Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER XII.: 1795—1799. Æt. 47—51. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 10 (Memoirs Part I and Correspondence)
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CHAPTER XII.: 1795—1799. Æt. 47—51. - 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.
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1795—1799. Æt. 47—51.
Dumont.—Lord Wycombe.—Duke de Liancourt.—Wilberforce.—Lord St Helens.—Letter on the Treason Bill.—Plan for an Index of Advertisements.—Pole Carew’s Financial Projects.—Dr Colquhoun.—Plans for Improving the Metropolitan Police, and the Westminster Magistracy.—Correspondence with Sir Francis. Baring on Banks and Paper Currency.
The multitude of letters which passed between Dumont and Bentham exhibit the curious workings upon one another of minds constituted of various and sometimes discordant elements. Dumont scarcely ever failed to make Bentham attractive, by the graces of his own style,—and by an infusion of commonplaces, of every-day knowledge, and of familiar illustrations. “You are too metaphysical,” he tells his master, “you write for too small a class,—I must be more diffuse,—more explantory; I must suppress what seems too abstract,—I must spread out what you have condensed.” “You should complete what you are about. We cannot wait for the Greek calends. Everything needs not be said,—everything is not expected to be explained in the same volume.”
Dumont was in the habit of suggesting to Bentham topics for his consideration, in order to fill up any blanks, or to correct any apparent defects in his writings. For example,—to the list of circumstances which influence sensibility, and which are given in the sixth chapter of the Principles of Morals and Legislation, Dumont proposes to add, the seasons; sounds;—music—military music, the voice—soft—sharp—exasperated, &c.; colours, darkness, as inspiring sadness, fear, &c; light; food; noise; silence; motion; repose; sympathy, (machinal) as in a theatre, produced by the presence of multitudes: dress, as distinguishing sex; localities, as an apartment where we have witnessed the death of a friend; symbolical figures; solitude; society; physiognomy, beauty, ugliness.
Quære.—Why is not the word passion in the catalogue,—or why is its absence not explained? There is tendency of the inclinations. Is this the genus, of which the passions are only the species? (Yes! J. B.)
Quære.—Do not habitual occupations belong to circumstances of the second order, inasmuch as their influence must be subordinate to that of health, strength, degree of light, inclinations, fortune, &c.?
Quære.—Should there not be a distinction between the circumstances which determine the quantum and the genus of sensibility, and the accidental or exterior circumstances acting on it and calling it into exercise?
The following letter contains many curious particulars illustrative of Neapolitan politics and Italian customs:
Lord Wycombe to Bentham.
“Naples, October 2, 1795.
“My last was dated on the 24th ult., from Rome, which I quitted the same evening. On the 25th I passed through Terracina, which has been judged a proper residence for those whose lives the government has thought it not expedient to prolong, and which is situated at the extremity of the formidable Palude Pontini, now the Ager Pontinus, since the pope will have it so; for the good pontiff, with his usual vanity, pretends to have regenerated these swamps, and actually has created in them a job for the nephew, if not an accession to the state.
“So angry are the people with the partiality which enables that prince to sell grain out of the country, whilst the government exports specie to bring grain into it, that the former, who probably cannot apologize for opulence by any plea of private worth, much less of public service, is hardly safe within the walls of Rome.
“The industry excited in this quarter, which almost insures ill health and premature diseases, has of course proved fatal to a large proportion of the labourers employed; still, however, the building at Terracina, which must be more or less connected with the improvement of the lands contiguous to it, is progressive, and after the many well-earned imputations which will stain the sacerdotal reign of Pius Sextus have been enumerated, it is but justice to remark, that he has contributed much to the perfection of the roads in the country of which I am speaking, and not a little to the increase of cultivation throughout the state.
“The nullity of the pope, the vacillation of the court, the false and unbecoming part which, through the intrigues of Lady E. M., it acted in the affair of Armfeldt, the discovery of the correspondence carried on through Genoa, the affair of Medicis, the increase of imposts, the insidious project with regard to Leghorn, the jealousy which Acton bore to Caramanico, the change which has taken place in the ostensible existence of the former, and the death of the latter, are topics which cannot be new to you.
“To these topics it appears to me that the history of Neapolitan intrigue may be confined; at least my information does not go beyond them. The main question to be considered here, as elsewhere, is naturally peace or war. The language is extremely warlike: but it is certain that A. prides himself on the address which left it in the power of his Sicilian Majesty to make peace at any time, consistently with the stipulations of the treaty entered into with Great Britain; it is, I believe, scarcely less certain that the conduct observed at Venice accords ill with the language which is held at Vienna; and indubitable that not a shadow of reliance can be placed either on the probity of this court, or on the sincerity of any declaration which its Ministers may make. Upon the whole, I am inclined to think that it is their intention to make peace, but their ambition to bring it about in such a manner as shall leave them independent of the Spanish mediation. In other words that they are anxious to put an end to the risks, and the expenses of the war, but determined to maintain A., who is almost as much detested at Madrid as at Paris and at Naples. The trial of Medici, the Regent of Police, who still continues in confinement, is not as yet commenced. From time to time more persons are arrested. A few days since, a young man, of one of the most illustrious families in Italy, (that of Colonna,) was taken up and confined in a fortress. His crime is supposed to consist in his having sung ‘Ca ira’ two years ago at a supper. This circumstance may serve to show to what an extent suspicion has been carried and authority abused. I have every reason to suppose that even strangers are minutely watched, and that the contents of this letter, if it were sent to the Post-office, would be in a fair way of being reported to Mr Castel Cicala. Last year I was almost proscribed: it seems as if it were intended that I should be smiled upon in this: but such particularities are wholly immaterial.”
“The packet from Palermo arrived upon the 2d, and brought over a young man, nephew to the Prince of Campo Franco, who has been taken up for Jacobinism. Notwithstanding the time which has elapsed, nothing certain is known with regard to Caramanico, the sudden and peculiar circumstances of whose death make suspicion unavoidable. The most probable conjecture seems to be, that he poisoned himself. He had perpetually solicited leave of absence, but was always frustrated by A—. At length leave was granted; but he was hurried off about ten days after his arrival here, and certainly went, saying to some one that he should not come back.
“I live most in habits with the Danish Minister, whom I have always known the same, and liked these ten years. He dines at home, almost every day, with Count Reydern, not now employed, but whom you remember in England, and scarcely anybody else. I am also beholden to a society at Portici, consisting of Lady Hamilton, who is not ignorant of the astonishment with which she strikes me; of the handsome Princess Vintemiglia, who, born in France, unites, as I make no scruple of telling her, a Parisian tournure with the charms of southern countries; of the amiable Countess Corletti, for whom I had a letter from her brother, the Chevalier de Saxe; and of the Russian Minister’s wife, who, if my old friend her husband may be taken at his word, is exceedingly devout, but whose eyes, if I may trust my skill in physiognomy, tell a different story.
“The men, excepting a little commandeur who has seen the world, and the Russian, who is very gay, passably consequential, and communicative with a vengeance, are little better than mutes; I mean in that society. I must, however, do that Nestor in love and politics, Sir W. H., the justice to say, that he is very particular in the mention of the obligations he owes to his friends.
“Upon the 3d, I accompanied the Hamiltons to Monsieur Esterhazy—a stupid, good sort of rich man, who plays whist, because he cannot bear to read; and told me he was ambassadsur de famille, with scarcely another idea in his head. In the meantime, he was doing the honours of a fête, at which the king and queen were present. I was presented to both: the former was as gracious as he could be, without speaking; the latter spoke to me different times in the course of the evening, with the air of a determined maitresse femme, and very well. The rising generation seemed to me not promising. In a corner, I was introduced to the evil genius of this country,—that sinister being, A—, who rarely insults the public by his presence, but, reigning through the medium of an Inquisition, resides in sad obscurity and gloomy opulence, attended by a chosen band of satellites and spies. Lady Hamilton told me, that the queen had assured her that morning, there should be no peace but with the consent of England. She added, ‘I could not think what a domestic, good-hearted woman the queen was!’ The Russian minister’s wife, who is no favourite at Court, was absent through an indigestion, the consequence of eating too much supper.
“I am condemned to stay here till the departure of a ship, in which I mean to go to Sicily; and make a point of telling the ladies that I must quit Naples soon, lest I should grow to like it too well. In point of fact, I am impatient to breathe the sea air, uncontaminated with the breath of strumpets; but this is not so easy as you may imagine, for what with corsairs, quarantines, and French depredation, the Mediterranean has become an odious gulph.
“The new Russian minister, Count Golowkin, is a young man, born and educated at the Hague, who came to Russia not very long before I made an acquaintance with him, which was almost intimate for the time it lasted, at Moscow. I was surprised to find him inveterate against Marcoff, who, he pretends, has not so large a share of influence as is commonly imputed to him; but my surprise increased, when I heard him declare, that the empress had never had, during the whole course of her reign, one minister of whom he would make his secretary. He says, that Osterman, the chief of the Foreign Department, is a man of veracity, but that he knows little of what is passing, and is merely ‘celui qu’on livre à la curiosité des etrangers.’ Besboroolks he calls a ‘masse de chair.’ He reprobates Marcoff. taxing him with profound immorality, with mismanagement of the affairs of Poland, and asserting that it was found necessary to take the business of Courland out of his hands. He declares that Zubow is the real minister; but though he inclines upon the whole to speak well of this favourite of the empress, he evidently thinks him very inferior to himself. He exclaims against the falsehood and tripotage of this Court, which he affects to consider as diminutive: talks of A. as he would of a valet-de-chambre, and of Castel Cicala as a man who got out of his metier of advocate by chance. He vows that the queen of Spain’s great ambition is to imitate the empress, but that she can only do it in the article of favourites; and asserts that Lord M— judged very ill during his mission in China. He does not always judge very well himself, for he cannot get over the circumstance of a box opened at the custom-house by mistake, out of which he affirms that his wife’s petticoats and some other articles have been purloined. He observes, on this occasion, that he is the representatif du souverain le plus marquant de l’ Europe: he desires to know what reparation the Court of Naples would expect in similar circumstances, and begs that reparation may be his. Monsieur de Castel Cicala writes for answer, that, in such a case, the King of Naples would take such and such steps, and would inquire whether his minister enjoyed any personal consideration in the Court to which he was sent. Everything will be done to make his situation disagreeable, if I may judge from little things which I have had occasion to observe.
“The Chevalier de Saxe, whose acquaintance I had great pleasure in making at Rome, and who has lately quitted Petersburg, by order of the empress, for an affair which seemingly does not imply a shadow of discredit, told me that Golowkin had assisted Zubow, who wants political talents, in private; but began, at length, to give umbrage to that favourite, who wished him at a distance. Golowkin is, beyond a doubt, the most indiscreet man alive; but I am bound to speak well of him: he received me with the utmost cordiality, and gave me to understand he dined at home five times a-week.
“It is now high time that I should apologize for having troubled you with this compilation of small talk. A more formal letter, however, might have conveyed a less accurate idea of the present situation of this residence, the business of which is conducted like that of an ill-regulated private family, in which an artful interloper finds a foolish husband in occupation and amusement, enabling, by such means, a dissipated wife to tyrannise over her household, spend the fortune of her family, and give loose to all her passions.
“P. S. I am assured this will be conveyed safely to Rome, where it will be put into the post.”
Bentham to the Duke de Liancourt. (Boston, U. S.)
“Queen Square Place,Westminster,
“My dear Duke,—
I have deferred the acknowledgment of your kind remembrance of me so long ago after the receipt of it, that I begin to be apprehensive lest this letter should not reach the place you indicated to me time enough to find you there. The termination of my negotiations with our treasury, relative to the Penitentiary business, is an epoch of such importance to the remainder of my life, and will make so great a change in my position with relation to all sorts of objects, that I am got into the habit of deferring to that period all sorts of undertakings, permanent and transient, considerable and inconsiderable. Meantime, the intelligence of an opportunity for Boston that will not last beyond Wednesday next, is a warning to me not to postpone any longer the discharge of one of the most agreeable, as well as honourable of my debts.
“Your present has been of real use to me in the way of encouragement and self-satisfaction, and will be of use to me in the way of argument on more occasions than one. The injunction in which you are so earnest has prevented me, and, while it remains unrepealed, must continue to prevent me from giving the public the benefit of the work in any other shape. Statements, relative to matters of fact, depend for their reception upon their apparent title to credit, and their apparent title to credit depends upon a name.
