Sydney Smith

(1771-1845 / Woodford, London)

Sydney Smith Quotes

  • ''Correspondences are like smallclothes before the invention of suspenders; it is impossible to keep them up.''
    Sydney Smith (1771-1845), British journalist, clergyman, wit. letter, Jan. 31, 1841.
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  • ''A comfortable house is a great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience.''
    Sydney Smith (1771-1845), British writer, clergyman. Letter, September 29, 1843.
  • ''Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl,
    And, scarce suspected, animate the whole.''
    Sydney Smith (1771-1845), British clergyman, writer. Memoir, vol. 1, ch. 11, "Recipe for Salad," Lady Holland (1855).
  • ''As the French say, there are three sexes—men, women, and clergymen.''
    Sydney Smith (1771-1845), British clergyman, writer. Memoir, vol. 1, ch. 11, Lady Holland (1855).
  • ''What a pity it is that we have no amusements in England but vice and religion!''
    Sydney Smith (1771-1845), British clergyman, writer. Quoted in Hesketh Pearson, The Smith of Smiths, ch. 10 (1934).
  • ''A nation grown free in a single day is a child born with the limbs and the vigour of a man, who would take a drawn sword for his rattle, and set the house in a blaze that he might chuckle over the splendour.''
    Sydney Smith (1771-1845), British clergyman, writer. Quoted in Hesketh Pearson, The Smith of Smiths, ch. 11 (1934). Of the French.
  • ''All this class of pleasures inspires me with the same nausea as I feel at the sight of rich plum-cake or sweetmeats; I prefer the driest bread of common life.''
    Sydney Smith (1771-1845), British journalist, clergyman. Quoted in Hesketh Pearson, The Smith of Smiths, ch. 13 (1934). Of the theatrical arts.
  • ''His enemies might have said before that he talked rather too much; but now he has occasional flashes of silence, that make his conversation perfectly delightful.''
    Sydney Smith (1771-1845), British clergyman, writer. Quoted in Lady Holland, Memoir, vol. 1, ch. 11 (1855). Of historian Thomas Macaulay.
  • ''How can a bishop marry? How can he flirt? The most he can say is "I will see you in the vestry after service."''
    Sydney Smith (1771-1845), British clergyman, writer. Quoted in Lady Holland, Memoir, vol. 1, ch. 9 (1855). "As the French say," Smith observed, "there are three sexes—men, women and clergymen."
  • ''Heat, ma'am! It was so dreadful here that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones.''
    Sydney Smith (1771-1845), British clergyman, writer. Quoted in Memoir, vol. 1, ch. 9, Lady Holland (1855).

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