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Mark how plain a tale shall put him down, and trausfuse the blush of my ribbon into his own cheeks. Junius tells me, that, at my return, I zealously undertook the cause of the gallant army, by whose bravery at Manilla my own fortunes were established; that I complained, that I even appealed to the public. I dd so; I glory in having done so, as I had an undoubted right to viodicate my own character, attacked by a Spanish memorial, and to assert the rights of my brave conpanions. I glory likewise, that I have never taken up ny pen but to vindicate the injured. Junius asks, By wlat accident did it happen, that, in the midst of all this bustle, and all the clamours for justice to the injured troops, the Manilla ransom was suddenly buried in iz profound, and, since that time, an uninterrupted silence I will explain the cause to the public. The several ministers, who have been employed since that time, hav: been very desirous to do justice, from two most lauda ble motives, a strong inclination to assist injured bravery and to acquire a well-deserved popularity to themselves Their efforts have been in vain. Some were ingenuou: enough to own, that they could not think of involving this distressed nation into another war, for our private
In short, our rights, for the present, are sa crificed to national convenience; and I must confess, that, although I may lose five-and-twenty thousand pounds by their acquiescence to this breach of faith in the Spaniards, I think they are in the right to tempo. rize, considering the critical situation of this country convulsed in every part by poison, infused by anony. mous, wicked, and incendiary writers. Lord Shelburne will do me the justice to own, that, in September last, I waited upon him with a joint memorial from the admiral Sir S. Cornish and myself, in behalf of our injured companions. His lordship was as frank upon
the occasion as other secretaries had been before him, He did not deceive us, by giving any immediate bopes of relief.
Junius would basely insinuate, that my silence may have been purchased by my government, by my blushing ribbon, by my regiment, by the sale of that regiment, and by half-pay as an Irish colonel.
His majesty was pleased to give me my government, for my service at Madras. I had my first regiment in 1-57. Upon my return from Manilla, his majesty, by Iord Egremont, informed me, that I should have the frst vacant red ribbon, as a reward for many services, in in enterprize which I had planned as well as executed. Che Duke of Bedford and Mr. Grenville confirmed hose assurances many months before the Spaniards aad protested the ransom bills. To accommodate Lord Clive, then going upon a most important service to Bengal, I waved my claim to the vacancy which then happened. As there was no other vacancy until the Duke of Grafton and Lord Rockingham were joint ministers, I was then honoured with the order; and it is surely no small honour to me, that, in such a succession of ministers, they were all pleased to think that I had deserved it; in my favour they were all united. Upon the reduction of the seventy-ninth regiment, which had served so gloriously in the East Indies, his majesty, unsolicited by me, gave me the sixteenth of foot as an equivalent. My motives for retiring afterwards are foreign to the purpose; let it suffice, that his majesty was pleased to approve of them; they are such as no man can think indecent, who knows the shocks that repeated vicissitudes of heat and cold, of dangerous and sickly climates, will give to the best constitutions in a pretty long course of service. I resigned my regiment to Colonel Gisborne, a very good officer, for his half-pay, and two hundred pounds Irish annuity; so that, according to Junius, I have been bribed to say nothing more of the Manilla ransom, and sacrifice those brave men, by the strange avarice of accepting three hundred and eighty pounds per annum, and giving up eight hundred! If this be bribery, it is not the bribery of these times. As to my flattery, those that know me will judge of it. By the asperity of Junius's style, I cannot indeed call him a flatterer, unless he be as a cynic or a mastiff; if he wags his tail, he will still growl, and long to bite. The public will now judge of the credit that ought to be given to Junius's writings, from the falsities that he has insinuated with respect to myself.
SIR WILLIAM DRAPER, K. B.
February 21, 1769. I should justly be suspected of acting upon motives of more than common enmity to Lord Granby, if I continued to give you fresh materials or occasion for writing in his defence. Individuals who hate, and the public who despise, have read your letters, Sir William, with infinitely more satisfaction than mine. Unfortunately for him, his reputation, like that unhappy country to which you refer me for his last military achievements, has suffered more by his friends than his enemies. In mercy to him, let us drop the subject. For my own part, I willingly leave it to the public to determine, whether your vindication of your friend has been as able and judicious, as it was certainly well intended; and you, I think, may be satisfied with the warm acknowledgments he already owes you, for making him the principal figure in a piece, in which, but for your amicable assistance, he might have passed without particular notice or distinction.
In justice to your friends, let your future labours be confined to the care of your own reputation. Your declaration, that you are happy in seeing young noblemen come among us, is liable to two objections. With respect to Lord Percy, it means nothing, for he was already in the army. He was aid-de-camp to the king, and had the rank of colonel. A regiment, therefore, could not make him a more military man, though it made him richer, and probably at the expence of some brave, deserving, friendless officer. The other concerns yourself. After selling the companions of your victory in one instance, and after selling your profession in the other, by what authority do you presume to call yourself a soldier? The plain evidence of facts is superior to all declarations. Before you were appointed to the sixteenth regiment, your complaints were a distress to government; from that moment you were silent. The conclusion is inevitable. You insinuate to us, that your ill state of health obliged you to quit the service. The retirement necessary to repair a broken constitution, would have been as good a reason for not accepting, as for resigning the command of a regiment. There is certainly an error of the press, or an affected obscurity in that paragraph, where you speak of your bargain with Colonel Gisborne. Instead of attempting to answer what I do not really understand, permit me to explain to the public what I really know. In exchange for your regiment, you accepted of a colonel's half-pay (at least two hundred and twenty pounds a year) and an annuity of two hundred pounds for your own and Lady Draper's life jointly. And is this the losing bargain, which you would represent to us, as if you had given up an income of eight hundred pounds a year for three hundred and eighty pounds? Was it decent, was it honourable, in a man who pretends to love the army, and calls himself a soldier, to make a traffic of the royal favour, and turn the highest honour of an active profession into a sordid provision for himself and his family? It were unworthy of me to press you farther. The contempt with which the whole army heard of the manner of your retreat, assures me, that as your conduct was not justified by precedent, it will never be thought an example for imitation,
The last and most important question remains. When you receive your half-pay, do you, or do you not, take a solemn oath, or sign a declaration upon your honour, to the following effect? That you do not actually hold any place of profit, civil or military, under his majesty. The charge which the question plainly conveys against you, is of so shocking a complexion, that I sincerely wish you may be able to answer it well, not merely for the colour of your reputation, but for your own peace of mind.