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disadvantage. The pleasure of your acquaintance is one of the jewels I brought home with me. I had read of you, and read you for thirty years. I was delighted to meet you, and to have all I know of you refreshed and brightened by the charms of your conversation. If any son of asserts that either through ill-will, or love of vulgar gossip, I tell such things of you as you suppose, I pray you, let him be knocked down instanter. And be assured, my dear sir, I never spoke of you in my life but with gratitude, respect, and attachment. "D. WEBSTER."
To this Smith wrote in reply:
"Many thanks, my dear sir, for your obliging letter. I think better of myself, because you think well. of me. If, in the imbecility of old age, I forgot your name for a moment, the history of America will hereafter be more tenacious in its recollections— tenacious because you are using your eloquent wisdom to restrain the high spirit of your countrymen within the limits of justice, and are securing to two kindred nations, who ought to admire and benefit each other, the blessings of peace. How can great talent be applied to nobler ends, and what existence can be more truly splendid? Ever sincerely yours,
(To Sir George Philips, about 1838.)-Nickleby is very good. I stood out against Mr. Dickens as long as I could, but he has conquered me.
(To Charles Dickens, June 11, 1839.) My dear Sir: Nobody more, and more justly, talked of than yourself.
The Miss Berrys, now at Richmond, live only to become acquainted with you, and have commissioned me to request you to dine with them Friday, the 29th, or Monday, July 1st, to meet a Canon of St. Paul's, the Rector of Combe Florey, and the Vicar of Halberton-all equally well known to you; to say nothing of
*Dickens has paid a genial tribute to the memory of Sydney Smith, in a paper in his happiest vein of irony, in Household Words, Sept. 8, 1855. He treats the biography as a myth, a story of impossible virtue, a satire on the whig party who left such fabulous merits so long unrewarded.
other and better people. The Miss Berrys and Lady Charlotte Lindsay have not the smallest objection to be put into a Number, but, on the contrary, would be proud of the distinction; and Lady Charlotte, in particular, you may marry to Newman Noggs. Pray come; it is as much as my place is worth to send them a refusal.
(May 14, 1842.) My dear Dickens: 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.
(To Charles Dickens, Esq., January 6, 1843.) My dear Sir: You have been so used to these sort of impertinences, that I believe you will excuse me for saying how very much I am pleased with the first number of your new work. Pecksniff and his daughters, and Pinch, are admirable- quite first-rate painting, such as no one but yourself can execute.
I did not like your genealogy of the Chuzzlewits, and I must wait a little to see how Martin turns out; I am impatient for the next number.
Pray come and see me next summer; and believe me ever yours.
P. S.-Chuffey is admirable. I never read a finer piece of writing; it is deeply pathetic and affecting. Your last number is excellent. Don't give yourself the trouble to answer my impertinent eulogies, only excuse them. Ever yours.
(To Charles Dickens, Esq., 56 Green Street, July 1, 1843.) Dear Dickens: Excellent! nothing can be better! You must settle it with the Americans as you can, but I have nothing to do with that. I have only to certify that the number is full of wit, humor, and power of description.
I am slowy recovering from an attack of gout in the knee, and am very sorry to have missed you.
(To Charles Dickens, 56 Green Street, Feb. 21, 1844.) Dear Dickens: Many thanks for the "Christmas Carol," which I shall
immediately proceed upon, in preference to six American pamphlets I found upon my arrival, all promising immediate payment! Yours ever.
(To Mrs. Green Street, April 8, 1840.) Dear Mrs. -: I wish I may be able to come on Monday, but I doubt. Will you come to a philosophical breakfast on Saturday - ten o'clock precisely? Nothing taken for granted! Everything (except the Thirty-nine Articles) called in question-real philosophers!
INVITATION TO THE OPERA.
(To Mrs. Meynell, Green Street, June, 1840.). 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; and am ever your unseducible friend.
(To the Countess of Carlisle, 1840.) What a very singular disease gout is! It seems as if the stomach fell down into the feet. The smallest deviation from right diet is immediately punished by limping and lameness, and the innocent ankle and blameless instep are tortured for the vices of the nobler organs. The stomach having found this easy way of getting rid of inconveniences, becomes cruelly despotic, and punishes for the least offences. A plum, a glass of Champagne, excess in joy, excess in griefany crime, however small, is sufficient for redness, swelling, spasms, and large shoes.
VISIT TO AMERICA.
To the Countess Grey, 1841.) I hear Morpeth is going to America, a resolution I think very wise, and which I should decidedly carry into execution myself, if I were not going to Heaven.
BOMBARDING THE ASIATICS.
(To the Countess Grey, Oct. 1841.) The news from China gives me the greatest pleasure. I am for bombarding all the exclusive Asiatics, who shut up the earth, and will not let me walk civilly and quietly through it, doing no harm, and paying for all I want.
(To Lady Ashburton, 1841.) You have very naturally, my dear Lady Ashburton, referred to me for some information respecting St. Anthony. The principal anecdotes related of him are, that he was rather careless of his diet; and that, instead of confining himself to boiled mutton and a little wine and water, he ate of side-dishes, and drank two glasses of sherry, and refused to lead a life of great care and circumspection, such as his constitution required. The consequence was, that his friends were often alarmed at his health; and the medical men of Jerusalem and Jericho were in constant requisition, taking exorbitant fees, and doing him littl good.
CORRESPONDENCE-SUSAN HOPLEY -PUSEYITE.
(To Mrs. Crowe,* Combe Florey, Jan. 31, 1841.) Dear Mrs. Crowe: I quite agree with you as to the horrors of correspondence. Correspondences are like small-clothes before the invention of suspenders; it is impossible to keep them up.
That episode of Julia [in Susan Hopley] is much too long. Your incidents are remarkable for their improbability. A boy goes on board a frigate in the middle of the night, and penetrates to the captain's cabin without being seen or challenged. Susan climbs into a two-pair-of-stairs window to rescue two grenadiers. A gentleman about to be murdered is saved by rescuing a woman about to be drowned, and so on. The language is easy, the dialogue natural. There is a great deal of humour; the plot is too complicated. The best part of the book is Mr. and Mrs. Ayton; but
*Mrs. Catherine Crowe, author of the Adventures of Susan Hopley, Lilly Dawson, The Night-Side of Nature, and other works.
the highest and most important praise of the novel is that you are carried on eagerly, and that it excites and sustains a great interest in the event, and therefore I think it a very good novel and will recommend it.
It is in vain that I study the subject of the Scotch Church. I have heard it ten times over from Murray, and twenty times from Jeffrey, and I have not the smallest conception what it is about. I know it has something to do with oat-meal, but beyond that I am in utter darkness. 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 make.
There seems to be in your letter a deep-rooted love of the amusements of the world. Instead of the ever-gay Murray and the never-silent Jeffrey, why do you not cultivate the Scotch clergy and the elders and professors? I should then have some hopes of you.
(To Lady Ashburton, 1841.) Still I can preach a little; and I wish you had witnessed, the other day at St. Paul's, 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 up tithe of mint and cummin, and neglected the weightier matters of the lawjustice, mercy, and the duties of life, and so forth.
(To Lady Davy, 1842.) 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. 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 We can always gather
pray do not let it prevent your return.
together, in Park Street and Green Street a chosen few who have never bowed the knee to Rimmon.