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A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith
Letters 1843
Sydney Smith to Lady Grey, [17 October] 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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My dear Lady Grey,

How is Lord Grey going on? I conjecture that
what I read in the papers is true, and that your patient has really benefited by the gout, for such is the common order or sequence of medical events.

Suppose O’Connell to have used language violently seditious, that there is clear proof of it, and that it is possible to obtain anything like a fair trial, I think the Ministers have acted properly. The question is worth a battle or two; and, if the battle is to be fought (I mean the physical battle), it had better be at the time we choose, rather than at the time he chooses. We have no foreign war now; there is a good harvest, and an improving trade. I don’t think it a bad time for taking O’Connell by the beard, and then, the next Parliament, pay the Catholic clergy.

My prediction is, that Peel will be driven out by the concessions to be made to Ireland, and that it will fall to Lord John to destroy the absurd Protestant Church in that kingdom. It will hardly do to pay the priests; the thing is gone beyond that now. You must remove the flockless pastors, or the payment of the priesthood will be useless.

I think the Duke quite wrong about the sites for the new churches. I should feel very disaffected against inequality of possession, if I could not get a place for my altar. I am almost for compelling the landed possessor, under the verdict of an appraising jury, to sell me land for such purposes. I become irritable at this oppression. I think Lord Grey and you will catch the kindred flame.

Your affectionate friend,
Sydney Smith.