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for this Reason, to publish it as it is: and since I have been brought to let it go
abroad, I desire it should be understood by whoever gives himself the Pains to
read it. I have so little Affection to be in Print, that if I were not flattered,
this Essay might be of some use to others, as I think, it has been to me, I should
have confined it to the view of some Friends, who gave the first Occasion
to it. My appearing therefore in Print, being on purpose to be as useful as
I may, I think it necessary to make, what I have to say, as easie and intelligible
to all sorts of Readers as I can. And I had much rather the speculative
and quick-sighted should complain of my being in some parts tedious, than
that any one, not accustomed to abstract Speculations, or prepossessed with
different Notions, should mistake, or not comprehend my meaning.
      It will possibly be censured as a great piece of Vanity, or Insolence in me, to
pretend to instruct this our knowing Age, it amounting to little less, when I
own, that I publish this Essay with hopes it may be useful to others. But if it
may be permitted to speak freely of those, who with a feigned Modesty
condemn as useless, what they themselves Write, methinks it savours much
more of Vanity or Insolence, to publish a Book for any other end; and he fails
very much of that Respect he owes the Publick, who prints, and consequently
expects Men should read that, wherein he intends not they should meet with
any thing of Use to themselves or others: and should nothing else be found
allowable in this Treatise, yet my Design will not cease to be so; and the
Goodness of my intention ought to be some Excuse for the Worthlessness of my
Present. ’Tis that chiefly which secures me from the Fear of Censure, which I
expect not to escape more than better Writers. Men’s Principles, Notions, and
Relishes are so different, that it is hard to find a Book which pleases or dis-
pleases all Men. I acknowledge the Age we live in, is not the least knowing,
and therefore not the most easie to be satisfied. If I have not the good luck to
please, yet no Body ought to be offended with me. I plainly tell all my Readers,
except half a dozen, this Treatise was not at first intended for them; and
therefore they need not be at the Trouble to be of that number. But yet if any
one thinks fit to be angry, and rail at it, he may do it securely: For I shall
find some better way of spending my time, than in such kind of Conversation.
I shall always have the satisfaction to have aimed sincerely at Truth and Use-
fulness, though in one of the meanest ways. The Commonwealth of Learning,
is not at this time without Master-Builders, whose mighty Designs, in ad-
vancing the Sciences, will leave lasting Monuments to the Admiration of
Posterity; But every one must not hope to be a
Boyle, or a Sydenham; and
Locke Hum EpR, p. 9