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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1843
Sydney Smith to Harriet Grote, 31 August 1843

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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Combe Florey, Aug. 31st, 1843.
My dear Mrs. Grote,

We shall be extremely glad to see Grote and you. I have not received the ‘Morning Post’ you sent me, but I perceive, in other papers, my squib has burst, and caused some consternation.

I find I am getting old, and that my bodily feelings agree very well with the parish register. You seem to have had a very amusing life, with singing and dancing; but you cannot excite my envy by all the descriptions of your dramas and melodramas; you may as well paint the luxuries of barley-meal to a tiger, or turn a leopard into a field of clover. All this class of pleasures inspires me with the same nausea as I feel at the sight of rich plum-cake or sweetmeats; I prefer the driest bread of common life. I am in no degree answering your taste, but stating my own.

I wish Mrs. —— would make us a visit here; she is so good-natured and amiable, that we should be really very glad to see her.

In coming here, you come to old-age, and stupidity connected with old-age; I have no recommendation to
offer you, but a beautiful country and an affectionate welcome.

Peel seems to be a little damaged; it may be that Ireland cannot be governed by Tories. Three-fourths of the quarrels of England seem to be about established churches. Dr. Holland is just come from Ireland with a diminished sense of the danger of the Repeal cry. My house is, as I tell my daughter, as full of Hollands as a gin-shop.

I have a letter from Ticknor, of Boston, who thinks the Pennsylvanians will pay; but I tell him when once a people have tasted the luxury of not paying their debts, it is impossible to bring them back to the black broth of honesty. Yours,

Sydney Smith.

P.S.—The ‘Morning Post’ is arrived. The author of the letter is Ticknor, Professor at Boston; it is honourable to me; but he magnifies my literary gains, and I much doubt if I have ever gained £1500 by my literary labours in the course of my life.