afford a library, began at once to rebuild his parsonage, welcomed his old friend Jeffrey, and soon made friends of his parishioners. He attended reform meetings, and on 11 Oct. 1831 made his famous speech at Taunton, comparing the House of Lords to Mrs. Partington resisting the Atlantic Ocean. Mrs. Partington at once became proverbial. Lord Grey had, in the previous month, made him canon-residentiary of St. Paul's. He had now made up his mind that he was unequal to a bishopric, but, as his daughter tells us, he was deeply hurt that his friends never gave him the opportunity of refusing one (Lady Holland, i. 282). Henceforth he had to reside three months of the year in London. He showed himself to be a good man of business in cathedral matters, and his sermons were admitted to be forcible and dignified. He was, however, chiefly famous for his social charm. He was acquainted with everybody of any mark, and a familiar figure at the Athenæum Club. On the death of his brother Courtenay, in 1839, he inherited 50,000l., and took a house, No. 56 Green Street, Grosvenor Square (pulled down in December 1896), where he could fully indulge his hospitable propensities.
Smith's reforming zeal showed its limits on the appointment of the ecclesiastical commission. He found himself ‘arguing against the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London for the existence of the National Church,’ namely, in the ‘Letters to Archdeacon Thomas Singleton [q. v.]’, published in 1837. Nobody could put more wittily the argument that, by levelling church incomes, the inducements to men of ability to become clergymen would be seriously diminished. He of course did not object to reform ‘in the abstract,’ but to a given reform. Smith, however, though a good whig, had a thorough aversion to radicals or levellers, and had expressed similar opinions in early articles (Lady Holland, i. 324; and article on ‘Curates' Salary Bill’).
Smith wrote a pamphlet against the ballot in 1839. His last literary performance was a petition to the United States congress in 1843 complaining of the state of Pennsylvannia, which had suspended the interest on its bond; he published it in the ‘Morning Chronicle,’ and followed it by letters which made some sensation in both countries. Payments were resumed soon after his death. The last years of his life, however, passed peacefully; and his letters show the old spirit to the end. In the autumn of 1844 he was brought from Combe-Florey to be under the care of his son-in-law, Dr. Holland. He died at Green Street on 22 Feb. 1845, and was buried at Kensal Green.
Mrs. Smith died in 1852. Four of Smith's children survived infancy. Saba, born in 1802 (a name which he invented in order that she might not have two commonplace names), married Dr. (afterwards Sir) Henry Holland in 1834, wrote her father's life, and died in 1866; Douglas, born 1805, was distinguished at Westminster and Christ Church, and died on 15 April 1829, to his father's lasting sorrow; Emily, born in 1807, married Nathaniel Hibbert of Munden House, Watford, on 1 Jan. 1828, and died in 1874; Windham was born in 1813, and survived his father.
Bishop Monk of Gloucester said (see third Letter to Singleton) that Smith had got his canonry for being a scoffer and a jester. The same qualities were said by others to have prevented his preferment in the virtuous days of tory ministers. His jesting is undeniable. People, as Greville says (Journals, 2nd ser. ii. 273), met him prepared to laugh; and conversation became a series of ‘pegs’ for Smith ‘to hang his jokes on.’ His drollery produced uproarious merriment. Mackintosh is described as rolling on the floor, and his servants had often to leave the room in fits of laughter (Moore, Journals, vol. vi. p. xiii; Brougham, Life and Times, i. 246). If he sometimes verged upon buffoonery, he avoided the worst faults of the professional wit. His fun was the spontaneous overflow of superabundant animal spirits. He was neither vulgar nor malicious. ‘You have been laughing at me for seven years,’ said Lord Dudley, ‘and have not said a word that I wished unsaid’ (Lady Holland, i. 417). He burnt a pamphlet of his own which he thought one of ‘the cleverest he had ever read,’ because he feared that it might give pain to his antagonists (ib. ii. 427). His wildest extravagances, too, were often the vehicle of sound arguments, and his humour generally played over the surface of strong good sense. His exuberant fun did not imply scoffing. He was sensitive to the charge of indifference to the creed which he professed. He took pains to protest against any writing by his allies which might shock believers. He had strong religious convictions, and could utter them solemnly and impressively. It must, however, be admitted that his creed was such as fully to account for the suspicion. In theology he followed Paley, and was utterly averse to all mysticism in literature or religion. He ridiculed the ‘evangelicals,’ and attacked the methodists with a bitterness exceptional in his writings. He equally despised in later days