xml:lang="en" lang="en" dir="ltr">

Transcribe Bentham: A Collaborative Initiative

From Transcribe Bentham: Transcription Desk

Keep up to date with the latest news - subscribe to the Transcribe Bentham newsletter; Find a new page to transcribe in our list of Untranscribed Manuscripts


Jump to: navigation, search

Click Here To Edit

In a moral point of view, the formation of the
people into little combinations and fraternities
is of the greatest importance. It concentrates
the eyes of all upon each dividual; and renders
good conduct a thing of infinitely more value
to him, as it renders bad conduct for men
detrimental. It is this circumstance which
the sage mind of Dr Adam Smith loads with
such emphatic praise in the supposed case
of the division of a country into so great a
number of religious sects, that each congregation
might be regarded as differing from the rest.
IN this manner, without difficulty, & without
care, is exercised one of the most vigilant &
effectual of all censorships; the most salutary
of all inspections. When an ignorant, or almost
any man can say to himself, my
conduct is regarded by nobody, — it is astonishing
how easy it is for tempation
to subdue him; when he must say to himself,
I cannot perform a disgraceful act
without reading aversion & contempt in
the eyes of all my accquaintance, — it
is astonishing how much he his strengthened
for resitance. —

There is yet another thing of cardinal
importance. If it were possible for the superior
to do everything for the inferior people,
and to leave him nothing to do or care about
for themselves, nothing would be more calamitous
than the accomplishment of such an event.
The mass of the human species would
thence become what the people of Paraguay became
in the Land of the jesuits; most perfectly
helpless, and ready, in the least derangement
in the machinery which conducts
them, to fall into the deepest wretchedness
and barbarity. As that machinery
would be liable to be deranged by the slightest
accidents, it could not be preserved in order
long; and would then serve as an introduction,
a necessary and certain introduction, to
one of the most deplorable conditions of
human affairs. The case if altogether different
when the power of suffering for themselves gene-

Identifier: | JB/149/169/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 149.


Marginal Summary Numbering



Main Headings

Folio number


Info in main headings field





copy/fair copy sheet

Number of Pages




Page Numbering



i m & co 1831


Paper Producer


Paper Produced in Year


Notes public

ID Number


Box Contents

UCL Home » Transcribe Bentham » Transcription Desk