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ter to tind any other perfon, who could have comprehgided
fo many things in fo few words, and in fo clear and diftindl
a manner. G'e:it ufe may be made of it in the inlhuflion
ot" young gentlemen, as it was originally defigned by Mr.
Locke. An-J perfor.s even of riper years may improve by
it; either by recalling ideas that had flipt out of their
memory ; or by informing th.cmfelvcs of feveral tilings,
¥?hich were unknown to them.

To this treatife are uibjcincd, ** Some Thouohts con-
** cerning Reading and Study for a Gentleman *." Mr.
Locke having one day, in converfation, difcourfed upon
the method that a young gentleman fnould take in his
re:<'!ing, and (ludv; one of the coir.pany N^'ns fo well pleafed
Willi ir, thit h.e defrcd him to didtate to him the I'ubflance

♦ Sec jioti-, i^gc 1 59.



of what he had been fpeaking; which Mr. Lockle iinme-
diately did. This is one of the ufual convcrfations of Mr.
Locke, reduced into writing ; from whence you may judge,
fir, how agreeable and advantageous it was to conv<rrfe with
that great man.

Mr, Locke not only points cut the fciences that a
gentleman ought to ftudy, whether as a private man, or one
in a public capacity ; but likewife dlre6ls to fuch books as
treat of thofc fciences, and which, in his opinion, are the
propereft for that end. As you have aco^uirtd, fir, in Italy,
the moft refined tafte for the politer arts, and have added
that iludy to thole Mr. Locke here recommends to a
gentleman ; you will perhaps wonder, that he fiys nodiing
of painting, fculpture, architefture, and other arts of this
kind, v^hich make an accomplillied gentleman. But I
defire you would confider, that there are but few perfons,
in pofibiTion of the means neceffary for attaining this fort of
knowledge ; and that Mr. Locke is fpeaking here of what
may fuit the circumftances of the generality of people.
Befides, he was very far from imagining, that an extem-
porary advice, which' he was giving by his fire-fide, would
ever be expofed to common viev*'. However, I prefume
to think, that after you have perufed it, you will be of
opinion it was not unv/orthy to be made public.

But among the v^orks of Mr. Locke, contained in this
volume^ I do not knov/ that any will afford you more
pleafurc than his Letters. Some of them are written ypoa
weighty fubjedts ; and are upon that very account exceed-
ing valuable. Others are what Mr. Locke wrote out of
the country to one of his friends in London, about private
bufinefs. In thefe, one would expeft nothing but wiiat was
common, and cullomary j bu: a fubjeft io fimple, and
vulgar in itfclf, changes, as it were, its ve;y nature, y^'hca
managed by Mr. Locke ; and becomes fomcthing confi-
derable and of moment, by the turn and manner in which
he exprefies the fentinients of affection and gratitude he
hath for his friend. And indeed, though tiue friendflnp
be founded upon efteem ; yet we may fay, if friendflnp
goes no farther, there is fomething in it auficre, not to fay
dry, and ruftic. But there is a certain agreeable and
comphifant way of fnowing this efteem, wherein confiiis
the greateil charm of fiiendfhip ; as it is v;hat fupports it,



jind adds force and vigour to it. Now this is iMr.
Lock-e's peculiar talent; and it is impofTible that a pcrlbn
of your nice ta(le (liauld not he fenfibly touched with the
refpe^tful, endearing, and aftedionate manner in which he
writes here to his friend ; and which he ftill repeats wirh
new graces. It is a pattern of urbanity, polirenLTs, and
raiety. For oui old philofopher hath nothing nnorofc, nor
iineafy. Wiicnever he fpcaks of his infirmities, it is by
way of pleafar.try, or that he may have an opportunity of
faying fome obliging thing to his friend.

