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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 NoteEditor’s Note1609To John Mulford24 December 1800 (Aet 52)

I have no precise recollection of my ever having informed you of my being an honest fellow, though I do not mean to deny but that it is possible I may have said so before now; or at least, something like it, the rather as I am sometimes inclined myself to suppose I may perhaps be nearly as honest as other rogues,—one thing I am altogether clear about, which is, that I am a very poor one. However, such as I am, you have an undoubted right to command my best professions.

So much for badinage,—the language of which is as ready to my pen and my lips as any other, though my heart be ever so heavy, and sure enough it is, that since I last had you by the hand, any more than for a good while before, it has never been otherwise. And now, my dear Doctor, permit me to assure you, in sober sadness and sincerity, that I am tenderly and gratefully affected by so serious and convincing a testimony of your regard and confidence. Were the trouble ever so much greater than it is likely to be, or you suppose in such a case, I should not grudge it.

Remember, at any rate, our Barking pilgrimage for the spring. Being of a melancholy cast, a melancholy mood is favourable to the remembrance of it; and to fix it the better in your memory, I thus put it in black and white.

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Editor’s Note
1609. 1 Bowring, x. 359. Incomplete. Bowring states in his introduction to the extract that Mulford 'was accustomed to address Bentham as "Dear Councillor", while Bentham invariably dubbed him with the title of "Dear Doctor" John Mulford (1721–1814) was a first cousin of Bentham's mother (see Correspondence, i. 19n.).
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