— 633 —
Fourthly, Our Senses assist one anothers Testimony of the Existence of outward Things.
      §7. Fourthly, Our Senses, in many cases bear witness to the Truth of
each other’s report, concerning the Existence of sensible Things
without us. He that sees a Fire, may, if he doubt whether it be any
thing more than a bare Fancy, feel it too; and be convinced, by
putting his Hand in it. Which certainly could never be put into
such exquisite pain, by a bare Idea or Phantom, unless that the pain
be a fancy too: Which yet he cannot, when the Burn is well, by
raising the Idea of it, bring upon himself again.
      Thus I see, whilst I write this, I can change the Appearance of the
Paper; and by designing the Letters, tell before-hand what new
Idea it shall exhibit the very next moment, barely by drawing my
Pen over it: which will neither appear (let me fancy as much as I
will) if my Hand stands still; or though I move my Pen, if my Eyes
— 634 —
be shut: Nor when those Characters are once made on the Paper, can
I chuse afterwards but see them as they are; that is, have the Ideas
of such Letters as I have made. Whence it is manifest, that they are
not barely the Sport and Play of my own Imagination, when I find,
that the Characters, that were made at the pleasure of my own
Thoughts, do not obey them; nor yet cease to be, whenever I shall
fancy it, but continue to affect my Senses constantly and regularly,
according to the Figures I made them. To which if we will add,
that the sight of those shall, from another Man, draw such Sounds,
as I before-hand design they shall stand for, there will be little reason
left to doubt, that those Words, I write, do really exist without me,
when they cause a long series of regular Sounds to affect my Ears,
which could not be the effect of my Imagination, nor could my
Memory retain them in that order.
Locke Hum IV, 11, §7, pp. 633-634