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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1808
Sydney Smith to Lord Grey, [13] December 1808

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
December 15th, 1808.
Dear Lord Grey,

I had a letter from Allen, and another from Lady Holland, dated Corunna, 1st of December. They talk of going to Lisbon or Cadiz by sea, and I rather think they will do so. Allen complains of the great remissness of the Junta, and it is now the fashion to say here, that there is really no enthusiasm; and that there never have been more, at any time, than seventy thousand Spanish troops on foot.

Many people are now quite certain Buonaparte is an instrument, etc. It turns out, however, that the instrument has been baking biscuit very diligently at Bayonne for three months past, and therefore does not disdain the assistance of human means. We (who probably are not instruments) act as if we were. We send horses that cannot draw, commissaries who cannot feed an army, generals who cannot command one. We take our enemy out of a place where he can do us no harm, and land him safely in the very spot where he can do us the greatest mischief. We are quite convinced that Providence has resolved upon our destruction, because Lord Mulgrave and Lord Castlereagh have neither sense nor activity enough to secure our safety.

I beg my best respects to Lady Grey, and remain, my dear Lord Grey,

Your obliged and obedient servant,
Sydney Smith.