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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1823
Sydney Smith to Lady Grey, 31 January 1823

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.
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Foston, Jan. 31st, 1823.
Dear Lady Grey,

About half after five in the evening (three feet of snow on the ground, and all communication with Christendom cut off) a chaise and four drove up to the parsonage, and from it issued Sir James and his appendages. His letter of annunciation arrived the following morning. Miss Mackintosh brought me your kind reproaches for never having written to you;
to which I replied, “
Lord and Lady Grey know very well that I have a sincere regard and affection and respect for them, and they will attribute my silence only to my reluctance to export the stupidity in which I live.”

I am so very modest a man, that I am never afraid of giving my opinion upon any subject. Pray tell me if you understand this sort of modesty. There certainly is such a species of that virtue, and I claim it. But whether my claim is just or unjust, my opinion is, that there will be some repeals of heavy taxes, and a great deal of ill-humour,—probably a Whig Administration for a year,—no reform, no revolution: if no Whig Administration, Canning in for about two years, till they have formed their plans for flinging him overboard: Canning to be conciliatory and laudatory for about three months, and then to relapse: prices to rise after next harvest.

You have read ‘Peveril;” a moderate production, between his best and his worst; rather agreeable than not.

I hope you have read and admired Doblado. To get a Catholic priest who would turn King’s evidence is a prodigious piece of good luck; but it may damage the Catholic question.

Lord Grey has, I hear, been pretty well. I was called up to London a second time this year, and went to Bowood, where I spent a very agreeable week with the Hollands, Luttrell, Rogers, etc. It is a very cheerful, agreeable, comfortable house.

We have a good deal of company in our little parsonage this year;—all pure Whigs, if I may include —— in this number. That young man will be no-
thing but agreeable;—enough for any man, if his name were not ——, and if the country did not seem to have acquired an hereditary right to his talents and services.

God bless you, dear Lady Grey! Kindest regards to Lord Grey and your children, from your sincere friend,

Sydney Smith.

Mackintosh had seventy volumes in his carriage! None of the glasses would draw up or let down, but one; and he left his hat behind him at our house.