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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1805
Sydney Smith to Henry Reeve, 29 October 1805

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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8, Doughty-street, Brunswick-square, October 29th, 1805.
My dear Sir,

I suggested everything I could to Barnard; told him that you had made three distinct efforts to come home, and had been robbed as many times by armed chaplains of the Austrian army; that Dr. De Roches had been wounded in the right glontean, and you yourself thrown into a smart tertian by your grief and anxiety. The committee will not bind themselves to make a new engagement with you, but I have no

* Mrs. Dugald Stewart.

Dr. Reeve was a pupil of Mr. Martineau, an eminent surgeon at Norwich. He afterwards studied medicine at Edinburgh, where he enjoyed the friendship of Mr. Sydney Smith, Mr. Horner, and other founders of the Edinburgh Review, and was among the early contributors to that journal. At the time this letter was written, he was travelling on the Continent with his friend Dr. De Roches, of Geneva, who had also studied at Edinburgh. Dr. Reeve afterwards married tho elder daughter of Mr. John Taylor, of Norwich, and settled at that place. He died in the year 1814.—Ed.

doubt you will secure your situation upon your return.

I will, in the meantime, do all I can to get you inserted in the list for spring, 1807, which comes out, I think, about May 1806.

I would advise you not to fling away this occasion, which is no despicable one, for a physician; because he must be a very clumsy gentleman if, in lecturing upon the moral and physical nature of man, he cannot take an opportunity of saying, that he lives at No. 6, Chancery-lane, and that few people are equal to him in the cure of fevers. As to the improvement you get, my dear doctor, in travelling abroad, credat Judæus! You have seen a skull of a singular conformation at Dr. Baumgarten’s, and seen a toe in Suabia, which astonished you; but what, in the name of Dr. Gregory, can you see in Germany of a therapeutic nature which you cannot see better in Scotland or here? You will do yourself more real good by superintending one woman of quality in London, than by drinking tea with all the German professors that ever existed.

All these events in Germany have not astonished me: I allowed Buonaparte twenty-eight days to knock both armies clunes super caput (as the vulgar have it), to conclude peace, make a speech to the Senate, and illuminate Paris. He is as rapid and as terrible as the lightning of God; would he were as transient! Ah! my dear doctor, you are of a profession which will endure for ever; no revolutions will put an end to Synochus and Synoche; but what will become of the spoils we gather from the earth? those cocks of ripe farina, on which the holy bough is placed—the
tithes! Adieu—God bless you! I will watch over your interests, and, if anything occur, write to you again.

Sydney Smith.

P.S. I think, upon reflection, you had better write a line to the Committee, stating the impossibility of your coming home, though you strongly wish, and begging to be put on the list for spring, 1807. Add also that you will employ the intervening time in collecting materials for your lectures. Send it to me; never mind postage.