Images de page
PDF
ePub

THE CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN LOCKE AND LIMBORCH, TRANSLATED,

I

SIR,

WITH HISTORICAL NOTES.

Clapton, Dec. 21, 1817.

HAD occasion, not along ago, to look into the letters which passed between Locke and Limborch, and which form a large part of the Fumiliar Letters. Having some leisure, I occupied myself upon that correspondence, then almost new to me, till I had translated the whole. It consists of sixty-nine letters, all in Latin, except three in French; forty-three written by Locke, and twenty-six by Limborch. They discuss, as might have been expected from the writers, several interesting subjects, and it may not be unsuitable to your purpose to give the translations, in a series, as your engagements shall allow. I will subjoin a few notes, and prefix some account of Locke's and Limborch's histories prior to the date of the first letter.

J. T. RUTT.

JOHN LOCKE was born at Wrington, a village near Bristol, August 29, 1632, of parents whom he recollected with great regard. His father was bred to the law, and had inherited a considerable estate in the county of Somerset. This was injured by the war, in which he became a captain in the army of the Parliament. He was also Steward or Court-keeper to the anti-royalist, Colonel Alexander Popham. t

Mr. Locke's father survived his son's advance to manhood, when, according to Le Clerc, "they lived together rather as two friends, than as two persons, one of whom might justly claim respect from the other," though the father had been "severe to him, while a child, and kept him at a very great distance." The son" often commended—such a manner," ‡ perhaps more than it might justly deserve.

John Locke was educated by his father, till his removal to Westminster School, then under the tuition of Dr. Busby, and where he remained till he was admitted a student of Christ

* See Mon. Repos. I. 287.

f Brit. Biog. VII. 3.

In the

Church, Oxford, in 1651. "Memoirs of the Life of Dr. South," (1717,) it is said, that "he was elected with the great Mr. John Locke, an equal ornament of polite and abstruse learning;" and it is remarkable that two young students should have set out together, whose paths were soon to separate so widely. South, who was Locke's junior by a year, had been also a scholar at Westminster. In 1653, also, their names occur together among the academical panegyrists of Cromwell, on the successful termination of the war with Holland. *

Dr. John Owen, who, in 1652, became Vice-Chancellor of the University, was Dean of Christ Church, during the period of John Locke's academical education. His tutor was Mr. Thomas Coie, who was ejected in 1660 for non-conformity, and lived to witness the celebrity of his pupil. † On the recollection and authority of Mr. Tyrrell, the historian, it is said, "that Mr. Locke was looked upon as the most ingenious young man in the College," though, from disaffection to the mode of education then pursued, "he wished his father had never sent him to Oxford." Le Clerc says, "I myself have heard him complain of the method he took in his studies at first;-and when I told him that I had a Cartesian Professor for my tutor, a man of a clear head, he said he was not so happy; though it is well known no Cartesian." that he was complained that "the only philosophy then known at Oxford, was the Peripatetic, perplexed with obscure terms and stuffed with useless questions."

He

In 1655, Mr. Locke became B. A., and M. A. in 1658. His first destination was medicine, and he pursued "the usual courses," practising occasionally at Oxford till, in 1664, he went into Germany, as Secretary to

See "State Poems continued," 1698, PP. 6-8, 12, 13, and Mon. Repos. V. 232.

+ Thomas Cole, M. A., was "Principal of St. Mary's Hall," whence he was ejected by the King's Commissioners in 1660. He died in 1697. See Palmer's Noncon.

‡ Bibliothèque Choisie in Brit. Biog. Mem. 1802, III. 249, 252. .*? ubi sup.

Bib. Chois. in Brit. Biog, VII. 4, 5.

an Embassy. Returning in less than a year, he resumed his studies at Oxford, applying especially to natural philosophy."

