— 301 —
The now secondary Qualities of Bodies would disappear, if we could discover the primary ones of their minute Parts.       §11. Had we Senses acute enough to discern the minute particles
of Bodies, and the real Constitution on which their sensible
Qualities depend, I doubt not but they would produce quite
different Ideas in us; and that which is now the yellow Colour of
Gold, would then disappear, and instead of it we should see an
admirable Texture of parts of a certain Size and Figure. This
Microscopes plainly discover to us: for what to our naked Eyes
produces a certain Colour, is by thus augmenting the acuteness of
our Senses, discovered to be quite a different thing; and the thus
altering, as it were, the proportion of the Bulk of the minute parts of
a coloured Object to our usual Sight, produces different Ideas, from
what it did before. Thus Sand, or pounded Glass, which is opaque,
— 302 —
and white to the naked Eye, is pellucid in a Microscope; and a Hair
seen this way, loses its former Colour, and is in a great measure
pellucid, with a mixture of some bright sparkling Colours, such as
appear from the refraction of Diamonds, and other pellucid Bodies.
Blood to the naked Eye appears all red; but by a good Microscope,
wherein its lesser parts appear, shews only some few Globules of
Red, swimming in a pellucid Liquor; and how these red Globules
would appear, if Glasses could be found, that yet could magnify
them 1000, or 10000 times more, is uncertain.
Locke Hum II, 23, §11, pp. 301-302