Front Page Titles (by Subject) 204.: ricardo to malthus2 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 7 Letters 1816-1818
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204.: ricardo to malthus2 - 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.
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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 malthus2
London 21 Feby. 1817
My dear Sir
I am very sorry that you were prevented from being in London yesterday.—I fully expected to see you as I thought the subject of debate at the India House3 was of too much interest not to make you desirous of hearing it.—
Mr. Grant4 was I assure you a warm advocate in the cause of the College. He spoke admirably, and with great effect, improving in energy and eloquence as he proceeded. He did justice to the various qualifications of the professors for the responsible situations which they filled, and I believe left nothing unsaid which might assist the cause which he so ably defended. I thought him very severe on Randle Jackson, who will find it difficult to answer some parts of his speech. In the Times the report of what he said is very correct, as far as it goes, but it is necessarily a very abbreviated statement.—
Mr. Kinnaird1 began by speaking in the most respectful manner of you, and indeed in terms of great eulogy—but afterwards I think absurdly dwelt on your being an interested party, and an advocate for the college, and imitated Mr. Jackson in his irony on those whom he first declared were highly deserving of respect. In what manner could we have any correct account of the college and its concerns but from an interested party? Who could speak of its management, attainments and discipline but those who were acquainted with it? He however gave up the only strong grounds they had, (if they had been true) for inquiring into the affairs of the college, for he said that he had no idea that there was more immorality and profligacy in the East India College than in any other seminary—neither did he say any thing of a want of proficiency in the students, but his main argument was built on the general principle that a supply of intellectual attainments will as surely follow an effectual demand for it, as the supply of any material commodity will follow effectual demand.
Mr. Grant I should mention supported a directly contrary principle.—Mr. Kinnaird dwelt very much on the compulsion under which parents were of sending their children to this particular institution. He seemed to me to adopt Mr. Mill’s view of the subject and his argument would have been quite as applicable to all colleges if parents were compelled to send their children to them. He passed over the compulsion under which parents were to send their children to college who wished to bring them up to the church &ca.. In a few minutes conversation which I had with him after the debate I urged this objection and he answered that they had a choice among a large number of colleges whereas in your case they were confined to this one.
He finished by assuring me that my friend had a bad cause—that it could not be defended, and must fall.
Mr. Impey’s speech was badly timed,—he should not have immediately followed Mr. Grant,—for he could not then say any thing new, nor could he repeat any thing that had been said half as well as Mr. Grant had said it before.—
The debate will be renewed on tuesday.1 If you should come up I shall expect you in Brook Street. If I do not see you and you are disengaged on the saturday evening following, I shall be glad to pass a day with you, commencing my visit at that time.—
Mrs. Ricardo is obliged to Mrs. Malthus for her invitation but she could not conveniently quit home.
Very truly Yrs.
[2 ]Addressed: ‘To / The Revd. T R Malthus / East India College / Hertford’.
[3 ]The meeting of the Court of Proprietors of the East India Company to consider Randle Jackson’s motion for an inquiry into the state of the College at Haileybury, with a view to either transforming it into an institution ‘more in the nature of a school’ or abolishing it altogether.
[4 ]Robert Grant, an ex-director; he was the son of Charles Grant, sen., a former chairman of the Company and originator of the scheme for the foundation of the College.
[1 ]Douglas Kinnaird, friend of Byron and Hobhouse.
[1 ]25 February.