Front Page Titles (by Subject) Notes in Bentham's Memorandum-Book, 1821. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 10 (Memoirs Part I and Correspondence)
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Notes in Bentham’s Memorandum-Book, 1821. - 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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Notes in Bentham’s Memorandum-Book, 1821.
“Pride and power are sorry companions: pride and weakness still worse.”
“The title of Chevalier sans peur and sans reproche has been given by the French to their countryman, the Chevalier Bayard. The title of Statesman sans peur and sans reproche, remains as yet unoccupied. My hope is, that at my death I may be found to be not altogether without a claim to it.”
“Avoid conceiving and expressing useless resentment.”
“If suspicion and accusation of bad conduct attach to you in a determinate shape; in so far as it is in your power to disprove it, do not fly into a passion, but give disproofs: to fly into a passion is a guilty man’s sole, and, therefore, natural resource: disproofs are the only means of distinguishing your case from that of a guilty man.”
“When you observe marks of stupidity, beware of asperity in your observations. Only so far as negligence is the cause, can they be of any use. Suppose negligence out of the question, the effect of any asperity is to give purely useless pain, and to excite resentment towards yourself on the score of injustice and cruelty.”
“Duelling.—The man who values himself on his personal courage, independently of the application made of it, values himself on that which is possessed in a higher degree by a dog, especially when he is mad.”
“Liberty of conscience, liberty of the press, liberty of opinion at large—all these are in one place or another established. The last that remains to be established, and which yet, in its whole extent, is scarcely so much as advocated, is liberty of taste.”
“Solitary Confinement.—To think that by vacancy of mind mental improvement can be assured! It is by well filling it, not by leaving it unfilled, that I (in Panopticon) should have operated.”
“Delusion representing benevolent beneficence as an attribute of power and wealth. Whatever little good the man of wealth and power does, or suffers to be done, is attributed to himself: whatever evil, is attributed to his agents.”
“Packed Juries.—From a jury of corruptionists, what justice can be expected in favour of a denouncer of corruption?”
“Condolencies, as well as mournings, are bad things. Men, and more especially women, give actual increase to their grief while, under the notion of duty and even of merit, they make display of it. If all mournings were altogether out of use, a vast mass of suffering would be prevented from coming into existence. Some savage or barbarous nations make merry at funerals. They are wiser in this respect than polished ones.
“Instead of offering condolence to your friend, if you cannot persuade him to take any amusement, contrive that business shall in some shape or other make an irresistible demand on his attention.”
“Wondered formerly by J. B., why governments could not join in reducing their military establishments? Wonder now no longer: they are kept up against—not one another, so much as against the people.”
“How absurd to ascribe superhuman virtues to a monarch to whom the law has left no motives to ordinary human virtues!”
“Constitutional Law.—Corruptionists and place-hunters favour the hypothesis of the two species of minds—the black and the white; and of the existence or denouement on the part of the white for the convenience of ultra eulogizing those partisans of theirs from whom they have expectations. So likewise the system of balance of power in the Constitutional system; that, in addition to the power of the people, by whom no overpaid places will be tolerated, much less any needless or useless places or sinecures, there may be a king to bestow all these good things, and a set of lords to support him in doing so.”
“Every act of support to a constitution, in which corruption is the instrument of Government, is an act of accessaryship to every instance of obsequiousness to corruptive influence.”
“Abstain from imagining possible evils not preventible. Example—by anticipating diseases—stone—blindness, &c. So when preventible, after the means of prevention have been settled.”
“The appetite for power increases with the exercise of it: every exercise produces resistance: every act of resistance applies a fresh stimulus.”
“On first entrance into the possession of power, a man can scarcely suspect to what a pitch his appetite for it will swell.”
“Nations are bandied from foot to foot, like balls, for the sport of monarchs.”
“Civil Code should give no power of restricting enjoyment of persons in esse, for the sake of persons not in esse: no tyranny of the dead over the living.”
“Has human life more in it of pain than of pleasure? By no means. Why? For this plain reason: because it is in so high a degree in our power to embrace pleasure, and to keep pain at a distance.
“On this point several philosophers have fallen into a notion—a conception happily as erroneous as it is melancholy. Locke, for example, takes for the cause of everything that we do uneasiness: uneasiness is a modification of pain—of suffering. If this were correct, the state of every man would be, at all times, a state of uneasiness, of pain, of suffering.
