337.: mill to ricardo1[Reply to 329] - 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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mill to ricardo
[Reply to 329]
East India House Wednesday [13 October 1819]
My Dear Sir
I have this day sent your M.S. to the coach. I have, upon a second and careful perusal seen nothing to suggest, but a few verbal corrections. They are written in pencil, and you will distinguish mine from those made by Mr. Place, by this, that mine are all interlined, and Places are written in the margin. You will see that I have suggested your putting the 2d. paragraph first, and making the 1st. the 2d.—If I was to suggest any thing farther, I think it would be an attempt to curtail the historical part, by abridging some of the quotations, and giving the substance of them in your own words. I am ashamed at having kept the papers so long. But for the last fortnight Sir John Stuart, one of the oldest and best of my friends, has been in town, not very well, and very lonely, and I thought it my duty to spend with him almost every evening —which trenched upon my other operations very lamentably.
Places criticisms upon you seem to me at bottom to concern only the question of names. He thinks the term Sinking Fund, in itself, improper. He says there is no fund. A fund is not an annual income, but the source of an annual income. What we have to pay debt with is not a fund—it is a portion of the nation’s income—and the only fund or source of this income is the nations productive powers. To talk of the Sinking Fund’s producing, he says, is nonsense: the sum we have to pay debt with annually, produces nothing; it is produced.
This is true, at bottom. But to explain the subject in conformity with this language would require the re-casting of the whole piece—and, then, query whether the old language, on such an occasion as this, ought to be altered. Your use of the old language is throughout free from any violation of the true doctrine, except in as far as error is implied in the very existence of false names.
I am reading with a good deal of interest Dr. Parr’s pamphlet in Mr. Smiths vol. of Tracts—and unless Mr. Smith is in a hurry for its return, I shall keep it some little time longer.
If all is true which we hear, we shall have you in town before long for parliamentary duties. It appears that the Aristocratical Conspiracy begins to fear that it is found out; and thinks that very serious measures are necessary to prolong its existence. This, with the falling off in the revenue, is astounding the ministry. The section of the aristocratical conspiracy called Whiggery knows not what to do. It cannot set up the cry against the other section without (it fears) increasing the danger which threatens the conspiracy itself.
I began my notes on your M.S. on a bit of paper, before I took to marking with pencil—and as there is one or two things on the paper, I send it.
One thing I had forgot, which is, that you will receive some letters for me. Col. Walker, an old experienced Indian is sending me remarks on my book; and they are so voluminous, that I am ashamed to put my Hon. Masters to so much expense of postage. As I am in no hurry about them, you may forward them only when you have plenty of room.