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ilraitnefs of the lodging in this houle, hindered mc
from having my coufin King and you together ; and fo
cut off one part of the enjoyment, which you know is
very valuable to me. I mull leave it to your kindnefs
and charity, to make up this lofs to me. How far the
good company I have had here has been able to raife
me into a forgetfulnefs of the decays of age, and the
unealinefs of my indifpofition, my coufin King is judge.
But this I believe he will affure you, that my infirmi-
ties prevail fo faft on me, that, unlcfs you m.ake haflc
hither, I may Jofe the fatisfadion of ever feeing again a
man, that I value in the firft rank of thofe that I leave
behind met.

* Sir Peter King's father-in law.

+ Mr. Locke died on the 28th of Odober, X704; that is, 27 days
after the writing of this letter.


•9^ Several Letters.

To the fame. [Dircdtcd thus :]
To be delivered to him afrcr my deccafe.

Dear Sir, Gates, Aiigufl 23, 1704.

BY my ^vill, you will fee that I had fomc kindnefs
for ' • * •. And I knew no better way to take care of
him, than to put him, and what I dcfigned for him,
into your hands and management. The knowledge I
have of your virtue, of all kinds, fecures the truft which,
bv your pcrmilTion, I have placed in you ; and the pe-
culiar cllcem and love I have obferved in the young man
for you, will difpofe him to be ruled and influenced by
you, fo that of that I need fay npthing.

But there is one thing, which it is ncccfTary for me to
recommend to your efpecial care and memory ******

May vou live long and happy in the enjoyment of
health, freedom, content, and all thofc bleftings which
providence has bcHowed on you, and your virtue inti-
tles you to. 1 know you loved me living, and will
prefervc my memory now I am dead. All the ufe to be
made of it is, that this life is a fcene of vanity, that
foon pafTes away; and affords no folid fatisfaC^ion, but
in the confcioufnefs of doing well, and in the hopes of
another life. This is what I can fay upon experience ;
and what you will find to be true, when you come to
make up the account. Adieu ; I leave my bell willies
\uLh you.

John Locki:.

A Letter to the Reverend Mr. KichjyJ A7;;fj-.

Sir, Gates, July 23, 1703.

I C^•\NNGT but think myfelf beholden to any occa-

fion that procures mc the honour of a letter from you.

I return

Several Letters. 2^^

I return my acknowledgments for thofe great exprcHions
of civility, and marks of friendfhip, I received in yours
of the 8th inftant ; and wifli I had the opportunity to
fliow the efteem I have of your merit, and the fenfe of
your kindnefs to me, in any real fervice.

The defire of your friend, in the cnclofed letter you
fent me, is what of myfelf I am inclined to fatisfy ; and
am only forry, that fo copious a fubjed: has lofl, in my
bad memory, fo much of what heretofore I could have
faid concerning that great and good man, of whom he
inquires*. Time» I daily find, blots out apace the lit-
tle ftock of my mind, and has difabled me from furnilb-
ingall that I would willingly contribute, to the memory
of that learned man. But give me leave to allure you,
that I have not known a fitter perfon than he, to be pre-
ferved as an example, and propofed to the imitation of
men of letters. I therefore wifh well to your friend's
defign, though my mite be all I have been able to con-
tribute to it.

I wifh you all happinefs, and am, with a very parti-
cular refpcci:,


Your mofl humble fervant,

John Locke.

A Letter to * ** *

S I R, Oates, July 23, 1703.

I HAVE fo great a veneration for the memory of

that excellent man, whofe life you tell mc you are wri^

tingt, that when I fet myfelf to rccolledt what memoirs

* Dr. Pococke. See the following letter.

+ Dr. Edward Pococke, retjius profefTor of Hebrew, in the univerfity
of Oxford. He was born at (Jxford on the Sth oi November 1603, and
he died on the loth of September 1691.

I can

^oo Several Letters,

I can (in anfwcr to your dcfirc) furnifli you with ; I
am afliamcd I have fo little in particuhir to fay, on a
fuhject that alTordcd fo much. For I conclude you ^o
Mcll acc]uaintcd with his learning and virtue, that I Tup-
nofe it would be fupcrfluous to trouble you on thole
heads. However, give me leave not to be wholly filcnt
upon this occalion. So extraordinary an example, in
lb degenerate an age, defervcs, for the rarity, and, as I
vas ^o\v\g to fay, for the incredibility of it, the attef-
tatioii of all that knew him, and confidered his w orth.

