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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1820
Sydney Smith to Mary Berry, 27 February 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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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
Foston, Feb. 27th, 1820.

I thank you very much for the entertainment I have

* Afterwards Bishop of Norwich.

received from your
book. I should however have been afraid to marry such a woman as Lady Rachel; it would have been too awful. There are pieces of china very fine and beautiful, but never intended for daily use.   * * *

I have hardly slept out of Foston since I saw you. God send I may be still an animal, and not a vegetable! but I am a little uneasy at this season for sprouting and rural increase, for fear I should have undergone the metamorphose so common in country livings. I shall go to town about the end of March; it will be completely empty, and the dregs that remain will be entirely occupied about hustings and returning-officers.

Commerce and manufactures are still in a frightful state of stagnation.
No foreign barks in British ports are seen,
Stuff’d to the water’s edge with velveteen,
Or bursting with big boles of bombazine;
No distant climes demand our corduroy,
Unmatch’d habiliment for man and boy;
No fleets of fustian quit the British shore,
The cloth-creating engines cease to roar,
Still is that loom which breech’d the world before.

I am very sorry for the little fat Duke de Berri, but infinitely more so for the dismissal of Decazes,—a fatal measure.

I must not die without seeing Paris. Figure to yourself what a horrid death,—to die without seeing Paris! I think I could make something of this in a tragedy, so as to draw tears from Donna Agnes and yourself. Where are you going to? When do you return? Why do you go at all? Is Paris more agreeable than London?


We have had a little plot here in a hay-loft. God forbid anybody should be murdered! but, if I were to turn assassin, it should not be of five or six Ministers, who are placed where they are by the folly of the country gentlemen, but of the hundred thousand squires, to whose stupidity and folly such an Administration owes its existence.

Ever your friend,
Sydney Smith.