Wednesday, February 27, 2013

An Epitaph

I've been studying John Locke recently.  I just read the epitaph written next to his tomb: 
Near this place lies John Locke. If you wonder what kind of man he was, the answer is that he was one contented with his modest lot. A scholar by training, he devoted his studies wholly to the pursuit of truth. Such you may learn from his writings, which will also tell you whatever else there is to be said about him more faithfully than the dubious eulogies of an epitaph. His virtues, if he had any, were too slight to serve either to his own credit or as an example to you. Let his vices be interred with him. An example of virtue, you have already in the Gospels; an example of vice is something one could wish did not exist; an example of mortality (and may you learn from it) you have assuredly here and everywhere.

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