« AnteriorContinuar »
THE AUTHOR'S LAST ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS; AND
AN ANALYSIS OF THE DOCTRINE OF IDEAS.
THOUGHTS CONCERNING READING AND STUDY
FOR A GENTLEMAN.
OF THE CONDUCT OF THE UNDERSTANDING.
By JOHN LOCKE, Gent.
A PORTRAIT OF THE AUTHOR: AND A GENERAL INDEX.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
EARL OF PEMBROKE AND MONTGOMERY,
Baron Herbert of Cardiff, Lord Ross of Kendal, Par, Fitzbugh, Marinion, St. Quintin, and Shurland; Lord President of his Majesty's Most Honourable Privy-Council,
and Lord Lieutenant of the Couniy of Wilts, and of South Wales.
MY LORD, This treatise, which is grown up under your lordship's eye, and has ventured into the world by your order, does now, by a natural kind of right, come to your lordship for that protection which you several years since promised it. It is not that I think any name, how great soever, set at the beginning of a book, will be able to cover the faults that are to be found in it. Things in print must stand and fall by their own worth, or the reader's fancy. But there being nothing more to be desired for Truth than a fair unprejudiced hearing, nobody is more likely to procure me that than your lordship, who is allowed to have got so intimate an acquaintance with her, in her more retired recesses. Your lordship is known to have so far advanced your speculations in the most abstract and general knowledge of things, beyond the ordinary reach, or common methods, that your allowance and approbation of the design of this treatise, will at least preserve it from being condemned without reading; and will prevail to have those parts a little weighed, which might otherwise, perhaps, be thought to deserve no consideration, for being somewhat out of the common road. The imputation of novelty is a terrible charge amongst those who judge of men's heads, as they do of their perukes, by the fashion ; and can allow none to be right, but the received doctrines. Truth scarce ever yet carried it by vote any where at its first appearance: new opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason, but because they are not already common. But truth, like gold, is not the less so for being Dewly brought out of the mine. It is trial and examination must give it price, and not any antique fashion: and though it be not yet current by the public stamp, yet it may, for all that, be as old as nature, and is certainly not the less genuine. Your lordship can give great and convincing instances of this, whenever you please to oblige the public with some of those large and comprehensive discoveries you have made of truths hitherto unknown, unless to some few, from whom your lordship has been pleased not wholly to conceal them. This alone were a sufficient reason, were there no other, why I should dedicate this Essay to your lordship; and its baving some little correspondence with some parts of that nobler and vast system of the sciences your lordship has made so new, exact, and instructive a draught of, I think it glory enough, if your lordship permit me to boast, that here and there I have fallen