‘I witnessed Sir Sidney’s maneuvers during three days, and as a certain degree of cleverness is required to be perfect any way, it is impossible to deny that he has talents, for undoubtedly he is the most finished mountebank I ever saw. I am sorry to see that Government place confidence in him-had anything been practicable at Boulogne-he was one of the least capable in the Navy to have had the conduct of it. He will jump about, talk and take a posture and often risk his person, for he is brave-but believe me he is not capable of understanding any solid operation. God forbid we should ever have to depend on him, for landing me on an enemy’s coast-it is quite interesting to see the pains he takes to keep up the humbug-had I been with Owen in the Immortalite with anybody but Sir Sidney I might have seen everything on Saturday, or early on Sunday, and been back at Sandgate that night, but we were delayed hours after hours for his conferences-his dispatches, with Captains, cutlers, and guards all in attendance. I never saw such a man, talking on all subjects superficially, but fluently, even on science, of which he is ignorant, but turning the subject with great address whenever pushed by those who understand it better. He must, I think, think most meanly of himself for he cannot humbug himself nor believe his own lies.’
-Sir John Moore to the Military Secretary, James Willoughby Gordon.
It appears that Moore believed Smith not only to be a liar, but to be a mountebank.