he bestows some memorable counsel, not the less wisdom for the humour in which it is sheathed. He also recommends the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Roman Pontiff.*

To return from this continuous sketch of Sydney Smith's literary efforts in the cause of Catholic Emancipation, to the year 1808. By a new residence bill, clerical incumbents were compelled to build or restore and inhabit the parsonage houses, which, under the prevalent absenteeism, had very numerously gone to decay throughout England. The parochial establishment of Foston-le-Clay, though with capabilities of improved fortune to its new possessor, was one of the least inviting for a restoration or a residence. The parsonage, bounded by a foalyard and a churchyard, was simply a kitchen with a room above it, ready to tumble upon the occupant. Sydney Smith surveyed the premises, the shambling hovel and three hundred acres of glebe land without tithe, to be farmed by himself, and hesitated. To gain time for consideration, and to effect, if possible, an exchange, he secured from the archbishop, Dr. Vernon Harcourt, a respite of three years, during which he established himself at Heslington, a village in the immediate vicinity of York. The proceeds of his two volumes of sermons, and a loan from his brother Robert of about five hundred pounds, assisted his removal from London to the north in the summer of 1809.


Heslington mitigated the descent from London to Foston, or, in Smith's words, "the change from the aurelia to the grub state."† With the resources of York at his elbow, he lived in comparative retirement, visiting his parish, concocting plans of study, reading much, writing for the Edinburgh Review and familiarizing himself with the occupations of his farm land. In truth, though the society of

* Sydney Smith also prepared an account of English misrule in Ireland from the earliest date of English possession, which Lady Holland tells us, "formed so fearful a picture that he hesitated to give it to the world when done." It still exists in manuscript. Macaulay, who was consulted on its publication as a posthumous work, by Mrs. Sydney Smith, recommended its suppression His letter is given in Lady Holland's Memoir.

+ To Lady Holland, June 24, 1809.

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London was the natural home of his talents, he liked the practical demands of his new life, the management of crops and cattle and peasants, the contrivances of building and the regulation of his parish. The loss of London society to an already established diner-out, who watched with eagerness the political and social movements of the day, was a privation; but these things had brought with them something of satiety, and they were relinquished cheerfully, as he expresses it in a letter to Jeffrey, "for more quiet, more leisure, less expense and more space for his children," while he adds, "Mrs. Sydney is delighted with her rustication. She has suffered all the evils of London, and enjoyed none of its goods." In his philosophical way he writes the next year to Lady Holland: "I am not leading precisely the life I should choose, but that which (all things considered as well as I could consider them) appeared to me the most eligible. I am resolved, therefore, to like it, and to reconcile myself to it; which is more manly than to feign myself above it, and to send up complaints by the post, of being thrown away, and being desolate, and such like trash... If, with a pleasant wife, three children, a good house and farm, many books, and many friends, who wish me well, I cannot be happy, I am a very silly, foolish fellow, and what becomes of me is of very little consequence. I have, at least, this chance of doing well in Yorkshire, that I am heartily tired of London."† "Instead of being unamused by trifles," he writes to Jeffrey, drawing on his fund of happiness, "I am, as I well knew I should be, amused by them a great deal too much; I feel an ungovernable interest about my horses, or my pigs, or my plants; I am forced, and always was forced, to task myself up into an interest for any higher objects." Of his reading, he tells Jeffrey that, "having scarcely looked at a book for five years, I am rather hungry." Burke, Homer, Suetonius, Godwin's Enquirer, agricul


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tural matters, and "a great deal of Adam Smith," were thrown in to fill the vacuum. "I am," he writes to his friend John Murray, the lawyer of Edinburgh, "reading Locke in my old age, never having read him thoroughly in my youth: a fine, satisfactory sort of fellow, but very long-winded."* These transition years at Heslington supplied to the Edinburgh Review a series of articles on Education of Women, Public Schools and the Universities, a Vindication of Fox's Historical Work, an account of the Walcheren Expedition, and a paper on Indian affairs. "I am about," he writes to Lady Holland, "to open the subject of classical learning, in the Review, from which, by some accident or other, it has hitherto abstained. It will give great offence, and therefore be more fit for this journal, the genius of which seems to consist in stroking the animal the contrary way to that which the hair lies."

The Edinburgh Review united its forces against the Oxford system of education. The University was attacked in several articles by various writers, on the score of its devotion to Aristotle, the inefficiency of its press, particularly in an edition of Strabo, and the excessive employment of its students in the minutiae of Latin and Greek. The general assault was made by Sydney Smith. The University was compelled to defend itself; and its renowned champion, Edward Copleston, Provost of Oriel, afterward Bishop of Llandaff, published "A Reply to the Calumnies of the Edinburgh Review against Oxford." This was met in the Edinburgh by an article evidently proceeding from the three authors of the original remarks on Aristotle, the edition of Strabo, and Professional Education. "A Second Reply to the Edinburgh Review," also from the pen of Copleston, commenting on the triple article, closed the controversy.† Sydney Smith, always an excel


* To John Murray, Heslington, Dec. 6, 1811.

