415.: ricardo to trower1[Reply to 410.—Answered by 419] - 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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ricardo to trower
[Reply to 410.—Answered by 419]
Gatcomb Park Minchinhampton Jany 14—1821
My Dear Trower
I am sorry that so long a time has elapsed without my returning an answer to your last kind letter, but since I received it I have not only been a great deal employed at home, but I have been to Gloucester; to my sons near Malvern; and to my daughter’s near Bath. You give me great pleasure by the favorable opinion you give of my Essay on the Funding System; I am glad to have your sanction to the view which I have taken of that subject, and that you condemn equally with myself the breach of faith to the Stockholder which is so hypocritically defended by our present Chancellor of the Exchequer, who really would have us imagine he performs all that was engaged to be done, by his nominal sinking fund of £16,000,000, while he is every year borrowing 12 millions and adding that sum with 2 or 3 more millions to the public debt. What you say about the market of 5 pcts. becoming more expanded by frequent repetition of funding large sums in that stock is most true, but as the capital of 3 pcts. was already so large at the commencement of the late war, I doubt whether it would not have been an exceedingly difficult thing to give the same currency to the 5 pct. Stock which has been so long possessed by the 3 pcts..—Probably Dr. Price and Dr. Hamilton have overrated the advantage one way, and I have underrated it the other. At some future time perhaps I may try whether I can say any thing worth publication in the shape of a pamphlet on the subject of the policy and practicability of paying off the Debt.
My remarks on Malthus’s work have been sometime with MCulloch, who long ago requested me to shew him any observations I might make on Malthus’s book. I am desirous of having his opinion on the remarks themselves, as well as on the expediency of publishing them. I expect soon to hear from him, and to have my papers returned to me. Although they are in a very rough form you shall see them if they possess the least interest in your estimation. Your opinion, I perceive, is in favor of publishing them as an appendix to a new edition of my “Principles of Political Economy.” That was the form in which I at first had an idea of giving them to the public, but I was strongly dissuaded from it by Mill, who thought I ought by all means to avoid giving too controversial a character to my book, and indeed he advises me not to notice any of the attacks which have been made upon me, in my third edition, which will I apprehend be printed soon after I get to London. I shall not urge the objection which you appear to anticipate, that the new modelling of my book is a work of time and labor—I should not grudge however much of these [I] should be called upon to bestow on it, if I thought I could give it a [be]tter chance of success, either with the present race, or any future race of Political Economists. I have carefully looked over every part of it, and with my limited powers of composition I am convinced I can do very little to improve it. When Mill, MCulloch, Malthus, and you have seen these notes of mine, and have given me your opinions of them, I shall know what to resolve upon respecting the mode of disposing of them. Perhaps the fire will be the proper place to which to consign them.
I have lately had a visit here from Malthus—he came with the expectation of seeing my notes and he would have seen them had he not after engaging to come to me, been detained in town by the illness of his sister, which made him think that his visit to me must be put off altogether. Before I knew of his coming I had engaged to send the notes to MCulloch, and detained them when I had reason to expect him, but finally sent them off when I despaired of seeing him. While here, he was as good natured, and as agreeable as ever. We spent many hours of each day in discussion, the result of which was only to understand more clearly the points of difference between us. He must be as well acquainted with my objections to his work as if he had read the notes themselves, for I believe there was not one which I forgot to urge, but he is still desirous of seeing the notes, and I have promised to pay him a visit, with them, as soon as they are returned to me.
You are mistaken in supposing that it is possible I may th[ink] you a very idle fellow, by the apology with which I accompanied the long quotation I sent to you. I know you are something very different from an idle fellow, and I insist that you had no right to come to any such conclusion because I hesitated about sending you a long winded performance of mine. If you never studied at all, I should not call you an idle fellow, I know that much of your time is very usefully employed. I hope now I have appeased your irascible spirit. It was not one of the acts of the late Bishop of Landaff which has contributed much to his fame, his selling his library when he retired into the country; it surely must have arisen from a sordid passion for money, for he could not fail to have preserved his relish for books.
I leave the country on thursday next, and expect to feel a great deal of interest in the approaching session of parliamt.. I hear that Ministers are relaxing a little in their severe measures respecting the Queen—I am told that they will propose £50000 pr Ann. for her, and a suitable sum for the
[At the end of the sheet there is written, in red ink and by another hand: ‘The rest wanting. Ch. A. Secy. May 12/43.’ ]