Front Page Titles (by Subject) PREFACE TO THE ORIGINAL EDITION OF BOOK II. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 9 (Constitutional Code)
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PREFACE TO THE ORIGINAL EDITION OF BOOK II. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 9 (Constitutional Code) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 9.
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Of the three volumes of which the proposed constitutional code will consist, the first makes thus its appearance by itself, without waiting for the two others.* To their completion, however, very little is now wanting; they are, both of them, in such a state of forwardness, that, were the author to drop into his last sleep while occupied in the tracing of these lines, able hands are not wanting, from which the task of laying the work before the public would receive its completion.
Of the various concurrent causes of the retardation,—one has been—the desire of the author to attach to this first volume an introductory dissertation, having for its subject-matter the various forms of which the supreme authority in a state is susceptible; and for its object, by bringing to view the advantages and disadvantages of each, to exhibit their respective degrees of elgiibility; meaning always by eligibility, conduciveness to the maximum of the aggregate of happiness. Taking, for the source of distinction and partition, the relative numbers of the ruling and influential one or few, on the one part, and the subject-many on the other,—are therein brought to view—in the first place, the three simple forms of government—monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy; in the next place, the several compounds, actual and possible, capable of being formed by their admixture.
For this discussion, matter—in quantity adequate, or little short of it—has, this long time, been in existence: but, as to form, that which presented itself as the best adapted, has not yet been given to it.†
Under these circumstances, it seems to me, that for the chance of giving to the work, at a point of time not likely ever to arrive, the degree of supposed perfection, the phantasmagoric image of which has, like a New Jerusalem, been always in view,—good economy could not now advise the foregoing the advantage of making application of this same matter, to such measures as are already on the carpet, placed thereon by the authority of government itself. On this consideration it is, that this first volume makes its appearance, without waiting for either of the two next.
The political communities, whose benefit this foremost part of my all-comprehensive Code (or say, in one word, of my Pannomion) has had principally in view—these communities have been for the time present, those, more particularly, which have grown out of the wreck of the Spanish monarchy (not to speak as yet of the Portuguese) in the American hemisphere. To time future—whether before the present generation has passed away, or not till a length of time after, and what length, I cannot take upon me to pronounce—was all along referred the applicability of the work to the use of the British empire.
In saying the work, I meant the whole of it, considered as a whole: for, as to parts of it, in no small quantity, if applicable to any one form of government, so are they to every other; and this, without any diminution of the proportions of power at present possessed by the several constituted authorities.
As to this part, and some others, of the fruits of my unremitted labours,—the cause of their thus meeting the public eye in an unmatured state, is this:—what occurs to me at this moment is—that, if so it be, that they afford any promise of being in any way or degree beneficial to mankind,—it behoves me to make the most of the short remainder of my life, for the purpose of causing them to be brought into the world under my own eye. On this consideration accordingly it is, that I have added to this volume a sort of skeleton of the contents of the two others, in the form of a table of the titles, of the chapters and their several sections.
Continuing the preference thus given to real usefulness over appearances, to this volume or a subsequent one, I have or shall have added similar skeletons, of such of the parts of my proposed Pannomion as regard what, in contradistinction to international, may be designated by the appellation of internal law. These are:—1. The Right-conferring, commonly called the Civil, code:—2. The Wrong-repressing, commonly called the Penal, Code: both belonging to what I call the substantive branch of law:—3. The Procedure Code, constituting what I call the adjective branch:‡ growing—the whole of it together,—and in my view of the matter, without need of distinction,—out of those two sub-branches of the substantive branch.
To a student in the art of legislation, it might be a sort of pastime—taking in hand any one of these same skeletons, to guess all along what may be the composition of the flesh and blood—the muscular and vascular system, destined to be attached to it: as, from the protuberances in the cranium, phrenologists undertake to determine the moral and intellectual contents of the cerebrum and cerebellum:—a sort of puzzle, not calling for more labour than does a game of chess, and assuredly standing somewhat above it in the scale of usefulness.
STATE OF [[ ]].
[* ]This first volume corresponds with Book II. chapter i. to ix. inclusive, of the present edition.—Ed.
[† ]The first book of the present edition has been arranged from the matter which the author had so prepared.—Ed.
[‡ ]See the Procedure Code at length, in vol. ii.—Ed.
[* ][Constitutional Code.] Of the whole Pannomion, the first part in the order of importance, thence in the order of appearance, is this code: in the order of importance, because on the end herein declared, as per section 3, and the means here employed in the first instance for the attainment of it, will depend the several subordinate ends pursued, and the several correspondent sets of means, employed in all the several other codes. Pannomion is, in Greek, the whole body of the laws.