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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1809
Sydney Smith to John Allen, 22 November 1809

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
York, Nov. 22nd, 1809.
Dear Allen,

I am much obliged to you for your book, to which I see but one objection, and that is, that there will be an end of Spain before the Cortes can be summoned, or the slightest of your provisions carried into execution,—admirable rules for diet to a patient in the article of death. I shall read it however, as a Utopia from your romantic brain.

I beg my congratulations to the Lord and Lady of the Castle on the event which your postscript announces to me for the first time. Let the child learn
principles from
Dumont, Sharpe shall teach him ease and nature, Lauderdale wit, my own Pybus shall inspire his muse, and —— shall show him the way to heaven.

As for the Opposition, if they give up the Catholics, I think their character is ruined. Ireland is much endangered, and the King will kick them out again after he has degraded them. A politician should be as flexible in little things as he is inflexible in great. The probable postponement of such a measure in such times for ten years,—how is it possible for any honest public man to take office at such a price? I have no doubt that the country would rather submit to Massena than to Whitbread. If the King were to give the opposition carte blanche tomorrow, I cannot see that they could form an administration in the House of Commons. I have not promised, as you say, to write a pamphlet called Common Sense, in the spring; it is of very little or no consequence whether I do write it or not, but I have by no means made up my mind to do it.

We have a report here that the measles and hooping-cough have got amongst the New Administration; it is quite foolish to make such young people ministers.

Yours most truly,
Sydney Smith.

P.S.—I will send you in return for your pamphlet a sermon against horse-racing and coursing, judiciously preached before the Archbishop and the sporting clergy of Malton.