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patient to become an obscure character in another country."
Among the rest of his acquaintances was Boyd, who was so frequently suspected of being Junius. In later years, an application was made to Grattan to know his opinion on the subject. Being unable to write, Mrs Grattan, at his dictation, replied as follows:
"SIR, Mr Grattan, not being able to write, desires me to answer the letter you did him the honour to send. He does not recollect any fact which, at the time or since, inclined him to think that Mr Boyd was the author of 'Junius,' or connected with that publication. Were Mr Boyd Junius,' it was wholly without Mr Grattan's knowledge. His understanding was very considerable, his memory astonishing, and his literary powers very great; but whether he thought proper to give them the style and cast of Junius's composition, is what Mr Grattan cannot possibly undertake to say. He wishes every success to Mrs C.'s work, as it is the account of a person (whether Junius or not) whose life and talents were an ornament to letters, and his death an irretrievable loss."
A subsequent application was made to Grattan himself, in 1805, to know whether he was not the author, which he thus answered:
"SIR,-I can frankly assure you I know nothing of 'Junius,' except that I am not the author. When Junius began, I was a boy, and knew nothing of politics, or the persons concerned in them. I am, sir, not Junius, but your good wisher and obedient servant,
Of the often-contested question of the authorship of Junius, the writer of the present volumes says, that Flood, who had been suspected, could not have been the author, if it were only for the simple circumstance, that a letter of Sir William Draper, dated the 17th of February 1769, was an swered by Junius on the 21st, Flood being at that time in Ireland, and it not being possible for him to have written a reply, and published it in London within the space of four days. Grattan's own opinion was, that the letters were of the Burke school, and that Burke was the prime mover, if not the writer. He said: "There is nothing in the passage of Burke, where he alludes to Junius, on the subject of
ex-officio informations, that might not have been spoken by a person who had written Junius. I know that Boyd heard Burke make that very speech that night, and Boyd told me there was nothing he said then that would make him believe he had not written Junius. On the contrary, I incline to think, from the manner he spoke, that he did write it. Gerard Hamilton also said to me-If I was to die to-morrow unless I could tell who wrote Junius, I would lay my head quietly on the pillow to-night—' it was Burke.""
Still those are but conjectures-no evidence was offered then, nor has been offered since. In those days, Burke's brilliancy dazzled every one, and his fine powers were supposed to give him the mastery of every style; but we are probably now better capable of ascertaining those powers than in his own day. We have all his works before us, affording a different standard from that of a few fine speeches heard in the House, or turned into occasional pamphlets. With the volumes of Burke and the letters of Junius placed side by side, the difference of the styles is fundamental. The claims of Sir Philip Francis have been, within these few years, strongly urged; but he never urged them himself; he never acknowledged the letters; and, at an interval of fifty years, we can imagine no reason, of either fear or loyalty, which could have indisposed the temperament of Francis to decline so strong a title to political and literary fame. Few other candidates have appeared; none of them made good their title. The secret was said to be in an iron chest in Lord Grenville's custody; his lordship has since died, and we presume all his chests have been opened, but the secret has not made its appearance. However little it may be worth, it is certainly the best kept secret on record.
In the midst of political tumult, the native propensity for enjoyment exhibited itself in Ireland. Private theatricals were the fashion; the principal nobility opened their houses to these entertainments, and the chief Parliamentary personages were the perfor mers. The celebrated Flood, the first man in the Irish Parliament, was a capital tragedian. Grattan wrote prologues; and the handsomest belles of the day performed queens and cham
he intrigued with them for power; scoffing at public delusion, he used it to the last. Still this culprit, for his recklessness amounted to many a crime, failed in obtaining his original object however-he never rose above the rabble. Disappointed in all his hopes of personal ambition, he was glad to creep, at the close of his days, into a city sinecure-to have his jest, his dinner, and his pay, among the aldermen. He was compelled to see the Government which he had insulted still exist in defiance; the King whom he had vilified grow in national esteem as in years; and, while he himself sunk into an obscure and degenerate old age, his name degenerated into a national scoff, and his history quoted only as a warning against popular absurdity.