Mr. Locke was now to become a politician. In 1666, a trifling circumstance introduced him to an intimate acquaintance with the first Earl of Shaftesbury, then Lord Ashley, who soon consulted him as a physician, and paid him many flattering attentions. This nobleman had plausibilities which might fascinate a student unacquainted with the great world; but his character, as faithful history records it, though possessing all but the most important accom plishments, can add no reputation to the memory of John Locke. Lord Ashley had fought against Charles I., and courted Cromwell, the chief of the regicides, yet, on a change of times, had sat in judgment on Cromwell's associates. + He has also been described, on his own authority, as a libertine, surpassed only by his royal master, Charles II., § that most religious King, according to the liturgy.

Lord Ashley invited Mr. Locke to reside in his family. "He urged him to apply himself to the study of state affairs and political subjects, both ecclesiastical and civil;" and "began to consult him on all occasions of that nature. He also introduced him to the acquaintance of the Duke of Buckingham, the Earl of Halifax, and some other of the most eminent persons of that age." ||

It was to some of these noblemen, according to Le Clerc, that his friend, by a pleasant raillery, declared against the habit of card-playing, among companions capable of improving conversation. ¶

The first employment in which Mr. Locke's patron appears to have en

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

gaged him, was to draw up "the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina," which were published in 1669, and collected among his Pieces in 1719. If these Constitutions were all framed by himself, there are two, at least, which do him little credit, as in No. 23, he proposes to perpetuate feudal vassalage, and in No. 110, negro slavery. There were others, however, so favourable to religious liberty, that they were qualified by an additional article, not approved by Mr. Locke, whose liberal views in religion have incurred the censure of one of his biographers. †

*

In 1669, Mr. Locke accompanied the Earl and Countess of Northumberland to Paris. Returning, in 1670, with the Countess, the Earl having died in Italy, he again resided with Lord Ashley, who, in 1672, was created Earl of Shaftesbury, and made Lord High Chancellor, when he appointed Mr. Locke "Secretary of the Presentations." He next became "Secretary to the Board of Trade," but the commission was dissolved in December, 1674. ‡

In 1675, Mr. Locke wrote, according to Desmaizeaux, “what my Lord Shaftesbury did, in a manner, dictate to him," in "A Letter from a Person of Quality to his Friend in the Country," exposing the desigus then developing in Parliament to establish an arbitrary power. "This letter was privately printed," and at the close of the same year, "the House of Lords ordered it to be burnt by the common hangman." Of this bonfire Mr. Marvell says, "the sparks of it will eternally fly in the adversaries' faces." § It was remarked in the Letter," that Bartholomew day was fatal to our church and religion, in throwing out a very great number of worthy, learned, pious and orthodox divines." This passage was quoted in 1676, in the preface to "The Presbyterians Unmasked," as from "that late vile letter" of an able, but more daring author."

66

who had been admitted B. M. at In the same year, 1675, Mr. Locke, Oxford, passed some time at Mont

* See Mon. Repos. II. 83.

+ See Biog. Brit. V. 2994. Note G. Brit. Biog. VII. 6, 7.

§ See Dedic. to Locke's Pieces.,

pelier for the recovery of his health. There he communicated to Mr. Her bert, afterwards Earl of Pembroke, the design of his Essay. From Montpelier he removed to Paris, and became acquainted with the celebrated Protestant, M. Justel, at whose house he first saw Mr. Guenelon, a physician of Amsterdam, and M. Toignard, † whose names will often occur in the following correspondence. During this absence from England, he expressed an inclination, had a vacancy occurred, to have become Gresham Professor of Physic. ‡ At Paris also he attended, as a physician, the Countess of Northumberland, who had married the "Lord Embassador Montague." This appears from the following paper, in the British Museum, (Ayscough, 4290,) in the handwriting of Dr. Ward.

DEAR SIR,

I HAVE sent you enclosed some proofs taken from Mr. Locke's own letters, of what was talked of yesterday at Dr. Mead's, that Mr. Locke did, on some occasions, practise as a physician. You will please to communicate them to Dr. Mead, with my humble service, and esteem me,

Dear Sir,

Your most obedient servant,
JOHN WARD.

