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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1828
Sydney Smith to Francis Jeffrey, [March 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
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
No date: about 1828 or 1829.
My dear Jeffrey,

I trust you and I hang together by other ties than
those of Master Critic and Journeyman ditto. At the same time, since I left your employment, you have not written a syllable to me.* I hope you will do so, for among all your friends you have none who have a more sincere regard or a higher admiration for you; and it would be wicked not to show these epistolary remembrances of each other.

I should be glad to know your opinion of the Corn Bill. I am an advocate for the principle, but would restrict the protection price to nine shillings instead of ten. The latter price is a protection to rents—not to agriculture. I confess I have not nerve enough for the stupendous revolution that the plan of growing our bread in France would produce. I should think it rash, and it certainly is unjust; because we are compelled to grow our lace, silk-goods, scissors, and ten thousand other things in England, by prohibitory duties on the similar productions of other countries. These views are probably weak, and I hold them by a slender thread, only till taught better; but I hold them.†

There is a great Peer in our neighbourhood, who gives me the run of his library while he is in town; and I am fetching up my arrears in books, which everybody (who reads at all) has read; among others, I stumbled upon the ‘Life of Kotzebue,’ or rather his year of exile, and read it with the greatest interest. It is a rapid succession of very striking events, told

* Mr. Sydney Smith ceased to write in the Edinburgh Review when he became a dignitary of the Church, towards the end of the year 1827.

Mr. Sydney Smith held them not long. He became an advocate, and a very earnest one, for Free Trade.—Note by Mrs. Sydney Smith.

with great force and simplicity. His display of sentiment seems natural to the man, foolish as it sometimes is. With
Madame de Staël’s Memoirs, so strongly praised by the excellent Baron Grimm, I was a good deal disappointed: she has nothing to tell, and docs not tell it very well. She is neither important, nor admirable for talents or virtues. I see your name mentioned among the writers in ‘Constable’s Encyclopædia;” pray tell me what articles you have written: I shall always read anything which you write. Is the work carried on well? The travels of the Gallo-American gentleman alluded to by Constable, are, I suppose, those of M. Simond. He is a very sensible man, and I should be curious to see the light in which this country appeared to him. I should think he would be too severe.

We are all perfectly well. I am busy at my little farm and cottage, which you gave me reason to believe Mrs. Jeffrey and yourself would visit. Pray remember me to Murray, and believe me ever, my dear Jeffrey, now, and years hence, when you are a judge, and the Review is gone to the dogs, your sincere and affectionate friend,

Sydney Smith.