bermaids. In one of his letters, Grattan mentions, with regret, his having lost the sight of "Tamerlane," in which one of the Irish "graces," the daughter of Sir William Montgomery, played. He speaks of it as "a most magnificent spectacle." Those three ladies were remarkable for wit and beauty. One of them was married to the viceroy, the other two to men of rank in Ireland. But there were two still more celebrated beauties, who seem to have astonished England-the Gunnings. One was married to the Earl of Coventry, the other to the Duke of Hamilton, and afterwards to the Duke of Argyle; yet thus doubly a duchess, she died at the age of twenty-seven. Their beauty was astonishing, or at least its effects were so. Walpole says, that on the marriage of the Duchess of Hamilton, crowds flocked to see her, and that seven hundred persons sat up all night round the inn in Yorkshire where she slept, that they might see her as she went into her carriage in the morning. The duke was so anxious to have the ceremony performed, that he would not wait till day, but was married with a ring of the bed curtain, at half-past twelve at night, in May Fair Chapel. The Countess of Coventry made herself memorable by the naïveté of her remark to George the Second. Majesty asked her whether she liked masquerades? Her answer was, "That she did not; that she was tired of sights; and that the only one she wished to see was a coronation."
But this remark, which in any instance would have been the most terrible of blunders, passed off with the beauty and the wit as the most piquant of all pleasantries.
In the mean time, politics were in full glow in England. Wilkes's affairs had embroiled the King with the Minister, the Minister with the Parliament, and the Parliament with the nation. The annals of popular government, fertile as they are in folly, never exhibited in a stronger light the scandalous ease with which popularity may be obtained, common sense defied, and the national interests hazarded, where the appeal is made to the mob. Wilkes was a notorious profligate in every condition of life-in politics as well as in morals; despising the populace, he flattered them into insurrection; hating the Opposition,
In one of Grattan's letters he mentions his having seen some of those signs of the time. "I shall only tell you that on Tuesday night Mr Wilkes went privately from prison; and that on last night the whole town was illuminated. Every thing was apprehended; but I have heard of nothing that has been done by the populace. There were many houses not illuminated, and they did not suf fer. The night was more tranquil than those of his election."
He then speaks of the man who eclipsed all others of his day, and of whom Grattan seems never to have thought without wonder. "Lord Chatham's abilities are restored to their ancient reputation. His violence, I hear, is surprising. The Ministry call him mad; Opposition call him supernatural; and languid men call him rather outrageous.'
When we recollect the extraordinary public activity which occupied Grattan's whole life from his entrance into Parliament, the eager interest with which he plunged into all the political storms, and the intense toil with which he must have conducted Opposition in the House of Commons for so many years of anxiety and even of personal hazard, we may be astonished at the listlessness and despondency of his mind in the most animated period of human life.
But it is not to be overlooked, that such feelings seem to have belonged to almost every man who has been destined to make a conspicuous figure in the larger movements of life. In
this spirit Cæsar wept when he saw the statue of Alexander, and disdained himself for having done so little at an age which, in the dead hero, had been sufficient to subvert one empire and found another. In our own time Nelson, before he rose to command, was the most fretful of men. Napoleon, in early life, was miserable; complained of the miseries of inactivity; and, in the profligate but expressive phraseology of his period, declared, even when at the height of power, that he was like the devil, always wretched unless he was busy; the good or evil, probably, being no question with this copy of the great Agitator of mankind. But those traits are worth preserving, not merely as sketches of mind, but as pointing out to others the true mode of converting despondency into hope, and turning great powers from being the tormentors into the stimulants of the mind. He writes from Windsor in 1770, like a man about to drown himself from mere weariness of existence :
"I write this letter from the dullest solitude which even I have ever experienced. You know my mind has ever had a hankering after misery. I have cultivated that defect with astonishing success, and have now refined my mind into the most aching sensibility imaginable. I have been of late much alone, in a beautiful situation, but a disagreeble condition, so much so, that it has overcome my taste for books, my passion for writing, and my attachment for rurality. I call upon you in my miserable moments to arouse your declining friend, a prey to his caprice. I know of no panacea for my mind but you The fact is, I have no resolution, and in solitude feel the most frivolous incidents as great calamities. My mind stagnates in retirement, and a drop of adversity circulates in uneasiness all over it. When the devastation I speak of will suffer me to apply to nobler objects, and to soar a little above the dregs of the earth, I am not entirely amiss in the pursuits of improvement."
