Front Page Titles (by Subject) Bentham to Sir William Pulteney. - The Works of Jeremy Bentham, vol. 11 (Memoirs of Bentham Part II and Analytical Index)
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Bentham to Sir William Pulteney. - 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 Sir William Pulteney.
A man that obtains approbation such as yours, does not write in vain.
“The little work you speak of was a published one. Since my being favoured with your letter, I have looked out two still smaller ones, (one of them but a fragment,) and which being unpublished, can scarcely have met your eye.
“The fragment has for its subject, a situation I had once some prospects of, which are now sunk by perfidy and oppression, together with so many other prospects, and about half the property that should have served for their support.
“The other I send for the sake of a principle of political economy, which to me has long been a fundamental one, but which, if received in practice, would make a very extensive change in our appetite for untaxable colonies—our projects for encouragement—our apprehensions of discouragement in regard to particular branches of productive industry: consequently in our anxieties about treaties of commerce, our wars to punish people for not entering into treaties of commerce with us, our fears about taxing exports, (i. e. taxing foreigners,) and a thousand other things.
“You have already my unpublished work intituled ‘Panopticon.’ I have a letter of yours rewarding me with your approbation of it. These small scraps are an experiment upon your patience: say you have read them, you have paid me for the next I send, and I have plenty for you upon the same terms. The ‘Defence of Usury,’ and the anonymous ‘Fragment on Government,’ I suppose you may have read in your day since others did. Of my 4to ‘Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation,’ scarce the existence is known here. I have pursued the investigation in detail, through almost every branch of legislation; but scarce any part is finished, much less published, as it never happened to me to receive any the smallest reason for expecting that anything from me, would, in my own lifetime at least, be of any use. I should have excepted one instance, and in that you see the sort of payment I have received. Once, indeed, (it just occurs to me,) Mr Rose, in the presence of Mr Pitt, did say to me, that he had read my pamphlet about Law Taxes, and that there should be no more Law Taxes.
“My labours are not so perfectly unknown on the other side of the water as on this. A friend of mine, whose native language is French, and to whom, at his desire, I turned them over as so much lumber, has given them there a sort of currency. Some tokens of it are in the ‘Bibliothèque Britannique,’ a journal by Professor Pictet of Geneva, lately elected to the Tribunate. Three volumes of ‘Ideas,’ long ago forgotten by their author, are (I understand) to make their appearance in Paris before the month is out. Meantime they have put me up at the Institute as one of the three candidates for the sort of distinction lately conferred on Major Rennel and Sir Joseph Banks. So much the worse, perhaps, for me here. The word candidate seems to imply solicitation. Directly or indirectly, I had no more hand in the matter than you had. All I have ever known about it is from the newspapers.
“I have run on into the usual loquaciousness of complaining egotism. It is time I should beg your pardon, and subscribe myself, Sir, yours, &c.
“P.S.—If you have read the Treasury Reports, you will have supposed my business to have gone off upon a disagreement about terms. A studied falsehood: no disagreement on my part about anything. The real grounds of relinquishment have been a succession of concealed promises, which they have never dared either to deny or to avow, but which I have evidence of. In the 28th Finance Report, is a guarded history (by me) of a course of four years’ perfidy. It has since been doubled.”
* * * * *
“In the course of the eight years’ provocation I have endured, I think you must have given me credit for something in the way of sang froid and prudence at least, in never having stooped to go to Acheson with my story: oh, how would his chops water, did he but know of the bonne bouche I could treat him with!
“Should Lord Pelham wish to see the substance of the paper in print, (for example to serve him as an ostensible warrant for doing his duty, and to afford him the plea of necessity for breaking so many illegal and corrupt promises as there will be to break,) he could be accommodated without difficulty. The hostilities in it would cost me much less trouble to put out, than it did to put them in. They were put in, why?—because the conduct of this present Administration has all along been such to me, as never to hold out to me any hopes but from their fears.
“Losing the post of yesterday, has since given me time for running over Collins’s continuation of his N. S. Wales history, from September 1796 to August 1801. The predictions I had hazarded as above, are verified to a degree astonishing even to myself. The most promising settlements (Hawkesbury and Norfolk Island) either abandoning, or recommended to be abandoned. Famine, at the times of the greatest possible future plenty, at all times probable from any one of five sources:—1. Drought; 2. Inundation; 3. Fire—natural; 4. Incendiarism; and 5. Savage hostility, against which defence is unavailing. As to returns to England, the idea of preventing them on the part of expirees (an imprisonment always illegal) is now disclaimed, though illegal exceptions continue to be made. Returns by non-expirees less and less preventible. The profligacy always universal, and at its maximum: the D. of P. with Mr K., with full notice of it, spreading lies to the contrary, for no better purpose than that of pimping to the whims of Lord B. about his Millbank estate, to the prejudice of his real interests, as declared by all his professional advisers. Impeachable matter crowds in, in such quantities, the only perplexity is about the choice. A single drop in this ocean of guilt, and that demonstrable by record, has been declared assets for impeachment by professional men of the first eminence—no party men, and in the coolest blood. I have exhausted my own paper, and (I fear) your patience.—Yours with the truest respect,
“Talk of bastilles?—N. S. Wales the true bastille; the other, if true, a molehill to a mountain.”
On the 20th, Sir Charles Bunbury received a letter from Lord Pelham, as follows:—
“Wimbledon, 19th August, 1802.
“My dear Sir Charles,—
I have received Mr Bentham’s papers, and I will find out what steps have been taken by the Treasury before I send for him, as it appears to me, that to give him any false hopes, would, in the present state of his mind, produce the very worst effects. At all events, I will apply my mind to the subject, and endeavour to get something settled before the meeting of Parliament.—With very sincere regard, ever yours most faithfully.”