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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Lord Hervey's Wit Magna Charta Recovered facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail