Front Page Titles (by Subject) 513.: ricardo to malthus3 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 9 Letters 1821-1823
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513.: ricardo to malthus3 - 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 malthus3
Bromesberrow Place Ledbury 16 Decr. 1822
My Dear Malthus
A long time has elapsed since there has been any communication between us, and I take an early opportunity after my arrival in England to address a few lines to you, principally with a view of hearing some account of yourself and family, from your own pen.
I have been actively employed since we last met, for not only have I wandered about Switzerland, but I have been as far as Florence. In my way to Florence I deviated from the direct road to see Venice, and on my return from it I did the same thing in order to visit Genoa. Our journey has been an uncommonly prosperous one, for we have all enjoyed perfect health, and have met with few or no difficulties. My companions as well as myself have very much enjoyed this tour.
When I was at Geneva I saw a good deal of our friend Dumont, who accompanied us to Chamouny, and returned with us to Geneva. At Coppet I met M. Sismondi. He, the Duke de Broglie, and I, had a long conversation on the points of difference between us,—the Duke took my side, but after a long battle we each of us, I believe, remained in the same opinion that we commenced the discussion in. M. Sismondi has left a pleasing impression on my mind. Madme. de Broglie had a great deal of patience and forbearance—She is I think a very agreeable lady.
I stayed in Paris 3 weeks just previous to my return to England. M de Broglie and the Baron de Stael arrived there after me—I had the pleasure of seeing them 2 or 3 times. I was very much pleased with Mons. Gallois,1 who made me acquainted with M. Destutt Tracy, a very agreeable old gentleman, whose works I had read with pleasure.2 I do not entirely agree with him in his Political Economy,—he is one of Say’s school:—there are nevertheless some points of difference between them. I saw Say several times, but our conversation did not turn much on subjects connected with Political Economy—he never led to those subjects, and I always fancied that he did not much like to talk upon them. His brother Louis Say has published a thick volume of remarks upon Adam Smith’s, his brother’s, Your and my opinions. He is not satisfied with any of us. His principal object is to shew that wealth consists in the abundance of enjoyable commodities,—he accuses us all of wishing to heap up what we call valuable commodities, without any regard to quantity, about which only the Polit. Economist should be anxious. I do not believe that any of us will plead guilty to this charge. I feel fully assured that I do not merit it should be made against me.
Monr. Garnier is dead, but previous to his death he had prepared an additional volume of notes for a new edition of his translation of the “Wealth of Nations,” and which has lately been published. I had an opportunity of looking it over, and naturally turned to those places where he criticizes me. He has bestowed a good deal of space on his remarks upon my work, but they do appear to me quite irrelevant. Neither he nor M. Say have succeeded in at all understanding what my opinions are. Your name often occurs in this last volume—I believe he differed from you also, but I had not time to read the whole of his book.—
I hope you have been very industrious in my absence and that we shall soon see the new edition of your last work.1 I am anxious to know how you deal with the difficult question of value—I shall read you with great interest and attention.—
I am sorry to find the agricultural distress continue—I was in hopes that it would have subsided before this time. I suppose we shall hear much on this subject next session of Parliament and that I shall be a mark for all the country gentlemen. There is not an opinion I have given on this subject which I desire to recall—I only regret that my adversaries do not do me justice, and that they put sentiments in my mouth which I never uttered. Dr. Copplestone in his article in the Quarterly Review2 charges me with maintaining the absurd doctrine that the price of gold bullion is a sure test of the value of bullion and currency. A Mr. Paget has addressed a (printed) letter to me1 in which I am accused of holding the same opinion, and every body knows how pertinaciously Cobbet persists in saying that I have always done so.2 I must fight my cause as well as I can, I know it is an honest one (in spite of Mr. Western’s insinuations3 ) and if it be also founded in truth, and on correct views, justice will be finally done to me.—
I arrived in London the beginning of last week,—I saw Tooke for a few minutes, and was glad to hear from him that he had been writing, and was nearly ready for the press.4 I have a very good opinion of his judgment, and of the soundness of his views—he will, I think, from his practical knowledge, throw much light on the question of the influence of an over supply or of an increased demand, without a corresponding supply, on price.
I am now on a visit to my son. On the 27th. I shall go to Gatcomb for a week. From the 3d. to the 17 Jany. I shall be with Mrs. Austin at Bradley, Wottonunderedge; and from the 17th>. to the 2d. feby. with Mrs. Clutterbuck, Widcomb, Bath. Where shall you pass your holidays? Is there any probability of my seeing you at Bath? I should be glad to meet you there.—
I read in the papers with much concern of the renewal of disturbances amongst the young men at the College1 —I know how distressing to you such insubordination is, and greatly regretted that you should have been again exposed to it:—I hope that order was quickly restored.—
I saw Mr. Whishaw in London for a few minutes—I am not without hopes of seeing him at Mrs. Smith’s at Easton Grey where I mean to pass 2 nights on my way to Bradley.—
Pray give Mrs. Ricardo’s and my kind regards to Mrs. Malthus and believe me ever
[3 ]MS at Albury.—Letters to Malthus, LXXXII.
[1 ]J.-A. G. Gallois (ca. 1755–1828), French politician and publicist, and a friend of Bentham.
[2 ]See above, I, 284–5.
[1 ]Principles of Political Economy, ed. 2, not published till 1836.
[2 ]April 1822, Art. XI, ‘State of the Currency’, pp. 243–4 and 249.
[1 ]Thomas Paget, A Letter addressed to David Ricardo, Esq. M.P. on the True Principle of Estimating the Extent of the Late Depreciation in the Currency; and on the Effects of Mr. Peel’s Bill for the Resumption of Cash Payments by the Bank, London, for the Author, 1822.
[2 ]See above, p. 123, n. 1; also Cobbett’s Weekly Register, 9 Nov. 1822, p. 338.
[3 ]See above, V, 526. Western’s Second Address to the Landowners had been published while Ricardo was on the Continent.
[4 ]Thomas Tooke, Thoughts and Details on the High and Low Prices of the Last Thirty Years, Part I, On the Alterations in the Currency, London, Murray, 1823 (Preface dated January 1823). Parts II, III and IV, which complete the work, were published as a separate volume in June 1823.
[1 ]The students had blown open with gunpowder the College gate and smashed the windows of the houses of the Professors (The Times, 19 Oct. 1822).