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however you have quoted the English for writing verses without rhyme, yet I know but one man that has done so, and he, too, one much versed in and addicted to the Greek and Roman polite learning, whose admiration of their poetry put him, as I imagine, in that way of writing. Some translations I think there may be, too, in the way of blank verses, as we call them, but they are little regarded, and scarce thought different from prose. And we see, as you yourself have observed, that as soon as the Greek language began to be out of vogue and use amongst the Romans, rhyming poetry came in also in their language ; which, as I said, I think is the most natural way of verses, which the Greeks alone, who affected to be originals in everything, had the conveniency and boldness to transgress. For the Romans I count only their scholars.

• If there be anything in the whole essay wherein I differ at all from you, it is only in this, that I wish you had left out the supposition you make (p. 239) that perhaps sometimes, here and there, they neglected the rhyme; which is not very probable if their poetry consisted in it; and we never see it done in rhyming verses any more than the feet are neglected in metrical ; for this would be to write half verse, half prose. This, though it be a reason to me against that supposition, yet is not that for which I except against it. For I should not be much curious to inquire into the ancient poetry of the Jews, if it terminated in a bare speculation against this piece of antiquity. That which affects me in it is the prospect I have that it may be of mighty use to correct many errors, and give us a great light into the Hebrew text as we have it. But, if it be once granted that in their poetry they neglected the rhyme, it will be apt to stop men's farther inquiry where they can make out the sense without it. But, on the other side, I should rather conclude that, wherever the rhyme is wanting, there our copies differ from the original. Nor are we to think that there was no rhyme because we cannot now make it out with as good sense as it carries in our present reading without it. For, if to the difficulties you mention one add this, that the books written in Hebrew which are come to our hands cannot be supposed to contain the whole compass of the language, one shall quickly lose the hopes of reforming all the faults of the copyists. They had, no doubt, many words and expressions which are nowhere in the Scripture. And, had we no other remains of the Roman language than what is to be found in the writings of Tully and Livy (which are a great deal more than our Old Testament contains) we should thereby be very ill able to establish & very imperfect copy of Horace's 'Odes,' writ like prose, if such an one alone had been all could have been found of him. But I think we should not from thence conclude that the Romans used to neglect the just measure of their feet because we could not at this distance reduce them into that exactness by any change of words we could find to supply the defects of the ill-written copy. .

1 Locke, of course, here alluded to Milton.

“I sball make no apology for taking this liberty, having done it in obedience to your commands, or rather to provoke you to the same with me on some other occasion. The discovery you have made I think of great use, and I wish, as your leisure will permit, you would go on reducing the Psalms into their original rhymes as far as, out of the state they now are in, it is possible to be done.

“ I have some further questions to propose to you on this subject, but my letter is already grown beyond the measure I at first designed it; and yet I must not conclude it without telling you that I wonder you so little esteem the gentleman you mention capable of penetrating far into the eastern poetry. Methinks he has the most poetical head of any man I ever met with. His visions are beyond the reach of those dull people who conduct their thoughts by paltry reason. And he must needs have a large fame in Parnassus who can expect so great an income from it. The truth is, in all but his meat, drink, clothes, and some other accoutrements of life, he is very rich, and if the world would but take those commodities he has at his rate, he would be no small man. The mischief is the ignorant world knows not how to value them, and so the exchange of knowledge for money is not made, though wanted on both sides. And I see no remedy for it but we must be condemned to ignorance and he to threadbare clothes; though who can but think it great pity that a head which is the treasure of such a mass of precious knowledge should be covered with a peruke so much weatherbeaten and out of repair ?

“ About two months since, I was told at Leers's 1 that Simon's · Histoire Critique du Nouveau Testament' was in the press and that it would be done about this time; but, being last week at his shop, I saw four-and-twenty sheets of it, all that was then printed of three score—which they say it will

amount to—so that, according to this reckoning, we may expect it will be | published about four months hence.

“I long to see your next volume, and shall be not a little confirmed in my opinion concerning the whole business of words as I have treated it in my third book, if I find your thoughts concur with it, and that it may be applied

1 The principal bookseller then in Rotterdam.
? Of the • Essay concerning Human Understanding.'

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with any advantage to the understanding of ancient writers, which I have been apt to think the ordinary way of critics leads not to.

