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Sydney Smith by George W. E. Russell

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an eternal farewell of each other!

* * * * *

"Insects are the curse of tropical climates. The bete rouge lays the
foundation of a tremendous ulcer. In a moment you are covered with
ticks. Chigoes bury themselves in your flesh, and hatch a large colony
of young chigoes in a few hours. They will not live together, but
every chigoe sets up a separate ulcer, and has his own private portion
of pus. Flies get entry into your mouth, into your eyes, into your
nose; you eat flies, drink flies, and breathe flies. Lizards,
cockroaches, and snakes, got into the bed; ants eat up the books;
scorpions sting you on the foot. Every thing bites, stings, or
bruises; every second of your existence you are wounded by some piece
of animal life that nobody has over seen before, except Swammerdam and
Meriam. An insect with eleven legs is swimming in your teacup, a
nondescript with nine wings is struggling in the small beer, or a
caterpillar with several dozen eyes in his belly is hastening over the
bread and butter! All nature is alive, and seems to be gathering all
her entomological hosts to eat you up, as you are standing, out of
your coat, waistcoat, and breeches. Such are the tropics. All this
reconciles us to our dews, fogs, vapours, and drizzle--to our
apothecaries rushing about with gargles and tinctures--to our old,
British, constitutional coughs, sore throats, and swelled faces."

Space should be found, in even the shortest book on Sydney Smith, for two
passages in which, perhaps more effectively than anywhere else, he clinched
an argument with a masterpiece of fun. The first is the warning to the
United States against the love of military glory. The second is the
wonderful concatenation of fallacies in "Noodle's Oration."[139] Both these
pieces will he found in Appendix B.

In 1840 he wrote to a friend:--

"I printed my reviews to show, if I could, that I had not passed my
life merely in making jokes; but that I had made use of what little
powers of pleasantry I might be endowed with, to discountenance bad,
and to encourage liberal and wise principles."

The natural and becoming indolence of age was now beginning to show itself
in Sydney Smith. He had worked harder than most men in his day, and now he
wisely cultivated ease. In his comfortable house in Green Street, he
received his friends with what he himself so excellently called "that
honest joy which warms more than dinner or wine"; but he went less than of
old into general society. Least of all was he inclined to that most
melancholy of all exertions which consists in rushing about to
entertainments which do not amuse. In 1840 he wrote, in answering an
invitation to the Opera:--

"Thy servant is threescore-and-ten years old; can he hear the sound of
singing men and singing women? A Canon at the Opera! Where have you
lived? In what habitations of the heathen? I thank you, shuddering."

Although the Canon would not go to the Opera, his general faculty of
enjoyment was unimpaired, and, as always, he loved a gibe at the clergy. On
the 30th of November 1841, Samuel Wilberforce wrote to a friend about
George Augustus Selwyn,[140] Missionary Bishop of New Zealand:--

"Selwyn is just setting out. Sydney Smith says it will make quite a
revolution in the dinners of New Zealand. _Tete d'Eveque_ will be the
most _recherche_ dish, and the servant will add, 'And there is _cold
clergyman_ on the side-table.'"

But this is Sydney's own version of the joke:--

"The advice I sent to the Bishop of New Zealand, when he had to
receive the cannibal chiefs there, was to say to them, 'I deeply
regret, sirs, to have nothing on my own table suited to your tastes,
but you will find plenty of cold curate and roasted clergyman on the
sideboard'; and if, in spite of this prudent provision, his visitors
should end their repast by eating him likewise, why, I could only add,
'I sincerely hoped he would disagree with them.'"

In spite of increasing years and decreasing health--"I have," he said,
"seven distinct diseases, but am otherwise pretty well"--the indefatigable
pamphleteer had not yet done with controversy. In 1842 he published three
Letters on the Mismanagement of Railways,[141] and in 1843 two on a
tendency displayed by the "drab-coloured men of Pennsylvania" to repudiate
the interest on their State's bonds. On the 18th of December 1843 he

"My bomb has fallen very successfully in America, and the list of
killed and wounded is extensive. I have several quires of paper sent
me every day, calling me monster, thief, atheist, deist, etc."

"I receive presents of cheese and apples from Americans who are
advocates for paying debts, and very abusive letters in print and in
manuscript from those who are not."

All this time, in spite of continual discomfort from gout and asthma, he
kept up his merry interest in his friends' concerns, his enjoyment of good
company, and his kindness to young people. Here is a charming letter,
written in September 1843 to his special favourite, Miss Georgiana
Harcourt,[142] daughter of the Archbishop of York:--

"I suppose you will soon be at Bishopthorpe, surrounded by the Sons of
the Prophets. What a charming existence, to live in the midst of holy
people; to know that nothing profane can approach you; to be certain
that a Dissenter can no more be found in the Palace than a snake in
Ireland, or ripe fruit in Scotland; to have your society strong, and
undiluted by the laity; to bid adieu to human learning, to feast on
the Canons, and revel in the XXXIX. Articles. Happy Georgiana!"

At the beginning of 1844 he wrote, "I am tolerably well, but intolerably
old." He complained of "nothing but weakness, and loss of nervous energy."
"I look as strong as a cart-horse, but cannot get round the garden without
resting once or twice," Soon he was back again at St. Paul's, preaching a
sermon on Peace, and rebuking the "excessive proneness to War." "I shall
try the same subject again--a subject utterly untouched by the
clergy."[143] The summer passed in its usual occupations, and on the 28th
of July he preached for the last time in the pulpit of the Cathedral. His
subject was the right use of Sunday; and the sermon was a strong protest
against the increasing secularization of the holy day. The best ways of
employing Sunday, he said, were Worship, Self-Examination, and Preparation
for Death. The sermon ended with some words which indicate the sense of
impending change:--

"I never take leave of any one, for any length of time, without a deep
impression upon my mind of the uncertainty of human life, and the
probability that we may meet no more in this world."[144]

He now left London for Combe Florey. "I dine with the rich in London, and
physic the poor in the country; passing from the sauces of Dives to the
sores of Lazarus." His bodily discomforts increased, but his love of fun
never diminished. He wrote as merrily as ever to Miss Harcourt:--

"Neither of us, dear Georgiana, would consent to survive the ruin of
the Church. You would plunge a poisoned pin into your heart, and I
should swallow the leaf of a sermon dipped in hydro-cyanic acid."

In October, after an alarming attack of breathlessness and giddiness, he
returned to London. In Green Street he was happy in the proximity and skill
of his son-in-law, Dr. Holland, and "a suite of rooms perfectly fitted up
for illness and death." This phrase occurs in the last of his published
letters, dated the 7th of November 1844. It was now pronounced that his
disease was water on the chest, caused by an unsuspected affection of the
heart. He was entirely confined to his bed, perfectly aware of his
condition, and keenly grateful for the kindness and sympathy of friends.
His daughter writes:--

"My father died at peace with himself and with all the world; anxious, to
the last, to promote the comfort and happiness of others. He sent messages
of kindness and forgiveness to the few he thought had injured him. Almost
his last act was, bestowing a small living of L120 per annum on a poor,
worthy, and friendless clergyman, who had lived a long life of struggle
with poverty on L40 per annum. Full of happiness and gratitude, the
clergyman entreated he might be allowed to see my father; but the latter so
dreaded any agitation that he most unwillingly consented, saying, 'Then he
must not thank me; I am too weak to bear it.' He entered,--my father gave
him a few words of advice,--the clergyman silently pressed his hand, and
blessed his death-bed. Surely such blessings are not given in vain!"

Sydney Smith died on the 22nd of February 1845, and was buried by the side
of his son Douglas in the Cemetery at Kensal Green.

[107] R.A. Kinglake, quoted by Mr. Stuart Reid.

[108] The Beer-house Act, 1830, allowed any one to retail beer, on merely
taking out an excise-licence.

[109] Frances Talbot, wife of John, 1st Earl of Morley.

[110] As a matter of fact he lived at 33 Charles Street, and subsequently
at 56 Green Street.

[111] This intention gave rise to the "Oxford Movement." Keble thought that
the time had come when "scoundrels must be called scoundrels." His
Sermon on "National Apostasy" was preached on the 14th of July 1833.

[112] Henry Hart Milman (1791-1868).

[113] Born Sarah Taylor (1793-1867).

[114] At that period there were no sermons under the Dome

[115] In 1825, after a visit to Lord Essex at Cassiobury, he noted with
disapproval--"No hot luncheons."

[116] (1798-1869), created Lord Taunton in 1859.

[117] This is interesting as being, so far as I know, Sydney Smith's only
reference to Lord Beaconsfield.

[118] Gladstone's _Gleanings_, vol. vii. p. 220.

[119] Thomas Singleton (1783-1842), Canon of Worcester and Archdeacon of

[120] It is sometimes forgotten that a Prebend is a thing; a Prebendary a

[121] Compare his letter to Lady Holland, May 14, 1835;--"Liberals of the
eleventh hour abound! and there are some of the first hour, of whose
work in the toil and heat of the day I have no recollection!"

[122] John Wilson Croker (1780-1857), M.P. and Tory pamphleteer.

[123] Samuel Lee (1783-1852).

[124] Charles Richard Sumner (1790-1874).

[125] On the 13th of January 1838, he wrote to the Bishop of London--"I
think the best reason for destroying the Cathedrals is the abominable
trash and nonsense they have all published since the beginning of this

[126] Lord John Russell.

[127] Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854), Judge and Dramatist.

[128] James Henry Monk (1784-1856).

[129] William FitzHardinge Berkeley (1786-1857) was created Lord Segrave of
Berkeley Castle in 1831, and Earl FitzHardinge in 1841.

[130] "You see my younger brother, Courtenay, is turned out of office in
India, for refusing the surety of the East India Company! Truly the
Smiths are a stiff-necked generation, and yet they have all got rich
but I. Courtenay, they say, has L150,000, and he keeps only a cat! In
the last letter I had from him, which was in 1802, he confessed that
his money was gathering very fast." (S.S. 1827).

[131] (1794-1871), Banker, Historian, and Politician.

[132] William, Viscount Melbourne (1779-1848).

[133] "Have you read Sydney Smith's Life? There is a strange mixture in his
character of earnest common-sense and fun. On the whole, I think he
will be thought more highly of in consequence of the publication of
the Life, though it may be doubted whether his religion was not
injured by his strong sense of the ludicrous. I cannot forgive him for
his anti-missionary articles in the _Edinburgh Review_."--_Life of
Archbishop Tait_, vol. I. chapter xiii.

