Front Page Titles (by Subject) 374.: ricardo to mill2 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 8 Letters 1819-June 1821
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374.: ricardo to mill2 - 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 mill2
Brighton 27 July 1820
My dear Sir
I hope that Mrs. Mill is, before this, relieved from her anxiety and apprehension, and is safe in bed with a healthy and thriving infant.1 The week or two previous to final relief, on these occasions, are generally the most unpleasant, both to the lady and her husband, particularly if the time be protracted beyond the period looked for. We shall be very glad to see you on friday se’nnight—there are coaches go from London at all hours, and if you cannot get away at 10 oClock in the morning, you will find a very expeditious coach leaving the Spread Eagle at 3 oClock.
I have read with great pleasure the article on Government which you have written for the next volume of the Encyclopedia—I think it excellent, and well calculated to serve the good cause. It is written in the true philosophic temper—the best reasons are given for the propositions advanced, and they are made clear, and convincing. There is no attack in it on other people for their opinions, no calling of names, but a correct, a consistent and clear development of your own views. I like it very much indeed. I dare say you had good reasons for not explaining the influence of public opinion on government, but as it is one of the checks, and a most powerful one in such a government as ours, I should have expected that you would have noticed it. I think you did right in not entering into the consideration of the securities for a good election, even after the right of suffrage is given to the people generally: it would have given the article too much the appearance of an essay on Reform of Parliament which it was perhaps desirable to avoid. That is a part of the subject so important however that I hope you will take some opportunity of writing upon it, and of advancing all the powerful arguments by which it may be supported. I have not sent you the article back—I wish to read it again, and can give it you when we meet here. If you want it before, send me a line, and it shall be returned immediately.—
I have had no books here but Malthus’s and my own. I am reading the former with great attention, and noting the passages which I think deserving of comment. They are more numerous than I expected. If I were to answer every paragraph, containing what, I think, an erroneous view of the subject on which the book treats, I should write a thicker volume than his own. The attack on Say’s and your doctrine of accumulation, is supported by the weakest arguments, inconsistent with many of his own declared opinions, and so palpably fallacious that one’s wonder is he could have deliberately written it.—
I have by no means given up my intention of going into Gloucestershire—I hope to be there very soon after your visit to Brighton, and shall expect you to follow me within a very moderate time. My first destination will be to Gloucester, where the Assizes will be held on the 9th. I hope you will be able to come to us on the 16th.. I have so far altered my plan that I shall not return to London, but shall go direct from this place. Be so good as to let Mr. Bentham and Mr. Place know of this. If the agreement1 is ready for my signature you will perhaps bring it with you—my presence in town for any purpose connected with this agreement cannot be necessary. Mrs. Ricardo and the family will all go back to London, and will from thence proceed to Gatcomb.
Altho’ the house of Commons will meet on the 21 Augt. I think it very improbable that they will proceed to business before October or November. It is impossible that the Lords should have passed the bill before that time. If you have any reason to think otherwise, or have heard any good opinion on that subject, pray let me know it, as in that case I should stop the preparations which are now in course for our removal to Gatcomb.
My family have benefited by the air of this place, particularly Mrs. Clutterbuck, who was much of an invalid when she first [came]1 here. They all desire to be most kindly remembered to you. Mrs. Osman is the bravest sailor of the party, she never loses her good looks in the most boisterous weather, while all about her think their last hour arrived. The men suffer much more than the ladies.—
Ever truly Yrs.
Lord Folkestone is here—I lent him your paper to read as I know him to be a good reformer. On returning it he spoke very much in its praise—said it was impossible not to agree with the conclusion—but he lamented that the argument was not more dilated. The commencement and the end he thought a little too abrupt.
[2 ]Addressed: ‘James Mill Esqre. / Examiner’s Office / East India House / London’.
[1 ]Henry, the Mills’ seventh child, was born this year.
[1 ]See above, p. 198, n. 3.
[1 ]Covered by seal.