138.: mill to ricardo2[Reply to 135] - 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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mill to ricardo
[Reply to 135]
Ford Abbey Nov. 9th. 1815
My dear Sir
For more than a week I have been expecting every day to receive the M.S. of which you gave me hopes in your letter. I have also had inquiry made at Ilminster, where I thought it likely the Bath coach might have left the parcel; and I now begin to be alarmed that some accident may have happened. It is for the purpose then of making the due inquiry that I now write. The best thing to hear of, unless the parcel arrive in the mean time, is to hear that something has happened to delay the sending of it from Gatcomb. If so, I hope it will be no longer delayed, for I am very impatient to see it. Notwithstanding my passion for the science of political economy, it has so happened that for a good many years I have not been able to think of it, except when I was excited by your instructive conversation or by your writings. Why do you cry, “Oh that I were able to write a book!” when there is no obstacle to your writing, but this want of confidence in your own powers. You want some practice in the art of laying down your thoughts, in the way most easy of apprehension to those who have little knowledge, and little attention; and this is to be got infallibly by a little practice. As I am accustomed to wield the authority of a schoolmaster, I therefore, in the genuine exercise of this honourable capacity, lay upon you my commands, to begin to the first of the three heads of your proposed work, rent, profit, wages—viz. rent, without an hours delay. If you entrust the inspection of it to me, depend upon it I shall compell you to make it all right, before you have done with it.
I have a long letter from our Parisian friend, who says he is delighted with what I told him, that you were now likely to devote a considerable portion of your time to political economy. He says he is rectifying his chapters on money to a conformity with your ideas, for the third edition of his book, which will probably appear next year. He also says he has written to you. He is breathing heavy sighs over the state of his country; and something more bitter than sighs over the British government, whose love of mankind, and of good government has been well displayed in the measures which they have so ardently pursued in making a government to their liking in France. When his opinions are mentioned, it is necessary, however, he says, that his name should always be suppressed—for which reason you will perceive that I have blotted it out, after it was written.
I do not intend this as an answer to your letter—but only a word of inquiry—and as I have been called down stairs to the parson of the parish, and kept gossiping till I have almost lost my morning, I shall cut you short. You shall have enough of it, when I return your M.S.
You delighted me much by your accounts of Mrs. Porter. My best regards to your fire side. We talk of leaving this place about the end of this month—and we shall not linger, after our determination, as we did last year. You will not be in London, I suppose, much before February
Believe most truly Yours &.c.