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Mr. Bentham next represents us as mainlaining,
"Thirdly, That though there may be some tastes and propensities that have no point of saturation, there exists a sufficient check in the desire of the good opinion of others.' The misfortune of this argument is, that no man cares for the good opinion of those he has been accustomed to wrong. If oysters have opinions, it is probable they think very ill of those who eat them in August; but small is the effect upon the autumnal glutton that engulfs their gentle substances within his own. The planter and the slave-driver care just as much about negro opinion as the epicure about the sentiments of oysters. M. Ude throwing live eels into the fire as a kindly method of divesting them of the unsavoury oil that lodges beneath their skins, is not more convinced of the immense aggregate of good which arises to the lordlier parts of the creation, than is the gentle peer who strips his fellow-man of country and of family for a wild fowl slain. The goodly landowner, who lives by morsels squeezed indiscriminately from the waxy hands of the cobbler and the polluted ones of the nightman, is in no small degree the object of both hatred and contempt; but it is to be feared that he is a long way from feeling them to be intolerable. The principle of At mihi plaudo ipse domi, simul ac nummos contemplor in arca,' is sufficient to make a wide interval between the opinions of the plaintiff and defendant in such cases. In short, to banish law and leave all plaintiffs to trust to the desire of reputation on the opposite side, would only be transporting the theory of the whigs from the House of Commons to Westminster Hall."
Now, in the first place, we never maintained the proposition which Mr. Bentham puts into our mouths. We said, and say, that there is a certain check to the rapacity and cruelty of men, in their desire of the good opinion of others. We never said that it was sufficient. Let Mr. Mill show it to be insufficient. It is enough for us to prove that there is a set-off against the principle from which Mr. Mill deduces the whole theory of government. The balance may be, and, we believe, will be, against despotism and the narrow forms of aristocracy. But what is this to the correctness or incorrectness of Mr. Mill's accounts? The question is not, whether the motives which lead rulers to behave ill, are stronger than those which lead them to behave well;-but whether we ought to form a theory of government by looking only at the motives which lead rulers to behave ill, and never noticing those which lead them to behave well.
ple, because they are accustomed to wrong the people.
Here Mr. Mill differs, as usual, from Mr. Bentham. "The greatest princes," says he, in his Essay on Education, "the most despotical masters of human destiny, when asked what they aim at by their wars and conquests, would answer, if sincere, as Frederic of Prussia answered, pour fair parler de soi;-to occupy a large space in the admiration of mankind." Putting Mr. Mill's and Mr. Bentham's principles together, we might make out very easily that "the greatest princes, the most despotical masters of human destiny," would never abuse their power.
Absolute rulers, says Mr. Bentham, do not care for the good opinion of their subjects; for no man cares for the good opinion of those whom he has been accustomed to wrong. By Mr. Bentham's leave, this is a plain begging of the question. The point at issue is this:-Will Kings and nobles wrong the people? The argument in favour of kings and nobles is this: -they will not wrong the people, because they care for the good opinion of the people. But this argument Mr. Bentham meets thus:-they will not care for the good opinion of the peo
A man who has been long accustomed to in jure people, must also have been long accus tomed to do without their love, and to endure their aversion. Such a man may not miss the pleasure of popularity; for men seldom miss a pleasure which they have long denied themselves. An old tyrant does without popularity, just as an old water-drinker does without wine. But though it is perfectly true that men who, for the good of their health, have long abstained from wine, feel the want of it very little, it would be absurd to infer that men will always abstain from wine, when their health requires that they should do so. And it would be equally absurd to say, because men who have been accustomed to oppress care little for popularity, that men will therefore necessarily prefer the pleasures of oppression to those of popularity.
