Sydney Smith


1771 – 1845


Who was Sydney Smith?

Sydney Smith was an English wit, writer and Anglican cleric.

Famous Quotes:

  • I never read a book before reviewing it; it prejudices a man so.
  • It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can do only a little. Do what you can.
  • I have, alas, only one illusion left, and that is the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • Correspondences are like small clothes before the invention of suspenders; it is impossible to keep them up.
  • A comfortable house is a great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience.
  • Find fault when you must find fault in private, and if possible sometime after the offense, rather than at the time.
  • It resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated, often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing anyone who comes between them.
  • To love and be loved is the great happiness of existence.
  • Madam, I have been looking for a person who disliked gravy all my life; let us swear eternal friendship.
  • 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.


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Jun 3, 1771
Woodford, London
  • Anglicanism
  • England
  • New College, Oxford
  • Winchester College
Feb 22, 1845

on July 23, 2013