264.: malthus to ricardo1[Reply to 260.—Answered by 266] - 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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malthus to ricardo
[Reply to 260.—Answered by 266]
E I Coll Augst 16th 1818
My dear Sir,
I congratulate you most sincerely on your success in the Edinburgh Review, I think I hardly ever met with an article in that journal, which so entirely approved of the views of the work under consideration. Perhaps the review might have had more effect, if the writer had had the appearance of thinking more for himself; but if he really did agree with you on every point, as he seems to have done, this might not have been easy; and at all events the review cannot fail of greatly contributing to the publicity and general circulation of your book, and the extension of your fame. I am curious to know who is the writer. My conjectures fall on Mill and Buchanan, and rather more on the former than the latter; but I have only just finished the Review and have no grounds to go upon, but the great coincidence of opinion.
You answered the question in my last letter just as I should have expected; and quite consistently with your general principles. But does it not follow as an unavoidable conclusion, that if as a matter of incontrovertible fact, general profits have risen, and labour has not fallen, after the outlay of a great quantity of capital upon the land, and a great increase of the national income from the increase of rents, then rents are a creation not a transfer; and if they have risen chiefly from improvements in agriculture occasioned by the direction of so much capital to the land in consequence of a high price of corn, is it not an increase of wealth which would not otherwise have been obtained?
We returned to the College the end of July and spent the last week of our absence in a very pleasant excursion to the isle of Wight, which Mrs. Malthus had not seen before. We were present at a grand sailing match at Cowes, which afforded a most gay and animated scene; and frequent bathings while we remained in the neighbourhood of the sea enabled us to get through the hot weather without being oppressed by it.
I was quite grieved to hear of poor Mrs. Osmans Ricardo’s loss, and hope she has now fully recovered her health and spirits.
I did little or nothing, as I expected, in the vacation, but am trying to get on a little now, though I have had all my books to move which has been a great interruption, and the job is not yet completed. They were moved into another room before the vacation in order to allow the study to be painted, and I have now been moving them back again.
The confidence of your reviewer ought to alarm me, but I am a very obstinate heretic, and I think my convictions remain undisturbed. I dined at Mackintosh’s with Whishaw the other day. They were both well and inquired after you. Macksh says that he cannot yet understand you as he ought, which he cannot account for.
Mrs. M joins with me in kind regards to Mrs. Ricardo. All well at the College.
Ever truly Yours
T R Malthus