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357.: ricardo to trower1 - 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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ricardo to trower1
London 13 Mch. 1820
My dear Trower
Mr. Mill is so constantly occupied at the India House that I seldom see him, except on sundays, and therefore I delayed answering your letter till after I had met him yesterday. He, as well as I, are much obliged by your invitation, and we have agreed to accept it, if it will suit you to receive us on saturday the 1..st, or, the following saturday, the 8th. of april. Mr. Mill is obliged to stipulate for Saturday, as that is the only day on which he can leave the India House. Our visit will necessarily be a short one, but if the weather should be as fine as it now is, we shall have an opportunity of seeing the beauty of the country immediately about you.
My late constituents at Portarlington appear to be a very good tempered set of gentlemen, and will I am assured elect me without hesitation to the next Parliament. The report of my being a candidate for the county of Gloucester never had the least foundation, and was put forth I imagine with no other view than to provoke a contest. I do not soar so high, and am the most unfit of all men to engage in an undertaking so difficult and so expensive as that of contesting a county with an old and powerful family.1
The plot in Cato Street2 must no doubt be favorable to ministers in the general election, and yet at Brookes’ they confidently anticipate rather an accession than a diminution to the ranks of opposition. On this point I am very little anxious, as whether the ministers have a majority of 200, 100, or 50, will not, I think, in any degree affect the important questions about which the country should be most particularly solicitous.—I should be glad to have some enlightened commercial men added to the small number usually in the House, and therefore I regret that Sharp has been defeated at Maidstone—I hope however that Haldimand will succeed at Ipswich. He is brother to Mrs. Marcet and appears to be a clever man. He is rich, and has much influence amongst his brother merchants.3 Sir Wm. Curtis’s commercial knowledge will not add much to the general stock.4
My thoughts have not been engaged upon any particular branch of Political Economy exclusively, but have wandered over the whole field. At one time I have to defend and explain one principle against an adversary, at another time another, and I have the satisfaction of observing that the opinions which I deem the correct ones are daily gaining ground. Col. Torrens is becoming one of the most efficient advocates for the right principles, as may be seen both in his review of Owen in the Edinburgh,1 and in the last edition of his work on the impolicy of restraints on the importation of corn.2 Lord King too, with whom I have lately conversed, is also marshalled on our side. M’Culloch has I am told an article in the Edinburgh just printed, in favor of free trade, and I dare say it is a good one.3 That we are improving is manifest from this that a petition is preparing in the city to Parliament in favor of free trade, in which the merchants (the petitioners) with great ability urge the advantages which would result from unrestrained commerce. It is very respectably signed and will be presented to the H of Commons by Mr. Baring. That the merchants should condemn and expose the mercantile system is no unimportant evidence of the progress of liberal opinions.4
I am glad that you are not to be plagued with a contested election in Surry. As Sheriff it would have involved you in a degree of anxiety and responsibility from which you must be glad to escape.
Mrs. Ricardo unites with me in kind wishes to Mrs. Trower.
Believe me Ever Truly Yrs.
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Hutches Trower Esqr / Unsted Wood / Godalming’ —not passed through the Post.
[1 ]The Duke of Beaufort; see above, p. 156, n. 4.
[2 ]The plot of Thistlewood and four others to kill the Ministers on 23 February. The conspirators, who met in Cato Street, were betrayed by a spy and hanged.
[3 ]William Haldimand, an ex-director of the Bank of England who had been strongly in favour of the resumption of cash payments. M.P. for Ipswich 1820–26.
[4 ]Sir W. Curtis, a banker, had lost his seat for the City of London in 1818, and regained it in 1820. ‘He was a man of great importance as head of the Tory party in the City, though he was a pitiably bad speaker, very badly educated, and the constant butt of all the whig wits’ (Dictionary of National Biography).
[1 ]See above, p. 159, n. 2.
[2 ]An Essay on the External Corn Trade, 2nd ed., Edinburgh, Constable, 1820.
[3 ]Jan. 1820; see below, p. 165, n. 2.
[4 ]The Merchants’ Petition for Free Trade was presented by Baring to the House of Commons on 8 May 1820; see above, V, 42.