Bentham Scholarship and the Bentham "Problem" Author(s): Gertrude Himmelfarb Source: The Journal of Modern History, Vol

. 41, No. 2 (Jun., 1969), pp. 189-206 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1899321 . Accessed: 26/04/2011 18:17
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H. and philosophy. remarked in introducingone of the few works he judged worthyof reprinting. To be sure. Bentham. xvi+542. 2 Jeremy A Fragment on Government." For it is as a problem that Bentham now engages us. six-point type of the old eleven-volume edition. Sprigge("The CollectedWorksof Jeremy ed. and it is for the light that will be shed upon this problem that we will now read this new edition of his collected works. L. Anyone who has seen the Benthammanuscripts at University College.law. v. and one may be confidentthat before long it. I.but the slim volume in the Heath series that confers the titleand statusof a historical"problem. II. bulkier form. are unreadable except to the most zealous scholar-and not always to him. . S. Bentham.Review Articles Bentham Scholarship and theBentham"Problem" Gertrude Himmelfarb Brooklyn College.CityUniversity of New York Bentham has finally. Certainly most of Bentham's writings. in 1890. of society." Not as he had hoped to make it in his own time. 1891). 1777-80. 1968].. Timothy ed." Burns. H.John Bowring. Bentham. J.Part I: "Correspondence" [London: AthlonePress. Oxford. p. London. but rather as historical reputations are made-by becoming the focus of controversy. Burns and his associates in this project but will have no illusions about the outcome." one editor. as the reformer. The new edition will be a monumentto scholarship.' It is difficult to see how else we may read it. Vol.The controversyhas already attractedthe attentionof bibliographersand commentators. "made it.in the form in which we already know them. C. we shall be spared the double column. xliv+383. indeed transformer. and thus Bentham himself. 1752-76. Montague(reprint of 1sted. will admirethe courage and enterpriseof Professor J.2 And it is unlikelythat this bulk will become any more readable in its new. however agreeable in format. as the subject of what is perhaps the most ambitious publishingventureof its kind ever to be undertaken in England. "The bulk of Bentham's writingshas passed into not unjust oblivion.nor even as he would seem to have made it now. ed. But is the prospect of an unre1 The Correspondence of Jeremy Vol. pp.less forbidding? We shall also be spared the iibersetzt und verbessertBentham that has been handed down to us by Bowring and other editors. but are thirtyeight volumes. F. But it may well prove to be even less readable than the eleven-volume edition published within a decade of Bentham's death by his secretary. will receive the highestaccolade of the profession: not the thirty-eight volumes of collected works that will representover a quarter of a centuryof collective scholarship. indubitably. It will be as accurate and comprehensive as Bentham's appalling handwriting and still more appalling habits of composition permit.

is a veritable chaos of uncompletedand oftenundifferentiated works. Or rather problems. have ascribed to himthelargest himas a collectivist.outlines thatwerenotfollowed. alternative drafts thatgive no indicationof preference or finality.administrative niques. rather. however partial.Still othershave who could not. the Bentham of the manuscripts.for theylend themselves complicated and combinations.the emergence of a planned society. If theseproblems theyare still more to a as theyrelateto each other.and social ideas?How can Benthamism be defined in relation to such issuesas laissezinterventionism? faireism and collectivism.practical influence of Bentham and/orBenthamism on Englishhistory-the "nineteenth-century revolution in government. Any restoration. political. The . the name is of no significance in thiscontext)playeda crucialpartin thepassageof social legislation.and the more contweenthe "Tory interpretation.interpreting of permutations variety have ascribedto him the largestinfluence Benthamas a laissez-faireist. Others. notably ideas Have they"denigrated" "Tory interpretation of history"? Bentham's and "belittled" his influence out of a distaste forsocial planning. of thisBentham is apt to be pleasing to thescholar butpainful to thegeneral reader. And still had any influence him as a collectivist whoseparticular others have interpreted had ideology on the emerging littleinfluence techinstitutions.E. and studied in the lightof the Bentham problem. a suspicion of ideology. whatwas the connection betweenBentham's philosophy and politics?Betweenhis politicaland social views?BetweenBenthamand Benthamism? Between collectivism and government interventionism?) The secondproblem is historical:What was the actual.190 Gertrude Himmelfarb constructed Benthaman entirely happy one-or. individualism and government (The advantage of putting these questions so baldlyis that one can see immediately a hostof others lurking behindeach of these." ventional idea of a "conservative latter interpretation"-the beingthefamiliar theory thatconservatives (or Tories. and an elaboratenumbering system varying fromone draftto another. or whatever it is thatis presumed to have happened?The third problem(whichhas been injected intothe controversy onlyrecently) may be described as historiographical: Have somehistorians. influence interpreting collectivism into mid-Victorian in introducing society.."the development of the welfare state. character of mid-Victorian the laissez-faire in determining society. in addressing thema selvesto the first two problems. agencies. is also complicated The historiographical problem by the confusion bein the above sense. editionis This calculusof pleasureand pain suggests thatthe present meantto be not read but studied.have him as a laissez-faireist interpreted on the growing collectivism of the century. The first and mostobviousproblem is ideological: What were Bentham'sphilosophical.and structures. appendices thatoverwhelm the textand marginalia thatare undistinguished from it. been guilty of a politicalbias.g. for thatreason. on the printed page)? The primordial Bentham. Thereare thosewho.or even reproducible. and a belief thatthe"historical process" operates independently of menand ideas? are complicated in themselves. of a less reconstructed Bentham (some structuring beingnecessary if Bentham is to be at all readable. For it is the conjunction of theseproblems thatis at theheartof thecontroversy.

