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Berkeley Newsletter
Number 11 1989/90

Second edition

David Berman

Philosophy Department, Trinity College, Dublin

Editorial Consultants

Bertil Belfrage, Lund, Sweden

Harry Bracken, Montreal, Canada

Phillip Cummins, Iowa, USA

Ian Tipton, Aberystwyth, Wales

Greg Hollingshead: Sources for the Ladies’ Library 1

M. A. Stewart: Berkeley’s Introduction Draft 10

Louis E. Alfonso: The “Notes on the Government and Population of the

Kingdom of Naples” and Berkeley’s probably Route to Sicily 20


Timothy Williamson:

Essays on the Philosophy of George Berkeley,

edited by Ernest Sosa 28

Notes 33

Recent Publications on Berkeley 34

© Contributors 1990
The Berkeley Newsletter is sponsored by

the Royal Irish Academy, the International Berkeley Society

and the Philosophy Department, Trinity College, Dublin

Sources for the Ladies' Library

Greg Hollingshead

University of Alberta

In the last century G. A. Aitken tracked down most of the works used to create the Ladies Library (LL).1 I should like here to build upon his work in three ways. First, by listing sources that he missed and indicating their place in the LL. Second, by supplementing his catalogue of the editor’s insertions, that is, passages we can now very reasonably accept as Berkeley’s. Third, by listing those passages of the LL that remain to be identified.

Since few readers have ready access to a particular edition of the works below, including the LL, I identify passages by paragraph rather than page number. I hope this method — though perhaps not perfectly accurate among certain editions of certain works — will be of greatest use to the greatest number of readers. The symbol “%” before a paragraph number means that only part of the paragraph is indicated.

New Sources
Aitken was unaware of the following sources used by B:
1. Kettlewell, John. The Measures of Christian Obedience (London 1681): Bk. 5, Chs. 4-7, with some omissions, provides the section entitled “Scruples,” the last of Vol. 3 and of the LL. 19,000 words.
2. Astell, Mary. A Serious Proposal to the Ladies. 2 pts. (1697): Pt. 2, Ch. 3, Ss. 1-5, to the 3rd last par., is B’s source for Pars. 7-96 of “Ignorance” in Vol. 2. Aitken acknowledges material from Vol. 1 of the first edition of the Serious Proposal (1694) but not from Pt. 2, which was published later. 17,000 words.

3. Messieurs du Port Royal. Moral Essays. [Trans. Pierre Nicole.] 3 vols. (London 1677-80): Vol. 2, Pt. 2, “The True Idea’s [sic] of Things” (entire), is B’s source for Pars. 285-334 of “Religion” in Vol. 3. 7,000 words.

4. Tillotson, John. “An Advice and Direction Concerning Receiving the Holy Sacrament,” in The Devout Christian’s Companion (London 1707): Pars. 1—5 are B’s source for Pars. 16—%19 of “The Sacrament” in Vol. 3. 400 words.

New Berkeley Passages
For a satisfactory record of B’s contribution to the LL one must supplement the passages provided below with those listed by Aitken and in No. 4 of the Berkeley Newsletter.2 For a complete record of B’s contributions, one must examine the LL against the original texts of those authors such as Fénelon, Taylor, and Fleetwood, whom B at times thoroughly and extensively rewrites and expands, weaving his own arguments through and against theirs in a way that makes the extrication of “insertions” difficult. (Aitken, incidentally, is sensible to list Hickes’ translation of Fénelon’s Education des Filles as B’s source, because phrases from Hickes do appear in the LL. Mostly, however, B — the likely author of the translation of Five Pieces by Fénelon published in 1779 — appears to be doing his own translating, when not freely expanding upon Fénelon’s French.) As noteworthy, often, as B’s insertions and elaborations are his many omissions, as when in Par. 6 of “Meekness” in Vol. 1 he quietly drops Allestree’s phrase (from the Ladies’ Calling) the “natural imbecility” of women.
A passage is here asserted to be by B either when it appears as a brief insertion within a single text (often relating thematically to other such insertions) or when it clearly serves an introductory, bridging, or concluding function between texts. Like Aitken, I provide the more pertinent editorial insertions in full and the less pertinent by first and last words only. Other, more perfunctory, introductory, linking, and concluding sentences and paragraphs I follow Aitken and omit altogether.


