Front Page Titles (by Subject) 42.: ricardo to malthus1 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 6 Letters 1810-1815
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42.: ricardo to malthus1 - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 6 Letters 1810-1815 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 6 Letters 1810-1815.
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First published by Cambridge University Press in 1951. Copyright 1951, 1952, 1955, 1973 by the Royal Economic Society. This edition of The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., under license from the Royal Economic Society.
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ricardo to malthus1
London 10 Aug. 1813
My dear Sir
On my return to London after a short excursion to Tunbridge Wells I found your obliging letter.2 The information which it contains respecting the distinction between the town of Berkhamstead and the village Berkhamstead,3 has again made me wish to get over the remaining obstacles to my possessing the house with which I was so much pleased,—particularly as I have seen nothing in my short tour, which I undertook chiefly for the purpose of looking after a house, likely to suit me. I have had a civil letter from Mr. Talbot, he wishes Mrs. Ricardo to see his house as he thinks he could suggest a mode of increasing the number of chambers at a moderate expence. I have of course answered his letter.
I am sorry that I must decline your kind invitation for Saturday next, but I have made an engagement which will preclude me from accepting it.—
On further reflection I am confirmed in the opinion which I gave with regard to the effect of opening new markets or extending the old. I most readily allow that since the war, not only the nominal but the real value of our exports and imports has increased,—but I do not see how this admission will favour the view which you take of this subject.
England may have extended its carrying trade with the Capital of other countries. Instead of exporting sugar and coffee direct from Guadaloupe and Martinique to the continent of Europe the planters in those colonies may first export them to England, and from England to the continent. In this case the list of our exports and imports will be swelled without any increase of British Capital. The taste for some foreign commodity may have increased in England at the expence of the consumption of some home commodity. This would again swell the value of our exports and imports but does not prove a general increase of profits nor any material growth of prosperity.
I am of opinion that the increased value of commodities is always the effect of an increase either in the quantity of the circulating medium or in its power, by the improvements in economy in its use,—and is never the cause. It is the diminished value, I mean nominal value, of commodities which is the great cause of the increased production of the mines,—but the increased nominal value of commodities can never call money into circulation. It is certainly an effect and not a cause. I am writing in a noisy place,—you must therefore excuse all blunders. I must offer the same apology for my two half sheets. I did not like to copy the first half over again. With best compliments to Mrs. Malthus
I remain Yrs. very sincerely
[1 ]Addressed: ‘To / The Revd. TR Malthus/East India College/ Hertford’; postmark, 1813.
[2 ]Malthus’s letter is wanting.
[3 ]Great Berkhamstead and Little Berkhamstead, in Hertfordshire.