From Bob Hessen–what a worthy sentiment!

Sydney Smith to Lady Grey —
A proposed military intervention overseas by British troops called forth
his most famous utterance on war – his letter to Lady Grey:

"For God’s sake, do not drag me into another war! I am worn down and worn
out with crusading and defending Europe and protecting mankind; I must
think a little of myself. I am sorry for the Spaniards – I am sorry for
the Greeks – I deplore the fate of the Jews; the people of the Sandwich
Islands are groaning under the most detestable tyranny; Baghdad is
oppressed – I do not like the present state of the Delta – Tibet is not
comfortable. Am I to fight for all these people? Am I to be champion of
the Decalogue and to be eternally raising fleets and armies to make all
men good and happy? We have just done saving Europe, and I am afraid the
consequence will be that we shall cut each other’s throats. No war, dear
Lady Grey! no eloquence; but apathy, selfishness, common sense,
arithmetic!"
22 Feb. 1845

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