Par. %1. “Can the Imagination of Man form a stronger Image of a Life of Action, than by comparing it to a Race? And how can he hope to finish his Course with Glory, that lags and presses not forward to obtain the Prize?”

%16. “Which [Divine Lectures] in the best Authors are not wrapt up in mystical Phrases, as were the Oracles of old, but deliver’d in plain and easy Language, in our Tongue, either Original or Translations.”
%21. “Augustus wore no... great guard to innocence.”
%22. “To work... has none.”

Par. %7. “How often has the gilt coach been seized by the mercer, and all the fine furniture been the prey of executions? How scandalous is it to see a gentleman’s gate crouded with dunners, while the lord himself sneaks out at the back-door, mocks their impatience, and laughs at their credulity! Modes and fashions are the main causes of this luxury: dress and furniture must be changed according to the whim of the upholsterer, and tailor, or those fantastic men and women who preside over them... The mind is thus constantly taken up with this costly variety; gravity and simplicity of manners are exploded, and levity and folly take place of them.”

%13. “It is downright... virtues.”
36. “These reflexions... of the soul.”
%49. “The doctrine of obedience is not easily to be taught, to such as have been flattered with the foolish adoration of those, to whom when they marry they vow it... [F]ew there are that regard it as a command, the breach of which is a sin, and the punishment of all sin, death eternal. No wonder those that will not obey their husbands, are so impatient under the least disobedience or
negligence of servants and children, that they are never easy but when they are exerting their superiority.”

Par. %9. “The church of Rome... break it.”

14. “How many are now admitted daily to that blessed ordinance [holy communion], who boast of their adultery, and glory in their filthiness?... How is the sacrament of the body of Christ prostituted to mean and mercenary uses? Is the adulterer forbidden to approach it? Is the sacred cup taken from the foul hand of the whoremonger? Are communicants so examined as to intend a through [sic] inquiry into their preparedness to sit at the table of the Lord? Or are not the open whoremonger and adulterer taken on their own credit, because the law has enjoined them to communicate or starve? I must confess I think of this most holy ordinance with so much reverence, that I cannot without trembling consider what herds of adulterous beasts have the glorious privilege of the elect and chosen of God.”
%17. “The sure consequences of all wanton dalliance is desire, and if you refrain from the act it will not be out of fear of God, but fear of man, of yourself, or others... You are as much a whoremonger and adulterer, as much lies upon you to be repented of, as if your whole body had been involved in the crime”; “It as much mis-becomes... all-seeing God.”
%18. “Besides to argue with temptation shews a pleasure in being tempted; if you had such an abhorrence for the sin as you ought to have had, you would not dare to have debated it, you would be frightened at the distant approach of it, and fly from it as from destruction.”
%19. “When the body... above temptation”; “There is no greater farce... flame of lust”; “yet all this [corporeal mortification] will not avail, unless we conceive a detestation of the evil of it [sin], as an offence to God, and arm our minds against it by his grace. Poverty sins against Chastity as well as Riches, and Colleges are equally polluted with Courts... The extraordinary Mortifications injoin’d by the Church of Rome and recommended by some Protestants who lay too much Stress on outward Discipline, are not, methinks, worthy the Dignity of Christianity.
Shall I boast of my Purity when I am reduc’d to Impotence? or confide in that Chastity which is the Effect of Pain?... will be effectual.”
21. “When a Woman thinks she is below’d, she is very far gone in the way of Loving; and apt to believe there cannot be so much harm as is represented to her, in what is so generous and grateful. Poor Delusion! Shou’d Generosity and Gratitude make her damn her own Soul, because her Lover would damn his? But the Devil puts on all Shapes, and appears sometimes like an Angel of Light; he puts fair Glosses on the foulest Actions, confounds Vice and Virtue, and covers a pleasing Temptation with the most specious Pretences.”
%23. “and not that whose wanton Mirth... ribaldry and folly.”
27. “It is true... hereafter.”

Par. 59. “The Truth is... avoiding them.”


Par. %14. “These Religious Debates... Times.”

