419.: trower to ricardo1[Reply to 415.—Answered by 420] - 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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trower to ricardo
[Reply to 415.—Answered by 420]
Unsted Wood. Feb. 16—1821
My Dear Ricardo—
It was a very great disappointment to me, not to have the pleasure of seeing you during the few days we were in London last week. I fully intended surprising you one morning at breakfast; but the violent cough and cold from which I suffered, whilst in London, and which still torment me, prevented my getting out at an hour sufficiently early for you; and as our Nursery was left here, Mrs. Trower was anxious to return home as soon as possible.—I shall be much obliged by your favoring me with a sight of your Notes on Malthus; which I cannot for a moment admit should not go forth to the public, in some shape or other. Malthus’ reputation and influence with those, who talk upon political economy, more than they think, requires that his attack upon your Book should be answered by some body; and who so capable of answering him as yourself. His work is vulnerable, in many points; and the inconsistencies into which he has frequently fallen, if properly pointed out, would have the effect of strengthening those opinions, which it was the main object of his Book to attack. Your great candor and liberality afford Mr. Malthus a considerable advantage over you. You, at all times, place before him, without reserve, your views of the subject in dispute between you, and thus enable him to anticipate your objections in his own publications, and to prepare his own objections before your publications are ready for the press. I do not condemn this liberality, on the contrary I commend it. It is the true spirit in which the search after truth ought to be conducted. But, at the same time, we ought not to shut our eyes, to the advantages you thus give to your antagonists. I believe, Mr. Malthus is, himself, too liberal a man, to take any undue advantage of your candor: but it is obvious, that such a benefit could not be safely granted to every controversialist.—
I bow with reverence to Mr. Mills better judgment; but I confess I do not see how you can publish a new edition of your Book, without taking some notice of the answer to it which has been published by the Professor of Political Economy! And if you take any, then the question arises as to the best mode of doing it. No doubt, if you determine upon a separate publication, your new edition may, then, go forth in silence; but will you be able to place your objections in a tangible shape, to give them a fair chance with the public, or to grapple thoroughly with your antagonist, without embodying in your publication the sum and substance of your original work. And, if so, had they not better be united?
I agree with you in what you said in your reply to Mr. Baring the other night. The two standards for currency would be objectionable on many accounts. And the fall in the prices of commodities is too great to be attributed solely to the late rise in the value of the currency. Mr. Barings opinions, however, (and deservedly too upon most commercial points) have great weight with men of business, on account of his extensive practical experience. The observations, I have heard made upon what passed the other night, have been to this effect. That Mr. Barings speech was practical, yours theoretical. Now your theory is founded on practice as much as his practise is; and if you were to throw into your observations some of the leading facts upon which your views are founded, it would have an excellent effect. These subjects are likely to be much handled during the Sessions, and I rejoice to see you fight for the cause of sound principles, so strenuously, and so ably.—
Thank God the subject of the Queen is losing its interest with the public quickly; and it will be no easy matter to rouse again the enthusiasm which so long existed; even if any body should be mad enough to attempt it. Ministers have done wrong, I think, in not replacing her name in the Litturgy, but she is I am persuaded, what I wont soil my paper by expressing, and may congratulate herself in having so well escaped the dangers she so rashly encountered.—
On the 27. I shall resign my Office into the hands of Mr. Spicer, who is to give his dinner on that day at Esher place, to which I find the Prince of Coburg is invited.
I am sorry, Ministers have granted an Agricultural Committee. It cannot do any good. All the facts of the case are before the public. And an enquiry will have the effect of raising hopes and expectations, that it can never satisfy.—We ought to rejoice and not lament at the evidences which present themselves! Things are now taking their natural course, and will, I am persuaded, ere long, place matters on their proper level. It is impossible to regain our right position without much severe pressure. Landlords are loud in their calls for a robbery on the public creditor; but they take care never to admit to the only true remedy; a fall in Rents, a fall in Tithes, and a fall in the expences of Husbandry. These, however, will come, in spite of the left handed honesty of these clamorous landlords; who silently fattened upon the distresses of the annuitants and the consumers, for many years; and who now call out, lustily, when forced to disgorge a portion of their unnatural acquirements!
[The conclusion is wanting.]