Front Page Titles (by Subject) LETTER XI.: COMPOUND INTEREST. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3
LETTER XI.: COMPOUND INTEREST. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 3 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 3.
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- Errata—vol. III.
- Defence of Usury; Showing the Impolicy of the Present Legal Restraints On the Terms of Pecuniary Bargains; In Letters to a Friend.
- Letter I.: Introduction.
- Letter II.: Reasons For Restraint—prevention of Usury.
- Letter III.: Reasons For Restraint—prevention of Prodigality.
- Letter IV.: Reasons For Restraint—protection of Indigence.
- Letter V.: Reasons For Restraint—protection of Simplicity.
- Letter VI.: Mischiefs of the Anti-usurious Laws.
- Letter VII.: Efficacy of Anti-usurious Laws.
- Letter VIII.: Virtual Usury Allowed.
- Letter IX.: Blackstone Considered.
- Letter X.: Grounds of the Prejudices Against Usury.
- Letter XI.: Compound Interest.
- Letter XII.: Maintenance and Champerty.
- Letter XIII.: To Dr. Smith, On Projects In Arts, &c.
- A Manual of Political Economy: Now First Edited From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham.
- Chapter I.: Introduction. *
- Chapter II.: Analytical Survey of the Field of Political Economy.
- Chapter III.: Of Wealth.
- Chapter IV.: Of Population.
- Chapter V.: Of Finance.
- Chapter VI.: Operation of a Sinking Fund On the Production of Wealth.
- Chapter VII.: Noscenda.
- Observations On the Restrictive and Prohibitory Commercial System; Especially With a Reference to the Decree of the Spanish Cortes of July 1820.
- Preface.: Observations, &c.
- Section I.: Nature of the Prohibitory System.
- Section II.: Mischiefs of the Prohibitory System.
- Section III.: Causes of the Prohibitory System.
- A Plan For Saving All Trouble and Expense In the Transfer of Stock, and For Enabling the Proprietors to Receive Their Dividends Without Powers of Attorney, Or Attendance At the Bank of England, By the Conversion of Stock Into Note Annuities.
- Chapter I.: Plan For the Creation, Emission, Payment, and Eventual Extension, of a Proposed New Species of Government Paper, Under the Name of Annuity Notes.
- Chapter II.: Form of an Annuity Note. (see Table II.)
- Chapter III.: Comparison of the Proposed, With the Existing Government Securities, &c.
- Chapter IV.: Grounds of Expectation, In Regard to the Proposed Measure.
- Chapter V.: Financial Advantages.
- Chapter VI.: Advantage By Addition to National Capital.
- Chapter VII.: Advantage By Addition to Commercial Security.
- Chapter VIII.: Particular Interests Concerned.
- Chapter IX.: Rise of Prices—how to Obviate.
- Chapter X.: Reduction of Interest—proposed Mode Compared With Mr. Pelham’s.
- Chapter XI.: Moral Advantages.
- Chapter XII.: Constitutional Advantages.
- Chapter XIII.: Recapitulation and Conclusion.
- Appendix A.: Government Ought to Have the Monopoly of Paper Money, As Well As of Metallic Money.
- Appendix B.: Paper Money—causes Why Not Circulated By Government Without Interest, As Well As By Individuals.
- General View of a Complete Code of Laws.
- Chapter I.: General Division.
- Chapter II.: Relations Between the Laws Concerning Offences, Rights, Obligations, and Services.
- Chapter III.: Relation Between the Penal and Civil Code.
- Chapter IV.: Of Method.
- Chapter V.: Plan of the Penal Code.
- Chapter VI.: Of the Division of Offences.
- Chapter VIII. Titles of the Penal Code.
- Chapter IX.: First General Title of the Civil Code, * of Things.
- Chapter X.: Second General Title of the Civil Code. of Places.
- Chapter XI.: Third General Title of the Civil Code. of Times.
- Chapter XII.: Fourth General Title of the Civil Code. of Services.
- Chapter XIII.: Fifth General Title of the Civil Code. of Obligations.
- Chapter XIV.: Sixth General Title of the Civil Code. of Rights.
- Chapter XV.: Seventh General Title of the Civil Code. of Collative and Ablative Events.
- Chapter XVI.: Eighth General Title of the Civil Code. of Contracts.
- Chapter XVII.: Ninth General Title of the Civil Code. of the Domestic and Civil States.
- Chapter XVIII.: Tenth General Title of the Civil Code. of Persons Capable of Acquiring and of Contracting.
- Chapter XIX.: Of the Particular Titles of the Civil Code.
