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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1812
Sydney Smith to Lord Grey, 17 August 1812

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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Heslington, August 17th, 1812.
Dear Lord Grey,

I really think you are unjust to ——. He may be capricious, unjust, fickle, a thousand faults; but, if you mean by discreditable motives, any love of office or concern about it, I sincerely think him exempted from any feelings of that nature.

I suppose you know by this time the nature of Canning’s last negotiation; if not, he was to have come in with two members in a Cabinet of fifteen; and Lord Liverpool, who negotiated the arrangement, conceived it to be agreed between Lord Castlereagh and Canning that they were to enjoy co-ordinate power and importance in the Commons,—at least, as much
as any Ministerial arrangement could confer equal power upon such unequal men. In a subsequent explanation however, it turned out that Lord Castlereagh had no such intentions; that he intended to keep the lead in the House of Commons, and to be considered as the Minister of the Crown in that assembly. This put an end to the negotiation.

I do not know whether you like praise, but I cannot help saying how much I was struck with your style of writing in the State Papers published by Lord Moira. It is impossible that anything can be more clear, manly, and dignified; it is a perfect model for State-paper writing. After saying thus much of the mode, it is right to add, I am the critic in the Edinburgh Review upon the substance of the negotiation. I have given reasons for my opinion, preserving, as I hope and intended and felt, the greatest possible respect for you; but I am foolish in supposing that you heed or read the obscure speculations of reviewers and scribblers.

I remain ever, my dear Lord Grey, very truly yours,

Sydney Smith.