Die philophischen schriften von Gottfried Wilheim Leibniz, vol. VII
C. I. Gerhardt (ed)
Date: 21 August 1716
Translated from the French
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MIND, BODY AND SOUL
FREE WILL AND NECESSITY
POLITICS, LAW AND ETHICS
LEIBNIZ TO PIERRE DESMAIZEAUX
[G VII p536]
I must thank you for the hand you have taken in my interests. I have formerly had the honour of some business with you, as much when Mr Bayle was alive as after his death, when you asked me if I had any letters by this excellent man that would deserve to be published. But I replied to you, Sir, that those I had received from him had been very short, and had only been acknowledgements of receiving my replies to his objections, to which he replied afterwards in his works, except my last reply, to which I do not know whether he [G VII p537] has responded, since there is nothing of it in what he has published since. That is why I send to you this last reply, which has still not appeared in public, in order that you have the opportunity to find out if Mr Bayle has replied, which does not appear so because I have not heard anything of it since.
I hope that you will have received word on what has happened between Mr Clarke and me up to and including his fourth piece of writing, to which I reply more fully than to the others, in order to clarify the matter to the bottom and to move closer to the end of the dispute. Madam the Princess of Wales will now receive the rest of this reply, and I also send to you now, Sir, half of the copy: but you will have the other half of it in the next post. I hope that there are many people in England who are not of the opinion of Mr Newton or Mr Clarke on philosophy, and who do not have a taste for nicely-said attractions, nor for the void, nor for the sensorium of God, nor for this imperfection of the universe which requires God to set it right from time to time, nor for the necessity, in which the supporters of Mr Newton find themselves, to deny the great principle of the need for a sufficient reason, by means of which I beat them into ruin.
With regards to the translation of the Theodicy, I hope that Madam the Princess of Wales will very much allow that the translator or the bookseller dedicate it to her, and even that he emphasizes in the dedication, or in some prefatory word, that in producing it he wanted to satisfy her desires. I await his sentiments on this.
It will be good perhaps to know who will be its translator. For you know, Sir, how fussy the English are now with regard to style: and perhaps Her Royal Highness would like to be informed of that herself, for fear that some might charge of her that she has poorly chosen. It is true that for me, I rely on your choice, Sir, and on your superintendence, if you are quite happy to extend your kindness that far.
I might perhaps also be permitted to note some places where I would like to make some slight change. I also hope that one will have a complete copy, for I have noted that something was missing in the additions. This can be seen from the list of additional pieces that is located on the second page immediately before the preface.
I wish to deserve your obliging attention, and I am sincerely etc.
© Lloyd Strickland 2003