politicaland social reforms. helpfrom tionsupport. to Bentham rather thanMill has its own logic. interpreters who maybe the historians refrained fromidentifying I have pointedly because the present or interpretations withthe varioustheories associated of what in as to be almosta travesty is so bare and schematic summary and subtlety. thatwe can appreciate to Bentham failed he finally to do. questions processes".generally interpretation. he cannotbe understood whohas written As anyone Father. of revolution. notpresent-day are. thenresident Austrian Bentham's works.I do not knowhow muchof thiswas in the mindsof Bentham's developed thosewho plannedthis edition. conjunction reform.(The collected worksof to a Founding VIP treatment appropriate of Toronto by the University Mill are beingissued.evidently. every pointand turning but it is onlyby reference Bentham. Bentham than JohnStuartMill who has been singledout for the rather Father. inspiration. and Englishhistory. individuals.Bentham Scholarship 191 not (although in thissecondsense. perhaps. debatein nineteenth-century becomethewarmest what wereso exercised.amplypublicized." What is buggingthem. whathe triedto do. or any as the Benthamite "Tory interpretation" to the anti-ideological in the idea of inherent confusion But a morefundamental otherideology.as ithappens. if it was that. of all thoseBentham fromthe mereexistence This may accountforthe factthatit is was climbed because it was there. ideologies. description between theconfusion to favorin the present-a analysisof the past and what he is presumed Tory by the factthatat least some of the putative compounded confusion Tories. of his life and thought. Ideas.have been elaborately thePilgrim endowed Foundation. problem. formatively. but at of Bentham-and not onlygenetically. causation-all thisand moreis at stakein thisdebate. of thetwentieth perhaps the legal and administrative developments. without institutional or foundain theUnitedStates. . of an upon the initiative Press.under Canadian and Americaneditors. eventranscended amplified. well planned. and the British Academy. that has givenpre-eminence of the or merits of the respective one maythink importance For whatever is moretruly theFounding is a sensein whichBentham there twothinkers. on Mill knows.it maybe thattheinitial wellafter theplanswerefirst the mountain manuscripts. corrected. of exemplary somecases are works of the some of the dimensions to suggest may suffice Yet the summary on the factthatthishas reflecting One commentator. All of whichwould also seem to be at stake in the new editionof works. whytheparticipants thathe could not understand is it was that was "buggingthem. of nineteenth-century less thanthe character nothing and institutions. in terms except Mill may have refined. and "historical factions. to dwell on it: is so obviousone is embarrassed the Tory interpretation the historian's between and prescription." "Bentham confessed English history. some notion of Tory democracy. andwhat. Trust. the peculiar of social classesand economicinterests.)Yet theeditorial accident. by theRockefeller and generously staffed. and withno conspicuous England. impulse. of motive.Since most of the controversy came impetus made.withfar less fanfare. parties. on the otherhand. role and relationship the part played by and permanence. scholarship." "conservative paternalism. necessarily)presupposes to be as unpalatable in whichcase it maybe presumed or similar ideology. whathe did do. thoughtfulness. century as well.

but also of animusagainst editors.James Mill. and otherslaboredto producethe worksthat bear Bentham's name.more serious difficulties editorerred.butsincehe did notparticularize his grievances and since his acrimony seems to have been more oftenpersonalthan intellectual. mustbe welcome.If Bentham himself could not do this. George Grote. in Bentham's lifetime. Edwin Chadwick. And in the case of those fromeditions published timeby Bowring. administrative. thedetermination of the "real" Bentham. To be sure. Bowring's of in the Works)is forthisreasonparticularly the Deontology (not included included in the Works But mostof thewritings werereprinted questionable. the more formidable job of determining the particular characterof social. And if Bowring editors. the mode of his thought. other still lesscan Bentham's involvedin discovering But thereare other. with his approval. Bentham's of establishing would stillhave the problem And . then. The attribution of historical bias mustdependto someextent upon a conception of the"real" Bentham.Bentham is of paramount importance. At one timeor another Benthamquarreled withsome of theseand accused them of misinterpreting him. for the first it is by no means clear.192 Gertrude Himmelfarb Ideologically. It is at thispoint. and friends. and thisedition must be of paramount interest. one manuscript real identity. For whatis the"real" Bentham? On the mostobviouslevel.and presumably under his supervision that Etienne Dumont. it is not easy now to say when or if theydid departfrom his meaning.straightforward. Bowring edition or omitevidenceof Bentham's to minimize irreligion. or. John Stuart Mill. rather. thatany study or edition of Bentham runsintodifficulty. Of all the editors is probably theleast trustworthy: Bowring his edition of the Workswas issued afterBentham's death and gives signsnot only Bentham's earlierdisciples. bias beinglargely (although not entirely) a measure of the departure from reality. And even the historiographical problem may be illuminated. to transcribe. as we published his version is moreor less trustworthy shall see. then also historically. Whatever clues we may get about the substanceof his ideas. did whathe could important subject. Moreover. political. to otherwriters and menof affairs.thereis the difficulty of makingsense of the manuscripts.who are we to attempt it? It was in his lifetime. thejob of relating themto Bentham and Benthamism will depend largelyupon the sense of Benthamand derived from thisedition. Moreover.and this editionmay be expectedto provide them. Southwood Smith. Samuel Romilly.And if ideologically. and institutional developments will lie elsewhere. it maywell be thatmore Benthamisrn direct historical material willbe forthcoming on suchsubjects as Bentham's relations to his contemporaries and contemporary affairs. different fromBentham's of a pointof view significantly on at least one A Unitarian in good standing. Peregrine Bingham. definitive one had a single. of makingthemcoherent as works. the chargesof misinterpretation oftencome from Bowring. legal. the quality of his mind. But once (or if) theseare determined. whosetestimony is itself suspect. to specific acts of legislation and reform.if Even if one knewwherea previous the "real" Bentham. Francis Place. presume to put in its place. whether thanany we can cannotbe easilysuperseded.

3 In viewof thequalifications theopening in themiddleof theparagraph. I. at the veryleast theyare aesthetically and psychologically pleasing(no mean consideration foran editor or biographer who seeksa greater intimacy withhis subject). This problemof identity-ofa historic identity that is no less real and forsome purposes a good deal morerelevant thana purified and reconstructed one-is generally resolved editorially by meansof a variorum edition. Works omitted lifetime or since his death.Bentham Scholarship 193 evenif one could establish Bentham's ideological identity. But all of thesepurposes can be better satisfied by a variorum edition that and published textsimultaneously exposesmanuscript thanby the attempt a Correspondence.possiblycorrupted.-who alone could have exercised the influence claimedfor or deniedto him.will now for the first thentic words.What will the new editionbe "definitive" or of of-definitive of thetexts published in Bentham's lifetime one or anotherdraftor manuscript which can claim no particular definitiveness? And whichof his "authentic words"will be made available? The scholar's predilection formanuscripts is a familiar occupational hazard. vi.both in familiar reshaping autimebe made available in Bentham's unknown works. But much of what he wrote.And not onlythe political or social influence but the intellectual one as well. For even ideologically. or alteration of an idea. For. the preface suggests thatwhat is beingplannedis not a variorum editionbut rathera "definitive" one. rehandling or of earliermaterials. in fact.All theworksincludedby Bowring or overlookedby here (thoughnot always in the same form). Historically. The interest fragments judgedby the editorsto be of particular Bentham wroteis ruledout by Benstraightforward policyof printing everything of the same themesand his constant tham'sown methodof working. "real"Bentham is notthepristine. They may suggest editorial misrepresentation (but thiswouldhave to be proved). In any case.whichexists withany formin the manuscripts. Dumont. and his were the ideas transmitted under thelabelofBenthamism.even thoughthe lattermay have been corrected proofor otherwise sanctioned by the writer himself. It wouldseemthatthepresent editors do notrecognize theproblem.theymay show the genesis. This is not to deny the legitimacy of the interest attaching to manuscripts in generaland to Bentham's in particular. His werethe ideas to whichtheyresponded. It is thisBentham -Bentham a la Bowring.large or small. development. but precisely the edited. in scope as well as definitive to be comprehensive The editionis intended in will be included and his associateeditors text. but publishedeitherduringBentham's also be included.it might the turn out to be a seriousdistortion of his historical identity. theymayclarify theprinted text.et al.To thesewill be added any work. and finalsentences seem overlysanguine. almost certainly simplified Bentham thatwe have alwaysknown. unadulterated. in reasonably completeand coherent together and importance. this was the Bentham knownto his contemporaries and to later generations. . he is alwaystempted to regard a manuscript as moredefinitive or accurate in than a printed text. or at least do not see it as theirs(theywould probably say that it was thebiographer's or historian's).will Bowring. aboriginal writer revealed in the manuscripts. it wouldbe rash to assumethatthisconstituted a totalidentification.