The fact was, that a man with this kind of sensibility should not have gone to the shades of Windsor Forest, as he did, in the gloomy month of November, when the sight of a tree suggests nothing but the idea of being suspended from its branches.
streets of London, with all their smoke, their mire, and their noise, would have done him more good than a forest of nightingales. Yet he evidently
revives when he talks of politics-the languid philosopher becomes a man. The unpopular Ministry at this time were kept in existence not by their own strength, but by the feebleness of their adversaries. The "vis inertiæ" alone kept them in their places :"Opposition," says Grattan, "is in a languid and a divided state. Death has not spared it. Mr Grenville's departure was a tremendous blow: he was an able financier, with a contracted but a shrewd mind; the object of the prejudices and hopes of many a man who had some portion of English principle. He died on the first day of the session. His death was lamented by Barré, who was great that day. His boldness and his fury were engaging, and his military character was sustained with warmth and success."
Grattan, on his arrival in Ireland, instantly connected himself with Opposition, who were then violently attacking Lord Townshend's government. A succession of letters in newspapers was their first display. Among those contributions was "The Character of Lord Chatham." On its being shown in MS., Langrishe observed that they should not let that go, (be lost.) "But how shall we introduce it?" said Flood. Langrishe playfully re"I'll settle it: we'll put it pliedin a note, as if from Dr Robertson. He is going to publish a new edition of his America-that is Chatham's subject. So we shall say, we have been favourIed with this character of the champion of the colonies." The idea amused them; and many persons afterwards looked for the character in Robertson's volumes, and of course were surprised at their disappointment.
Langrishe was a happy specimen of the Irish gentleman of past days. He was a man of talents cultivated by the habits of association with the best society, and strengthened by public life; a patriot, so far as to wish well to the general advancement of the country, but without taking any share in the violences of party. The habit of the time was a pleasantry which softened the asperities of politics; the care of nations not having yet sunk into the hands of the mob, or of the coarse and sullen villains who play the mob into each other's hands, and barter the menaces of the rabble for
power. Some of Langrishe's plea
santries are still remembered. On one occasion, when riding with Lord Townshend through the Phoenix Park (the Hyde Park of Dublin), the viceroy complained of the negligence of his predecessors in leaving this place of public, recreation in a swampy state-"Oh," said Langrishe, "they had too much to do in draining the country!"
"Which do you think, Langrishe, the best history of Ireland?" was once asked. The answer was prompt. "The continuation of Rapin" (rapine).
Townshend was clever, but a rough soldier; vain, but steady to his purpose of controlling Irish party; a man of pleasure, but eager in grasping at every object of distinction. He had exhibited his avidity for honours in a rather too hasty manner in the Canadian war. On the death of the heroic Wolfe, Townshend, impatient to obtain the reputation of the conquest, accepted the surrender of the town. But for this piece of presumption he was obliged to make a written apology to General Monckton, who had succeeded Wolfe, and was superior officer to Townshend. When the latter, on his return to England, attended the levee, George II. turned away from him in marked displeasure. But Charles Townshend, his brother, pushed him on until he got the King to speak to him, which, however, was not accomplished without difficulty.
One of the prominent characters of these volumes, and of his time, was Henry Flood. He is recorded as "the first who introduced oratory into the House of Commons." He was an excellent man for party-ever ready. His knowledge enabled him to attack, and his powers of satire gave him great advantage in reply; quick, sharp, and severe, a good debater-for, even if defeated, he returned undaunt ed to the charge, and renewed the contest with surpassing perseverance. He was a great master of logic, which, though it sometimes tires, yet in the case of his hearers procured him great admiration; for the University, accustomed to syllogisms, poured forth its numerous and ardent hearers, who conferred upon him the palm of oratory. His spirit, his passion, and his strength of mind, overcame all lesser defects; and when he grew strongly animated, and his temper somewhat
ruffled, he bore down all before him. He always improved as he proceeded in the debate, for he had no superior in the art of disputation; so that his second speech was always better than his first, and when he made a third, it was superior to either.
Flood was made for public life. He came into Parliament in the vigour of life, in his thirtieth year, at a period auspicious for commencing a public career-the first year of the reign of George III. Educated for the bar, and thus possessing the true groundwork of Parliamentary knowledge; opulent, for he possessed five thousand a-year, a sum which in Ireland was equivalent to fifteen thousand in this country and at the present time; a vigorous student, an accomplished scholar, a keen politician; full of the determination to make himself conspicuous in public life, and adding to those qualities the essential of a political leader in Ireland-the most reckless disregard of personal danger-Flood was formed by nature and by art to be the Parliamentary chieftain of his country.
