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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1813
Sydney Smith to Francis Jeffrey, [April 1810]

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. No date: supposed about 1813.
My dear Jeffrey,

It is with great concern that I hear of your illness, and should be much obliged to you, if you have leisure, to write me a line to say how you are. I need not say how very happy we should be to see you here; and I wish you seriously to consider whether some time passed in the country will not tend more than anything else to establish your health. I know it is the season of law business, but Editoris salus, suprema lex.

I have been passing some weeks of dissipation in London; and was transformed by Circe’s cup, not
into a brute, but a beau. I am now eating the herb moly in the country. Near as the time approaches to the
Review, I should not have been an idle contributor, but that I am forced to do many things for my brother Cecil, who has come from India in consequence of a quarrel with Sir G. Barlow, and who has much to arrange and settle with respect to the state of affairs there, and of Indian intrigues here. If I send you one or two light and insignificant articles, it will be all that I can possibly contribute. Do you mean to send me the lucubrations of Playfair and Knight touching Mr. Copplestone?

I am sure you will excuse me for saying that I was struck with nothing in your ‘State of Parties’ but its extreme temerity, and with the incorrectness of its statements. I was not struck with the good writing, because in you that is a matter of course; but I believe there never was so wrong an exposition of the political state of any country: to say we are approximating towards it, may be true; and so is a child just born approximating to old-age. I believe you take your notions of the state of opinion in Britain, from the state of opinion among the commercial and manufacturing population of your own country; overlooking the great mass of English landed proprietors, who, leaning always a little towards the Crown, would still rally round the Constitution and moderate principles, whenever the state of affairs came to be such as to make their interference necessary. If this notion of your review were merely my own, I should send it with more of apology, but it is that of the most sensible men I have met.

And why do you not scout more that pernicious
cant, that all men are equal? As politicians, they do not differ, as
Locke thinks they do; but they differ enough to make you and all worthy men sincerely wish for the elevation of the one, and the rejection of the other.

God bless you, my dear Jeffrey! Get well; come here to do so. Accept my best wishes, and believe me affectionately yours,

Sydney Smith.