definitive. his son. (Elie Halevy. of theirown. from mostderiving abouthis youth. others evidently thereminiscences are casualand fragmentary. thepresent somemisgivings. MaryMack) haveprinted David Baumgardt.194 Gertrude Himmelfarb accuratetext-a "real" textcorresponding a single. of letters. in its entirety was printed on the perspective such information would providethe necessary edition. It would show us what previous. therefore raise problems of quite 1780-an enterprise through correspondence comprise Bentham's Yet evenherethereare intimaproper.and they this scale. These volumes. a different orderfromthewritings tionsof thewhole. For the Bowring historic Bentham it to be and as it has now been amply adequateas we have longsuspected have certainvirtues.coveronlythe first years. notably. the magnitude of original On the score of magnitude. but upon the "real" one." in the exactly one and a halfof the letters pages and includes thanninety since Bowring and commentators To be sure.and almostall of themfor the first themappear here for the first timein full.000 pages. and reminiscences by Bentham as ifrecorded byBowring conversations with (someprecisely Bowring dated.the of theedition If thesevolumes representative werefairly thantheeditors wouldbe evenmoreimpressive magnitude of theenterprise volumesare projectedfor the edition.biographers Sprigge edition. then.including detractimpressive. as a whole. as a whole. It is not pedantry of theprovenance ofeach letter.CharlesEverett. a deliberate exercise . bearingnot upon the problem. of theedition by a consideration are prompted Thesereflections and special in character published are rather The two volumespresently editedby Sprigge. what theirsense of Bentham material we shall now have to take into account. of Bentham's eighty-four thirty-two years 1. Some of of letters a fewin theform at thetimeof thetelling). to register one maybe permitted ingfrom theachievement. was based on. does nevertheless demonstrated. to Bowring. are elaborate. in whatis the failure thatmakesone regret to include. Yet. to establish to the"real"Bentham. more important But thereis another. therestbeingtheindex) contain one and a third edition(actually and Cor"Memoirs now we havehad of Bentham's whatever it is thatuntil Of these 800 pages. will a total of thirty-eight volumesfor the whole and six for is provided by a of magnitude thecorrespondence Another measure suffice? of thatearlier edition.and how we may now haveto alter oursenseofhim. inedition. whatnew availableto them. without is enormously edition material. maIt has. containing But thepresent correspondence.some by Benthamhimself. have had biographers historic Bentham. datingfrom terialthat the Spriggeeditiondoes not have: memoranda othersby his fatherabout Bentham's youth. Part of in recollection.Thirty-eight and almost400 letters volumes.On and leastcontroversial werehis leastproductive of life. But the majority extracts fromsome of the more important time.six for the suggest. the perioduntil 1780 takes up fewer respondence. a meticulous informaotherwise description wherea letter tion about priorpublication (exceptin thoserare instances Like a variorum or verynearlyits entirety). almosta proxyautobiography. The finaltwovolumes withtheBowring comparison volumes.

The original spondence" notebooks the memoranda containing have disappeared. famous waythemost Bentham literature is a fraud. The question hereis how defective be used. And the inthese sources are and how they mightproperly teresting thingthat emergesfromthese volumesis that while Bowring in his choice of material.if onlybecause thereis no otherplace to putthem (unlesstheedition is to include an autobiographical or biographical volume. admittedly. Bowring directly.as it likeArchimedes on thediscovery werein an inward of thefundamental ecstasy of Hydrostatics. the .Jerenmy of with theessay"A Short was madein connection "fraud" of UtilitarianHistory ism": "The essaywas finally in theDeontologyin published by John Bowring of theGreatest 1834as hisowncomposition.With so much impeccably materialat hand. This is especiallytrue for the earlyyearsof a subject'slife. overthecivilized diffused world.Bentham Scholarship 195 thismaterial is incorporated in thefootnotes to thepresent volumes. There are good reasonsfor a certainamountof circumspection."Thisis thepassage(notquoted by MissMack) as Bowring that andthat hasit: "It wasfrom I drew pamphlet pageof itthat thephrase. Bowring'sfailingsseem to have been more those of omissionthan of The little material thatthereis in thetwo editions commission. beenso widely At sight of it he cried out. Memorandaand reminiscences. Eureka: little did he think of the correction principles which on a closer he found within these fewyears himself under scrutiny thenecessity of applying to it. 103. are not correspondence. It is probablethat the memoranda were used so and reminiscences herenot becausetheyfailedto meetthe specifications of "corresparingly butbecausethey weresuspect as sources. p. if proper allowanceis made fortheir deficiencies." in thewhole MissMackthen quotation gives the in manuscript: "It wasbythat as it appears quotation andthat pamphlet pageof thewords and import it that he drew that of which havebyhiswritings phrase. 'History This Happiness Principle. Yet it is commonto includethem in the correspondence.what we now have is Bentham(New York. seriousmisquotation.but neither There has been muchdissatisfaction here nor anywhereelse is thereany evidenceto substantiate like the "fraud" anything withwhichone biographer chargedhim. from third to direct he changed In this others person quotes.' is somewhat version borrowed plagiarized someparts garbled. or even quotation resort to invention. butthe references and quotations are briefand. in footnotes and appendices if not in the text.the storyof Bentham'sabortivecourtship.1963). spelling. so we have only Bowring's version of them.whenthereis a paucityof material. out of context. thatare neither by nor to but onlyaboutBentham. the trustworthy taintedmaterialis entirely desire to eliminate Yet hisunderstandable. the notorious of a septuagenarian withthe presumptive fallibility combining of fallibility his editor. one might almostsay.whichis not the case here). yet perhaps not sufficient reasonforthe degreeof circumspection exhibited here. in thepresent of letters volumes. in whichhe appearsin the present volumesas something less thana hero).4Instead. The charge 4MaryMack. overlapping was not rigorously that while Bowring accuratein transcription suggests and an occasionalword were altered). toricalsourcesare used even whentheyare tainted or defective. Some suchconsiderations dictated the inclusion. grudging.And the reminiscences are doublysuspect. was clearlyselective what he thought ignoring unseemly(for example.he did not (punctuation. as well as a schoolboy essaybyBentham and an early will. withhim.

