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Jeremy Bentham

The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham: The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, Vol. 5: January 1794 to December 1797

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Editor’s NoteEditor’s Note1027To Baron St Helens5 December 1794 (Aet 46)

Q.S.P. December 5th, 1794.

My dear Lord,

On reading the enclosed, (D'Ivernois' work,)2 it occurred to me that the example of the tragedies it displays might possibly be of use within the circle of your lordship's mission; and that some member of the Government there might think it worth while to get it translated and printed there with that view.3 Two propositions seem to be placed by it in a strong light: that French principles are not more hostile to a monarchy than they are to any existing commonwealth, and that the first authors of a revolution grounded on such principles, or supported by such assistance, may depend upon being the second victims. If I may believe the enclosed letter pg 108from the author, a man of good character, with whom I have a slight acquaintance, the same idea of the utility derivable from the publication, had occurred to and been recommended by, Mr Windham to your lordship. Should any steps have been taken in consequence, I hope the business will not be so advanced but that the corrections and additions, annexed to the present copy, may come in time. The other little pamphlet is by M. Chauvet, master of an academy of the higher order at Kennington.4 Some months ago I took the liberty of giving a relation of mine by marriage, Mr Abbott, a letter of introduction to your lordship; whether he ever had an opportunity of delivering it, I do not as yet know; for soon after his return to his country, he followed his wife to her long home.5

  • As for my own—my own affair,—I mean the castle in the air—
  • 'Tis now as whilom might be sung, adherent-stuck, suspended-hung;

coördinate as well as subordinate persons, well affected, and not unzealous, but the grand and universal damper and doer of nothing, who knows he is ruining me, and has ruined my brother, still insensible and immoveable.6

Mr Gally's court, I hear, has opened for the winter; but that one of us who attends courts, whether for want of legal notice or for what other cause, has not yet begun to do suit and service.

Believe me now and for evermore, with the most affectionate respect, my dear lord, your most devoted


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Editor’s Note
1027. 1 Bowring, x, 305–6. Introduced by the statement: 'Lord St. Helens was at this period our ambassador at the Hague, and Bentham thus addressed him:'.
Editor’s Note
2 The identification in brackets is by Bowring. See above, letter 1026, n. 2.
Editor’s Note
3 It was not translated into Dutch, as here suggested.
Editor’s Note
4 Bentham is probably confusing two Swiss émigrés with the same surname. Peter Chauvet was a schoolmaster from Geneva who ran an academy at Kensington, not Kennington. He died on 16 September 1796 (Gentleman's Magazine, 1796, lxvi, p. 798). David Chauvet, who also lived in Kensington, is much more likely to have written the pamphlet.
Editor’s Note
5 As already noted (above, p. 49 n. 3), John Farr Abbot, Bentham's step-brother, had died on 22 September 1794. His wife, Mary (née Pearce) had predeceased him.
Editor’s Note
6 William Pitt.
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