Jeremy Bentham

Catherine Fuller (ed.), The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 11: January 1822 to June 1824

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Editor’s Note3013To Jean Baptiste Say19 October 1823 (Aet 75)

to Jean Baptiste Say

I have to thank you, my dear friend, for a letter of pretty recent date,2 which I know not whether I shall be able to lay my hands on, before the time for sending off this arrives. By this opportunity I hope to despatch the missing sheets of a work by Mr S. the bulk of which you have acknowledged the receipt of.3 As to the conjunction, you have no need to be at the trouble of changing it: but was the conjunction expressed: but it was that not might be the conjunction inferred: so at least the author informs me but of this there is no need to make any public mention: each man is master of his own inferences.

Should there be a sheet superfluous I will beg you to take some occasion for sending it back that it may be returned to the author and thus a copy saved from being lost.

The duplicate of what you receive I will beg the favour of you to send in the form of a pamphlet by post directed To Sir Samuel Bentham &c &c &c Montpellier: keeping back the superfluous sheet if any such there be.

19 Oct. 1823

What is on the other side4 was written perhaps a month ago: disappointment after disappointment has kept it here.

Meantime I have to thank you for your pretty little Eloge of David pg 309Ricardo.5 Coulson in the Globe-and-Traveller said that on morals and politics he had taken his principles from me:6 which through the medium of Mill was exactly true. Till he knew Mill he was not distinguishable from other Stockjobbers, Mill egged him on till he made him get into Parliament: purchase money £4000 of the Earl of Portarlington in Ireland the borough for which he sat.7

A propos of a certain work, not a syllable is there in it which I did not think. I never have on any occasion in my life said any thing in print I did not think; and scarce any thing out of print. But assuredly on that occasion I did not say all I thought. What use would there be in it.

in general the good cause is getting on well here: details of more you must not expect from me, I stop reluctantly when I write to you: but my eyes compel8 me: my eyes just now are very weak and I have not enough of them for the work for which I am so anxiously pressed.

Persevere my good friend! go on and prosper and lose no opportunity of ecrasezing whatever deserves to be ecrasé.9

Notwithstanding the vile title, I believe I shall put up in the packet as a literary curiosity the last number of Carlisle, which shows to what a pitch of audacity Atheism has soared in this unhappy country.10

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Notes

Editor’s Note
3013. 1 Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. Autograph, Addressed: 'To / Mr Jean Baptiste Say / Faubourg S' Martin / No 92.'
Editor’s Note
2 Letter 2993, which Bentham had received on 30 September 1823.
Editor’s Note
3 i.e. Not Paul, hut Jesus, published under the pseudonym of Gamaliel Smith, which Bentham had sent to Say on 4 August 1823 (see Letter 2988), but which, according to Say, lacked the first and last pages (see Letter 2993).
Editor’s Note
4 i.e. the preceding part of the letter.
Editor’s Note
5 Say's eulogy for David Ricardo has not been traced.
Editor’s Note
6 In an article entitled 'The Character of Mr. Ricardo', which appeared in the Globe and Traveller of 16 September 1823, Coulson had written: 'With respect to government and legislation he had embraced the principles of Bentham'.
Editor’s Note
7 Ricardo was MP for Portarlington 1819–23. He purchased the seat for £4,000, as part of the terms of a loan of £25,000, to John Dawson (1781-1845), second Earl of Portarlington, owner in fee of most of the borough of Portarlington.
Editor’s Note
8 MS 'eyes I compel'.
Editor’s Note
9 Bentham has used the French word ecrasé meaning to crush.
Editor’s Note
10 Carlile's weekly journal, The Republican, was published from 27 August 1819 until 29 December 1826 in fourteen volumes, Bentham may be referring to the letter 'From Humphrey Boyle in the Giltepur Street Compter, London, to his brother James Boyle of Manchester', dated 2 September 1823, which recommended atheism, and appeared in The Republican, vol. viii, no. xiii (3 October 1823), 385–92. Boyle, journalist and freethinker, worked in Carlile's shop.
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