300. whichis memorable the episode about Helvetius. the crucialdifference withBentham at the age of six beingpreetc.196 Gertrude Himmelfarb circumstantial evidencethat Bowringmay be more useful. schoolboy wentto theschoolbecausehis father was thatBentham planation probably the note continues:"At the conference with a friend of the headmaster. was the answerHelvetiusgave." (Deontology [London.) The scholarmay findthistransition but surelyit is the reverseof plagiarism. John Bowring (London.'Henceforward by not knowing forhim. on the discovery principle whichwithin a fewyearson a closerscrutiny of the corrections Littledid I think of applyingto it. and tremblingly-Yes!' fearfully down Bowringthereupon commented:"I have noted this circumstance of a the fact. the headmaster Afterthe usual biographical data and the exBentham's letters. episode of Bentham'syouth as we Let us examine the most striking have it fromBowring. Markhambeforehis admission the word had a the meaningof 'genius. and withit the discovery from theverbgigno. I.even in subthe than we had suspected. Markham.ed. Finally." The note then the age of twenty goes on to relate the later occasions when Benthamhad dealingswith of whichhave been so widelydiffused over thecivilizedworld. I cried out as it were in an inwardecstasy. I found myselfunder the necessity fromthe third personto the 1834]. whenhe was twenty. . Helvetius' derived of a calling. as did the questionwhichhe had so humiliatingly provided the De l'esprit to answer.whichculminated in his discovery at greatemotional significance that he had a geniusfor legislation. affinities. 27. the chargeof "fraud"?If thisis whatis meant reallyso "garbled"as to warrant in Bowring be restored.like Archimedes of hydrostatics. to the school Bentham was humbled Dr.thatthe pursuits almostin Bentham's words. In the present volumes briefly whosename appearsin one of of Westminster. both for its personalquality(humorless."5 lifemaybe influenced fromanother by a worddroppedcarelessly in a footnote the episodefigures on Dr. wordsand import At the sightof it." frequently exposed him to such occasion remained withhim (his father failed embarrassment). and that without stance more trustworthy. he could discoverin his naturaldisposihis thoughts: he soughteverysymptom I gave mytion or acquiredhabits. derivations and (Bentham's intellectual and forits ideological implications between utilitarianism and laissez-faireism. we have a less rather than a more "real" memoranda and reminiscences Bentham.as illustrating party. 'Have I a geniusforlegisHe turnedit over in lation?'Again and again was the questionput to himself. one's faith might by fraud. of the fundamental Eureka [in Greek]. self-dramatizing) self-important. 5 The Works of Jeremy Bentham. 1843). to produce: What can I produce?'That was the first inquiry 'Have I a geniusfor anything? is the most pursuits he made of himself. X (Memoirs). Bowring's versionstarts of Westminster School and queried sented as a "prodigy" to theheadmaster The memory of thatembarrassing as to themeaning of theword"genius. answer."Genius.'And have I indeeda geniusforlegislation? selftheanswer. Then came another:'Whatof all earthly important?' Legislation."he found.). first And is it personunconscionable.

Markham in thatletter (it was the onlytimehe did mention him in the letters printed here). (Thereare none of the usual disclaimers-"according to Bowring. at the same timethathe furnished me with instruments.." "le sainttutelaire que j'adore. 261 (Benthamto Samuel Bentham. And the drama and significance are also there. 282 to Godefroi. 1775).fromthe letters themselves. 10 Ibid.p.wouldtheepisodehave goneunmentioned entirely? what Moreover. laid as it is by Helvetius". for makingthe atEven the particular dramatic formin whichBowringcasts the tempt.II. 9 Ibid.We now know.8thathe believed his own "Principles of Legal Policy"(one of severalworking titles for what laterappeared.. or if thatletter had happenedto be lost. That illustrious philosopher . Apr.7thathe revered above everyone else "le divin Helvetius. . as such dialoguenormally was beforetheage of thetape recorder..and is as trustworthy. 367 (Bentham Nov. how great an emotionalas well as intellectual significance it had? Mightone not miss thosetwo sentences tuckedaway in the middleof a biographical footnote about a minorcharacter? If Bentham had not happenedto mention Dr. I. if that is the assumption:dialogue is always untrustworthy. 99 (Bentham to Forster. even if inaccurate in wording. as ifone couldassumeitstruth. 11. .It is not too much to say that the one sustaining motifthroughout Bentham's long and complicated life was his conviction of the primacyof legislation and of his own missionas the philosopher-legislator. And thisemerges from Bowring's dialogueas it does not from the paraphrasein the Correspondence. in thator any form? It is related. 25-26. be more accuratein conveying the sense and import of an eventthana paraphrase that sacrifices senseand import? It is not here a questionof inventing dialogue to give a specious dramaand significance to whatin reality lackedthatdramaand significance. 1775). .But would one ever guess fromit just how important the episode was." or the like.6 The paraphraseof the episode is unexceptionable-asparaphrase. is thejustification forrelating the episodeat all. See especially the to Beccaria's book and Catherine's references "Instructions for a new Code of weretranslated intoEnglish Laws. suggested incentives. Oct. And elsewherethe Correspondence itself provides confirmation of theessential factscontained in the dialogue. I. and untrustworthy. ibid.." "mon sentier [?] et mon guide". 1776). 6 ."'10 Correspondence.in part. Apr.Bentham Scholarship 197 Markham.p. without reservation. . 99 (Benthamto JohnForster. But may not the dialogue.. 7 Ibid./May1778).9 and thatnot onlytheseprinciples but the idea of pursuing themas a careercame fromHelvetius:"From him I got a standard to measurethe relative of the severalpursuits importance a man be engagedin: and theresult might of it was thattheway of all others in which a man mightbe of most serviceto his fellowcreatures was by in the sciencewhichI had been engagedto study making improvement by profession." bothof which in 1768. The dialogueis there. II. 8 Ibid. . (Bentham to Voltaire..) Does this meanthattheparaphrase is truebut thatno such credibility can attachto the particular formBowringgave to it? There is some justice in this last assumption. thatBentham did read Helvetius at aboutthe timeBowring said he did.as An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation)to be "builtsolelyon the foundation of utility." "ce bienfaiteur de l'humanite./May1778). Sept.

