; hearing him in his turn, and using him to reason about Edition: current; Page: [91] what is proposed, will make the rules go down the easier, and sink the deeper, and will give him a liking to study and instruction: and he will then begin to value knowledge, when he sees that it enables him to discourse; and he finds the pleasure and credit of bearing a part in the conversation, and of having his reasons sometimes approved and hearkened to. Particularly in morality, prudence, and breeding, cases should be put to him, and his judgment asked: this opens the understanding better than maxims, how well soever explained; and settles the rules better in the memory for practice. This way lets things into the mind, which stick there, and retain their evidence with them; whereas words at best are faint representations, being not so much as the true shadows of things, and are much sooner forgotten. He will better comprehend the foundations and measures of decency and justice, and have livelier and more lasting impressions of what he ought to do, by giving his opinion on cases proposed, and reasoning with his tutor on fit instances, than by giving a silent, negligent, sleepy audience to his tutor’s lectures; and much more than by captious logical disputes, or set declamations of his own, upon any question. The one sets the thoughts upon wit, and false colours, and not upon truth: the other teaches fallacy, wrangling, and opiniatry; and they are both of them things that spoil the judgment, and put a man out of the way of right and fair reasoning, and therefore carefully to be avoided by one who would improve himself, and he acceptable to others.

§ 99. When, by making your son sensible that he depends on you, and is in your power, you have established your authority; and by being inflexibly severe in your carriage to him, when obstinately persisting in any ill-natured trick which you have forbidden, especially lying, you have imprinted on his mind that awe which is necessary; and on the other side, when (by permitting him the full liberty due to his age, and laying no restraint in your presence to those childish actions, and gaiety of carriage, which, whilst he is very young, are as necessary to him as meat or sleep) you have reconciled him to Edition: current; Page: [92] your company, and made him sensible of your care and love of him by indulgence and tenderness, especially caressing him on all occasions wherein he does any thing well, and being kind to him, after a thousand fashions, suitable to his age, which nature teaches parents better than I can: when, I say, by these ways of tenderness and affection, which parents never want for their children, you have also planted in him a particular affection for you; he is then in the state you could desire, and you have formed in his mind that true reverence,Reverence. which is always afterwards carefully to be continued and maintained in both parts of it, love and fear, as the great principles whereby you will always have hold upon him to turn his mind to the ways of virtue and honour.

§ 100. When this foundation is once well laid, and you find this reverence begin to work in him, the next thing to be done is carefully to consider his temper,Temper. and the particular constitution of his mind. Stubbornness, lying, and ill-natured actions, are not (as has been said) to be permitted in him from the beginning, whatever his temper be: those seeds of vices are not to be suffered to take any root, but must be carefully weeded out, as soon as ever they begin to show themselves in him; and your authority is to take place, and influence his mind from the very dawning of any knowledge in him, that it may operate as a natural principle, whereof he never perceived the beginning; never knew that it was, or could be otherwise. By this, if the reverence he owes you be established early, it will always be sacred to him; and it will be as hard for him to resist it, as the principles of his nature.

§ 101. Having thus very early set up your authority, and, by the gentler applications of it, shamed him out of what leads towards an immoral habit; as soon as you have observed it in him, (for I would by no means have chiding used, much less blows, till obstinacy and incorrigibleness make it absolutely necessary,) it will be fit to consider which way the natural make of his mind inclines him. Some men, by the unalterable frame of Edition: current; Page: [93] their constitutions, are stout, others timorous; some confident, others modest, tractable or obstinate, curious or careless, quick or slow. There are not more differences in men’s faces, and the outward lineaments of their bodies, than there are in the makes and tempers of their minds: only there is this difference, that the distinguishing characters of the face, and the lineaments of the body, grow more plain and visible with time and age, but the peculiar physiognomy of the mind is most discernible in children, before art and cunning have taught them to hide their deformities, and conceal their ill inclinations under a dissembled outside.

§ 102. Begin therefore betimes nicely to observe your son’s temper; and that, when he is under least restraint, in his play, and, as he thinks, out of your sight. See what are his predominant passions, and prevailing inclinations; whether he be fierce or mild, bold or bashful, compassionate or cruel, open or reserved, &c. For as these are different in him, so are your methods to be different, and your authority must hence take measures to apply itself different ways to him. These native propensities, these prevalencies of constitution, are not to be cured by rules, or a direct contest; especially those of them that are the humbler and meaner sort which proceed from fear and lowness of spirit; though with art they may be much mended, and turned to good purpose. But this be sure of, after all is done, the bias will always hang on that side where nature first placed it: and if you carefully observe the characters of his mind now in the first scenes of his life, you will ever after be able to judge which way his thoughts lean, and what he aims at even hereafter, when, as he grows up, the plot thickens, and he puts on several shapes to act it.

§ 103. I told you before, that children love liberty; and therefore they should be brought to do the things that are fit for them, without feeling any restraint laid upon them. I now tell you, they love something more; and that is dominion:Dominion. and this is the first original of most vicious habits, that are ordinary Edition: current; Page: [94] and natural. This love of power and dominion shows itself very early, and that in these two things.

§ 104. 1. We see children (as soon almost as they are born, I am sure long before they can speak) cry, grow peevish, sullen, and out of humour, for nothing but to have their wills. They would have their desires submitted to by others; they contend for a ready compliance from all about them, especially from those that stand near or beneath them in age or degree, as soon as they come to consider others with those distinctions.

§ 105. 2. Another thing, wherein they show their love of dominion, is their desire to have things to be theirs; they would have property and possession, pleasing themselves with the power which that seems to give, and the right they thereby have to dispose of them as they please. He that has not observed these two humours working very betimes in children, has taken little notice of their actions: and he who thinks that these two roots of almost all the injustice and contention that so disturb human life, are not early to be weeded out, and contrary habits introduced, neglects the proper season to lay the foundations of a good and worthy man. To do this, I imagine, these following things may somewhat conduce.

§ 106. 1. That a child should never be suffered to have what he craves,Craving. much less what he cries for, I had said, or so much as speaks for. But that being apt to be misunderstood, and interpreted as if I meant a child should never speak to his parents for any thing, which will perhaps be thought to lay too great a curb on the minds of children, to the prejudice of that love and affection which should be between them and their parents; I shall explain myself a little more particularly. It is fit that they should have liberty to declare their wants to their parents, and that with all tenderness they should be hearkened to, and supplied, at least, whilst they are very little. But it is one thing to say, I am hungry; another to say, I would have roast-meat. Having declared their wants, their natural wants, the pain they feel from hunger, thirst, cold, or Edition: current; Page: [95] any other necessity of nature, it is the duty of their parents, and those about them, to relieve them: but children must leave it to the choice and ordering of their parents what they think properest for them, and how much; and must not be permitted to choose for themselves; and say, I would have wine, or white bread; the very naming of it should make them lose it.

§ 107. That which parents should take care of here, is to distinguish between the wants of fancy and those of nature; which Horace has well taught them to do in this verse,

“Queis humana sibi doleat natura negatis.”

Those are truly natural wants, which reason alone, without some other help, is not able to fence against, nor keep from disturbing us. The pains of sickness and hurts, hunger, thirst, and cold, want of sleep and rest, or relaxation of the part wearied with labour, are what all men feel, and the best disposed mind cannot but be sensible of their uneasiness; and therefore ought, by fit applications, to seek their removal, though not with impatience, or over-great haste, upon the first approaches of them, where delay does not threaten some irreparable harm. The pains that come from the necessities of nature, are monitors to us to beware of greater mischiefs, which they are the forerunners of; and therefore they must not be wholly neglected, nor strained too far. But yet, the more children can be inured to hardships of this kind, by a wise care to make them stronger in body and mind, the better it will be for them. I need not here give any caution to keep within the bounds of doing them good, and to take care, that what children are made to suffer should neither break their spirits, nor injure their health; parents being but too apt of themselves to incline, more than they should, to the softer side.

But whatever compliance the necessities of nature may require, the wants of fancy children should never be gratified in, nor suffered to mention. The very speaking for any such thing should make them lose it. Clothes, when they need, they must have; but if they Edition: current; Page: [96] speak for this stuff, or that colour, they should be sure to go without it. Not that I would have parents purposely cross the desires of their children in matters of indifferency: on the contrary, where their carriage deserves it, and one is sure it will not corrupt or effeminate their minds, and make them fond of trifles, I think, all things should be contrived, as much as could be, to their satisfaction, that they might find the ease and pleasure of doing well. The best for children is, that they should not place any pleasure in such things at all, nor regulate their delight by their fancies; but be indifferent to all that nature has made so. This is what their parents and teachers should chiefly aim at: but till this be obtained, all that I oppose here, is the liberty of asking; which, in these things of conceit, ought to be restrained by a constant forfeiture annexed to it.

This may perhaps be thought a little too severe, by the natural indulgence of tender parents: but yet it is no more than necessary. For since the method I propose is to banish the rod, this restraint of their tongues will be of great use to settle that awe we have elsewhere spoken of, and to keep up in them the respect and reverence due to their parents. Next, it will teach them to keep in, and so master their inclinations. By this means they will be brought to learn the art of stifling their desires, as soon as they rise up in them, when they are easiest to be subdued. For giving vent, gives life and strength to our appetites; and he that has the confidence to turn his wishes into demands, will be but a little way from thinking he ought to obtain them. This I am sure of, every one can more easily bear a denial from himself, than from any body else. They should therefore be accustomed betimes to consult and make use of their reason, before they give allowance to their inclinations. It is a great step towards the mastery of our desires, to give this stop to them, and shut them up in silence. This habit, got by children, of staying the forwardness of their fancies, and deliberating whether it be fit or no before they speak, will be of no small advantage to them in matters of greater consequence Edition: current; Page: [97] in the future course of their lives. For that which I cannot too often inculcate, is that whatever the matter be, about which it is conversant, whether great or small, the main (I had almost said only) thing to be considered, in every action of a child, is, what influence it will have upon his mind; what habit it tends to, and is like to settle in him; how it will become him when he is bigger; and, if it be encouraged, whither it will lead him when grown up.

My meaning therefore is not, that children should purposely be made uneasy: this would relish too much of inhumanity and ill-nature, and be apt to infect them with it. They should be brought to deny their appetites; and their minds, as well as bodies, be made vigorous, easy, and strong, by the custom of having their inclinations in subjection, and their bodies exercised with hardships; but all this without giving them any mark or apprehension of ill-will towards them. The constant loss of what they craved or carved to themselves should teach them modesty, submission, and a power to forbear: but the rewarding their modesty and silence, by giving them what they liked, should also assure them of the love of those who rigorously exacted this obedience. The contenting themselves now, in the want of what they wished for, is a virtue, that another time should be rewarded with what is suited and acceptable to them; which should be bestowed on them, as if it were a natural consequence of their good behaviour, and not a bargain about it. But you will lose your labour, and, what is more, their love and reverence too, if they can receive from others what you deny them. This is to be kept very staunch, and carefully to be watched. And here the servants come again in my way.

§ 108. If this be begun by times, and they accustom themselves early to silence their desires, this useful habit will settle them; and, as they come to grow up in age and discretion, they may be allowed greater liberty; when reason comes to speak in them, and not passion. For whenever reason would speak, it should be hearkened to. But, as they should Edition: current; Page: [98] never be heard, when they speak for any particular thing they would have, unless it be first proposed to them; so they should always be heard, and fairly and kindly answered, when they ask after any thing they would know, and desire to be informed about. CuriosityCuriosity. should be as carefully cherished in children, as other appetites suppressed.

However strict a hand is to be kept upon all desires of fancy, yet there is one case wherein fancy must be permitted to speak, and be hearkened to also. RecreationRecreation. is as necessary as labour or food: but because there can be no recreation without delight, which depends not always on reason, but oftener on fancy, it must be permitted children not only to divert themselves, but to do it after their own fashion, provided it be innocently, and without prejudice to their health; and therefore in this case they should not be denied, if they proposed any particular kind of recreation; though I think, in a well-ordered education, they will seldom be brought to the necessity of asking any such liberty. Care should be taken, that what is of advantage to them, they should always do with delight; and, before they are wearied with one, they should be timely diverted to some other useful employment. But if they are not yet brought to that degree of perfection, that one way of improvement can be made a recreation to them, they must be let loose to the childish play they fancy; which they should be weaned from, by being made surfeited of it: but from things of use, that they are employed in, they should always be sent away with an appetite; at least be dismissed before they are tired, and grow quite sick of it; that so they may return to it again, as to a pleasure that diverts them. For you must never think them set right, till they can find delight in the practice of laudable things; and the useful exercises of the body and mind, taking their turns, make their lives and improvement pleasant in a continued train of recreations, wherein the wearied part is constantly relieved and refreshed. Whether this can be done in every temper, or whether tutors and parents will be at the pains, and Edition: current; Page: [99] have the discretion and patience to bring them to this, I know not; but that it may be done in most children, if a right course be taken to raise in them the desire of credit, esteem, and reputation, I do not at all doubt. And when they have so much true life put into them, they may freely be talked with, about what most delights them, and be directed, or let loose to it, so that they may perceive that they are beloved and cherished, and that those under whose tuition they are, are not enemies to their satisfaction. Such a management will make them in love with the hand that directs them, and the virtue they are directed to.

This farther advantage may be made by a free liberty permitted them in their recreations, that it will discover their natural tempers, show their inclinations and aptitudes; and thereby direct wise parents in the choice, both of the course of life and employment they shall design them for, and of fit remedies, in the mean time, to be applied to whatever bent of nature they may observe most likely to mislead any of their children.

§ 109. 2. Children, who live together, often strive for mastery, whose wills shall carry it over the rest: whoever begins the contest, should be sure to be crossed in it. But not only that, but they should be taught to have all the deference, complaisance, and civility one for the other imaginable. This, when they see it procures them respect, love, and esteem, and that they lose no superiority by it, they will take more pleasure in, than in insolent domineering; for so plainly is the other.

The accusations of children one against another, which usually are but the clamours of anger and revenge, desiring aid, should not be favourably received nor hearkened to. It weakens and effeminates their minds to suffer them to complain:Complaints. and if they endure sometimes crossing or pain from others, without being permitted to think it strange or intolerable, it will do them no harm to learn sufferance, and harden them early. But, though you give no countenance to the complaints of the querulous, yet Edition: current; Page: [100] take care to curb the insolence and ill-nature of the injurious. When you observe it yourself, reprove it before the injured party: but if the complaint be of something really worth your notice and prevention another time, then reprove the offender by himself alone, out of sight of him that complained, and make him go and ask pardon, and make reparation. Which coming thus, as it were from himself, will be the more cheerfully performed, and more kindly received, the love strengthened between them, and a custom of civility grow familiar amongst your children.

§ 110. 3. As to having and possessing of things, teach them to part with what they have, easily and freely to their friends; and let them find by experience, that the most liberalLiberality. has always most plenty, with esteem and commendation to boot, and they will quickly learn to practise it. This, I imagine, will make brothers and sisters kinder and civiller to one another, and consequently to others, than twenty rules about good manners, with which children are ordinarily perplexed and cumbered. Covetousness, and the desire of having in our possession, and under our dominion, more than we have need of, being the root of all evil, should be early and carefully weeded out; and the contrary quality, or a readiness to impart to others, implanted. This should be encouraged by great commendation and credit, and constantly taking care, that he loses nothing by his liberality. Let all the instances he gives of such freeness, be always repaid, and with interest; and let him sensibly perceive, that the kindness he shows to others is no ill husbandry for himself; but that it brings a return of kindness, both from those that receive it, and those who look on. Make this a contest among children, who shall out-do one another this way. And by this means, by a constant practice, children having made it easy to themselves to part with what they have, good-nature may be settled in them into an habit, and they may take pleasure, and pique themselves in being kind, liberal, and civil to others.

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If liberality ought to be encouraged, certainly great care is to be taken that children transgress not the rules of justice:Justice. and whenever they do, they should be set right; and, if there be occasion for it, severely rebuked.

Our first actions being guided more by self-love than reason or reflection, it is no wonder that in children they should be very apt to deviate from the just measures of right and wrong, which are in the mind the result of improved reason and serious meditation. This the more they are apt to mistake, the more careful guard ought to be kept over them, and every the least slip in this great social virtue taken notice of and rectified; and that in things of the least weight and moment, both to instruct their ignorance, and prevent ill habits, which, from small beginnings, in pins and cherry-stones, will, if let alone, grow up to higher frauds, and be in danger to end at last in downright hardened dishonesty. The first tendency to any injustice that appears, must be suppressed with a show of wonder and abhorrency in the parents and governors. But because children cannot well comprehend what injustice is, till they understand property, and how particular persons come by it, the safest way to secure honesty, is to lay the foundations of it early in liberality, and an easiness to part with to others whatever they have, or like, themselves. This may be taught them early, before they have language and understanding enough to form distinct notions of property, and to know what is theirs by a peculiar right exclusive of others. And since children seldom have any thing but by gift, and that for the most part from their parents, they may be at first taught not to take or keep any thing, but what is given them by those whom they take to have a power over it; and, as their capacities enlarge, other rules and cases of justice, and rights concerning “meum” and “tuum,” may be proposed and inculcated. If any act of injustice in them appears to proceed, not from mistake, but perverseness in their wills, when a gentle rebuke and shame will not reform this irregular and covetous inclination, rougher remedies Edition: current; Page: [102] must be applied: and it is but for the father or tutor to take and keep from them something that they value, and think their own; or order somebody else to do it; and by such instances make them sensible, what little advantage they are like to make, by possessing themselves unjustly of what is another’s, whilst there are in the world stronger and more men than they. But if an ingenuous detestation of this shameful vice be but carefully and early instilled into them, as I think it may, that is the true and genuine method to obviate this crime; and will be a better guard against dishonesty, than any considerations drawn from interest; habits working more constantly and with greater facility, than reason; which, when we have most need of it, is seldom fairly consulted, and more rarely obeyed.

§ 111. CryingCrying. is a fault that should not be tolerated in children; not only for the unpleasant and unbecoming noise it fills the house with, but for more considerable reasons, in reference to the children themselves: which is to be our aim in education.

Their crying is of two sorts; either stubborn and domineering, or querulous and whining.

1. Their crying is very often a striving for mastery, and an open declaration of their insolence or obstinacy: when they have not the power to obtain their desire, they will, by their clamour and sobbing, maintain their title and right to it. This is an avowed continuing of their claim, and a sort of remonstrance against the oppression and injustice of those who deny them what they have a mind to.

§ 112. 2. Sometimes their crying is the effect of pain or true sorrow, and a bemoaning themselves under it.

These two, if carefully observed, may, by the mien, look, and actions, and particularly by the tone of their crying, be easily distinguished; but neither of them must be suffered, much less encouraged.

1. The obstinate or stomachful crying should by no means be permitted; because it is but another way of flattering their desires, and encouraging those passions, which it is our main business to subdue: and if it be, Edition: current; Page: [103] as often it is, upon the receiving any correction, it quite defeats all the good effects of it; for any chastisement, which leaves them in this declared opposition, only serves to make them worse. The restraints and punishments laid on children are all misapplied and lost, as far as they do not prevail over their wills, teach them to submit their passions, and make their minds supple and pliant to what their parents reason advises them now, and so prepare them to obey what their own reason should advise hereafter. But if, in any thing wherein they are crossed, they may be suffered to go away crying, they confirm themselves in their desires, and cherish the ill humour, with a declaration of their right, and a resolution to satisfy their inclinations the first opportunity. This therefore is another argument against the frequent use of blows: for, whenever you come to that extremity, it is not enough to whip or beat them; you must do it till you find you have subdued their minds; till with submission and patience they yield to the correction; which you shall best discover by their crying, and their ceasing from it upon your bidding. Without this, the beating of children is but a passionate tyranny over them; and it is mere cruelty, and not correction, to put their bodies in pain, without doing their minds any good. As this gives us a reason why children should seldom be corrected, so it also prevents their being so. For if, whenever they are chastised, it were done thus without passion, soberly and yet effectually too, laying on the blows and smart, not furiously and all at once, but slowly, with reasoning between, and with observation how it wrought, stopping when it had made them pliant, penitent, and yielding; they would seldom need the like punishment again, being made careful to avoid the fault that deserved it. Besides, by this means, as the punishment would not be lost, for being too little, and not effectual; so it would be kept from being too much, if we gave off as soon as we perceived that it reached the mind, and that was bettered. For, since the chiding or beating of children should be always the least that possibly may be, that which is laid on in the heat of Edition: current; Page: [104] anger, seldom observes that measure; but is commonly more than it should be, though it prove less than enough.

§ 113. 2. Many children are apt to cry, upon any little pain they suffer; and the least harm that befals them, puts them into complaints and bawling. This few children avoid: for it being the first and natural way to declare their sufferings or wants, before they can speak, the compassion that is thought due to that tender age foolishly encourages, and continues it in them long after they can speak. It is the duty, I confess, of those about children, to compassionate them, whenever they suffer any hurt; but not to show it in pitying them. Help and ease them the best you can, but by no means bemoan them. This softens their minds, and makes them yield to the little harms that happen to them; whereby they sink deeper into that part which alone feels, and make larger wounds there, than otherwise they would. They should be hardened against all sufferings, especially of the body, and have no tenderness but what rises from an ingenuous shame and a quick sense of reputation. The many inconveniences this life is exposed to, require we should not be too sensible of every little hurt. What our minds yield not to, makes but a slight impression, and does us but very little harm; it is the suffering of our spirits that gives and continues the pain. This brawniness and insensibility of mind, is the best armour we can have against the common evils and accidents of life; and being a temper that is to be got by exercise and custom, more than any other way, the practice of it should be begun betimes, and happy is he that is taught it early. That effeminacy of spirit, which is to be prevented or cured, and which nothing, that I know, so much increases in children as crying; so nothing, on the other side, so much checks and restrains, as their being hindered from that sort of complaining. In the little harms they suffer, from knocks and falls, they should not be pitied for falling, but bid do so again; which, besides that it stops their crying, is a better way to cure their heedlessness, and prevent their tumbling Edition: current; Page: [105] another time, than either childing or bemoaning them. But, let the hurts they receive be what they will, stop their crying, and that will give them more quiet and ease at present, and harden them for the future.

§ 114. The former sort of crying requires severity to silence it; and where a look, or a positive command, will not do it, blows must: for it proceeding from pride, obstinacy, and stomach, the will, where the fault lies, must be bent, and made to comply, by a rigour sufficient to master it: but this latter, being ordinarily from softness of mind, a quite contrary cause, ought to be treated with a gentler hand. Persuasion, or diverting the thoughts another way, or laughing at their whining, may perhaps be at first the proper method. But for this, the circumstances of the thing, and the particular temper of the child, must be considered: no certain invariable rules can be given about it; but it must be left to the prudence of the parents or tutor. But this I think I may say in general, that there should be a constant discountenancing of this sort of crying also; and that the father, by his authority, should always stop it, mixing a greater degree of roughness in his looks or words, proportionably as the child is of a greater age, or a sturdier temper; but always, let it be enough to silence their whimpering, and put an end to the disorder.

§ 115. Cowardice and courage are so nearly related to the fore-mentioned tempers, that it may not be amiss here to take notice of them. Fear is a passion, that, if rightly governed, has its use. And though self-love seldom fails to keep it watchful and high enough in us, yet there may be an excess on the daring side; fool-hardinessFool-hardiness. and insensibility of danger being as little reasonable, as trembling and shrinking at the approach of every little evil. Fear was given us as a monitor to quicken our industry, and keep us upon our guard against the approaches of evil: and therefore to have no apprehension of mischief at hand, not to make a just estimate of the danger, but heedlessly to run into it, be the Edition: current; Page: [106] hazard what it will, without considering of what use or consequence it may be; is not the resolution of a rational creature, but brutish fury. Those who have children of this temper, have nothing to do but a little to awaken their reason, which self-preservation will quickly dispose them to hearken to; unless (which is usually the case) some other passion hurries them on headlong, without sense, and without consideration. A dislike of evil is so natural to mankind, that nobody, I think, can be without fear of it; fear being nothing but an uneasiness under the apprehension of that coming upon us which we dislike. And therefore, whenever any one runs into danger, we may say it is under the conduct of ignorance, or the command of some more imperious passion, nobody being so much an enemy to himself, as to come within the reach of evil out of free choice, and court danger for danger’s sake. If it be therefore pride, vain-glory, or rage, that silences a child’s fear, or makes him not hearken to its advice, those are by fit means to be abated, that a little consideration may allay his heat, and make him bethink himself whether this attempt be worth the venture. But this being a fault that children are not so often guilty of, I shall not be more particular in its cure. Weakness of spirit is the more common defect, and therefore will require the greater care.

Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues; and without courage a man will scarce keep steady to his duty, and fill up the character of a truly worthy man.

Courage,Courage. that makes us bear up against dangers that we fear, and evils that we feel, is of great use in an estate, as ours is in this life, exposed to assaults on all hands: and therefore it is very advisable to get children into this armour as early as we can. Natural temper, I confess, does here a great deal: but even where that is defective, and the heart is in itself weak and timorous, it may, by a right management, be brought to a better resolution. What is to be done to prevent breaking children’s spirits by frightful apprehensions instilled into them when young, or Edition: current; Page: [107] bemoaning themselves under every little suffering, I have already taken notice. How to harden their tempers, and raise their courage, if we find them too much subject to fear, is farther to be considered.

True fortitude I take to be the quiet possession of a man’s self, and an undisturbed doing his duty, whatever evil besets, or danger lies in his way. This there are so few men attain to, that we are not to expect it from children. But yet something may be done; and a wise conduct, by insensible degrees, may carry them farther than one expects.

The neglect of this great care of them, whilst they are young, is the reason, perhaps, why there are so few that have this virtue, in its full latitude, when they are men. I should not say this in a nation so naturally brave as ours is, did I think, that true fortitude required nothing but courage in the field and a contempt of life in the face of an enemy. This, I confess, is not the least part of it, nor can be denied, the laurels and honours always justly due to the valour of those who venture their lives for their country. But yet this is not all: dangers attack us in other places besides the field of battle; and though death be the king of terrours, yet pain, disgrace, and poverty, have frightful looks, able to discompose most men, whom they seem ready to seize on: and there are those who contemn some of these, and yet are heartily frighted with the other. True fortitude is prepared for dangers of all kinds, and unmoved, whatsoever evil it be that threatens: I do not mean unmoved with any fear at all. Where danger shows itself, apprehension cannot, without stupidity, be wanting. Where danger is, sense of danger should be; and so much fear as should keep us awake, and excite our attention, industry, and vigour; but not disturb the calm use of our reason, nor hinder the execution of what that dictates.

The first step to get this noble and manly steadiness, is, what I have above mentioned, carefully to keep children from frights of all kinds, when they are young. Let not any fearful apprehensions be talked into them, nor terrible objects surprise them. This often so shatters Edition: current; Page: [108] and discomposes the spirits, that they never recover it again; but during their whole life, upon the first suggestion, or appearance of any terrifying idea, are scattered and confounded; the body is enervated, and the mind disturbed, and the man scarce himself, or capable of any composed or rational action.Cowardice. Whether this be from an habitual motion of the animal spirits, introduced by the first strong impression: or from the alteration of the constitution, by some more unaccountable way; this is certain, that so it is. Instances of such, who in a weak timorous mind have born, all their whole lives through, the effects of a fright when they were young, are every-where to be seen; and therefore, as much as may be, to be prevented.

The next thing is, by gentle degrees, to accustom children to those things they are too much afraid of. But here great caution is to be used, that you do not make too much haste, nor attempt this cure too early, for fear lest you increase the mischief instead of remedying it. Little ones in arms may be easily kept out of the way of terrifying objects, and till they can talk and understand what is said to them, are scarce capable of that reasoning and discourse, which should be used to let them know there is no harm in those frightful objects, which we would make them familiar with, and do, to that purpose, by gentle degrees, bring nearer and nearer to them. And therefore it is seldom there is need of any application to them of this kind, till after they can run about and talk. But yet, if it should happen, that infants should have taken offence at any thing which cannot be easily kept out of their way; and that they show marks of terrour, as often as it comes in sight; all the allays of fright, by diverting their thoughts, or mixing pleasant and agreeable appearances with it, must be used, till it be grown familiar and inoffensive to them.

I think we may observe, that when children are first born, all objects of sight, that do not hurt the eyes, are indifferent to them; and they are no more afraid of a blackamoor, or a lion, than of their nurse, or a cat. Edition: current; Page: [109] What is it then, that afterwards, in certain mixtures of shape and colour, comes to affright them? Nothing but the apprehensions of harm, that accompany those things. Did a child suck every day a new nurse, I make account it would be no more affrighted with the change of faces at six months old, than at sixty. The reason then, why it will not come to a stranger, is because, having been accustomed to receive its food and kind usage only from one or two that are about it, the child apprehends, by coming into the arms of a stranger, the being taken from what delights and feeds it, and every moment supplies its wants, which it often feels, and therefore fears when the nurse is away.

Timorousness.The only thing we naturally are afraid of, is pain, or loss of pleasure. And because these are not annexed to any shape, colour, or size of visible objects, we are frighted with none of them, till either we have felt pain from them, or have notions put into us, that they will do us harm. The pleasant brightness and lustre of flame and fire so delights children, that at first they always desire to be handling of it: but when constant experience has convinced them, by the exquisite pain it has put them to, how cruel and unmerciful it is, they are afraid to touch it, and carefully avoid it. This being the ground of fear, it is not hard to find whence it arises, and how it is to be cured in all mistaken objects of terrour: and when the mind is confirmed against them, and has got a mastery over itself, and its usual fears in lighter occasions, it is in good preparation to meet more real dangers. Your child shrieks, and runs away at the sight of a frog, let another catch it, and lay it down at a good distance from him: at first accustom him to look upon it; when he can do that, then to come nearer to it, and see it leap without emotion; then to touch it lightly, when it is held fast in another’s hand; and so on, till he can come to handle it as confidently as a butterfly, or a sparrow. By the same way any other vain terrours may be removed, if care be taken that you go not too fast, and push not the child on to a new degree of assurance, till he be thoroughly confirmed in the former. And Edition: current; Page: [110] thus the young soldier is to be trained on to the warfare of life; wherein care is to be taken, that more things be not represented as dangerous, than really are so; and then, that whatever you observe him to be more frighted at than he should, you be sure to toll him on to, by insensible degrees, till he at last, quitting his fears, masters the difficulty, and comes off with applause. Successes of this kind, often repeated, will make him find, that evils are not always so certain, or so great, as our fears represent them; and that the way to avoid them is not to run away, or be discomposed, dejected, and deterred by fear, where either our credit or duty requires us to go on.

But, since the great foundation of fear in children is pain, the way to hardenHardiness. and fortify children against fear and danger, is to accustom them to suffer pain. This, it is possible, will be thought, by kind parents, a very unnatural thing towards their children; and by most, unreasonable, to endeavour to reconcile any one to the sense of pain, by bringing it upon him. It will be said, it may perhaps give the child an aversion for him that makes him suffer; but can never recommend to him suffering itself. This is a strange method. You will not have children whipped and punished for their faults; but you would have them tormented for doing well, or for tormenting’s sake. I doubt not but such objections as these will be made, and I shall be thought inconsistent with myself, or fantastical in proposing it. I confess, it is a thing to be managed with great discretion; and therefore it falls not out amiss, that it will not be received or relished, but by those who consider well, and look into the reason of things. I would not have children much beaten for their faults, because I would not have them think bodily pain the greatest punishment; and I would have them, when they do well, be sometimes put in pain, for the same reason, that they might be accustomed to bear it without looking on it as the greatest evil. How much education may reconcile young people to pain and sufferance, the examples of Sparta do sufficiently show: and they who have once brought themselves not Edition: current; Page: [111] to think bodily pain the greatest of evils, or that which they ought to stand most in fear of, have made no small advance towards virtue. But I am not so foolish to propose the Lacedæmonian discipline in our age or constitution: but yet I do say, that inuring children gently to suffer some degrees of pain without shrinking, is a way to gain firmness to their minds, and lay a foundation for courage and resolution in the future part of their lives.

Not to bemoan them, or permit them to bemoan themselves, on every little pain they suffer, is the first step to be made. But of this I have spoken elsewhere.

The next thing is, sometimes designedly to put them in pain: but care must be taken that this be done when the child is in good humour, and satisfied of the goodwill and kindness of him that hurts him, at the time that he does it. There must no marks of anger or displeasure on the one side, nor compassion or repenting on the other, go along with it; and it must be sure to be no more than the child can bear, without repining or taking it amiss, or for a punishment. Managed by these degrees, and with such circumstances, I have seen a child run away laughing, with good smart blows of a wand on his back, who would have cried for an unkind word, and have been very sensible of the chastisement of a cold look from the same person. Satisfy a child, by a constant course of your care and kindness, that you perfectly love him; and he may by degrees be accustomed to bear very painful and rough usage from you, without flinching or complaining: and this we see children do every day in playing one with another. The softer you find your child is, the more you are to seek occasions at fit times thus to harden him. The great art in this is to begin with what is but very little painful, and to proceed by insensible degrees, when you are playing and in good humour with him, and speaking well of him: and when you have once got him to think himself made amends for his suffering, by the praise given him for his courage; when he can take a pride in giving such marks of his manliness, and can Edition: current; Page: [112] prefer the reputation of being brave and stout, to the avoiding a little pain, or the shrinking under it; you need not despair in time, and by the assistance of his growing reason, to master his timorousness, and mend the weakness of his constitution. As he grows bigger, he is to be set upon bolder attempts than his natural temper carries him to; and whenever he is observed to flinch from what one has reason to think he would come off well in, if he had but courage to undertake; that he should be assisted in at first, and by degrees shamed to, till at last practice has given more assurance, and with it a mastery, which must be rewarded with great praise, and the good opinion of others, for his performance. When by these steps he has got resolution enough not to be deterred from what he ought to do, by the apprehension of danger; when fear does not, in sudden or hazardous occurrences, discompose his mind, set his body a trembling, and make him unfit for action, or run away from it; he has then the courage of a rational creature; and such an hardiness we should endeavour by custom and use to bring children to, as proper occasions come in our way.

§ 116. One thing I have frequently observed in children, that, when they have got possession of any poor creature, they are apt to use it ill; they often torment and treat very roughly young birds, butterflies, and such other poor animals, which fall into their hands, and that with a seeming kind of pleasure. This, I think, should be watched in them; and if they incline to any such cruelty,Cruelty. they should be taught the contrary usage; for the custom of tormenting and killing of beasts will, by degrees, harden their minds even towards men; and they who delight in the suffering and destruction of inferior creatures, will not be apt to be very compassionate or benign to those of their own kind. Our practice takes notice of this, in the exclusion of butchers from juries of life and death. Children should from the beginning be bred up in an abhorrence of killing or tormenting any living creature, and be taught not to spoil or destroy any thing Edition: current; Page: [113] unless it be for the preservation or advantage of some other that is nobler. And truly, if the preservation of all mankind, as much as in him lies, were every one’s persuasion, as indeed it is every one’s duty, and the true principle to regulate our religion, politics, and morality by, the world would be much quieter, and better-natured, than it is. But to return to our present business; I cannot but commend both the kindness and prudence of a mother I knew, who was wont always to indulge her daughters, when any of them desired dogs, squirrels, birds, or any such things, as young girls use to be delighted with: but then, when they had them, they must be sure to keep them well, and look diligently after them, that they wanted nothing, or were not ill used; for, if they were negligent in their care of them, it was counted a great fault, which often forfeited their possession; or at least they failed not to be rebuked for it, whereby they were early taught diligence and good-nature. And indeed I think people should be accustomed, from their cradles, to be tender to all sensible creatures, and to spoil or waste nothing at all.

This delight they take in doing of mischief (whereby I mean spoiling of any thing to no purpose, but more especially the pleasure they take to put any thing in pain that is capable of it) I cannot persuade myself to be any other than a foreign and introduced disposition, an habit borrowed from custom and conversation. People teach children to strike, and laugh when they hurt, or see harm come to others; and they have the examples of most about them to confirm them in it. All the entertainment of talk and history is of nothing almost but fighting and killing; and the honour and renown that is bestowed on conquerors (who for the most part are but the great butchers of mankind) farther mislead growing youths, who by this means come to think slaughter the laudable business of mankind, and the most heroic of virtues. By these steps unnatural cruelty is planted in us; and what humanity abhors, custom reconciles and recommends to us, by laying it in the way to honour. Thus, by fashion and Edition: current; Page: [114] opinion, that comes to be a pleasure, which in itself neither is, nor can be any. This ought carefully to be watched, and early remedied, so as to settle and cherish the contrary and more natural temper of benignity and compassion in the room of it; but still by the same gentle methods, which are to be applied to the other two faults before mentioned. It may not perhaps be unreasonable here to add this farther caution, viz. that the mischiefs or harms that come by play, inadvertency, or ignorance, and were not known to be harms, or designed for mischief’s sake, though they may perhaps be sometimes of considerable damage, yet are not at all, or but very gently, to be taken notice of. For this, I think, I cannot too often inculcate, that whatever miscarriage a child is guilty of, and whatever be the consequence of it, the thing to be regarded in taking notice of it, is only what root it springs from, and what habit it is like to establish; and to that the correction ought to be directed, and the child not to suffer any punishment for any harm which may have come by his play or inadvertency. The faults to be amended lie in the mind; and if they are such as either age will cure, or no ill habits will follow from, the present action, whatever displeasing circumstances it may have, is to be passed by without any animadversion.

§ 117. Another way to instil sentiments of humanity, and to keep them lively in young folks, will be, to accustom them to civility, in their language and deportment towards their inferiours, and the meaner sort of people, particularly servants. It is not unusual to observe the children, in gentlemen’s families, treat the servants of the house with domineering words, names of contempt, and an imperious carriage; as if they were of another race, and species beneath them. Whether ill example, the advantage of fortune, or their natural vanity, inspire this haughtiness, it should be prevented, or weeded out; and a gentle, courteous, affable carriage towards the lower ranks of men, placed in the room of it. No part of their superiority will be hereby lost, but the distinction increased, and their authority strengthened, when love in inferiours is joined Edition: current; Page: [115] to outward respect, and an esteem of the person has a share in their submission; and domestics will pay a more ready and cheerful service, when they find themselves not spurned, because fortune has laid them below the level of others, at their master’s feet. Children should not be suffered to lose the consideration of human nature in the shufflings of outward conditions: the more they have, the better-humoured they should be taught to be, and the more compassionate and gentle to those of their brethren, who are placed lower, and have scantier portions. If they are suffered from their cradles to treat men ill and rudely, because, by their father’s title, they think they have a little power over them; at best it is ill-bred; and, if care be not taken, will, by degrees, nurse up their natural pride into an habitual contempt of those beneath them: and where will that probably end, but in oppression and cruelty?

§ 118. CuriosityCuriosity. in children (which I had occasion just to mention, § 108) is but an appetite after knowledge, and therefore ought to be encouraged in them, not only as a good sign, but as the great instrument nature has provided, to remove that ignorance they were born with, and which without this busy inquisitiveness will make them dull and useless creatures. The ways to encourage it, and keep it active and busy, are, I suppose, these following:

1. Not to check or discountenance any inquiries he shall make, nor suffer them to be laughed at; but to answer all his questions, and explain the matters he desires to know, so as to make them as much intelligible to him, as suits the capacity of his age and knowledge. But confound not his understanding with explications or notions that are above it, or with the variety or number of things that are not to his present purpose. Mark what it is his mind aims at in the question, and not what words he expresses it in: and, when you have informed and satisfied him in that, you shall see how his thoughts will enlarge themselves, and how by fit answers he may be led on farther than perhaps you could imagine. For knowledge is grateful to the understanding, as light to the eyes: children are pleased Edition: current; Page: [116] and delighted with it exceedingly, especially if they see that their inquiries are regarded, and that their desire of knowing is encouraged and commended. And I doubt not but one great reason, why many children abandon themselves wholly to silly sports, and trifle away all their time insipidly, is, because they have found their curiosity baulked, and their inquiries neglected. But had they been treated with more kindness and respect, and their questions answered, as they should, to their satisfaction, I doubt not but they would have taken more pleasure in learning, and improving their knowledge, wherein there would be still newness and variety, which is what they are delighted with, than in returning over and over to the same play and play-things.

§ 119. 2. To this serious answering their questions, and informing their understandings in what they desire, as if it were a matter that needed it, should be added some peculiar ways of commendation. Let others, whom they esteem, be told before their faces of the knowledge they have in such and such things; and since we are all, even from our cradles, vain and proud creatures, let their vanity be flattered with things that will do them good; and let their pride set them on work on something which may turn to their advantage. Upon this ground you shall find, that there cannot be a greater spur to the attaining what you would have the elder learn and know himself, than to set him upon teaching it his younger brothers and sisters.

§ 120. 3. As children’s inquiries are not to be slighted, so also great care is to be taken, that they never receive deceitful and illuding answers. They easily perceive when they are slighted or deceived, and quickly learn the trick of neglect, dissimulation, and falsehood, which they observe others to make use of. We are not to intrench upon truth in any conversation, but least of all with children; since, if we play false with them, we not only deceive their expectation, and hinder their knowledge, but corrupt their innocence, and teach them the worst of vices. They are travellers newly arrived in a strange country, of which they Edition: current; Page: [117] know nothing: we should therefore make conscience not to mislead them. And though their questions seem sometimes not very material, yet they should be seriously answered; for however they may appear to us (to whom they are long since known) inquiries not worth the making, they are of moment to those who are wholly ignorant. Children are strangers to all we are acquainted with; and all the things they meet with are at first unknown to them, as they once were to us; and happy are they who meet with civil people, that will comply with their ignorance, and help them to get out of it.

If you or I now should be set down in Japan, with all our prudence and knowledge about us, a conceit whereof makes us perhaps so apt to slight the thoughts and inquiries of children; should we, I say, be set down in Japan, we should, no doubt, (if we would inform ourselves of what is there to be known,) ask a thousand questions, which to a supercilious or inconsiderate Japanese, would seem very idle and impertinent; though to us they would be very material, and of importance to be resolved; and we should be glad to find a man so complaisant and courteous, as to satisfy our demands, and instruct our ignorance.

When any new thing comes in their way, children usually ask the common question of a stranger, What is it? whereby they ordinarily mean nothing but the name; and therefore to tell them how it is called, is usually the proper answer to that demand. The next question usually is, What is it for? And to this it should be answered truly and directly; the use of the thing should be told, and the way explained, how it serves to such a purpose, as far as their capacities can comprehend it; and so of any other circumstances they shall ask about it: not turning them going, till you have given them all the satisfaction they are capable of, and so leading them by your answers into farther questions. And perhaps to a grown man such conversation will not be altogether so idle and insignificant, as we are apt to imagine. The native and untaught suggestions Edition: current; Page: [118] of inquisitive children do often offer things that may set a considering man’s thoughts on work. And I think there is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men, who talk in a road, according to the notions they have borrowed, and the prejudices of their education.

§ 121. 4. Perhaps it may not sometimes be amiss to excite their curiosity, by bringing strange and new things in their way, on purpose to engage their enquiry, and give them occasion to inform themselves about them; and if by chance their curiosity leads them to ask what they should not know, it is a great deal better to tell them plainly, that it is a thing that belongs not to them to know, than to pop them off with a falsehood, or a frivolous answer.

§ 122. Pertness, that appears sometimes so early, proceeds from a principle that seldom accompanies a strong constitution of body, or ripens into a strong judgment of mind. If it were desirable to have a child a more brisk talker, I believe there might be ways found to make him so; but, I suppose, a wise father had rather that his son should be able and useful, when a man, than pretty company, and a diversion to others, whilst a child; though, if that too were to be considered, I think I may say, there is not so much pleasure to have a child prattle agreeably, as to reason well. Encourage therefore his inquisitiveness all you can, by satisfying his demands, and informing his judgment, as far as it is capable. When his reasons are any way tolerable, let him find the credit and commendation of them; and when they are quite out of the way, let him, without being laughed at for his mistake, be gently put into the right; and, if he show a forwardness to be reasoning about things that come in his way, take care, as much as you can, that nobody check this inclination in him, or mislead it by captious or fallacious ways of talking with him: for, when all is done, this, as the highest and most important faculty of our minds, deserves the greatest care and attention in cultivating it: the right improvement and exercise Edition: current; Page: [119] of our reason being the highest perfection that a man can attain to in this life.

§ 123. Contrary to this busy inquisitive temper, there is sometimes observable in children a listless carelessness, a want of regard to any thing, and a sort of trifling, even at their business. This saunteringSauntering. humour I look on as one of the worst qualities can appear in a child, as well as one of the hardest to be cured, where it is natural. But, it being liable to be mistaken in some cases, care must be taken to make a right judgment concerning that trifling at their books or business, which may sometimes be complained of in a child. Upon the first suspicion a father has, that his son is of a sauntering temper, he must carefully observe him, whether he be listless and indifferent in all his actions, or whether in some things alone he be slow and sluggish, but in others vigorous and eager: for though he find that he does loiter at his book, and let a good deal of the time he spends in his chamber or study run idly away, he must not presently conclude, that this is from a sauntering humour in his temper; it may be childishness, and a preferring something to his study, which his thoughts run on; and he dislikes his book, as is natural, because it is forced upon him as a task. To know this perfectly, you must watch him at play, when he is out of his place and time of study, following his own inclinations; and see there, whether he be stirring and active; whether he designs any thing, and with labour and eagerness pursues it, till he has accomplished what he aimed at; or whether he lazily and listlessly dreams away his time. If this sloth be only when he is about his book, I think it may be easily cured; if it be in his temper, it will require a little more pains and attention to remedy it.

§ 124. If you are satisfied, by his earnestness at play, or any thing else he sets his mind on, in the intervals between his hours of business, that he is not of himself inclined to laziness, but that only want of relish of his book makes him negligent and sluggish in his application to it; the first step is to try, by talking to him kindly of the folly and inconvenience of it, whereby Edition: current; Page: [120] he loses a good part of his time, which he might have for his diversion; but be sure to talk calmly and kindly, and not much at first, but only these plain reasons in short. If this prevails, you have gained the point in the most desirable way, which is that of reason and kindness. If this softer application prevails not, try to shame him out of it, by laughing at him for it, asking every day, when he comes to table, if there be no strangers there, “how long he was that day about his business?” And if he has not done it, in the time he might be well supposed to have dispatched it, expose and turn him into ridicule for it; but mix no chiding, only put on a pretty cold brow towards him, and keep it till he reform; and let his mother, tutor, and all about him, do so too. If this work not the effect you desire, then tell him, “he shall be no longer troubled with a tutor to take care of his education: you will not be at the charge to have him spend his time idly with him: but since he prefers this or that [whatever play he delights in] to his book, that only he shall do;” and so in earnest set him to work on his beloved play, and keep him steadily, and in earnest to it, morning and afternoon, till he be fully surfeited, and would at any rate change it for some hours at his book again: but when you thus set him his task of play, you must be sure to look after him yourself, or set somebody else to do it, that may constantly see him employed in it, and that he be not permitted to be idle at that too. I say, yourself look after him; for it is worth the father’s while, whatever business he has, to bestow two or three days upon his son, to cure so great a mischief as his sauntering at his business.

§ 125. This is what I propose, if it be idleness, not from his general temper, but a peculiar or acquired aversion to learning, which you must be careful to examine and distinguish. But, though you have your eyes upon him, to watch what he does with the time which he has at his own disposal, yet you must not let him perceive that you, or any body else do so; for that may hinder him from following his own inclination, which he being full of, and not daring, for fear of you, Edition: current; Page: [121] to prosecute what his head and heart are set upon, he may neglect all other things, which then he relishes not, and so may seem to be idle and listless: when, in truth, it is nothing but being intent on that, which the fear of your eye or knowledge keeps him from executing. To be clear in this point, the observation must be made when you are out of the way, and he not so much as under the restraint of a suspicion that any body has an eye upon him. In those seasons of perfect freedom, let somebody, you can trust, mark how he spends his time, whether he inactively loiters it away, when, without any check, he is left to his own inclination. Thus, by his employing of such times of liberty, you will easily discern whether it be listlessness in his temper, or aversion to his book, that makes him saunter away his time of study.

§ 126. If some defect in his constitution has cast a damp on his mind, and he be naturally listless and dreaming, this unpromising disposition is none of the easiest to be dealt with; because generally carrying with it an unconcernedness for the future, it wants the two great springs of action, foresight and desire; which, how to plant and increase, where nature has given a cold and contrary temper, will be the question. As soon as you are satisfied that this is the case, you must carefully inquire whether there be nothing he delights in; inform yourself, what it is he is most pleased with; and if you can find any particular tendency his mind hath, increase it all you can, and make use of that to set him on work, and to excite his industry. If he loves praise, or play, or fine clothes, &c. or, on the other side, dreads pain, disgrace, or your displeasure, &c. whatever it be that he loves most, except it be sloth, (for that will never set him on work) let that be made use of to quicken him, and make him bestir himself; for in this listless temper you are not to fear an excess of appetite (as in all other cases) by cherishing it. It is that which you want, and therefore must labour to raise and increase; for, where there is no desire, there will be no industry.

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§ 127. If you have not hold enough upon him this way, to stir up vigour and activity in him, you must employ him in some constant bodily labour, whereby he may get an habit of doing something: the keeping him hard to some study, were the better way to get him an habit of exercising and applying his mind. But, because this is an invisible attention, and nobody can tell when he is, or is not idle at it, you must find bodily employments for him, which he must be constantly busied in, and kept to; and, if they have some little hardship and shame in them, it may not be the worse, that they may the sooner weary him, and make him desire to return to his book: but be sure, when you exchange his book for his other labour, set him such a task, to be done in such a time, as may allow him no opportunity to be idle. Only, after you have by this way brought him to be attentive and industrious at his book, you may, upon his dispatching his study within the time set him, give him, as a reward, some respite from his other labour; which you may diminish, as you find him grow more and more steady in his application; and, at last, wholly take off, when his sauntering at his book is cured.

Compulsion.§ 128. We formerly observed, that variety and freedom was that which delighted children, and recommended their plays to them; and that therefore their book, or any thing we would have them learn, should not be enjoined them as business. This their parents, tutors, and teachers, are apt to forget; and their impatience to have them busied in what is fit for them to do, suffers them not to deceive them into it: but, by the repeated injunctions they meet with, children quickly distinguish between what is required of them, and what not. When this mistake has once made his book uneasy to him, the cure is to be applied at the other end. And since it will be then too late to endeavour to make it a play to him, you must take the contrary course: observe what play he is most delighted with; enjoin that, and make him play so many hours every day, not as a punishment for playing, but as if it Edition: current; Page: [123] were the business required of him. This, if I mistake not, will, in a few days, make him so weary of his most beloved sport, that he will prefer his book, or any thing, to it, especially if it may redeem him from any part of the task of play is set him; and he may be suffered to employ some part of the time destined to his task of play in his book, or such other exercise as is really useful to him. This I at least think a better cure than that forbidding (which usually increases the desire) or any other punishment should be made use of to remedy it; for, when you have once glutted his appetite, (which may safely be done in all things but eating and drinking,) and made him surfeit of what you would have him avoid, you have put into him a principle of aversion, and you need not so much fear afterwards his longing for the same thing again.

§ 129. This, I think, is sufficiently evident, that children generally hate to be idle: all the care then is, that their busy humour should be constantly employed in something of use to them; which if you will attain, you must make what you would have them do, a recreation to them, and not a business. The way to do this, so that they may not perceive you have any hand in it, is this proposed here, viz. to make them weary of that which you would not have them do, by enjoining and making them, under some pretence or other, do it till they are surfeited. For example; Does your son play at top and scourge too much? Enjoin him to play so many hours every day, and look that he do it; and you shall see he will quickly be sick of it, and willing to leave it. By this means, making the recreations you dislike, a business to him, he will of himself, with delight, betake himself to those things you would have him do, especially if they be proposed as rewards for having performed his task in that play which is commanded him. For, if he be ordered every day to whip his top, so long as to make him sufficiently weary, do you not think he will apply himself with eagerness to his book, and wish for it, if you promise it him as a reward of having whipped his top lustily, quite out all the time that is set him? Children, in the things Edition: current; Page: [124] they do, if they comport with their age, find little difference, so they may be doing: the esteem they have for one thing above another, they borrow from others; so that what those about them make to be a reward to them, will really be so. By this art, it is in their governor’s choice, whether scotch-hoppers shall reward their dancing, or dancing their scotch-hoppers; whether peg-top, or reading, playing at trap, or studying the globes, shall be more acceptable and pleasing to them; all that they desire being to be busy, and busy, as they imagine, in things of their own choice, and which they receive as favours from their parents, or others for whom they have a respect, and with whom they would be in credit. A set of children thus ordered, and kept from the ill example of others, would, all of them, I suppose, with as much earnestness and delight, learn to read, write, and what else one would have them, as others do their ordinary plays; and the eldest being thus entered, and this made the fashion of the place, it would be as impossible to hinder them from learning the one, as it is ordinarily to keep them from the other.

§ 130. Play-things,Play-games. I think, children should have, and of divers sorts; but still to be in the custody of their tutors, or somebody else, whereof the child should have in his power but one at once, and should not be suffered to have another, but when he restored that: this teaches them, betimes, to be careful of not losing or spoiling the things they have; whereas plenty and variety, in their own keeping, makes them wanton and careless, and teaches them from the beginning to be squanderers and wasters. These, I confess, are little things, and such as will seem beneath the care of a governor; but nothing that may form children’s minds is to be overlooked and neglected; and whatsoever introduces habits, and settles customs in them, deserves the care and attention of their governors, and is not a small thing in its consequences.

One thing more about children’s play-things may be worth their parent’s care: though it be agreed they Edition: current; Page: [125] should have of several sorts, yet, I think, they should have none bought for them. This will hinder that great variety they are often overcharged with, which serves only to teach the mind to wander after change and superfluity, to be unquiet, and perpetually stretching itself after something more still, though it knows not what, and never to be satisfied with what it hath. The court that is made to people of condition in such kind of presents to their children, does the little ones great harm; by it they are taught pride, vanity, and covetousness, almost before they can speak; and I have known a young child so distracted with the number and variety of his play-games, that he tired his maid every day to look them over; and was so accustomed to abundance, that he never thought he had enough, but was always asking, What more? What more? What new thing shall I have? A good introduction to moderate desires, and the ready way to make a contented happy man!

How then shall they have the play-games you allow them, if none must be bought for them? I answer, they should make them themselves, or at least endeavour it, and set themselves about it; till then they should have none, and till then, they will want none of any great artifice. A smooth pebble, a piece of paper, the mother’s bunch of keys, or any thing they cannot hurt themselves with, serves as much to divert little children, as those more chargeable and curious toys from the shops, which are presently put out of order and broken. Children are never dull or out of humour for want of such play-things, unless they have been used to them: when they are little, whatever occurs serves the turn; and as they grow bigger, if they are not stored by the expensive folly of others, they will make them themselves. Indeed, when they once begin to set themselves to work about any of their inventions, they should be taught and assisted; but should have nothing whilst they lazily sit still, expecting to be furnished from other hands without employing their own: and if you help them where they are at a stand, it will more endear you to them, than any chargeable toys Edition: current; Page: [126] you shall buy for them. Play-things which are above their skill to make, as tops, gigs, battledores, and the like, which are to be used with labour, should, indeed, be procured them: these, it is convenient, they should have, not for variety, but exercise; but these, too, should be given them as bare as might be. If they had a top, the scourge-stick and leather-strap should be left to their own making and fitting. If they sit gaping to have such things drop into their mouths, they should go without them. This will accustom them to seek for what they want in themselves, and in their own endeavours; whereby they will be taught moderation in their desires, application, industry, thought, contrivance, and good husbandry; qualities that will be useful to them when they are men, and therefore cannot be learned too soon, nor fixed too deep. All the plays and diversions of children should be directed towards good and useful habits, or else they will introduce ill ones. Whatever they do, leaves some impression on that tender age, and from thence they receive a tendency to good or evil: and whatever hath such an influence, ought not to be neglected.

§ 131. LyingLying. is so ready and cheap a cover for any miscarriage, and so much in fashion amongst all sorts of people, that a child can hardly avoid observing the use is made of it on all occasions, and so can scarce be kept, without great care, from getting into it. But it is so ill a quality, and the mother of so many ill ones, that spawn from it, and take shelter under it, that a child should be brought up in the greatest abhorrence of it imaginable: it should be always (when occasionally it comes to be mentioned) spoken of before him with the utmost detestation, as a quality so wholly inconsistent with the name and character of a gentleman, that nobody of any credit can bear the imputation of a lye; a mark that is judged the utmost disgrace, which debases a man to the lowest degree of a shameful meanness, and ranks him with the most contemptible part of mankind, and the abhorred rascality; and is not to be endured in any one, who would converse with people of condition, or have any Edition: current; Page: [127] esteem or reputation in the world. The first time he is found in a lye, it should rather to be wondered at, as a monstrous thing in him, than reproved as an ordinary fault. If that keeps him not from relapsing, the next time he must be sharply rebuked, and fall into the state of great displeasure of his father and mother, and all about him, who take notice of it. And if this way work not the cure, you must come to blows; for, after he has been thus warned, a premeditated lye must always be looked upon as obstinacy, and never be permitted to escape unpunished.

§ 132. Children, afraid to have their faults seen in their naked colours, will, like the rest of the sons of Adam, be apt to make excuses.Excuses. This is a fault usually bordering upon, and leading to untruth, and is not to be indulged in them; but yet it ought to be cured rather with shame than roughness. If therefore, when a child is questioned for any thing, his first answer be an excuse, warn him soberly to tell the truth; and then, if he persists to shuffle it off with a falsehood, he must be chastised; but, if he directly confess, you must commend his ingenuity, and pardon the fault, be it what it will; and pardon it so, that you never so much as reproach him with it, or mention it to him again: for, if you would have him in love with ingenuity, and by a constant practice make it habitual to him, you must take care that it never procure him the least inconvenience; but, on the contrary, his own confession, bringing always with it perfect impunity, should be, besides, encouraged by some marks of approbation. If his excuse be such at any time, that you cannot prove it to have any falsehood in it, let it pass for true, and be sure not to show any suspicion of it. Let him keep up his reputation with you as high as is possible; for, when once he finds he has lost that, you have lost a great and your best hold upon him. Therefore let him not think he has the character of a lyar with you, as long as you can avoid it without flattering him in it. Thus some slips in truth may be overlooked. But, after he has once been corrected for a lye, you must be sure never after to pardon it in him, Edition: current; Page: [128] whenever you find, and take notice to him, that he is guilty of it: for it being a fault, which he has been forbid, and may, unless he be wilful, avoid, the repeating of it is perfect perverseness, and must have the chastisement due to that offence.

§ 133. This is what I have thought, concerning the general method of educating a young gentleman; which, though I am apt to suppose may have some influence on the whole course of his education, yet I am far from imagining it contains all those particulars which his growing years, or peculiar temper, may require. But this being premised in general, we shall, in the next place, descend to a more particular consideration of the several parts of his education.

§ 134. That which every gentleman (that takes any care of his education) desires for his son, besides the estate he leaves him, is contained (I suppose) in these four things, virtue, wisdom, breeding, and learning. I will not trouble myself whether these names do not some of them sometimes stand for the same thing, or really include one another. It serves my turn here to follow the popular use of these words, which I presume is clear enough to make me be understood, and I hope there will be no difficulty to comprehend my meaning.

§ 135. I place virtue as the first and most necessary of those endowments that belong to a man or a gentleman, as absolutely requisite to make him valued and beloved by others, acceptable or tolerable to himself. Without that, I think, he will be happy neither in this, nor the other world.

§ 136. As the foundation of this, there ought very early to be imprinted on his mind a true notion of God,God. as of the independent supreme Being, Author, and Maker of all things, from whom we receive all our good, who loves us, and gives us all things: and, consequent to this, instil into him a love and reverence of this supreme Being. This is enough to begin with, without going to explain this matter any farther, for fear, lest by talking too early to him of spirits, and being unseasonably forward to make Edition: current; Page: [129] him understand the incomprehensible nature of that infinite Being, his head be either filled with false, or perplexed with unintelligible notions of him. Let him only be told upon occasion, that God made and governs all things, hears and sees every thing, and does all manner of good to those that love and obey him. You will find, that, being told of such a God, other thoughts will be apt to rise up fast enough in his mind about him; which, as you observe them to have any mistakes, you must set right. And I think it would be better, if men generally rested in such an idea of God, without being too curious in their notions about a Being, which all must acknowledge incomprehensible; whereby many, who have not strength and clearness of thought to distinguish between what they can, and what they cannot know, run themselves into superstition or atheism, making God like themselves, or (because they cannot comprehend any thing else) none at all. And I am apt to think the keeping children constantly morning and evening to acts of devotion to God, as to their Maker, Preserver, and Benefactor, in some plain and short form of prayer, suitable to their age and capacity, will be of much more use to them in religion, knowledge, and virtue, than to distract their thoughts with curious inquiries into his inscrutable essence and being.

