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with another, they so disagree. Saturday we concluded on the price, computed and changed our money; for it requires a great deal of arithmetic and a great deal of brass to pay twenty-eight stivers and seven doits; but, Heaven be thanked, they are all well fitted with counters for reckoning; for their money is good for nothing else, and I am poor here with my pockets full of it. I wondered at first why the market-people brought their wares in little carts, drawn by one horse, till I found it necessary to carry home the price of them; for a horse-load of turnips would be two horse-loads of money. pair of shoes cannot be got under half-a-year; I lately saw the cow killed out of whose hide I hope to have my next pair; and the first thing after they are married here, is, to bespeak the child's coat.'*
Not less ludicrous is his description of a dinner at a monastery of Franciscan friars. Part of it is as follows:
We were all very quiet, and, after some silence, in marched a solemn procession of peas-porridge, every one his dish. I could not tell by the looks what it was, till, putting my spoon in for discovery, some few peas in the bottom peeped up. I had pity on them, and was willing enough to spare them, but was forced, by good manners, though against my nature and appetite, to destroy some of them; so on I fell. All this while not a word; I could not tell whether to impute the silence to the eagerness of their stomachs, which allowed their mouths no other employment but to fill them, or any other reason; I was confident it was not in admiration of their late music. At last, the oracle of the place spoke, and told them he gave them leave to speak to entertain me. I returned my compliment, and then to discourse we went, helter-skelter, as hard as our bad Latin and worse pronunciation on each side would let us; but no matter, we cared not for Priscian, whose head suffered that day not a little. However, this saved me from the peas-pottage, and the peas
*Lord King's Life of Locke, 4to., pp. 16, 17.
pottage from me; for now I had something else to do. Our next course was, every one his act of fish, and butter to boot; but whether it were intended for fresh or salt fish I cannot tell, and I believe it is a question as hard as any Thomas ever disputed. . The Prior had upon the table by him a little bell, which he rang when he wanted any thing, and those that waited never brought him any thing, or took away, but they bowed with much reverence, and kissed the table. The first that kissed the table did it so leisurely, that I thought he had held his head there that the Prior, during our silence, might have wrote something on his bald crown, and made it sink that way into his understanding.'*
He thus concludes a most interesting letter to Mr. Cudworth, in India, to whom, though a stranger, he says he writes with freedom, as the brother of the Lady (Masham) in whose society he found so much happiness at Oates. After requesting information on a variety of subjects, he makes distance an additional apology for abridging ceremony in scraping acquaintance: 'If, at this distance, we should set out, according to the forms of ceremony, our correspondence would proceed with a more grave and solemn pace than the treaties of princes; and we must spend some years in the very preliminaries. He that, in his first address, should only put off his hat, and make a leg, and say, "Your servant," to a man at the other end of the world, may, if the winds set right, and the ships come home safe, and bring back the return of his compliment, may, I say, in two or three years, perhaps, attain to something that looks like the beginning of an acquaintance; and, by the next jubilee, there may be hopes of some conversation between them. Sir, you see what a blunt fellow your
* Lord King's Life of Locke, 4to., p. 22.
sister has recommended to you; as far removed from the ceremonies of the Eastern people you are amongst, as from their own country; but one that with great truth and sincerity, &c. &c.'*
The style of Locke is, like himself, plain, homely, business-like, practical; devoid, it is true, of much grace or elegance, and often copious to diffuseness, but perpetually lighted up with vivacious illustration, which tends to keep the attention of the reader alive. Considering the condition of the language when he wrote, (just feeling its way to the elegance of diction and construction at which it arrived in Addison's time,) Locke's is a very favourable specimen of English style, and, assuredly, carries away the palm from that of any preceding philosophical writer. is true, indeed, he cannot make pretensions to that peculiar netteté we know not by what other name to call it by which the French philosophic writers have been distinguished from the time of Descartes and Pascal to that of Cousin; exhibiting an admirable combination of clearness, beauty, and simplicity, to which, though we may flatter ourselves that our countrymen have not been inferior in depth or comprehensiveness, English philosophers cannot make equal pretensions. If our language, as nobody disputes, is superior to the French for all purposes of poetry, compensation seems to be made by the more exact adaptation of the latter to the purposes of philosophical exposition; or, if it be not so, why then their writers have the more merit in having learned how to use their instrument of thought with greater grace than we have ours. The elegance which we have reserved for the belles lettres for such books as
* Lord King's Life of Locke, 4to., p. 250.
Addison's Essays and Cowper's Letters French writers have to a considerable extent diffused over philosophy. No doubt the perspicuity, as well as grace, which distinguish these writers is owing, in a great degree, to the same characteristic which gives the former quality, though with a less infusion of the latter, to our own Locke; and that is, an impatience of saying anything which the mind does not sharply define to itself. There is a constant temptation among metaphysicians, above all other classes of writers, to rest content with less than the utmost attainable definiteness of expression,- a fault often excusable from the subtlety of really legitimate topics of speculation. How inevitable then must be the obscurity when the topics transcend all the powers of the human intellect! No wonder that, in that case -and how frequent has it been of late years! language becomes a gibberish, which serves only to veil ignorance in the depth of no meaning. Neither the French, nor any other language, can express clear notions on subjects on which men can possess none, nor convey a meaning when there is no meaning to convey. Probably M. Cousin has done as much as could be done by mortal expositor to make the German enigmas of the unconditioned' intelligible; yet we must freely acknowledge that even the French breaks down there, and breaks down even with him. The same may be said of our countryman Mr. J. D. Morell's strenuous effort to translate the same obscurities, wherein he has been further aided and yet often to little purpose - by the reflected lights of M. Cousin's Cours de Philosophie.' But how different is the spectacle when we turn from M. Cousin lecturing on Schelling or Hegel to M. Cousin lecturing on Locke! Here we can say of him just as we say of
the great author on whom he comments, that even when we do not agree with him, we yet clearly understand him. We often think he fails to do Locke justice that he often exaggerates his errors — that he often misconceives him that, in his eagerness to father on him the dogmas of the sensational school, he has been betrayed into serious error; but still, as in Locke or Descartes, each single statement is delightfully transparent, requiring active and intelligent thought, indeed, in the reader, but never leaving you in an utter maze of bewilderment as to whether you agree or disagree, or with this sole, but intimate conviction that you clearly understand that you do not understand!
The moral excellences of Locke are so intimately connected with his intellectual, they so tinge and colour each other, that it is not very possible, as in the analysis of other characters, readily to separate them. His love of truth, for example, was equally a sentiment of the heart and an intellectual appetency. Something like it may be said of his prudence, which, in him, was both a virtue and an instinct, and was so enormously developed that it deserves a distinct
The possession of this quality might be inferred both from the practical and cautious character of his understanding, and from the coldness of his temperament. But it is a quality rarely developed so early, or so uniformly displayed, as in him. Still less is it capable of being combined with such entire independence of mind. Hardly ever, we believe, did man so earnestly and sturdily pursue his own path, and yet so rarely traverse that of others. Prudence in him. amounted to a kind of instinct-we may almost say, with M. Cousin, 'Locke était né sage en quelque