What seems to be his later and juster judgment on missionary work is
given, without date, by Lady Holland. "Some one, speaking of Missions,
ridiculed them as inefficient. He dissented, saying, that though all
was not done that was projected, or even boasted of, yet that much
good resulted; and that wherever Christianity was taught, it brought
with it the additional good of civilization in its train, and men
became better carpenters, better cultivators, better everything."

[134] "It is immaterial whether Mr. Shufflebottom preaches at Bungay, and
Mr. Ringletub at Ipswich; or whether an artful vicissitude is adopted,
and the order of insane predication reversed."

[135] William Carey (1761-1834), Shoemaker, Orientalist, and Missionary.

[136] (1765-1832), Historian and Philosopher.

[137] Charles Waterton (1782-1865), Naturalist.

[138] (1748-1820.)

[139] It is possible that the argument about the Wisdom of our Ancestors in
"Noodle's Oration" may have been suggested by the following extract
from the Parliamentary Debates for May 26, 1797. On Mr. Grey's Motion
for a Reform of Parliament, Sir Gregory Page-Turner, M.P., spoke as
follows--"He craved the indulgence of the House for a few observations
which he had to make. When he got up in the morning and when he lay
down at night, he always felt for the Constitution. On this question
he had never had but one opinion. When he came first into Parliament,
he remembered that the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed a Reform,
but he saw it was wrong, and he opposed it. Would it not be madness to
change what had been handed, sound and entire, down from the days of
their fathers?"

[140] (1809-1878.)

[141] In these a special appeal is made to "our youthful Gladstone," then
recently appointed Vice-President of the Board of Trade.

[142] Afterwards Mrs. Malcolm: died in 1886.

[143] He said afterwards that this Sermon on Peace was really Channing's.

[144] Compare his letter on parting from his friends at Edinburgh, quoted
by Lady Holland:--"All adieus are melancholy; and principally, I
believe, because they put us in mind of the last of all adieus, when
the apothecary, and the heir-apparent, and the nurse who weeps for
pay, surround the bed; when the curate, engaged to dine three miles
off, mumbles hasty prayers; when the dim eye closes for ever in the
midst of empty pillboxes, gallipots, phials, and jugs of



What Sydney Smith was to the outward eye we know from an admirable portrait
by Eddis[145] belonging to his grand-daughter, Miss Caroline Holland. He
had a long and slightly aquiline nose, of the type which gives a peculiar
trenchancy to the countenance; a strongly developed chin, thick white
hair,[146] and black eyebrows. His complexion was fresh, inclining to be
florid. In figure he was, to use his own phrase, "of the family of
Falstaff." Ticknor described him as "corpulent but not gross." Macaulay
spoke of his "rector-like amplitude and rubicundity." He was of middle
height, rather above it than below, and sturdily built. He used to quote a
saying from one of his contemporaries at Oxford--"Sydney, your sense, wit,
and clumsiness, always give me the idea of an _Athenian carter_." Except on
ceremonious occasions, he was careless about his dress. His daughter
says:--"His neckcloth always looked like a pudding tied round his throat,
and the arrangement of his garments seemed more the result of accident than

His manner in society was cordial, unrestrained, and even boisterous. "I
live," he said in an admirable figure, "with open doors and windows." His
poor parishioners regarded him with "a curious mixture of reverence and
grin."[147] His daughter says that, "on entering the pulpit, the calm
dignity of his eye, mien, and voice, made one feel that he was indeed, and
felt himself to be, 'the pastor standing between our God and His people,'
to teach His laws, to declare His judgments, and proclaim His mercies."

Enough has been quoted from his writings to give the reader a clear notion
of his style. In early life it was not scrupulously correct,[148] and to
the end it was marked here and there by an archaism such as "I have
strove," and "they are rode over." It was singularly uninvolved and
uncomplicated, and was animated, natural, and vigorous in the highest
degree. As years went on, it gained both in ease and in accuracy, but never
lost either its force or its resonance. It ran up and down the whole gamut
of the English tongue, from sesquipedalian classicisms (which he generally
used to heighten a comic effect) to one-syllabled words of the homeliest
Anglo-Saxon. His punctuation was careless, and the impression produced by
his written composition is that of a man who wrote exactly as he spoke,
without pause, premeditation, or amendment; who was possessed by the
subject on which he was writing, and never laid down the pen till that
subject lived and breathed in the written page.[149] Here and there,
indeed, it is easy to note an unusual care and elaboration in the structure
of the sentences and the cadence of the sound, and then the style rises to
a very high level of rhetorical dignity.

Enough too has been quoted, both from his writings and from his
conversation, to illustrate the quality and quantity of his humour. It
bubbled up in him by a spontaneous process, and flowed over into whatever
he wrote or said. Macaulay described his "rapid, loud, laughing utterance,"
and adds--"Sydney talks from the impulse of the moment, and his fun is
quite inexhaustible." He was, I think, the greatest humourist whose jokes
have come down to us in an authentic and unmutilated form. Almost alone
among professional jokers, he made his merriment--rich, natural, fantastic,
unbridled as it was--subserve the serious purposes of his life and writing.
Each joke was a link in an argument; each sarcasm was a moral lesson.
_Peter Plymley_, and the _Letters to Archdeacon Singleton_, the essays on
America and on Persecuting Bishops, will probably be read as long as the
_Tale of a Tub_ or Macaulay's review of "Satan" Montgomery; while of
detached and isolated jokes--pure freaks of fun clad in literary garb--an
incredible number, current in daily converse, deduce their birth from this
incomparable clergyman.[150] "In ability," wrote Macaulay in 1850, "I
should say that Jeffrey was higher, but Sydney rarer. I would rather have
been Jeffrey; but there will be several Jeffreys before there is a Sydney."

It would of course be absurd to pretend that all his jokes were of an
equally high order. In his essays and public letters he is always and
supremely good; in his private letters and traditional table-talk he
descends to the level of his correspondent or his company. Thus, in spite
of his own protests against playing on words, he found his clerk "a man of
great amen-ity of disposition." He complimented his friends Mrs. Tighe and
Mrs. Cuffe as "the cuff that every one would wear, the tie that no one
would loose." His fondness for Lord Grey's family led him to call himself
"Grey-men-ivorous." When the Hollands were staying with him, "his house
was as full of hollands as a gin-shop." He nicknamed Sir George Philips's
home near Manchester Philippi. He ascribed his brother's ugly mansion at
Cheam to "Chemosh, the abomination of Moab." In 1831 he wrote to his friend
Mrs. Meynell that "the French Government was far from stable--like
Meynell's[151] horses at the end of a long day's chase." When a lady asked
him for an epitaph on her pet dog Spot, he proposed "Out, damned Spot!"
but, "strange to say, she did not think it sentimental enough." When
William Cavendish,[152] who had been Second Wrangler, married Lady Blanche
Howard, Sydney wrote--"Euclid leads Blanche to the altar--a strange choice
for him, as she has not an angle about her." It was with reference to this
kind of pleasantry that he said:--

"A joke goes a great way in the country. I have known one last pretty
well for seven years. I remember making a joke after a meeting of the
clergy, in Yorkshire, where there was a Rev. Mr. Buckle, who never
spoke when I gave his health. I said that he was a buckle without a
tongue. Most persons within hearing laughed, but my next neighbour sat
unmoved and sunk in thought. At last, a quarter of an hour after we
had all done, he suddenly nudged me, exclaiming, 'I see _now_ what you
meant, Mr. Smith; you meant a joke.' 'Yes,' I said, 'sir; I believe I
did.' Upon which he began laughing so heartily, that I thought he
would choke, and was obliged to pat him on the back."

A graver fault than this boyish love of punning is the undeniable vein of
coarseness which here and there disfigures Sydney Smith's controversial
method. In 1810 he wrote, very characteristically, about his friend Lord
Grey--"His deficiency is a want of executive coarseness." This is a fault
with which he could never have charged himself. His own "executive
coarseness" is referable in part to the social standard of the day, when
ladies as refined as the Miss Berrys "d----d" the too-hot tea-kettle, and
Canning referred to a political opponent as "the revered and ruptured
Member." In a similar vein Sydney jokes incessantly about skin-disease in
Scotland; writes of a neighbour whose manners he disliked that "she was as
cold as if she were in the last stage of blue cholera"; and, after his
farmers had been dining with him, says that "they were just as tipsy as
farmers ought to be when dining with the parson."

When he came to dealing publicly with a political opponent, he seems to
have thought that, the coarser were his illustrations, the more domestic
and personal his allusions, the better for the cause which he served. The
_Letters of Peter Plymley_ abound in medical and obstetrical imagery. The
effect of the Orders in Council on the health of Europe supplies endless
jokes. Peter roars with laughter at the thought of his sister-in-law, Mrs.
Abraham Plymley, "led away captive by an amorous Gaul." Nothing can be
nastier (or more apt) than his comparison between the use of humour in
controversy and that of the small-tooth comb in domestic life; nothing less
delicate than the imaginary "Suckling Act" in which he burlesques Lord
Shaftesbury's Ten Hours Bill. He barbs his attacks on an oppressive
Government by jokes about the ugliness of Perceval's face and the poverty
of Canning's relations--the pensions conferred on "Sophia" and "Caroline,"
their "national veal" and "public tea"; and the "clouds of cousins arriving
by the waggon." When a bishop has insulted him, he replies with an
insinuation that the bishop obtained his preferment by fraud and
misrepresentation,[153] and jeers at him for having begun life as a
nobleman's Private Tutor, called by the "endearing but unmajestic name of
Dick." It is only fair to say that these aberrations from good taste and
good feeling became less and less frequent as years went on. That they ever
were permitted to deform the splendid advocacy of great causes is due to
the fact that, when Sydney Smith began to write, the influence of Smollett
and his imitators was still powerful. Burke's obscene diatribes against the
French Revolution were still quoted and admired. Nobody had yet made any
emphatic protest against the beastliness of Swift or the brutalities of

When these necessary deductions have been made, we can return to the most
admiring eulogy. In 1835 Sydney wrote:--

"Catch me, if you can, in any one illiberal sentiment, or in any
opinion which I have need to recant; and that, after twenty years'
scribbling upon all subjects."

It was no mean boast, and it was absolutely justified by the record. From
first to last he was the convinced, eager, and devoted friend of Freedom,
and that without distinction of place or race or colour. He would make no
terms with a man who temporized about the Slave-Trade.--

"No man should ever hold parley with it, but speak of it with
abhorrence, as the greatest of all human abominations."

