Suppose any one were to make a meal of what
has been already eaten? I must confess, I should not be
much disposed to mess with him: If I were of a warm
and impatient temper, who knows but it is possible I might be so enraged
at the notion of his filthiness, that I might be glad to
see him hanged? Who knows but I might? the
same wish has not seldom been entertained upon no better reason:
But whether it were fit the state should indulge me in such a
wish may to be consider'd.
Unless the reader can enter not the distinction
between approving the practise & wishing not to
see it punished, perilous indeed is the situation of
I would wish any being to consider [It is
curious may be to think what would have become
of Socrates &c Titus the delight of mankind, Cicero the
Father of his country &c — They had they lived in
these latter days — They would have finished on
antipathy = ingratitude
When we punish men, we
ought to have —
require Some better reason to give for punishing
than the desire we
feel to do so.
This is my notion, if I
am wrong I shall be very glad
ful to any one who will to be set right
A fair hearing for Philosophy
a man does not scruple not to
plead for: because a man is
not ashamed to be thought
to stand in need of toleration in
such a case. The distinction it
must be confessed does no great honour to human generosity of (human nature) mankind.
At the outset I must
say of my readers to
attend to the distinction
between physical antipathy
and moral; unless
this be well apprehended,
I have no chance.
On To other occasions subjects it is
expected that you sit down
cool: but on this subject
unless if you let it be seen
that you have not set down in
a rage, you have [given betray'd judgment
against] yourself at
Having been employ'd in
the consideration of all sorts
of crimes for several a number of years
past in the course of them all that time I have
found moments in which
I could examine even
this crime in cold blood
and here follows the result
of my examination.
I leave to any others that
merit of will have it, the
merit of manifesting their
good taste at the expence
of humanity, and their
zeal at the expence of Justice.
When I sat down
to this task I vowed within myself a similar
vow not to deny
a fair hearing to any man
not even to a Sodomite.
A Judge does not, why should a Legislator? If a Judge does injustice, it is to one man; if a Legislator,
it is to millions.
1. Propria retrotantia
2. Necessitas — it's being
3. Delicacy — Surgeon
4. No Merit — want of temptation
5. No thanks — read only to be amazed & confirmed in their notions.
Without the inducement of a pre
They loath the trouble of examining, much more the
pain of changing.
6. Men punish because they hate — therefore in proportion as they
When men punish crimes really mischievous to country none
because they are really mischievous, but because they hate them:
perhaps it may be because they think them mischievous that
they hate them; but be this as it may it is only because
they hate them that in general they are for punishing them.
Among the crimes that men hate most are some that
are least mischievous.
The esteem of the public is for him
who expresses continues to express his abhorrence for this
offence in the strongest & most pointed
terms: not for him who measures with
the most exactness the true mischief of it
that is the reason which there may be for
constituting it an offence. The language of prudence is, If you can find
any thing s to add to their condemnations invectives that have been made against
this practise already, [out with] produce . if not, copy what has been said
already: if you don't choose to do that, be alert: & think yourself well off
if this indulgence be permitted you.
There is a kind of punishment annexed
to the offence of treating it with any sort of temper:
and that one of the most formidable that a man can be subjected to
the punishment of being suspected at least if not accused of a operating
pleads for the liberty of [investigating this subject by the] trying this offence by the [light of the principle of utility
to committ it. When a man attempts to describe this subject it he pleads like Demosthenes, with
as with a [sword at his throat.] halter about his neck: as Demosthenes.
On this subject a man may indulge his
spleen without controul. cruelty intolerance may the most
odious & most mischievous passions in human nature
screen shelter themselves under behind the mask of virtue
Men in general are ready enough to upon the first proposal to subscribe
to the principle of utility: but it is almost always with a secret reservation
in favour behalf of a few favourite opinions which are dearer to them than
the interests of mankind.
This way of reasoning is not admitted of in other
crimes: because with regard to other crimes men do
not make a merit of discarding all reason & all humanity.
Dare you achieve any thing ition which runs counter to
those favourite opinions? it is sufficient simply to take notice that it does
so in order to warrant them in bestowing on you the whole stock of their
detestation, together with as much of other people's as their eloquence can
In matters of religion, the spirit of toleration is preached
up openly (giving ground every day: but neither the use
nor the want of it are confined to matters of religion.
King James the 1st numbers this among crimes
that a King ought never to pardon: perhaps it was for
that reason. That King valued himself for his skill in
dissimulation. He was is believed by every body and it must
be confessed not without some ground to have had private personal reasons
for wishing it not to be deemed unpardonable in a King. being glad rejoicing
on this occasion that Kings stand not in need of a pardon
Talk to a man on this subject — he is in a rage.
he does not cares not a single a for your arguments, his only endeavour
is to catch you tripping — He is in a rage, and all he attends
to you for is to find a pretence for venting it.
I am ashamed to own that I
have often hesitated whether
for the sake of the interests of humanity
I should expose my own personal
interest so much to hazard as it
must be exposed to the free discussion
of a subject of this
Perhaps for the present, the
result may be unfavourable
to the one — as the other, owing to
the depretiation of my other
disquisitions — but the event only
At any rate when I am dead
mankind will be the better for it
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