Front Page Titles (by Subject) Dr Parr to Bentham. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 10 (Memoirs Part I and Correspondence)
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Dr Parr 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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Dr Parr to Bentham.
“26th February, 1805.
At a very sudden and unexpected warning, Somebody set off from a Warwickshire parsonage. He has been in town rather more than a week—he is lame, and out of health and spirits, and in a few days he must make his escape. He has twice seen Mr Dumont, and on Saturday morning he stept from carriage into Queen Square Place. Three times he gave three stout raps at your door—he waited five minutes and more, but in vain. He cannot call again, and is so teazed with lawyers, &c., that he will not permit you to sally out. He has preserved your precious teachest, and will deliver it to you in May next. He desires to be most kindly remembered to Mr Koe.—He is, with the greatest and most sincere respect, your friend,
“To Jeremy Bentham, at the deserted house.”
I find among Bentham’s papers, of this period, the following curious letter of George the Third to the Bishop of Worcester, Dr Hurd:—
“My dear good Bishop,—
It has been thought, by some of my friends, that it will be necessary for me to remove my family. Should I be under so painful a necessity, I know not where I could place them with so much satisfaction to myself, and, under Providence, with so much security, as with yourself and my friends at Worcester. It does not appear to me probable that there will be any occasion for it; for I do not think that the unhappy man who threatens us will dare to venture himself among us; neither do I wish you to make any preparation for us; but I thought it right to give you this intimation. I remain, my dear good Bishop,
Dumont thus announces the death of Lord Lansdowne, which took place on the 7th May, 1805:—
“There is no longer any information to be asked. The last event took place this morning at six o’clock. The two last days have been passed in a state of exhaustion or insensibility.”
Admiral Modvinoff writes to General Bentham:—
“Petersburg, 5-17th May, 1806.
“I long to settle in England, and, settling there, to be acquainted with your brother. He is, in my eyes, one of the four geniuses who have done, and will do most for the happiness of the human race—Bacon, Newton, Smith, and Bentham: each the founder of a new science: each a creator. I am laying up a certain sum for the purpose of spreading the light which emanates from the writings of Bentham.”
The letter which follows explains itself. It is the answer to a proposal of marriage made by Bentham to a lady for whom he felt an affection, which lingered in his spirit to the very end of his days. Of that lady I have often heard him speak with tears in his eyes; and in illustrating a later period of his life, when he made me the confidant of his “love passages,” I shall have to record more of his reminiscences on the subject. Even in his playfulness, the introduction of her name, or any circumstance connected with her name, would overpower him with melancholy. That name need not now be divulged, though there is nothing in the correspondence but what is highly honourable to the writer:—
“October 10, 1805.
“You do us but justice in believing that the renewal of friendly intercourse, after the lapse of so many years, afforded us the sincerest pleasure,—so great a pleasure indeed, that I am afraid the wish for its continuance (aided by an apprehension, on my part, of yielding to what, for aught I knew, might be the suggestion of an extravagant female vanity) has misled our judgments, and caused a pang that I would have given the world to spare you—for we can never meet but as friends; but this I did think, that, after a separation of sixteen years, we might have done with comfort and satisfaction to us both. Alas! I have been painfully, to myself as well as to you, mistaken; and I really never shall forgive myself, unless you acquit me of the least intended disturbance to your peace—unless you acknowledge that your own caution or your nervousness might naturally have led me to form that conclusion which was most agreeable to my wishes, as it flattered my hope of seeing you, and living henceforward in habits of intimacy with you. This was foolish—I ought to have known you better; and had dear Mrs—been within reach, she ‘who looks before and after,’ and quite into the hearts of men, would have been more clear-sighted. She never was cruel, but for a kind purpose; and we should have done better had we followed her example. Dear — — once compared me to a cat playing with a mouse. I was hurt and vexed at the reproach; though my conscience acquitted me then, as it does now, of ever designing to give pain to any human being, much less to one whom I did, and ever shall respect and esteem, and gratefully remember. Yet I am more vexed now, because I think appearances are more against me. It is in your power, however, to make me easy, if you will instantly, without the waste of a single day, return to those occupations from which the world will hereafter derive benefit, and yourself renown. I have enough to answer for already, in having interrupted your tranquillity, (God knows how unintentionally,)—let me not be guilty of depriving mankind of your useful labours, of deadening the energy of such a mind as yours. No, I have heard wise people say, and I hope it is true, (though not to the honour of our sex,) that single men achieve the greatest things. Pray, pray, rouse all the powers of your mind—you certainly have weapons to combat this idle passion, which other men, with vacant heads, have not. Let me, as a last request, entreat you to do it, and to devote all the time you can spare from your studies to your friends in Russell Square. There is not a man upon earth who loves you more affectionately than Mr Romilly—I know he does; and his wife’s society, you acknowledge, is soothing to you. Do this for my sake, and allow me to hope that, before I have quite reached my grand climacteric, I may again shake hands with you: it would be too painful to think it never could again be so. In the meantime, God bless you, and be assured of the unalterable good wishes and regards of the two spinsters. One word more, and I have done. Remember that we wrote to Mr Dumont, positively to know if you had made any stipulations against meeting us, whom you might very probably find at —. I thought, perhaps, he might have guessed a truth which I was unwilling and ashamed to mention; but ignorant as he appeared to be of the state of things, it was no wonder he answered decidedly not, or in spite of —’s urgent entreaties we should have sent an excuse that evening. Heartily sorry I now am that we came; but the past cannot be recalled: only forgive it, and forget it if you can; and do not believe that, when you weep, I smile. No, I weep too; nor when you are reading this letter, will you be more nervous than I have been in writing it. Health and success attend your labours; and if I must be remembered, let it be as one most sincerely interested in all the good that befalls you. So once again, God bless you,—and farewell!
“If it is any consolation to know that your letter has made me very unhappy, I can assure you, with truth, it has, and will do so for a long time to come, till I know that you are as comfortable as you were this time twelvemonth.”