173.: ricardo to mill1[Answered by 175] - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 7 Letters 1816-1818 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 7 Letters 1816-1818.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
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.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
ricardo to mill
[Answered by 175]
Gatcomb Park, Minchinhampton 8 Augt. 1816
My dear Sir
Ever since I have been here I have designed writing to you, taking shame to myself that for the last two years, I have always suffered you to commence the correspondence. I have however deferred it partly out of pity to you, and partly from the usual disinclination which I feel to exhibiting my epistolary talents. My procrastination has not proceeded from not having you in my thoughts, for you have often been present to my imagination, armed with all your powers of persuasion, when I have been inclined to renounce my work in despair, dismayed by the difficulties which incessantly present themselves to me. Notwithstanding my fear of your reproaches and my recollection of the encouragement you always hold out to my perseverance I am often inclined to throw my writing aside as a task much beyond my powers to accomplish, and I believe my sole inducement to go on is the reflection that I am not obliged to publish, and that the endeavor to arrange my opinions on the subjects we have so often spoken, will if of no other use, afford me amusement and instruction.
I have hitherto had little temptation to desert my work for the pleasure of walking or riding, as the weather has been almost uniformly bad—yet have I not been able wholly to seclude myself from morning intruders. Those who are staying in the house with us for two or three days at a time would not I fear understand my absenting myself from them, and would regard it as a want of hospitality. What I can I will do, and when we meet in London I shall convince you that I am not equal to the task you have assigned me.
Mr. and Mrs. Austin arrived here a week ago, and are now settled in their house about 14 miles distant from us. Sylla is heartily rejoiced at being again in England, and appears to be too much of the true John Bull breed to admire the wonders of France and Italy at the expence of the comforts which must be necessarily sacrificed in viewing them. The village where she is settled is in a beautiful country, and she is luckily very little more distant from Bath, where her eldest sister lives, than from us.
Mr. Warburton, who has been on a visit to Mr. Smith, is going over the very ground from which Sylla is returned, I believe he will extend his tour to Naples. The Smiths with Mr. Binda, the Italian friend of Mr. Whishaw, have been staying with us for a few days. Mr. Binda has just left them, and they (the Smith’s) are going to London on monday to join Mr. Whishaw in a journey through Flanders and Holland.
I have nothing new to tell you concerning ourselves or our affairs. We jog on much as usual, though our family party is so much reduced that we are rather duller than common. Osman is at Bath, Fanny has not been long returned from the same place, and we have no friends now staying with us, but we expect soon to see Ralph and two of my sisters here. Esther who has been so long a prisoner is happily now released from her painful duty she is one of them, and I am not a little pleased at the thoughts of seeing her under my roof.
I hope Mrs. Mill is quite recovered from her late confinement. I conclude she has by this time joined you at Ford Abbey. You are I suppose hard at work as usual and are now giving the last polish to the fruits of your long labours. You will I hope find leisure this year to pay me a visit here, whether you go further North or no. I will with pleasure meet you at Bath and convey you from thence, and if you return to Ford Abbey will safely deposit you at Bath again. Pray give my best regards to Mrs. Mill and Mr. Bentham and believe me
Ever truly Yrs