Then, again, a man may be accustomed to wrong people in one point, and not in another. He may care for. their good opinion with regard to one point, and not with regard to another. The Regent Orleans laughed at charges of impiety, libertinism, extravagance, idleness, disgraceful promotions. But the slightest allusion to the charge of poisoning threw him into convulsions. Louis the Fifteenth braved the hatred and contempt of his subjects during many years of the most odious and imbecile misgovernment. But when a report was spread that he used human blood for his baths, he was almost driven mad by it. Surely Mr. Bentham's position, "that no man cares for the good opinion of those whom he has been accustomed to wrong," would be objectionable, as far too sweeping and indiscriminate, even if it did not involve, as in the present case we have shown that it does, a direct begging of the question at issue.
Mr. Bentham proceeds :
life in trying to find out whether the Misses of | That some men will plunder their neighbours the Edinburgh mean to say Yes or No in their if they can, is a sufficient reason for the exist political coquetry. But whichever way the ence of governments. But it is not demon. lovely spinsters may decide, it is diametrically strated that kings and aristocracies will plunopposed to history and the evidence of facts, der the people, unless it be true that all men that the poor are the class whom there is any will plunder their neighbours if they can. Men difficulty in restraining. It is not the poor but are placed in very different situations. Some the rich that have a propensity to take the have all the bodily pleasures that they desire, property of other people. There is no instance and many other pleasures besides, without upon earth of the poor having combined to plundering anybody. Others can scarcely cb. take away the property of the rich; and all the tain their daily bread without plundering. It instances habitually brought forward in sup- may be true, but surely it is not self-evident, port of it, are gross misrepresentations, found- that the former class is under as strong temp ed upon the most necessary acts of self-defence tations to plunder as the latter. Mr. Mill was on the part of the most numerous classes. therefore bound to prove it. That he has not Such a misrepresentation is the common one proved it, is one of thirty or forty fatal errors of the Agrarian law; which was nothing but in his argument. It is not necessary that we an attempt, on the part of the Roman people, should express an opinion, or even have an to get back some part of what had been taken opinion on the subject. Perhaps we are in a from them by undisguised robbery. Such an- state of perfect skepticism; but what then? other is the stock example of the French Revo- Are we the theory-makers? When we bring lution, appealed to by the Edinburgh Review in before the world a theory of government, it the actual case. It is utterly untrue that the will be time to call upon us to offer proof at French Revolution took place because the every step. At present we stand on our un poor began to compare their cottages and sa- doubted logical right. We concede nothing, lads with the hotels and banquets of the rich;' and we deny nothing. We say to the Utilita it took place because they were robbed of their rian theorists-When you prove your doctrine, cottages and salads to support the hotels and we will believe it, and till you prove it, we will banquets of their oppressors. It is utterly un- not believe it. true that there was either a scramble for pro- Mr. Bentham has quite misunderstood what perty or a general confiscation; the classes we said about the French Revolution. We who took part with the foreign invaders lost never alluded to that event for the purpose of their property, as they would have done here, proving that the poor were inclined to rob the and ought to do everywhere. All these are the rich. Mr. Mill's principles of human nature vulgar errors of the man on the lion's back,- furnished us with that part of our argument which the lion will set to rights when he can ready-made. We alluded to the French Revotell his own story. History is nothing but the lution for the purpose of illustrating the effects relation of the sufferings of the poor from the which general spoliation produces on society, rich; except precisely so far as the numerous not for the purpose of showing that general classes of the community have contrived to spoliation will take place under a democracy. keep the virtual power in their hands, or in We allowed distinctly that, in the peculiar cir other words, to establish free governments. cumstances of the French monarchy, the ReIf a poor man injures the rich, the law is in-volution, though accompanied by a great stantly at his heels; the injuries of the rich shock to the institution of property, was a towards the poor are always inflicted by the blessing. Surely Mr. Bentham will not mainlaw. And to enable the rich to do this to any tain that the injury produced by the deluge of extent that may be practicable or prudent, there assignats and by the maximum fell only on is clearly one postulate required, which is, that the emigrants, or that there were not many the rich shall make the law." emigrants who would have stayed and lived peaceably under any government, if their persons and property had been secure.
