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viewer said it did not realise the “triumphant introduction ” of the editor; he called it a great work, but deplored some of the author's views and ridiculed others; and, adopting a superior attitude, declared that “if there is little that is false or pernicious in this system, there is little that is either new or important.” Three years later the same Review came to propose that Bentham should be employed in the reform of the Scottish judicial system. In 1807, in connection with a bill for amending the Court of Session in Scotland, Bentham addressed a series of papers to Lord Grenville (who had invited his assistance), in which he criticised the project, and forcibly condemned the condition of things then existing in Scotland—the great expense, the undue delay, the complicated and labyrinthine pleadings laid before the judges. He then expounded his views on the best legal procedure, emphasised the advantages of what he called the natural system of justice, as opposed to the artificial “fee-getting system,” and urged that litigants ought to have ready access to a court, and to be allowed to dispose of the matter in dispute without a jury.” The English law of libel was next subjected to a keen investigation in his more elaborate work entitled Elements of the art of packing as applied to special juries * (1809), which had been printed but, on the advice of Romilly, not published till 1821. The existing law relating to libel was a special object of the author's detestation—as may well be imagined from his proneness to free expression. The chief aim of the judge, he averred, is ease. “But, so far as jury-trial is concerned, the ease of the judge is as the obsequiousness of the jury. . . . For the exhibition of the triumphs of this tyrant passion [viz. vengeance], and the sacrifices made to it, the King's Bench is, by patent, the great and sole King's theatre; the liberty of the press, its victim; libel law, the instrument of sacrifice.” " Towards the end of the year 181o he communicated to William Cobbett his Catechism of Parliamentary Reform," written the year before. It was intended for publication in the Weekly Political Register; but it was rejected. It was issued in 1817, with a long introduction showing the “necessity of radical, and the inadequacy of moderate reform.” It urged the exclusion of placemen from the House of Commons, the holding of annual elections, the establishment of uniform electoral divisions, voting by ballot, the systematic publication of parliamentary debates, and the granting of the franchise to all who paid a certain amount of taxes. Bentham had come of a tory family, and in his earlier days he was by no means a “radical" in politics. But with the conception of the fundamental greatest happiness principle, his point of view altered; and he became convinced that his ideals would be more easily realised under a democratic government. His estimate of Cobbett, who was at this time imprisoned for his violent attack on the flogging of militiamen by German mercenaries, was far from flattering. Whether the strong antipathy to him was in a great measure due to his rejection of the manuscript it is difficult to say. Certain it is that anyone who crossed Bentham would soon “know the reason why.” No doubt the attitude, opinions, and methods of the agitator did not commend themselves to the utilitarian philosopher. It was not Bentham's way to mince matters. Not only did he like to call a spade a spade; but in his linguistic exuberance he sometimes exaggerated and called it a worse than shovel. Thus his present view of Cobbett is summed up in his terse phrase, “vile rascal ";" afterwards the latter was considered to be “filled with the odium humani generis—his malevolence and lying beyond everything.”.” In 1814 Bentham removed from London to Ford Abbey (near Chard), which was an old stately mansion beautifully situated, and was occupied formerly as a monastery. The historic edifice of the reign of Stephen and the attractive surroundings did not hinder Bentham in the untiring prosecution of his labours. Romilly, who visited him in 1817, speaks of the cheerfulness and magnificence of the princely mansion, the gay pleasuregrounds, the spacious rooms, some of them enriched with tapestry, “the modesty and scantiness of his domestic establishment " (how could a poor bachelor do better?), and says that the retired occupant of the abbey devoted seven or eight hours a day to his writing, and the remaining hours to reading or taking exercise.” Bentham remained here about four years. He next engaged for some two or three years in educational and religious controversies. In 1816 was published Chrestomathia, or useful education," a series of papers in which the Bell and Lancaster systems of instruction are applied to secondary education. He combats the high claims made by votaries of the classics, and insists on the great importance of scientific subjects in the educational curriculum. He was ever ready to apply theories to actual practice. He encouraged practical schemes not only by his sympathy and advice, but also by substantial aid; thus he generously offered his garden as a site for the erection of a school. In those less enlightened days educational controversy was embittered by religious animosity. Now Bentham accepted no theology. In his Church of Englandism and its Catechism (published 1818) he showed himself an opponent of the Church and objected to the Catechism; he pointed out the fallacies in the Thirty-nine Articles, dilated on the evils of clericalism and the abuses consequent on episcopal wealth and non-residence, and regarded the entire ecclesiastical organisation as part of the prevailing fabric of mischief and anomaly, which elsewhere had brought into being “Judge and Co.” He thought that the duties of a clergyman, namely, to read weekly services and preach sermons, might well be performed by a parish boy, instructed to read properly and provided with the prayerbook and the homilies. He continued his attack in Not Paul but Jesus (not published till 1823), in which he sought to prove that St. Paul had distorted the primitive doctrines of Christianity, and subjected the evidence as to the