The chriflian world is a witncfs of his great learning,
that the works he publiflied would not fuifer to be con-
cealed. Nor could his devotion and piety lie hid, and
be unobferved in a college; where his conftant and re-
gular aifdling at the cathedral fervice, never interrupted
bv fliarpncfs of weather, and fcarce retrained by down-
ri'^^ht want of health, lliowed the temper and difpofitiou
of his mind.

But his other virtues and excellent qualities, had (o
ftrong and clofe a covering of modcdy and unaiiected
humility ; that, though they flionc the brighter to thofc
who had the opportunities to be more intimately ac-
quainted with hmi, and eyes to difcern and dillinguilh
folidity from fliow, and cftcem virtue that fought not
reputation; yet they were the lefs taken notice, and
talked of, by the generality of thofe to whom he was
not wholly unknown. Not that he was at all clofe
and rcfcrved ; but, on the contrary, the readied to com-
municate to any one that confulted him.

Indeed he was not forward to talk, nor ever would be
the leading man in the difcourfe, though it were on a
fubjecfl that he underilood better than any of the com-
pany ; and would often content himfelf to fit Hill ar.d
hear others debate matters which he himfelf was more
a maftcr of. He had often the fdence of a learner,
\\herc he had the knowledge of a maHcr; and that not
with a defign, as is often, that the ignorance any one
bcnayed might give him the opportunity to difplay his
own knowledge, with the more luHrc and advantage, to
their ilumc; or ccnfurc them when they were gone.
For thefe arts of triumph and oilentation, frequently


Several Letters. 301

prad:ifed by men of flcill and ability, were utterly un-
known to him. It was very feldom that he contradicted
any one ; or if it were necefTary at any time to inform any
one better, who was in a miftake, it was in fo foft and
gentle a manner, that it had nothing of the air of dif-
pute or correction, and feemed to have little of oppo-
iition in it. I never heard him. fay any thing that put
any one that was prefent the leaft out of countenance ;
nor ever cenfure, or fo much as fpcak diminifliingly, of
any one that was abfent.

He was a man of no irregular appetites. If he indul-
ged any one too much, it was that of ftudy, which his
wife would often complain of, (and, I think, not with-
out reafon) that a due coniideration of his age and health
could not make him abate.

Though he was a man of the greateft temperance in
himfelf, and the fartheft from oficntation and vanity in
his way of living; yet he was of a liberal mind, and
given to hofpitality ; which confidering .the fmallncfs
of his preferments, and the numerous family of chil-
dren he had to provide for, might be thought to have
out-done thofe who made more noife and Ihow.

His name, which was in great cfteem beyond fea, and
that defcrvedly, drew on him vifits from all foreigners
of learnino:, who came to Oxford, to fee that univerlitv.
They never failed to be highly fatishcd with his great
knowledge and civility, which was not always without

Though at the reftoration of king Charles, when pre-
ferment rained down upon fome men's heads, his merits
were fo overlooked or forgotten, ^that he was barely ref-
tored to what was his before, without receiving any new
preferm.ent then, or at any time after; yet I never heard
him take any the leart notice of it, or make the leall com-
plaint in a cafe that would have grated forely on fome
men's patience, and have filled their mouths with mur-
muring, and their lives with difcontent. But he was
always unafFededly cheerful ; no marks of any thing
that lay heavy at his heart, for his being neoleded, ever
broke from him. He was fo far from having any dif-
pleafure lie concealed there, that whenever any cxpref-


702 Several Letters,

fions of difTatisfaiftion, for what they thought hard ufage,
broke from others in his prcfcnce, he always diverted
the difcourfe ; and if it were any body with whom he
thought he might take that liberty, he lilenced it with
viliblc marks of dillike.

Though he was not, as I faid, a forward, much Icfs
an afTuming talker; yet he was the fartheft in the world
from being fullen or morofc. He would talk very freely,
and very well, of all parts of learning, befidcs that
wherein he was known to excel. But this was not all;
he could difcourfe very well of other things. He was
not unacquainted with the world, though he made no
iliow of it.

His backwardncfs to meddle in other people's matters,
or to enter into debates, where names and perfons were
brought upon the flage, and judgments and cenfurc were
hardly avoided ; concealed his abilities, in matters of
bulanefs and conduct, from mod people. But yet I can
truly fay, that I knew not any one in that univerfity,
whom i would more willingly confult, in any affair that
required confideration, nor whofe opinion I thought it
better worth the hearing than his, if he could be drawn
to enter into it, and give his advice.