We never said that the French Revolution took place because the poor began to compare their cottages and salads with the hotels and banquets of the rich. We were not speaking about the causes of the Revolution, or thinking about them. This we said, and say, that if a democratic government had been established in France, the poor, when they began to com pare their cottages and salads with the hotels and banquets of the rich, would, on the sup position that Mr. Mill's principles are sound, have plundered the rich, and repeated, without provocation, all the severities and confisca tions which, at the time of the Revolution, were committed with provocation. We say that Mr. Mill's favourite form of government would, if his own views of human nature be just, make those violent convulsions and transfers of property which now rarely happen, except, as in the case of the French Revolution.
This passage is alone sufficient to prove that Mr. Bentham has not taken the trouble to read our article from beginning to end. We are quite sure that he would not stoop to misrepresent it. And if he had read it with any attenuon, he would have perceived that all this coquetry, this hesitation, this Yes and No, this saying and not saying, is simply an exercise of the undeniable right which in controversy belongs to the defensive side-to the side which proposes to establish nothing. The affirmative of the issue and the burden of the proof are with Mr. Mill, not with us. We are not bound, perhaps we are not able, to show that the form of government which he recommends is bad. It is quite enough if we can show that he does not prove it to be good. In his proof, among many other flaws, is this-he says, that if men are not inclined to plunder each other, government is unnecessary, and that, if men are so inclined, kings and aristocracies will plunder t people. Now this, we say, is a fallacy.
when the people are maddened by oppression, | ous to reproach him in the language which events of annual or biennial occurrence. We Mr. Bentham, in the exercise of his paternal gave no opinion of our own. We give none authority over the sect, thinks himself entitled now. We say that this proposition may be to employ. proved from Mr. Mill's own premises, by steps strictly analogous to those by which he proves monarchy and aristocracy to be bad forms of government. To say this is not to say that the proposition is true. For we hold both Mr. Mill's premises and his deductions to be unsound throughout.
"Another of their perverted ingenuities is. that they are rather inclined to think' that it would, on the whole, be for the interest of the majority to plunder the rich; and if so, the Utilitarians will say, that the rich ought to be plundered. On which it is sufficient to reply, that for the majority to plunder the rich, would amount to a declaration that nobody should be rich; which, as all men wish to be rich, would involve a suicide of hope. And as nobody has shown a fragment of reason why such a proceeding should be for the general happiness, it does not follow that the Utilitarians would recommend it. The Edinburgh Reviewers have a waiting gentlewoman's ideas of 'Utilitarianism.' It is unsupported by any thing but the pitiabie 'We are rather inclined to think,'— and is utterly contradicted by the whole course of history and human experience besides,that there is either danger or possibility of such a consummation as the majority agreeing on the plunder of the rich. There have been instances in human memory of their agreeing to plunder rich oppressors, rich traitors, rich enemies, but the rich simpliciter, never. It is as true now as in the days of Harrington, that 'a people never will, nor ever can, never did, nor ever shall, take up arms for levelling.' All the commotions in the world have been for something else; and levelling' is brought forward as the blind, to conceal what the other was."
Why, says or sings Mr. Bentham, should not women vote? It may seem uncivil in us to turn a deaf ear to his Arcadian warblings. But we submit, with great deference, that it is not our business to tell him why. We fully agree with him that the principle of female suffrage is not so palpably absurd that a chain of reasoning ought to be pronounced unsound, merely because it leads to female suffrage. We say that every argument which tells in favour of the universal suffrage of the males, tells equally in favour of female suffrage. Mr. Mill, however, wishes to see all men vote, but says that is unnecessary that women should vote; and for making this distinction, he gives as a reason an assertion which, in the first place, is not true, and which, in the next place, would, if true, overset his whole theory of human nature; namely, that the interest of the women is identical with that of the men. We side with Mr. Bentham, so far at least as this, that when we join to drive the camel through the needle, he shall go through hoof and all. We at present desire to be excused from driv-plunder the rich. Why we are inclined to ing the camel. It is Mr. Mill who leaves the think so we will explain, whenever we send a Boof behind. But we should think it uncourte-theory of government to an encyclopedia. A VOL. V.-87
We say, again and again, that we are on the defensive. We do not think it necessary to prove that a quack medicine is poison. Let the vender prove it to be sanative. We do not pretend to show that universal suffrage is an evil. Let its advocates show it to be a good. Mr. Mill tells us, that if power be given for short terms to representatives elected by all the males of mature age, it will then be for the interest of those representatives to promote the greatest happiness of the greatest number. To prove this, it is necessary that he should prove three propositions; first, that the interest of such a representative body will be identical with the interest of the constituent body; secondly, that the interest of the constituent body will be identical with that of the community; thirdly, that the interest of one generation of a community is identical with that of all succeeding generations. The two first propositions Mr. Mill attempts to prove, and fails. The last he does not even attempt to prove. We therefore refuse our assent to his conclusions. Is this unreasonable?
