289.: mill to ricardo2[Reply to 284] - 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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mill to ricardo
[Reply to 284]
Qu. Sq. Decr. 4th. 1818
My Dear Sir
I must scribble to you a few lines, though I am too languid to get up, to get a bit of decent paper to write to you upon. But I fear you may wait for my opinion, on any of the printing points you were pleased to submit to me.
The division of the first chapter into sections I approved of entirely and sent it to Murray, with a slight alteration, in two (I think) of the expressions. The note I also thought very proper.
I think you will have very fully discharged all your obligations to Torrens, by praising him as far as you say.
And with regard to Mr. McCulloch, as you have certainly not said any thing which goes to encourage the depriving of the people by taxes of one farthing beyond the lowest possible, it is not necessary for you to say more than you propose to obviate any such misconstruction. I think therefore any communication with him on the subject is needless. What he would like to have is the authority of your name against excessive taxation: and so should I: but it is for you to judge whether this work is the place for the peculiar incalcation of that doctrine. I fear, not.
Ensor’s objection being to the facts of your instance, you, by leaving out the instance, of course avoid the objection.
Upon the whole too, I cannot but approve of your resolution to publish the book anew, with only these alterations. For though I do not agree with you, that you could not have made it better; that is, more easy to the learner— for I am sure you could; yet I know that your time can be better employed. For as you had nothing on that subject to learn, your time would have been lost in regard to your own improvement. And then the world have your ideas— other people will employ themselves in preparing them for the digestion of different classes of feeders. What now concerns you, is, to collect evidence, on all the other great questions in which the interests of human beings are involved. And in this I have no doubt you are proceeding with great success. The only thing I am anxious about is your adopting resolution enough to repel all causes (that ought to be repelled) of interruption and delay. I am very angry with you for not sending me the Discourse you mentioned, after it was prepared. I hope another at least is ready by this time; and I ordain and command that both be sent to me, by the very first opportunity. I shall most probably follow your kind permission of postponing my particular remarks till we meet, when they will form the subject of interesting conversations. By the bye, I hope you do not mean to keep away longer than Xtmass.
I sympathize with you most sincerely in your difficulties about Miss Ricardo. Your objections are but too good. And if there were no hope of breaking such connections as you mention, I should not think any exertion of authority on your part too much. You ought at any rate to have an explanation with the gentleman, of the most solemn kind; to exact from him a solemn obligation to that effect, as the only condition on which you will ever be prevailed upon to give your consent. This done, as you would do it, in the tone of friendship, and with the clear exposure of all the reasons for it, as regards his own happiness, would very possibly have a great effect. Your wisdom, your talents, the respect which is borne to you by all the world, and the great things which you and you alone have inabled yourself to do for your family, entitle you to assume a tone of authority with all of them, which it would be much for their good that you assumed more frequently and more decidedly than you do.
I am still labouring with but imperfect success to get well. But I have had advice from your brother Moses, which I prefer to all I have yet received; and which I am endeavouring to follow. I am, too, certainly better. Many thanks for your kind invitation. I should have abundant pleasure in accepting it; and I have no doubt that it would do me good. But I have too many cogent motives for remaining at home; and postponing the pleasure of intercourse with you till the renewal of our walks.
I had nearly forgotten to say about Koe, that of course whatever you are able to do for Mr. Basevi, is doubtless a matter of peculiar obligation on your part. But I believe that the lines of Mr. B. and Mr. K. are totally distinct. Koe is not a Conveyancer, but a Chancery Barrister—if I am correct in my distinction. Basevi himself might be of use to Koe. I will not allow you to say that your application to your Solicitors is not entitled to respect, and will not command it.
Most faithfully yours