§ 137. Having by gentle degrees, as you find him capable of it, settled such an idea of God in his mind, and taught him to pray to him, and praise him as the Author of his being, and of all the good he does or can enjoy, forbear any discourse of other spirits,Spirits. till the mention of them coming in his way, upon occasion hereafter to be set down, and his reading the scripture-history, put him upon that inquiry.

§ 138. But even then, and always whilst he is young, be sure to preserve his tender mind from all impressions and notions of spirits and goblins,Goblins. or any fearful apprehensions in the dark. This he will be in danger of from the indiscretion of servants, whose usual method is to awe children, and keep them in subjection, Edition: current; Page: [130] by telling them of raw-head and bloody-bones, and such other names, as carry with them the ideas of something terrible and hurtful, which they have reason to be afraid of, when alone, especially in the dark. This must be carefully prevented; for though by this foolish way they may keep them from little faults, yet the remedy is much worse than the disease; and there are stamped upon their imaginations, ideas that follow them with terror and affrightment. Such bug-bear thoughts, once got into the tender minds of children, and being set on with a strong impression from the dread that accompanies such apprehensions, sink deep, and fasten themselves so, as not easily, if ever, to be got out again; and, whilst they are there, frequently haunt them with strange visions, making children dastards when alone, and afraid of their shadows and darkness all their lives after. I have had those complain to me, when men, who had been thus used, when young; that, though their reason corrected the wrong ideas they had taken in, and they were satisfied that there was no cause to fear invisible beings more in the dark, than in the light; yet that these notions were apt still, upon any occasion, to start up first in their prepossessed fancies, and not to be removed without some pains. And, to let you see how lasting frightful images are, that take place in the mind early, I shall here tell you a pretty remarkable, but true story; there was in a town on the west a man of a disturbed brain, whom the boys used to teaze, when he came in their way: this fellow one day, seeing in the street one of those lads that used to vex him, stepped into a cutler’s shop he was near, and there seizing on a naked sword, made after the boy, who, seeing him coming so armed, betook himself to his feet, and ran for his life, and by good luck had strength and heels enough to reach his father’s house, before the madman could get up to him: the door was only latched: and, when he had the latch in his hand, he turned about his head to see how near his pursuer was, who was at the entrance of the porch, with his sword up ready to strike; and he had just time to get in and clap to the door, to avoid Edition: current; Page: [131] the blow, which, though his body escaped, his mind did not. This frightening idea made so deep an impression there, that it lasted many years, if not all his life after; for telling this story when he was a man, he said, that after that time till then, he never went in at that door (that he could remember) at any time, without looking back, whatever business he had in his head, or how little soever, before he came thither, he thought of this madman.

If children were let alone, they would be no more afraid in the dark, than in broad sun-shine; they would in their turns as much welcome the one for sleep, as the other to play in: there should be no distinction made to them, by any discourse, of more danger, or terrible things in the one than the other. But, if the folly of any one about them should do them this harm, and make them think there is any difference between being in the dark and winking, you must get it out of their minds as soon as you can; and let them know, that God, who made all things good for them, made the night, that they might sleep the better and the quieter: and that they being under his protection, there is nothing in the dark to hurt them. What is to be known more of God and good spirits, is to be deferred till the time we shall hereafter mention; and of evil spirits, it will be well if you can keep him from wrong fancies about them, till he is ripe for that sort of knowledge.

§ 139. Having laid the foundations of virtue in a trueTruth. notion of a God, such as the creed wisely teaches, as far as his age is capable, and by accustoming him to pray to him; the next thing to be taken care of, is to keep him exactly to speaking of truth, and by all the ways imaginable inclining him to be good-natured.Good-nature. Let him know, that twenty faults are sooner to be forgiven, than the straining of truth, to cover any one by an excuse: and to teach him betimes to love and be good-natured to others, is to lay early the true foundation of an honest man; all injustice generally springing from too great love of ourselves, and too little of others.

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This is all I shall say of this matter in general, and is enough for laying the first foundations of virtue in a child. As he grows up, the tendency of his natural inclination must be observed; which, as it inclines him, more than is convenient, on one or the other side, from the right path of virtue, ought to have proper remedies applied; for few of Adam’s children are so happy, as not to be born with some bias in their natural temper, which it is the business of education either to take off, or counterbalance: but to enter into particulars of this, would be beyond the design of this short treatise of education. I intend not a discourse of all the virtues and vices, and how each virtue is to be attained, and every particular vice by its peculiar remedies cured; though I have mentioned some of the most ordinary faults, and the ways to be used in correcting them.

§ 140. WisdomWisdom. I take, in the popular acceptation, for a man’s managing his business ably, and with foresight, in this world. This is the product of a good natural temper, application of mind, and experience together; and so above the reach of children. The greatest thing that in them can be done towards it, is to hinder them, as much as may be, from being cunning; which, being the ape of wisdom, is the most distant from it that can be: and, as an ape, for the likeness it has to a man, wanting what really should make him so, is by so much the uglier; cunning is only the want of understanding; which, because it cannot compass its end by direct ways, would do it by a trick and circumvention; and the mischief of it is, a cunning trick helps but once, but hinders ever after. No cover was ever made either so big, or so fine, as to hide itself. Nobody was ever so cunning, as to conceal their being so: and, when they are once discovered, every body is shy, every body distrustful of crafty men; and all the world forwardly join to oppose and defeat them: whilst the open, fair, wise man has every body to make way for him, and goes directly to his business. To accustom a child to have true notions of things, and not to be satisfied till he has them; to raise his mind to Edition: current; Page: [133] great and worthy thoughts; and to keep him at a distance from falsehood and cunning, which has always a broad mixture of falsehood in it; is the fittest preparation of a child for wisdom. The rest, which is to be learned from time, experience, and observation, and an acquaintance with men, their tempers and designs, is not to be expected in the ignorance and inadvertency of childhood, or the inconsiderate heat and unwariness of youth: all that can be done towards it, during this unripe age, is, as I have said, to accustom them to truth and sincerity; to a submission to reason; and, as much as may be, to reflection on their own actions.

§ 141. The next good quality belonging to a gentleman, is good-breeding.Breeding. There are two sorts of ill-breeding; the one, a sheepish bashfulness; and the other, a misbecoming negligence and disrespect in our carriage; both which are avoided, by duly observing this one rule, Not to think meanly of ourselves, and not to think meanly of others.

§ 142. The first part of this rule must not be understood in opposition to humility, but to assurance. We ought not to think so well of ourselves, as to stand upon our own value; and assume to ourselves a preference before others, because of any advantage we may imagine we have over them; but modestly to take what is offered, when it is our due. But yet we ought to think so well of ourselves, as to perform those actions which are incumbent on, and expected of us, without discomposure or disorder, in whose presence soever we are, keeping that respect and distance which is due to every one’s rank and quality. There is often in people, especially children, a clownish shamefacedness before strangers, or those above them; they are confounded in their thoughts, words, and looks, and so lose themselves in that confusion, as not to be able to do any thing, or at least not to do it with that freedom and gracefulness which pleases and makes them acceptable. The only cure for this, as for any other miscarriage, is by use to introduce the contrary habit. But since we cannot accustom ourselves to converse with strangers, and persons of quality, without being in their company, nothing can Edition: current; Page: [134] cure this part of ill-breeding, but change and variety of company, and that of persons above us.

§ 143. As the before-mentioned consists in too great a concern how to behave ourselves towards others, so the other part of ill-breeding lies in the appearance of too little care of pleasing or showing respect to those we have to do with. To avoid this these two things are requisite: first, a disposition of the mind not to offend others; and, secondly, the most acceptable and agreeable way of expressing that disposition. From the one, men are called civil; from the other, well-fashioned. The latter of these is that decency and gracefulness of looks, voice, words, motions, gestures, and of all the whole outward demeanour, which takes in company, and makes those with whom we may converse easy and well-pleased. This is, as it were, the language, whereby that internal civility of the mind is expressed; which, as other languages are, being very much governed by the fashion and custom of every country, must, in the rules and practice of it, be learned chiefly from observation, and the carriage of those who are allowed to be exactly well-bred. The other part, which lies deeper than the outside, is that general good-will and regard for all people, which makes any one have a care not to show, in his carriage, any contempt, disrespect, or neglect of them; but to express, according to the fashion and way of that country, a respect and value for them, according to their rank and condition. It is a disposition of the mind that shows itself in the carriage, whereby a man avoids making any one uneasy in conversation.

I shall take notice of four qualities that are most directly opposite to this first and most taking of all the social virtues. And from some one of these four it is, that incivility commonly has its rise. I shall set them down, that children may be preserved or recovered from their ill influence.

1. The first is, a natural roughness,Roughness. which makes a man uncomplaisant to others, so that he has no deference for their inclinations, tempers, or conditions. It is the sure badge of a clown, Edition: current; Page: [135] not to mind what pleases or displeases those he is with; and yet one may often find a man, in fashionable clothes, give an unbounded swing to his own humour, and suffer it to justle or over-run any one that stands in its way, with a perfect indifferency how they take it. This is a brutality that every one sees and abhors, and nobody can be easy with: and therefore this finds no place in any one, who would be thought to have the least tincture of good-breeding. For the very end and business of good-breeding is to supple the natural stiffness, and so soften men’s tempers, that they may bend to a compliance, and accommodate themselves to those they have to do with.

2. Contempt,Contempt. or want of due respect, discovered either in looks, words, or gesture: this, from whomsoever it comes, brings always uneasiness with it; for nobody can contentedly bear being slighted.

3. Censoriousness,Censoriousness. and finding fault with others, has a direct opposition to civility. Men, whatever they are or are not guilty of, would not have their faults displayed, and set in open view and broad day-light, before their own, or other people’s eyes. Blemishes affixed to any one, always carry shame with them: and the discovery, or even bare imputation of any defect, is not born without some uneasiness. RailleryRaillery. is the most refined way of exposing the faults of others; but, because it is usually done with wit and good language, and gives entertainment to the company, people are led into a mistake, and, where it keeps within fair bounds, there is no incivility in it: and so the pleasantry of this sort of conversation often introduces it amongst people of the better rank; and such talkers are favourably heard, and generally applauded by the laughter of the by-standers on their side: but they ought to consider, that the entertainment of the rest of the company is at the cost of that one, who is set out in their burlesque colours, who therefore is not without uneasiness, unless the subject, for which he is rallied, be really in itself matter of commendation; for then Edition: current; Page: [136] the pleasant images and representations, which make the raillery, carrying praise as well as sport with them, the rallied person also finds his account, and takes part in the diversion. But, because the nice management of so nice and ticklish a business, wherein a little slip may spoil all, is not every body’s talent, I think those, who would secure themselves from provoking others, especially all young people, should carefully abstain from raillery; which, by a small mistake, or any wrong turn, may leave upon the mind of those, who are made uneasy by it, the lasting memory of having been piquantly, though wittily, taunted for something censurable in them.

Besides raillery, contradictionContradiction. is a kind of censoriousness, wherein ill-breeding often shows itself. Complaisance does not require that we should always admit all the reasonings or relations that the company is entertained with; no, nor silently let pass all that is vented in our hearing. The opposing the opinions, and rectifying the mistakes of others, is what truth and charity sometimes require of us, and civility does not oppose, if it be done with due caution and care of circumstances. But there are some people, that one may observe possessed, as it were, with the spirit of contradiction, that steadily, and without regard to right or wrong, oppose some one, or perhaps every one of the company, whatever they say. This is so visible and outrageous a way of censuring, that nobody can avoid thinking himself injured by it. All opposition to what another man has said, is so apt to be suspected of censoriousness, and is so seldom received without some sort of humiliation, that it ought to be made in the gentlest manner, and softest words can be found; and such as, with the whole deportment, may express no forwardness to contradict. All marks of respect and good-will ought to accompany it, that, whilst we gain the argument, we may not lose the esteem of those that hear us.

4. CaptiousnessCaptiousness. is another fault opposite to civility, not only because it often produces misbecoming and provoking expressions Edition: current; Page: [137] and carriage, but because it is a tacit accusation and reproach of some incivility, taken notice of in those whom we are angry with. Such a suspicion, or intimation, cannot be born by any one without uneasiness. Besides, one angry body discomposes the whole company, and the harmony ceases upon any such jarring.

The happiness, that all men so steadily pursue, consisting in pleasure, it is easy to see why the civil are more acceptable than the useful. The ability, sincerity, and good intention, of a man of weight and worth, or a real friend, seldom atones for the uneasiness, that is produced by his grave and solid representations. Power and riches, nay virtue itself, are valued only as conducing to our happiness; and therefore he recommends himself ill to another, as aiming at his happiness, who, in the services he does him, makes him uneasy in the manner of doing them. He that knows how to make those he converses with easy, without debasing himself to low and servile flattery, has found the true art of living in the world, and being both welcome and valued every-where. Civility therefore is what, in the first place, should with great care be made habitual to children and young people.

§ 144. There is another fault in good manners, and that is, excess of ceremony, and an obstinate persisting to force upon another what is not his due, and what he cannot take without folly or shame. This seems rather a design to expose, than oblige; or, at least, looks like a contest for mastery; and, at best, is but troublesome, and so can be no part of good breeding,Breeding. which has no other use or end, but to make people easy and satisfied in their conversation with us. This is a fault few young people are apt to fall into; but yet, if they are ever guilty of it, or are suspected to incline that way, they should be told of it, and warned of this mistaken civility. The thing they should endeavour and aim at in conversation, should be to show respect, esteem, and good-will, by paying to every one that common ceremony and regard, which is in civility due to them. To do this, without a suspicion Edition: current; Page: [138] of flattery, dissimulation, or meanness, is a great skill, which good sense, reason, and good company, can only teach; but is of so much use in civil life, that it is well worth the studying.

§ 145. Though the managing ourselves well in this part of our behaviour has the name of good-breeding, as if peculiarly the effect of education; yet, as I have said, young children should not be much perplexed about it; I mean, about putting off their hats, and making legs modishly. Teach them humility, and to be good-natured, if you can, and this sort of manners will not be wanting: civility being, in truth, nothing but a care not to show any slighting or contempt, of any one in conversation. What are the most allowed and esteemed ways of expressing this, we have above observed. It is as peculiar and different, in several countries of the world, as their languages; and therefore, if it be rightly considered, rules and discourses, made to children about it, are as useless and impertinent, as it would be, now and then, to give a rule or two of the Spanish tongue, to one that converses only with Englishmen. Be as busy as you please with discourses of civility to your son; such as is his company, such will be his manners. A ploughman of your neighbourhood, that has never been out of his parish, read what lectures you please to him, will be as soon in his language, as his courage, a courtier; that is, in neither will be more polite, than those he uses to converse with: and therefore of this no other care can be taken, till he be of an age to have a tutor put to him, who must not fail to be a well-bred man. And, in good earnest, if I were to speak my mind freely, so children do nothing out of obstinacy, pride, and illnature, it is no great matter how they put off their hats, or make legs. If you can teach them to love and respect other people, they will, as their age requires it, find ways to express it acceptably to every one, according to the fashions they have been used to: and, as to their motions, and carriage of their bodies, a dancing-master, as has been said, when it is fit, will teach them what is most becoming. In the mean time, when they Edition: current; Page: [139] are young, people expect not that children should be over-mindful of these ceremonies; carelessness is allowed to that age, and becomes them as well as compliments do grown people: or, at least, if some very nice people will think it a fault, I am sure it is a fault that should be over-looked, and left to time, a tutor, and conversation, to cure: and therefore I think it not worth your while to have your son (as I often see children are) molested or child about it; but where there is pride, or ill-nature, appearing in his carriage, there he must be persuaded, or shamed, out of it.

Though children, when little, should not be much perplexed with rules and ceremonious parts of breeding; yet there is a sort of unmannerliness very apt to grow up with young people, if not early restrained; and that is a forwardness to interruptInterruption. others that are speaking, and to stop them with some contradiction. Whether the custom of disputing, and the reputation of parts and learning usually given to it, as if it were the only standard and evidence of knowledge, make young men so forward to watch occasions to correct others in their discourse, and not to slip any opportunity of showing their talents; so it is, that I have found scholars most blamed in this point. There cannot be a greater rudeness, than to interrupt another in the current of his discourse; for, if there be not impertinent folly in answering a man before we know what he will say, yet it is a plain declaration, that we are weary to hear him talk any longer; and have a disesteem of what he says; which we, judging not fit to entertain the company, desire them to give audience to us, who have something to produce worth their attention. This shows a very great disrespect, and cannot but be offensive; and yet, this is what almost all interruption constantly carries with it. To which, if there be added, as is usual, a correcting of any mistake, or a contradiction of what has been said, it is a mark of yet greater pride and self-conceitedness, when we thus intrude ourselves for teachers, and take upon us, either to set another right in his story, or show the mistakes of his judgment.

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I do not say this, that I think there should be no difference of opinions in conversation, nor opposition in men’s discourses: this would be to take away the greatest advantage of society, and the improvements that are to be made by ingenious company; where the light is to be got from the opposite arguings of men of parts, showing the different sides of things, and their various aspects and probabilities, would be quite lost, if every one were obliged to assent to, and say after the first speaker. It is not the owning one’s dissent from another that I speak against, but the manner of doing it. Young men should be taught not to be forward to interpose their opinions, unless asked, or when others have done, and are silent; and then only by way of inquiry, not instruction. The positive asserting, and the magisterial air, should be avoided; and when a general pause of the whole company affords an opportunity, they may modestly put in their question as learners.

This becoming decency will not cloud their parts, nor weaken the strength of their reason; but bespeak the more favourable attention, and give what they say the greater advantage. An ill argument, or ordinary observation, thus introduced, with some civil preface of deference and respect to the opinions of others, will procure them more credit and esteem, than the sharpest wit, or profoundest science, with a rough, insolent, or noisy management; which always shocks the hearers, and leaves an ill opinion of the man, though he get the better of it in the argument.

This therefore should be carefully watched in young people, stopped in the beginning, and the contrary habit introduced in all their conversation: and the rather, because forwardness to talk, frequent interruptions in arguing, and loud wrangling, are too often observable amongst grown people, even of rank amongst us. The Indians, whom we call barbarous, observe much more decency and civility in their discourses and conversation, giving one another a fair silent hearing, till they have quite done: and then answering them calmly, and without noise or passion. And if it be not Edition: current; Page: [141] so in this civilized part of the world, we must impute it to a neglect in education, which has not yet reformed this ancient piece of barbarity amongst us. Was it not, think you, an entertaining spectacle, to see two ladies of quality accidentally seated on the opposite sides of a room, set round with company, fall into a dispute, and grow so eager in it, that in the heat of their controversy, edging by degrees their chairs forwards, they were in a little time got up close to one another in the middle of the room; where they for a good while managed the disputeDispute. as fiercely as two game-cocks in the pit, without minding, or taking any notice of the circle, which could not all the while forbear smiling? This I was told by a person of quality, who was present at the combat, and did not omit to reflect upon the indecencies, that warmth in dispute often runs people into; which, since custom makes too frequent, education should take the more care of. There is nobody but condemns this in others, though they overlook it in themselves: and many who are sensible of it in themselves, and resolve against it, cannot yet get rid of an ill custom, which neglect in their education has suffered to settle into an habit.

§ 146. What has been above said concerning company,Company. would, perhaps, if it were well reflected on, give us a larger prospect, and let us see how much farther its influence reaches. It is not the modes of civility alone, that are imprinted by conversation; the tincture of company sinks deeper than the outside; and possibly, if a true estimate were made of the morality and religions of the world, we should find, that the far greater part of mankind received even those opinions and ceremonies they would die for, rather from the fashions of their countries, and the constant practice of those about them, than from any conviction of their reasons. I mention this only to let you see of what moment I think company is to your son in all the parts of his life, and therefore how much that one part is to be weighed and provided for, Edition: current; Page: [142] it being of greater force to work upon him, than all you can do besides.

§ 147. You will wonder, perhaps, that I put learningLearning. last, especially if I tell you I think it the least part. This may seem strange in the mouth of a bookish man: and this making usually the chief, if not only bustle and stir about children, this being almost that alone, which is thought on, when people talk of education, makes it the greater paradox. When I consider what ado is made about a little Latin and Greek, how many years are spent in it, and what a noise and business it makes to no purpose, I can hardly forbear thinking, that the parents of children still live in fear of the schoolmaster’s rod, which they look on as the only instrument of education; as if a language or two were its whole business. How else is it possible, that a child should be chained to the oar seven, eight, or ten of the best years of his life, to get a language or two, which I think might be had at a great deal cheaper rate of pains and time, and be learned almost in playing?

Forgive me, therefore, if I say, I cannot with patience think, that a young gentleman should be put into the herd, and be driven with a whip and scourge, as if he were to run the gauntlet through the several classes, “ad capiendum ingenii cultum.” “What then, say you, would you not have him write and read? Shall he be more ignorant than the clerk of our parish, who takes Hopkins and Sternhold for the best poets in the world, whom yet he makes worse than they are, by his ill reading?” Not so, not so fast, I beseech you. Reading, and writing, and learning, I allow to be necessary, but yet not the chief business. I imagine you would think him a very foolish fellow, that should not value a virtuous, or a wise man, infinitely before a great scholar. Not but that I think learning a great help to both, in well-disposed minds; but yet it must be confessed also, that in others not so disposed, it helps them only to be the more foolish, or worse men. I say this, that, when you consider of the breeding Edition: current; Page: [143] of your son, and are looking out for a school-master, or a tutor, you would not have (as is usual) Latin and logic only in your thoughts. Learning must be had, but in the second place, as subservient only to greater qualities. Seek out somebody, that may know how discreetly to frame his manners: place him in hands, where you may, as much as possible, secure his innocence, cherish and nurse up the ggood, and gently correct and weed out any bad inclinations, and settle in him good habits. This is the main point; and this being provided for, learning may be had into the bargain; and that as I think, at a very easy rate, by methods that may be thought on.

§ 148. When he can talk, it is time he should begin to learn to read.Reading. But as to this, give me leave here to inculcate again what is very apt to be forgotten, viz. that great care is to be taken, that it be never made as a business to him, nor he look on it as a task. We naturally, as I said, even from our cradles, love liberty, and have therefore an aversion to many things, for no other reason, but because they are injoined us. I have always had a fancy, that learning might be made a play and recreation to children; and that they might be brought to desire to be taught, if it were proposed to them as a thing of honour, credit, delight, and recreation, or as a reward for doing something else, and if they were never chid or corrected for the neglect of it. That which confirms me in this opinion, is, that amongst the Portuguese, it is so much a fashion and emulation amongst their children to learn to read and write, that they cannot hinder them from it: they will learn it one from another, and are as intent on it as if it were forbid them. I remember, that being at a friend’s house, whose younger son, a child in coats, was not easily brought to his book (being taught to read at home by his mother); I advised to try another way, than requiring it of him as his duty. We therefore, in a discourse on purpose amongst ourselves, in his hearing, but without taking any notice of him, declared that it was the privilege and advantage of heirs and elder brothers, to be scholars; that this Edition: current; Page: [144] made them fine gentlemen, and beloved by every body: and that for younger brothers, it was a favour to admit them to breeding; to be taught to read and write, was more than came to their share; they might be ignorant bumpkins and clowns, if they pleased. This so wrought upon the child, that afterwards he desired to be taught; would come himself to his mother to learn; and would not let his maid be quiet, till she heard him his lesson. I doubt not but some way like this might be taken with other children; and, when their tempers are found, some thoughts be instilled into them, that might set them upon desiring of learning themselves, and make them seek it, as another sort of play or recreation. But, then, as I said before, it must never be imposed as a task, nor made a trouble to them. There may be dice, and play-things, with the letters on them, to teach children the alphabet by playing; and twenty other ways may be found, suitable to their particular tempers, to make this kind of learning a sport to them.

§ 149. Thus children may be cozened into a knowledge of the letters; be taught to read, without perceiving it to be any thing but a sport, and play themselves into that which others are whipped for. Children should not have any thing like work, or serious, laid on them; neither their minds nor bodies will bear it. It injures their healths; and their being forced and tied down to their books, in an age at enmity with all such restraint, has, I doubt not, been the reason why a great many have hated books and learning all their lives after: it is like a surfeit, that leaves an aversion behind, not to be removed.

§ 150. I have therefore thought, that if play-things were fitted to this purpose, as they are usually to none, contrivances might be made to teach children to read, whilst they thought they were only playing. For example; What if an ivory ball were made like that of the royal-oak lottery, with thirty-two sides, or one rather of twenty-four or twenty-five sides; and upon several of those sides pasted on an A, upon several others B, on others C, and on others D? I would have you begin Edition: current; Page: [145] with but these four letters, or perhaps only two at first; and when he is perfect in them, then add another; and so on, till each side having one letter, there be on it the whole alphabet. This I would have others play with before him, it being as good a sort of play to lay a stake who shall first throw an A or B, as who upon dice shall throw six or seven. This being a play amongst you, tempt him not to it, lest you make it business; for I would not have him understand it is any thing but a play of older people, and I doubt not but he will take to it of himself. And that he may have the more reason to think it is a play that he is sometimes in favour admitted to; when the play is done, the ball should be laid up safe out of his reach, that so it may not, by his having it in his keeping at any time, grow stale to him.

§ 151. To keep up his eagerness to it, let him think it a game belonging to those above him; and when by this means he knows the letters, by changing them into syllables, he may learn to read, without knowing how he did so, and never have any chiding or trouble about it, nor fall out with books, because of the hard usage and vexation they have caused him. Children, if you observe them, take abundance of pains to learn several games, which, if they should be enjoined them, they would abhor as a task, and business. I know a person of great quality, (more yet to be honoured for his learning and virtue, than for his rank and high place,) who, by pasting on the six vowels (for in our language Y is one) on the six sides of a die, and the remaining eighteen consonants on the sides of three other dice, has made this a play for his children, that he shall win, who, at one cast, throws most words on these four dice; whereby his eldest son, yet in coats, has played himself into spelling, with great eagerness, and without once having been chid for it, or forced to it.

§ 152. I have seen little girls exercise whole hours together, and take abundance of pains to be expert at dibstones, as they call it. Whilst I have been looking on, I have thought it wanted only some good contrivance to make them employ all that industry about Edition: current; Page: [146] something that might be more useful to them; and methinks it is only the fault and negligence of elder people, that it is not so. Children are much less apt to be idle than men; and men are to be blamed, if some part of that busy humour be not turned to useful things; which might be made usually as delightful to them as those they are employed in, if men would be but half so forward to lead the way, as these little apes would be to follow. I imagine some wise Portuguese heretofore began this fashion amongst the children of his country, where I have been told, as I said, it is impossible to hinder the children from learning to read and write: and in some parts of France they teach one another to sing and dance from the cradle.

§ 153. The letters pasted upon the sides of the dice, or polygon, were best to be of the size of those of the folio bible to begin with, and none of them capital letters; when once he can read what is printed in such letters, he will not long be ignorant of the great ones: and in the beginning he should not be perplexed with variety. With this die also, you might have a play just like the royal-oak, which would be another variety; and play for cherries or apples, &c.

§ 154. Besides these, twenty other plays might be invented, depending on letters, which those, who like this way, may easily contrive, and get made to this use, if they will. But the four dice above mentioned I think so easy and useful, that it will be hard to find any better, and there will be scarce need of any other.

§ 155. Thus much for learning to read, which let him never be driven to, nor chid for; cheat him into it if you can, but make it not a business for him. It is better it be a year later before he can read, than that he should this way get an aversion to learning. If you have any contests with him, let it be in matters of moment, of truth, and good-nature: but lay no task on him about A B C. Use your skill to make his will supple and pliant to reason: teach him to love credit and commendation; to abhor being thought ill or meanly of, especially by you and his mother; and then the rest will come all easily. But, I think, if you will do that, Edition: current; Page: [147] you must not shackle and tie him up with rules about indifferent matters, nor rebuke him for every little fault, or perhaps some, that to others would seem great ones. But of this I have said enough already.

§ 156. When, by these gentle ways he begins to be able to read, some easy pleasant book, suited to his capacity, should be put into his hands, wherein the entertainment, that he finds, might draw him on, and reward his pains in reading; and yet not such as should fill his head with perfectly useless trumpery, or lay the principles of vice and folly. To this purpose I think Æsop’s fables the best, which being stories apt to delight and entertain a child, may yet afford useful reflections to a grown man; and if his memory retain them all his life after, he will not repent to find them there, amongst his manly thoughts, and serious business. If his Æsop has pictures in it, it will entertain him much the better, and encourage him to read, when it carries the increase of knowledge with it; for such visible objects children hear talked of in vain, and without any satisfaction, whilst they have no ideas of them: those ideas being not to be had from sounds, but from the things themselves, or their pictures. And therefore, I think, as soon as he begins to spell, as many pictures of animals should be got him as can be found, with the printed names to them, which at the same time will invite him to read, and afford him matter of inquiry and knowledge. Reynard the fox is another book, I think, may be made use of to the same purpose. And if those about him will talk to him often about the stories he has read, and hear him tell them, it will, besides other advantages, add encouragement and delight to his reading, when he finds there is some use and pleasure in it. These baits seem wholly neglected in the ordinary method; and it is usually long before learners find any use or pleasure in reading, which may tempt them to it, and so take books only for fashionable amusements, or impertinent troubles, good for nothing.

§ 157. The Lord’s prayer, the creed, and ten commandments, it is necessary he should learn perfectly by heart; but, I think, not by reading them himself in Edition: current; Page: [148] his primer, but by somebody’s repeating them to him, even before he can read. But learning by heart, and learning to read, should not, I think, be mixed, and so one made to clog the other. But his learning to read should be made as little trouble or business to him as might be.

What other books there are in English of the kind of those above mentioned, fit to engage the liking of children, and tempt them to read, I do not know; but am apt to think, that children, being generally delivered over to the method of schools, where the fear of the rod is to inforce, and not any pleasure of the employment to invite, them to learn; this sort of useful books, amongst the number of silly ones that are of all sorts, have yet had the fate to be neglected; and nothing that I know has been considered of this kind out of the ordinary road of the horn-book, primer, psalter, Testament, and Bible.

§ 158. As for the Bible, which children are usually employed in, to exercise and improve their talent in reading, I think the promiscuous reading of it, though by chapters as they lie in order, is so far from being of any advantage to children, either for the perfecting their reading, or principling their religion, that perhaps a worse could not be found. For what pleasure or encouragement can it be to a child, to exercise himself in reading those parts of a book where he understands nothing? And how little are the law of Moses, the Song of Solomon, the prophecies in the Old, and the epistles and apocalypse in the New Testament, suited to a child’s capacity? And though the history of the evangelists, and the Acts, have something easier; yet, taken all together, it is very disproportional to the understanding of childhood. I grant, that the principles of religion are to be drawn from thence, and in the words of the scripture; yet none should be proposed to a child, but such as are suited to a child’s capacity and notions. But it is far from this to read through the whole Bible, and that for reading’s sake. And what an odd jumble of thoughts must a child have in his head, if he have any at all, such as he should have Edition: current; Page: [149] concerning religion, who in his tender age reads all the parts of the Bible indifferently, as the word of God, without any other distinction! I am apt to think, that this, in some men, has been the very reason why they never had clear and distinct thoughts of it all their lifetime.

§ 159. And now I am by chance fallen on this subject, give me leave to say, that there are some parts of the scripture, which may be proper to be put into the hands of a child to engage him to read: such as are the story of Joseph and his brethren, of David and Goliath, of David and Jonathan, &c. and others, that he should be made to read for his instruction; as that, “What you would have others do unto you, do you the same unto them:” and such other easy and plain moral rules, which, being fitly chosen, might often be made use of, both for reading and instruction together; and so often read, till they are thoroughly fixed in his memory; and then afterwards, as he grows ripe for them, may in their turns, on fit occasions, be inculcated as the standing and sacred rules of his life and actions. But the reading of the whole scripture indifferently, is what I think very inconvenient for children, till, after having been made acquainted with the plainest fundamental parts of it, they have got some kind of general view of what they ought principally to believe and practise, which yet, I think, they ought to receive in the very words of the scripture, and not in such as men, prepossessed by systems and analogies, are apt in this case to make use of, and force upon them. Dr. Worthington, to avoid this, has made a catechism, which has all its answers in the precise words of the scripture, a thing of good example, and such a sound form of words as no christian can except against, as not fit for his child to learn. Of this, as soon as he can say the Lord’s prayer, creed, and ten commandments by heart, it may be fit for him to learn a question every day, or every week, as his understanding is able to receive, and his memory to retain them. And when he has this catechism perfectly by heart, so as readily and roundly to answer to any question in the Edition: current; Page: [150] whole book, it may be convenient to lodge in his mind the remaining moral rules, scattered up and down in the Bible, as the best exercise of his memory, and that which may be always a rule to him, ready at hand, in the whole conduct of his life.

§ 160. When he can read English well, it will be seasonable to enter him in writing.Writing. And here the first thing should be taught him, is to hold his pen right; and this he should be perfect in, before he should be suffered to put it to paper: for not only children, but any body else, that would do any thing well, should never be put upon too much of it at once, or be set to perfect themselves in two parts of an action at the same time, if they can possibly be separated. I think the Italian way of holding the pen between the thumb and the fore-finger alone may be best; but in this you should consult some good writing-master, or any other person who writes well and quick. When he has learned to hold his pen right, in the next place he should learn how to lay his paper, and place his arm and body to it. These practices being got over, the way to teach him to write without much trouble, is to get a plate graved with the characters of such a hand as you like best: but you must remember to have them a pretty deal bigger than he should ordinarily write; for every one naturally comes by degrees to write a less hand than he at first was taught, but never a bigger. Such a plate being graved, let several sheets of good writing-paper be printed off with red ink, which he has nothing to do but to go over with a good pen filled with black ink, which will quickly bring his hand to the formation of those characters, being at first showed where to begin, and how to form every letter. And when he can do that well, he must then exercise on fair paper; and so may easily be brought to write the hand you desire.

§ 161. When he can write well, and quick, I think it may be convenient, not only to continue the exercise of his hand in writing, but also to improve the use of it farther in drawing,Drawing. a thing very useful to a gentleman on several occasions, Edition: current; Page: [151] but especially if he travel, as that which helps a man often to express, in a few lines well put together, what a whole sheet of paper in writing would not be able to represent and make intelligible. How many buildings may a man see, how many machines and habits meet with, the ideas whereof would be easily retained and communicated by a little skill in drawing; which, being committed to words, are in danger to be lost, or at best but ill retained in the most exact descriptions? I do not mean that I would have your son a perfect painter; to be that to any tolerable degree, will require more time than a young gentleman can spare from his other improvements of greater moment; but so much insight into perspective, and skill in drawing, as will enable him to represent tolerably on paper any thing he sees, except faces, may, I think, be got in a little time, especially if he have a genius to it: but where that is wanting, unless it be in the things absolutely necessary, it is better to let him pass them by quietly, than to vex him about them to no purpose: and therefore in this, as in all other things not absolutely necessary, the rule holds, “Nihil invitâ Minervâ.”

¶ 1. Short-hand,Short-hand. an art, as I have been told, known only in England, may perhaps be thought worth the learning, both for dispatch in what men write for their own memory, and concealment of what they would not have lie open to every eye. For he that has once learned any sort of character, may easily vary it to his own private use or fancy, and with more contraction suit it to the business he would employ it in. Mr. Rich’s, the best contrived of any I have seen, may, as I think, by one who knows and considers grammar well, be made much easier and shorter. But, for the learning this compendious way of writing, there will be no need hastily to look out a master; it will be early enough, when any convenient opportunity offers itself, at any time after his hand is well settled in fair and quick writing. For boys have but little use of short-hand, and should by no means practise it, till they write perfectly well, and have thoroughly fixed the habit of doing so.

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§ 162. As soon as he can speak English, it is time for him to learn some other language: this nobody doubts of, when FrenchFrench. is proposed. And the reason is, because people are accustomed to the right way of teaching that language, which is by talking it into children in constant conversation, and not by grammatical rules. The Latin tongue would easily be taught the same way, if his tutor, being constantly with him, would talk nothing else to him, and make him answer still in the same language. But because French is a living language, and to be used more in speaking, that should be first learned, that the yet pliant organs of speech might be accustomed to a due formation of those sounds, and he get the habit of pronouncing French well, which is the harder to be done, the longer it is delayed.

§ 163. When he can speak and read French well, which in this method is usually in a year or two, he should proceed to Latin,Latin. which it is a wonder parents, when they have had the experiment in French, should not think ought to be learned the same way, by talking and reading. Only care is to be taken, whilst he is learning those foreign languages, by speaking and reading nothing else with his tutor, that he do not forget to read English, which may be preserved by his mother, or some body else, hearing him read some chosen parts of the scripture or other English book, every day.

§ 164. Latin I look upon as absolutely necessary to a gentleman; and indeed custom, which prevails over every thing, has made it so much a part of education, that even those children are whipped to it, and made spend many hours of their precious time uneasily in Latin, who, after they are once gone from school, are never to have more to do with it, as long as they live. Can there be any thing more ridiculous, than that a father should waste his own money, and his son’s time, in setting him to learn the Roman language, when, at the same time, he designs him for a trade, wherein he having no use of Latin, fails not to forget that little which he brought from school, and which it is ten to Edition: current; Page: [153] one he abhors for the ill usage it procured him? Could it be believed, unless we had every-where amongst us examples of it, that a child should be forced to learn the rudiments of a language, which he is never to use in the course of life that he is designed to, and neglect all the while the writing a good hand, and casting accounts, which are of great advantage in all conditions of life, and to most trades indispensably necessary? But though these qualifications, requisite to trade and commerce, and the business of the world, are seldom or never to be had at grammar-schools; yet thither not only gentlemen send their younger sons intended for trades, but even tradesmen and farmers fail not to send their children, though they have neither intention nor ability to make them scholars. If you ask them, why they do this? they think it as strange a question as if you should ask them why they go to church? Custom serves for reason, and has, to those that take it for reason, so consecrated this method, that it is almost religiously observed by them; and they stick to it, as if their children had scarce an orthodox education, unless they learned Lilly’s grammar.

§ 165. But how necessary soever Latin be to some, and is thought to be to others, to whom it is of no manner of use or service, yet the ordinary way of learning it in a grammar-school, is that, which having had thoughts about, I cannot be forward to encourage. The reasons against it are so evident and cogent, that they have prevailed with some intelligent persons to quit the ordinary road, not without success, though the method made use of was not exactly that which I imagine the easiest, and in short is this: to trouble the child with no grammar at all, but to have Latin, as English has been, without the perplexity of rules, talked into him; for, if you will consider it, Latin is no more unknown to a child, when he comes into the world, than English: and yet he learns English without master, rule, or grammar; and so might he Latin too, as Tully did, if he had somebody always to talk to him in this language. And when we so often see a Frenchwoman teach an English girl to speak and read French perfectly, Edition: current; Page: [154] in a year or two, without any rule of grammar, or any thing else, but prattling to her; I cannot but wonder, how gentlemen have been overseen this way for their sons, and thought them more dull or incapable than their daughters.

§ 166. If therefore a man could be got, who, himself speaking good Latin, could always be about your son, talk constantly to him, and suffer him to speak or read nothing else, this will be the true and genuine way, and that which I would propose, not only as the easiest and best, wherein a child might, without pains or chiding, get a language, which others are wont to be whipped for at school, six or seven years together; but also as that, wherein at the same time he might have his mind and manners formed, and he be instructed to boot in several sciences, such as are a good part of geography, astronomy, chronology, anatomy, besides some parts of history, and all other parts of knowledge of things, that fall under the senses, and require little more than memory. For there, if we would take the true way, our knowledge should begin, and in those things be laid the foundation; and not in the abstract notions of logic and metaphysics, which are fitter to amuse, than inform the understanding, in its first setting out towards knowledge. When young men have had their heads employed a while in those abstract speculations, without finding the success and improvement, or that use of them which they expected, they are apt to have mean thoughts, either of learning, or themselves; they are tempted to quit their studies, and throw away their books, as containing nothing but hard words, and empty sounds; or else to conclude, that if there be any real knowledge in them, they themselves have not understandings capable of it. That this is so, perhaps I could assure you upon my own experience. Amongst other things to be learned by a young gentleman in this method, whilst others of his age are wholly taken up with Latin and languages, I may also set down geometry for one, having known a young gentleman, bred something after this way, able to demonstrate several propositions in Euclid, before he was thirteen.

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§ 167. But if such a man cannot be got, who speaks good Latin, and, being able to instruct your son in all these parts of knowledge, will undertake it by this method; the next best is to have him taught as near this way as may be, which is by taking some easy and pleasant book, such as Æsop’s fables, and writing the English translation (made as literal as it can be) in one line, and the Latin words, which answer each of them, just over it in another. These let him read every day over and over again, till he perfectly understands the Latin; and then go on to another fable, till he be also perfect in that, not omitting what he is already perfect in, but sometimes reviewing that, to keep it in his memory. And when he comes to write, let these be set him for copies; which, with the exercise of his hand, will also advance him in Latin. This being a more imperfect way than by talking Latin unto him, the formation of the verbs first, and afterwards the declensions of the nouns and pronouns perfectly learnt by heart, may facilitate his acquaintance with the genius and manner of the Latin tongue, which varies the signification of verbs and nouns, not as the modern languages do by particles prefixed, but by changing the last syllables. More than this of grammar I think he need not have, till he can read himself “Sanctii Minerva,” with Scioppius and Perizonius’s notes.

In teaching of children this too, I think, it is to be observed, that in most cases, where they stick, they are not to be farther puzzled, by putting them upon finding it out themselves; as by asking such questions as these, viz. Which is the nominative case in the sentence they are to construe? or demanding what “aufero,” signifies, to lead them to the knowledge what “abstulere” signifies, &c. when they cannot readily tell. This wastes time only in disturbing them; for whilst they are learning, and applying themselves with attention, they are to be kept in good humour, and every thing made easy to them, and as pleasant as possible. Therefore, wherever they are at a stand, and are willing to go forwards, help them presently over the difficulty, without any rebuke or chiding: remembering Edition: current; Page: [156] that, where harsher ways are taken, they are the effect only of pride and peevishness in the teacher, who expects children should instantly be masters of as much as he knows: whereas he should rather consider, that his business is to settle in them habits, not angrily to inculcate rules, which serve for little in the conduct of our lives; at least are of no use to children, who forget them as soon as given. In sciences where their reason is to be exercised, I will not deny, but this method may sometimes be varied, and difficulties proposed on purpose to excite industry, and accustom the mind to employ its whole strength and sagacity in reasoning. But yet, I guess, this is not to be done to children whilst very young; nor at their entrance upon any sort of knowledge: then every thing of itself is difficult, and the great use and skill of a teacher is to make all as easy as he can. But particularly in learning of languages there is least occasion for posing of children. For languages being to be learned by rote, custom, and memory, are then spoken in greatest perfection, when all rules of grammar are utterly forgotten. I grant the grammar of a language is sometimes very carefully to be studied: but it is only to be studied by a grown man, when he applies himself to the understanding of any language critically, which is seldom the business of any but professed scholars. This, I think, will be agreed to, that, if a gentleman be to study any language, it ought to be that of his own country, that he may understand the language, which he has constant use of, with the utmost accuracy.

There is yet a farther reason, why masters and teachers should raise no difficulties to their scholars; but, on the contrary, should smooth their way, and readily help them forwards, where they find them stop. Children’s minds are narrow and weak, and usually susceptible but of one thought at once. Whatever is in a child’s head, fills it for the time, especially if set on with any passion. It should therefore be the skill and art of the teacher, to clear their heads of all other thoughts, whilst they are learning of any thing, the better to make room for what he would instil into them, that it Edition: current; Page: [157] may be received with attention and application, without which it leaves no impression. The natural temper of children disposes their minds to wander. Novelty alone takes them; whatever that presents, they are presently eager to have a taste of, and are as soon satiated with it. They quickly grow weary of the same thing, and so have almost their whole delight in change and variety. It is a contradiction to the natural state of childhood, for them to fix their fleeting thoughts. Whether this be owing to the temper of their brains, or the quickness or instability of their animal spirits, over which the mind has not yet got a full command; this is visible, that it is a pain to children to keep their thoughts steady to any thing. A lasting continued attention is one of the hardest tasks can be imposed on them: and therefore, he that requires their application, should endeavour to make what he proposes as grateful and agreeable as possible; at least, he ought to take care not to join any displeasing or frightful idea with it. If they come not to their books with some kind of liking and relish, it is no wonder their thoughts should be perpetually shifting from what disgusts them, and seek better entertainment in more pleasing objects, after which they will unavoidably be gadding.

It is, I know, the usual method of tutors, to endeavour to procure attention in their scholars, and to fix their minds to the business in hand, by rebukes and corrections, if they find them ever so little wandering. But such treatment is sure to produce the quite contrary effect. Passionate words or blows from the tutor fill the child’s mind with terrour and affrightment, which immediately takes it wholly up, and leaves no room for other impressions. I believe there is nobody, that reads this, but may recollect, what disorder hasty or imperious words from his parents or teachers have caused in his thoughts; how for the time it has turned his brains, so that he scarce knew what was said by, or to him: he presently lost the sight of what he was upon; his mind was filled with disorder and confusion, and in that state was no longer capable of attention to any thing else.

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It is true, parents and governors ought to settle and establish their authority, by an awe over the minds of those under their tuition; and to rule them by that: but when they have got an ascendant over them, they should use it with great moderation, and not make themselves such scarecrows, that their scholars should always tremble in their sight. Such an austerity may make their government easy to themselves, but of very little use to their pupils. It is impossible children should learn any thing, whilst their thoughts are possessed and disturbed with any passion, especially fear, which makes the strongest impression on their yet tender and weak spirits. Keep the mind in an easy calm temper, when you would have it receive your instructions, or any increase of knowledge. It is as impossible to draw fair and regular characters on a trembling mind, as on a shaking paper.

The great skill of a teacher is to get and keep the attention of his scholar: whilst he has that, he is sure to advance as fast as the learner’s abilities will carry him; and without that, all his bustle and pother will be to little or no purpose. To attain this, he should make the child comprehend (as much as may be) the usefulness of what he teaches him; and let him see, by what he has learned, that he can do something which he could not do before; something which gives him some power and real advantage above others, who are ignorant of it. To this he should add sweetness in all his instructions; and by a certain tenderness in his whole carriage, make the child sensible that he loves him, and designs nothing but his good; the only way to beget love in the child, which will make him hearken to his lessons, and relish what he teaches him.

Nothing but obstinacy should meet with any imperiousness or rough usage. All other faults should be corrected with a gentle hand; and kind encouraging words will work better and more effectually upon a willing mind, and even prevent a good deal of that perverseness, which rough and imperious usage often produces in well-disposed and generous minds. It is true, obstinacy and wilful neglects must be mastered, Edition: current; Page: [159] even though it cost blows to do it: but I am apt to think perverseness in the pupils is often the effect of frowardness in the tutor; and that most children would seldom have deserved blows, if needless and misapplied roughness had not taught them ill-nature, and given them an aversion to their teacher, and all that comes from him.

Inadvertency, forgetfulness, unsteadiness, and wandering of thought, are the natural faults of childhood: and therefore, when they are not observed to be wilful, are to be mentioned softly, and gained upon by time. If every slip of this kind produces anger and rating, the occasions of rebuke and corrections will return so often, that the tutor will be a constant terrour and uneasiness to his pupils; which one thing is enough to hinder their profiting by his lessons, and to defeat all his methods of instruction.

Let the awe he has got upon their minds be so tempered with the constant marks of tenderness and goodwill, that affection may spur them to their duty, and make them find a pleasure in complying with his dictates. This will bring them with satisfaction to their tutor; make them hearken to him; as to one who is their friend, that cherishes them, and takes pains for their good; this will keep their thoughts easy and free, whilst they are with him, the only temper wherein the mind is capable of receiving new informations, and of admitting into itself those impressions, which if not taken and retained, all that they and their teacher do together is lost labour; there is much uneasiness, and little learning.

§ 168. When, by this way of interlining Latin and English one with another, he has got a moderate knowledge of the Latin tongue, he may then be advanced a little farther to the reading of some other easy Latin book, such as Justin, or Eutropius; and to make the reading and understanding of it the less tedious, and difficult to him, let him help himself, if he please, with the English translation. Nor let the objection, that he will then know it only by rote, fright any one. This, when well considered, is not of any moment against, Edition: current; Page: [160] but plainly for, this way of learning a language; for languages are only to be learned by rote; and a man, who does not speak English or Latin perfectly by rote, so that having thought of the thing he would speak of, his tongue of course, without thought of rule or grammar, falls into the proper expression and idiom of that language, does not speak it well, nor is master of it. And I would fain have any one name to me that tongue, that any one can learn or speak as he should do, by the rules of grammar. Languages were made not by rules or art, but by accident, and the common use of the people. And he that will speak them well, has no other rule but that: nor any thing to trust to but his memory, and the habit of speaking after the fashion learned from those that are allowed to speak properly, which, in other words, is only to speak by rote.

It will possibly be asked here, Is grammarGrammar. then of no use? And have those who have taken so much pains in reducing several languages to rules and observations, who have writ so much about declensions and conjugations, about concords and syntaxis, lost their labour, and been learned to no purpose? I say not so; grammar has its place too. But this I think I may say, there is more stir a great deal made with it than there needs, and those are tormented about it, to whom it does not at all belong; I mean children, at the age wherein they are usually perplexed with it in grammar-schools.

There is nothing more evident, than that languages learned by rote serve well enough for the common affairs of life, and ordinary commerce. Nay, persons of quality of the softer sex, and such of them as have spent their time in well-bred company, show us, that this plain natural way, without the least study or knowledge of grammar, can carry them to a great degree of elegancy and politeness in their language: and there are ladies who, without knowing what tenses and participles, adverbs and prepositions are, speak as properly, and as correctly, (they might take it for an ill compliment, if I said as any country school-master,) as most gentlemen who have been bred up in the ordinary Edition: current; Page: [161] methods of grammar-schools. Grammar therefore we see may be spared in some cases. The question then will be, To whom should it be taught, and when? To this I answer,

1. Men learn languages for the ordinary intercourse of society, and communication of thoughts in common life, without any farther design in their use of them. And for this purpose the original way of learning a language by conversation not only serves well enough, but is to be preferred, as the most expedite, proper, and natural. Therefore to this use of language one may answer, that grammar is not necessary. This so many of my readers must be forced to allow, as understand what I here say, and who, conversing with others, understand them without having ever been taught the grammar of the English tongue: which I suppose is the case of incomparably the greatest part of Englishmen; of whom I have never yet known any one who learned his mother-tongue by rules.

2. Others there are, the greatest part of whose business in this world is to be done with their tongues, and with their pens; and to those it is convenient, if not necessary, that they should speak properly and correctly, whereby they may let their thoughts into other men’s minds, the more easily, and with the greater impression. Upon this account it is, that any sort of speaking, so as will make him be understood, is not thought enough for a gentleman. He ought to study grammar, amongst the other helps of speaking well; but it must be the grammar of his own tongue, of the language he uses, that he may understand his own country speech nicely, and speak it properly, without shocking the ears of those it is addressed to with solecisms and offensive irregularities. And to this purpose grammar is necessary: but it is the grammar only of their own proper tongues, and to those only who would take pains in cultivating their language, and in perfecting their styles. Whether all gentlemen should not do this, I leave to be considered, since the want of propriety, and grammatical exactness, is thought very misbecoming one of that rank, and usually draws on one guilty of such faults Edition: current; Page: [162] the censure of having had a lower breeding, and worse company, than suits with his quality. If this be so, (as I suppose it is,) it will be matter of wonder, why young gentlemen are forced to learn the grammars of foreign and dead languages, and are never once told of the grammar of their own tongues: they do not so much as know there is any such thing, much less is it made their business to be instructed in it. Nor is their own language ever proposed to them as worthy their care and cultivating, though they have daily use of it, and are not seldom in the future course of their lives judged of, by their handsome or awkward way of expressing themselves in it. Whereas the languages whose grammars they have been so much employed in, are such as probably they shall scarce ever speak or write; or, if upon occasion this should happen, they shall be excused for the mistakes and faults they make in it. Would not a Chinese, who took notice of this way of breeding, be apt to imagine, that all our young gentlemen were designed to be teachers and professors of the dead languages of foreign countries, and not to be men of business in their own?

3. There is a third sort of men, who applying themselves to two or three foreign, dead (and which amongst us are called the learned) languages, make them their study, and pique themselves upon their skill in them. No doubt those who propose to themselves the learning of any language with this view, and would be critically exact in it, ought carefully to study the grammar of it. I would not be mistaken here, as if this were to undervalue Greek and Latin: I grant these are languages of great use and excellency; and a man can have no place amongst the learned, in this part of the world, who is a stranger to them. But the knowledge a gentleman would ordinarily draw for his use, out of the Roman and Greek writers, I think he may attain without studying the grammars of those tongues, and, by bare reading, may come to understand them sufficiently for all his purposes. How much farther he shall at any time be concerned to look into the grammar and critical niceties of either of these tongues, he himself Edition: current; Page: [163] will be able to determine, when he comes to propose to himself the study of any thing that shall require it. Which brings me to the other part of the inquiry, viz.

“When grammar should be taught?”

To which upon the premised grounds, the answer is obvious, viz.

That, it grammar ought to be taught at any time, it must be to one that can speak the language already: how else can he be taught the grammar of it? This, at least, is evident from the practice of the wise and learned nations amongst the ancients. They made it a part of education to cultivate their own, not foreign tongues. The Greeks counted all other nations barbarous, and had a contempt for their languages. And, though the Greek learning grew in credit amongst the Romans, towards the end of their commonwealth, yet it was the Roman tongue that was made the study of their youth: their own language they were to make use of, and therefore it was their own language they were instructed and exercised in.

But more particularly to determine the proper season for grammar; I do not see how it can reasonably be made any one’s study, but as an introduction to rhetoric: when it is thought time to put any one upon the care of polishing his tongue, and of speaking better than the illiterate, then is the time for him to be instructed in the rules of grammar, and not before. For grammar being to teach men not to speak, but to speak correctly, and according to the exact rules of the tongue, which is one part of elegancy, there is little use of the one to him that has no need of the other; where rhetoric is not necessary, grammar may be spared. I know not why any one should waste his time, and beat his head about the Latin grammar, who does not intend to be a critic, or make speeches, and write dispatches in it. When any one finds in himself a necessity or disposition to study any foreign language to the bottom, and to be nicely exact in the knowledge of it, it will be time enough to take a grammatical survey of it. If his use of it be only to understand some books writ in it, without a critical knowledge of the tongue itself, reading Edition: current; Page: [164] alone, as I have said, will attain this end, without charging the mind with multiplied rules and intricacies of grammar.

§ 169. For the exercise of his writing, let him sometimes translate Latin into English: but the learning of Latin being nothing but the learning of words, a very unpleasant business both to young and old, join as much other real knowledge with it as you can, beginning still with that which lies most obvious to the senses; such as is the knowledge of minerals, plants, and animals, and particularly timber and fruit-trees, their parts and ways of propagation, wherein a great deal may be taught a child, which will not be useless to the man: but more especially geography, astronomy, and anatomy. But, whatever you are teaching him, have a care still, that you do not clog him with too much at once; or make any thing his business but downright virtue, or reprove him for any thing but vice, or some apparent tendency to it.

§ 170. But if, after all, his fate be to go to school to get the Latin tongue, it will be in vain to talk to you concerning the method I think best to be observed in schools. You must submit to that you find there, not expect to have it changed for your son; but yet by all means obtain, if you can, that he be not employed in making Latin themesThemes. and declamations, and, least of all, verses of any kind. You may insist on it, if it will do any good, that you have no design to make him either a Latin orator or poet, but barely would have him understand perfectly a Latin author; and that you observe those who teach any of the modern languages, and that with success, never amuse their scholars to make speeches or verses either in French or Italian, their business being language barely, and not invention.

§ 171. But to tell you, a little more fully, why I would not have him exercised in making of themes and verses: 1. As to themes, they have, I confess, the pretence of something useful, which is to teach people to speak handsomely and well on any subject; which, if it could be attained this way, I own would be a great Edition: current; Page: [165] advantage; there being nothing more becoming a gentleman, nor more useful in all the occurrences of life, than to be able, on any occasion, to speak well, and to the purpose. But this I say, that the making of themes, as is usual in schools, helps not one jot towards it; for do but consider what it is in making a theme that a young lad is employed about; it is to make a speech on some Latin saying, as “Omnia vincit amor,” or “Non licet in bello bis peccare,” &c. And here the poor lad, who wants knowledge of those things he is to speak of, which is to be had only from time and observation, must set his invention on the rack, to say something where he knows nothing, which is a sort of Ægyptian tyranny, to bid them make bricks who have not yet any of the materials. And therefore it is usual, in such cases, for the poor children to go to those of higher forms with this petition, “Pray give me a little sense;” which, whether it be more reasonable or more ridiculous, is not easy to determine. Before a man can be in any capacity to speak on any subject, it is necessary he be acquainted with it; or else it is as foolish to set him to discourse of it, as to set a blind man to talk of colours, or a deaf man of music. And would you not think him a little cracked who would require another to make an argument on a moot point, who understands nothing of our laws? And what, I pray, do school-boys understand concerning those matters, which are used to be proposed to them in their themes, as subjects to discourse on, to whet and exercise their fancies?

§ 172. In the next place, consider the language that their themes are made in: it is Latin, a language foreign in their country, and long since dead every-where; a language which your son, it is a thousand to one, shall never have an occasion once to make a speech in as long as he lives, after he comes to be a man; and a language wherein the manner of expressing one’s self is so far different from ours, that to be perfect in that, would very little improve the purity and facility of his English style. Besides that, there is now so little room or use for set speeches in our own language in any part of our Edition: current; Page: [166] English business, that I can see no pretence for this sort of exercise in our schools; unless it can be supposed, that the making of set Latin speeches should be the way to teach men to speak well in English extempore. The way to that I should think rather to be this: that there should be proposed to young gentlemen rational and useful questions, suited to their age and capacities, and on subjects not wholly unknown to them, nor out of their way: such as these, when they are ripe for exercises of this nature, they should, extempore, or after a little meditation upon the spot, speak to, without penning of any thing. For I ask, if he will examine the effects of this way of learning to speak well, who speak best in any business, when occasion calls them to it upon any debate; either those who have accustomed themselves to compose and write down before-hand what they would say; or those, who thinking only of the matter to understand that as well as they can, use themselves only to speak extempore? And he that shall judge by this, will be little apt to think, that the accustoming him to study speeches, and set compositions, is the way to fit a young gentleman for business.

§ 173. But perhaps we shall be told, it is to improve and perfect them in the Latin tongue. It is true, that is their proper business at school; but the making of themes is not the way to it: that perplexes their brains, about invention of things to be said, not about the signification of words to be learnt; and, when they are making a theme, it is thoughts they search and sweat for, and not language. But the learning and mastery of a tongue, being uneasy and unpleasant enough in itself, should not be cumbered with any other difficulties, as is done in this way of proceeding. In fine, if boys invention be to be quickened by such exercise, let them make themes in English, where they have facility, and a command of words, and will better see what kind of thoughts they have, when put into their own language: and, if the Latin tongue be to be learned, let it be done in the easiest way, without toiling and disgusting the mind by so uneasy an employment as that of making speeches joined to it.

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§ 174. If these may be any reasons against children’s making Latin themes at school, I have much more to say, and of more weight, against their making versesVerses. of any sort, for, if he has no genius to poetry, it is the most unreasonable thing in the world to torment a child, and waste his time about that which can never succeed; and if he have a poetic vein, it is to me the strangest thing in the world, that the father should desire or suffer it to be cherished or improved. Methinks the parents should labour to have it stifled and suppressed as much as may be; and I know not what reason a father can have to wish his son a poet, who does not desire to have him bid defiance to all other callings and business; which is not yet the worst of the case; for if he proves a successful rhymer, and gets once the reputation of a wit, I desire it may be considered, what company and places he is like to spend his time in, nay, and estate too: for it is very seldom seen, that any one discovers mines of gold or silver in Parnassus. It is a pleasant air, but a barren soil; and there are very few instances of those who have added to their patrimony by any thing they have reaped from thence. Poetry and gaming, which usually go together, are alike in this too, that they seldom bring any advantage, but to those who have nothing else to live on. Men of estates almost constantly go away losers; and it is well if they escape at a cheaper rate than their whole estates, or the greatest part of them. If therefore you would not have your son the fiddle to every jovial company, without whom the sparks could not relish their wine, nor know how to pass an afternoon idly; if you would not have him waste his time and estate to divert others, and contemn the dirty acres left him by his ancestors, I do not think you will much care he should be a poet, or that his school-master should enter him in versifying. But yet, if any one will think poetry a desirable quality in his son, and that the study of it would raise his fancy and parts, he must need yet confess, that, to that end, reading the excellent Greek and Roman poets, is of more use than making bad verses of his own, in a language Edition: current; Page: [168] that is not his own. And he, whose design it is to excel in English poetry, would not, I guess, think the way to it were to make his first essays in Latin verses.