G. C. Thursday,
15th August, 1745.
To Dr. Thomas Stack, at Dr. Mead's,
Ormond Street.

December 4, 1677, Mr. Locke wrote to Dr. Mapletoft, from Paris, desiring his advice in relation to a disorder which had seized the Countess of Northumberland, Lady to the English Embassador; who then committed herself to the care of Mr. Locke, having before tried the French physicians, in a like case without success. Dr. Mapletoft chose to consult their common friend, Dr. Sydenham, upon this occasion, whose opinion was soon dispatched to Paris. But before it got thither the disorder was in a great measure removed by what Mr.

* Brit. Biog. VII. 7.

+ Or Thoynard, a native of Orleans, born in 1629. He was a great Medalist, also author of a Harmony of the Evangelists, in Greek and Latin, with notes on Chronology and History. Ile died in 1706.

I Ward's Gresham Professors, p. 276.

Locke had himself done in the mean time; which proved to be much the same as was prescribed by Dr. Sydenham. And, therefore, in a following letter, written the same month, by Mr. Locke to Dr. Mapletoft, he said, in his pleasant manner," upon reading our friend's letter, I was ready to cry out, the spirit of the prophets is upon the sons of the prophets; I having, in what I have done here, not only proceeded by the same method, but used the very same remedies he directed as to the main."

In 1679, Lord Shaftesbury had again a prospect of court-favour, and prevailed upon Mr. Locke to return, but being soon displaced had no further opportunity of serving him. The Earl became, at length, so obnoxious to the government, that, for personal safety, he retired to Holland, in November, 1682, and died in January following. Mr. Locke, who had followed him, would not venture a return to England, where he had now become obnoxious to a profligate court, whose resentment he presently experienced, and in November 1684, he was deprived, by royal mandate, of his student's place at Christ Church. On the accession of James, W. Penu would have procured for Mr. Locke a pardon, which he refused, being conscious of no crime. In May 1685, the English Envoy at the Hague demanded him to be delivered up by the States General, upon a groundless suspicion of his having been concerned lion. In this demand he was joined in the Duke of Monmouth's rebelwith eighty-three other persons.

His situation was

now perilous, especially (if Father Orleans may be credited) as the Prince of Orange was then so little inclined to oppose Popery and arbitrary power by force, that he his army against the Duke. Yet had offered King James to command during his stay in Holland, Mr. Locke had formed some valuable connexions, who were now ready to assist him, and with no one does he appear to have become more intimate than with Professor Limborch, the great nephew of Episcopius. He was a native of

Brit. Biog. VI. 169. Ibid. VII. 8—10, Histoire des Revolutions D'Angleterre, 1694, III. 469.

Amsterdam, one year younger than Mr. Locke, and in 1655, had become a preacher among the Remonstrants. After several situations, in 1667 he was chosen Minister at Amsterdam, and the next year Professor of Divinity in that city.

During this year, 1685, Mr. Locke was concealed two or three months at Amsterdam, in the house of Mr. Veen, father-in-law to Dr. Guenelon, till, in September, he retired to Cleve, a city on the borders of the Rhine, where he commenced the following Correspondence.

inclined to remain here for health's sake. The pleasantness of the place, and, if not absolute indolence, yet the love of quiet and an aversion to the hurry of travelling still detain me. My daily walks, by which I strive against a disposition to idleness, are very pleasant. But how much more agreeable would they be, if I could have some of you as the companions of my rambles! For this I wish continually both for your sakes and my own, especially while the weather is so fine. Such an excursion would, I think, be far from unfavourable to Mr. Guenelon's health, whose ten

The Correspondence between Locke and der lungs and delicate constitution,

Limborch, 1685-1704.

No. 1.

John Locke to Philip a Limborch.

Cleve, 28 Sep. 1685.

MY EXCELLENT FRIEND, YOU will readily believe, that in writing to our friend Mr. Guenelon, ten days ago, I did not omit my respects to yourself. Yet a sense of duty, and a recollection of your favours, demand from me a more direct expression of my esteem and gratitude, lest I should seem to do that, as a matter of course, or negligently, which I feel to be a highly incumbent duty; especially as the silence of our friend Guenelon leaves me in doubt whether he received my letter. I should peculiarly regret its miscarriage, because if it did not reach him, I might appear to disregard or undervalue the numerous services by which you all have obliged me, or you might suppose that, during the interval of a few hours, I could forget those numerous benefits, the remembrance of which no time cau efface.

