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ed me are gone before me; they who should have been to me as posterity, are in the place of ancestors. I owe to the dearest relation (which ever must subsist in memory) that act of piety, which he would have performed to me; I owe it to him to show, that he was not descended, as the Duke of Bedford would have it, from an unworthy parent.
THE BRITISH MONARCHY
The learned professors of the rights of man regard prescription, not as a title to bar all claim, set up against old possession; but they look on prescription itself as a bar against the possessor and proprietor. They hold an immemorial possession to be no more than a long-continued, and therefore an aggravated injustice. Such are their ideas, such their religion, and such their law. But as to our country and our race, as long as the well-compacted structure of our church and state, the sanctuary, the holy of holies of that ancient law, defended by reverence, defended by power, a fortress at once and a temple, shall stand inviolate on the brow of the British Lion -as long as the British monarchy, not more limited than fenced by the orders of the state, shall like the proud keep of Windsor, rising in the majesty of proportion, and girt with the double belt of its kindred and coeval towers-as long as this awful structure shall oversee and guard the subjected land, so long the mounds and dikes of the low fat Bedford Level will have nothing to fear from all the pickaxes of all the levellers of France. As long as our sovereign lord the king, and his faithful subjects, the lords and commons of this realm-the triple cord which no man can break; the solemn, sworn, constitutional frankpledge of this nation; the firm guarantee of each other's being, and each other's rights; the joints and several securities, each in its place and order, for every kind and every quality of property and of dignity-as long as these endure, so long the Duke of Bedford is safe; and we are all safe together the high from the blights of envy and the spoliations of rapacity; the low from the iron hand of oppression, and the insolent spurn of contempt.
MARIE ANTOINETTE, QUEEN OF FRANCE.
It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in-glittering like the morning star, full of life, and splendour, and joy. Oh! what a revolution! and what a heart must I have to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream, when she added titles of veneration to that enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters follow upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise is gone! It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil by losing all its grossness.
The Letters of Junius, which long since took their place among the standard works of English literature, began to appear in the Public Advertiser, the most popular journal of the day, on the twenty-first of January, 1769. The nation was, at that period, in a state of great excitement. The contest with the American colonies, the imposition of new taxes, the difficulty of forming a steady and permanent administration, and the great ability and eloquence of the opposition, had tended to spread a feeling of dissatisfaction throughout the whole country. Woodfall, the publisher of the 'Advertiser,' was a man of education and influence; and this circumstance contributed to add to the weight of these anonymous communications. The letters, which afterwards appeared in a volume, under the name of Junius, were the most distinguished of those sent to the publisher, and before they assumed a permanent form, were carefully revised, elaborated, and highly polished. They attacked all the public characters of the day connected with the government, they retailed much private scandal and personal history, and did not spare even royalty itself. The compression, point, and brilliancy of their language, their unrivalled sarcasm, boldness, and tremendous invective, at once arrested the attention of the public; and, accordingly, every effort that could be devised by the government, or prompted by private indignation, was made, but in vain, to discover their author. The mystery continued to perplex every one interested in the subject until 1816, when a work appeared, under the title of 'Junius Identified with a Celebrated Living Character.' The living character was the late Sir Philip Francis, and certainly a mass of strong circumstantial evidence has been presented in his favor. The external evidence,' says Macaulay, 'is, we think, such as would support a verdict in a civil, nay, in a criminal proceeding.' As this question does not affect the literary character of the work, we shall assume that the mystery is revealed.
PHILIP FRANCIS was the son of the Rev. Dr. Francis, translator of Horace, and was born in Dublin, in 1740. He was educated at St. Paul's school, and at the early age of sixteen, was placed, by Lord Holland, in the secretary of state's office. By the patronage of Lord Chatham, he was, in 1758, made secretary to General Bligh, and was present at the capture of Cherburgh. In 1760, he accompanied Lord Kinnoul, as secretary on his embassy to Lisbon; and three years afterwards he was appointed to a considerable situation in the war office, which he held till 1772. The next year he was made a member of the council appointed for the government of Bengal, whence he returned, in 1781, after being perpetually at war with the governor-general, Warren Hastings, and being wounded by him in a duel. He afterwards sat in Parliament as a Whig, and was one of the 'Friends of the People' in association with Fox, Gray, and others. His
death occurred in 1818, in the seventy-ninth year of his age.