15. “As there can be no true Religion, without Charity; so there can be no true human Prudence, without Bearing and Condescension. This Rule will direct us, who are of the establish’d Church, in our Carriage towards those that dissent from it, both in our Words and in our Actions. A good Christian wou’d have such mistaken Men ready to throw themselves into the Arms of the Church, and wou’d have those Arms as ready to receive them that shall come to us. He wou’d have no supercilious Look to frighten those stray’d Sheep from coming into the Fold again; nor no hard Words to sharpen their Resentment, and make a perpetual Bar to Unity. But where is there a Disposition in the contending Parties, to bear with one another, to speak well of one another, and put an end to that Fire of Contention, which the Mouths of wicked Men have blown into so terrible a Flame?”
16. “Not only... Religion itself.”
40. “Scandal... studied and practised.”

Par. 1. “It would be an endless Task should we undertake to give Instances of the great Improvements which Women have made of Education, there being hardly any Science in which some of them have not excell’d. “ ’Tis very plain, therefore, that Nature has given them as good Talents as men have, and if they are still call’d the weaker Sex, ’tis because the other, which assumes the name of the wiser, hinders them from improving their Minds in useful Knowledge, by accustoming them to the Study and Practice of Vanity and Trifles.”

Vol. 2
“The Wife”:

Par. %40. “Such is the Language... shews her.”

%59. “And such a gentle... arbitrary Tyranny.”
Vol. 3

Par. 48. “It is to no purpose... infection.”

188, 189. “As to other solemnities... word of God.”
260. “The delight... with less impatience.”
270. “How many sad instances... good Protestants and good Englishmen?”
%272. “These are the lessons... gentleness and moderation.”
284. “One would think... but there are certain minds so clogged with earth, that they can relish nothing which has not a little mixture of earthliness. The road to heaven must be more accommodated to their usual walk, or they will not be kept in it; they

will return as soon as they have entered it, and be frightened at so strict and difficult a passage... true idea of things.”

302. “Tho’ the ladies... much mistaken.”

Par. 13. “All Christians... When such solemnities [fasts] are politically appointed, to give a colour to the conduct of designing mens actions, it is a mocking of God Almighty, it is a national sin, and may perhaps draw down a national judgment. The occasion of publick fasts should not only be lawful but apparent, and in some measure necessary... sin of fasting.”

20. “Not to build... our past faults.”

Par. 19. “This sure... And how comfortably do some deluded wretches slide into perdition, depending on the efficacy of a few apt prayers by the minister, a too late receiving of the Lord’s Supper? Do they think that God will take their service, when the devil can have no more of it; and that the repentance of their last moments, shall atone for the sins of their whole lives? How dreadful will their disappointment be, who die in this sad dream? and in what a world of misery will they awake!”


Par. %12. “Of faith... exact them.”

%17. “We have had of late... False zeal glares with warm words; it is full of froth and foam, but spends itself in professions, and never appears in actions... True zeal will ever be accompanied with charity and humility... the devil”; “Look into... professions”; “Is the zeal... phrases it”; “Virtues... all the reward.”
Passages Unidentified
Aitken succeeded in identifying approximately 75% of the LL. I have managed another 15%, being left with 11 stubborn passages totalling 27,000 words. While one is tempted to argue that some of these are B’s, he has only to mistake John Scott’s diction and rhythms for B’s as often as I have to remember what Pope told Spence: “here is nothing more foolish than to pretend to be sure of knowing a great writer by his style.”
Vol. 1
1. “Employment”:
Pars. %44-55 (concluding with “A Prayer for those that Labour” and “A Prayer for the Rich”). Moral advice concerning labour; its importance and nobility. 3,200 words.
2., 3. “Dress”:
Pars. %3-5. Moral reflections on dress. 350 words. Pars. 51-67 (including two prayers against vanity). Further reflections on dress. 1,400 words.
4. “Modesty”:
Pars. %32-%49, the argument based in Pars. 34-%49 upon a “famous French author.” (A passage of physico-theology describing — with much arithmetic, and building (in the original) “on the old Ptolemean system” (Par. 36) — the order, immensity, and wonder of the universe. I do not see it in Fénelon, Descartes, Pascal, Fontenelle, Malebranche or Bossuet.) 3,600 words.
5. “Envy”:
Pars. 2-5. Against envy. 1,100 words.
Vol. 2
6., 7. “The Mother”:

Pars. %29-39. Weaknesses of daughters. 2,000 words. Pars. %63-72. On the importance of mothering and of education by the mother, with a recommendation of Locke’s “excellent treatise of education” (Par. 67). 3,000 words.