Memoriter.§ 175. Another thing, very ordinary in the vulgar method of grammar-schools, there is, of which I see no use at all, unless it be to baulk young lads in the way to learning languages, which, in my opinion, should be made as easy and pleasant as may be; and that which was painful in it, as much as possible, quite removed. That which I mean, and here complain of, is, their being forced to learn by heart great parcels of the authors which are taught them; wherein I can discover no advantage at all, especially to the business they are upon. Languages are to be learnt only by reading and talking, and not by scraps of authors got by heart; which when a man’s head is stuffed with, he has got the just furniture of a pedant, and it is the ready way to make him one, than which there is nothing less becoming a gentleman. For what can be more ridiculous, than to mix the rich and handsome thoughts and sayings of others with a deal of poor stuff of his own; which is thereby the more exposed; and has no other grace in it, nor will otherwise recommend the speaker, than a thread-bare russet-coat would that was set off with large patches of scarlet and glittering brocade? Indeed, where a passage comes in the way, whose matter is worth remembrance, and the expression of it very close and excellent, (as there are many such in the ancient authors,) it may not be amiss to lodge it in the minds of young scholars, and with such admirable strokes of those great masters sometimes exercise the memories of school-boys: but their learning of their lessons by heart, as they happen to fall out in their books without choice or distinction, I know not what it serves for, but to mispend their time and pains, and give them a disgust and aversion to their books, wherein they find nothing but useless trouble.

§ 176. I hear it is said, that children should be employed in getting things by heart, to exercise and improve their memories. I could wish this were said with Edition: current; Page: [169] as much authority of reason, as it is with forwardness of assurance; and that this practice were established upon good observation, more than old custom; for it is evident, that strength of memory is owing to an happy constitution, and not to any habitual improvement got by exercise. It is true, what the mind is intent upon, and for fear of letting it slip, often imprints afresh on itself by frequent reflection, that it is apt to retain, but still according to its own natural strength of retention. An impression made on bees wax or lead will not last so long as on brass or steel. Indeed, if it be renewed often, it may last the longer; but every new reflecting on it is a new impression, and it is from thence one is to reckon, if one would know how long the mind retains it. But the learning pages of Latin by heart, no more fits the memory for retention of any thing else, than the graving of one sentence in lead, makes it the more capable of retaining firmly any other characters. If such a sort of exercise of the memory were able to give it strength, and improve our parts, players of all other people must needs have the best memories, and be the best company; but whether the scraps they have got into their head this way, make them remember other things the better; and whether their parts be improved proportionably to the pains they have taken in getting by heart other sayings; experience will show. Memory is so necessary to all parts and conditions of life, and so little is to be done without it, that we are not to fear it should grow dull and useless for want of exercise, if exercise would make it grow stronger. But I fear this faculty of the mind is not capable of much help and amendment in general, by any exercise or endeavour of ours, at least not by that used upon this pretence in grammar-schools. And if Xerxes was able to call every common soldier by his name, in his army, that consisted of no less than an hundred thousand men, I think it may be guessed, he got not this wonderful ability by learning his lessons by heart, when he was a boy. This method of exercising and improving the memory by toilsome repetitions, without book, of what they read, is, I think, little used in the education of Edition: current; Page: [170] princes: which, if it had that advantage talked of, should be as little neglected in them, as in the meanest school-boys: princes having as much need of good memories as any men living, and have generally an equal share in this faculty with other men: though it has never been taken care of this way. What the mind is intent upon, and careful of, that it remembers best, and for the reason above mentioned: to which if method and order be joined, all is done, I think, that can be, for the help of a weak memory; and he that will take any other way to do it, especially that of charging it with a train of other people’s words, which he that learns cares not for; will, I guess, scarce find the profit answer half the time and pains employed in it.

I do not mean hereby, that there should be no exercise given to children’s memories. I think their memories should be employed, but not in learning by rote whole pages out of books, which, the lesson being once said, and that task over, are delivered up again to oblivion, and neglected for ever. This mends neither the memory nor the mind. What they should learn by heart out of authors, I have above mentioned: and such wise and useful sentences, being once given in charge to their memories, they should never be suffered to forget again, but be often called to account for them: whereby, besides the use those sayings may be to them in their future life, as so many good rules and observations; they will be taught to reflect often, and bethink themselves what they have to remember, which is the only way to make the memory quick and useful. The custom of frequent reflection will keep their minds from running adrift, and call their thoughts home from useless inattentive roving: and therefore, I think, it may do well to give them something every day to remember; but something still, that is in itself worth the remembering, and what you would never have out of mind, whenever you call or they themselves search for it. This will oblige them often to turn their thoughts inwards, than which you cannot wish them a better intellectual habit.

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§ 177. But under whose care soever a child is put to be taught during the tender and flexible years of his life, this is certain, it should be one who thinks LatinLatin. and language the least part of education; one, who knowing how much virtue, and a well-tempered soul, is to be preferred to any sort of learning or language, makes it his chief business to form the mind of his scholars and give that a right disposition: which, if once got, though all the rest should be neglected, would, in due time, produce all the rest; and which if it be not got, and settled so as to keep out ill and vicious habits, languages and sciences, and all the other accomplishments of education, will be to no purpose, but to make the worse or more dangerous man. And indeed, whatever stir there is made about getting of Latin, as the great and difficult business; his mother may teach it him herself, if she will but spend two or three hours in a day with him, and make him read the evangelists in Latin to her: for she need but buy a Latin testament, and having got somebody to mark the last syllable but one, where it is long, in words above two syllables, (which is enough to regulate her pronunciation, and accenting the words,) read daily in the gospels, and then let her avoid understanding them in Latin, if she can. And when she understands the evangelists in Latin, let her, in the same manner, read Æsop’s fables, and so proceed on to Eutropius, Justin, and other such books. I do not mention this as an imagination of what I fancy may do, but as of a thing I have known done, and the Latin tongue with ease got this way.

But to return to what I was saying: he that takes on him the charge of bringing up young men, especially young gentlemen, should have something more in him than Latin, more than even a knowledge in the liberal sciences; he should be a person of eminent virtue and prudence, and with good sense have good humour, and the skill to carry himself with gravity, ease and kindness, in a constant conversation with his pupils. But of this I have spoken at large in another place.

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§ 178. At the same time that he is learning French and Latin, a child, as has been said, may also be entered in arithmetic, geography,Geography. chronology, history, and geometry too. For if these be taught him in French or Latin, when he begins once to understand either of these tongues, he will get a knowledge in these sciences, and the language to-boot.

Geography, I think, should be begun with; for the learning of the figure of the globe, the situation and boundaries of the four parts of the world, and that of particular kingdoms and countries, being only an exercise of the eyes and memory, a child with pleasure will learn and retain them: and this is so certain, that I now live in the house with a child, whom his mother has so well instructed this way in geography, that he knew the limits of the four parts of the world, could readily point, being asked, to any country upon the globe, or any county in the map of England; knew all the great rivers, promontories, straits, and bays in the world, and could find the longitude and latitude of any place before he was six years old. These things, that he will thus learn by sight, and have by rote in his memory, are not all, I confess, that he is to learn upon the globes. But yet it is a good step and preparation to it, and will make the remainder much easier, when his judgment is grown ripe enough for it: besides that, it gets so much time now, and by the pleasure of knowing things, leads him on insensibly to the gaining of languages.

§ 179. When he has the natural parts of the globe well fixed in his memory, it may then be time to begin arithmetic. By the natural parts of the globe, I mean several positions of the parts of the earth and sea, under different names and distinctions of countries; not coming yet to those artificial and imaginary lines, which have been invented, and are only supposed, for the better improvement of that science.

§ 180. ArithmeticArithmetic. is the easiest, and consequently the first sort of abstract reasoning, which the mind commonly bears, or accustoms itself Edition: current; Page: [173] to: and is of so general use in all parts of life and business, that scarce any thing is to be done without it. This is certain, a man cannot have too much of it, nor too perfectly; he should therefore begin to be exercised in counting, as soon, and as far, as he is capable of it; and do something in it every day till he is master of the art of numbers. When he understands addition and subtraction, he may then be advanced farther in geography, and after he is acquainted with the poles, zones, parallel circles, and meridians, be taught longitude and latitude, and by them be made to understand the use of maps, and by the numbers placed on their sides, to know the respective situation of countries, and how to find them out on the terrestrial globe. Which when he can readily do, he may then be entered in the celestial;Astronomy. and there going over all the circles again, with a more particular observation of the ecliptic or zodiac, to fix them all very clearly and distinctly in his mind, he may be taught the figure and position of the several constellations, which may be showed him first upon the globe, and then in the heavens.

When that is done, and he knows pretty well the constellations of this our hemisphere, it may be time to give him some notions of this our planetary world, and to that purpose it may not be amiss to make him a draught of the Copernican system; and therein explain to him the situation of the planets, their respective distances from the sun, the centre of their revolutions. This will prepare him to understand the motion and theory of the planets the most easy and natural way. For, since astronomers no longer doubt of the motion of the planets about the sun, it is fit he should proceed upon that hypothesis, which is not only the simplest and least perplexed for a learner, but also the likeliest to be true in itself. But in this, as in all other parts of instruction, great care must be taken with children, to begin with that which is plain and simple, and to teach them as little as can be at once, and settle that well in their heads, before you proceed to the next, or any thing new in that science. Give them first one simple idea, Edition: current; Page: [174] and see that they take it right, and perfectly comprehend it, before you go any farther; and then add some other simple idea, which lies next in your way to what you aim at; and so proceeding by gentle and insensible steps, children, without confusion and amazement, will have their understandings opened, and their thoughts extended, farther than could have been expected. And when any one has learned any thing himself, there is no such way to fix it in his memory, and to encourage him to go on, as to set him to teach it others.

§ 181. When he has once got such an acquaintance with the globes, as is above mentioned, he may be fit to be tried a little in geometry;Geometry. wherein I think the six first books of Euclid enough for him to be taught. For I am in some doubt whether more to a man of business be necessary or useful; at least if he have a genius or inclination to it, being entered so far by his tutor, he will be able to go on of himself without a teacher.

The globes therefore must be studied, and that diligently, and, I think, may be begun betimes, if the tutor will but be careful to distinguish what the child is capable of knowing, and what not; for which this may be a rule, that perhaps will go a pretty way, (viz.) that children may be taught any thing that falls under their senses, especially their sight, as far as their memories only are exercised; and thus a child very young may learn, which is the æquator, which the meridian, &c. which Europe, and which England, upon the globes, as soon almost as he knows the rooms of the house he lives in; if care be taken not to teach him too much at once, nor to set him upon a new part, till that, which he is upon, be perfectly learned and fixed in his memory.

§ 182. With geography, chronologyChronology. ought to go hand in hand; I mean the general part of it, so that he may have in his mind a view of the whole current of time, and the several considerable epochs that are made use of in history. Without these two, history, which is the great mistress of prudence and civil knowledge; and ought to be the proper study Edition: current; Page: [175] of a gentleman or man of business in the world: without geography and chronology, I say, history will be very ill retained, and very little useful; but be only a jumble of matters of fact, confusedly heaped together without order or instruction. It is by these two that the actions of mankind are ranked into their proper places of times and countries; under which circumstances, they are not only much easier kept in the memory, but, in that natural order, are only capable to afford those observations, which make a man the better and the abler for reading them.

§ 183. When I speak of chronology as a science he should be perfect in, I do not mean the little controversies that are in it. These are endless, and most of them of so little importance to a gentleman, as not to deserve to be inquired into, were they capable of an easy decision. And therefore all that learned noise and dust of the chronologist is wholly to be avoided. The most useful book I have seen in that part of learning, is a small treatise of Strauchius, which is printed in twelves, under the title of “Breviarium Chronologicum,” out of which may be selected all that is necessary to be taught a young gentleman concerning chronology; for all that is in that treatise a learner need not be cumbered with. He has in him the most remarkable or usual epochs reduced all to that of the Julian period, which is the easiest, and plainest, and surest method, that can be made use of in chronology. To this treatise of Strauchius, Helvicus’s tables may be added, as a book to be turned to on all occasions.

§ 184. As nothing teaches, so nothing delights, more than history.History. The first of these recommends it to the study of grown men; the latter makes me think it the fittest for a young lad, who, as soon as he is instructed in chronology, and acquainted with the several epochs in use in this part of the world, and can reduce them to the Julian period, should then have some Latin history put into his hand. The choice should be directed by the easiness of the style; for wherever he begins, chronology will keep it from Edition: current; Page: [176] confusion; and the pleasantness of the subject inviting him to read, the language will insensibly be got, without that terrible vexation and uneasiness which children suffer where they are put into books beyond their capacity, such as are the Roman orators and poets, only to learn the Roman language. When he has by reading mastered the easier, such perhaps as Justin, Eutropius, Quintus Curtius, &c. the next degree to these will give him no great trouble: and thus, by a gradual progress from the plainest and easiest historians, he may at last come to read the most difficult and sublime of the Latin authors, such as are Tully, Virgil, and Horace.

§ 185. The knowledge of virtue, all along from the beginning, in all the instances he is capable of, being taught him, more by practice than rules; and the love of reputation, instead of satisfying his appetite, being made habitual in him; I know not whether he should read any other discourses of morality, but what he finds in the bible; or have any system of ethicsEthics. put into his hand, till he can read Tully’s Offices, not as a school-boy to learn Latin, but as one that would be informed in the principles and precepts of virtue, for the conduct of his life.

§ 186. When he has pretty well digested Tully’s Offices, and added to it “Puffendorf de officio hominis & civis,” it may be seasonable to set him upon “Grotius de jure belli & pacis,” or, which perhaps is the better of the two, “Puffendorf de jure naturali & gentium,” wherein he will be instructed in the natural rights of men, and the original and foundations of society, and the duties resulting from thence. This general part of civil lawCivil law. and history are studies which a gentleman should not barely touch at, but constantly dwell upon, and never have done with. A virtuous and well-behaved young man, that is well versed in the general part of the civil law, (which concerns not the chicane of private cases, but the affairs and intercourse of civilized nations in general, grounded upon principles of reason,) understands Latin well, and can write a good hand, one may turn Edition: current; Page: [177] loose into the world, with great assurance that he will find employment and esteem every-where.

§ 187. It would be strange to suppose an English gentleman should be ignorant of the lawLaw. of his country. This, whatever station he is in, is so requisite, that, from a justice of the peace to a minister of state, I know no place he can well fill without it. I do not mean the chicane or wrangling and captious part of the law; a gentleman whose business is to seek the true measures of right and wrong, and not the arts how to avoid doing the one, and secure himself in doing the other, ought to be as far from such a study of the law, as he is concerned diligently to apply himself to that wherein he may be serviceable to his country. And to that purpose I think the right way for a gentleman to study our law, which he does not design for his calling, is to take a view of our English constitution and government, in the ancient books of the common law, and some more modern writers, who out of them have given an account of this government. And having got a true idea of that, then to read our history, and with it join in every king’s reign the laws then made. This will give an insight into the reason of our statutes, and show the true ground upon which they came to be made, and what weight they ought to have.

§ 188. Rhetoric and logicRhetoric. Logic. being the arts that in the ordinary method usually follow immediately after grammar, it may perhaps be wondered, that I have said so little of them. The reason is, because of the little advantage young people receive by them; for I have seldom or never observed any one to get the skill of reasoning well, or speaking handsomely, by studying those rules which pretend to teach it: and therefore I would have a young gentleman take a view of them in the shortest systems could be found, without dwelling long on the contemplation and study of those formalities. Right reasoning is founded on something else than the predicaments and predicables, and does not consist in talking in mode and figure itself. But it is besides my present business to enlarge Edition: current; Page: [178] upon this speculation. To come therefore to what we have in hand; if you would have your son reason well, let him read Chillingworth; and if you would have him speak well, let him be conversant in Tully, to give him the true idea of eloquence; and let him read those things that are well writ in English, to perfect his style in the purity of our language.

§ 189. If the use and end of right reasoning be to have right notions, and a right judgment of things; to distinguish betwixt truth and falsehood, right and wrong, and to act accordingly; be sure not to let your son be bred up in the art and formality of disputing, either practising it himself, or admiring it in others; unless, instead of an able man, you desire to have him an insignificant wrangler, opiniatre in discourse, and priding himself in contradicting others; or, which is worse, questioning every thing, and thinking there is no such thing as truth to be sought, but only victory, in disputing. There cannot be any thing so disingenuous, so misbecoming a gentleman, or any one who pretends to be a rational creature, as not to yield to plain reason, and the conviction of clear arguments. Is there any thing more inconsistent with civil conversation, and the end of all debate, than not to take an answer, though ever so full and satisfactory; but still to go on with the dispute, as long as equivocal sounds can furnish [a “medius terminus”] a term to wrangle with on the one side, or a distinction on the other? Whether pertinent or impertinent, sense or nonsense, agreeing with, or contrary to, what he had said before, it matters not. For this, in short, is the way and perfection of logical disputes, that the opponent never takes any answer, nor the respondent ever yields to any argument. This neither of them must do, whatever becomes of truth or knowledge, unless he will pass for a poor baffled wretch, and lie under the disgrace of not being able to maintain whatever he has once affirmed, which is the great aim and glory in disputing. Truth is to be found and supported by a mature and due consideration of things themselves, and not by artificial terms and ways of arguing: these lead not men so much Edition: current; Page: [179] into the discovery of truth, as into a captious and fallacious use of doubtful words, which is the most useless and most offensive way of talking, and such as least suits a gentleman or a lover of truth of any thing in the world.

There can scarce be a greater defect in a gentleman, than not to express himself well, either in writing or speaking. But yet, I think, I may ask my reader, Whether he doth not know a great many, who live upon their estates, and so, with the name, should have the qualities of gentlemen, who cannot so much as tell a story as they should, much less speak clearly and persuasively in any business? This I think not to be so much their fault, as the fault of their education; for I must, without partiality, do my countrymen this right, that where they apply themselves, I see none of their neighbours outgo them. They have been taught rhetoric, but yet never taught how to express themselves handsomely with their tongues, or pens, in the language they are always to use; as if the names of the figures, that embellished the discourses of those who understood the art of speaking, were the very art and skill of speaking well. This, as all other things of practice, is to be learned not by a few or a great many rules given, but by exercise and application, according to good rules, or rather patterns, till habits are got, and a facility of doing it well.

Style.Agreeable hereunto, perhaps it might not be amiss to make children, as soon as they are capable of it, often to tell a story of any thing they know; and to correct at first the most remarkable fault they are guilty of, in their way of putting it together. When that fault is cured, then to show them the next, and so on, till, one after another, all, at least the gross ones, are mended. When they can tell tales pretty well, then it may be time to make them write them. The fables of Æsop, the only book almost that I know fit for children, may afford them matter for this exercise of writing English, as well as for reading and translating, to enter them in the Latin tongue. When they are got past the faults of grammar, and can join in a continued Edition: current; Page: [180] coherent discourse the several parts of a story, without bald and unhandsome forms of transition (as is usual) often repeated; he that desires to perfect them yet farther in this, which is the first step to speaking well, and needs no invention, may have recourse to Tully; and by putting in practice those rules, which that master of eloquence gives in his first book “De Inventione,” § 20. make them know wherein the skill and graces of an handsome narrative, according to the several subjects and designs of it, lie. Of each of which rules fit examples may be found out, and therein they may be shown how others have practised them. The ancient classic authors afford plenty of such examples, which they should be made not only to translate, but have set before them as patterns for their daily imitation.

When they understand how to write English with due connexion, propriety, and order, and are pretty well masters of a tolerable narrative style, they may be advanced to writing of letters; wherein they should not be put upon any strains of wit or compliment, but taught to express their own plain easy sense, without any incoherence, confusion, or roughness. And when they are perfect in this, they may, to raise their thoughts, have set before them the example of Voiture’s, for the entertainment of their friends at a distance, with letters of compliment, mirth, raillery, or diversion; and Tully’s epistles, as the best pattern, whether for business or conversation. The writing of lettersLetters. has so much to do in all the occurrences of human life, that no gentleman can avoid showing himself in this kind of writing: occasions will daily force him to make this use of his pen, which, besides the consequences, that, in his affairs, his well or ill managing of it often draws after it, always lays him open to a severer examination of his breeding, sense, and abilities, than oral discourses; whose transient faults, dying for the most part with the sound that gives them life, and so not subject to a strict review, more easily escape observation and censure.

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Had the methods of education been directed to their right end, one would have thought this, so necessary a part, could not have been neglected, whilst themes and verses in Latin, of no use at all, were, so constantly every-where, pressed, to the racking of children’s inventions beyond their strength, and hindering their cheerful progress in learning the tongues, by unnatural difficulties. But custom has so ordained it, and who dares disobey? And would it not be very unreasonable to require of a learned country school-master (who has all the tropes and figures in Farnaby’s rhetoric at his fingers ends) to teach his scholar to express himself handsomely in English,English. when it appears to be so little his business or thought, that the boy’s mother (despised, it is like, a illiterate, for not having read a system of logic and rhetoric) outdoes him in it?

To write and speak correctly, gives a grace, and gains a favourable attention to what one has to say: and, since it is English that an English gentleman will have constant use of, that is the language he should chiefly cultivate, and wherein most care should be taken to polish and perfect his style. To speak or write better Latin than English, may make a man be talked of; but he would find it more to his purpose to express himself well in his own tongue, that he uses every moment, than to have the vain commendation of others for a very insignificant quality. This I find universally neglected, and no care taken any-where to improve young men in their own language, that they may thoroughly understand and be masters of it. If any one among us have a facility or purity more than ordinary in his mother tongue, it is owing to chance, or his genius, or any thing, rather than to his education, or any care of his teacher. To mind what English his pupil speaks or writes, is below the dignity of one bred up amongst Greek and Latin, though he have but little of them himself. These are the learned languages, fit only for learned men to meddle with and teach; English is the language of the illiterate vulgar; though yet we see the policy of some of our neighbours hath not Edition: current; Page: [182] thought it beneath the public care to promote and reward the improvement of their own language. Polishing and enriching their tongue, is no small business amongst them: it hath colleges and stipends appointed it, and there is raised amongst them a great ambition and emulation of writing correctly: and we see what they are come to by it, and how far they have spread one of the worst languages, possibly, in this part of the world, if we look upon it as it was in some few reigns backwards, whatever it be now. The great men amongst the Romans were daily exercising themselves in their own language; and we find yet upon record the names of orators, who taught some of their emperors Latin, though it were their mother-tongue.

It is plain the Greeks were yet more nice in theirs; all other speech was barbarous to them but their own, and no foreign language appears to have been studied or valued amongst that learned and acute people; though it be past doubt, that they borrowed their learning and philosophy from abroad.

I am not here speaking against Greek and Latin; I think they ought to be studied, and the Latin, at least, understood well, by every gentleman. But whatever foreign languages a young man meddles with, (and the more he knows, the better,) that which he should critically study, and labour to get a facility, clearness, and elegancy to express himself in, should be his own, and to this purpose he should daily be exercised in it.

§ 190. Natural philosophy,Natural Philosophy. as a speculative science, I imagine, we have none; and perhaps I may think I have reason to say, we never shall be able to make a science of it. The works of nature are contrived by a wisdom, and operate by ways, too far surpassing our faculties to discover, or capacities to conceive, for us ever to be able to reduce them into a science. Natural philosophy being the knowledge of the principles, properties, and operations of things, as they are in themselves, I imagine there are two parts of it, one comprehending spirits, with their nature and qualities; and the other bodies. The first of these is usually referred to metaphysics: but Edition: current; Page: [183] under what title soever the consideration of spirits comes, I think it ought to go before the study of matter and body, not as a science that can be methodized into a system, and treated of, upon principles of knowledge; but as an enlargement of our minds towards a truer and fuller comprehension of the intellectual world, to which we are led both by reason and revelation. And since the clearest and largest discoveries we have of other spirits, besides God and our own souls, is imparted to us from heaven by revelation, I think the information, that at least young people should have of them, should be taken from that revelation. To this purpose, I conclude, it would be well, if there were made a good history of the Bible for young people to read; wherein if every thing that is fit to be put into it, were laid down in its due order of time, and several things omitted, which are suited only to riper age; that confusion, which is usually produced by promiscuous reading of the scripture, as it lies now bound up in our Bibles, would be avoided; and also this other good obtained, that by reading of it constantly, there would be instilled into the minds of children a notion and belief of spirits, they having so much to do, in all the transactions of that history, which will be a good preparation to the study of bodies. For, without the notion and allowance of spirit, our philosophy will be lame and defective in one main part of it, when it leaves out the contemplation of the most excellent and powerful part of the creation.

§ 191. Of this history of the Bible, I think too it would be well, if there were a short and plain epitome made, containing the chief and most material heads for children to be conversant in, as soon as they can read. This, though it will lead them early into some notion of spirits, yet is not contrary to what I said above, that I would not have children troubled, whilst young, with notions of spirits; whereby my meaning was, that I think it inconvenient, that their yet tender minds should receive early impressions of goblins, spectres, and apparitions, wherewith their maids, and those about them, Edition: current; Page: [184] are apt to fright them into a compliance of their orders, which often proves a great inconvenience to them all their lives after, by subjecting their minds to frights, fearful apprehensions, weakness, and superstition: which, when coming abroad into the world and conversation, they grow weary and ashamed of; it not seldom happens, that to make, as they think, a thorough cure, and ease themselves of a load, which has sat so heavy on them, they throw away the thoughts of all spirits together, and so run into the other, but worse extreme.

§ 192. The reason why I would have this premised to the study of bodies, and the doctrine of the scriptures well imbibed, before young men be entered in natural philosophy, is, because matter being a thing that all our senses are constantly conversant with, it is so apt to possess the mind, and exclude all other beings but matter, that prejudice, grounded on such principles, often leaves no room for the admittance of spirits, or the allowing any such things as immaterial beings, “in rerum naturâ;” when yet it is evident, that by mere matter and motion, none of the great phænomena of nature can be resolved: to instance but in that common one of gravity, which I think impossible to be explained by any natural operation of matter, or any other law of motion, but the positive will of a superior Being so ordering it. And therefore since the deluge cannot be well explained, without admitting something out of the ordinary course of nature, I propose it to be considered, whether God’s altering the centre of gravity in the earth for a time (a thing as intelligible as gravity itself, which perhaps a little variation of causes, unknown to us, would produce) will not more easily account for Noah’s flood, than any hypothesis yet made use of, to solve it. I hear the great objection to this is, that it would produce but a partial deluge. But the alteration of the centre of gravity once allowed, it is no hard matter to conceive, that the divine power might make the centre of gravity, placed at a due distance from the centre of the earth, move round it in a convenient space of time; whereby the flood would become universal, Edition: current; Page: [185] and, as I think, answer all the phænomena of the deluge, as delivered by Moses, at an easier rate than those many hard suppositions that are made use of, to explain it. But this is not a place for that argument, which is here only mentioned by the by, to show the necessity of having recourse to something beyond bare matter, and its motion, in the explication of nature: to which the notions of spirits, and their power, as delivered in the bible, where so much is attributed to their operation, may be a fit preparative; reserving to a fitter opportunity a fuller explication of this hypothesis, and the application of it to all the parts of the deluge, and any difficulties that can be supposed in the history of the flood, as recorded in the scripture.

§ 193. But to return to the study of natural philosophy: though the world be full of systems of it, yet I cannot say, I know any one which can be taught a young man as a science, wherein he may be sure to find truth and certainty, which is what all sciences give an expectation of. I do not hence conclude, that none of them are to be read: it is necessary for a gentleman, in this learned age, to look into some of them to fit himself for conversation: but whether that of Des Cartes be put into his hands, as that which is the most in fashion, or it be thought fit to give him a short view of that and several others also; I think the systems of natural philosophy, that have obtained in this part of the world, are to be read more to know the hypotheses, and to understand the terms and ways of talking of the several sects, than with hopes to gain thereby a comprehensive scientifical and satisfactory knowledge of the works of nature: only this may be said, that the modern corpuscularians talk, in most things, more intelligibly than the peripatetics, who possessed the schools immediately before them. He that would look farther back, and acquaint himself with the several opinions of the ancients, may consult Dr. Cudworth’s Intellectual System: wherein that very learned author hath, with such accurateness and judgment, collected and explained the opinions of the Greek philosophers, that Edition: current; Page: [186] what principles they built on, and what were the chief hypotheses that divided them, is better to be seen in him, than any where else that I know. But I would not deter any one from the study of nature, because all the knowledge we have, or possibly can have of it, cannot be brought into a science. There are very many things in it, that are convenient and necessary to be known to a gentleman; and a great many other, that will abundantly reward the pains of the curious with delight and advantage. But these, I think, are rather to be found amongst such writers, as have employed themselves in making rational experiments and observations, than in starting barely speculative systems. Such writings, therefore, as many of Mr. Boyle’s are, with others that have writ of husbandry, planting, gardening, and the like, may be fit for a gentleman, when he has a little acquainted himself with some of the systems of natural philosophy in fashion.

§ 194. Though the systems of physics, that I have met with, afford little encouragement to look for certainty, or science, in any treatise, which shall pretend to give us a body of natural philosophy from the first principles of bodies in general; yet the incomparable Mr. Newton has shown, how far mathematics, applied to some parts of nature, may, upon principles that matter of fact justify, carry us in the knowledge of some, as I may so call them, particular provinces of the incomprehensible universe. And if others could give us so good and clear an account of other parts of nature, as he has of this our planetary world, and the most considerable phænomena observable in it, in his admirable book “Philosophiæ naturalis principia mathematica,” we might in time hope to be furnished with more true and certain knowledge in several parts of this stupendous machine, than hitherto we could have expected. And though there are very few that have mathematics enough to understand his demonstrations; yet the most accurate mathematicians, who have examined them, allowing them to be such, his book will deserve to be read, and give no small light and pleasure to those, who, willing to understand the motions, properties, Edition: current; Page: [187] and operations of the great masses of matter in this our solar system, will but carefully mind his conclusions, which may be depended on as propositions well proved.

§ 195. This is, in short, what I have thought concerning a young gentleman’s studies; wherein it will possibly be wondered, that I should omit Greek,Greek. since amongst the Grecians is to be found the original, as it were, and foundation of all that learning which we have in this part of the world. I grant it so; and will add, that no man can pass for a scholar, that is ignorant of the Greek tongue. But I am not here considering the education of a professed scholar, but of a gentleman, to whom Latin and French, as the world now goes, is by every one acknowledged to be necessary. When he comes to be a man, if he has a mind to carry his studies farther, and look into the Greek learning, he will then easily get that tongue himself; and if he has not that inclination, his learning of it under a tutor, will be but lost labour, and much of his time and pains spent in that, which will be neglected and thrown away as soon as he is at liberty. For how many are there of an hundred, even amongst scholars themselves, who retain the Greek they carried from school; or ever improve it to a familiar reading and perfect understanding of Greek authors?

To conclude this part, which concerns a young gentleman’s studies; his tutor should remember, that his business is not so much to teach him all that is knowable, as to raise in him a love and esteem of knowledge; and to put him in the right way of knowing and improving himself, when he has a mind to it.

The thoughts of a judicious author on the subject of languages, I shall here give the reader, as near as I can, in his own way of expressing them. He says,a “One can scarce burden children too much with the knowledge of languages. They are useful to men of all conditions, and they equally open them the entrance, either to the most profound, or the more easy and Edition: current; Page: [188] entertaining parts of learning. If this irksome study be put off to a little more advanced age, young men either have not resolution enough to apply to it out of choice, or steadiness to carry it on. And if any one has the gift of perseverance, it is not without the inconvenience of spending that time upon languages, which is destined to other uses: and he confines to the study of words that age of his life that is above it, and requires things; at least, it is losing the best and beautifullest season of one’s life. This large foundation of languages cannot be well laid, but when every thing makes an easy and deep impression on the mind; when the memory is fresh, ready, and tenacious; when the head and heart are as yet free from cares, passions, and designs; and those, on whom the child depends, have authority enough to keep him close to a long-continued application. I am persuaded that the small number of truly learned, and the multitude of superficial pretenders, is owing to the neglect of this.”

I think every body will agree with this observing gentleman, that languages are the proper study of our first years. But it is to be considered by the parents and tutors, what tongues it is fit the child should learn. For it must be confessed, that it is fruitless pains, and loss of time, to learn a language, which in the course of life that he is designed to, he is never like to make use of; or, which one may guess by his temper, he will wholly neglect and lose again, as soon as an approach to manhood, setting him free from a governor, shall put him into the hands of his own inclination; which is not likely to allot any of his time to the cultivating the learned tongues; or dispose him to mind any other language, but what daily use, or some particular necessity, shall force upon him.

But yet, for the sake of those who are designed to be scholars, I will add, what the same author subjoins, to make good his foregoing remark. It will deserve to be considered by all who desire to be truly learned, and therefore may be a fit rule for tutors to inculcate, and leave with their pupils, to guide their future studies.

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“The study, says he, of the original text can never be sufficiently recommended. It is the shortest, surest, and most agreeable way to all sorts of learning. Draw from the spring-head, and take not things at second-hand. Let the writings of the great masters be never laid aside; dwell upon them, settle them in your mind, and cite them upon occasion; make it your business thoroughly to understand them in their full extent, and all their circumstances: acquaint yourself fully with the principles of original authors; bring them to a consistency, and then do you yourself make your deductions. In this state were the first commentators, and do not you rest till you bring yourself to the same. Content not yourself with those borrowed lights, nor guide yourself by their views, but where your own fails you, and leaves you in the dark. Their explications are not yours, and will give you the slip. On the contrary, your own observations are the product of your own mind, where they will abide, and be ready at hand upon all occasions in converse, consultation, and dispute. Lose not the pleasure it is to see that you were not stopped in your reading, but by difficulties that are invincible: where the commentators and scholiasts themselves are at a stand, and have nothing to say; those copious expositors of other places, who, with a vain and pompous overflow of learning, poured out on passages plain and easy in themselves, are very free of their words and pains, where there is no need. Convince yourself fully by thus ordering your studies, that it is nothing but men’s laziness, which hath encouraged pedantry to cram, rather than enrich libraries, and to bury good authors under heaps of notes and commentaries; and you will perceive, that sloth herein hath acted against itself, and its own interest, by multiplying reading and inquiries, and increasing the pains it endeavoured to avoid.”

This, though it may seem to concern none but direct scholars, is of so great moment for the right ordering of their education and studies, that I hope I shall not Edition: current; Page: [190] be blamed for inserting of it here, especially if it be considered, that it may be of use to gentlemen too, when at any time they have a mind to go deeper than the surface, and get to themselves a solid, satisfactory, and masterly insight in any part of learning.

Order and constancy are said to make the great difference between one man and another; this I am sure, nothing so much clears a learner’s way, helps him so much on in it, and makes him go so easy and so far in any enquiry, as a good method.Method. His governor should take pains to make him sensible of this, accustom him to order, and teach him method in all the applications of his thoughts; show him wherein it lies, and the advantages of it; acquaint him with the several sorts of it, either from general to particulars, or from particulars to what is more general; exercise him in both of them; and make him see, in what cases each different method is most proper, and to what ends it best serves.

In history the order of time should govern; in philosophical inquiries, that of nature, which in all progression is to go from the place one is then in, to that which joins and lies next to it; and so it is in the mind, from the knowledge it stands possessed of already, to that which lies next, and is coherent to it; and so on to what it aims at, by the simplest and most uncompounded parts it can divide the matter into. To this purpose, it will be of great use to his pupil to accustom him to distinguish well, that is, to have distinct notions, whereever the mind can find any real difference; but as carefully to avoid distinctions in terms, where he has not distinct and different clear ideas.

§ 196. Besides what is to be had from study and books, there are other accomplishments necessary for a gentleman, to be got by exercise, and to which time is to be allowed, and for which masters must be had.

DancingDancing. being that which gives graceful motions all the life, and, above all things, manliness and a becoming confidence to young children, I think it cannot be learned too early, after they are once of an age and strength capable of it. But you Edition: current; Page: [191] must be sure to have a good master, that knows, and can teach, what is graceful and becoming, and what gives a freedom and easiness to all the motions of the body. One that teaches not this, is worse than none at all; natural unfashionableness being much better than apish, affected postures; and I think it much more passable to put off the hat, and make a leg, like an honest country gentleman, than like an ill-fashioned dancing master. For, as for the jigging part, and the figures of dances, I count that little or nothing, farther than as it tends to perfect graceful carriage.

§ 197. MusicMusic. is thought to have some affinity with dancing, and a good hand, upon some instruments, is by many people mightily valued. But it wastes so much of a young man’s time, to gain but a moderate skill in it; and engages often in such odd company, that many think it much better spared: and I have, amongst men of parts and business, so seldom heard any one commended or esteemed for having an excellency in music, that amongst all those things, that ever came into the list of accomplishments, I think I may give it the last place. Our short lives will not serve us for the attainment of all things; nor can our minds be always intent on something to be learned. The weakness of our constitutions, both of mind and body, requires that we should be often unbent: and he that will make a good use of any part of his life, must allow a large portion of it to recreation. At least this must not be denied to young people, unless, whilst you with too much haste make them old, you have the displeasure to set them in their graves, or a second childhood, sooner than you could wish. And therefore I think, that the time and pains allotted to serious improvements, should be employed about things of most use and consequence, and that too in the methods the most easy and short, that could be at any rate obtained; and perhaps, as I have above said, it would be none of the least secrets of education, to make the exercises in the body and the mind, the recreation one to another. I doubt not but that something might be done in it, by a prudent man, that would well consider Edition: current; Page: [192] the temper and inclination of his pupil. For he that is wearied either with study or dancing, does not desire presently to go to sleep; but to do something else which may divert and delight him. But this must be always remembered, that nothing can come into the account of recreation, that is not done with delight.

§ 198. Fencing, and riding the great horse, are looked upon as so necessary parts of breeding, that it would be thought a great omission to neglect them: the latter of the two being for the most part to be learned only in great towns, is one of the best exercises for health, which is to be had in those places of ease and luxury; and, upon that account, makes a fit part of a young gentleman’s employment, during his abode there. And, as far as it conduces to give a man a firm and graceful seat on horseback, and to make him able to teach his horse to stop, and turn quick, and to rest on his haunches, is of use to a gentleman both in peace and war. But whether it be of moment enough to be made a business of, and deserve to take up more of his time, than should barely for his health be employed, at due intervals, in some such vigorous exercise, I shall leave to the discretion of parents and tutors; who will do well to remember, in all the parts of education, that most time and application is to be bestowed on that, which is like to be the greatest consequence, and frequentest use, in the ordinary course and occurrences of that life the young man is designed for.

§ 199. As for fencing,Fencing. it seems to me a good exercise for health, but dangerous to the life, the confidence of their skill being apt to engage in quarrels those that think they have learned to use their swords. This presumption makes them often more touchy than needs, on points of honour, and slight, or no provocations. Young men in their warm blood are forward to think they have in vain learned to fence, if they never show their skill and courage in a duel; and they seem to have reason. But how many sad tragedies that reason has been the occasion of, the tears of many a mother can witness. A man that cannot fence, will be more careful to keep out of bullies Edition: current; Page: [193] and gamesters company, and will not be half so apt to stand upon punctilios, nor to give affronts, or fiercely justify them when given, which is that which usually makes the quarrel. And when a man is in the field, a moderate skill in fencing rather exposes him to the sword of his enemy, than secures him from it. And certainly a man of courage, who cannot fence at all, and therefore will put all upon one thrust, and not stand parrying, has the odds against a moderate fencer, especially if he has skill in wrestling. And therefore, if any provision be to be made against such accidents, and a man be to prepare his son for duels, I had much rather mine should be a good wrestler, than an ordinary fencer; which is the most a gentleman can attain to in it, unless he will be constantly in the fencing school, and every day exercising. But since fencing, and riding the great-horse, are so generally looked upon as necessary qualifications in the breeding of a gentleman, it will be hard wholly to deny any one of that rank these marks of distinction. I shall leave it therefore to the father, to consider, how far the temper of his son, and the station he is like to be in, will allow or encourage him to comply with fashions, which, having very little to do with civil life, were yet formerly unknown to the most warlike nations; and seem to have added little of force or courage to those who have received them: unless we will think martial skill or prowess have been improved by duelling, with which fencing came into, and with which, I presume, it will go out of the world.

§ 200. These are my present thoughts concerning learning and accomplishments. The great business of all is virtue and wisdom.

“Nullum numen abest, si sit prudentia.”

Teach him to get a mastery over his inclinations, and submit his appetite to reason. This being obtained, and by constant practice settled into habit, the hardest part of the task is over. To bring a young man to this, I know nothing which so much contributes, as Edition: current; Page: [194] the love of praise and commendation, which should therefore be instilled into him by all arts imaginable. Make his mind as sensible of credit and shame as may be: and when you have done that, you have put a principle into him, which will influence his actions, when you are not by; to which the fear of a little smart of a rod is not comparable; and which will be the proper stock, whereon afterwards to graft the true princiciples of morality and religion.

§ 201. I have one thing more to add, which as soon as I mention, I shall run the danger of being suspected to have forgot what I am about, and what I have above written concerning education, all tending towards a gentleman’s calling, with which a tradeTrade. seems wholly to be inconsistent. And yet, I cannot forbear to say, I would have him learn a trade, a manual trade; nay, two or three, but one more particularly.

§ 202. The busy inclination of children being always to be directed to something that may be useful to them, the advantages proposed from what they are set about may be considered of two kinds; 1. Where the skill itself, that is got by exercise, is worth the having. Thus skill not only in languages, and learned sciences, but in painting, turning, gardening, tempering and working in iron, and all other useful arts, is worth the having. 2. Where the exercise itself, without any consideration, is necessary or useful for health. Knowledge in some things is so necessary to be got by children, whilst they are young, that some part of their time is to be allotted to their improvement in them, though those employments contribute nothing at all to their health: such are reading, and writing, and all other sedentary studies, for the cultivating of the mind, which unavoidably take up a great part of gentlemen’s time, quite from their cradles. Other manual arts, which are both got and exercised by labour, do many of them, by that exercise, not only increase our dexterity and skill, but contribute to our health too; especially such as employ us in the open air. In these, then, health and improvement may be joined together; Edition: current; Page: [195] and of these should some fit ones be chosen, to be made the recreations of one, whose chief business is with books and study. In this choice, the age and inclination of the person is to be considered, and constraint always to be avoided in bringing him to it. For command and force may often create, but can never cure an aversion; and whatever any one is brought to by compulsion, he will leave as soon as he can, and be little profited, and less recreated by, whilst he is at it.

§ 203. That which of all others would please me best, would be a painter,Painting. were there not an argument or two against it, not easy to be answered. First, ill painting is one of the worst things in the world; and to attain a tolerable degree of skill in it, requires too much of a man’s time. If he has a natural inclination to it, it will endanger the neglect of all other more useful studies, to give way to that; and if he have no inclination to it, all the time, pains, and money shall be employed in it, will be thrown away to no purpose. Another reason why I am not for painting in a gentleman, is, because it is a sedentary recreation, which more employs the mind than the body. A gentleman’s more serious employment, I look on to be study; and when that demands relaxation and refreshment, it should be in some exercise of the body, which unbends the thought, and confirms the health and strength. For these two reasons I am not for painting.

§ 204. In the next place, for a country gentleman, I should propose one, or rather both these; viz. gardeningGardening. or husbandry in general, and working in wood, as a carpenter, joiner,Joiner. or turner; these being fit and healthy recreations for a man of study or business. For since the mind endures not to be constantly employed in the same thing or way; and sedentary or studious men should have some exercise, that at the same time might divert their minds, and employ their bodies; I know none that could do it better for a country gentleman, than these two, the one of them affording him exercise, when the weather or season keeps him from the other. Besides that, by being skilled in the one of them, he will Edition: current; Page: [196] be able to govern and teach his gardener; by the other, contrive and make a great many things both of delight and use: though these I propose not as the chief ends of his labour, but as temptations to it; diversion from his other more serious thoughts and employments, by useful and healthy manual-exercise, being what I chiefly aim at in it.

§ 205. The great men among the ancients understood very well how to reconcile manual labour with affairs of state, and thought it no lessening to their dignity, to make the one the recreation to the other. That indeed which seems most generally to have employed and diverted their spare hours, was agriculture. Gideon amongst the Jews was taken from threshing, as well as Cincinnatus amongst the Romans, from the plough, to command the armies of their countries against their enemies; and it is plain their dexterous handling of the flail, or the plough, and being good workmen with these tools, did not hinder their skill in arms, nor make them less able in the arts of war or government. They were great captains and statesmen, as well as husbandmen. Cato major, who had with great reputation born all the great offices of the commonwealth, has left us an evidence under his own hand, how much he was versed in conntry affairs; and, as I remember, Cyrus thought gardening so little beneath the dignity and grandeur of a throne, that he showed Xenophon a large field of fruit-trees, all of his own planting. The records of antiquity, both amongst jews and gentiles, are full of instances of this kind, if it were necessary to recommend useful recreations by examples.

§ 206. Nor let it be thought, that I mistake, when I call these or the like exercises of manual arts, diversions or recreations;Recreation. for recreations is not being idle, (as every one may observe,) but easing the wearied part by change of business: and he that thinks diversion may not lie in hard and painful labour, forgets the early rising, hard riding, heat, cold and hunger of huntsmen, which is yet known to be the constant recreation of men of the greatest condition. Delving, planting, inoculating, or any the like profitable Edition: current; Page: [197] employments, would be no less a diversion, than any of the idle sports in fashion, if men could but be brought to delight in them, which custom and skill in a trade will quickly bring any one to do. And I doubt not but there are to be found those, who, being frequently called to cards, or any other play, by those they could not refuse, have been more tired with these recreations, than with any the most serious employment of life: though the play has been such as they have naturally had no aversion to, and with which they could willingly sometimes divert themselves.

§ 207. Play, wherein persons of condition, especially ladies, waste so much of their time, is a plain instance to me, that men cannot be perfectly idle; they must be doing something. For how else could they sit so many hours toiling at that, which generally gives more vexation than delight to people, whilst they are actually engaged in it? It is certain, gaming leaves no satisfaction behind it to those who reflect when it is over; and it no way profits either body or mind: as to their estates, if it strike so deep as to concern them, it is a trade then, and not a recreation, wherein few, that have any thing else to live on, thrive; and, at best, a thriving gamester has but a poor trade on it, who fills his pockets at the price of his reputation.

Recreation belongs not to people who are strangers to business, and are not wasted and wearied with the employment of their calling. The skill should be, so to order their time of recreation, that it may relax and refresh the part that has been exercised, and is tired; and yet do something, which, besides the present delight and ease, may produce what will afterwards be profitable. It has been nothing but the vanity and pride of greatness and riches, that has brought unprofitable and dangerous pastimes (as they are called) into fashion, and persuaded people into a belief, that the learning or putting their hands to any thing that was useful, could not be a diversion fit for a gentleman. This has been that which has given cards, dice, and drinking, so much credit in the world; and a great many throw away their spare hours in them, through Edition: current; Page: [198] the prevalency of custom, and want of some better employment to fill up the vacancy of leisure, more than from any real delight is to be found in them. They cannot bear the dead weight of unemployed time lying upon their hands, nor the uneasiness it is to do nothing at all; and having never learned any laudable manual art, wherewith to divert themselves, they have recourse to those foolish or ill ways in use, to help off their time, which a rational man, till corrupted by custom, could find very little pleasure in.

§ 208. I say not this, that I would never have a young gentleman accommodate himself to the innocent diversions in fashion, amongst those of his age and condition. I am so far from having him austere and morose to that degree, that I would persuade him to more than ordinary complaisance for all the gaieties and diversions of those he converses with, and be averse or testy in nothing they should desire of him, that might become a gentleman, and an honest man: though, as to cards and dice, I think the safest and best way is never to learn any play upon them, and so to be incapacitated for those dangerous temptations, and incroaching wasters, of useful time. But allowance being made for idle and jovial conversation, and all fashionable becoming recreations; I say, a young man will have time enough, from his serious and main business, to learn almost any trade.Trade. It is for want of application, and not of leisure, that men are not skilful in more arts than one; and an hour in a day, constantly employed in such a way of diversion, will carry a man in a short time a great deal farther than he can imagine: which, if it were of no other use but to drive the common, vicious, useless, and dangerous pastimes out of fashion, and to show there was no need of them, would deserve to be encouraged. If men from their youth were weaned from that sauntering humour, wherein some, out of custom, let a good part of their lives run uselessly away, without either business or recreation; they would find time enough to acquire dexterity and skill in hundreds of things, which, though remote from their proper callings, would not at all interfere with Edition: current; Page: [199] them. And therefore, I think, for this, as well as other reasons before mentioned, a lazy, listless humour, that idly dreams away the days, is of all others the least to be indulged, or permitted in young people. It is the proper state of one sick, and out of order in his health, and is tolerable in nobody else, of what age or condition soever.

§ 209. To the arts above mentioned may be added perfuming, varnishing, graving, and several sorts of working in iron, brass, and silver: and if, as it happens to most young gentlemen, that a considerable part of his time be spent in a great town, he may learn to cut, polish, and set precious stones, or employ himself in grinding and polishing optical glasses. Amongst the great variety there is of ingenious manual arts, it will be impossible that no one should be found to please and delight him, unless he be either idle or debauched, which is not to be supposed in a right way of education. And since he cannot always be employed in study, reading, and conversation, there will be many an hour, besides what his exercises will take up, which, if not spent this way, will be spent worse. For, I conclude, a young man will seldom desire to sit perfectly still and idle; or if he does, it is a fault that ought to be mended.

§ 210. But if his mistaken parents, frightened with the disgraceful names of mechanic and trade, shall have an aversion to any thing of this kind in their children; yet there is one thing relating to trade, which, when they consider, they will think absolutely necessary for their sons to learn.

Merchants accounts,Merchants accounts. though a science not likely to help a gentleman to get an estate, yet possibly there is not any thing of more use and efficacy to make him preserve the estate he has. It is seldom observed, that he who keeps an account of his income and expences, and thereby has constantly under view the course of his domestic affairs, lets them run to ruin; and I doubt not but many a man gets behind-hand, before he is aware, or runs further on, when he is once in, for want of this care, or the skill Edition: current; Page: [200] to do it. I would therefore advise all gentlemen to learn perfectly merchants accounts, and not to think it is a skill that belongs not to them, because it has received its name from, and has been chiefly practised by, men of traffic.

§ 211. When my young master has once got the skill of keeping accounts, (which is a business of reason more than arithmetic) perhaps it will not be amiss, that his father from thenceforth require him to do it in all his concernments. Not that I would have him set down every pint of wine, or play, that costs him money; the general name of expences will serve for such things well enough: nor would I have his father look so narrowly into these accounts, as to take occasion from thence to criticise on his expences. He must remember, that he himself was once a young man, and not forget the thoughts he had then, nor the right his son has to have the same, and to have allowance made for them. If therefore I would have the young gentleman obliged to keep an account, it is not at all to have that way a check upon his expences, (for what the father allows him, he ought to let him be fully master of,) but only, that he might be brought early into the custom of doing it, and that it might be made familiar and habitual to him betimes, which will be so useful and necessary to be constantly practised through the whole course of his life. A noble Venetian, whose son wallowed in the plenty of his father’s riches, finding his son’s expences grow very high and extravagant, ordered his cashier to let him have, for the future, no more money than what he should count when he received it. This one would think no great restraint to a young gentleman’s expences, who could freely have as much money as he would tell. But yet this, to one who was used to nothing but the pursuit of his pleasures, proved a very great trouble, which at last ended in this sober and advantageous reflection: “If it be so much pains to me, barely to count the money I would spend; what labour and pains did it cost my ancestors, not only to count, but get it?” This rational thought, suggested by this little pains imposed upon Edition: current; Page: [201] him, wrought so effectually upon his mind, that it made him take up, and from that time forwards prove a good husband. This at least every body must allow, that nothing is likelier to keep a man within compass, than the having constantly before his eyes the state of his affairs, in a regular course of account.

§ 212. The last part usually in education, is travel,Travel. which is commonly thought to finish the work, and complete the gentleman. I confess, travel into foreign countries has great advantages; but the time usually chosen to send young men abroad, is, I think, of all other, that which renders them least capable of reaping those advantages. Those which are proposed, as to the main of them, may be reduced to these two: first, language; secondly, an improvement in wisdom and prudence, by seeing men, and conversing with people of tempers, customs, and ways of living, different from one another, and especially from those of his parish and neighbourhood. But from sixteen to one-and-twenty, which is the ordinary time of travel, men are, of all their lives, the least suited to these improvements. The first season to get foreign languages, and form the tongue to their true accents, I should think, should be from seven to fourteen or sixteen; and then too a tutor with them is useful and necessary, who may with those languages, teach them other things. But to put them out of their parents view, at a great distance, under a governor, when they think themselves too much men to be governed by others, and yet have not prudence and experience enough to govern themselves: what is it but to expose them to all the greatest dangers of their whole life, when they have the least fence and guard against them? Till that boiling boisterous part of life comes on, it may be hoped the tutor may have some authority; neither the stubbornness of age, nor the temptation or examples of others can take him from his tutor’s conduct, till fifteen or sixteen: but then, when he begins to consort himself with men, and thinks himself one; when he comes to relish, and pride himself in, manly vices, and thinks it a shame to be any longer under the control Edition: current; Page: [202] and conduct of another: what can be hoped from even the most careful and discreet governor, when neither he has power to compel, nor his pupil a disposition to be persuaded; but, on the contrary, has the advice of warm blood, and prevailing fashion, to hearken to the temptations of his companions, just as wise as himself, rather than to the persuasions of his tutor, who is now looked on as the enemy to his freedom? And when is a man so like to miscarry, as when at the same time he is both raw and unruly? This is the season of all his life, that most requires the eye and authority of his parents and friends, to govern it. The flexibleness of the former part of a man’s age, not yet grown up to be headstrong, makes it more governable and safe; and, in the after-part, reason and foresight begin a little to take place, and mind a man of his safety and improvement. The time therefore I should think the fittest for a young gentleman to be sent abroad, would be, either when he is younger, under a tutor, whom he might be the better for; or when he is some years older, without a governor; when he is of age to govern himself, and make observations of what he finds in other countries worthy his notice, and that might be of use to him after his return: and when too, being thoroughly acquainted with the laws and fashions, the natural and moral advantages and defects of his own country, he has something to exchange with those abroad, from whose conversation he hoped to reap any knowledge.

§ 213. The ordering of travel otherwise, is that, I imagine, which makes so many young gentlemen come back so little improved by it. And if they do bring home with them any knowledge of the places and people they have seen, it is often an admiration of the worst and vainest practices they met with abroad; retaining a relish and memory of those things, wherein their liberty took its first swing, rather than of what should make them better and wiser after their return. And indeed, how can it be otherwise, going abroad at the age they do, under the care of another, who is to provide their necessaries, and make their observations Edition: current; Page: [203] for them? Thus, under the shelter and pretence of a governor, thinking themselves excused from standing upon their own legs, or being accountable for their own conduct, they very seldom trouble themselves with inquiries, or making useful observations of their own. Their thoughts run after play and pleasure, wherein they take it as a lessening to be controlled; but seldom trouble themselves to examine the designs, observe the address, and consider the arts, tempers, and inclinations of men they meet with; that so they may know how to comport themselves towards them. Here he that travels with them, is to skreen them, get them out, when they have run themselves into the briars; and in all their miscarriages be answerable for them.

§ 214. I confess, the knowledge of men is so great a skill, that it is not to be expected a young man should presently be perfect in it. But yet his going abroad is to little purpose, if travel does not sometimes open his eyes, make him cautious and wary, and accustom him to look beyond the outside, and, under the inoffensive guard of a civil and obliging carriage, keep himself free and safe in his conversation with strangers, and all sorts of people, without forfeiting their good opinion. He that is sent out to travel at the age, and with the thoughts, of a man designing to improve himself, may get into the conversation and acquaintance of persons of condition where he comes: which, though a thing of most advantage to a gentleman that travels; yet I ask, among our young men that go abroad under tutors, What one is there of an hundred, that ever visits any person of quality? much less makes an acquaintance with such, from whose conversation he may learn what is good breeding in that country, and what is worth observation in it; though from such persons it is, one may learn more in one day, than in a year’s rambling from one inn to another. Nor indeed is it to be wondered; for men of worth and parts will not easily admit the familiarity of boys, who yet need the care of a tutor: though a young gentleman and stranger, appearing like a man, and showing a desire to inform himself in the customs, manners, laws, and government Edition: current; Page: [204] of the country he is in, will find welcome assistance and entertainment amongst the best and most knowing persons every-where, who will be ready to receive, encourage, and countenance any ingenious and inquisitive foreigner.

§ 215. This, how true soever it be, will not, I fear, alter the custom, which has cast the time of travel upon the worst part of a man’s life; but for reasons not taken from their improvement. The young lad must not be ventured abroad at eight or ten, for fear of what may happen to the tender child, though he then runs ten times less risque than at sixteen or eighteen. Nor must he stay at home till that dangerous heady age be over, because he must be back again by one-and-twenty, to marry and propagate. The father cannot stay any longer for the portion, nor the mother for a new set of babies to play with: and so my young master, whatever comes on it, must have a wife looked out for him, by that time he is of age; though it would be no prejudice to his strength, his parts, or his issue, if it were respited for some time, and he had leave to get, in years and knowledge, the start a little of his children, who are often found to tread too near upon the heels of their fathers, to the no great satisfaction either of son or father. But the young gentleman being got within view of matrimony, it is time to leave him to his mistress.

§ 216. Though I am now come to a conclusionConclusion. of what obvious remarks have suggested to me concerning education, I would not have it thought, that I look on it as a just treatise on this subject. There are a thousand other things that may need consideration; especially if one should take in the various tempers, different inclinations, and particular defaults, that are to be found in children; and prescribe proper remedies. The variety is so great, that it would require a volume; nor would that reach it. Each man’s mind has some peculiarity, as well as his face, that distinguishes him from all others; and there are possibly scarce two children, who can be conducted by exactly the same method. Besides that, I think a prince, Edition: current; Page: [205] a nobleman, and an ordinary gentleman’s son, should have different ways of breeding. But having had here only some general views in reference to the main end and aims in education, and those designed for a gentleman’s son, who being then very little, I considered only as white paper, or wax, to be moulded and fashioned as one pleases; I have touched little more than those heads, which I judged necessary for the breeding of a young gentleman of his condition in general; and have now published these my occasional thoughts, with this hope, that, though this be far from being a complete treatise on this subject, or such as that every one may find what will just fit his child in it; yet it may give some small light to those, whose concern for their dear little ones makes them so irregularly bold, that they dare venture to consult their own reason, in the education of their children, rather than wholly to rely upon old custom.

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POSTHUMOUS WORKS OF JOHN LOCKE, Esq.

POSTHUMOUS WORKS OF JOHN LOCKE, Esq.

viz.

I. Of the Conduct of the Understanding.

II. An Examination of P. Malebranche’s Opinion of seeing all Things in God.

III. A Discourse of Miracles.

IV. * Part of a fourth Letter for Toleration.

V. Memoirs relating to the Life of Anthony, first Earl of Shaftesbury.

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OF THE CONDUCT OF THE UNDERSTANDING.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE READER.

The ensuing treatises are true and genuine remains of the deceased author, whose name they bear; but, for the greatest part, received not his last hand, being in a great measure little more than sudden views, intended to be afterwards revised and farther looked into; but by sickness, intervention of business, or preferable inquiries, happened to be thrust aside, and so lay neglected.

