471.: ricardo to trower2[Reply to 466.—Answered by 478] - 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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ricardo to trower
[Reply to 466.—Answered by 478]
Bromesberrow Place 11 Decr. 1821
My Dear Trower
It appears to be your fate to receive letters from me dated from this place. I intended writing to you before I left home, but I had various things to do which obliged me to defer it till this moment. I came here on Wednesday last on my way to Hereford, to which place I was invited, by the admirers of Mr. Hume, to attend a public dinner, which they meant to give him in that town, on the occasion of presenting him with a hogshead of Cider, and a silver tankard, which had been purchased from a fund created by subscriptions of one shilling. I went to Hereford on friday, and soon after my arrival there, saw my friend Hume arrive in a carriage drawn by the people, and preceded by a great number of horsemen and banners. The whole population of the town appeared to be in the streets, and the windows were crowded with women. He was greeted with that portion of noisy acclamations which is usually bestowed on popular favorites. In a moment he was in the balcony of the Inn, next to a window which I occupied, and from thence made a long speech to the gentlemen in the street which was constantly interrupted with cheering. At 3 oClock we sat down to dinner. Our number was 250 mostly consisting, I should think, of farmers and trades-men; perhaps there were about 50 of the higher class of gentlemen of fortune in the neighbourhood. After dinner we had plenty of speaking—Hume performed for an hour and a half, the rest who were called upon, of which number I was one, spoke for a very moderate time. The day went off well and a large party of us went, as was previously agreed on, to Mr. Prices, the member for the County, (whose father is the author of a work on the Picturesque) where we were handsomely entertained for 2 days.
Hume as you may believe is highly gratified. He was to be yesterday at Monmouth and he will to day join me here, and return with me to Gatcomb. You will call all these proceedings by the name of “Radical,” but I believe they are calculated to do much good—to increase the interest of the people in the affairs of government, and to make them better judges of what constitutes good and what bad government—at the same time this will be useful to our governors, and incline them to economy and forbearance.
Your remarks on the article in the Quarterly Review, on the Agricultural Report, appear to me to be very just. I am glad I have got so good an ally, for what I think the correct principles, and you must partake of the pleasure which I feel in observing that they are every day making way. Mrs. Marcet’s last edition is a very improved one,—in it she recognizes much of which her former editions did not speak at all, or of which they spoke doubtingly. The Champion has given a series of papers on Rent, Wages, Taxes &c. &c. all of which appear to me sound. Mill has just published his book too in which all the good doctrines are advocated. So that we ought to be satisfied with the progress we are making. In the country I find much error prevailing on the subject of the currency, every ill which befals the country is by some ascribed to Peel’s bill, and Peel’s bill is as invariably ascribed to me. The whole fall in the value of corn and cattle is by such persons said to be merely nominal, these things they say have not in fact fallen, it is money which has risen—they will not hear of a variation in the value of money of 10 pc. which I am very willing to allow them, nor will they listen to my defence of myself against their unjust accusation. I proposed a scheme by the adoption of which there would not have been a demand for one ounce of gold, either on the part of the Bank, or of any one else, and another is adopted by which both the Bank and individuals are obliged to demand a great quantity of gold and I am held responsible for the consequences. If I had been a bank director, and had had the management of this currency question, I maintain that I could have reverted to a metallic standard by raising money (only) 5 pc., I do not say that having a metallic standard I could protect it from the usual fluctuations to which standards have at all times been subject. Cobbet says I am little better than a fool in speaking of gold as a standard, that the only fair standard is corn. He shews his ignorance in saying so, but supposing it true, can he tell me what is to secure us from variations in his standard,—it would perhaps be more variable than any other. But it is useless to say all this to you who know it so well.
Hume says Ministers cannot make out any thing of a case against Sir Rob. Wilson—that they thought they had a case against him, but that they were wholly deceived by false statements.
What think you of the late changes in the Administration? Is not Peel very much elevated? Do his talents entitle him to fill so prominent a situation? Will things be arranged finally without some provision being made for Canning? He is a formidable opponent, but I suppose he cannot under any circumstances fairly come over to our side.
There will be many interesting questions brought before Parliament next Session. Economy and Retrenchment will be a standing dish. We shall have the question of the Corn Laws, the disturbance in Ireland—Sir Rob. Wilson’s case—the criminal law and many others—I like business.
Pray give my kind remembrances to Mrs. Trower and believe me ever my dear Trower