Front Page Titles (by Subject) Bentham to O'Connell. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index)
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Bentham 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 to O’Connell.
“Dec. 8, 1829.
“Wellington is civil to me—gives immediate answers, all in his own hand, to letter after letter, that I send to him. I have written him about Law Reform, telling him, if he will listen to me, he may do what Cromwell tried at, and failed in:—the lawyers were too many for him.
“Herries, the Cabinet Minister, on receiving a little tract of mine, ‘Emancipate your Colonies,’ writes me a homage-paying letter, speaking of himself as ‘honoured,’ &c.
“With all this I am dispirited. I am at my wit’s end—and wherefore? Even because of you.
“He has declared war against you. Are not you a Liberal? Can you deny that you are? Would you wish to deny it? Since the name was invented, have you ever ceased to answer to it? On the Monday he is at your feet; he was a Benthamist. On the Thursday, you are the object of his declared abhorrence; he is an anti-Benthamist. And in the meantime, what is it you have done? Can you have any doubt of this? If, after that declaration, any doubt is left, look to his silence. His letter of more than a month ago, Nov. 4, is the last you will have from him.
“He is a tool in the hands of the Jesuits. He is a weathercock, and their breath the blast that determines its direction.
“Those to whom you are most indebted for what you are, for your having devoted the whole of your long life to the service of mankind, those by whose means he himself became what, till the other day he was,—a Benthamist, these are now among the objects of his proclaimed abhorrence.
“In England, the men of his own religion are cold to him, and indifferent; Liberals, all to a man, his warm friends, and the only ones: and this is the return he makes to them.
“The friends of liberty all over the world, those are the men he thus makes war upon. The liberal Spanish Cortes,—the liberal Portuguese Cortes,—all over late Spanish-America, the constituted authorities, with the exception of Bolivar, till t’other day the Liberator, now the Subjugator. The declared enemy to all useful lights, who, after trumpeting my works, and declaring that they had given to politics and morals the certainty and precision of mathematics, has made it a crime in every man to have so much as one of them in his possession. In a word, he has made himself to be, in his part of Spanish-America, what the beloved Ferdinand was—completely absolute; with the single exception of the person of the despot he has reestablished the ancien régime.
“And what is it that has produced the alliance between him and O’Connell? One simple merit, which absorbs and stands in the place of all others,—he has reëstablished, and is reëstablishing monks. Well, and what of that? Are these monks Jesuits? No! but tell them they have taken the vows to disobey the command, which says, increase and multiply; and this is the merit which, in the eyes of a father of a family, suffices to outweigh the most flagitious crimes.
“With inflexible pertinacity, he adheres to the religion of his fathers,—to the opinions under which he was born and bred. The Liberals, in all their varieties of opinion, do the same thing: and thus it is, by pursuing the very same course that he pursues, they have made themselves the objects of his abhorrence.
“In what consists their crime?—the crime of the very worst of them? In differing with him on a question of evidence, on the credit due to statements of facts, self-declaredly improbable,—statements written in early, and comparatively uninstructed ages,—statements unsubjected and unsubjectable to the test of cross-examination. Granting these statements to be all true, yet is it a crime—an unpardonable crime—not to be convinced by them? not to be able to comprehend what he himself declares to believe to be incomprehensible?
“He thinks it is in the infallibility of the Pope, or of the Church, (whoever it is he means by the Church,) and, after all, in whose infallibility is it that he is believing? in whose but his own. His opinion is, that their opinion is infallible, and is not his own then the opinion on which his confidence of the supposed infallibility rests?
“Fasting, prayers, celibacy, self-tormenting in any or all shapes, can it atone for, and, in the scale of good and evil, preponderate over all-comprehensive beneficence?
“This, and more in abundance to the same effect, is what I have been doomed continually to hear from all around me: and what can I find to say in answer? Just nothing. I am struck dumb. I stand mute. I shrug up my shoulders: this is the condition in which you have placed me. Will you? can you, say anything, do anything that will help me out of it? Unless you can, to what end come hither and take your place in the House of Commons? The men you have declared war against, is it to them that you look for support? The Whigs and the Radicals—of these are composed the Liberals—remain the Tories. Is it to the Tories that you look for coöperation in the dissolution of the Union? To the Wellingtons and the Peels for the abolition of their own tyranny? If it is to Irishmen alone that you look for the shaking off the yoke, and, among Irishmen, to the Roman Catholics alone, whose wish it is to be governed by the Jesuits, will not any endeavour of yours go farther where you are than here?
“My dear, dear O’Connell—Oh no! it is not in anger—it is in grief of mind that I say this. Hate me as you will: I defy you to make me hate you,—I defy you to prevent me from being your well-wisher; and not merely your motiveless well-wisher, but your faithful servant, and your benefactor, if possible, if, by anything I can say or do, any addition can be made to your greatest happiness, as witness these presents, written in a moment of dejection—not to say despondency, at the close of a night occupied in dreaming of you.”
To this O’Connell replies:—