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sidering them. And if you are still of opinion, that I need give the reason too, that one crime cannot be alleged in excuse of another, I beg the favour of you to let me know it as soon as you can, that I may add what is necessary in this place, amongst the errata, before my book comes out, which advances now apace, and I believe there are by this time near 150 pages of it printed. And now, sir, though I have not agreed with your opinion in this point; yet I beseech you, believe I am as much obliged to your kindness in it as if you had shown me what, upon your reason, had appeared to me the grossest mistake: and I beg the favour of you, whenever you cast your eye upon any of my writings, to continue and communicate to me your remarks.

You write to me, as if ink had the same spell upon me, that mortar, as the Italians say, has upon others, that when I had once got my fingers into it, I could never afterwards keep them out. I grant, that methinks I see subjects enough, which way ever I cast my eyes, that deserve to be otherwise handled, than I imagine they have been; but they require abler heads, and stronger bodies than I have, to manage them. Besides, when I reflect on what I have done, I wonder at my own bold folly, that has so far exposed me, in this nice and critical, as well as quick-sighted and learned age. I

say not this to excuse a lazy idleness, to which I intend to give up the rest of my few days. I think every one, according to what way Providence has placed him in, is bound to labour for the public good, as far as he is able, or else he has no right to Under this obligation of doing something, I cannot have a stronger to determine me what I shall do, than what your desires shall engage me in. I know not whether the attempt will exceed my strength. But there being several here, who join with you to press me to it; (I received a letter with the same instance, from two of my friends at London, the last post;) I think, the first leisure I can get to myself, I shall apply my thoughts to it; and however I may miss my aim, will justify myself in my obedience to you, and some others of my ingenious friends.

I am exceedingly obliged to capt. Monk, for his kind remembrance, and to you for sending it me, and letting me know he is alive. I have, as I ought, all the esteem for him, that you know so modest and good a man desérves. Pray, when you see him, present my humble service to him, and let him know that I am extremely glad to hear that he is well, and that he has not forgot me, and should be much more sò, to see him here again in England. Pray, give my humble service to your brother.

Dear Sir,

I am,

Your most humble, and most faithful servant,

John Locke.


Dublin, Feb. 17, 1693-4. HONOURED SIR, I AM so very sensible of the great caution, and deep consideration you use, before you write any thing, that I wonder at my own hardiness, when I venture to object any thing against your positions. And when I read your answers to any such of my objections, I much more admire at my own weakness in making them. I have a new instance of this in your last of January 18th, which came not to this place before yesterday. This has most abundantly satisfied me, in the doubt I lay under, concerning the case of a drunken man; which you have cleared up to me, in three words, most convincingly. So that I think you have no reason in the least to alter that paragraph, unless you may think it convenient to express that matter a little plainer. Which, I think, indeed, your last letter to me does


better than your twenty-second section of that chapter. That section runs thus :

22. “ But is not a man, drunk and sober, the same

person? Why else is he punished for the fact he com“ mits, when drunk, though he be never afterwards “ conscious of it? Just as much the same person as a

man that walks and does other things in his sleep, is " the same person, and is answerable for any mischief “ he shall do in it. Human laws punish both with a

justice suitable to their way of knowledge; because, “ in these cases, they cannot distinguish certainly what “ is real, what counterfeit. And so the ignorance in

drunkenness, or sleep, is not admitted as a plea,” &c.

Now I conceive that which makes the expression herein not so very clear, is, “ suitable to their way of

knowledge;" some will be apt to mistake the word, their, to refer to the drunken, or sleeping man, whereas it refers to the laws, as if you had said, “ suitable to “ that way of knowledge, or information, which the “ laws have established to proceed by.”

This, in your letter, is very manifest in a few words. There you say, “punishment is annexed to personality, “ personality to consciousness. How then can a drunk“ ard be punished for what he did, whereof he is not “ conscious ? To this I answer, human judicatures

justly punish him, because the fact is proved against

him, but want of consciousness cannot be proved for “ him." This, sir, is most full in the case you are there treating of. So I have nothing more to offer in that matter.

Only give me leave to propose one question more to you, though it be foreign to the business you are upon, in your chapter of identity. How comes it to pass, that want of consciousness cannot be proved for a drunkard as well as for a frantic? One, methinks, is as manifest as the other: and if drunkenness may be counterfeit, so may a frenzy. Wherefore to me it seems, that the law has made a difference in these two cases, on this account, viz. “ that drunkenness is commonly incurred

voluntarily and premeditately; whereas a frenzy is



“ commonly without our consent, or impossible to be

prevented.” But enough of this.

I should not have troubled you with this, but that, according to your usual candour and goodness, you seemed to desire my farther thoughts thereon, as speedily as I

could. I am,

Most worthy Sir,

Your most obliged humble servant,




London, May 26, 1694. THE slowness of the press has so long retarded my answer to your last obliging letter, that my book, which is now printed and bound, and ready to be sent to you, must be an excuse for my long silence. By the obedience I have paid to you in the index and summaries, ordered according to your desires, you will see it is not want of deference to you, or esteem of you, that has caused this neglect. And the profit I have made by your reflections, on several passages of any book, will, I hope, encourage you to the continuance of that freedom, to a man who can distinguish between the censures of a judicious friend, and the wrangling of a peevish critic. There is nothing more acceptable to me than the one, nor more, I think, to be slighted than the other. If therefore, as you seem to resolve, you shall throw away any more of your time in a perusal of my essay ; judge, I beseech you, as severely as you can, of what. read. I know

I know you will not forsake truth to quarrel with me; and whilst you follow her, you will always oblige me by showing me my mistakes, or what seems to you to be so. You will find in this second edition, that your advice, at any time, has not been thrown away upon me.


you will see by the errata, that, though

you read.

your last came a little too late, yet that could not hinder me from following what you so kindly, and with so much reason, suggested.

I agree with you, that, drunkenness being a voluntary defect, want of consciousness ought not to be presumed in favour of the drunkard. But frenzy being involuntary, and a misfortune, not a fault, has a right to that excuse, which certainly is a just one, where it is truly a frenzy. And all that lies upon human justice is to distinguish carefully between what is real, and what counterfeit in the case.

My book, which I desire you to accept from me, is put into Mr. Churchill the bookseller's hand, who has told me he will send it in a bale of books, the next week, to Mr. Dobson, a bookseller in Castle-street, Dublin; and I have ordered him to send with it a copy of the additions and alterations which are printed by themselves, and will help to make your former book useful to any young man, as you will see is designed) by the conclusion of the epistle to the reader. I am,


Your most affectionate, and most humble servant,



Dublin, June 2, 1694.


I AM highly obliged to you for the favour of your last, of May 26, which I received yesterday. It brought me the welcome news of the second edition of your essay being published ; and that you have favoured me with a copy, which I shall expect with some impatience; and when I have perused it, I shall, with all freedom, give you my thoughts of it.

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