The toleration of Slavery was the one and grave exception to his unstinted
admiration of the United States, which afforded, in his opinion, "the most
magnificent picture of human happiness" which the world had ever seen. And
this because in America, more than in any other country, each citizen was
free to live his own life, manage his own affairs, and work out his own
destiny, under the protection of just and equal laws. As regards political
institutions in England, he seems to have been converted rather gradually
to the belief that Reform was necessary. In 1819 he wrote to his friend

"The case that the people have is too strong to be resisted; an answer
may be made to it, which will satisfy enlightened people perhaps, but
none that the mass will be satisfied with. I am doubtful whether it is
not your duty and my duty to become moderate Reformers, to keep off

In 1820 he wrote:--"I think all wise men should begin to turn their faces
Reform-wards." In 1821 he writes about the state of parties in the House of

"Of all ingenious instruments of despotism, I most commend a popular
assembly where the majority are paid and hired, and a few bold and
able men, by their brave speeches, make the people believe they are

And then again, with regard to religious liberty, what can be finer than
his protest against the spirit of persecution?--

"I admit there is a vast luxury in selecting a particular set of
Christians and in worrying them as a boy worries a puppy dog; it is an
amusement in which all the young English are brought up from their
earliest days. I like the idea of saying to men who use a different
hassock from me, that till they change their hassock, they shall never
be Colonels, Aldermen, or Parliament-men. While I am gratifying my
personal insolence respecting religious forms, I fondle myself into an
idea that I am religious, and that I am doing my duty in the most
exemplary (as I certainly am in the most easy) way."

It may perhaps be dangerous to persecute the Roman Catholics of Ireland.
They are many, they are spirited--they may turn round and hurt us. It might
be wiser to try our hands on some small body like the Evangelicals of
Clapham or the followers of William Wilberforce (at whom in passing he aims
a Shandeau sneer).--

"We will gratify the love of insolence and power; we will enjoy the
old orthodox sport of witnessing the impotent anger of men compelled
to submit to civil degradation, or to sacrifice their notions of truth
to ours. And all this we may do without the slightest risk, because
their numbers are (as yet) not very considerable. Cruelty and
injustice must, of course, exist: but why connect them with danger?
Why torture a bull-dog, when you can get a frog or a rabbit? I am sure
my proposal will meet with the most universal approbation. Do not be
apprehensive of any opposition from Ministers. If it is a case of
hatred, we are sure that one man[155] will defend it by the Gospel: if
it abridges human freedom, we know that another[156] will find
precedents for it in the Revolution."

As years went on, he was sometimes displeased by the doings of his Liberal
friends, but he was never "stricken by the palsy of candour"; he never
forsook the good cause for which he had fought so steadily, never made
terms with political deserters. After the Conservative triumph of 1841 he
wrote:--"The country is in a state of political transition, and the shabby
are preparing their consciences and opinions for a tack."

But, though he was so keen and so consistent a champion of civil and
religious freedom, he was a sworn foe to anarchy and licence. Like most
people who had seen the later stages of the French Revolution, he had a
holy horror of mob-law and mob-justice. "If I am to be a slave," he said,
"I would rather be the slave of a king than of a rabble"; but he vehemently
objected to being the slave of either. He likened Democracy and Despotism
to the "two tubes of a double-barrelled pistol," which menaced the life of
the State. "The democrats are as much to be kept at bay with the left hand
as the Tories are with the right." "A thousand years," he wrote in 1838,
"have scarce sufficed to make our blessed England what it is: an hour may
lay it in the dust."

After the riots at Bristol in 1831, consequent on the rejection of the
Reform Bill, he strenuously demanded stern punishment for the rioters. He
wrote to the Prime Minister:--

"Pray do not be good-natured about Bristol. I must have ten people
hanged, and twenty transported, and thirty imprisoned; it is
absolutely necessary to give the multitude a severe blow, for their
conduct at Bristol has been most atrocious. You will save lives by it
in the end. There is no plea of want, as there was in the agricultural

_You will save lives by it in the end._ There spoke the truly humanitarian
spirit which does not shrink from drawing the sword at the bidding of real
necessity, but asks itself once and again whether any proposed effusion of
blood is really demanded by the exigencies of the moral law.

On questions of peace and war, Sydney Smith was always on the right
side.[157] He saw as clearly as the most clamorous patriot that England was
morally bound to defend her existence and her freedom. He exhorted her to
rally all her forces and strive with agonies and energies against the
anti-human ambition of Napoleon. And, when once the great deliverance was
achieved, he turned again to the enjoyment and the glorification of

"Let fools praise conquerors, and say the great Napoleon pulled down
this kingdom and destroyed that army: we will thank God for a
King[158] who has derived his quiet glory from the peace of his

"The atrocities, and horrors, and disgusts of war have never been half
enough insisted upon by the teachers of the people; but the worst of
evils and the greatest of follies have been varnished over with
specious names, and the gigantic robbers and murderers of the world
have been holden up for imitation to the weak eyes of youth."

No wars, except the very few which we really required for national
self-defence, could attract his sympathy. Wars of intervention in the
affairs of other nations, even when undertaken for excellent objects, he
regarded with profound mistrust.

When in 1823, the nascent liberties of Spain were threatened, he wrote:--

"I am afraid we shall go to war; I am sorry for it. I see every day in
the world a thousand acts of oppression which I should like to resent,
but I cannot afford to play the Quixote. Why are the English to be the
sole vindicators of the human race?"

And again:--

"For God's sake, do not drag me into another war! I am worn down, and
worn out, with crusading and defending Europe, and protecting mankind;
I _must_ think a little of myself. I am sorry for the Spaniards--I am
sorry for the Greeks--I deplore the fate of the Jews; the people of
the Sandwich Islands are groaning under the most detestable tyranny;
Bagdad is oppressed--I do not like the present state of the
Delta--Thibet is not comfortable. Am I to fight for all these people?
The world is bursting with sin and sorrow. Am I to be champion of the
Decalogue, and to be eternally raising fleets and armies to make all
men good and happy? We have just done saving Europe, and I am afraid
the consequence will be, that we shall cut each other's throats."

In 1830 he wrote to his friend Lady Holland about her son,[159] afterwards
General Fox:--

"I am very glad to see Charles in the Guards. He will now remain at
home; for I trust that there will be no more embarkation of the Guards
while I live, and that a captain of the Guards will be as ignorant of
the colour of blood as the rector of a parish. We have had important
events enough within the last twenty years. May all remaining events
be culinary, amorous, literary, or any thing but political!"

And so again, according to Lord Houghton, he said in later life:--

"I have spent enough and fought enough for other nations. I must think
a little of myself. I want to sit under my own bramble and sloe-tree
with my own great-coat and umbrella."

This is no fatty degeneration of the chivalrous spirit. It is merely the
old doctrine of Non-intervention speaking in a lighter tone.

An account of a man's personal characteristics must contain some estimate
of his aesthetic sense. This was not very strongly developed in Sydney
Smith. He admired the beauties of a smiling landscape, such as he saw in
the Vale of Taunton, and hated grimness and barrenness such as he
remembered at Harrogate. "I thought it the most heaven-forgotten country
under the sun when I saw it; there were only nine mangy fir-trees there,
and even they all leaned away from it." He enjoyed bright colours and sweet
scents, and had a passion for light. His views of Art were primitive. We
have seen that he preferred gas to Correggio. He admired West,[160] and did
not admire Haydon.[161] He bought pictures for the better decoration of his
drawing-room, and, when they did not please him, had them altered to suit
his taste,--

"Look at that sea-piece, now; what would you desire more? It is true,
the moon in the corner was rather dingy when I first bought it; so I
had a new moon put in for half-a-crown, and now I consider it

This perhaps may be regarded as burlesque, and so may his sympathetic
remark to the gushing connoisseur--

"I got into dreadful disgrace with him once, when, standing before a
picture at Bowood, he exclaimed, turning to me, 'Immense breadth of
light and shade!' I innocently said, 'Yes;--about an inch and a half.'
He gave me a look that ought to have killed me."

But his gratitude to his young friend Lady Mary Bennet, who covered the
walls of his Rectory with the sweet products of her pencil, is only too
palpably sincere. It may perhaps be imputed to him for aesthetic virtue that
he considered the national monuments in St. Paul's, with the sole exception
of Dr. Johnson's, "a disgusting heap of trash." It is less satisfactory
that he found the Prince Regent's "suite of golden rooms" at Carlton House
"extremely magnificent."

To music he was more sympathetic, but even here his sympathies had their
limitations. Music in the minor key made him melancholy, and had to be
discontinued when he was in residence at St. Paul's;[162] and this was not
his only musical prejudice.--

"Nothing can be more disgusting than an oratorio. How absurd to see
five hundred people fiddling like madmen about the Israelites in the
Red Sea!"

"Yesterday I heard Rubini and Grisi, Lablache and Tamburini. The
opera, by Bellini, _I Puritani_, was dreadfully tiresome, and
unintelligible in its plan. I hope it is the last opera I shall ever
go to."

"_Semiramis_ would be to me pure misery. I love music very little. I
hate acting. I have the worst opinion of Semiramis herself, and the
whole thing seems to me so childish and so foolish that I cannot abide
it. Moreover, it would be rather out of etiquette for a Canon of St.
Paul's to go to the opera; and, where etiquette prevents me from doing
things disagreeable to myself, I am a perfect martinet."

After a Musical Festival at York he writes to Lady

"I did not go once. Music for such a length of time (unless under
sentence of a jury) I will not submit to. What pleasure is there in
pleasure, if quantity is not attended to, as well as quality? I know
nothing more agreeable than a dinner at Holland House; but it must not
begin at ten in the morning, and last till six. I should be incapable
for the last four hours of laughing at Lord Holland's jokes, eating
Raffaelle's cakes, or repelling Mr. Allen's[163] attack upon the

Yet, in spite of these limitations, he took lessons on the piano, and often
warbled in the domestic circle. In 1843 he writes--"I am learning to sing
some of Moore's songs, which I think I shall do to great perfection," His
daughter says, with filial piety, that, when he had once learnt a song, he
sang it very correctly, and, "having a really fine voice, often _encored
himself_." A lady who visited him at Combe Florey corroborates this
account, saying that after dinner he said to his wife, "I crave for Music,
Mrs. Smith. Music! Music!" and sang, "with his rich sweet voice, _A Few Gay
Soarings Yet_." In old age he said;--

"If I were to begin life again, I would devote much time to music. All
musical people seem to me happy; it is the most engrossing pursuit;
almost the only innocent and unpunished passion."

