Front Page Titles (by Subject) Bentham ( under the name of Phil-O'Connell ) to O'Connell. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index)
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Bentham ( under the name of Phil-O’Connell ) to O’Connell. - Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index) 
The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838-1843). 11 vols. Vol. 11.
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Bentham (under the name of Phil-O’Connell) to O’Connell.
“London, 10th November, 1829.
This comes from a sincere admirer of you, and a zealous friend to the Catholic cause, so far as is consistent with the welfare of all besides.
“It is with proportionable grief that I read your tirade—your altogether undiscriminating tirade—against the Liberals, as contained in the Morning Chronicle. I flatter myself you will see that, in what I am about to say, my object is not to cast reproach upon you, or to cause an atom of unnecessary uneasiness in your mind, but merely to do what depends on me towards prevailing on you to abstain from such reproachful sallies in future.
“To the class of Serviles, or to that of Liberals, are generally recognised to belong all men with whom, on a political account, you have anything to do, even Serviles, those called also sometimes Tories, sometimes Absolutists. Under the denomination of Liberals, are commonly regarded as included as well Whigs as Radicals.
“Absolutists are all of them against you; and accordingly so are you, and of necessity, making unceasing war upon them. Under the head of Liberals are comprised all to whom you can look for assistance in the character of friends.
“What on this, or any occasion, could have possessed you thus to run-a-muck (Malay like) against all your friends? Yes, against all your friends, with the exception of a comparatively small number of zealous Catholics.
“To what useful purpose can you thus wage war upon them? In proportion as you damage their reputation, (supposing on your part the capacity of thus producing in any degree that effect,) would not you be weakening your own force?
“No, surely, by any such vague reproaches: for which no specific grounds are alleged, and for which all such grounds would be out of season, by any such ungrounded reproaches, if any reputation be impaired, it will not be that of those against whom, but of him by whom they are uttered.
“On what supposition is it that you thus make war upon them? Is it not that they are either Non-Catholics, or Non-Christians?
“But in either case, what good is it possible you should derive even from success in this same unnatural war? Is it by vague reproaches, in that or any other shape, that any man can expect to convert any other man to the Catholic faith, or to any other?
“Talking in this strain, you afford gratification (it may be supposed) to your own momentary feelings,—and sorry am I to be obliged to call them your own antisocial feelings;—you, who so laudably abound in social ones of the best and most extensive class. This gratification you afford yourself. But how dearly do you not expose yourself to pay for it!
“All this while, what is the object and end in view of the liberty I am thus taking with you? Is it to give you pain in any shape? This you will see it cannot possibly be: for if it were, it is not in this private, but in the most public manner, that I should address you. It is, on the contrary, to preserve you from all future pain, if possible, from the like source: it is to prevail upon you to abstain from drawing it down upon yourself, by any more such manifestations of hostile feeling towards almost all those, among whom, for any of your great and beneficent purposes, you can look to find friends.
“True it is, that what is past cannot be recalled. But what I comfort myself with the hope of, is, that when you come forward upon the great carpet, with your noble plans of real reform, the memory of these escapades will be drowned in the blaze of your unexampled merits, and your matchless eloquence.
“Would you wish? can you endure? to see a specimen of the effect actually produced by this sortie of yours? Read it, if you have not read it, in The Examiner, in the No. of the earliest day thereafter ensuing. Perhaps it was noticed in Examiner more than once.
“Being of the number of your sincerest admirers, and, however unknown, friends, I sign myself,
And in a letter to O’Connell, signed by himself, and written at about the same time, he says—
“Nov. 7, 1829.
“Dan, dear Child,—
Whom, in imagination, I have, at this moment, pressing to my fond bosom,—put off, if it be possible, your intolerance. Endure the conception, and even the utterance of other men’s opinions, how opposite soever to your own. At any rate, when you assume the mantle of the legislator, put off the gown that has but one side to it,—that of the advocate.
“As to evil tendency of opinions, and insincerity in the profession of them, and any sinister interests by which in the character of motives, the declaration made of those same opinions may have been produced,—these are points quite different and distinguishable from the entertaining of those same opinions; not that under the assurance, could I but entertain it, that I should thereby avoid giving you pain, not that there is any opinion of mine, that it would cost me any pain to forbear exhibiting to your view, but that in the nature of the case no such assurance is obtainable. It would require that I should be in possession of an exact list of all your opinions,—at any rate of all that are of any considerable importance in a religious or political view, present and future, all your opinions, not present alone, but future likewise.