“Your letter did not reach my hands till after the Metcalf family had left London for the summer; and as they have not yet returned, I have not yet had the opportunity of communicating my treasures to the lady in question with the privacy you seem to require; for I am not sufficiently acquainted with the female branches of the family to know whether a letter directed by the post to one would reach her hands without the cognizance of the rest. The great probability is, that all this caution about a matter so well calculated for the public eye, is most perfectly superfluous, and that I am cheating more persons than one of a pleasure which it was not intended to deny them; but seeing explanations barred by the Atlantic, I chose to adhere to the safest side, and to let my mandant, though a Frenchman, see he had got a Spaniard for his mandataire.
“I don’t know whether you saw the Draught of my proposed Contract with Government, in which I inserted a clause for insuring, at my own risk, the lives of the prisoners,—a clause which, with great difficulty, I got allowed. In my book, you may have observed the recommendation, which, in my Contract I have got converted into an obligation, to debar them altogether from the taste of all fermented liquors. Judge how pleasant it was to find by your Report, that when prisoners are cut off from that source of corruption, they live quietly and never die.
“As to my book on Penal Legislation, it is no more than upon a par, in point of forwardness, with half-a-dozen others in the same workshop; and I am inclined to think one on Civil Legislation will get the start of it, or at least accompany it. Whatever turns out at any time, the three copies you do me the honour to bespeak, shall be always at your service. Name me the two friends you allude to, and their copies shall be sent them from hence in the event of your departure. All the productions of that same workshop have been cruelly retarded by the dilatoriness, and (I won’t say how many other pretty qualities besides) of our higher powers: two-thirds at least of the time that has elapsed since I had the honour of seeing you, has been consumed, in fighting them, or dangling after them in antechambers and passages. To save time on one hand, while so much was wasting on the other, the plan was, that Dumont should take my half-finished manuscripts as he found them—half English, half English-French, and make what he could of them in Genevan-French, without giving me any further trouble about the matter. Instead of that, the lazy rogue comes to me with everything that he writes, and teazes me to fill up every gap he has observed.
“My contract, though every tittle has been agreed on, is not even yet signed: consequently, my brother’s inventions (I mean those of the peaceable kind) have remained hitherto unemployed. In his military capacity, he is preparing some dishes for the entertainment of your countrymen, and my fellow-citizens, the Pandemonians. Talleyrand may perhaps be amongst them again by this time. I hope Beaumetz is of the party, if he wishes it; but I rather wish than hope they may find themselves as well off in their redintegration as you are, I hope, in your banishment. While I write, the news is arrived of the Sections and the Convention being employed in cannonading each other—the result not known, though the Sections appear to have the worst. Quiet seems now as far off as ever. I can see no issue to such a dispute. You may remember how the English sang froid was kept for year after year in a flame, upon the electors of one of the counties conceiving they had one single representative forced upon them to the prejudice of Wilkes, whom, after they had got him, and tried him, they turned their backs upon.
“Apropos of my brother’s inventions, do you know of anybody where you are, or where you have been, who would like to be taught how to stock all North America with all sorts of woodwork, without exception, (shipping not excepted,) besides a number of other et ceteras, by machinery, on the terms of allowing the inventor a share of the profits as they arise?—Wheels, for example. Small ones by way of models, were executed, I believe, when you were here last; now, we have full-sized ones, round, to a degree of perfection in point of rotundity, never before exemplified. If the preliminary steps that have been taken by the Admiralty terminate as is intended, he will soon have the direction of the whole system of naval works put into his hands, with the title of Inspector-general of the Navy. A plan which the Navy Board had devised, and proceeded a good way in the execution of, for the enlargement of the dockyard works at Portsmouth, has just been stopped by the Admiralty Board, and a very different one of his contrivance ordered to be substituted in the room of it. My paper is just out, to say nothing of your patience. By my gratitude for past communications, and attention to past commands, judge of the value I should set upon any future ones; and believe me, with the most cordial respect, yours ever.
“The Irish Administration has applied to me once more to set up Panopticon there.”
Bentham to Lord Lansdowne.
“Queen’s Square Place,Westminster,
“My good Lord,—
Permit me thus humbly to solicit your lordship’s assistance, if haply the matter should be found to lie within the sphere of feasibility, in a business of cardinal importance. It would, I dare believe, have been recognised as such by your lordship’s late venerable friend, now a saint in Heaven, the Cardinal de Bernis—Cardinal Frampton, (if I may avail myself of a privilege annexed to my quondam profession, and according to one of the rules established in virtue of that privilege, speak of a thing as done, which ought to have been done,) I mean always the pious and learned luminary of our own Church, by whose grave and judicious estimates of men preferable, and things edible—I have in days of yore been edified at your lordship’s table. Dr Frampton, in a word—who, were this a world for merit and reward to meet in, would have been Cardimal—would, I am sure, have confirmed my humble opinion of the importance of this subject by the sanction of his superior name, nor would his sympathetic feelings have disdained to descend so far from his high dignity as to lend his support to the humble request which, without farther preface, and having too just a sense of the value of a time which constitutes so valuable a portion of the national property, to seek to encroach upon it by long-winded digressions, I will venture to express.
“That bread is dear—that I have none of it to eat, nor have had for a course of years, are unhappy truths, none of which can be any secret to your lordship. In the meantime, as is the custom with people in distress, I endeavour to support my drooping spirits by the brightest prospect I can figure to myself of better times. I had once, may it please your lordship, a French cook, who quitted me with reluctance, and whom her importunities have prevailed on me to say, I would take her back again, should that Providence which supplied the late Dr Squintum, of reverend memory, with leg of mutton and turnips, vouchsafe, at some future period, to grant me anything to cook; in the meantime, I should be glad to send her out anywhere, where she could pick up a few crumbs of science, as a man who finds himself unable to maintain his horse in the stable the whole year round, is glad during a certain part of the year to pack off the beast to a salt-marsh, or a straw-yard. Your lordship’s kitchen has ever been regarded by the best judges as one of the richest pastures in the kingdom for the sort of cattle I am speaking of: and could I be so fortunate as to obtain from your lordship’s kindness, and from the patronage of your lordship’s chief cook, free ingress, egress, and regress for the same, for, in, to, and upon the said pasture, during the day, (for it is not necessary that she should be levant or couchant thereupon,) my present distresses might, by a happy metamorphosis, become the fruitful sources of future advantage. She is not altogether destitute of that measure of science attainable by the superiority of her sex, (a remark which I insert for the purpose of preventing this letter from straying into female hands,) and, upon great occasions, such as that of Comacho’s wedding, or any other wedding, might not be altogether unworthy of supporting the train of one of your lordship’s junior kitchen-maids.
“Should your lordship happen to possess interest enough, through any channel, however indirect, such as the one I have made bold to allude to, I will not permit myself to doubt of its being exerted in my favour, and with prevailing efficacy. In the utmost severity of my distresses, I have, through the kindness of neighbours, been preserved from absolute want in regard to all the necessaries of life, my baker and butcher having humanely joined with a compassionate barrow-woman, at the end of the lane, in supplying me, every Lord’s-day, with a shoulder of mutton, supported upon a trivet, and forming a dripping canopy, distilling fatnees over a mess of potatoes sufficiently ample to furnish satisfaction to the cravings of nature during the remainder of the week. Should some prosperous and scarce promisable turn in the wheel of fortune transform, at any time, the shoulder into a leg, and set the deep-rusted spit to retrace its once accustomed revolutions, what an addition would it be to my happiness, on some anspicious day, to present your lordship with the emanation of culinary science reflected from your lordship’s kitchen, and offer an apposite, however inferior, tribute of gratitude on the board, as well as from the bosom, of one who has the honour to be, with everlasting respect, my lord, your lordship’s most obedient and most humble servant,
“The distressed Occupier of
“P.S. Not a doit this Christmas from a noble lady. She has offered me a potde vin, Anglicè, a pot of beer, per favour of the Rev. Mr Debarry, but an unliquidated one, to let her off; and her project seems to be to starve me into compliance. But solvable tenants (solvent or no) are not let off for their beaux yeux, how beaux soever, when their turn is served, especially by impoverished heirs who could not make so much as legal interest, were it even regularly paid, for the money sunk by improvident ancestors.
“General Buckley, the landlord paramount, never lets me rest unless he has his pound of flesh the moment it is due; nor would my utmost distress now prevail upon him to wait as I have been made to wait, by noble ladies pleading their beaux yeux. I learn the baked shoulders must soon cease, unless some kind friend should whisper into one of the ears contiguous to the beaux yeux, not that necessity has no law, (for that would be worse than nothing,) but that necessity has law, and that John Doe has a long coach in waiting, into which he is ready, at a moment’s warning, to hand any lady of his said mother’s recommending to him, in one of his tours through Middlesex.”
Dumont says, in a letter of 23d April, 1796:—
“I must appeal from the air of England to the climate of Switzerland, in a lawsuit which, for the last four or five months, I have been carrying on with my malady. One of my sources of enjoyments will be your MSS., of which I shall make extracts for publication in the Bibliotheque Britannique, which is now managed by two very superior editors.
“If I lose the said lawsuit, you shall not be the worse for it. I have made all the necessary arrangements for the fit disposal of your works.”
The following letter to Wilberforce, develops a project which Bentham had formed of endeavouring to use his influence in France, for the benevolent purpose of reëstablishing friendly relations with that country. Other than in Wilberforce’s reply, I find no reference to the topic in any succeeding correspondence.* A copy of the letter to Wilberforce was sent to Lord St Helens, whose answer follows it:—
Bentham to William Wilberforce.
“My worthy Friend.—
Extraordinary crises call for extraordinary measures; and may even throw a veil of gravity on what might otherwise appear ridiculous. Read the extract beneath: it may serve as a text to the practical discourse that follows it.
“ ‘Paris, 26th Thermidor, (13th August,)—Executive Directory—Public Audience of the 20th Thermidor, (7th August)—Extract from the Speech of M. Vincent Spinola, Envoy Extraordinary from the Republic of Genoa to that of France.
“ ‘. . My fellow-citizens have cast their eyes upon me. They have thought that he who has so often had assurances of confidence from the Representatives and Generals of the French Republic, will have, Citizen Directors! some title to yours.’
“Reply of the President of the Executive Directory to M. Spinola—concluding passage:—
“ ‘The Executive Directory sees with satisfaction, that the Genoese Government has chosen for its representative to the French Republic, a citizen who has acquired the reputation of being a friend to humanity, and to the liberty of French Republicans.’
“Above, you see the occasional cause of an idea which, however whimsical, and whether practicable or no, proves at least to have something like a foundation in precedent, and experience. We must sooner or later have done fighting with Pandemonium: and upon that occasion may find it advisable to look out for some sort of a candle to hold to the princes of the devils. Waiving devils and candles, might it not contribute to smooth the approach to peace, if in the steps taken, whatever they may be, towards that end, use were made in some shape or other of some person, the choice of whom might, upon the strength of some conspicuous and incontestable attribute, stamped, as it were, upon his forehead, appear intended purposely as a compliment to them, and indicative of a disposition to humour and flatter them? Now, then, my good friend, where is that sort of person, the choice of whom for such a purpose, could be more likely to prove flattering to them than that of one of the chosen few, on whom they took it in their heads to confer that sublimest of all earthly honours, that highest of all degrees in the climax of equality, the title of French Citizen? Looking over the list, among the seventeen of which it is composed, I observe six British; and among those six, none but yourself and your humble servant, who are not reputed Republicans, unless it be your journeyman labourer in the Vineyard of the Slave Trade, Mr Clarkson, of whose sentiments in Constitutional matters I am not apprized. What say you, then, to an expedition to Paris upon occasion, properly dubbed and armed, not à la J—n, to devour the country; but à la Wilberforce, to give peace to it? The knight of Yorkshire at any rate—his fellow-citizen, if so please his knightship, in quality of his humble squire to keep his armour in order, and brush his shoes?
“As to yourself, every man, since Thales gave him the hint, knows himself, at least as much of himself as a man likes to know; and therefore of yourself, speaking to yourself, I need say nothing.
“As to your obscure and humble would-be-follower, who has the prophet-like property of being still more unknown in his own country than in the next, in addition to the grand article above spoken of, the following are the titles that might help to recommend him to an embrace of condescending fraternity from the five kings.
“1st. A sketch of the Panopticon plan, printed by order of their second Assembly, with a letter of mine before it: a sort of certificate of Civism, such as no other non-Frenchmen that I know of could display.
“2nd. An invitation in form, given me here by Talleyrand in the name of the Directory of the Department of Paris, desiring the Duc de la Rochefoucauld’s presidency to go and set up Panopticons of different sorts there. Witnesses at least, and, for aught I know, the Minutes are still in existence.
