Saturday, September 27, 2014


Do Not Drag Me Into Another War

Sydney Smith (1771-1845), letter to Countess Grey (February 19, 1823), in A Memoir of the Reverend Sydney Smith. By His Daughter Lady Holland. With a Selection of His Letters, Edited by Mrs. Austin, Vol. II (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1855), pp. 235-236:
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?

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