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TO THE READER.
THE following letters, offered to your perusal, are the genuine productions of those gentlemen to whom they are attributed.
They contain not only such civil and polite conversation, as friendship produces among men of parts, learning, and candour; but several matters relating to literature, and more particularly to Mr. Locke's notions, in his Essay concerning Human Understanding, and in some of his other works: and therefore I cannot doubt of your thanks for the present I make you. For, though the curiosity of some, to see whatever drops from the pens of great men, and to inform themselves in their private characters, their tempers, dispositions, and manner of conversing with their friends, would perhaps have justified me in publishing any letters of Mr. Locke's, and of his friends to him, that were not letters of mere business; yet my regard to what I take to be the more general judgment of the public, has determined me to publish such only as have relation to this twofold view, and shall determine me hereafter, if gentlemen, that have any letters of Mr. Locke's by them, think fit to communicate them
FAMILIAR LETTERS, &c.
Mr. Locke to Mr. Molyneux.
SIR, London, July 16, 1692. THOUGH the extraordinary compliment you were pleased to make me, in the epistle dedicatory*, easily persuaded me, from whom that present was likely to come; when, at my coming to town, I found your book left for me, by Mr. Tooke, at my bookseller's; yet my consciousness, how little I could deserve the one, or the other, from you, made me fear some mistake, till, inquiring of Mr. Tooke himself, he assured me of the favour you had done me. I will not pretend to return you such thanks as I ought, till I can write such a book as yours is. Only give me leave to say, that if my trifle could possibly be an occasion of vanity to me, you have done most to make it so, since I could scarce forbear to applaud myself, upon such a testimony from one who so well understands demonstration, did I not
* Before A Treatise of Dioptrics, printed at London 1692, wherein it is said, " that to none do we owe, for a greater advancement in this part of philosophy, (viz. logic) than to the incomparable Mr. Locke, who, in his Essay of Human Understanding, hath rectified more received mistakes, and delivered more profound truths, established on experience and observation, for the direction of man's mind in the prosecution of knowledge, (which I think may be properly termed logic) than are to be met with in all the volumes of the ancients. He has clearly overthrown all those metaphysical whimsies, which infected men's brains with a spice of madness, whereby they feigned a knowledge where they had none, by making a noise with sounds, without clear and distinct significations."
see that those, who can be extreme rigorous and exact in the search of truth, can be as civil and as complaisant in their dealing with those whom they take to be lovers of it. But this cannot keep me from being out of countenance at the receipt of such obligations, without the hopes of making such returns as I ought. Instead of that, give me leave to do what is next to it, and let you see that I am not sorry I am obliged to you. The bearer hereof, Dr. Sibelius, is a friend of mine, who comes to Dublin with a design to settle there, and I beg your assistance of him, in what lies in your way. I shall take it as a favour done to me. And methinks I have reason now to expect it of you, since you have done me, more than once, very great ones, when I had no reason to expect any at all. Sir, you have made great advances of friendship towards me, and you see they are not lost upon me. I am very sensible of them, and would make such an use of them as might assure you I should take it for a new favour, if you would afford me an occasion wherein I might, by any service, tell how much I am, you
I had the honour to know one of your name at Leyden about seven or eight years since. If he be any relation of yours, and now in Dublin, I beg the favour of you to present my humble service to him.
Mr. Molyneux to Mr. Locke.
UPON the arrival of our lord lieutenant in this place (which was on the 25th instant) I had the favour of a letter from you, by the hands of Dr. Sibelius. I cannot easily tell you how grateful it was to me, having the