“3d. In Brissot’s, as well as Mirabeau’s periodicals, flaming eulogiums of some extracts of my papers on the Judicial Establishment which I sent to the first Assembly, (before they had taken to plundering, &c.,) and which the Abbé Sieyes (proverbial there for jealousy and self-sufficiency) prevented, in spite of the endeavours of the Duc de la Rochefoucauld, Brissot, and others, (appearing in some measure from letters of theirs in my possession,) prevented, I say, from being translated and printed.
“4th. An acquaintance made in London with Brissot in the days of his obscurity and innocence followed by marks of esteem and confidence on his part, widened by a bundle of letters of his, beginning 25th January, 1783, ending 6th November, 1790, relics of that protomartyr, which happen to remain unburnt, and which a noble Scotch worshipper of his is welcome at any time to kiss without a fee.
“Brissot used his endeavours afterwards to get me returned to the Convention, and (but for the instances of a friend of mine, who, happening to be there at the time, feared its drawing me into a scrape) was likely, as that friend afterwards told me, to have got my name added to those of Payne and Priestley. The whole business as perfectly strange to me, till months afterwards, as to the Pope of Rome. Don’t let it mortify you too much, but we three (two P and a B) were made grandees of the first class,—set down in petto for Solons,—fenced off from the gens en sous ordre by a semicolon—an impayable semicolon! We being thus intrenched and enthroned, after us they let in a parcel of corn-consumers,—the Wilberforces, the Washingtons, fortemque Gyan, fortemque Cloanthum.
“Some friends of mine (apropos of Brissot) used often to be attacking me, in those early days, for having anything to say to so poor a creature. My defence used to be, that he seems a quiet, good-humoured sort of man, and was of use to me in procuring books and literary information.
“5th. The business your Excellency would have to do, would consist principally, I suppose, in chaffering about colonies. As to this matter, while vanity would join with duty in engaging us both to strain every nerve in the endeavour to retain whatever you were intrusted to haggle for, the printed opinions of your humble second would give him that sort of advantage in point of argument, and afford him such a certificate of sincerity in the use of it, as can hardly be to be found elsewhere. What theministersays to younow,is no more than what the man said to you at the beginning—We are an infatuated people:youa wise one. Give us what we want, you see it will be no loss to you. In this point of view, at least, how much fitter a man with such opinions, than one who could never open his lips without impressing people with the importance of the very objects which it was his business to prevail upon them to give up!
“True it is, that were they to see an analysis I have by me of their favourite Declaration of Rights, there is not, perhaps, a being upon earth that would be less welcome to them than I could ever hope to be; but there it lies, with so many other papers that would be equally obnoxious to them, very quietly upon my shelf; and though no man can be more averse to simulation, even in the best cause, yet no man, according to my conception, is bound to suppress any ideas that he happens to have in common with those whom his business is to conciliate, still less to fling at their heads any that he happens to entertain in opposition to theirs, because no man is bound to get his head broke to no use. With these reserves, what renders everything of simulation the less necessary is, a general principle of human nature—a certain propensity we have, as often as we observe a man’s ideas meeting our own in a prominent point or two—to jump at the like conclusion with regard to all manner of other points. But of all people the most remarkable for their precipitancy in this way are surely the French. I met with a Frenchman once, whom nothing would persuade, that Priestley, whom he had been talking with, was not an Atheist, as well as himself; because they happened to agree on some points relative to matter and free will. Priestley foamed with rage at the imputation, but the Frenchman was not to be so taken in. Priestley, on his part, was even with him; for he would no more believe the Frenchman’s Atheism, than the Frenchman his Theism. If you and I, their adopted brethren, with our recorded merits, were to go and shake hands with them, and call them fellow-citizens, we might say what we would,—for the first month at least,—they would no more believe it possible for us to ‘honour the king’ that sent us, than the man believed it possible for Priestley to ‘fear God.’
“Were it to fall to their lot to send to us on a similar errand, who the messenger were, so long as there were nothing about him particularly offensive, would here, I believe, be regarded as a matter of very considerable indifference. But in their instance, the examples of the vent they give in this way to their humours, good or bad, are as abundant as they are notorious. This Spinola, and I believe many others, on the one side; on the other, Carlildé, the Swedish Envoy, whom they shut the door against t’other day,—the Pope’s Nuntio, and the Sardinian Minister, whom they sent packing, with others who might be found, I suppose, in plenty, if there were any use in it.
“Suppose them, on the other hand, applied to in the ordinary way—suppose them, in that case, refusing to treat with your great friend—suppose their insolence to rise to such a pitch (and to what pitch may not French insolence rise?)—would not his option be rather an awkward one?—to deprive the country of one of two things—the benefit of his services, or the blessings of peace? Would it not be a satisfaction to you, before the dilemma came upon him, to step in and save him from it? However slight the danger on one hand—however uncertain the efficacy of the prevention on the other, yet the expedient being so simple, and so cheap, might it not be worth while to take the chance of it? Has not there been already an instance? Tuscany, I believe, (the events of the time succeed one another with such rapidity, that, without a particular call for attention, the impression vanishes.) Has not there been an instance of their actually forcing a sovereign to discard his principal minister? There is some difference, indeed, between that country, whatever it may have been, and this country, it is true; and thence comes the hope that, in our instance, they may satisfy themselves with the sort of complimentary (though an instance of mere common civility, and no more than what good breeding, joined to prudence, would dictate between man and man) submission proposed,—whereas, in the other instance, nothing short of dismission could be accepted. There is the invasion too; and though, at the long run, I should not much expect that many who came over on that errand would get back again, unless by a cartel, yet, make the best of it, the final destruction on one side, would be but an indifferent compensation for the intervening confusion on the other.
“On an occasion like this, it is impossible for me to avoid thinking of an excellent friend of mine—an acquaintance of yours to boot—a veteran in the trade, and who, in these hard times, adds high dignity to great worth, without a morsel of bread. I need scarce say how absurd it would be for me to name myself in company with him, were it not for the above-mentioned accidental peculiarities, but for which I should as soon have thought of offering myself for the command of an army as for any such purpose as the present. On the supposition of your declining the business, I would black his shoes with as much fidelity as yours, and would black them literally rather than see him a sufferer by my means.
“Your great friend, were this to reach his eye or his ear, might smile; but there are times in which, for a chance, how faint soever, of being of use, a man may be excused for exposing himself to a smile; and, if I may address myself to you, my good friend, as to a confessor, when looking round me, I observe those who, taken from a situation once my own, without any such marked though accidental recommendations, have given satisfaction in this very line, I fear not to say to myself—ed io anchio—I too am capable of going on an errand.
“Should the general idea happen to meet your approbation, make whatever you think best of it; nor let your friendship conceive, that, because it is from me that the suggestion happens to have come, there is any necessity of my having anything more to do with it. On the other hand, should I be supposed capable of being made useful, make use of me, in any way, without reserve. Believe me, with the truest respect and affection, yours ever.
“P.S.—In the papers of this very day, I read the following articles:—‘Times, Sept. 1st.—From the Paris Papers, Aug. 25-27.—Italy, Aug. 6.—The French, it is said, require the exclusion of the Chevalier Acton from the Ministry of the Court of Naples. Herald, Sept. 1.—From the Paris papers, Aug. 25-27.—Rome, July 27th.—The Chevalier Azzara was chosen by M. Miot, and Barbery was appointed to represent the Pope. But in the first day the conferences were broken up, and M. Azzara declared he would not treat with Barbery, whom he looked upon as one of the principal causes of the ruin of the State.”
William Wilberforce to Bentham.
“Buxton,Saturday night, 3d September, 1796.
“My dear Sir,—
My eyes smart sadly, so I must only reply in the mercantile style—‘received your letter, and note the contents.’
“There is much in what you urge, and I will turn it in my mind; but I doubt if anything can be made of it, for reasons which I should have no scruple to tell you, but which don’t care to write.
“You mention no more about your affair, than if no such thing had ever existed: it was wrong; because you might be sure I should wish to know the state of it. I hope, yet I fear to draw the inference, that all is at length well over. Farewell,—continue to think of me as of one who is, with every friendly wish, sincerely yours,
“P.S.—Do you in one part allude to Lord St H.? I have a reason for asking.”
Lord St Helens to Bentham.
“Bath, 10th September, 1796.
“Many thanks to you, my dear Sir, for your obliging communication of your epistle to Mr Wilberforce, which I have perused with much satisfaction and relish, it being perfectly in your own inimitable style of cookery, both as to flavour and seasoning. You may be assured that there is nothing whatsoever in your project that can exhibit you in the character of an intriguant, or in any other colours than your true and proper ones, of a most zealous and disinterested Publicolist. But, for the rest, though I am sincerely of opinion that, quoad J. B., nobody ever could be better fitted than yourself for the commission in question, I must confess that I have my doubts whether your quality of French citizen, instead of adding to your recommendability as much as you seem to suppose, would not, on the contrary, be somewhat of a drawback. For though in ordinary times it is undoubtedly the part of a judicious Government to select, for its agents abroad, such persons as will probably be acceptable to the sovereigns to whom they are deputed; yet in the present circumstances, and considering the present humour of the French, it seems to me that a compliment of that sort would be wholly unseasonable; since it would be next to impossible to prevent its wearing the appearance of a most unworthy and degrading compliance with their arrogant and unwarrantable pretensions. You will perhaps make light of this scruple, and reply to it, by asking with the honest Llewellyn—What! because the enemy is an ass, and a fool, and a prating coxcomb, is it meet, look you, that we should also be a fool, and an ass, and a prating coxcomb? I answer, most certainly not: but there is a wide difference between the imitating the extravagancies of an enemy, and the refusing to give way to them; and though I am ready to admit that, in the course of events, the circumstances of the two countries might be such as to warrant the French in imposing, and our Government in submitting to, highly disadvantageous terms of peace, with respect to territory, &c., yet I do aver, that no advantage of war could entitle them to interfere, in the slightest respect, in our domestic government; and that it would be our duty to resist any such pretension to the last gasp of our existence; and for this plain reason—that to submit to it, would be, in fact, to cease to exist as an independent nation. Accordingly, putting the case which you suppose, and which is, in truth, not unlikely to happen, that the French should require the dismission of Mr Pitt, as they have required that of the King of Sardinia’s minister the Comte de Hurteville, I am persuaded that the consequence would be a unanimous address of both Houses to His Majesty, praying him to continue Mr Pitt in office,—nay, more,—I have that opinion of Mr Fox’s character, that I am more than half-inclined to believe that he would be the very man to move the resolution. There is, I own, a great deal of ipse dixit in all this, but I am the rather inclined to trust my own judgment upon the point in question, from my having had repeated occasion to observe that my feelings in matters of this kind, as compared with those of my countrymen in general, are much more apt to be under, than above, the standard spirit-proof.
“I must, moreover, assure you, that my objection as stated above, does not arise from any jalousie de métier; for, though I do not care to diminish the favourable opinion that you are pleased to entertain of me, by any over-frank confession; and though, if the commission in question were tendered to me, I should probably accept it; yet, I am quite certain, that I should be infinitely better pleased, both on the public account and on my own, to see it intrusted either to yourself or Mr Wilberforce.
“I am just arrived here from Bristol, where I have been partly to visit a sick friend, and partly to try to get rid of a troublesome cough which has been hanging upon me the whole summer. But those waters have done me no manner of service; and I have, in truth, but little reason to hope that these will be more efficacious, and I therefore propose returning in about a fortnight to town, where I hope to have the pleasure of finding you.
“Adieu, my dear Sir.—Ever faithfully yours,
Bentham to Lord St Helens.
“Q. S. P., September, 1796.
“My dear Lord.—
Make yourself easy—no such tender will be made to you. The Ethiopian must have changed his skin, before anybody who is eminently fit for a business will be charged with it. Since, therefore, you will risk nothing by the promise, promise me, that if you go, you will take me with you; not as Secretary of Legation for the reasons that you mention, but without a title, character, and even for reasons that I will mention, without so much as my own name. My person, such as it is, has the honour to be sufficiently unknown to them; but my name in that conspicuous, and at the same time subordinate situation, might impregnate them with umbrage. An adopted French citoyen, the third man in the universe, after a natural one, put under a vile aristocrat, a malignant, who bears the mark of malignancy upon his very name—a colleague and confederate of the ci-devant monarchy, a crony and support of the ancien régime!
. . . . .*
French citizenship, no, never! My name is John Brown. I am sober and honest—capable of bringing a parcel from Paris to London, when it is made up; and even of copying a letter if bid, after a little instruction from a master, though not a writing one. My business would be to make myself master of the freshest discoveries in French chemistry, and my amusement to pick up what political intelligence I could from your lordship’s maitre d’hôtel, and principal valet-de-chambre.
