Jeremy Bentham

The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 6: January 1798 to December 1801

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Editor’s Note1604To Samuel Bentham14 October 1800 (Aet 52)

14 Oct. 1800 Q.S.P.

Thanks to Mrs. B. for her family intelligence.2 She is so dextrous at her business, and goes through it with so much ease—with a little pg 364practice she may come to rival the Countess, whose productions are to be seen at Mrs Palmer's.3

As to Panopticon, your conjecture was but too just—that no news is bad news. Since they have reduced my Noble to nine-pence by decision, they have reduced it to 0 by habitual inefficiency— I have neither seen nor heard any thing from Nepean since my last.4 White Beurrés5 producing wherewithal to discharge the remainder of my Annuity, that will produce, in a few days, on my part a renewal of the correspondence.

The time being so near for the letting off of Annuity Note project, I do not mean to torment them till the effect of that has been tried. Both Tables (which are the heavy part of the book) have long ago been printed.6 The rest though retarded by corrections etc is now revised ready for the press all but a few pages in one chapter which required reconsideration. As this unfinished part is towards the conclusion I could have sent § to the press some days ago, but that from experience I know the inconvenience attending such premature detachments.

Dr Roget has been here since Saturday, and sleeps in the allotted room in your House. He has not heard from Romilly since I wrote with the extract from your letter—no more have I. Romilly is returnable for certain by the 26th instant. He is ready at calculations, mathematical included, which makes him already of use with reference to Frigidarium.

Frigidarium plan is so far determined on that Peniston7 under direction of Mr Bunce has begun digging: we find 5 foot of depth good before we come to any water; which is more than we had expected. Mr Bunce dines here on Thursday—and on that day the plan is to be definitively settled.8

pg 365Your letter to Upsal, announcing another to Mr Bunce with an instantaneous summons, threw us all into a quandary. Your letter to Mr Bunce himself received this day, has set us to rights again, as far as Frigidarium is concerned. He told me of his having written an answer, rather begging off, because some relation of his has ordered a chaise for the other world.

This letter of yours to Mr Bunce, seems to throw your arrival here to an uncertain distance.

What you mention about Ld St Vincent9 opens pleasing prospects.—

Before the news of the Austrian War-Minister (Baron Thugut's)10 resignation, I had it from D'Ivernois,11 who has German correspondence. He added that peace was necessary, because the Austrian army was cowed and tired of fighting. He / D'Ivernois / was to set out as this morning on a German visit for two months. A brother of his12 commands a Regiment in the Prussian service. Dumont's J.B.iana in the Biblioth. Britannique13 have made considerable sensation he says in Germany. His intercourse with Pitt, Rose and Ld Auckland affords instruction to me.14 Paper filled—Good bye.

P.S.15 As a proprietor of Royal Institution you have or might have two tickets of admission to the Lectures—I speak from their printed Paper.

Are Your's commutable?16 I should be glad of one for a time at least for Roget, and another for Herbert17 who increases in intelligence.

Notes Settings

Notes

Editor’s Note
1604. 1 BL VII. 425–6. Autograph. Docketed: '1800 Octr 14 / J.B. to S.B.' Addressed: 'To / General Bentham / Plymouth Dock Yard.'
Editor’s Note
2 On 22 September at Stoke, near Plymouth, Mrs Bentham had given birth to her third child George, who became a distinguished botanist and died in 1884.
Editor’s Note
3 Probably an allusion to the progeny of Lavinia, Countess Spencer, who had had six children since her marriage to the 2nd Earl in 1781. Mrs. Palmer's may have been the ladies' boarding school run by M. and C. Palmer at Vicarage House, Hendon.
Editor’s Note
4 Probably letter 1596.
Editor’s Note
5 A variety of pear.
Editor’s Note
6 Above these words, at the head of the second page of the letter, Bentham wrote a note, 'Roget's arrival'.
Editor’s Note
7 Not identified.
Editor’s Note
8 Little progress was made on the Frigidarium. Roget wrote to his mother on 7 November 1800: 'Mr. Bentham is absorbed in some work that occupies him without letting up. We still have the building, but it is of no use until we can get ice, and we cannot do that until the end of December. The success of the experiment, which will be done there, is already doubtful. I assume that I will have all the responsibility. Mr. Bentham will contribute very little because he understands nothing of it. I am resolved to lose no time in it because I can't believe that it will be useful.' (D. L. Emblen, Peter Mark Roget, p. 53.)
Editor’s Note
9 John Jervis, Earl of St. Vincent (1735–1823) had been in command of the Channel fleet blockading Brest, but he came ashore in October 1800 on account of ill health and took up residence at Tor Abbey. The Benthams probably expected that this would lead to greater efficiency and discipline in the dockyards in the vicinity.
Editor’s Note
10 Baron Franz Maria Thugut (1734–1818), Austrian foreign minister 1794–7, 1799–October 1800.
Editor’s Note
11 Sir Francis D'Ivernois (1757–1842), Swiss writer on politics and economics. He came to England in 1794 and received an honorary knighthood from George III in 1796.
Editor’s Note
12 Philippe Charles D'Ivernois (1754–1813), elder brother of Francis, was a lieutenant-colonel in the Prussian army.
Editor’s Note
13 See Correspondence, v. 200n.
Editor’s Note
14 A week earlier, on 7 October 1800, D'Ivernois had been granted a pension of £200 a year, backdated to July 1799, by the British government in recognition of his defence of Pitt's policies and his anti-French propaganda. (Otto Karmin, Sir Francis D'Ivernois, Geneva, 1920, pp. 388–91.)
Editor’s Note
15 Written at the top of the first page.
Editor’s Note
16 Each proprietor of the Royal Institution had two transferable tickets of admission. Jeremy was a life subscriber to the Institution (which had been opened in March 1800) but was not a proprietor.
Editor’s Note
17 John Herbert Koe (1783–1860), younger son of John Koe and brother of John Heide Koe (see letter 1462 n. 1); Bentham's secretary and protégé for some twenty years from c.1800; admitted to Lincoln's Inn November 1804; called to the bar 1810; Q.C. 1842; county court judge 1847–60.
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