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EPISTOLA.) A letter from Mr. Locke to Mr. 2. Toignard, containing a new and easy me
thod of a common-place-book, to which an index of two pages is sufficient.
At length, sir, in obedience to you, I publish my “ method of a common-place-book." I am ashamed that I deferred so long complying with your request; but I esteemed it so mean a thing, as not to deserve publishing, in an age so full of useful inventions, as ours is. You may remember, that I freely communicated it to you, and several others, to whom I imagined it would not be unacceptable : so that it was not to reserve the sole use of it to myself, that I declined publishing it. But the regard I had to the public discouraged me from presenting it with such a trifle. Yet my obligations to you, and the friendship between us, compel me now to follow your advice. Your last letter has perfectly determined me to it, and I am convinced that I ought not to delay publishing it, when you tell me, that an experience of several years has showed its usefulness, and several of your friends, to whom you have communicated it. There is no need I should tell you, how useful it has been to me, after five and twenty years experience, as I told you, eight years since, when I had the honour to wait on you at Paris, and when I might have been instructed by your learned and agreeable discourse. What I aim at now, by this letter, is to testify publicly the esteem and respect I have for you, and to convince you how much I am, sir, your, &c.
Before I enter on my subject, it is fit to acquaint the reader, that this tract is disposed in the same manner that the common-place-book ought to be disposed. It will be understood by 3. reading what follows, what is the meaning of the
Latin titles on the top of the backside of each leaf, and at the bottom [a little below the top]
of this page.
EBIONITÆ.] In eorum evangelio, quod secundum
Hebræos dicebatur, historia quæ habetur Matth. xix. 16. et alia quædam, erat interpolata in hunc modum: “ Dixit ad eum alter divitum, magister,
quid bonum faciens vivam ? Dixit ei Domi“ nus, legem & prophetas, fac. Respondit ad “ eum, feci. Dixit ei: vade, vende omnia quæ
possides, & divide pauperibus, & veni, sequere me.
Coepit autem dives scalpere caput suum, & non placuit ei. Et dixit ad eum “ Dominus : quomodo dicis, legem feci & pro
phetas ? cùm scriptum sit in lege, diliges
proximum tuum sicut teipsum : & ecce multi “ fratres tui filii Abrahæ amicti sunt stercore, “ morientes præ fame, & domus tua plena est " bonis multis, & non egreditur omnino aliquid “ ex eâ ad eos. Et conversus, dixit Simoni, dis
cipulo suo, sedenti apud se: Simon fili Johan“ næ, facilius est camelum intrare per foramen “ acûs, quam divitem in regnum cælorum.” Ni“ mirum hæc ideo immutavit Ebion, quia Chris“ tum nec Dei filium, nec vouobárn sed nudum in“ terpretem legis per Mosem datæ agnoscebat.
In the Gospel of the Ebionites, which they called the Gospel according to the Hebrews, the story, that is in the sixth of St. Matth. and in the 16th and following verses, was changed after this manner: “ One of the rich men said to him: “ Master, what shall I do that I may have life? “ Jesus said to him: Obey the law and the pro
phets. He answered, I have done so. Jesus
said unto him, Go, sell what thou hast, divide “ it among the poor, and then come and follow
Upon which the rich man began to " scratch his head, and to dislike the advice of " Jesus: and the Lord said unto him, How can you say you have done as the law and the proADVERSARIORUM METHODUS.) I take a paper book 4. of what size I please, I divide the two first
pages that face one another by parallel lines into five and twenty equal parts, every fifth line black, the other red. I then cut them perpendicularly by other lines that I draw from the top to the bottom of the page, as you may see in the table prefixed. I put about the middle of each five spaces one of the twenty letters I design to make use of, and, a little forward in each space, the five vowels, one below another, in their natural order. This is the index to the whole vo. lume, how big soever it may be.
The index being made after this manner, I leave a margin in all the other pages of the book, of about the largeness of an inch, in a volume, in folio, or a little larger; and, in a less volume, smaller in proportion.
If I would put any thing in my CommonPlace-Book, I find out a head to which I may refer it. Each head ought to be some important and essential word to the matter in hand, and in that word regard is to be had to the first letter, and the vowel that follows it; for upon these two letters depends all the use of the index.
I omit three letters of the alphabet as of no yse to me, viz. K. Y. W. which are supplied by C. Į. U. that are equivalent to them. I put the letter Q. that is always followed with an u. in the fifth space of Z, By throwing Q. last in my index, ļ preserve the regularity of my index, and diminish not in the least its extent; for it seldom happens that there is any head begins with Z. u. I have found none in the five and twenty years I have used this method. If nevertheless it be necessary, nothing hinders but that one may make a reference after Q. u. provided it be done with any kind of distinction; but for more exactness a place may be assigned