The lnl\ piece in this collcdion contains the *' Rules of
** a Society, v.iiich met once a Week for their Improve-
•* ment in ufeful Knowledge, and the promoting of Truth
" r.nd ChriPcian Chiirity.'* Mr. I>ocke took a delight in fuch focicties, wherever he made any ftay. He
had eftablifiied one at Amllerdam in 168"', of which Mr.
L>!Mi:oRCH, and Mr. le Ci.erc, were members. He
fctrkd this cluh at London, foon after the devolution; and
drew up tlie rules you v. ill find here. But his defign in
doii-.g ilr.5, was not only to piifs away tim.e in an agreeable
convtilation of two or t'nrce hc.urs; he had views far moie
folid and fublime. As there is nothing that more obflrufls
the advancement of truth, and the progrefs of real chrillia-
iiity, than a certain narrow fpii it, which leads men to can-
tonife themlelves, if I may lb fpeak, I'.nd to break into
fmall bodies, which at lad g:(iw into fo many factions; Mr.
Locke, zeak>us for the general good of mankind, would
haver pjid'y iclpired them with lentiments of a higher and
more extenfive nature, and united thofe whom the fpirit of
prqudiee or pn-ty had k«'pt afunder. This is what cor.ti-
ruiilv em}!cyid hi^ thouglits. He never lofes fight of it
throogiicut his works. Nay, it is the principal fubjcft of
them." But he did not confine himfelf to hare fpecuiation;
and I'.e formed tiie Ibciety above-mentioned with a defign
to renck-r, as ir.u.h as lay in his power, fuch' a defirable
Dni')n practicable. This appears from the difpolkion of
mind he requires in thofe, who were to be meubers of it;
and cfp(ci.l y by the declaration tliey were coliged to fub-
fciibe, tliat, '" by their becoming of that fociety, they pro-
*• |X)fed to thcmfelves an improvement in ufeful know-
" kd<n-, and the piomoting of truth and chiillian charity."
*^ Bii;



But you v/ill find. Sir, the fame mind, the fame ge-
nius, not only in this fmall piece, but in all others in
this collecftion. Mr. Locke every- v/here difcovers a
fincere love of truth, and an invincible averfion to
^vhatever may do it the leaft wrong. To the quality
of a great philofopher, he every-where joins that of a
true chriflian. You fee him full of love, refpc(51-, and
admiration, for the chriilian religion. And thereby he
furniihes us with the ftrongefl: prcfumption, that can be
imagined, for the truth as well as excellency of that holy
inftitution. For this is not the approbation of a vulgar
mind, who is flill fettered by the prejudices of infancy ;
it is the fuffrage of a wit, a fuperiour genius, who has
laboured all his life to guard againll[ errour ; w^ho, in
feveral important points, departed from the common
opinion ; and made chrifi:ianity his fludy, without taking
it upon trufi:. It is, doubtlefs, a great advantage, not to
fay an honour, for a dodlrine to be embraced and
countenanced by fuch a man. But let us return to our

To make it more ufeful, I have added notes to il-
i4jfi:rate certain pafTages, which fuppofe the knowledge
of fome fadls, that may be unknown to the reader, or
which would not readily occur to his memory ; and
therefore thefe notes are merely hiftorical. I pretend
neither to approve nor difapprove the particulars they
contain. I only a6l the part of an hiflorian. There is
but one of them that can be looked upon as critical ; and
even that is only intended to fettle a matter of fadl,
mifreprefented by a late hiftorian. Thefe notes are not
very numerous : and I do not know but the fear of
fwelling them too much may have made me fupprefs
fome, which would not have been wholly ufclefs.

As for what concerns the imprefTion itfelf, in order to
make it more beautiful, I have been obliged to recede,
in feveral rcfpeCls, from our ufual way of printing ;
which, if I am allowed to fpcak freely, is extremely
vicious. It is matter of w ondcr, that in fuch a country
as this, where there is fo much encouragement for
printing, there fhould prevail a fort of Gothic tafle,
Which deforms our Englilh imprcilions, and makes



thc:>i not a little ridiculous. Tor can any thing be
niorc.abrurd, than lb many capital letters, that are not
only prefixed to all noun fubilanLivcs, but alfo often to
adjectives, pronouns, particles, and even to verbs?
And what Ihall we fay of that odd mixture of italic,
which, inftead of helping tiic reader to diltinguifh mat-
ters the more clearly, does only peri)lex him ; and breeds
a conujfion fnocking to the eye ? But you are not to be
informed, fir, you,- who every day enrich your library
with books of the flncll editions, that none of thefc
faults were ever committed by the printers, who have
been eminent in their art. Surely, if the authors on
the one hand, and the readers on the other, would oppofc
this barbarifm, it would be no difficult matter to rellorc
a jufl talle, and a beautiful way of printing.

