140.: ricardo to mill2[Answered by 142] - 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 mill
[Answered by 142]
Gatcomb Park 27th. Novr. 1815
My dear Sir
Soon after I wrote my last letter to you from London, Mrs. Ricardo, to my great surprise, joined me there, impelled partly by her wish to see her sister, who has been very ill for a long time, and partly by her dislike to be at so formidable a distance as 100 miles from me. We returned to Gatcomb this morning, accompanied by Mrs. M. Ricardo who though very little able to bear the journey was induced to accompany us for the benefit of our pure air. We travelled very slowly having been three days on our journey. We found your letter to Mrs. Ricardo here, and in the course of the day yours of the 24th. was delivered to me. Mrs. Ricardo begs me to thank you for the one addressed to her, and for the kind things which it contains. Though received so late it was in time to prevent Mr. Clutterbuck having any trouble about the MS, as he and my daughter remained at Gatcomb to take care of the family during our absence, so that he had no opportunity to make enquiries after the lost MS.
I have to thank you, which I do very sincerely, for sparing so much time from your avocations, as you evidently have done, in considering the matter of my MS, and although I am fully persuaded that your desire to stimulate me to persevere in writing has called forth a too flattering opinion from you of my performance, yet I am sure you would not encourage me to publish if you thought that my vanity would receive a serious mortification by so doing.
I can easily conceive that the mode you recommend of putting marginal notes to each paragraph, after having written all that occurs to one on the subject engaging one’s thoughts, and then arranging the whole by an examination of these notes, must be of great assistance, particularly to an inexperienced author, and I shall certainly practise it in any future performance. You have given a complete analysis of the contents of my essay, and if the performance were more elaborate and better digested, nothing could be better than the heads which you propose for each section, but I submit to you whether the contents of each section would not be in a very diminutive proportion, in this instance, to the title of it,—whether it might not be justly remarked that the title promised much more than was afterwards performed. I am fully aware of the advantages of the division into sections,— they are useful resting places and take off from the abruptness of passing from one part of the subject to another, but would it not be better to head these different sections by the shortest possible title? You know much better than I do which is best; at the same time I am sure you will not refuse to consider my objections. If not in the month of Decr. I must be in London in Jany., when I shall have an opportunity of shewing you my performance in the most perfect state to which I can bring it. We will then finally determine about the heads to the different sections. In the mean time you will oblige me by returning the MS directed to Thomas Clutterbuck, Widcombe House, near Bath—he will immediately forward it to me.
During my absence from home I passed two very pleasant days with Mr. Malthus. We had as usual abundance of discussion and on the whole I think differed less in opinion. I forgot to mention in my last that I unfortunately have been again disappointed of Mr. Hume’s visit. He did not get to Cheltenham till long after my letter directed to him there. He then wrote to say that he and Mrs. Hume would pass a day or two with us on their return to London. On that very day I was obliged to go to London, and I had barely time by the Post to prevent his circuitous journey. I was very much mortified at being again deprived of his company. Mr. Basevi is coming to stay here sometime. These visits very much interfere with my pursuits. With kind compliments to Mrs. Mill and Mr. Bentham
I am Very truly Yours