When we turn from the aesthetic to the literary faculty, we find it a good
deal better developed. That he was a sound scholar in the sense of being
able to read the standard classics with facility and enjoyment we know from
his own statements. In the early days of the _Edinburgh Review_ he
perceived and extolled the fine scholarship of Monk[164] and Blomfield[165]
and Maltby.[166] The fact that Marsh[167] was a man of learning mitigated
the severity of the attack on "Persecuting Bishops." His glowing tribute to
the accomplishments of Sir James Mackintosh is qualified by the remark that
"the Greek language has never crossed the Tweed in any great force." In
brief, be understood and respected classical scholarship. He was keenly
interested in English literature, and kept abreast of what was produced in
France; but German he seems to have regarded as a kind of joke, and Italian
he only mentions as part of a young lady's education.

In 1819 he wrote to his son at Westminster:--

"For the English poets, I will let you off at present with Milton,
Dryden, Pope, and Shakespeare; and remember, always in books, keep the
best company. Don't read a line of Ovid till you have mastered Virgil;
nor a line of Thomson till you have exhausted Pope; nor of Massinger,
till you are familiar with Shakespeare."

He thought Locke "a fine, satisfactory sort of a fellow, but very
long-winded"; considered Horace Walpole's "the best wit ever published in
the shape of letters"; and dismissed Madame de Sevigne as "very much
over-praised." Of Montaigne he says--"He thinks aloud, that is his great
merit, but does not think remarkably well. Mankind has improved in thinking
and writing since that period."

It was, of course, part of his regular occupation to deal with new books in
the _Edinburgh_; and, apart from these formal reviews, his letters are full
of curious comments. In 1814 he declines to read the _Edinburgh's_
criticism of Wordsworth, because "the subject is to me so very
uninteresting." In the same year he writes:--

"I think very highly of _Waverley_, and was inclined to suspect, in
reading it, that it was written by Miss Scott of Ancrum."

In 1818 he wrote about _The Heart of Midlothian_:--

"I think it excellent--quite as good as any of his novels, excepting
that in which Claverhouse is introduced, and of which I forget the
name.... He repeats his characters, but it seems they will bear
repetition. Who can read the novel without laughing and crying twenty

In 1820:--

"Have you read _Ivanhoe_? It is the least dull, and the most easily
read through, of all Scott's novels; but there are many more

Later in the same year:--

"I have just read _The Abbot_; it is far above common novels, but of
very inferior execution to his others, and hardly worth reading. He
has exhausted the subject of Scotland, and worn out the few characters
that the early periods of Scotch history could supply him with. Meg
Merrilies appears afresh in every novel."

In 1821:--

"_The Pirate_ is certainly one of the least fortunate of Sir Walter's
productions. It seems now that he cannot write without Meg Merrilies
and Dominie Sampson. One other such novel, and there's an end; but who
can last for ever? who ever lasted so long?"

In 1823:--

"_Peveril_ is a moderate production, between his best and his worst;
rather agreeable than not."

His judgment on _The Bride of Lammermoor_ is indeed deplorable. He thought
it like Scott's previous work, but "laboured in an inferior way, and more
careless, with many repetitions of himself. Caleb is overdone.... The
catastrophe is shocking and disgusting."[168]

Incidentally we find him praising Lister's _Granby_, and Hope's
_Anastasius_. He early discovered and consistently admired Macaulay, though
he drew the line at the _Lays of Ancient Rome_, on the ground that he
"abhorred all Grecian and Roman subjects." It is curious to note the number
and variety of new books which he more or less commends, and which are now
equally and completely forgotten. As we come nearer our own times, however,
we find an important conversion. In 1838 he writes:--

"_Nickleby_ is very good. I stood out against Mr. Dickens as long as I
could, but he has conquered me."

In 1843 he writes to Dickens:--

"Pecksniff and his daughters, and Pinch, are admirable--quite
first-rate painting, such as no one but yourself can execute. Chuffey
is admirable. I never read a finer piece of writing."

And, when Dickens asks him to dinner, he replies:--

"I accept your obliging invitation conditionally. If I am invited by
any man of greater genius than yourself, or one by whose works I have
been more completely interested, I will repudiate you, and dine with
the more splendid phenomenon of the two."

His crowning glory in the matter of literary criticism is that, as Ruskin
told us, he was the first man in the literary circles of London to assert
the value of _Modern Painters_. "He said it was a work of transcendent
talent, presented the most original views in the most elegant and powerful
language, and would work a complete revolution in the world of taste."[169]

With the physical sciences Sydney Smith seems to have had no real
acquaintance, unless we include among them the art of the apothecary, which
all through life he studied diligently and practised courageously. But he
recommended Botany, with some confidence, as "certain to delight little
girls"; and his friendship with the amiable and instructive Mrs.
Marcet[170] gave him a smattering of scientific terms. In a discussion on
the _Inferno_ he invented a new torment especially for that excellent
lady's benefit.--

"You should be doomed to listen, for a thousand years, to
conversations between Caroline and Emily, where Caroline should always
give wrong explanations in chemistry, and Emily in the end be unable
to distinguish an acid from an alkali."

When we turn, from these smaller matters of taste and accomplishment, to
the general view of life, Sydney Smith would seem, at first sight, to have
been a Utilitarian: and yet he declared himself in vigorous terms an
opponent of the Utilitarian School.--

"That school treat mankind as if they were mere machines; the feelings
or affections never enter into their calculations. If everything is to
be sacrificed to utility, why do you bury your grandmother? why don't
you cut her into small pieces at once, and make portable soup of her?"

In a similar vein, he said of his friend George Grote that he would have
been an important politician if the world had been a chess-board. Any
system, social, political, or philosophical, which did not directly concern
itself with the wants and feelings and impulses of human flesh and blood,
appealed to him in vain.

"How foolish," he wrote, "and how profligate, to show that the
principle of general utility has no foundation; that it is often
opposed to the interests of the individual! If this be true, there is
an end of all reasoning and all morals: and if any man asks, Why am I
to do what is generally useful? he should not be reasoned with, but
called rogue, rascal, etc., and the mob should be excited to break his

He liked what he called "useful truth." He could make no terms with
thinkers who were "more fond of disputing on mind and matter than on
anything which can have a reference to the real world, inhabited by real
men, women, and children." Indeed, all his thinking was governed by his
eager and generous humanitarianism. He thought all speculation, which did
not bear directly on the welfare and happiness of human beings, a waste of
ingenuity; and yet, at the same time, he taught that all practical systems,
which left out of account the emotional and sentimental side of man, were
incomplete and ineffectual. This higher side of his nature showed itself in
his lively affections, his intense love of home and wife and children, his
lifelong tenacity of friendship, and his overflowing sympathy for the poor,
the abject, and the suffering.

"The haunts of Happiness," he wrote, "are varied, and rather
unaccountable; but I have more often seen her among little children,
and by home firesides, and in country houses, than anywhere else,--at
least, I think so."

When his mother died, he wrote--"Everyone must go to his grave with his
heart scarred like a soldier's body," and, when he lost his infant boy, he
said--"Children are horribly insecure; the life of a parent is the life of
a gambler."

His more material side was well exhibited by the catalogue of "Modern
Changes" which he compiled in old age, heading it with the characteristic

"The good of ancient times let others state,
I think it lucky I was born so late."[171]

It concludes with the words, "Even in the best society one third of the
gentlemen at least were always drunk."

This reminds us that, in the matter of temperance, Sydney Smith was far in
advance of his time. That he was no

"budge doctor of the Stoic fur,
Praising the lean and sallow Abstinence,"

is plain enough from his correspondence. "The wretchedness of human life,"
he wrote in 1817, "is only to be encountered upon the basis of meat and
wine"; but he had a curiously keen sense of the evils induced by "the sweet
poyson."[172] As early as 1814 he urged Lord Holland to "leave off wine
entirely," for, though never guilty of excess, Holland showed a
"respectable and dangerous plenitude." After a visit to London in the same
year, Sydney wrote:--

"I liked London better than ever I liked it before, and simply, I
believe, from water-drinking. Without this, London is stupefaction and
inflammation. It is not the love of wine, but thoughtlessness and
unconscious imitation: other men poke out their hands for the
revolving wine, and one does the same, without thinking of it. All
people above the condition of labourers are ruined by excess of
stimulus and nourishment, clergy included. I never yet saw any
gentleman who ate and drank as little as was reasonable."

In 1828 he wrote to Lady Holland (of Holland House):--

"I not only was never better, but never half so well: indeed I find I
have been very ill all my life, without knowing it. Let me state some
of the goods arising from abstaining from all fermented liquors.
First, sweet sleep; having never known what sweet sleep was, I sleep
like a baby or a plough-boy. If I wake, no needless terrors, no black
visions of life, but pleasing hopes and pleasing recollections:
Holland House, past and to come! If I dream, it is not of lions and
tigers, but of Easter dues and tithes. Secondly, I can take longer
walks, and make greater exertions, without fatigue. My understanding
is improved, and I comprehend Political Economy. Only one evil ensues
from it: I am in such extravagant spirits that I must look out for
some one who will bore and depress me."

In 1834 he wrote:--

"I am better in health, avoiding all fermented liquors, and drinking
nothing but London water, with a million insects in every drop. He who
drinks a tumbler of London water has literally in his stomach more
animated beings than there are men, women, and children on the face of
the globe."

In spite of this disquieting analysis he persevered, and wrote two years

"I have had no gout, nor any symptom of it: by eating little, and
drinking only water, I keep body and mind in a serene state, and spare
the great toe. Looking back at my past life, I find that all my
miseries of body and mind have proceeded from indigestion. Young
people in early life should be thoroughly taught the moral,
intellectual, and physical evils of indigestion."

Saba, Lady Holland, who had a discreet but provoking trick of omitting the
proper name wherever we specially thirst to know it, thus reports her
father's conversation:--

"Now, I mean not to drink one drop of wine to-day, and I shall be mad
with spirits. I always am when I drink no wine. It is curious the
effect a thimbleful of wine has upon me; I feel as flat as----'s
jokes; it destroys my understanding: I forget the number of the Muses,
and think them xxxix, of course; and only get myself right again by
repeating the lines, and finding 'Descend, ye Thirty-Nine!' two feet
too long."