To the pieces already mentioned, I have prefixed the
character of Mr. Lcjckk, at the requeft of fome of his
friends; as you will fee by the letter before it, which was
fentto me together with that character.

Thefe, Sir, are all the pieces, which make up this vo-
lume. Why may I not, at the fame time that I olfer it
to vou, unfold to the view of the public fo many
perfections, which a too fevere and fcrupulous modefty
conceals from it ! Why may I not make known the rare
endowments of )our mint!, as well as the noble and
generous fentiments of your heart! But I fear I have
already too much prefuuK^d upon your goodnefs, by
preiixing vour name to this difcourfe. And after hav-
ing been io bold, as not to confult you, upon a thing
which you would never have permitted ; I ought to ac-
count myfelf very fortunate, if, on confideration of my
paiTing over your excellent qualities in profound lilence,
you are pleafed to forgive the freedom I have taken ;
and will give me leave to declare to you and all the
world, how fenfiblc I an> of the friendfliip you honour
nie with, and to aflure you that I lliall always be. with
the i^rcatefl refpec't,


March 23, 17 19.

Your mofl obedient .

and moll huniblc fervant,





Pieces contained in this Collection,

'T'HE charadler of Mr. Locke, by Mr. Peter Colle.
The fundimental conflitutions of Carolina.

A letter from a perfon of quality to his friend in the
country ; giving an account of the debates and refo-
hitions of the houfe of lords, in April and May 1675,
concerning a bill, intitled, '^ An adl to prevent the
'' dangers which may arife from perfons difaffeded
" to the government.*'

Remarks upon fome of Mr. Norris's books, wherein he
aiTerts F. Malebranche's opinion of *' our feeing all
'' things in God."

* Elements of natural philofophy.

* Some thoughts concerning reading and fludy for a

A letter to Mr. Oldenburgh, fecretary to the Royal

Letters to Anthony Collins, Efq.
A letter to the Rev. Mr. Richard King.
A letter to * * * on Dr. Pococke.
Letters to the Rev. Mr. Richard King.
Rules of a fociety, which met once a week, for their

improvement in ufeful knowledge, and for the pro-

jnoting of truth and chriftian charity.

* It has been deemed expedient, in the prefent edition, to transfer thefc
Jwo articles to the fccond volume.






Mr. L O C K E.


Mr. peter COSTE:


A LETTER relating to that Character, and
to the Author of it.

A L E T T E R to Mr

^ *1& ^1^ Tjt vjc v^

SIR, London, Feb. 4, 1720.

"REING informed, that you defign to piiblifli feveral
new pieces of Mr. Locke, I here fend you, at the re-
queilof Ibme of his friends, the tranflation of a letter,
attempting his charader, and containing feveral palfages
of his life and converfation ; which you are delired to
prefix before that collec^tion.

The author of that letter is Mr. Peter Cofce, who
has tranflated into French Mr. Locke's Thoughts con-
cerning Education, his Reafonableiiefs of Chriftianity,
and Vindications thereof; with his principal work, the
ElTay concerning Human Underftanding.

Mr. Coste lived in the famet^miily with Mr. Locke,
during the feven lafl years of that great man's life ;
"V'hcreby he had all poflible opportunities to know him.

The letter was written fome tmie after Mr. Locke's
death ; and appears to be the produdion of a man in

Vol. IX. M raptur/^-^..

