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cilities, I think myself authorized to conclude the purity and distinction of his character, in opposition to the impostures which those authors would fix upon hin; and that the postulate of my former letter is no more than is granted in all other historical works.
Mr. Correa is here, on his farewell visit to us. He has been much pleased with the plan and progress of our University, and has given some valuable bints to its botanical branch. He goes to do, I hope, much good in his new country; the public instruction there, as I understand, being within the department destined for him. He is not without dissatisfaction, and reasonable dissatisfaction, too, with the piracies of Baltimore; but his justice and friendly dispositions will, I am sure, distinguish between the iniquities of a few plunderers, and the sound principles of our country at large, and of our government especially. From many conversations with him, I bope he sees, and will promote, in his new situation, the advantages of a cordial fraternization among all the American nations, and the importance of their coalescing in an American system of policy, totally independent of, and unconnected with that of Europe. The day is not distant, when we may formally require a meridian of partition through the ocean which separates the two hemispheres, on the bither side of which no European gun shall ever be heard, nor an American on the other; and when, during the rage of the eternal wars of Europe, the lion and the lamb, within our regions, shall lie down together in peace. The excess of population in Europe, and want of room, render war, in their opinion, necessary to keep down that excess of numbers. Here, room is abundant, population scanty, and peace the necessary means for producing men, to whom the redundant soil is offering the means of life and happiness. The principles of society there and here, then, are radically different, and I hope no American patriot will ever lose sight of the essential policy of interdicting in the seas and territories of both Americas, the ferocious and sanguinary contests of Europe. I wish to see this coalition begun. I am earnest for an agreement with the maritime powers of Europe, assigning them the task of keeping down the piracies of their seas and the cannibalisms of the African coasts, and, to us, the suppression of the same enormities within our seas: and for this purpose, I should rejoice to see the fleets of Brazil and the United States riding together as brethren of the same family, and pursuing the same object. And indeed it would be of happy augury to begin at once this concert of action here, on the invitation of either to the other government, while the way might
be preparing for withdrawing our cruisers from Europe, and preventing naval collisions there which daily endanger our peace.
Accept assurances of the sincerity of my friendship and respect for you.
TO JOHN ADAMS.
Monticello, August 15, 1820.
I am a great defaulter, my Dear Sir, in our correspondence, but prostrate health rarely permits me to write; and when it does, matters of business imperiously press their claims. I am getting better however, slowly, swelled legs being now the only serious symptom, and these, I believe, proceed from extreme debility. I can walk but little ; but I ride six or eight miles a day without fatigue; and within a few days, I shall endeavor to visit my other home, after a twelvemonth's absence from it. Our University, four miles distant, gives me frequent exercise, and the oftener, as I direct its architecture. Its plan is unique, and it is becoming an object of curiosity for the traveller. I have lately had an opportunity of reading a critique on this institution in your North American Review of January last, having been not without anxiety to see what that able work would say of us : and I was relieved on finding in it much coincidence of opinion, and even where criticisms where indulged, I found they would have been obviated had the developements of our plan been fuller. But these were restrained by the character of the paper reviewed, being merely a report of outlines, not a detailed treatise, and addressed to a legislative body, not to a learned academy. For example, as an inducement to introduce the Anglo-Saxon into our plan, it was said that it would reward amply the few weeks of attention which alone would be requisite for its attainment; leaving both term and degree under an indefinite expression, because I know that not much time is necessary to attain it to an useful degree, sufficient to give such instruction in the etymologies of our language as may satisfy ordinary students, while more time would be requisite for those who should propose to attain a critical knowledge of it. In a letter which I had occasion to write to Mr. VOL. IV.
Crofts, who sent you, I believe, as well as myself, a copy of his treatise on the English and German languages, as preliminary to an etymological dictionary he meditated, I went into explanations with him of an easy process for simplifying the study of the AngloSaxon, and lessening the terrors and difficulties presented by its rude alphabet, and unformed orthography. But this is a subject beyond the bounds of a letter, as it was beyond the bounds of a report to the legislature. Mr. Crofts died, I believe, before any progress was made in the work he had projected.