“Your lordship’s history of future contingents I admit to be correct as far as it goes; but my copy happens to have another page in it. The resolution was moved, carried, as yourself has it, by Mr Fox, (Mr Pitt being absent,) and carried without any dissentient in the lower house; and without any but Lord Stanhope’s in the upper. Message from his majesty full of satisfaction, firmness, and dignity. But then next day came Mr Pitt with a speech, the most brilliant of any upon record, expressing in proud language, his humble, but unalterable resolution, on no consideration whatever, to stand between his country and the blessings of peace.
“As to the dukedom that he got, and the pensions and grants of land confirmed by parliament, and the cenotaph prepared for him by his father’s side, with the most brilliant toasts of the speech sparkling in capitals on the pediment, are they not written in the chronicles of the kings of Johanni-taurinia?”
Bentham sent, in 1796, the following article to the Morning Herald:—
Observations on the Treason Bill;†
By a Well-Wisher to the Object of it.
“The proposition assumed as the principle of the Bill, is, that the protection afforded by the laws in being to the person of the sovereign, and to the constitution of the realm, fails of being adequate to the purpose: to supply the deficiency is accordingly the object of the bill.
“Admitting the principle, and approving most cordially of the object, I will venture to hazard a few observations on the provisions of detail, by which that object is pursued.
“In many instances they appear to me to go beside the mark, tending, in appearance at least, to involve the innocent in the punishment, and, at any rate, in the terror, intended only for the guilty. In other instances, they appear to fall short of the mark, leaving, or even rendering the intended protection weak or inefficient. I proceed to the consideration of the several particular passages by which these general apprehensions have been suggested; and, in proportion as the several supposed defects present themselves, I shall take the liberty of proposing such alterations as appear calculated to afford the proper remedies.
“I. Sect. 1. Description of the treason—Words descriptive of the intentions respecting the person of the king. Among these words I find the word imagine—I would humbly propose to leave it out—I must confess myself to have a very near interest, indeed, in the omission—a personal interest of the highest nature. If to imagine the death of the king be treason, then am I a traitor—I, who am imagining it in the sole view and purpose of contributing to the prevention of it. Judges, jury, counsel, audience, all who contribute to, or are present at the trial of a traitor of the description in question, will be traitors. Who, in short, is there in the whole country that will not be a traitor? To imagine is to figure to one’s self. There is no occult meaning, no Saxon, no Gothic, no Runic etymology in it. It is of Latin origin: we all know whence it comes. The verb to imagine, imaginari, is from the substantive imago, image. To imagine a transaction, is to raise up, or simply to contain the image, the picture of that transaction in one’s mind. A man at this rate may be a traitor, not only without any fault, but without so much as any action whatever on his part. Under a clause thus worded, the case of the subject would be rather of the hardest; not only any man may of himself become a traitor, without his knowing anything of the matter, but any man may fasten upon any other, and make a traitor of him in spite of his teeth. A man who, in obedience to his majesty’s proclamation, should repair to a magistrate to give information of the villain who threw the stone, would, before his information was so much as completed, have planted the taint of treason in the bosom of the magistrate; for, in short, if a man will be talking to me about a plot, or anything else, how can I help imagining it? Not a human being in the country will be safe asleep any more than awake. If, in a dream, I imagine an assassin attacking the person of his majesty, and myself defending that sacred person, I am a traitor under this clause. Dionysius punished men as traitors for their dreams.—Is it really necessary to the preservation of his majesty, that he should be converted into a Dionysius?
“It was in hate, or in wrath, (I forget which, the difference is not great,) that the Psalmist, as he himself has the candour to confess, took upon him to say, “All men are liars.” May I venture to ask, whether the learned penner of this clause may not have been in a predicament a little similar to that of the Psalmist, when he took upon him thus to declare, “All men shall be traitors?” Laws made with pure and laudable intentions, directed to a laudable and important object, should not be made to go out of the way, for the mere purpose of putting on the language of an odious and useless tyranny.
“All this while, what I am perfectly aware of, and equally ready to admit, is, that in common parlance, (I mean common legal parlance,) the language of an act of Parliament, or other law instrument, is not, in the estimation of learned gentlemen, reputed legal, unless it contain a certain quantity of surplusage, composed of words which add nothing to the sense. But, with great submission, with all the submission becoming a man who has too long ceased to be learned to have any pretensions to that title, it is sufficient that the surplusage should not add anything to the sense intended; it is not necessary that, to the sense really intended by the authors of the measure, it should add another sense, as odious to their feelings, as it is remote from their intentions.”*
Two specimens of epistolary communications, the first to Lord Lansdowne, the second to Miss F—, are remarkable for their oddity:—
The Generous Friend—A Lincoln’s Inn Tale.
From the Sentimental Chronicle.
“A friend of Citizen Romilly’s, calling on him one day, and observing a cloud upon his brow, ventured to ask the cause. ‘The cause?’ (exclaimed the citizen, pointing to the lacerated back of Chamfort.) ‘See there, and tell me whether I can ever look Lord Lansdowne in the face again?’ The friend, in the handsomest manner imaginable, immediately offered to take the blame from off the shoulders of the citizen and set it upon his own, where it has been accordingly lying ever since.
“Generosity like this, does it not deserve to be—rewarded, I was going to to say—I meant no more than to be rescued from infamy at least, to say nothing of oblivion? Ever since a certain speech, made in a certain house, it has been infamous not to have read the ‘Attorney’s Guide,’ (not the ‘Guide to the Practice of the King’s Bench,’ but) ‘to the History of Florence,’ and, at the same time impossible to obtain it—even to those who have money—a fortiori to those who have none. If then—some time within these two or three months—but the substance of an oration is sometimes contained in an expressive silence.”
“Mr Bentham begs of Miss F—, to commission Lord Lansdowne to acquaint Miss F—that he, the aforesaid Mr B., accepts with much acknowledgment, the favour to act upon the terms and conditions, and according to the true intent and meaning of the covenant proposed; videlicet, that, in proper time, a meeting of all proper parties shall be holden at the proper, and only proper place, at which a proper and distinct judgment of the proficiency of the intended pupil can be formed—proper security being previously given, by all proper and necessary parties, against all treasons, treacheries, conspiracies, deceits, impositions, snares, wiles, tricks, impostures, quirks, quibbles, equivocations, mental reservations, backslidings, tergiversations, and all other artifices, to wit, as well all and singular treasons, &c., set forth, and now remaining, &c., as of record, &c., in the Register Roll, &c., at Pixpowder Court, &c., in Albemarle Street, &c., entitled, Liaisons Dangereuses, as all other artifices, frauds, and contrivances whatsoever.
“Mr Bentham begs of Miss F—to desire Lord Lansdowne, to return Miss F—innumerable thanks for the many thanks with which she has been pleased to overpay a humble tribute of ancient respect, far short of being worthy of so rich and unexpected, and for so many years, not to say ages, unprecedented a reward.”
In the year 1827, Bentham gave me the following account of a project for facilitating reference to newspaper advertisements, entertained by him at this period:—
“It was about thirty years ago I was acquainted with an extraordinary man, named Skinner, a captain of marines, who, among other talents, had a talent for decyphering, which he possessed in perfection. I remember taking a passage from ‘Smith’s Wealth of Nations,’ and inventing a new cipher for every line. He returned it to me written out the next day.
“My scheme was this: I considered that the number of advertisements was immense. No man had time to read every advertisement. The scheme was, to publish every day a paper, called ‘The Indicator,’ the object of which was to lead to the paper where the advertisement was, but not to give information enough without reference to the original paper. So I thought that, if it could be properly managed, the establishment of such a paper would be a grand affair. We went to work—found formulas. I do not know what came in the way, except that Skinner killed himself, after having lost his money by dabbling in the funds. He was a man of gentle manners—an extreme republican—who went beyond me in those days. He was violent and indiscriminate in all opposition to government. I remember he was hurt by the manner in which I spoke of Lord Lauderdale, whom I thought a very hubble-bubble, trumpery creature—in which opinion, early formed, I have been abundantly confirmed. The thing that cooled me was the knowledge that it could not go on without government. I mentioned it to George Rose, but he knew a peremptory refusal would meet any proposal of mine.”
In a letter to an acquaintance at Portsmouth, (Mr Lindegren,) Bentham gives an odd account of his abode at Hendon, (28th August, 1798):—
“Your eyes have never yet, I think, been blessed with a sight of this my absconding place. You would find, if you condescend to accept of it, bed as well as board, though in an old farmhouse, and in as homely a state as you could well conceive; yet, I hope, not absolutely in an uncomfortable one. Give me a day or two’s notice, for fear I should chance to be in London when you arrive; besides, that I might perhaps have papers to fetch from thence. The house is the first house you come to beyond the eighth mile-stone on the road through Hampstead to Mill Hill. The farmer’s name is Arnott.
“Why not in Q. S. P.? Because the papers that would be to be looked at, and the conversations they might give rise to, would require a clear day, undisturbed by some unpleasant ideas that would beset me there just now: besides that my dog’s hole here—the only one in which I am comfortable—is a country that you have never visited; nor does S. B. know anything of this, nor do I intend mentioning it to him, nor would I wish you to mention it to him, till I have seen or heard from you.
“As to time, don’t let me stand accused of making you injure your business to run a-gaping after what may turn out to be moonshine; but, notwithstanding all this mystery, you see enough of the business to be sensible, that what may be feasible to-day, may cease to be so to-morrow; I have seen so much reason to subscribe to the maxim nothing comes of anything that I could scarce wish you to come on purpose; but if you happen to be already in town, or to fancy a call to town, so much the better; and I flatter myself that, after so many unsocial months, you would not grudge eight miles for the sake of meeting the embraces of a friend who is not the less sensible to your persevering kindness, from his having said so little of it, and who can truly say, he has never remained unstung by the recollection of it for twelve hours together from the commencement of his experience of it.
“As to poor Panopticon, the Treasury have ordered in a bill, which has already been perused and approved of by the Attorney and Solicitor General, for the appropriation of Tothill Fields; and have, moreover, ordered to be given, in due time, certain notices which, in the case of an enclosure bill, (to which class that in question has been deemed to belong,) must be given before the month of September is at an end. For this I am indebted, I suppose, more or less, to a report of the Committee of Finance. It contains more than one text upon which I should have to preach to you.
“Remember me, with most cordial respect, to Mrs L. If I am destined ever to receive pleasure from society again, as heretofore, hers would be among the very first in which I should begin to look for it.”
Sir Reginald Pole Carew had put into Bentham’s hands his “Ideas on Financial Reform,” which led to the correspondence which follows:—
Bentham to Pole Carew.
“My dear Sir,—
Your Finance Papers are now sprawling out before me in form, and have already afforded me very important information, which, I am satisfied, I could not have obtained from any other source. In testimony of the respect I feel for the work, as well as my wish not to be regarded as ungrateful by its author, behold, without further preface, the following offer: Say you will print it, together with my observations, and my observations shall be written: as to names, whether both shall appear or neither, or one and which, without the other, that shall be exactly as you please; but I must know before I write, whether my own part will appear or no, because, if it does, I must suppress a good deal of what I might otherwise insert: for example, what concerns your great man, of whom my sentiments are such as it would be neither prudent nor even decent to exhibit with my name. [Upon second thoughts, no use in any such personalities; they being all beside the purpose.] My observations might likewise be either in the form of a perpetual commentary, like Barbeyrac’s on Puffendorf, or in a separate work: and this should also be as you pleased. Moreover, where we don’t agree, I give you the last word. You engage not to leave out anything either of the text or of the observations on it: but you reply to the observations what you please, and it rests with you to put or not to put your own name. My copyright I sell to you for twelve copies, by which I shall make an exceeding good bargain; but I cannot afford to give you a better, because my own part, I am clear, would not pay the expense, and I have spent too much money in printing, to be able, in my present poverty, to spend any more. You are sensible how dry the subject is in itself,—an arrangement of this sort, by its singularity and whimsicality, might (to change the metaphor) help to give it piquancy. Perhaps as good a way as any would be to preserve, at first, an incognito, or at least a half-incognito: you would not be the less at liberty to take to yourself the whole or any part of it, according to events, in the original, or in a maturer shape. There is not a syllable in it that might not afford instruction; either in itself, or, at any rate, by means of what might be said on the other side. All that I should say of it, would of course be against it: for where everything is exactly as it should be, there is nothing more to be said. Observe that man (says Epictetus) who admires himself so much, and admires Chrysippus so much, for the commentary he has been writing on Chrysippus,—had Chrysippus been as clear as he might have been, where would have been the commentary and the commentator? What my malice can find to say against you, will not (I am sure it need not) inspire you with any very violent apprehension; where you appear to me to have succeeded, you appear to me (who, however, am very raw upon the subject) to stand alone; where you appear to me to fail, you appear to me to fail in very numerous and good company. But as I write nothing but in the humble hope of being of use, and in that hope should have bestowed upon some other subject whatever I may bestow upon this, it is on that account that I must stipulate that whatever I write, shall make its appearance; and, consequently, that whatever happens to be the subject of observation, shall appear also; for I have written so much, and to so little purpose, and have so little time left to write in, that I could not bring myself to write at all, what I knew beforehand would be to no purpose at all. To give you an example of one of those passages, which, perhaps, upon a second glance, you might be disposed to suppress, and which, therefore, for the instruction of the public, you must stand precluded from suppressing,—“To suppose the contrary, would be to entertain notions repugnant to the grounds of all reason and common sense; and to minds so fraught, we can have no farther arguments to offer, but must content ourselves with reminding them that,”—Billinsgaticè, if you are not of my way of thinking, G— d—m you for a stupid son of a bitch. These are sallies which all men full of their subject are apt to run into,—few more apt than Mr Commentator. There is no supposition, however, in which they are not better refrained from than run into,—for if there is no such son of a bitch, the thunderbolt has nobody to fall upon: and if there is, it neither tickles him nor stuns him, but puts him in a rage, and he throws it back again: unless it be here and there a quiet and timid young man, who, having felt an inclination for the prescribed opinion, is frightened out of it, and gives it up for fear of being thought a dunce by so great an author. What gave rise to these reflections was, the unfortunate consciousness of being as great a dunce as my supposed young man, though being old and obstinate not so obsequious an one.
