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Jeremy Bentham

The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 4: October 1788 to December 1793

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Editor’s NoteEditor’s Note898To Benjamin Vaughan26 April 1793 (Aet 45)

Doctor's Court Friday April 26th 1793

The coffee you give forms so perfect a contrast with everything else one finds at your house, that I am scandalized at the thought of it. For the credit of your consistency I send you a machine, in which the best of all possible coffee has been made, in the judgement of the best Judges. I send indeed two, one to remain with you, if you will honor it with your acceptance. That not being as yet seasoned, nor consequently lit for us, I send another which when it has done its office for this evening, you will have the goodness to present in my name to my worthy friend and patron, whose dinner I am about to eat, your brother (W.V.)2

Proportions 3½ water (measured by coffee-cups) to one of coffee. By the benefit of this hint, consistent coffee may be drunk to the end of time: not to mention the faculty of heightening and lowering the strength of the infusion secundum artern, according to idiosyncrasy. Both coffee pot and machine should be previously heated with boiling water. Economists perform one eolation; but if the coffee is once perfectly covered by the water, it is a question among the learned, whether what is gained in strength by this means, be not lost in delicacy.

To season the new machine, that is to drive away the scent of the rosin or what ever else that gives a smell is contained in the solder, pg 427what is in tin should be well boiled two or three times at the interval of a day or two, and the flannel or what ever else the strainer is made of, should likewise be boiled in coffee grounds.

This peace offering to Mrs. Vaughan. On my return I looked at your note, saw the hour, and shall never be able to see her face again.

The Colonel has a project, litteraly on the anvil, for furnishing your fire place in an unexampled manner. If experience will not satisfy you, take authority. The Duke of Dorset,3 having resided at Versailles so many years to no purpose, that is, not having been able to learn the art of coffee making to equal perfection in that ci-devant first of coffee making countries, sent a humble petition for one of our machines.

N.B. Coffee to be drinkable, must be made from Mochea. Your West India coffee is only fit for negroes. I had a promise of some coffee worthy of the machine, but the promise has not yet been fulfilled, otherwise you would have had coffee and machine together.

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Editor’s Note
828. 1 American Philosophical Society. Copy. No docket or address.
The spelling of some words by the copyist is probably not Bentham's.
Editor’s Note
2 William Vaughan (1752–1850), merchant and author, younger brother of Benjamin. He was a director, later governor, of the Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation, a Fellow of the Royal Society and Royal Astronomical Society, and a supporter of the Society for Bettering the Condition of the Poor; between 1793 and 1797 he published pamphlets advocating the construction of wet docks for the port of London.
Editor’s Note
3 John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset (1745–99); educated at Westminster school; succeeded his uncle, 1769; he was Ambassador to France, 1783–9; Lord Steward of the royal household, 1789–99; an early patron of cricket.
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