I heard the captain say, "And copies to Albany and Washington. Right?" And then he was back sitting opposite me.
'Exactly so,' returned Mrs. Micawber. ('Wilkins, you are squinting, and will not be able to get your eyes back.')
It was in the winter of 1822-3 that I formed the plan of a little society, to be composed of young men agreeing in fundamental principles — acknowledging Utility as their standard in ethics and politics, and a certain number of the principal corollaries drawn from it in the philosophy I had accepted — and meeting once a fortnight to read essays and discuss questions conformably to the premises thus agreed on. The fact would hardly be worth mentioning, but for the circumstance, that the name I gave to the society I had planned was the Utilitarian Society. It was the first time that any one had taken the title of Utilitarian; and the term made its way into the language from this humble source. I did not invent the word, but found it in one of Galt's novels, the "Annals of the Parish," in which the Scotch clergyman, of whom the book is a supposed autobiography, is represented as warning his parishioners not to leave the Gospel and become utilitarians. With a boy's fondness for a name and a banner I seized on the word, and for some years called myself and others by it as a sectarian appellation; and it came to be occasionally used by some others holding the opinions which it was intended to designate. As those opinions attracted more notice, the term was repeated by strangers and opponents, and got into rather common use just about the time when those who had originally assumed it, laid down that along with other sectarian characteristics. The Society so called consisted at first of no more than three members, one of whom, being Mr Bentham's amanuensis, obtained for us permission to hold our meetings in his house. The number never, I think, reached ten, and the society was broken up in 1826. It had thus an existence of about three years and a half. The chief effect of it as regards myself, over and above the benefit of practice in oral discussion, was that of bringing me in contact with several young men at that time less advanced than myself, among whom, as they professed the same opinions, I was for some time a sort of leader, and had considerable influence on their mental progress. Any young man of education who fell in my way, and whose opinions were not incompatible with those of the Society, I endeavoured to press into its service; and some others I probably should never have known, had they not joined it. Those of the members who became my intimate companions — no one of whom was in any sense of the word a disciple, but all of them independent thinkers on their own basis — were William Eyton Tooke, son of the eminent political economist, a young man of singular worth both moral and intellectual, lost to the world by an early death; his friend William Ellis, an original thinker in the field of political economy, now honourably known by his apostolic exertions for the improvement of education; George Graham, afterwards an official assignee of the Bankruptcy Court, a thinker of originality and power on almost all abstract subjects; and (from the time when he came first to England to study for the bar in 1824 or 1825) a man who has made considerably more noise in the world than any of these, John Arthur Roebuck.
Once more, the strangest aspect of the new invention was that those who controlled it were themselves under its control. For the operators themselves were fitted with the instruments. Operators in each department were controlled by their superiors, and these by their superiors. These again were controlled by the supreme council of the locality, which was composed of all heads of departments. The supreme council of the locality was in turn controlled by the council of the province or state; and the state councils by the World Imperial Council. Members of this body were automatically controlled. Automatic machinery ensured that any incipient desire inconsistent with the orthodox system of desires should automatically be obliterated, while certain desires fundamental to orthodoxy were automatically maintained.
'It is indeed very sad,' said Bond. 'You also have been unlucky,' he gestured to the proprietor's empty sleeve. 'I myself was very fortunate.'
It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer.
I was much interested in this view of James Bond, through the wrong end of the telescope, so to speak, and, after obtaining clearance for certain minor infringements of the Official Secrets Act, I have much pleasure in sponsoring its publication.
Bond eased the door shut. He let out a deep sigh and went over to the window and peered out through the snow-heaped panes. It was thick as Hades outside and the fine powder snow on the veranda was whirling up in little ghosts as the wind tore at the building. Pray God it would let up by nighttime! Now, what did he need in the way of equipment? Goggles and gloves were two items he might harvest over lunch. Bond went into the bathroom again and rubbed soap into his eyes. It stung like hell, but the blue-grey eyes emerged from the treatment realistically bloodshot. Satisfied, Bond rang for the 'warden' and went thoughtfully off to the restaurant.
"Ever heard of 'The House of Diamonds'?"