The “conduct of the understanding” he always thought to be a subject very well worth consideration. As any miscarriages, in that point, accidentally came into his mind, he used sometimes to set them down in writing, with those remedies, that he could then think of. This method, though it makes not that haste to the end, which one could wish, yet perhaps is the only one, that can be followed in the case; it being here, as in physic, impossible for a physician to describe a disease, or seek remedies for it, till he comes to meet with it. Such particulars of this kind, as occurred to the author, at a time of leisure, he, as is before said, set down in writing; intending, if he had lived, to have reduced them into order and method, and to have made a complete treatise; whereas now it is only a collection of casual observations, sufficient to make men see some faults in the conduct of their understanding, and suspect there may be more, and may, perhaps, serve to excite others to inquire farther into it, than the author hath done.

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“The examination of P. Malebranche’s opinion, of seeing all things in God,” shows it to be a very groundless notion, and was not published by the author, because he looked upon it to be an opinion that would not spread, but was like to die of itself, or at least to do no great harm.

“The discourse of miracles” was writ for his own satisfaction, and never went beyond the first draught, and was occasioned by his reading “Mr. Fleetwood’s essay on miracles,” and the letter writ to him on that subject.

“The fourth letter for toleration” is imperfect, was begun by the author a little before his death, but never finished. It was designed for an answer to a book intitled, “A second letter to the author of the three letters for toleration,” &c. which was writ against the author’s third letter for toleration, about twelve years after the said third letter had been published.

“The memoirs of the late earl of Shaftesbury” are only certain particular facts, set down in writing by the author, as they occurred to his memory; if time and health would have permitted him, he had gone on farther, and from such materials have collected and compiled an history of that noble peer.

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AN EXAMINATION OF P. MALEBRANCHE’S OPINION OF SEEING ALL THINGS IN GOD.

1. The acute and ingenious author of the Recherche de la Verité, among a great many very fine thoughts, judicious reasonings, and uncommon reflections, has in that treatise started the notion of “seeing all things in God,” as the best way to explain the nature and manner of the ideas in our understanding. The desire I had to have my unaffected ignorance removed, has made it necessary for me to see whether this hypothesis, when examined, and the parts of it put together, can be thought to cure our ignorance, or is intelligible and satisfactory to one who would not deceive himself, take words for things, and think he knows what he knows not.

2. This I observe at the entrance, that P. Malebranchea having enumerated, and in the following chapters showed the difficulties of the other ways, whereby he thinks human understanding may be attempted Edition: current; Page: [212] to be explained, and how insufficient they are to give a satisfactory account of the ideas we have, erects this of “seeing all things in God” upon their ruin, as the true, because, it is impossible to find a better. Which argument, so far being only “argumentum ad ignorantiam,” loses all its force as soon as we consider the weakness of our minds, and the narrowness of our capacities, and have but humility enough to allow, that there may be many things which we cannot fully comprehend, and that God is not bound in all he does to subject his ways of operation to the scrutiny of our thoughts, and confine himself to do nothing but what we must comprehend. And it will very little help to cure my ignorance, that this is the best of four or five hypotheses proposed, which are all defective; if this too has in it what is inconsistent with itself, or unintelligible to me.

3. That P. Malebranche’s Recherche de la Verité, l. 3. p. 2. c. 1, tells us, that whatever the mind perceives “must be actually present and intimately united to it.” That the things that the mind perceives are its own sensations, imaginations, or notions; which, being in the soul the modifications of it, need no ideas to represent them. But all things exterior to the soul we cannot perceive but by the intervention of ideas, supposing that the things themselves cannot be intimately united to the soul. But because spiritual things may possibly be united to the soul, therefore he thinks it probable that they can discover themselves immediately without ideas; though of this he doubts, because he believes not there is any substance purely intelligible but that of God; and that though spirits can possibly unite themselves to our minds; yet at present we cannot entirely know them. But he speaks here principally of material things, which he says certainly cannot unite themselves to our souls in such a manner, as is necessary that it should perceive them; because, being extended, the soul not being so, there is no proportion between them.

4. This is the sum of his doctrine contained in the first chapter of the second part of the third book, as Edition: current; Page: [213] far as I can comprehend it; wherein, I confess, there are many expressions, which carrying with them, to my mind, no clear ideas, are like to remove but little of my ignorance by their sounds. v. g. “What it is to be intimately united to the soul;” what it is for two souls or spirits to be intimately united; for intimate union being an idea taken from bodies when the parts of one get within the surface of the other, and touch their inward parts; what is the idea of intimate union, I must have, between two beings that have neither of them any extension or surface? And if it be not so explained as to give me a clear idea of that union, it will make me understand very little more of the nature of the ideas in my mind, when it is said I see them in God, who being “intimately united to the soul” exhibits them to it; than when it is only said they are by the appointment of God produced in the mind by certain motions of our bodies, to which our minds are united. Which, however imperfect a way of explaining this matter, will still be as good as any other that does not by clear ideas remove my ignorance of the manner of my perception.

5. But he says that “certainly material things cannot unite themselves to our souls.” Our bodies are united to our souls, yes; but, says he, not after “a manner which is necessary that the soul may perceive them.” Explain this manner of union, and show wherein the difference consists betwixt the union necessary and not necessary to perception, and then I shall confess this difficulty removed.

The reason that he gives why “material things cannot be united to our souls after a manner” that is necessary to the soul’s perceiving them, is this, viz. That, “material things being extended, and the soul not, there is no proportion between them.” This, if it shows any thing, shows only that a soul and a body cannot be united, because one has surface to be united by, and the other none. But it shows not why soul, united to a body as ours is, cannot, by that body, have the idea of a triangle excited in it, as well as by being united to God, (between whom and the soul there is as Edition: current; Page: [214] little proportion, as between any creature immaterial or material, and the soul,) see in God the idea of a triangle that is in him, since we cannot conceive a triangle, whether seen in matter, or in God, to be without extension.

6. He says, “There is no substance purely intelligible but that of God.” Here again I must confess myself in the dark, having no notion at all of the substance of God;” nor being able to conceive how his is more intelligible than any other substance.

7. One thing more there is, which, I confess, stumbles me in the very foundation of this hypothesis, which stands thus: we cannot “perceive” anything but what is “intimately united to the soul.” The reason why some things (viz. material) cannot be “intimately united to the soul,” is, because “there is no proportion between the soul and them.” If this be a good reason, it follows, that the greater the proportion there is between the soul and any other being, the better and more intimately they can be united. Now then I ask, whether there be a greater proportion between God, an infinite being, and the soul, or between finite created spirits and the soul? And yet the author says, that “he believes that there is no substance purely intelligible but that of God,” and that “we cannot entirely know created spirits at present.” Make this out upon your principles of “intimate union” and “proportion,” and then they will be of some use to the clearing of your hypothesis, otherwise “intimate union” and “proportion” are only sounds serving to amuse, not instruct us.

8. In the close of this chapter he enumerates the several ways whereby he thinks we come by ideas, and compares them severally with his own way. Which how much more intelligible it is than either of those, the following chapters will show: to which I shall proceed, when I have observed that it seems a bold determination, when he says that it must be one of these ways, and we can see objects no other. Which assertion must be built on this good opinion of our capacities, that God cannot make the creatures operate, but in Edition: current; Page: [215] ways conceivable to us. That we cannot discourse and reason about them farther than we conceive, is a great truth: and it would be well if we would not, but would ingenuously own the shortness of our sight where we do not see. To say there can be no other, because we conceive no other, does not, I confess, much instruct. And if I should say, that it is possible God has made our souls so, and so united them to our bodies, that, upon certain motion made in our bodies by external objects, the soul should have such or such perceptions or ideas, though in a way inconceivable to us; this perhaps would appear as true and as instructive a proposition as what is so positively laid down.

9. Though the peripatetic doctrinea of the species does not at all satisfy me, yet I think it were not hard to show, that it is as easy to account for the difficulties he charges on it, as for those his own hypothesis is laden with. But it being not my business to defend what I do not understand, nor to prefer the learned gibberish of the schools to what is yet unintelligible to me in P. M. I shall only take notice of so much of his objections, as concerns what I guess to be the truth. Though I do not think any material species, carrying the resemblance of things by a continual flux from the body we perceive, bring the perception of them to our senses; yet I think the perception we have of bodies at a distance from ours, may be accounted for, as far as we are capable of understanding it, by the motion of particles of matter coming from them and striking on our organs. In feeling and tasting there is immediate contact. Sound is not unintelligibly explained by a vibrating motion communicated to the medium, and the effluvia of odorous bodies will, without any great difficulties, account for smells. And therefore P. M. makes his objections only against visible species, as the most difficult to be explained by material causes, as indeed they are. But he that shall allow extreme smallness in the particles of light, and exceeding swiftness in their motion; and the great porosity that must be granted in Edition: current; Page: [216] bodies, if we compare gold, which wants them not, with air, the medium wherein the rays of light come to our eyes, and that of a million of rays that rebound from any visible area of any body, perhaps the 1/1000 or 1/10000 part coming to the eye, are enough to move the retina, sufficiently to cause a sensation in the mind, will not find any great difficulty in the objections which are brought from the impenetrability of matter, and these rays ruffling and breaking one another in the medium which is full of them. As to what is said, that from one point we can see a great number of objects, that is no objection against the species, or visible appearances of bodies, being brought into the eye by the rays of light; for the bottom of the eye or retina, which, in regard of these rays, is the place of vision, is far from being a point. Nor is it true, that though the eye be in any one place; yet that the sight is performed in one point, i. e. that the rays that bring those visible species do all meet at a point; for they cause their distinct sensations by striking on distinct parts of the retina, as is plain in optics: and the figure they paint there must be of some considerable bigness, since it takes up on the retina an area whose diameter is at least thirty seconds of a circle, whereof the circumference is in the retina, and the centre somewhere in the crystalline; as a little skill in optics will manifest to any one that considers, that few eyes can perceive an object less than thirty minutes of a circle, whereof the eye is the centre. And he that will but reflect on that seeming odd experiment of seeing only the two outward ones of three bits of paper stuck up against a wall, at about half a foot, or a foot one from another, without seeing the middle one at all, whilst his eye remains fixed in the same posture, must confess that vision is not made in a point, when it is plain, that looking with one eye there is always one part between the extremes of the area that we see, which is not seen at the same time that we perceive the extremes of it; though the looking with two eyes, or the quick turning of the axis of the eye to the part we would distinctly view, when we look but with one, does not let us take notice of it.

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10. What I have here said I think sufficient to make intelligible, how by material rays of light visible species may be brought into the eye, notwithstanding any of P. M.’s objections against so much of material causes, as my hypothesis is concerned in. But when by this means an image is made on the retina, how we see it, I conceive no more than when I am told we see it in God. How we see it, is, I confess, what I understand not in the one or in the other, only it appears to me more difficult to conceive a distinct visible image in the uniform invariable essence of God, than in variously modifiable matter; but the manner how I see either, still escapes my comprehension. Impressions made on the retina by rays of light, I think I understand; and motions from thence continued to the brain may be conceived, and that these produce ideas in our minds I am persuaded, but in a manner to me incomprehensible. This I can resolve only into the good pleasure of God, whose ways are past finding out. And I think I know it as well when I am told these are ideas that the motion of the animal spirits by a law established by God, produces in me; as when I am told they are ideas I see in God. The ideas it is certain I have, and God both ways is the original cause of my having them; but the manner how I come by them, how it is that I perceive, I confess I understand not; though it be plain motion has to do in the producing of them: and motion so modified, is appointed to be the cause of our having them; as appears by the curious and artificial structure of the eye, accommodated to all the rules of refraction and dioptrics, that so visible objects might be exactly and regularly painted on the bottom of the eye.

11. The change of bigness in the ideas of visible objects, by distance and optic glasses, which is the next argument he uses against visible species, is a good argument against them, as supposed by the peripatetics; but when considered, would persuade one that we see the figures and magnitudes of things rather in the bottom of our eyes than in God: the idea we have of them and their grandeur being still proportioned to the bigness of the area, on the bottom of our eyes, that is affected Edition: current; Page: [218] by the rays which paint the image there; and we may be said to see the picture in the retina, as, when it is pricked, we are truly said to feel the pain in our finger.

12. In the next place where he says, that when we look on a cube “we see all its sides equal.” This, I think, is a mistake; and I have in another place shown, how the idea we have from a regular solid, is not the true idea of that solid, but such an one as by custom (as the name of it does) serves to excite our judgment to form such an one.

13. What he says of seeing an object several millions of leagues, the very same instant that it is uncovered, I think may be shown to be a mistake in matter of fact. For by observations made on the satellites of Jupiter, it is discovered that light is successively propagated and is about ten minutes coming from the sun to us.

14. By what I have said, I think it may be understood how we may conceive, that from remote objects material causes may reach our senses, and therein produce several motions that may be the causes of ideas in us; notwithstanding what P. M. has said in his second chapter against material species. I confess his arguments are good against those species as usually understood by the peripatetics: but, since my principles have been said to be conformable to the Aristotelian philosophy, I have endeavoured to remove the difficulties it is charged with, as far as my opinion is concerned in them.

15. His third chapter is to confute the “opinion of those who think our minds have a power to produce the ideas of things on which they would think, and that they are excited to produce them by the impressions which objects make on the body.” One who thinks ideas are nothing but perceptions of the mind annexed to certain motions of the body by the will of God, who hath ordered such perceptions always to accompany such motions, though we know not how they are produced; does in effect conceive those ideas or perceptions to be only passions of the mind, when produced in it, whether we will or no, by external objects. But he conceives them to be a mixture of action Edition: current; Page: [219] and passion when the mind attends to them, or revives them in the memory. Whether the soul has such a power as this, we shall perhaps have occasion to consider hereafter; and this power our author does not deny, since in this very chapter he says, “When we conceive a square by pure understanding, we can yet imagine it; i. e. perceive it in ourselves by tracing an image of it on the brain.” Here then he allows the soul power to trace images on the brain, and perceive them. This, to me, is matter of new perplexity in his hypothesis; for if the soul be so united to the brain as to trace images on it, and perceive them, I do not see how this consists with what he says a little before in the first chapter, viz. “that certainly material things cannot be united to our souls after a manner necessary to its perceiving them.”

16. That which is said about objects exciting ideas in us by motion; and our reviving the ideas we have once got in our memories, does not, I confess, fully explain the manner how it is done. In this I frankly avow my ignorance, and should be glad to find in him any thing that would clear it to me; but in his explications I find these difficulties which I cannot get over.

17. The mind cannot produce ideas, says he, because they are “real spiritual beings,” i. e. substances; for so is the conclusion of that paragraph, where he mentions it as an absurdity to think they are “annihilated when they are not present to the mind.” And the whole force of this argument would persuade one to understand him so; though I do not remember that he any-where speaks it out, or in direct terms calls them substances.

18. I shall here only take notice how inconceivable it is to me, that a spiritual, i. e. an unextended substance, should represent to the mind an extended figure, v. g. a triangle of unequal sides, or two triangles of different magnitudes. Next, supposing I could conceive an unextended substance to represent a figure, or be the idea of a figure, the difficulty still remains to conceive how it is my soul sees it. Let this substantial being be ever so sure, and the picture ever so clear; yet how we Edition: current; Page: [220] see it, is to me inconceivable. Intimate union, were it as intelligible of two unextended substances as of two bodies, would not yet reach perception, which is something beyond union. But yet a little lower he agrees, that an idea “is not a substance,” but yet affirms it is “a spiritual thing:” this “spiritual thing” therefore must either be a “spiritual substance,” or a mode of a spiritual substance, or a relation; for besides these I have no conception of any thing. And if any shall tell me it is a “mode,” it must be a mode of the substance of God; which, besides that it will be strange to mention any modes in the simple essence of God; whosoever shall propose any such modes, as a way to explain the nature of our ideas, proposes to me something inconceivable, as a means to conceive what I do not yet know; and so bating a new phrase, teaches me nothing, but leaves me as much in the dark as one can be where he conceives nothing. So that supposing ideas real spiritual things ever so much, if they are neither substances nor modes, let them be what they will, I am no more instructed in their nature, than when I am told they are perceptions such as I find them. And I appeal to my reader, whether that hypothesis be to be preferred for its easiness, to be understood, which is explained by real beings, that are neither substances nor modes.

19. In the fourth chapter he proves, that we do not see objects by ideas that are created with us; because the ideas we have even of one very simple figure, v. g. a triangle, are not infinite, though there may be infinite triangles. What this proves I will not here examine; but the reason he gives being built on his hypothesis, I cannot get over, and that is, that, “it is not for want of ideas, or that infinite is not present to us, but it is only for want of capacity and extension of our souls, because the extension of our spirits is very narrow and limited.” To have a limited extension, is to have some extension which agrees but ill with what is before said of our souls, that they “have no extension.” By what he says here and in other places, one would think he were to be understood, as Edition: current; Page: [221] if the soul, being but a small extension, could not at once receive all the ideas conceivable in infinite space, because but a little part of that infinite space can be applied to the soul at once. To conceive thus of the soul’s intimate union with an infinite being, and by that union receiving of ideas, leads one as naturally into as gross thoughts, as a country maid would have of an infinite butter-print, in which was engraven figures of all sorts and sizes, the several parts whereof being, as there was occasion, applied to her lump of butter, left on it the figure or idea there was present need of. But whether any one would thus explain our ideas, I will not say, only I know not well how to understand what he says here, with what he says before of union, in a better sense.

20. He farther says, that had we a magazine of all ideas that are necessary for seeing things, they would be of no use, since the mind could not know which to choose, and set before itself to see the sun. What he here means by the sun is hard to conceive, and according to his hypothesis of “seeing all things in God,” how can he know that there is any such real being in the world as the sun? Did he ever see the sun? No, but on occasion of the presence of the sun to his eyes, he has seen the idea of the sun in God, which God has exhibited to him; but the sun, because it cannot be united to his soul, he cannot see. How then does he know that there is a sun which he never saw? And since God does all things by the most compendious ways, what need is there that God should make a sun that we might see its idea in him when he pleased to exhibit it, when this might as well be done without any real sun at all.

21. He farther says, that God does not actually produce in us as many new ideas as we every moment perceive different things. Whether he has proved this or no, I will not examine.

22. But he says, that “we have at all times actually in ourselves the ideas of all things.” Then we have always actually in ourselves the ideas of all triangles, which was but now denied, “but we have them confusedly.” Edition: current; Page: [222] If we see them in God, and they are not in him confusedly, I do not understand how we can see them in God confusedly.

23. In the fifth chapter he tells us “all things are in God,” even the most corporeal and earthly, but after “a manner altogether spiritual, and which we cannot comprehend.” Here therefore he and I are alike ignorant of these good words; “material things are in God after a spiritual manner,” signifying nothing to either of us; and “spiritual manner,” signifies no more but this, that material things are in God immaterially. This and the like are ways of speaking, which our vanity has found out to cover, not remove our ignorance. But “material things are in God,” because “their ideas are in God, and those ideas which God had of them before the world was created, are not at all different from himself.” This seems to me to come very near saying, not only that there is variety in God, since we see variety in what “is not different from himself;” but that material things are God, or a part of him; which, though I do not think to be what our author designs; yet thus I fear he must be forced to talk, who thinks he knows God’s understanding so much better than his own, that he will make use of the divine intellect to explain the human.

24. In the sixth chapter he comes more particularly to explain his own doctrine, where first he says, “the ideas of all beings are in God.” Let it be so, God has the idea of a triangle, of a horse, of a river, just as we have; for hitherto this signifies no more, for we see them as they are in him; and so the ideas that are in him, are the ideas we perceive. Thus far I then understand God hath the same ideas we have. This tells indeed that there are ideas, which was agreed before and I think nobody denies, but tells me not yet what they are.

25. Having said that they are in God, the next thing he tells us is, that we “can see them in God.” His proof, that “our souls can see them in God, is because God is most straitly united to our souls by his presence, insomuch that one may say, God is the place Edition: current; Page: [223] of spirits, as spaces are the places of bodies;” in which there is not, I confess, one word that I can understand. For, first, in what sense can he say, that “spaces are the places of bodies;” when he makes body and space, or extension, to be the same thing? So that I do no more understand what he means, when he says, “spaces are the places of bodies,” than if he had said, bodies are the places of bodies. But when this simile is applied to God and spirits, it makes this saying, that “God is the place of spirits,” either to be merely metaphorical, and so signifies literally nothing, or else being literal, makes us conceive that spirits move up and down, and have their distances and intervals in God, as bodies have in space. When I am told in which of these senses he is to be understood, I shall be able to see how far it helps us to understand the nature of ideas. But is not God as straitly united to bodies as to spirits? For he is also present, even where they are, but yet they see not these ideas in him. He therefore adds, “that the soul can see in God the works of God, supposing God would discover to it what there is in him to represent them,” viz. the ideas that are in him. Union therefore is not the cause of this seeing; for the soul may be united to God, and yet not see the ideas are in him, till he “discover” them to it; so that, after all, I am but where I was. I have ideas, that I know; but I would know what they are; and to that I am yet only told, that “I see them in God.” I ask how I see them in God? And it is answered, by my “intimate union” with God, for he is every-where present. I answer, if that were enough, bodies are also intimately united with God, for he is every-where present; besides, if that were enough, I should see all the ideas that are in God. No, but only those that he pleases to “discover.” Tell me wherein this discovery lies, besides barely making me see them, and you explain the manner of my having ideas: otherwise all that has been said amounts to no more but this, that I have those ideas that it pleases God I should have, but by ways that I know not; and of this mind I was before, and am not got one jot farther.

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26. In the next paragraph he calls them “beings, representative beings.” But whether these beings are substances, modes, or relations, I am not told; and so by being told they are spiritual beings, I know no more but that they are something, I know not what, and that I knew before.

27. To explain this matter a little farther, he adds, “It must be observed, that it cannot be concluded, that souls see the essence of God, in that they see all things in God; because what they see is very imperfect, and God is very perfect. They see matter divisible, figured, &c. and in God there is nothing divisible and figured: for God is all being, because he is infinite, and comprehends all things; but he is not any being in particular. Whereas what we see is but some one or more beings in particular; and we do not at all comprehend that perfect simplicity of God which contains all beings. Moreover, one may say, that we do not so much see the ideas of things, as the things themselves, which the ideas represent. For when, for example, one sees a square, one says not that one sees the idea of a square, which is united to the soul, but only the square that is without.” I do not pretend to be short-sighted; but if I am not duller than ordinary, this paragraph shows, that P. M. himself is at a stand in this matter, and comprehends not what it is we see in God, or how. Chap. fourth, he says, in express words, that “it is necessary that at all times we should have actually in ourselves the ideas of all things.” And in this very chapter, a little lower, he says, that “all beings are present to our minds,” and that we have “general ideas antecedent to particular.” And, chap. 8th, that we are never without the “general idea of being:” and yet here he says, “that which we see” is but “one or more beings in particular.” And after having taken a great deal of pains to prove, that “we cannot possibly see things in themselves, but only ideas; here he tells us “we do not so much see the ideas of things as the things themselves.” In this uncertainty of the author what it is we see, I am to be excused if my Edition: current; Page: [225] eyes see not more clearly in his hypothesis than he himself does.

28. He farther tells us, in this sixth chapter, that “we see all beings, because God wills that that which is in him that represents them should be discovered to us.” This tells us only, that there are ideas of things in God, and that we see them when he pleases to discover them; but what does this show us more of the nature of those ideas, or of the discovery of them, wherein that consists, than he that says, without pretending to know what they are, or how they are made, that ideas are in our minds when God pleases to produce them there, by such motions as he has appointed to do it? The next argument for our “seeing all things in God,” is in these words; “but the strongest of all the reasons is the manner in which the mind perceives all things: it is evident, and all the world knows it by experience, that when we would think of any thing in particular, we at first cast our view upon all beings, and afterwards we apply ourselves to the consideration of the object which we desire to think on.” This argument has no other effect on me, but to make me doubt the more of the truth of this doctrine. First, because this, which he calls the “strongest reason of all,” is built upon matter of fact, which I cannot find to be so in myself. I do not observe, that when I would think of a triangle, I first think of “all beings;” whether these words “all beings” be to be taken here in their proper sense, or very improperly for “being” in general. Nor do I think my country neighbours do so, when they first wake in the morning, who, I imagine, do not find it impossible to think of a lame horse they have, or their blighted corn, till they have run over in their minds “all beings” that are, and then pitch on dapple; or else begin to think of “being” in general, which is “being” abstracted from all its inferiour species, before they come to think of the fly in their sheep, or the tares in their corn. For I am apt to think that the greatest part of mankind very seldom, if ever at all, think of “being” in general, i. e. abstracted from all Edition: current; Page: [226] its inferiour species and individuals. But taking it to be so, that a carrier when he would think of a remedy for his galled horse, or a foot-boy for an excuse for some fault he has committed, begins with casting his eye upon all things; how does this make out the conclusion? Therefore “we can desire to see all objects, whence it follows that all beings are present to our minds.” Which presence signifies that we see them, or else it signifies nothing at all. They are all actually always seen by us; which, how true, let every one judge.

29. The words wherein he pursues this argument stand thus, “Now it is indubitable that we cannot desire to see any particular object without seeing it already, although confusedly, and in general. So that being able to desire to see all beings sometimes one, sometimes another, it is certain that all beings are present to our spirits; and it seems all beings could not be present to our spirits, but because God is present to them, i. e. he that contains all things in the simplicity of his being.” I must leave it to others to judge how far it is blameable in me; but so it is, that I cannot make to myself the links of this chain to hang together; and methinks if a man would have studied obscurity, he could not have writ more unintelligibly than this. “We can desire to see all beings, sometimes one, sometimes another; therefore we do already see all things, because we cannot desire to see any particular object, but what we see already confusedly and in general.” The discourse here is about ideas, which he says are real things, and we see in God. In taking this along with me, to make it prove any thing to his purpose, the argument must, as it seems to me, stand thus: we can desire to have all ideas, sometimes one, sometimes another; therefore we have already all ideas, because we cannot desire to have any particular idea, but what we have already “confusedly” and “in general.” What can be meant here by having “any particular” idea “confusedly and in general,” I confess I cannot conceive, unless it be a capacity in us to have them; and in that sense Edition: current; Page: [227] the whole argument amounts to no more but this: we have all ideas, because we are capable of having all ideas; and so proves not at all that we actually have them by being united to God, who, “contains them all in the simplicity of his being.” That any thing else is, or can be meant by it, I do not see; for that which we desire to see, being nothing but what we see already, (for if it can be any else, the argument falls and proves nothing,) and that which we desire to see, being, as we are told here, something particular, “sometimes one thing, sometimes another;” that which we do see must be particular too; but how to see a particular thing in general, is past my comprehension. I cannot conceive how a blind man has the particular idea of scarlet confusedly or in general, when he has it not at all; and yet that he might desire to have it, I cannot doubt, no more than I doubt that I can desire to perceive, or to have the ideas of those things that God has prepared for those that love him, “though they be such as eye hath not seen, or ear hath not heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive,” such as I have yet no idea of. He who desires to know what creatures are in Jupiter, or what God hath prepared for them that love him, hath, it is true, a supposition that there is something in Jupiter, or in the place of the blessed; but if that be to have the particular ideas of things there, enough to say that we see them already, nobody can be ignorant of any thing. He that has seen one thing hath seen all things; for he has got the general ideas of something. But this is not, I confess, sufficient to convince me, that hereby we see all things “in the simplicity of God’s being,” which comprehends all things. For if the ideas I see are all, as our author tells us, real beings in him, it is plain they must be so many real distinct beings in him; and if we see them in him, we must see them as they are, distinct particular things, and so shall not see them confusedly and in general. And what it is to see any idea (to which I do not give a name) confusedly, is what I do not well understand. What I see I see, and the idea I see is distinct from Edition: current; Page: [228] all others that are not the same with it: besides, I see them as they are in God, and as he shows them me. Are they in God confusedly? Or does he show them me confusedly?

30. Secondly, This “seeing of all things,” because we “can desire to see all things,” he makes a proof that “they are present” to our minds; and if they “be present, they can no ways be present but by the presence of God, who contains them all in the simplicity of his being.” This reasoning seems to be founded on this, that the reason of seeing all things, is their being present to our minds; because God, in whom they are, is present. This, though the foundation he seems to build on, is liable to a very natural objection, which is, that then we should actually always see all things, because in God, who is present, they are all actually present to the mind. This he has endeavoured to obviate, by saying we see all the ideas in God, which he is pleased “to discover to us;” which indeed is an answer to this objection; but such an one as overturns his whole hypothesis, and renders it useless, and as unintelligible as any of those he has for that reason laid aside. He pretends to explain to us how we come to perceive any thing, and that is by having the ideas of them present in our minds: for the soul cannot perceive things at a distance, or remote from it. And those ideas are present to the mind, only because God, in whom they are, is present to the mind. This so far hangs together, and is of a piece. But when after this I am told, that their presence is not enough to make them be seen, but God must do something farther to discover them to me, I am as much in the dark as I was at first: and all this talk of their presence in my mind explains nothing of the way wherein I perceive them, nor ever will, till he also makes me understand, what God does more than make them present to my mind, when he discovers them to me. For I think nobody denies, I am sure I affirm, that the ideas we have, are in our minds by the will and power of God, though in a way that we conceive not, nor are able to comprehend. God, says our author, is strictly united to Edition: current; Page: [229] the soul, and so the ideas of things too. But yet that presence or union of theirs is not enough to make them seen, but God must show or exhibit them; and what does God do more than make them present to the mind when he shows them? Of that there is nothing said to help me over this difficulty, but that when God shows them we see them; which in short seems to me to say only thus much, that when we have these ideas we have them, and we owe the having of them to our Maker: which is to say no more than I do with my ignorance. We have the ideas of figures and colours by the operation of exteriour objects on our senses, when the sun shows them us; but how the sun shows them us, or how the light of the sun produces them in us; what, and how the alteration is made in our souls; I know not: nor does it appear, by any thing our author says, that he knows any more what God does when he shows them us, or what it is that is done upon our minds, since the presence of them to our minds, he confesses, does it not.

31. Thirdly, One thing more is incomprehensible to me in this matter, and that is, how the “simplicity of God’s being” should contain in it a variety of real beings, so that the soul can discern them in him distinctly one from another? it being said, chap. 5th. That the ideas in God “are not different from God himself.” This seems to me to express a simplicity made up of variety, a thing I cannot understand. God I believe to be a simple being, that by his wisdom knows all things, and by his power can do all things; but how he does it, I think myself less able to comprehend, than to contain the ocean in my hand, or grasp the universe with my span. “Ideas are real beings,” you say; if so, it is evident they must be distinct “real beings;” for there is nothing more certain than that there are distinct ideas; and they are in God, in whom we see them. There they are then actually distinct, or else we could not see them distinct in him. Now these distinct real beings that are in God, are they either parts, or modifications of the Deity, or comprehended in him as things in a place? Edition: current; Page: [230] For besides these three, I think we can scarce think of another way wherein we can conceive them to be in him, so that we can see them. For to say they are in him “eminenter,” is to say they are not in him actually and really to be seen; but only if they are in him “eminenter,” and we see them only in him, we can be said to see them only “eminenter” too. So that though it cannot be denied that God sees and knows all things; yet when we say we see all things in him, it is but a metaphorical expression to cover our ignorance, in a way that pretends to explain our knowledge; seeing things in God signifying no more than that we perceive them we know not how.

32. He farther adds, That he “does not believe that one can well give an account of the manner wherein the mind knows many abstract and general truths, but by the presence of him who can enlighten the mind after a thousand different fashions.” It is not to be denied that God can enlighten our minds after a thousand different fashions; and it cannot also be denied, that those thousand different fashions may be such, as we comprehend not one of them. The question is, whether this talk of seeing all things in God does make us clearly, or at all, comprehend one of them; if it did so to me, I should gratefully acknowledge that then I was ignorant of nine hundred and ninety-nine of the thousand, whereas I must yet confess myself ignorant of them all.

33. The next paragraph, if it proves any thing, seems to me to prove that the idea we have of God is God himself, it being something, as he says, “uncreated.” The ideas that men have of God are so very different, that it would be very hard to say that it was God himself. Nor does it avail to say they would all have the same, if they would apply their minds to the contemplation of him; for this being brought here to prove that God is present in all men’s minds, and that therefore they see him, it must also, in my apprehension, prove that he being immutably the same, and they seeing him, must needs see him all alike.

34. In the next section we are told that we have Edition: current; Page: [231] “not only the idea of infinite, but before that of finite.” This being a thing of experience, every one must examine himself; and it being my misfortune to find it otherwise in myself, this argument, of course, is like to have the less effect on me, who therefore cannot so easily admit the inference, viz. “That the mind perceives not one thing, but in the idea it has of infinite.” And I cannot but believe many a child can tell twenty, have the idea of a square trencher, or a round plate, and have the distinct clear ideas of two and three, long before he has any idea of “infinite” at all.

35. The last argument which he tells us is a demonstration that we see all things in God, is this: “God has made all things for himself; but if God made a spirit or mind, and gave it the sun for its idea, or the immediate object of its knowledge, God would have made that spirit or mind for the sun, and not for himself.” The natural inference from this argument seems to me to be this, therefore God has given himself for the idea, or immediate object of the knowledge of all human minds. But experience too manifestly contradicting this, our author has made another conclusion, and says thus, “It is necessary then that the light which he gives the mind, should make us know something that is in him,” v. g. Because “all things that come from God cannot be but for God.” Therefore a covetous man sees in God the money, and a Persian the sun that he worships; and thus God is the “immediate object” of the minds, both of the one and the other. I confess this demonstration is lost on me, and I cannot see the force of it. All things, it is true, are made for God, i. e. for his glory; and he will be glorified even by those rational beings, who would not apply their faculties to the knowledge of him.

36. But the next paragraph explains this: “God could not then make a soul for to know his works, were it not that that soul sees God after a fashion in seeing his works:” just “after such a fashion,” that if he never saw more of him, he would never know any thing of a God, nor believe there was any such being. A child, as soon as he is born, sees a candle, or before Edition: current; Page: [232] he can speak, the ball he plays with; these he “sees in God” whom he has yet no notion of. Whether this be enough to make us say that the mind is made for God, and this be the proof of it, other people must judge for themselves. I must own that if this were the knowledge of God, which intelligent beings were made for, I do not see but they might be made for the knowledge of God without knowing any thing of him; and those that deny him, were made for the knowledge of him. Therefore I am not convinced of the truth of what follows, that “we do not see any one thing, but by the natural knowledge which we have of God.” Which seems to me a quite contrary way of arguing to what the apostle uses, where he says, that “the invisible things of God are seen by the visible things he has made.” For it seems to me a quite contrary way of arguing, to say we see the Creator in, or by the creatures, and we see the creatures in the Creator. The apostle begins our knowledge in the creatures, which lead us to the knowledge of God, if we will make use of our reason: our author begins our knowledge in God, and by that leads us to the creatures.

37. But to confirm his argument, he says, “all the particular ideas we have of the creatures are but limitations of the idea of the Creator.” As for example, I have the idea of the solidity of matter, and of the motion of body, what is the idea of God that either of these limits? And, when I think of the number ten, I do not see how that any way concerns or limits the idea of God.

38. The distinction he makes a little lower between “sentiment” and “idea,” does not at all clear to me, but cloud, his doctrine. His words are, “It must be observed, that I do not say that we have the sentiment of material things in God, but that it is from God that acts in us: for God knows sensible things, but feels them not. When we perceive any sensible thing, there is in our perception sentiment and pure idea.” If by “sentiment,” which is the word he uses in French, he means the act of sensation, or the operation of the soul in perceiving: and by “pure Edition: current; Page: [233] idea,” the immediate object of that perception, which is the definition of ideas he gives here in the first chapter; there is some foundation for it, taking ideas for real beings or substances. But, taken thus, I cannot see how it can be avoided, but that we must be said to smell a rose in God, as well as to see a rose in God; and the scent of the rose that we smell, as well as the colour and figure of the rose that we see, must be in God; which seems not to be his sense here, and does not well agree with what he says concerning the ideas we see in God, which I shall consider in its due place. If by “sentiment” here he means something that is neither the act of perception nor the idea perceived, I confess I know not what it is, nor have any conception at all of it. When we see and smell a violet, we perceive the figure, colour, and scent of that flower. Here I cannot but ask whether all these three are “pure ideas,” or all “sentiments?” If they are all “ideas,” then according to his doctrine they are all in God; and then it will follow, that as I see the figure of the violet in God; so also I see the colour of it, and smell the scent of it in God, which way of speaking he does not allow, nor can I blame him. For it shows a little too plainly the absurdity of that doctrine, if he should say we smell a violet, taste wormwood, or feel cold in God; and yet I can find no reason why the action of one of our senses is applied only to God, when we use them all as well as our eyes in receiving ideas. If the figure, colour, and smell are all of them “sentiments,” then they are none of them in God, and so this whole business of seeing in God is out of doors. If (as by what he says in his Eclaircissements it appears to me to be his meaning) the figure of the violet be to be taken for an “idea,” but its “colour” and “smell” for sentiments: I confess it puzzles me to know by what rule it is, that in a violet the purple colour, whereof whilst I write this I seem to have as clear an idea in my mind as of its figure, is not as much an idea as the figure of it; especially, since he tells me in the first chapter here, which is concerning the nature of ideas, that, “by this word idea he understands here nothing else, but what is Edition: current; Page: [234] the immediate or nearest object of the mind when it perceives any thing.”

39. The “sentiment,” says he in the next words, “is a modification of our soul.” This word “modification” here, that comes in for explication, seems to me to signify nothing more than the word to be explained by it; v. g. I see the purple colour of a violet, this, says he, is “sentiment:” I desire to know what “sentiment” is; that, says he, is a “modification of the soul.” I take the word, and desire to see what I can conceive by it concerning my soul; and here, I confess, I can conceive nothing more, but that I have the idea of purple in my mind, which I had not before, without being able to apprehend any thing the mind does or suffers in this, besides barely having the idea of purple: and so the good word “modification” signifies nothing to me more than I knew before; v. g. that I have now the idea of purple in it, which I had not some minutes since. So that though they say sensations are modifications of the mind; yet having no manner of idea what that modification of the mind is, distinct from that very sensation, v. g. the sensation of a red colour or a bitter taste: it is plain this explication amounts to no more than that a sensation is a sensation, and the sensation of red or bitter is the sensation of “red” or “bitter;” for if I have no other idea, when I say it is a modification of the mind, than when I say it is the sensation of “red” or “bitter,” it is plain sensation and modification stand both for the same idea, and so are but two names of one and the same thing. But to examine their doctrine of modification a little farther. Different sentiments are different modifications of the mind. The mind or soul that perceives, is one immaterial indivisible substance. Now I see the white and black on this paper, I hear one singing in the next room, I feel the warmth of the fire I sit by, and I taste an apple I am eating, and all this, at the same time. Now I ask, take “modification” for what you please, can the same unextended indivisible substance have different, nay inconsistent and opposite (as these of white and black must be) Edition: current; Page: [235] modifications at the same time? Or must we suppose distinct parts in an indivisible substance, one for black, another for white, and another for red ideas, and so of the rest of those infinite sensations which we have in sorts and degrees; all which we can distinctly perceive, and so are distinct ideas, some whereof are opposite, as heat and cold, which yet a man may feel at the same time? I was ignorant before how sensation was performed in us, this they call an explanation of it. Must I say now I understand it better? If this be to cure one’s ignorance, it is a very slight disease, and the charm of two or three insignificant words will at any time remove it; “probatum est.” But let it signify what it will, when I recollect the figure of one of the leaves of a violet, is not that a new modification of my soul, as well as when I think of its purple colour? Does my mind do or suffer nothing anew when I see that figure in God?

40. The idea of that figure, you say, is in God; let it be so, but it may be there, and I not see it, that is allowed; when I come to see it, which I did not before, is there no new modification, as you call it, of my mind? If there be, then seeing of figure in God, as well as having the idea of purple, is a “modification of the mind,” and this distinction signifies nothing. If seeing that figure in God now, which a minute or two since I did not see at all, be no new modification or alteration in my mind, no different action or passion from what was before, there is no difference made in my apprehensions between seeing and not seeing. The ideas of figures, our author says, are in God, and are real beings in God; and God being united to the mind, these are also united to it. This all seems to me to have something very obscure and inconceivable in it, when I come to examine particulars; but let it be granted to be as clear as any one would suppose it; yet it reaches not the main difficulty, which is in “seeing.” How after all do I see? The ideas are in God, they are real things, they are intimately united to my mind, because God is so, but yet I do not see them. How at last after all this preparation, which hitherto is ineffectual, Edition: current; Page: [236] do I come to see them? And to that I am told, “when God is pleased to discover them to me.” This in good earnest seems to me to be nothing but going a great way about to come to the same place, and this learned circuit, thus set out, brings me at last no farther than this, that I see or perceive, or have ideas when it pleases God I should, but in a way I cannot comprehend; and this I thought without all this ado.

41. This “sentiment” he tells us in the next words, “it is God causes in us, and he can cause it in us, although he has it not, because he sees in the idea that he has of our soul, that it is capable of them.” This I take to be said to show the difference between “sentiments” and “ideas” in us. V. g. “figures” and “numbers” are ideas, and they are in God. “Colours” and “smells,” &c. are “sentiments” in us, and not ideas in God. First, as to ourselves I ask, why, when I recollect in my memory a violet, the purple colour as well as figure is not an idea in me? The making then the picture of any visible thing in my mind, as of a landscape I have seen, composed of figure and colour, the colour is not an idea, but the figure is an idea, and the colour a “sentiment.” Every one I allow may use his words as he pleases; but if it be to instruct others, he must when be uses two words where others use but one, show some grounds of the distinction. And I do not find but the colour of the marigold I now think of, is as much “the immediate object of my mind,” as its figure? and so according to his definition is an “idea.” Next as to God, I ask, whether, before the creation of the world, the idea of the whole marigold colour as well as figure was not in God? “God,” says he, “can cause those sentiments in us, because he sees in the idea that he has of our soul, that it is capable of them.” God, before he created any soul, knew all that he would make it capable of. He resolved to make it capable of having the perception of the colour as well as figure of a marigold; he had then the idea of that colour that he resolved to make it capable of, or else he made it capable (with reverence let it be spoken) of he knew not what: and Edition: current; Page: [237] if he knew what he should be capable of, he had the idea of what he knew; for before the creation there was nothing but God, and the ideas he had. It is true, the colour of that flower is not actually in God, no more is its figure actually in God; but we that can consider no other understanding, but in analogy to our own, cannot conceive otherwise but as the ideas of the figure, colour, and situation of the leaves of a marigold are in our minds, when we think of that flower in the night when we see it not; so it was in the thoughts of God before he made that flower. And thus we conceive him to have the idea of the smell of a violet, of the taste of sugar, the sound of a lute or trumpet, and of the pain and pleasure that accompany any of these or other sensations which he designed we should feel, though he never felt any of them, as we have the ideas of the taste of a cherry in winter, or of the pain of a burn when it is over. This is what I think we conceive of the ideas of God, which we must allow to have distinctly represented to him all that was to be in time, and consequently the colours, odours, and other ideas they were to produce in us. I cannot be so bold as to pretend to say what those ideas are in God, or to determine that they are real beings; but this I think I may say, that the idea of the colour of a marigold, or the motion of a stone, are as much real beings in God, as the idea of the figure or number of its leaves.

42. The reader must not blame me for making use here all along of the word “sentiment,” which is our author’s own, and I understood it so little, that I knew not how to translate it to any other. He concludes, “that he believes there is no appearance of truth in any other ways of explaining these things, and that this of seeing all things in God, is more than probable.” I have considered with as much indifferency and attention as is possible; and I must own it appears to me as little or less intelligible than any of the rest; and the summary of his doctrine, which he here subjoins, is to me wholly incomprehensible. His words are, “Thus our souls depend on God all manner of ways: for as it is he which makes them feel pleasure Edition: current; Page: [238] and pain, and all other sensations, by the natural union which he has made between them and our bodies, which is nothing else but hid decree and general will: so it is he, who by the natural union which he has made betwixt the will of man and the representation of ideas, which the immensity of the divine being contains, makes them know all that they know; and this natural union is also nothing but his general will.” This phrase of the union of our wills to the ideas contained in God’s immensity, seems to me a very strange one; and what light it gives to his doctrine I truly cannot find. It seemed so unintelligible to me, that I guessed it an errour in the print of the edition I used, which was the 4to printed at Paris, 78, and therefore consulted the 8vo, printed also at Paris, and found it “will” in both of them. Here again the “immensity of the divine being” is mentioned as that which contains in it the ideas to which our wills are united; which ideas being only those of quantity, as I shall show hereafter, seems to me to carry with it a very gross notion of this matter, as we have above remarked. But that which I take notice of principally here, is, that this union of our wills to the ideas contained in God’s immensity does not at all explain our seeing of them. This union of our wills to the ideas, or, as in other places, of our souls to God, is, says he, nothing but the will of God. And, after this union, our seeing them is only when God discovers them, i. e. our having them in our minds, is nothing but the will of God; all which is brought about in a way we comprehend not. And what then does this explain more than when one says, our souls are united to our bodies by the will of God, and by the motion of some parts of our bodies? V. g. the nerves or animal spirits have ideas or perceptions produced in them, and this is the will of God. Why is not this as intelligible and as clear as the other? Here is by the will of God given union and perception in both cases; but how that perception is made in both ways, seems to me equally incomprehensible. In one, God discovers ideas in himself to the soul united to him when he pleases; Edition: current; Page: [239] and in the other, he discovers ideas to the soul, or produces perception in the soul united to the body by motion, according to laws established by the good pleasure of his will: but how it is done in the one or the other I confess my incapacity to comprehend. So that I agree perfectly with him in his conclusion, that “there is nothing but God that can enlighten us:” but a clear comprehension of the manner how he does it, I doubt I shall not have, till I know a great deal more of him and myself, than in this state of darkness and ignorance our souls are capable of.

43. In the next, chap. 7, he tells us, “there are four ways of knowing; the first is to know things by themselves;” and thus, he says, “we know God alone;” and the reason he gives of it is this, because “at present he alone penetrates the mind, and discovers himself to it.”

First, I would know what it is to penetrate a thing that is unextended? These are ways of speaking, which taken from body, when they are applied to spirit, signify nothing, nor show us any thing but our ignorance. To God’s penetrating our spirits, he joins his discovering himself; as if one were the cause of the other, and explained it: but I not conceiving any thing of the penetration of an unextended thing, it is lost upon me. But, next God penetrates our souls, and therefore we “see him by a direct and immediate view,” as he says in the following words. The ideas of all things which are in God, he elsewhere tells us, are not at all different from God himself; and if God’s penetrating our minds be the cause of our direct and immediate seeing God, we have a direct and immediate view of all that we see; for we see nothing but God and ideas; and it is impossible for us to know that there is any thing else in the universe; for since we see, and can see nothing but God and ideas, how can we know there is any thing else which we neither do nor can see? But if there be any thing to be understood by this penetration of our souls, and we have a direct view of God by this penetration, why have we not also a direct and immediate view of other separate spirits besides Edition: current; Page: [240] God? To this he says, that there is none but God alone who at present penetrates our spirits. This he says, but I do not see for what reason, but because it suits with his hypothesis: but he proves it not, nor goes about to do it, unless the direct and immediate view, he says, we have of God, be to be taken as a proof of it. But what is that direct and immediate view we have of God that we have not of a cherubim? The ideas of being, power, knowledge, goodness, duration, make up the complex idea we have of one and of the other; but only that in the one we join the idea of infinite to each simple idea, that makes our complex one; but to the other that of finite. But how have we a more direct or immediate view of the idea of power, knowledge, or duration, when we consider them in God, than when we consider them in an angel? The view of these ideas seems to be the same. Indeed we have a clearer proof of the existence of God than of a cherubim; but the idea of either, when we have it in our minds, seems to me to be there by an equally direct and immediate view. And it is about the ideas which are in our minds that I think our author’s enquiry here is, and not about the real existence of those things whereof we have ideas, which are two very remote things.

44. Perhaps it is God alone, says our author, “who can enlighten our minds by his substance.” When I know what the substance of God is, and what it is to be enlightened by that substance, I shall know what I also shall think of it; but at present I confess myself in the dark as to this matter; nor do these good words of substance and enlightening, in the way they are here used, help me one jot out of it.

45. He goes on, “one cannot conceive, says he, that any thing created can represent what is infinite.” And I cannot conceive that there is any positive comprehensive idea in any finite mind that does represent it fully and clearly as it is. I do not find that the mind of man has infinity positively and fully represented to it, or comprehended by it; which must be, if his argument were true, that therefore God enlightens Edition: current; Page: [241] our minds by his proper substance: because no created thing is big enough to represent what is infinite; and therefore what makes us conceive his infinity, is the presence of his own infinite substance in our minds: which to me manifestly supposes, that we comprehend in our minds God’s infinite substance, which is present to our minds; for if this be not the force of his argument, where he says, “nothing created can represent what is infinite; the being that is without bounds, the being immense, the being universal, cannot be perceived by an idea, i. e. by a particular being, by a being different from the universal infinite being itself.” It seems to me that this argument is founded on a supposition of our comprehending the infinite substance of God in our minds, or else I see not any force in it, as I have already said. I shall take notice of one or two things in it that confound me, and that is, that he calls God here the universal being; which must either signify that being which contains, and is made up as one comprehensive aggregate of all the rest, in which sense the universe may be called the universal being; or else it must mean being in general, which is nothing but the idea of being, abstracted from all inferiour divisions of that general notion, and from all particular existence. But in neither of these senses can I conceive God to be the universal being, since I cannot think the creatures either to be a part or a species of him. Next he calls the ideas that are in God particular beings. I grant whatever exists is particular, it cannot be otherwise; but that which is particular in existence, may be universal in representation, which I take to be all the universal beings we know, or can conceive to be. But let universal or particular beings be what they will, I do not see how our author can say, that God is an universal being, and the ideas we see in him particular beings; since he in another place tells us, that the ideas we see in God, are not at all different from God. But, says he, “as to particular beings it is not hard to conceive that they can be represented by the infinite being which contains them, and contains them after a very spiritual manner, and consequently Edition: current; Page: [242] very intelligible.” It seems as impossible to me, that an infinite simple being, in whom there is no variety, nor shadow of variety, should represent a finite thing, as that a finite thing should represent an infinite; nor do I see how its “containing all things in it after a very spiritual manner, makes it so very intelligible;” since I understand not what it is to contain a material thing spiritually, nor the manner how God contains any thing in himself, but either as an aggregate contains all things which it is made up of; and so indeed that part of him may be seen, which comes within the reach of our view. But this way of containing all things can by no means belong to God, and to make things thus visible in him, is to make the material world a part of him, or else as having a power to produce all things; and in this way, it is true, God contains all things in himself, but in a way not proper to make the being of God a representative of those things to us; for then his being, being the representative of the effects of that power, it must represent to us all that he is capable of producing, which I do not find in myself that it does.

Secondly, “The second way of knowing things, he tells us, is by ideas, that is, by something that is different from them; and thus we know things when they are not intelligible by themselves, either because they are corporeal or because they cannot penetrate the mind, or discover themselves to it; and this is the way we know corporeal things.” This reasoning I do not understand: first, because I do not understand why a line or a triangle is not as intelligible as any thing that can be named; for we must still carry along with us, that the discourse here is about our perception, or what we have any idea or conception of in our own minds. Secondly, because I do not understand what is meant by the penetrating a spirit; and till I can comprehend these, upon which this reasoning is built, this reasoning cannot work on me. But from these reasons he concludes, “thus it is in God, and by their ideas that we see bodies and their properties; and it is for this reason that the knowledge we have of them is Edition: current; Page: [243] most perfect.” Whether others will think that what we see of bodies, is seen in God, by seeing the ideas of them that are in God, must be left to them. Why I cannot think so, I have shown; but the inference he makes here from it, I think, few will assent to, that we know bodies and their properties most perfectly. For who is there that can say, he knows the properties either of body in general, or of any one particular body perfectly? One property of body in general is to have parts cohering and united together; for wherever there is body, there is cohesion of parts; but who is there that perfectly understands that cohesion? And as for particular bodies, who can say that he perfectly understands gold or a loadstone, and all its properties? But to explain himself, he says, “that the idea we have of extension, suffices to make us know all the properties whereof extension is capable, and that we cannot desire to have an idea more distinct, and more fruitful of extension, of figures, and of motions, than that which God has given us of them.” This seems to me a strange proof that we see bodies and their properties in God, and know them perfectly, because God hath given us distinct and fruitful ideas of extension, figure, and motion; for this had been the same, whether God had given these ideas by showing them in himself, or by any other way; and his saying, that God has given us as distinct and fruitful ideas of them as we can desire, seems as if our author himself had some other thoughts of them. If he thought we see them in God, he must think we see them as they are in themselves, and there would be no room for saying, God hath given them us as distinct as we could desire: the calling them fruitful, shows this yet more; for one that thinks he sees the ideas of figures in God, and can see no idea of a figure but in God, with what thought can he call any one of them feconde, which is said only of such things as produce others? Which expression of his seems to proceed only from this thought in him, that when I have once got the idea of extension, I can frame the ideas of what figures, and of what bigness I please. And in this I agree with him, as appears in what I Edition: current; Page: [244] have said, L. 2. C. 13. But then this can by no means proceed from a supposition, that I see these figures only in God; for there they do not produce one another, but there are, as it were, in their first pattern to be seen, just such, and so many as God is pleased to show them to us. But it will be said, our desire to see them is the occasional cause of God’s showing them us, and so we see whatever figure we desire. Let it be so, this does not make any idea feconde, for here is no production of one out of another: but as to the occasional cause, can any one say that it is so? I, or our author, desire to see an angle next in greatness to a right angle; did upon this God ever show him or me such an angle? That God knows, or has in himself the idea of such an angle, I think will not be denied; but that he ever showed it to any man, how much soever he desired it, I think may be doubted. But after all, how comes it by this means that we have a perfect knowledge of bodies and their properties, when several men in the world have not the same idea of body, and this very author and I differ in it? He thinks bare extension to be body, and I think extension alone makes not body, but extension and solidity; thus either he, or I, one of us, has a wrong and imperfect knowledge of bodies and their properties. For if bodies be extension alone, and nothing else, I cannot conceive how they can move and hit one against another, or what can make distinct surfaces in an uniform simple extension. A solid extended thing I can conceive moveable; but then, if I have a clear view of bodies and their properties in God, I must see the idea of solidity in God, which yet I think, by what our author has said in his Eclaircissements, he does not allow that we do. He says farther, “that whereas the ideas of things that are in God contain all their properties, he that sees their ideas may see successively all their properties.” This seems to me not to concern our ideas more, whether we see them in God, or have them otherwise. Any idea that we have, whencesoever we have it, contains in it all the properties it has, which are nothing but the relations it has to other ideas, which are always the same. What he says concerning Edition: current; Page: [245] the properties, that we may successively know them, is equally true, whether we see them in God, or have them by any other means. They that apply them as they ought to the consideration of their ideas, may successively come to the knowledge of some of their properties; but that they may know all their properties, is more than I think the reason proves, which he subjoins in these words, “for when one sees the things as they are in God, one sees them always in a most perfect manner.” We see, for example, in God, the idea of a triangle, or a circle; does it hence follow, that we can know all the properties of either of them? He adds, that the manner of seeing them “would be infinitely perfect, if the mind which sees them in God was infinite.” I confess myself here not well to comprehend his distinction between seeing after a manner “[tres parfait] most perfect and infinitely perfect;” he adds, “that which is wanting to the knowledge that we have of extension, figures, and motion, is not a defect of the idea which represents it, but of our mind which considers it.” If by ideas be meant here the real objects of our knowledge, I easily agree, that the want of knowledge in us is a defect in our minds, and not in the things to be known. But if by ideas be here meant the perception or representation of things in the mind, that I cannot but observe in myself to be very imperfect and defective, as when I desire to perceive what is the substance of body or spirit, the idea thereof fails me. To conclude, I see not what there is in this paragraph that makes any thing for the doctrine of seeing all things in God.

46. “The third way of knowing is by consciousness or interiour sentiments; and thus,” he says “we know our souls; and it is for this reason that the knowledge we have of them is imperfect, we know nothing of our souls but what we feel within ourselves.” This confession of our author brings me back, do what I can, to that original of all our ideas which my thoughts led me to when I writ my book, viz. sensation and reflection; and therefore I am forced to ask any one who is of our author’s principles, whether Edition: current; Page: [246] God had not the idea of mind, or of an human soul, before he created it? Next, whether that idea of an human soul be not as much a real being in God as the idea of a triangle? If so, why does not my soul, being intimately united to God, as well see the idea of my soul which is in him, as the idea of a triangle which is in him? And what reason can there be given, why God shows the idea of a triangle to us, and not the idea of our souls, but this, that God has given us external sensation to perceive the one, and none to perceive the other, but only internal sensation to perceive the operation of the latter? He that pleases may read what our author says in the remainder of this, and the two or three next paragraphs, and see whether it carries him beyond where my ignorance stopped; I must own that me it does not.

47. This, (i. e. the ignorance we are in of our own “souls,) says he, may serve to prove that the ideas that represent any thing to us that is without us are not modifications of our souls; for if the soul saw all things by considering its own proper modifications, it should know more clearly its own essence, or its own nature, than that of bodies; and all the sensations or modifications whereof it is capable, than the figures or modifications of which bodies are capable. In the mean time, it knows not that it is capable of any such sensation by sight, as it has of itself, but only by experience; instead of that it knows that extension is capable of an infinite number of figures by the ideas that it has of extension. There are, moreover, certain sensations, as colours and sounds, which the greatest part of men cannot discover whether they are modifications of the soul; and there are figures which all men do not discover by the idea of extension to the modifications of bodies.” This paragraph is, as he tells us, to prove, “That the ideas that represent to us something without us, are not modifications of the soul;” but instead of that, it seems to prove that figure is the modification of space, and not of our souls. For if this argument had tended to prove, “That the ideas that represent any thing Edition: current; Page: [247] without us were not modifications of the soul,” he should not have put the mind’s not knowing what modifications itself was capable of, and knowing what figures space was capable of, in opposition one to another: but the antithesis must have lain in this, that the mind knew it was capable of the perception of figure or motion without any modification of itself, but was not capable of the perception of sound or colour without a modification of itself. For the question here is not whether space be capable of figure, and the soul not; but whether the soul be capable of perceiving, or having the idea of figure, without a modification of itself, and not capable of having the idea of colour without a modification of itself. I think now of the figure, colour, and hardness, of diamond that I saw some time since: in this case I desire to be informed how my mind knows that the thinking on, or the idea of the figure is not a modification of the mind; but the thinking on, or having an idea of the colour or hardness, is a modification of the mind? It is certain there is some alteration in my mind when I think of a figure which I did not think of before, as well as when I think of a colour that I did not think of before. But one, I am told, is seeing it in God, and the other a modification of my mind. But supposing one is seeing in God, is there no alteration in my mind between seeing and not seeing? And is that to be called a modification or no? For when he says seeing a colour, and hearing a sound, is a modification of the mind, what does it signify but an alteration of the mind from not perceiving to perceiving that sound or colour? And so when the mind sees a triangle, which it did not see before, what is this but an alteration of the mind from not seeing to seeing, whether that figure be seen in God or no? And why is not this alteration of the mind to be called a modification, as well as the other? Or indeed what service does that word do us in the one case or the other, when it is only a new sound brought in without any new conception at all? For my mind, when it sees a colour or figure, is altered, I know, from the not having such or such a perception to the having Edition: current; Page: [248] it; but when, to explain this, I am told that either of these perceptions is a modification of the mind, what do I conceive more than that from not having such a perception my mind is come to have such a perception? Which is what I as well knew before the word modification was made use of, which, by its use, has made me conceive nothing more than what I conceived before.

48. One thing I cannot but take notice of here by the by, that he says, that “the soul knows that extension is capable of an infinite number of figures by the idea it has of extension,” which is true. And afterwards he says, that “there are no figures, which all men do not discover by the idea they have of extension to be modifications of body.” One would wonder why he did not say modifications of extension, rather than as he does modifications of body, they being discovered by the idea of extension; but the truth would not bear such an expression. For it is certain that in pure space or extension, which is not terminated, there is truly no distinction of figures; but in distinct bodies that are terminated there are distinct figures, because simple space or extension, being in itself uniform, inseparable, immoveable, has in it no such modification or distinction of figures. But it is capable, as he says; but of what? Of bodies of all sorts of figures and magnitudes, without which there is no distinction of figures in space. Bodies that are solid, separable, terminated, and moveable, have all sorts of figures, and they are bodies alone that have them: and so figures are properly modifications of bodies, for pure space is not any-where terminated, nor can be; whether there be or be not body in it, it is uniformly continued on. This that he plainly said there, to me plainly shows that body and extension are two things, though much of our author’s doctrine be built upon their being one and the same.

