378.: malthus to ricardo1[Answered by 379] - 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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malthus to ricardo
[Answered by 379]
E I Coll August 28th 1820.
My dear Ricardo,
I dont know whether this will find you at Brighton, but I write at a venture. Our vacation was rather longer than usual, but we have been returned now some little time, and I have been constantly intending to write.
We staid about five weeks at Paris, and passed our time very agreeably. I saw most of the principal people whom I wished to see, and got some insight into the state of France, which is curious, but the subject is too large to enter upon now.
I found some persons who had read your work, but they did not appear to me to understand it, and were not on the whole favourable. From this general remark however I should except the Duc de Broglie who seemed inclined to adopt your views. He is one of the Doctrinaires who are considered as very theoretical both in Politics and Political Economy. Monsr. Garnier the Translator of Adam Smith attacked you violently, though it appeared to me that he agreed with you in many essential points, perhaps without knowing it. He thinks of publishing a new edition of Adam Smith with a volume of notes to refute all the modern writers who have differed from him.
I took a copy of my book for Mr. Say; but he had already got it, and answered that part of it which refers to him. He had sent his manuscript to the printer, but it had not come out before we came away. He had sent me his last edition, but it never reached me; and he said it was owing to my not having seen it that I made the remarks which he has answerd; but upon looking at the edition I found there was little or no difference in the Chapter Des Debouchés.
Generally speaking the French read but little political economy. There is such a prejudice against it in the Government that Mr. Say was induced actually to change the denomination of the lectures he is about to give, and substitute the term industrielle for Politique. He says however that the younger part of the society is making a considerable progress. The bookseller who undertook the translation of your work told me that he had sold 900 copies, which under all the circumstances is I think a favourable report. My book was translating. I saw a few sheets, and fear it will not be very well done. Few, of course, had read it. Those who had, agreed with me about value, and in the main; but doubted a little about my doctrine respecting accumulation. It is indeed not likely to apply much to France, on account of the great division of landed property. The check to production in France under its actual system will be chiefly want of power, not want of demand. But the more I see, and the more I think on the subject, the more I feel convinced, that the doctrine I have laid down on the immediate causes of the progress of wealth is essentially just, and that the actual phenomena in society cannot be accounted for without it. I have seen nothing since my return. Pray tell me if you know of anything that has been written against me? Has Torrens gone on in the Traveller? What says Maculloch on the subjects of value?
What do you think of this strange trial? and how are we to get out of the difficulty.
Mrs. Malthus joins with me in kind regards to Mrs. Ricardo who we hope is well with all your family. I am going into Lincolnshire this evening but shall be back in less than a week.
Ever truly Yours
T R Malthus.