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with me abroad in it, every two or three days. However, it wears the signature of your friendship, and so will always have something in it to please me.
I know not whether it be worth while to clog it with any thing, to make a place for a footman. That must, I suppose, make it bigger and heavier, which I would avoid ; and I think, upon the whole matter, there will be no great need of it. But when I hear from you again, I shall know that. In the meantime, all the rest, I think, is resolved ; for, I suppose of course, you will choose a cloth for the lining of a dust colour; that is the proper colour for such a priest as you mention in your letter.
if poor Psalmanassar be really a convert from paganism (which I would be glad to be assured of), he has very ill luck, not to herd any where among the variety of sorts that are among us. But I think it so, that the parties are more for doing one another harm, than for doing any body good. I am, &c.
To the same.
Oates, 9 June, 1704. I MIGHT number my days (and it is a pleasant sort of almanac) by the kindnesses I receive from you. Your packet I received, and have reason to thank you for all the particulars in it; however, you thought fit to prepare me for being disappointed, in the binding my Greek Testament. There is nothing in it that offends me, but the running of his paring-knife too deep into the margin ; a knavish and intolerable fault in all our English bookbinders.
Books seem to me to be pestilent things, and infect all that trade in them; that is, all but one sort of men, with something very perverse and brutal. Printers, binders, sellers, and others that make a trade and gain out of them, have universally so odd a turn and corruption of mind, that they have a way of dealing pecu
liar to themselves, and not conformed to the good of society, and that general fairness that cements mankind.
Whether it be, that these instruments of truth and knowledge will not bear being subjected to any thing but those noble ends, without revenging themselves on those who meddle with them to any other purpose, and prostitute them to mean and misbecoming designs; I will not inquire. The matter of fact, I think, you will find true; and there we will leave it to those who sully themselves with printer's ink, till they wholly expunge all the candour that nature gives, and become the worst sort of black cattle.
To the same.
Oates, June 29, 1704. If the chaise you have had so much trouble about gives me as much satisfaction afterwards, as it will in the first service I shall receive from it; the conquerors of the world will not ride in their triumphant chariots with more pleasure, than I shall in my little tumbrel. It will bring me what I prefer to glory. For, methinks, he understands but little of the true sweetness of life, that doth not more relish the conversation of a worthy and ingenuous friend in retirement, than the noise and rout of the crowd in the streets, with all their acclamations and huzzas. I long, therefore, that the machine should be despatched ; and expect it as greedily as a hungry merchant doth a ship from the East Indies, which is to bring him a rich cargo. I hope the coachmaker doth not live far from you ; for if he be a slow man of London, I would have him quickened once a day, that he may make as much haste as if the satisfaction of two lovers depended on his despatch. In the meantime, give me leave to desire you to bestow some of your spare hours on the epistles to the Corinthians, and to try whether you can find them intelligible or no. You will easily guess the reason of this *; and when I have you here, I hope to convince you it will not be lost labour; only permit me to tell you, you must read them with something more than an ordinary application.
The samples you have sent met, I must conclude, from the abilities of the author, to be very excellent. But what shall I be the better for the most exact and best proportioned picture that ever was drawn, if I have not eyes to see the correspondence of the parts ? I confess the lines are too subtile for me, and my dull sight cannot perceive their connexions. I am not envious, and therefore shall not be troubled, if others find themselves instructed with so extraordinary and sublime a way of reasoning. I am content with my own mediocrity. And though I call the thinking faculty in me, mind; yet I cannot, because of that name, equal it in any thing to that infinite and incomprehensible being, which, for want of right and distinct conceptions, is called mind also, or the eternal mind. I endeavour to make the best use I can of every thing; and therefore, though I am in despair to be the wiser for these learned instructions; yet I hope I shall be the merrier for them, when you and I take an air in the calash together. I am, &c.
To the same.
Oates, July 23, 1704. The gentlemen you speak of, have a great deal of reason to be pleased with the Discourse # you mention;
* Mr. Locke writ this to Mr. Collins, in order to prepare him to read afterwards with him his Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul to the Corinthians; which have been published since his death.
+ That is, out of Dr. Sherlock's Digression concerning Connate Ideas, or Inbred Knowledge, against Mr. Locke; inserted in the 3d section of the 2d chapter of his Discourse concerning the Happiness of good Men, and the Punishment of the Wicked, in the next World, &c. Lond. 1704, in 8vo.
Dr. Sherlock's Digression concerning Connate Ideas, &c. mentioned in the foregoing letter.
there being nothing ever writ in their strain and way more perfectly than it is; and it may stand for a pattern to those that have a mind to excel in their ad. mirable use of language and method of talking; if, at least, there be any need of a pattern to those, who so naturally, and by a peculiar genius of their own, fall into that, which the profane illiterate vulgar, poor wretches, are strangers to, and cannot imitate. But more of this to make us merry, when the chaise brings us together.
I now every moment wish the chaise done; not out of any impatience I am for the machine, but for the man; the man, I say, that is to come in it. A man, that has not his fellow; and, to all that, loves me. If I regret my old age, it is you that make me, and call me back to the world just as I was leaving it, and leaving it as a place that has very little valuable in it; but who would not be glad to spend some years with you ? Make haste, therefore, and let me engross what of you I can. I am, &c.
To the same.
Oates, August 2, 1704. Though I cannot, by writing, make you a surer title to myself than you have already; yet I cannot forbear to acknowledge, under my hand and seal, the great sense I have of the late favour you did me. Whether that, or any thing else, will be able to add any duration to my mouldering carcase, I cannot sày; but this I am sure, your company and kindness have added to the length of my life, which, in my way of measuring, doth not lie in counting of minutes, but tasting of enjoyments. I wish the continuance and increase of yours, without stint, and am, &c.
To the same.
Oates, August 11, 1704.
their favours, and thank those that receive them. I was never more obliged, nor better entertained, than by your company here; and you heap upon me your acknowledgments, as if I had made a journey to London for your sake, and there done you I know not how many courtesies. This, however, has the effect you could wish upon me. I believe all that you would have me. And since one naturally loves as well those that one has done good to, as those whom one has received good from ; I leave it to you, to manage the account as you please. So the affection and good-will between us doth but increase, whose hands lay most fuel on the fire, that warms us both, I shall not be nicely solicitous; since I am sure you cannot impute to me more than I really wish, but at the same time know that wishing in me is all, for I can do just nothing. Make no apologies to me, I beseech you, for what you said to me about the digression *. It is no more, but what I find other people agree with you in ; and it would afford as much diversion as any hunting you could imagine, had I strength and breath enough to pursue the chace.
But of this we may, perhaps, have better opportunity to talk, when I see you next. For this I tell you before-hand, I must not have you be under any restraint to speak to me, whatever you think fit for me to do ; whether I am of the same mind or no. The use of a friend is to persuade us to the right, not to suppose always that we are in it. I am, &c.
To the same.
Oates, August 16, 1704. Which way soever I turn myself, I meet on all sides your friendship, in all manner of shapes, and upon all sorts of occasions, besetting me. Were I as averse, as I am pleased, with my happiness in your kindness; I must, however, yield to so powerful and constant at
* See above, page 293.