All this profound interest in the matter of food and drink was closely
connected in Sydney Smith with a clear sense of the influence exercised by
the body over the soul.--

"I am convinced digestion is the great secret of life; and that
character, talents, virtues, and qualities are powerfully affected by
beef, mutton, pie-crust, and rich soups. I have often thought I could
feed or starve men into many virtues and vices, and affect them more
powerfully with my instruments of cookery than Timotheus could do
formerly with his lyre."[173]

According to his own accounts of himself he seems, like most people who are
boisterously cheerful, to have had occasional tendencies to melancholy. "An
extreme depression of spirits," he writes in 1826, "is an evil of which I
have a full comprehension." But, on the other hand, he writes:--

"I thank God, who has made me poor, that He has made me merry. I think
it a better gift than much wheat and bean-land, with a doleful heart."

"My constitutional gaiety comes to my aid in all the difficulties of
life; and the recollection that, having embraced the character of an
honest man and a friend to rational liberty, I have no business to
repine at that mediocrity of fortune which I _knew_ to be its

The truth would seem to be that, finding, in his temperament and
circumstances, some predisposing causes of melancholy, he refused to sit
down under the curse and let it poison his life, but took vigorous measures
with himself and his surroundings; cultivated cheerfulness as a duty, and
repelled gloom as a disease. He "tried always to live in the Present and
the Future, and to look upon the Past as so much dirty linen." After
reading Burke, and praising his "beautiful and fruitful imagination," he
says--"With the politics of so remote a period I do not concern myself." He
had a robust confidence in the cheering virtues of air and exercise, early
hours and cold water, light and warmth, temperance in tea and coffee as
well as wine--"Apothegms of old women," as he truly said, but tested by
universal experience and found efficacious. He recommended constant
occupation, combined with variety of interests, and taught that nothing
made one feel so happy as the act of doing good. He thus describes his own
experience, when, as Canon of St. Paul's, he had presented a valuable
living to the friendless son of the deceased incumbent. He announced the
presentation to the stricken family.--

"They all burst into tears. It flung me also into a great agitation,
and I wept and groaned for a long time. Then I rose, and said I
thought it was very likely to end in their keeping a buggy, at which
we all laughed as violently. The poor old lady, who was sleeping in a
garret because she could not bear to enter into the room lately
inhabited by her husband, sent for me and kissed me, sobbing with a
thousand emotions. The charitable physician wept too.... I never
passed so remarkable a morning, nor was more deeply impressed with the
sufferings of human life, and never felt more thoroughly the happiness
of doing good."

Of all his various remedies against melancholy, the one on which he most
constantly and most earnestly insisted, was the wisdom of "taking short

"Dispel," he said, "that prophetic gloom which dives into futurity, to
extract sorrow from days and years to come, and which considers its
own unhappy visions as the decrees of Providence. We know nothing of
to-morrow: our business is to be good and happy to-day."

_Our business is to be good and happy_. This dogma inevitably suggests the
question--What was Sydney Smith's religion? First and foremost, he was a
staunch and consistent Theist.--

"I hate the insolence, persecution, and intolerance, which so often
pass under the name of religion, and have fought against them; but I
have an unaffected horror of irreligion and impiety, and every
principle of suspicion and fear would be excited in me by a man who
professed himself an infidel."[174]

In a lighter vein, he talked with dread of travelling in a stage-coach with
"an Atheist who told me what he had said in his heart."[175] And in 1808 he
wrote to his friend Jeffrey with reference to the tone of the _Edinburgh

"I must beg the favour of you to be explicit on one point. Do you mean
to take care that the _Review_ shall not profess or encourage infidel
principles? Unless this is the case, I must absolutely give up all
thoughts of connecting myself with it."

The grounds on which his theism rested seem, as Sir Leslie Stephen points
out, to have been exactly those which satisfied Paley. Lord Murray, who,
though he was a judge, does not seem to have been exacting about the
quality of argument, admiringly relates this anecdote of his friend:--

"A foreigner, on one occasion, indulging in sceptical doubts of the
existence of an overruling Providence in his presence, Sydney, who had
observed him evidently well satisfied with his repast, said, 'You must
admit there is great genius and thought in that dish.' 'Admirable!' he
replied; 'nothing can be better,' 'May I then ask, are you prepared to
deny the existence of the cook?"

Of course this is nothing but Paley's illustration of the Watch, reproduced
in a less impressive form.

But Sydney Smith was not content with a system of thought which provided
him with a working hypothesis for the construction of the physical universe
and the conduct of this present life. He looked above and beyond; and
reinforced his own faith in immortality by an appeal to the general sense
of mankind.--

"Who ever thinks of turning into ridicule our great and ardent hope of
a world to come? Whenever the man of humour meddles with these things,
he is astonished to find that in all the great feelings of their
nature the mass of mankind always think and act aright; that they are
ready enough to laugh, but that they are quite as ready to drive away,
with indignation and contempt, the light fool who comes with the
feather of wit to crumble the bulwarks of truth, and to beat down the
Temples of God. We count over the pious spirits of the world, the
beautiful writers, the great statesmen, all who have invented
subtlely, who have thought deeply, who have executed wisely:--all
these are proofs that we are destined for a second life; and it is not
possible to believe that this redundant vigour, this lavish and
excessive power, was given for the mere gathering of meat and drink.
If the only object is present existence, such faculties are cruel, are
misplaced, are useless. They all show us that there is something great
awaiting us,--that the soul is now young and infantine, springing up
into a more perfect life when the body falls into dust."

"Man is imprisoned here only for a season, to take a better or a worse
hereafter, as he deserves it. This old truth is the fountain of all
goodness, and justice, and kindness among men: may we all feel it
intimately, obey it perpetually, and profit by it eternally!"

He was not a theist only, but a Christian. Here again, as in the argument
from Design, he followed Paley, laid great stress on Evidences, and
"selected his train of reasoning with some care from the best writers." He
said;--"The truth of Christianity depends upon its leading facts, and of
these we have such evidence as ought to satisfy us, till it appears that
mankind have ever been deceived by proofs as numerous and as strong."
Having convinced himself that the Christian religion was true, he was loyal
in word and act to what he had accepted. He remonstrated vigorously against
an "anti-Christian article" which crept into the _Edinburgh Review_; and
felt, as keenly as the strongest sacerdotalist or the most fervent
Evangelical, the bounden duty of defending the body of truth to which his
Ordination had pledged him.

It can scarcely be contested that his conceptions of that truth were, in
some grave respects, defective. The absolute dominion and overruling
providence of God are always present to his mind, and he urges as the
ground of all virtuous effort the Character and Example of Christ. But the
notion of Atonement finds no place in his thought. The virtuous will attain
to eternal blessedness, and the vicious will perish in their vices. The
free pardon of confessed sin--access to happiness through a Divine
Mediation--in a word, the Doctrine of the Cross--seems, as far as his
recorded utterances go, to have been quite alien from his system of
religion. The appeal to personal experience of sinfulness, forgiveness, and
acceptance, he would have dismissed as mere enthusiasm--and he declared in
his sermon on the Character and Genius of the Christian Religion, that
"_the Gospel has no enthusiasm_." That it once was possible for a clergyman
to utter these five words as containing an axiomatic truth, marks, perhaps
as plainly as it is possible for language to mark it, the change effected
in the religion of the Church of England by the successive action of the
Evangelical Revival and of the Oxford Movement.

Sydney Smith's firm belief, from first to last, was that Religion was
intended to make men good and happy in daily life. This was "the calm tenor
of its language," and the "practical view" of its rule. And, as far as it
goes, no one can quarrel with the doctrine so laid down. After staying with
some Puritanical friends, he wrote:--

"I endeavour in vain to give them more cheerful ideas of religion: to
teach them that God is not a jealous, childish, merciless tyrant; that
He is best served by a regular tenour of good actions,--not by bad
singing, ill-composed prayers, and eternal apprehensions. But the
luxury of false religion is, to be unhappy!"

It was probably this strong conviction that everything pertaining to
religion ought to be bright and cheerful, that led him, as far back as the
days when he was preaching in Edinburgh, to urge the need for more material
beauty in public worship.--

"No reflecting man can ever wish to adulterate manly piety (the parent
of all that is good in the world) with mummery and parade. But we are
strange, very strange creatures, and it is better perhaps not to place
too much confidence in our reason alone. If anything, there is,
perhaps, too little pomp and ceremony in our worship, instead of too
much. We quarrelled with the Roman Catholic Church, in a great hurry
and a great passion; and, furious with spleen, clothed ourselves with
sackcloth, because she was habited in brocade; rushing, like children,
from one extreme to another, and blind to all medium between
complication and barrenness, formality and neglect. I am very glad to
find we are calling in, more and more, the aid of music to our
services. In London, where it can be commanded, good music has a
prodigious effect in filling a church; organs have been put up in
various churches in the country, and, as I have been informed, with
the best possible effect. Of what value, it may be asked, are auditors
who come there from such motives? But our first business seems to be,
to bring them there from any motive which is not undignified and
ridiculous, and then to keep them there from a good one: those who
come for pleasure may remain for prayer."

When Sydney speaks of our "quarrel with the Roman Catholic Church," he
speaks of a quarrel in which, at least as far as doctrine is concerned, he
had his full share. Never was a stouter Protestant. Even in the passages in
which he makes his strongest appeals for the civil rights of Romanists, he
goes out of the way to pour scorn on their religion. Some of his language
is unquotable: here are some milder specimens:--

"As for the enormous wax candles, and superstitious mummeries, and
painted jackets of the Catholic priests, I fear them not."

"Spencer Perceval is in horror lest twelve or fourteen old women may
be converted to holy water and Catholic nonsense."

"I am as disgusted with the nonsense of the Roman Catholic religion as
you can be; and no man who talks such nonsense shall ever tithe the
products of the earth."

"Catholic nonsense" is not a happy phrase on the lips of a man who was
officially bound to recite his belief in the Catholic Faith and to pray for
the good estate of the Catholic Church. A priest who administers Baptism
according to the use of the Church of England should not talk about "the
sanctified contents of a pump," or describe people who cross themselves as
"making right angles upon the breast and forehead." But time brings changes
in religious, as well as in social, manners, and Peter Plymley prophesied
nearly thirty years before Keble's sermon on "National Apostasy" had
started the second revival of the English Church.[176]

No one who has studied the character and career of Sydney Smith would
expect him to be very sympathetic with the work which bore the name of
Pusey. In 1841 he preached against it at St. Paul's.

