Jeremy Bentham

T. L. S. Sprigge (ed.), The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 1: 1752–76

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Editor’s Note85To Samuel Bentham14 September 1769 (Aet 21)

My dear Sam

I write to you in great haste rather to apologise for not writing, if I may say so without an Iricism, than having time to write to any pg 137other purpose. the course of conveyance between us is so precarious, that though I answer'd your's as soon as 'twas possible for me and you replied to mine as soon as 'twas possible for you, your last letter did not get to town before yesterday, nor to my hands before this morning. and now it has got to my hands it is at a time when unfortunately I cannot pay that attention to it I cou'd wish and would have done had I not been under an engagement for the remainder of the day of long standing. while I am now writing there is actually a Gentleman in the room upon a first visit to me, of whom I have begged permission to retire to my desk for a few minutes to give you as many lines. and it is necessary for me to send my letter by this very night's post, otherwise I foresee it will not reach you before Papa and Mama get to Kenton and you are fetched away. It is that consideration and no other that prevents my complying with your request for supplying you with Music; another Holidays, since I know your wants, and your opportunities, they shall be supplied, and seconded.

I cannot sufficiently express my sense of the kindness, which I am so happy to learn you meet with from all our friends: kindness, I cannot say unexpected towards you, because so amply experienced by myself. thank them for it on my account, in the best words you can devise: they shew it you, I make no doubt, for your own sake; but they could not in any manner confer a more sensible obligation on me.

The paper on which I write this, and on which I wrote the last is of a peculiar kind, newly invented: it was for this reason I desired you to save it. it is called in the advertisement by the pompous title of the Royal Charta Cymica; for every thing must be royal to recommend it. the peculiarity of it is; you may make a mark on it with any Metal except Iron, like that made with a Black Lead pencil upon any other paper.

Adieu, dear Sam I have 150 other things to say, which I must reluctantly suppress for the reason above-mentioned.

  • Your's affectionately          
  • J.B.                  

Sepr. 14th Thursy. 1769.

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Editor’s Note
85. 1 B.M. I: 223–224. Autograph. Docketed: 'I.B. Septr. 14th 1769.' Also in pencil: 'Charta Chymica.'
Addressed: 'To / Mr. Bentham / at the Revd. Mr. Sl. Ray's / Kenton / Suffolk.' Postmark: '14 SE'.
This is the first extant letter from Bentham to his brother Samuel, then a twelve-year-old Westminster schoolboy. For Samuel Ray, with whom Samuel Bentham was staying, see letter 69, n. 1. Bentham, probably, was writing from his chambers in Lincoln's Inn.
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