49. The next paragraph is to show us the difference between ideas and sentiments in this, that “sentiments are not tied to words; so that he that never had seen a colour, or felt heat, could never be made to have Edition: current; Page: [249] those sensations by all the definitions one could give him of them.” This is true of what he calls sentiments; and as true also of what he calls ideas. Show me one who has not got by experience, i. e. by seeing or feeling, the idea of space or motion, and I will as soon by words make one, who never felt what heat is, have a conception of heat, as he, that has not by his senses perceived what space or motion is, can by words be made to conceive either of them. The reason why we are apt to think these ideas belonging to extension got another way than other ideas, is because, our bodies being extended, we cannot avoid the distinction of parts in ourselves; and all that is for the support of our lives, being by motion applied to us, it is impossible to find any one who has not by experience got those ideas; and so by the use of language learnt what words stand for them, which by custom came to excite them in his mind; as the names of heat and pleasure do excite in the mind of those who have by experience got them the ideas they are by use annexed to. Not that words or definitions can teach or bring into the mind one more than another of those I call simple ideas; but can by use excite them in those who, having got them by experience, know certain sounds to be by use annexed to them as the signs of them.

50. Fourthly, “The fourth way of knowing, he tells us, is by conjecture, and thus only we know the souls of other men and pure intelligences,” i. e. We know them not at all; but we probably think there are such beings really existing in “rerum naturâ.” But this looks to me beside our author’s business here, which seems to me to examine what ideas we have, and how we came by them. So that the thing here considered, should in my opinion be, not whether there were any souls of men or pure intelligences any-where existing, but what ideas we have of them, and how we came by them. For when he says, we know not angels, either “in themselves, or by their ideas, or by consciousness,” what in that place does angels signify? What idea in him does it stand for? Or is it the sign of no idea at all, and so a bare sound without signification? Edition: current; Page: [250] He that reads this seventh chapter of his with attention, will find that we have simple ideas as far as our experience reaches, and no farther. And beyond that we know nothing at all, no not even what those ideas are that are in us, but only that they are perceptions in the mind, but how made we cannot comprehend.

51. In his Eclaircissements on the nature of ideas, p. 535, of the quarto edition, he says, that “he is certain that the ideas of things are unchangeable.” This I cannot comprehend; for how can I know that the picture of any thing is like that thing, when I never see that which it represents? For if these words do not mean that ideas are true unchangeable representations of things, I know not to what purpose they are. And if that be not their meaning, then they can only signify, that the idea I have once had will be unchangeably the same as long as it recurs the same in my memory; but when another different from that comes into my mind, it will not be that. Thus the idea of an horse, and the idea of a centaur, will, as often as they recur in my mind, be unchangeably the same; which is no more than this, the same idea will be always the same idea; but whether the one or the other be the true representation of any thing that exists, that, upon his principles, neither our author nor any body else can know.

52. What he says here of universal reason, which enlightens every one, whereof all men partake, seems to me nothing else but the power men have to consider the ideas they have one with another, and by this comparing them, find out the relations that are between them; and therefore if an intelligent being at one end of the world, and another at the other end of the world, will consider twice two and four together, he cannot but find them to be equal, i. e. to be the same number. These relations, it is true, are infinite, and God, who knows all things and their relations as they are, knows them all, and so his knowledge is infinite. But men are able to discover more or less of these relations, only as they apply their minds to consider any sort of ideas, and to find out intermediate ones, which can show the relation of those ideas, which cannot be Edition: current; Page: [251] immediately compared by juxta-position. But then what he means by that infinite reason which men consult; I confess myself not well to understand. For if he means that they consider a part of those relations of things which are infinite, that is true; but then this is a very improper way of speaking, and I cannot think that a man of his parts would use it to mean nothing else by it. If he means, as he says, p. 536, that this infinite and universal reason, whereof men partake, and which they consult, is the reason of God himself; I can by no means assent to it. First, because I think we cannot say God reasons at all; for he has at once a view of all things. But reason is very far from such an intuition; it is a laborious and gradual progress in the knowledge of things, by comparing one idea with a second, and a second with a third, and that with a fourth, &c. to find the relation between the first and the last of these in this train, and in search for such intermediate ideas, as may show us the relation we desire to know, which sometimes we find, and sometimes not. This way therefore of finding truth, so painful, uncertain, and limited, is proper only to men of finite understandings, but can by no means be supposed in God; it is therefore in God understanding or knowledge. But then to say that we partake in the knowledge of God, or consult his understanding, is what I cannot receive for true. God has given me an understanding of my own; and I should think it presumption in me to suppose I apprehended any thing by God’s understanding, saw with his eyes, or shared of his knowledge. I think it more possible for me to see with other men’s eyes, and understand with another man’s understanding, than with God’s; there being some proportion between mine and another man’s understanding, but none between mine and God’s. But if this infinite reason which we consult, be at last nothing but those infinite unchangeable relations which are in things, some of which we make a shift to discover; this indeed is true, but seems to me to make little to our author’s purpose of seeing all things in God; and that, “if we see not all things by the natural Edition: current; Page: [252] union of our minds with the universal and infinite reason, we should not have the liberty to think on all things,” as he expresses it, p. 538. To explain himself farther concerning this universal reason, or, as he there calls it by another name, order, p. 539, he says, that “God contains in himself the perfections of all the creatures that he has created, or can create, after an intelligible manner.” Intelligible to himself, it is true; but intelligible to men, at least to me, that I do not find, unless, “by containing in himself the perfections of all the creatures,” be meant, that there is no perfection in any creature, but there is a greater in God, or that there is in God greater perfection than all the perfections of the creatures taken together. And therefore though it be true what follows in the next words, “that it is by these intelligible perfections that God knows the essence of every thing;” yet it will not follow from hence, or from any thing else that he has said, that those perfections in God, which contain in them the perfections of all the creatures, are “the immediate objects of the mind of man;” or that they are so the objects of the mind of man,” that he can in them see the essences of the creatures. For I ask in which of the perfections of God does a man see the essence of an horse or an ass, of a serpent or a dove, of hemlock or parsley? I for my part, I confess, see not the essence of any of these things in any of the perfections of God, which I have any notion of. For indeed I see not the distinct essence either of these things at all, or know wherein it consists. And therefore I cannot comprehend the force of the inference, which follows in these words, “then the intelligible ideas or perfections that are in God, which represent to us what is out of God, are absolutely necessary and unchangeable.” That the perfections that are in God are necessary and unchangeable, I readily grant: but that the ideas that are intelligible to God, or are in the understanding of God (for so we must speak of him whilst we conceive of him after the manner of men) can be seen by us; or, that the perfections that are in God represent to us the essences of things that are out Edition: current; Page: [253] of God, that I cannot conceive. The essence of matter, as much as I can see of it, is extension, solidity, divisibility, and mobility; but in which of the perfections of God do I see this essence? To another man, as to our author perhaps, the essence of body is quite another thing; and when he has told us what to him is the essence of body, it will be then to be considered in which of the perfections of God he sees it. For example, let it be pure extension alone, the idea then that God had in himself of the essence of body, before body was created, was the idea of pure extension; when God then created body he created extension, and then space, which existed not before, began to exist. This, I confess, I cannot conceive; but we see in the perfections of God the necessary and unchangeable essences of things. He sees one essence of body in God, and I another: which is that necessary and unchangeable essence of body which is contained in the perfections of God, his or mine? Or indeed how do or can we know there is any such thing existing as body at all? For we see nothing but the ideas that are in God; but body itself we neither do nor can possibly see at all; and how then can we know that there is any such thing existing as body, since we can by no means see or perceive it by our senses, which is all the way we can have of knowing any corporeal thing to exist? but it is said, God shows us the ideas in himself, on occasion of the presence of those bodies to our senses. This is gratis dictum, and begs the thing in question; and therefore I desire to have it proved to me that they are present. I see the sun, or an horse; no, says our author, that is impossible, they cannot be seen, because being bodies they cannot be united to my mind, and be present to it. But the sun being risen, and the horse brought within convenient distance, and so being present to my eyes, God shows me their ideas in himself: and I say God shows me these ideas when he pleases, without the presence of any such bodies to my eyes. For when I think I see a star at such a distance from me; which truly I do not see, but the idea of it which God shows me; I would have it proved to me that there is such a star existing a Edition: current; Page: [254] million of million of miles from me when I think I see it, more than when I dream of such a star. For until it be proved that there is a candle in the room by which I write this, the supposition of my seeing in God the pyramidical idea of its flame, upon occasion of the candle being there, is begging what is in question. And to prove to me that God exhibits to me that idea, upon occasion of the presence of the candle, it must first be proved to me that there is a candle there, which upon these principles can never be done.

Farther, We see the “necessary and unchangeable essences of things” in the perfections of God. Water, a rose, and a lion, have their distinct essences one from another, and all other things; what I desire to know, are these distinct essences, I confess I neither see them in nor out of God, and in which of the perfections of God do we see each of them?

Page 504, I find these words, “It is evident that the perfections that are in God which represent created or possible beings, are not at all equal: that those for example that represent bodies, are not so noble as those for example that represent spirits; and amongst those themselves which represent nothing but body, or nothing but spirit, there are more perfect one than another to infinity. This is conceivable clearly, and without pain, though one finds some difficulty to reconcile the simplicity of the divine Being with this variety of intelligible ideas which he contains in his wisdom.” This difficulty is to me insurmountable; and I conclude it always shall be so, till I can find a way to make simplicity and variety the same. And this difficulty must always cumber this doctrine, which supposes that the perfections of God are the representatives to us of whatever we perceive of the creatures; for then those perfections must be many, and diverse, and distinct one from another, as those ideas are that represent the different creatures to us. And this seems to me to make God formerly to contain in him all the distinct ideas of all the creatures, and that so, that they might be seen one after another. Which seems to me after all the talk of abstraction to be Edition: current; Page: [255] but a little less gross conception than of the sketches of all the pictures that ever a painter draws, kept by him in his closet, which are there all to be seen one after another as he pleases to show them. But whilst these abstract thoughts produce nothing better than this, I the easier content myself with my ignorance which roundly thinks thus: God is a simple being, omniscient, that knows all things possible; and omnipotent, that can do or make all things possible. But how he knows, or how he makes, I do not conceive: his ways of knowing as well as his ways of creating, are to me incomprehensible; and if they were not so, I should not think him to be God, or to be perfecter in knowledge than I am. To which our author’s thoughts seem in the close of what is above cited somewhat to incline, when he says, “the variety of intelligible ideas, which God contains in his wisdom;” whereby he seems to place this variety of ideas in the mind or thoughts of God, as we may so say, whereby it is hard to conceive how we can see them; and not in the being of God, where they are to be seen as so many distinct things in it.

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A DISCOURSE OF MIRACLES.

TO discourse of miracles without defining what one means by the word miracle, is to make a show, but in effect to talk of nothing.

A miracle then I take to be a sensible operation, which being above the comprehension of the spectator, and in his opinion contrary to the established course of nature, is taken by him to be divine.

He that is present at the fact, is a spectator: he that believes the history of the fact, puts himself in the place of a spectator.

This definition, it is probable, will not escape these two exceptions:

1. That hereby what is a miracle is made very uncertain; for it depending on the opinion of the spectator, that will be a miracle to one which will not be so to another.

In answer to which, it is enough to say, that this objection is of no force, but in the mouth of one who can produce a definition of a miracle not liable to the same exception, which I think not easy to do; for it being agreed, that a miracle must be that which surpasses the force of nature in the established, steady laws of causes and effects, nothing can be taken to be a miracle but what is judged to exceed those laws. Now every one being able to judge of those laws only by his own acquaintance with nature, and notions of its force Edition: current; Page: [257] (which are different in different men) it is unavoidable that that should be a miracle to one, which is not so to another.

2. Another objection to this definition, will be, that the notion of a miracle thus enlarged, may come sometimes to take in operations that have nothing extraordinary or supernatural in them, and thereby invalidate the use of miracles for the attesting of divine revelation.

To which I answer, not at all, if the testimony which divine revelation receives from miracles be rightly considered.

To know that any revelation is from God, it is necessary to know that the messenger that delivers it is sent from God, and that cannot be known but by some credentials given him by God himself. Let us see then whether miracles, in my sense, be not such credentials, and will not infallibly direct us right in the search of divine revelation.

It is to be considered, that divine revelation receives testimony from no other miracles, but such as are wrought to witness his mission from God who delivers the revelation. All other miracles that are done in the world, how many or great soever, revelation is not concerned in. Cases wherein there has been, or can be need of miracles for the confirmation of revelation, are fewer than perhaps is imagined. The heathen world, amidst an infinite and uncertain jumble of deities, fables, and worships, had no room for a divine attestation of any one against the rest. Those owners of many gods were at liberty in their worship; and no one of their divinities pretending to be the one only true God, no one of them could be supposed in the pagan scheme to make use of miracles to establish his worship alone, or to abolish that of the other; much less was there any use of miracles to confirm any articles of faith, since no one of them had any such to propose as necessary to be believed by their votaries. And therefore I do not remember any miracles recorded in the Greek or Roman writers, as done to confirm any one’s mission and doctrine. Conformable hereunto we find Edition: current; Page: [258] St. Paul, 1 Cor. i. 22, takes notice that the jews (it is true) required miracles, but as for the Greeks they looked after something else; they knew no need or use there was of miracles to recommend any religion to them. And indeed it is an astonishing mark how far the God of this world had blinded men’s minds, if we consider that the gentile world received and stuck to a religion, which, not being derived from reason, had no sure foundation in revelation. They knew not its original, nor the authors of it, nor seemed concerned to know from whence it came, or by whose authority delivered; and so had no mention or use of miracles for its confirmation. For though there were here and there some pretences to revelation, yet there were not so much as pretences to miracles that attested it.

If we will direct our thoughts by what has been, we must conclude that miracles, as the credentials of a messenger delivering a divine religion, have no place but upon a supposition of one only true God; and that it is so in the nature of the thing, and cannot be otherwise, I think will be made appear in the sequel of this discourse. Of such who have come in the name of the one only true God, professing to bring a law from him, we have in history a clear account but of three, viz. Moses, Jesus, and Mahomet. For what the Persees say of their Zoroaster, or the Indians of their Brama (not to mention all the wild stories of the religions farther east), is so obscure, or so manifestly fabulous, that no account can be made of it. Now of the three before mentioned, Mahomet having none to produce, pretends to no miracles for the vouching his mission; so that the only revelations that come attested by miracles, being those of Moses and Christ, and they confirming each other; the business of miracles, as it stands really in matter of fact, has no manner of difficulty in it; and I think the most scrupulous or sceptical cannot from miracles raise the least doubt against the divine revelation of the gospel.

But since the speculative and learned will be putting of cases which never were, and it may be presumed never will be; since scholars and disputants will be Edition: current; Page: [259] raising of questions where there are none, and enter upon debates whereof there is no need; I crave leave to say, that he who comes with a message from God to be delivered to the world, cannot be refused belief if he vouches his mission by a miracle, because his credentials have a right to it. For every rational thinking man must conclude as Nicodemus did, “we know that thou art a teacher come from God, for no man can do these signs which thou doest, except God be with him.”

For example, Jesus of Nazareth professes himself sent from God: he with a word calms a tempest at sea. This one looks on as a miracle, and consequently cannot but receive his doctrine. Another thinks this might be the effect of chance, or skill in the weather, and no miracle, and so stands out; but afterwards seeing him walk on the sea, owns that for a miracle and believes: which yet upon another has not that force, who suspects it may possibly be done by the assistance of a spirit. But yet the same person, seeing afterwards our Saviour cure an inveterate palsy by a word, admits that for a miracle, and becomes a convert. Another overlooking it in this instance, afterwards finds a miracle in his giving sight to one born blind, or in raising the dead, or his raising himself from the dead, and so receives his doctrine as a revelation coming from God. By all which it is plain, that where the miracle is admitted, the doctrine cannot be rejected; it comes with the assurance of a divine attestation to him that allows the miracle, and he cannot question its truth.

The next thing then is, what shall be a sufficient inducement to take any extraordinary operation to be a miracle, i. e. wrought by God himself for the attestation of a revelation from him?

And to this I answer, the carrying with it the marks of a greater power than appears in opposition to it. For,

1. First, this removes the main difficulty where it presses hardest, and clears the matter from doubt, when extraordinary and supernatural operations are brought to support opposite missions, about which methinks Edition: current; Page: [260] more dust has been raised by men of leisure than so plain a matter needed. For since God’s power is paramount to all, and no opposition can be made against him with an equal force to his; and since his honour and goodness can never be supposed to suffer his messenger and his truth to be born down by the appearance of a greater power on the side of an impostor, and in favour of a lye; wherever there is an opposition, and two pretending to be sent from heaven clash, the signs, which carry with them the evident marks of a greater power, will always be a certain and unquestionable evidence, that the truth and divine mission are on that side on which they appear. For though the discovery, how the lying wonders are or can be produced, be beyond the capacity of the ignorant, and often beyond the conception of the most knowing spectator, who is therefore forced to allow them in his apprehension to be above the force of natural causes and effects; yet he cannot but know they are not seals set by God to his truth for the attesting of it, since they are opposed by miracles that carry the evident marks of a greater and superiour power, and therefore they cannot at all shake the authority of one so supported. God can never be thought to suffer that a lye, set up in opposition to a truth coming from him, should be backed with a greater power than he will show for the confirmation and propagation of a doctrine which he has revealed, to the end it might be believed. The producing of serpents, blood, and frogs, by the Egyptian sorcerers and by Moses, could not to the spectators but appear equally miraculous: which of the pretenders then had their mission from God, and the truth on their side, could not have been determined, if the matter had rested there. But when Moses’s serpent eat up theirs, when he produced lice which they could not, the decision was easy. It was plain Jannes and Jambres acted by an inferiour power, and their operations, how marvellous and extraordinary soever, could not in the least bring in question Moses’s mission; that stood the firmer for this opposition, and remained the more unquestionable after this, than if no such signs had been brought against it.

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So likewise the number, variety, and greatness of the miracles wrought for the confirmation of the doctrine delivered by Jesus Christ, carry with them such strong marks of an extraordinary divine power, that the truth of his mission will stand firm and unquestionable, till any one rising up in opposition to him shall do greater miracles than he and his apostles did. For any thing less will not be of weight to turn the scales in the opinion of any one, whether of an inferiour or more exalted understanding. This is one of those palpable truths and trials, of which all mankind are judges; and there needs no assistance of learning, no deep thought, to come to a certainty in it. Such care has God taken that no pretended revelation should stand in competition with what is truly divine, that we need but open our eyes to see and be sure which came from him. The marks of his over-ruling power accompany it; and therefore to this day we find, that wherever the gospel comes, it prevails to the beating down the strong holds of Satan, and the dislodging the prince of the power of darkness, driving him away with all his lying wonders; which is a standing miracle, carrying with it the testimony of superiority.

What is the uttermost power of natural agents or created beings, men of the greatest reach cannot discover; but that it is not equal to God’s omnipotency, is obvious to every one’s understanding; so that the superiour power is an easy, as well as sure guide to divine revelation, attested by miracles, where they are brought as credentials to an embassy from God.

And thus, upon the same grounds of superiority of power, uncontested revelation will stand too.

For the explaining of which, it may be necessary to premise,

1. That no mission can be looked on to be divine, that delivers any thing derogating from the honour of the one, only, true, invisible God, or inconsistent with natural religion and the rules of morality: because God having discovered to men the unity and majesty of his eternal godhead, and the truths of natural religion and morality by the light of reason, he cannot be supposed Edition: current; Page: [262] to back the contrary by revelation: for that would be to destroy the evidence and the use of reason, without which men cannot be able to distinguish divine revelation from diabolical imposture.

2. That it cannot be expected that God should send any one into the world on purpose to inform men of things indifferent, and of small moment, or that are knowable by the use of their natural faculties. This would be to lessen the dignity of his majesty in favour of our sloth, and in prejudice to our reason.

3. The only case then wherein a mission of any one from heaven can be reconciled to the high and awful thoughts men ought to have of the Deity, must be the revelation of some supernatural truths relating to the glory of God, and some great concern of men. Supernatural operations attesting such a revelation may with reason be taken to be miracles, as carrying the marks of a superiour and over-ruling power, as long as no revelation accompanied with marks of a greater power appears against it. Such supernatural signs may justly stand good, and be received for divine, i. e. wrought by a power superiour to all, till a mission attested by operations of a greater force shall disprove them: because it cannot be supposed, God should suffer his prerogative to be so far usurped by any inferiour being, as to permit any creature, depending on him, to set his seals, the marks of his divine authority, to a mission coming from him. For these supernatural signs being the only means God is conceived to have to satisfy men as rational creatures of the certainty of any thing he would reveal, as coming from himself, can never consent that it should be wrested out of his hands, to serve the ends and establish the authority of an inferiour agent that rivals him. His power being known to have no equal, always will, and always may be safely depended on, to show its superiority in vindicating his authority, and maintaining every truth that he hath revealed. So that the marks of a superiour power accompanying it, always have been, and always will be, a visible and sure guide to divine revelation; by which men may conduct themselves in their examining of revealed Edition: current; Page: [263] religions, and be satisfied which they ought to receive as coming from God; though they have by no means ability precisely to determine what is, or is not above the force of any created being; or what operations can be performed by none but a divine power, and require the immediate hand of the Almighty. And therefore we see it is by that our Saviour measures the great unbelief of the jews, John xv. 24, saying, “If I had not done among them the works which no other man did, they had not had sin; but now have they both seen and hated both me and my father;” declaring, that they could not but see the power and presence of God in those many miracles he did, which were greater than ever any other man had done. When God sent Moses to the children of Israel with a message, that now according to his promise he would redeem them by his hand out of Egypt, and furnished him with signs and credentials of his mission; it is very remarkable what God himself says of those signs, Exod. iv. 8, “And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, nor hearken to the voice of the first sign,” (which was turning his rod into a serpent,) that “they will believe the voice of the latter sign” (which was the making his hand leprous by putting it in his bosom). God farther adds, v. 9, “And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river and pour upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.” Which of those operations was or was not above the force of all created beings, will, I suppose, be hard for any man, too hard for a poor brick-maker, to determine; and therefore the credit and certain reception of the mission, was annexed to neither of them, but the prevailing of their attestation was heightened by the increase of their number; two supernatural operations showing more power than one, and three more than two. God allowed that it was natural, that the marks of greater power should have a greater impression on Edition: current; Page: [264] the minds and belief of the spectators. Accordingly the jews, by this estimate, judged of the miracles of our Saviour, John vii. 31, where we have this account, “And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?” This, perhaps, as it is the plainest, so it is also the surest way to preserve the testimony of miracles in its due force to all sorts and degrees of people. For miracles being the basis on which divine mission is always established, and consequently that foundation on which the believers of any divine revelation must ultimately bottom their faith, this use of them would be lost, if not to all mankind, yet at least to the simple and illiterate, (which is the far greatest part,) if miracles be defined to be none but such divine operations as are in themselves beyond the power of all created beings, or at least operations contrary to the fixed and established laws of nature. For as to the latter of those, what are the fixed and established laws of nature, philosophers alone, if at least they, can pretend to determine. And if they are to be operations performable only by divine power, I doubt whether any man, learned or unlearned, can in most cases be able to say of any particular operation, that can fall under his senses, that it is certainly a miracle. Before he can come to that certainty, he must know that no created being has a power to perform it We know good and bad angels have abilities and excellencies exceedingly beyond all our poor performances or narrow comprehensions. But to define what is the utmost extent of power that any of them has, is a bold undertaking of a man in the dark, that pronounces without seeing, and sets bounds in his narrow cell to things at an infinite distance from his model and comprehension.

Such definitions therefore of miracles, however specious in discourse and theory, fail us when we come to use, and an application of them in particular cases.

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“These thoughts concerning miracles, were occasioned by my reading Mr. Fleetwood’s Essay on Miracles, and the letter writ to him on that subject. The one of them defining a miracle to be an extraordinary operation performable by God alone: and the other writing of miracles without any definition of a miracle at all.”

J. LOCKE.
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MEMOIRS RELATING TO THE LIFE OF ANTHONY First Earl of Shaftesbury.

TO WHICH ARE ADDED,

Three Letters writ by the Earl of Shaftesbury while Prisoner in the Tower; one to King Charles II, another to the Duke of York, a Third to a noble Lord: found with Mr. Locke’s Memoirs, &c.

Being at Oxford in the beginning of the civil war (for he was on that side as long as he had any hopes to serve his country there) he was brought one day to King Charles I, by the lord Falkland, his friend, then secretary of state, and presented to him as having something to offer to his majesty worth his consideration. At this audience he told the king that he thought he could put an end to the war if his majesty pleased, and would assist him in it. The King answered, that he was a very young man for so great an undertaking. Sir, replied he, that will not be the worse for your affairs, provided I do the business; whereupon the king showing a willingness to hear him, he discoursed to him to this purpose:

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The gentlemen and men of estates, who first engaged in this war, seeing now after a year or two that it seems to be no nearer the end than it was at first, and beginning to be weary of it, I am very well satisfied would be glad to be at quiet at home again, if they could be assured of a redress of their grievances, and have their rights and liberties secured to them. This I am satisfied is the present temper generally through all England, and particularly in those parts where my estate and concerns lie; if therefore your majesty will empower me to treat with the parliament garrisons to grant them a full and general pardon, with an assurance that a general amnesty (arms being laid down on both sides) should re-instate all things in the same posture they were before the war, and then a free parliament should do what more remained to be done for the settlement of the nation:—

That he would begin and try the experiment first in his own country; and doubted not but the good success he should have there would open him the gates of other adjoining garrisons, bringing them the news of peace and security in laying down their arms.

Being furnished with full power according to his desire, away he goes to Dorchester, where he managed a treaty with the garrisons of Pool, Weymouth, Dorchester, and others; and was so successful in it, that one of them was actually put into his hands, as the others were to have been some few days after. But prince Maurice,Prince Maurice. who commanded some of the king’s forces, being with his army then in those parts, no sooner heard that the town was surrendered, but he presently marched into it, and gave the pillage of it to his soldiers. This sir A. saw with the utmost displeasure, and could not forbear to express his resentments to the prince; so that there passed some pretty hot words between them; but the violence was committed, and thereby his design broken. All that he could do was, that he sent to the other garrisons, he was in treaty with, to stand upon their guard, for that he could not secure his articles to them; and so this design proved abortive and died in silence.

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This project of his for putting an end to a civil war, which had sufficiently harassed the kingdom, and nobody could tell what fatal consequences it might have, being thus frustrated, it was not long before his active thoughts, always intent upon saving his country, (the good of that being that by which he steered his counsels and actions through the whole course of his life,) it was not long before he set his head upon framing another design of the same purpose. The first project of it took its rise in a debate between him and serjeant Fountain, in an inn at Hungerford, where they accidentally met: and both disliking the continuance of the war, and deploring the ruin it threatened, it was started between them, that the counties all through England should arm and endeavour to suppress the armies on both sides. This proposal, which in one night’s debate, looked more like a well-meant wish than a formed design, he afterwards considered more at leisure, framed and fashioned into a well-ordered and practical contrivance, and never left working in it till he had brought most of the sober and well-intentioned gentlemen of both sides all through England into it. This was that which gave rise to that third sort of army, which of a sudden started up in several parts of England, with so much terrour to the armies both of king and parliament; and had not some of those who had engaged in it, and had undertaken to rise at the time appointed, failed, the clubmen,Clubmen. for so they were called, had been strong enough to carry their point, which was to make both sides lay down their arms, and if they would not do it, to force them to it; to declare for a general amnesty; to have the then parliament dissolved, and to have a new one called for redressing the grievances, and settling the nation. This undertaking was not a romantic fancy, but had very promising grounds of success; for the yeomanry and body of the people had suffered already very much by the war; and the gentry and men of estates had abated much of their fierceness, and wished to return to their former ease, security, and plenty; especially perceiving that the game, particularly on the king’s side, began to be Edition: current; Page: [269] played out of their hands, and that it was the soldiers of fortune who were best looked upon at court, and had the commands and power put in their hands.

He had been for some time before in Dorsetshire, forming and combining the parts of this great machine, till at length he got it to begin to move. But those, who had been forward to enter into the design, not being so vigorous and resolute, when the time was to appear and act; and the court, who had learnt or suspected that it had its rise and life from him, having so strict an eye upon him that he could not maintain correspondence with distant countries, and animate the several parts as it was necessary, before it was his time to stir; he received a very civil and more than ordinary letter from the king to come to him at Oxford: but he wanted not friends there to inform him of the danger it would be to him to appear there, and to confirm him in the suspicion that the king’s letter put him in, that there was something else meant him, and not so much kindness as that expressed. Besides, the lord Goring, who lay with an army in those parts, had orders from court to seize him, and had civilly sent him word, that he would come such a day and dine with him. All this together made him see that he could be no longer safe at home, nor in the king’s quarters; he therefore went, whither he was driven, into the parliament quarters; and took shelter in Portsmouth. Thus, for endeavouring to save his king and country, he was banished from the side he had chosen. And the court, that was then in high hopes of nothing less than perfect conquest, and being masters of all, had a great aversion to moderate counsels, and to those of the nobility and gentry of their party, who were authors or favourers of any such proposals as might bring things to a composition. Such well-wishers to their country, though they had spent much, and ventured all on the king’s side, when they appeared for any other end of the war but dint of arms, and a total reduction of the parliament by force, were counted enemies; and any contrivance carried on to that end was interpreted treason.

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A person of his consideration, thus rejected and cast off by the king, and taking sanctuary with them, was received by the parliament with open arms; and though he came in from the other side, and put himself into their hands without any terms; yet there were those among them that so well knew his worth, and what value they ought to put upon it, that he was soon after offered considerable employments under them, and was actually trusted with command without so much as ever being questioned concerning what he knew of persons or counsels on the other side, where they knew that his great penetration and forward mind would not let him live in ignorance among the great men, who were most of them his friends, and all his acquaintance.

But though he was not suffered to stay among those with whom he had embarked, and had lived in confidence with, and was forced to go over to the parliament, he carried thither himself only, and nothing of any body’s else; he left them and all their concerns, actions, purposes, counsels, perfectly behind him; and nobody of the king’s side could complain of him after the day he went from his house, where he could be no longer safe, that he had any memory of what he had known when one of them.

This forgetfulness, so becoming a gentleman, and a man of honour, he had established so firmly in his own mind, that his resolution to persist in it was like afterwards to cost him no little trouble. Mr. Denzil Hollis (afterwards the lord Hollis) had been one of the commissioners employed by the parliament in the treaty at Uxbridge; he had there had some secret and separate transactions with the king; this could not be kept so secret, but that it got some vent, and some of the parliament had some notice of it. Mr. Hollis being afterwards attacked in parliament by a contrary party, there wanted nothing perfectly to ruin him, but some witness to give credit to such an accusation against him. Sir A. Ashley Cooper they thought fit for their purpose; they doubted not but he knew enough of it; and they made sure that he would not fail to embrace such a fair and unsought-for opportunity of ruining Mr. Hollis, Edition: current; Page: [271] who had been long his enemy upon a family quarrel, which he had carried so far, as, by his power in the house, to hinder him from sitting in the parliament, upon a fair election for that parliament. Upon this presumption he was summoned to the house; and being called in, was there asked, whether when he was at Oxford he knew not, or had not heard something concerning Mr. Hollis’s secret transaction with the king at the treaty at Uxbridge. To this question he told them he could answer nothing at all; for though, possibly, what he had to say would be to the clearing of Mr. Hollis; yet he could not allow himself to say any thing in the case, since, whatever answer he made, it would be a confession that, if he had known any thing to the disadvantage of Mr. Hollis, he would have taken that dishonourable way of doing him a prejudice, and wreak his revenge on a man that was his enemy.

Those who had brought him there pressed him mightily to declare, but in vain, though threats were added of sending him to the Tower. He persisting obstinately silent, was bid to withdraw; and those who had depended upon his discovery being defeated, and consequently very much displeased, moved warmly for his commitment; of which he, waiting in the lobby, having notice, unmoved expected his doom, though several of his friends coming out, were earnest with him to satisfy the house; but he kept firm to his resolution, and found friends enough among the great men of the party that opposed Mr. Hollis to bring him off; who very much applauded the generosity of his carriage, and showed that action so much to deserve the commendation, rather than the censure of that assembly, that the angry men were ashamed to insist farther on it, and so dropt the debate.

Some days after Mr. Hollis came to his lodging, and having, in terms of great acknowledgment and esteem, expressed his thanks for his late behaviour in the house, with respect to him; he replied, that he pretended not thereby to merit any thing of him, or to lay an obligation on him; that what he had done was not out of any consideration of him, but what was due to himself, Edition: current; Page: [272] and he should equally have done, had any other man been concerned in it; and therefore he was perfectly as much at liberty as before to live with him as he pleased. But with all that he was not so ignorant of Mr. Hollis’s worth, nor knew so little how to put a just value on his friendship, as not to receive it as a very great and sensible favour, if he thought him a person worthy on whom to bestow it. Mr. Hollis, not less taken with his discourse than what had occasioned it, gave him fresh and repeated assurances of his sincere and hearty friendship, which were received with suitable expressions. And thus an old quarrel between two men of high spirits and great estates, neighbours in the same county, ended in a sound and firm friendship, which lasted as long as they lived.

This passage brings to my mind what I remember to have often heard him say concerning a man’s obligation to silence, in regard of discourse made to him or in his presence: that it was not enough to keep close and uncommunicated what had been committed to him with that caution, but there was a general and tacit trust in conversation, whereby a man was obliged not to report again any thing that might be any way to the speaker’s prejudice, though no intimation had been given of a desire not to have spoken it again.

He was wont to say, that wisdom lay in the heart, and not in the head; and that it was not the want of knowledge, but the perverseness of the will that filled men’s actions with folly, and their lives with disorder.

That there were in every one, two men, the wise and the foolish, and that each of them must be allowed his turn. If you would have the wise, the grave, and the serious, always to rule and have the sway, the fool would grow so peevish and troublesome, that he would put the wise man out of order, and make him fit for nothing: he must have his times of being let loose to follow his fancies, and play his gambols, if you would have your business go on smoothly.

I have heard him also say, that he desired no more of any man but that he would talk: if he would but talk, said he, let him talk as he pleases. And indeed Edition: current; Page: [273] I never knew any one penetrate so quick into men’s breasts, and from a small opening survey that dark cabinet, as he would. He would understand men’s true errand as soon as they had opened their mouths, and begun their story in appearance to another purpose.

Sir Richard Onslow and he were invited by Sir J. D. to dine with him at Chelsea, and desired to come early, because he had an affair of concernment to communicate to them. They came at the time, and being sat, he told them he had made choice of them both for their known abilities, and particular friendship to him, for their advice in a matter of the greatest moment to him that could be. He had, he said, been a widower for many years, and begun to want somebody that might ease him of the trouble of house-keeping, and take some care of him under the growing infirmities of old age; and to that purpose had pitched upon a woman very well known to him by the experience of many years, in fine, his house-keeper. These gentlemen, who were not strangers to his family, and knew the woman very well, and were besides very great friends to his son and daughter, grown up, and both fit for marriage, to whom they thought this would be a very prejudicial match, were both in their minds opposite to it; and to that purpose sir Richard Onslow began the discourse; wherein, when he came to that part, he was entering upon the description of the woman, and going to set her out in her own colours, which were such as could not have pleased any man in his wife. Sir Anthony seeing whither he was going, to prevent any mischief, begged leave to interrupt him, by asking sir J. a question, which in short was this, “whether he were not already married?” Sir J. after a little demur, answered, “Yes truly, he was married the day before.” Well then, replied sir Anthony, there is no more need of our advice; pray let us have the honour to see my lady and wish her joy, and so to dinner. As they were returning to London in their coach, I am obliged to you, said sir Richard, for preventing my running into a discourse which could never have been forgiven me, if I had spoke out what I was going to say. But as for Edition: current; Page: [274] sir J. he, methinks, ought to cut your throat for your civil question. How could it possibly enter into your head to ask a man, who had solemnly invited us on purpose to have our advice about a marriage he intended, had gravely proposed the woman to us, and suffered us seriously to enter into the debate, “whether he were already married or no?” The man, and the manner, replied sir Anthony, gave me a suspicion that, having done a foolish thing, he was desirous to cover himself with the authority of our advice. I thought it good to be sure before you went any farther, and you see what came of it. This afforded them entertainment till they came to town, and so they parted.

Soon after the restoration of king Charles II, the earl of Southampton and he having dined together at the chancellor’s, as they were returning home, he said to my lord Southampton, “Yonder Mrs. Ann Hyde (for so, as I remember, he styled her) is certainly married to one of the brothers.” The earl, who was a friend to the chancellor, treated this as a chimæra, and asked him how so wild a fancy could get into his head. Assure yourself, sir, replied he, it is so. A concealed respect, however, suppressed, showed itself so plainly in the looks, voice, and manner, wherewith her mother carved to her, or offered her of every dish, that it is impossible but it must be so. My lord S. who thought it a groundless conceit then, was not long after convinced by the duke of York’s owning of her, that lord Ashley was no bad guesser.

I shall give one instance more of his great sagacity, wherein it proved of great use to him in a case of mighty consequence. Having reason to apprehend what tyranny the usurpation of the government by the officers of the army, under the title of the committee of safety, might end in; he thought the first step to settlement was the breaking of them, which could not be done with any pretence of authority, but that of the long parliament. Meeting therefore secretly with sir Arthur Haselrig, and some others of the members, they gave commissions in the name of the parliament to be majors-generals, one of the forces about London, another Edition: current; Page: [275] of the west, &c. and this when they had not one soldier. Nay, he often would tell it laughing, that when he had his commission his great care was where to hide it. Before this he had secured Portsmouth; for the governor of it, colonel Metham, being his old acquaintance and friend, he asked him one day, meeting him by chance in Westminster-hall, whether he would put Portsmouth into his hands if he should happen to have an occasion for it? Metham promised it should be at his devotion. These transactions, though no part of them were known in particular, yet causing some remote preparations, alarmed Wallingford-house, where the committee of safety sat, and made them so attentive to all actions and discoveries that might give them any light, that at last they were fully persuaded there was something a brewing against them, and that matter for commotions in several parts was gathering. They knew the vigour and activity of sir A. Ashley, and how well he stood affectionated to them, and therefore suspected that he was at the bottom of the matter. To find what they could, and secure the man they most apprehended, he was sent for to Wallingford-house, where Fleetwood examined him according to the suspicions he had of him; that he was laying designs in the west against them, and was working the people to an insurrection that he intended to head there. He told them he knew no obligation he was under to give them an account of his actions, nor to make them any promises; but to show them how ill grounded their suspicions were, he promised that he would not go out of town without coming first and giving him an account of it. Fleetwood knowing his word might be relied on, satisfied with the promise he had made, let him go upon his parole. That which deceived them in the case, was, that knowing his estate and interest lay in the west, they presumed, that that was his post, and there certainly, if any stir was, he would appear, since there lay his great strength, and they had nobody else in view who could supply his room, and manage that part. But they were mistaken: Haselrig, upon the knowledge that they should have Portsmouth, forwardly took that Edition: current; Page: [276] province; and he, who had instruments at work in the army quartered in and about London, and knew that must be the place of most business and management, and where the turn of affairs would be, had chosen that.

Lambert, who was one of the rulers at Wallingford-house, happened to be away when he was there, and came not in till he was gone: when they told him that sir A. Ashley had been there, and what had passed, he blamed Fleetwood for letting him go, and told him they should have secured him, for that certainly there was something in it that they were deceived in, and they should not have parted so easily with so busy and dangerous a man as he was. Lambert was of a quicker sight, and a deeper reach than Fleetwood, and the rest of that gang; and knowing of what moment it was to their security to frustrate the contrivances of that working and able head, was resolved, if possibly he could, to get him into his clutches.

Sir A. A. coming home to his house in street in Covent-Garden one evening, found a man knocking at his door. He asked his business; the man answered, it was with him, and fell a discoursing with him. Sir A. A. heard him out, and gave him such an answer as he thought proper, and so they parted; the stranger out of the entry where they stood into the street, and sir A. A. along the entry into the house: but guessing by the story the other told him, that the business was but a pretence, and that his real errand he came about was something else; when he parted from the fellow he went inwards, as if he intended to go into the house; but as soon as the fellow was gone, turned short, and went out, and went to his barber’s, which was but just by; where he was no sooner got in, and got up stairs into a chamber, but his door was beset with musketeers, and the officer went in too with others to seize him: but not finding him, they searched every corner and cranny of the house diligently, the officer declaring he was sure he was in the house, for he had left him there just now; as was true, for he had gone no farther than the corner of the Halfmoon tavern, which was just by, to fetch a file of soldiers that he had left there in the Strand out of sight, Edition: current; Page: [277] whilst he went to discover whether the gentleman he sought were within or no; where doubting not to find him safely lodged, he returned with his myrmidons to his house, sure, as he thought, of his prey; but sir A. A. saw through his made story, and gave him the slip. After this he was fain to get out of the way and conceal himself under a disguise; but he hid himself not lazily in a hole; he made war upon them at Wallingford-house, incognito as he was, and made them feel him, though he kept out of sight. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Several companies of their soldiers drew up in Lincoln’s-inn-fields without their officers, and there put themselves under the command of such officers as he appointed them. The city began to rouse itself, and to show manifest signs of little regard to Wallingford-house; and he never left working till he had raised a spirit and strength enough to declare openly for the old parliament, as the only legal authority then in England, which had any pretence to claim and take on them the government. For Portsmouth being put into the hands of sir Arthur Haselrig, and the city showing their inclination; the counties readily took it, and by their concurrent weight re-instated the excluded members in their former administration. This was the first open step he made towards wresting the civil power out of the hands of the army; who, having thought Richard, Oliver’s son, unworthy of it, had taken it to themselves, executed by a committee of their own officers, where Lambert, who had the chief command and influence in the army, had placed it, till he had modelled things among them, so as might make way for his taking the sole administration into his own hands; but sir A. A. found a way to strip him of that as soon as the parliament was restored.

The first thing he did was to get from them a commission to himself, and two or three more of the most weighty and popular members of the house, to have the power of general of all the forces in England, which they were to execute jointly. This was no sooner done but he got them together, where he had provided abundance of clerks, who were immediately Edition: current; Page: [278] set to work to transcribe a great many copies of the form of a letter, wherein they reciting, that it pleased God to restore the parliament to the exercise of their power, and that the parliament had given to them a commission to command the army, they therefore commanded him (viz. the officer to whom the letter was directed) immediately with his troop, company, or regiment, as it happened, to march to N. These letters were directed to the chief officer of any part of the army who had their quarters together in any part of England. These letters were dispatched away by particular messengers that very night, and coming to the several officers so peremptorily to march immediately, they had not time to assemble and debate among themselves what to do; and having no other intelligence but that the parliament was restored, and that the city and Portsmouth, and other parts of England, had declared for them: the officers durst not disobey, but all, according to their several orders, marched some one way, and some another; so that this army, which was the great strength of the gentlemen of Wallingford-house, was by this means quite scattered, and rendered perfectly useless to the committee of safety, who were hereby perfectly reduced under the power of the parliament, as so many disarmed men to be disposed of as they thought fit.

It is known, that, whilst the long parliament remained intire, Mr. Denzil Hollis was the man of the greatest sway in it, and might have continued it on, if he would have followed sir A. A.’s advice. But he was a haughty stiff man, and so by straining it a little too much lost all.

From the time of their reconcilement already mentioned, they had been very hearty friends; it happened one morning that sir A. A. calling upon Mr. Hollis in his way to the house, as he often did; he found him in a great heat against Cromwell, who had then the command of the army, and a great interest in it. The provocation may be read at large in the pamphlets of that time, for which Mr. Hollis was resolved, he said, to bring him to punishment. Sir A. A. dissuaded him Edition: current; Page: [279] all he could from any such attempt, showing him the danger of it, and told him it would be sufficient to remove him out of the way, by sending him with a command into Ireland. This Cromwell, as things stood, would be glad to accept; but this would not satisfy Mr. Hollis. When he came to the house the matter was brought into debate, and it was moved, that Cromwell, and those guilty with him, should be punished. Cromwell, who was in the house, no sooner heard this, but he stole out, took horse, and rode immediately to the army, which, as I remember, was at Triplowheath; there he acquainted them what the presbyterian party was a doing in the house, and made such use of it to them, that they, who were before in the power of the parliament, now united together under Cromwell, who immediately led them away to London, giving out menaces against Hollis and his party as they marched, who with Stapleton and some others were fain to fly; and thereby the independent party becoming the stronger, they, as they called it, purged the house, and turned out all the presbyterian party. Cromwell, some time after, meeting sir A. A. told him, I am beholden to you for your kindness to me; for you, I hear, were for letting me go without punishment; but your friend, God be thanked, was not wise enough to take your advice.

Monk, after the death of Oliver Cromwell, and the removal of Richard, marching with the army he had with him into England, gave fair promises all along in his way to London to the Rump that were then sitting, who had sent commissioners to him that accompanied him. When he was come to town, though he had promised fair to the Rump and commonwealth party on one hand, and gave hopes to the royalists on the other; yet at last agreed with the French ambassador to take the government on himself, by whom he had promise from Mazerine of assistance from France to support him in his undertaking. This bargain was struck up between them late at night, but not so secretly but that his wife, who had posted herself conveniently behind the hangings, where she could hear all that passed, Edition: current; Page: [280] finding what was resolved, sent her brother Clarges away immediately with notice of it to sir A. A. She was zealous for the restoration of the king, and had therefore promised sir A. to watch her husband, and inform him from time to time how matters went. Upon this notice sir A. caused the counsel of state, whereof he was one, to be summoned; and when they were met, he desired the clerks might withdraw, he having matter of great importance to communicate to them. The doors of the council-chamber being locked, and the keys laid upon the table, he began to charge Monk, not in a direct and open accusation, but in obscure intimations, and doubtful expressions, giving ground of suspicion, that he was playing false with them, and not doing as he promised. This he did so skilfully and intelligibly to Monk, that he perceived he was discovered, and therefore in his answer to him fumbled and seemed out of order; so that the rest of the council perceived there was something in it, though they knew not what the matter was; and the general at last averring that what had been suggested was upon groundless suspicions, and that he was true to his principles, and stood firm to what he had professed to them, and had no secret designs that ought to disturb them, and that he was ready to give them all manner of satisfaction; whereupon sir A. A. closing with him, and making a farther use of what he had said than he intended: for he meant no more than so far as to get away from them upon this assurance which he gave them. But sir A. A. told him, that if he was sincere in what he had said, he might presently remove all scruples, if he would take away their commissions from such and such officers in his army, and give them to those whom he named; and that presently before he went out of the room. Monk was in himself no quick man; he was guilty alone among a company of men whom he knew not what they would do with him; for they all struck in with sir A. A. and plainly perceived that Monk had designed some foul play. In these straits being thus close pressed, and knowing not how else to extricate himself, he consented to what was proposed; and so immediately, before he stirred, a great Edition: current; Page: [281] part of the commissions of his officers were changed; and sir Edward Harley, amongst the rest, who was a member of the council, and there present, was made governor of Dunkirk in the room of sir William Lockhart, and was sent away immediately to take possession of it. By which means the army ceased to be at Monk’s devotion, and was put into hands that would not serve him in the design he had undertaken. The French ambassador, who had the night before sent away an express to Mazarine, positively to assure him that things went here as he desired, and that Monk was fixed by him in his resolution to take on himself the government, was not a little astonished the next day to find things taking another turn; and indeed this so much disgraced him in the French court, that he was presently called home, and soon after broke his heart.

This was that which gave the great turn to the restoration of king Charles II, whereof sir A. had laid the plan in his head a long time before, and carried it on,

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

  • Quantus hîc situs est ex titulis, quod rarò, discas.
  • Baro Ashley de Winborne St. Giles,
  • Deinde Comes Shaftesburiensis,
  • Cancellarius Scaccarij, Ærarij Triumvir,
  • Magnus Angliæ Cancellarius,
  • CAROLO Secundo à Sanctioribus & Secretioribus
  • Conciliis, &c.
  • Hæc non Sepulchri ornamenta, sed Viri.
  • Quippe quæ nec Majoribus debuit nec favori.
  • Comitate, acumine, suadelâ, consilio, animo, constantia,
  • fide,
  • Vix Parem alibi invenias, Superiorem certè nullibi.
  • Libertatis Civilis, Ecclesiasticæ,
  • Propugnator strenuus, indefessus.
  • Vitæ publicis commodis impensæ memoriam & laudes,
  • Stante libertate, nunquam obliterabit
  • Tempus edax, nec edacior Invidia.
  • Servo pecori inutilia, invisa magna exempla.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

Edition: current; Page: [282]

THREE LETTERS

writ by the E. of Shaftesbury whilst Prisoner in the Tower: one to K. Charles II, another to the D. of York, a third to a Noble Lord: found with Mr. Locke’s Memoirs relating to the Life of Anthony, First Earl of Shaftesbury.

King Charles II
Charles II, King

To King Charles II.

SIR,

The Almighty God, the King of kings, permitted Job to dispute with him, and to order his cause before him; give me leave therefore, great sir, to lay my case before your majesty, and to plead not only my innocence but my merits towards your majesty; for “my integrity will I hold fast, and will not let it go; my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.”

I had the honour to have a principal hand in your restoration; neither did I act in it, but on a principle of piety and honour: I never betrayed (as your majesty knows) the party or councils I was of. I kept no correspondence with, nor I made no secret addresses to your majesty; neither did I endeavour to obtain any private terms or articles for myself, or reward for what I had or should do. In whatever I did toward the service of your majesty, I was solely acted by the sense of that duty I owed to God, the English nation, and your majesty’s just right and title. I saw the hand of Providence that had led us through various forms of government, and had given power into the hands of several sorts of men, but he had given none of them a heart to use it as they should; they all fell to the prey, sought not the good or settlement of the nation, endeavoured only the enlargement and continuance of their own authority, and grasped at those very powers they had complained of so much, and for which so bloody and so fatal a war had been raised and continued in the bowels of the nation. I observed the leaders of the Edition: current; Page: [283] great parties of religion, both laity and clergy, ready and forward to deliver up the rights and liberties of the people, and to introduce an absolute dominion; so that tyranny might be established in the hands of those that favoured their way, and with whom they might have hopes to divide the present spoil, having no eye to posterity, or thought of future things. One of the last scenes of this confusion was general Lambert’s seizing of the government in a morning by force of arms, turning out the parliament and their council of state, and in their room erecting a committee of safety. The news of this gives a great surprize to general Monk, who commanded the army in Scotland.* * * * * * *

To the D. of York.

SIR,

I HUMBLY confess I never thought my person or my principles acceptable to your royal highness; but at that juncture of time and occasion when I was committed, I had no reason to expect you should be my severe enemy. Reputation is the greatest concern of great dealers in the world; great princes are the greatest dealers; no reputation more their interest than to be thought merciful, relievers of the distressed, and maintainers of the ancient laws and rights of their country. This I ever wish may attend your royal highness, and that I may be one instance of it.

To the Lord ——

My Lord,

I HAD prepared this for your meeting in December; but that being adjourned to the 3d of April, an age to an old infirm man, especially shut up in a winter’s prison; forgive me if I say you owe yourself and your Edition: current; Page: [284] posterity, as well as me, the endeavouring to remove so severe a precedent on one of your members; such as I may truly say is the first of the kind, and I pray heartily may be the last. Your intercession to his majesty, if it be general, is not like to be refused; if you are single, yet you have done honourably, and what I should have done for you.

Edition: current; Page: [285]

SOME FAMILIAR LETTERS BETWEEN Mr. LOCKE, AND SEVERAL OF HIS FRIENDS.

Edition: current; Page: [286] Edition: current; Page: [287]

TO THE READER.

The following letters, offered to your perusal, are the genuine productions of those gentlemen, to whom they are attributed.

They contain not only such civil and polite conversation, as friendship produces among men of parts, learning, and candour; but several matters relating to literature, and more particularly to Mr. Locke’s notions, in his “Essay concerning human understanding,” and in some of his other works: and therefore I cannot doubt of your thanks for the present I make you. For, though the curiosity of some, to see whatever drops from the pens of great men, and to inform themselves in their private characters, their tempers, dispositions, and manner of conversing with their friends, would perhaps have justified me, in publishing any letters of Mr. Locke’s, and of his friends to him, that were not letters of mere business; yet my regard to what I take to be the more general judgment of the public, has determined me to publish such only, as have relation to this twofold view, and shall determine me hereafter, if gentlemen, that have any letters of Mr. Locke’s by them, think fit to communicate them to me.

Edition: current; Page: [288] Edition: current; Page: [289]

FAMILIAR LETTERS, &c.

John Locke
Locke, John
July 16, 1692
London
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

SIR,

THOUGH the extraordinary compliment you were pleased to make me, in the epistle dedicatory*, easily persuaded me, from whom that present was likely to come; when, at my coming to town, I found your book left for me, by Mr. Tooke, at my bookseller’s; yet my consciousness, how little I could deserve the one, or the other, from you, made me fear some mistake, till inquiring of Mr. Tooke himself, he assured me of the favour you had done me. I will not pretend to return you such thanks as I ought, till I can write such a book as yours is. Only give me leave to say, that if my trifle could possibly be an occasion of vanity to me, you have done most to make it so, since I could scarce forbear to applaud myself, upon such a testimony from one who so well understands demonstration, did I not Edition: current; Page: [290] see that those who can be extreme rigorous and exact in the search of truth, can be as civil and as complaisant in their dealing with those whom they take to be lovers of it. But this cannot keep me from being out of countenance at the receipt of such obligations, without the hopes of making such returns as I ought. Instead of that, give me leave to do what is next to it, and let you see that I am not sorry I am obliged to you. The bearer hereof, Dr. Sibelius, is a friend of mine, who comes to Dublin with a design to settle there, and I beg your assistance of him, in what lies in your way. I shall take it as a favour done to me. And methinks I have reason now to expect it of you, since you have done me more than once, very great ones, when I had no reason to expect any at all. Sir, you have made great advances of friendships towards me, and you see they are not lost upon me. I am very sensible of them, and would make such an use of them as might assure you I should take it for a new favour, if you would afford me an occasion wherein I might, by any service, tell you how much I am,

SIR,
Your most humble, and most obliged servant,
John Locke.

I had the honour to know one of your name at Leyden about seven or eight years since. If he be any relation of yours and now in Dublin, I beg the favour of you to present my humble service to him.

Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

UPON the arrival of our lord lieutenant in this place (which was on the 25th instant) I had the favour of a letter from you by the hands of Dr. Sibelius. I cannot easily tell you how grateful it was to me, having the highest esteem for him that sent it, from the first Edition: current; Page: [291] moment that I was so happy as to see any of his writings; and therefore it was, that I was so ambitious of making a friendship with you, by presenting you one of my trifles, which I ordered my bookseller to lay before you, under this character, “as a mean testimony of the great respect I had for the author of the Essay of Human Understanding.” And since I find, by yours to me, that my ambition is not fallen short of its design; but that you are pleased to encourage me, by assuring me that I have made great advances of friendship towards you; give me leave to embrace the favour with all joy imaginable. And that you may judge of sincerity by my open heart, I will plainly confess to you, that I have not in my life read any book with more satisfaction than your essay; insomuch, that a repeated perusal of it is still more pleasant to me.

And I have endeavoured, with great success, to recommend it to the consideration of the ingenious, in this place. Dr. King, bishop of Derry, when he read it, made some slight remarks on the foremost parts of the book; but his business would not permit him to go through it all. What he did, rough as it was, he gave to me, and they are at your commands, when you please.

One thing I must needs insist on to you, which is, that you would think of obliging the world with “A Treatise of Morals,” drawn up according to the hints you frequently give in your essay, of being demonstrable according to the mathematical method. This is most certainly true. But then the task must be undertaken, only by so clear and distinct a thinker as you are. This were an attempt worthy your consideration. And there is nothing I should more ardently wish for than to see it. And therefore, good sir, let me beg of you to turn your thoughts this way; and if so young a friendship as mine have any force, let me prevail upon you.

Upon my reading your essay, I was so taken with it, that when I was in London, in August 1690, I made inquiry amongst some of my learned friends for any other of your writings, if perhaps they knew any: I Edition: current; Page: [292] was recommended, by some, to “Two Discourses concerning Government,” and a little “Treatise concerning Toleration.” There is neither of them carries your name; and I will not venture to ask you, whether they are yours or not? This only I think, no name need be ashamed of either.

Dr. Sibelius, I find, is your friend, and therefore I assure him of all service I can possibly do him. I will make it my business to get him acquaintance in this place; and I dare promise him some of the best.

The inclosed from my brother will tell you that he was your acquaintance in Leyden. I myself have been there, anno 1685, but had not the good fortune of being known to you. But from this time I shall reckon myself happy in your friendship, and shall ever subscribe myself,

Your most affectionate, and most obliged
humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
Sept. 20, 1692
London
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

THERE being nothing, that I think of so much value, as the acquaintance and friendship of knowing and worthy men, you may easily guess how much I find myself obliged, I will not say by the offer, but by the gift you have made me, of yours. That which confirms me in the assurance of it, is the little pretence I have to it. For, knowing myself, as I do, I cannot think so vainly of myself, as to imagine that you should make such overtures and expressions of kindness to me, for any other end, but merely as the pledges and exercise of it. I return you therefore my thanks, as for the greatest and most acceptable present you could have made me; and desire you to believe, that since I cannot Edition: current; Page: [293] hope that the returns, which I made you of mine, should be of any great use to you, I shall endeavour to make it up, as well as I can, with an high esteem, and perfect sincerity. You must, therefore, expect to have me live with you hereafter, with all the liberty and assurance of a settled friendship. For meeting with but few men in the world, whose acquaintance I find much reason to covet, I make more than ordinary haste into the familiarity of a rational inquirer after, and lover of truth, whenever I can light on any such. There are beauties of the mind, as well as of the body, that take and prevail upon first sight: and wherever I have met with this, I have readily surrendered myself, and have never yet been deceived in my expectation. Wonder not therefore, if, having been thus wrought on, I begin to converse with you, with as much freedom, as if we had begun our acquaintance when you were in Holland; and desire your advice and assistance about a second edition of my Essay, the former being now dispersed. You have, I perceive, read it over so carefully more than once, that I know nobody I can more reasonably consult, about the mistakes and defects of it. And I expect a great deal more, from any objections you shall make, who comprehend the whole design and compass of it, than from one who has read but a part of it, or measures it upon a slight reading, by his own prejudices. You will find, by my epistle to the reader, that I was not insensible of the fault I committed, by being too long upon some points; and the repetitions, that by my way of writing of it, had got in, I let it pass with, but not without advice so to do, But now, that my notions are got into the world, and have in some measure bustled through the opposition and difficulty they were like to meet with from the received opinion, and that prepossession, which might hinder them from being understood upon a short proposal; I ask you, whether it would not be better now to pare off, in a second edition, a great part of that which cannot but appear superfluous to an intelligent and attentive reader? If you are of that mind, I shall beg the favour of you to mark to me those passages, which Edition: current; Page: [294] you would think fittest to be left out. If there be any thing, wherein you think me mistaken, I beg you to deal freely with me, that either I may clear it up to you, or reform it in the next edition. For I flatter myself that I am so sincere a lover of truth, that it is very indifferent to me, so I am possessed of it, whether it be by my own, or any other’s discovery. For I count any parcel of this gold not the less to be valued, nor not the less enriching, because I wrought it not out of the mine myself. I think every one ought to contribute to the common stock, and to have no other scruple, or shyness, about the receiving of truth, but that he be not imposed on, and take counterfeit, and what will not bear the touch, for genuine and real truth. I doubt not but, to one of your largeness of thought, that, in the reading of my book, you miss several things, that perhaps belong to my subject, and you would think belongs to the system: if, in this part too, you will communicate your thoughts, you will do me a favour. For though I will not so far flatter myself as to undertake to fill up the gaps, which you may observe in it; yet it may be of use, where mine is at a stand, to suggest to others matter of farther contemplation. This I often find, that what men by thinking had made clear to themselves, they are apt to think, that upon the first suggestion it should be so to others, and so let it go, not sufficiently explained; not considering what may be very clear to themselves, may be very obscure to others. Your penetration and quickness hinders me from expecting from you many complaints of this kind. But, if you have met with any thing, in your reading of my book, which at first sight you stuck at, I shall think it a sufficient reason, in the next edition, to amend it, for the benefit of meaner readers.

The remarks of that learned gentleman you mention, which you say you have in your hands, I shall receive as a favour from you.

