Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

April 11. 1739.

I

Have just received from Mr R. two more of your Letters*. It is in the greatest hurry imaginable that I write this; but I cannot help thanking you in particular for your Third Letter, which is fo extremely clear, short, and full, that I think Mr Crouzaz + ought never to have another anfwerer, and deferved not fo good an one. I can only fay, you do him too much honour, and me too much right, so odd as the expreision seems, for you have made my system as clear as I ought to have done, and could not. It is indeed

* Commentaries on the Effay on Man.

+ A German profeffor, who wrote remarks upon the philofophy of that Effay.

1

the fame fyftem as mine, but illuftrated with a ray of your own, as they say our natural body is the fame ftill when it is glorified. I am fure I like it better than I did before, and fo will every man elfe. I know I meant just what you explain, but I did not explain my own meaning fo well as you. You understand me as well as I do myself; but you express me better than I could exprefs myself. Pray accept the fincereft acknowledgements. I cannot but with these letters were put together in one book, and intend (with your leave) to procure a translation of part, at least, of all them, into French*; but I fhall not proceed a step without your confent and opinion, &c.

LETTER XCVIII.

May 26. 1739.

HE diffipation in which I am obliged to live

THE through many degrees of civil obligation,

which ought not to rob a man of himself who passes for an independent one, and yet make me every body's fervant more than my own: This, Sir, is the occafion of my filence to you, to whom I really have more obligation than to almost any man. By writing, indeed, I proposed no more than to tell you my fenfe of it: As to any corrections of your Letters, I could make none, but what resulted from inverting the Or

They were all tranflated into that language by a French gentleman of condition, who is now in an eminent station in his own country.

der of them, and thofe expreffions relating to myself which I thought exaggerated. I could not find a word to alter in the last letter, which I returned immediately to the bookfeller. I must particularly thank you for the mention you have made of me in your Postscript to the last Edition of the Legation of Mofes. I am much more pleased with a compliment that links me to a virtuous Man, and by the best fimilitude, that of a good mind (even a better and stronger tye than the fimilitude of ftudies) than I could be proud of any other whatsoever. May that independency, charity, and competency attend you, which fets a good priest above a bishop, and truly makes his Fortune; that is, his happiness in this life as well as in the other.

LETTER XCIX.

Twitenham, Sept. 20. 1739.

I

Received with great pleasure the paper you fent me; and yet with greater, the profpect you give me of a nearer acquaintance with you when you come to Town. I shall hope what part of your time you can afford nie, amongst the number of those who esteem you, will be paft rather in this place than in London; fince it is here only I live as I ought mihi et amicis. I therefore depend on your promife; and fo much as my conftitution fuffers by the winter, I yet affure you,

[blocks in formation]

fuch an acquifition will make the fpring much the more welcome to me, when it is to bring you hither, cum zephyris et hirundine prima.

As foon as Mr R. can tranfmit to me an entire copy of your Letters, I wish he had your leave fo to do; that I may put the book into the hands of a French gentleman to translate, who, I hope, will not fubject your work to as much ill-grounded criticifin, as my French tranflator has fubjected mine. In earnest, I am extremely obliged to you, for thus espousing the cause of a stranger whom you judged to be injured; but my part, in this fentiment, is the leaft. The generofity of your conduct deserves eftcem, your zeal for truth deferves affection from every candid man: And as fuch, were I wholly out of the cafe, I fhould efteem and love you for it. I will not therefore use you so ill as to write in the general ftyle of compliment; it is below the dignity of the occafion: and I can only fay (which I fay with fincerity and warmth) that you have made me, &c.

Refuel, on whofe very faulty and abfurd translation Crouzaz founded his only plausible objections.

[ocr errors][merged small]

LETTER C.

Jan 4. 1739.

Tis a real truth that I fhould have written to you oftener, if I had not a great refpect for you, and owed not a great debt to you. But it may be no unneceffary thing to let you know that most of my friends alfo pay you their thanks; and fome of the moft knowing, as well as moft candid Judges think me as much beholden to you as I think myself. Your Letters meet from fuch with the Approbation they merit, and I have been able to find but two or three very flight Inaccuracies in the whole book, which I have, upon their obfervation, altered in an exemplar which I keep against a second Edition. My very uncertain ftate of health, which is fhaken more and more every winter, drove me to Bath and Bristol two months fince; and I fhall not return towards London till February. But I have received nine or ten Letters from thence on the fuccefs of your book †, which they are earnest to have tranflated. One of them is begun in France. A French gentleman, about Monfieur Cambis the Ambaffador, hath done the greatest part of it here. But I will retard the Impref fion till I have your directions, or till I can have a pleasure I earnestly wish for, to meet you in town,

*On the Effay on Man.

The Commentary on the Effay on Man.

« ZurückWeiter »