LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1824

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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224.] To Edward Davenport, Esq.
Foston, Aug. 28th, 1824.
My dear Davenport,

I did not write one syllable of Hall’s book. When first he showed me his manuscript, I told him it would not do; it was too witty and brilliant. He then wrote it over again, and I told him it would do very well indeed; and it has done very well. He is a very painstaking person.

I am very sorry I have not a single copy left of my first Assize Sermon. I thought I had sent you a copy: I would immediately send you another, if I had one to send.

You will see an article of mine in this Review, No. 80, upon America. Lady Suffolk’s Letters, in No. 79, were reviewed by Agar Ellis.

I hear your sister is going with a multitude of Berrys and Lindsays to Scotland. I hope she will be retained if we get leave to visit your papa.

Yours, my dear Davenport, very truly,
Sydney Smith.

225.] To Francis Jeffrey, Esq.
September 23rd, 1824.
My dear Jeffrey,

If you mean that my article itself is light and scanty,
I agree to that; reminding you that lightness and flimsiness are my line of reviewing. If you mean that my notice of
M——’s book is scanty, that also is true; for I think the book very ill done: still, it is done by an honest, worthy man, who has neither bread nor butter. How can I be true under such circumstances?

Sydney Smith.

226.] To Edward Davenport, Esq.
October 1st, 1824.
My dear Davenport,

I am very sorry there should be any mistake as to the day; but in the negotiation between the higher powers—Mrs. Davenport and Mrs. Sydney—the day mentioned was from the 15th to dinner, till the morning of the 17th. You will smile at this precision; but I find, from long experience, that I am never so well received, as when I state to my host the brief duration of his sorrows and embarrassments. Upon the same principle, young speakers conciliate favour by declaring they do not mean to detain the House a long time.

Great expectations are formed of your speech. The report is, that you apostrophize the Shades of Hampden and Brutus. —— has a beautiful passage on the effects of freedom upon calico. Sir John Stanley will take that opportunity of refuting Locke and Malebranche; it will be a great day. J—— W—— will speak of economy from the epergne.

Sydney Smith.

227.] To the Countess Grey.
Foston, Oct. 23rd, 1824.
My dear Lady Grey,

I am just come from a visit to Lord Fitzwilliam, that best of old noblemen! I was never there before. Nothing could exceed his kindness and civility. The author of the ‘Paradise Lost’ was there also. I am surprised that I had heard so little of the magnificence of Wentworth House. It is one of the finest buildings I ever saw—twice as great a front as Castle Howard! And how magnificent is the hall!

I took Fouché’s Memoirs for genuine; but I have nothing to refer to but ignorant impressions.

Dear Lady M——! I have more tenderness for Lady M—— than it would be ecclesiastical to own; but don’t mention it to Lord Grey, who is fond of throwing a ridicule upon the cloth. In the meantime, Lady M—— is the perfection of all that is agreeable and pleasant in society.

I have sent to Bishop Doyle a list of errors commonly and unjustly imputed to the Catholics, and more and more believed for want of proper contradiction, requesting him to publish and circulate a denial of them signed by the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. It would be a very useful paper for general circulation. He writes word it shall be done. God bless you, dear Lady Grey!

Sydney Smith.

228.] To Francis Jeffrey, Esq.
Foston, Nov. 10th, 1826.
My dear Jeffrey,

I will send you a sheet for this number upon allow-
Counsel for Prisoners in cases of Felony. Your review of the Bumpists destroys them, but it is tremendously long for such a subject. I cannot tell what the Scotch market may require, but Bumpology has always been treated with great contempt among men of sense in England, and the machinery you have employed for its destruction will excite surprise; though everybody must admit it is extremely well done.

A good article upon the Church of England, and upon the Court of France, and in general a very good number. Ever, my dear Jeffrey, most sincerely yours,

Sydney Smith.

229.] To Edward Davenport, Esq.
November, 1824.
My dear Davenport,

Political economy has become, in the hands of Malthus and Ricardo, a school of metaphysics. All seem agreed what is to be done; the contention is, how the subject is to be divided and defined. Meddle with no such matters. Write the lives of the principal Italian poets, of about the same length as Macdiarmid’s ‘Lives,’ mingling criticism and translation with biography: this is the task I assign you.

The Berrys are slowly rising in this part of the world; I hear of them eighty miles off, and their track begins to be pointed out. People are out on the hills with their glasses. I have written to ask them to Foston. Our visit succeeded very well at Knowsley. The singing of the children was admired, and we all found Derbus and Derbe very kind and attentive. What principally struck me was the magnificence of
the dining-room, and the goodness of heart both of the master and mistress;—to which add, the ugliness of the country!

I am sorry to hear you are likely to have the gout again. Let it be a comfort to you to reflect, that I, who have no gout, have not an acre of land upon the face of the earth.

Sydney Smith.

No Roman vase: we are not worthy—it is out of our line. I have read over your letter again. If the object in writing essays on political economy is to amuse yourself, of course there can be no objection; but my opinion is (and I will never deceive in literary matters), you will do the other much better. If you have a mind for a frolic over the mountains, you know how glad I shall be to see you.

230.] To Lord Crewe.
About 1824.
Dear Lord Crewe,

I cannot help writing a line to thank you for your obliging note. I hope one day or other (wind and weather permitting) to pay my respects to Lady Crewe and you, at Crewe Hall, of goodly exterior, and, like a York pie, at this season filled with agreeable and interesting contents.

To Mr. and Mrs. Cunliffe my kind remembrances, if you please. I cannot trust myself with a message to Mrs. Hopwood, but shall be very much obliged to your Lordship to frame one, suitable to my profession, worthy of its object, and not forgetful of my feelings; let it be clerical, elevated, and tender.


P——’s single turnips turned out extremely well; he is about to publish a tract “On the Effect of Solitude on Vegetables.”

I remain, dear Lord Crewe, very truly yours,

Sydney Smith.