AfterHelvetius. accurately quotes the relevant sentence fromBeccaria. "charts"(A Chartof Universal History And betweenBenthamand Priestley in Noeven the threeletters exchanged with"airs" (i. we are told repeatedly. X. published in 1768. political Indeed.one of the few occasionswhenBentham referred in otherthan the two contexts mentioned to Priestley above was when in June1780. he owednothing to Bowring in this respect. vemberand December1774 deal entirely since just at this time This is all the more interesting and electricity.e. in this case. forall of this-Priestley's association withShelburne. 46.198 Gertrude Himmelfarb episode has the authentic Benthamring.567. thatPriestley his brother. incidentally. isIbid.. indeed. the sourcesof his earlyviews?From Bowring one has a clear sense of those influences and sources. . the many references of his "tables"or alwaysto his scientific work.a whatweretheinquestion related to theprevious one.Bentham was.. It is justified. adviser. however.. thatBenthamgot the phrase"the greatest happiness of the greatest number""1-a phrase that appeared in An Essay on the First Principles of Government. whichhad 11 Bentham. from a commonplace book dated 1781 to 1785. and one month by was to assume a major role in Bentham's the following year Shelburne life.his own bestdramatizer.serve as important Bowringand. if it revealsthe extent not paratusand mechanics of scholarship are dependent upon judgments And so far only of what is trustworthy but also of what is significant.Apartfrom Helvetius. was employed Priestley by Lord Shelburne and companion.. for example.79-80. 12 Ibid. a workthatfrom Bentham studies andbe a majorhistorical source. At one point in his reminiscences (dated 1822) Benthamsaid that it was about his "22nd year" (i. in fact. it is a testimony to the importance nowon willdominate thisformidable workof scholarship. acids.to otherworkson Bentham. is less decisive: "Priestley was the first (unless it was Beccaria) who taughtmy lips to pronouncethis sacred truth: That thegreatest happiness of the greatest number is thefoundation of moralsand legislation. pp. Joseph Priestley appearsas the dominant figure. Works. gases). It was fromPriestley.'3 (Bowring's footnote.e. 142. was aboutto quitthe he informed to resumehis scientific serviceof Shelburne research.This was several had begun to correspond monthsafterBenthamhimself with Shelburne made his first beforeShelburne overture to Bentham.) Here the Correspondence providesa different readingof the material one.p. For wherewe now and.Yet. probablya more trustworthy findrepeatedand fulsometributes to Helvetiusand Beccaria as inspirers to Priestley are almost of the principle of utility. Take. This lengthy analysis of a singleepisodemay appearto be laboredand to whichthe apcarping. they also. as librarian.even pointing out thatit was italicized in theoriginal. one attachesto frombeing carping.withoccasionalmention and A Chartof Biography). If the present standin need of supplementation volumessometimes by to correctives Bowring. fluences actingon Bentham.12 A muchearlier recollection. 1770) thatwiththe "sensation of Archimedes" he realizedthe import of Priestley's phrase. and more often.

1962). on to Priestley 1781. (or was it Beccaria?) as the one who first willtellus moreaboutthis. to Priestley.can describePriestley's and at the same time assertthat Benthamnot only adopted accurately but did so precisely because he was in "subthe phrasefromPriestley testifies to a seriousmisunderstanding withhim. has place amongthe earlyoracles. own happiness. ley has no rightful away fromthe phrase For it directsour attention largerimplications. as wellas of thegreatest was repellent to BenAlmosteverytermand turnof this argument Essay tham. it may well have been because so much in Priestley pro-American who was vigorously congenial-and not only the Priestley but anti-American." happiness of the greatest sometime after the phraseoccurred.in turn. naturalrights. itself and the manysourcesin whichit might of the phrasein each of thosesources. appearsas themajorformative or relationship but in the ism-and not in the generalsense of affinity in theEighteenth 14LeslieStephen.Priestley or society. thelaterBentham.have been moreantithetical in Bentham's terms)was he later-forty power.thenor social contract. volumesstrongly what the present notwithstanding-Priestand other biographers Bowring. Century Thought (New ofEnglish History York. For therethe greatest-happiness also the Priestley Men tempoguaranteed by the social contract: right appearsas a natural when they rarilygave up part of thatrightin the formof civil liberty in the formof political the right but theyretained entered the contract.II. Perhapsthe nextvolumeof correspondence is thatsuggest In the meantime. are seen to reston an The claimsmade foranother even more tenuousbasis. was unPriestley. a share in politicalpower which gave them controlover their the principlemust not be insisted.Moreover. when Benthamwas as vigorously principle of the Essay. as nowseemsprobable. a minimum of individuals to the happiness was mostconducive education. of political liberty (political position.BenthamScholarship 199 and Bentham'spersonal significance. It maywell be thatit was Shelburne. duringthe 1780's.If the Correspondence Priestley's years later-to approximate intellectual of Priestley's role in Bentham's us skeptical succeedsin making or to anticipate it may also make us skepticalof the attempt history.14 of stantialagreement" of thistimeand of some timeto come.on the used as an excuse for the intervention of government (in the matterof and regulation of intervention contrary. obvious politicaland philosophical political or philois no hintof anything interest in thatassociation-there no hint certainly to Priestley. radicalism.FrancisBacon. . 1781-85) to Priestley in thecommonplace countforthereference taught him the sacredphrase. and context focuson the meaning than and Beccariarather readHelvetius If Bentham. and obligesus to be found. That Leslie Stephen. 215-16. specifically) number.And this.for example. Bentham's exaggerate oracle. thechiefinspiration forutilitarianinfluence. who put Bentham book (ca. whichmayacand thatpamphlet. In one learnedbiography Bacon of Bentham. On the subjectsof the Bentham and education. liberty. references contemporary sophical in Bentham's of "the greatest discovery as the Archimedean as momentous of anything in which no hinteven of the pamphlet number. onlyon the subject at any time. Bentham could not.

