William Molyneux

E. S. de Beer (ed.), The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke: The Correspondence of John Locke: In Eight Volumes, Vol. 6: Letters Nos. 2199–2664

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2324. William Molyneux to LOCKE, 4 October 1697 (2311, 2331)

The Carl H. Pforzheimer Library, New York. Transcribed from photostat. Printed in Some Familiar Letters, pp. 238–42. Answers no. 2310; answered by no. 2376.

Dublin. Oct. 4th. 1697.

Honourd Sir

I perceive we were each of us mindfull of t'other on the nth of last Month; for off that date was your Last to me, as you will find mine likewise to you bore the same.

You have already Answerd some of my impertinent inquirys in that Letter, you tell me therein, who J.S. is that writes against You. I do not now wonder at the Confusednes of his Notions, or that they should be unintelligible to me. I should have much more admired had they been otherwise. I expect nothing from Mr Serjeant but what is abstruse in the highest degree.

pg 220I look for nothing else from Mr Norris; I thought that Gentleman had enough ont, in his first Attempt on your Essay, but he's so overun with Father Malbranch and Plato, that tis in vain to indeavour to sett him right, and I give him up as an inconvincible Enemy.

But above all these I should wonder at the Bishop of Worcesters Obstinacy, did I not think that I partly know the Reason thereof. He has been an Old Souldier in Controversys and has hitherto had the Good Luck of Victory. But now in the Latter end of his Wars to be laid on his Back (as he thinks the World would certainly say, unies he has the last Word) would wither all his former Laurels, and Loose his Glory. Your Reply to him is not yet come to hand; but I can wait with the More Patience, because I am pretty wel satisfyd in the Matter already.

I am very glad to understand that we are to expect an other Edition of your Education with Additions. I never thought you writ too Much on any subject whatever.

I have formerly written to you to know farther concerning Monsieur Coste, who translated some of your Books into French. I fancy by that Gentlemans Inclinations to your Works, He and I should agree very well. Pray let me know, whether to his Belles Lettres he has any skill in Mathematicks, Natural History, etc. as also what his Circumstances are as to his Education, Parentage, etc. for According to these I may judge whether I can give him any incouragement to come hither.

You had been troubled with this Letter sooner, but that I waited for the Inclosed to satisfy your Enquiry concerning our Linin Manufacture.1 You will find thereby that we have framed a Bill to be Enacted for the Incouragement thereof. This Bill is now before the Council of England pursuant to our Constitution of Parliament. What Alterations, Additions, and Amendments it may receive there we know not, but I am apt to think you will have the Consideration and Modelling thereof at your Committee of Trade.2 We are very sensible, that the Act we have drawn up (whereof the Inclosed are the Heads) is not so perfect and Compleat as it may be. but this we thought a fair beginning to so great an Attempt, and that time must be given for a farther Progres, pg 221and carrying it higher by Additional Laws as Occasion may require. The Wollen Manufacture of England was not establishd at that high Pitch (to which now tis raisd) by any One Law, or any one Generation, it must be so with us in relation to our Linen; but this we hope may be a fair step towards it; est aliquid prodire tenus, etc.1

James Hamilton of Tullymore Esquire2 is ana- Indefatigable Promotor-a of this Designe, and I may say indeed the whole Scheme is owing to his Contrivance. He is an harty admirer of Yours, and communicated to me the Inclosed Abstract purposely for your satisfaction; desiring me, with it to give you his Most Humble Service, and to request of you your thoughts concerning this Matter by the first Leasure you can spare.

Whilst Our House of Commons were framing this Bill; Our Lords Justices communicated to us some papers which they had Received from the Lords Justices of England laid before them by your Board. But these Papers coming in a little too late, when we had just closed the Bill, and a very little time before our last Adjournment for three weeks; All we did with them was to remitt them again to our Lords Justices and Council, with the Houses desire, that if their Lordships should think fitt to excerp any thing out of those Papers and add it to our Act, whilst they had it before them in order to be transmitted into England, their Lordships might do therein as they pleased, and the House would agree to any such additions, when the Act came before us transmitted in due form under the Seal of England. Whether the Lords Justices wil make any such additions out of those papers I cannot yet tell; but I am sure there were many things in those papers that highly deserved to be put in Execution.3

My Brother gives you his most Humble service, and should be very Proud of the Present of your Education, for tho he has yet only two Daughters,4 yet he is in Hopes of Many Sons; and the pg 222Girls Minds require as much Framing, as the Boys, and by the same Rules. And that I take to be the Cheif Part of Education. I am

  • Yours most sincerely
  • W: Molyneux

Address: To John Locke Esquire at Mr Robert Pawlings overagainst the Plow-Inn in Little-Lincolns Inn-Fields London

Postmark: OC 11

Endorsed by Locke: W: Molyneux 4 Oct. 97 Answered 10 Jan