The reviewer expresses doubt, rather than decision, on our placing military and naval architecture in the department of pure mathematics. Military architecture embraces fortification and fieldworks, which, with their bastions, curtains, hornworks, redoubts, &c. are based on a technical combination of lines and angles. These are adapted to offence and defence, with and against the effects of bonibs, balls, escalades, &c. But lines and angles make the sum of elementary geometry, a branch of pure mathematics : and the direction of the bombs, balls, and other projectiles, the necessary appendages of military works, although no part of their architecture, belong to the conic sections, a branch of transcendental geometry. Diderot and D'Alembert, therefore, in their Arbor scientiæ, have placed military architecture in the department of elementary geometry. Naval architecture teaches the best form and construction of vessels; for which best form it has recourse to the question of the solid of least resistance; a problem of transcendental geometry. And its appurtenant projectiles belong to the same branch as in the preceding case. It is true, that so far as respects the action of the water on the rudder and oars, and of the wind on the sails, it may be placed in the department of mechanics, as Diderot and D'Alembert have done; but belong. ing quite as much to geometry, and allied in its military character to military architecture, it simplified our plan to place both under the same head. These views are so obvious, that I am sure they would have required but a second thought, to reconcile the reviewer to their location under the head of pure mathematics. For this word location, see Bailey, Johnson, Sheridan, Walker, &c. But if dictionaries are to be the arbiters of language, in which of them shall we find neologism? No matter. It is a good word, well sounding, obvious, and expresses an idea, which would otherwise require circumlocution. The reviewer was justifiable, therefore, in using it; although he noted at the same time, as unauthoritative, centrality, grade, sparse ; all which have been long used in common speech and writing. I am a friend to neology. It is the only way to give to a language copiousness and euphony. Without it we should still be held to the vocabulary of Alfred or of Ulphilas ; and held to their state of science also : for I am sure they had no words which could have conveyed the ideas of oxygen, cotyledons, zoophytes, magnetism, electricity, hyaline, and thousands of others expressing ideas not then existing, nor of possible communication in the state of their language. What a language has the French become since the date of their revolution, by the free introduction of new words ! The most copious and eloquent in the living world ; and equal to the Greek, had not that been regularly modifiable almost ad infinitum. Their rule was, that whenever their language furnished or adopted a root, all its branches in every part of speech, were legitimated by giving them their appropriate terminations: idɛngos, adson, ádegistov, udenpórns, adélgışış, udel.gidovs, usemixòs, udělgoico), udɛqırūs. And this should be the law of every language. Thus, having adopted the adjective fraternal, it is a root which should legitimate fraternity, fraternation, fraternization, fraternism, to fraternate, fraternize, fraternally. And give the word neologism to our language, as a root, and it should give us its fellow substantives, neology, neologist, neologization ; its adjectives, neologous, neological, neologistical ; its verb, neologize; and adverb neologically. Dictionaries are but the depositories of words already legitimated by usage. Society is the work-shop in which new ones are elaborated. When an individual uses a new word, if ill formed, it is rejected in society, if well formed, adopted, and after due tiine, laid up in the depository of dictionaries. And if, in this process of sound neologization, our trans-Atlantic brethren shall not choose to accompany us, we may furnish, after the lonians, a second example of a colonial dialect improving on its primitive.
But enough of criticism : let me turn to your puzzling letter of May the 12th, on matter, spirit, motion, &c. Its crowd of scepticisms kept me from sleep. I read it, and laid it down : read it, and laid it down, again and again : and to give rest to my mind, I was obliged to recur ultimately to my habitual anodyne, 'I feel, therefore I exist.' I feel bodies which are not myself: there are other existences then. I call them matter. I feel them changing place. This gives me motion. Where there is an absence of matter, I call it void, or nothing, or immaterial space. On the basis of sensation, of matter and motion, we may erect the fabric of all the certainties we can have or need. I can conceive thought to be an action of a particular organization of matter, formed for that purpose by its creator, as well as that attraction is an action of matter, or magnetism of loadstone. When he who denies to the Creator the power of endowing matter with the mode of action
called thinking, shall show how he could endow the sun with the mode of action called attraction, which reins the planets in the track of their orbits, or how an absence of matter can have a will, and by that will put matter into motion, then the Materialist may be lawfully required to explain the process by which matter exercises the faculty of thinking. When once we quit the basis of sensation, all is in the wind. To talk of immaterial existences, is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, God, are immaterial, is to say, they are nothings, or that there is no God, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise : but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by the Lockes, the Tracys, and the Stewarts. At what age* of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, or masked atheism, crept in, I do not exactly know. But a heresy it certainly is. Jesus taught nothing of it. He told us, indeed, that · God is a spirit,' but he has not defined what a spirit is, nor said that it is not matter. And the ancient fathers generally, of the three first centuries, held it to be matter, light and thin indeed, an ethereal gas; but still matter. Origen says, “Deus reapse corporalis est ; sed graviorum tantum ratione corporum incorporeus. Tertullian, 'Quid enim Deus nisi corpus ?' And again, 'Quis negabit Deum esse corpus? Etsi Deus spiritus, spiritus etiam corpus est, sui generis in suâ effigie. St. Justin Martyr, ' to fióv pauɛv živalůvoạotov, our tu čotiv ασώματος. Επειδή το μή κρατείσθαι υπό τινός, του κρατείσθαι τιμιωtegóv ļoti, diů toŬto xułoğuxv avióv dvojuatov. And St. Macarius, speaking of angels, says, ' Quamvis enim subtilia sint, tamen in substantiâ, formâ, et figurâ, secundum tenuitatem naturæ eorum, corpora sunt tenuia.' And St. Austin, St. Basil, Lactantius, Tatian, Athenagoras, and others, with whose writings I pretend not a familiarity, are said by those who are better acquainted with them, to deliver the same doctrine. (Enfield x. 3. 1.) Turn to your Ocellus d'Argens, 97, 105. and to his Timæus 17. for these quotations. In England, these Immaterialists might have been burnt until the 29 Car. 2. when the writ de hæretico comburendo was abolished ; and here until the Revolution, that statute not having extended to us. All heresies being now done away with us, these schismatists are merely atheists, differing from the material atheist only in their belief, that ' nothing made something,' and from the material deist, who believes that matter alone can operate on matter.
Rejecting all organs of information, therefore, but my senses, I rid myself of the pyrrhonisms with which an indulgence in speculations hyperphysical and antiphysical, so uselessly occupy and
* That of Athanasius and the Council of Nicæa, anno 324.