and a host of lesser names appear. 129. it is all too oftensterileand unenlightening.200 Gertrude Himmelfarb specific. Here. Works. the indiscriminate oftendegradethe discussionof influence. One of these lesser figures looming large in Bentham's early life is John Lind. having "touched it up a little in several places". Reviewof theActs. But even partial answers would be illuminating.And even to be aware of the questions the mindless invowould discourage the kinds of intellectualpromiscuity. Price. When we turn from the large. Blackstone. Remarks on the Principal Acts of the Thirteenth Parliament of Great Britain. In the course of a long. it all too often reduces itself to a mechanical collating and comparison of texts.however fleeting. X. if one also establishedits exact natureand extent: Did it go beyond to the method of induction?Did Bacon and Bentham a formalcommitment mean the same thing by induction and use it in the same way? Did the methodologyhave substantivephilosophical and political implications?The answers to such questions would genuinelycontributeto our understanding would of Bentham (and perhaps Bacon as well).16 Early in this letterBentham said that he had "some small share" in the book. It is the fashion to deride discussions of "influence. we are confrontedwith a more equivocal situation where it is not always clear whether the influenceis on or of Bentham. Beccaria. But an influence of the magnitude claimed for Bacon should surely reveal itself. Locke. . It would be imof Bacon and Bentham. to be sure.17 but midway in the letter. cases is that the pertinentquestions are not being asked. 113. that too cation of names and phrases. at the point where the ideological and historicalproblems merge. Not everything. Bentham referredto his part in the composition of one of Lind's books.. of Bacon. use of quotation. familiarfiguresin the historyof philosophy to Bentham's lesser-known peers. Helvetius. 57.the Correspondencebecomes mostvaluable.15 Yet the evidence cited is either inconclusive in itselfor irrelevantbecause it dates from a later period when Bentham's philosophy was fully formed. conscious sense of a borrowed or adopted idea. Voltaire. D'Alembert. 141. And equally informative be a closer inquiry into the question of influencein its literal... Descartes. Only Bacon is missing.after consulting the book itself. for portant to establish the intellectual affinity example. contain not a single mention. 13.pp. Montesquieu. The final proof lies with the Correspondence.literal. Yet these volumes. conscious sense. rambling letterof reminiscence addressed to Bowring. when it is defined in the specific. When influenceis defined in the general sense of affinity ship. and literal But the difficulty in both sense.and is no less decisive for being totally negative. Lind had made his appearance in Bowring as well. but in a different context. conscious. Hume. Bentham."and with good reaor relationson. can be expected to show up in the Correspondence. covering the crucial period for such an influence. published in 1775. When did Bentham read Bacon? What did he read? What did he make of him? Did his views change? We cannot expect to have all the answers to these and all the other questions one could ask. he claimed that Lind had printed as "the plan of the 15 17 16 Bentham spokeof thebook as A Mack. Adam Smith.

247.20 At the same timeMansfield's partin the affair grewas he becamethemainobject of Bentham's grievance. . Here his contribution to Lind'sbook was described as a "fewpages. 248.1775).18 At one pointBentham described theoutline as "twoor threepages.BenthamScholarship 201 argument" an outlineBentham had earlierwritten and had givenhim to use as he saw fit..235 (Bentham Bentham. 18 Ibid. typical of the way he insisted upon the coincidence of their views(else where wouldbe theconspiracy of neglect?). 23 Ibid."23 manin sucha case can mean) thanI haveyetseenanywhere But and its compasstoo large.To show Lind how it he foundits stylefaulty he set about rewriting one passage and was mightbetterbe written.What the Correspondence does is to restorethe original proportions of thisepisodewhilefeaturing Lind in another episode having quitedifferent implications. own..62-63.typicalof him to be more indignant at thisneglectthan embarrassed by the coincidence of his viewswiththose of the eminent Tory. Having come so far.21 The episodeis instructive precisely because it is so typical:typicalof Benthamto inflate his role in the affair. 20 Ibid.he thenput half or two-thirds thealternative to Lind: proposals ifyouhappen to approve of it more than of your Take whatI havedone.5. Withits had no quarrel:"I have foundjustersentiments in it. p. or."22 But an earlierbook by Lind occupied him at greater and withmoremomentous length consequences.It will be out of pressin about a week. 1774). havingbeen told. it uponthat thewholeas your most go on with plan. 204 (Bentham Lind. to Samuel 1. About six a long and agitatedletterto Lind monthsearlierBenthamhad written about "theBook. 19Ibid.. But all of this is evidentfroma careful readingof Bowring.." the"foundation" and "basis"of thewholework. p. typicalof him to assume that Mansfield would have been told of his contribution. I. whilesubtly altering the substance of his earlierviews in orderto make themmore consonant with his later ones." This book was a critique Comby Lind of Blackstone's mentaries and had been givenby Lind to Bentham forcriticism. basic viewsBentham to my own (for thatis all thatany morecorrespondent thatis sentiments in print." at anotheras "this page or two of scattered thoughts". Perhapsit was the writing of thesereminiscences in 1827 that prompted Benthamthe following year to includea somewhat different version on Governof thisepisodein a newpreface to A Fragment ment. untilhe foundthat he had a manuscript "drawnin insensibly" perhaps the length of Lind's. would have remembered and deliberately ignored it (this at a timewhen Bentham was entirely unknown). 62. heartily or else 2dlylet me go on with it under and yoube welcome: your inspection. 22 Correspondence. 21 Ibid. pp. Benthamalso remarked that Lord Mansfield had complimented Lind on the book. In the Correspondence book of Lind's is referred this particular to onlyonce: "I am nowhardat workwithMr. Lind revising his book. Bentham accused him of deliberately embarking upon thepolicyof "neglect" thatwas to characterize their laterrelations. p. toJohn Oct.consider will own.19 printed in its entirety by Bowringit comes to something less than 400 words.. May 18." the"first section.