“The proposition is, that if the portion of revenue at present appropriated to the buying up a proportionable part of the annuities which have been sold by Government, and which Government would otherwise have been bound to pay to individuals, was to be disappropriated and made applicable to the discharge of a further mass of annuities, which, it is proposed, should be sold by Government, and the payment charged upon this fund, the monied man would be as ready to lend his money upon the fund thus proposed to be remortgaged, as he is at present upon new and clear funds. Making the experiment on myself, this readiness is what I must confess I do not feel. So far from it, that were I to think of becoming a subscriber to what is called a new loan, i. e. a fresh mass of annuities offered to be granted, payable as usual, nominally, out of the produce of taxes to be imposed on the occasion and for the purpose, my view would be directed slightly, or rather not at all, toward that particular fund, but exclusively to the general fund at present standing behind them: satisfied as I am, and should be, that Government would never do any such unjust and impolitic thing as to stop payment of one part of the mass of annuities it has granted, for the mere purpose of buying up another. In this point of view, every portion of the mass of annuities which the Government buys up, seems to me an additional security for the payment of the rest. While this general fund subsists, every fresh and successive mass of annuity, as well as every old and already existing one, has two securities to stand upon, viz. the general fund, which, in the case of a fresh annuity, a man thinks about, I suppose, more or less, and some particular one which, in the case of an old annuity, no man, I am sure, ever thinks anything about at all. Were it to be proposed to me to buy a fresh mass of annuities, and by way of security, were this general fund proposed to me and nothing more, my answer would be—what you now offer me is a second mortgage upon an estate already in mortgage,—whether I might not look upon the estate as capable of bearing this second charge is another question: but certainly I could never look upon the security offered to me on these new terms as equally ample with, much less as being more ample than, the security offered upon the hitherto usual terms: I could never look upon any one security by itself, as equally ample with that same security and another put together.
“You understand already, that as to the selling over again the annuities Government has bought up, (subject to the above lien,) it is what I cannot agree with you in: what concerns the suspending of further purchases of the same kind during the war, (leaving accordingly the funds allotted to that purpose to be applied to the current services of the year,) that is a question that remains for consideration. You have shown, and shown most clearly and effectually, to how great a disadvantage, in point of profit and loss, all such purchases are made. I am sorry to see that what we are obliged to raise in present money, we must pay so dearly for, if ever we do pay for it, in future money: but, heavy as the expense is, I really do not see how it can be avoided. The security, such as it is, is not by any means too great: many are the people who as it is (so I hear from auctioneers) sell out of the funds, where a man makes above 6 per cent., for the purpose of buying land that does not afford 3½ per cent.; and the very remarkably high price of land, in comparison of the price of Government annuities at the present period, as compared with the close of the American war, seems to prove at once two things—viz., the superior plenty of money, and the superior want of confidence in the solvency of Government. In this view of the matter, I must confess I cannot so far join with you as to say of the buying up plan that from the first, fieri non debuit: but if I did, I could not forbear adding, factum valet: for if what has been thus bought up, were to be attempted to be resold, I cannot forbear thinking, that, (though I myself should not,) yet people in general would, regard the attempt as the first scene of an act of bankruptcy: to produce the contrary impression, does not appear to me to lie within the competence of the united powers of human reason and human eloquence. What you say about the monies being employed to more advantage in the hands of individuals than in those of Government, is true to a certain extent: but the extent to which it is true you have not as yet defined; though the defining it is a task that seems not only well worthy of your powers of investigation, but altogether indispensable for the purpose of your argument. For my own part I must confess I do not much expect to find it true to the extent in which it is necessary it should be true, for the purpose of that argument. The one thing needful is £10 every year in the Exchequer for every annuity of £10 sold. This Mr Pitt and you join in providing: but he adds £1 or £2 over, to provide against contingent deficiencies; and that increasing, to provide against the increasing danger of deficiency. This surplus you, instead of gathering it into the Exchequer, prefer leaving in the hands of the individual: concluding that, if left there, it will, somehow or other, go farther towards the payment of the annuities in question, or towards the satisfying the other demands of Government, than if taken into the hands of Government. But to produce this effect, I am afraid to say (for fear of your being angry with me, and saying I have misrepresented you) what requisites are necessary: the individual, instead of employing the greatest part of the labour in question, (I should be apt to say, at random, nine-tenths at least,) in ministering to the purpose of present gratification, (extra eatables and drinkables, forexample,) (in other words, spending so much of the money,) must employ the whole, or the greatest part, at least, in giving birth to instruments of future and durable gratification or use, (on building, for example, or draining land,) (in other words, laying by so much of the money;) and this stock of wealth, with its increase, (the house-rent, or additional land-rent, thus produced,) instead of employing on his own account, he must, (I am afraid to say it, but the purpose of the argument, I think, requires it,) he must pay into the Exchequer: and this track of unrelaxing good economy, (not to add generosity,) every individual in question must go on persevering in for the forty or forty-five years which you speak of, with a regularity as inviolate as that with which the portion of wealth in question would, if received. into the Exchequer, have been applied to the buying up of the annuities granted by Government. What a man would be saved, by your system, from paying to the new taxes in question, he would, (it is true,) in the course of his expenditure, (whether consumptive or productive,) he would pay in part towards the already existing taxes: but this happily is but a small part: you yourself have stated it somewhere at about a tenth.
“Your disapprobation of the triple assessment system I join with you in; but this is quite a distinct measure, and, in point of argument, stands upon different grounds: grounds so different, that, according to my view of the matter, it would be for the advantage of both questions, to be consigned to different publications—that which concerns the buying-up system, though treated of in the best manner possible, and simplified to the utmost, would, of itself, be found more complicated than one would wish.
“But it is time I should have done: otherwise this, instead of a letter offering a dissertation, would be a dissertation of itself. My amanuensis is far advanced in the copying of your papers. When it is completed I will return them, with some loose scrawl of my own in the margin, clapped down in pencil just as it occurred.
“Is there any other way in which I could contribute more towards the dissemination of your ideas, and the extraction of that truth which would alike be the object of us both? Shall I, too, sit down to inquire what is best to be done? Write an essay accordingly, and you a critique upon it? Writing more at leisure, and being arrived at a sort of method by hard labour, I should abstain from treading upon collateral topics with more rigour than you have done: but perhaps your wish is to make this work a vehicle for your sentiments upon other subjects: if so, strict unity of design would be unfavourable to your purpose. Society, especially society like yours, would animate me, and might inspire me with the exertion necessary: but without you I shall not meddle with a subject so remote from any of my former views: for I have neither heart to write nor money to publish of myself.
“Neither of these plans need supersede the other: except the having the same subject, nothing could be more different than the two works. The greater part of the topics you have introduced in your work would not appear in mine: mine, on the other hand, would present others, which do not occur in yours. But whichever may come out first would be referred to in the other; or if they come out together, then, by the help of cross references, each might serve to procure readers for the other. Your method would certainly be more agreeable to some readers, (I do believe to most readers;) mine, perhaps, to others: and what is odd enough, to yourself perhaps in the number.
“My aim in all this is neither more nor less than to second what I understand to be your wishes, as far as can be done, without prejudice to that sincerity, any departure from which would be more repugnant to them than any other part I could take. Those wishes are—to attract readers to the subject, by all lawful and honourable means. Among these means, debate is an article of approved efficacy, according to the notions current among booksellers: what distinguishes the proposed debate from ordinary ones is, its being so purely amicable, and published—not the two sides of it by the respective parties, each with opposite views, but by one of them, for the furtherance of his own views, and yet with the consent and concurrence of his opponent. But this singularity, whether the parties be or be not known, (a point which I finish by leaving entirely to your choice,) would contribute (I imagine) rather to strengthen than weaken the attraction; rather to increase than diminish the number of readers. Converts I could neither promise you without breach of that sincerity, nor endeavour to procure for you without a breach of that probity, neither of which you would wish to see impaired in any man whom you honour with such a place in your friendship as you have given me. To do what may be in my power without any such breach—to help find you readers, has been my concern: to make them converts will be yours. In the transport inspired by the idea of a severe labour ended, and a great work achieved, you “did not conceive it possible that he, (the author,) should be convicted of error in the conclusion.” Should that persuasion have preserved itself, to the present period, in unabated force, it may inspire you with some apprehension for a friend whose temerity prompts him thus to raise his head against demonstration: but your friendship will suggest, on the other hand, that his address, though in a bad cause, may be trusted to for saving him from gross ignominy in his defeat: and, at the worst, the maxim, volenti non fit injuria, may serve to tranquillize your conscience. Whatever there may be of badinage in all this, there is not a syllable of persiflage which, from me to you, would be abominable. Whimsical as the offer may appear to you, gratitude was the source of it; and in dropping it, the golden rule, which is the foundation of Christian morality, has been my constant guide. If you doubt this, try me with a correspondent offer on the subject of the Pauper Outline. Scarce room to say that this comes from yours ever,” &c.
Pole Carew to Bentham.
“Ranks by threes! to the right about, wheel! Not one wet day in four weeks! The hours which have not been dedicated to my Troop, have been bestowed in giving shape and form to my garden—to increasing the grass of my fields, that we may be able to go on in paying the one per cents., over and above all the five, six, and seven per cents., that are, and must be required of us. It is not ingratitude, nor a want of a full sense of the value of your correspondence; but real fatigue of body, and incapacity of mind, which has been at grass with the body, that has prevented me from thanking you for two sheets and half of well-covered, I wished I could say well-written, paper. Do not mistake me, however; I have been digging in this mine from time to time ever since, and find nothing in it but gold;—but the labour of digging even for such metal is so great, that I have no difficulty in saying imprimatur to this, though I shudder at the very sound of the word when applied to any scrawl of mine. But to the point. When I took the liberty of requesting you to peruse my ill-digested labours, I relied upon your friendship, as well as upon your ability, to point out all their errors and imperfections, as well in point of matter as in style and management, being fully conscious, that in the present state of the work, it was wholly unfit to see the light; and being really unwilling to bestow any more labour of my own upon it, unless I could find a friend upon whose judgment I could rely, who would fairly tell me whether there was anything in it worthy of the light, and who, in the next place, would assist me in giving it that shape and form, which would best introduce it into the world. Many parts, I know full well, are extremely imperfect, and were merely thrown on paper to discharge my mind of them. Other parts are probably too obscurely treated, and require further elucidation. Some are, I believe, reflections of what has preceded. There is a want of arrangement throughout, and no pretension to style in any part. But the subject has appeared to me to be of that importance, that I could not, with the opinions I entertained, help endeavouring to express them; but I am so tired of the work, that I should find great difficulty in any attempt to express them better, and I was in hopes, therefore, that your acuteness and taste would, if you thought the paper worthy of any attention, point out the defects and apply the remedy, that, if it was its fate to appear at all, it might appear in the best dress which I and my friend could give it. But having never yet exposed myself to public criticism, I should not for the first time wish to show myself like a bear, with a leader to point out the awkwardness of my gambols.
“I am persuaded that your object is to investigate the truth, and to render it triumphant, and not to expose your friend by the sallies of your wit; but I should very much fear, that as I have treated a very dry subject very drily, that the commentary alone would be read, and truth and the text be entirely hidden by your more attractive mantle.
