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Jeremy Bentham

The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 10: July 1820 to January 1821

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Editor’s Note pg 283Editor’s Note2751To Sir Samuel Bentham16 February 1821 (Aet 73)

No. I Mountain Ash—Lawrences writing by desire.

1. Mem. for the high rocky thin-soiled part of the Restinclieres estate, would not Mountain Ash be profitable—Its timber is useful for naves of wheels and other purposes, and in earlier stages of growth it makes excellent poles—In this country it thrives well on very thin soil over rocks—

II. Iron Gates

2. Iron Gates—as the price of Bar Iron is as low as £9.10 p ton, Iron Gates will not be very expensive—If hurdles are much used, might they not be found less expensive of Iron than of Wood? the Iron when the hurdles were worn out, would be applicable to the use of the smith. These hurdles 6 feet long and 4 feet high, cost about 7/- and perhaps might be got, if a quantity were required, cheaper—Good field gates of wrought Iron cost 30/- to 40/- each—

3.                                      Q.S.P. 16 Feby. 1821 Friday

It rains perplexities, as whilom it 'rained snares:'2 a determination to be taken, and the means of determining on adequate grounds altogether wanting. Follows extract of a letter from Bowring just received.3 But to this communication cling uncertainties which can not I fear be removed time enough for this post, and the next French post day does not come till Tuesday. What a sad arrangement!

IV. Bowring to J.B. French Ships Offer

4. The French Ship-Broker makes this offer.

'He will take 30 Tons of goods for Cette for £70-any quantity beyond that to be paid for at the rate of £2 per Ton. £70 to be paid in every case.


He will take any quantity of goods at the rate of 30s. per Ton, pg 284(quantity to be not less than 30 Tons, or payment not less than £45) provided the Port Charges at Cette be paid by Sir Samuel.

The latter will be the best plan if the Duke of Richelieu will consent to remit these charges.'

From this you will judge how enormous the estimated amount is. the Ship if I did not misconceive it destined for Marseilles you can learn what you will have to pay for these charges, if you are to pay for them: and answer me instantly

5. 16 Feby. Friday 9 P.M. Bowring to J.B.

I write merely to say that nothing can be decided this Evening. I have had several Captains here. They all ask time for consideration and calculation. Tomorrow I will write again or intrude myself in some other way. From Bowring through R.D. sheep none, they being contraband: unless by an Order of Council which perhaps, yea probably might be had for about 7 Guineas: especially those wanted being South-Downers, not the long-woolled sort the exportation of which was the original subject of that jealousy which has so greatly subsided.

6. Seeds from Buenos Ayres from Lawrence to J.B. for S.B. Trees, 2: Creeper; 1: Parasitical plant, quere (whether growable) Dr. Gillies4 (a Botanist) to Lawrence Buenos Ayres 21 Oct 1820

Extract. N.B. At Buenos Ayres ice is sometimes one inch thick

I embrace the opportunity of sending you the few seeds I have been able to procure since I came to this country, during which time the season of the year and the unsettled state of the country have confined my observation almost entirely to the immediate vicinity of this place—of the Buenos Ayrian seeds you requested me to send you I have only been able to procure the Espinillo, which grows in this neighbourhood—the others are all natives of the Banda Oriental and entirely beyond my reach—the Espinillo seems to be a species of mimosa as far as I can judge from the appearance of tree and the conformation of the seed, the flowers are said to have a very agreeable odour. You will also receive a supply of the seeds of the Umbou or Phytalaean disica which is rather a lofty tree, the wood is very cellular spongy and difficult of combustion, but the ashes yield an alkali used in making soap. I have been informed that it is found useful as a wadding for their great guns. To these two are joined some seeds pg 285procured by Mr. Berrey5 from a gardener here under the name of a Gramen from Pampa,6 but seed vessels show it to be of a very different nature, will prove I understand a creeper with a handsome flower the name I cannot learn. From Chili I hope to be able to send you a much greater variety of seeds, such as I expect to meet with in my journey from this place which I expect will commence on the 26th. inst. as about that time a number of troops of waggons will proceed from thence across the Pampa to Mendoza, Cordoval and Tucuman and as they do not travel at a greater rate than 25 or 30 miles a day I have determined on accompanying them on horseback in preference to the rapid mode of travelling so general in this country—at night I shall always be sure of a comfortable bed, can carry with me any quantity of luggage and during the day time can direct my attention to such objects and in such directions as circumstances may direct.

I shall take an early occasion of writing you from Chili where I expect to arrive about Christmas as it is probable I may delay a few weeks at Mendoza.

I had the misfortune to break my Leslie's Hygrometer7 about time of my arrival a loss I regret very much as there is no circumstance in which the climate varies so much as in its degree of moisture and dryness. I have sent for another of the same kind and one of De Luc's.8 By the register thermometer I have kept an account of the extremes of heat and cold since I arrived—as also of state of Barometer.

