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 Note168To Jeremiah Bentham22 May 1776 (Aet 28)

Linc. Inn Thursday 23d. May 1776

Hond. Sir

I am sorry the not seeing me yesterday was a disappointment to you—had I understood that you made a point of it I would certainly have waited on you. Whether it was that I mistook you when I was with you, or that you have since alter'd your intentions, I laid my account on finding you at Q.S.P. to day; where it was my intention to have waited on you, had not your letter informed me of your having left it. I will wait on you without fail on Saturday; and probably go down with you to Kingston.

Russel2 does not intend parting with his Horse. I have looked with Mr. Lind at the Horse which Burton the Stable-keeper near Lincoln's Inn has to sell at 25 Guineas. The Horse seemed by no means a bad one, but Mr. Lind thought not so good an one as might probably be had elsewhere for the money, and Burton did not seem disposed to take a farthing less.

Another string which I thought I had to my Bow has also failed pg 325me. I heard from Sam of a very pretty mare Mr. Wise had, which there was reason to think he would be inclined to sell. Sam and I had accordingly concerted a Scheme on the sudden for him to go to Battle, and fetch the Mare upon trial; to which there was no doubt of Mr. Wise's consenting: but before he left London, he heard by accident that the Mare has but very lately had a Foal which must render her unfit for service for some time. As things stand I know of no other method than that of taking one's chance at an Auction; in which Mr. Lind will be kind enough to give me his Judgement and assistance. Russel was telling us that he bought a Mare not long ago at Tattersal's for £7—Is.—0—which he sold afterwards for 25 Guineas. You seem desirous to leave the matter to me: this therefore is the course I propose to take if I hear nothing from you to the contrary. I will as soon as it suits Mr. Lind visit the stables a day or two before the Auction day and if I pitch upon one or two that I think will do and will be likely to sell for a moderate price, will endeavour to take the benefit of Mr. Barret's Judgement.

I fear I shall hardly be able to go to Ripley quite so soon as Monday or Tuesday: a day or two I suppose will make no great difference. I have no coat at present that I can ride in. My Casimeer coat I intend to have washed and new-furbished up for that purpose. It is a kind of cloth that I know by experience will wash like a stocking. I would not have it washed before it was wanted that it might not grow dirty: and I did not think of its being washed so soon. The last time I was with you, or the time before, I asked you about going to Ripley, or contriving some plan of meeting. You took me up rather short, saying 'it was time enough to think of that when you were settled: that you should not be settled yet a while: ' as if importuned by what you looked upon as impatience. I therefore thought it best not to say any thing more to you on that head: but to wait till it were your pleasure to mention it to me yourself: which from what passed then I did not think would have been so soon. Now I know your pleasure on that behalf I will make all diligence to conform to it—

[Signature etc. torn away]

My respects wait upon my Mother. Sam returned to Chatham yesterday morning.

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Editor’s Note
168. 1 B.M. I: 31–32. Autograph. Docketed by Jeremiah Bentham: 'Fils Jeremy Lr. datd. 23d. May 1776.' Postmark: '23 MA'.
Jeremiah Bentham was looking for lodgings near the home of Miss Stratton in Ripley (Surrey), whence Jeremy could pay court to her. Doubtless Miss Stratton and her mother, Mrs Brickenden, were supposed to believe the proximity coincidental (see letter 151). George Wilson entered the scheme now or later, and rooms were eventually found for the two of them in Fetcham near Leatherhead (see letter 173). The horse Bentham was anxious to obtain was intended for service in the courtship.
Editor’s Note
2. Unidentified. Possibly Russel of Battle, mentioned in letter 230 (19 January 1778).
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