“If the party were more equal, I agree with you that there would be piquancy in the exhibition of single combat. But you must first give me a better spear and shield, and a complete suit of armour, before I can descend into the arena with you. First render me invulnerable like yourself, and, for the amusement of bystanders, I should have no objection to breaking a lance with you; but even then I should never lift the beaver, but wish the inexperienced to remain the unknown knight.
“The first question with me, is, whether it is possible for any friendly aid to render my labours worthy of the public eye; and whether, when put into a better shape, they could be of any public use.
“Sure I am, that they are not fitting to appear without much of this aid; and I should despair of their making any useful impression, unless time were given for its being made previous to what the playfulness of your wit might successfully urge against the dryness of my argument.
“Louis the Fifteenth was so fond of play, that he would often give his courtiers money, to have the pleasure of winning it back again. Many a sturdy coal-heaver has given a man a guinea to fight him, for the satisfaction he took in threshing; but you must bribe higher, and give me a better opinion of my own dexterity, before I consent to be baited.
“Make me worthy of you—let it be Bentham versus Bentham, and we will then see what is to be done. I wish to be corrected before I am exposed;—you wish me to be exposed before I am corrected. But as I have never yet been accustomed to being fleayed, (is that English?) I should wince under the knife. Let me hear from you again; and believe me, yours very truly.
“P.S. I heard from Abbot some days ago. Nothing new in our way. My idleness has not yet thanked him.”
“23d September, 1798.
“Rose is a perfect Daniel!
“How pleasant to see the darkness of error flying before the light of truth! It appears to me that you will be pressed and invited by the United Parishes, and United Chapter, to proceed with your plans: for the execution of which, the misery of the moment seems peculiarly favourable. Go on and prosper!—Yours most truly.”
A letter from Patrick Colquhoun, (20th Oct., 1798,) mentions a circumstance strikingly exhibiting the growing value of land in the United States, even at that period.
“I found yours of the 18th on my table last night, on my return from Wapping, at a late hour, enclosing the papers relative to the American lands; but it escaped you to send the large map, delineating the spot where the lands are situated. Be so good as send me it as soon as you can. I am already deeply interested in American lands; I therefore want no more for myself. Those I have were acquired at an easy rate, although likely to be of value in time; and indeed, where a man has money to spare, where the interest is not wanted, I do not know a more safe or profitable speculation. I gave £63,000 for a million of acres, more or less, near the same spot in New York, in 1791; and in 1797, the property sold and remaining was estimated at nearly a million, and producing an interest of £50,000 a-year, to those for whom I transacted the business. I do not mean to say this interest is regularly paid; but it is recoverable with the instalments of the purchase-money, and secured by mortgage on the land and improvements, and will be all good in process of time.”
In the year 1798, and following years, an active correspondence was kept up between Bentham and Colquhoun, on various subjects of legislation. Colquhoun was the author of the well-known works on the Police of the Metropolis, and the Thames Police, and of other valuable statistical investigations. He was for some time in trade in Glasgow, and afterwards became one of the police judges of the metropolis. Of his integrity, skill, and general efficiency, Bentham formed a high opinion, frequently expressed in his works on Law Reform.* He had been engaged by government to report on the means of giving more efficiency to the police establishment of the metropolis; and, with Bentham’s assistance, drew up various bills for the House of Commons. Of Colquhoun’s merits, Bentham speaks highly in a letter to Charles Abbot (June 8, 1799.)
Bentham to Charles Abbot.†
“I write what occurs to me on the instant, without having seen anybody else.
“Is the Shadwell office adjacent to the river? I rather think not. If not, it surely never can answer the purpose in question. The marine police is. I have been there: nothing can exceed it in point of convenience.
“I should doubt whether the union of ordinary business, such as that of the Shadwell office with the actual and proposed Thames police business, would be productive of advantage. In the Shadwell, as in the other police offices, the administrative part (I mean the management of the constables) is as nothing in comparison of the judicial. In the Thames Police-office, it is by far the greater of the two. If it succeeds to perfection, the judicial will be reduced to nothing. The intercourse and correspondence that, under the proposed bill, must be continually kept up between the justices and the proposed commissioners, is another source of appropriate occupation, and another circumstance that contributes to take the case out of that of an ordinary police office.
“Transferring the Shadwell office to the Marine Police-office, means, I presume, the dismissing the present Marine Police Magistrates, and putting present Shadwell ones in their room. This, I imagine, would be found incompatible with the prevention branch, which is the characteristic branch of the proposed system. I mean the extended organization and management of the River Guards. It was by Mr Colquhoun that this branch of the system was proposed and planned: it was on the personal confidence reposed in him by the parties interested, and by whom the whole of the expense of this branch has been defrayed, that the adoption of it was grounded. I have some reason for thinking, that if he were to withdraw his cooperation from it, the merchants would withdraw from it their confidence and their purse.
“Whatever intentions may have been entertained by somebody or other, of doing something or other, at some time or other, he is, in point of fact, the creator, and the sole creator of everything that has been done. His services have been gratuitous—that they should be so, was a condition sine quâ non of the offer which he made of them. He has fed the establishment out of his own pocket, over and over again—to save it from that dissolution to which official inertness would have condemned it. He has toiled at it, days and weeks together, from ten to fourteen hours in the day: he has sitten at it to be shot at, and has been shot at, and seen a man put to death by his side. Who the present Shadwell magistrates are, or what they are, I am altogether ignorant; but be they what they may, would it be consistent with common generosity (if it were practicable) to discard a man so circumstanced; and to put a set of strangers to reap the fruit of what he has sown?—I mean in point of honour: for that is the only fruit the field affords—but is it of no value?
“The appropriate information necessary to the due performance of such a business, seems to require two particular branches of experience: experience in mercantile affairs, and experience in nautical affairs.
“The first, he himself possesses in a very eminent degree: the assistant he chose (an ancient lieutenant in the East India service) possesses the second.
“Are both, or either of these requisites to be found in equal proportion among the Shadwell Justices?
“Towards giving support in the public opinion to a new establishment, there is something in character and celebrity.
“Of Mr Colquhoun’s book on the Police, 7500 copies have been sold—the fifth edition (2000) being just exhausted. It is upon his plans and opinions that the Report of the Finance Committee is principally and professedly grounded. Is there anything of this sort to be met with among the Shadwell Justices?
“A good deal more might have been said on this subject—even by me: I have scarce read it over. Send it me back when you have read it, and you shall have it again at any time.
“Your injunctions shall be punctually observed.”
As a specimen of a convenient plan of circulating, among members of Parliament and others, concise and comprehensive knowledge of intended legislation, I give a summary view of Colquhoun’s, or rather his own, bill, for the more effectual prevention of depredations on the River Thames, as drawn up by Bentham:—
“The Bumboat Act (2 Geo. III. c. 28) was passed in 1762:—Nothing was done under it for about fourteen years. The present temporary Marine Police-office had no other special ground for its proceedings than that act, which, though conducive to its object as far as it goes, has been shown, by a twelve-month’s experience, to be far indeed from adequate. What the Act contributes, is confined to penalties and legal powers. The Office furnishes civil Guards, properly equipped and armed, for the execution of those powers. The expense of these Guards being defrayed exclusively by a single branch of the trade, (viz. the West India,) out of twenty-eight, and more that may be distinguished, the immediate effects of the protection afforded by them, have, of course, been confined to that single branch of trade.
“To substitute, to this scanty and occasional detachment, a more permanent, as well as stronger force, commensurate, in point of numbers as well as funds, to the extent of the demand as furnished by the whole Trade, (not to speak of his Majesty’s floating property,) is one main object of this Bill:—to give the requisite extension to those penalties and those powers, is the other. From what has been done by the one, with such in-adequate means, as well as under numerous disadvantages, what could be done with adequate means, legal as well as pecuniary, may be inferred.
“In proportion as the following sketch is summary, the wording could not but be loose; but in the Bill itself, nothing can exceed, in point of anxiety, the care that has been taken for the security of innocence, and for divesting power of the faculty of abuse.
“If explanations of the grounds of the Bill, in point of reason and experience, be desired, they may be found, in a degree of detail rather beyond what is most customary, in the Preambles by which several of the Sections are introduced.
On the subject of the Marine Police Bill, the letters which follow are instructive, as showing the manner in which the public business was conducted:—
W. Wickham to Charles Abbot.
“Whitehall, 5th June, 1799.
“My dear Sir,—
Government has no other objection to the Bill you mention being brought forward immediately, but the wish to bring forward a general improved plan of Police for the Metropolis at one and the same time, with which it is apprehended that any partial project might interfere.
“It is this apprehension that has induced Mr Pitt to promise the sum of £2000 a-year in aid of the Marine Police Establishment, in addition to the purse, whatever it may be, furnished by the West India Merchants. This sum exceeds by £1460 what was originally promised to be paid by Government: I am inclined to think that Mr Pitt would grant a still larger sum, if necessary, rather than go to Parliament with any Plan, that should be confined to this Establishment alone; at the same time, I have every reason to believe that both Mr Pitt and the Duke of Portland are as persuaded, as the merchants can be, that the greatest utility may be, and has been already derived from it.
“You are no doubt aware that this very thing was in contemplation when a seventh office (viz. that of Shadwell) was added to the six originally intended to have been established by Mr Burton’s very excellent Bill, and I have not the least hesitation in saying, as well from my thorough knowledge of the system itself, as of several of the very excellent magistrates who now conduct it, that every benefit holden out by the new office might have been acquired, if the merchants had contributed from their own funds to the Shadwell office, the money they have furnished to the new one, and I most entirely agree with you on the principle of justice to Mr Burton, and the magistrates who have acted under his Bill, if for no other reason, that either the Shadwell office ought to be transferred to the Marine Police-office, or the M. P. O. to Shadwell, either of which may be done, as I conceive, by Mr Burton’s Bill.
“The Shadwell office cannot be transferred elsewhere, because there is really no want of any more Police offices in London; nor will it, I conceive, be either just, fair, or wise, to abolish it altogether, because it did not do what really it had not the means of doing.
“Believe me ever, with the sincerest esteem and regard, my dear Sir, most faithfully yours.”
Bentham to Charles Abbot.
“18th June, 1799.
“I send you a printed paper which, by a great effort, I drew up, that it might supersede a quantity of loose, incorrect, quackish stuff, which I found might raise a dust of objections. Copies of this matter of mine are circulating by Colquhoun to other people, and amongst others to Wilberforce, who has promised his assistance with Pitt, &c.
“In the account of the House of Commons’ proceedings to-day, I saw, much to my surprise, that the Globe Insurance Company project has already got the length of a bill moved for in the House. Probably you received it through other channels,—but should you not, I send you the only copy I have of a paper on the subject, sent me by Sir T. Eden,—also his letter, if I can lay my hands on it. I am not certain whether I ever sent you No. 34 of my papers on the Poor, printed in Young’s Annals. I send one now; if you have it already, return it, not to break a set. In the note to page 181, you will find my objections to all Life, &c., Insurance projects, founded upon such inadequate data as are yet in existence. The Foreign and City Bank, the only part of the Globe project which has any pretension to novelty, is founded, name, as well as thing, upon these papers of mine, to which the Globe project, as you will see, gives a reference; yet, on turning to those papers, you will see how anxious I have been to represent all such institutions as being (until the attainment of the necessary data alluded to) premature. Sir J. Anderson, I observe presenting a petition against the project, from an existing Insurance Company. He has not, I doubt, a head for comprehending either the pro or con of such a business. If your time admit, I should be glad if you would look into it; and if you should join with me in looking upon the present period as premature, he would of course deem himself fortunate in your support. The odd thing is, that in a business which requires so much maturation and discussion, Pitt should have dashed in at this late period of the session, with a temerity which can only be equalled by that displayed by him on the subject of his Poor Bill. Without opposing the thing in principle, there seems to be the highest ground for opposing it on point of time.
“A few copies, if, on this occasion, they can be employed with any prospect of effect, are at your command.
“In my answer, I sent the No. he desired: but, as to joining him, I was silent—speaking only of momentary haste. Spirits, either for joining or opposing, are, as you may well imagine, altogether wanting. If you have no use for this, you may as well forward it to S. B. likewise; but it is quite immaterial. If you have franking-liberty to spare, frank one of the duplicates of this Summary View, as well as the Globe papers to S. B.* —If not, return them, and I will send them by the Admiralty.”
Charles Abbot to Bentham.
“19th June, 1799.
“I think your Summary View of the Thames Bill very useful as a breviate, and I wish all the use was made of it which it deserves; but I hear nothing.
“Upon this, as upon other such matters, the Treasury and I are not likely to have much coöperation, as they made a direct attack upon me yesterday—in which I neither think them just nor wise.
