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blame for public calamities. These he that his labors as author did no discredit to traces wholly to the executive government, a “newspaper.” He evinced his defeat by none of the members of which have the losing his temper, and seeking to make the requisite experience, abilities, or common controversy a personal affair by calling on sense ; the king, too, he considerately ex- Junius to unmask and take the responsibilempts from all blame, and lauds him for ity of “strong assertions without proof, " the purest of all possible hearts,” and his declamation without argument, and violent anxious endeavor at the outset of his reign censures without dignity or moderation." to unite parties, and select the most worthy But this concession was inadmissible, as to rule. Having separated the innocent, Junius had only appeared with visor down, be pounces on the guilty, dissects the entire and in such guise Sir William had volunministry, holding up each singly and suc- teered a passage of arms. cessively to scorn and contumely. Grafton, But Junius aimed at more exalted quarry as the head of it, is, of course, the chief de- than a colonel on half-pay. It was the downlinquent—a “young nobleman already ru- fall of the ministry he sought, and for this ined by play," and "an apostate by design issue singled out its head, the First Lord of from every honorable engagement;" yet to the Treasury, for annihilation. It arose him is committed the “finances of a nation from an indefensible attempt of the minister already sinking under its debts and ex- to screen from justice a party of guards who penses.” The chancellor of the exchequer, had rescued General Gansel from the hands Lord North, is next arraigned as without of the sheriff's officers, after they had arrested parliamentary abilities and influence ; " re- him for debt. It was followed by others inpeatedly called down for absolute ignorance, culpatory of the public acts of the Duke of ridiculous motions ridiculously withdrawn, Grafton, and his private character was asdeliberate plans disconcerted, and a week's sailed by imputations on his morality in preparation of graceful oratory lost in a openly parading his mistress in a public themoment.” The rest are depicted in similar atre. The chancellor of the exchequer, Lord disparaging colors, and a string of terse, North, is addressed in a lively, sarcastic, telling, and compact paragraphs, wound up and pungent epistle, for rewarding the serwith the declaration that the “crisis is so vices of Colonel Luttrell to the ministry, in full of terror and despair,” that nothing less coming forward to contest with Alderman can save the nation from the vices and in- Wilkes the representation of Middlesex. capacities of its administration than the Upon the Duke of Bedford, Junius concen“merciful interposition of Providence.” trated all his venom ; his grace had become
Denunciation of this Olympian pitch at unpopular from his negotiation of the peace once arrested public attention, and drew into of 1763, but his great offence was his juncthe lists no unworthy opponent, with real tion with the Grafton ministry, by which its name, distinguished in public life for mili- dissolution was delayed. The duke was tary services, as well as a scholar and accom- more unmercifully mangled than any, by a plished gentleman. Sir William Draper did contumacious appreciation of his general not aim at a general reply to the anti-minis character, bitter railing against his political terial strictures of Junius, but only to res- conduct, and personal anecdotical disparagecue his particular friend, the Marquis of ments. But in this consisted the subtlety of Granby, from the talons of his assailant. the state satirist-the most exalted are the In bis devotion he himself became the vic- most humiliated-serving thereby a double tim, and was unmercifully shown up in re- purpose in reducing the influence of the most spect of his own pseudo-public services, powerful and magnifying that of their invispension, honors, and preferment. The po- ible assailant. It was more by his unsparsition of Junius at the War-office enabled ing attacks on the grandees of the realm him to do this with minuteness and force, than the vigor and finish of his writings that though he inadvertently fell into an error as the fame of Junius culminated. Inrespect to forms in his own office, which Sir William of literary tact and polish, some of his known laid hold of. The combatants exchanged earlier writings were little inferior to his later several missives, and though Sir William had compositions, but they failed, in common the worst of the conflict, Junius admitted with effusions from others, to make a signal popular impression. It was only when du- with varying degrees of proof, from resemcal statesmen, or still more exalted person- blance of sentiment, handwriting, style, and ages, were subjected to his incisire pen that so forth, were sis peers of the realm, two bishgeneral attention was aroused. This gave a ops, numerous commoners, and some of the marked impulse to the sale of the Public Ad- principal literati of the time. Dr. Johnson vertiser, in which they first appeared, and thought it was Burke's thunder, but Edmund were thence reprinted by other journals. His satisfied the Gamaliel of his innocence. Infamous address to the king completed his re- deed, Burke was among the bewildered, and nown, established him as the most bold and equally carried off his feet with the great accomplished gladiator that ever figured in moralist. It originated his well-known dejournalist columns. Of this spirited and dig- scription of the mighty boar of the forest, nified effusion he himself appears to have who had broken through all the toils of the thought highly. In a private note to the law, bearing away in his tusks the mangled printer he says, “I am now meditating a " limbs of king, lords, and commons.” Lord capital, and, I hope, a final, piece.” It must North sought to comfort the orator, assuring have answered his utmost expectations, for him that “the mighty Junius, who had foiled an unprecedented number (seventeen hun- the hunters, would in the end be speared." dred and fifty) of extra copies were printed This extravagance must have been as of the Public Advertiser, and not a single amusing as gratifying to the unknown in his copy was to be procured a few hours after War-office retreat. The extreme caution and its publication. It was for this production dexterous contrivances by which he threw Mr. Woodfall was prosecuted, and obtained the hunters, who were many besides Mr. the celebrated verdict of “ guilty of printing Garrick, on a wrong scent, were quite equal, and publishing only.” This novel and equiv- if not superior, in cleverness to his writings ocal return gave rise to two distinct motions Discovery would have been fatal to him in in court, one by defendant, for arrest of every respect—to his official permanence, to judgment, and an adverse one by the crown. the weight and celebrity of his Letters, and On the case being argued, the court of to his future hopes from a Chatham restoraKing's Bench granted a new trial. But this tion. Consequently, false lights were thrown also failed, from the neglect of tah attorney- out in every direction to divert suspicion general in not producing the original news from the Horse Guards. Junius thus bepaper by which the publication could be came, to the imagination of his contemporaproved.
