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Mr. Bentham next represents us as main-ple, because they are accustomed to wrong the aining,people.
"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.
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
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.
A man who has been long accustomed to in jure people, must also have been long accustomed 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:
"Fourthly, The Edinburgh Reviewers are of opinion, that it might, with no smail plausibility, be maintained, that, in many countries, there are two classes which, in some degree, answer to this description;' [viz.] 'that the poor compose the class which government is established to restrain, and the people of some property, the class to which the powers of government may without danger be confided.'
"They take great pains, it is true, to say this, and not to say it. They shuffle and creep about, to secure a hole to escape at, if what they do not assert' should be found in any degree inconvenient. A man might waste his
life in trying to find out whether the Misses of | That some men will plunder their neighbours
if they can, is a sufficient reason for the exist ence of governments. But it is not demonstrated that kings and aristocracies will plander the people, unless it be true that all mer will plunder their neighbours if they can. Men are placed in very different situations. Some have all the bodily pleasures that they desire, and many other pleasures besides, without plundering anybody. Others can scarcely cbtain their daily bread without plundering. It may be true, but surely it is not self-evident, that the former class is under as strong temp tations to plunder as the latter. Mr. Mill was therefore bound to prove it. That he has not proved it, is one of thirty or forty fatal errors in his argument. It is not necessary that we should express an opinion, or even have an opinion on the subject. Perhaps we are in a state of perfect skepticism; but what then? Are we the theory-makers? When we bring before the world a theory of government, it will be time to call upon us to offer proof at every step. At present we stand on our un doubted logical right. We concede nothing, and we deny nothing. We say to the Utilita rian theorists-When you prove your doctrine, we will believe it, and till you prove it, we will not believe it.
the Edinburgh mean to say Yes or No in their political coquetry. But whichever way the lovely spinsters may decide, it is diametrically opposed to history and the evidence of facts, that the poor are the class whom there is any difficulty in restraining. It is not the poor but the rich that have a propensity to take the property of other people. There is no instance upon earth of the poor having combined to take away the property of the rich; and all the instances habitually brought forward in support of it, are gross misrepresentations, found ed upon the most necessary acts of self-defence on the part of the most numerous classes. Such a misrepresentation is the common one of the Agrarian law; which was nothing but an attempt, on the part of the Roman people, to get back some part of what had been taken from them by undisguised robbery. Such another is the stock example of the French Revolution, appealed to by the Edinburgh Review in the actual case. It is utterly untrue that the French Revolution took place because the poor began to compare their cottages and salads with the hotels and banquets of the rich;' it took place because they were robbed of their cottages and salads to support the hotels and banquets of their oppressors. It is utterly untrue 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 tell his own story. History is nothing but the relation of the sufferings of the poor from the rich; except precisely so far as the numerous classes of the community have contrived to keep the virtual power in their hands, or in other words, to establish free governments. If 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 towards the poor are always inflicted by the law. And to enable the rich to do this to any extent that may be practicable or prudent, there is clearly one postulate required, which is, that the rich shall make the law."
ready-made. We alluded to the French Revolution for the purpose of illustrating the effects which general spoliation produces on society, not for the purpose of showing that general spoliation will take place under a democracy. We allowed distinctly that, in the peculiar circumstances of the French monarchy, the Re
shock to the institution of property, was a blessing. Surely Mr. Bentham will not maintain that the injury produced by the deluge of assignats and by the maximum fell only on the emigrants, or that there were not many emigrants who would have stayed and lived peaceably under any government, if their persons and property had been secure.
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 We never said that the French Revolution quite sure that he would not stoop to misrepre- took place because the poor began to compare sent it. And if he had read it with any atten- their cottages and salads with the hotels and uon, he would have perceived that all this co- banquets of the rich. We were not speaking quetry, this hesitation, this Yes and No, this about the causes of the Revolution, or thinking saying and not saying, is simply an exercise about them. This we said, and say, that if a of the undeniable right which in controversy democratic government had been established belongs to the defensive side—to the side which in France, the poor, when they began to com proposes to establish nothing. The affirmative pare their cottages and salads with the hotels of the issue and the burden of the proof are and banquets of the rich, would, on the supwith Mr. Mill, not with us. We are not bound, position that Mr. Mill's principles are sound, perhaps we are not able, to show that the form have plundered the rich, and repeated, without of government which he recommends is bad. provocation, all the severities and confisca It is quite enough if we can show that he does tions which, at the time of the Revolution, not prove it to be good. In his proof, among were committed with provocation. We say many other flaws, is this-he says, that if men that Mr. Mill's favourite form of government are not inclined to plunder each other, govern- would, if his own views of human nature be ment is unnecessary, and that, if men are so just, make those violent convulsions and transinclined, kings and aristocracies will plunder fers of property which now rarely happen, ext people. Now this, we say, is a fallacy.¦cept, as in the case of the French Revolution.
when the people are maddened by oppression, events of annual or biennial occurrence. We gave no opinion of our own. We give none now. We say that this proposition may be 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.
