Front Page Titles (by Subject) 555.: mill to mcculloch1 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 9 Letters 1821-1823
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555.: mill to mcculloch1 - 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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mill to mcculloch1
East India House 19th. Septr. 1823
My Dear Sir
You and I need not tell to one another how much we grieve on this deplorable occasion. With an estimate of his value in the cause of mankind, which to most men would appear to be mere extravagance, I have the recollection of a dozen years of the most delightful intercourse, during the greater part of which time he had hardly a thought or a purpose, respecting either public, or his private affairs, in which I was not his confidant and adviser.
My chief purpose in writing is the relief I shall find in communicating with the man who of all the men in the world estimated my lamented friend most exactly as I did; and also, in case you should not have received the particulars of his illness from any other quarter to give you a few details which will be interesting to you.
The malady commenced with a pain in the ear, which resembled a common ear-ache, and which they treated as the effect of some little cold. He suffered somewhat on the sunday night,2 but had little pain remaining after he got up the next day; and the same symptoms were repeated for several nights and days. Towards the end of the week the suffering increased, and became dreadful, when the strongest applications were deemed necessary. On the saturday night the imposthume broke, and the pain abated: but so much was he reduced, and the whole frame affected, that they continued in considerable alarm. On tuesday morning however, he seemed decidedly better, and Mrs. Ricardo wrote to me, describing what had happened, and urging me to make a run down to Gatcomb, as likely to help in cheering the dear sufferer, and accelerating his convalescence. This letter I received on the wednesday morning; and on the friday morning I received a few lines from poor Mary, written at twelve oclock on thursday, and stating that they were all assembled in the adjoining room, waiting every moment for the dissolution of her beloved father. The pain in the head had returned, and after a period of unspeakable agony, pressure on the brain ensued, which produced first delirium, and then stupor, which continued till death.
I have had several communications from the family since; one from Mr. Moses Ricardo yesterday. Their sufferings you who know how he was loved and how he was valued can easily conceive. Of Mrs. Ricardo he says, that “though she is looking shockingly, she does not complain, and bears her loss with resignation and fortitude.” The health of those who are younger is less likely to be seriously invaded.
There is a point which I must mention, though I shall probably have to write to you about it more at length hereafter. Some of us have been talking of the desirableness of some appropriate testimony of respect for his memory: and the foundation of a lectureship of political economy, to be marked by his name, has suggested itself. The thing will be seriously considered, and you shall hear.1
I have only room to add, that as you and I are his two and only two genuine disciples, his memory must be a bond of connection between us. In your friendship I look for a compensation for the loss of his.
Most truly Yours
Excuse me for addressing this to the Scotsman Newspaper Office—as I know not but there may be another of your name in Edin., and am anxious that this letter should certainly reach you.
[1 ]Addressed: ‘—Mc.Culloch Esq. / Scotsman Newspaper Office / Edinburgh’ and marked ‘private’. Seal ‘JSM’, cp. above, p. 331, n. 3.
[2 ]31 August.
[1 ]A fund was raised to support a Ricardo Lectureship on Political Economy for ten years; McCulloch was chosen as the lecturer. (See Bain, James Mill, p. 214.)