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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 Note676To Jeremiah Benthamc. 30 August 1789 (Aet 41)

My dear Father

As you have resolved not to let me have the paper which is the subject of the negotiation now on the carpet between us without my putting myself to the expence of another letter, I accordingly send you these presents humbly beseeching you to send it to pg 89Lansdowne House as soon as you can prevail upon yourself to part with it, directed to the Marquis at Bowood, or to me at the Marquis's as above, or in short with any other variations such as your ingenuity may suggest.2 If directed to me you may put a B at the corner: but whichever way you direct it will in short come to the same thing. If you could have prevailed upon yourself to have sacrificed the 'marble-paper-cover', value the fraction of a farthing, the difficulties might have been got over easier and somewhat speedier: and if my good genius had been on duty to have whispered into your ear what an obstacle union is to portability they never would have had existence.

I am glad you have got into so good a line of newspaper intelligence. Whatever share of the merit may belong to Mr Bell's3 particular correspondent, he has a much surer and more regular resource in the French Newspapers and Journals of Assembly proceedings which the Oracle and the Gazetteer get four times a week at a shop from which four or five publications of that sort come regularly to me. To let you into the secret, it is De Boffe's in Gerard Street.4 I tell it you at the peril of your paying him a visit to give him to understand you have a son that deals with him and to pump him in order to get out of him what they are and how much they cost me—When I saw him last which was about ten days ago he was in the habit of making up packets of these publications four times a week to above seventy different persons who take them in by this channel, which in point of frequency has so much the advantage of the post: You may even have them 6 times a week if you are disposed to pay double price.

Instead of the one Miss Vernon spoken of in the letter which you have, I found both. We had likewise Ld and Lady Warwick for two or three days, with their two boys who are at Winchester School. They are on their way from a place they had in Sussex to a place they have in Wales. It should seem their finances were coming round again, as they came here with a considerable train, have been lately to Warwick Castle canvassing and entertaining, and talk of being there in the winter, when people here are to meet them: but I have not happened to learn precisely how that matter stands.

pg 90Capt. Blanket5 came here piping hot from the Navel Review at which he had been present as visitor to Capt. Macbride.6

Governor Parry and his two boys from Winchester likewise took this in his way from Barbadoes to London. He had his Government from Ld S. of whom he was an old army friend. His wife, who died of a Cancer, was a Miss Ogden an intimate friend of Mrs Barclay's.7

I can not stay to write a word more. I have given you more scrawl than I ought to have done in common prudence. It is bad policy to pay you for plaguing me: but whether you send the paper or not, I shall not write about it any more. I expect every instant to be called down to dinner, which always comes some hours too soon. I can find here but four hours a day for doing my business and governing the world.

Ld L. bears up beyond expectation

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
676. 1 B.L. III: 222. Autograph. Without date, but evidently written a week or so after letter 675. The letter to which it is a reply is missing.
Editor’s Note
2 Apparently the letter from Col. Fanshawe mentioned in letter 675.
Editor’s Note
3 John Bell (1745–1831), printer, bookseller and publisher, founder and part proprietor of The Morning Post, The World, The Oracle and other newspapers. His headquarters in the Strand, London, were a centre for distributing French publications.
Editor’s Note
4 Joseph De Boffe, 11 Gerrard Street, Soho, importer of foreign books.
Editor’s Note
5 Captain John Blankett (d. 1801), who appeared frequently in the earlier letters of Bentham (see Correspondence, iii, especially p. 46n. 4).
Editor’s Note
6 John Macbride (d. 1800) had been a naval captain since 1765 and rose to be an admiral, 1799. During the 1780s his duties included attendance on the king at Weymouth and in 1788 he was appointed to the Cumberland guardship at Plymouth; he was m.p. for Plymouth, 1784–90. Captain Macbride had quarrelled with Samuel Bentham in 1778 (see Correspondence, ii, 161 n. 2, 171 n. 1 and 172–3).
Editor’s Note
7 David Parry (d. 1793), an Army major who became governor of Barbados, 1784–93. His wife was Catharine, d. of Col. Edmund Okeden, of Little Crichel, co. Dorset; she died in 1788. Mrs Barclay has not been identified.
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