ries and other inquirers, a patrician figure, These futile and blundering proceedings in which every feature of personalty, birth, of course made an immense noise, and ele- and position differed from the reality. “My vated Junius to the highest pinnacle, on rank and fortune,” he says, “ place me above which for a season he contifued as the great- a common bribe.” A seat in the Cabinet, of est and most mysterious incendiary that had course, or more potential individuality, could appeared, defiant of authority in its highest only buy him. Probably he was one of the beats. The celebrated Horne Tooke, with great but disappointed hereditary heads of others of no little consideration, essayed to partiesma Rockingham, Grenville, Shelbreak a lance with him ; they helped to di- burne, or Chatham. A fallen angel certainly, versify the incidents of the battle-field, and perhaps the highest, with Satanic powers, were dealt with in that pleasant put-aside intense pride, hatred, and ambition. fashion that made it appear like a conde- shall know me by my works,” he tells Woodscension to notice such small fry. The lof- fall. Mere gain from his writings appears tiest in the literary and political world es- beneath notice. In a note respecting a reteemed it not beneath them to speculate on print of his Letters, he says, “ What you say the new Hercules that had strangled, sans about profits is very handsome. I like to pity, all who had excited his ire. That he deal with such men. As for myself, I am was a person of the highest mark in scholar- far above all pecuniary views." ship, unsurpassed in ability in state and leg- Not content with creating an impression islation, in court life and personal connec- of affluence and rank, he sought to clothe tions, not a particle of doubt was entertained. himself, though a young man, with the venAmong the suspected by different writers, Ierableness of age. As one of the fruits of
his past life, he strongly inculcates honesty cil, project, or change escaped his all-prying to Woodfall. “ After long experience in the eyes. If a secret expedition was fitting out, world,” he tells him, “ I can assure you I he knew it ; if war impended, he anticipated never knew a rogue who was happy.” Wilkes all the quidnuncs of the Cocoa-trec. If mintries to draw him to a Mansion-house ball; isterial changes were in prospect, Jurius was offers him tickets, and expresses the joy he the first to signal them. Were a nobleman would feel to see him dance with Polly, his , affronted, he was the earliest to denounce it. daughter. Junius replies: “ Many thanks for " That Swinney,” says be, " is a wretched your obliging offer, but, alas, my age and fig- but dangerous fool to address Lord George ure would do little credit to my partner.” Sackville.” “ Beware of David Garrick; he Would not any one have inferred the writer was sent to pump you, and went directly to was an old man; or, if not advanced in years, tell the king.” Of the cabals, clubs, and beyond middle life and somewhat portly. But officials of the city of London he was equally Francis was never corpulent; bone and mus- cognizant. He cautions Alderman Wilkes cle, as in his writings, were dominant over against making "himself so cheap by walkthe softer tissues.
