Jeremy Bentham

The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 7: January 1802 to December 1808

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pg 554Editor’s Note2006From Aaron Burr1 October 1808

Queen's Square Place, October 1, 1808.

The history of my late visit to Hertford must be reserved till we meet. It will afford you some moments of amusement. The stock will be greatly increased by the experience of the approaching week, for Lord Bridgwater has proposed various objects of amusement. Yet, shall I confess to you, these very recreations to me are labour? I participate with coldness. All I say is weighed, and generally forced. There is, indeed, some gratification of curiosity, and a slight hope that new channels of commiseration and of influence may be discovered.

The overtures of the captain, whose visit was mentioned in my note of yesterday, occupy much of my thoughts. He is going to the Mediterranean. To touch at various ports. Will land me anywhere, or take me anywhere. It is a very fine ship of 250 tons, with an elegant cabin. He the sole owner. Now, if you were ready, and disposed to seek milder climes, how I should bless the occasion. But this is out of the question, for he will sail on the 16th instant. Yet I have amused myself not a little with the illusion.

My letter to C.2 has not been sent. It is suspended till the arrival of Merry,3 and till I shall see whether no other engines can be brought into use for the occasion. If it fail, heighhofor the Mediterranean.

I think to return from Lord Bridgwater's on Sunday, sooner if I can get off, and to go immediately thereafter to Barrow Green, to make my report and ask your Messing. Nevertheless, if there should remain even a remote hope of obtaining the countenance of this government, I will not quit the field.

My American friends have very sagaciously concluded that the present state of things in Spain is calculated to promote my views! Hence some ferment. The ciphered letters are so imperfectly made out by Swartwout, on whom I devolved the labour, that they would pg 555only perplex you and waste your time. A French letter is enclosed for your perusal The writer4 was aiddecamp to Dumourier. The person called his brother is that Marquis de St. Mard of whom something has been said.

A. Burr.

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Editor’s Note
2006. 1 Davis, i. 60–1. Printed in part in Bowring, x. 485.
Editor’s Note
2 Perhaps George Canning (1770–1827), who was at this time foreign secretary.
Editor’s Note
3 Anthony Merry (1763?–1835), British diplomat; minister to the USA, 1803–6, and to Sweden, November 1808–April 1809. It was through Merry that Burr had tried in 1804 to interest the British government in his scheme for detaching the western states from the USA. In the autumn of 1808, Burr again used Merry as an intermediary when attempting to obtain the government's support for his plans.
Editor’s Note
4 Not identified.
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