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28. ‘Perhaps it will be said’ (c. 1694)


MS Locke c.28, fols 116r-116v. Why men do evil in spite of the prospect of eternal punishment. Fragment projected as an addition to chapter II.xxi ‘Of Power’ of the third (or possibly later) edition of the Essay, but never included.


[1] MS Locke c.28, fols 116r-116v; see MS Locke c.28, fols 115-116 [1]-MS Locke c.28, fols 115-116 [9].

Relation with the Essay

[2] The words ‘Perhaps it wil be said...’ are preceded by ‘God if he will § 54’. This is a reference to the last words of Essay, II.xxi.53. This section is absent from the first edition of the Essay but it can be found in the second and subsequent editions. Chapter II.xxi ‘Of Power’ was heavily revised, resulting in a replacement of §§ 28-38 in the first edition by §§ 28-60 in the second and subsequent editions (see Essay, p. 248 n.). So, the fragment ‘Perhap it will be said...’ was probably intended as sect. II.xxi.54 of a later edition than the second edition (or as an addition to the Lation translation, see 26. Libertie (1694) [3]), but it was never included, as already transpires from the closing words of the fragment itself: ‘NB This addition to this chapter may be spared’.


[3] ‘Perhaps it will be said’ was entered after the revised text for Chapter II.xxi ‘Of Power’ for the second edition of the Essay was completed (see [2]). From a letter to W. Molyneux (see [35]) we know that the second edition of the Essay must have been available by 26 May 1694. Moreover, the fragment ‘Perhaps it will be said’ was entered after the entry ‘Liberty’ on the same manuscript. ‘Liberty’ ends with ‘This writ to Mr Le Clerc. 9 Oct. 94 in answer to his of 12º Aug.’ See also 26. Libertie (1694) [3]. This date date provides the terminus a quo for ‘Perhaps it will be said’.


[4] Printed in King, vol. II, pp. 219-222.

Yolton, John Locke a Descriptive Bibliography, nr. 249, p. 299.
MS Locke c.24, fol. 285r, letter 3188, Corr. viii, pp. 676-677.
Cf. Greetham, Textual Scholarship, p. 172 and pp. 211-213.
Cf. Locke’s farewell letter to P. King, 4 and 25 October 1704, letter 3647, Corr. viii, p. 416: ‘If my Paraphrase and notes on the Ephesians are not wholy transcribed before I dye (as I fear they will not. For however earnestly I have pressed it again and again I have not been able to prevaile with Will to dispatch the two first Chapters in three months) you must get it to be transcribed out of my filed papers after I am dead, that so it may be in a condition to be in a condition to be printed. Will after all I think be the fitest to transcribe them because he can read my hand and knows my way of writeing with the use of the references.’
Corr. viii, p. 424.
MS Locke c.35, fol. 6v.
Letter 3647, Corr. viii, p. 417, n. 1.
MS Locke f.10, p. 495.
MS Locke c.1, p. 342.
MS Locke f.10, p. 492.
Op. cit. no page number.
This fact confirms the assertion of the editors that MS Locke c.28 did not function as printer’s copy for PW.
For what probably amounts to an internal reference to the Essay that was left unchanged, see par. 64: ‘this essay’.
That pp. 52-56 give a part of the ‘Conduct’ seems to have escaped Long, A Summary Catalogue, although he remarks, p. 30: ‘The draft [containing both the Essay-part and the ‘Conduct’-part] is longer than the printed version [containing only the Essay-part].’
‘Introduction’ to Locke, Conduct, ed. Yolton, p. vii.
For the relation between the paragraph numbers of the ‘Conduct’ in the present edition and the source manuscripts, the Essay and PW see Table 3).
See Milton, ‘Pierre Des Maizeaux’, pp. 274-278.
Alternative dates: see Sargentich, ‘Locke and Ethical Theory’, p. 24: ‘Although the first manuscript piece, “Morality”, is undated, since it is highly hedonistic, it was probably written relatively late in Locke’s life.’ But ‘pleasure’ is a pervasive element in practically all of Locke’s ethical fragments, so its appearance does not contribute much towards dating the fragment. Goldie, p. 267 suggests as dates c. 1677-1678, but does not give a reason for his choice.
The last part of ‘Ethica C’, captioned under ‘Law’, is dated c. 1693 by Goldie, p. 328, but Goldie does not give a reason for his choice.
Cf. Essay, notes on p. 640 and p. 454 respectively.
See Works, 4, p. 184.
‘Liberty’ is included as letter 1798 in Corr. v, 159-160.
Cf. ‘Enthusiasm’, Essay, IV.xix.15, p. 705: ‘These and several the like Instances to be found among the Prophets of old, are enough to shew, that they thought not an inward seeing or perswasion of their own Minds without any other Proof a sufficient Evidence, that it was from GOD, though the Scripture does not every where mention their demanding or having such Proofs.’
See Milton, ‘Manservant as Amanuensis: Sylvester Brounower’, p. 79, note 4.
See Essay,IV.iii.6; see also ‘Ballance’.