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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1832
Sydney Smith to John Archibald Murray, 21 November 1832

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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Produced by CATH
Combe Florey, Nov. 21st, 1832.
My dear friend,

Do not imagine I have heard with indifference of
your success, or that of
Giant Jeffrey. It has given me the most sincere pleasure. The gods are said to rejoice at the sight of a wise man struggling with adversity. The gods will please themselves; but I like to see wise men better when the struggle is over, and when they are in the enjoyment of that power and distinction to which, by their long labour and their merits, they are so justly entitled.

I am afraid of the war. Whether our friends could have avoided it or not, I know not, but it will be dreadfully unpopular; I should not be surprised if it were fatal to them. Pray say if Abercrombie is sure of his election. His ambition is to be Speaker, and I should not be surprised if he succeeded. He is the wisest-looking man I know. It is said he can see through millstones and granite.

What oceans of absurdity and nonsense will the new liberties of Scotland disclose! Yet this is better than the old infamous jobbing, and the foolocracy under which it has so long laboured. Don’t be too ardent, Johnny, and restrain yourself; and don’t get into scrapes by phrases, but get the character of a very prudent practical man. I remain here in a state of very inert vegetation till the end of February, and then we meet in London. Pray take care that Jeffrey is the first Judge. I have that much at heart; and to thwart him in that nonsense about Cockburn. I have done all I can to effect the same object.

We are living here with windows all open, and eating our own ripe grapes grown in the open air; but, in revenge, there is no man within twenty miles who knows anything of history, or angles, or of the mind. I send Mrs. Murray my epigram on Professor Airey,
of Cambridge, the great astronomer and mathematician, and his beautiful wife:—
Airey alone has gain’d that double prize
Which forced musicians to divide the crown:
His works have raised a mortal to the skies,
His marriage vows have drawn an angel down.

S. S.