Front Page Titles (by Subject) Patrick Colquhoun to Bentham. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 10 (Memoirs Part I and Correspondence)
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Patrick Colquhoun to Bentham. - 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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Patrick Colquhoun to Bentham.
“21st May, 1800.
“I mean to go to the Bank on purpose to-day, to see Mr Bosanquet on the subject of your paper on forgery, &c. The conduct of the gentlemen appears to me to be very strange. They are morally bound to protect individuals against frauds, and they ought to be roundly told of it.
“I really want to converse with them on the subject, particularly with Mr Bosanquet. I am very much hurt; and were I not accustomed to neglect of this sort, I should be in a considerable degree enraged; but this answers no purpose.
“I am confident you accuse me wrongfully, in conceiving I ever allowed any person to believe that you looked for profit. Be assured, I am too tenacious of your dignity of character, to let it down in the opinion of any man. I certainly never wrote or said anything that could admit of such a construction—namely, ‘that you looked for money, or wished to make your suggestions a matter of profit.’ It ought to be so: but what ought to be, ought not in point of prudence always to be mentioned.
“I was with Mr Dundas yesterday about the bill. He has spoken strong language to the General on account of the delay. I am authorized to see him and the Solicitor-general, and to get the matter brought forward immediately. Mr Dundas has read the bill. Mr Pitt has perused your abstract, and told Mr Dundas that from it he had a perfect conception of the measure. The Attorney-general who has now read it, only objects to the detail about Lumpers, &c. being more fit to make a part of the bylaws than to remain in the bill. I hope to see him and the Solicitor-general to-morrow. Mr Dundas said he must trust much to Mr Abbot, whose assistance he meant to solicit, and the merchants will do the same.—I am,” &c.
In the year 1800, Bentham conducted a correspondence with the Emperor of Russia and divers authorities in Warsaw, on behalf of the widow of his friend, Lind,—to whom Stanislaus, the last King of Poland, had granted a yearly pension of 1000 ducats. Stanislaus had made his personal property responsible for the amount. Strongly and eloquently and successfully did Bentham urge the claims of Lind upon the justice of the Tzar. Lind had been for many years a privy-councillor, the tutor of Prince Stanislaus Poniatowsky the king’s nephew,* and, also, the director of the Cadet Establishment, a corps of 400 young men. Five hundred ducats were granted in 1779 to the widow, yearly, if her husband died before her. He died in 1784. Up to 1794, the pension was regularly paid. Then came difficulties and delays,—and bargainings and deductions, and consequent embarrassments and sufferings. But Bentham not only made direct application to the Emperor Paul, but called in the services of Lord St Helens, and other influential friends, and obtained a final and honourable settlement, in spite of a thousand difficulties and resistances. The correspondence is too long for insertion.
The parties originally consulted had been endeavouring to involve the widow in law proceedings—had incurred expenses—and had been intriguing to get money for law charges, and for compliments, and for secret management. To all this Bentham would not listen. “Not a doit shall they have,” he writes; “but what they shall have is a letter declining their plans of management, with all possible civility. Poland, unfortunately for the poor lady, is in the moon; so his majesty has no representative at Warsaw: but from Berlin, perhaps, a neighbouring eye might look, and from an exalted station, and, peradventure, keep or bring Messieurs the Secretaries and Lawyers within the pale of honesty.” And so it was. As a specimen of Bentham’s epistolary Latinity, I give his letter to the Polish lawyer:—
“Londini, 23d Decris. 1800.
“Clarissimo Viro Domino Kliëger apud Varsoviam Juris-perito, Jeremias Bentham Anglus, Salutem.
“Initium circiter mensis Septembris, Dominus Baro de Vincke, sub Rege vestro Officium quod vocatur Landrath apud Minden gerens, cùm apud nostrates versaretur, in epistolâ ejus ad Dominum Comitem de Dohna apud Berolinenses, percontationes quasdam, me rogante, inseruit, quarum finis erat, gratiâ Dominæ de Lynd (Domini de Lynd Stanisläo Poloniae Regi olim ab intimis consiliis viduae) ut sciretur ecqua spes ipsi maneret, pensionem (sive stipendium) dictae Viduae ad vitae terminum, a Rege praedicto sub hypothecae obligatione concessam, et per multos annos fideliter solutam, in futurum rehabendi.
“Initium circiter mensis novissimi Novembris, venit inde ad me a Comite praedicto urbanissima epistola, ad percontationes quidem ne verbum continens, sed epistolam includens a te, Domine, ad ipsum Germanico sermone scriptam; cujus interpretatio est, ni fallor, te jamjam, eo nomine, bona aliqua, id est, eorum possessorem vel possessores, in jus quodammodo vocasse. Quo magis id praeter spem acciderit, eo magis nos tuae, Domine, vel ejus, humanitati, vel utriusque devinctossentio, quae, justitiæ ergo et temporis praeripiendi studio, (mandatum enim omnino nullum, a meâ saltem parte, percontationes comitatum est) formas juris quasi per saltum praetergressa est. Jam vero, rebus plane in incerto, sicut ante epistolam Domini de Vincke, manentibus, viduâque a litigatione abhorrente, ut ne tibi plus quam fas est molesti simus, visum est, per Legatum Regis nostri apud vestri Regis curiam, percontationes easdem iterare; eo magis quod hîc fama est non levís, bona patronymica Regis infelicis penitus esse absumpta.
“Interea, siqua in contrarium notitia, vicinitatis vel professionis beneficio, tibi acciderit illuxisse (verbi gratiâ—tale aut tale praedium, cujus proventus annuus est talis aut talis summa, in manibus talis aut talis possessoris nominatim restare, de quo constaret id sub obligationis de quâ agitur vinculo manere,) idque tibi placuerit, mihi, vel per occasionem ordinariam vel per Legationis praedictae beneficium, litterismandare,—in tali casu persuasum habeas rogo, quod ad nos attinet, neque ad justitiam obtinendam, neque ad justitiae ministros laborum et peritiae prœmiis uti par est, prosequendos, debitam solertiam defuturam esse.
“P.S.—Epistolae ad me ventitant sic inscriptae: “To Jeremy Bentham, Esquire, Queen’s Square Place, Westminster.”
There is in a letter to Mr Mulford,* —(24th Dec., 1800,) who was accustomed to address Bentham as “Dear Councillor,” while Bentham invariably dubbed him with the title of “Dear Doctor,”—this passage:—
“I have no precise recollection of my ever having informed you of my being an honest fellow, though I do not mean to deny but that it is possible I may have said so before now; or at least, something like it, the rather as I am sometimes inclined myself to suppose I may perhaps be nearly as honest as other rogues,—one thing I am altogether clear about, which is, that I am a very poor one. However, such as I am, you have an undoubted right to command my best professions.
“So much for badinage,—the language of which is as ready to my pen and my lips as any other, though my heart be ever so heavy, and sure enough it is, that since I last had you by the hand, any more than for a good while before, it has never been otherwise. And now, my dear Doctor, permit me to assure you, in sober sadness and sincerity, that I am tenderly and gratefully affected by so serious and convincing a testimony of your regard and confidence. Were the trouble ever so much greater than it is likely to be, or you suppose in such a case, I should not grudge it.
“Remember, at any rate, our Barking pilgrimage for the spring. Being of a melancholy cast, a melancholy mood is favourable to the remembrance of it; and to fix it the better in your memory, I thus put it in black and white.”
A correspondence took place between Bentham and George Rose, on the Annuity-Note scheme,† to this effect:—
[* ] See above, p. 56.
[* ] As to whom, see above, p. 22.
[† ] See Works, vol. iii. p. 105 et seq.