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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1817
Sydney Smith to George Philips, 25 July 1817

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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Foston, July 25th, 1817.
My dear Philips,

Your letter gave Mrs. Sydney and me great pleasure. Once out of London you will rapidly recover;—and here, my dear Philips, let me warn you against the melancholy effects of temperance. You will do me the justice to remember how often I have entered my protest against it: depend upon it, the wretchedness of human life is only to be encountered upon the basis of meat and wine.

Poor Ponsonby is numbered with the just. I had a letter last week from Lord Grey, lamenting his loss in very feeling terms.

Brougham is here, that is, at York. Scarlett is detained in town, and does not come for the first week. I hope you are pleased with the spirit of the magistrates. Lord —— has lived long among them, and they knew him to be a fool; this is a great advantage. At this distance from London no magistrate believes that a Secretary of State can be a fool. I am much pleased with the St. Helena manuscript,—it seems smartly written, and full of good sense; it is a very good imitation of what Buonaparte might have said.

It will give us great pleasure to come to you this year. I hope nothing will happen to prevent it; though it commonly happens, when a person is just going to set out for any place where he wishes to go, that he falls down and breaks his leg in two places; or, having arrived, is seized with a scarlet fever; or is forced to return, hearing that his son’s eye is knocked out by a cricket-ball.


I sincerely hope, my dear Philips, that you are recovering your strength rapidly, and that, in the enjoyment of your pretty place, you will forget your past severe sufferings. Ever your sincere friend,

Sydney Smith.