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 priori 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."
ous to reproach him in the language which Mr. Bentham, in the exercise of his paternal authority over the sect, thinks himself entitled to employ.
"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."
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?
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 We never even dreamed, what Mr. Bentham place, is not true, and which, in the next place, conceives us to have maintained, that it co would, if true, overset his whole theory of be for the greatest happiness of mankind human nature; namely, that the interest of the plunder the rich. But we are "rather inclined women is identical with that of the men. We to think," though doubtingly, and with a dispo side with Mr. Bentham, so far at least as this, sition to yield to conviction, that it may be for that when we join to drive the camel through the pecuniary interest of the majority of a sinthe needle, he shall go through hoof and all. gle generation in a thickly-peopled country to 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 hoof behind. But we should think it uncourte-theory of government to an encyclopedia. Ar VOL. V.-87 3M 2
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 conclu. 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 assiduously 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 lash, which is the case of the Italian people, or from the behaviour of a dog pampered with the best morsels of a plentiful kitchen, which is the case of the people of America, to the behaviour of a wolf, which is nothing but a dog run wild, after a week's fast among the snows of the Pyrenees. No commotion, says Mr. Bentham, was ever really produced by the wish of levelling: the wish has been put forward as a blind; but something else has been the real object. Grant all this. But why has levelling been put forward as a blind in times of commotion, to conceal the real objects of the agitators? Is it with declarations which involve "a suicide of hope," that men attempt to allure others? Was famine, pestilence, slavery, ever held out to attract the people? If 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 doctrine is as strong as if it had been the real object of the disturbances.
"Fancy now, only fancy,-the delivery of these wise words at Bow Street; and think how speedily the practical catchpolls would reply that all this might be very fine, but as far as they had studied history, the naked story was, after all, that numbers of men had a propensity to thieving, and their business was to catch them; that they, too, had been sifters of facts; and, to say the truth, their simple opinion was, that their brethren of the red waistcoat-though they should be sorry to think ill of any man-had somehow contracted a leaning to the other side, and were more bent on puzzling the case for the benefit of the defendants, than on doing the duty of good officers and true. Such would, beyond all doubt, be the sentence passed on such trimmers in the microcosm of Bow Street. It might not abso
goldsmiths' shops, or to set fire to the House of Commons; but it would be quite clear that 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 ela- This is all very witty; but it does not touch borate Treatise on Government,' and 'deduced us. On the present occasion, we cannot but the whole science from the assumption of cer- flatter ourselves that we bear a much greater tain propensities of human nature.' Now, in resemblance to a practical catchpoll than either the name of Sir Richard Birnie, and all saints, Mr. Mill or Mr. Bentham. It would, to be sure, from what else should it be deduced? What be very absurd in a magistrate, discussing the lid ever anybody imagine to be the end, object, arrangements of a police-office, to spout in the and design of government as it ought to be, but style either of our article or Mr. Bentham's; the same operation, on an extended scale, which but, in substance, he would proceed, if he were that meritorious chief magistrate conducts on a man of sense, exactly as we recommend. He a limited one at Bow Street; to wit, the pre- would, on being appointed to provide for the venting one man from injuring another? Ima- security of property in a town, study attentively gine, then, that the whiggery of Bow Street were the state of the town. He would learn at what rise up against the proposition that their sci- places, at what times, and under what circumence was to be deduced from 'certain propen-stances, theft and outrage were most frequent. sities of human nature,' and thereon were to ratiocinate as follows:
Are the streets, he would ask, most infested with thieves at sunset, or at midnight? Are
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.
If, on the other hand, we are to deduce the theory of government from principles of human nature, in arriving at which principles we have not taken into the account the manner in which men act when invested with the powers of government, then those principles must be defective. They have not been formed by a sufficiently copious induction. We are reasoning from what a man does in one situation, to what he will do in another. Sometimes we may be quite justified in reasoning thus. When we have no means of acquiring infor
are compelled to resort to cases which bear some resemblance to it. But the most satisfactory course is to obtain information about the particular case; and whenever this can be obtained, it ought to be obtained. When first the
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 take what he can. Every man in London would be a thief, but for the thief-takers. This is an undeniable principle of human nature. Some of my predecessors have wasted their time in inquiring about particular pawnbrokers, and particular alehouses. Experience is altogether divided. Of people placed in exactly the same situation, I see that one steals, and that another would sooner burn his hand off. Therefore I trust to the laws of human nature alone, and pronounce all men thieves alike. Let everybody, high and low, be watch-mation about the particular case before us, we ed. Let Townsend take particular care that the Duke of Wellington does not steal the silk handkerchief of the lord in waiting at the levee. A person has lost a watch. Go to Lord Fitzwilliam and search him for it: he is as 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 | 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.
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
* 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
take 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
Let Lord Bacon sneak for us: "Inductionem