(Lind died in 1781.I believe I shall be tempted 3dly if you approveof neither thatenough.but It may well be that Bentham's commentary since we do not have Lind's. to go on of these. is yourdue: it if thereis any would be more thanin strictness of the reputation forme to have done whatI have done withwould have been just as impossible and assistanceI have had fromyou. In such case. was a good friend of Lord North and Lord Mansfield. and not once but twice.pp. 25 Charles WarrenEverett.suggesting self might have been "influenced by Bentham" in selecting the subject. The more recent biography by Mack is Lind.who had long been critical of Blackstone.24 Perhaps the most extraordinarything about this letter is that it has been published before.its parent. 186-87. 75."27 was immeasurablysuperior. and yet has made little impression. that it was indebtedto Lind's for "half of the profitand of the reputation. the most influentialperson Bentham knew). 161) givesLind's date of birthas 1731 in one the former is presumably a typographical error." and finallypraising Lind. had already had some work published.which togethercon24 Ibid. a person of some reputation and influence (in fact. 206-7. and was. it was as likely to have been Mansfield.26had served under two ambassadors abroad and had been privy councilor to the King of Poland." It was Bentham himself. at which time he was still better known than Bentham.) Moreover. A Comment on the Commentaries. The Education of Jeremy Bentham(New York. this condescension to Lind as an "apprentice" yielding to "more competent hands" seems unwarranted. it back half a yearif you think withit on my own accountkeeping that it may not hurtyours. 1737 at another. at this time. 20 The Correspondence (I. 23.it mustbe spokenof as our joint concern. place.What we do have and ought to take seriouslyis Bentham's assurance that Lind's was the "parent" work without which his could not have been written. who soon forgotthat assurance and created the alternative version that has been perpetuated by his biographers. so far from giving Lind any credit for the Fragment or for the larger work. the composite work to Lind for praising Bentham for "generouslyoffering his own use. p." and thatit was.202 Himmelfarb Gertrude or loss be equally dividedbetweenus.But even he that Lind himminimizedLind's role and maximized Bentham's. Everett printed it in his biography of Bentham and again in his edition of Bentham's A Comment on the Commentaries."25 Considering that Lind was Bentham's senior by eleven years. their"joint concern.however. . we cannot say so with any confidence. seems to have given up the book to more competenthands. or and let profit withyour corrections. 27 Mack.to whichit will have been so much inand thehalfof theprofit debted. Bentham is said to have written "a much more thorough and biting commentary of his own". even more cavalier in dismissing Lind is described as "a jovial but disorganized friend who was trying to make a career as a popular journalist".and in a spiritas generous as Bentham's own. 1931). For. if owned to any body. Thinknotthatif I wereto executetheremainder. finally. who "saw that his own work was that of an apprentice. if anyone influenced the selection of this subject. Nothingof Bentham'sletteris quoted. and the affairis deemed closed when Lind "cheerfully recognized its superiority. pp.. as for you to have out the encouragement done it.

It is ironic now to read Bentham'sconcluding youwere where of property "Timewas whenI knewno distinction remarks: concerned:thattimeyou have chosen shouldbe at an end.in thisearlyperiod. have been expectedto say some words of thanksto Lind.29 Fragment Lind amongthoseto whomtheanonymous whenhe might was published.as in so manythings. debtedness timeis how soon after revealsfor the first What the Correspondence the evidenceof the Without came into operation. 247. Richard Price. in the negative liberty thatwhenthe and he insisted was his own "discovery./May 1I. Works.1776).27-28.in the new prefaceto the Fragment in either. 1 (Bentham I. and of criticism theletters Bentham of theFragment. as the amiableweaknessof age. shouldbe charitably For his life was verymuch a pattern. authorship to see in Bentham's it is not farfetched the theme of the Fragment. 310-1 31 Bentham. in fact. disciples. the eventthatstrategy of to dismissthe reconstructions one mightbe tempted Correspondence. I have still the same opinionof yourhonourthatI ever had: and to thathonourI Lind Although to save mine.. he took the occasion to claim for himself to unrelated Since the Remarksare totally of Lind's Remarks. the tablesby accusingLind of plagiarizing he turned private. strategy psychological of thatepisodethe familiar and inflation introjection of memories evoking of the Fragment republication of displacement-the and those guilty been written underwhichit had first the circumstances of Lind's inmemory beingreplacedby the more comfortable memories to him. for example."30 trustfor your doing what is necessary. . once.as one of the three exactly of the Remarks of Blackothersnamed) to have made some trivialcriticism writers(the stone. had beenattributed. 103.31 28 his own name. sense as the absence of restraint. toLind. just beforethe Fragment But even earlier. I. fortheidea of liberty. Bentham. at least in fromhim.Bentham Scholarship203 to Lind's share he neveragain referred of Blackstone."28 of his "long-robed to Lind as the first referred descendingly condescension. and thennot by name. letters could notbe namedbecausetheFragment you to givehis name" (Bentham itselfwas anonymous). Lind had defined In some newspaperletterscriticizing That definition.withhalf a dozen flattering in his pamphlet to Bentham tribute and and to its authoras the "veryworthy to the Fragment references Bentham. Apr. not only. toForster. Mar.too. Bentham's enlarged had. 1778). his critique stituted of 1828 he conInstead. thatin this. a bit of paranoiathat the laterBentham the fact Insteadwe are obligedto confront ignored.When Fragment. 29 Correspondence. thatmayhave been thesourceof his biographers' a remark partAnd at this time.In the under a letter in its defense Lind wrote ingChronicle. reprinted secondedition to Lind'spartin of alluding theopportunity butagainwithout taking defense.did he fail to give creditto Lind whenit he included would have been mostnaturalto do so-when. in the first by contrast. Bentham to "a personwho has notpermitted Lind givecredit werepublished. Lind paid generous definition.significantly on Price. theFragment wascriticized intheMornp. thework.102(Bentham 30 Ibid. to whomhe was indebted Friend" ingenious to the author referred editionof the Fragment." charged.

