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Lord George was disgraced, he caricatured him in the act of flying from Minden. If, therefore, Lord George Sackville wrote the letters signed Junius, his attack on Lord Townshend was a natural retaliation for the unfeeling triumph of the latter over a fallen friend. In another of his letters, Junius makes a direct allusion to Lord Townshend's taste for caricature, and ironically suggests several political characters as subjects for his pencil.
A strongly marked contempt for the Scotch pervades all the letters of Junius. In letter xli. he says, "I own I am not apt to confide in the professions of gentlemen of that country; and when they smile, I feel an involuntary motion to guard myself against mischief." Lord George detested Scotland. More than one half of the officers on his courtmartial were of that nation. In 1759, a letter to Lord George Sackville, on his conduct at Minden, was printed at Edinburgh. In vigour of style and dexterity of invective, it hardly falls below Junius, and, indeed, seems to have been the model of his style. Lord George wrote a pamphlet in answer, and employed Woodfall to print it.
One of the tests laid down by our author is, that Junius was a man of rank and fortune. In a letter dated April 12. 1769, he says, "You, I think, Sir, may be satisfied that my rank and fortune place me above a common bribe." In his private notes to Woodfall, he constantly disclaims all pecuniary views, assures him of being reimbursed for the costs of his prosecution, and tells him that, "in point of money, he shall never suffer." In one of his miscellaneous letters, he points to the then state of things, as creating a necessity for a prudent man's selling out of the funds, in which he hints the "greatest part of his property to have been invested." It is worthy of remark, that about that time Lord George sold property out of the funds, and became the purchaser of Bolebrook, an estate contiguous to that of Buckhurst, the family-property.
That Junius was a man of talent and education; that he had studied the law and constitution of his country, without being a practising lawyer, there can be little doubt. A great number of military phrases and illustrations are extracted from the letters, to show that Junius must have been in the army: this might seem to be minute reasoning, from which no conclusive inference can be derived, but we confess that we can hardly think so. Metaphors deduced from military operations, though common to all writers, are by none used in so much abundance, or with such marked propriety, as by Junius. Besides, many observations relative to the army,
and much of that anxiety about military promotions, which a military man only would feel, seem to have escaped from him in many of his letters. Sometimes he appeals for confirmation of his argument to military men only, as a matter exclusively within their knowlege. "I shall leave it," he says, in one of his letters, "to military men, who have seen a service more active than the parade, to determine whether or no I speak the truth."
Would a lawyer?' asks Mr. Coventry, would a clergyman? would any private gentleman? or any political writer, concern himself about a disturbance among a few officers at the Horse-Guards? No, - but Junius would:-his conduct. at Minden, had been severely censured by three officers belonging to this corps, which is confirmed by his allusion again to the subject. Nov. 15. 1769: "And leave it to them to determine, whether I am moved by a personal malevolence to three private gentlemen, or merely by a hope of perplexing the ministry.
Junius appears to have been a liberal Christian. The speech of Lord Viscount Sackville on the clerical petition, laid before the House of Commons, 6th Feb. 1772, breathes the most enlightened sentiments of religious toleration, clothed in language not unworthy of Junius. It should seem, that Junius was a member of the House of Commons. Certain expressions, that occasionally escape him, could only have proceeded from some person within the House. To Sir William Blackstone he says, in allusion to Mr. Grenville's conduct, "He could not possibly come prepared to traduce your integrity to the House." "He came armed." In a letter, dated May, 1770, observing on a decision of the Speaker, he says, "We were not surprized at the decision." Sir Fletcher Norton, who was then the Speaker, was on all occasions vehemently opposed by Lord George Sackville. Many similar expressions are scattered over the letters.
Both Junius and Lord George Sackville were firm friends to Sir Jeffery Amherst and to Colonel Cunninghame. Junius was a warm admirer of Mr. Grenville; so was Lord George, and both were strong advocates for the Stamp-Act of that minister. Junius was in favor of triennial parliaments: Lord George voted on Mr. Alderman Sawbridge's annual motions in support of them. Junius, in his letters, and Lord George, in the House, contended for the necessity of impeaching Lord Mansfield. Junius upholds rotten boroughs: Lord George sat in Parliament many years for his own borough of East Grinstead. Horace Walpole tells us that Lord George Sackville detested the Guards: The Horse-Guards was an eye-sore to him
every time he walked that way." Junius bestows several pages upon a mere squabble among their officers, and, as we have seen, half confesses that he had a personal pique against three of them. He preferred the marching regiments. "The pretorian bands," he says, in a passage of great energy, "enervated and debauched as they were, had still strength enough to awe the Roman populace; but when the distant legions took the alarm, they flew to Rome and gave away the empire." Junius was strongly against the disbanding of the army. He says to Wilkes, who strongly urged it, "If a wiser man than you held such language, I should be apt to doubt his sincerity." Lord George spoke with great animation to the same effect on the 9th December, 1772. Both Junius and Lord George were strongly disposed to befriend Woodfall. When Horne Tooke was brought before the House for a libel on the Speaker, and Woodfall for printing it, Lord George Sackville was the only member who addressed the House in behalf of the printer. Junius inadvertently dates one of his private letters to Woodfall from Pall-Mall. Lord George resided in that street for many years, and occupied the house lately inhabited by Mr. Angerstein. Mr. Coventry states, that, after the most diligent inquiry, he was unable to discover a copy of the pamphlet which Lord George wrote in answer to the letter from Edinburgh. It would have been desirable, if he had had an opportunity, of comparing the style of that production with the letters of Junius. There is certainly a strong resemblance, both in thought and diction, between those terse and pointed compositions, and several of the speeches which Lord George is reported to have delivered in the House of Commons. Of this the reader may be convinced if he will take the trouble to compare them. It was said of his Lordship, in one of the periodical publications of his day, that "he had the art of painting in words to a very eminent degree, and which afforded the finest ornaments in either poetry, history, or elocution." This description applies with equal force to Junius. There are two incidents, mentioned by Mr. Coventry, which deserve attention. On the 8th of November, 1771, Junius wrote a private note to Woodfall, conveying this caution: "Beware of David Garrick: he was sent to pump you, and went directly to Richmond to tell the King I should write no more." Two days after this, Junius addressed the following letter to "Mr. David Garrick:" "November 10. 1771.
