Jump to Content
Jump to chapter

Jeremy Bentham

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

Find Location in text

Main Text

Editor’s NoteEditor’s Note15To Jeremiah Bentham4 December 1760 (Aet 12)

Queens Col. Friday Dec. 4 1760

Dear Papa

I think we have been at cross purposes with one another in our letters for some time, occasioned I must confess, by a neglect of mine to write to you hitherto as often as I should have done: for as soon as you have sent your letter, you have received mine, and then sometime after you have wrote me another letter chiding me for not writing to you, and a day after perhaps you have received another from me, and so on. both the letters that you wrote me, came at pg 29once, but no Mr. Skeates2 along with them. all our Verses were shewn up last Monday sen'night or fortnight I think it was, but I shewed up mine to Mr. Jefferson 2 or 3 days before; he liked them very well, and seemed pleased. all the Verses are to be given up to the Provost, who is to chuse which he thinks best, or if he has a mind, none at all. but I can neither acquaint you when they are to be printed, nor who amongst us make them: tho' I believe most do. I Have seen Chambre's Verses and Cooper's; they are both very good Copys of English Verses; I will get them both for you if I can; tho' don't depend upon't: the Cambridge Verses to be sure are not extraordinary considering the rank that a good many of the Composers held in that University. I wonder how you can think of my verses being published, when amongst so many there must necessarily be a number of much better Scholars than I, and whose Verses would be printed rather than mine. I should have done Greek if Mr. Jefferson had not hindered me; (and indeed had begun and gone on some way) telling me that as I was not so much Master of that Language as of Latin; I had best not do it in Greek, but in Latin; so I was forced to obey, for these Fellows will have their will: or else I believe I could have done it as well in Greek as Latin, and then it might have stood some chance of being published.—t'other day (night I should say) I forget what day; Miss Harris3 from Baghurst with Miss Goldstone4 and Mrs. Flowers4 her Sister, came to Oxford; and sent to me from King Charles's head Inn, to let me know that my friends at Browning hill were well: I asked the Man that brought it, (he seemed to be the Hostler of the Inn) when they went out of Town? he told me the next Morning at 9 'o'Clock; I sent word back by him that I would wait on them the next Morning: for I could not well go that night, as I had something of the Headake. accordingly the next Morning I went, and got to the Inn at about quarter after 8; but when I came to enquire after them, I was told that there had been three Ladies there, but that they were gone some time.—Mr. Malchair5 was to have been with me Monday sen'night but could not on account of the illness of his Wife but was last Wednesday and do. sen'night; all the other times pg 30which are the Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays of every Week; I flatter myself I shall improve much under him, as he is a very good Master. Mr. Jefferson says that I should have two or three more bands.—Pray give my Duty to Grandmama and a kiss to brother Sammy from

  • Your dutiful and                     
  • affectionate Son                   
  • Jeremy Bentham           

P.S. You would have received my Letter sooner if it had not been for Mr. Godsalve6 that came to see me while I was writing to you, and drank Tea with me.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
15. 1 B.M. I: 54–55. Autograph. Docketed: 'Jeremy Bentham / Letter datd. Queen's Coll. Oxon / Decr. 4 1760.'
Addressed: 'To / Jeremiah Bentham Esqr. / at Crutched-Fryars / opposite Savage Garden / London.' Stamped : 'oxford'. Postmark: '8 DE'.
Editor’s Note
2 Denham Skeet (son of Denham Skeet, of Whitechapel, London, gent.), matric. Balliol 3 December 1760 aged 18; b.c.l. 1767 d.c.l. 1772. The letter in question may have been either from the father or the son. The son seems to have travelled between London and Oxford rather often, and to have carried letters between Bentham and his father.
Editor’s Note
3 One of the daughters of Squire Harris of Baughurst: cf. letter 8, n. 3.
Editor’s Note
4 Unidentified.
Editor’s Note
5 It is unclear what Mr Malchair was teaching him: cf. letter 10.
Editor’s Note
6 John Godsalve of Westminster, matric. Christ Church June 1759, aged 18.
logo-footer Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved. Access is brought to you by Log out