“Maupertuis, in the outset of an essay of his, has fallen into the same erroneous mode of expression, and thence as it should seem of conception. This expression, conveyed in the form of a definition, is not now remembered, except that it is still more determinate, and thence more decidedly erroneous and melancholy.
“A man who is in the actual enjoyment of one pleasure, may be thinking, at the same time, of a thousand others, receiving from each of them the pleasure of an expectation.”
“John Hunt—The tried, undaunted, persevering, intelligent, and upright defender of the people’s liberties, at his post of honour, the Coldbath Fields’ prison. From Jeremy Bentham, 14th May, 1822.”
“If you wish a man to do a thing, to save him the pain of a refusal, put it to him as slightly as may be. Perhaps you will do so and so.”
“Complication is the nursery of frand.”
“Intemperate language is strife upon paper.”
“Algebra, as distinguished from arithmetic, is nothing more than a particular mode of giving conciseness and compactness to expression.”
“Scorn should be repaid with scorn: oppression with resistance: sham-rulers should receive sham-obedience.”
“In exemplification of the prodigious utility of general urbanity to self-regarding interest, bring to view Eldon, Sidmouth, Castlereagh, Canning, &c. Urbanity does what Scripture says is done by charity. By this virtue on the small scale, vice in its most mischievous and efficient forms on the largest scale, to what a degree may it not be covered from opprobrium!”
“A circumstance that increases the ratio of the power of punishment to that of reward is the man’s less sensibility to pleasure than pain.
“A circumstance that diminishes it is the greater latitude a man has in respect of the application: the less the responsibility: for every man who has it may scatter it almost at pleasure.”
“If you find a man out in any design against you that he would be ashamed of, act accordingly: but do not let him know of your discovery; for, the more ashamed he is, the more intensely will he be your enemy.
“If, while contriving for his own advantage, a scheme by which you would not be benefited, but more injured, he tells you your benefit is the only object he has in view: contradict him not, but thank him.”
“Extra ornaments of the soldiery belong to the toy-shop, kept up for the amusement of the great baby, whose cradle is on the pinnacle of power, and who is, of necessity, always a spoiled child.
“They form part of the capital stock composed of the instruments of corruption and delusive influence.”
“For sanction of their murder, the Manchester murderers had power: but so has every other murderer had, or the murder he committed would not have been committed.
“The sinecure depredator has power to commit his depredations: but so has every highwayman had, who has ever taken a purse, or he would not have taken it.”
“If, in conversing with a man, you find him imbued with opinions which to you seem mischievously erroneous, if there be a probability of converting him, make the attempt, giving him as little uneasiness as may be. But if there be no such probability, do no such thing: as where there is no probability of your seeing him often enough. You wound his feelings, and you draw upon yourself his displeasure.”
“General observations should not precede the simple or particular statements of which they are the inference. Having the particular already in his own mind, the writer is apt to forget that this is not the case with his readers, and thus falls into obscurity.
“Exceptions—When the general observations are already familiar to most readers: and these are not among the novelties a man means to teach, but among the concessa which he brings forward for the purpose of procuring reception for the novelties.”
“Compared with that of which the seat is in the highest places, the most flagrant depravity, which has seat in the lowest places, sinks into insignificance.”
“Customariness is, to the unthinking, conclusive evidence of aptitude: under a corrupt government it is quite the reverse.”
“If it be through the happiness of another, or others, in whatsoever number, that man pursues his own happiness, still the direct, and immediate, and nearest object of pursuit is not the less his own happiness: the happiness of others is but a means to that relatively universal end.”
“One of the most foolish couplets that was ever written—if written with knowledge; for Pope was merely the satellite of Bolingbroke.”
Bentham’s services to humanity, in distributing the seeds of useful and beautiful plants, have already been mentioned. He took some pains to get the Mangel root introduced into Norway. In a letter to Mr Sibbald (9th January, 1822) he says:—
“Norway is a country that, by various ties, has of late taken possession of my sympathy. On reading your letter, considering the climate of Labrador, and the facilities which, according to your account, the plant has of enduring severe frost, it has occurred to me that if Norway could be put in possession of it, the plant might, to that cold and poor country, be a most important blessing. It might be—but it belongs much rather to you than to me, to say whether it might or might not be to Norway, what the potato is to Ireland.”
It was an invariable injunction laid on his travelling friends to send home the seeds of all esculent vegetables which fell in their way; and he was never happier than when planning the best means for their advantageous distribution.