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Mr. Locke to Mr. MOLYNEUX...
Oates, April 6, 1698. · THERE is none of the letters that ever I received from you gave me so much trouble as your last of March 15. I was told that you resolved to come into England early in the spring, and lived in the hopes of it more than you can imagine. I do not mean that I had greater hopes of it than you can imagine; but it enlivened me, and contributed to the support of my spirits more than you can think. But your letter has quite dejected me again. The thing I above all things long for, is to see, and embrace, and have some discourse with you before I go out of this world. I meet with so few capable of truth, or worthy of a free conversation, such as becomes lovers of truth, that you cannot think it strange if I wish for some time with you, for the exposing, sifting, and rectifying of my thoughts. If they have gone any thing farther in the discovery of truth than what I have already published, it must be by your encouragement that I must go on to finish some things that I have already begun; and with you I hoped to discourse my other yet crude and imperfect thoughts, in which if there were any thing useful to mankind, if they were opened and deposited with you, I know them safe lodged for the advantage of truth some time or other. For I am in doubt whether it be fit for me to trouble the press with any new matter; or if I did, I look on my life as so near worn out, that it would be folly to hope to finish any thing of moment in the small remainder of it. I hoped therefore, as I said, to have seen you, and unravelled to you that which lying in the lamp unexplicated in my mind, I scarce yet know what it is myself; for I have often had experience, that a man cannot well judge of his own notions, till either by setting them down in paper, or in discoursing them to a friend, he has drawn them out, and as it were spread them fairly before himself. As for writing, my ill health gives me little heart or op
portunity for it; and of seeing you I begin now to de spair. And that which very much adds to my affliction in the case is, that you neglect your own health on considerations, I am sure, that are not worth your health; for nothing, if expectations were certainties, can be worth it. I see no likelihood of the parliament's rising yet this good while; and when they are up, who knows whether the man, you expect to relieve you, will come to you presently, or at all. You must therefore lay by that business for a while which detains you, or get some other body into it, if you will take that care of your health this summer which you designed, and it seems to require: and if you defer it till the next, who knows but your care of it may then come too late. There is nothing that we are such spendthrifts of as of health; we spare every thing sooner than that, though whatever we sacrifice it to is worth nothing without it. Pardon me the liberty I take with you: you have given me an interest in you; and it is a thing of too much value to me, to look coldly on, whilst you are running into any inconvenience or danger, and say nothing. If that could be any spur to you to basten your journey hither, I would tell you I have an answer ready for the press, which I should be glad you should see first. It is too long: the plenty of matter of all sorts, which the gentleman affords me, is the cause of its too great length, though I have passed by many things worthy of remarks: but what may be spared of what there is, I would be glad should be blotted out by your hand. But this between us. - Amongst other things I would be glad to talk with you about before I die, is that which you suggest at the bottom of the first page of your letter. I am mightily concerned for the place meant in the question, you say you will ask the author of the treatise you mentioned, and wish extremely well to it; and would be very glad to be informed by you what would be best for it, and debate with you the ways to compose it. But this cannot be done by letters; the subject is of too great extent, the views too large, and the particulars too many to be so managed. Come therefore yourself, and come as well prepared in that matter as you can. But if you talk with others on that point there, mention not me to any body on that subject; only let you and I try what good we can do for those whom we wish well to. Great things have sometimes been brought about from small beginnings well laid together.
Pray present my most humble service to your brother; I should be glad of an opportunity to do him some service. That which he thanks me for, in my care about his discourse concerning the chafers, was a ser. vice to the public, and he owes me no thanks for it,
Your faithful, and most humble servant,
Mr. MOLYNEUX to Mr. LOCKE,
Dublin, April 19, 1698, Most honoured dear SIR, I HAVE formerly had thoughts of coming into Eng, land, as I have told you on occasion of my health. But since the receipt of yoạrs of April 6, which came to my hands but this morning, that consideration weighs but little with me. The desire of seeing and convers. ing with you, has drowned all other expectations from my journey, and now I am resolved to accomplish it, let what will come on it. Your persuasions and argu
ments I think have something in them of incantation : ! I am sure their charms are so powerful on me on all
occasions, I can never resist them. I shall therefore embrace you, God willing, as soon as ever the parliament of England rises. I fix this period now, not so much in expectation of our chancellor's arrival, as on another account. My dear friend must therefore know, that the consideration of what I mentioned in my last,
from the incomparable author of the Treatise, &c. has moved me to put pen to paper, and commit some thoughts of mine on that subject to the press in a small 8vo, intitled, “ The Case of Ireland's being bound by “ Acts of Parliament in England stated.". . This you'll say is a nice subject, but I think I have treated it with that caution and submission, that it cannot justly give any offence; insomuch that I scruple not to put my name to it; and, by advice of some good friends here, have presumed to dedicate it to his Majesty. I haye ordered some of them to Mr. Churchill, to be presented to you and some of your friends; and they are now upon the road towards you. I have been very free in giving you my thoughts on your pieces; I should be extremely obliged to you for the like freedom on your side upon mine. I cannot pretend this to be an accomplished performance; it was done in haste, and intended to overtake the proceedings at Westminster; but it comes too late for that: what effect it may possibly have in time to come, God and the wise council of England only know; but were it again under my hands, I could considerably amend and add to it. But till I either see how the parliament at Westminster is pleased to take it, or till I see them risen, I do not think it adviseable for me to go on t'other side the water. Though I am not apprehensive of any mischief from them, yet God only knows what resentments captious men may take on such occasions.
My brother gives you his most respectful service: he has now ready a discourse on our giant's causeway, which indeed is a stupendous natural rarity: 'he has addressed it to Dr. Lister; but you will soon see it in the Transactions.
Mr. Burridge goes on now with some speed: I had lately an occasion of writing to Mr. Churchill, and I gave him an account of his progress. I hope the whole will be finished soon after Midsummer; and indeed in my opinion he performs it incomparably. I am,
Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.
. London, July 9, 1698.. · I AM just come to London, where your former promise, and what Mr. Churchill since tells me, makes me hope to see you speedily. I long mightily to welcome you hither, and to remit, to that happy time, abundance that I may say to you. For I am,
Your most affectionate, humble servant, .
Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke. Honoured dear Sir, Dublin, Sept. 20, 1698. I ARRIVED here safely the 15th instant; and now that the ruffling and fatigue of my journey is a little over, I sit down to a task, which I must confess is the hardest I was ever under in my life; I mean, expressing my thanks to you suitable to the favours I received from you, and suitable to the inward sense I have of them in my mind. Were it possible for me to do either, I should in some measure be satisfied; but my inability of paying my debts, makes me ashamed to appear before my creditor. However, thus much, with the strictest sincerity, I will venture to assert to you, that I capnot recollect, through the whole course of my life, such signal instances of real friendship, as when I had the happiness of your company for five weeks together in London. It is with the greatest satisfaction imaginable that I recollect what then passed between us, and I reckon it the happiest scene of my whole life. That part thereof, especially, which I passed at Oates, has