- Chapter XX.: Of Elementary Political Powers.
- Chapter XXI.: Of Elementary Political Powers— Subject Continued.
- Chapter XXII.: Plan of the Political Code.
- Chapter XXIII.: Plan of the International Code.
- Chapter XXIV.: Plan of the Maritime Code.
- Chapter XXV.: Plan of the Military Code.
- Chapter XXVI.: Plan of the Ecclesiastical Code.
- Chapter XXVII.: Plan of Remuneratory Laws.
- Chapter XXVIII.: Of Political Economy.
- Chapter XXIX.: Plan of the Financial Code.
- Chapter XXX.: Plan of Procedure Code.
- Chapter XXXI.: Of the Integrality of the Code of Laws.
- Chapter XXXII.: Of Purity In the Composition of a Code of Laws.
- Chapter XXXIII.: Of the Style of the Laws.
- Chapter XXXIV.: Of the Interpretation, Conservation, and Improvement of a Code.
- Pannomial Fragments.
- Chapter I.: General Observations.
- Chapter II.: Consideranda.
- Chapter III.: Expositions.
- Chapter IV.: Axioms.
- Nomography; Or the Art of Inditing Laws: Now First Published From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham.
- Chapter I.: The Subject Stated.
- Chapter II.: Relations.
- Chapter III.: Proper End In View.
- Chapter IV.: Imperfections Primary.
- Chapter V.: Explanations Relative to the Imperfections of the Second Order.
- Chapter VI.: Of Remedies. *
- Chapter VII.: Of Language.
- Chapter VIII.: Of the Perfections of Which the Legislative Style Is Susceptible.
- Chapter IX.: Of Forms of Enactment.
- Appendix. Logical Arrangements, Or Instruments of Invention and Discovery
- Equity Dispatch Court Proposal; Containing a Plan For the Speedy and Unexpensive Termination of the Suits Now Depending In Equity Courts. With the Form of a Petition, and Some Account of a Proposed Bill For That Purpose
- Section I.: Purpose Explained. Jeremy Bentham to the Honest and Afflicted Among Equity Suitors.
- Section II.: Equity Suitors’ Petition For Dispatch Court. to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, —
- Section III.: Dispatch Court Bill—some Account of It.
- Section IV.: Information Requisite From Petitioning Suitors.
- Equity Dispatch Court Bill: Being a Bill For the Institution of an Experimental Judicatory Under the Name of the Court of Dispatch, For Exemplifying In Practice the Manner In Which the Proposed Summary May Be Substituted to the So Called Regular Sy
- Editor’s Note.
- Part I.—: Judiciary.
- Section I.: Judge Located, How.
- Section II.: Remuneration.
- Section III.: Registrar, &c.
- Section IV.: Eleemosynary Advocate.
- Section V.: Judges’, &c. Deputes.
- Section VI.: Judge’s Powers—exemptions—checks.
- Section VII.: Prehensors and Messengers.
- Section VIII.: Consignees; * Or Say, In-trust-holders.
- Section IX.: Grounds of Decision For the Dispatch Court Judge.
- Section X. ‡: Suits’ Comparative Suitableness; and Order of Cognizance.
- Section XI.: Auxiliary Judges and Accountants.
- Section XII.: Sittings, Times Of.
- Part II.—: Procedure.
- Section XIII.: Definitions. *
- Section XIV.: Examination of Solicitors.
- Section XV.: Initiatory Examination of Parties, &c.
- Section XVI.: Appropriate Intercourse, Constant and Universal, Secured.
- Section XVII.: Mutual Security For Forthcomingness of Persons and Things. ‡
- Section XVIII.: Evidence-procuring Money, How Provided.
- Section XIX.: Subsequential Evidence, How Elicited.
- Section XX.: Execution, How Performed.
- Section XXI.: Equity Court Costs, How Disposed Of.
- Section XXII.: Dispatch Court Costs, How Disposed Of.
- Section XXIII.: Eventual Retrotransference of a Suit to the Equity Court.
- Section XXIV.: Expense of the Court, How Provided For.
- Supplemental Sections:—
- Section I. Or XXV.: Bankruptcy and Insolvency.
- Section II. Or XXVI.: Henceforward Dispatch Court.
- Schedules to the Bill.
- Plan of Parliamentary Reform, In the Form of a Catechism, With Reasons For Each Article: With an Introduction, Showing the Necessity of Radical, and the Inadequacy of Moderate, Reform.
- Section I.: History of the Ensuing Tract—alarming State of the Country and the Constitution.
