Of what stamp are the works of Grotius, Puffendorf, and Burlamaqui? Are they political or ethical, historical or juridical, expository or censorial?—Sometimes one thing, sometimes another: they seem hardly to have settled the matter with themselves. A defect this to which all books must almost unavoidably be liable, which take for their subject the pretended law of nature; an obscure phantom, which, in the imaginations of those who go in chase of it, points sometimes to manners, sometimes to laws; sometimes to what law is, sometimes to what it ought to be. Montesquieu sets out upon the censorial plan: but long before the conclusion, as if he had forgot his first design, he throws off the censor, and puts on the antiquarian. The Marquis Beccaria's book, the first of any account that is uniformly censorial, concludes as it sets out with penal jurisprudence.
(Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, ed. J. H. Burns and H. L. A. Hart, in The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, ed. F. Rosen and Philip Schofield [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996], chap. 17, sec. 27, p. 298, n. a2 [italics in original; footnotes omitted] [book first published in 1789])