Among the unhappy singularities which have long drawn the line between Ireland and civilisation, duelling was prominent. "Be ready with the pistol!" was the precept of an Irish Polonius to his descendant. The result of this barbarian practice was the presumed necessity, on the part of every public man, of" drawing blood." Flood, when in the height of his career, however, was called into the field by a private quarrel. The families of the Agars and Flood had a private feud for some time, arising out of a Parliamentary contest for a borough, the fruitful source of quarrel among the idle patriots of Ireland. The elder Agar had challenged Flood: they fought, and Agar was slightly wounded. But the hostility did not end with the rencontre. Agar soon commenced the quarrel upon new grounds-some trifling affair of a case of pistols lost by one of Flood's people some months before. But the narrative of an Irish duel is best given in Irish description. This is a fragment of the letter of Mr Bushe, Grattan's brother-in-law :—
"I hear that Agar had often asked Flood about his pistols, who had always answered, that he had them not, and was not accountable for them." But on Friday they produced a challenge, to my great surprise; for if there were any offence,
shot himself, a human life is destroyed, a family perhaps ruined, society injured, law set at nought-and with what gain? Simply to establish the important fact that Mr A. can stand to be shot by Mr B.; and that two fools dare commit murder, whenever it may be to the convenience of one of the belligerents, without regarding the laws of either God or man.
it was as much an offence any day those ten months as it was on that day. They stood about fourteen yards asunder. Before they fired, Mr Agar questioned Mr Flood about the pistols in a threatening and offensive manner. Mr Flood answered very deliberately, You know I will not answer you while you ask me in that manner.' Agar refused all conciliation, and was evidently determined to put his antagonist to death; for, after some proposals to fire along the line of a quickset hedge, and then resting the pistol
on his arm, both of them prohibited by the etiquette of gentlemanlike murder, they drew lots for the first fire, which Agar got and missed. He then took up his other pistol, and said to Flood, Fire, you scoundrel!' Flood then presented his pistol, which he had held all this time with the muzzle turned upwards, and shot Mr Agar through the heart. The left breast was towards him, Mr Agar being left-handed. He expired in a few minutes, without speaking any thing articulate. The coroners have found the verdict specially,
That he came by his death by a pistolbullet,' without ever mentioning Mr Flood's name."
Nothing could be more polished than this mode of putting a country gentleman out of the world; and even the delicacy of the coroner, as we see, receives its praise. Yet what is the reality of the case? A man is killed, for no possible reason but that a quarrel, worthy of two children, arises between two men. Law being out of the question, blood-shedding is the well-bred resource; justice having nothing to do in the case, the gentlemen take the decision into their own hands, conIstitute a law of force, and execute it by an act of murder. The fact in this instance being, that the murder was not for any personal loss, or any injury capable of being felt in property or person, but simply from the determination of Mr Agar to kill Mr Flood, as putting him out of the way would be a convenience at the hustings. But murder by an assassin, in the regular Italian style, not being the etiquette in Ireland, the gentleman assassin adopted the only other mode in which the murder might be committed, without risking his own neck in case of his being found out. Yet is a murder the less such, because the intended victim is told that he is the mark, or because a pistol is put into his hand, and he is told that he must stand at fourteen paces off to be shot? Whether he shoots his opponent, or is
Flood, as his career advanced, began to feel the usual mortifications of public life. He found that eloquence is not always resistless, where reason is on the other side; that, though the populace may applaud the inventor of grievances, the fiction will not always succeed against the actual absence of all oppression; and, by a still more authentic fact, that a people increasing in wealth, security, and freedom, will, from time to time, be found tardy in flinging away their actual advantages, for the sake of putting in place a junta of declaimers, ten times more rapacious, rash, and burdensome, than those whom their clamours have excluded from office. He complained that he could not trust any man, or any party; that when he acted with a party, their views were discovered; and that when he acted with a few, their views also were discovered; when he acted with an individual, his views were betrayed. The great man was evidently coming round. His next maxim was, that the Government was too powerful to be opposed -that the people were too weak to resist—and, finally, that a patriot could serve his country only by place. His conversion was now evidently not far off. It soon became practical. The secretary of the Lord-Lieutenant turned his attention on the discontented patriarch. To pull down the head of Opposition was an object worth some trouble. Flood yielded coyly, but he went the common course of party patriotism after all. After a reluctance of three years, he took a place; and the public were astonished at the formidable announcement that Henry Flood was enlisted under Lord Harcourt's banner as Vice Treasurer of Ireland, with a salary of L.3500 a-year. This change naturally armed all the hundred hands of party against him. He was plunged into an ocean of obloquy. Even office did not make a sufficient recompense for the loss of the popularity on which he had fed so fondly, so foolishly, and so long. He guarded his dignity by a sullen