Thursday, November 15, 2012



Sydney Smith (1771-1845), letter to his daughter Saba (October 6, 1835):
All that I refuse to see is, where particular things were done to particular persons;—the square where Joan of Arc was burnt,—the house where Corneille was born. The events I admit to be important; but, from long experience, I have found that the square where Joan of Arc was burnt, and the room where Corneille was born, have such a wonderful resemblance to other rooms and squares, that I have ceased to interest myself about them.
See also his letter to the Countess Grey (May 12, 1837):
I find about one quarter of the things worth seeing which are said to be so....My journey will confirm me in the immense superiority of England over the rest of the world.

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