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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1813
Sydney Smith to Bobus Smith, 10 May 1813

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.
Produced by CATH
Heslington, York, May 10th, 1813.
My dear Bobus,

Maria writes Mrs. Sydney word that you are not quite so stout as you used to be. Pray take care of yourself. Let us contrive to last out for the same or nearly the same time: weary will be the latter half of my pilgrimage, if you leave me in the lurch!* By the bye, I wish Mrs. Smith and you would promise to inform me if you are ever seriously ill. I should come up to you at a moment’s warning, and should be very unhappy if the opportunity were not given me of doing so.

I was very much pleased with Canning’s additions to Grattan’s Bills; they are very wise, because they give satisfaction to the great mass of fools, of whom the public is composed, and who really believe there is danger in conceding so much to the Catholics.

I cannot help detailing to you a remark of Douglas’s,

* Mr. Robert Smith died within a fortnight of his brother. See Memoir, page 412.—Ed.

which in Scotland would be heard as of high metaphysical promise.
Emily was asking why one flower was blue, and another pink, and another yellow. “Why, in short,” said Douglas, “it is their nature; and when we say that, what do we mean? It is only another word for mystery; it only means that we know nothing at all about the matter.” This observation from a child eight years old is not common.

We are threatened with a visit from the excellent Greek, I understand, who is conducting his young warrior to the north. How contemptible our modern way of arming must appear to him! He will doubtless speak to the Colonel about the fighting in Homer, and the mode of it.

God bless you, dear Bobus! Love to your dear children.

Sydney Smith.