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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1815
Sydney Smith to Lord Holland, [August] 1815

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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My dear Lord Holland,

I am totally unacquainted with the two tutors I recommended to B——, but they were recommended to me from a quarter in which I could perfectly confide. My desiderata were, that they should possess a good deal of knowledge, and that they should be virtuous and good-tempered men. B——’s son I understood to be an ordinary young man, and not requiring a person of more than common judgment and dexterity; and therefore as much was proved to me as I required to be proved, before I recommended. I can satisfy you in the same particulars by the same inquiry; but whether the individual asked for may possess the sense, firmness, and judgment necessary to manage such a clever boy as ——, I cannot determine, as I have not sufficient confidence, upon points of this nature, in the person to whom my questions are addressed.

If the Universities were well sifted and swept for you, the best person to get would be a Cambridge
man, or, at least, some man from an English university; but then he would require a great deal of attention, would be troublesome from the jealousy of being slighted, and would be altogether an unpleasant inmate. I therefore put Englishmen out of the question. All things considered, they would not do for you. I look upon Switzerland as an inferior sort of Scotland, and am for a Scotchman. A Scotchman full of knowledge, quiet, humble, assiduous, civil and virtuous, you will easily get; and I will send you such a one per coach, or (which he will like better) per waggon, any day; but will he command the respect of
——? Will he acquire an ascendancy over him? Will he be a man of good sound sense and firmness? Here I cannot help you, because I know nobody myself; and, in a recommendation I should have so much at heart, I should choose to judge for myself.

I do not know the name of the ex-tutor, or where he is; but will write tonight, inquire every particular, state generally what is wanted, without mentioning names, and send you the answer.

It will be hardly possible for you and Lady Holland to consent to such a plan; but I should have thought that a tutor with three or four pupils, forty or fifty miles from London, would be the best arrangement. They abound, their characters are accessible, they are near, and among five hundred schoolmasters it may not be impossible to find a man of sense. But perhaps health would be an objection to this; though I must observe that the health of very delicate children very often improves, in proportion as they are removed from the perilous kindness of home.

Mr. —— always seemed to me an excellent and
accomplished, but a very foolish, man. There is very little mother-wit in the world, but a great deal of clergy.

I remain always, my dear Lord Holland, with the most sincere attachment and affection,

Sydney Smith.