RICARDO, David, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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David Ricardo on Canning and others.

RICARDO, David (1772-1823). Political economist.
Fine unpublished Autograph Letter Signed to Hutches Trower (1777-1833 political economist), 3 pages 4to with address-leaf, London, 24 April 1823. A long and detailed letter in Ricardo's small and legible hand, previously known to exist but not included in the important correspondence of Ricardo and Trower, much of which (52 letters) is in University College, London.
This is a 'lost' letter from the sequence between Ricardo and Trower (see The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with M.H. Dodd, Volume IX, Letters, July 1821-1823 (CUP 1951-1973, Liberty Fund, Indanapolis, online edition). The letter, unpublished, is known from the opening of Trower's letter to Ricardo of 20 July (letter 534, page 316): '... But, alas! a whole season has passed away since I have had the pleasure of hearing from You; for your last letter is dated 24 April!!!' [Note: 'This letter of Ricardo is missing']. Trower had written to Ricardo on 30 January 1823 (letter 517, pages 266-270), and Trower responded on 25 May (letter 527, pages 291-294).

Apologising for the delay occasioned by the death of his sister, and promising to investigate the question of a dispute involving the Imperial Gas Company (NB no mention of this company is found in other letters of Ricardo during this period, which suggests that the the letter from Trower to which the present letter is the response is also lost). Ricardo then describes 'several' interesting discussions in the House of Commons: on Irish affairs ('the ministry are not cohering very firmly to each other'); and on [George] Canning's 'intemperate behavior' [to Brougham] ('he is deficient in one of the most essential requisites of first minister in the House of Commons, temper'). Ricardo also tells of a debate to take place that evening on the subject of reform, at which he would hope to speak ('I should like above all to shew some of the fallacies of Canning's arguments last year, his speech abounds with them, and I am astonished how he can so delude himself as to think that they are an answer to the Reformers'). He also mentions having received an ill-tempered letter from Trower's brother 'returning me a paper respecting the Bank which I had lent him'.

The 'Ricardo Letterbook' containing fifty-two letters from Ricardo to Trower, 1813-1823, was presented by Trower's widow in 1844 to University College, London. These were first published by J.H. Holland in 1899 (Letters of David Ricardo to Hutches Trower), but this letter was not among them.

[No: 26657]

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