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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1833
Sydney Smith to Lady Grey, 22 September 1833

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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Combe Florey, Sept. 22nd, 1833.
My dear Lady Grey,

I hope you are all well after the fatigues of London, and enjoying the north as much as I do the west. I can conceive no greater happiness than that of a Minister in such times escaping to his country-seat. The discharged debtor,—the bird escaped from the cagedoor, have no feelings of liberty which equal it. Have you any company? For your own sakes, I wish not. You must be sick of the human countenance, and it must be a relief to you to see a cow instead of a christian. We have had here the Morleys and Lady Davy, and many others unknown to you. Our evils have been, want of rain, and scarlet-fever in our village;
where, in three-quarters of a year, we have buried fifteen, instead of one, per annum. You will naturally suppose I have killed all these people by doctoring them; but scarlet-fever awes me, and is above my aim. I leave it to the professional and graduated homicides.

The ——s are with us. Mrs. —— confined to her sofa a close prisoner. I was forced to decline seeing Malthus, who came this way. I am convinced her last accident was entirely owing to his visit.

I am so engaged in the nonsensical details of a country life, that I have hardly looked at a book; the only one I have read with pleasure is Sturt’sDiscoveries in New Holland.’ There must be a great degree of felony and larceny in my composition, for I have great curiosity about that country; and if Lord Grey’s friendship and kindness had left me anything to desire, I should ask to be Governor of Botany Bay.

Sydney Smith.