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Ludicrous Estimate Of Mr Canning








The Rev. Sydney Smith compares Mr. Canning in office to a fly in amber:
"nobody cares about the fly: the only question is, how the devil did it
get there?" "Nor do I," continues Smith, "attack him for the love of
glory, but from the love of utility, as a burgomaster hunts a rat in a
Dutch dyke, for fear it should flood a province. When he is jocular, he
is strong; when he is serious, he is like Samson in a wig. Call him a
legislator, a reasoner, and the conductor of the affairs of a great
nation, and it seems to me as absurd as if a butterfly were to teach
bees to make honey. That he was an extraordinary writer of small poetry,
and a diner-out of the highest lustre, I do most readily admit. After
George Selwyn, and perhaps Tickell, there has been no such man for the
last half-century."

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