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the cloud that was gradually overshadowing his masterly intellect.” He was one day sitting in his room soliloquizing aloud; his favorite Newfoundland dog was at his side, and seemed to engross all his attention. A gentleman was present who was good-looking and good-natured, but not overburdened with sense. Lord Dudley at last, patting his dog's head, said, “Fido mio, they say dogs have no souls. Humph, and still they say —” (naming the gentleman present) “has a soul!" One day Lord Dudley met Mr. Allen, Lord Holland's librarian, and asked him to dine with him. Allen went. When asked to describe his dinner, he said, “There was no one there. Lord Dudley talked a little to his servant, and a great deal to his dog, but said not one word to me.”
Innumerable are the witticisms related of Sydney Smith, when seated at a dinner-table, having swallowed in life what he called a “Caspian Sea” of soup. Talking one day of Sir Charles Lyell's book, the subject of which was the phenomena which the earth might, at some future period, present to the geologists—“Let us imagine,” he said, “ an excavation on the site of St. Paul's; fancy a lecture by the Owen of his future era on the thigh-bone of a minor canon, or the tooth of a dean: the form, qualities, and tastes he would discover from them.” “It is a great proof of shyness," he said, “to crumble your bread at dinner. Ah! I see,” he said, turning to a young lady, “you're afraid of me; you crumble your bread. I do it when I sit by the Bishop of London, and with both hands when I sit by the Archbishop."
He gave a capital reproof to a lively young M. P. who was accompanying him after dinner to one of the solemn evening receptions at Lambeth Palace during the life of the late Archbishop of Canterbury. The M.P. had been calling him “Smith,” though they had never met before that day. As the carriage stopped at the Palace, Smith turned to him and said, “Now don't, my good fellow, don't call the Archbishop Howley.'”
Talking of fancy balls—“Of course,” he said, “if I went to one, I should go as a Dissenter.” Of Macaulay he said, “ To take him out of literature and science, and to put him in the House of Commons, is like taking the chief physician out of London in a pestilence.”
Nothing amused him so much as the want of perception of a joke. One hot day a Mrs. Jackson called on him, and spoke of the oppressive state of the weather. “Heat! it was dreadful,” said Sydney ;“I found I could do nothing for it but take off my flesh and sit in my bones.” • Take off
flesh and sit in your bones! Oh, Mr. Smith, how could you do that ?”
SYDNEY'S CLASSIFICATION OF SOCIETY.
the lady cried. “Come and see next time, ma'am-nothing more easy.” She went away, however, convinced that such a proceeding was very unorthodox. No wonder, with all his various acquirements, it should be said of him that no “dull dinners were ever remembered in his company."
A happy old age concluded his life, at once brilliant and useful. To the last he never considered his education as finished. His wit, a friend said, " was always fresh, always had the dew on it.” He latterly got into what Lord Jeffrey called the vicious habit of water-drinking. Wine, he said, destroyed his understanding. He even "forgot the number of the Muses,
“ and thought it was thirty-nine of course.” He agreed with Sir James Mackintosh that he had found the world more good and more foolish than he had thought when young. He took a cheerful view of all things; he thanked God for small as well as great things, even for tea. “I am glad,” he used to say, “I was not born before tea." His domestic affections were strong, and were heartily reciprocated.
General society he divided into classes: - The noodlesvery numerous and well known. The affliction woman-& valuable member of society, generally an ancient spinster in small circumstances, who packs up her bag and sets off in cases of illness or death, to comfort, flatter, fetch, and carry.' The up-takers-people who see from their fingers' ends, and go through a room touching every thing. The clearers—who begin at a dish and go on tasting and eating till it is finished. The sheep-walkers—who go on forever on the beaten track. The lemon-squeezers of society - who act on you as a wet blanket; see a cloud in sunshine; the nails of the coffin in the ribbons of a bride; extinguish all hope; people whose very look sets your teeth on an edge. The let-well-aloners, cousingerman to the noodles—yet a variety, and who are afraid to act, and think it safer to stand still. Then the washerwomen -very numerous! who always say, “Well, if ever I put on my best bonnet, 'tis sure to rain,' etc.
“Besides this, there is a very large class of people always treading on your gouty foot, or talking in your deaf ear, or asking you to give them something with your lame hand,” etc.
During the autumn of the year 1844, Sydney Smith felt the death-stroke approaching. “I am so weak, both in body and
, mind,” he said, " that I believe, if the knife were put into my hand, I should not have strength enough to stick it into a Dissenter.” In October he became seriously ill. “Ah! Charles," he said to General Fox (when he was being kept very low), “I wish they would allow me even the wing of a roasted butterfly.” He dreaded sorrowful faces around him, but confided
to his old servant, Annie Kay—and to her alone-his sense of his danger.
Almost the last person Sydney Smith saw was his beloved brother Bobus, who followed him to the grave a fortnight after he had been laid in the tomb.
He lingered till the 22d of February, 1845. His son closed his eyes. His last act was bestowing on a poverty-stricken clergyman a living.
He was buried at Kensal Green, where his eldest son, Douglas, had been interred.
It has been justly and beautifully said of Sydney Smith, that Christianity was not a dogma with him, but a practical and most beneficent rule of life.
As a clergyman, he was liberal, practical, stanch; free from the latitudinarian principles of Hoadley, as from the bigotry of Laud. His wit was the wit of a virtuous, a decorous man; it had pungency without venom; humor without indelicacy; and was copious without being tiresome.
GEORGE BUBB DODINGTON, LORD MELCOMBE. " It would have been well for Lord Melcombe's memory," Horace Walpole remarks, “if his fame had been suffered to rest on the tradition of his wit and the evidence of his poetry.” And, in the present day, that desirable result has come to pass. We remember Bubb Dodington chiefly as the courtier whose person, houses, and furniture were replete with costly ostentation, so as to provoke the satire of Foote, who brought him on the stage under the name of Sir Thomas Lofty in “The Patron.”
We recall him most as “l'Amphytrion chez qui on dine :" “My Lord of Melcombe,” as Mallett says,
“Whose soups and sauces duly season'd,
And add new flavor to Champagne.”
which severed Sir Robert Walpole and Bubb Dodington? Who now reads without disgust the annals of that famous quarrel between George II. and his son, during which each party devoutly wished the other dead? Who minds whether the time-serying Bubb Dodington went over to Lord Bute or not? Who cares whether his hopes of political preferment were or were not gratified ? Bubb Dodington was, in fact, the dinner-giving lordly poet, to whom even the saintly Young could write,
“You give protection—I a worthless strain.” Born in 1691, the accomplished courtier answered, till he had attained the age of twenty-nine, to the not very euphonious name of Bubb. Then a benevolent uncle with a large estate died, and left him, with his lands, the more exalted surname of Dodington. He sprang, however, from an obscure family, who had settled in Dorchester; but that disadvantage, which, according to Lord Brougham's famous pamphlet, acts so fatally on a young man's advancement in English public life, was obviated, as most things are, by a great fortune.
Mr. Bubb had been educated at Oxford. At the age of twenty-four he was elected M. P. for Winchelsea; he was soon afterward named Envoy at the Court of Spain, but returned home after his accession of wealth to provincial honors, and