In that letter I also mentioned the kind reception given me by your friend Vander Key, and how zealously he had assisted me. The name reminds me again to express my thanks to you for this introduction to his friendship, though it be but a trifling benefit, compared with your accumulated favours. I am unable also to express, adequately, my sense of the kindness I received from Mr. Veen and his excellent wife. Pray express them for me in your happiest phraseology.

I wrote to Mr. Guenelon that I was

* Biog. Brit. V, 2998. Note O.

the serene air of this place would suit exactly.

I pray you write to me, and say what is passing among you, especially as to our affairs. But, above all, inform me of your own and our friend's health.

I am, yours, most respectfully,
J. LOČKE.

No. 2.

John Locke to Philip a Limborch.
Cleve, Oct. 3, 1685.

MY WORTHY FRIEND, letters, full of kindness and good-will, I HAVE received from you two nor will you, I trust, deem me ungrateful if, under my present anxiety, I answer neither of them as they decontrive for my having intelligence of serve. I only entreat this, that you the Earl of Pembroke's arrival, from some of your friends at the Hague, who can send the information either to you or me. The Commander of the British forces was mentioned as coming over, and, if not arrived, is expected daily. I wish particularly to have the earliest notice of his aptisfied that you will procure for me proach. Having said this, I am sathe most prompt information.

I must reserve other subjects to the next opportunity, as the packet is going. Salute my friends most affectionately in my name. Farewell, and continue to regard me, as yours, most respectfully, J. LOCKE.

* Mr. Locke seems to apprehend some inconvenience from these British troops; but how they came into a neutral country, or on what authority they could have molested him there, does not appear.

MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS.

List of the Petitioning Clergy, 1772.
SIR,
Dec. 24, 1817.

TH

HE accompanying list of the Petitioning Clergy will, I apprehend, meet the wishes of your (literally nameless) Correspondent, Vol. X. p. 618, in the desire he has expressed to see the names of the " Clergymen of the Established Church," who signed the memorable Petition in 1772, for their Relief from Subscription to the Articles.

To render it, as I trust, the more acceptable, I have arranged the names under the counties in which their respective preferments were situated, rather than in the promiscuous form in which they are now blended in the copy before me. I cannot, at least at present, gratify your inquirer, by any further particulars of the individuals themselves. Many of them, no doubt, in after-life filled, and some few, perhaps, are still honourably filling, different appointments in the Church, from those to which their names are here attached, as (of course) their situations at the period of their signature.

A copy of the petition itself will be found correctly transcribed in the 42d vol. of the Gentleman's Magazine, p. 61, and in the preceding volume an account is given of the meeting held to carry it into execution. This manly and temperate petition, it will be recollected, after a spirited debate, in which the cause of the subscribers was most ably advocated by Sir Wm. Meredith and Lord John Cavendish, was rejected by a large majority *, on Lord North's urging, that" it would tend to revive the flames of ecclesiastical controversy." V. M. H.

List of the Clerical Subscribers † to the Petition presented to the House of Commons, Feb. 6, 1772.

Cambridge.

William Benning, Vicar of Abington.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

John Parsons, B. A., Rector of Pulham.
Durham.
William Addison, Rector of Dinsdale.
John Aspinwall, Minister of Wolviston.
James Horseman, Vicar of Gretham.
Thomas Morland, Curate of Sadberge.
Essex.

Christopher Atkinson, Rector of Yelden.

Thomas Wagstaffe, M. A., Fellow of several other Lay Subscribers chiefly be

Christ's College.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

longing to the two professions of Civil Law and Physic.

* I have some doubt whether this gentleman was ever in orders.

+ He was also Greek Professor.

After Vicar of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.. And at the same time a Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge.

« PrécédentContinuer »