Jeremy Bentham

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

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Editor’s Note1744To Samuel Romilly2 November 1802 (Aet 54)

2d November, 1802.

Dear Romilly,

A thousand thanks for your kind anxieties, and the despatch (under circumstances such as yours) and good advice which was the consequence of them. The proof of the conspiracy,—sufficient or insufficient,—is in the part you have not seen: together with a parcel of precedents, or what at least appeared to me such, for the reasons there given. As to the violence, it would cost me nothing but the trouble of correction to give that up: but the question is, whether the substance could or could not be published safely, when purged from the violence. It was not my intention to have published this, but in the case of the flinging away the scabbard. The putting it into your hands at present was a sudden thought. It might have been better if I had not sent one-half till the other half had been in readiness to accompany it: but by a sort of mechanical movement, I put my hand forth to lay hold of you before the Philistines came upon you. The word libel, from your pen, alarms me into a further communication, from which I thought to have saved you. I mean the pamphlet I showed you the first sheets of,2 and which I thought to have sent to the judges, and some of the ministers, without further castration or deliberation; but now I shall stop the distribution of it till you either tell me whether there are any objectionable passages, (there cannot be many,) or tell me that you have no time to look at it. If so, I must take my chance for seeing the inside of the King's Bench, for I cannot delay it many days longer, without much preju- pg 156dice to the object of it. If there are any passages which you think it material to alter or omit, that may be done by reprinting as much as is necessary.

Yours, etc.

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Editor’s Note
1744. 1 Bowring, x. 400.
Editor’s Note
2 Letter to Lord Pelham. The printed version was dated at the end 2 November 1802.
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