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modelled by a jail, did not run into such wild excesses. Added to all these advantages, he was restrained by no cramp laws of religion or morality from the prosecution of his objects. Junius himself admits, that Wilkes was never thought of as a perfect pattern of morality," and he does not pretend to vindicate his character, or pretensions to popular favour on that ground. But he maintains, with much strength of argument, that although Wilkes was not a moralist, ke had suffered imprisonment, which he thinks purges off all objections of that nature. The people had, besides, a stronger security than all these combined, in the person of Mr. Wilkes, that he never would betray the trust and confidence reposed in him. It may be remembered, that he had already offered to sell himself to the ministry, and that they refused to become purchasers. Hence it was perfectly fair to infer that he would never make a voluntary tender of his services again. Junius explicitly denies that he is the partizan or defendant of Wilkes. No; he only employs the popularity of his pen to recommend him as a suitable character for public office, for which, as we have already seen, he declares that his vices plead for him. Horne was weak enough to imagine, that the previous conduct of the man ought to be scanned and examined before he was entrusted with public office. Junius says no, for if he afterwards does court the ministry, and forfeit the confidence of the people, why then he will forfeit the confidence of the people. In plainer English his argument amounts to this: support Wilkes now, in defiance of the evidence which his former conduct has given you; and if you are once more deceived, you have your deception for your pains.

Strange as it may seem, Junius has long borne the character of a constitutional writer. It is surely unnecessary to recur to that principle of the English law, by which, in all the acts of the king's administration, his personal irresponsibility is maintained. Junius is always directly at war with this maxim. He rarely ever mentions or alludes to his sovereign, but what Charles I precedes, or follows him. He calls him "by nature a goodnatured fool-by art a consummate hypocrite." He declares to the duke of Grafton, that he "was worse than all the Stuarts, and one of the Brunswicks." He supports the cause of Wilkes,

because, in so doing, he "wounds the personal feelings of his sovereign." He remarks, that "when the character of the chief magistrate is in question, more should be understood than can safely be expressed," and under this reserve he states, that "exemption from punishment, the singular privilege annexed to the royal character, no way excludes the possibility of deserving it." He confesses, that in a given case, precisely the one which he advocates," he could wish to see the forms of the constitution renounced, if there was no other way to obtain substantial justice for the people." He tells the king, explicitly referring to the case of Charles I, that as "his title to the crown was gained by one revolution, it may be lost by another." He states, that the first appeal of the people was to their representatives, the second to the king's justice, and that the last argument of the people will probably carry more than persuasion to parliament, or supplication to the throne."

All these horrible ideas, and many more of the same kind, are inculcated in the pages of Junius, and they derive additional importance from the times when they were uttered. The ministry was timid, weak, irresolute, unpopular. The people, inflamed by the libels of Wilkes and Junius, distrusted the integrity of their representatives. Sore and irritated by complaints unredressed, they were ready to follow almost any leader who would condense and point their horrible energies to vengeance. We have further to consider, that Wilkes, at that time, availed himself of the frenzy of the people to encounter the imbecility of the cabinet, and obtained a triumph in every battle. We have further to notice the unrivalled popularity of Junius, whose sentiments were regarded with oracular reverence. At a time like this he continually points to his sovereign and the block. He assumes a concealed meaning in his language, more awful and ominous than a bold and explicit declaration. It is well that Wilkes's love of office, so seasonably gratified, calmed and restrained every motive for further popular excitement.

It has often been mentioned, to the honour of Dr. Johnson, that the terrors of his pen silenced the invectives of Junius. One would apprehend that a story so incredible was hardly worth the pains of a contradiction. What had Junius to fear?

Did he possess such delicate and tender nerves, that while he was entrenched in his own obscurity, a sarcasm was capable of disturbing his repose? No; his attention was engrossed in the chase of other objects. The duke of Grafton, lord Mansfield, the duke of Bedford, and others of the ministry, were the game he was hunting after. And it is perfectly incredible that a man who could speak such language as Junius spoke to the ministry, and recommend the decapitation of his sovereign, was to be frightened from his purpose by a pamphlet! In all probability, Junius was more gratified by the notice than alarmed at the opposition of so able an opponent. This, however, does not rest on conjecture only. Dr. Bisset states, that the anecdote of Johnson's having silenced Junius, is entirely unfounded, and that Junius wrote for a long time after the date of the doctor's pamphlet.

