223.: ricardo to mill1[Answered by 227] - 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 mill
[Answered by 227]
Gatcomb Park Minchinhampton 7 Aug. 1817
My dear Sir
I conclude that by this time you are comfortably settled in your summer habitation, and are regularly seated every day, and for many hours of the day, at your table in the large general room, in the spot where I saw it near the stove of which the management is devoted to your skill when the weather requires that the temperature of your room should be raised. The correction of the press and the arrangement of some minor points in your last volume must still engage a large portion of your time, but when these are finished you will be puzzled in your choice of a subject for a new occupation. I hope you will be happy in your selection, and that when you sink in the grave loaded with years you may be entitled to the never fading laurel awarded to the benefactors of mankind. My wish would be incomplete if I did not also claim for you some more solid proofs of the gratitude of your contemporaries. I hope then that your purse may at least be as well lined as mine is, provided it does not inflect upon you the cares and anxious responsibility of wealth. If it would have that effect then I wish your wealth to be limited to that point at which it will be most productive of happiness.
I was very much obliged both to you and to Mr. Bentham for the loan of the month’s newspapers—I have read them with very great interest and will return them when we meet in London.
I had the satisfaction of receiving a very warm welcome on reaching my home after my extended travels, and of finding all the inhabitants of Gatcomb in the best health and spirits,—and although I had so lately seen a variety of beautiful country, my own fields and the views from them had lost none of their attractions, but on the contrary were regarded with increased interest and attachment. Our happiness is made up of an infinite number of particulars, which to me exist no where in such great abundance as at home. Novelty has its charms, but an isolated being in a foreign country will very soon exhaust its pleasures, and will naturally turn his eyes towards the scene of all his agreeable associations.
Our country is at present in its best dress and I am anxious that you should see it so attired. With the rest of the country we are looking forward to abundant crops. The wheat is beginning to turn to the proper colour for the sickle, and as we shall this day carry the last portion of our hay, I suppose that we shall without much delay commence our corn harvest. An abundant crop will soon make the people forget all their past misfortunes, and we may I hope consider the present period as one from which we shall commence a long course of prosperity. Once settled in the new occupations which a state of peace renders it expedient should be undertaken by us, I know of nothing to impede our progress, but the relative situation of other countries. A state of peace will inspire us with a confidence in the security of property entrusted to their management which will inevitably draw capital from this country where interest is low, to others where it is high. The immense burthen of taxation which the residents of this country will have to sustain compared with the residents of others will have its natural effects, and will further tend to impede the employment of capital in England,—but perhaps these will have the effect of making our progress more slow, they will not wholly arrest it. We have happily some natural advantages which cannot be exported.—
I have not yet seen my three eldest girls, they have been altogether at Bognor for a month and will be coming home in little more than a week. Osman too will be returning about the same time and will hear with great pleasure that we have heard of a house excellently well calculated for him at about a mile from Gatcomb. The situation in respect of beauty of country is every thing he could wish.
We are going in a few hours to Easton Grey the place where Mr. Smith resides,—we shall stay with him a couple of nights. Mr. Belsham is on a visit to him. Mr. Whishaw I suppose you have heard is either gone or is going into Italy, he will be absent about two months, and is without a companion in his journey. Mr. Binda expected some employment with a foreign ambassador here, but was disappointed in obtaining it in consequence of his connection with the late Government of Murat. He was then offered a situation in the Brazils if he could set off immediately,—in less than 4 days he was at Plymouth expecting to sail every minute. I have not heard whether he has actually quitted England. He was very desirous of remaining here and even now flatters himself that his absence will be but short. Pray make my kind regards to Mrs. Mill and to Mr. Bentham and believe me