Though by the view I had of moral ideas, whilst I was considering that subject, I thought I saw that morality might be demonstratively made out; yet whether I am able so to make it out, is another question. Every Edition: current; Page: [295] one could not have demonstrated what Mr. Newton’s book hath shown to be demonstrable; but to show my readiness to obey your commands, I shall not decline the first leisure I can get to employ some thoughts, that way; unless I find what I have said in my essay shall have stirred up some abler man to prevent me, and effectually do that service to the world.

We had here, the 8th instant, a very sensible earthquake, there being scarce an house, wherein it was not by some body or other felt. We have news of it at several places, from Cologn as far as Bristol. Whether it reached you I have not heard. If it did, I would be glad to know, what was the exact time it was felt, if any body observed it. By the queen’s pendulum at Kensington, which the shake stopped from going, it was 2 h. post m. At Whitehall, where I observed it, it was by my watch 2 h. 5 m. post m. Which, supposing the queen’s pendulum went exact, and adding the equation of that day, will fall near the time marked by my watch or a little later. If there could be found people, that in the whole extent of it, did by well-adjusted clocks exactly observe the time, one might see whether it were all one shock or proceeded gradually from one place to another.

I thank you for having taken Dr. Sibelius into your protection. I desire you, with my service, to present my most humble thanks to your brother, for the favour of his letter; to which, though I have not time this post to return an answer, I shall not long delay my acknowledgments.

I hope you will see, by the freedom I have here taken with you, that I begin to reckon myself amongst your acquaintance. Use me so, I beseech you. If there be any service I can do you here, employ me, with the assurance that I am,

SIR,
Your most humble, and most faithful servant,
John Locke.
Edition: current; Page: [296]
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Oct. 15, —92
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

I DO most heartily beg your pardon for my long silence to yours of the 20th last. Our then approaching parliament was the occasion of my not returning you an immediate answer; and I expected withal to give you a more large account of some things, you desire from me. But seeing no immediate hopes of leisure, by reason of our parlimentary business, I venture at present to send you only the inclosed rough papers. And till I can have an opportunity myself of revising your book, have put it into the hands of a very ingenious and learned person, who promises me to give his observations in writing; which as soon as obtained I shall transmit to you.—The earthquake was not at all felt here.—I am wonderfully pleased that you give me hopes of seeing a moral essay from your hand; which I assure you, sir, with all sincerity, is highly respected by

Your most humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Dec. 22, 1692
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

I NOW sit down to answer yours of September 20, concerning the second edition of your book, wherein you desire my opinion and advice. And, after so long consideration of the matter, as between that and this; and consulting some ingenious heads here about it, I can say but little; only that the same judicious hand, that first formed it, is best able to reform it, where he sees convenient. I never quarrelled with a book for being too prolix, especially where the prolixity is pleasant, Edition: current; Page: [297] and tends to the illustration of the matter in hand, as I am sure yours always does. And after I received your letter on this subject, I communicated the contents thereof to two very ingenious persons here; and, at the same time I lent them your book, desiring them to examine it strictly; and to find out, and note, whatever might be changed, added, or subtracted. And after a diligent perusal, they agreed with me in the same conclusion, viz. that the work, in all its parts, was so wonderfully curious and instructive, that they would not venture to alter any thing in it. But however, that I may in some measure answer your expectations, I shall briefly note to you, what I conceive on this subject.

And, 1st, the errata typographica (besides those mentioned in the table) are many and great; these therefore, in your next edition, are diligently to be corrected.

2dly, page 270, It is asserted, “that, without a particular revelation, we cannot be certain, that matter cannot think, or that omnipotency may not endow matter with a power of thinking.”

And, page 314, 315, “the immateriality of God is evinced from the absolute impossibility of matter’s thinking.” These two places, I know, have been stumbled at by some as not consistent. To me indeed they appear, and are, very agreeable; and I have clearly evinced their consistency to those that have scrupled them. But I thought fit to give you this hint, that in your next edition you may prevent any such doubt. My sense of these two places is this. In the first it is said, “that we cannot tell (without a particular revelation to the contrary) but an almighty God can make matter think.” In the other it is asserted, “that unthinking matter cannot be this almighty God.” The next place I take notice of, as requiring some farther explication, is your discourse about man’s liberty and necessity. This thread seems so wonderfully fine spun in your book, that, at last, the great question of liberty and necessity seems to vanish. And herein you seem to make all sins to proceed from our understandings, Edition: current; Page: [298] or to be against conscience, and not at all from the depravity of our wills. Now it seems harsh to you, that a man will be damned, because he understands no better than he does. What you say concerning genera and species is unquestionably true; and yet it seems hard to assert, that there is no such sort of creatures in nature, as birds: for though we may be ignorant of the particular essence, that makes a bird to be a bird, or that determines and distinguishes a bird from a beast; or the just limits and boundaries between each; yet we can no more doubt of a sparrow’s being a bird, and an horse’s being a beast, than we can of this colour being black, and the other white: though, by shades they may be made so gradually to vanish into each other, that we cannot tell where either determines.

But all this I write more in deference to your desires from me, than to satisfy myself, that I have given you any material hints, or have offered any considerable objection, that is worth your notice and removal. Mr. Norris’s unfortunate attempts on your book sufficiently testify its validity; and truly I think he trifles so egregiously, that he should forewarn all men how far they venture to criticise on your book. But thus far, after all, I’ll venture to intimate to you, that if you are for another work of this kind, I should advise you to let this stand as it does. And your next should be of a model wholly new, and that is by way of logic; something accommodated to the usual forms, together with the consideration of extension, solidity, mobility, thinking, existence, duration, number, &c. and of the mind of man and its powers; as may make up a complete body of what the schools call logic and metaphysics. This I am the more inclinable to advise on two accounts; first, because I have lately seen Johannis Clerici Logica, Ontologia, et Pneumatologia, in all which he has little extraordinary, but what he borrows from you; and in the alteration he gives them, he robs them of their native beauties; which can only be preserved to them by the same incomparable art that first framed them. Secondly, I was the first that recommended and Edition: current; Page: [299] lent to the reverend provost of our university, Dr. Ashe, a most learned and ingenious man, your essay, with which he was so wonderfully pleased and satisfied, that he has ordered it to be read by the bachelors in the college, and strictly examines them in their progress therein. Now a large discourse, in the way of a logic, would be much more taking in the universities, wherein youths do not satisfy themselves to have the breeding or business of the place unless they are engaged in something that bears the name and form of logic.

This, sir, is in short what offers itself to me, at present, concerning your work. There remains only, that I again put you in mind of the second member of your division of sciences, the ars practica, or ethics; you cannot imagine what an earnest desire and expectation I have raised, in those that are acquainted with your writings, by the hopes I have given them from your promise of endeavouring something on that subject. Good sir, let me renew my requests to you therein; for believe me, sir, it will be one of the most useful and glorious undertakings that can employ you. The touches you give in many places of your book, on this subject, are wonderfully curious, and do largely testify your great abilities that way; and I am sure the pravity of men’s morals does mightily require the most powerful means to reform them. Be as large as it is possible on this subject, and by all means let it be in English. He that reads the 45th section, in your 129th page, will be inflamed to read more of the same kind, from the same incomparable pen. Look, therefore, on yourself as obliged by God Almighty to undertake this task (pardon me, sir, that I am so free with you, as to insist to yourself on your duty, who, doubtless, understand it better than I can tell you); suffer not therefore your thoughts to rest, till you have finished it; and that God Almighty may succeed your labours, is, and shall be the prayer of,

Worthy Sir,
Your intirely affectionate humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Edition: current; Page: [300]
John Locke
Locke, John
Dec. 26, 1692
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

WHATEVER has happened to give you leisure sooner than was expected, I hope to receive some advantage by it. And that now you will be able to send me your own thoughts on my book, together with the observations of your friend, into whose hands you have put it with that design. I return you my humble thanks for the papers you did me the favour to send me in your last: but am apt to think you agree with me that there is very little in those papers, wherein either my sense is not mistaken, or very little, wherein the argument is directly against me. I suppose that learned gentleman, if he had had the leisure to read my essay quite through, would have found several of his objections might have been spared. And I can easily forgive those who have not been at the pains to read the third book of my essay, if they make use of expressions that, when examined, signify nothing at all, in defence of hypotheses, that have long possessed their minds. I am far from imagining myself infallible; but yet I should be loth to differ from any thinking man, being fully persuaded there are very few things of pure speculation, wherein two thinking men, who impartially seek truth, can differ, if they give themselves the leisure to examine their hypotheses, and understand one another. I, presuming you to be of this make, whereof so few are to be found, (for it is not every one that thinks himself a lover, or seeker of truth, who sincerely does it,) took the liberty to desire your objections, that in the next edition I might correct my mistakes. For I am not fond of any thing in my book, because I have once thought or said it. And therefore I beg you, if you will give yourself the pains to look over my book, again with this design, to oblige me, that you would use all manner of freedom, both as to matter, style, disposition, and every thing wherein, in your own thoughts, any thing appears to you fit, in the least, to Edition: current; Page: [301] be altered, omitted, explained, or added. I find none so fit, nor so fair judges, as those whose minds the study of mathematicks has opened, and dis-entangled from the cheat of words, which has too great an influence in all the other, which go for sciences: and I think (were it not for the doubtful and fallacious use that is made of those signs) might be made much more sciences than they are.

I sent order, some time since, that a posthumous piece of Mr. Boyle’s should be given to your bookseller in London, to be conveyed to you. It is “A General History of the Air;” which, though left by him very imperfect, yet I think the very design of it will please you; and it is cast into a method that any one who pleases may add to it, under any of the several titles, as his reading or observation shall furnish him with matter of fact. If such men as you are, curious and knowing, would join to what Mr. Boyle had collected and prepared what comes in their way, we might hope, in some time, to have a considerable history of the air, than which I scarce know any part of natural philosophy would yield more variety and use; but it is a subject too large for the attempts of any one man, and will require the assistance of many hands, to make it a history very short of complete.

Since I did myself the honour to write to your brother, I have been very ill, to which you must pardon some part of the length of my silence. But my esteem and respect for you is founded upon something so much beyond compliment and ceremony, that I hope you will not think me the less so, though I do not every post importune you with repeated professions that I am,

SIR,
Your most humble servant,
John Locke.
Edition: current; Page: [302]
John Locke
Locke, John
Jan. 20, 1692-3
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

HAD I known I should, within so few days, have received the favour of such a letter as yours of Dec. 22, I should not have troubled you with mine, that went hence but a little before the receipt of yours. I was afraid, in reading the beginning of yours, that I had not so great an interest in you as I flattered myself, and upon a presumption whereof it was, that I took the liberty so confidently to ask your advice, concerning the second edition of my book. But what followed satisfied me, that it was your civility, and not reservedness, made you tell me, that the same hand, which first formed it, is best able to reform it. Could I flatter myself so, as to think I deserved all that you say of me, in your obliging letter, I should yet think you a better judge of what is to be reformed in my book, than I myself. You have given the world proofs of your great penetration, and I have received great marks of your candour. But were the inequality between us as much to my advantage, as it is on the other side, I should nevertheless beg your opinion. Whatsoever is our own, let us do what we can, stands a little too near us to be viewed as it should: and, though we ever so sincerely aim at truth, yet our own thoughts, judging still of our own thoughts, may be suspected to overlook errours, and mistakes. And I should think he valued himself more than truth, and presumed too much on his own abilities, who would not be willing to have all the exceptions could be made, by any ingenious friend, before he ventured any thing into the public. I therefore heartily thank you, for those you have sent me, and for consulting some of your friends, to the same purpose: and beg the favour, if any thing more occurs from your own thoughts, or from them, you will be pleased to communicate it to me, if it be but those errata typographica you meet with, not taken notice of in the table. I confess, I thought some of the explications Edition: current; Page: [303] in my book too long, though turned several ways to make those abstract notions the easier sink into minds prejudiced in the ordinary way of education; and therefore I was of a mind to contract it. But finding you, and some other friends of mine, whom I consulted in the case of a contrary opinion, and that you judge the redundancy in it a pardonable fault, I shall take very little pains to reform it.

I confess what I say, page 270, compared with 314, 315, may, to an unwary reader, seem to contain a contradiction: but you, considering right, perceive that there is none. But it not being reasonable for me to expect that every body should read me with that judgment you do, and observe the design and foundation of what I say, rather than stick barely in the words, it is fit, as far as may be, that I accommodate myself to ordinary readers, and avoid the appearances of contradiction, even in their thoughts. P. 314, I suppose matter in its own natural state, void of thought; a supposition I concluded would not be denied me, or not hard to be proved, if it should: and thence I inferred, matter could not be the first eternal being. But, page 270, I thought it no absurdity, or contradiction, to suppose, “that, a thinking, omnipotent being once granted, such a being might annex to some systems of matter ordered in a way, that he thought fit, a capacity of some degrees of sense and thinking.” To avoid this appearance of a contradiction, in my two suppositions, and clear it up to less attentive readers, I intend in the second edition to alter it thus, if you think it will do:

P. 270, l. 20, read, “For I see no contradiction in it, that the first, eternal, thinking being, or omnipotent spirit, should, if he pleased, give to certain systems of created, senseless matter, put together as he thinks fit, some degrees of sense, perception, and thought, though I judge it no less than a contradiction, to suppose matter (which is evidently, in its own nature, without sense and thought) should be the eternal, first, thinking being. What certainty of knowledge can any one have, that some perceptions, Edition: current; Page: [304] such as, v. g. pleasure and pain, should not be in some bodies themselves after”——

P. 315, l. 5, read, “Thought can never begin to be; for it is impossible to conceive that matter, either with or without motion, could have originally, in and from itself, sense, perception, and knowledge; as is evident from hence, that sense, perception, and knowledge must then be a property eternally inseparable from matter and every particle of it. Not to add, that though our general or specific conception of matter makes us speak of it as one thing; yet really all matter is not one individual thing, neither is there any such thing existing as one material being, or one body, that we know or can conceive. And therefore, if matter were the eternal, first, cogitative being, there would not be one eternal, infinite, cogitative being: but an infinite number of finite, cogitative beings independent one of another, of limited force and distinct thoughts, which could never produce that order, harmony, and beauty, is to be found in nature. Since, therefore, whatsoever is the first, eternal being must necessarily be cogitative: and whatsoever is first of all things——higher degree it necessarily follows, that the eternal, first being cannot be matter.” Pray, give me your opinion, whether, if I print it thus, it will not remove the appearance of any contradiction.

I do not wonder to find you think my discourse about liberty a little too fine spun; I had so much that thought of it myself, that I said the same thing of it to some of my friends, before it was printed; and told them, that upon that account I judged it best to leave it out; but they persuaded me to the contrary. When the connexion of the parts of my subject brought me to the consideration of power, I had no design to meddle with the question of liberty; but barely pursued my thoughts in the contemplation of that power in man of choosing, or preferring, which we call the will, as far as they would lead me, without any the least bias to one side, or other; or, if there was any leaning in my mind, it was rather to the contrary side of that, Edition: current; Page: [305] where I found myself at the end of my pursuit. But doubting that it bore a little too hard upon man’s liberty, I showed it to a very ingenious but professed Arminian, and desired him, after he had considered it, to tell me his objections, if he had any, who frankly confessed he could carry it no farther. I confess, I think there might be something said, which with a great many men would pass for a satisfactory answer to your objection; but it not satisfying me, I neither put it into my book, nor shall now into my letter. If I have put any fallacy on myself, in all that deduction, as it may be, and I have been ready to suspect it myself, you will do me a very acceptable kindness to show it me, that I may reform it. But if you will argue for, or against, liberty from consequences, I will not undertake to answer you. For I own freely to you the weakness of my understanding, that though it be unquestionable, that there is omnipotence and omniscience in God, our maker, and I cannot have a clearer perception of any thing, than that I am free; yet I cannot make freedom in man consistent with omnipotence and omniscience in God, though I am as fully as persuaded of both, as of any truths I most firmly assent to. And, therefore, I have long since given off the consideration of that question, resolving all into this short conclusion, that if it be possible for God to make a free agent, then man is free, though I see not the way of it.

In the objection you raise about species, I fear you are fallen into the same difficulty I often found myself under, when I was writing on that subject, where I was very apt to suppose distinct species I could talk of, without names. For pray, sir, consider what it is you mean, when you say, that “we can no more doubt of a sparrow’s being a bird, and a horse’s being a beast, than we can of this colour being black, and the other white,” &c. but this, that the combination of simple ideas, which the word, bird, stands for, is to be found in that particular thing we call a sparrow. And therefore I hope I have no-where said, “there is no such sort of creatures in nature, as birds;” if I have, it is both contrary to truth and to my opinion. This I Edition: current; Page: [306] do say, that there are real constitutions in things, from whence these simple ideas flow, which we observe combined in them. And this I farther say, that there are real distinctions and differences in those real constitutions, one from another; whereby they are distinguished one from another, whether we think of them, or name them, or no: but that that whereby we distinguish and rank particular substances into sorts, or genera and species, is not those real essences, or internal constitutions, but such combinations of simple ideas, as we observe in them. This I designed to show, in lib. iii. c. 6. If, upon your perusal of that chapter again, you find any thing contrary to this, I beg the favour of you to mark it to me, that I may correct it; for it is not what I think true. Some parts of that third book, concerning words, though the thoughts were easy and clear enough, yet cost me more pains to express, than all the rest of my essay. And therefore I shall not much wonder, if there be in some places of it obscurity and doubtfulness. It would be a great kindness from my readers to oblige me, as you have done, by telling me any thing they find amiss; for the printed book being more for others use than my own, it is fit I should accommodate it to that, as much as I can; which truly is my intention.

That which you propose, of turning my essay into a body of logic and metaphysics, accommodated to the usual forms, though I thank you very kindly for it, and plainly see in it the care you have of the education of young scholars, which is a thing of no small moment; yet I fear I shall scarce find time to do it: you have cut out other work for me, more to my liking, and I think of more use. Besides that, if they have, in this book of mine, what you think the matter of these two sciences, or what you will call them; I like the method it is in, better than that of the schools, where I think it is no small prejudice to knowledge, that predicaments, predicables, &c. being universally, in all their systems, come to be looked on as necessary principles, or unquestionable parts of knowledge, just as they are set down there. If logic be the first thing to Edition: current; Page: [307] be taught young men, after grammar, as is the usual method, I think yet it should be nothing but proposition and syllogism. But that being in order to their disputing exercises in the university, perhaps I may think those may be spared too: disputing being but an ill (not to say the worst) way to knowledge. I say this not as pretending to change, or find fault with, what public allowance and established practice has settled in universities; but to excuse myself to you, from whom I cannot allow myself to differ, without telling you the true reasons of it. For I see so much knowledge, candour, and the marks of so much good-will to mankind in you, that there are few men, whose opinion I think ought to have so much authority with me as yours. But, as to the method of learning, perhaps I may entertain you more at large hereafter; only now let me ask you, since you mention logic and metaphysics in relation to my book, whether either of those sciences may suggest to you any new heads, fit to be inserted into my essay, in a second edition?

You have done too much honour to me in the recommendation I see you have given to my book; and I am the more pleased with it, because I think it was not done out of kindness to one so much a stranger to you as I then was. But yet, pray do not think me so vain that I dare assume to myself almost any part of what you say of me in your last letter. Could I find in myself any reason you could have to flatter me, I should suspect you resolved to play the courtier a little. But I know what latitude civil and well-bred men allow themselves with great sincerity, where they are pleased, and kindness warms them. I am sensible of the obligation, and in return shall only tell you, that I shall speedily set myself to obey your commands in the last part of your letter. I beg your pardon for trespassing so much on your patience, and am,

SIR,
Your most humble and most obliged servant,
John Locke.
Edition: current; Page: [308]
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
March 2, 1692-3
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Honoured Sir,

YOURS of Jan. 20 came to my hands, just as I lay down on a bed of sickness, being a severe colic, that held me nigh five weeks, and brought me very weak; this was the more grievous to me, in that it hindered me from giving that ready answer to your letters, which I desired; being very covetous, on all opportunities, of keeping up a correspondence with one, for whom I had so great a respect. I am now, God be thanked, pretty well recovered; but yet weak, and have not yet stirred abroad. I know the bare signifying this to you is sufficient in my excuse; so that, relying on your pardon, I proceed to answer your last.

And first, sir, believe me, that whatever respect I have at any time used to you, has been the sincere thoughts of my heart, and not the vain compliments that usually pass between courtiers, and, how extravagant soever, are looked upon as the effects of good breeding, and pass only as such, by licence. I think I know a worthy man when I meet him, and they are so rare in the world, that no honour is too great for those that are such. And I must plainly say it to yourself, that so much humanity, candour, condescension, and good-nature, joined with so great judgment, learning, and parts, I have not met with in any man living, as in the author of the “Essay concerning Human Understanding.” You so favourably entertain all men’s objections, you are so desirous to hear the sense of others, you are so tender in differing from any man, that you have captivated me beyond resistance. What you propose to add in those places, which I intimated to you, as seemingly repugnant to unwary readers, p. 270 and 314, 315, is abundantly sufficient; unless you may think it convenient (for the prevention of all manner of scruple, and to show your readers, that you are aware of the objection that may be raised against these passages) to Edition: current; Page: [309] add in the margin a little note to that purpose, specifying the seeming repugnancy that was in the first edition, and that, for the clearing thereof, you have thus farther illustrated it in this. But this, as every thing else, I propose with all submission to your better judgment. Mentioning the marginal note to you minds me to intimate, that I should think it convenient, in your next edition, to express the abstract or content of each section in the margin, and to spare (if you think fit) the table of contents at the latter end of the book, though I think both may do best. I can assure you, for my own reading, and consulting your book, I have put the table of contents to their respective sections throughout the whole.

I am fully convinced, by the arguments you give me, for not turning your book into the scholastic form of logic and metaphysics; and I had no other reason to advise the other, but merely to get it promoted the easier in our university; one of the businesses of which places is to learn according to the old forms. And this minds me to let you know the great joy and satisfaction of mind I conceived, on your promise of the method of learning; there could be nothing more acceptable to me, than the hopes thereof, and that on this account; I have but one child in the world, who is now nigh four years old, and promises well; his mother left him to me very young, and my affections (I must confess) are strongly placed on him: it has pleased God, by the liberal provisions of our ancestors, to free me from the toiling cares of providing a fortune for him; so that my whole study shall be to lay up a treasure of knowledge in his mind, for his happiness both in this life and the next. And I have been often thinking of some method for his instruction, that may best obtain the end I propose. And now, to my great joy, I hope to be abundantly supplied by your method. And my brother has sometimes told me, that, whilst he had the happiness of your acquaintance at Leyden, you were upon such a work, as this I desire; and that too, at the request of a tender father, for the use of his only son. Wherefore, good sir, let me most earnestly intreat Edition: current; Page: [310] you, by no means to lay aside this infinitely useful work, till you have finished it; for it will be of vast advantage to all mankind, as well as particularly to me, your intire friend. And, on this consideration of usefulness to mankind, I will presume again to remind you of your “discourse of morality;” and I shall think myself very happy, if, by putting you on the thought, I should be the least occasion of so great good to the world. What I have more to say, relating to your book, is of little or no moment: however, you so readily entertain all men’s thoughts of your works, that futile as mine are, you shall have a remark or two more from me.

But first to your query, whether I know any new heads from logic or metaphysics to be inserted in the second edition of your essay: I answer, I know none, unless you think it may not do well to insist more particularly, and at large, on “æternæ veritates, and the principium individuationis.” Concerning the first, you have some touches, p. 281, § 31, p. 323, § 14, p. 345, § 14, and concerning the latter, p. 28, § 4, p. 40, § 12.

Page 96, sect. 9, you assert, what I conceive is an errour in fact, viz. “that a man’s eye can distinguish a second of a circle, whereof its self is the centre.” Whereas it is certain, that few men’s eyes can distinguish less than 30 seconds, and most not under a minute, or 60 seconds, as is manifest from what Mr. Hook lays down in his animadversions, on the first part of Hevelii machina cœlestis, p. 8, 9, &c. but this, as I said before, is only an errour in fact, and affects not the doctrine laid down in the said section.

Page 341, sect. 2, you say, “the existence of all things without us (except only of God) is had by our senses.” And p. 147, sect. 33, 34, 35, 36, you show how the idea we have of God, is made up of the ideas we have gotten by our senses. Now this, though no repugnancy; yet, to unwary readers, may seem one, and therefore perhaps may deserve a fuller expression. To me it is plain, that in page 341, you speak barely of the existence of a God; and in p. 147, you speak of Edition: current; Page: [311] the ideas that are ingredient in the complex idea of God; that is, p. 147, you say, “that all the ideas ingredient in the idea of a God, are had from sense;” and p. 341, you only assert, “that the existence of this God, or that really there are united in one being all these ideas, is had, not from sense, but demonstration.” This to me seems your sense; yet perhaps every reader may not so readily conceive it; and, therefore, possibly you may think this passage, p. 341, worthy your farther consideration and addition.

I will conclude my tedious lines with a jocose problem, that, upon discourse with several, concerning your book and notions, I have proposed to divers very ingenious men, and could hardly ever meet with one, that, at first dash, would give me the answer to it which I think true, till by hearing my reasons they were convinced. It is this: “Suppose a man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a cube and a sphere (suppose) of ivory, nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell when he felt one and t’other, which is the cube, which the sphere. Suppose then the cube and sphere placed on a table, and the blind man to be made to see; query, ‘Whether by his sight, before he touched them, he could now distinguish and tell, which is the globe, which the cube?’ I answer, not: for though he has obtained the experience of how a globe, and how a cube affects his touch; yet he has not yet attained the experience, that what affects his touch so or so, must affect his sight so or so; or that a protuberant angle in the cube, that pressed his hand unequally, shall appear to his eye as it does in the cube.” But of this enough; perhaps you may find some place in your essay, wherein you may not think it amiss to say something of this problem.

I am extremely obliged to you for Mr. Boyle’s book of the air, which lately came to my hands. It is a vast design, and not to be finished but by the united labours of many heads, and indefatigably prosecuted for many years; so that I despair of seeing any thing complete therein. However, if many will lend the same helping Edition: current; Page: [312] hands that you have done, I should be in hopes: and certainly there is not a chapter in all natural philosophy of greater use to mankind than what is here proposed. I am,

Worthy Sir,
Your most humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
28 Mar. 1693
London
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

YOUR silence, that spared me a great deal of fear and uneasiness, by concealing from me your sickness, ’till it was well over, is abundantly made amends for, by the joy it brings me, in the news of your recovery. You have given me those marks of your kindness to me, that you will not think it strange, that I count you amongst my friends; and with those, desiring to live with the ease and freedom of a perfect confidence, I never accuse them to myself of neglect, or coldness, when I fail to hear from them, so soon as I expected or desired: though had I known you so well before as I do now, since your last letter, I should not have avoided being in pain upon account of your health.

I cannot at all doubt the sincerity of any thing you say to me; but yet give me leave to think, that it is an excess of kindness alone could excuse it from looking like compliment. But I am convinced you love your friends extremely, where you have made choice of them, and then believe you can never think nor speak too well of them. I know not whether it belongs to a man, who gets once in print, to read in his book, that it is perfect, and that the author is infallible. Had I had such an opinion of my own sufficiency before I writ, my essay would have brought me to another, and given me such a sight of the weakness of my understanding, Edition: current; Page: [313] that I could not fail to suspect myself of errour and mistake, in many things I had writ, and to desire all the light I could get from others to set me right. I have found you one of the likeliest to afford it me; your clearness and candour gave me the confidence to ask your judgment; and I take it for no small assurance of your friendship that you have given it me, and have condescended to advise me of the printer’s faults, which gives me hopes you have not concealed any you have observed in the work itself. The marginal summaries you desire, of the paragraphs, I shall take care to have added, were it only for your sake; but I think too it will make the book the more useful.

That request of yours, you press so earnestly upon me, makes me bemoan the distance you are from me, which deprives me of the assistance I might have from your opinion and judgment, before I ventured any thing into the public. It is so hard to find impartial freedom in one’s friends, or an unbiassed judgment any-where, that amongst all the helps of conversation and acquaintance, I know none more wanted, nor more useful, than speaking freely and candidly one’s opinion upon the thoughts and compositions of another intended for the press. Experience has taught me, that you are a friend of this rank, and therefore I cannot but heartily wish that a sea between us did not hinder me from the advantage of this good office. Had you been within reach, I should have begged your severe examination of what is now gone to the printer, at your instance; I had rather I could have said upon your perusal, and with your correction. I am not in my nature a lover of novelty, nor contradiction; but my notions in this treatise have run me so far out of the common road and practice, that I could have been glad to have had them allowed by so sober a judgment as yours, or stopped, if they had appeared impracticable or extravagant, from going any farther. That which your brother tells you, on this occasion, is not wholly besides the matter. The main of what I now publish, is but what was contained in several letters to a friend of mine, the greatest part whereof were writ out of Holland. How your brother Edition: current; Page: [314] came to know of it, I have clearly forgot, and do not remember that ever I communicated it to any body there. These letters, or at least some of them, have been seen by some of my acquaintance here, who would needs persuade me it would be of use to publish them; your impatience to see them has not, I assure you, slackened my hand, or kept me in suspense: and I wish now they were out, that you might the sooner see them, and I the sooner have your opinion of them. I know not yet whether I shall set my name to this discourse, and therefore shall desire you to conceal it. You see I make you my confessor, for you have made yourself my friend.

The faults of the press are, I find, upon a sedate reading over my book, infinitely more than I could have thought; those that you have observed, I have corrected, and return you my thanks; and, as far as I have gone in my review, have added and altered several things; but am not yet got so far as those places you mark for the “æternæ veritates, and principium individuationis,” which I shall consider, when I come to them, and endeavour to satisfy your desire. “Malebranche’s hypothesis of seeing all things in God,” being that from whence I find some men would derive our ideas, I have some thoughts of adding a new chapter, wherein I will examine it, having, as I think, something to say against it, that will show the weakness of it very clearly. But I have so little love to controversy, that I am not fully resolved. Some other additions I have made, I hope, will not displease you, but I wish I could show them you, before they are in print; for I would not make my book bigger, unless it were to make it better.

I thank you for advising me of the errour about sight, for indeed it was a great one in matter of fact, but it was in the expression; for I meant a minute, but by mistake called 1/60 of a degree a second. Your ingenious problem will deserve to be published to the world.

The seeming contradiction between what is said page 147, and p. 341, is just as you take it, and I hope so clearly expressed, that it cannot be mistaken, but by a Edition: current; Page: [315] very unwary reader, who cannot distinguish between an idea in the mind, and the real existence of something out of the mind answering that idea. But I heartily thank you for your caution, and shall take care how to prevent any such mistake, when I come to that place. My humble service to your brother. I am,

SIR,
Your most humble servant,
John Locke.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
April 18, 1693
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

I HAVE lately received farther testimonies of your kindness and friendship to me, in your last of March 28; which brings withal the welcome news of your having committed your work of education to the press; than which, I know not any thing, that I ever expected with a more earnest desire. What my brother told me, relating to that treatise, he had from yourself in Holland; but perhaps you might have forgot what passed between you on that occasion. I perceive you fear the novelty of some notions therein may seem extravagant; but, if I may venture to judge of the author, I fear no such thing from him. I doubt not but the work will be new and peculiar, as his other performances; and this it is that renders them estimable and pleasant. He that travels the beaten roads may chance, indeed, to have company; but he that takes his liberty, and manages it with judgment, is the man that makes useful discoveries, and most beneficial to those that follow him. Had Columbus never ventured farther than his predecessors, we had yet been ignorant of a vast part of our earth, preferable (as some say) to all the other three. And, if none may be allowed to try the ocean of philosophy farther than our ancestors, we shall have but Edition: current; Page: [316] little advancements, or discoveries, made in the “mundus intellectualis;” wherein, I believe, there is much more unknown, than what we have yet found out.

I should very much approve of your adding a chapter in your essay, concerning Malebranche’s hypothesis. As there are enthusiasms in divinity, so there are in philosophy; and as one proceeds from not consulting or misapprehending the book of God; so the other from not reading and considering the book of nature. I look upon Malebranche’s notions, or rather Plato’s, in this particular, as perfectly unintelligible. And if you will engage in a philosophic controversy, you cannot do it with more advantage, than in this matter. What you lay down, concerning our ideas and knowledge, is founded and confirmed by experiment and observation, that any man may make in himself, or the children he converses with, wherein he may note the gradual steps that we may make in knowledge. But Plato’s fancy has no foundation in nature, but is merely the product of his own brain.

I know it is none of your business to engage in controversy, or remove objections, save only such as seem immediately to strike at your own positions; and therefore I cannot insist upon what I am now going to mention to you. However, I will give you the hint, and leave the consideration thereof to your own breast. The 10th chapter of your ivth book, is a most exact demonstration of the existence of God. But perhaps it might be more full, by an addition against the eternity of the world, and that all things have not been going on in the same manner, as we now see them, “ab æterno.” I have known a pack of philosophical atheists, that rely much on this hypothesis; and even Hobbes himself does somewhere allege (if I am not forgetful, it is his book “De corpore,” in the chapter “de universo”) “that the same arguments, which are brought against the eternity of the world, may serve as well against the eternity of the Creator of the world.” I am,

Honoured Sir,
Your most affectionate, devoted servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Edition: current; Page: [317]
John Locke
Locke, John
15 July, 1693
London
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

I HAD not been so long, before I had acknowledged the favour of your last, had not I a design to give you at large, an account of some alterations I intended to make, in the chapter of power, wherein I should have been very glad you had showed me any mistake. I myself, not being very well satisfied, by the conclusion I was led to, that my reasonings were perfectly right, reviewed that chapter again with great care, and by observing only the mistake of one word (viz. having put “things” for “actions,” which was very easy to be done in the place where it is, viz. p. 123, as I remember, for I have not my book by me, here in town) I got into a new view of things, which, if I mistake not, will satisfy you, and give a clearer account of human freedom than hitherto I have done, as you will perceive by the summaries of the following sections of that chapter.

  • § 28. Volition is the ordering of some action by thought.
  • § 29. Uneasiness determines the will.
  • § 30. Will must be distinguished from desire.
  • § 31. The greater good in view, barely considered, determines not the will. The joys of heaven are often neglected.
  • § 32. Desire determines the will.
  • § 33. Desire is an uneasiness.
  • § 34. The greatest present uneasiness usually determines the will, as is evident in experience. The reasons.
  • § 35. Because uneasiness being a part of unhappiness, which is first to be removed in our way to happiness.
  • § 36. Because uneasiness alone is present.
  • § 37. The uneasiness of other passions have their share with desire.
  • § 38. Happiness alone moves the desire. Edition: current; Page: [318]
  • § 39. All absent good not desired, because not necessary to our happiness.
  • § 40. The greatest uneasiness does not always determine the will, because we can suspend the execution of our desires.

This short scheme may perhaps give you so much light into my present hypothesis, that you will be able to judge of the truth of it, which I beg you to examine by your own mind. I wish you were so near, that I could communicate it to you at large, before it goes to the press. But it is so much too long for a letter, and the press will be so ready to stay for it, before it is finished, that I fear I should not be able to have the advantage of your thoughts, upon the whole thread of my deduction. For I had much rather have your corrections, whilst they might contribute to make it receive your approbation, than flatter myself before-hand that you will be pleased with it.

I hope, ere this, you have received from Mr. —— that which I promised you, the beginning of the spring. I must desire your opinion of it without reserve, for I should not have ventured, upon any other condition, to have owned and presented to you such a trifle. I am,

SIR,
Your most humble servant,
John Locke.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
August 12, 1693
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

YOURS of July 15, came to my hands about a fortnight since; and I had, ere this, acknowledged the favour thereof, but that I waited the arrival of your much desired piece, of education, which came not to me ’till about three days ago. I immediately set myself to read it as all things from its author, with the utmost Edition: current; Page: [319] attention; and I find it answerable to the highest expectations I had of it. And since, with your usual modesty, you are pleased to require my thoughts more particularly concerning it, I shall with all freedom, but at the same time with all deference, propose them to you, not doubting of your favourable interpretation and pardon, where you see it needful. And first, in general, I think you propose nothing in your whole book, but what is very reasonable, and very practicable, except only in one particular, which seems to bear hard on the tender spirits of children, and the natural affections of parents: it is page 117, 118, where you advise, “that a child should never be suffered to have what he craves, or so much as speaks for, much less if he cries for it.” I acknowledge what you say in explaining this rule, sect. 101, in relation to natural wants, especially that of hunger, may be well enough allowed: but in sect. 102, where you come to apply it to “wants of fancy and affectation,” you seem too strict and severe. You say indeed, “this will teach them to stifle their desires, and to practise modesty and temperance;” but for teaching these virtues I conceive we shall have occasions enough, in relation to their hurtful desires, without abridging them so wholly, in matters indifferent and innocent, that tend only to divert and please their busy spirits. You allow indeed, “that it would be inhumanity to deny them those things one perceives would delight them;” if so, I see no reason why, in a modest way, and with submission to the wills of their superiours, they may not be allowed to declare what will delight them. No, say you; “but in all wants of fancy and affectation they should never, if once declared, be hearkened to, or complied with.” This I can never agree to, it being to deny that liberty between a child and its parents, as we desire, and have granted us, between man and his Creator. And as, in this case, man is allowed to declare his wants, and with submission to recommend his requests to God; so I think children may be allowed by their parents, or governors. And as between the creature and Creator all manner of repining upon denial, Edition: current; Page: [320] or disappointment, is forbidden; so, in the case of children, all frowardness or discontent, upon a refusal, is severely to be reprimanded. But thus far I agree with you, in the whole, that whether it be in wants natural, or fanciful, that they express their desires in a forward, humoursome manner, there they should be surely denied them. A farther reason for my allowing children the liberty of expressing their innocent desires, is, that the contrary is impracticable; and you must have the children almost moped for want of diversion and recreation; or else you must have those about them study nothing all day, but how to find employment for them; and how this would rack the invention of any man alive, I leave you to judge. And besides, were it an easy task for any adult person to study the fancy, the unaccountable fancy, and diversion of children, the whole year round; yet it would not prove delightful to a child, being not his own choice. But this, you will say, is what you would have imprinted on them, that they are not to choose for themselves; but why not, in harmless things, and plays or sports, I see no reason. In all things of moment let them live by the conduct of others wiser than themselves.

This, sir, is all that in your whole book I stick at; to all the rest I could subscribe. And I am not a little pleased, when I consider that my own management of my only little one has hitherto been agreeable, in the main, to your rules, save only in what relates to his hardy breeding, which I was cautious in, because he is come from a tender and sickly mother; but the child himself is hitherto (God be thanked) very healthful, though not very strong.

The rules you give for the correcting of children, and implanting in their minds an early sense of praise or dispraise, of repute and dishonour, are certainly very just.

The contrivances you propose for teaching them to read and write, are very ingenious. And because I have practised one much of the same nature, I will venture to describe it: “It is by writing syllables and words in print-hand, on the face of a pack of cards, Edition: current; Page: [321] with figures or cyphers adjoined to each word; by which I can form twenty several sorts of games, that shall teach children both to read and count at the same time; and this with great variety.” One thing more I shall venture to add to what you direct concerning writing; that is, I will have my son taught shorthand; I do not mean to that perfection as to copy a speech from the mouth of a ready speaker, but to be able to write it readily, for his own private business. Believe me, sir, it is as useful a knack as a man of business, or any scholar, can be master of, and I have found the want of it myself, and seen the advantage of it in others, frequently.

You are certainly in the right of it, relating to the manner of acquiring languages, French, Latin, &c. and in what you lay down concerning grammar-schools, themes, verses, and other learning. But above all, what you direct, in every particular, for the forming of children’s minds, and giving them an early turn to morality, virtue, religion, &c. is most excellent.

And I can only say in general, that I can give no better proof of my liking your book in all these precepts, than by a strict observance of them, in the education of my own son; which I shall pursue (God willing) as exactly as I can. One thing I fear I shall be at a loss in, that is, a tutor agreeable to the character you prescribe. But in this neither shall my endeavours be wanting, though I leave him the worse estate, to leave him the better mind.

I could heartily have wished you had been more particular in naming the authors you would advise gentlemen to read, and be conversant in, in the several parts of learning you recommend to their study. Had you done this, I know no logic, that deserves to be named, but the Essay of Human Understanding. So that I fear you would rather have left that head open, that recommended your own work.

The last thing I shall take notice of, is what mightily pleases me, it being the very thought of my own mind, these many years; which is, “your recommending a manual trade to all gentlemen.” This I have ever Edition: current; Page: [322] been for, and have wondered how it comes to pass, that it is so generally neglected; but the lazy, effeminate luxuriousness that over-runs the nation, occasions the neglect thereof. Painting I have ever designed for my son; but you have raised two objections against it, that are not easily answered, especially its taking up so much time to attain a mastery in it.

I have now given you my opinion of your book, and now I am obliged to thank you for sending me a present, which I so highly value.

As to that part of your letter, relating to the alterations you have made, in your Essay, concerning man’s liberty, I dare not venture, upon those short hints you give me, to pass my opinion. But now, that you have discovered it to me, I plainly perceive the mistake of sect. 28. p. 123, where you put “thing” for “action.” And I doubt not, but in your next edition, you will fully rectify this matter. And I would advise you to hasten that edition with what speed you can, lest foreigners undertake a translation of your first, without your second thoughts. Thus they have served me, by translating into Latin, and printing my Dioptrics in Holland, when I have now by me a translation of my own of that work, with many amendments and large additions.

Pray, sir, let me beg the favour of your correspondence as frequently as you can; for nothing is more acceptable to

Your most obliged humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
Aug. 23, 1693
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

YOURS of August 12, which I received last night, eased me of a great deal of pain, your silence had for some time put me in; for you must allow me to be Edition: current; Page: [323] concerned for your health, as for a friend that I could not think in danger, or a disease, without a concern and trouble suitable to that great esteem and love I have for you. But you have made me amends plentifully, by the length and kindness, and let me add too, the freedom of your letter. For the approbation you so largely give to my book, is the more welcome to me, and gives me the better opinion of my method, because it has joined with it your exception to one rule of it; which I am apt to think you yourself, upon second thoughts, will have removed before I say any thing to your objections. It confirms to me that you are the good-natured man I took you for: and I do not at all wonder that the affection of a kind father should startle at it at first reading, and think it very severe that children should not be suffered to express their desires; for so you seem to understand me. And such a restraint, you fear, “would be apt to mope them, and hinder “their diversion.” But if you please to look upon the place, and observe my drift, you will find that they should not be indulged, or complied with, in any thing, their conceits have made a want to them, as necessary to be supplied. What you say, “that children would be moped for want of diversion and recreation, or else we must have those about them study nothing all day, but how to find employment for them; and how this would rack the invention of any man living, you leave me to judge;” seems to intimate, as if you understood that children should do nothing but by the prescription of their parents or tutors, chalking out each action of the whole day in train to them. I hope my words express no such thing; for it is quite contrary to my sense, and I think would be useless tyranny in their governors, and certain ruin to the children. I am so much for recreation, that I would, as much as possible, have all they do be made so. I think recreation as necessary to them as their food, and that nothing can be recreation which does not delight. This, I think, I have so expressed; and when you have put that together, judge whether I would not have them have the greatest part of their time left to them, without Edition: current; Page: [324] restraint, to divert themselves any way they think best, so it be free from vicious actions, or such as may introduce vicious habits. And therefore, if they should ask to play, it could be no more interpreted a want of fancy, than if they asked for victuals when hungry; though, where the matter is well ordered, they will never need to do that. For when they have either done what their governor thinks enough, in any application to what is usually made their business, or are perceived to be tired with it, they should of course be dismissed to their innocent diversions, without ever being put to ask for it. So that I am for the full liberty of diversion as much as you can be; and, upon a second perusal of my book, I do not doubt but you will find me so. But being allowed that, as one of their natural wants, they should not yet be permitted to let loose their desires, in importunities for what they fancy. Children are very apt to covet what they see those above them in age have or do, to have or do the like; especially if it be their elder brothers and sisters. Does one go abroad? The other straight has a mind to it too. Has such an one new, or fine clothes, or playthings? They, if you once allow it them, will be impatient for the like; and think themselves ill dealt with, if they have it not. This being indulged when they are little, grows up with their age, and with that enlarges itself to things of greater consequence, and has ruined more families than one in the world. This should be suppressed in its very first rise, and the desires you would not have encouraged, you should not permit to be spoken, which is the best way for them to silence them to themselves. Children should, by constant use, learn to be very modest in owning their desires; and careful not to ask any thing of their parents, but what they have reason to think their parents will approve of. And a reprimand upon their ill-bearing a refusal comes too late, the fault is committed and allowed, and if you allow them to ask, you can scarce think it strange they should be troubled to be denied; so that you suffer them to engage themselves in the disorder, and then think the fittest time for a cure, and I Edition: current; Page: [325] think the surest and easiest way is prevention. For we must take the same nature to be in children that is in grown men; and how often do we find men take ill to be denied what they would not have been concerned for, if they had not asked? But I shall not enlarge any farther in this, believing you and I shall agree in the matter; and indeed it is very hard, and almost impossible to give general rules of education, when there is scarce any one child which, in some cases, should not be treated differently from another. All that we can do, in general, is only to show what parents and tutors should aim at, and leave to them the ordering of particular circumstances as the case shall require.

One thing give me leave to be importunate with you about: you say, your son is not very strong; to make him strong, you must use him hardly, as I have directed; but you must be sure to do it by very insensible degrees, and begin an hardship you would bring him to only in the spring. This is all the caution needs be used. I have an example of it in the house I live in, where the only son of a very tender mother was almost destroyed by a too tender keeping. He is now, by a contrary usage, come to bear wind and weather, and wet in his feet; and the cough which threatened him, under that warm and cautious management, has left him, and is now no longer his parents constant apprehension, as it was.

I am of your mind, as to short-hand. I myself learned it, since I was a man; but had forgot to put it in when I writ, as I have, I doubt not, overseen a thousand other things, which might have been said on this subject. But it was only, at first, a short scheme for a friend, and is published to excite others to treat it more fully.

I know not whether it would be useful to make a catalogue of authors to be read by a young man, or whether it could be done, unless one knew the child’s temper, and what he was designed to.

My essay is now very near ready for another edition; and upon review of my alterations, concerning what Edition: current; Page: [326] determines the will, in my cool thoughts, I am apt to think them to be right, as far as my thoughts can reach in so nice a point, and in short is this. Liberty is a power to act, or not to act, accordingly as the mind directs. A power to direct the operative faculties to motion or rest in particular instances, is that which we call the will. That which in the train of our voluntary actions determines the will to any change of operation, is some present uneasiness, which is, or at least is always accompanied with that of desire. Desire is always moved by evil to fly it; because a total freedom from pain always makes a necessary part of our happiness. But every good, nay every greater good, does not constantly move desire, because it may not make, or may not be taken to make, any necessary part of our happiness; for all that we desire is only to be happy. But though this general desire of happiness operates constantly and invariably in us; yet the satisfaction of any particular desire, can be suspended from determining the will to any subservient action, till we have maturely examined, whether the particular apparent good we then desire, make a part of our real happiness, or be consistent, or inconsistent with it. The result of our judgment, upon examination, is what ultimately determines the man, who could not be free, if his will were determined by any thing but his own desire, guided by his own judgment. This, in short, is what I think of this matter; I desire you to examine it by your own thoughts. I think I have so well made out the several particulars, where I treat them at large, that they have convinced some I have shown them to here, who were of another mind: and therefore how much soever contrary to the received opinion, I think I may publish them; but I would first have your judicious and free thoughts, which I much rely on; for you love truth for itself, and me so well, as to tell it me without disguise.

You will herewith receive a new chapter “Of identity and diversity,” which having writ only at your instance it is fit you should see and judge of, before it goes to the press. Pray send me your opinion of every Edition: current; Page: [327] part of it. You need not send back the papers, but your remarks on the paragraphs you shall think fit: for I have a copy here.

You desired me too to enlarge more particularly about eternal verities, which to obey you, I set about; but, upon examination, find all general truths are eternal verities, and so there is no entering into particulars; though, by mistake, some men have selected some, as if they alone were eternal verities. I never, but with regret, reflect on the distance you are from me, and am,

SIR,
Your most humble servant,
John Locke.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Sept. 16, 1693
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Honoured Sir,

I HAVE yours from Oates of Aug. 23, with your chapter “of identity and diversity;” and I acknowledge myself extremely obliged to you, for being at all that thought, on my account. However, I repent not of the trouble I gave you therein, seeing the effects thereof, such clear reasoning, and profound judgment, that convinces and delights at once. And I protest, sir, it is to me the hardest task in the world, to add any thing to, or make any remarks upon, what you deliver therein; every thing you write therein is delivered with such convincing reason, that I fully assent to all. And to make remarks where I have no room to say any thing, would please neither you nor myself. And to show you that I would not wholly rely on my own examination of your chapter, I imparted it to others, desiring their censure of it; but still with the same event, all acknowledged the clearness of the reasoning, and that nothing more was left to be said on the subject.

Edition: current; Page: [328]

The answer you make to what I writ on your Thoughts of Education, does fully satisfy me. But I assure you, sir, I was not the only person shocked at that passage. I find several stumble at it, as taking little play-things, that children are very apt to desire and ask for, to be matters of fancy and affectation within your rule. But seeing in your last letter, you confine desires of affectation and fancy to other matters, I am satisfied in this business.

I can say no more to the scheme you lay down of man’s liberty, but that I believe it very just, and will answer in all things. I long to see the second edition of your essay; and then, if any thing offer, I will give my thoughts more fully.

I am very sensible how closely you are engaged, till you have discharged this work off your hands; and therefore I will not venture, till it be over, to press you again to what you have promised in the business of man’s life, morality. But you must expect that I shall never be forgetful of that, from which I propose so great good to the world, and so much satisfaction to

Your most entirely affectionate humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Dec. 23, 1693
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

I HAVE now read over your Essay of human Understanding a third time, and always make new discoveries therein of something profound. I should set upon it again, but that I will wait for your next edition, which I hope, by this time, is almost finished. The usual satisfaction I take in reading all things that come from you, made me lately again run over your Edition: current; Page: [329] chapter “of idendity and diversity;” concerning the justness whereof, I have yet the same opinion as formerly. But one thought suggested itself to me, which on my first reading did not occur. It relates to sect. 22, wherein the reason you give, why the law may justly punish a sober man, for what he did when drunk, or a waking man, for what he did when walking in his sleep, though it be true and full in the case of the night-walker: yet I conceive it not so full in the case of the drunken man. For drunkenness is itself a crime, and therefore no one shall allege it an excuse of another crime. And in the law we find, “that killing a man by chance-medley is not capital;” yet if I am doing an unlawful act, as shooting at a deer in a park, to steal it, and by chance-medley I kill a man unawares, this is capital: because the act wherein I was engaged, and which was the occasion of this mischief, was in itself unlawful, and I cannot plead it in excuse. In the case of the night-walker, your answer is true, full, and satisfactory; but that in the drunkard’s case is somewhat short. The night-walking is a sort of distemper, not to be helped, or prevented, by the patient. But drunkenness is a deliberate act, which a man may easily avoid and prevent. Moreover, whatever the law appoints in this case, I think, were I on the jury of one, who walking in his sleep had killed another, I should not violate a good conscience if I acquitted him; for he is certainly during those fits, “non compos mentis;” and it were easy to distinguish, by circumstances, how far he counterfeited or not.

You will very much oblige me, by a line or two, to let me know how forward your work is, and what other things you have on the anvil before you: amongst which, I hope, you will not forget your “Thoughts on Morality.” For I am obliged to prosecute this request to you, being the first, I presume, that moved you in it.

There is a gentleman in this town, one capt. Henry Monk, a nigh relation of the Albemarles, who tells me he has been known to you long ago: and on all occasions mentions you with the highest respects. He Edition: current; Page: [330] desired me, the other day, to give you his most humble service. I am,

Dear Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
19 Jan.—93-4
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Honoured Sir,

I CAN take it for no other, than a great mark of your kindness to me, that you spend so much of your time, in the perusal of my thoughts, when you have so much better of your own to improve it. To which you add this farther obligation, that you read my book for my instruction, still taking notice to me of what you judge amiss in it. This is a good office that so few in the world perform in the way that you do, that it deserves my particular acknowledgment. And I own myself no less beholden to you, when I differ from you, than when, convinced by your better judgment, you give me opportunity to mend what before was amiss: your intention being that, to which I equally, in both cases, owe my gratitude.

You doubt, whether my answer be full in the case of the drunkard. To try whether it be or no, we must consider what I am there doing. As I remember (for I have not that chapter here by me) I am there showing that punishment is annexed to personality, and personality to consciousness: how then can a drunkard be punished for what he did, whereof he is not conscious? To this I answer, human judicatures justly punish him, because the fact is proved against him; but want of consciousness cannot be proved for him. This you think not sufficient, but would have me add the common reason, that drunkenness being a crime, one crime cannot be alleged in excuse for another. This reason, Edition: current; Page: [331] how good soever, cannot, I think, be used by me, as not reaching my case; for what has this to do with consciousness? Nay, it is an argument against me, for if a man may be punished for any crime which he committed when drunk, whereof he is allowed not to be conscious, it overturns my hypothesis. Your case of shooting a man by chance, when stealing a deer, being made capital, and the like, I allow to be just; but then, pray consider, it concerns not my argument; there being no doubt of consciousness in that case, but only shows, that any criminal action infects the consequences of it. But drunkenness has something peculiar in it, when it destroys consciousness; and so the instances you bring, justify not the punishing of a drunken fact, that was totally and irrecoverably forgotten; which the reason that I give being sufficient to do, it well enough removed the objection, without entering into the true foundation of the thing, and showing how far it was reasonable for human justice to punish a crime of a drunkard, which he could be supposed not conscious of, which would have uselessly engaged me in a very large discourse, and an impertinent digression. For I ask you, if a man, by intemperate drinking, should get a fever, and in the frenzy of his disease (which lasted not, perhaps, above an hour) committed some crime, would you punish him for it? If you would not think this just, how can you think it just to punish him for any fact committed in a drunken frenzy, without a fever? Both had the same criminal cause, drunkenness, and both committed without consciousness. I shall not enlarge any farther into other particular instances, that might raise difficulties about the punishing, or not punishing, the crime of an unconscious, drunken man; which would not easily be resolved, without inquiring into the reason upon which human justice ought to proceed in such cases, which was beyond my present business to do. Thus, sir, I have laid before you the reasons, why I have let that passage go, without any addition made to it. I desire you to lay by your friendship to me, and only to make use of your judgment in considering Edition: current; Page: [332] them. And if you are still of opinion, that I need give the reason too, that one crime cannot be alleged in excuse of another, I beg the favour of you to let me know it as soon as you can, that I may add what is necessary in this place, amongst the errata, before my book comes out, which advances now apace, and I believe there are by this time near 150 pages of it printed. And now, sir, though I have not agreed with your opinion in this point; yet I beseech you, believe I am as much obliged to your kindness in it as if you had shown me what, upon your reason, had appeared to me the grossest mistake; and I beg the favour of you, whenever you cast your eye upon any of my writings, to continue and communicate to me your remarks.

You write to me, as if ink had the same spell upon me, that mortar, as the Italians say, has upon others, that when I had once got my fingers into it, I could never afterwards keep them out. I grant, that methinks I see subjects enough, which way ever I cast my eyes, that deserve to be otherwise handled, than I imagine they have been; but they require abler heads, and stronger bodies than I have, to manage them. Besides, when I reflect on what I have done, I wonder at my own bold folly, that has so far exposed me, in this nice and critical, as well as quick-sighted and learned age. I say not this to excuse a lazy idleness, to which I intend to give up the rest of my few days. I think every one, according to what way Providence has placed him in, is bound to labour for the public good, as far as he is able, or else he has no right to eat. Under this obligation of doing something, I cannot have a stronger to determine me what I shall do, than what your desires shall engage me in. I know not whether the attempt will exceed my strength. But there being several here, who join with you to press me to it; (I received a letter with the same instance, from two of my friends at London, the last post;) I think, the first leisure I can get to myself, I shall apply my thoughts to it; and however I may miss my aim, will justify myself in my Edition: current; Page: [333] obedience to you, and some others of my ingenious friends.

I am exceedingly obliged to capt. Monk, for his kind remembrance, and to you for sending it me, and letting me know he is alive. I have, as I ought, all the esteem for him, that you know so modest and good a man deserves. Pray, when you see him, present my humble service to him, and let him know that I am extremely glad to hear that he is well, and that he has not forgot me, and should be much more so, to see him here again in England. Pray, give my humble service to your brother. I am,

Dear Sir,
Your most humble, and most faithful servant,
John Locke.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Feb. 17, 1693-4
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Honoured Sir,

I AM so very sensible of the great caution, and deep consideration you use, before you write any thing, that I wonder at my own hardiness, when I venture to object any thing against your positions. And when I read your answers to any such of my objections, I much more admire at my own weakness in making them. I have a new instance of this in your last of January 18th, which came not to this place before yesterday. This has most abundantly satisfied me, in the doubt I lay under, concerning the case of a drunken man; which you have cleared up to me, in three words, most convincingly. So that I think you have no reason in the least to alter that paragraph, unless you may think it convenient to express that matter a little plainer. Which, I think, indeed, your last letter to me does Edition: current; Page: [334] better than your twenty-second section of that chapter. That section runs thus:

22. “But is not a man, drunk and sober, the same person? Why else is he punished for the fact he commits, when drunk, though he be never afterwards conscious of it? Just as much the same person as a man that walks and does other things in his sleep, is the same person, and is answerable for any mischief he shall do in it. Human laws punish both with a justice suitable to their way of knowledge; because, in these cases, they cannot distinguish certainly what is real, what counterfeit. And so the ignorance in drunkenness, or sleep, is not admitted as a plea,” &c.

Now I conceive that which makes the expression herein not so very clear, is, “suitable to their way of knowledge;” some will be apt to mistake the word, their, to refer to the drunken, or sleeping man, whereas it refers to the laws, as if you had said, “suitable to that way of knowledge, or information, which the laws have established to proceed by.”

This, in your letter, is very manifest in a few words. There you say, “punishment is annexed to personality, personality to consciousness. How then can a drunkard be punished for what he did, whereof he is not conscious? To this I answer, human judicatures justly punish him, because the fact is proved against him, but want of consciousness cannot be proved for him.” This, sir, is most full in the case you are there treating of. So I have nothing more to offer in that matter.

Only give me leave to propose one question more to you, though it be foreign to the business you are upon, in your chapter of identity. How comes it to pass, that want of consciousness cannot be proved for a drunkard as well as for a frantic? One, methinks, is as manifest as the other: and if drunkenness may be counterfeit, so may a frenzy. Wherefore to me it seems, that the law has made a difference in these two cases, on this account, viz. “that drunkenness is commonly incurred voluntarily and premeditately; whereas a frenzy is Edition: current; Page: [335] commonly without our consent, or impossible to be prevented.” But enough of this.

I should not have troubled you with this, but that, according to your usual candour and goodness, you seemed to desire my farther thoughts thereon, as speedily as I could. I am,

Most worthy Sir,
Your most obliged humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
May 26, 1694
London
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

THE slowness of the press has so long retarded my answer to your last obliging letter, that my book, which is now printed and bound, and ready to be sent to you, must be an excuse for my long silence. By the obedience I have paid to you in the index and summaries, ordered according to your desires, you will see it is not want of deference to you, or esteem of you, that has caused this neglect. And the profit I have made by your reflections, on several passages of my book, will, I hope, encourage you to the continuance of that freedom, to a man who can distinguish between the censures of a judicious friend, and the wrangling of a peevish critic. There is nothing more acceptable to me than the one, nor more, I think, to be slighted than the other. If therefore, as you seem to resolve, you shall throw away any more of your time in a perusal of my essay; judge, I beseech you, as severely as you can, of what you read. I know you will not forsake truth to quarrel with me; and whilst you follow her, you will always oblige me by showing me my mistakes, or what seems to you to be so. You will find in this second edition, that your advice, at any time, has not been thrown away upon me. And you will see by the errata, that, though Edition: current; Page: [336] your last came a little too late, yet that could not hinder me from following what you so kindly, and with so much reason, suggested.

I agree with you, that, drunkenness being a voluntary defect, want of consciousness ought not to be presumed in favour of the drunkard. But frenzy being involuntary, and a misfortune, not a fault, has a right to that excuse, which certainly is a just one, where it is truly a frenzy. And all that lies upon human justice is to distinguish carefully between what is real, and what counterfeit in the case.

