Front Page Titles (by Subject) Bentham to George Rose. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index)
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Bentham to George Rose. - 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 George Rose.
“23d February, 1798.
I understand from the Solicitor-general, that my bill (the Tothill Fields Penitentiary Bill) is unexceptionable—that consent of parties may be dispensed with,—but that the bill is an Enclosure Bill, and as such cannot be brought into Parliament till next session, for want of certain notices. Here then commences a certain suspension of the business for another twelvemonth, (making from the time of my being ordered to take my arrangements four-and-a-half years,) and at the end of it a prospect already thus darkened by experience. Meantime, while others are proving their loyalty by their affluence, I, who have nothing left but loyalty, am reduced to shut up my house, (the residence of the family for three-and-thirty years,) fortunate in finding a brother’s to take refuge in. Between £10,000 and £11,000 was, I think, the amount of advances as stated (it is years since) in the last of my memorials on the subject to the Treasury, Since then it has been increased to an amount which it frightens me to look into, by interest and fresh expenses,—for every fresh effort brings its expense. I cannot think that the utter ruin of the individual, whose pecuniary advances are not the greatest even of his pecuniary sacrifices, would be regarded by Mr Pitt as a fit termination for this business. Under these circumstances, I will venture to submit an expedient, the adoption of which would at least not be detrimental to the public, and might afford me some relief, without expense to government, or cause of complaint to anybody. Had my plan taken place at the time originally intended, the existing plan, so far as the hulks are concerned, would have ceased several years ago. The adoption of the new plan has never been a secret to the conductors of the old one: whatever may have been the benefits of it, they have therefore already been in possession of those benefits longer,—much longer, than they could naturally have expected. There seems no reason why they should reap a profit from this fresh misfortune (I mean this fresh delay) coming on the back of so many other misfortunes. The death of a Duncan Campbell, Esq., and the sale of his effects, appeared some months ago in the papers. I suppose Mr Campbell the superintendent:—but under the circumstances just stated, whether he be, or be not in existence, will not be thought (I presume) to make much difference. The existing contract ceases at any time on three months’ notice. Several years ago, Mr Campbell declared to Sir Charles Bunbury, that ‘the retaining his situation was no longer a personal object to him—his delegates remained the sole object of his care.’ In this there was nothing but what was natural enough; after receiving for so many years £38 a-head, the profit to be made upon less than £21, with additional charges, and provisions so much dearer, would comparatively be of small importance. Were the convicts to be intrusted to my care upon the existing plan, it would, besides the present relief, afford me the opportunity of initiating myself into the business; and the transition from the Hulk plan to the Penitentiary-house plan, would be smoother, and attended with less hazard, than if, at one and the same time, persons, as well as places, were comprehended in the change. Mr Campbell himself never resided in the Hulks: the persons who supply his place on board, would of course be the persons to supply mine. The system is too effectually vicious to admit of much improvement: yet here and there something might perhaps be done, were it only in the way of preparation for a better. Giving the notices necessary for the bill, at the same time with the notice for the termination of the contract, would publish the sincerity of the Government, (which, however real, must be confessed to stand in some need of publication,) and show that something more is intended on both sides, than the bartering a system for a job. As to the change of hands, I have never heard that any very uncommon qualities have hitherto been looked for as requisite for the situation. In my own instance, the foundation of everything has been done on the supposition of my being capable of giving birth to a new and better plan. I hope I am still capable of preventing the old bad plan from getting worse. I have the honour to be, with all respect, Sir, your most obedient humble servant.”