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353.: lord grenville to ricardo2 - 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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lord grenville to ricardo2
Dropmore Jany 11 1820
My dear Sir
I am unaffectedly gratified by knowing that the general view which I take of the causes of the present distress is sanctioned by your high authority.
The proposition to which you refer is certainly stated more broadly than the argument required. But I still cannot help thinking that it is true, limited as it is to the natural tendency of relative increase, and excluding therefore the operation of extraneous causes.
The greater productive power of population, in the case you mention, I should not dispute. But you must consider that this power has its natural check in the difficulties of increased subsistence.
As far as I can judge, my notion seems confirmed by all modern history. Of antient history, with respect to these points, we know too little to reason with much confidence, and besides, all our inferences are disturbed by the existence and extent of domestic slavery among them. Yet I think the state of the European provinces of the Roman Empire, before and after the irruption of the barbarous nations, might afford no unapt illustration of both parts of my proposition—Of the effect of peace on the one hand, and of war on the other.
Excuse my defending myself against my master in this science, and believe me Ever My Dear Sir
Most truly and faithfully Yrs
[2 ]MS in R.P.