129.: malthus to ricardo1[Answered by 130] - 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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malthus to ricardo
[Answered by 130]
E I Coll Oct 15th 1815
My dear Sir,
I am very sorry that you cannot come to us now; but I do not mean to retaliate, in consequence, if I can help it. If however I should be able to come, which is problematical, it will not be for above 2 or 3 days, and without Mrs. Malthus. We keep no governess, and cannot in consequence leave our children. My boy will also be at home from school, so that I cannot be absent but for a very short time. You must not therefore depend upon me, nor forego any other engagements whatever on my account, but if I can manage it, and it should happen not to be inconvenient to you at the time, I will endeavour to pay you a visit at Gatcomb for a few days.
I have read your manuscript with attention, and think it important and well worthy the attention of the public; but I doubt whether it is so well written in point of style and arrangement, as your two first pamphlets. With regard to the matter I agree almost entirely with you, except that I do not think you have considered all the variations to which such a currency as you propose must be subject, particularly the great variation that is likely to arise from a sudden demand for bullion operating upon the scanty supply which is likely to take place upon your plan. If Mr. Vansittart wanted suddenly to send four millions in specie to Spain, as he did one year, I cannot help thinking that it would occasion upon your system a most distressing diminution of currency. If you recollect, we found upon calculation that the value of gold in this country at some periods during the Peninsular war was ten and fifteen per cent higher than at Amsterdam and Hamburgh; and I feel no doubt that, without very extraordinary stores in the Banks, the variations in the value of the precious metals would always be found the greatest, (from sudden demand) in those countries in which a paper currency was most universal. I have no doubt that the precious metals during the last ten years experienced less variation, (with regard to commodities) in France than in this country.
I am not sure whether I should not myself propose silver instead [of] gold as a standard, to prevent the run upon the bank which might be occasioned by an alteration in the relative value of the two precious metals.
I am much pleased with your proposal for remedying the temporary distress for money in the market at certain seasons; and should think that it would fully answer. You have made out your case about the bank very clearly; but I expect that the directors will stand upon their charter.
I will send the manuscript by tomorrows three o’clock coach which goes to the George and Blue Boar Holborn directed to you there—to be left till called for. I have made a few pencil corrections chiefly in the style which of course you will adopt or not, as you like. I wrote my last in such a hurry that I hardly know what I said, and I am not much less hurried now.
Ever truly Yours
T R Malthus.