My book, which I desire you to accept from me, is put into Mr. Churchill the bookseller’s hand, who has told me he will send it in a bale of books, the next week, to Mr. Dobson, a bookseller in Castle-street, Dublin; and I have ordered him to send with it a copy of the additions and alterations which are printed by themselves, and will help to make your former book useful to any young man, as you will see (is designed) by the conclusion of the epistle to the reader. I am,

SIR,
Your most affectionate, and most humble servant,
John Locke.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
June 2, 1694
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

I AM highly obliged to you for the favour of your last, of May 26, which I received yesterday. It brought me the welcome news of the second edition of your essay being published; and that you have favoured me with a copy, which I shall expect with some impatience; and when I have perused it, I shall, with all freedom, give you my thoughts of it.

Edition: current; Page: [337]

And now that you have cleared your hands of your second edition, I hope you may have leisure to turn your thoughts to the subject I have so often proposed to you: but this, you will say, is a cruelty in me, that no sooner you are rid of one trouble, but I set you on another. Truly, sir, were I sensible it could be a trouble to you, I should hardly presume so far on your goodness; but I know those things are so easy and natural to your mind, that they give you no pain in the production. And I know also, such is your universal love of mankind, that you count nothing troublesome that tends to their good, in a matter of so great concernment as morality.

I have formerly told you what care I proposed to take in the education of my only child. I must now beg your pardon, if I trouble you in a matter wherein I shall be at a loss without your assistance. He is now five years old, of a most towardly and promising disposition; bred exactly, as far as his age permits, to the rules you prescribe, I mean as to forming his mind, and mastering his passions. He reads very well, and I think it time now to put him forward to some other learning. In order to this, I shall want a tutor for him, and indeed this place can hardly afford me one to my mind. If, therefore, you know any ingenious man that may be proper for my purpose, you would highly oblige me, by procuring him for me. I confess the encouragement I can propose to such an one is but moderate, yet, perhaps, there may be some found that may not despise it. He should eat at my own table, and have his lodging, washing, firing, and candlelight, in my house, in a good handsome apartment; and besides this, I should allow him 20l. per annum. His work for this should be only to instruct three or four boys in Latin, and such other learning as you recommend in your book; I say three or four boys, because, perhaps, I may have a relation’s child or two; one, who is my sister’s son, I have always, and do intend to keep, as a companion to my own son; and of more I am uncertain. But if there be one or two, that will be no great addition to his trouble, considering that perhaps their Edition: current; Page: [338] parents may recompense that by their gratuities. I mention to you, of the languages, only Latin, but, if I could obtain it, I should be glad he were also master of the French. As to his other qualifications, I shall only say, in general, I could wish them such as you would desire in a tutor to instruct a young gentleman, as you propose in your book. I would have him indeed a good man, and a good scholar; and I propose very much satisfaction to myself, in the conversation of such an one. And because a man may be cautious of leaving his native soil, and coming into a strange country, without some certainty of being acceptable to those that send for him, and of some continuance and settlement, I can say that I design him to stay with my son to his state of manhood; whether he go into the university, or travel, or whatever other state of life he may take to. And if perhaps on trial for some time, he or I may not like each other, I do promise to bear his charges both to and from me, so that he shall be no loser by his journey.

I beg your answer to this at your leisure; and if any such present, be pleased to let me know of him what particulars you can, as his parentage, education, qualifications, disposition, &c. with what other particulars you please to mention; and accordingly I shall write to you farther about it.

In the mean time, I beseech you to pardon this trouble given you by,

Honoured Sir,
Your most affectionate, and most obliged
humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Edition: current; Page: [339]
John Locke
Locke, John
June 28, 1694
London
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

SINCE the receipt of yours of the second instant, I have made what inquiry I can for a tutor for your son; the most likely, and the best recommended that I have met with, you will have an account of from himself in the inclosed, to which I need add little but these two things; 1st, that Mr. Fletcher, who is a good judge, and a person whose word I can rely on, gave me a very good character of him, both as to his manners and abilities, and said he would be answerable for him: the other is, that, however it comes to pass, the Scotch have now here a far greater reputation for this sort of employment than our own countrymen. I am sorry it is so, but I have of late found it in several instances.

I hope, by this time, the second edition of my book, which I ordered for you, and a printed copy of the additions, are come to your hands. I wish it were more answerable to the value you place in it, and better worth your acceptation. But, as I order the matter, methinks I make it a hard bargain to you, to pay so much time and pains as must go to the reading it over, though it were more slightly than we seem agreed, when you promise, and I expect, your observations on it. There appears to me so little material, in the objections that I have seen in print against me, that I have passed them all by but one gentleman’s, whose book not coming to my hand till those parts of mine were printed that he questions, I was fain to put my answer in the latter end of the epistle.

I wish the endeavours I have used to procure you a tutor for your son may be as successful as I desire. It is a business of great concernment to both you and your son; but governors, that have right thoughts concerning education, are hard to be found. It is happy for your son that a good part of it is to be under your eye. I shall be very glad, if on this, or any other occasion, Edition: current; Page: [340] I may be able to do you any service; for with great sincerity and respect, I am,

SIR,
Your most humble servant,
John Locke.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
July 28, 1694
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

My most honoured Friend,

FOR so you have publicly allowed me to call* you; and it is a title wherein I boast more than in maces or parliament-robes. By this you may find I have received the second edition of your essay, which I prize as an inestimable treasure of knowledge. It is but a week since it came to me; and I have yet only looked over those parts which are newly added, particularly that of liberty, the alterations wherein I take to be most judiciously made; and now I think that whole chapter stands so well put together, and the argumentation so legitimate, that nothing can shake it. I was mightily pleased to find therein a rational account of what I have often wondered at, viz. “why men should content themselves to stay in this life for ever, though at the same time they will grant, that in the next life they expect to be infinitely happy?” Of this you give so clear an account in the 44th section of your xxi. chapter, book II, that my wonder no longer remains. That candid recession from your former hypothesis, which you show in this chapter, where truth required it, raises in me a greater opinion (if possible) of your worth than ever. This is rarely to be found amongst men, and they Edition: current; Page: [341] seem to have something angelical, that are so far raised above the common pitch.

In time, I shall give you my farther thoughts of the other parts of your book, where any thing occurs to me. But, at present, I can only pour out my thanks to you for the favourable character under which you have transmitted me to posterity, p. 67. My only concern is, that I can pretend to none of it, but that of your friend; and this I set up for in the highest degree. I should think myself happy had I but half the title to the rest.

I am extremely obliged to you for the trouble you took on you in my last request, about a tutor for my son. I received your letter with Mr. Gibbs’s enclosed; to which I returned an answer, addressed to himself. The import whereof was, “That I had some offers made to me in this place, relating to that matter, to which I thought I should hearken, at least, so far as to make some trial. That I was loth to divert him from his good intentions to the ministry, and therefore I could not encourage him to undertake so long a journey, on such uncertainties on both sides, &c.” I am,

My most highly esteemed friend,
Your most affectionate humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
Sept. 3, 1694
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

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 acquire, has been the friendship of ingenious and worthy men, and therefore you Edition: current; Page: [342] cannot blame me, if I so forwardly laid hold 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 candour, that I 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 this 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 send 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. But you 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, whilst your modesty checks at the other part of your character. But, assure yourself, I am as well persuaded of the truth of it, as of any thing else in my book; it had not else been put down in it. It only wants a great deal more I had 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 Edition: current; Page: [343] 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 of a tutor nearer home, and it had this particular good luck in it, that otherwise you had been disappointed, if you had depended on Mr. Gibbs; as a letter I wrote to you from London about it, I hope, acquainted you. I am,

Dear Sir,
Your most affectionate, and most humble servant,
John Locke.
John Locke
Locke, John
Nov. 23, 1694
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

YOU speak of my book in such terms, that had I not convincing arguments that you are not a man of compliments, I should a little suspect your civility bordered very much on them in this case. But there are so few of them to be found, that you think you cannot speak too highly of the endeavours of one who pursues truth unbiassedly, and chooses not his opinions first, and then seeks arguments to support them. Upon that account I admit of whatever you please to say; but withal give me leave to assure you, that in the performance itself, I see nothing but what any one might have done, who would have sat down to it with the same love of truth and indifferency that I did. However, I cannot but be pleased that you think so well of it; for whether your friendship to me bribes your judgment, or whether your good opinion of my essay adds to your kind thoughts of the author; I find my account both ways, and should think myself well rewarded for my pains in this single purchase. But, sir, will you not Edition: current; Page: [344] pardon so lawful a desire, in one that loves you, if I ask, shall I never have the happiness to see you in England?

Mr. Churchill, my bookseller, sends me word by the last post, that he has sent you the six copies that you sent for, and advice of it. I sent to him a project of a new reduction of the year by Dr. Wood, to be sent with the copy of my essay to you. The author gave it me himself, and I thought it might possibly please you, if you had not seen it before. This, with the supernumerary cuts I ordered him to send you, will, with the books, I hope, come safe to your hands. The mentioning of those cuts puts me in mind again of your civility, which I see studies all manner of ways of expressing itself.

You see, by this liberty I take with you, that I am past terms of compliment with you, that is, I use you as one I look upon to be my friend, with a freedom of good offices, either to receive or do them, as it happens. Look upon me as such, I beseech you, and believe that I am, with the utmost sincerity,

SIR,
Your most affectionate friend,
and most humble servant,
John Locke.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Dec. 18, 1694
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

YOURS, of November 23, found me labouring under a sharp fever which has held me this month past; but I am now, God be thanked, pretty well recovered. I am obliged to you for the earnest desire you express of seeing me in England. But as to that particular, the truth is thus: last summer I designed to make a journey, Edition: current; Page: [345] on purpose to pay my respects to you, and for no other errand; but my resolutions were not so fixed as to give you any intimations thereof. For indeed the state of my health was so very uncertain, that I was very mistrustful whether I should be able to undertake the journey. However, I thought to make an essay of my strength in our own country; so that some business calling me about threescore miles from this city, the fatigue was so troublesome to me, that I was quite discouraged from thinking of England that season. I have now had another pull-back by my present sickness, so that I cannot yet well tell how to think of the other side of the water. This only I will assure you, that the first entire health God is pleased to bestow on me shall be employed in a journey towards you; there being nothing I so earnestly covet as the personal acquaintance of one for whom I have so great a respect and veneration, to whom I am so highly obliged for many favours.

There is a very worthy person, Dr. St. George Ashe, provost of the college here, lately gone from hence to London; he is a great admirer, and zealous promoter, of your writings in his college. He desired from me a letter of recommendation to you; but I fear your being in the country will hinder his designed happiness in your conversation. He stays in London these three or four months to come, in which time, if your business call you to the city, you will hear of him either at your lodgings at Mr. Pawlin’s, (where perhaps he will leave the place of his residence,) or at Mr. Tucker’s, in the secretary’s office at Whitehall, where a penny-post letter will find him out.

I thank you for the care you have taken to send me the books and sculptures, which I hope to receive in good time, having advice thereof already from Mr. Churchill. I am,

Worthy Sir,
Your most affectionate, humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Edition: current; Page: [346]
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
January 15, 1694-5
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Honoured Sir,

I HAVE received the six copies of your book, and thank you for the care you have taken about them. I acknowledge myself likewise obliged to you for your present of Dr. Wood’s almanack, though it was not new to me, having received the favour of one from the author himself, when accomptant-general here in Ireland, many years ago. It is a very pretty project, but, I believe, it will hardly ever be practised; because men think what they have already sufficiently accurate for the common uses of life, and are hardly brought from what they have used, so long as they have done the common Julian account, unless prevailed upon by some such potent authority as the church, which abrogated the Julian, and established the Gregorian kalendar.

The sculptures also I received, and thank you for them. I shall do them all the honour that outward ornament can give them. And I heartily wish I had more effectual ways of showing my respects, which I think I can never do sufficiently.

I have ever thought that an elegant translation of your Essay into Latin would be highly acceptable to foreigners, and of great use in those countries, whose minds lie yet captivated in verbose, disputative philosophy, and false reasoning; I therefore presume to mention it to you, that though your own leisure may not permit you to perform it yourself, you may think of putting some one on it, that under your eye may do it correctly. And were I not persuaded that your own eye and correction were absolutely requisite herein, I would venture to make a bold proposal to have it done by some one in this place, whom I should reward for his labour herein. And this I do, not that I think you may not with a great deal of ease employ one yourself in this matter, but merely that herein I may have an opportunity of doing so much good in the world. You Edition: current; Page: [347] see, sir, what a veneration I have for your writings, and therefore you will pardon me, if I desire from you, “sub amicitiæ tesserâ,” the names of what books you have published. I remember, once I proposed to you the like request, and you were silent to it. If it were that you designedly conceal them, I acquiesce; but perhaps it proceeded from your cursory passing over that part of my letter, which makes me venture again on the same request. And now that your thoughts are at liberty from that essay, you will give me leave, with all submission, to mind you of what you once told me you would think of, viz. of demonstrating morals. I am sure, as no hand could perform it better; so no age ever required it more than ours.

I do heartily wish you an happy succeeding year; and may it end with us happier than the last past. I am,

Dear Sir,
Your most obliged, humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
8 Mar. 1694-5
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Dear Sir,

YOU will, I fear, think me frozen up with this long winter, or else with a negligence colder than that, having two very obliging letters of yours by me, the one ever since January, the other February last, I make you no answer to either, till thus far in March. The truth is, expecting ever since I received your last letter an account from London, concerning something I had a mind to put into my letter, and after writing four times about it, being yet delayed, I can forbear no longer to return you my thanks, and to beg your pardon that I have been so slow in it. If you interpret it right, you will look upon it as the effect of a friendship got Edition: current; Page: [348] past formalities, and that has confidence enough to make bold with you, where it is without neglect of you, or prejudice to either. I was not a little rejoiced with the news you sent me in the first of your letters, of your safe recovery of a fever. Had I known it before the danger was over, that you had been ill, it would have been no small fright and pain to me. For I must assure you that, amongst all the friends your kindness or worth has procured you, there is not any one who values you more than I do, or does more interest himself in all your concerns. This makes me, that though I have a long time extremely desired to see you, and propose to myself an infinite satisfaction in a free conversation with you; yet what you tell me, that you were coming last summer into England, to make me a visit, makes me dread the satisfaction of my own wishes. And methinks I ought not to purchase one of the greatest happinesses I can propose to myself at so dear and dangerous a rate. I have received many and great obligations from you before; but they were such as, though I had no title to, I thought I might accept from one whom I love, and therefore was glad to find kind to me. But when I reflect on the length of the way, and the sea between us, the danger of the one, and the fatigue of both, and your no very robust constitution, as I imagine, I cannot consent you should venture so much for my sake. If any harm should happen to you in the journey, I could never forgive it myself, to be the occasion of so great a loss to the world and myself And if you should come safe, the greatness of the hazard, and an obligation out of all proportion to what I either ought to receive, or was capable to return, would overwhelm me with shame, and hinder my enjoyment. And yet, if I may confess my secret thoughts, there is not any thing which I would not give, that some other unavoidable occasion would draw you into England. A rational free-minded man, tied to nothing but truth, is so rare a thing, that I almost worship such a friend; but when friendship is joined to it, and these are brought into a free conversation, where they meet, and can be together; what is there can have Edition: current; Page: [349] equal charms? I cannot but exceedingly wish for that happy day, when I may see a man I have so often longed to have in my embraces. But yet, though it would endear the gift to receive it from his kindness, I cannot but wish rather that fortune alone would throw him into my arms.

This cold winter has kept me so close a prisoner within doors, that, ’till yesterday, I have been abroad but once these three months, and that only a mile in a coach. And the inability I am in to breathe London air in cold weather has hindered me yet from the happiness of waiting on Dr. Ashe; but I hope to get to London before he leaves it, that I may, to a person whom you have an esteem for, pay some part of the respects I owe you. I had last week the honour of a visit from an ingenious gentleman, a member of your college at Dublin, lately returned from Turkey. He told me he was a kinsman of yours; and though his other good qualities might have made him welcome any-where, he was not, you may be sure, the less welcome to me, for being known and related to you. He seems to me to have been very diligent and curious in making observations whilst he has been abroad, and more inquisitive than most of our people that go into those parts. And, by the discourse I had with him the little time we were together, I promise myself we shall have a more exact account of those parts, in what I hope he intends to publish, than hitherto is extant. Dr. Huntington, who was formerly at Aleppo, and is my old acquaintance, and now my neighbour in this country, brought Mr. Smith hither with him from his house. But yet I must acknowledge the favour to you, and desire you to thank him for it when he returns to Dublin. For the friendship he knew you had for me, was, I take it, the great inducement that made him give himself the trouble of coming six or seven miles in a dirty country.

You do so attack me on every side with your kindness to my book, to me, to my shadow, that I cannot but be ashamed I am not in a capacity to make you any other acknowledgment, but in a very full and deep sense of it. I return you my thanks for the corrections you Edition: current; Page: [350] have sent me, which I will take all the care of I can in the next edition, which, my bookseller tells me, he thinks will be this summer. And if any other fall under your observation, I shall desire the continuance of your favour in communicating them.

I must own to you that I have been solicited from beyond sea to put my essay into Latin; but you guess right, I have not the leisure to do it. It was once translated by a young man in Holland into Latin; but he was so little master of the English or Latin tongue, that when it was showed me, which he did not till he had quite done it, I satisfied him that it would be very little for his credit to publish it; and so that was laid by. Since that, my bookseller was, and had been for some time seeking for a translator, whom he would have treated with to have undertaken it, and have satisfied for his pains. But a little before the coming of your letter, he writ me word he had been disappointed, where he expected to have found one who would have done it, and was now at a loss. So that what you call a bold, is not only the kindest, but the most seasonable proposal you could have made. You understand my thoughts as well as I do myself, and can be a fit judge, whether the translator has expressed them well in Latin or no; and can direct him, where to omit or contract any thing where you think I have been more large than needed. And though in this I know you intend, as you say, some good to the world; yet I cannot but take it as a very particular obligation to myself, and shall not be a little satisfied to have my book go abroad into the world with strokes of your judicious hand to it. For, as to omitting, adding, altering, transposing any thing in it, I permit it wholly to your judgment. And if there be any thing in it defective, or which you think may be added with advantage to the design of the whole work, if you will let me know, I shall endeavour to supply that defect the best I can. The chapter “of Identity and Diversity” which owes its birth wholly to your putting me upon it, will be an encouragement to you to lay any the like commands upon me. I have had some thoughts myself, that it would not be possibly Edition: current; Page: [351] amiss to add, in lib. iv. cap. 18, something about enthusiasm, or to make a chapter of it by itself. If you are of the same mind, and that it will not be foreign to the business of my essay, I promise you, before the translator you shall employ shall be got so far, I will send you my thoughts on that subject, so that it may be put into the Latin edition. I have also examined P. Malebranche’s opinion concerning “seeing all things in God;” and to my own satisfaction laid open the vanity, inconsistency, and unintelligibleness of that way of explaining human understanding. I have gone almost, but not quite through it, and know not whether I now ever shall finish it, being fully satisfied myself about it. You cannot think how often I regret the distance that is between us; I envy Dublin for what I every day want in London. Were you in my neighbourhood, you would every day be troubled with the proposal of some of my thoughts to you. I find mine generally so much out of the way of the books I meet with, or men led by books, that were I not conscious to myself that I impartially seek truth, I should be discouraged from letting my thoughts loose, which commonly lead me out of the beaten track. However, I want somebody near me, to whom I could freely communicate them, and without reserve lay them open. I should find security and ease in such a friend as you, were you within distance. For your judgment would confirm and set me at rest, where it approved; and your candour would excuse what your judgment corrected, and set me right in. As to your request you now repeat to me, I desire you to believe that there is nothing in your letters which I pass over slightly, or without taking notice of; and if I formerly said nothing to it, think it to be, that I thought it the best way of answering a friend, whom I was resolved to deny nothing that was in my power. There are some particular obligations that tie me up in the point, and which have drawn on me some displeasure for a time, from some of my friends, who made me a somewhat like demand. But I expect to find you more reasonable, and give you this assurance, that you shall be the first that shall be satisfied in that Edition: current; Page: [352] 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.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
March 26, 1695
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

THE concern 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 veritas & prævalebit.” It will make its own party good without fire and faggot, which never promoted, but, I am sure, has often stifled it.

Edition: current; Page: [353]

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 Trinity-sunday; 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 medling 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 embrace 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 Edition: current; Page: [354] your work. I would therefore humbly propose it to you, to consider of doing something therein. Pere Malebranche 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 enthusiastical. I am,

Honoured dear Sir,
Your most obliged humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
April 26, 1695
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

YOU look with the eyes, and speak the language of friendship, when you make my life of much more concern to the world than your own. I take it, as it is, for an effect of your kindness, and so shall not accuse 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 ranks, and such, whose interest, assistance, affection, and opinions too, in fit cases, I can rely on. But methinks, 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, Edition: current; Page: [355] 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 touchstone, 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 themselves 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 an able to get thither. This long winter, and cold spring, has hung very heavy upon my 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 Edition: current; Page: [356] 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 so 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 Edition: current; Page: [357] an historical account of the various ravings men have embraced for religion, would, I fear, be besides my purpose, and be enough to make an huge volume.

My opinion of P. Malebranche agrees perfectly with yours. What I have writ concerning “seeing all things in God,” would make a little treatise of itself. But I have not quite gone through it, for fear I should by somebody or other be tempted to print it. For I love not controversies, and have a personal kindness for the author. When I have the happiness to see you, we will consider it together, and you shall dispose of it.

I think I shall make some other additions to be put into your Latin translation, and particularly concerning the “connection of ideas,” which has not, that I know, been hitherto considered, and has, I guess, a greater influence upon our minds, than is usually taken notice of. Thus, you see, I make you the confident of my reveries; you would be troubled with a great many more of them, were you nearer. I am,

Honoured Sir,
Your most affectionate humble servant,
John Locke.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
May, 7, 1695
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

I AM extremely pleased to understand by yours of April 26, that we are to expect an abridgment of your work from a judicious hand in Oxford; it is what I always thought might be of good use in the universities, where we yet want another sort of language, than what has hitherto prevailed there, to the great hindrance of science.

As to the translation that is going on here, it is undertaken by one Mr. William Mullart, a senior bachelor in the college. He has the repute of an ingenious Edition: current; Page: [358] and learned young man, and I hope he may perform it well. I here enclose a specimen of his performance, concerning which I desire you would give me your thoughts, before he proceed much farther. This only may be hinted, that when he is better acquainted with the work, and your language, and has entered farther into it, it is probable his translation may be better, more easy and natural. He proposes to finish it in half a year, or nine months at farthest; for he cannot wholly disengage himself from some other studies. I perceive your bookseller is resolved to share with me in the good I thought to do the world, by bestowing on it this translation. And since he is so generous as to have it so, I will, by no means, be the translator’s hindrance in partaking of the bookseller’s proffer; and, at the same time, to engage his diligence the more, I will increase the reward considerably, that I may not wholly miss the good design I first proposed to myself. If you encourage the translator to go forward, you may be pleased to transmit to me the additions you design; as that of “enthusiasm,” “connexion of ideas,” and what else you have.

And now, with redoubled force, I send back to you the complaints you make for our distance. I cannot but hope, that Providence has yet in store for me so much happiness on this side the grave; and if it have not, I shall think I have missed the greatest temporal good my mind was ever set on. But I still say, I live in hopes, the accomplishment whereof would be the greatest satisfaction to

Your most cordially affectionate humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.

Were it not too nigh approaching to vanity, I could tell you of the extraordinary effects your method of education has had on my little boy.

Edition: current; Page: [359]
John Locke
Locke, John
2 July, 1695
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Dear Sir,

DID I not assure myself that our friendship were grown beyond suspicion or compliment, I should think I should have need to make excuses to you for my long silence; but I know you will credit me, when I tell you it has been neither forgetfulness nor negligence. The specimen of the translation you sent me, gave me some reason to apprehend, that Mr. Mullart’s style would lay too great a burthen on your kindness, by often needing the correction of your hand, to make it express my sense with that clearness and easiness, which I know you desire. My bookseller therefore having before told me of one who had offered to undertake the translation of my essay, I have been ever since endeavouring to get from him a specimen that I might send it you, and have your opinion which is like to do best; that so if this man had a talent that way, you might be eased of the trouble, which your friendship to me, and zeal to the work, I foresee, is likely to lay upon you. But, having the last post received this account from Mr. Churchill, that the gentleman proposed is in the country, and must have a book sent him down, on purpose, before we can expect to see any thing from him, and this being all to be managed by a third hand, who is not every day to be met with; I have resolved to lose no more time on that thought, but accepting of your kind offer, put that whole matter into your hands, to be ordered as you shall think best, and shall spend no more time in other enquiries, since the gentleman you propose will (as I remember you told me) be about this time at leisure to set himself in earnest to it. There is one thing I would offer, which may be of advantage to him and the work too, and that is, that he would constantly and sedulously read Tully, especially his philosophical works, which will insensibly work him into a good Latin style. I have heard it reported of bishop Sanderson, that being asked how he came to write Latin Edition: current; Page: [360] so well, as appears in the treatises he published in that tongue? he answered, “By ordering his studies so, that he read over all Tully’s works every year.” I leave it to you, whether you will think fit to mention this to Mr. Mullart.

The abridgment of my essay is quite finished. It is done by a very ingenious man of Oxford, a master of arts, very considerable for his learning and virtue, who has a great many pupils. It is done with the same design you had in view, when you mentioned it. He has generally (as far as I could remember) made use of my words; he very civilly sent it me when it was done, and, upon looking it over, I guess you will approve of it, and think it well done. It is in Mr. Churchill’s hands, and will be printed as soon as the third edition of my essay, which is now in the press, is printed off.

I am extremely glad to hear that you have found any good effects of my method on your son. I should be glad to know the particulars; for though I have seen the success of it in a child of the lady, in whose house I am, (whose mother has taught him Latin without knowing it herself when she began,) yet I would be glad to have other instances; because some men, who cannot endure any thing should be mended in the world by a new method, object, I hear, that my way of education is impracticable. But this I can assure you, that the child above mentioned, but nine years old in June last, has learned to read and write very well, is now reading Quintus Curtius with his mother, understands geography and chronology very well, and the Copernican system of our vortex; is able to multiply well, and divide a little; and all this without ever having had one blow for his book. The third edition is now out: I have ordered Mr. Churchill to send you one of them, which I hope he has done before this. I expect your opinion of the additions, which have much increased the bulk of the book. And though I think all that I have said right; yet you are the man I depend on for a fair and free censure, not inclined either to flatter, or quarrel. You know not of what value a knowing man, that is a sincere lover of truth, is, nor Edition: current; Page: [361] how hard to be found; wonder not, therefore, if I place a great part of my happiness in your friendship, and wish every day you were my neighbour; you would then find what use I should make of it. But, not to complain of what cannot be remedied, pray let me have all the advantage I can at this distance. Read the additions and examine them strictly, for I would not willingly mislead the world. Pray let me know whether the doctor, your brother, has any children; when he has, I count I owe him one of my books of education.

With my treatise of education, I believe you will receive another little one concerning interest and coinage. It is one of the fatherless children, which the world lay at my door; but, whoever be the author, I shall be glad to know your opinion of it.

And now I must mightily bemoan the loss of an happiness which you designed me, and I through great misfortune missed. The impressions of the last severe winter on my weak lungs, and the slow return of warm weather this spring, confined me so long to the country, that I concluded Dr. Ashe would be gone before I should get to town, and I should lose the honour of so desired an acquaintance. However as soon as I was got to London, I enquired of Mr. Churchill, who told me Dr. Ashe was lately in town, and he promised me, as I desired him, that he would enquire whether he was still there, and where he lodged. He returned me no answer, and I (through a multitude of business) forgot to inquire again, for some few days. Upon the first thought of it again, I went to the secretary’s office at Whitehall, and not finding Mr. Tucker there, I went to his house, who told me that Dr. Ashe was that very morning gone out of town. The missing of him thus unluckily, when he had been within my reach, very much vexed me; and it looked, as if fortune had a mind sensibly to cross me, in what she knew I was extremely desirous of. I enquired too for Mr. Smith; but he, I heard was gone to Flanders before I came to town. It would have been more than ordinary satisfaction to me, to have conversed and made an acquaintance with so esteemed a friend of your’s as Dr. Ashe. I Edition: current; Page: [362] shall not be at quiet, till some business brings you into England to repair this loss, and brings me a satisfaction to the most earnest of all my desires. My decaying health does not promise me any long stay in this world; you are the only person in it, that I desire to see once, and to converse some time with, before I leave it. I wish your other occasions might draw you into England, and then let me alone to husband our time together; I have laid all that in my head already. But I talk my desires and fancies as if they were in view. I wish you all manner of happiness, and am,

Dear Sir,
Your most affectionate, and most faithful servant,
John Locke.

Pray present my humble service to Dr. Ashe, and excuse my misfortunate loss to him.

When you consider the length of this, you will find my late silence was not from a sparingness of speech, or backwardness to talk with you; I have more reason now to beg your pardon for my talkativeness than silence.

The additions I intend to make, shall be sent time enough for the translator.

Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Aug, 24, 1695
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

I DEFERRED my answer all this while to yours of July 2, (which I received some weeks ago) in expectation of the books you have been pleased to order for me; but hitherto they are not arrived, and I would not omit my duty any longer, lest the business of our ensuing parliament should give me a farther hindrance. The university has done me the honour to choose me as Edition: current; Page: [363] one of their representatives; and though I cannot pretend to do them any great service, yet it shall not be for want of constant attendance on their business, which will take up most of my time, till the session is ended.

I am now at a great loss what apology to make you, for the disappointment you are at last like to receive in the translation of your essay. But to a candid and ingenuous man, the best excuse is a plain narrative of the matter of fact.

The gentleman whom I formerly mentioned to you, Mr. Mullart, went into the country about the middle of last June, and returned about a fortnight ago. When he went away, he assured me, he would make a considerable progress in the work, in a month or six weeks time; but he was taken ill for about a fortnight, and, at his return, I found he had scarce done four pages of the book. I found also, (as you rightly surmised,) that his style will hardly answer expectation; but this difficulty I thought might be overcome by time and application. But what to say to his very slow performance I cannot tell, or whether it may answer your, or your bookseller’s designs. But that which most of all discourages me, is, that the young man himself seems not very fond of the undertaking, but has fixed his thoughts on another pursuit. I formerly told you how he designed for a fellowship, had any at that time happened vacant, as there did none. But very lately there are two fellowships become void, and a third like to be so before the time of sitting for them, which is next June, 1696, and he tells me plainly, he must endeavour to get one of them; and that there will be at least five competitors, if not six, who are all his seniors; and therefore, he must use his utmost diligence, application and study in the intermediate time, to fit himself for the examination they undergo; and this, he says, will take up so much of his time, that he knows not whether he shall have any to spare for the translation.

I cannot well tell which way next to turn myself in this affair. I have but one anchor more, and that is not at hand immediately to use. There is a gentleman of my acquaintance, the greatest master of style of any Edition: current; Page: [364] I have known, who, I am confident, would perform this work to your utmost satisfaction; but he is not, at present, in town; and when he comes, (which, I expect, may be about Michaelmas next, as I have it from himself,) I make some doubt, whether his other avocations will permit him to undertake this. He is chancellor of the diocese of Down and Connor, and has also a private work of his own, in Latin, now fitting for the press, which he permits to run through my hands, as he goes on with it. When he comes to town, I will move him in it, if you will give me leave, and you shall know the event.

I am mightily pleased that your essay is abridged, though, for my own reading, I would not part with a syllable of it. However, others may not have so much leisure as to set on a large book, and for such the abridgment may be useful. It is to me no small argument of the curious genius of the English nation, that a work so abstract as yours should now suffer three impressions in so short a time.

I have already so much experience of your method of education, that I long to see your third edition. And since you put me upon it, (to whom I can refuse nothing in my power,) I will give you a short account of my little boy’s progress under it.

He was six years old about the middle of last July. When he was but just turned five, he could read perfectly well; and on the globes could have traced out, and pointed at all the noted parts, countries, and cities of the world, both land and sea. And by five and an half could perform many of the plainest problems on the globe, as the longitude and latitude, the antipodes, the time with them and other countries, &c. and this by way of play and diversion, seldom called to it, never chid or beaten for it. About the same age he could read any number of figures, not exceeding six places, break it as you please by cyphers or zeros. By the time he was six, he could manage a compass, ruler and pencil, very prettily, and perform many little geometrical tricks, and advanced to writing and arithmetic; and has been about three months at Latin, wherein his Edition: current; Page: [365] tutor observes as nigh as he can, the method prescribed by you. He can read a gazette, and, in the large maps of Sanson, show most of the remarkable places as he goes along, and turn to the proper maps. He has been shown some dogs dissected, and can give some little account of the grand traces of anatomy. And as to the formation of his mind, which you rightly observe to be the most valuable part of education; I do not believe that any child had ever his passions more perfectly at command. He is obedient and observant to the nicest particular, and at the same time sprightly, playful, and active.

But I will say no more; this may be tiresome to others, however pleasing to myself.

I have some thoughts of seeing England next spring, or summer; but the time I cannot prefix as yet, till I see how our affairs are like to go on in parliament, and whether we are like to have another session, and when. The other day I chanced to mention your name accidentally to his excellency my lord Capel, who thereupon expressed himself with the utmost respect and esteem for you. I am,

Honoured Sir,
Your most affectionate, humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
16 Nov. 1695
London
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

THOUGH there be no man in the world that I so much long to see, as you; yet your last letter of the second instant, makes me afraid of your coming. Your kindness and expression in my favour, has painted me so in your fancy that I shall unavoidably fall many degrees in your esteem, when you find me come so much Edition: current; Page: [366] short of what you expected; “Paratus est mihi magnus adversarius, expectatio,” as I remember Tully somewhere says. One thing only I have to satisfy myself, viz. that whatever I may want of those qualities you ascribe to me, I have one that helps mightily to cover defects, and makes one acceptable, without the recommendation of great perfections; I mean friendship, true and sincere. This I can boast of to you, this I can bid you expect, and tell you, you shall not be deceived. Come then, but come with this resolution, that you will be content, that shall make up to you all those fine things which you imagine before hand, in a man whom you will readily find a plain honest, well-meaning man, who unbiassedly seeks truth, though it be but a very small part of it he has yet discovered.

I am very glad you approve of the additions to the third edition of my education; you are a father, and are concerned not to be deceived, and therefore I expect you will not flatter me in this point. You speak so well of that you have, that I shall take care to have another of those treatises of interest and coinage sent to you. The affair of our money, which is in a lamentable state, is now under debate here: what the issue will be, I know not; I pray for a good one. I find every body almost looks on it as a mystery; to me there appears to be none at all in it. It is but stripping it of the cant which all men that talk of it involve it in, and there is nothing easier: lay by the arbitrary names of pence and shillings, and consider and speak of it as grains and ounces of silver, and it is as easy as telling of twenty.

I had a great deal more to say to you, in answer to this, and two other obliging letters, I am indebted to you for: but I am sent for into the country by an express. I am,

Sir,
Your most humble, and most affectionate servant,
John Locke.
Edition: current; Page: [367]
John Locke
Locke, John
20 Nov. 1695
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

BEFORE I left London, I gave order that the book you desired about interest and money, should be sent you by the first opportunity. But it is to you I send it, and not to any body else; you may give it to whom you please, for it is yours as soon as you receive it; but pray do not give it to any body in my name, or as a present from me. And however you are pleased to make me a compliment, in making me the author of a book you think well of; yet you may be sure I do not own it to be mine, till you see my name to it.

You, I see, are troubled there about your money, as well as we are here; though, I hope, you are not so deep in that disease as we are. A little before his majesty’s return, the lords justices here had this matter under consideration; and amongst others, were pleased to send to me, for my thoughts about it. This is too publicly known here, to make the mentioning of it to you appear as vanity in me. The paper I here inclose, would seem a strange thing, did I not tell you the occasion of my writing it. And since some of my friends here persuade me, it gives some light to that which the statesman you mention, thinks so profound a mystery, I have taken the liberty to send it to you, either to open that matter a little farther to you, or that you may show me the mistakes and defects of it. But pray, whatever use you make of it, conceal my name.

I writ to you from London, just as I was leaving the town in haste, in answer to yours of the second instant. You must impute the faults of that to the hurry and disturbance I was then in. I am not much more at leisure or at quiet now; but shame will not suffer me to be silent any longer, under the obligation of two other letters I have by me of yours, unanswered.

I cannot read yours of the 24th of August last, without finding new marks of your kindness to me, in the concern you therein express to get a good hand for the Edition: current; Page: [368] translating my essay. I think at last you have got a better than I could have expected. I designed to have brought Mr. Churchill and him together, and settled that matter, before I left London; but I was so unexpectedly called thence, that I left that, and several other businesses, undone. But I took order with Mr. Churchill, my bookseller, to go to him; he is a reasonable man, and I doubt not but it will be taken care of, as well as if I were there. I think the abridgment is near, if not quite printed; but I had not the time, or memory, to inquire, after my hasty summons into the country. I was told too, when I was in town, that somebody is printing against it; if it be a fair inquirer, I shall be glad; if a wrangling disputant, I shall not mind him.

Mr. Burridge is the man you speak him to be, in yours of September 19. Had I staid in London, I think I should have been able to have procured him some particulars would have been of use to him, in his design. Some of them I have taken care he should receive, notwithstanding my absence. But perhaps they might have been more, could I have stayed till more of my acquaintance were come to town. I am now in an house of sorrow and business, which hinders me from that freedom I would be in, when I write to you. I am,

SIR,
Your most affectionate, humble servant,
John Locke.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Dec. 24, 1695
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

I AM ashamed to say, that I have two of yours before me unanswered.

Yours of Nov. 20 brought me a paper, which, of all things I have ever seen on that subject, I most highly admire. You have therein revealed the whole mystery Edition: current; Page: [369] of money, exchange, trade, &c. which have hitherto been wrapped up in unintelligible cant, I believe, partly out of knavery, partly out of ignorance. You gave me liberty to make what use of it I pleased, and therefore I ventured to give a copy of it to his excellency, my lord deputy Capel, rather than the book of interest and coinage, which I thought might be too long for his present perusal, in his multitude of business. But I can tell you, that your admirable perspicuity of writing is so clearly different from all the world, and almost peculiar to yourself; that in vain you expect to be concealed, in any thing that comes from you. For I assure you, in some discourse I had with his excellency, no longer ago than yesterday, concerning the business of money; he asked me (without any occasion given him from me) whether I had ever seen Mr. Locke’s book of interest, &c.? for he has formerly known (as I think I have told you) that I had the happiness of your acquaintance; I replied to his lordship, that I had seen such a book, but that it did not bear your name in it: he answered me: the printer presented it to him as yours; and besides (says he) all the world knows Mr. Locke’s way of writing; and, if I may guess, I believe the paper you gave me a few days ago, came from Mr. Locke; pray, did it not? I told his excellency I was under some obligation to conceal the author. That’s enough, (says he,) I am sure it is his, and will put his name to it, and lay it up amongst my choicest papers.

I have lately received three small prints from London, concerning the subject of money. They were enclosed in a blank wrapper, and franked to me by sir Walter Yonge, bart. a gentleman whom I never saw, and have no manner of acquaintance with. I wonder how he comes to confer an obligation on me so suitable and agreeable to my present thoughts. If you have any hand in this favour to me, be pleased to accept of my thanks, and to express the same to sir Walter. The titles of those papers are,

“Sir W. Petty’s Quantulumcunque, concerning money.”

Edition: current; Page: [370]

“A letter from an English merchant at Amsterdam to his friend at London, concerning the trade and coin of England.”

“Some questions answered, relating to the badness of the now silver coin of England.”

I hear Mr. Lowndes of the Treasury has published something on that subject, and that Mr. Flamstead has answered him, in a tract he calls Five, not Six.

I wish I could see them both, and shall beg the favour of you, if this letter finds you at London, to get them beaten pretty close, and wrapped up in folds, and directed to me, unless they be much too bulky for the post. You need not have them franked, for our letters come to us so, as we are of the parliament here.

I herewith send you enclosed the copy of a letter from an ingenious man, on the problem which you have honoured with a place in page 67, of your essay. You will find thereby, that what I say, of its puzzling some ingenious men, is true: and you will easily discover by what false steps this gentleman is led into his errour. The letter was communicated to me by the party to whom it was writ, Dr. Quayl. And the writer of the letter, Mr. Edw. Synge, is the author of a little book called The Gentleman’s Religion, which is vended as yours. The gentleman is on a second part, which he will show me, before he sends it to the press. But this is only between ourselves and the bookseller, who has been lately informed of thus much already. For though the book shows not that freedom of thought, as you or I, perhaps, may expect; yet it shows enough to incense his own herd against him; for there is little of mystery or enthusiastic in it, and yet the author is a clergyman. And you know that, in a writer on a religious subject, it is an high offence, even to be silent on those abstruse points. The clergy are not dissatisfied only with those that plainly oppose them, but are enraged also, even at those that omit zealously to advance them; as we have had a late instance in him, that writes against the Reasonableness of Christianity.

I should be mighty glad to hear that Mr. Burridge Edition: current; Page: [371] had set upon translating your essay: I believe he will do it well.

I shall be also very much obliged by any information you give me of whatsoever is done, or doing by yourself, or others, relating to your works, of which there is none a more devoted admirer, than the excellent author’s

Most affectionate, humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Edw. Synge
Synge, Edw.
Sept. 6, 1695
Cork
Quayl
Quayl

Mr. Synge to Dr. Quayl.

Dear Sir,

MR. MOLYNEUX’s ingenious question, of which you gave me an account at Mr. Lukey’s yesterday, has run so much in my mind ever since, that I could scarce drive it out of my thoughts. To be revenged on you therefore for putting my brains in such a ferment, I have resolved to be so impertinent, as to send you the result of my meditations upon the subject.

The case is this: a man born perfectly blind has a globe and a cube given into his hands, and instructed, as much as he is capable of, in the notion of each of these figures, and the difference between them. Let us now suppose this man suddenly to be endowed with the sense of seeing, and the question is, “Whether, the globe and the cube being placed before his eyes, he would be able, by his sight alone, and without touching them, to tell which was the globe, and which the cube?”

For the better understanding of what I shall say on this question, I desire you to take notice, that I call every notion of any thing, which a man entertains, an idea; but that notion only, which a man entertains of a visible thing, as it is visible, I call an image.

Edition: current; Page: [372]

This being premised, I lay down these propositions.

1. A man born blind may have a true (though perhaps not a perfect) idea of a globe and of a cube, and of some difference, which is between them.

This evidently appears, because he will certainly be able, by his touch, to distinguish them one from the other.

2. A man who has ever been perfectly blind, and whilst he so remains, can have no image in his mind, either of a cube, or a globe.

This, in my opinion, is very evident, because, there is no passage but the organs of sight (of which we suppose him to be deprived) for such an image to enter: and I take it for granted, that such images are not innate in men’s apprehensions.

3. Such a man, as soon as he is endowed with the sense of seeing, will immediately have a different image in his mind, of a globe, and of a cube, as they are exposed to his sight.

This must needs be so, if his sight and the organs thereof be such as ours, which we suppose.

4. And if immediately, upon the sight of the globe and cube, there be grounds enough for such a person clearly to perceive the agreement, and the difference, between his pre-conceived ideas, and newly conceived images of those figures, then may he be able to know which is the globe, and which the cube, without touching them again after he has seen them.

For the agreement which he may find between his idea and his image of a globe, and the difference of the idea of a globe from the image of a cube (“& sic vice versâ”) will be a sufficient direction to him. (If, I say, there be sufficient ground immediately to perceive the said agreement and difference.)

5. The idea which such a blind man must needs, by his touch alone, form of a globe, will be this, that it is a body which is exactly alike on all sides.

For let him roll it, as often as he will, between his hands, and he can find no manner of difference between the one side and the other.

Edition: current; Page: [373]

6. Part of the idea which such a man must needs, by his touch, conceive of a cube, will be, that it is a body which is not alike in every part of its superficies.

For in one part he feels a smooth flat, in another the sharp point of an angle, and in a third a long ridge, which reaches from one angle to another.

7. The image, which at the first sight such a man will form of a globe, must needs represent it as a body which is alike on all sides, which consequently must be agreeable to the idea which he before had of it, and different from that idea which he had of a cube.

For turn a globe ten thousand ways, and it still carries the same aspect, if it be all of the same colour, which we now suppose.

8. The image, which upon the first view such a man will frame of a cube, must needs be this, that it is a body, which is not alike in all the parts of its superficies, which consequently must be agreeable to the idea which before he had of it, and different from that idea which he had of a globe.

For a cube does not carry the same aspect, when it is exposed to our sight in different positions.

Since then the image, which such a man would have of a globe, would be agreeable to the idea which before he had conceived of it, and different from that idea which before he had entertained of a cube (“& sic vice versâ”) it follows, that by his sight alone he might be able to know which was the globe, and which the cube.

I have no more, but to wish you a good journey, and tell you, that if you call me impertinent for sending you my thoughts upon such a speculation, I will retort, and tell that it was yourself who put the question to

Your most affectionate friend, and faithful servant,
Edw. Synge.
Edition: current; Page: [374]
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
March 14, 1695-6
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

AS nothing is more pleasing to me than a letter from you; so my concern is not little, when in so long a time I have wanted that satisfaction; and more especially so, when I have reason to fear it may proceed from your indisposition in health. The last letter I had from Mr. Churchill intimated to me, that you were not well, and I have not yet received any account to the contrary; so that my fears daily increase upon me, and I shall be very uneasy, ’till I receive the glad tidings of your recovery and safety.

Mr. Lowndes’s book about our coin, and yours against him, (which I understand you have sent me, and for which I most heartily thank you,) are not yet arrived; when they come, you shall hear farther from me concerning them.

I have lately received a letter from Mr. Burridge, who is gone down to his cure in the country; he takes all opportunities of thanking you for the civil reception you gave him; and as it was upon my recommendation, I must also thank you for my share in the favour. He tells me he has read over your essay carefully, and has just set upon the translation thereof; but he has not yet sent me any specimen thereof: when he does, you shall receive it forthwith from me. I doubt not but he will perform it to your satisfaction; there is not a man in Ireland, but himself, for whom I dare promise so boldly in this matter. One thing he intimates to me, which I must needs mention to you, as being so agreeable to the apprehensions I have always had of the excellent author of the essay, to whom I have sometimes presumed to propose it, viz. that he would write a book of offices, or moral philosophy. I give you Mr. Burridge’s own words, who goes on, “The fine strokes which he has frequently in his essay, make me think he would perform it admirably, I wish you would try his inclinations; you may assure Edition: current; Page: [375] him, I will cheerfully undertake the translation of it afterwards.”

Thus you see, sir, how you are attacked on all sides; I doubt not but you have as frequent solicitations from your friends in England. I will, at this time, add nothing more to the troublesome importunity. Only on this occasion I will venture to tell you, that I have a design on Mr. Burridge, to get him, by degrees, to translate all the books you have written, and will give leave for. I am,

Honoured Sir,
Your most affectionate, humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
March 30, 1696
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux

Sir,

THOUGH I have been very ill this winter, not without some apprehensions of my life, yet I am ashamed that either that, or business, that has taken up more of my time than my health could well allow, should keep me so long silent, to a man so kindly concerned to hear from me. It was more than once that I resolved on the next post, but still something or other came between; and I more readily yielded to delays, in hopes to hear something from you, concerning my answer to Mr. Lowndes. If this be a fault in me, it is such an one that I am guilty of to nobody but my friends. Perhaps the running from ceremony, or punctuality, towards those whom I look on as my sure friends, that is, myself, may sometimes carry me a little too far to the other side. But if you disapprove of it, I shall only say, it is an ill effect of a very good cause; and beg you to believe, that I shall never be tardy in writing, speaking Edition: current; Page: [376] or doing, whenever I shall think it may be of any moment to the least interest of yours.

The business of our money has so near brought us to ruin, that, ’till the plot broke out, it was every body’s talk, every body’s uneasiness. And, because I had played the fool to print about it, there was scarce a post wherein somebody or other did not give me fresh trouble about. But now the parliament has reduced guineas to two-and-twenty shillings a-piece after the 10th instant, and prohibited the receipt of clipped money, after the 4th of May next. The bill has passed both houses, and, I believe, will speedily receive the royal assent. Though I can never bethink any pains, or time of mine, in the service of my country, as far as I may be of any use; yet I must own to you, this, and the like subjects, are not those which I now relish, or that do, with most pleasure, employ my thoughts; and therefore shall not be sorry, if I escape a very honourable employment, with a thousand pounds a year salary annexed to it, to which the king was pleased to nominate me some time since. May I have but quiet and leisure, and a competency of health to perfect some thoughts my mind is sometimes upon, I should desire no more for myself in this world, if one thing were added to it, viz. you in my neighbourhood. You cannot imagine, how much I want such a friend within distance, with whom I could confer freely “de quolibet ente,” and have his sense of my reveries, and his judgment to guide me.

I am ashamed to receive so many thanks for having done so little for a man who came recommended to me by you. I had so little opportunity to show the civility I would have done to Mr. Burridge, that I should not know how to excuse it to you, or him, were not he himself a witness of the perpetual hurry I was in, all the time I was then in town. I doubt not at all of his performance in the translation of my book he has undertaken. He has understanding, and Latin, much beyond those who usually meddle with such works. And I am so well satisfied, both of his ability and your care, that the sending me a specimen I shall look on as more Edition: current; Page: [377] than needs. As to a “treatise of morals,” I must own to you that you are not the only persons (you and Mr. Burridge, I mean) who have been for putting me upon it; neither have I wholly laid by the thoughts of it. Nay, I so far incline to comply with your desires, that I, every now and then, lay by some materials for it, as they occasionally occur, in the rovings of my mind. But when I consider, that a book of offices, as you call it, ought not to be slightly done, especially by me, after what I have said of that science in my essay; and that “nonumque prematur in annum,” is a rule more necessary to be observed in a subject of that consequence, than in any thing Horace speaks of; I am in doubt, whether it would be prudent, in one of my age and health, not to mention other disabilities in me, to set about it. Did the world want a rule, I confess there could be no work so necessary, nor so commendable. But the gospel contains so perfect a body of ethics, that reason may be excused from that inquiry, since she may find man’s duty clearer and easier in revelation, than in herself. Think not this the excuse of a lazy man, though it be, perhaps, of one who, having a sufficient rule for his actions, is content therewith, and thinks he may, perhaps, with more profit to himself, employ the little time and strength he has, in other researches, wherein he finds himself more in the dark.

You put too great a value on my writings, by the design you own on Mr. Burridge, in reference to them. I am not to flatter myself, that, because they had the good luck to pass pretty well here, amongst English readers, that therefore they will satisfy the learned world, and be fit to appear in the learned language. Mr. Wynne’s abstract of my essay is now published, and I have sent order to Mr. Churchill to send you one of them. Thus far in answer to yours of the 14th of March. I come now to that of the 24th of December.

My lord deputy and you did too great honour to the paper I sent you, and to me, upon that account. I know too well the deficiency of my style, to think it deserves the commendations you give it. That which makes my writings tolerable, if any thing, is only this, Edition: current; Page: [378] that I never write for any thing but truth, and never publish any thing to others, which I am not fully persuaded of myself, and do not think that I understand. So that I never have need of false colours to set off the weak parts of an hypothesis, or of obscure expressions, or the assistance of artificial jargon, to cover an errour of my system, or party. Where I am ignorant (for what is our knowledge?) I own it. And though I am not proud of my errours; yet I am always ready and glad to be convinced of any of them. I think there wants nothing, but such a preference of truth to party-interest and vain-glory, to make any body out-do me, in what you seem so much to admire.

Though sir Walter Yonge be an intimate friend of mine, yet I can assure you, I know nothing of those three prints he franked you, and so have no title to any part of your thanks.

I see by Mr. S.’s answer to that which was originally your question, how hard it is for even ingenious men to free themselves from the anticipations of sense. The first step towards knowledge is to have clear and distinct ideas; which I have just reason, every day more and more, to think few men ever have, or think themselves to want; which is one great cause of that infinite jargon and nonsense which so pesters the world. You have a good subject to work on; and therefore, pray let this be your chief care, to fill your son’s head with clear and distinct ideas, and teach him on all occasions, both by practice and rule, how to get them, and the necessity of it. This, together with a mind active and set upon the attaining of reputation and truth, is the true principling of a young man. But to give him a reverence for our opinions, because we taught them, is not to make knowing men, but prattling parrots. I beg your pardon for this liberty; it is an expression of good-will, and not the less so, because not within the precise forms of good-breeding. I am,

Dear Sir,
Your most affectionate, humble servant,
John Locke.
Edition: current; Page: [379]
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
June 6, 1696
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Honoured Sir,

IT is a melancholy thought to me, that since I have had the happiness of your correspondence, there has hardly happened a year, when both you and I have not made it an apology for our long silence, that we have been indisposed in our health; yet it has pleased God, that so it has been, and so it is on my side at present. About four years and a half ago I was first seized by a violent colic, which then so weakened me, that, to this time, I lie so far under the effects thereof, as upon any cold to be very apt to relapse into the same. And so it has been with me, for a while past; but now, God be thanked, I am again well recovered. I had not otherwise so long deferred my answer to yours of March the 30th, which, after a long silence, brought me the assurance of your health, and therewith no small satisfaction; having, before that, entertained some painful thoughts of your indisposition, from some rumours I had heard. But, I find, heaven is not yet so angry with us, as to take you from amongst us.

And now I most heartily congratulate you, both on the recovery of your health, and on the honourable preferment you have lately received from his majesty. In your writings concerning money, you have given such demonstrative proofs of your reach, even in the business of the world, that I should have wondered, had the king overlooked you. And I do as much wonder, that, after what you have published on that subject, there should remain the least doubt with any man, concerning that matter. But, I fancy, it is only those who are prejudiced by their interest, that seem to be dissatisfied; such as bankers, &c. who made a prey of the people’s ignorance in this great affair. But, I think, you have cleared up the mystery, and made it so plain to all men’s capacities, that England will never again fall into the like inconveniencies. ’Till you writ, Edition: current; Page: [380] we used money as the Indians do their wampompeek; it served us well enough for buy ng and selling, and we were content and heeded it no farther; but for the intimate nature, affections, and properties thereof, we did no more understand them than the Indians their shells.

I have read over Mr. Wynne’s abridgment of your essay. But I must confess to you, I was never more satisfied with the length of your essay, than since I have seen this abridgment; which, though done justly enough, yet falls so short of that spirit, which every-where shows itself in the original, that nothing can be more different. To one already versed in the essay, the abridgment serves as a good remembrancer: but, I believe, let a man, wholly unacquainted with the former, begin to read the latter, and he will not so well relish it. So that, how desirous soever I might have formerly been, of seeing your essay put into the form of a logic for the schools, I am now fully satisfied I was in an errour; and must freely confess to you, that I wish Mr. Wynne’s abridgment had been yet undone. That strength of thought and expression, that every-where reigns throughout your works, makes me sometimes wish them twice as long.

I find, by some little pieces I have lately met with, that you are the reputed author of the Reasonableness of Christianity; whether it be really so, or not, I will not presume to inquire, because there is no name to the book; this only I will venture to say, on that head, that whoever is the author, or vindicator thereof, he has gotten as weak an adversary in Mr. Edwards to deal with, as a man could wish; so much unmannerly passion, and billingsgate language, I have not seen any man use. In so much, that were Mr. Edwards to defend the best cause in the world, should he do it in that manner, he would spoil it. Were an angel of heaven to justify a truth, with virulence and heat, he would not prevail.

And now, my ever honoured friend, with much reluctance, I am to tell you, that I cannot be so happy this summer as to see you in England. It is needless Edition: current; Page: [381] to trouble you with a long detail of the reasons hereof; but what between my own private affairs, and a little place I have in the public, so it is, and I cannot help it. But as a small repair to myself of this disappointment, I shall beg the favour of you to admit a young gentleman, whom I shall send to you within a while, only to look on you, and afterwards look on a picture of yours, which I hear is at Mr. Churchill’s. The young gentleman’s name is Howard, a modest and ingenious youth, and excellently skilled both in the judicious and practical part of painting: for his advancement wherein, he is now kept at London, and designs soon for Italy. He is the eldest brother to my brother’s wife, of a good fortune and family. If, by his report, I understand that that picture of yours at Mr. Churchill’s be an excellent piece, and like you, he will procure it to be finely copied for me, and I may save you the trouble of sitting; but if it prove otherwise, and be not worth copying, I will then make it my request to you, that, at your leisure, you would spare me so many hours time, as to sit for such a hand as Mr. Howard shall procure to take your picture. This I thought fit to intimate to you before hand, that when he waits on you, you may be forewarned of his business.

I doubt not but, by this time, you have heard of our lord deputy Capel’s death. We are now under a most unsettled government, and our eyes are fixed on England for relief. Some here wish for your noble patron, my lord Pembroke; and go so far as to say, that he will be the man. I am confident we should be happy under one that favoured you; and if there be any thing in this report, you would highly favour me, by letting his lordship know, that here he will find me, amongst several others, that are your admirers; for that I reckon the most advantageous character I can come, recommended under, to his lordship.

Mr. Burridge has been lately so taken up with his ecclesiastic affairs in the country, that (as he writes me word) he has hitherto made but little farther progress in the translation of the essay, but he promises now to set about it earnestly. I wish you would give Edition: current; Page: [382] me your free opinion of what I have already sent you thereof.

I fear your public business will, in some measure, take you off from your more retired thoughts, by which the world were gainers every day. But, good sir, let me intreat you, that, at your leisure hours, you would think on, and send a line to

Your most affectionate, and humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
July 2, 1696
London
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

I CANNOT, without great trouble, hear of any indisposition of yours: your friendship, which heaven has bestowed on me, as one of the greatest blessings I can enjoy, for the remainder of my life, is what I value at so high a rate, that I cannot consider myself within danger of losing a person, every way so dear to me, without very great uneasiness of mind.

Thus far I got, when I sat down to write to you, about a month since, as you will see by the date at the top; business, and a little excursion into the country, has hindered me ever since. Were you a man I only cared to talk with, out of civility, I should sooner answer your letters. But, not contenting myself with such formal correspondence with you, I cannot find in my heart to begin writing to you, ’till I think I shall have time to talk a great deal, and pour out my mind to a man, to whom I make sure I can do it with freedom; his candour and friendship allow that, and I find I know not what pleasure in doing it. I promised myself abundance of pleasure this summer, in seeing you here, and the disappointment is one of the most sensible I could have met with, in my private concerns; and the occasion, that robbed me of that satisfaction, frights Edition: current; Page: [383] me. I have, I thank God, now as much health, as my constitution will allow me to expect. But yet, if I will think like a reasonable man, the flattery of my summer vigour ought not to make me count beyond the next winter, at any time for the future. The last sat so heavy upon me, that it was with difficulty I got through it; and you will not blame me, if I have a longing to see and embrace a man I esteem and love so much, before I leave this silly earth; which, when the conveniencies of life are moderately provided for, has nothing of value in it equal to the conversation of a knowing, ingenious, and large-minded friend, who sincerely loves and seeks truth.

When I took pen in hand to continue this letter, I had yours of March and June last before me, with a design to answer them. But my pen run on, as you see, before I could get leave of my forward thoughts, to come to what was my chief business, viz. to read again and answer those kind letters of yours.

That of March 28, brought me a sample of Mr. Burridge’s translation: upon my reading of it, I began to correct it after my fashion, and intended to have gone through that, and so all the rest of the sheets, as they came to my hand: but some other more pressing occasion interrupted me, and now I am past all hopes to have any leisure at all to do any thing more to it in that kind, and must wholly leave it to his and your care. When I say your care, I do not make so ill an use of your kindness, as to expect you should look it over and correct it; but I doubt not but you have such an interest in your college, that you can have the assistance of some able man there to do it. The subject itself, and my way of expressing my thoughts upon them, may, I doubt not, but be very different from the genius of the Latin tongue, and therefore I should not think it amiss, if Mr. Burridge would take more liberty to quit the scheme and phrase of my style, and so he takes but my sense, to comply more with the turn and manner of Tully’s philosophical language. For so he has but my sense, I care not how much he neglects my words; and whether he expresses my thoughts, you are as good judge Edition: current; Page: [384] as I, for I think you as much master of them. I say this to excuse you from the trouble of sending his papers over to me, as he dispatches them; for in my present circumstances I shall hardly have time so much as to peruse them. Pray, when you see, or send to him, give him my humble service.

