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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1820
Sydney Smith to Lord Grey, 24 January 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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Foston, Jan. 24th, 1820.
Dear Lord Grey,

If you want to read an agreeable book, read Golownin’s narrative of his confinement in, and escape from, Japan; and I think it may do very well for reading out, which I believe is your practice—a practice which I approve rather than follow, and neglect it from mere want of virtue. I think also you may read De Foe’sLife of Colonel Jack,’—entertaining enough when his hero is a scoundrel, but waxing dull as it gets moral. I never set you any difficult tasks in reading, but am as indulgent to you as I am to myself.

I saw Mr. —— the other night for the first time. I am decidedly of opinion that he is like other people. My neighbour, Lord Carlisle, gets younger and younger. I am heartily rejoiced at Mrs. Wilmot’s marriage; but where will Lord Dacre pass his evenings now? Nothing could be more generous and disin-
terested on his part than to relinquish so pleasing a society. If this is not devotion, what is?

There are no appearances here of reviving trade; though many of declining agriculture. If the manufacturing misery continues, there will be a reaction of the Radicals. Assassinations and secret swearings, à l’Irlandaise, or something as bad,—marking an angry and suffering people struggling against restrictions. My curiosity is very much excited by Lord John’s motion. Lord Castlereagh’s assent to it must have surprised you, for I think his assent includes everything that is important; that a disfranchised borough may be taken out of the surrounding Hundred, and conferred elsewhere; or rather, that it need not necessarily be thrown into the surrounding Hundred.

I hope Lady Grey and all your children are well, and that you are improved in health, so as to have passed your Christmas merrily in the midst of your family. You have naturally a genius for good eating and drinking,—as I have often witnessed, and mean to witness again.

We have all been ill; I attended two of my children through a good stout fever of the typhus kind without ever calling in an apothecary but for one day. I depended upon blessed antimony, and watched anxiously for the time of giving bark. They are both now perfectly well. Pray remember me very kindly to dear Lady Grey; and believe me, my dear Lord, with sincere respect and attachment, yours,

Sydney Smith.