Lady Damaris Masham [Cudworth]

E. S. de Beer (ed.), The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke: The Correspondence of John Locke: In Eight Volumes, Vol. 3: Letters Nos. 849–1241

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930. Lady Masham, formerly Damaris Cudworth, to Locke, 27 April [1687] (896, 942)

B.L., MS. Locke c. 17, ff. 142–3. Year from Locke's endorsement.

You will perhaps ere This comes to you begin to Condemne me of some Neglect for not haveing Answear'd before now your twoo letters; I confess haveing Just now read them over I could be Almost Angry with my self for Defering so long to Put you in my Debt againe, But I should be Unjust if I should, since it has really beene next to impossible for me to have done otherwise then I have. I intend not This by way of excuse, since your haveing beene longer in Mine before makes it Needless. The Truth is I was very Impatient at it when I consider'd I had Writt two Letters However pg 185I was not so Sullenly Angry but that I resolv'd to send you a Third and Accordingly writt you a very long One, which that you had Not (if you regrett the Loss) You must lay the Blame upon a Certaine Thing which I am very seldome Guiltie of, Call'd Discretion, that Perswaded me it was not Always Best to Pursue ones Inclination; I therefore Condemn'd it to the Flames assoone almost as it was writt, when a Day or twoo after I Received Yours of the 12th of Feb: by which I understood you had writt me Another before That which I had not received then, but did a Week or Ten Days after in That Place which you ask me in it whether or no I had Renounc'd;1 and from whence I am but just Return'd, Haveing had the Misfortune to Miss of our S:C: Friends2 there, who were gone into the Countrey the Day before I came up; who should have beene very glad to have seene them There, since They would not be so Kind as to let me do so Here; My Good Lady3 I Visited however as often as my occasions would permit me where you have so often beene, and where I assure you I could not be without rememb'ring it, tho it be so long since I have seene you There; and that I had a Thousand things to take up my Thoughts everie Day in that Busie Place, where besides the Ordinarie Affairs of Countrey Ladys who come to Towne but Once a Yeare I had a very great Varietie of Other Concerns, which the many Relations I now stand in, some Accidents, and a large increase of Acquaintance drew upon me; Acquaintance, suited I assure you as Agreably as the furniture of my Closet, of which I beleeve it would have beene One Pleasant instance to You, if you could have seene with me at the same time Mr Penn the Quaker, and Maids of Honour.4 But in the Midst of All this Hurry I tell you of, though I writt not to you I assure you I found several occasions of Thinking of You; for which I beleeve you have at least as much Obligation to me, as I to you for being Inspir'd by either my Genius or your owne to write me a letter the 29th of Jan; which should have beene writt a Month sooner——

Thus far has been writt to you Almost a Week since, when I was Interrupted by the News of my Brother's Death, He to whom you use to send your letters,5 which tho it Could be no Great pg 186Surprize to me will not yet let me be in a Humour to finish this as I ought in Answeare to Yours; It has Cast my Thoughts into Another Mould, and Decencie will Priviledge me from so much as Attempting to Change them whilst he yet Lyes Unbury'd. Not being Willing However to be Condemn'd too long (tho Unjustly) of forgetfulness, I send you this Letter as it is, and Beg your Pardon for the rest till Another time.

In the meane while Adieu.

If you think fit to write to me before you heare from me againe I think you must Direct for me to be left with Mr Guicheritte next doore to the Rose and Crowne in Shoemaker row in Dukes Place within Algate.1 I Can think of no other Direction at Present, But it has hitherto prov'd unluckie to me.

April the 27th.

Address: For Mr Lock.

Endorsed by Locke: Philoclea 27 Apr. 87 Answered 27 Jun

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 From what follows, London.
Editor’s Note
2 Salisbury Court: Edward and Mrs. Clarke.
Editor’s Note
3 Presumably Lady King.
Editor’s Note
4 One of them, Miss Fortrey, was perhaps a first cousin of Sir Francis Masham's first wife.
Editor’s Note
5 Evidently her half-brother Thomas Andrews: nos. 731 n., 779.
Editor’s Note
1 It is shown on Rocque's Plan of London, 1746.
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