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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1814
Sydney Smith to Francis Jeffrey, 30 December 1814

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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My dear Jeffrey,

I am much obliged to you for the Review, and shall exercise the privilege of an old friend in making some
observations upon it. I have not read the
review of Wordsworth, because the subject is to me so very uninteresting; but, may I ask, do not such repeated attacks upon a man wear in some little degree the shape of persecution?

Without understanding anything of the subject, I was much pleased with the ‘Cassegrainian Telescope,’ as it seemed modest, moderate in rebuke, and to have the air of wisdom and erudition. The account of Scotch husbandry is somewhat coxcombical, and has the fault of digressing too much into political economy; but I should guess it to be written by a very good farmer;—I mean, by a man thoroughly acquainted with the method in which the art is carried on. I delight in the article on Carnot; it is virtuous and honourable to do justice to such a man. I should guess that the travels of the Frenchman in England are those of your friend and relation, M. Simond.

With respect to what you say of your occasional feelings of disgust at your office of editor, and half-formed intentions of giving it up, I think you should be slow to give up so much emolument, now that you are married and may have a family; but if you can get as great an income by your profession, and the two cannot be combined, I would rather see you a great lawyer than a witty journalist. There can be no doubt which is the most honourable and lucrative situation, and not much doubt which is the most useful.

It will give us the greatest pleasure to see you in the spring, or, if not then, in your excursion to France. I like my new house very much; it is very comfortable, and, after finishing it, I would not pay sixpence to alter it; but the expense of it will keep me a very
poor man, a close prisoner here for my life, and render the education of my children a difficult exertion for me. My situation is one of great solitude; but I preserve myself in a state of cheerfulness and tolerable content, and have a propensity to amuse myself with trifles. I hope I shall write something before I grow old, but I am not certain whether I am sufficiently industrious.

I shall never apologize to you for egotism; I think very few men, writing to their friends, have enough of it. If Horner were to break fifteen of his ribs, or marry, or resolve to settle in America, he would never mention it to his friends; but would write with the most sincere kindness from Kentucky, to inquire for your welfare, leaving you to marvel as you chose at the post-mark, and to speculate whether it was Kentucky or Kensington.

I think very highly of ‘Waverley,’ and was inclined to suspect, in reading it, that it was written by Miss Scott of Ancram.

I am truly glad to read of your pleasure from your little girl and your château. The haunts of Happiness are varied, and rather unaccountable; but I have more often seen her among little children, and home firesides, and in country houses, than anywhere else,—at least, I think so. God bless you!

Sydney Smith.