Correspondence, by Benedict de Spinoza, , at sacred-texts.com
[Of the proposed annotation of the "Tractatus Theologico-Politicus."]
Most excellent and distinguished Sir,I wonder at our friend Neustadt having said, that I am meditating the refutation of the various writings circulated against my
book, 1 and that among the works for me to refute he places your MS. For I certainly have never entertained the intention of refuting any of my adversaries: they all seem to me utterly unworthy of being answered. I do not remember to have said to Mr. Neustadt anything more, than that I proposed to illustrate some of the obscurer passages in the treatise with notes, and that I should add to these your MS., and my answer, if your consent could be gained, on which last point I begged him to speak to you, adding, that if you refused permission on the ground, that some of the observations in my answer were too harshly put, you should be given full power to modify or expunge them. In the meanwhile, I am by no means angry with Mr. Neustadt, but I wanted to put the matter before you as it stands, that if your permission be not granted, I might show you that I have no wish to publish your MS. against your will. Though I think it might be issued without endangering your reputation, if it appears without your name, I will take no steps in the matter, unless you give me leave. But, to tell the truth, you would do me a far greater kindness, if you would put in writing the arguments with which you think you can impugn my treatise, and add them to your MS. I most earnestly beg you to do this. For there is no one whose arguments I would more willingly consider; knowing, as I do, that you are bound solely by your zeal for truth, and that your mind is singularly candid, I therefore beg you again and again, not to shrink from undertaking this task, and to believe me, Yours most obediently,
b. de Spinoza.
CHISWICK PRESS: C. WHITTINGHAM AND CO., TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE.
419:1 See Letters XLVIII., XLIX.
420:1 The "Tractatus Theologico-Politicus."