- Section II.: Most Prominent Present Grievance, Gareisoning France.
- Section III.: Causes of the Above and All Other Mischiefs:—particular Interests Monarchical and Aristocratical, Adverse to the Universal—their Ascendency.
- Section IV.: Sole Remedy In Principle—democratic Ascendency.
- Section V.: Remedy In Detail: Radical Parliamentary Reform: Elementary Arrangements In This Edition of It—their Necessity.
- Section VI.: Differences Between This and the Original Editions of Radical Reform.
- Section VII.: Virtual Universality of Suffrage Further Considered.
- Section VIII.: Virtual Universality of Suffrage—its Undangerousness.
- Section IX.: Freedom of Suffrage Further Explained—seductive Influence—its Forms, Instruments, &c.
- Section X.: Bribery and Terrorism Compared.
- Section XI.: Purchase of Seats—in What Cases Mischievous—in What Beneficial.
- Section XII.: Secresy of Suffrage—its Importance Further Developed.
- Section XIII.: Exclusion of Placemen, &c. From the Right of Voting—mischievousness and Profligacy of the Opposite Arrangement.
- Section XIV.: Universal Constancy of Attendance—its Importance.
- Section XV.: Representatives—impermanence of Their Situation—its Importance:—objections—their Groundlessness.
- Section XVI.: Moderate Reform—its Arrangements—their Inadequacy.
- Section XVII.: Trienniality Inadequate;—annuality Necessary.
- Section XVIII.: Interests Adverse to Adequate Reform—support Given By Them to Moderate, to the Exclusion of Radical: Tories—whigs—people’s Men.
- Catechism of Parliamentary Reform; Or, Outline of a Plan of Parliamentary Reform; In the Form of Question and Answer; With Reasons to Each Article.
- Section I.: Ends to Be Aimed At On the Occasion of Parliamentary Reform.
- Section II.: Means, Conducive Towards These Ends.
- Section III.: Means—their Uses, With Reference to Their Respective Ends.
- Section IV.: Means Conducive to Aptitude In Members: I. Placemen Not to Vote, Nor to Be Seated By Election.
- Section V.: Means, &c. Continued.—ii. Placemen Seated By the King, With Speech and Motion, Without Vote.
- Section VI.: Means, &c. Continued.—iii. Elections Frequent—annual.
- Section VII.: Means, &c. Continued.—iv. Speeches Authentically and Promptly Published.
- Section VIII.: Means, &c. Continued.—v. Attendance, Punctual and General, Secured.
- Section IX.: Inconveniences Incident to Elections, and Election Judicature.
- Section X.: Election Inconveniences—means For Their Removal.
- Section XI.: Collateral Advantages, Referable to the Situations of Electors, Placemen, Lords, &c.
- A Sketch of the Various Proposals For a Constitutional Reform In the Representation of the People, Introduced Into the Parliament of Great Britain, From 1770 to 1812.
- Radical Reform Bill, With Extracts From the Reasons.
- Preliminary Explanations.
- Title of the Proposed Act.
- Section 1.—: Seats and Districts.
- Section 2.—: Electors, Who.
- Section 3.—: Eligible, Who.
- Section 4.—: Election Offices.
- Section 5.: Election Apparatus.
- Section 6.—: Promulgation of Recommendations In Favour of Proposed Members.
- Section 7.—: Voters’ Titles Pre-established.
- Section 8.—: Election, How.
- Section 9.: Election Districts and Polling Districts, How Marked Out.
- Section 10.—: Vote-making Habitations, How Defined.
- Section 11.—: Members’ Continuance.
- Section 12.—: Vacancies Supplied.
- Section 13.—: Security For the House Against Disturbance By Members. †
- Section 14.—: Indisposition of Speakers Obviated.
- Appendix, Including General Explanations.
- Radicalism Not Dangerous. Extracted From the Mss. of Jeremy Bentham. *
- Part I.—: Introduction.
- Section I.: Radical Reform Bill Recapitulated.
- Section II.: Persuasion of the Dangerousness of Radicalism—cause of It, and of the Vituperative Expression Given to It.
- Section III.: Terms of the Accusation,—speeches From the Throne, 16 Th July and 21 St November 1819.
- Section IV.: The Accusation In General Terms—counter-averment.
- Section V.: Plan of This Defence.
- Part II.—: Deference From the General Nature of the Case.
- Section I.: Conditions Necessary to a Man’s Embarking In Such a Design.
- Section VII.: Concurrence In Any Other Extensive Plan of Spoliation Impossible.