Vol. 3
8. “Religion”:
Pars. 190-206. The pleasure of piety. 3,500 words.
9., 10. “The Sacrament”:
Pars. %19-25, by Tillotson? Significance of the sacrament, including three prayers. Only a semicolon divides the passage from the Tillotson piece in the Devout Christian’s Companion, but I have been unable to find its original. 1,400 words.
Pars. 32-47. History and importance of the sacrament. 4,000 words.
11. “Perfection”:
Pars. 1-15 (i.e., entire section). On the means to human perfection, concluding with a prayer. 3,300 words.


1 G.A. Aitken. “Steele’s ‘Ladies’ Library’,” in The Athenaeum, No. 2958 (July 5, 1884), 16-17.
2 That is, Pars. %4 and %5 of “Detraction” in Vol. 1. See “George Berkeley and the Ladies’ Library,” Berkeley Newsletter, No. 4 (December 1980), 5-13.
Berkeley’s Introduction Draft

M.A. Stewart

University of Lancaster

Jessop’s edition of the “Draft” Introduction to Berkeley’s Principles (Trinity College Ms. 453) was a marked improvement over Fraser’s muddled efforts at differentiating earlier and later strata. But Jessop limited himself to the first state of the manuscript, while also rationalizing some minor authorial errors. We now have a fully stratified presentation of this fascinating ms. by Bertil Belfrage which is as much an advance upon Jessop as Jessop was upon Fraser.l It was not available — and I had not studied the ms. — at the time I reviewed the French translation by Dominique Berlioz-Bertellier in Berkeley Newsletter no. 10. Mme Berlioz saw Belfrage’s edition in draft. Although this cannot have been the basis for her own assessment of the relative worth of Fraser and Jessop, it does account for some features of her edition which had seemed anomalous.

I say advisedly that she saw Belfrage’s edition “in draft,” since both of them follow E. J. Furlong in repudiating that term as a description of what we have in Berkeley’s hand. Any prepublication state of a work is a draft, whether it be the first ruminations, a set of layered changes, the definitive draft for the printer, or a printer’s proof at a stage where this is still subject to authorial recasting. What has come down to us was Berkeley’s working copy, albeit written in a fair hand suitable for private circulation — for not even in the 18th century did one instruct a printer to print italics by simulating italic print as is done here. Paper was always used economically, and there is no difference between a first draft and a fair copy until such time as the ms. becomes unfit to pass to a compositor.

Two related pieces of evidence show this was all along the author’s working copy. First, the marginal dates, somewhere between a paragraph and a page apart, mark the weekdays from Nov. 15 to Dec. 18, 1708. These too often match changes of ink or pen to be anything but the dates of the original writing, and they

give a unique glimpse into Berkeley’s painstaking habits of piecemeal composition. The writing changes are most visible after Nov. 20, 23; 24, 30, Dec. 3, 4, 13; but a few others look fairly certain under a magnifying glass. Several dates correspond to a position which was the end of the sentence as first written, but is now in mid-sentence as a result of Berkeley’s extending his writing next day: see Nov. 22, 25, and probably also 19. Still others are at positions which, as a result of subsequent writing, are now in mid-paragraph. Belfrage’s apriorisms about modern book preparation (pp. 20-22) are of no weight against these visible facts.

Secondly, there are places where Berkeley was clearly constructing his phrasing in the course of writing, where his deletions and recastings — even some early verso entries — must already have been entered before he completed the original sentence or paragraph that now contains them. At fol. 11r lines 16-17, for instance, Berkeley was struggling for the right nuance, and had three attempts before successfully bringing to a conclusion a sentence intended to capture as exactly as possible a thesis which was meant to be common ground between himself and his source, in order to generate out of it a consciously anti-Lockean position. At fols. 17v-18r another attempt to formulate — as it happens — a Lockean thesis spills over to the verso before the whole sentence is abandoned and restarted. These however are not different strata of composition: they are a living record of Berkeley’s struggle to get something down first time. But to read them as such a record one has to be familiar with the sources he was wrestling with.