“I have sent your papers to the General. The obvious reason for the favour to the Globe Insurance project is, the engagement to buy up land-tax.
“I keep the sketches, and thank you.”
Bentham to George Rose.
“19th June 1799.
“A Bill, I see, is brought in for the establishment of a company, under the name of the Globe Insurance Company. According to a paper I have received from a gentleman who seems to have been a principal promoter of the scheme, it appears, that whatever there is of originality in it, is in substance and even in name (see Foreign and City Bank) taken from a printed paper of mine herewith enclosed.* I am speaking of what is styled, in that paper as well as mine, a Frugality Bank. My endeavour has been to draw a circle round the subject; a circle within the which, amongst other things, whatever concerns Friendly Societies should be comprised. I should be sorry to think that anything of mine should have had the effect of giving birth to an institution that might at any time be found to merit the appellation of a bubble: in the note to p. 181 may be seen the reasons I have for being apprehensive lest any pecuniary engagements, depending upon rates of vitality, stand exposed to this danger, and must remain exposed to it till the data therein spoken of shall have been provided.
“A paper herewith sent, you will find marked No. IV., those of which it is a continuation, were sent to you as they came out. The present one would have followed them long ago; but to get it up, or even to send it, required exertion—a faculty which, together with so many other faculties is suspended in me, if not destroyed, by causes of which you are not altogether unapprized. Taken together, my papers might perhaps be found to show that anything of this sort is but an ineffectual scrap of a perfectly effectual whole. I have the honour to be, &c.”
Bentham to William Wilberforce.
“20th June, 1799.
“The enclosed (the letter to Rose) was on the point of being sent as addressed; but the suggested vindictiveness, and the experienced irascibility and abusiveness of the person addressed, has stayed my hand.
“If you think it safe, do me the favour to forward it; if unsafe, to return it.
“Capital, £500,000. This capital is, in a trice, to produce a net profit of double the amount—£1,000,000. Of this £1,000,000, £700,000 is to be employed in buying up the Land Tax. Such is the plan, upon recollection, of which Mr Pitt, according to the papers, declared his patronage in the House!”
Bentham to Charles Abbot.
“26th June, 1799.
“Colquhoun has just been giving me an account of a conversation he has been having with Dundas on the subject of the R[iver] P[olice] Bill, whose reception was very cordial. Dundas blamed the D. of P. for not having communicated the matter to him before: saying, that it was Secretary of State’s work; and that as he was the only Secretary of State in the House of Commons, it was for him to bring it in, which, had it been mentioned to him time enough, he would have done—blamed the D. and Pitt for retarding this simple and independent measure, on account of their complicated plan of police, with which it would not interfere—said, that he would take the bill in hand, and, at the commencement of the next Session, move to bring it in.
“(N.B.—His knowledge of it, at this time, must have been superficial; he had not seen the ‘Summary View,’—much less the bill itself. Nor did he appear to have considered the circumstances belonging to it, which render it a sort of private bill—the question of it being local, and the fund raised by a limited denomination of persons—nor did your name appear to have been mentioned upon that occasion.)
“My observation was—that if this were to be the case, and Dundas were to bring it in, it would be very unhandsome and ungrateful behaviour towards you, who had been applied to in that public manner—had acceded to that application—had taken the pains to make yourself master of the bill—and had taken upon yourself the responsibility of it. The observation was instantaneous, and the reply was equally so, viz. that nothing could be more just; and that he should intimate as much to the merchants, that they might make their application for you to bring it in, (as before, only not till next Session,) and for Dundas to second it.
“Colquhoun is in high luck, as well as high favour, with Dundas. Dundas takes for his private secretary, Colquhoun’s son, a boy of nineteen, who, at that age, is already become a semi-Garthshore, whose quondam department is thus split—I forget in what particular way and who had the other half.
“You seem too ready to quarrel with Gog and Magog, considering the majority they have got you for your manufacture of corrupted blood out of the dregs of grimgibber, or even suffered you to get, which would be still more honourable. These supposed enemies have dealt much better with you, than you would have been dealt with by one who, as far as wishes go, may boldly rank himself among your best friends. He admits that there is as much reason for it now as ever there was—but further he goeth not.
“As to your janglings with the two supporters of the mammon of unrighteousness, (which I hear only from you and another, for the papers that I see report nothing about them,) Wilson construes it into collusion: if everybody else put the same construction upon it, it would not be so much the worse.
“When you have got the Jacobins put upon the footing of the Jacobites, (which I have not the smallest objection to,) would it satisfy you—could you bring yourself, upon some future occasion, to pick out the innocent from both of them? This might, I think, be done effectually enough: the misfortune is, that in words it would be a complicated provision, in comparison of the existing manufacture of corrupted blood, which in words (at which learned gentlemen usually stop) is as simple a thing as can be desired, but which, if followed up along the convolutions it makes in applying itself to particular cases, spins itself into a chaos without end. ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ You have the benefit of this prayer—and God bless you with it. Cui bono all this? quoth C. A. especially at this stage. Answer—not before, because not desired, and therefore would have been of no use. Now that it may be seen, that there are two equally honest, and yet opposite ways of seeing the same thing,—and that where friends condemn, supposed adversaries may be borne with, where they appear to hesitate.
“I have not looked at this stuff these twenty years; but there used to be a something in it that the king himself can never pardon, although persuasion of innocence after conviction (perhaps from subsequent lights) is as common a ground as any (and the best ground) for pardon.
“Do you bar settlements? If not, the crime you punish is, not the committing treason, but the omitting to make a settlement. Do you corrupt personal blood, as well as real blood? If not, the crime you punish is, not the committing treason, but the having one’s property in a real shape, instead of a personal one. Do you reach the future Thellusson with his eighteen millions of consols?—the single Thellusson who will have stuff enough in time to make half-a-dozen Dukes of Orleans.
“Tempora mutantur—sed non mutamur in illis.
“But, per Hawkins Browne, (as per newspapers,) there is no reason in the distinction between innocent and guilty—it is all a ‘prejudice,’—and as we kill the innocent with the guilty when we can’t help it, why not when we can help it?
“Forgive this dotage, which, when I took up the pen, I little thought of launching into. When you were singing Arma virumque cano in the fourth form, this was the order of the day with me.
“It was not four years ago when I proposed to you (I remember) to take away the license given to a man, by a Jacobite parliament of King William’s days, to commit treason in the presence of any one other man at his choice:—you thought it too strong to be attempted, or even (I believe) to be wished.
“Send this on to S. B., pray. It will divert him, though it won’t convert you.”
Valuable suggestions are thrown out by Bentham in a paper entitled,
Hints towards a Plan for new-modelling the Magistracy for Westminster,
which, I believe, has never been before published:—
Integrity is certainly one very important qualification in a magistrate; but activity is another. It is a misfortune that the different means calculated to ensure these different qualifications should unavoidably, in some degree, counteract each other.
When much trouble is taken, some recompense must be given. The difficulty is, so to connect the recompense with labour, that the former shall serve, as a sufficient motive for exerting the latter to all good purposes, without serving, at the same time, as a motive for exerting it to bad ones.
That mode of recompensing which annexes the emoluments separately to each article of service done, to each instance of authority exerted, is attended with this disadvantage: that by tempting them to multiply, as far as it is in their power, (and it is to a great degree in their power,) the occasions of exerting it, it is a snare to their integrity. In this way, they have an interest given them in making business; in employing their activity to other purposes than the interests of justice may require. But on the other hand, the other mode of recompensing, which annexes the emoluments to the exercise of the authority in gross, in the form of a stated salary, is very deficient in its operation as a spur to their activity. A stated salary is indeed a motive to a man to take upon him the authority, (which is, in truth, no more than what the dignity annexed to that authority might of itself be a sufficient motive to,) but is no motive to the exerting of it in any given instance. Recompense, to be a spur to labour, must keep pace with labour. When the reward is the same for doing little, as for doing much, the indolence or other seducements attendant, in a greater or less degree, on every man, give them more or less an interest in evading business.
It must, however, be acknowledged, that the appointment of stated seasons of attendance, at which the magistrate should be bound to be in readiness, business or no business, would go a great way in obviating the danger of inactivity, and that the plan of rewarding by settled salaries would be rendered by this means considerably preferable, upon the whole, to that of rewarding by occasional fees of office. When a man is on the spot, or obliged to be on the spot for a certain time, when the chain that drew him aside to his particular pleasures, or particular business, is necessarily broken, it is as easy for him to apply as not: he may as well do the business he goes there to do, as do nothing.
The settled mode of recompense succeeds, we see, to admiration, in the instance of men in the first rank of magistracy, who have an ample salary, and a high dignity at stake: and who have the eyes of the whole public, and particularly of their own critical and intelligent profession fixed on them, to detect any instance of neglect, and the mouth of the public and of that profession wide open to proclaim it. But such pledges of punctuality are not to be had in the service now under consideration.
In this case, the two modes of recompense being still liable to opposite objections, an idea that might possibly suggest itself to some, is to combine them in the same person; and to bestow such emolument as may be thought proper to allow, half in the form of a settled salary, independent of the quantity of business done for it, and the other half according to such compensation as shall be made, in fees of office, accruing in proportion to the business. But fees of office, however moderate, can never, it must be confessed, be made to stand clear of this dilemma: either they are high enough, on any given occasion, to serve as a motive to act on that occasion, or they are not: if not, by the supposition they are of no use: if they are, they are liable to turn into abuse, by prompting him who profits by those occasions to use his industry to create them.
The only way of deriving any advantage from the union of these different plans of recompense, seems to be the employing them on the same service indeed, but not on the same person. In short, to establish two sets of magistrates, those of one set to be paid in one of the two ways, and those of the other set, in the other. On this plan, a magistrate out of one set, should constantly be joined with one out of the other set upon each business: to the end that each might supply that qualification, in which the other might be in danger of being deficient. The justice paid by fees would find activity to serve as a spur to the indolence that might be apprehended on the part of the justice paid by salary: the justice paid by salary would find integrity as a rein to the activity of the justice paid by fees.
This plan would probably be called refined and whimsical; as everything that is new is apt to be. With better show of reason, it might be thought invidious: casting a note of distrust on that set who should be fixed upon to be paid by fees: as persons not fit to have that confidence reposed upon them that is reposed in the other set of magistrates. A means of obviating this objection might be the forming the two sets at different times of the same persons: in such manner that each magistrate should be, for a limited time, a twelvemonth for example, in the set to be paid by fees: and afterwards, for an equal time, in the other set to be paid by salary. Change might be made, either by rotation, or by ballot.
In order to prevent too intimate an union between two persons, whose interests the view is, to certain purposes, to keep severed, it should be provided that no two, though of different sets, should act for any constancy in conjunction.
Another more simple expedient than that which has been last proposed, and which might either be substituted in the room of that, or be combined with it, is to annex the recompense, neither to the bare acceptance of the office, as on the plan of settled salary, nor to the quantity and quality of business done, as on the plan of fees on each occasion, but to attendance.
This may be done in either of two ways. By a settled salary for the whole year, with forfeitures out of it for every instance of non-attendance,—a plan adopted by Mr Viner, for example, in his establishment for a Law Professor: or, without any such salary, or any fees of office, by a sum to be divided at each period of attendance, amongst such as do attend, not exceeding a certain number: a mode exemplified in the instance of the Directorship of the Amicable Insurance, Office, the Bankrupt Commissions, and many others. In one instance, indeed, it is applied to the office in question: I mean that of meeting to license public houses, and in this instance, Dr Burn bears strong witness to the efficacy of it.*
In determining concerning any plan that shall be proposed, it ought not to be forgotten, that the business is so to provide, as that the magistrates, not only in point of fact, shall execute their offices with due diligence and integrity, but that, as far as may be, they shall be exempt from the suspicion of doing otherwise. Much depends on the title they have to confidence: but much depends also upon the confidence they possess: upon the title they are thought to have to it. On this account, it is not enough that the plan adopted shall have been approved by experience, as, it may be thought, in one or a few instances, perhaps not similar, for anything that is public to the contrary: instances, not circumstantially compared with that in question: instances, where the temptations and opportunities to swerve from the line of duty, perhaps may, perhaps may not be similar. It should be such as should appear from theory, from the consideration of the general principles of human nature, applicable to the particular circumstances of the case in question, calculated to compass the ends proposed: that if men should still complain of negligence or corruption, it may be said to them, “What would you have? The best general preventive measures have been taken for securing the persons you complain of, against the temptation to do ill, that offered: if anything has been done amiss, ’tis in the particular nature of the individual that has done it you are to look for the cause, and in the execution of the laws that are already provided for the remedy. All has been done in the way of making laws that the case admitted of: it has been made, as far as could be devised, the apparent interest of the persons in question to do their duty: that done, all is done that can be done.”
