A Fragment on Government

A Fragment on Government

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A Fragment on Government

A Fragment on Government

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Jeremy Bentham was born on the 15th of February, 1748, in Red Lion Street, Houndsditch, London. His father and grandfather were attorneys, and we are told that he came of a right Tory stock. His mother, whose maiden name was Alicia Grove, was the daughter of a shopkeeper in Andover. Jeremy was a feeble and puny child, of a very quiet temper and very studious in his disposition, When little more than three years old he began to learn Latin, and was a greedy reader of every book upon which he could lay his hands. Among these none made a deeper impression than Fénelon's romance of Telemachus, which he read at the age of seven years. 'In my own imagination,' he afterwards said, 'I identified my own personality with that of the hero, who seemed to me a model of perfect virtue.' 'That romance,' he added, 'may be regarded as the foundation-stone of my whole character; the starting-post from whence my career of life commenced. The first dawning in my mind of the principles of utility may, I think, be traced to it.'

The too early seriousness betrayed by this recollection was natural to Bentham. He wanted the robust health and overflowing spirits which make childhood delightful. He suffered from petty ailments and nervous terrors, but he was not unhappy, for his father and mother seem to have . . .

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