"I am very exactly informed of your impertinent inquiries, and of the information you so busily sent to Richmond, and with
what triumph and exultation it was received. I knew every particular of it the next day. Now mark me, vagabond keep to your pantomimes, or be assured you shall hear of it. Meddle no more, thou busy informer! It is in my power to make you curse the hour in which you dared to interfere with - Junius."
How did Junius acquire this "information," and so speedily too? Lord George Sackville might possibly have obtained it: at that time he occupied a house which overlooked the King's old palace *, near Richmond Green: he might easily have observed the arrivals at the palace; and his friend, Colonel Amherst, who was then one of the King's aide-de-camps, might have inquired for him the motive of Garrick's visit to the King. These are doubtless all mere possibilities, and may perhaps be delusive. But let us come to the second incident, which is not a little extraordinary.
A few days after Junius's violent letter to the Duke of Grafton, Mr. Woodfall received a most extraordinary letter from his correspondent, wherein he says, "I really doubt whether I shall write any more under this signature. I am weary of attacking a set of brutes whose writings are too dull to furnish me even with the materials of contention, and whose measures are too gross and direct to be the subject of argument, or to require illustration."
"That Swinney is a wretched, but a dangerous fool. He had the impudence to go to Lord George Sackville, whom he had never spoken to, and to ask him whether or no he was the author of Junius: take care of him."
The inferences from this letter are cogent. How could Junius know that Swinney had called upon Lord George Sackville? that Swinney had never spoken to his Lordship before? Why should Junius think of altering his signature? If Swinney had committed a mistake in calling on the wrong person, ought not Junius to have rejoiced at it, instead of being angry with him? Why does Junius cautiously abstain from stating Lord George's answer to Swinney? If he had condescended to give him one, it must have been in the negative, and Junius, perhaps, did not like to leave upon record his own ignominy. At all events, it seems difficult to deny, that this letter is demonstrative of some connection between the two characters, or to doubt that it is just such a letter as Lord George Sackville would have written if he had been Junius.
The letter adds, "Whenever you have any thing to communicate to me, let the hint be thus: C at the usual place; and so direct to Mr. John Fretley, where it is absolutely
*It no longer exists: it was taken down several years ago.
impossible I should be known." It appears from this, that Junius changed his confidential direction in consequence of Swinney's call on Lord George Sackville. These are, we must admit, striking circumstances in favor of Mr. Coventry's conclusions.
ART. IV. Remains of the late Reverend Charles Wolfe, A. B., Curate of Donoughmore, Diocese of Armagh, with a brief Memoir of his Life. By the Reverend John A. Russell, M.A. 2 Vols. 12mo. 10s. Boards. Watson, Dublin; and Hamilton, London. 1825.
HE Reverend Charles Wolfe was an amiable man, a curate THE in the north of Ireland. He possessed some talents, which, as usual in small literary coteries, were considered by his friends as very remarkable. His existence, most probably, would never have been heard of in this country, but for a passage in Captain Medwin's Conversations with Lord Byron, in which the poet is represented as speaking in terms of high praise of an ode on the Burial of Sir John Moore. "I consider it," said his Lordship, "little inferior to the best which the present prolific age has brought forth," and he then read the lines with great animation. Neither Lord Byron or any of his friends, it appears, knew at that time by whom the ode was written. It was soon after successfully claimed for the author of these Remains, and the discussions to which it gave rise, drew his name from its obscurity.
This circumstance prompted the publication of all the loose papers which he left behind, of course with a memoir by some kind friend. The life of sedentary and retiring men of genius rarely supplies any thing for the biographer. Wolfe was borne in 1791; was bred at Winchester; entered TrinityCollege, Dublin, in 1809; distinguished himself there by obtaining a scholarship, and other collegiate honors; graduated in 1814; became a country curate; exerted himself usefully and honorably in his sacred profession; and died of a consumption in February, 1823. The papers here collected consist of a volume of sermons, which are not in any respect remarkable above the usual run of such compositions, and never could have been intended for the public eye; some letters, useful to no one but the owner; a few mediocre prose pieces, and a dozen copies of verses, of which the lines on the death of Sir John Moore are by far the best. As the latter have been frequently printed with gross inaccuracy, we subjoin them in their authentic form :