Mr. Locke having been introduced by Lord Shaftesbury to the Duke of Buckingham and Lord Halifax, these three noblemen, instead of conversing with that philosopher on literary subjects, as might naturally have been expected, in a very short time sat down to cards. Mr. Locke, after looking on for some time, took out his pocket-book, and began to write with great attention. One of the company observing this, took the liberty of asking him what he was writing1 "My lord," says Locke, " I am endeavoring, as far us possible, to profit by my present situation; for having waited with impatience for the honor of being in company with the greatest geniuses of the age, I thought I could do nothing better than to write down your conversation : and indeed I have set down the substance of what yon have said for this hour or two."This well-timed rebuke had its effect ; and the noblemen, fully sensible of its force, immediately quitted their play. and entered into a conversation more rational, and better suited to their reputation as men of genius.
From The Percy Anecdotes