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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1820
Sydney Smith to Lady Mary Bennet, October 1820

Author's Preface
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Editor’s Preface
Letters 1801
Letters 1802
Letters 1803
Letters 1804
Letters 1805
Letters 1806
Letters 1807
Letters 1808
Letters 1809
Letters 1810
Letters 1811
Letters 1812
Letters 1813
Letters 1814
Letters 1815
Letters 1816
Letters 1817
Letters 1818
Letters 1819
Letters 1820
Letters 1821
Letters 1822
Letters 1823
Letters 1824
Letters 1825
Letters 1826
Letters 1827
Letters 1828
Letters 1829
Letters 1830
Letters 1831
Letters 1832
Letters 1833
Letters 1834
Letters 1835
Letters 1836
Letters 1837
Letters 1838
Letters 1839
Letters 1840
Letters 1841
Letters 1842
Letters 1843
Letters 1844
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Sedgeley, October, 1820.
My dear Lady Mary,

I cannot shut my eyes, because, if I open them, I shall see what is disagreeable to the Court. I have no more doubt of the Queen’s guilt than I have of your goodness and excellence. But do not, on that account, do me the injustice of supposing that I am deficient in factious feelings and principles, or that I am stricken by the palsy of candour. I sincerely wish the Queen may be acquitted, and the Bill and its authors may be thrown out. Whether justice be done to the Royal plaintiff is of no consequence: indeed he has no right to ask for justice on such points. I must, however, preserve my common sense and my factious principles distinct; and believe the Queen to be a very slippery person, at the moment I rejoice at the general conviction of her innocence.

I am, as you see, near Manchester. While here, I shall study the field of Peterloo.

You will be sorry to hear the trade and manufac-
tures of these counties are materially mended, and are mending. I would not mention this to you, if you were not a good Whig; but I know you will not mention it to anybody. The secret, I much fear, will get out before the meeting of Parliament. There seems to be a fatality which pursues us. When, oh when, shall we be really ruined?

Pray send me some treasonable news about the Queen. Will the people rise? Will the greater part of the House of Lords be thrown into the Thames? Will short work be made of the Bishops? If you know, tell me; and don’t leave me in this odious state of innocence, when you can give me so much guilty information, and make me as wickedly instructed as yourself. And if you know that the Bishops are to be massacred, write by return of post.

Do you know how poor —— is handled in the Quarterly Review? It bears the mark of ****; I hope it is not his, for the sake of his character. Let me be duller than Sternhold and Hopkins, if I am to prove my wit at the expense of my friends! and in print too! God bless you!

Sydney Smith.