It must be confessed that the speeches and letters of Sir Philip Francis evince much of the talent found in Junius, though they are less rhetorical VOL. II.-2 P
in style; while the history and disposition of the man-his strong resentments, his arrogance, his interest in the public questions of the day, evinced by his numerous pamphlets, even in advanced age, and the whole complexion of his party and political sentiments, are what we should expect from Woodfall's correspondent. High and commanding qualities he undoubtedly possessed; nor was he without genuine patriotic feelings, and a desire to labor earnestly for the public good. His error lay in mistaking his private enmities for public virtue, and nursing his resentments till they attained a dark and unsocial malignity. His temper was irritable and gloomy, and often led him to form mistaken and uncharitable estimates of men and measures. Though a single letter from this extraordinary series will not be sufficient to illustrate the point and brilliancy of this remarkable writer, yet we have no room for more; and we select the one to the Duke of Bedford :
TO HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF BEDFORD.
September 19, 1769.
You are so little accustomed to receive any marks of respect or esteem from the public, that if, in the following lines, a compliment or expression of applause should escape me, I fear you would consider it as a mockery of your established character; and, perhaps, an insult to your understanding. You have nice feelings, my Lord, if we may judge from your resentments. Cautious, therefore, of giving offence, where you have so little deserved it, I shall leave the illustration of your virtues to other hands. Your friends have a privilege to play upon the easiness of your temper, or possibly they are better acquainted with your good qualities than I am. You have done good by stealth. The rest is upon record. You have still left ample room for speculation, when panegyric is exhausted.
You are, indeed, a very considerable man. The highest rank; a splendid fortune; and a name, glorious, till it was yours; were sufficient to have supported you with meaner abilities than I think you possess. From the first, you derived a constitutional claim to respect; from the second, a natural extensive authority: the last created a partial expectation of hereditary virtues. The use you have made of these uncommon advantages, might have been more honourable to yourself, but could not be more instructive to mankind. We may trace it in the veneration of your country, the choice of your friends, and in the accomplishment of every sanguine hope which the public might have conceived from the illustrious name of Russel.
The eminence of your station gave you a commanding prospect of your duty. The road which led to honour, was open to your view. You could not lose it by mistake, and you had no temptation to depart from it by design. Compare the natural dignity and importance of the highest peer of England: the noble independence which he might have maintained in parliament; and the real interest and respect which he might have acquired, not only in parliament, but through the whole kingdom; compare these glorious distinctions, with the ambition of holding a share in government, the emoluments of a place, the sale of a borough, or the purchase of a corporation, and though you may regret the virtues which create respect, you may see with anguish how much real importance and authority you have lost. Consider the character of an independent virtuous Duke of Bedford; imagine what he might be in this country; then reflect one moment upon what you are. If it be possible for me to withdraw my attention from the fact, I will tell you in the theory what such a man might be.
Conscious of his own weight and importance, his conduct in parliament would be
directed by nothing but the constitutional duty of a peer. He would consider himself as a guardian of the laws. Willing to support the just measures of government, but determined to observe the conduct of the minister with suspicion; he would oppose the violence of faction with as much firmness as the encroachments of prerogative. He would be as little capable of bargaining with the minister for places for himself, or his dependents, as of descending to mix himself in the intrigues of opposition. Whenever an important question called for his opinion in parliament, he would be heard by the most profligate ministers with deference and respect. His authority would either sanctify or disgrace the measures of government. The people would look up to him as their protector; and a virtuous prince would have one honest man in his dominions, in whose integrity and judgment he might confide. If it should be the will of Providence to afflict him with a domestic misfortune, he would submit to the stroke with feeling, but not without dignity. He would consider the people as his children, and receive a generous, heartfelt consolation, in the sympathizing tears and blessings of his country.
Your Grace may probably discover something more intelligible in the negative part of this illustrious character. The man I have described would never prostitute his dignity in parliament by an indecent violence, either in opposing or defending a minister. He would not at one moment rancorously persecute, at another basely cringe, to the favourite of his Sovereign. After outraging the royal dignity with peremptory conditions, little short of menace and hostility, he would never descend to the humility of soliciting an interview2 with the favourite, and of offering to recover at any price, the honour of his friendship. Though deceived, perhaps in his youth, he would not, through the course of a long life, have invariably chosen his friends from among the most profligate of mankind. His own honour would have forbidden him mixing his private pleasures or conversation with jockeys, gamesters, blasphemers, gladiators, or buffoons. He would then have never felt, much less would he have submitted to, the dishonest necessity of engaging in the interests and intrigues of his dependents: of supplying their vices, or relieving their beggary, at the expense of his country. He would not have betrayed such ignorance, or such contempt, of the constitution, as openly to avow, in a court of justice, the purchase and sale3 of a borough. He would not have thought it consistent with his rank in the state, or even with his personal importance, to be the little tyrant of a little corporation. He would never have been insulted with virtues which he had laboured to extinguish, nor suffered the disgrace of a mortifying defeat, which has made him ridiculous and contemptible even to the few by whom he was not detested. I reverence the afflictions of a good man; his sorrows are sacred. But how can we take part in the distresses of a man whom we can neither love nor esteem; or feel for a calamity of which he himself is insensible? Where was the father's heart, when he could look for, or find, an immediate consolation for the loss of an only son, in consultations and bargains for a place at court, and even in the misery of ballotting at the India House ! Admitting, then, that you have mistaken or deserted those honourable principles
