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‘ [150] Arragon’—particularly the last—to be better than the corresponding discussions in Hallam's ‘Middle Ages.’ This I regard as decisive. No man alive is better authority on such a point than Allen, Southey, too, this morning, was equally decided, though he was not so strong, and did not go so much into detail. Lord Albemarle, Lord Holland, and Allen talked about Dr. Channing; and Lord Holland said he regarded him as the best writer of English alive. So we are getting on in the world. Such things could not have been heard in such saloons when I was here twenty years ago.

April 2.—Breakfasted with Sydney Smith, where we had only Hallam and Tytler, the Scotch historian; just a partie carree, of the first sort. The conversation, at one time during the breakfast, was extraordinary. It fell on the influence of the aristocracy in England, on the social relations, and especially on the characters of men of letters. To my considerable surprise, both Hallam and Smith, who have been to a singular degree petted and sought by the aristocracy, pronounced its influence noxious. They even spoke with great force and almost bitterness on the point. Smith declared that he had found the influence of the aristocracy, in his own case, ‘oppressive,’ but added, ‘However, I never failed, I think, to speak my mind before any of them; I hardened myself early.’ Hallam agreed with him, and both talked with a concentrated force that showed how deeply they felt about it. In some respects, the conversation was one of the most remarkable I have ever heard; and, as a testimony against aristocracy, on the point where aristocracy might be expected to work the most favorably, surprised me very much.

Speaking of the ‘Edinburgh Review,’ Mr. Smith said that it was begun by Jeffrey, Horner, and himself; that he was the first editor of it, and that they were originally unwilling to give Brougham any direct influence over it, because he was so violent and unmanageable. After he—Smith—left Edinburgh, Jeffrey became the editor; ‘but,’ said Smith, ‘I never would be a contributor on the common business footing. When I wrote an article, I used to send it to Jeffrey, and waited till it came out; immediately after which I enclosed to him a bill, in these words, or words like them: “Francis Jeffrey, Esq., to Rev. Sydney Smith,—To a very wise and witty article, on such a subject, so many sheets, at forty-five guineas a sheet.” And the money always came. I never worked for less.’

Hallam told a droll story about Canning's occasional unwillingness to devote himself to business. The principal person in the management of Indian affairs—who related the fact to Hallam—had occasion


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