291.: mill to ricardo1[Answered by 292] - 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
[Answered by 292]
Westr. Decr. 7–1818
My Dear Sir
I dined on Saturday at Benthams with Brougham and Whishaw, on which occasion Brougham begged that I would write to you, on two subjects.
The first is that of your seat. He took me aside to tell me that the matter is finally settled, and that you will be seated the very first day that the forms of parliament will admit. He stated, however, that in order to secure the advantage of having your interest paid at a Bankers in London, on security of the most perfect regularity, he had been obliged to give up the Irish interest ; and that the security for the seat would extend to four years. Yesterday, also, Wakefield called upon me, and said he had learned from Vizard, that it was P—t—n for which you expected to come in; and then he gave me a history of what had occurred to himself in regard to it, and said he had written so and so to you. I told him I was very glad he had so written, as, if the account he had of the place was right, these were all matters for you to have before you. I then, without explaining to him any thing, asked him, if you had the payment at 5 pct. of the interest on a loan of from £20,000 to £36,000, secured regularly at a Bankers in London, and paid £4,000 for a seat secured for four years, he should think you paid too dear, according to the actual state of the market? He replied, certainly not.
The other subject is one about which Brougham is very hot; and about which he has been very eager to consult with me a great many times, since I returned to town. It is part of his schemes on the education subject, which seems to be engrossing his whole mind. In consequence of his conversations with Owen, who spent ten days here in his transit from the continent, Brougham has become strongly impressed with an idea of the importance of Owen’s infant school; or an institution for taking the children from the parents during the day, after three years of age—when they can be trained in good habits, and under the exercise of reason, instead of being trained in bad habits, under gusts of passion, irascible and sympathetic, in the hands of their poor parents. The great relief to the parents by exemption from the obligation of superintendance during their hours of work ensures their concurrence. In our conversations it was agreed, that the public mind was not yet ripe for proposing such a thing in parliament. It was also agreed that a pattern-school, for people to go and see, a shew-school in short, was one of the best means for ripening that mind. It was computed that £500 would be fully sufficient to hire rooms, and accomplish the business for a year. And Brougham undertook immediately to set about getting names for the money and the management. He told me on Saturday at Benthams, his progress—that Lord Lansdowne was to be one, he himself another, John Smith Lord Carringtons brother another, Babington another, and that now the question was not about who could be got, but whom it would be best to chuse, because people were eager to concur in it: that in order to keep the thing select, his wish was, to confine the management to ten persons, of important names, and that they themselves should contribute the money, viz. £50, a piece— he then added, that he wished much that you would be one of them—and entreated (as he was exceedingly hurried) that I would write to you an account of his wishes and views. And I do not think that I have omitted any thing.
Whishaw told me, that you have some expectation of Malthus at Xtmass, and had invited him, but said as I understood him, that it would be out of his power to go. I wish you all happiness, and should like to partake of it, but must think of other things.
I have had another visit from Mr. Moses, who takes a most kind interest in my recovery. I had good news for him—for by following his directions, I am sure I am better. The theory of my disease, which he substituted for that with which I had been bothered, convinced me at once—and so, Dr. Ricardo, for ever!
I can give you hardly any news of the Westminster canvas —for my health, and occupations have hindered me from going near them—and Place has been too busy among them, almost ever to come near me. I understand however that the reform party are in full activity for Hobhouse ; that their organization is far more perfect than it has ever been; that the Maxwell committee is doing very little; and that the prospect for Hobhouse is very fair. I think it not very likely that the Whigs will start any body, though they are averse to Hobhouse. And in that case I conclude the reformers will beat the ministry, though with a man too little known to excite any enthusiasm I am doubtful if the people can be got to crowd to the hustings. The sanguine actors say they will: That the people are now sufficiently up, to be animated, and that to enthusiasm, for the cause; and that the excitement of a favourite individual is no longer required. This would be very good news, if one were sure it were true.
How goes printing on? And how goes speech-making on? Let me see some fruits of the last without delay. I cannot tell you how delighted I am about the speedy prospect of your being in your seat, and the specimens you have given me of what you can do it.