“What a comfort it would be to me could I but receive your assurance that you have taken yourself to task on this ground, and that the result of it has been a resolution to embrace, in words as well as deeds, that charity which is called caritas, and which, whatever it thinks, (for we are not masters of our thoughts, at any rate, and in particular, of my opinion, I who write this feel too plainly I am not,) avoids, at any rate, speaking evil. ‘Evil speaking,’—speaking evil of any person, for not doing that thing which it is not possible to do, or for not doing anything which it is not possible to avoid doing,—in a word, for the non-performance of impossibilities.”
Again Bentham writes:—
“Nov. 10, 1829.
“Behold here a further source and subject of anxiety. Take, take in good part, my dear child, a sermon upon these texts.
“The Solicitor-general knowingly and wilfully committing an act of deception, a suppressio veri, by abstaining from bringing forward a matter-of-fact, the certain consequence of which would have been the acquittal of a knot of men, against whom, in a capital case, he, by commission from the crown, was acting as advocate, these men not being, any one of them in truth, guilty of the fact charged. Let all this be taken for granted, and the conduct manifested by it shall be as bad as you please, and, in a moral view, the censure merited by it as severe as you please. Well, but what then? What is this but acting as an advocate? doing what every advocate is hired to do, and consents to do for hire. For this reason, amongst others, it is, that under my system the two branches, the professional and the judicial, are kept inexorably distinct. When the length of time which is long enough for an apprenticeship to the art and mystery of judicature has elapsed, admitted to the office of judge [shall be] no person who has ever practised as an advocate. Therefore it is, that (extraordinary exceptions excepted) if I admitted of an exclusion of evidence as a security against deception, sooner should this fall on an advocate than on a robber or murderer.
“But you, the most illustrious of all advocates—does it belong to you to pledge yourself to bring forward your great wheel to break this fly upon? Could you put it to any such use without bringing down no small part of its weight upon yourself? In vain, were I so disposed, could I conceal the self-regarding interest by which this sermon, wearisome as it cannot but be, has been produced. It is the fear of seeing worn down, and rendered less respected, less feared, less efficient, this mighty instrument—the use of which stands engaged to me, for crushing in its whole enormous mass, the machinery of injustice.
“The man in question, be he who and what he may—suppose him brought before the Honourable House (not that it is possible he should be) for what he did: how obvious and sure his answer! ‘What,’ says he, ‘was it that I did, more than anybody else in my place would have done? that which universally—at any rate generally—is understood to be the duty of every advocate, to every client, in every case?’
“This done, should I have been instrumental in the shedding of innocent blood? Not I, indeed. My duty to my client having been thus done: nothing would have hindered me from doing what is the duty of every man to justice: namely, to preserve myself from the having been instrumental in the shedding of this same innocent blood. That which would set everything right is a pardon; and this is what, under full assurance of success, I should have set myself to procure.
“What, again, if he should say, although the individual charges brought against these men were false, yet, from all circumstances taken together, I was persuaded of their having been guilty of the offences charged, or others of the same description? In that Honourable place, an exculpation of this sort would it not be listened to? Observe I speak only hypothetically: for of the particular circumstances of the case, other than as above, I have not taken any the slightest cognizance.
“Observations to the effect of the above sermon, I hear from men who are zealous friends to us and our great cause, and what to say in vindication I cannot find. If, upon cooler reflection, it should happen to you, to see that matter in the same point of view, you will, of course, take the best course that can be taken for backing out.
“Inconsistency! inconsistency! this is one of the rocks which my perhaps too sensitive—I hope too sensitive—imagination presents you, but too often to my view as in danger—not of splitting upon, indeed, but of being cast upon, and more bruised, than without severe suffering on my part, I could behold you. How could I forbear boring you with these sermons? Are we not linked together by our most philanthropic, most meritorious, our strongest and fondest hopes? Your reputation, is it not mine? All the while, with delight, gratitude, and hope, do I think of the excellent temper and endurance, with which you bore—yes: and upon my suggestion, in relation to the so unworthy Radical, our false brother Hunt.
“If, after all, this does but annoy you, without producing preponderant good, speak but half a word, and my dear quinquagenary child shall never more be thus tormented by the old hermit, his octogenary self-constituted guardian.”