We never even dreamed, what Mr. Bentham conceives us to have maintained, that it co be for the greatest happiness of mankind plunder the rich. But we are "rather inclined to think," though doubtingly, and with a dispo sition to yield to conviction, that it may be for the pecuniary interest of the majority of a single generation in a thickly-peopled country to
Mr. Bentham challenges us to prove from history that the people will plunder the rich. What does history say to Mr. Mill's doctrine, that absolute kings will always plunder their subjects so unmercifully as to leave nothing but a bare subsistence to any except their own creatures! If experience is to be the test, Mr. Mill's theory is unsound. If Mr. Mill's reasoning à pricri be sound, the people in a democracy will plunder the rich. Let us use one weight and one measure. Let us not throw history aside when we are proving a theory, and take it up again when we have to refute an objection founded on the principles of that theory.
We have not done, however, with Mr. Bentham's charges against us.
"Among other specimens of their ingenuity, they think they embarrass the subject by asking why, on the principles in question, women should not have votes as well as men. And why not?
'Gentle shepherd, tell me why.-'
If the mode of election was what it ought to be, there would be no more difficulty in women voting for a representative in Parliament than for a director at the India House. The world will find out at some time, that the readiest way to secure justice on some points is to be just on all;-that the whole is easier to accomplish than the part; and that, whenever the camel is driven through the eye of the needle, it would be simple folly and debility that would leave a hoof behind."
present we are bound to say only that we think | so, till somebody shows us a reason for thinking otherwise.
"How then are we to arrive at just concla. sions on a subject so important to the happiness of mankind? Surely by that method, which, in every experimental science to which it has been applied, has signally increased the power and knowledge of our species,-by that method for which our new philosophers would substitute quibbles scarcely worthy of the barbarous respondents and opponents of the middle ages,-by the method of induction,-by observ. ing the present state of the world, by assidu ously studying the history of past ages,-by sifting the evidence of facts,—by carefully combining and contrasting those which are authentic,-by generalizing with judgment and diffidence,-by perpetually bringing the theory which we have constructed to the test of new facts,-by correcting, or altogether abandoning it, according as those new facts prove it to be partially or fundamentally unsound. Proceeding thus,-patiently, diligently, candidly,-we may hope to form a system as far inferior in pretension to that which we have been examining, and as far superior to it in real utility, as the prescriptions of a great physician, varying with every stage of every malady, and with the constitution of every patient, to the pill of the advertising quack, which is to cure all human beings, in all climates, of all diseases.'
