551.: trower to ricardo1[Reply to 549.—Answered by 553] - 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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trower to ricardo
[Reply to 549.—Answered by 553]
Unsted Wood. Septr. 3. 1823.
My Dear Ricardo
Many thanks for your kind letter—You have placed a temptation in my way, which I find it very difficult to withstand; and which I should not feel quite satisfied with myself if I did. It would not be a very gracious return for your kind invitation; nor would it evince any great desire for the pleasure I shall have in visiting you.—I will, therefore accept your agreeable offer of passing a few days with You at Gatcomb—I am afraid, however, I cannot contrive to be with You exactly at the times You mention—No doubt, I should rejoice in an opportunity of meeting Mr. Mill, of whom I think very highly, and whose company and conversation are edifying and agreeable to me.—
But, unfortunately, my engagements are such, that I should not be able to be with you before the end of the Month, say the 30th..—
Next week I am going into Sussex, first, to pass a few days with my Brother John at Muntham, and then to go to Newick Park to my Brother in Law Mr. Slater.—On our return from Sussex we have a short visit to pay in this neighborhood. So that I should not be able to go hence to London before the 29th. and to start for Gatcomb the following day.—
If this period should be perfectly convenient to you have the goodness to suggest by what publick conveyance I had better travel; whence it sets out, and at what hour; and where I shall be deposited. I prefer travelling by day rather than by night; if there is an option in the case, and no strong arguments in favor of the Mail—I like to sleep when I am in bed, and to be awake when I am up; with full power to exercise those windows of the soul, which are the light and the life of our existence.—
I am looking over Malthus’ Measure of Value again, and I confess I find it difficult to know what he would be at. To my poor capacity he is very obscure; and I think inconsistent.
To me it appears, that whatever is the measure of absolute value will be the measure of exchangeable value. Labor originally was that measure; or, more properly speaking, the necessaries which labor requires; but now to these must be added the expences and profit on capital or in other words the costs of production. I think the subject is rendered more obscure by confounding with immediate labor, what is called accumulated labor, but which in fact is capital—It is most important, that these two ideas should be kept distinct; because labor and capital, are, if I may so express myself, in constant opposition to each other. The employment and the rewards of labor depending upon the amount of capital. How Malthus can satisfy himself of the unalterable value of labor, I cant conceive, to me it is a compleat puzzle. Nor can I subscribe to some of his doctrines with respect to profit. He appears to forget, that it is the residue, the surplus after all expences are paid. These expences must have a constant influence upon the rate of profit, yet I dont see how the rate of profit is to influence these expences. And yet he talks of the fall of value on account of the fall in profits.—
I have often thought, that a useful view of the subject might be taken by excluding profit from the costs of production, and by exhibiting it in its true light, as the surplus produce—
In point of fact, it may be truly said, that the payment of profits is not a necessary condition of production—Production, to a limited extent, would, and does take place without it. The production necessary to a man’s support does not require profit, nor does it always obtain it. There may be no surplus produce; there may be just sufficient to support the labor during the process of production, and no more. But, of this sufficient for the present as I am happy in thinking, that, ere long, I shall enjoy the opportunity of entering with more fredom into these and other topicks—
Mrs. Trower begs to join with me in kind regards to Mrs. Ricardo yourself and family and I remain
Yrs very truly—