LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1808
Sydney Smith to Francis Jeffrey, [January] 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
Orchard-street, 1808.
My dear Jeffrey,

I have as yet read very few articles in the Edinburgh Review, having lent it to a sick countess, who only wished to read it, because a few copies only had arrived in London.

I like very much the review of Davy, think the review of Espriella much too severe, and am extremely vexed by the review of Hoyle’s Exodus. The levities it contains will, I am sure, give very great offence; and they are ponderous and vulgar, as well as indiscreet. Such sort of things destroy all the good effect which the liberality and knowledge of the Edinburgh Review are calculated to produce, and give to fools as great a power over you as you have over them. Besides the general regret I feel from errors of this nature, I cannot help feeling that they press harder upon me than upon anybody; by giving to the Review a character which makes it perilous to a clergyman, in particular, to be concerned in it. I am sure you will excuse me for expressing my feelings upon this subject, and I know that you have friendship enough for me, to be more upon your guard in future against a style of
writing which is not only mischievous to me in particular, but mischievous to the whole undertaking; and without the slightest compensation of present amusement. The
author I know; and when he told me the article upon which he had been employed, I foresaw the manner in which he would treat it. Upon this subject Brougham entirely agrees with me.

I am glad you like the Methodists. Of the Scotch market you are a better judge than I am, but you may depend upon it, it will give great satisfaction here; I mean, of course, the nature of the attack, not the manner in which it is executed. All attacks upon the Methodists are very popular with steady men of very moderate understanding; the description of men among whom the bitterest enemies of the Edinburgh Review are to be found.

I do not understand what you mean by “levity of quotations.” I attack these men because they have foolish notions of religion. The more absurd the passage, the more necessary it should be displayed—the more urgent the reason for making the attack at all.

I am thinking of writing a sheet this time about the missions to India and elsewhere; in short, a sort of expose of the present state of Protestant missions. God bless you!

Sydney Smith.