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Mr. Locke to Mr. MOLYNEUX.
Oates, 20 Nov. 1695. BEFORE I left London, I gave order that the book you desired about interest and money, should be sent you by the first opportunity. But it is to you I send it, and not to any body else; you may give it to whom you please, for it is yours as soon as you receive it; but pray do not give it to any body in my name, or as a present from me. And however you are pleased to make me a compliment, in making me the author of a book you think well of; yet you may be sure I do not own it to be mine, till you see my name to it • You, I see, are troubled there about your money, as well as we are here; though, I hope, you are not so deep in that disease as we are, A little before his ma. jesty's return, the lords justices here had this matter under consideration, and amongst others, were pleased to send to me, for my thoughts about it. This is too publicly known here, to make the mentioning of it to you appear as vanity in me. The paper I here inclose, would seem a strange thing, did I not tell you the occasion of my writing it. And since some of my friends here persuade me, it gives some light to that which the statesman you mention, thinks so profound a mystery, I have taken the liberty to send it to you, either to open that matter a little farther to you, or that you may show me the mistakes and defects of it. But pray, whatever use you make of it, conceal my name.
I writ to you from London, just as I was leaving the town in haste, in answer to yours of the second instant. You must impute the faults of that to the hurry and disturbance I was then in. I am not much more at leisure or at quiet now; but shame will not suffer me to be silent any longer, under the obligation of two other letters I have by me of yours, unanswered.
I cannot read yours of the 24th of August last, without finding new marks of your kindness to me, in the concern you therein express to get a good hand for the translating my essay. I think at last you have got a better than I could have expected. I designed to have brought Mr. Churchill and him together, and settled that matter, before I left London; but I was so unexpectedly called thence, that I left that, and several other businesses, undone. But I took order with Mr. Churchill, my bookseller, to go to him; he is a reasonable man, and I doubt not but it will be taken care of, as well as if I were there. I think the abridgment is near, if not quite printed; but I had not the time, or memory, to inquire, after my hasty summons into the country. I was told too, when I was in town, that somebody is printing against it; if it be a fair inquirer, I shall be glad; if a wrangling disputant, I shall not mind him.
Mr. Burridge is the man you speak him to be, in yours of September 19. Had I staid in London, I think I should have been able to have procured him some particulars would have been of use to him, in his design. Some of them I have taken care he should receive, notwithstanding my absence. But perhaps they might have been more, could I have stayed till more of my acquaintance were come to town. I am now in an house of sorrow and business, which hinders me from that freedom I would be in, when I write to you,
Your most affectionate, humble servant,
Mr. MOLYNEUX to Mr. Locke.
Dublin, Dec. 24, 1695. I AM ashamed to say, that I have two of yours beforę me unanswered.
Yours of Nov. 20 brought me a paper, which, of all things I have ever seen on that subject, I most highly admire. You haye therein revealed the whole mystery
of money, exchange, trade, &c. which have hitherto been wrapped up in unintelligible cant, I believe, partly out of knavery, partly out of ignorance. - You gave me liberty to make what 'use of it I pleased, and therefore I ventured to give a copy of it to his excellency, my lord deputy Capel, rather than the book of interest and coinage, which I thought might be too long for his present perusal, in his multitude of business. But I can tell you, that your admirable perspicuity of writing is so clearly different from all the world, and almost peculiar to yourself; that in vain you expect to be concealed, in any thing that comes from you. For I assure you, in some discourse I had with his excellency, no longer ago than yesterday, concerning the business of money; he asked me (without any occasion given him from me) whether I had ever seen Mr. Locke's book of interest, &c. ? for he has formerly known (as I think I have told you that I had the happiness of your acquaintance; I replied to his lordship, that I had seen such a book, but that it did not bear your name in it: he answered me: the printer presented it! to him as yours; and besides (says he) all the world knows Mr. Locke's way of writing; and, if I may guess, I believe the paper you gave me a few days ago, came from Mr. Locke; pray, did it not? I told his excellency I was under some obligation to conceal the author. That's enough, (says he,) I am sure it is his, and will put his name to it, and lay it up amongst my choicest papers.
I have lately received three small prints from London, concerning the subject of money. They were enclosed in a blank wrapper, and franked to me by sir Walter, Yonge, bart, a gentleman whom I never saw, and have, no manner of acquaintance with. I wonder how he comes to confer an obligation on me so suitable and agreeable to my present thoughts. If you have any hand in this favour to me, be pleased to accept of my thanks, and to express the same to sir Walter. The titles; of those papers are,
“ Sir W. Petty's Quantulumcunque, concerning « money." VOL. IX.
" A letter from an English merchant at Amsterdam " to his friend at London, concerning the trade and « coin of England."
“ Some questions answered, relating to the badness « of the now silver coin of England."
I hear Mr. Lowndes of the Treasury has published something on that subject, and that Mr. Flamstead has answered him, in a tract he calls Five, not Six.
I wish I could see them both, and shall beg the favour of you, if this letter finds you at London, to get them beaten pretty close, and wrapped up in folds, and directed to me, unless they be much too bulky for the post. You need not have them franked, for our letters come to us so, as we are of the parliament here.
I herewith send you enclosed the copy of a letter from an ingenious man, on the problem which you have honoured with a place in page 67, of your essay. You will find thereby, that what I say, of its puzzling some ingenious men, is true: and you will easily discover by what false steps this gentleman is led into his errour. The letter was communicated to me by the party to whom it was writ, Dr. Quayl. And the writer of the letter, Mr. Edw. Synge, is the author of a little book called The Gentleman's Religion, which is vended as yours. The gentleman is on a second part, which he will show me, before he sends it to the press. But this is only between ourselves and the bookseller, who has been lately informed of thus much already. For though the book shows not that freedom of thought, as you or I, perhaps, may expect; yet it shows enough to incense his own herd against him; for there is little of mystery or enthusiastic in it, and yet the author is a clergyman. And you know that, in a writer on a religious subject, it is an high offence, even to be silent on those abstruse points. The clergy are not dissatisfied only with those that plainly oppose them, but are enraged also, even at those that omit zealously to advance them; as we have had a late instance in him, that writes against the Reasonableness of Christianity.
I should be mighty glad to hear that Mr. Burridge had set upon translating your essay: I believe he will do it well.
I shall be also very much obliged by any information you give me of whatsoever is done, or doing by yourself, or others, relating to your works, of which there is none a more devoted admirer, than the excellent author's
Most affectionate, humble servant,
Mr. Synge to Dr. QUAYL. Dear Sir, i Cork, Sept. 6, 1695. MR. MOLYNEUX's ingenious question, of which you gave me an account at Mr. Lukey's yesterday, has run so much in my mind ever since, that I could scarce drive it out of my thoughts. To be revenged on you therefore for putting my brains in such a ferment, I have resolved to be so impertinent, as to send you the result of my meditations upon the subject. · The case is this: a man born perfectly blind has a globe and a cube given into his hands, and instructed, as much as he is capable of, in the notion of each of these figures, and the difference between them. Let us now suppose this man suddenly to be endowed with the sense of seeing, and the question is, “ Whether, the “ globe and the cube being placed before his eyes, he ~ would be able, by his sight alone, and without “ touching them, to tell which was the globe, and 6 which the cube?” .
For the better understanding of what I shall say on this question, I desire you to take notice, that I call every notion of any thing, which a man entertains, an idea; but that notion only, which a'man entertains of a visible thing, as it is visible, I call an image.