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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 Note1639To Arthur Young8 July 1801 (Aet 53)

Queen's Square Place Westmr 8 July 1801.

Dear Sir

Many thanks for your kind remembrance of me.—No—you had not answered it.2 I was thinking of writing to you a second time, in consideration of accidents, such as happened.

pg 412I see Bygge's3 in the last No. of the Annals but not North.4 I beg your pardon—I was misinformed—I see it in No. 210.

I was sorry not to find the note we talked of, in explanation of the difference between large farms in that country and in this. You may have observed or not observed in my principles of Management, as given in my Poor Papers in the Annals—the advantages of the Large-Scale principle,5 as applied to Buildings and vessels and other implements in Manufactories. I should like to see an application of it to Agricultural Establishments, to which nobody is so competent as yourself.

General Inclosure. Has any body ever worked this argument in favour of it? By the Common Law, where an estate falls from one hand into a few, as where it descends from a man to a family of Daughters his Coheiresses, each one has a right to have it divided, by reason of the inconveniences and loss of value that result from joint and promiscuous use and ownership. In the case of land common to a whole parish, how much stronger the reason for division!

Lawyercraft, and lawyer's prejudices have been found by you among the great obstacles to improvement in your own (have not they?) as well as in so many other lines.—Here is an argumentum ad hominem for you to fight them with.

You got me into a scrape about the Population paper—what I wished, was—to have talked with you on the subject, but I made you promise it should not, till then, if at all, find its way into the Annals. This promise escaped you, and you printed the paper, taking only the precaution to put initials instead of the name at length.6 Another time we must take precautions, to prevent misconceptions and slips of memory. I do not know that any ill consequence has actually happened—I will tell you what pg 413I was apprehensive of, when we meet. When do you think of visiting ⟨town⟩7 again?

  • Yours most truly
  • Jeremy Bentham.

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Editor’s Note
1639. 1 Arthur Young MSS, BL Add. MS 35,128, fos. 372–3. Autograph. Addressed: 'To / Arthur Young Esqr / Bradfield Hall / near Bury / Suffolk.' Postmark: 'JY / C 9 / 801'. Printed, Bowring, x. 374.
Editor’s Note
2 Letter 1633. The 'kind remembrance' may refer to a letter of Young's which is missing.
Editor’s Note
3 Thomas Bugge (1740–1815), Danish geographer. In Young's Annals of Agriculture, xxxvii (1801), no. 210, pp. 129–33, there is an extract from Bugge's Travels in the French Republic: containing a circumstantial view of the present state of learning, arts, manufactures, manners, etc. in that country, translated by John Jones, 1801.
Editor’s Note
4 See letter 1618 n. 2. The next sentence is interlined above a sentence which is crossed out, as follows: 'I should have thought the latter the most interesting of the two, but perhaps there was not room for it.'
Editor’s Note
5 In his 'Situation and Relief of the Poor', Annals of Agriculture, xxx (1798), no. 170, pp. 112–14, Bentham enumerated eleven advantages of having poor houses built on a large scale.
Editor’s Note
6 Bentham's 'Hints relative to the Population Bill. To Charles Abbot, Esq. M.P.' appeared over the initials 'J.B.' in Annals of Agriculture, xxxvi (1801), no. 207, pp. 455–78.
Editor’s Note
7 MS torn. The word is supplied by Bowring, who may have been using a copy which is now missing.
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