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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1809
Sydney Smith to Lady Holland, 8 December 1809

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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Heslington, Dec. 8th, 1809.
Dear Lady Holland,

I have been long intending to write you a letter of congratulation. There is more happiness in a multitude of children than safety in a multitude of counsellors; and if I were a rich man, I should like to have twenty children.

It seems to me that Canning would come in again under Lord Wellesley, and the whole of this eruption would end with making a stronger Ministry than before.

My wishes for Lord Grenville’s success are, I confess, not very fervent: it would be exceedingly agreeable, considered as a victory gained over the Court, but it would connect Lord Grenville personally with high Tories and Churchmen, and operate as a very serious check to the liberal views which he now entertains; and as I consider Lord Grenville as a Magdalene in politics, I always suspect there may be a hankering after his old courses, and wish therefore to keep him as much as possible out of bad company. The Archbishop of these parts not only votes for him, but writes flaming panegyrics upon him, which he has read to me. There are eight other bishops who vote for him. It seems quite unnatural,—like a murrain among the cattle.

I hear you have a good tutor for Henry, which I am exceedingly glad of. Lord Grey has met with no tutor as yet; tutors do not like to go beyond Adrian’s Wall. You are aware that it is necessary to fumigate Scotch tutors: they are excellent men, but require this little
preliminary caution. They are apt also to break the church windows, and get behind a hedge and fling stones at the clergyman of the parish, and betray other little symptoms of irreligion; but these you must not mind. Send me word if he has any tricks of this kind. I have seen droves of them, and know how to manage them. Very sincerely yours,

Sydney Smith.