Front Page Titles (by Subject) Mr Price to Bentham. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index)
Return to Title Page for The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Mr Price to Bentham. - 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.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Mr Price to Bentham.
“Needwood Parsonage, near Lichfield,July 8, 1830.
“I am now returned to the bare walls of my parsonage, with the recollection that a libel prosecution stripped them of numerous beautiful and valuable paintings, and scattered to the four winds of Heaven a family which contained within itself more, perhaps, of the elements of rational enjoyment, than any other family in even a polished neighbourhood, without the possibility of a reunion. Accomplishments now perform the part of drudgery, and are turned to the procuring of bread rather than to the communication of intellectual enjoyment to a once happy family. But I repine not: I rather rejoice in my sufferings; and I think I am prepared to suffer greater evils still—so that I suffer wrongfully.”
In the controversy in which Mr Price was engaged, he certainly exhibits ignorance of the principles of political economy; and supposes that the rate of wages is decided by the feelings—more or less benevolent—of the masters. He would trace the sufferings of the labourer—not to the excess of labour in the field of demand and supply, but to the determined oppression of those who employ the labourer. This is erroneous doctrine; but it is not illegal doctrine: it ought not to be punishable doctrine: and least of all punishable when mingled, as it undoubtedly was, in Mr Price’s case, with a truly philanthropic concern for the felicity of the suffering many. It would have been easy to answer Mr Price: it was most unwise—most cruel, to persecute him. In his addresses to the operatives, he reproves them for their want of knowledge; he encourages them to seek instruction; he exhorts them to eschew violence,—while he becomes the organ of their opinions and their prejudices. But the most objectionable phrases are but the outbreaks of a sympathizing and strongly excited mind—the overflowing of a really charitable and generous temper. The arts of the prosecuting lawyers, and of the prejudiced judges, were successful in giving, to expressions which really originated in, and represented regard for the labouring many, the character of hatred and wicked purposes against the master few. Mr Price was condemned by a special jury of twelve Esquires.
1830—31. Æt. 82—3.
Del Valle.—Jeux d’Esprit.—Burdett.—Sir James Graham.—Livingston.—Santander.—Duc de Broglie.—French Revolution of 1830.—Letter to the French People.—Introduction of Rammohun Roy.—La Fayette.—Brougham.—O’Connell and Libel Law.—Irish Coercion.—Parliamentary Candidates’ Society.—Notices of Bentham in American Periodicals.—William Tait.—Cobbett.—Prosecution of Archibald Prentice.