101.: malthus to ricardo1[Reply to 100.—Answered by 103] - 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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malthus to ricardo
[Reply to 100.—Answered by 103]
Claverton House. Bath July 16th 1815.
My dear Sir
I hope the victory of the Duke of Wellington will be the means of giving Europe some permanent repose. It has been purchased by a tremendous sacrifice, and I do not quite like the idea of imposing the Bourbons upon France by force, but if it leads to a lasting peace, it will be worth all that it has cost. I think Louis in order to be safe himself must disband nearly the whole army, and this must powerfully contribute to the safety and repose of Europe, though this second successful combination of Sovereigns will I fear be unfavourable to its liberty and improvement.
I was disappointed to find that you had not sold any of your omnium at a higher price than five per cent premium. I was in hopes that you had got some of the high prices, tho I had missed them. I confess I thought that the chances of the first battle were in favour of Buonaparte, who had the choice of attack; and it appears indeed from the Duke of Wellington’s despatches that he was at one time very near succeeding. From what has happened since however it seems certain that the French were not so well prepared as they ought to have been. If there had been the energy and enthusiasm which might have been expected in the defence of their independence, one battle however sanguinary and complete could not have decided the fate of France.
We shall leave our friends here on the 25th and must be at Haileybury on the 26th, so that even if you were at Gatcomb we could hardly pay you a visit this time, and must therefore defer that pleasure till a better opportunity.
I certainly do not mean to consider a difficulty of producing as desirable in itself; but I think that a high price of corn when not occasioned by such difficulty is a decided advantage, and that it is at all times the best remedy for that difficulty of producing food, which in the progress of society is absolutely unavoidable. In our own case I believe that a great part of our high bullion prices is attributable to other causes besides the barrenness of the land to be taken into cultivation; and I feel a strong conviction that we should not have been able, during the last 20 years to subsidize Europe, and make such extraordinary exertions as we have done, if by open ports we could have kept our corn and labour on a level with the rest of Europe. If the wages of labour are mainly determined by the price of food, I do not see why an increase of money prices should diminish happiness. It will injure some undoubtedly, but will benefit a much greater number; and it is consolatory to reflect that even when it arises from difficulty of production, the high relative value of corn constantly counterbalances in a considerable degree the evil of reduced corn wages.
Are you not surprised at the high money price of corn in America as well as the high money price of labour, with a currency convertible into specie.
Mrs. M desires to be kindly remembered. Ever truly Yours
T R Malthus.
There are many causes of a high relative price of corn— Division of labour in manufactures; machinery; Demand for corn abroad; Restrictions on importations; Prosperous foreign commerce &c: None of these involve diminished profits.