Though in company he never ufcd himfclf, nor wil-
lingly heard from others, any perional retieCtions on
other men, though fet oif with a fliarpnefs that ufually
tickles, and by mofl men is miftaken for the befl:, if
not the only feafoning of plcafant convcrfation ; yet he
would often bear his part in innocent mirth, and, by
Ibme appofite and diverting (lory, continue and heighten
the good-humour.

I Ihall give \ou an inflance of it in a llory of his,
which on this occalion comes to my mind ; and 1 tell it
you not as belonging to his life, but that it may give you
fome part of his chara-^ler ; w hich, poUibly, the very
fcriou- temper of this good man may be apt to make
men overfce. The ftory was this : There was at Cor-
pus-Chrifti college, when he was a young man there,
■^ proper fellow, w ith a long grey beard, that was porter
uf the college. A waggiili fellow-cominoncr of the houfc
would be often handling and ftrokmg ihi^ grey beard,


Sevenil Letters, ^^'^

and jcftingly told the porter, he would, one of thefc
days, fetch it off. The porter, who took his beard for
the great ornament that added grace and authority to
his pcribn, could fcarce hear the mention, injeft, of
his beard being cut off, with any patience. However.
he could not efcape the mortal agony that fuch a lofs
would caufe him. The fatal hour came ; and fee what
happened. The young gentleman, as the porter was
{landing at the college-gate with other people about
him, took hold of his beard with his left hand, and
with a pair of fciffars, which he had ready in his right,
did that execution, that the porter and by-llanders heard
the cutting of fciffars, and faw a handful of grey hairs
fall to the ground. The porter, on that fight, in the
iitmoft rage, ran immediately away to the prclident of
the college; and there, with a loud and lamentable out-
cry, dclired juftice to be done on the gentleman-com-
moner, for the great indignity and injury he had receiv-
ed from him. The prclident demanding what harm
the other had done, the porter replied, an affront never
to be forgiven; he had cut off his beard. The prcfi-
dent, not without laughing, told him that his barber
was a bungler, and that therefore he would do him tlint
juilice, that he ffiould have nothing for his pains, having
done his work fo negligently ; for he had left him, for
aught he could fee, after all his cutting, the largell and
moff reverend beard in the town. The porter, fcarce abl -
to believe what he fiiid, put up his hand to his chin, on
which he found as full a orrown beard as ever. Out of
countenance for his complaint for want of a beard, he
fneaked away, and vs ould not Ihow his face for fome time

The contrivance of the young gentleman was innocent
and ingenious. He had provided a handful of white
horfc-hair, which he cut, under the covert of the other's
beard, and k} let it drop ; which the telly fellow, with-
out any flirther examination, concluded to be of his own
growth ; and fo, with open mouth, drew on himfelf every
one's laughter ; which could not be rcfufcd to fuch iid
complaints, and fo reverend a be arJ.


304 Scleral Letters,

Speaking of the expedite way of juflice in Turky, he
told this plcafant fiory ; whereof he was an eye-witncfs
at Aleppo. A fellow, who was carrying about bread to
fell, at the turn of a llreet fpying the cadee coming to-
wards him, fet down his batket of bread, and betook
himfclf to his heels. The cadcc coming on, and finding
the balket of bread in his way, bid fome of his under
officers weigh it ; (for he always goes attended, for pre-
fcnt execution of any fault he Ihall meet withj who
fmding it as it fliould be, left it, and went on. The
fellow watching, at the corner of the flreet, what would
become of his bread ; when he found all was fafe, returned
to his balket. The by-flandcrs alkcd him why he ran
away, his bread being weight ? That was more than I
knew, fays he; for though it be not mine, but I fell it
for another ; yet if it had been lefs than wcighr, and
taken upon me, I fliould have been drubbed.

Many things of this nature, worth notice, would often
drop from him in convcrfation ; which would inform
the world of feveral particularities, concerning that coun-
try and people, among whom he fpcnt fcvcral years.
You will pardon me, if on the fudden my bad memory
cannot, after fuch a diflance of time, recollect more of
ihem. Neither perhaps had this now occurred, had I not,
on an occalion that revived it in my memory fome time
fmcc by telling it to others, refreflied it in my own

I know not whether you find amongfl the papers of
his, that are, as you fay, put into your hands, any ara-
bic proverbs, tranflatcd by him. He has told me that
he had a collection of 3000, as I remember ; and that
they were for the moll part very good. He had, as he
intimated, fome thoughts of tranfiating them, and ad-
ding fome notes, they were necelfary to clear any
obfcuritics ; but whether he ever did any thing in it be-
fore he died, 1 have not heard. But to return to what 1
can call to mind, and recover of him.

I do not remember that, in all my convcrfation with
him, 1 evLT faw him once angry, or to be fo far provoked
as to change colour or countenance, or tone of voice.


