Front Page Titles (by Subject) Public Virtue in the Body of the People. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 10 (Memoirs Part I and Correspondence)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Public Virtue in the Body of the People. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 10 (Memoirs Part I and Correspondence) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 10.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Public Virtue in the Body of the People.
“The great body of the people can have no other virtue but zeal, no other corruption but indifference. It is impossible they can be zealous against their own political interests; but they may be so immersed in their private interests as to neglect them.
“The zeal of the people, which is the virtue of the people, does not depend upon the wisdom with which it chooses its objects: a people may be virtuous, that is, clamorous for very detrimental measures, so as it does but think them right. A people may be virtuous, though warmly attached to one who is nothing less than a friend to his country, so as they do but think him so. If two people present themselves, both alike destitute of pretensions in other respects, but one a favourer, the other an opposer of the court, (so that no particular event have happened to indispose them against the line of conduct pursued by an opposition;) mind which they choose: if they choose the latter, it cannot be said that they want virtue.”