Though your colic has done me no small prejudice, yet I am much more angry with it, upon the account of those inconveniencies it has made you suffer. I know you are in skilful, as well as careful hands, under the care of your brother, and it could not be advisable in any one to draw you from them. The colic is so general a name for pains in the lower belly, that I cannot from thence pretend to make any judgment of your case; but it can be no harm to advise you to ask him, whether he does not think that the drinking of our Bath waters may be useful to you in your case. I know those waters mightily strengthen those parts.

Your congratulation to me I take, as you meant, kindly and seriously, and it may be it is what another would rejoice in: but, if you would give me leave to whisper truth without vanity, in the ear of a friend, it is a preferment which I shall get nothing by, and I know not whether my country will, though that I shall aim at with all my endeavours.

Riches may be instrumental to so many good purposes, that it is, I think, vanity, rather than religion or philosophy, to pretend to contemn them. But yet they may be purchased too dear. My age and health demand a retreat from bustle and business, and the pursuit of some inquiries, I have in my thoughts, makes it more desirable than any of those rewards, which public employments tempt people with. I think the little I have enough, and do not desire to live higher, or die richer than I am. And therefore you have reason rather to pity the folly, than congratulate the fortune, that engages me in the whirlpool.

It is your pre-occupation, in favour of me, that makes you say what you do of Mr. Wynne’s abridgment; I know not, whether it be that, or any thing else, that has occasioned it; but I was told some time since, that Edition: current; Page: [385] my essay began to get some credit in Cambridge, where I think, for some years after it was published, it was scarce so much as looked into. But now I have some reason to think it is a little more favourably received there, by these two questions held there this last commencement; viz. “Probabile est animam non semper cogitare:” and, “Idea Dei non est innata.”

What you say of the Reasonableness of Christianity, gives me occasion to ask your thoughts of that treatise, and also how it passes amongst you there; for here, at its first coming out, it was received with no indifferency, some speaking of it with great commendation, but most censuring it as a very bad book. What you say of Mr. Edwards is so visible, that I find all the world of your mind.

This is now a third sitting before I finish this letter, whereby, I fear, I shall give you an ill picture of myself. By the reading of the next paragraph of your obliging letter of June 6, I am mightily comforted to find that it is not want of health (as it run in my head by a strong impression, I found remained in my mind, from the colic mentioned in the beginning of your letter) but business, that keeps me this year from the happiness of your company. This is much more tolerable to me than the other, and though I suffer by it, yet I can bear it the better, whilst there is room to hope it may be such, that both you and your country may receive advantage by it. Mr. Howard, whom I was resolving yesterday morning to inquire after, prevented me by a visit he made me, wherein he gave me an account he had received a letter from you, since his return from Cambridge. That which you desire of me, as the chief reason of affording me his acquaintance, is what I cannot refuse, and yet it causes in me some confusion to grant. If the original could do you any service, I shall be glad; but to think my picture worth your having, would carry too much vanity with it, to allow my consent, did not the skill of the painter often make amends for the meanness of the subject, and a good pencil frequently make the painted representation of more value than the real substance. This Edition: current; Page: [386] may probably be my case. Mr. Howard is a very pretty young gentleman, and I thank you for his acquaintance. I wish it lay in my power to do him any service, whilst he is here. If the length of my letter could be an excuse for the slowness of its coming, I have certainly made a very ample apology; though I satisfy myself neither in being silent so long, nor in tiring you with talking so much now; but it is from an heart wholly devoted to you. I am,

SIR,
Your most affectionate humble servant,
John Locke.
John Locke
Locke, John
12 Sept. 1696
London
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

COULD the painter have made a picture of me, capable of your conversation, I should have sat to him with more delight, than ever I did any thing in my life. The honour you do me, 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; 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 stood next to them. But friendship, I see, 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 level. This is that which 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 may, 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 Edition: current; Page: [387] it had not that countenance I ought to accost you with. I know not whether the secret displeasure I felt whilst I was sitting, from the consideration that the going of my picture brought us no nearer together, made me look grave: but this I must own, that it 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 desirable 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 has 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 there not 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? I know you have the same 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 begining of the last month, and am,

SIR,
Your most affectionate, and most humble servant,
John Locke.
Edition: current; Page: [388]
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Sept. 26, 1696
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Honoured Sir,

I HAVE now before me two of yours, one of August the 4th, and t’other of the 12th instant. I had sooner answered the former, but that I waited to give you an account of the farther progress of the translation, which Mr. Burridge faithfully promised me; and I lately understand from him, that he has gone through the three chapters of the first book. I must confess his avocations are many, and therefore his progress is not so quick as I could desire. But I am sure he will accomplish it, and that well too; and Mr. Churchill has told him that you say, “sat cito, si sat bene;” and he is very well pleased, that you give him time.

I do not wonder that your essay is received in the universities. I should indeed have wondered with indignation at the contrary; “magna est veritas & prævalebit.” We may expect a liberty of philosophizing in the schools: but that your doctrine should be soon heard out of our pulpits, is what is much more remarkable. He that, even ten years ago, should have preached, that “idea Dei non est innata,” had certainly drawn on him the character of an atheist; yet now we find Mr. Bentley very large upon it, in his sermons at Mr. Boyle’s lectures, serm. 1. p. 4, and serm. 3. p. 5, and Mr. Whiston, in his new theory of the earth, p. 128.

Mentioning these books minds me to intimate to you, that these ingenious authors agree exactly with you, in a passage you have in your thoughts of education, p. 337, 3d edit. § 192. “That the phenomenon of gravitation cannot be accounted for, by mere matter and motion, but seems an immediate law of the divine will so ordering it.” And you conclude that section thus, “reserving to a fitter opportunity, a fuller explication of this hypothesis, and the application of it to all the parts of the deluge, and any difficulties can be supposed in the history of Edition: current; Page: [389] the flood.” This seems to imply, that you have some thoughts of writing on that subject; it would be a mighty satisfaction to me, to know from you the certainty thereof. I should be very glad also to hear what the opinion of the ingenious is concerning Mr. Whiston’s book.

As to the “Reasonableness of Christianity,” I do not find but it is well approved of here, amongst candid unprejudiced men, that dare speak their thoughts. I’ll tell you what a very learned and ingenious prelate said to me on that occasion: I asked him whether he had read that book, and how he liked it; he told me, very well; and that if my friend Mr. Locke writ it, it was the best book he ever laboured at; but, says he, if I should be known to think so, I should have my lawns torn from my shoulders. But he knew my opinion aforehand, and was, therefore, the freer to commit his secret thoughts in that matter to me.

I am very sorry I can give you no better an account of the linen manufactures of late years set up in Ireland than what follows:

About the year 1692 (I think) one Mons. Du Pin came to Dublin from England, and here, by the king and queen’s letter and patents thereon, he set up a royal corporation for carrying on the linen manufacture in Ireland. Into this corporation many of the nobility and gentry were admitted, more for their countenance and favour to the project, than for any great help could be expected either from their purses or heads, to carry on the work. Du Pin himself was nominated under-governor, and a great bustle was made about the business; many meetings were held, and considerable sums advanced to forward the work, and the members promised themselves prodigious gains; and this expectation prevailed so far (by what artifices I cannot tell) as to raise the value of each share to 40 or 50 pounds, though but five pounds was paid by each member at first, for every share he had. At length artificers began to set at work, and some parcels of cloth were made, when on a sudden there happened some controversy between the corporation here in Ireland, and such another corporation Edition: current; Page: [390] established in England by London undertakers, and in which Du Pin was also a chief member. Much time was lost in managing this dispute, and the work began in the mean time to flag, and the price of the shares to lower mightily.

But, some little time before this controversy happened, some private gentlemen and merchants, on their own stock, without the authority of an incorporating patent, set up a linen manufacture at Drogheda, which promised, and thrived very well at first; and the corporation of Dublin, perceiving this, began to quarrel with them also, and would never let them alone till they embodied with them. These quarrels and controversies (the particulars whereof I can give you no account of, for I was not engaged amongst them, and I can get no one that was, who can give any tolerable account of them; I say they) grew so high, and Du Pin began to play such tricks, that all were discouraged, and withdrew as fast as they could. So that now all is blown up, and nothing of this kind is carried on, but by such as out of their own private purses set up looms and bleaching-yards. We have many of these in many parts of Ireland; and I believe no country in the world is better adapted for it, especially the north. I have as good diaper, made by some of my tenants, nigh Armagh, as can come to a table, and all other cloth for household uses.

As to the law for the encouraging the linen manufacture, it is this: In the 17th and 18th of Car. II. there was an act of Parliament made, “obliging all landlords and tenants to sow such a certain proportion of their holdings with flax, under a great penalty on both, on failure; and impowering the sheriffs to levy 20 pounds, in each of their respective counties, to be distributed at the quarter sessions, yearly, to the three persons who should bring in the three best webs of linen cloth, of such a length and breadth, 10l. to the first, 6l. to the second, and 4l. to the third.” This, whilst it lasted, was a great encouragement to the country people, to strive to out-do each other, and it produced excellent cloth all over the kingdom; but then it was Edition: current; Page: [391] but temporary, only for twenty years from passing the act, and is now expired. But that part of the act, “ordaining landlords and tenants to sow flax,” is perpetual; and I can give no reason why it is not executed; only this I can say, that the transgression is so universal, and the forfeiture thereon to the king is so severe, that if it were inquired into, I believe all the estates in Ireland would be forfeited to his majesty. So that now the multitude of sinners is their security. This statute you will find amongst the Irish acts, 17 & 18 Car. II. chap. 9.

England, most certainly, will never let us thrive by the woollen trade; this is their darling mistress, and they are jealous of any rival. But I see not that we interfere with them, in the least, by the linen trade. So that that is yet left open to us to grow rich by, if it were well established and managed; but by what means this should be, truly I dare not venture to give my thoughts. There is no country has better land, or water, for flax and hemp, and I do verily believe the navy may be provided here, with sailing and cordage, cheaper by far than in England. Our land is cheaper, victuals for workmen is cheaper, and labour is cheaper, together with other necessaries for artificers.

I know not in what manner to thank you for the trouble you have been at, in sitting for your picture, on my account. It is a favour of that value, that I acknowledge myself extremely obliged to you for; and therefore I could not think that the expressions concerning it in your last belonged to me, did they come from one less sincere than yourself. “Painting, it is true, was designed to represent the gods and the great men, that stand next them;” and therefore it was, that I desired your picture. This, sir, is the real and sincere thought of

Your most obliged humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Edition: current; Page: [392]
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Jan. 5, 1696-7
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

IT is now three months since I ventured to trouble you with a letter; you may see thereby that I have a regard to the public business you are engaged in; but I have not been all this while without the satisfaction of hearing that you are well; for, as all my friends know, that I have the most respectful concern for you in the world; so they are not wanting, on all opportunities, from t’other side the water, to give me the acceptable tidings of your welfare. I have lately received a letter from Mr. Howard, that obliges me to make his acknowledgments for the favours he has received from you. This I can hardly do, without complaining of him at the same time, for not yet sending me your picture; but I suppose by this time, it is on the road hither, and I forgive him; and with all gratitude imaginable, return you my thanks on his account.

The enclosed piece of natural history I am desired by my brother to present to you, with his most affectionate humble service. If, upon perusing it, you think it may deserve it, you may send it by the penny-post to the Royal Society, to fill up an empty page in the Transactions. There is nothing to recommend it but its being exactly true, and an account of a non-descript animal. Formerly I had a constant correspondence with the secretary of the society, but of late it has failed; and therefore we take the liberty of sending this through your hands.

I have lately met with a book here of Mons. Le Clerc’s, called The Causes of Incredulity, done out of French. It is the same Le Clerc that writes Ontologia, and dedicates it to you. I find thereby you are his acquaintance and friend; I should be very glad you would be pleased to give me some account of that gentleman, and his circumstances in the world, if you know them. Edition: current; Page: [393] To me he seems an impartial and candid inquirer after truth, and to have the true spirit of christianity in that his book. The reason why I inquire after him, is, because I suppose him one of the refugees from France, and perhaps he may receive some encouragement to come into this kingdom. I am,

SIR,
Your most affectionate servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
Feb. 3, 1696-7
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Sir,

AS I had reason to rejoice on the nation’s account, when you were first put on public business; so I find, on my own particular, I had cause to lament; for since that time (to my great concern) your letters have been less frequent, and the satisfaction I had in them abundantly diminished. Were I assured of the confirmed state of your health, I could more patiently submit to this; but knowing your sickly disposition, a month’s silence puts me in pain for you; and I am very uneasy under the apprehensions of any danger that may attend you. Favour me, therefore, good sir, though it were but a line or two, in the crowd of your business; for that itself would be some contentment to me, in the want of those noble philosophical thoughts which sometimes you were pleased to communicate to me.

And now, sir, I shall beg a favour of you a little out of our common road of correspondence. We have here lately received the certainty of Mr. Methwin’s being declared our lord chancellor; and truly, sir, all moderate and good men, I find, are very well pleased at it. I suppose, by your interest and acquaintance with my lord keeper of England, you have an acquaintance Edition: current; Page: [394] likewise with Mr. Methwin; and I beg the favour of you to mention me to him as your devoted friend and servant. I am sure, if he knows you rightly, I cannot be represented to him under a more advantageous character: and I know this will give me admittance to his graces, which I desire more, as I hear he is a good, than a great man; and, being one of the masters in chancery here, it is natural to covet the favour of him under whom I am to act.

I have lately met with a book of the bishop of Worcester’s concerning the Trinity. He takes occasion therein to reflect on some things in your Essay; but truly, I think, with no great strength of reason. However, he being a man of great name, I humbly propose it to you, whether you may not judge it worth your while to take notice of what he says, and give some answer to it, which will be no difficult task. I do not intend hereby, that an answer, on purpose for that end only, should be framed by you; I think it not of that moment; but perhaps you may find some accidental occasion of taking notice thereof, either in the next edition of your Essay, or some other discourse you may publish hereafter.

I have not yet received the satisfaction of having your likeness before me, and have therefore lately writ a very discontented letter about it to Mr. Howard. A great man here told me, I something resembled you in countenance; could he but assure me of being like you in mind too, it would have been the eternal honour and boast of

Your most devoted humble servant, and
entirely affectionate friend,
Will. Molyneux.

I find, by a book I lately light on, of Mr. Norris’s, that Mr. Masham and my son agree in one odd circumstance of life, of having both their mothers blind; for my wife lost her sight above twelve years before she died, and I find lady Masham is in the same condition.

Edition: current; Page: [395]
John Locke
Locke, John
22 Feb. 1696-7
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

I FEAR you will be of an opinion, that I take my picture for myself, and think you ought to look no farther, since that is coming to you, or is already with you. Indeed we are shadows much alike, and there is not much difference in our strength and usefulness. Yet I cannot but remember, that I cannot expect my picture should answer your letters to me, pay the acknowledgments I owe you, and excuse a silence as great as if I were nothing but a piece of cloth overlayed with colours. I could lay a great deal of the blame on business, and a great deal on want of health. Between these two I have had little leisure since I writ to you last. But all that will bear no excuse to myself, for being three letters in arrear to a person whom I the willingliest hear from of any man in the world, and with whom I had rather entertain myself, and pass my hours in conversation, than with any one that I know. I should take it amiss if you were not angry with me for not writing to you all this while; for I should suspect you loved me not so well as I love you, if you could patiently bear my silence. I hope it is your civility makes you not chide me. I promise you, I should have grumbled cruelly at you, if you had been half so guilty as I have been. But if you are angry a little, pray be not so very much; for if you should provoke me any way, I know the first sight of a letter from you, would allay all my choler immediately; and the joy of hearing you were well, and that you continued your kindness to me, would fill my mind, and leave me no other passion. For I tell you truly, that since the receipt of your letter in September last, there has scarce a day passed, I am sure not a post, wherein I have not thought of my obligation and debt to you, and resolved to acknowledge it to you, though something or other has still come between to hinder me. For you would have pitied me, to see how much of my time was forced from me this winter in the country, Edition: current; Page: [396] (where my illness confined me within doors,) by crouds of letters, which were therefore indispensably to be answered, because they were from people whom either I knew not, or cared not for, or was not willing to make bold with; and so you, and another friend I have in Holland, have been delayed, and put last, because you are my friends beyond ceremony and formality. And I reserved myself for you when I was at leisure, in the ease of thoughts to enjoy. For, that you may not think you have been passed over by a peculiar neglect, I mention to you another very good friend of mine, of whom I have now by me a letter, of an ancienter date than the first of your three, yet unanswered.

However you are pleased, out of kindness to me, to rejoice in yours of September 26, that my notions have had the good luck to be vented from the pulpit, and particularly by Mr. Bentley; yet that matter goes not so clear as you imagine. For a man of no small name, as you know Dr. S—— is, has been pleased to declare against my doctrine of no innate ideas, from the pulpit in the Temple, and as I have been told, charged it with little less than atheism. Though the doctor be a great man, yet that would not much fright me, because I am told, that he is not always obstinate against opinions which he has condemned more publicly, than in an harangue to a Sunday’s auditory. But that it is possible he may be firm here, because it is also said, he never quits his aversion to any tenet he has once declared against, ’till change of times, bringing change of interest, and fashionable opinions open his eyes and his heart, and then he kindly embraces what before deserved his aversion and censure. My book crept into the world about six or seven years ago, without any opposition, and has since passed amongst some for useful, and, the least favourable, for innocent. But, as it seems to me, it is agreed by some men that it should no longer do so. Something, I know not what, is at last spied out in it, that is like to be troublesome, and therefore it must be an ill book, and be treated accordingly. It is not that I know any thing in particular, but some things that have happened at the same time Edition: current; Page: [397] together, seem to me to suggest this: What it will produce, time will show. But as you say in that kind letter, “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 ingenious 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 fifth 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 Edition: current; Page: [398] 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 in 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 200l. 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 3rd 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, perhaps, Edition: current; Page: [399] 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 has 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 deserve. 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 Edition: current; Page: [400] 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.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
March 16, 1696-7
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

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 tell why; and then I was apt to blame Edition: current; Page: [401] you, but I could less tell why. As your silence continued my distraction increased; till, at last, I was happily 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 correspondent, 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 immediately 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 Edition: current; Page: [402] have their profit and advantage. But it is ridiculous in any man to say in general your book is dangerous; let any fair contender for truth sit down and show wherein it is erroneous. Dangerous is a word of an uncertain signification; every one uses it in his own sense. A papist shall say it is dangerous; because, perhaps, it agrees not so well with transubstantiation; and a lutheran, because his consubstantiation is in hazard; but neither consider, whether transubstantiation or consubstantiation be true or false; but taking it for granted that they are true, or at least gainful, whatever hits not with it, or is against it, must be dangerous.

I am extremely obliged to you for your introducing a correspondence between Dr. Sloane and me, and it would be the greatest satisfaction imaginable to me, could I but promise myself materials, in this place, fit to support it. However I shall soon begin it, by sending him an account of the largest quadruped that moves on the earth, except the elephant, with which this country has anciently been plentifully stocked, but are now quite perished from amongst us, and is not to be found, for aught as I can learn, any where at present, but about New England, Virginia, &c.

And now I come to that part of your letter relating to Mons. Le Clerc, which grieves me every time I think on it. There are so many difficulties, in what you propose concerning him, that I know not how they will be surmounted. The clergy here have given that learned, pious, and candid man, a name that will frighten any bishop from serving him, though otherwise inclinable enough in his own breast. I know but two or three that are in any post in the church capable to help him; on whom I could rely to do it; but, at the same time, I know them to be such cautious wary men, and so fearful of the censure of the rest of the tribe, that they would hardly be brought to it. I take Mons. Le Clerc to be one of the greatest scholars in Europe; I look on him as one of the most judicious, pious and sincere Christians that has appeared publicly; and it would be an infinite honour to us, to have him amongst us, but, I fear, an ecclesiastical preferment will be very difficult to Edition: current; Page: [403] be obtained for him. And indeed, when I troubled you to give me some account of him, it was in prospect of bringing him into my own family, could his circumstances have allowed it; for I took him to be a single man, and one of the refugees in Holland, and wholly unprovided for. On his own account, I am heartily glad he has any settlement there; but, for my own sake, I could wish he were in other circumstances. But, notwithstanding these difficulties, I have ventured to break this matter to a clergyman here in a considerable post, Dr. ………. dean of ………, a gentleman who is happy in your acquaintance, and is a person of an extensive charity and great candour. He relished the thing extremely, but moved the forementioned difficulties, and raised some farther scruples concerning Mr. Le Clerc’s ordination; for ordained he must necessarily be, to capacitate him for an ecclesiastical preferment; and he questioned whether he would submit to those oaths, and subscription of assent and consent, that are requisite thereto. But he promised me that when he attends the king this summer into Holland, as his chaplain, he will wait on Mons. Le Clerc at Amsterdam, and discourse with him farther about this matter. This gentleman is the likeliest ecclesiastic in Ireland to effect this business, for he is a rising man in the church; and though he be very zealous in his own principles, yet it is with the greatest charity and deference to others; which, I think, is the true spirit of Christianity. I have not mentioned you in the least to him, in all this matter.

I am extremely obliged to you for the good offices you have done me to Mr. Methwin our lord chancellor. I promise myself a great deal of satisfaction in the honour of his lordship’s acquaintance. And, I could wish, if it were consistent with your convenience, that you would let me know the person you desired to mention my name to his lordship.

I am heartily glad to understand that you have taken notice of what the bishop of Worcester says, relating to your book. I have been in discourse here with an ingenious man, upon what the bishop alleges; and the Edition: current; Page: [404] gentleman observed, that the bishop does not so directly object against your notions as erroneous, but as misused by others, and particularly by the author of “Christianity not mysterious;” but I think this is no very just observation. The bishop directly opposes your doctrine, though, it is true, he does it on the occasion of the foresaid book. I am told the author of that discourse is of this country, and that his name is Toland, but he is a stranger in these parts; I believe, if he belongs to this kingdom, he has been a good while out of it, for I have not heard of any such remarkable man amongst us.

I should be very glad to see Mons. L.’s paper concerning your Essay. He is certainly an extraordinary person, especially in mathematics; but really to speak freely of him, in relation to what he may have to say to you, I do not expect any great matters from him; for methinks (with all deference to his great name) he has given the world no extraordinary samples of his thoughts this way, as appears by two discourses he has printed, both in the “Acta Erudit. Lipsiæ,” the first Anno 1694, p. 110. “De primæ Philosophiæ Emendatione,” &c. the other Anno 1695, p. 145. “Specimen Dynamicum,” which truly to me is, in many places, unintelligible; but that may be my defect, and not his.

I beg you would excuse me to my lady Masham, for the errour I committed relating to her ladyship. I ever looked on Mr. Norris as an obscure enthusiastic man, but I could not think he would knowingly impose on the world so notorious a falsity in matter of fact. I wish authors would take more pains to open than to shut men’s eyes, and then we should have more success in the discoveries of truth.———But I have almost outrun my paper. I am,

Ever honoured Sir,
Your most affectionate, and
most obliged humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Edition: current; Page: [405]
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
April 6, 1697
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Honoured Sir,

IN my last to you of March 16, there was a passage relating to the author of “Christianity not mysterious.” I did not then think that he was so near me, as within the bounds of this city; but I find since, that he is come over hither, and have had the favour of a visit from him. I now understand (as I intimated to you) that he was born in this country; but that he has been a great while abroad, and his education was, for some time, under the great Le Clerc. But that for which I can never honour him too much, is his acquaintance and friendship to you, and the respect which, on all occasions, he expresses for you. I propose a great deal of satisfaction in his conversation; I take him to be a candid free-thinker, and a good scholar. But there is a violent sort of spirit, that reigns here, which begins already to show itself against him; and, I believe, will increase daily; for I find the clergy alarmed to a mighty degree against him. And last Sunday he had his welcome to this city, by hearing himself harangued against out of the pulpit, by a prelate of this country.

I have at last received my most esteemed friend’s picture; I must now make my grateful acknowledgments to you, for the many idle hours you spent in sitting for it, to gratify my desire. I never look upon it, but with the greatest veneration. But though the artist has shown extraordinary skill at his pencil, yet now I have obtained some part of my desire, the greatest remains unsatisfied; and seeing he could not make it speak, and converse with me, I am still at a loss. But I find you are resolved, in some measure, to supply even that too, by the kind presents you sent me of your thoughts, both in your letters and in your books, as you publish them. Mr. Churchill tells me, I am obliged to you for one or two of this kind, that you have been pleased to favour me with; they are not yet come to hand, but I return Edition: current; Page: [406] you my heartiest thanks for them. I long, indeed, to see your answer to the bishop of Worcester; but for Edwards, I think him such a poor wretch, he deserves no notice. I am,

Most worthy Sir,
Your affectionate, humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
John Locke
Locke, John
April 10, 1697
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Sir,

THOUGH I do not suspect that you will think me careless or cold in that small business you desired of me, and so left it in negligent hands, give me leave to send you a transcript of a passage in my friend’s letter, which I received last post.

“It is a great while since that Mr. P—— undertook to tell you that I had spoken to Mr. Methwin about Mr. Molyneux, and that he received your recommendation very civilly, and answered, he should always have a great regard for any body you thought worthy of your esteem; and you gave so advantageous a character of Mr. Molyneux, that he should covet his acquaintance, and therefore he must desire the favour of you to recommend him to Mr. Molyneux.”

Thus, my friend, whose words, though in them there be something of compliment to myself, I repeat to you just as they are in his letter, that you may see he had the same success I promised you in my last.

In obedience to your commands, I herewith send you a copy of Mr. L—’s paper. The last paragraph, which you will find writ in my hand, is a transcript of part of a letter, writ lately to his correspondent here, one Mr. Burnet, who sent it me lately, with a copy of Mr. Edition: current; Page: [407] L———’s paper. Mr. Burnet has had it this year or two, but never communicated it to me, ’till about a fortnight agone. Indeed Mr. Cunningham procured me a sight of it last summer, and he and I read it paragraph by paragraph over together, and he confessed to me, that some parts of it he did not understand; and I showed him in others, that Mr. L———’s opinion would not hold, who was perfectly of my mind. I mention Mr. Cunningham to you, in the case, because I think him an extraordinary man of parts and learning, and he is one that is known to Mr. L———. To answer your freedom with the like, I must confess to you, that Mr. L———’s great name had raised in me an expectation which the sight of his paper did not answer, nor that discourse of his in the “Acta Eruditorum,” which he quotes, and I have since read, and had just the same thoughts of it, when I read it, as I find you have. From whence I only draw this inference, that even great parts will not master any subject without great thinking, and even the largest minds have but narrow swallows. Upon this occasion I cannot but again regret the loss of your company and assistance, by this great distance.

I have lately got a little leisure to think of some additions to my book, against the next edition, and within these few days have fallen upon a subject, that I know not how far it will lead me. I have written several pages on it, but the matter, the farther I go, opens the more upon me, and I cannot yet get sight of any end of it. The title of the chapter will be, “Of the Conduct of the Understanding,” which, if I shall pursue, as far as I imagine it will reach, and as it deserves, will, I conclude, make the largest chapter of my Essay. It is well for you, you are not near me; I should be always pestering you with my notions, and papers, and reveries. It would be a great happiness to have a man of thought to lay them before, and a friend that would deal candidly and freely.

I hope, ere this, you and your brother have received printed copies of what the doctor communicated to the Royal Society. I presume it is published before this Edition: current; Page: [408] time, though I have not seen it; for Dr. Sloane writ me word, some time since, that it would be speedily, and told me he would send it to you. And, if Mr. Churchill has taken that care he promised me, I hope you have also received my Letter to the bishop of Worcester, and that I shall soon receive your thoughts of it.

The business you proposed to Dr. S—— is generously designed, and well managed, and I very much wish it success. But will not Dr. S—— be persuaded to communicate to the world the observations he made in Turkey? The discourse I had with him satisfies me, they well deserve not to be lost, as all papers laid up in a study are. Methinks you should prevail with him to oblige his country.

Though my paper be done, yet I cannot close my letter till I have made some acknowledgments to you, for the many great marks you give me of a sincere affection, and an esteem extremely above what I can deserve, in yours of the 16th of March. Such a friend, procured me by my Essay, makes me more than amends for the many adversaries it has raised me. But, I think, nobody will be able to find any thing mischievous in it, but what you say, which I suspect, troubles some men; and I am not sorry for it, nor like my book the worse. He that follows truth impartially, seldom pleases any set of men; and I know not how a great many of those, who pretend to be spreaders of light and teachers of truth, would yet have men depend upon them for it, and take it rather upon their words than their own knowledge, just cooked and seasoned as they think fit. But it is time to release you after so long a trouble. I am perfectly,

Dear Sir,
Your most humble and most faithful servant,
John Locke.
Edition: current; Page: [409]

Reflexions de Mr. L——— surl’éssai de l’entendement humainde Monsieur Locke.

JE trouve tant de marques d’une penetration peu ordinaire dans ce que Mr. Locke nous a donné sur l’entendement de l’homme, & sur l’education, & je juge la matiere si importante, que j’ai crû ne pas mal employer le tems que je donnerois à une lecture si profitable; d’autant que j’ai fort medité moi-même sur ce qui regarde les fondemens de nos connoissances. C’est ce qui m’a fait mettre sur cette feüille quelques unes des remarques qui me sont venues en lisant son “essai de l’entendement.” De toutes les recherches il n’y en a point de plus importantes, puisque c’est la clef de toutes les autres.

Le premier livre regarde principalement les principes qu’on dit être néz avec nous. Mr. Locke ne les admet pas, non plus que les idées inées. Il a eu sans doute de grandes raisons de s’opposer en cela aux préjugez ordinaires, car on abuse extrêmement du nom d’idées & de principes. Les philosophes vulgaires se font des principes à leur phantasie, & les Cartesiens, qui font profession de plus d’exactitude, ne laissent pas de faire leur retrenchement des idées prétendües, de l’étendüe de la matiere, & de l’ame; voulant s’éxempter par-la de la nécessité de prouver ce qu’ils avancent; sous prétexte que ceux qui méditeront les idées, y trouveront la même chose qu’eux, c’est-à-dire, que ceux qui s’accoûtumeront à leur jargon & à leur maniere de penser, auront les mêmes préventions, ce qui est très-véritable. Mon opinion est donc qu’on ne doit rien prendre pour principe primitif, si non les expériences & l’axiôme de l’identicité ou (ce qui est la même chose) de la contradiction, qui est primitif, puisqu’ autrement il n’y auroit point de difference entre la verité & la fausseté; & toutes les recherches cesseroient d’abord, s’il étoit indifferent de dire oüi ou non. On ne sauroit donc s’empêcher de supposer ce principe, dès qu’on veut raisonner. Edition: current; Page: [410] Toutes les autres veritez sont prouvables, & j’estime extrêmement la methode d’Euclide, qui sans s’arrêter à ce qu’on croiroit être assez prouvé par les prétendües idées, a demontré (par exemple) que dans une triangle un côté est toûjours moindre que les deux autres ensemble. Cependant Euclide a eu raison de prendre quelques axiômes pour accordés, non pas comme s’ils étoient véritablement primitifs & indémonstrables, mais parce qu’il se seroit trop arrêté, s’il n’avoit voulu venir aux conclusions qu’après une discussion éxacte des principes: ainsi il a jugé à propos de se contenter d’avoir poussé les preuves, jusqu’à ce petit nombre de propositions, en sorte qu’on peut dire que si elles sont vraies, tout ce qu’il dit l’est aussi. Il a laissé à d’autres le soin, de démontrer ces principes mêmes, qui d’ailleurs sont déja justifiées par les expériences. Mais c’est dequoi on ne se contente point en ces matieres: c’est pourquoi Apollonius, Proclus, & autres, ont pris la peine de démontrer quelques uns des axiômes d’Euclide. Cette maniere doit être imitée des philosophes, pour venir enfin à quelques établissemens, quand ils ne seroient que provisionels; de la maniere que je viens de dire. Quant aux idées j’en ai donné quelque éclaircissement dans un petit écrit imprimé dans les actes des sçavans de Leipzig au mois de Novembre, 1684, p. 537, qui est intitulé, “Meditationes de cognitione, veritate, & ideis,” & j’aurois souhaité que Mr. Locke l’eut vû & éxaminé, car je suis des plus dociles, & rien n’est plus propre à avancer nos pensées que les considerations & les remarques des personnes de mérite, lorsqu’elles sont faites avec attention & avec sincerité. Je dirai seulement ici, que les idées vraies ou réeles sont celles dont on est assûré que l’éxécution est possible, les autres sont douteuses ou (en cas de preuve de l’impossibilité) chimériques. Or la possibilité des idées se prouve tant à priori par des démonstrations, en se servant de la possibilité d’autres idées plus simples, qu’à posteriori par les expériences, car ce qui est ne sçauroit manquer d’être possible: mais les idées primitives sont celles dont la possibilité est indémonstrable, & qui en effet ne sont autre chose que les attributs de Dieu. Pour ce qui est Edition: current; Page: [411] de la question, “s’il y a des idées & des véritez créez avec nous;” je ne trouve point absolument nécessaire pour les commencemens, ni pour la pratique de l’art de penser, de la décider, soit qu’elles nous viennent toutes de déhors, ou qu’elles viennent de nous, on raisonnera juste pourvû qu’on garde ce que j’ai dit cidessus & qu’on precede avec ordre & sans prévention. La question de “l’origine de nos idées & de nos maximes” n’est pas préliminaire en philosophie, & il faut avoir fait de grands progrès pour la bien résoudre. Je crois cependant pouvoir dire que nos idées (même celles de choses sensibles) viennent de notre propre fonds, dont on pourra mieux juger parce que j’ai publié touchant la nature & la communication des substances & ce qu’on appelle “l’union de l’ame avec le corps,” car j’ai trouvé que ces choses n’avoient pas été bien prises. Je ne suis nullement pour la tabula rasa d’Aristote, & il y a quelque chose de solide dans ce que Platon appelloit la reminiscence. Il y a même quelque chose de plus, car nous n’avons pas seulement une reminiscence de toutes nos pensées; passées; mais encore un pressentiment de toutes nos pensées futures. Il est vrai que c’est confusément & sans les distinguer, à peu près comme lorsque j’entends le bruit de la mer, j’entends celui de toutes les vagues en particulier qui composent le bruit total; quoique ce soit sans discerner une vague de l’autre. Et il est vrai dans un certain sens que j’ai expliqué, que non seulement nos idées, mais encore nos sentimens naissent de nôtre propre fonds, & que l’ame est plus indépendante qu’on ne pense, quoiqu’il soit toûjours vrai que rien ne se passe en elle qui ne soit déterminé.

Dans le livre ii. qui vient au détail des idées, j’avouë que les raisons de Mons. Locke pour prouver que l’ame est quelquefois sans penser à rien, ne me paroissent pas convainquantes; si ce n’est qu’il donne le nom de pensés aux seules perceptions assez notables pour être distinguées & retenuës. Je tiens que l’ame & même le corps n’est jamais sans action, & que l’ame n’est jamais sans quelque perception. Même en dormant on a quelques sentimens confus & sombres du lieu où l’on est & Edition: current; Page: [412] d’autres choses. Mais quand l’expérience ne le confirmeroit pas je crois qu’il y en a démonstration. C’est à peu près comme on ne sçauroit prouver absolument pas les expériences s’il n’y a point de vuide dans l’espace & s’il n’y a point de repos dans la matiere. Et cependant ces sortes de questions me paroissent décidées démonstrativement, aussi bien qu’à Mr. Locke; je demeure d’accord de la différence qu’il met avec beaucoup de raison entre la matiere & l’espace. Mais, pour ce qui est du vuide plusieurs personnes habiles l’ont crû. Monsieur Locke est de ce nombre, j’en étois presque persuadé moi-même, mais j’en suis revenu depuis longtems. Et l’incomparable Monsieur Huygens, qui étoit aussi pour le vuide, et pour les atômes, commença à faire réflexion sur mes raisons, comme ses lettres le pouvent témoigner. La preuve du vuide prise du mouvement, dont Mr. Locke se sert, suppose que le corps est originairement dur, & qu’il est composé d’un certain nombre de parties inflexibles. Car en ce cas il seroit vrai, quelque nombre fini d’atômes qu’on pourroit prendre, que le mouvement ne sçauroit avoir lieu sans vuide, mais toutes les parties de la matiere sont divisibles & pliables. Il y a encore quelques autres choses dans ce second livre qui m’arrêtent, par éxemple, lorsqu’il est dit, chap. 17. que l’infinité ne se doit attribuer qu’à l’espace, au tems, & aux nombres. Je crois avec Mr. Locke qu’à proprement parler on peut dire qu’il n’y a point d’espace, de tems, ni de nombre, qui soit infini, mais qu’il est seulement vrai que plus grand que soit une espace, ou tems, ou bien un nombre, il y a toûjours un autre plus grand que lui sans fin, & qu’ainsi le véritable infini ne se trouve point dans un tout composé de parties. Cependant il ne laisse pas de se trouver ailleurs, savoir dans l’absolu, qui est sans parties & qui a influence sur les choses composées, parce qu’elles résultent de la limitation de l’absolu. Donc l’infini positif n’étant autre chose que l’absolu, on peut dire qu’il y a en ce sens une idée positive de l’infini, & qu’elle est antérieure à celle du fini. Au reste en rejettant un infini composé on ne rejette point ce que les géométres démontrent “de seriebus infinitis,” & particulierement Edition: current; Page: [413] l’excellent Mr. Newton. Quant à ce qui est dit chap. 30. “de ideis adæquatis,” il est permit de donner aux termes la signification qu’on trouve à propos. Cependant sans blamer le sens de Mr. Locke je mets un degré dans les idées selon lequelle j’appelle adequate celle où il n’y a plus rien à expliquer. Or toutes les idées des qualitez sensibles, comme de la lumiere, couleur, chaleur, n’êtant point de cette nature, je ne les compte point parmi les adequates, aussi n’est-ce point par ellesmêmes, ni à priori, mais par l’expérience que nous en sçavons la réalite, ou la possibilité.

Il y a encore bien de bonnes choses dans le livre iii. où il est traite des mots ou termes. Il est très-vrai qu’on ne sçauroit tout définir, & que les qualitez sensibles n’ont point de définition nominale, & on les peut appeller primitives en ce sens-la. Mais elles ne laissent pas de pouvoir recevoir une définition réelle. J’ai montré la différence de ses deux sortes de définitions dans la méditation citée ci-dessus. La définition nominale explique le nom par les marques de la choses; mais la definition réelle fait connoître à priori la possibilité du défini. Au reste j’applaudis fort à la doctrine de Mons. Locke touchant la demonstrabilité des veritez morales.

Le iv. ou dernier livre, où il s’agit de la connoissance de la verité, montre l’usage de ce qui vient d’être dit. J’y trouve (aussi bien que dans les livres précédens) une infinité de belles reflexions. De faire là-dessus les remarques convenables, ce seroit faire un livre aussi grand que l’ouvrage même. Il me semble que les axiômes y sont un peu moins considerés qu’ils ne méritent de l’être. C’est apparemment parce qu’excepté ceux des mathematiciens on n’en trouve guere ordinairement, qui soient importans & solides: tâché de rémedier à ce défaut. Je ne méprise pas les propositions identiques, & j’ai trouvé qu’elles ont un grand usage même dans l’analyse. Il est très-vrai, que nous connoissons nôtre existence par une intuition immediate & celle de Dieu par démonstration, & qu’une masse de matiere, dont les parties sont sans perception, ne Edition: current; Page: [414] sçauroit faire un tout qui pense. Je ne méprise point l’argument inventé, il y a quelques siécles, par Ansclme, qui prouve que l’être parfait doit exister; quoique je trouve qu’il manque quelque chose à cet argument, parce qu’il suppose que l’être parfait est possible. Car si ce seul point se démonstre encore, la démonstration toute entiere sera entierement achevé. Quant à la connoissance des autres choses il est fort bien dit, que la seule expérience ne suffit pas pour avancer assez en physique. Un esprit pénétrant tirera plus de conséquences de quelques expériences assez ordinaires qu’un autre ne sçauroit tirer des plus choisies, outre qu’il y a un art d’expérimenter & d’interroger, pour ainsi dire, la nature. Cependant il est toujours vrai qu’on ne sçauroit avancer dans le detail de la physique qu’à mesure qu’on a des expériences. Mons. Locke est de l’opinion des plusieurs habiles hommes, qui tiennent que la forme des logiciens est de peu d’usage. Je serois quasi d’un autre sentiment: & j’ai trouvé souvent que les paralogismes même dans les mathématiques sont des manquemens de la forme. M. Huygens a fait la même remarque. Il y auroit bien à dire là-dessus; & plusieurs choses excellentes sont méprisées parce qu’on n’en fait pas l’usage dont elles sont capables. Nous sommes portez à mépriser ce que nous avons appris dans les écoles. Il est vrai que nous y apprenons bien des inutilitez, mais il est bon de faire la fonction della crusca, c’est à dire, de séparer le bon du mauvais. Mr. Locke le peut faire autant que qui que ce soit; & de plus il nous donne des pensées considerables de son propre crû. Il n’est pas seulement essayeur, mais il est encore transmutateur, par l’augmentation qu’il donne du bon métail. S’il continuoit d’en faire present au public, nous lui en serions fort redevables.

Je voudrois que Mons. Locke eut dit son sentiment à Mons. Cunningham sur mes remarques, ou que Mons. Cunningham voulut nous le dire librement. Car je ne suis pas de ceux qui sont entêtez, & la raison peut tout sur moi. Mais les affaires de négoce détournent Mons. Locke de ces pensées, car cette matiere de négoce est Edition: current; Page: [415] de très grande etendu & même fort subtile & demimathematique, &c.

Locke
Locke
May 3, 1697
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Dear Sir,

THOUGH the honour you do me, in the value you put upon my shadow, be a fresh mark of that friendship which is so great an happiness to me, yet I shall never consider my picture in the same house with you, without great regret at my so far distance from you myself. But I will not continue to importune you with my complaints of that kind; it is an advantage greater than I could have hoped, to have the conversation of such a friend, though with the sea between; and the remaining little scantling of my life would be too happy, if I had you in my neighbourhood.

I am glad to hear that the gentleman you mention, in yours of the sixth of the last month, does me the favour to speak well of me on that side the water; I never deserved other of him, but that he should always have done so on this. If his exceeding great value of himself do not deprive the world of that usefulness, that his parts, if rightly conducted, might be of, I shall be very glad. He went from London, as I heard afterwards, soon after I left it, the last time. But he did me not the favour to give me a visit whilst I was there, nor to let me know of his intended journey to you; if he had, it is possible I might have writ by him to you, which I am now not sorry he did not. I always value men of parts and learning, and think I cannot do too much in procuring them friends and assistance. But there may happen occasions that may make one stop one’s hand. And it is the hopes young men give of what use they will make of their parts, which is to me the encouragement of being concerned for them. But, if vanity increases with age, I always fear whither Edition: current; Page: [416] it will lead a man. I say this to you, because you are my friend, for whom I have no reserves, and think I ought to talk freely where you inquire, and possibly may be concerned; but I say it to you alone, and desire it may go no farther. For the man I wish very well, and could give you, if it needed, proofs that I do so. And therefore I desire you to be kind to him; but I must leave it to your prudence, in what way, and how far. If his carriage with you gives you the promises of a steady useful man, I know you will be forward enough of yourself, and I shall be very glad of it. For it will be his fault alone if he prove not a very valuable man, and have not you for his friend.

But I have something to say to you of another man. Mons. Le Clerc, in a letter I received from him, writes thus:

“Mons. C— me disoit dernierement que s’il trouvoit occasion d’entrer dans une maison de condition en qualité de precepteur, il seroit ravi d’en profiter. C’est un fort honnête homme, & qui seroit bien capable de s’acquitter de cet emploi. Il ne sçait l’anglois que par les livres, c’est-a-dire, qu’il l’entend lorsqu’il le lit, mais qu’il ne le sçauroit parler non plus que moi faute d’habitude. Si quelque un de vos amis auroit besoin de precepteur, & qu’il lui donnât de quoi s’entretenir, il ne sçauroit trouver d’homme plus sage & plus réglé, outre qu’il sçait beaucoup de choses utiles pour un emploi comme celui-là, les belles lettres, l’histoire,” &c.

This Mr. C— is he that translated my book of Education, upon which occasion I came to have some acquaintance with him by letters, and he seems a very ingenious man; and Mr. Le Clerc has often, before any thing of this, spoken of him to me with commendation and esteem. He has since translated “The Lady’s Religion,” and “The Reasonableness of Christianity,” into French. You may easily guess why I put this into my letter to you, after what you said concerning Mr. Le Clerc in your last letter but one.

You are willing, I see, to make my little presents to you more and greater than they are. Amongst the Edition: current; Page: [417] books that Mr. Churchill sent you, you are beholden to me (since you will call it so) but for one; and to that the bishop of Worcester, I hear, has an answer in the press, which will be out this week. So that I perceive this controversy is a matter of serious moment beyond what I could have thought. This benefit I shall be sure to get by it, either to be confirmed in my opinion, or be convinced of some errours, which I shall presently reform, in my Essay, and so make it the better for it. For I have no opinions that I am fond of. Truth, I hope, I always shall be fond of, and so ready to embrace, and with so much joy, that I shall own it to the world, and thank him that does me the favour. So that I am never afraid of any thing writ against me, unless it be the wasting of my time, when it is not writ closely in pursuit of truth, and truth only.

In my last to you, I sent you a copy of Mr. L——’s paper; I have this writ me out of Holland concerning it:

“Mr. L——, mathématicien de Hannover ayant oüi dire, qu’on traduisoit vôtre ouvrage, et qu’on l’alloit imprimer, a envoyé ici à un de mes amis ce jugement qu’il en fait, comme pour la mettre à la tête. Cependant il a été bien aise qu’on vous le communicât. Il m’a été remis entre les mains pour cela. On m’a dit mille biens de ce mathématicien. Il y a long tems que magna et præclara minatur, sans rien produre que quelque démonstrations détachées. Je crois neanmoins qu’il ne vous entend pas, et je doute qu’il s’entende bien lui-même.”

I see you and I, and this gentleman, agree pretty well concerning the man; and this sort of fiddling makes me hardly avoid thinking, that he is not that very great man as has been talked of him. His paper was in England a year, or more, before it was communicated to me, and I imagine you will think he need not make such a great stir with it.

My Essay, you see, is translating into French, and it is by the same Mr. Coste above-mentioned. But this need not hinder Mr. Burridge in what he designed; Edition: current; Page: [418] for Mr. Coste goes on exceedingly slowly, as I am told.

You see how forward I am to importune you with all my little concerns. But this would be nothing to what I should do, if I were nearer you. I should then be talking to you de quolibet ente, and consulting you about a thousand whimsies that come sometimes into my thoughts. But with all this, I unfeignedly am,

Dear Sir,
Your most faithful humble servant,
John Locke.

The poem that was sent you by Mr. Churchill, amongst the other books, I believe will please you: there are some noble parts in it.

Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
May 15, 1697
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

My most honoured Friend,

NOTHING could excuse my keeping your kind letter of April 10th so long by me unanswered, but an unexpected and melancholy accident that has lately befallen a dear sister of mine, who, on the 24th of last month, lost her husband, the lord bishop of Meath, a learned and worthy prelate. Our whole family has so deeply partaken in this trouble, that we have been all under a great concern; but more particularly myself, who am intrusted by the good bishop with the disposal of some of his affairs. This has, of late, so taken me up, that I had not time to take the satisfaction of writing to you; but the hurry of that business being somewhat abated, I resume the pleasure of kissing your hands, and of assuring you, with what a deep sense of gratitude Edition: current; Page: [419] I receive the kindness you have done me with my lord chancellor Methwin. I hope we shall see his lordship soon here, for we understand he parts from London the 18th instant.

I am extremely obliged to you for the trouble you have been at in communicating to me Mons. L——’s paper, and I am now sorry I ever put the task on you: for to speak freely to you, as I formerly did, I find nothing in this paper to make me alter the opinion I had of Mons. L——’s performances this way. He is either very unhappy in expressing, or I am very dull in apprehending his thoughts. I do not know but some of the doubts he raises, concerning your Essay, may proceed from his unacquaintance with our language; and this makes me yet more earnest to procure the translation of your Essay; but Mr. Burridge, since he last arrived here, has been wholly employed in overtaking his business in the country, to which he is run much in arrear. He is chaplain to my lord chancellor Methwin, and on that account, I hope he will keep much in town, and then I shall ply him hard.

I will give you a thousand thanks for the present of your letter to the bishop of Worcester: but I need not give you my opinion of it, otherwise than as you find it in the following paragraph of a letter which I received concerning it, from a reverend prelate of this kingdom. (The present bishop of …. between ourselves.)

“I read Mr. Locke’s letter to the bishop of Worcester with great satisfaction, and am wholly of your opinion, that he has fairly laid the great bishop on his back; but it is with so much gentleness, as if he were afraid not only of hurting him, but even of spoiling or tumbling his cloaths. Indeed I cannot tell which I most admire, the great civility and good manners in his book, or the force and clearness of his reasonings. And I fancy the bishop will thank him privately, and trouble the world no more with this dispute.”

You see thereby my friend’s and my own opinion, of your book; and I can tell you farther, that all those Edition: current; Page: [420] whom I have yet conversed with in this place, concerning it, agree in the same judgment. And another (bishop too) told me, that “though your words were as smooth as oil, yet they cut like a two-edged sword.”

At the same time that Mr. Churchill sent me your Letter to the bishop, he sent me likewise the “Second Vindication of the Reasonableness of Christianity.” If you know the author thereof, (as I am apt to surmise you may) be pleased to let him know, that I think he has done Edwards too much honour in thinking him worth his notice; for so vile a poor wretch certainly never appeared in print. But, at the same time, tell him, that, as this Vindication contains a farther illustration of the divine truths in the Reasonableness of Christianity, he has the thanks of me, and of all fair candid men that I converse with about it.

In giving you the opinion we have here, of your letter to the bishop of Worcester, I have rather chosen to let you know, particularly, that of some of our bishops with whom I converse; for this rank, if any, might seem inclinable to favour their brother, could they do it with any show of justice. And yet, after all, I am told from London, that the bishop is hammering out an answer to you. Certainly some men think, or hope the world will think, that truth always goes with the last word.

You never write to me, that you do not raise new expectations in my longing mind of partaking your thoughts, on those noble subjects you are upon. Your chapter concerning the conduct of the understanding must needs be very sublime and spacious. Oh sir! never more mention to me our distance as your loss: it is my disadvantage! it is my unhappiness! I never before had such reason to deplore my hard fate, in being condemned to this prison of an island; but one day or other I will get loose, in spite of all the fetters and clogs that incumber me at present. But if you did but know in what a wood of business I am engaged, (by the greatest part whereof I reap no other advantage than the satisfaction of being seviceable to my friends,) you would pity me. But I hope soon to rid my hands of a great Edition: current; Page: [421] part of this trouble, and then I shall be at more liberty. Till which happy time, and for ever, I remain

Your most faithful friend, and most humble servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Will. Molyneux
Molyneux, Will.
May 27, 1697
Dublin
Locke
Locke

Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.

Honoured Dear Sir,

THE hints you are pleased so friendly to communicate to me, in yours of the 3d instant, concerning Mr. T———, are fresh marks of your kindness and confidence in me, and they perfectly agree with the apprehensions I had conceived of that gentleman. Truly, to be free, and without reserve to you, I do not think his management, since he came into this city, has been so prudent. He has raised against him the clamours of all parties; and this, not so much by his difference in opinion, as by his unseasonable way of discoursing, propagating, and maintaining it. Coffee-houses, and public tables, are not proper places for serious discourses relating to the most important truths. But when also a tincture of vanity appears in the whole course of a man’s conversation, it disgusts many that may otherwise have a due value for his parts and learning. I have known a gentleman in this town, that was a most strict socinian, and thought as much out of the common road as any man, and was also known so to do; but then his behaviour and discourse were attended with so much modesty, goodness, and prudence, that I never heard him publicly censured or clamoured against, neither was any man in danger of censure, by receiving his visits, or keeping him company. I am very loth to tell you how far it is otherwise with Mr. T—— in this place; but I am persuaded it may be for his advantage that you know Edition: current; Page: [422] it, and that you friendly admonish him for it, for his conduct hereafter. I do not think that any man can be dispensed with to dissemble the truth, and full persuasion of his mind, in religious truths, when duly called to it, and upon fitting occasions. But, I think, prudence may guide us in the choice of proper opportunities, that we may not run ourselves against rocks to no purpose, and inflame men against us unnecessarily. Mr. T—— also takes here a great liberty, on all occasions, to vouch your patronage and friendship, which makes many that rail at him, rail also at you. I believe you will not approve of this, as far as I am able to judge, by your shaking him off in your Letter to the Bishop of Worcester. But after all this, I look upon Mr. T—— as a very ingenious man, and I should be very glad of any opportunity of doing him service, to which I think myself indispensably bound by your recommendation. One thing more I had almost forgot to intimate to you, that all here are mightily at a loss in guessing what might be the occasion of T——’s coming, at this time, into Ireland. He is known to be of no fortune or employ, and yet is observed to have a subsistence, but from whence it comes no one can tell certainly. These things, joined with his great forwardness in appearing in public, make people surmise a thousand fancies. If you could give me light into these matters, as far as it may help me in my own conduct, I should be much obliged to you.

By the books which Mr. Coste has translated, I perceive his inclinations would be extremely agreeable to mine, and I should be very happy could I give him, at present, any encouragement to come into my poor family. But I have a gentleman with me in the house, whose dependence is wholly upon me; and I cannot find fault with my little boy’s progress under him. When I formerly made inquiry from you about Mons. Le Clerc, I was in some prospect of providing for this gentleman whom I now have, by the favour of a good friend, who is since dead. So that, at present, having no opportunity of disposing him to his advantage, I cannot conveniently part with him. However, I do not know how soon it may be otherwise; and therefore be Edition: current; Page: [423] pleased, in the mean time, to let me know something farther of Mons. Coste; as whether he be a complete master of the Latin tongue, or other language; whether a mathematician, or given to experimental philosophy; what his age, and where educated: as to the belles lettres, l’histoire, &c. Mons. Le Clerc has mentioned them already in his character.

I am mightily pleased to find that some others have the same thoughts of Mons. L—— as you and I. His performances in mathematics have made all the world mistaken in him. But certainly, in other attempts, I am of your opinion, he no more understands himself, than others understand him.

Mr. Churchill favoured me with the present of sir R. Blackmore’s K. Arthur. I had Pr. Arthur before, and read it with admiration, which is not at all lessened by this second piece. All our English poets (except Milton) have been mere ballad-makers, in comparison to him. Upon the publication of his first poem, I intimated to him, through Mr. Churchill’s hands, how excellently I thought he might perform a philosophic poem, from many touches he gave in his Pr. Arthur, particularly from Mopas’s song. And, I perceive by his preface to K. Arthur, he has had the like intimations from others, but rejects them, as being an enemy to all philosophic hypotheses. Were I acquainted with sir R. Blackmore, I could assure him, (and, if you be so, I beseech you to tell him,) that I am as little an admirer of hypotheses as any men, and never proposed that thought to him, with a design that a philosophic poem should run on such a strain. “A natural history of the great and admirable phenomena of the universe,” is a subject, I think, may afford sublime thoughts in a poem; and so far, and no farther, would I desire a poem to extend.

You see I am carried beyond my designed bounds, by the mark on the other side this leaf. But as I am never weary of reading letters from you, so, I think, I am never tired of writing to you. However, it is time I relieve you, by subscribing myself entirely

Your most affectionate, and devoted servant,
Will. Molyneux.
Edition: current; Page: [424]
John Locke
Locke, John
June 15, 1697
Oates
Molyneux
Molyneux

Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.

Dear Sir,

I HAVE the honour of your two obliging letters of the 15th and 27th of May, wherein I find the same mind, the same affection, and the same friendship, which you have so frankly, and so long, made me happy in. And, if I may guess by the paragraph which you transcribed out of your friend’s letter into yours of the 15th of May, I shall have reason to think your kindness to me is grown infectious, and that by it you fascinate your friends understandings, and corrupt their judgments in my favour. It is enough for me, in so unequal a match, if mighty truth can keep me from a shameful overthrow. If I can maintain my ground, it is enough, against so redoubtable an adversary; but victory I must not think of. I doubt not but you are convinced of that by this time, and you will see how silly a thing it is for an unskilled pigmy to enter the lists with a man at arms, versed in the use of his weapons.

My health, and businesses that I like as little as you do those you complain of, make me know what it is to want time. I often resolve not to trouble you any more with my complaints of the distance between us, and as often impertinently break that resolution. I never have any thoughts working in my head, or any new project start in my mind, but my wishes carry me immediately to you, and I desire to lay them before you. You may justly think this carries a pretty severe reflection on my country, or myself, that in it I have not a friend to communicate my thoughts with. I cannot much complain of want of friends to other purposes. But a man with whom one can freely seek truth, without any regard to old or new, fashionable or not fashionable, but truth merely for truth’s sake, is what is scarce to be found in an age; and such an one I take you to be. Do but think then what a pleasure, what an advantage it would be to me to have you by me, who have so much Edition: current; Page: [425] thought, so much clearness, so much penetration, all directed to the same aim which I propose to myself, in all the ramblings of my mind. I, on this occasion, mention only the wants that I daily feel, which make me not so often speak of the other advantages I should receive, from the communication of your own notions, as well as from the correction of mine. But, with this repining, I trouble you too much, and, for the favours I receive from you, thank you too little, and rejoice not enough in having such a friend, though at a distance.

As to the gentleman, to whom you think my friendly admonishments may be of advantage for his conduct hereafter, I must tell you, that he is a man to whom I never writ in my life, and, I think, I shall not now begin. And, as to his conduct, it is what I never so much as spoke to him of. This is a liberty to be only taken with friends and intimates, for whose conduct one is mightily concerned, and in whose affairs one interests himself. I cannot but wish well to all men of parts and learning, and be ready to afford them all the civilities and good offices in my power. But there must be other qualities to bring me to a friendship, and unite me in those stricter ties of concern. For I put a great deal of difference between those whom I thus receive into my heart and affection, and those whom I receive into my chamber, and do not treat there with a perfect strangeness. I perceive you think yourself under some obligation of peculiar respect to that person, upon the account of my recommendation to you; but certainly this comes from nothing but your over-great tenderness to oblige me. For, if I did recommend him, you will find it was only as a man of parts and learning, for his age, but without any intention that that should be of any other consequence, or lead you any farther, than the other qualities you should find in him, should recommend him to you. And therefore whatsoever you shall, or shall not do for him, I shall no way interest myself in. I know, of your own self, you are a good friend to those who deserve it of you; and for those that do not, I shall never blame your neglect of them. The occasion of his coming into Ireland now, I guess to be the hopes of Edition: current; Page: [426] some employment, now upon this change of hands there. I tell you, I guess, for he himself never told me any thing of it, nor so much as acquainted me with his intentions of going to Ireland, how much soever he vouches my patronage and friendship, as you are pleased to phrase it. And as to his subsistence, from whence that comes, I cannot tell. I should not have wasted so much of my conversation with you, on this subject, had you not told me it would oblige you to give you light in these matters, which I have done, as a friend to a friend, with a greater freedom than I should allow myself to talk to another.

I shall, when I see sir Rich. Blackmore, discourse him as you desire. There is, I with pleasure find, a strange harmony throughout between your thoughts and mine. I have always thought that laying down, and building upon hypotheses, has been one of the great hindrances of natural knowledge; and I see your notions agree with mine in it. And, though I have a great value for sir R. Blackmore, on several accounts, yet there is nothing has given me a greater esteem of him, than what he says about hypotheses in medicine, in his preface to King Arthur, which is an argument to me, that he understands the right method of practising physic; and it gives me great hopes he will improve it, since he keeps in the only way it is capable to be improved in; and has so publicly declared against the more easy, fashionable, and pleasing way of an hypothesis, which, I think, has done more to hinder the true art of Physic, which is the curing of diseases, than all other things put together; by making it learned, specious, and talkative, but ineffective to its great end, the health of mankind; as was visible in the practice of physic, in the hands of the illiterate Americans; and the learned physicians, that went thither out of Europe, stored with their hypotheses, borrowed from natural philosophy, which made them indeed great men, and admired in the schools; but in curing diseases, the poor Americans, who had escaped those splendid clogs, clearly out-went them. You cannot imagine how far a little observation, carefully made by a man not tied up to the four humours; or sal, sulphur, Edition: current; Page: [427] and mercury; or to acid and alcali, which has of late prevailed, will carry a man in the curing of diseases, though very stubborn and dangerous, and that with very little and common things, and almost no medicines at all. Of this I could, from my own experience, convince you, were we together but a little while. But my letter is too long already. When I am writing to you, the pleasure of talking to you makes me forget you are a