Mr. Bentham's answer to us is simple assertion. He must not think that we mean any discourtesy by meeting it with a simple denial. The fact is, that almost all the governments that have ever existed in the civilized world, have been, in part at least, monarchical and aristocratical. The first government constituted on principles approaching to those which the Utilitarians hold, was, we think, that of the United States. That the poor have never combined to plunder the rich in the governments of the old world, no more proves that they might plunder the rich under a system of universal suffrage, than the fact, that the English kings of the House of Brunswick have been Neros and Domitians, proves that sovereigns may safely be intrusted with absolute power. Of what the people would do in a state of perfect sovereignty, we can judge only by indications, which, though rarely of much moment in themselves, and though always suppressed with little difficulty, are yet of great significance, and resemble those by which our domestic animals sometimes remind us that they are of kin with the fiercest monsters of the forest. It would not be wise to reason from the behaviour of a dog crouching under the "Fancy now, only fancy,-the delivery of lash, which is the case of the Italian people, these wise words at Bow Street; and think or from the behaviour of a dog pampered with how speedily the practical catchpolls would the best morsels of a plentiful kitchen, which reply that all this might be very fine, but as far is the case of the people of America, to the as they had studied history, the naked story behaviour of a wolf, which is nothing but a was, after all, that numbers of men had a prodog run wild, after a week's fast among the pensity to thieving, and their business was to snows of the Pyrenees. No commotion, says catch them; that they, too, had been sifters of Mr. Bentham, was ever really produced by the facts; and, to say the truth, their simple opiwish of levelling: the wish has been put for- nion was, that their brethren of the red waistward as a blind; but something else has been coat-though they should be sorry to think ill the real object. Grant all this. But why has of any man-had somehow contracted a leanlevelling been put forward as a blind in times ing to the other side, and were more bent on of commotion, to conceal the real objects of puzzling the case for the benefit of the defendthe agitators? Is it with declarations which ants, than on doing the duty of good officers involve "a suicide of hope," that men attempt and true. Such would, beyond all doubt, be to allure others? Was famine, pestilence, the sentence passed on such trimmers in the slavery, ever held out to attract the people? microcosm of Bow Street. It might not absoIf levelling has been made a pretence for dis-lutely follow that they were in a plot to rob the turbances, the argument against Mr. Bentham's goldsmiths' shops, or to set fire to the House doctrine is as strong as if it had been the real of Commons; but it would be quite clear that object of the disturbances. they had got a feeling,-that they were in precess of siding with the thieves, and that it was not to them that any man must look, who was anxious that pantries should be safe."
But the great objection which Mr. Bentham inakes to our review, still remains to be noticed. "The pith of the charge against the author of the Essays is, that he has written an elaborate Treatise on Government,' and 'deduced the whole science from the assumption of certain propensities of human nature. Now, in tne name of Sir Richard Birnie, and all saints, from what else should it be deduced? What fid ever anybody imagine to be the end, object, and design of government as it ought to be, but the same operation, on an extended scale, which that meritorious chief magistrate conducts on a limited one at Bow Street; to wit, the preventing one man from injuring another? Imagine, then, that the whiggery of Bow Street were rise up against the proposition that their science was to be deduced from 'certain propen-stances, theft and outrage were most frequent. sities of human nature,' and thereon were to Are the streets, he would ask, most infested ratiocinate as follows:with thieves at sunset, or at midnight? Are
This is all very witty; but it does not touch us. On the present occasion, we cannot but flatter ourselves that we bear a much greater resemblance to a practical catchpoll than either Mr. Mill or Mr. Bentham. It would, to be sure, be very absurd in a magistrate, discussing the arrangements of a police-office, to spout in the style either of our article or Mr. Bentham's; but, in substance, he would proceed, if he were a man of sense, exactly as we recommend. He would, on being appointed to provide for the security of property in a town, study attentively the state of the town. He would learn at what places, at what times, and under what circum
there any public places of resort which give peculiar facilities to pickpockets? Are there any districts completely inhabited by a lawless population? Which are the flash-houses, and which the shops of receivers? Having made himself master of the facts, he would act accordingly. A strong detachment of officers might be necessary for Petticoat-Lane; another for the pit entrance of Covent-Garden Theatre. Grosvenor Square and Hamilton Place would require little or no protection. Exactly thus should we reason about government. Lombardy is oppressed by tyrants; and constitutional checks, such as may produce security to the people, are required. It is, so to speak, one of the resorts of thieves, and there is great need of police-officers. Denmark resembles one of those respectable streets, in which it is scarcely necessary to station a catchpoll, because the inhabitants would at once join to seize a thief. Yet even in such a street, we should wish to see an officer appear now and then, as his occasional superintendence would render the security more complete. And even Denmark, we think, would be better off under a constitutional form of government.
