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itself, it would be superfluous to descant. The name of Locke is not confined to England_nor yet to Europe; -in every region of the globe, where the light of civilization and knowledge has penetrated, his works are justly considered among the first in the highest rank of excellence; and his Essay upon the UNDERSTANDING is esteemed not only the greatest of his labours, but the grandest achievement of the human mind.

NEWGATE-STREET,
September, 1824.

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THOMAS,

EARL OF PEMBROKE AND MONTGOMERY,

BARON HERBERT OF CARDIFF; LORD ROSS OF KENDAL, PAR, FITZHUGH, MARMION, ST. QUINTIN,

AND SHURLAND;

LORD PRESIDENT OF HIS MAJESTY'S MOST HONORABLE PRIVY-COUNCIL;

AND LORD LIEUTENANT OF THE COUNTY 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 tban your lordship, who are 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, of 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, perbaps, 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, bụt because they are not already common. But truth, like gold, is not the less so for being newly 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 having 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 into some thoughts not wholly different from yours. If your lordship think fit, that, by your encouragement, this should appear in the world, I hope it may be a reason, soine time or other, to lead your lordship farther; and you will allow me to say, that you here give the world an earnest of something, that, if they can bear with this, will be truly worth their expectation. This, my lord, shows what a present I here make to your lordship: just such as the poor. man does to his rich and great neighbour, by whom the basket of flowers, or fruit, is not ill taken, though he has more plenty of his own growth, and in much greater perfection. Worthless things receive a value, when they are made the offerings of respect, esteem, and gratitude: these you have given me so mighty and peculiar reasons to have, in the highest degree, for your lordship, that if they can add a price to what they go along with, proportionable to their own greatness, I can with confidence brag, I here

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make your lordsbip the richest present you ever received. This I am sure, I am under the greatest obligations to seek all occasions to acknowledge a long train of favours I have received from your lordship; favours, though great and important in themselves, yet made much more so by the forwardness, concern, and kindness, and other obliging circumstances, that never failed to accompany them. To all this you are pleased to add that which gives yet more weight and relish to all the rest: you vouclisafe to continue me in some degrees of your esteem, and allow me a place in your good thoughts, I had almost said friendship. This, my lord, your words and actions so constantly show on all occasions, even to others when I am absent, that it is not vanity in me to mention #bat every body knows: but it would be want of good manners, not to acknowledge wbat so many are witnesses of, and every day tell me I am indebted to your lordship for. I wish they could as easily assist my gratitude, as they convince me of the great and growing engagements it has to your lordship. This I am sure, I should write of the understanding without having any, if I were pot extremely sensible of them, and did not lay hold on this opportunity to testify to the world, how much I am obliged to be, and how much I am,

My lord,

Your lordship's

Most humble, and

Most obedient servant,

JOHN LOCKE.

Dorset Court, 24th May, 16:9

THE EPISTLE TO THE READER.

READER,

I HERE put into thy hands, what has been the diversion of some of my idle and heavy hours: if it has the good luck to prove so of any of thine, and thou hast but balf so much pleasure in reading, as I had in writing it, thou wilt as little think thy money, as I do my pains, ill bestowed. Mistake not this for a commendation of my work; nor conclude, because I was pleased with the doing of it, that therefore I am fondly taken with it now it is done. He that hawks at larks and sparrows, has no less sport, though a much less considerable quarry, than he that flies at nobler game; and he is little acquainted with the subject of this treatise, the UNDERSTANDING, who does not know, that as it is the most elevated faculty of the soul, so it is employed with a greater, and more constant, delight, than any of the other. Its searches after truth, are a sort of bawking and hunting, wherein the very pursuit makes a great part of the pleasure. Every step the mind takes in its progress towards knowledge, makes some discovery, which is not only new, but the best too, for the time at least.

For the understanding, like the eye, judging of objects only by its own sight, cannot but be pleased with what it discovers, having less regret for what has escaped it, because it is unknown. Thus he who has raised himself above the alıs-basket, and not content to live lazily on scraps of begged opinions, sets his own thoughts on work, to find and follow truth, will (whatever he lights on) not miss the hunter's satisfaction; every moment of his pursuit will reward his pains with some delight, and he will have reason to think his time not ill spent, even wben he cannot much boast of any great acquisition.

This, reader, is the entertainment of those who let loose their owo thoughts, and follow them in writing; which thou oughtest not to envy them, since they afford thee an opportunity of the like diversion, if thou wilt make use of thy own thoughts in reading. It is to them, if they are thy own, that I refer myself: but if they are taken upon

trust from others, it is no great matter what they are, tbey are not following truth, but some meaner consideration : and it

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