ing the streets so much." Doubtless, wishMr. Woodfall, who had been his school- ing it to be understood he had descried him fellow at St. Paul's, and who in personal from his carriage, or other patrician stall
, contact must have recognized him, he was in the practice of so plebeian a style of lo very apprehensive of meeting. At one time comotion. he thought Woodfall had made the discov- In such assumptions consist the chief ery; but he was re-assured, and was success- comedy of the Junius' Letters. The writer ful in completely blinding him. The printer was nearly at the lowest step of promotion's became so awe-struck by a sense of the great ladder, and adroitly scheming, by false unknown with whom he was in correspond- lights and intense labor, to reach a higher ence, that he reverentially sought his guid- round. His extraordinary industry and efance in the discharge of his electoral duties. forts to compass this issue it is impossible The great demi-gorgon of the city lay pros- to consider without admiration. The comtrate. “ I do not mean,” says Wilkes, “ to position of the Letters must have been the indulge the impertinent curiosity of finding result of elaborate pains, thought, and reout the most important secret of our times search, independent of the ordinary duties -the authorship of Junius. I will not at- of his clerkship. Traces appear in some of tempt with profane hands to tear the sacred them, from the absence of sequence, in the veil of the sanctuary. I am disposed, with construction of the paragraphs, that they the inhabitants of Attica, to erect an altar were not thrown off at a heat, but composed, to the unknown god of our political idola- or sketched, probably, on separate slips of try, and will be content to worship him in paper, and then from haste, or want of time, clouds and darkness.” To whom the god sent to the printer without a proper fusion replies, first reproving the lax ethics of his and arrangement of parts, Composition was worshipper: "I find I am treated as other only one of the anxious duties pertaining tb gods usually are by their votaries, with sac- the Letters. The materials had been to rifice and ceremony in abundance, and very collect, inquiries to be made in various chanlittle obedience. The profession of your nels and of divers persons; and, lastly, the faith is unexceptionable ; but I am a modest conveyance of the finished product, all undeity, and should be full as well satisfied der strict secrecy, to the office of the Adwith morality and good works.*
vertiser. The myrmidons of the court and responsi- All this, however, comports well with the ble advisers of the crown stood aghast, con- history and character of Sir Philip Francis, founded by the mortal shafts aimed by the whose ambition was less the desire of litinvisible archer. It was the apparent omni- erary celebrity than of official pre-eminence, presence of the foe and his universal knowl- He was never a recluse, but a man of action ; odge of great and small affairs that alarmed clever and alert in society, as well as a preand distracted suspicions. No state coun- cocious scholar. When a minor, he fre* Excerpts from the writer's “ Essay,” and es
quently dined with his elders at the tablesential to bring out the aim of the present article. i d'hôte of Slaughter's Coffee-house. Higher sources of intelligence than that of town ad- the bitter objects of the attacks of Junius, ventures flowed from his peculiar connection when his favorite patron, Lord Chatham, at the War-office, or from persons who, like had recovered from his suspended animation, himself, were busy in the gossip, hopes, and and had become eager to regain the premieraffairs of political life. In all these respects ship by the destruction of the coalition minhe was advantageously placed, both from his istry. At this later period Calcraft, who had position in a public department and per- been deputy-commissary of musters, after sonal affinities. Early in life, from ability enriching himself in the service of Lord Holand trustworthiness, he had obtained the land, but unable to reach the height of his confidential patronage of the first Lord Hol- ambition, had deserted his lordship for the land, next of the Earl of Chatham ; these opposite party, and become the confidential able and influential noblemen, not directly, secretary of Lord Chatham. He was a memprobably, but through the intermediate ber of the House of Commons, but, Junius agency of Earl Temple, Mr. Calcraft, and says, gave silent votes. Though no speaker, Dr. Francis, became the chief sources of the he was extensively connected with, and well private information of Junius. They had informed on, all state affairs. With him the ample means for contributing all the par- younger Francis appears, from the “Chatham liamentary, court, and club news that ren- Correspondence,” to have been in constant dered the Letters remarkable. The City communication under the denomination of a news passed partly through the same hands, “ friend.” That this " friend” was the especially Mr. Calcraft's, and was obtained younger Francis, the author of the Letters, first from Alderman Beckford, and after his and the Sir Philip Francis of a later period, death from Alderman Sawbridge. Wilkes there can be no doubt. Evidence of the communicated with Junius through the me- most intimate and friendly ties between them dium of Mr. Woodfall. Such were the real may be readily adduced. Mr. Calcraft exbut unconscious dramatis personæ, none of erted himself to obtain for Francis the apwhom appear to have been in the secret at pointment of deputy secretary-at-war; failthe outset of the Letters, and only some of ing in that, he on the same day Francis was them afterwards, when they had become cel dismissed from the War-office, added a codebrated. That they were competent aux- icil to his will, bequeathing him a handsome iliaries, though unknowingly so, to all the legacy, and an annuity for life to Mrs. requirements of the Junius undertaking, and Francis.* This fact, and the disclosures in that their available aid, it is likely, sug- the Chatham papers of the constant intergested to Francis his enterprise, will be evi- change of intelligence between Calcraft and dent from some brief indication in the Essay Francis, led me to conclude that letters and referred to, of their social and official rela- papers which Francis had addressed to Lord tions.
