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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Fragment of a Letter to Lord Lansdowne (1790)
By Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832)
 
IT was using me very ill, that it was, to get upon stilts as you did, and resolve not to be angry with me, after all the pains I had taken to make you so. You have been angry, let me tell you, with people as little worth it before now; and your being so niggardly of it in my instance, may be added to the account of your injustice. I see you go upon the old Christian principle of heaping coals of fire upon people’s heads, which is the highest refinement upon vengeance. I see, moreover, that according to your system of cosmogony, the difference is but accidental between the race of kings and that of the first Baron of Lixmore: that ex-lawyers come like other men from Adam, and ex-ministers from somebody who started up out of the ground before him, in some more elevated part of the country.  1
  To lower these pretensions, it would be serving you right, if I were to tell you that I was not half so angry as I appeared to be; that, therefore, according to the countryman’s rule, you have not so much the advantage over me as you may think you have: that the real object of what anger I really felt was rather the situation in which I found myself than you or anybody; but that, as none but a madman would go to quarrel with a nonentity called a situation, it was necessary for me to look out for somebody who, somehow or other, was connected with it.  2
 
 
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