Jeremy Bentham

The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 3: January 1781 to October 1788

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Editor’s Note453To Jeremiah Bentham10 July 1783 (Aet 35)

Hond. Sir

I sent you a day or two ago through Wilson2 a copy of a letter from Sam,3 to which I now refer. I wonder whether he will get any thing from people here for doing that sort of journey-work for them, besides the credit of it, and the collateral advantages he may make of it? I think they can't sweat him for two or three months /together/ without giving him what the French call a pot de vin, and what in vulgar English may be rendered 'something to drink,' after he has done—I wonder when Fitzherbert sets off4—I wonder how long he will be upon his journey? I wonder whether it would be within the sphere of possibility to make him take the latest rather than the earliest of two days that might be indifferent to him, by enchantment or any other means less supernatural, supposing it would be of any use? I should not mind writing to his brother5 in that view, pg 186if it wou'd answer any purpose. Concerning all these matters you might get some light from Sneyd.6

I have written to Far, to beg the favour of him to order the shirts on my account from Barker, and cause them to be dispatched according to directions I have given.7

I can write no more. I have before me half a dozen letters going on at the same time—8

  • Yours' dutifully and affectionately      
  • J.B.                              

  • Brompton near Chatham
  •    July 10 1783.

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Editor’s Note
453 1 B.M. III: 371–2. Autograph. Docketed by Jeremiah Bentham: 'Fils Jeremy / Lr. datd. Brompton / 10 July 1783.'
Addressed: 'Jeremiah Bentham Esqr. / Queen's Square Place / Westminster.'
Samuel Bentham had written on 30 May O.S. about Harris's plan to leave him in temporary charge of the British mission at St Petersburg (letter 444). Unaware as yet that this proposal had been ruled out by Catherine II as incompatible with Samuel's entry into the Russian service (Samuel to his brother, 16/27 July 1783, B.M. III: 378), Bentham and his father were anxious to pull any strings they could in Samuel's favour.
Editor’s Note
2 George Wilson.
Editor’s Note
4 The man designated as Harris's successor at St Petersburg was the able professional diplomat, Alleyne Fitzherbert (1753–1839), who was later created (1794) Baron St Helens (I). During the winter of 1782–3 he had been the British representative at Paris in the negotiations leading up to the Peace of Versailles, now reaching their final stages. On him see also letter 189, n. 2, where the periods of his service in France and Russia are mis-stated.
Editor’s Note
6 William Fitzherbert (1748–91), of Tissington, elder brother of Alleyne, had become acquainted with Jeremy Bentham about 1773, when he was studying for the bar at Lincoln's Inn. He was sometime recorder of Derby, a gentleman-usher to George III, and was created baronet in 1784. See letter 138, n. 30.
Editor’s Note
6 Jeremiah Sneyd, member of a Staffordshire family, but born in Ireland, had for some years held clerical posts in the old southern department which had recently been converted into the Foreign Office, and he was now chief clerk.
Editor’s Note
7 Samuel's request for the shirts is in letter 444.
Editor’s Note
8 None of these letters has been found. One was probably to Brissot de Warville, to which letter 454 is an answer. Another, to Samuel, was acknowledged by him on 1/12 August (letter 459).
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