Another thing to be observed is, not to be influenced to give up any salutary check, any measure of security, that bids fair for efficacy, by the notion of its reflecting on this or that individual: by its being said, that gentlemen will take umbrage at the suspicions entertained of them: that they will not engage in the office upon such terms. All this, and abundance more that may be urged in the same strain, is abundantly answered, when it is observed on the principles avowed by the constitution, that no precautions against the abuse of power can be too strict, or too many, that do not impede the use of it: and that these, or whatever precautions may be taken, are taken, not against this or that individual, but against human nature.
The provisions made for the due execution of the law can be of use no further than in proportion as people are apprized of them.
Many delinquencies of the inferior order, though detected, escape unpunished, for want of persons knowing where to apply on the occasion, or what steps to take. Even in offences of the higher rank, which the whole neighbourhood make a common cause of punishing, much trouble is often occasioned by the want of such intelligence.
For this purpose, a set of printed advertisements, to be stuck up in a sufficient number of places throughout the jurisdiction, it is apprehended, might be of use. These might contain, 1st, A direction to the nearest office where magistrates are sitting, mentioning the hours of their sitting, and what to do with a delinquent in the intervals of those hours; 2dly, The names and abodes of a sufficient number, twelve for example, of the constables who live nearest the place where the advertisement is affixed.
Certain places should be fixed upon for these advertisements to be stuck up at,—for example, in every street, immediately over the name of the street. As to the form of printing, they should be at least of the size of the larger sort of play-bills, with capitals, and other such devices to attract the eye.
The title of these might be—From the Police, Instructions how to proceed in bringing Offenders to Justice.
It might be of use, were there some emblematical symbol used to distinguish all such advertisements as issue from authority: something that, being constantly used for that purpose, and appropriated to that purpose alone, would be intelligible to such as cannot read. The figure of justice, for example, with her sword in one hand, and the other resting upon a volume of the laws: either that, or else the king sitting in Parliament. Though the first symbol, being the most simple, and being already pretty familiarly known, seems to be the most proper. Advertisements thus distinguished, it might be made penal for persons unauthorized to deface or to pull down: of which notice should be given vivâ voce in all places of worship.
It might be of considerable convenience were there a place of temporary custody provided under the very roof where the magistrates sit, for the lodgment of such persons as should be brought for examination during the intervals of their sitting. If, for trivial delinquencies, in which justices of the peace have the power of determining, as well as of inquiring, parties could be brought immediately before them, and the complaint decided on the spot, it would save much trouble and expense; and the powers granted, in many instances, to persons at large of apprehending, flagrante delicto, without warrant, might be extended with less scruple to the constable himself, for the confined and single purpose of carrying a man to a place, certain to await, at a time speedy and certain, the legal orders of a magistrate.
The Banking question was among those which occupied Bentham’s mind. Colquhoun writes to him, 15th Nov., 1799:—
Bentham to P. Colquhoun.
“I have been turning my thoughts a little (and but very little) to the effects of your circulating medium plan, and I see in it a vast resource for government. Why should the Charter of the Bank of England be renewed? or why should bankers exist at all? Neither the one nor the other contribute to augment the property of the country; while by dealing in money and assisting monopolizers, who are always hurtful to every state, they acquire immense fortunes by availing themselves of a resource which properly belongs to the state, and which, under a proper system of management, would not only ease the country of the pressure of war taxes, but would even enable government to pay off the national debt. I daresay you are already convinced of this, from the consideration you have given the subject. But this is not all the good it would produce: those commercial distresses, which beget distrust and produce ruin to many respectable individuals, while they disturb the beneficial intercourse of commerce, could rarely happen.”
And again on the 29th November:—
“1. I should conceive the circulation of country banker’s paper to be equal at least to the paper of the Bank of England. No human being can form any accurate judgment of what may be afloat and current at the same time. It must hang upon conjecture, and the best opinion on this subject will be obtained from men of commercial knowledge and good judgment: I should conceive Sir Francis Baring’s ideas on this subject of importance. As far as my judgment goes, I should suppose the country circulation of Great Britain about eleven or twelve millions. Mr Burdon will not leave town till parliament meets.
“2. I had conceived the circulation of the paper of the Bank of England to exceed ten millions; but Mr Allardice is no doubt right. Since the payment of specie has been suspended, I should conceive the bank may have extended its circulation one-fourth. This, however, is judging only from appearances: the fact cannot be ascertained. The merchants complain of the directors being less liberal in discounts than the present pressure requires, although they have certainly stretched considerably, and it is probable that their circulation is greater than it ever was. The addition of one, and two, and five pound notes, within the last eight years, must have increased the circulation in a certain degree; but it does not go very far beyond the metropolis.
3. “The country bankers keep very little specie. It varies according to the credit and opulence of the bankers. In proportion as bankers possess confidence in the country, the less specie is required. They have nothing to fear, but from a run upon them, arising from want of confidence, whether proceeding from the credit of the house being shaken, or from public calamity. It is usual for bankers in the country to exchange each other’s notes once or twice a-week, and the balance is always paid by a bill on London. An extensive credit here is what they trust to more than specie, for supporting them in any exigency; and the want of the means of obtaining this credit, restrains circulation, and prescribes a limit, in proportion to the capital of the bankers. It does not happen once in seven years, that a country banker is called upon to pay specie to any extent; and it seldom happens at a distance from the metropolis, that gold coin is to be met with. The risk of light guineas has reconciled the people to notes, and nothing else is in circulation. A considerable amount in silver (comparatively speaking) must be kept at the country bankers’ houses for change—at least this was the case before the five-pound notes were issued. I should not conceive the gold equal to one-eighth, if so much, of the amount of the notes in circulation; but this is mere opinion. It is the interest of the banker to have as little as possible, and he will act on this principle. If he sees no danger, he will have little or none; if otherwise, he will get temporary supplies from the metropolis.
“If we could suppose a case, where a sudden demand to the amount of one-fourth of the circulation of the different country banks was to be made for specie, I think all of them must stop, because they could not, in that case, assist one another. In this view, specie is not the foundation upon which notes are issued; but the credit of the issuers, and their known property and responsibility. It is this that quiets the public mind, since a general impression prevails that the specie is, at all times, very inconsiderable in the coffers of the bankers.”
Bentham applied to Sir Francis Baring for information, in a note dated 23d December, 1799.
Bentham to Sir Francis Baring.
“Q. S. P., 23d December, ’99.
Permit me to cast myself upon your experienced kindness for an answer to the question on the other leaf. I am sensible that nothing better than mere conjecture can be given, and that conjecture of the lowest kind; but from you any sort of conjecture would afford me a degree of satisfaction not to be derived from any other source on a subject in which I happen just now to take a particular interest.—Believe me to be, with all respect, yours ever.
“1. Whereabouts may be the amount of Bankers’ paper (payable on demand) habitually in circulation?
“2. If no particular sum can be mentioned, is it supposed to be more or less than that of the Bank of England?
“3. Has any and what addition been made to the quantity of Bank of England paper in consequence of the issue of £2 and £1 notes?
“4. What is the rate of interest allowed to customers by such of the bankers as allow interest? as per Sir F. B.’s Observations, 2d edit. p. 18.”
To which Sir Francis replies:—
“1. The bankers in London have no circulating paper payable on demand. The country banks always have; but a distinction should be made between paper payable on demand originally, and what becomes so, in consequence of the lapse of the time for which it is issued—this is partly explained in what I have said about the Exeter and Newcastle banks; for instance:
“Exeter issued originally notes on demand, which formed a small part, (about one-tenth of their circulation,) the remainder being at twenty or twenty-one days after sight with interest.
“Newcastle issued all their paper to commence interest six months after date, and thus payable on demand, conceiving it the best means to keep their paper out; for whoever took out fresh notes must wait six months before interest commenced.
“It is impossible to form an estimate, or even a guess at the amount, which must vary with the more or less internal trade of the country. The proportion of notes issued originally payable on demand must be small; but it requires a return of the practice of the great banks to know the degree to which that amount is augmented by the means I have described.
“2. The preceding will explain why no answer can be given to this; but the total quantity or amount of the paper of the country banks must very much exceed that of the Bank of England in my opinion; but doctors always differ.
“3. An addition has been made, no doubt; and the sum would have been very much larger, if the notes had been for guineas instead of pounds. The number which are in circulation may be large, but I cannot think the value or amount to be considerable. I am clearly of opinion that it forms no important part in the circulation of the country. It was convenient at the time: it may be so now, and hereafter; but that is the extent of its importance.
“4. The rate of interest from country banks will vary: some are so low as 2½ per cent., but the most are from 3 per cent., and upwards. It is probable that war and partial distress may have varied the rate paid by the same banks.
“You should read the report of the House of Lords on examining the Bank; but you must not positively rely, that what are stated as facts, are so in truth. I forget the instances, except some in the evidence of Henry Thornton, which he gives as receiving information from others, but in which he has been misinformed.
“The subject of circulations generally is very tender and difficult at present, for we must have many shocks and convulsions before it can settle in a sound basis; in the meanwhile, it moves quietly and with facility for those who proportion their enterprises or operations to their means; as the distress and failures of 99 out of 100 which have happened in the last six months, has been owing to imprudence, &c., of the parties.”
And Bentham acknowledged the communication thus:—
Bentham to Sir Francis Baring.
“Queen’s Square Place,
“My dear Sir,—
I cannot let slip a post without expressing my gratitude for the trouble you have so kindly and so promptly taken in furnishing me with the valuable information I have just received.
“Apropos—have you heard—Yes, you must have heard—of Mr I don’t know who’s plan, for producing a circulating medium of ‘Stock-Notes,’ which were to be—and not to be—a mortgage of stock? By means of a common friend, he applied to me repeatedly and pressingly for my opinion of his plan. To enable me to form one, I wrote him a letter, asking him for the form and tenor of one of his proposed Stock-Notes, with reasons stating why I could not do without it—no answer: nor though I applied repeatedly and pressingly, could I get back my letter, which, I said at the time, I should want back, not having preserved a copy of it. Meantime, it appeared to me, that, whatever sort of a thing his Stock-Note might be, it was impossible the plan should do: and I drew up a letter accordingly, which, without announcing the result of it, I let him know, through our friend, that I had in readiness for him, and would send immediately on his returning me the first. That I might have no bias on my mind, I would not know who he was, nor do I to this moment: Romilly knows, and was going to tell me, but I stopped his mouth.
“As these things are work to your humble servant, though play to you, it has come into my head this moment to bore you with the said second letter, for the chance of taking the benefit of your opinion on the subject, and learning whether my own are fortunate enough to stand confirmed by yours, and to receive any correction which you may have the charity to give me.
“Read, or unread, as you have time and appetite, do me the favour to return it within a week; and though it should be waste paper, do not treat it as such, since the replacing it would cost me more trouble than I can spare. I am, &c.”
Sir Francis Baring to Bentham.
“I thank you very much for the perusal of your letter, and agree entirely with you in opinion on the subject. I must, however, in candour, point out to you an error you have committed in saying, you do not understand, &c. Now it is evident that your assertions and observations are decidedly at variance. I have heard of the plan for about twelve months,—perhaps it may accompany the union, for it is much too sublime for an English head: and your ideas about the tenor of the note are just, as I think it impossible to frame a note founded on so visionary a basis, as would inspire confidence: you should recollect that when Mandats were established, they were combined in a degree with Assignats: the consequence was, that in fourteen days mandats were at 30 per cent. discount, and in six months both mandats and assignats were swallowed up in the same bottomless pit. I have marked with a pencil a short observation which cannot be answered, and therefore satis est.”
[* ] It is casually alluded to in the Life of Wilberforce, vol. ii. p. 170.
[* ] Here there is a partly obliterated Latin quotation, which cannot be satisfactorily made out.
[† ] This was the Bill which was passed into the Act of 36 Geo. III. c. 7, for defining the application of the law to those constructive treasons which had been raised by the courts of law on the statute of Edward. The phraseology attacked by Bentham is adopted from the old Act.
[* ] This paper was to have been “continued,” but no continuation has been found.
[* ] See particularly—observations on Sir Robert Peel’s speech on the measure for raising the salaries of the police judges, vol. v. p. 335.
[† ] By an inadvertency, the name has, in a few instances, been printed Abbott instead of Abbot.
[* ] “Portsmouth Dock—direction sufficient.”
[* ] One of the Papers on Pauper Management inserted in the Annals of Agriculture; see vol. viii. of the works, p. 409 et seq.
[* ] History of the Poor Laws, 1764, p. 221.