A more elaborate example is seen straddling fols. 10-11. By the time he reached around fol. 11r line 3, Berkeley was getting his tenses mixed. He recast consistently in the present tense (“was” twice corrected to “is”). But having opened a new sentence “For if there were” (sc. any precise bounds or limits to a particular abstract idea), he now decided to shift from the particular to the general. The newly amended “this Sort is” (formerly “was”) was revised again, to the more general “these Sorts are,” and four other phrases are converted from singular to plural. Where the changes could not easily be made by superimposition, he resorted to the facing page. But when he came to “if there were,” this was not necessary because he had not written any further. He deleted “there were,” and continued on the same line: “For if they had I do not see, How there could be those [those repeated) Doubts & Scruples, about the

Sorting of particular Beings, which that Authour insists on as a good proof.” After this, it no longer makes sense to go back to the earlier past tense forms and convert them to singular past tenses: the change from past to present had to precede that from singular to plural, which in turn had to occur before the sentence just quoted was finished. And here is one more direct allusion to Locke (“that Authour”) — which was again immediately modified.

Diligent readers can try out other cases. This is not just for the curiosity value of spotting the point at which a given modification happened to occur. By relating Berkeley’s wording closely to his known sources one can see his own position evolving out of his particular perception of someone else’s. Although he was phrasing as he went along, he might of course have been revising from an earlier draft. But there is an argument against this too, in his self-correction at fol. 12r line 6, quoting Locke, Essay IV. vii. 9. He began to write “that general” instead of “that carry.” This appears to be a slip of the eye, transcribing from an open copy of the fifth edition in front of him, where the two phrases occur one below the other on successive lines.

If Belfrage’s description of the ms. is erroneous, there is little to fault in the actual transcription, where the standard of accuracy is exceptionally high in everything but Greek.2 New readers should first study the transcription of fols. 24v-25r beside the photographic reproduction on pp. 60-61. (This however conflicts with the editor’s commentary: it will be seen that the texts quoted on p. 49 as if they represent “a later stratum” all figured in the original writing, and were gradually deleted.) The explanation of the editor’s typographical practices is generally precise, but there are some mistaken references to omissions (pp. 12, 49) where he means deletions. And a quick glance at Belfrage’s edition — or the ms. -- solves my biggest perplexity about Mme Berlioz’s translation. For although she incorporated translations of deleted phrasing, with an appropriate notation, she failed to identify added phrasing, except where it occurs on the verso pages; so what I formerly impugned as apparent paraphrase is in most cases – just as in Fraser – a mixing of temporal strata. If an editor is recording changes, then deletions and additions are necessarily of equal status. Without both, one cannot detect – and so one cannot detect in the French edition, as one can in

Belfrage’s — Berkeley’s actual shifts from one phrasing to another, which is the only point of the exercise.3

All variants within the ms. are incorporated in Belfrage’s transcription, which reproduces deletions and additions through a literal representation in print of the organization of the written page. This has been set out with great ingenuity and precision. But I believe many scholars would have benefited from a more traditional foot-of-the-page record of the ms. changes, saving the facing pages (here reserved for Berkeley’s own facing-page addenda) for a parallel transcription of the later published text. The reader interested in a collation with the printed versions of the Introduction must turn to a spartan appendix. In printing Berkeley’s early casting of the Introduction in isolation, Belfrage perpetuates the tradition established by Fraser and Jessop, and followed in the French edition, of presenting it as an autonomous exercise. The new title, Berkeley’s Manuscript Introduction, is not “neutral” (p. 11) if it suggests to less wary readers that there is another, second, Introduction somewhere — namely the one that was published. It is not like the alternative overtures to Fidelio. There are only alternative states of one Introduction to the Principles. If Jessop saw no real development in Berkeley’s thought from the first state to the finished product, Belfrage’s imperfect grasp of Berkeley’s language and a perverse sense of exegetical method lead him to see too much. Minute attention to the written characters is clearly essential to determine Berkeley’s words; but the same attention to the words alone, in a historical and contextual vacuum, will never establish his meaning.

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