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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1827
Sydney Smith to Edward Copleston, 28 June 1827

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
Foston, June 28th, 1827.
My dear Sir,

I can only say, that if any man asked me whether I was the author of an anonymous publication, in which his character was attacked, that I would immediately (if I were the author) own myself to be so, and publish his defence with my own assent to, or dissent from it, accompanied by my reasons; and, if I thought I had done wrong, I would apologize. This is the plain course; and this course I dare say —— (if he be the author) will pursue. I shall have occasion to write to him and Jeffrey soon, and will state to them the same opinions I have stated to you.

As to the old quarrel with the Edinburgh Review, and who was right and who was wrong, you will, I am sure, have the goodness to excuse me for not saying anything on the subject; twenty years have elapsed, and the thing is dead and gone. You and I, like wise
and respectable men, have shaken hands, and so ends the matter.

I have not read your sermon. I received a letter from London about the time it was published, taking a view of it as a decided anti-Catholic sermon, and desiring me to review it. I immediately declined doing so; and, as I had the wisdom to keep out of the original war, I have a fair right to remain neutral in the secondary dispute, and must therefore deny myself the pleasure I should derive from any production of yours.

You have done quite right in writing to me. You may depend upon it I will exhort —— (if he be the author) to reconsider his remarks, and to do you all the justice he conscientiously can. I have written nothing whatever in the approaching number of the Edinburgh Review.

Upon looking over your letter again carefully, I perceive you do not contend that your sermon, to a certain extent, is not anti-Catholic, but that you have always been anti-Catholic to the same extent; if so, this is, of course, a perfect answer to the charge of inconsistency. I have unfortunately seen so little of you for many years past, that I can have no knowledge of your opinions; but I had formed a loose notion that you had been a decided friend to Catholic emancipation, and it certainly would have surprised me (as it seems to have surprised ——) to have read from you a sermon so anti-Catholic as you represent yours to be. I thought I had heard that you were almost alone in the Convocation in defending the Catholics. But these are mere rumours of the streets; I have no kind of authority for them.

I write in haste; pray construe my letter in the
spirit of kindness and goodwill, or if you doubt me, or whether you doubt me or not, come to Foston and try me. Yours, dear Sir, very truly,

Sydney Smith.