We will not enter minutely into the question who is the au thor of Junius? Many have supposed Boyd the author; but the difference of style between the letters of Junius and those which professedly bear the signature of Boyd, and written on subjects of the same nature, is, abstracted from the youth of the man, sufficient to overturn his pretensions. We are led, therefore, to doubt the authenticity of those facts which Boyd's biographer has revealed, notwithstanding they assume an attitude so imposing. That serjeant Dunning, afterwards lord Ashburton, was the author, as has been repeatedly said, may, from a collection of weighty circumstances, be proved, almost to a demonstration, to be a falsehood. Edmund Burke clearly was not, for he never would, in the first place, have censured the Rockingham administration if he was; nor, in the second, have condemned the production of his own pen in a speech which he delivered in the house of commons. We do believe that Mr. Wilkes, if he were now alive, could give information on the point. Junius was, as we have seen, his advocate, and he, it seems, was in the habit of receiving private communications from that writer. No man is a better judge of style than Mr. Horne, (now Horne Tooke,) who is now living, who was himself one of Junius's most able opponents, and of course interested in such a discovery.

It is singular, that amidst all the conjectures and comments on this subject, Horne's opinion has never been consulted. Nor can we avoid a little suspicion, that sir William Draper knew who his opponent was. Junius, in his correspondence with him, uniformly acknowledges his ability as a writer, and testifies a reluctance to engage in the controversy. There is more amenity and politeness discovered in a single page of this writer when he attacks sir William Draper, than in any of his other assaults. A habit so different from the ordinary habits of Junius, leads us to the suspicion that there was some private understanding between them which sir William Draper was competent to clear up, if put upon his oath in a court of justice.

We will not, however, dwell upon this point, but if it is proper to hazard another conjecture amongst the many that have been so repeatedly hazarded to no purpose, we should conjecture that the honourable Gerrard Hamilton had better pretensions to this honour, (if honour it may be called,) than any other candidate. He was a man of unquestionable genius, as Burke testified, opposed to the administration. He was a man of reserved and cold habits, and of much apparent leisure, while he seemed mysteriously employed about something, and none knew what that something was. He was a classical scholar, familiar with the nobility, and had an ample opportunity to collect and hoard up those anecdotes which the page of Junius records. Any one who feels a curiosity on this point, and who is familiar with the pages of Junius, may consult the character of Hamilton, as drawn by the pen of the late Richard Cumberland, in his memoirs. The character coincides precisely with the one which we should suppose to appertain to the author of Junius.

The author of the Pursuits of Literature, who was himself an ardent admirer of Junius, favours this supposition. We refer to the poem from the pen of that writer, entitled, the Letter from the emperor Kien Long to George III, in which, or rather in a note to which, that opinion has been clearly and distinctly expressed. This stupendously important personage seemed more fascinated with the invisibility than with the style of Junius, much as he pretended to admire the latter. He is continually giving the world the most solemn assurances, that his name

also shall never be revealed; that conjectures on that subject must be idle, and worse than idle. All such miserable trash, we take to be nothing more nor less than a covert artifice of this author to set public curiosity on the scout. If such was his intention, he may now receive the negative gratification of knowing, that mankind have been graciously pleased to take him at his word; and as he had predicted the difficulty attending the discovery, they did not give themselves the trouble to inquire.

From La Belle Assemblée.

THE ARTIST-NO. II.

BENJAMIN WEST, ESQ.

PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY.

(Continued from page 255.)

MR. WEST's love for the art of painting has been paramount to all things else; he cultivates it in himself as well as in others, and not a day passes in which he does not put in practice the golden rule of Apelles, "Nulla dies sine lineá." It is one of his principal gratifications to impart his long acquired knowledge to others, without any other reward but that of beholding their success. As a stimulus to himself to attain excellence, and for the purpose of instructing others, he has formed a select specimen of paintings and drawings by the great masters; he frequently consumes the hours of rest and midnight in determining the task of the succeeding day; and frequently by the same lamp paints the luminous points of his pictures, and always laments the necessity of sleep and relaxation. The sensibility of Mr. West's feelings has ever rendered to his God acknowledgment and gratitude for bestowing on him uninterrupted health; and to his sovereign every duty and testimony of affection which a grateful heart can give, for enabling him to pursue painting in its higher department; for without his royal munificence he would not have found patronage sufficient to procure subsistence for himself and family, even in this 20

VOL. VI.

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