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Jeremy Bentham

T. L. S. Sprigge (ed.), The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 1: 1752–76

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Editor’s Notepg 196Editor’s Note116To Samuel Bentham16 September 1774 (Aet 26)

I wish you had been a little more explicit about the purpose for which you want the Cork Jackets—You have one for your self— whom else can you want one for—Your Crew all of them I suppose can swim—If for me,—a Guinea for a week's use, that is for a day or two's, which is as often certainly as we shall go out, is not worth while.

As to the Dr., flatter not yourself with the thoughts of his going upon any such expedition. It is true that with a Cork Jacket, there can be no danger: but that is an argument with those only who consult their reason. He you know has better counsel.

As to the Compass I am afraid to venture without further directions—What Diameter? in Brass or what other material? —Hung upon Gimbols (is not there such a way) or in what other manner? about what price? whereabouts I might as well have said as to price?

Bed—do you want Blankets and Sheets as well as the mattress?

I shall not go into Hampshire till Tuesday. This is Friday. You will receive this scrawl on Saturday—write on Sunday, I shall receive your letter on Monday time enough to execute your commissions if you persist in them.

'In a hurry'? why are you then? what's the matter with you of all men and boys in the world that you must always be in a hurry? —even I with all my indolence and nonchalance am not always in a hurry when I write—the length of my letters to you proves as much.

At the same time I received your letter, I reced one from my Father: serious and querulous, as usual but kind; concluding with the offer of a horse: so that now I shall be horsed at any rate—'tis the very best thing that can be done for me—My health I think of late has mended: 'tho not so much but that there is room for further pg 197amendment by the continued application of the same remedy— Now is your time to enter your caveat against my equipment, or you may stand but an indifferent chance for the monopoly of the assets: at least for one while. If the 'master of things' denies you that satisfaction you must content yourself as well as you can with the sight of my hand every now and then (I mean the hand you see now) to improve you in the cut of your letters, and of my Chesterfieldian physiognomy so replete as it is with the graces (you have heard doubtless by this time enough and enough about the graces) to improve you in the carriage of your person. This latter satisfaction if such it prove, you may expect the oftener, from this arrangement.

Adieu Sam quoth he, who while he lives and breathes and rides, without which perhaps he might not do the other, is ever affectionately your's—

My Father's letter I intend to answer tomorrow—Give him in the mean time my duty if you see him, and my thanks. Linc. Inn. Friday. 16 Sepr. 1774.

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Editor’s Note
116. 1 B.M. I: 305–306. Autograph. Docketed: 'I.B. Septr. 16 1774.'
Addressed: 'To / Mr. Sam: Bentham / at Mr. Gray's / Master Shipwright/ of his Majesty's Dock Yard / near Rochester.' Postmark: '16 SE'.
Samuel had had a twelve ton vessel built under his direction, and partly by his own hands (see letter 248). Towards the end of September he sailed it from Chatham to Southampton. There he met Jeremy who was then staying with cousin Mulford at nearby Totton. Such at least was the intention, and it seems to have been carried out (cf. letter 120, n. 1).
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