147.: ricardo to trower1[Reply to 141.—Answered by 154] - 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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ricardo to trower
[Reply to 141.—Answered by 154]
Gatcomb Park Minchinhampton 25th. Decr 1815
Since I received your letter I have been in London. I attended the Bank Court, and even ventured to give my opinion on the subject under discussion, which I did with considerable agitation to myself, but which I believe was not apparent to those whom I was addressing. You appear to me to have got over the first difficulties of public speaking — I have them all to encounter, and they really assume too formidable an array, for me to dare to wrestle with them. As I am busily employed on my MS with a view to publication, and as you will there see my sentiments on Bank affairs, I shall not make them the subject of my letter. So much has already been said on the Bullion question that I have thought it better to say very little on that subject. I may therefore be permitted to express here my entire assent with your opinions on the prices of bullion and other things.
I have very little doubt but that there has been a considerable rise in the value of money which I think has been effected by the many failures of country Banks, which has increased the use of Bank of England notes in the country, both as a circulating medium, and as a deposit against the alarm which always attends extensive failures in the country. I believe too that bullion has had a real fall, which has also contributed to bring it nearer to the value of paper. The bullionists, and I among the number, considered gold and silver as less variable commodities than they really are, and the effect of war on the prices of these metals were certainly very much underrated by them. The fall in the price of bullion on the peace in 1814, and its rise again on the renewal of the war on Bonapartes entry into Paris are remarkable facts, and should never be neglected in any future discussion on this subject. But granting all this it does not affect the theory of the bullionists.
The description you give me of the mode in which you pass your time leaves me nothing to regret on your account. You have exercise both of the body and of the mind, you are living in a healthful country,—do not know what ennui is—are surrounded by a charming family and must necessarily be a happy man. Do not however imagine that emulation and ambition are extinct in you, they are only dormant for a time, or perhaps they may have only changed their field of exercise. The love of distinction is so natural to man that he never relinquishes his title to it if he sees it clearly within his grasp, and notwithstanding your present humble system of philosophy you have yourself been stimulated, and do not fail on every occasion still to stimulate others, by the rewards which are held out to successful exertion.
I am glad not to hear any complaints from you of the low price of produce, though you must suffer from such low price in common with all other land holders. Those who have their property in land will not I think for a considerable time regain the advantageous position in which they stood during the war in relation to the rest of the community,—yet the price of corn appears to me unnaturally low and their situation will on the whole improve from the present state of depression. In every change from peace to war, and from war to peace, there must be great changes in the distribution of capital and much individual distress. In the present case I fully expect that it will be followed by a rapid and brilliant course of prosperity, notwithstanding the disadvantages we labour under from the pressure of our enormous debt. I am every day becoming a greater enemy to the funding system.— Besides its other evils it disturbs so cruelly the prices of commodities as to give us a serious disadvantage in all foreign markets. If the supplies were always raised within the year, and if in consequence one class of the people were obliged to borrow from another in order to discharge their quota of the taxes,—a debt as large as the present might exist, but the effects would in my opinion be beyond all comparison less injurious.
But I am getting on high matters at the fag end of my letter and have barely left myself room to request you to give the united regards of Mrs. Ricardo and myself to Mrs. Trower.
Ever truly yours