apostle's conversion to a stringent criticism. He maintained also that St. Paul was responsible for the introduction of dogmatic theology, and consequently for the institution of the Catechism. Next he wrote, or furnished the materials for, the Analysis of Natural Religion, which was eventually issued by Grote (in 1822) under the pseudonym of “Philip Beauchamp.” There is no doubt that Grote's own share in the final composition of the treatise was considerable. These writings are an excellent example of the working of Bentham's mind in its gradual apprehension, investigation, and exposure of abuses and evils, beginning in the restricted sphere of some particular subject, extending the boundaries to allied matters, and ultimately entering on a wide, comprehensive field. Thus falling foul of the Catechism as an educational instrument, he proceeds to evidences of religion, and then considers the utility of religion itself. As he had changed in his political views, so had he changed in his religious opinions. He was brought up in the doctrines of the Church of England, but soon dissociated himself from theoretical creeds, and stood boldly for universal toleration. Every man, he would say, is master of his own actions; no man is master of his own opinions. Nevertheless he thought that dogmatic religion need not necessarily be antagonistic to the principle of utility, and to the promotion of general happiness; and in his consideration of penal law he suggested that religious services in prisons should be rendered attractive so as to be more efficacious, and that the chaplain might well be a “daily benefactor—a friend to console and to enlighten.” In connection with these educational and religious productions may be mentioned the pamphlet Swear not at all,” which was printed in 1813 and published in 1817. In it he vigorously assails the administration of the oath as being unnecessary, mischievous, and anti-christian. He had not, of course, forgotten his bitter experience regarding the compulsory acceptance of the Thirty-nine Articles in his matriculation days; and so he enlarges on the immoral practice of imposing oaths in “the two Church of England universities, more especially in the university of Oxford.” The promissory oath, he held, not infrequently prevented a man from following the dictates of his conscience; and sometimes it was regarded as an excuse for the commission of an offence. The assertory or judicial oath was less objectionable; but it ought not to involve a sacred invocation, which tends to obscure the real evil resulting from the falsehood. The criminal character of lying should not be made to depend on the alleged profanation of a ceremony, importing a religious sanction; rather it should depend on the mischievous consequences flowing from the intrinsic evil of the act itself. In 1818 Bentham left Ford Abbey, and returned to the “Hermitage” in Queen's Square Place. Now he devotes his energies more than ever to the task of formulating legislative schemes, parliamentary bills, and resolutions, and assumes to himself, so to speak, the duties of draftsman-, codifier-, and legislator-in-chief to the world in general. Indeed in 1822 he actually issued an extraordinary Codification Proposal,” in which he offered to codify for any state needing a legislator of liberal views, and added, in good earnest, testimonials to his competence for such work. In the task of diffusing the tenets of philosophic radicalism in England, he received valuable support, both in the House of Commons and outside, from men like James Mill, the historian, economist, and philosopher; Major Cartwright, the “father of reform,” and a veritable warrior in the pamphleteering world; Sir Francis Burdett, one of the most popular politicians of his time, and a fearless advocate of liberty and reform. Further, the spread of Benthamite views was materially assisted by such men as Romilly, Brougham, and O'Connell at home, Dumont on the Continent, Edward Livingston in the United States, and other distinguished men animated by a desire for reform, if not for extreme radical measures. At the instance of Burdett, Bentham drew up a series of concise resolutions on the subject of universal Suffrage, annual parliaments, and vote by ballot, and the former undertook to move the resolutions in the House of Commons. “My tongue shall speak,” observed he like a faithful disciple, “as you do prompt mine ear. . . . My first reward will be the hope of doing everlasting good to my country; my next, and only inferior to it, that of having my name linked in immortality with that of Jeremy Bentham; and though, to be sure, it is but as a tomtit mounted on an eagle's wing, the thought delights me. Bentham and Burdett! the alliteration charms my ear.”” On June 2, 1818, the resolutions were moved; but they received no support either from the Whigs or from the Tories, and they were therefore thrust aside by a peremptory motion for the order of the day. Bentham corresponded with some of the leading men of his time on the subject of codification, and endeavoured with much ingenuity to enlist their sympathy or their services for his various Schemes. And all this labour he took upon himself regardless of gain or recompense. When Lord Sidmouth became Home Secretary in 1872, Bentham had an interview with him, in the hope that his services might be accepted for the preparation of a penal code.” Lord Sidmouth held the office for nine years and, as we shall see in connection with Romilly's efforts in the House of Commons, made himself unpopular by his unwarrantably coercive measures. The utilitarian reformer saw he had little to hope from hardened tories like Sidmouth, and enemies of reform and religious liberty like Eldon, the Lord Chancellor. The latter's methods and the abuses arising therefrom, Bentham exposed in an incisive and daring pamphlet, which will be presently referred to. Then he tried to obtain the services of the Duke of Wellington; in long letters he begged him to transcend the fame
* Works, vol. v., pp. 1–60. *Ibid., pp. 61–186. * Ibid., pp. 9o, 91. * Vol. iii, pp. 433–557.
* Works, vol. x, p. 471. *Ibid., p. 570; cf. vol. xi, p. 68. * Romilly, Memoirs, vol. iii, pp. 315–317. * Works, vol. viii, pp. 1-191.