254.: trower to ricardo1[Reply to 249.—Answered by 255] - 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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trower to ricardo
[Reply to 249.—Answered by 255]
Unsted Wood—Godalming Febry 28—1818.
My Dear Ricardo—
Having first thanked you for your last kind letter, and for the Papers you sent me, I must, without loss of time, congratulate you upon the high Honors with which you are at present surrounded, and which, I doubt not, you yourself will Honor: I shall be curious to obtain from you, by and by, some account of the duties of this High Office, as I have the misfortune to be in this black list for 1820. —I was in hope, I should have escaped, but the fates have ordained it otherwise.—If you should happen to have a contested election for Glocestershire, your powers and your duties will then be displayed in full array!—I think myself lucky in having escaped such an evil at least. Is it an expencive office in your County? ours, I believe, costs the high Sheriff about 6. or 7. hundred pounds.—
I have read with attention the Article in the British Review . You need not be afraid of any harm your antagonist there has done you. He is much too violent in his language, and much too hasty in his conclusions, to entitle his view of the subject to attention. And I should rather say, it was fortunate to have been so weakly attacked, as it has produced so admirable a defence from your northern ally. The writer in the British has taken a very imperfect view of your theory; he has reasoned merely upon its immediate effects, and has not pushed, as he should have done, his enquiries to its more remote and general effects. He cannot deny the truth of your principles, yet he argues against their necessary effects; and not seeing so far as you do, he entangles himself in his own inconsistencies. Believe me, you do not do yourself justice, in attributing any want of success in convincing your opponents to the manner in which you have communicated your ideas, or to want of knowledge in the art of composition—I perfectly agree in what your Scotch friend has said upon that subject. Be assured, the difficulty is in the nature of the enquiry, which requires a more close and constant attention than most readers are disposed, or perhaps capable, of devoting to any subject.—If there be anything, which I should wish different in the manner of treating it, it would be the making a greater point of defining accurately and rigidly, the terms employed—The Equivocality of language is the pregnant source of the endless contests that arise upon all scientific and abstruse subjects; and has been especially so in all the discussions upon political economy.— In spite of the formality, or apparent affectation, of such a mode of treating the question, I would begin with a copious chapter of clear and concise definitions (that is as clear and concise as the nature of the subject will admit,) just as if I was about to demonstrate a mathematical problem. For I firmly believe, that the subject is capable of being demonstrated. I hope Malthus will discuss the points in which he differs from you, in his new publication; as I always find the most effectual mode of thoroughly understanding a question, is to grapple with the objections that are urged against it.—
Have you read Burkbecks short account of his expedition to the back settlements of America in the Illinois Country? It is interesting and amusing, and shews what I was not prepared to see, that the emigration from what is now termed old America to the new settlements, are even more numerous than those from Europe.
You excite my curiosity to read your friend Mill’s account of India; but it is so costly a publication in its present bulky state, that I must wait patiently till it is cut down to an octavo edition.—
Does not your pulse beat quicker now you learn, that 18000 squares miles of Ice have disappeared? This curious subject opens a new field for speculation; and emboldens one to look forward to those good old times when a man literally earned his bread by the sweat of his brow.—
I begin to think of covering the sides of some of my sloping hills with the clambering vine; and who knows but the time may come when we shall sacrifice to Bacchus in British Burgundy, instead of poisoning ourselves with Portuguese Port!—I hope to be in Town, for a short time, in the course of the Spring, when of course I shall have the pleasure of seeing you—I will then carry to Town with me the publications you have lent me, unless you should wish to have them sooner.—Mrs. Trower desires to join with me in kind remembrances to Mrs. Ricardo and family, and believe me my Dear Friend
yours very truly,
Have you read the Bishop of Landaffs Memoirs? They are very interesting. He is a man very much after my own heart. I admire and love his sturdy independence; but, at the same time, think he frequently carried it too far. He did not think it worth while to attend to the “suaviter in modo fortiter in re”. Adieu. H. T.