Several Letters, 305

Difpleafing acflions and accidents would fomctimes oc-
cur ; there is no help for that ; but nothing of that kind
moved him,, that I faw, to any pailionatc words ; much
lefs to chiding or clamour. His life appeared to me one
conftant calm.

How great his patience was in his long and dangerous
lamenefs (wherein there were very terrible and painful
operations) you have, no doubt, learnt from others. I
* happened to be abfent from Oxford moft of that time ;
but I have heard, and believed it, that it was fuitable to
the other parts of his life.

To conclude, I can fay of him, what few men can fay
of any friend of theirs, nor I of any other of my ac-
quaintance : that I do not remem.bcr I ever faw in him
any one adion that I did, or could in my own mind
blame, or thought amifs in him.

Sir, if I had been put upon this tafic foon after his
death, I might polTibly have fent you a paper better
furniflied than this is, and with particularities fitter for
your purpofe, to fill up the charadter of fo good and ex-
traordinary a man, and fo exemplary a life. The efteem
and honour I have ftiU for him would not fuffer me to
fay nothing ; though my decaying bad memory did ill {c^
cond my defire to obey your commands. Pray accept
this, as a mark of my willingnefs, and believe that I am

Your mod humble fervant,

John Locke.

A Letter to the Reverend Mr. Richard King.

S I R, Oatcs, 25 Aug. 1703.

YOURS of the 4th inflant I received ; and though I
am confcious I do not dcferve thofe advantageous things,
which your civility Hiys of me in it ; yet give me leave
to afTure you, that the offers of my fcrvice to you, which
you are pleafed to take notice of, is that part, which I
Ihall not fail to make good on all occafions.

Vol. IX. X You

3o6 Srjcral Lrtfers.

You alk mc, •* what is the fliortcft and fiircfl wrrV,
** for a young gentleman, to attain a true knowledge
'' of the chriflian religion, in the full and jult extent
•* of it?'* For fo } uiukrlland your queilion ; if I have
niiftaken in it, )c)u niufl fet me right. And to this I
have a fliort and plain anfwer : '' Let him ftudy the holy
*' fcripture, cl'pccially the New "reltament." Therein
are co?=>taincd the words of eternal life. It has God for
its author; falvacion for its end; and truth, without
any mixture of errour, for its matter. So that it is a
\vonder to me, how any one profelTing chrillianity, that
"%iOuld ferioul?y fet himfelf to know his religion, Ihould
be in doubt v/here to employ his fearch, and lay out hi^
pains for his information; when he knows a book,
where it \?f ail contained, pure and entire ; and whither,
at lad, every one mull have recourfej to verify that of
it, which he finds any where elfe.

Your other qucltion, which I think I may call twcr
OF three, will require a larger an fwer.

As to rr>oraHty, which, I take it, is the firfl: >n thofc
things you inquire after ; that is- bell to be found in the
book that I have already coinmendcd to you. But
becaufc you may perhaps think, that the better to ob-
ferve thofe rules, a little warning may not be incon-
venient, and fome method of ranging them be ufefui
for the memory ; I recommend to you the *' Whole
** Duty of Man,'* as a methodical lyftem ; and if you
delire a larger view of the part-> of morality, I know not
where you will find them fo well and dillinctly explained,
and fo llrongly enforced, as in tl]e practical divines of
the church of England. The fermons of Dr. Barrow,
archbiihop Tillotfon, and Dr. Whichcote, are mailer-
pieces in this kind ; not to name abundance of others,
who excel on that fubjecl:. If you have a mind to fee
how far human reafon advanced in the difcovery of
morality, you will have a good fpecimcn of it in
** Tully's Offices ;" unlefs you have a mind to look far-
ther back into the fource from whence he drew his rules;
and then you mull confult Arillotle, and the other greek


Several Letters, 30-7

Though prudence be reckoned among the cardinal
virtues, yet I do not remember any profcircd treatifc of
morality, where it is treated in its full extent, and with
that accuracy that it ought. For which pofiibly this
may be a reafon, that every imprudent action docs not
make a man culpable '' in foro confcientiir. " The bu-
finefs of morality I look upon to be the avoiding of
crimes ; of prudence, inconvcniencics, the foundation
whereof lies in knowing men and manners. Hiftory
teaches this beff, next to experience ; which is the only
cffecftual way to get a knowledge of the world, ks to the
rules of prudence, in the conduvlt of common life,
though there be feveral that have employed their pens
therein ; yet thofe writers have their eyes fo fixed on
convenience, that they fometimes lofe the fight of vir-
tue ; and do not take care to keep themfclves always
clear from the borders of diflionefly, whilil they are tra-
cing out what they take to be, fometimes, the fecureff
way to fuccefs ; moft of thofe that I have feen on this
fubjecl having, as it feemed to me, fomcthing of this
defect. So that I know none that I can confidently
recommend to your young gentleman, but the fon of

