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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1811
Sydney Smith to Francis Jeffrey, 19 February 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
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Produced by CATH
Heslington, Feb. 19th, 1811.
My dear Jeffrey,

It is long since I have written to you,—at least, I hope you think so. Where is the Review? We are come to the birth, and have not strength to bring forth. It is very possible that I have not done justice to your article upon the Catholics, but the subject is so worn out that I read it hastily; and though I like almost everything you like, I was not violently arrested by any passage. Their exclusion from office is, I perceive by the papers, rather strongly put in the last Catholic debate, by enumerating, not the classes of offices from which they are shut out, but the total number of individual offices—thirty-five or forty thousand. This is a striking and popular way of putting the fact.

Do you believe that the Prince made this last change with the consent of the Whigs? I much doubt it; but if not, his information seems to have been better than theirs; for, with such an immediate prospect of the king’s recovery, a change in the Administration would have been quite ridiculous. I hope you will make some stay with us on your way to town, that Mrs. Sydney may see something of you. I know you are fond of riding, and I can offer you the use of a dun pony, which Murray knows to be a very safe and eligible conveyance. This revival of his Majesty has revived my slumbering architecture, and I think I shall begin building this year; yet I get heartily frightened when I think of it. Kirkpatrick’sEmbassy to Nepaul’ is not yet published: so I cannot tell how much it will take up. Tell me some subjects for the next
number; I have none in contemplation but an article in favour of the Protestant Dissenters; and this is premature, as I think their case should be kept in the background till that of the Catholics is disposed of.

And yet what folly to talk in this manner! Are we not, like Brook Watson’s leg, in the jaws of the shark? Can any sensible man,—any human being but a little trumpery parson,—believe that we shall not be swallowed up? It is folly not to gather up a little, while it is yet possible, and to go to America. We are all very well, engaged in the mystery of gardening, and other species of rural idleness, for which my taste grows stronger and stronger.

Ever, dear Jeffrey, affectionately yours,
Sydney Smith.