327.: trower to ricardo3[Answered by 330] - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 8 Letters 1819-June 1821 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 8 Letters 1819-1821.
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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
[Answered by 330]
Unsted Wood—Godalming—Septr. 19—1819.
My Dear Ricardo
It appears an age since I have had the pleasure of hearing from you, and I am therefore fearful, that I have been a very dilatory correspondent. No doubt, your time has been much occupied of late, as mine has, by company in my house; when it is difficult to steal an hour to oneself. In large families, and great establishments, where visitors are numerous, everyone is left to himself in the morning, to seek his own amusement, but where arrangements are upon a more limited scale, it is not so easy to separate oneself from a companion, to follow one’s own pursuits, and to throw him upon his own resources. I am at length alone, and avail myself of the opportunity, thus afforded, of enquiring after my friends at Gatcomb. I do not find that the manufacturers in Glocestershire have evinced the same restless, troublesome and dissatisfied spirit, that has been so lamentably exhibited in the northern manufacturing districts. Although these disturbances are not of a nature sufficiently serious to create anxiety, they are still very disagreeable; and it is, to say the least of it, unfortunate, that any circumstances should have happened to excite still further the irritated feelings of a distressed population. I am told, and by those, too, who are good authority upon the subject, that the proceedings of the Magistrates, and constituted authorities at Manchester are perfectly legal. Of the truth of this, at present, I am by no means satisfied, but shall shortly endeavour to satisfy my mind upon the subject, by examining into the various statutes by which it is governed. But, at all events, I think, even should the legality of the measures be admitted, the result has fully proved their inexpediency. For, so far from having checked the existing mischief, they have greatly aggravated it.—In all the proceedings at Manchester I am surprised not to have seen the name of Mr. Sharpe’s friend Mr. Philips, who, I believe, is a resident, of course has great influence, and could not be indifferent on the subject. As a Magistrate I should have expected to have seen him taking some part in the proceedings—
I keep my eyes fixed on the prices of Bullion and the Course of the exchanges, and I rejoice to see how steadily they continue at, or near par. Affording conclusive evidence, that they have been brought there, not by accidental and temporary causes, but that the wise measures pursued have brought them back to their proper and permanent level.—Are your thoughts still directed to these interesting subjects? The public mind is now in a proper state to receive instruction on these matters; and there is one branch respecting which they are lamentably ignorant. I mean the principles of taxation. The question of taxation is never agitated in Parliament without affording abundant proof of this deficiency. All taxes on necessaries are scouted as unwise and unjust, and efforts are constantly making to repeal them.—It is true, that you have already clearly and ably laid down those principles in your Book. But I cannot help thinking that much benefit would arise from having these principles more fully explained and insisted upon, and their application to our particular situation pointed out. Their importance is enhanced by the peculiar circumstances in which this Country is placed, by the enormous amount of the funded debt, which will render it absolutely necessary, in any future war, to depend almost exclusively upon supplies raised within the year. It is a question of great interest, and general application, and I know no person so qualified to engage in it, and do it justice as yourself. In short it would be a more enlarged and comprehensive view of a subject you have already treated; applied to, and illustrated by, the actual circumstances and situation of the Country. Except the Chapters in your Book I am not aware of any modern work upon the subject.—
Mrs. Trower and the Children are all well, and I hope to have an account equally satisfactory of Mrs. Ricardo and your family. I expect the Autumn will scarcely pass away before Mrs. Trower will have added to our domestic circle! It is a pity your friend Malthus had not been a Physician, instead of a Member of the Church, as probably he might have been more successful than Mr. Owen in discovering a check for population!
I did not know of the nature of Mr. Mills appointment at the India House till I lately saw Mr. Hume. I rejoice at it. He is sure to do it justice, and it affords him a very comfortable addition to his income—
Pray make our kind regards to Mrs. Ricardo and believe me My Dear Ricardo
yours very truly—