— 10 —

in an Age that produces such Masters, as the Great -- Huygenius,
and the incomparable Mr. Newton, with some other of that Strain;
’tis Ambition enough to be employed as an Under-Labourer in clearing
Ground a little, and removing some of the Rubbish, that lies in the way to
Knowledge; which certainly had been very much more advanced in the
World, if the Endeavours of ingenious and industrious Men had not been
much cumbred with the learned but frivolous use of uncouth, affected, or un-
intelligible Terms, introduced into the Sciences, and there made an Art of, to
that Degree, that Philosophy, which is nothing but the true Knowledge of
Things, was thought unfit, or uncapable to be brought into well-bred
Company, and polite Conversation. Vague and insignificant Forms of Speech,
and Abuse of Language, have so long passed for Mysteries of Science; And
hard or misapply’d Words, with little or no meaning, have, by Prescription,
such a Right to be mistaken for deep Learning, and heighth of Speculation,
that it will not be easie to persuade, either those who speak, or those who hear
them, that they are but the Covers of Ignorance, and hindrance of true
Knowledge. To break in upon the Sanctuary of Vanity and Ignornance, will be,
I suppose, some Service to Humane Understanding: Though so few are apt to
think, they deceive, or are deceived in the Use of Words; or that the Language
of the Sect they are of, has any Faults in it, which ought to be examined or
corrected, that I hope I shall be pardon’d, if I have in the Third Book dwelt
long on this Subject; and endeavoured to make it so plain, that neither the
inveterateness of the Mischief, nor the prevalency of the Fashion, shall be any
Excuse for those, who will not take Care about the meaning of their own
Words, and will not suffer the Significancy of their Expressions to be en-
quired into.
      I have been told that a short Epitome of this Treatise, which was printed
1688, was by some condemned without reading, because inmate Ideas were
denied in it; they too hastily concluding, that if innate
Ideas were not
supposed, there would be little left, either of the Notion or Proof of Spirits. If
any one take the like Offence at the Entrance of this Treatise, I shall desire
him to read it through: and then I hope he will be convinced, that the taking
away false Foundations, is not to the prejudice, but advantage of Truth;
which is never injur’d or endanger’d so much, as when mixed with, or built on,
Falshood. In the Second Edition, I added as followeth:

Locke Hum EpR, p. 10