LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1811
Sydney Smith to John Archibald Murray, 6 December 1811

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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
Heslington, Dec. 6th, 1811.
My dear Murray,

I cannot say how much mortified I am not to have reached Edinburgh; nothing should have prevented me but fraternity, and to that I was forced to yield.*

I went to Lord Grey’s with young Vernon, the Archbishop’s son, a very clever young man;—genus, Whig; species, Whigista Mitior; of which species I consider Lord Lansdowne to be at the head, as the Lords Holland and Grey are of the Whigista Truculentus Anactophonus. I heard no news at Howick. Lord Grey sincerely expects a change. I taxed him with saying

* Mr. Cecil Smith had lately returned from India.

so from policy, but he assured me it was his real opinion: perhaps it was.

I am reading Locke in my old-age, never having read him thoroughly in my youth:—a fine, satisfactory sort of fellow, but very long-winded.

You do not know, perhaps, that among my thousand and one projects is to be numbered a new metaphysical language,—a bold fancy for any man not born in Scotland. Physics, metaphysics, gardening, and jobbing are the privileges of the North. By the bye, have you ever remarked that singular verse in the Psalms, “Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, neither from the south”?

I rather quarrel with you for not sending me some Edinburgh politics. I have a very sincere attachment to Scotland, and am very much interested by Scotch news. Five of the most agreeable years of my life were spent there. I have formed many friendships which I am sure will last as long as I live.

Adieu, dear Murray! Pray write to me.

Ever your sincere friend,
Sydney Smith.