Front Page Titles (by Subject) 5.: george cumberland to ricardo1 - The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 10 Biographical Miscellany
Return to Title Page for The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 10 Biographical Miscellany
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
5.: george cumberland to ricardo1 - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 10 Biographical Miscellany 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 10 Biographical Miscellany.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
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.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
george cumberland to ricardo1
I thank god I can now answer your Letter of the 30th Jany last from Widcombe house, so as not only to clear my injured Son from blame but to convince you and all his Relations also that he has acted in the most humane and honourable manner in the whole affair.—I say convince you:—for it is by the precipitate manner in which you have taken up this worthless girl’s cause [that it has]1 now become necessary that you also, who brought such heavy charges against him to his nearest and dearest relations, on no other grounds as it now appears than the suggestions of a heated imagination or the reports of a stage Coachman and your menial servants,—that you likewise should be convinced that the whole was totally groundless.
With no small trouble I have made rigid enquiry, and can now therefore state all the facts as correctly as If I had been present.
This bad Girl rode outside to Lechlade between my son and the Guard, during which ride she suffer’d freedoms from the Guard not very usual even in such a situation.—She then got inside and my son was persuaded she had taken her place to Town from Cirencester by her manner of talking, at any rate she was not persuaded by his advice (—as you will see presently by her own confession)—a gentleman rode with them the next stage, and a female part of the next—afterwards they were alone, and he paid for her Supper, as well as that of the Coachman.
His idea then was, that she was a girl of the Town going from Cheltenham at that time, but on going on she represented herself as never having been in London before, but that she was going, by engagement, to a Millener in Pall Mall pretending further not to recollect the name; and on his naming a well known house in that Street, Mrs Cards, she said—That was the name—This, and her manner, made him then suspect that she was imposing on him.—On approaching Town she, of her own accord, proposed that he should take her to some house where she might repose till the afternoon and recover her fatigue of travelling; requesting him, as a favour, to call in the afternoon and shew her the way to Mrs Cards—which he did still suspecting her of falshood; and notwithstanding he saw her go in he sent the next day to know if she really was there, and then found they knew of no such person nor had ever engaged such an one—Previous to his taking leave, she requested him to give her a second meeting at the same house where she first stopped—but now being convinced she was training him—he called at the house, and desired them to say he had discovered her character and would keep no appointment with her—but by way of satisfying himself if she really came, he called next day and there found the following Letter, left for him, which I copy verbatim from the original laying before me—and which fortunately has been preserved, perhaps providentially—
After the trouble you have taken, and the kind interest you have evinced towards me, I think it my Duty to lay before you my real situation, at the same time humbly begging your pardon for the deception I practiced in informing you of my coming to London to live with Mrs Card, whose name I am ashamed to confess I never heard of till you mentioned it to me in the coach—I am indeed an unfortunate Girl—friendless Girl—without Parents or friends, who brought me up in a respectable manner, and as I learned the Dress Making business and could not get sufficient employment for the maintenance of myself and my two little Brothers at home, I thought if I came to London I could get a situation, but that to my great disappointment I find quite impossible.—I was ashamed to own my distressed situation to you being an intire stranger, and if I have deceived you in that instance I have not in any other, and am grieved to think you should harbour such a bad opinion of me.—if after this acknowledgemt you will condescend to see me, I will repeat to you, who I esteem as my friend, my real distressed friendless and unhappy situation without disguise being unfortunately your most wretched
To this cunning, lying epistle, the young man gave not the least credit of course, until he got your first Lettr from Gatcome Park when he was first informed what she really was—on the receit of it he instantly went with a friend to her Lodgings, and read in her presence that Letter making her promise to return to her parents the next morng. and that she might not deceive them took the Lettr (of which I here give a correct copy) and put it into the Post himself at the same time generously offering her any Money she might want—which she refused saying, “she had quite sufficient to pay her fare down”, (another falsehood it seems if as you say she wrote for money)
Dear Father and Mother,
I am sorry you should have taken the trouble of sending after me to Gatcombe—I could not give satisfaction and therefore I was determined to go to London and seek for a situation which I now find quite impossible; and therefore shall return tomorrow by the Coach without hesitation, and I hope to receive a kind reception from you who I reverence—this is the reason I could not come as I engaged, and am now in a respectable house as a house maid and shall if I continue your ever undutiful daughter Catherine
To Mr Harrison Hair Dresser
On returning to his office he found your Brother and gave him readily the girls address, telling him he had just left her and there no doubt your brother ascertained that she had come with my son—left it to go to Pall Mall in his company, and that she returned the same day and told the people she had been disappointed in not getting the situation she expected as Mrs. Card had engaged another person because shewas a day after her time and begged to have a Bed there till she could return to the Country—some female who was present, as she says, offer’d her a Lodging at her house which she accepted and thus she came to Widcome Street: This woman is a Dress Maker and she says the girl promised day after day to return but did not seem to intend to keep her word.
Thus just when my son was congratulating himself with having contributed to restoring her to her parents and home—your second Lettr came in which (I doubt not from warmth of virtue and misinformation) you treated him in a manner that your relative situations could by no means warrant, owing to the mistaken view your brother had taken of the case and written to you—taking it as he did from outward appearance—for I think my Son was generous in not giving him such evidences of her deceit as would have ruined the Girl in his opinion, and perhaps caused him to abandon her to her own crooked ways—from this unfortunate misunderstanding arose his just resentment in which I find by your Lettr. he used language also rather intemperate in his reply—and for which I should councel him to apologise if I did not know his just way of thinking when cool and that his own sense of propriety will urge him so to do—
What followed you all know and when you reflect that this youth was free from blame under all this ill usage, and very properly felt himself yours or any mans equal in point to a right to respectful and honourable treatment, you will, if you have a Son, rather applaud than blame him.
If my fortune is small and my Brothers large we are equally gentlemen, and this very young man has only a great fortune I trust in the principles of honour and probity which I believe I have planted deeply in his heart—all who know him love him as well as I do—and I know he has so firm a friend in my oldest friend the Paymaster of the forces, that if he had committed a fault of youth that would not have served to ruin all his prospects in Life, which, from his correct attention to all his Duties, I trust are very good.—A threat therefore of this sort twice repeated might well irritate a person who knew (tho you did not,) his innocence of all the charges you made—add to this that he must have felt that you had callumniated him (not intentionally) with my sister, his uncle, and his Parents, creating a scene of real distress through the whole family—which is only now removing by these lights—and doubtless some part will be long removing from the breath of those, who love it, or are strangers to him and whom it will reach in Ecchos.—
In one instance, I know no amends can be made. You alone, therefore, who have, through misrepresentations of others, and too hasty a belief, mixed with a little too much contempt of his rank in Life, (for he has, in his office, followed all the campaigns of Wellington, which is no small honour for one so young) you who have caused all this trouble I doubt not will, with the feelings of a gentleman, have the courage to heal all these open wounds by an observation that you have been imposed on, and that due apology we all owe to each other when, with the best intentions, we have been wrong—and I engage myself that we shall all meet you with cordial goodwill, an esteem for your virtuous motives, and then this indignant youth will be the better all his Life for the Lesson this bad girl has given him not to make stage coach acquaintances.
I am Sir Yours very truly
Culver Street. Bristol 2 Feby 1816.
When I receive your reply I shall write to my Son immediately.
[1 ]Addressed: ‘David Ricardo Esqre / Gatcombe Park / Minchinhampton / Glocestershire’.
[1 ]Omitted in MS.