ricardo to mill
[Reply to 469]
Bromesberrow Place 10 Decr. 1821
My Dear Sir
I intended to write to you immediately after reading your book, but I have been so much on the move lately that I could not find half an hour for the purpose, till now:—but let me proceed methodically. In the first place, then, I must express my regret at the account you give of yourself, you have I suppose some gouty humor flying about you, and altho this visit is troublesome the complaint will as before quickly leave you, and I shall hope soon to see you with all the sprightliness and activity of youth. I am sorry that neither you and John together, nor John singly, could contrive to pay me a visit this year.
And now for the book; I thank you much for it. I have read it with attention, and you must be aware that there are few things in it from which I can differ. There are, I perceive, a very few in which we do not quite agree; I have taken notes of them, and they will either serve for matters of conversation, or I will write them out, and send them to you, whenever you desire it. If I am right in my views, on these very few points, you will be inclined to make some very trifling alterations in your next edition. Respecting the clearness with which your views are expressed, of course they are all very clear to me, and to my judgment they would be so to all who paid common attention to the subject they were reading; but of this, as you justly observe, I cannot be so good a judge as the unlearned. There are two young ladies, of the latter class, who wish to become learned, and would be glad to become so through your means, and you must consider this as the hint which you desired me to give you if I found any such disposition existing. Mrs. Osman says, that you promised to give her a copy of your book, and she holds you to that promise. She has been diligently preparing for it, for she has been studying Mrs. Marcet’s work with great attention, and I am happy to add with great profit, and appears to understand it well. Your book will confirm the good doctrines in her mind, and will supply her with some new ideas on the subject.
Mary, my daughter, is also eager to receive this present from you, she engages to pay her utmost attention to its contents, and is greatly pleased at your having thought of her. Hume and I, speaking of your book, of which he has not read much, both regretted that you had used the word “procreation” so often in a book you call a school book; it will we fear excite prejudice in the minds of many against it, and the doctrines might have been nearly as well explained without the use of it.
You will see where I am by the beginning of my letter. I came here on wednesday, and went on friday morning with my son to Hereford. We found that town in a great bustle, the streets full of people, and the windows lined with females waiting for the arrival of Hume. More than 180 horsmen, and many carriages went from Hereford to meet him, and in about an hour after my arrival the cavalcade made its appearance. After the horses were properly arranged on each side, the carriages made their appearance, in the first of which was Hume, seated between the chairman and deputy for the day. This carriage and the next which followed containing Price the member for the county, were drawn by the people. When the carriages came opposite to the hotel Hume alighted amidst the waving of banners, the beating of drums, and the acclamations of the people. In a moment he was up in the balcony, and ready to repay them by a speech, which he can make always at a moments notice. He told the people how badly they were governed, and how much he expected from their increasing intelligence. He implored them to be active, and to make their opinions known &ca. &ca.
After dinner the tankard was presented to him, and the hogshead of cider placed at his disposal—he then made another speech, which lasted an hour and a half, and which was very favorably listened to. The company consisted of 250, we had a good deal of speaking, and some very good speaking. Reform was mentioned by all, and acknowledged to be the great object to be looked to. I was obliged to say a few words, and did not fail to say something in favor of the importance of secret suffrage. After spending nearly 6 hours at the dinner table, a large party of us accompanied Hume to Mr. Prices house in the neighbourhood. I staid there 2 nights, and returned here yesterday. Hume was going to day to dine with the Corporation of Monmouth, where he is to receive the freedom of the city, and to morrow he will be with me here. On the next day we shall all go to Gatcomb. Thus have I given you a faithful history of our proceedings.
Hume, as you may suppose, is highly gratified at the reception which he every where meets with—he has struck out in a new line, and will continue to be highly prized, till he has a few more competitors. He has been of essential service in rousing the public feeling to a conviction of the wasteful expenditure which is going on, and I really believe it is a better class of the people that are now active than that which had been previously operated upon by Cobbett and Hunt.
I am sorry to hear of the fate of Place’s MS. I hear that the Polit. Econ Club met on the day appointed, and that 20 were present—I do not know whether you were of the number. Do you see the Champion? There is a paper in it every week on Polit. Economy in which the correct principles are very well explained. I suppose Torrens writes it. It appears as if Canning could not get over the formidable obstacle of the Kings hatred.—
Osman and his wife desire to be kindly remembered to you.
I find I have made a mistake about the promise to Mrs. Osman of your book, the promise on your part was that you would make your book so easy that she could understand it, and on hers that she would read it if you did.