Chatham's secretary might be in the possesDr. Francis, the accomplished father of sion of his descendants. Under this impresSir Philip, and not very dissimilar from him, sion, I wrote to Mr. Calcraft, but almost imwas the favorite chaplain of Lord Holland, mediately after I had done so, I learned from living in intimate fellowship with him. an unquestionable source that my applicaThey met at the house of Mrs. G. A. Bel- tion would be fruitless, as nearly half a cenlamy, the noted courtesan, then in the keep-tury before Sir Philip Francis, aware that a ing of Mr. John Calcraft, who had been the mine existed in that quarter, had got back confidential clerk of his lordship in the busi- all his papers. No doubt Sir Philip deest period of his career. Lord Holland, after stroyed them, as no scrap of them remains retiring from the king's service, continued a with his family ; they shared in common, it favorite at court: he was, in fact, the confi- is likely, the fate of the manuscript of Junius' dential adviser of both the king and Lord Letters and the vellum-bound copy he reBute in the chief ministerial crises that rap- ceived from Mr. Woodfall. It was in 1787 idly ensued from 1763 to 1770. It was by he got back his papers ; he was then in hot his lordship’s intervention the Grafton min
* Not the lawfully affianced, as I have been inistry was strengthened by the Bedford party, formed by a lady contemporary of the parties, but and it was this ducal union that subsequently living with Francis on the same terms, probably,
she had previously done with the deputy-commisrendered the Dukes of Grafton and Bedford sary.
war against Warren Hastings, when any dis- fast and anxious disavowal of them ? Excovery that he was the redoubtable Junius cept indirectly, in a kind of death-bed conwould have been damaging to his influence, fession, never the slightest 'admission or inas several of his colleagues in the impeach- dication escaped him of the authorship. ment of the ex-governor-general were among Overtly and conclusively he never seems to those he had bitterly reviled under the shel- have coveted any fame or merit pertaining ter of his nom de guerre.
to them. Indeed, he considered himself The Calcraft disclosure added an impor- superior to them, Lord Brougham intimates ; tant link to the chain of testimony. In an and, no doubt improving with the fashion of article on Hastings, * Lord Macaulay enu- the agc, he had become so in respect of the merated five points, identifying in his posi- private details and calumnies in which Jution, pursuits, and connections Sir. P. Fran- nius had freely indulged, to give piquancy cis with Junius, and only two of which could to his writings. But more cogent reasons be found in any other person. For myself, may be adduced for his abstinence in the I reduced the roll of candidates immensely, later incidents and connections of his public by showing that Junius was certainly not a life. The avowal of the authorship would clergyman of any grade, nor a lawyer, nor a have exiled him from society; for how could member of either House of Parliament. In many of the distinguished persons with addition, I cleared up the difficulties pre- whom he subsequently became intimately ceding investigators had left relative to the connected have associated with the anonyintellectual competence of Sir Francis to mous defamer of their dearest connections, the task of Junius; his ready and various both by blood and political ties? How, for sources of intelligence ; his evasive denial instance, could the Dukes of Grafton or Bedof the Letters; the different style of his ford, who survived during the active portion later public writings, and the conditions of of the life of Francis, and whom Junius had reticence which his compact with Lord calumniated with unscrupulous bitterness, North enforced both on himself and others have consorted with him. Their numerous in the secret of his authorship.
descendants must have cherished correJunius will ever rank among the most sponding provocatives to alienation and reable, best-sustained, and successful of liter- sentment. In what way some of them felt ary impostures. By big words, classic style, towards Junius may be instanced in a disloud professions of disinterestedness, and tinguished living personage, better known patrician demeanor, the public was misled for amiability than the violence of his anfor almost a century. The anxious vigilance tipathies. I allude to the comments of the deception imposed on the author must Lord John Russell in his Introductions to have been immense, and for which his direct the "Bedford Correspondence.” Junius, in reward was nil. He wholly failed in his the fashion of his age, sought to lessen the leading purpose; in lieu of a Chatham, a influence of public men by defaming their North became premier, and the people, private character, a species of irrelevant weary, of changes without amendments, hostility to which political disputants of the acquiesced in the substitution. Disgusted present day have become superior. After with the results, Junius withdrew from the some reflections on this abuse of the liberty arena to a new sphere of action, and, it may of the press, and the tendency of anonymous be added, of disappointment and baffled writing to exaggeration, Lord John Russell schemes.
adverts in strong terms to Junius. “But it His labors in the composition of the Let- seems,” says his lordship, “to have been ters and concealment of their authorship the delight of this libeller to harrow the were enormous, without enabling him to souls of those who were prominent in pub
any brilliant trophy, or derive any lic life ; and while he had not the courage comfort, not even that of self-satisfaction. to fight with the sword in the open daylight, Whatever contemporary pride he might he had too much malignity to refrain from have had in the Letters, he appears to have the use of the dagger, covered by a mask, had none afterwards. Else why his stead- and protected by the obscurity of the night.
Nor can any excuse be found for him in the * Edinburgh Review, October, 1841. warmth of his ardor for public liberty. His