else should it be deducea!" In spite of this solemn adjuration, we shall venture to answer Mr. Bentham's question by another. How does he arrive at those principles of human nature from which he proposes to deduce the science of government? We think that we may venture to put an answer into his mouth; for in truth there is but one possible answer. He will say-By experience. But what is the extent of this experience? Is it an experience which includes experience of the conduct of men intrusted with the powers of government; or is it exclusive of that experience? If it includes experience of the manner in which men act when intrusted with the powers of government, then those principles of human nature from which the science of government is to be deduced, can only be known after going through that inductive process by which we propose to arrive at the science of government. Our knowledge of human nature, instead of being prior in order to our knowledge of the science of government, will be posterior to it. And it would be correct to say, that by means of the science of government, and of other kindred sciences-the science of education, for example, which falls under exactly the same principle-we arrive at the science of human nature.
Mr. Mill proceeds like a director of police, who, without asking a single question about the state of his district, should give his orders thus:-"My maxim is, that every man will If, on the other hand, we are to deduce the take what he can. Every man in London theory of government from principles of huwould be a thief, but for the thief-takers. This man nature, in arriving at which principles we is an undeniable principle of human nature. have not taken into the account the manner Some of my predecessors have wasted their in which men act when invested with the time in inquiring about particular pawnbro- powers of government, then those principles kers, and particular alehouses. Experience is must be defective. They have not been formed altogether divided. Of people placed in ex- by a sufficiently copious induction. We are actly the same situation, I see that one steals, reasoning from what a man does in one situaand that another would sooner burn his hand tion, to what he will do in another. Sometimes off. Therefore I trust to the laws of human we may be quite justified in reasoning thus. nature alone, and pronounce all men thieves When we have no means of acquiring inforalike. Let everybody, high and low, be watch-mation about the particular case before us, we ed. Let Townsend take particular care that are compelled to resort to cases which bear some the Duke of Wellington does not steal the silk resemblance to it. But the most satisfactory handkerchief of the lord in waiting at the course is to obtain information about the parlevee. A person has lost a watch. Go to Lord ticular case; and whenever this can be obFitzwilliam and search him for it: he is as tained, it ought to be obtained. When first the great a receiver of stolen goods as Ikey Solo-yellow fever broke out, a physician might be mans himself. Don't tell me about his rank, justified in treating it as he had been accusand character, and fortune. He is a man; and tomed to treat those complaints which, on the a man does not change his nature when he is whole, had the most symptoms in common with called a lord. Either men will steal or they it. But what should we think of a physician will not steal. If they will not, why do I sit who should now tell us that he deduced his here? If they will, his lordship must be a treatment of yellow fever from the general thief." The whiggery of Bow Street would theory of pathology? Surely we should ask perhaps rise up against this wisdom. Would him, Whether, in constructing his theory of Mr. Bentham think that the whiggery of Bow pathology, he had, or had not, taken into the was in the wrong? account the facts which had been ascertained respecting the yellow fever? If he had, then it would be more correct to say, that he had arrived at the principles of pathology partly
We blamed Mr. Mill for deducing his theory of government from the principles of human nature. "In the name of Sir Richard Birnie, and all saints,” cries Mr. Bentham, "from what | by his experience of cases of yellow fever, than that he had deduced his treatment of yel low fever from the principles of pathology. If he had not, he should not prescribe for us. If we had the yellow fever, we should prefer a man who had never treated any cases of yellow fever, to a man who had walked the hospitals of London and Paris for years, but who knew nothing of our particular disease.
Let Lord Bacon sneak for us: "Inductionem
* If government is founded upon this, as a law of human nature, that a man, if able, will take from others any thing which they have and he desires, it is sufficiently evident that when a man is called a king, he does not change his nature; so that, when he has power to
zake what he pleases, he will take what he pleases. To suppose that he will not, is to affirm that government is annecessary, and that human beings will abstain from injuring one another of their own accord.”—MILL on Government