1 6 2 T/v CharaHey of Mr. Loch.

raptures, and flruck with the higheft admiration of
Mr. Locke's virtue, capa'citv, and of the excellency of
his writings ; and under the deej)ell alTliction for the lofs
of a perfon, to whom in his life-time he had paid the
moll: profound refpect, and for whom he had conftantly
cxprelled the greatell efleem, and that even in w ritings,
whereof Mr. Locke did not know him to be the author.

And therefore Mr. Locke's friends judge its publica-
tion necellciry, not only, as they think it contains a jufl:
charadter of Mr. Locke, as far as it goes ; but as it is a
proper vindication of himagainlt thefaidMr. Code, who
in ilveral writings, and in his common converfation
throughout France, Holland, and England, has afperfcd
and blackened the memory of Mr. Locke, in thofe very
refpeds, wherein he was his panegyrifb before.

For, they conceive, the eulogium contained in the fol-
lowing letter mud (land good, till Mr. Code thinks
lit either j:o deny hiso\\n experience, or to confefs, that
the fame "things, which he then thought praife-worthy,
have fmcc changed their nature. I am,

S I R,

Your moft obedient humble fervant,

* * *


In a L E T T E R to the Author of the Nouvelles de la
Republiquc dQs Lettrcs. By Mr. P. Costf.*.

^ I R, London, Dec. 10,1704.

Y O U nuifl: have heard of the death ©fthe illufljious
Mr. Locke, it is a general lofs. For that reafon
he is lamented by all good men, ajid all fmcerc lovers

♦ Tliat letter was printed in the NouvcUcs dc I.1 R^"pul)lique des Lettres,
for the month of February 1705, art. 11, page 194, with this title, A
Letter of Mr. Coite to llic author of llictc Nuuvdlcs, written on oa-
cafion of ihc death ol Mr, Locke,


ne Char an er of Mr. Locke. 163

of truth, who were acquainted with his cha racier. He
was born for the good of mankind. Moil of his actions
were dircdlcd to that end ; and I doubt whether, in his
time, any man in Europe applied himfclf more earneftly
to that noble defign, or executed it with more fuccefs.

I will forbear to fpeak of the valuablenefs of his
works. The general efteem they have attained, and
will prefervc, as long as good fenfe and virtue are left in
the world ; the fervice they have been of to England in
particular, and univerfally to all that fet themfclvcs
ferioufly to the fearch of truth, and the fludy of chrif-
tianity ; are their befh eulogium. The love of truth
is vifible in every part of them. This is allowed
by all that have read them. For even they, who have
not reliflied fome of Mr. Locke's opinions, have done
him thejuftice to confefs, that the manner, in which he
defends them, fliows he advanced nothing that he was
not fincerely convinced of himfelf. This his friends gave
him an account of from feveral hands : ** Let them
'^ after this, anfwered he, objecl whatever they pleafe
^^ againft my works ; I fhall never be difturbed at iti
*^ For fince they grant I advance nothing in them buC
*' what I really believe, I fliall always be glad to prefei
^^ truth to any of my opinions, whenever I difcover ii
'^ by myfelf, or am fatisfied that they are not conform-
^^ able to it," Happy turn of mind! which, I am
fully perfuaded, contributed more even than the pene -
tration of that noble genius, to his difcovery of thofc
great and ufeful truths which appear in his works.

But, without dwelling any longer upon confidering
Mr. Locke in the quality of an author, which often ferves
only to difguife the real characfler of the i^ian, I hade to
Hiow him to you in particulars much more amiable,
and which will give you a higher notion of his merit.

Mr. Locke had a great knowledge of the world, and
of the bufinefs of it. Prudent without being cunning;
he won people's efteem by his probity, and was always
fafe from the attacks of a falfe friend, or a fordid flat-
terer. Avcrfe to all mean complaifance ; his wifdom,
his experience, his gentle and obliging manners, gained

M 2 him

1 64 The Charaner of Mr, Lockf.

him the rcrpc<.^t of his infcriours. the cflcem of his equals,
the fijindlhip and confidence of the greatefb quality.

