103.: ricardo to malthus1[Reply to 101.—Answered by 110] - 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 malthus
[Reply to 101.—Answered by 110]
Gatcomb Park. 30 July 1815
My dear Sir
I bore with great patience the fatigues of the last fortnight in London in the hope that on my arrival at Gatcomb I should have the pleasure of your company for a few days previously to your return to London. It was a great disappointment to me to learn that you would be travelling to London the very day after I quitted it, and I see little prospect of having a visit from you here for some time to come, as your convenience or inclination will probably lead you to a different part of the country next year.
I most cordially join with you in the wish that the victory of the Duke of Wellington will be the means of giving Europe some permanent repose. There appears every probability that it will be attended with that happy effect, and I should hope that the late stormy times will afford instruction both to sovereigns and people, and will secure the world from the evils of anarchy as well as from those of tyranny and despotism.
David’s ill health has induced us to take him from the Charterhouse and we have been particularly recommended to keep him under our own eye. This plan has materially interfered with those arrangements which are most conducive to my comforts, but his health and safety were objects too great to be hazarded. I thought they would run little risk if we placed him with a gentleman who took only a very limited number of pupils, but his mother was full of terror and alarm, I have therefore been obliged to get a gentleman to live with us as tutor. In your absence I took the liberty of calling on Mr. Whishaw where I met Mr. Smyth. They both gave me much useful information, and pointed out the difficulties which I should encounter in getting a respectable gentleman to undertake the office. Those difficulties I found it no easy task to surmount, but I believe I have at last succeeded; and in a few days I expect a gentleman in orders, who has very much distinguished himself at Oxford and who is very strongly recommended by the vice principal of Marys Hall College Oxford, to take care of David and Mortimers education. He is about 24 and his appearance is gentlemanly and agreeable.
Mr. Clerk a neighbour of mine here in Glostershire, and who is brother to the East India Director of that name, has just sent his son George to the East India College and knowing my intimacy with you has called upon me to request me to write to you on behalf of his son,—that in case he may st[and in] need of any friendly advice or assistance you [would have] the goodness to give it to him. I hope [I] am not taking too great a liberty in asking you to comply with his father’s wishes.
The immense concerns in business which I have lately had on my mind had nearly banished all consideration of subjects connected with political economy from it. Those concerns are now settled, but they have given me incessant work in arranging and balancing my accounts ever since I have been here. I recur now however with pleasure to corn, labour, and bullion. A really high price of corn is always an evil; in this opinion I think you would concur because it is always occasioned by difficulty of production. I know of no other cause and you allow difficulty of production not to be desirable in itself. In our own case the high bullion price of corn is not wholly owing to the barrenness of the land to be taken into cultivation, but from whatever cause it has arisen it cannot I think have enabled us to grant greater subsidies than we should otherwise have done for subsidies as well as all services performed for us are paid for by the produce of the land and labour of the people of England. It surely is a palpable contradiction to say that our power of commanding services is increased whilst our productions with which those services are paid are diminished. The principle may be true when confined to a few commodities of which we either have a monopoly or peculiar facilities in the production of them but as a general proposition it appears to me to be at variance with the best established doctrines.
If a free trade in corn were allowed with America I should not expect that the prices would differ more, here and there, than the expences and profits of sending it,—as it is I am surprised the price should be so high. A high money price of wages is I think quite natural.