"I wish you had witnessed, the other day, my incredible boldness in
attacking the Puseyites. I told them that they made the Christian
religion a religion of postures and ceremonies, of circumflexions and
genuflexions, of garments and vestures, of ostentation and parade;
that they took tithe of mint and cummin, and neglected the weightier
matters of the law,--justice, mercy, and the duties of life: and so

From Combe Florey he wrote:--

"Everybody here is turning Puseyite. Having worn out my black gown, I
preach in my surplice; this is all the change I have made, or mean to

In 1842 he wrote to a friend abroad:--

"I have not yet discovered of what I am to die, but I rather believe I
shall be burnt alive by the Puseyites. Nothing so remarkable in
England as the progress of these foolish people.[177] I have no
conception what they mean, if it be not to revive every absurd
ceremony, and every antiquated folly, which the common sense of
mankind has set to sleep. You will find at your return a fanatical
Church of England, but pray do not let it prevent your return. We can
always gather together, in Green Street, a chosen few who have never
bowed the knee to Rimmon."

It may be questioned whether the Hermit of Green Street was very well
qualified to settle the points at issue between the "Puseyites" and
himself, or had bestowed very close attention on what is, after all, mainly
a question of Documents. In earlier days, when it suited his purpose to
argue for greater liberality towards Roman Catholics, he had said:--

"In their tenets, in their church-government, in the nature of their
endowments, the Dissenters are infinitely more distant from the Church
of England than the Catholics are."

In 1813 he had intervened in the controversy which raged round the cradle
of that most pacific institution, the British and Foreign Bible Society,
and had taken the unexpectedly clerical view that Churchmen were bound to
"circulate the Scriptures with the Prayer Book, in preference to any other
method." But he grounded a claim to promotion on the fact that he had
"always avoided speculative, and preached practical, religion." He spoke of
a "theological" bishop in the sense of dispraise, and linked the epithet
with "bitter" and "bustling." Beyond question he had read the Bible, but he
was not alarmingly familiar with the sacred text. It is reported[178] that
he once referred to the case of the man who puts his hand to the plough and
looks back[179] as being "somewhere in the Epistles." He forgot the names
of Job's daughters, until reminded by a neighbouring Squire who had called
his greyhounds Jemima, Kezia, and Keren-Happuch. He attributed the _Nunc
Dimittis_ to an author vaguely but conveniently known as "The Psalmist,"
and by so doing drew down on himself the ridicule of Wilson Croker.[180] It
may be questioned whether he ever read the Prayer Book except in Church.
With the literature of Christian antiquity he had not, so far as his
writings show, the slightest acquaintance; and his knowledge of Anglican
divines--Wake, and Cleaver, and Sherlock, and Horsley--has a suspicious air
of having been hastily acquired for the express purpose of confuting Bishop
Marsh. So we will not cite him as a witness in a case where the highest and
deepest mysteries of Revelation are involved, and where a minute
acquaintance with documents is an indispensable equipment. We prefer to
take leave of him as a Christian preacher, seeking only the edification of
his hearers. In a sermon on the Holy Communion, preached from the pulpit of
St. Paul's, he delivers this striking testimony to a religious truth,
which, if stated in a formal proposition, he would probably have

"If you, who only _partake_ of this Sacrament, cannot fail to be
struck with its solemnity, we who not only receive it, but minister it
to every description of human beings, in every season of peril and
distress, must be intimately and deeply pervaded by that feeling....
To know the power of this Sacrament, give it to him whose doom is
sealed, who in a few hours will be no more. The Bread and the Wine are
his immense hope! they seem to stand between him and infinite danger,
to soothe pain, to calm perturbation, and to inspire immortal

What is the conclusion of the whole matter? It is, in my judgment, that
Sydney Smith was a patriot of the noblest and purest type; a genuinely
religious man according to his light and opportunity; and the happy
possessor of a rich and singular talent which he employed through a long
life in the willing service of the helpless, the persecuted, and the poor.
To use his own fine phrase, the interests of humanity "got into his heart
and circulated with his blood."[181] He wrote and spoke and acted in prompt
and uncalculating obedience to an imperious conviction.--

"If," he said, "you ask me who excites me, I answer you, it is that
Judge Who stirs good thoughts in honest hearts--under Whose warrant I
impeach the wrong, and by Whose help I hope to chastise it."

Here was both the source and the consecration of that glorious mirth by
which he still holds his place in the hearts and on the lips of men. His
playful speech was the vehicle of a passionate purpose. From his earliest
manhood, he was ready to sacrifice all that the sordid world thinks
precious for Religious Equality and Rational Freedom.

[145] Eden Upton Eddis (1812-1901).

[146] Miss Holland writes--"His hair, when I know him, was beautifully
fine, silvery, and abundant; rather _taille en brosse_, like a

[147] Lord Houghton.

[148] A hostile reviewer of his Sermons quotes from them such phrases
as--"Lays hid," "Has sprang," "Has drank," "Rarely or ever."

[149] See p. 90.

[150] I have not attempted to make a catalogue of these jokes. Such
catalogues will be found in the previous Memoirs of Sydney Smith, and
in Sir Wemyss Reid's Life of Lord Houghton.

[151] Hugo Charles Meynell-Ingram (1784-1869), of Hoar Cross and Temple

[152] (1808-1891), became 7th Duke of Devonshire in 1858.

[153] This insinuation was quite unfounded.

[154] It is pleasant to cite the testimony of Lord Houghton, who assured
Mr. Stuart Reid that he "never knew, except once, Sydney Smith to make
a jest on any _religious_ subject; and then he immediately withdrew
his words and seemed ashamed that he had uttered them."

[155] Spencer Perceval.

[156] Lord Hawkesbury.

[157] See Appendix E.

[158] William IV.

[159] Charles Richard Fox (1796-1873).

[160] Benjamin West (1738-1820).

[161] Benjamin Robert Haydon (1786-1846).

[162] I am indebted for this tradition to the Rev. H.S. Holland, D.D.,
Canon of St. Paul's.

[163] John Allen was nicknamed "Lady Holland's Atheist."

[164] Bishop of Gloucester.

[165] Bishop of London.

[166] Bishop of Durham.

[167] Bishop of Peterborough.

[168] Quoted by Mr. Stuart Reid.

[169] _Praeterita_, vol. II. chap. ix.

[170] Jane Marcet (1769-1858), authoress of _Conversations on

[171] _See_ Appendix C.

[172] _Comus_.

[173] See Appendix D.

[174] Compare his attack on Hobbes, of whom he says that his "dirty
recreation" of smoking did not interrupt any "immoral, irreligious, or
unmathematical track of thought in which he happened to be engaged."--
_Lectures on Moral Philosophy_, xxvi.

[175] Dixit insipiens in corde suo; Non est Deus.--_Psalm_ xiv.

[176] July 14, 1833. "I have ever considered and kept the day as the start
of the religious movement of 1833."--CARDINAL NEWMAN, _Apologia_.

[177] In early life he wrote from Edinburgh;--"In England, I maintain,
(except among ladies in the middle rank of life) there is no religion
at all. The Clergy of England have no more influence over the people
at large than the Cheesemongers of England."

[178] By Mr. Stuart Reid.

[179] St. Luke ix. 62.

[180] "What can we think of the fitness of a man to address his Queen and
his country in the _dogmatical_ strain of this pamphlet, who does not
know the New Testament from the Old; the Psalms from the Gospel, David
from Simeon; who expatiates so pompously on the duty and benefit of
_prayer_, yet mistakes and miscalls a portion of the _Common Prayer_,
which he is bound in law and in conscience to repeat every evening of
his life."--_Quarterly Review_, July 1837.

The reference is to the Sermon on the Queen's Accession. The blunder
was rectified in a later edition.

[181] He said this of Lord Grey.



Vol. Art. Page.
1 2 18
1 3 24
1 9 83
1 12 94
1 16 113
1 18 122
1 20 128
1 6 314
1 10 382
2 2 30
2 4 53
2 6 86
2 14 136
2 17 172
2 22 202
2 2 287
2 4 330
2 10 398
3 12 146
3 7 334
3 9 355
9 12 177
10 4 299
10 6 329
11 5 341
12 5 82
12 9 151
13 2 25
13 5 77
13 4 333
14 3 40
14 11 145
14 5 353
14 13 490
15 3 40
15 3 299
16 7 158
16 3 326
16 7 399
17 4 330
17 8 393
18 3 325
21 4 93
22 4 67
23 8 189
31 2 44
31 6 132
31 2 295
32 2 28
32 3 309
32 6 111
32 6 389
33 3 68
33 5 91
34 5 109
34 2 320
34 8 242
35 5 92
35 7 123
35 2 286
36 6 110
36 3 353
37 2 325
37 7 432
38 4 85
39 2 43
39 2 299
40 2 31
40 7 427
41 7 143
42 4 367
43 2 299
43 7 395
44 2 47
45 3 74
45 7 423

Of these articles, sixty-five were reprinted by the author and are to be
found in his _Works_. Those which he did not reprint are the

Vol. Art.
1 3
2 4
3 1
3 12
3 7
13 5
16 7
17 4
32 6
34 5
34 8
37 2


"We can inform Jonathan what are the inevitable consequences of being too
fond of glory; TAXES upon every article which enters into the mouth, or
covers the back, or is placed under the foot--taxes upon every thing which
it is pleasant to see, hear, feel, smell, or taste--taxes upon warmth,
light, and locomotion--taxes on every thing on earth and the waters under
the earth, on everything that comes from abroad, or is grown at home--taxes
on the raw material--taxes on every fresh value that is added to it by the
industry of man--taxes on the sauce which pampers man's appetite, and the
drug that restores him to health--on the ermine which decorates the judge,
and the rope which hangs the criminal--on the poor man's salt, and the rich
man's spice--on the brass nails of the coffin, and the ribands of the
bride. At bed or board, couchant or levant, we must pay--the schoolboy
whips his taxed top--the beardless youth manages his taxed horse, with a
taxed bridle, on a taxed road;--and the dying Englishman, pouring his
medicine, which has paid 7 per cent., into a spoon that has paid 15 per
cent.--flings himself back upon his chintz bed, which has paid 22 per
cent--and expires in the arms of an apothecary who has paid a licence of a
hundred pounds for the privilege of putting him to death. His whole
property is then immediately taxed front 2 to 10 per cent. Besides the
probate, large fees are demanded for burying him in the chancel; his
virtues are handed down to posterity on taxed marble; and he is then
gathered to his fathers--to be taxed no more."--_Review of Seybert's
"America" in the Collected Works_.

