141.: trower to ricardo1[Reply to 136.—Answered by 147] - 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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trower to ricardo
[Reply to 136.—Answered by 147]
Unsted Wood—Godalming— November 26. 1815.
I often lament we are so far removed from each other as to prevent those discussions in which we formerly engaged upon the important subject of political economy, and in which I felt so much interest—I am rejoiced to find however, that you are resolved to pursue them with an energy and perseverance, that not merely deserve, but will command success. It will give me great pleasure to be made acquainted with your progress, and to learn what new views may have arisen out of a further examination of the subject. The difficulties you complain of are those of composition, which no doubt practice will enable you to surmount—At the same time if you have never given the subject of composition any particular attention, you might derive considerable assistance by looking a little into it. And with that view I should recommend your consulting those parts of Dr Blair’s Lectures on the Belles Lettres which relate to Composition and Style —I think you would find some useful hints with respect to the construction and connection of sentences and the arrangement and division of a subject.—
You ask me to give you an account of my studies—Alas! I fear this would be a difficult task—Of my pursuits I can speak more easily—These indeed are various and desultory —Some of my time is engaged in enquiring into the practice and theory of farming; some in planting and the subjects connected with it; some in the improvement of my place; some in shooting, and in discharging some of those duties, which usually devolve upon Country Gentlemen.—The complete change that has thus taken place in my pursuits and my habits, clearly shews how much we are the creatures of circumstances. Had I continued in London, moving in the midst of bustle and business, and in the centre of active spirits, I might have been stimulated to exertions, by the excitements of emulation and the ardor of ambition; but here, isolated in a manner from the World, and no longer impelled by such strong incentives, I am content to draw around me the resources a country life affords, considering that I am now,
Fix’d like a plant to my peculiar spot,
To draw nutrition, propagate and rot.—
But I do not say this with regret—far from it. I highly applaud my choice, being fully persuaded both from reflection and experience, that
With silent course that no loud storms annoy Glides the smooth current of domestic joy—
And I am disposed fully to acquiesce in the forcible though not very elegant description of ambition, given by Lord Bacon, who compares it to a state of constant itching and scratching—
Do not imagine from this however, that I look with indifference upon all those important subjects which used so much to interest me.—No. I do not lose sight of what is passing; and I am desirous of hearing your opinion of the changes that have taken place in the price of Bullion and the Exchanges: I see the Bankists exult mightily, but I think without reason. To me it seems, that there is nothing in the present symptoms irreconcileable with the opinions of the Bullionists; on the contrary they are in perfect conformity with them. I have not a doubt, that the fall in Bullion is mainly attributable to a material diminution in the amount of our circulation. For, altho’ the Bank circulation may remain the same, the numerous failures among the Country Bankers, and the difficulties and stagnation experienced both in internal and external commerce, must have lessened considerably the amount of the general circulation, and diminished the rapidity of its movements, which would produce a similar effect. The fall which is taking place in labor and in the prices of provisions, is another proof (accompanying as it does the fall in Bullion) of the correctness of the theory of the Bullionists. However be this as it may, I am rejoiced to see we are likely to return to a legitimate circulation, with so little difficulty, and may thank our stars for the dangers we have escaped. I am very sanguine in the view I take of things. To me it appears we are opening upon prospects of prosperity. The evidences are satisfactory. The fall in the prices of Bullion, Provisions and Labor, are the preparatory steps, I trust, which are to lead us to that natural state, in which if left to their own free course, the wealth, activity and ingenuity of this Country, must ensure its success. Give our united regards to Mrs. Ricardo and family and believe me
Yours ever sincerely