To '' complete a man in the practice of human of-
" fices/' (for to that tend your inquiries) there is one
thing more required; which, though it be ordinarily
confidered, as dillindl both from virtue and prudence,
yet I think it fo nearly allied to them, tha,t he will
fcarce keep himfelf from Hips in both, v/ho is without it.
That, which I mean, is good breeding. The fchool, for
ayoung gentleman to learn it in, is the converfation of
thofe who are well-bred.

As to the lall part of your inquiry, which is after
"' books that will give an infight into the conftitution
" of the government, and real interelt of his country ;"
to proceed orderly in this, I think the foundation Ihouid
"be laid in inquiring into the ground and nature of civil
fociety ; and how it is formed into different models of
government ; and what are the feveral fpccies of it.
Arillotle is allowed a mafter in this fcicncc, and few
enter upon the conlideration of government, without
reading his ** Politics." Hereunto lliould be added,

X 2 ii-uc

3oS Several Letters,

true notions of laws in general ; and property, tlie fub-
jcd-niatter about wliich laws are rr^ade. He, that
vould acquaint himi'clt with the former of thcfc, fliould
thorouj^hly lludy the judicious Hooker's firll book of
'' Ecclefiafiical Polity." And property I have no-
where found n ore clearly cxplanicd, than in a book in-
titled, ** Two Trcatifes of Government." But not to
load your young gentleman with too many books on
this fubject, which require more meditation than read-
in;^; give mc leave to recommend to him Puffendorf's
little Trcatife, ** De Officio Hominis & Civis."

To get an inilght into the particular conffitution of
the government of his own country, will require a little
more reading ; unlefs he v, ill content himfelf with fuch
a fuperficial know ledge of it as is contained in Cham-
bcrlayne's ** State of England;" or Smith '' De Re-
publica Anglicana." Your inquiry manifeftly looks far-
ther than that ; and to attain fuch a knowledge of it, as
becomes a gentleman of England to have, to the pur-
pofes that you mention, I think lie fliould read our anci-
ent lawyers; fuch as Brac^lon, '' Fleta," *' The Mirror
*' of Juflice," 6ic. which our coulin King* can better
direcl: you to, than I ; joining with them the ** Hiftory
*' of England under the Normans," and fo continuing
it down quite to our times; reading it always in thofc
authors who lived nearell thofe times ; their names you
will find, and characters often in Mr. Tyrrel's " Hif-
•* tory of England." To which, if there be added ^
ferious confideration of the laws made in each reign,
and how far any of them influenced the conflitution ;
all thefe together will give him a full infight into what
you defire.

As to the iniercll of any country, that, it is manifeH-,
lies in its profperiiy and fccurity. Plenty of well em-
ployal people, and riches within, and good alliances
abroad, make it Ihvngth. But the w a) s of attaining thefc
comprehend all the arts of peace and war ; the manage-
ment of trade ; the employment of the poor ; and all thofc
other things that belong to theadminillration of the pub-

♦ Sir Pcicr Kin^.


Several Letters. 3O9

lie. ; which arc fo many, fo various, and fo changeable,
according to the mutable flatc of men, and things, in
this world; that it is not flrange, if a very fnvali part
of this confifts in book-learning. He, that would
know ir, mull: have eyes open upon the prefcnt ftate of
affairs ; and from thence take his meafures of what is
good, or prejudicial, to the intereft of his country.

You fee how ready I am to obey your com.mands,
though in matters wherein I am fcniible of my own ig-
norance. I am fo little acquainted with books, ef-
pecially on thefe fubjedls relating to politics^ that you
muft: forgive, if perhaps I have not named to you the
beft in every kind. And you muft take it as a mark
of my readinefs to fcrve you, that I have ventured fo
far out of what lay in my way of reading, in the days
that 1 had leifare to converfe with books. The know-
ledge of the bible, and the bufmefs of his calling, is
enough for an ordmary man; a gentleman ought to go

Thofe of this place return their fervice and thanks,
for the honour of your remembrance.

I am, &c.

To the fame,

De A R S I R,

I AM forry to find, that the qucflion, which was
the mod: material, and my mind wa^ mod upon, was
anfwered fo little to your fatisfaClion, that you are fain

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