235.: trower to ricardo2[Reply to 226.—Answered by 239] - 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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trower to ricardo
[Reply to 226.—Answered by 239]
Unsted Wood—Godalming Novr. 9—1817—
My Dear Ricardo
When a man has been guilty of an unatoneable transgression (if I may coin such an expression) the less he says about it the better—Now, as I am sensible I have been guilty of a very aggrivated offence, in suffering your last kind letter to remain so long unanswered, perhaps my most prudent course would be to pass it over in silence—But, as I trust it is not altogether inexpiable I feel desirous to urge numerous excuses as apologies for my neglect. Recollecting, however that you are not half a country gentleman, nor a particle of a farmer, I am fearful my extenuations may not be duely appreciated; and have therefore resolved to throw myself upon your clemency.—And, indeed, as sorrow subdues all our violent passions, I doubt whether, at the present moment, you could find it in your heart to be very angry! The national loss, we have all just sustained, is of such a nature as not merely to awaken our political apprehensions, but even to excite our tenderest sympathies.—This tragical event opens a wide field for speculation, with regard both to the present, and the future—Will advantage be taken of it to try again for a divorce? —and upon surer grounds, and with better success? If obtained, will it be succeeded by a new alliance; and what is still more problematical by another progeny? If not, from whose loins is our new race of Kings to spring? No doubt we can boast many broad backs in our royal breed; and they cannot now want inducement to exert their vigor in their Country’s cause! But their most successful exertions will but provide against a remote contingency; and in the mean time, we cannot view the probable destination of the sceptre with compleat satisfaction. The R. does well enough, but we cannot calculate on the continuance of his life. The Commander in chief I should not be afraid of. He has proved himself an active man of business, and has discharged his duties irreproachably, which is no small praise for a man in his exalted station. His strong military attachments, however, do not constitute the best qualifications for the Sovereign of a free people—But I will not pursue the succession; as it forcibly reminds me of the Phantasmagoria with which the Witches tantalized and tormented Macbeth! However, “come what will, what may”, I cheer myself with believing, that there is in this happy Country a sufficient stock of good sense, and right feeling, to secure itself against the worst contingency.—
Have you read the Report of the Poor Laws Committee — I much approve the view it takes of the subject. It contains many useful suggestions, the adoption of which would improve the practice of the poor laws; and bring them back to their original principles, which in the main are just.— I trust the investigation will be continued, and will lead to a better system, which in another year will be carried into execution with less difficulty than at present.—The pressure in this part of the Country is certainly diminished, but we have still many poor people out of work upon the Parishes, and our rates are enormously high—more than 20/- in the pound upon about ⅔ of the real rent. I hope you were fortunate in getting in your crops; in our light soils we succeeded very well, and have above an average crop.—
We have adopted the provisions of Rose’s Bill, and allow our Depositors a clear 4 p C. upon every 12/6. Deposits are coming in apace—and I am satisfied, that the well timed liberality of Government in granting the advantages held out by the Act, will have the happiest effects. It is true it may subject them to loss hereafter, but at present it will contribute much to the stability of the funds.—You ask me if I think them high? Yes I do—but not despairing of our finances, thinking that our revenues will recover, that capital will accumulate rapidly, that these Saving Banks will throw millions into the Funds, I do not apprehend that they will decline—I take a sanguine view of our future prospects, if our ministers have but common sense; and I was delighted to observe in your book how forcibly you described the inexhaustible energies of this tight little Island. God bless you my Dear Friend. Mrs. T joins with me in kind regards to Mrs. Ricardo and your family, and believe me
Yours very sincerely,