1 The Duke had lately lost his only son by a fall from his horse.
2 At this interview, which passed at the house of the late Lord Eglingtoune, Lord Bute told the Duke that he was determined never to have any connection with a man who had so basely betrayed him.
3 In an answer in Chancery, in a suit against him to recover a large sum, paid him by a person whom he had undertaken to return to parliament for one of his Grace's boroughs, he was compelled to repay the money.
4 Of Bedford, where the tyrant was held in such contempt and detestation, that, in order to deliver themselves from him they admitted a great number of strangers to the freedom. To make his defeat truly ridiculous, he tried his whole strength against Mr. Horne, and was beaten upon his own ground.
which ought to have directed your conduct; admitting that you have as little claim to private affection as to public esteem, let us see, with what abilities, with what degree of judgment, you have carried your own system into execution. A great man, in the success, and even in the magnitude, of his crimes, finds a rescue from contempt. Your Grace is every way unfortunate. Yet I will not look back to those ridiculous scenes, by which in your earlier days, you thought it an honour to be distinguished,1 the recorded stripes, the public infamy, your own sufferings, or Mr. Rigby's fortitude. These events undoubtedly left an impression, though not upon your mind. To such a mind, it may, perhaps, be a pleasure to reflect, that there is hardly a corner of any of his Majesty's kingdoms, except France, in which, at one time or other, your valuable life has not been in danger. Amiable man! we see and acknowledge the protection of Providence, by which you have so often escaped the personal detestation of your fellow-subjects, and are still reserved for the public justice of your country.
Your history begins to be important at that auspicious period, at which you were deputed to represent the Earl of Bute at the court of Versailles. It was an honourable office, and executed with the same spirit with which it was accepted. Your patron wanted an ambassador who would submit to make concessions, without daring to insist upon any honourable condition for his Sovereign. Their business required a man who had as little feeling for his own dignity, as for the welfare of his country; and they found him in the first rank of the nobility. Belleisle, Goree, Guadaloupe, St. Lucia, Martinique, the Fishery, and the Havana, are glorious monuments of your Grace's talents for negotiation. My Lord, we are too well acquainted with your pecuniary character, to think it possible that so many public sacrifices should have been made without some private compensations. Your conduct carries with it an internal evidence, beyond all the proofs of a court of justice. Even the callous pride of Lord Egremont was alarmed." He saw and felt his own dishonour in corresponding with you: and there certainly was a moment at which he meant to have resisted, had not a fatal lethargy prevailed over his faculties, and carried all sense and memory away with it.
I will not pretend to specify the secret terms on which you were invited to support an administration3 which Lord Bute pretended to leave in full possession of their ministerial authority, and perfectly masters of themselves. He was not of a temper to relinquish power, though he retired from employment. Stipulations were certainly made between your Grace and him, and certainly violated. After two years' submission, you thought you had collected strength sufficient to control his influence, and that it was your turn to be a tyrant, because you had been a slave. When you found yourself mistaken in your opinion of your gracious master's firmness, disappointment got the better of all your humble discretion, and carried you to an excess of outrage to his person, as distant from true spirit as from all decency and respect. After robbing him of the rights of a king, you would not permit
1 1 Mr. Heston Humphrey, a country attorney, horsewhipped the Duke, with equal justice, severity, and perseverance, on the course, at Litchfield. Rigby and Lord Trentham were also cudgelled in a most exemplary manner. This gave rise to the following story; When the late King heard that Sir Edward Hawke had given the French a drubbing, His Majesty, who had never received that kind of chastisement, was pleased to ask Lord Chesterfield the meaning of the word. Sir,' says Lord Chesterfield, the meaning of the word- But here comes the Duke of Bedford, who is better able to explain it to your Majesty than I am.'
"This man, notwithstanding his pride and tory principles, had some English stuff in him. Upon an official letter he wrote to the Duke of Bedford, the Duke desired to be recalled, and it was with the utmost difficulty that Lord Bute could appease him. Mr. Grenville, Lord Halifax, and Lord Egremont.
The ministry having endeavoured to exclude dowager out of the Regency Bill,