One often has the impression. but that bothof themhad the idea moreor less simultaneously.This is whyLind could pay generous tribute to Benthambut Benthamcould not do the same for Lind.It is customary.204 Gertrude Himmelfarb The point hereis notone ofpriority. alone exposed thefallacies and inequities of thelaw. to relatehis workon penal law to that of Beccaria. the practicaluse made of it in subverting the accepted deities(Blackstone.Thereis no pointin discovering one's geniusand havingthe revelation of a callingif all aroundyou thereare others with the same geniusand calling. forexample).was fostered by Bentham himself. thanks to the Correspondence. opher-king. Otherof Bentham's theories. and that it was praisedby such pillarsof society as Lord Northand Samuel Johnson.But wouldit not also be interesting to relateit to such other as the committee events contemporary thatsat in Moscow forsevenyears to drawup a code of laws?Or theprizeoffered by theSocieteEconomique of Bern for a "Plan of Legislation on CriminalMatters"?(Benthamintendedto submit the Principles of Morals and Legislation in thiscompeti- .a former lord chancellor. not onlyretrospectively butfrom theverybeginning-which is whyit is important to attend to the Eureka episodes when he discoveredhis "genius" and experienced the revelation of his calling. The Correspondence servesas a corrective. was known to be andsaying thinking muchthesamethings Bentham was saying. Beccaria. as Bentham laterclaimed. not onlyto Bowtherefore. and advancingnew reforms-theseare generally regarded as Bentham'sunique and revolutionary contributions to English thought and history. A good part of the establishment. and not onlyfromhis more adulatorybiographers (these one can easily discount) but from social and intellectual historians who are to some extent dependent upon thebiographers. alone proposed reforms. It is concededthathe may have derivedthis or that phraseor idea from Helvetius. thatBentham was the David who single-handedly tookon the Goliathsof his time. andperhaps notevenofinfluence in the usual sense. The pointwould hardly be worthmaking.undermining sacredinstitutions (the English penal law). and projectscan similarly now. It is important to be reminded by the Correspondence thatthe Fragment was attributed to thebest legal mindsof the time. butonlythathe did notregard himself as thesupreme thephiloslegislator.Bacon.who alone challenged Blackstone. ring and to later biographers but to Bentham himself-and not only to the elderlyBenthamof faultymemory and fanciful illusionsbut to the youngBentham who was creating his own myth even as he was livingit. be seen in theirpropercontemporary context. it would seem. let alone laboring.including a future chief justice. This image. and a former solicitor general. were it not thatmostof the literature on Bentham(withthe notableexception of Halevy'swork) has been so neglectful of the contemporary context of Bentham's thought. as we have seen. Priestley. books. of the But the thrust phrase or idea. as Bentham's disciple. Benthamhad just cause for pride in all this (and he expressed it freely).But by the same tokenhe cannotbe allowedthe pretense thathis was the only or even the loudestvoice raised againstthe establishment.In the case of Lind whatis interesting is not whether he or Bentham first had the idea of such a critiqueof Blackstone. forexample. or whomever. It was not thatLind regarded himself.

and thatonlyby such deviousmeanscould he protect and advancehimself (to the distress of his more outgoing and trusting brother. Or his penchant for schemes. businesses. and even earlier. 63. X. . I. and otherswere working on a criminal code for America?The Correspondence can only give us the leads for further research. legalrights 32 Correspondence. the expression "nonsense upon stilts" used as earlyas 1774.33 revealsnot the slightest of thatoutline But a reading reference to interest.4. how does Voltaire's book comparewithBentham's? Again whatis at issue is a matterof history as well as ideology. But theleads are provocative. 34Ibid. enter(It is intriguing to findso earlythiscuriousidentification of private prise with public reform that was to be a conspicuousfeatureof the Panopticon. who had to indulge Jeremy's fancyforinvisible ink or followhis complicated instructo tionswhereby A would be told X.Thus he laterexplainedhis opposition thattheyappealedto the fiction the grounds of natural rather rights than of interest calculations and happiness. but could not meet the deadline. therebeing on the issue of sovereignty-the based entirely "power vested in the at the timeexhibit the same preoccupation And his letters crown. a book on the penal law that was inspired by thiscompetition and thatBentham himself praisedat the time? Or the news that reached him shortly afterwards that Benjamin Franklin. suspicious. to ignorethem.arch.What is interesting here is not -the AmericanRevolution.convincedthat everyone was ready to steal his ideas or. 168 (Bentham Bentham. are the occasionalreferences More important to specific issues political for example. secretive. Thereis muchmorein theCorrespondence that one could. he claimed.and that biographers assuredly will. or any calculation of thatsort. even down to a detailedand explicit defense of the "method of contract. all designedoriginally and primarily for personalprofit and yet somehowinfused by Bentham witha sense of altruistic righteousness.make muchof: Bentham's manner of dealingwith the world-oblique. but the evidenceof how he himself to the Americans on earlyviews. 1773)."34 with and authority. D'Alembert. at the age of 17. Prix de la justiceet de I'humanite. Works. precisecalculations about such matters as the daily cost of subsistence. or the Franklin-D'Alembert project. of comparison withhis onlythe evidenceof his earlyviewsfor purposes later reinterpreted those later ones. the Berncompetition. alternatively. whichwould thenbe communicated B as Y. utility.BenthamScholarship 20f5 tion. so thatC wouldbe prompted to do Z-which was whatBentham wanteddone in the first place)."32) Or otherprefigurations of the laterBentham:neologisms and nomenclatures.the outlinehe drew to legitimate up for Lind's book. Did anything come of the Moscow and Committee.his argument happiness. mannered stylethatwas alwaysto distinguish his letters fromhis other writings. if so do theybear any resemblance to Bentham's work?For thatmatter.was based on just such calculations.) Or the last book written by Voltaire. 33 Bentham. to Samuel Nov.It is not of much help to know what Bentham was up to if one does not also know what others wereup to at thesametime. conspiratorial. inventions. the cultivation of the fey.

If Benthamscholarship seems at the moment it is not onlybecauseof themagnitude to hold out greatpromise. And in thiscase therewards maybe uncommonly large. in making a kindof exhibitionism something of what at first sightseemsto be little. There is also the very real dangerof makingsomething or something of nothing. and so much is at stake in our understanding of him.the law of diminishing returns. preciselybecause theyoffer littleof obvious interest. Yet this. its risks. This is not to denythatthereis a large element of intellectual play. This is true of all historical scholarship.Thereis so much to be foundout about Bentham. we might be content to skimit. may encourageus to lookbeneath andbeyond theobvious andfamiliar. problems involved . surely. It is oftenthe obscurefact dredged up from thebottom longafter sensible menwouldhave abandoned the searchthatturnsout to be most significant.But it also has its rewards. thereis little in thesevolumes in the way of explicit. In history thefamiliar metaphor does not hold: the creamdoes not necessarily come to the top. Nor can we dependupon that counsel of wisdom.however.thatthe smallest in his letters leads and clues contained or in the severalversions of his worksmayyieldunexpected returns. may proveto be one of the virtues of the Correspondence. spuriousor inflated. of the present editorial projectbut also because of the magnitude of the ofBentham in a reconsideration andBenthamism.206 Gertrude Himmelfarb For the mostpart. If morewerevisibleon the surface. And thesevolumes. substantive statements of ideas.whichwould seem to be cause for disappointment. The enterprise has. evenvanity. involved in suchan approach.