- Section VIII.: Concurrence of Any Constituted Authorities Impossible.
- Section IX.: Accomplishment Impossible—design Impossible.
- Section X.: The Talked-of Spunge No Proof of the Design.
- Part III.—: Defence From Experience In the Case of the United States.
- Part IV.: Defence From Particular Experience In the Case of Ireland: Years 1777 Or 1778, to 1783.
- Section I.: Analogy Between This and the Previous Case.
- Section II.: Democratic Ascendency, How Produced.
- Section III.: Fruit of Democratic Ascendency a Golden Age.
- Section IV.: Coincidence of Its Characters With Those of Radicalism.
- Section VI.: Extinction of Democratic Ascendency and Reform—restoration of Monarchico-aristocratical Ascendency, and Its Consequences.
A word or two I must trouble you with, concerning compound interest; for compound interest is discountenanced by the law—I suppose, as a sort of usury. That, without an express stipulation, the law never gives it, I well remember: whether, in case of an express stipulation, the law allows it to be taken, I am not absolutely certain. I should suppose it might: remembering covenants in mortgages that interest should become principal. At any rate, I think the law cannot well punish it under the name of usury.
If the discountenance shown to this arrangement be grounded on the horror of the sin of usury, the impropriety of such discountenance follows of course from the arguments which show the un-“sinfulness of that sin.”
Other argument against it, I believe, was never attempted, unless it were the giving to such an arrangement the epithet of a hard one: in doing which, something more like a reason is given, than one gets in ordinary from the common law.
If that consistency were to be found in the common law, which has never yet been found in man’s conduct, and which perhaps is hardly in man’s nature, compound interest never could have been denied.
The views which suggested this denial, were, I dare to say, very good: the effects of it are, I am certain, very pernicious.
If the borrower pays the interest at the day—if he performs his engagement, that very engagement to which the law pretends to oblige him to conform,—the lender, who receives that interest, makes compound interest of course, by lending it out again, unless he chooses rather to expend it: he expects to receive it at the day, or what meant the engagement?—if he fails of receiving it, he is by so much a loser. The borrower, by paying it at the day, is no loser—if he does not pay it at the day, he is by so much a gainer: a pain of disappointment takes place in the case of the one, while no such pain takes place in the case of the other. The cause of him whose contention is to catch a gain, is thus preferred to that of him whose contention is to avoid a loss—contrary to the reasonable and useful maxim of that branch of the common law which has acquired the name of equity. The gain, which the law in its tenderness thus bestows on the defaulter, is an encouragement, a reward, which it holds out for breach of faith, for iniquity, for indolence, for negligence.
The loss which it thus throws upon the forbearing lender, is a punishment which it inflicts on him for his forbearance: the power which it gives him of avoiding that loss, by prosecuting the borrower upon the instant of failure, is thus converted into a reward which it holds out to him for his hard-heartedness and rigour. Man is not quite so good as it were to be wished he were; but he would be bad indeed, were he bad on all the occasions where the law, as far as depends on her, has made it his interest so to be.
It may be impossible, say you—it often is impossible, for the borrower to pay the interest at the day;—and you say truly. What is the inference? That the creditor should not have it in his power to ruin the debtor for not paying at the day, and that he should receive a compensation for the loss occasioned by such failure. He has it in his power to ruin him, and he has it not in his power to obtain such compensation. The judge, were it possible for an arrested debtor to find his way into a judge’s chamber instead of a spunging-house, might award a proper respite, suited to the circumstances of the parties. It is not possible: but a respite is purchased, proper or not proper, perhaps at ten times, perhaps at a hundred times, the expense of compound interest, by putting in bail, and fighting the creditor through all the windings of mischievous and unnecessary delay. Of the satisfaction due either for the original failure, or for the subsequent vexation by which it has been aggravated, no part is ever received by the injured creditor; but the instruments of the law receive, perhaps at his expense, perhaps at the debtor’s, perhaps ten times, perhaps a hundred times, the amount of that satisfaction. Such is the result of this tenderness of the law.
It is in consequence of such tenderness, that on so many occasions a man, though ever so able, would find himself a loser by paying his just debts—those very debts of which the law has recognized the justice. The man who obeys the dictates of common honesty—the man who does what the law pretends to bid him, is wanting to himself. Hence your regular and securely profitable writs of error in the House of Lords—hence your random and vindictive costs, of one hundred pounds, and two hundred pounds, now and then given in that House. It is natural, and it is something, to find in a company of lords a zeal for justice: it is not natural to find, in such a company, a disposition to bend down to the toil of calculation.