Front Page Titles (by Subject) 516.: ricardo to mill1 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 9 Letters 1821-1823
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516.: ricardo to mill1 - 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 mill1
Wottonunderedge 14 Jan 1823
My Dear Sir
Immediately after seeing you in London I proceeded, as I told you I should, to Bromesberrow Place, where I passed a fortnight in the most agreeable manner possible. Every mark of kindness and affection was lavished on me by the kind master and mistress.—I had a room to myself to pass my mornings in, I had none of the cares which annoy me at home, of master, and enjoyed a pure air and a beautiful country. What more can a man desire? I found Mrs. Osman in very poor spirits. During our absence abroad she had lost her mother and had not yet recovered the shock which that sudden event had occasioned. Our presence was of great service to her—she by degrees recovered her spirits and we had the satisfaction of leaving her much better.
From Bromesberrow we went to Gatcomb for 5 days but they were the most unpleasant of any that I ever passed in that spot. The house was cold and dismantled and I was incessantly employed during the time I was there in paying bills, settling accounts and talking to tenants. I was rejoiced when this necessary but irksome business was at an end; it was the more heavy from having been long neglected: I had not been at Gatcomb before for nearly a twelvemonth. We were all I believe glad to turn our backs on this our favorite residence although the next place we were going to could not fail to give us many painful feelings: it was to Easton Grey the residence of Mrs. Smith. Every thing there recalled to our recollection the benevolence, the chearfulness, and the excellent social qualities of its late master. We found Mrs. Smith in good health, living quite alone in her large house, and seldom seeing any of her neighbours. The first sight of us reminded her strongly of the loss she had sustained, but she soon recovered herself. If I had to point out an example of a woman’s conducting herself with great propriety and good sense under a heavy misfortune, it would be Mrs. Smith. She feels, and feels strongly the loss of her excellent husband but does all she can to get over these feelings and to make the best use in her power of the resources that are left to her. She finds consolation in books and business, for she attends to the details of a farm which used to afford amusement and employment to Mr. Smith. We stayed with Mrs. Smith 2 nights and quitted her with feelings of increased goodwill and affection.
Our next visit was to a very different house, from the house of mourning, which Mrs. Smith’s might in some respects be called, we went to one in which mirth, and good humor, appear to have taken up their abode, I mean Bradley, the residence of Mrs. Austin, where we now are. The chearfulness of Mrs. Austin is delightful, and seems to communicate itself to every thing around her. She is one of those happy and I cannot help adding wise beings who repels all melancholy and desponding feelings and ever views the affairs of life under the most chearing aspect—she courts chearfulness, and it seems to come at her call. Her husband is in much better health than he was, and they have 4 lovely children. Our visit here will end on friday, when we shall go for a fortnight to Mrs. Clutterbuck’s. This little journey to the houses of my married children, has, and will be, very agreeable to me—it is delightful to see them all happy, and all deserving of being so.
Yesterday I believe the Political Economy Club met,—I conclude so from a passage in a letter which I received from Malthus,1 otherwise I should have expected that the meeting had been on the monday preceding, for I always thought that our day was the first monday in the month.
If the next meeting should be on the 2d monday in february pray let me know, as it will induce me to stay at Widcomb 2 days longer. I wish to be present at the next meeting, and shall be in town on Saturday the 1st.. if it be the first monday in the month—I shall not come till monday the 3d if it be the 2d..2
Mr. Coke and Mr. Wodehouse must be very much mortified at the success of Cobbett at their Norfolk meeting. I confess I am astonished at it. It reflects no great honour on the assembly to pass such resolutions, and will be used as an argument by Anti-reformers against the extension of the suffrage. If any of the speakers at the meeting had exposed the dishonesty of the objects for which the petition asked I do not believe they would have been adopted. Every body seems afraid of Cobbett.3
I have been looking over the debates in Parliament on former occasions when Agricultural distress was the subject of them. In Western’s and Brougham’s speeches in 1816 I find opinions totally at variance with those which they now maintain. From Western’s I have made some curious extracts. This subject of distress will be often brought under discussion, I suppose, next session and such men as Western, Atwood, and Lethbridge will think they have cause for triumph over me—I feel confident they have none and if they do not misrepresent what I have said, which they and others invariably do, nothing will be found to have occurred to overturn any of the principles for which I have contended.—
I hope Tooke is making great progress with his book—he is a very useful and able ally.
Mrs. Ricardo and the rest of your friends here desire to be kindly remembered to you.
Ever Yrs. truly
James Mill Esqre
[1 ]MS in Mill-Ricardo papers.
[1 ]Malthus’s letter is missing.
[2 ]The Club met on 3 February and Ricardo was present. (Political Economy Club, Minutes of Proceedings, 1821–1881, p. 56.)
[3 ]The meeting at Norwich on 5 January which was to be addressed by the two members for the county was taken over by Cobbett and in the uproar adopted his petition for the cancellation of debt. (See Coke of Norfolk and his Friends, by A. M. W. Stirling, London, 1912, pp. 481–4.)