I forgot to mention that I have sent you a few seeds of a species of parasitical? plant or Tillandsia I think the monostachys which grows upon the |    | Peruvianus in this neighbourhood, it is a very small species: but is the only kind I have seen growing wild hereabouts—The others are abundant in the Banda Oriental as at Colonia and in various parts of the interior. There are a good many to be seen in front of the houses here of these, but they are rather difficult to be procured from the inhabitants. Had any very favourable opportunity offered in June or July last to send a few of them to you I would have done so. At present there is no chance of their reaching you alive as Mr. |    | will arrive in the midst of winter; and it is the frost catching them after their rapid advancement in crossing the tropics that renders it so pg 286difficult to preserve them alive—There are a few in bloom here at present which are extremely beautiful—they are commonly tied on the outside of the balconies or on railings of the windows and has no other nourishment, except what it obtains from the moisture of the atmosphere, which is here extremely humid.

7. These and a few other seeds I have for you I think of sending to Blaquiere for him to go with and present portion of to Comtesse Berthollet9—that she may concert with him means of conveying to you the larger portion of each. They are taken for granted by the Botanist to be new invented, and will be—promise to be great curiosities: and you see what rich harvests are in prospect—I shall send for her a copy of this extract which I send to you.

8. Now think of the perplexities I am under, and the impossibility of forming any well-grounded plan. 1. Your own furniture; 2. do. books and papers sent me lately from Hall Oak. 3. The former cargo from do. 4. Agricultural machines. 5. Furniture bought by Ainslie amounts as yet unknown. 6. your old machinery: probably not operable 7. Cattle: the best supposed to be from Devonshire. 8. Human creatures of all sorts. 9. Iron gates, Pump with the pipes thereunto belonging: etc. etc.: think of the extreme uncertainty in regard to many of the articles, whether any and if any how many havable and within what time. Plants, the sending any for this time seems pretty well hopeless. How to engage with any vessel under all these uncertainties, and others that might be added in no small number. In my last I told you about the Gardner and his wife. Your 500 franks a year what can that do? No Mrs. Palmer will I send you.10

9. Thanks to Lady B. for her account of her state: all such accounts are gratifying. But besides the smallness and closeness of the writing, so pale was the ink that much stronger eyes than mine smarted and gave way under the task. Then not a letter came but a number of words are rendered illegible by a broad and untrimmed wafer spread over them. I may perhaps be reduced to the same thing this time.

10. Illustrations accumulate. But time is wanting for the mention of them: and prudence perhaps forbids us. The invitation to pg 287Mulfords11 younger Cousin seems to have been delayed only and that only by the not having been mentioned by me by who it ought to have been mentioned he having rendered himself disqualified for the mention of it. It is now in the best hands and pursued with the utmost zeal.

11. One cause of a part of the uncertainty is Lawrence being for near a week called off to Brighton, about business which besides its being his own is of much greater importance in itself.

12. Bowring is decided upon going to Spain in April or even sooner if he can recall his partner home: and he will of course take Restinclieres in his way. He will be ready to fall on his knees to you: and so with much more reason ought you to do before him. This, if executed, would be a complimentary interview in the Chinese stile. I am a sad foolish prater upon paper. Farewell

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2751. 1 BL IX. 481–4. Autograph. Endorsed: 'Feby 16 1821'. Addressed: 'To / Sir Samuel Bentham / etc. etc. etc. / Montpellier'. Postmark: 'F / 230 / 21'.
Editor’s Note
2 Prayer Book, II: 7: 'Upon the ungodly he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, storm and tempest'.
Editor’s Note
3 Original missing.
Editor’s Note
4 John Gillies (1792–1834). He went to Buenos Aires in 1820, lived at Mendoza 1823–8, and returned to Scotland in 1829. He collected plants in Argentina and Chile. See Correspondence, ix, as index.
Editor’s Note
5 Probably Andrew Berry (fl. 1780–1810), an officer in the Madras medical service, who laid out the gardens at Madras.
Editor’s Note
6 Not identified.
Editor’s Note
7 John Leslie (1766–1832), the mathematician and natural philosopher, invented several instruments for use in the sciences of heat and meteorology. (A hygrometer measures humidity.) Leslie was knighted in 1832.
Editor’s Note
8 Jean-André Deluc (1727–1817), geologist and meteorologist, born in Geneva.
Editor’s Note
9 Marie-Marguerite, née Baur (1748–1828), the wife of Claude-Louis, comte Berthollet (1748–1822), the French chemist.
Editor’s Note
10 Probably an allusion to Alicia Tindal Palmer, a contemporary novelist, one of whose works, the four-volume Daughters of Isenberg, was ridiculed in The Quarterly Review by William Gifford, despite the fact that Miss Palmer had already sent him three £1 notes.
Editor’s Note
11 John Mulford (1721–1814), the Benthams' mother's first cousin. See Correspondence, i–viii, as index.
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