"What would our ancestors say to this, Sir? How does this measure tally
with their institutions? How does it agree with their experience? Are we to
put the wisdom of yesterday in competition with the wisdom of centuries?
(_Hear! hear!_) Is beardless youth to show no respect for the
decisions of mature age? (_Loud cries of hear! hear!_) If this measure
be right, would it have escaped the wisdom of those Saxon progenitors to
whom we are indebted for so many of our best political institutions? Would
the Dane have passed it over? Would the Norman have rejected it? Would such
a notable discovery have been reserved for these modern and degenerate
times? Besides, Sir, if the measure itself is good, I ask the Honourable
Gentleman if this is the time for carrying it into execution--whether, in
fact, a more unfortunate period could have been selected than that which he
has chosen? If this were an ordinary measure, I should not oppose it with
so much vehemence; but, Sir, it calls in question the wisdom of an
irrevocable law--of a law passed at the memorable period of the Revolution.
What right have we, Sir, to break down this firm column on which the great
men of that age stamped a character of eternity? Are not all authorities
against this measure--Pitt, Fox, Cicero, and the Attorney and
Solicitor-General? The proposition is new, Sir; it is the first time it was
ever heard in this House. I am not prepared, Sir--this House is not
prepared, to receive it. The measure implies a distrust of his Majesty's
Government; their disapproval is sufficient to warrant opposition.
Precaution only is requisite where danger is apprehended. Here the high
character of the individuals in question is a sufficient guarantee against
any ground of alarm. Give not, then, your sanction to this measure; for,
whatever be its character, if you do give your sanction to it, the same man
by whom this is proposed, will propose to you others to which it will be
impossible to give your consent. I care very little, Sir, for the
ostensible measure; but what is there behind? What are the Honourable
Gentleman's future schemes? If we pass this bill, what fresh concessions
may he not require? What further degradation is he planning for his
country? Talk of evil and inconvenience, Sir! look to other
countries--study other aggregations and societies of men, and then see
whether the laws of this country demand a remedy or deserve a panegyric.
Was the Honourable Gentleman (let me ask him) always of this way of
thinking? Do I not remember when he was the advocate in this House of very
opposite opinions? I not only quarrel with his present sentiments, Sir, but
I declare very frankly I do not like the party with which he acts. If his
own motives were as pure as possible, they cannot but suffer contamination
from those with whom he is politically associated. This measure may be a
boon to the constitution, but I will accept no favour to the constitution
from such hands. (_Loud cries of hear! hear!_) I profess myself, Sir, an
honest and upright member of the British Parliament, and I am not afraid to
profess myself an enemy to all change, and all innovation. I am satisfied
with things as they are; and it will be my pride and pleasure to hand down
this country to my children as I received it from those who preceded me.
The Honourable Gentleman pretends to justify the severity with which he has
attacked the Noble Lord who presides in the Court of Chancery, But I say
such attacks are pregnant with mischief to Government itself. Oppose
Ministers, you oppose Government; disgrace Ministers, you disgrace
Government; bring Ministers into contempt, you bring Government into
contempt; and anarchy and civil war are the consequences. Besides, Sir, the
measure is unnecessary. Nobody complains of disorder in that shape in which
it is the aim of your measure to propose a remedy to it. The business is
one of the greatest importance; there is need of the greatest caution and
circumspection. Do not let us be precipitate, Sir; it is impossible to
foresee all consequences. Every thing should be gradual; the example of a
neighbouring nation should fill us with alarm! The honourable gentleman has
taxed me with illiberality. Sir, I deny the charge. I hate innovation, but
I love improvement. I am an enemy to the corruption of Government, but I
defend its influence. I dread reform, but I dread it only when it is
intemperate. I consider the liberty of the press as the great Palladium of
the Constitution; but, at the same time, I hold the licentiousness of the
press in the greatest abhorrence. Nobody is more conscious than I am of the
splendid abilities of the Honourable Mover, but I tell him at once, his
scheme is too good to be practicable. It savours of Utopia. It looks well
in theory, but it won't do in practice. It will not do, I repeat, Sir, in
practice; and so the advocates of the measure will find, if, unfortunately,
it should find its way through Parliament. (_Cheers_.) The source of that
corruption to which the Honourable Member alludes, is in the minds of the
people; so rank and extensive is that corruption, that no political reform
can have any effect in removing it. Instead of reforming others--instead of
reforming the State, the Constitution, and every thing that is most
excellent, let each man reform himself! let him look at home, he will find
there enough to do, without looking abroad, and aiming at what is out of
his power. (_Loud Cheers_). And now, Sir, as it is frequently the custom in
this House to end with a quotation, and as the gentleman who preceded me in
the debate has anticipated me in my favourite quotation of the 'Strong pull
and long pull,' I shall end with the memorable words of the assembled
barons--_Nolumus leges Angliae mutari_'"--_Review of Bentham's "Book of
Fallacies" in the Collected Works_.


"It is of some importance at what period a man is born. A young man, alive
at this period, hardly knows to what improvements of human life he has been
introduced; and I would bring before his notice the following eighteen
changes which have taken place in England since I first began to breathe in
it the breath of life--a period amounting now to nearly seventy-three

"Gas was unknown: I groped about the streets of London in all but the utter
darkness of a twinkling oil lamp, under the protection of watchmen in their
grand climacteric, and exposed to every species of depredation and insult.

"I have been nine hours in sailing from Dover to Calais before the
invention of steam. It took me nine hours to go from Taunton to Bath,
before the invention of railroads, and I now go in six hours from Taunton
to London! In going from Taunton to Bath, I suffered between 10,000 and
12,000 severe contusions, before stone-breaking Macadam was born.

"I paid L15 in a single year for repairs of carriage-springs on the
pavement of London; and I now glide without noise or fracture, on wooden

"I can walk, by the assistance of the police, from one end of London to the
other, without molestation; or, if tired, get into a cheap and active cab,
instead of those cottages on wheels, which the hackney coaches were at the
beginning of my life.

"I had no umbrella! They were little used, and very dear. There were no
waterproof hats, and _my_ hat has often been reduced by rains into its
primitive pulp.

"I could not keep my smallclothes in their proper place, for braces were
unknown. If I had the gout, there was no colchicum. If I was bilious, there
was no calomel. If I was attacked by ague, there was no quinine. There were
filthy coffee-houses instead of elegant clubs. Game could not be bought.
Quarrels about Uncommuted Tithes were endless. The corruptions of
Parliament, before Reform, infamous. There were no banks to receive the
savings of the poor. The Poor Laws were gradually sapping the vitals of the
country; and, whatever miseries I suffered, I had no post to whisk my
complaints for a single penny to the remotest corners of the empire; and
yet, in spite of all these privations, I lived on quietly, and am now
ashamed that I was not more discontented, and utterly surprised that all
these changes and inventions did not occur two centuries ago.

"I forgot to add that, as the basket of stage-coaches, in which luggage was
then carried, had no springs, your clothes were rubbed all to pieces; and
that even in the best society one third of the gentlemen at least were
always drunk."--"_Modern Changes" in the Collected Works_.


"The longer I live, the more I am convinced that the apothecary is of more
importance than Seneca; and that half the unhappiness in the world proceeds
from little stoppages, from a duct choked up, from food pressing in the
wrong place, from a vext duodenum, or an agitated pylorus.

"The deception, as practised upon human creatures, is curious and
entertaining. My friend sups late; he eats some strong soup, then a
lobster, then some tart, and he dilutes these esculent varieties with wine.
The next day I call upon him. He is going to sell his house in London, and
to retire into the country. He is alarmed for his eldest daughter's health.
His expenses are hourly increasing, and nothing but a timely retreat can
save him from ruin. All this is the lobster; and, when over-excited nature
has had time to manage this testaceous encumbrance, the daughter recovers,
the finances are in good order, and every rural idea effectually excluded
from the mind.

"In the same manner old friendships are destroyed by toasted cheese, and
hard salted meat has led to suicide. Unpleasant feelings of the body
produce correspondent sensations in the mind, and a great scene of
wretchedness is sketched out by a morsel of indigestible and misguided
food. Of such infinite consequence to happiness is it to study the
body."--_Quoted by Lady Holland in her "Memoir of Sydney Smith_."


"I am sorry that I did not, in the execution of my self-created office as a
reviewer, take an opportunity in this, or some other military work, to
descant a little upon the miseries of war; and I think this has been
unaccountably neglected in a work abounding in useful essays, and ever on
the watch to propagate good and wise principles. It is not that human
beings can live without occasional wars, but they may live with fewer wars,
and take more just views of the evils which war inflicts upon mankind. If
three men were to have their legs and arms broken, and were to remain all
night exposed to the inclemency of weather, the whole country would be in a
state of the most dreadful agitation. Look at the wholesale death of a
field of battle, ten acres covered with dead, and half dead, and dying; and
the shrieks and agonies of many thousand human beings. There is more of
misery inflicted upon mankind by one year of war, than by all the civil
peculations and oppressions of a century. Yet it is a state into which the
mass of mankind rush with the greatest avidity, hailing official murderers,
in scarlet, gold, and cocks' feathers, as the greatest and most glorious of
human creatures. It is the business of every wise and good man to set
himself against this passion for military glory, which really seems to be
the most fruitful source of human misery.

"What would be said of a party of gentlemen who were to sit very peaceably
conversing for half an hour, and then were to fight for another half hour,
then shake hands, and at the expiration of thirty minutes fight again? Yet
such has been the state of the world between 1714 and 1815, a period in
which there was in England as many years of war as peace. Societies have
been instituted for the preservation of peace, and for lessening the
popular love of war. They deserve every encouragement. The highest praise
is due to Louis Philippe for his efforts to keep Europe in
peace,"--_Footnote to Review of "Letters from a Mahratta Camp" in the
Collected Works_.


_Abbot, The_ (Scott), 208.
Advocates, duties of, 102.
Allen, John, 84, 206.
Althorp, Lord, 173.
_America_, Seybert's, _Review of_, 227-228.
American affairs, 190,195,199.
---- War of Independence, 140.
_Anastasius_ (Hope), 209.
_Apologia_ (Newman), 76, 221 n.
Aristotle, 36.
Auckland, Lord, 161.
Austin, Mrs, 145 n., 153.


