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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1824
Sydney Smith to Edward Davenport, November 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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Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
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.