“I cannot, nor I ought not to, find fault with this ninth tome of your Bibliothèque'; but yet I cannot forbear to tell you that it wants the asterisks of distinction which you have done me the favour to place at the beginning of some of the other tomes. I am, sir, your most humble and most obedient servant,

“ J. LOCKE.” 1



“I have read with much pleasure,” Locke wrote ou the same day to Limborch, “our friend Le Clerc's periment, as he calls it, on the ancient poetry of the Hebrews, and I am persuaded that by his method much light may be thrown on the Psalms and other metrical portions of the Bible. I should much like to see a complete edition of the Psalms thus arranged by him. Do urge him to undertake such a work as quickly as his other occupations will permit. When I first discussed Le Clerc's view with a friend of mine, well versed in Hebrew literature, he rejected it, but he now adopts it.” 2

Locke's next letter to Limborch reminds us of his old occupations as a student of medicine. In the autumn of 1688, all, or nearly all, of Limborch's children-he had several daughters, but apparently only one son-were ill. “I am truly sorry," Locke now wrote, “that you have had so much trouble in your family; but I hope your boy will soon recover, as the rest have done. As I am absent I will not venture to say much about the disease and its cure, especially as you have such kind and skilful medical friends at hand. Let me, however, recommend one thing. If, as you seem to expect, small-pox shows itself, be very careful to avoid all heating medicines, and do not load

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1 MSS. in the Remonstrants' Library; Locke to [Le Clerc], [204] 30 July (1688).

: 'Familiar Letters,' p. 322; Locke to Limborch, [204] 30 July, 1688.

him with bed-coverings that are likely to bring on a fever which will greatly increase his danger. My love for you and all belonging to you forces me to say this; and I speak from experience.”] “My great anxiety has been most happily relieved,” he wrote next day, “ by your letter of yesterday. If I did not fear the worst from your silence, I was certainly alarmed; for people who love their friends can never believe that no news is good news; but now I rejoice that all goes well, and that nothing but care and good dieting are required to cure your son. Let me give you my advice; not because I think you can need it when such a wise and experienced doctor as Veen is by your side, but because I know you have faith in me and will listen to what I say. After this disease, most doctors are in the habit of again and again administering purgatives with the object of clearing off all remaining traces of disease, but it seems to me that they are very apt to themselves encourage the evils which they deem it necessary to purge away. Patients recovering from the small-pox generally have an enormous appetite, which, if a careful and moderate diet is not pursued, causes the stomach to be over-loaded and the blood to be brought into a condition for breeding fresh disease. Old women and doctors nearly always offend in this way, thinking that the more food they give the more the invalid will be strengthened. Now, nothing but what suits the stomach nourishes the blood, strengthens the body, and brings it into a healthy condition. Over-feeding not only does no good, but breeds vicious humours and encourages disease. I entreat you to bear this in mind.”' ?

1 MS$. in the Remonstrants' Library (partly in the 'Familiar Letters,' p. 323); Locke to Limborch, [144] 24 Nov., 1688.

* Ibid. ; Locke to Limborch, [15-] 25 Nov., 1688.

That view of Locke recurring to his former studies in the medicine of common sense comes pleasantly to us at this time, when it was clear that he was busily engaged in very different sorts of work.

“I had many other things to say to you,” he had written to Limborch on the day on which he had sent off his long letter to Le Clerc, suggesting that the Psalms of David should be submitted to the same rules for arriving at a correct text as were appropriate to the Odes of Horace ; “but I am interrupted by the arrival of a friend from England."1 His quiet life in Holland seems to have been often broken in upon by the arrival of friends from England, who came on business that took him, as well as them, on frequent visits to the Hague, where William of Orange was at last preparing to make himself king of England. “I hope,” we find him writing in July to his old friend, Nicolas Thoynard, with whom he had kept up a steady correspondence throughout these years, though very few of the letters have been preserved, “I hope before this you have understood from mine of the 29th of June why I have been so tardy in answering your former letters. I have been obliged by certain friends who arrived in this country, and whom I had hardly seen before since I left England, to go about with them, so that I only received yours of the 6th the day before yesterday, and this is the first opportunity I have for reading and answering it.” 2

“I have been away from home, and therefore could not possibly write to you sooner,” he wrote again to the same friend on the 31st of October. That

1 Familiar Letters,' p. 323; Locke to Limborch, [104] 20 July, 1688.

8 Additional MSS. in the British Museum, no. 28836; Locke to Thoynard, [26 July-) 5 August, 1688.

3 Ibid., no. 28753; Locke to Thoynard, [31 Oct.] 10 Nov., 1688. VOL. II,


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