449.: ricardo to mill2[Reply to 448.—Answered by 450] - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 9 Letters 1821-1823 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 9 Letters 1821-1823.
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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 mill
[Reply to 448.—Answered by 450]
Gatcomb Park 28 Aug 1821
My Dear Sir
When I saw your hand writing on the direction of a letter to me, I expected it was to announce that your labors were at an end, and that you were preparing to leave London to pass a short time with me. I was much disappointed at the intelligence which it actually gave me, and must request of you to make an effort to come here, if not immediately, at any rate during the time we shall stay here previous to the next parliamentary campaign. I wish too you would bring John with you, I desire much to see him after his long visit to foreign parts, and to hear the history of his adventures from his own mouth. It would give me pleasure to see him although it should happen that you cannot find time to come: he will have his time for reading and study nearly as much undisturbed here as at home and will benefit a little by mixing with strangers—it may tend to remove the shyness which you say still adheres to him.
I am sorry that you were obliged to curtail your article on the Liberty of the Press. As for its not pleasing you, that is of little consequence:—you are not a good judge of your own performances, and I have no doubt that it will add to your reputation.
My information respecting Gatcomb, its inhabitants, and those connected with Gatcomb, is soon given—we are obliged to you for feeling an interest about us. Mr. and Mrs. Clutterbuck, and their children, have been with us ever since we have been here—they leave us this week for Bromesberrow. Osman and his wife have been occasionally here, and I have been sometimes with them;—we all continue to love each other and to enjoy each other’s company. Clutterbuck is thinking of changing his residence, and our party have had two or three pleasant excursions to parts of the country, within 20 miles of us, to see places that were either for sale, or to be had on lease—they have however not yet fixed on the spot to which they will go. David is much as usual, obliging but not so studious as I could wish him to be. Mortimer and his two youngest sisters enjoy themselves very much with their horses, a day seldom passes without their riding. There have [been] some important changes in this part of our stud since you were here; Mary is promoted to a large horse—Birtha has succeeded to Mary’s, and Mortimer has a pretty pony which his uncle Frank gave to him.
My occupations are nearly the same as usual—Books always afford me amusement and as I forget their contents very soon after reading them, a small library is an inexhaustible resource to me. I have been drawn away from my library oftener than I could wish, sometimes by occasional visitors, sometimes by my family—often by my active companion Clutterbuck, but I have passed my time happily and agreeably. I have been reading Clarendon’s history of the Rebellion, and have looked with some interest at a work on Polit. Econ. by Mr. Piercy Ravenstone which though full of the greatest errors has some good things in it—he is a strenuous and an able advocate for Reform.
The Whigs are an inconsistent set of people—they are the loudest in their complaints of the bad measures which are pursued by Government, and yet the opposers of every scheme which shall afford us a chance of obliging the Government to pursue none but good measures. The only prospect we have of putting aside the struggle which they say has commenced between the rich and the other classes, is for the rich to yield what is justly due to the other classes, but this is the last measure which they are willing to have recourse to. I cannot help flattering myself that justice will prevail at last, without a recurrence to actual violence; but if it does, it will only be because the event of the struggle will be so obvious to all eyes that expediency, the expediency of the rich, will make it necessary even in their view. As for Hume, he will always talk of despairing of seeing things mend, but his energy in acting will not be diminished. He gave a just account of himself at Mr. Coke’s annual feast—he said that he had as much pleasure in the pursuit in which he had engaged as those he was addressing had in their pursuits connected with Agriculture. If Humes efforts were never to be attended with more success than in the last session, and they have been attended with some, he would persevere—he is very much alive to public opinion, and he has been sufficiently praised by the public to ensure the continuance of his exertions.
Mr. Ellwin, a gentleman who resides at Bath, and whom you have met at my house in Brook Street, is now staying with me—he leaves me to-morrow. On tuesday next I expect Sydney Smith and his family at Gatcomb. They will be on their way from Taunton to York—He and I will have plenty of conversation on Reform.
I have not seen Torrens book —he promised to send me a copy of it but he has not done it. When he made the promise I told him I should send him a copy of my 3d edition, but I could not do it because I did not know his residence. Have you read it? Tooke is not very much delighted with it. I have received a letter from Say with a defence of the passages in his book which I have criticized in my last edition. It is I think very bad. It gives up the whole question, and yet pretends that it is consistent with the book, and with itself, in every part.
You will see by the manner in which this sheet is written that I forgot the high dignity to which I had attained, and was really calculating on not putting you to 9 pence additional expence. Mrs. Ricardo and the rest of the circle here desire their kind remembrances to you.
Yrs. very truly