Bacon, 36.
Ballot, the, 177.
Banks, Sir Joseph, 187.
Barrington, Bishop, 16.
Beach, Hicks-, family, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22.
Beaconsfield, Lord, 128,161,162 n.
Beattie, 35.
Bedford, Duke of, 18,
Benefices, inequality of, 164, 168, seq., 171.
Bennet, Lady Mary, 85, 205.
Berkeley, Bishop, 35.
Bernard, Mr. Thomas, 30, 31, 39.
Bethell, Bishop, 78.
Bishops, powers of, 165 seq.
Blomfield, Bishop, 79, 173, 175, 176, 207.
_Book of Fallacies_ (Bentham), _Review of_, 228-230.
Bossuet, 49.
Bowles, John, 26.
_Bride of Lammermoor, The_ (Scott), 209.
Brougham, Lord, 18, 24, 25, 26, 128.
Brown, Thomas (metaphysician), 18, 25, 34.
Burke, 198, 215.
Butler, George, Head-master of Harrow, 78.
Byron, 3, 26 n.


Camden, Lord, 63
Campbell, Lord, 161.
Canning, 3, 48 50, 60, 61, 62, 63, 124, 125, 198.
Carey, William (missionary), 180, 181.
Carlisle, Lord, 87.
---- _see_ Howard.
Carr, Bishop, 145 n.
Castlereagh, Lord, 55, 56, 63, 140.
Cathedral property, 164, 168 seq., 171 seq.
Catholic Question, 42, 43, 45-76, 106 seq.
---- Church, Roman, 115.
Catholicism, Roman, 221.
Channing, 191 n.
Charlemont, Lady, 161.
Charles I., 119.
---- II., 119.
Church, Dean, 91.
Church of England, 46, 77 seq., 108, 121, 178.
Church Reform, 163-176.
Clarendon, Lord, 161.
Classics, study of, 10.
Clergy, English, 91, 106, 163, 221, 222.
---- non-residence of, 77 seq.
---- Catholic, education of, 53.
Coercion of Ireland, 69.
Combe Florey, Somerset, 131, 132 seq., 142.
Commission, Ecclesiastical, 163 seq.
Constable (publisher), 26.
_Contempt of Wealth_ (Seneca), 176.
Copley, _see_ Lyndhurst.
Cornewall, Bishop, 145 n.
Coronation Oath, 47, 165.
Cottenham, Lord, 161.
Courtenay, Bishop, 78.
Cowper, 3.
Croker, John Wilson, 168, 221.
Cromwell, 117.
Cromwell, Henry, 120 n.


Davy, Sir Humphry, 87.
Denman, Lord, 161.
Devonshire, William Cavendish, 7th Duke of, 196.
Dickens, Charles, 209.
Disabilities, Catholic, 65 seq., 113 seq.
_Don Juan_ (Byron), 44 n.
Dryden, 207.
Dudley, Lord, _see_ Ward.
Duigenan, Patrick, 107,
Dundas, Henry (Viscount Melville), 7 n., 21, 24, 140.
Dunstanville, Lady, 161.
Durham, Lord, 88.


Eastlake, Mr., 161.
Ecclesiastical Commission, 163 seq.
Education, 135-56; public school, 5, 6.
value of Classical, 5 seq.
Edinburgh, 28.
---- University, 17 seq.
_Edinburgh Review_, 21 seq., 86, 90, 177, 183, 207, 208, 217, 219.
---- ---- Sydney Smith's contributions to, 26, 27, 40, 90, 91, 92 seq.
126, 177, 184, 226, 227.
Eldon, Lord, 25, 56, 140.
_Elementary Sketches of Moral Philosophy_, 33 seq.
Elizabeth, Queen, 47, 119.
Ellenborough, Lord, 115 n.
Emancipation, Catholic, 65, 106 seq., 128, 136 n., 140.
_Endymion_ (Beaconsfield), 128 n.
England at the beginning of the nineteenth century, 25.
_English Bards and Scotch Reviewers_ (Byron), 26 n., 11 n.
_English Church in the Nineteenth Century_ (Overton), 16 n.
_Enquirer_ (Godwin), 89.
Epitaph on Pitt, Sydney Smith's, 40, 41.
Erskine, Lord, 11.
Essex, Lord, 160 n.
Evangelical clergy, 178, 183; Revival, 219.
_Evangelical Magazine_, 179.


Ferguson, 35.
Fitzgerald, William Vesey, 125.
Foston-le-Clay, 41, 78 seq.
Fox, Miss, 87.
---- (martyrologist), 119.
---- General, 203, 204.
France and Ireland, 57, 60, 61, 62, 68.
Fry, Mrs., 85.


Game Laws, 85
Gas, introduction of, 88, 231.
George III., 40, 42, 68, 71.
---- IV, 124, 125, 135.
Gladstone, 49, 163, 190 n.
_Gleanings_, 163 n.
Glenelg, Lord, 161.
Goderich, Lord, 125.
Godwin, William, 89.
Gower, Leveson-, Lady, 87 n.
_Granby_ (Lister), 209.
Grattan, Henry, 29, 56, 184.
Grenville, Lord, 40, 41, 55, 75.
Greville, Charles, 135, 153.
Grey, Lord, 44, 88, 112, 136, 141, 143, 145, 147, 149, 151, 196, 197, 225.
---- Lady, 112.
Grote, 177, 211.
"Gunpowder Treason," Sermon on, 128, 154.


Habit, Lecture on, 38.
Halford, Sir Henry, 83.
Hallam, 163.
Harcourt, Vernon-, Archbishop, 79 n., 88, 107.
---- William, 107.
---- Miss Georgiana, 190, 191.
Harrowby, Lord, 107.
Hawkesbury, Lord, 59, 60, 201 n.
Haydon (painter), 204,
_Heart of Midlothian_ (Scott), 208.
Henley, Lord, 41 n.
Henry VIII., 119.
Hermann, 175.
Hibbert, Nathaniel, 23, 125, 161.
Hill, John, 17.
_History of Roman Jurisprudence_ (Terrasson), 90.
Hobbes, 216 n.
Hoche, General, 49.
Holland, Lady (Sydney Smith's daughter), 5, 22, 192, 214. _See_
Smith, Saba.
---- Sir Henry, 23, 161, 192.
---- Miss Caroline, 193.
---- Lady (Elizabeth Vassall), 30, 36, 40, 41, 79, 80, 87, 161, 167 n.,
203, 213
---- Lord, 29, 40, 41, 75, 87, 128, 206, 212.
---- Scott, Canon, 205
_Holy Living and Dying_ (Jeremy Taylor), 130.
Hope, Mr., 161.
---- Thomas, 209.
Horner, Francis, 18, 25, 29, 32.
Houghton, Lord, 32, 144 n., 194 n., 198 n.
_Life_ of (Sir Wemyss Reid), 195 n.
Howard, William (Earl of Carlisle), 110.
---- Mrs. Henry, 83 n.
Howick, Lord, 56.
Howley, Archbishop, 3.
Hume, 34 n., 35.


Improvements, Modern, 230-232.
Ingram, Meynell-, H.C., 196.
Invasion of England, 55.
Ireland, Roman Catholics of, 48.
Irish Question, _see_ Catholic.
_Ivanhoe_ (Scott), 208.


James I., 119.
Jeffrey (_Edinburgh Review_), 18, 24 seq., 31, 32, 36, 80, 87, 181, 195,
199, 217.
Judges, duties of, 97 seq.
---- Sermon to, 96 seq.
"Junius," 198.
Juries, Irish, 66, 67.


Keble, 151 n., 221.
Keogh, Mr., 57.


Labouchere, Henry, 161.
Landseer, 161.
Langdale, Lord, 161.
Lansdowne, Lord, 18.
Lauderdale, Earl of, 44, 87, 88.
Laws, the Penal, 117, 120.
Lawyers, Sermon to, 101.
_Lays of Ancient Rome_ (Macaulay), 209.
_Lectures on Moral Philosophy_, 31, 33 seq., 216 n.
Lee, Professor, 169.
Lemon, Sir Charles, 161.
_Letter to the Electors upon the Catholic Question_, 112
_Letters to Archdeacon Singleton_, 163 seq., 167 seq., 195.
_Letters from a Mahratta Camp, Review of_, 233.
_Letters_ (Pascal), 76.
_Liberty of Prophesying_ (Jeremy Taylor), 130 n.
Lister, Thomas Henry, 209.
Liverpool, Lord, 124.
Livings, Poor, 164, 168 seq., 171.
Locke, 207.
Londonderry, Marquis of, 63 n.
Longman (publisher), 26.
Lords, House of, speech on, 148.
Louis XIV., 128.
Luttrell, Henry, 29, 87, 132, 161.
Lyndhurst, Lord, 124, 125.


Macaulay, 76, 84 n., 86 n., 122, 123, 141, 193, 195, 209.
Mackintosh, Sir James, 29, 87, 184, 185, 207.
Maltby, Bishop, 207.
Marcet, Alexander, 29, 87.
Marcet, Mrs., 87, 210.
Markham, Archbishop, 41.
Marsh, Bishop, 91 seq., 207.
Martyrology, English, 119.
Mary, Queen, 47.
Massinger, 207.
Melbourne, Lord, 144 n., 161, 173, 178 n.
Methodism, 178, 179-183.
_Methodist Magazine_, 178.
Meynell, _see_ Ingram.
Mildert, Van, Bishop, 77.
Milman, Dean, 152.
Milner, Isaac, 92.
Milton, 207.
Mind, Lectures on, 32.
Missions, Indian, 179, 180.
Missionary Society, Baptist, 180.
_Modern Painters_ (Ruskin), 210.
Monk, Bishop, of Gloucester, 173, 174, 207.
Montaigne, 208.
Monteagle, Lord, 161.
Montgomery, "Satan," 195.
Monuments, National, 153, 205.
Moore, Thomas, 206.
More, Hannah, 16, 183.
Morley, Lady, 151.
Morpeth, Lord, 88.
Murray, Lord, 24, 25, 76, 217.
Musical Festivals, 206.


Napoleon, 43, 47, 50, 51, 57, 61, 62, 64, 202.
Netheravon, 14 seq.
Newman, Cardinal, 221 n.
Newton, Bishop, 77.
_Nicholas Nickleby_ (Dickens), 209.
_Noodle's Oration_, 188, 228.
Norfolk, Duke of, 113.


O'Connell, 106, 128.
Orangemen, 65.
Oswald, 35.
Oxford, 9, 13.
Oxford Movement, 151 n., 219.


Paley, 217, 218.
Palmerston, 3.
_Paradise Lost_, parody of, 159.
Paris, 122, 162.
"Partington, Mrs," Speech, 148.
Pascal, 76.
Peace, blessings of, 156-7, 191, 202.
Peel, 3, 32, 125, 161.
Pelham, Bishop, 78.
Perceval, Spencer, 48, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 57, 59, 61, 62, 63, 65, 70, 72,
73, 78, 124, 140, 198, 201 n., 221.

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