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in general, till he can find out a way of thinking on nothing.

34. Being in general, is being (26) abstracted from wisdom, goodness, power, and any particular sort of duration; and I have as true an idea of being, when these are excluded out of it, as when extension, place, solidity, and mobility, are excluded out of my idea. And therefore, if being in general, and God, be the same, I have a true idea of God, when I exclude out of it power, goodness, wisdom, and eternity.

35. As if there was no difference (27) between "man's "being his own light," and "not seeing things in God." Man may be enlightened by God, though it be not by "seeing all things in God."

The finishing of these hasty thoughts must be deferred to another season.

Oates, 1693.


(26) Reason and Religion, Part II. Contempl. II. § 40. p. 219. (27) Ibid. § 43. p. 223.

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A Letter from Mr. Locke to Mr. Oldenburgh, concerning a poisonous Fish about the Bahama Islands.


I HEREWITH send you an account, I lately received from New Providence, one of the Bahama Islands, concerning a fish there; which is as followeth :

"I have not met with any rarities here, worth your acceptance, though I have been diligent in inquiring "after them. Of those, which I have heard of, this

seems most remarkable to me. The fish, which are "here, are many of them poisonous, bringing a great pain on their joints who eat them, and continue "for some short time; and at last, with two or three days itching, the pain is rubbed off. Those of the same species, size, shape, colour, taste, are, one of them 66 poison; the other not in the least hurtful: and those "that are, only to some of the company. The distem




per to men never proves mortal. Dogs and cats "sometimes eat their last. Men, who have once had



"that disease, upon the eating of fish, though it be "those which are wholesome, the poisonous ferment in "their body is revived thereby, and their pain in"creased.'

Thus far the ingenious person, from whom I had this relation, who having been but a very little while upon the island, when he writ this, could not send so perfect an account of this odd observation, as one could wish, or as I expect to receive from him, in answer to some queries I lately sent him by a ship bound thither. When his answer comes to my hand, if there be any thing in it, which may gratify your curiosity, I shall be glad of that or any other occasion to assure you that I am,


SIR, Your most humble servant,


A Letter to Anthony Collins, Esq.


Oates, 4 May, 1703.

NONE of your concerns are of indifference to me. You may from thence conclude I take part in your late great loss. But I consider you as a philosopher, and a christian; and so spare you the trouble of reading from me, what your own thoughts will much better suggest to you.

You have exceedingly obliged me, in the books of yours that you have sent me, and those of mine you have been at so much trouble about. I received but just now the packet, wherein they and your obliging letter were; that must be my excuse for so tardy a return of my thanks.

I am overjoyed with an intimation I have received also, that gives me hopes of seeing you here the next week. You are a charitable good friend, and are resolved to make the decays and dregs of my life the pleasantest part of it. For I know nothing calls me so

'much back to a pleasant sense of enjoyment, and makes my days so gay and lively, as your good company, Come then, and multiply happy minutes upon, and rejoice here in the good you do me. For I am, with a perfect esteem and respect,


Your most humble and most obedient servant,

To the same.



Oates, 3 June, 1703.

IT is not enough to have heard from my cousin King* that you got safe to town, or from others that you were since well there. I am too much concerned in it, not to inquire of yourself, how you do. Besides that I owe you my thanks, for the greatest favour I can receive, the confirmation of your friendship, by the visit I lately received from you. If you knew what satisfaction I feel spread over my mind by it, you would take this acknowledgment as coming from something beyond civility; my heart goes with it, and that you may be sure of; and so useless a thing as I am have nothing else to offer you.

As a mark that I think we are past ceremony, I here send you a new book † in quires, with a desire you will get it bound by your binder. In the parts of good binding, besides folding, beating, and sewing, will I count strong pasteboards, and as large margins as the paper will possibly afford; and, for lettering, I desire it should be upon the same leather blacked, and barely the name of the author, as, in this case, Vossius.

Pardon this liberty, and believe me with perfect sincerity and respect, &c.

* Sir Peter King.

"G. J. Vossii Etymologicum Lingua Latina." Amstelodami


To the same.


Oates, 18 June, 1703.

IT would be strange, if after all those marks of friendship and esteem I have received from you, in the little time I have had the honour of your acquaintance, I should quarrel with you; and should repay the continuance of your good offices, employed even in things beneath you, with grumbling at you; and yet this I can hardly forbear to do. Do not, I beseech you, take this to be altogether ill-nature, but a due estimate of what I enjoy in you. And, since upon just measures I count it the great treasure of my life, I cannot with patience hear you talk of condescension in me, when I stick not to waste your time in looking after the binding of my books. If you please let us live upon fairer terms; and when you oblige me, give me leave to be sensible of it. And pray remember, that there is one Mr. Collins, with whom, if I desire to live upon equal terms, it is not that I forget how much he is superiour to me, in many things wherein he will always have the precedency; but I assume it upon the account of that friendship that is between us; friendship levelling all inequalities between those whom it joins, that it may leave nothing that may keep them at a distance, and hinder a perfect union and enjoyment.

This is what I would be at with you; and were I not in earnest in it, out of a sincere love of you, I would not be so foolish to rob myself of the only way wherein I might pretend to enter the lists with you. I am old and useless, and out of the way; all the real services are then like to be on your side. In words, expressions, and acknowledgment, there might have been perhaps some room to have made some offers of holding up to you. But I desire that nothing of the court guise may mix in our conversation. Put not, I beseech you, any thing into your letters to make me forget how much I am obliged to you by the liberty you allow me to tell you that I am, &c.

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