a proof of my having no otherwise done by others than as I


Senior Member
Hello. Sorry the thread title could not fit the whole sentence. Here it is, with context.

Among the notions thus treated, it is with pleasure rather than regret that I observe several which on a former occasion I had myself either suggested or subscribed to. I say with pleasure: regarding the incident as a proof of my having no otherwise done by others than as I not only would be done by, but have actually done by myself:

This comes from Jeremy Bentham's Panopticum.

Could someone explain the sentence? This is so entangled in itself I don't even know where to start.

Thanks :)
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Good lord!

    Okay, first you need to know some traditional phrasings of the 'Golden Rule': in short, 'do as you would be done by', or more fully 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. (I'm not suggesting these are exact quotes from somewhere. There is no doubt a Biblical original, but what we want is the peculiar but familiar expression 'be done by', and the fact that it's in the Golden Rule.)

    So he begins with: I did by others as I would be done by. (= I did to others what I would want them to do to me.) Then he elaborates: Not only did I do by (= to) others as I would be done by, but I did it to myself also. Then he swirls around some adverbs to make it needlessly confusing, but that was the basic idea.
    < Previous | Next >