Without fcttin^r up for a teacher, he inftructed others
by his own condu:t. He was at firfl pretty much dif-
|)ored to give advice to fuch of his friends as he thou^^ht
wanted it ; but at length, lindin<^ that, ** good counfels
" are very little effectual in making people more pru-
" dent/* he grew much more refcrved in that parti-
c ular. I have often heard him fay, that the iirft time
he heard that maxim, he thought it very Ihange ; but
rhat experience had fully convinced him of the truth of
ir. By counfeis, we are here to undcrfland thofc which
;:rc given to fuch as do not afk them. Yet, as much as
(x- defpaired of reunifying thole whom he faw takin^^of
talfe meafures ; his natural goodncl's, the averfion he
had todiforder, and the intercfl he took in thofe about
him, in a manner forced him fomctimes to break the
rcfolution he liad made of leaving them to go their own
vay; and prevailed upon him to give them the advice,
which he thought inolt likely to reclaim them ; but this
he always did in a modeii: way, and ^o as to convince
the mind by fortifying his advice with folid aro-uments,
which he never v.anted upon a proper occafion.

But then Mr. Lo< ke was very liberal of his counfeis,
A\hcn they were dcTired ; and no-body ever confulted
him in vain. An extreme vivacity of niind, one of his
reigning qualities, in which perhiips he never had an
equal ; his great experience, and the luicere defire he
had of being ferviceablc to all niankind ; foon furnilhed
him with the expedients, which were moll jull and kail
:>. 1 fa>, the ioart dangerous; for wha; he
i ,.,^.>M.a CO him.felf bjforc all things was to lead thofe,
who confulted him, into no trouble. This was one of
his favourite maxims, and he never loft light of it upon
any occalion.

Though Mr. l^ckc chiefly loved truths that were
ufetui, and with fuch icaS bis mind, and was generally
vrry well pleafed to niakc them the fubject of his dil-
uirfc ; yet he ufcd to fay, that in order to employ one parr
oi this life in ferious and important occupations, it u/as
ncc. "'mv rn.':.r ■ 1 : "yiherin!neijamulcmcnt5;and w) en


7be CharafJer of Mr, Locke. 165

.an occafion naturally oflcrcd, he gave himfelf up with
pleafure to the charms of a free aiid facetious convcrfa-
tion. He remembered a great many agreeable n-ories,
'which he always brought in properly; and generally
made them yet ir^ore delightful, by his natural and
agreeable way of telling them. He was no foe to rail-
lery, provided it were delicate and perfedtly innocent.

No-body was ever a greater mader of the art of ac-
commodating himfelf to the reach of all capacities;
which, in my opinion, is one of the fu.-cft marks of a
great genius.

It was his peculiar art in converfation, to lead people
to talk of what they underftood befl. With a gardener
he difcourfcd of gardening; with a jeweller, of a dia-
mond; with a chymift, of chymiftry, &c. '' By this,
*' fiid he himfelf, I pleafe all thofe men, who com-
^' monly can fpeak pertinently upon nothing elfe. As
'' they believe I have an efleem for their profefTion,
^' they are charmed with fhowing their abilities before
"■ me; and I, in the mean while, improve myfelf by
''their difcourfe.'* And indeed Mr. Locke' had by
this m.eans acquired a very good infight into all the
arts, of which he daily learnt more and more. He iifed
to fay too, that the knowledge of the arts contained
more true philofophy, than all thofe fine learned hypo-
thefes, which, having no relation to the nature of things,
are fit for nothing at the bottom, but to make men lofe
their time in inventing, or comprehending them. A
thoufand have I admired how, by the feveral "
queftions he would put to artificers, he would nnd out
the fecret of their art, which they did not underdand '
themfelves; and oftentimes give them views entirely
new, which fometimes they put in pradice to their