†The Edinburgh Review articles alluded to are an Analysis of Laplace's Mechanique Celeste, in its concluding pages, January, 1808; the Oxford Edition of Strabo, Jan. 1809; Edgeworth's Professional Education, Oct. 1809; Calumnies against Oxford, April, 1810. Copleston's publications are entitled, "A Reply to the Calumnies of the Edinburgh Review against Ox


lent partisan skirmisher, with enough of the philosopher in his
generalizations, and of the jury lawyer in the skill of his manage-
ment of points, held the ear of the public on the question. In the
edition of his writings, the paper on Professional Education is one
of the most complete, and certainly not the least brilliant of his
essays. The exclusive pedantry of Oxford was fair game for a
satirist; the attack, since grown familiar, and followed by various
degrees of reform, was then a novelty; it was something to invade
the dignity of the ancient University, and compel it to a defence:
the public was entertained, and Sydney Smith had his revenge
upon the Busbys of his school-boy days for their infliction of longs
and shorts. It was a capital subject of mirth with him, of which
he never tired. The reply to Copleston was not over-delicate in
its choice of terms. It was, in fact, a specimen of the old Edin-
burgh swagger, relieved by some excellent passes of humour.


While thus continuing his literary pursuits, Sydney Smith was not altogether cut off from politics and society. In sympathy with the times he projected "Common Sense for 1810," a pamphlet which it is to be regretted he never accomplished as it would doubtless have formed a brilliant companion to the Plymley Letters. He paid visits to Lord Grey, whom he greatly admired, at Howick, and made flying journeys to London and Holland House. Romilly, Mackintosh, Horner, and others, visited him-among the rest, Jeffrey, "who came with an American gentleman, Mr. Simond, and his niece, Miss Wilkes. We little suspected," adds Lady Holland, "that this lady, great niece to the agitator Wilkes, was so soon after to become Mrs. Jeffrey.*


ford, containing an Account of Studies pursued in that University," and
"A Second Reply to the Edinburgh Review," both in 1810. The Quarterly
Review for August, 1810, reviews the whole discussion.

"About the close of 1810, Mons. Simond, a French gentleman, who had left his country early in the revolution, came with his wife and a niece to visit some friends in Edinburgh, where they remained some weeks. Madame Simond was a sister of Charles Wilkes, Esq., banker in New York, a nephew of the famous John; and the niece was Miss Charlotte Wilkes, a daughter of this Charles. It was during this visit, I believe, that she and Jeffrey first


Having given up all hopes of exchanging his undesirable living of Foston, he commenced the reconstruction of the parsonagehouse. His account of the proceedings is too characteristic to be given in other terms than his own. "All my efforts for an exchange having failed, I asked and obtained from my friend the Archbishop another year to build in. And I then set my shoulder to the wheel in good earnest; sent for an architect; he produced plans which would have ruined me. I made him my bow: 'You build for glory, sir; I, for use.' I returned him his plans, with five-and-twenty pounds, and sat down in my thinking-chair, and in a few hours Mrs. Sydney and I concocted a plan which has produced what I call the model of parsonage-houses.


"I then took to horse to provide bricks and timber; was advised to make my own bricks, of my own clay; of course, when the kiln was opened, all bad; mounted my horse again, and in twentyfour hours had bought thousands of bricks and tons of timber. Was advised by neighbouring gentlemen to employ oxen: bought four -Tug and Lug, Hawl and Crawl; but Tug and Lug took to fainting, and required buckets of sal-volatile, and Hawl and Crawl to lie down in the mud. So I did as I ought to have done at first -took the advice of the farmer instead of the gentleman; sold my oxen, bought a team of horses, and at last, in spite of a frost which delayed me six weeks, in spite of walls running down with wet, in spite of the advice and remonstrances of friends who predicted our death, in spite of an infant of six months old, who had never been out of the house, I landed my family in my new house nine months after laying the first stone, on the 20th of March; and performed

met."- Cockburn's Life of Jeffrey, i. 168, where an account of the great reviewer's subsequent visit to America, in the midst of the war in 1813, and of his marriage to the lady in America, is given. Louis Simond published several books of travel, highly esteemed for their political and economical social studies. His "Journal of a Tour and Residence in Great Britain in 181011," appeared, translated from the French, in 1816. In 1822 he published his "Travels in Switzerland," performed 1817-18-19. "Travels in Italy and Sicily appeared at Paris in 1827. He passed the latter years of his life at Geneva, where he died in July, 1831.

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