453.: ricardo to mill1[Reply to 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 450]
Gatcomb Park 9 Sepr. 1821
My Dear Sir
I have read Mr. Place’s MS with great attention, and with great pleasure. I am much more impressed than ever I was before with an idea of his talents,—he has shewn more of patient investigation in this work than I ever knew him to shew before. His success against Godwin appears to me to be complete—not one objection of the least importance remains unanswered. I hope it will be published. I have written to Murray my opinion of it,—and have told him that Mr. Place would probably call upon him in a few days to confer with him on the subject of its publication.—I am not very familiar with calculations respecting births, deaths and marriages and therefore am a little afraid of the correctness of my opinion of Mr. Place’s book, but his refutation is so complete in more views than one of Mr. Godwins speculations that I have no hesitation in saying that I am quite satisfied with it. Mr. Place will probably shew you my letter to him; in it I have freely animadverted on those parts which I do not quite like. You will agree with me in some of my objections, in others I suspect you will not. I think his charges against the rich are many of them unjust, and are therefore likely to hurt rather than benefit the good cause. He is a friend to the poor laws, and appears not to see that their abolition will tend to raise the wages of labour. I forgot to say to Mr. Place that in the book which I believe I mentioned to you, before, “Ravenstone on Population and Political Economy” the same view or nearly the same as Godwin’s is taken—there may be something in that book worth his attention—it is published by Andrews 167 New Bond Street.
I hope you will be able to pay us a visit soon—I shall depend on seeing John at all events—he must always be a welcome visitor, for he knows how to find amusement for himself, and never depends wholly on others.
Sydney Smith has been staying 2 days with me—he came very near on his way from Taunton to York, at the former of which places his father resides, and near to the latter his living is situated. He was as usual full of laugh and joke. In his serious conversation he is always on the liberal side, but has a strong propensity to halt half way—he is for tolerating all religions, but is inclined to be intolerant to those whom he supposes to have no religion. I contended for Dr. Lindsay’s principle, that even the Atheist should be heard, but Sydney Smith condemns him without hearing him, and then makes the sentence which he has pronounced upon him the excuse for hearing him. In Politics too he is in his heart a reformer but he does not fairly avow it—he is afraid of offending those with whom he usually associates by too openly avowing opinions which they do not favour. He is much inclined in favor of the ballot—has not heard any arguments against it that preponderate over those in favor of it, but yet he will not unequivocally say that he is in favor of it. He condemns the whigs however for not speaking out on the subject of reform, indeed I do not know how their equivocation on this question can be defended.—
Mrs. Ricardo,—my girls and boys desire to be kindly remembered to you.
Ever truly Yrs.