372.: mcculloch to ricardo1[Reply to 368.—Answered by 375] - 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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mcculloch to ricardo
[Reply to 368.—Answered by 375]
Edinburgh 16 July 1820
My Dear Sir
I trust to your goodness to excuse me for having so long delayed acknowledging the receipt of your most valuable and excellent letter of the 13th ulto—It will be of great use to me in framing the article Value for the Supplement —I am not so presumptuous as to imagine that I shall be able to fix on a measure of value which will not be liable to any of those objections which have been urged against those hitherto employed; but I think that all that is necessary to set your theory of value in a sufficiently clear point of view, is to compare commodities produced under different circumstances with standards also produced under different circumstances—Such a comparison might be instituted without occasioning any great intricacy of statement, and if it were properly conducted would exhaust the subject as far as actually existing standards are concerned, and explain many of the seemingly anomalous appearances which occur in the relation of commodities to each other—This is nearly all I ever intended attempting, and with your assistance I may perhaps hope to succeed.
I have been thinking of trying my hand on an article on the subject of Tithes for the Review. Tithes as you have shewn (for it is to you that I acknowledge myself indebted for almost all that I know of political economy) are merely a tax on corn—But they are tax levied in the most revolting manner, and it will also be necessary to give the reasoning by which your conclusion has been established a greater degree of extension, and if possible a more popular shape—It would be most gratifying to me to receive any suggestion from you relative to this subject—
I perceive you have been moving for some papers connected with the trade in French wines—This is a subject of which I should like to be master—Do your motions embrace the quantities of French wines imported and consumed for a long period back? and do they distinguish the different rates of duty? Permit me to say that this is what I think they ought to embrace, and not to be restricted to a few years or to the port of London —Mr. Brougham, in his celebrated speech on the state of the Nation in March 1817 refers to a petition presented by Mr. Sharpe as containing an accurate history of the wine trade —I have never been able to obtain a copy of this petition; and if I might use so much freedom I would beg you would have the goodness to send me, if it can be easily procured, a copy of it, along with the papers you have moved for, and whatever brief remarks may be necessary to make me understand them—
The discussions about the Queen, and still more the discussions about the Professorship of Moral Philosophy have for the last five or six weeks made a complete breach in my studies—However one of these interruptions will speedily be removed, and as I presume by the election of Wilson—He is as thorough a knave as is to be found in the country, but he is connected with the son in law of Sir Walter Scott who has got Lord Melville to interfere in his behalf, and that I suppose will be enough—Almost all the respectable part of the Tory party have protested against this most disgusting of all disgusting jokes—Wilson, I know for certain, once dined at Mr. Jeffreys country house, and he very soon after published a most false and offensive account of what took place at the table of his accomplished host, and even ridiculed Mrs. Jeffrey!—Yet this is the most venial of a thousand other offences of which this protegé of ministers has been guilty—I have to apologise for obtruding this on your attention; but I am sure you cannot but be indignant at this vile attempt to degrade the most efficient Seminary in the kingdom —I am with the greatest affection and esteem
Yours most faithfully
J. R. McCulloch
Have the goodness in future to address me at
No 10 Būccleūgh Place