, This eafmefs, with which Mr. Locke knew how to
converfe with all forts of men, anti the pleafure he took
in doing it, at firlt furprized thofe, who had never
talked with him before. They were charmed with this
condefcenfion, not very comivion among men of letters ;
and which they fo little expected from a perfon, whofe
jjreat qualities r-aifed hini fo very much abc-ve all other

^^ 3 men*

l66 "Jhe Chara:i':r of Mr. Lccke.

men. Many who knew him only by his writings or
by the reputation he had gained of being one of the
grcatefl: philofophcis of the age, having imagined to
thcmfclvcs before-hand, that he uas one of thofc fcho-
lars, that, being always full of thcmfelves, and their
fublime fpeculations, are incapable of familiarizing
themfelves with the common fort of mankind, or of
entering into their little concerns, or difcourling of the
ordinary a iVairs of life; were perfedly amazed to fmd
him nothing but affability, good-humour, humanity,
plcafantnefs, always ready to hear them, to talk with
them of things which they bcft underftood, much more
delirous of informing himfelf in what they underftood
better than himfelf, than to make a fliow of his own
fciencc. I knew a very ingenious gentleman in England,
that was for fome time in the fame pre^judice. Before
he law Mr. Locke, he had formed a notion of him to
himfelf under the idea of one of the ancient philofophers,
with a long beard, fpcaking nothing but by fentcnces,
negligent of his perfon, without any other politenefs
but what might proceed from the natural goodncfs of
his tem[)er, a fort of politenefs often very coarfe and
very troublefomc in civil fociety. But one hour's con-
verfation entirely cured him of his miftake, and obliged
him to declare, that he looked upon Mr. Locke to be
one of the politelt men he ever faw: ** He is not a
** philofopher always grave, always confined to that cha-
** racter, as I imagined; he is, faid he, a perfect cour-
** tier, as agreeable for his obliging and civil behaviour,
*' as admirable for the profoundnels and delicacy of his
** genius.**

Mr. Lo( ke was fo far from afTuming thofc airs of
gravity, by which fome folks, as welf learned as un-
learned, love to diflinguifh themfelves from the rcR of
the world ; that, on the contrary, he looked upon them,
as an infallible mark of impertinence. Nay, fomc-
timcs he would divert himfelf with imitating riiat Ihi-
dicd gravity, in order to turn it the better into ridicule ;
and upon this occafion he always remembered this
maxim of the duke of la Rochcfoucault, which he ad-
mired above all others, ** that gravity is a my fiery of

' the

The CbaraflerofMr, Locke, 167

" the body, invented to conceal the dcfe^^s of the
*' mind." He loved alfo to confirm his opinion on this
fubjed:, by that of the famous carl of Shaftfbury*, to
whom he took a delight to give the honour of all the
things, which he thought he had learnt from his con-

Nothing ever gave him a more fenfible pleafure than
the elfeem, which that earl conceived for him, almoft
the firfl moment he faw him, and which he afterwards
prcferved as long as he lived. And, indeed, nothing
fet Mr. Locke's merit in a better light, than the con-
ftant efteem of my lord Shaftlbury, the greateft genius-
of his age, fuperiour to fo many great men that flione at
the fame time at the court of Charles II ; not only for
his refolution and intrepidity in maintaining the true in-
terefts of his country, but alfo for his great abilities in
the condu6l of the moft knotty affairs. When Mr.
Locke ftudied at Oxford, he fell by accident into his
company, and one fmgle converfation with that great
man won him his efteem and confidence to fuch a de-
gree, that foon afterwards my lord Shaftfbury took him
to be near his perfon, and kept him as long as Mr.
Locke's health or affairs would permit. That earl par-
ticularly excelled in the knowledge of men. It was im-
poflible to catch his efteem by moderate qualities ; this
his enemies themfelves could never deny. I wifli I
could, on the other hand, give you a full notion of the
idea, which Mr. Locke had of that nobleman's merit.
He lofl no opportunity of fpeaking of it ; and that in a
manner, which fufficiently fhowed he fpoke from his
heart. Though my lord Shaftlbury had not fpent much
time in reading; nothing, in Mr. Locke's opinion,

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