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acter of his opponents. He stwod, in the mean time, unassailable himself, wrappeu, like Æneas at the court of Dido, in the cloud around him, affording no opportunity for others to retort his accusations, to examine his past conduct, or to scan his pres« ent motives. With all these advantages, he toiled as few men ever toiled, to gain that exquisite finish of style, that perfect union of elegance and strength, which could alone

express the refined bitterness of his feelings. He seemed to exult in gathering up the blunted weapons of attack thrown aside by others, and giving them a keener edge and a finer polish. “Ample justice,” says he to one whom he assailed, “ has been done by abler pens than mine to the separate merits of your life and character. Let it be my humble office to collect the scattered sweets, till their united vir. tue tortures the sense.” In the success of these labors he felt the proud consciousness that he was speaking to other generations besides his own, and declared concerning one of his victims, “ I would pursue him through life, and try the last exertion of my abilities to preserve the perishable infamy of his name, and make it immortal."

This reliance of Junius on his extraordinary powers of composition, naturally leads us to consider his style. We might pronounce it perfect, if it were only free from a slight appearance of labor, and were as easy and idiomatic as it is strong, pointed, and brilliant. But it seems hardly possible to unite all these qualities in the highest degree. Where strength and compactness are carried to their utmost limit, there will almost of necessity be something rigid and unbending. A man in plate armor can not move with the freedom and lightness of an athlete. But Junius, on the whole, has been wonderfully successful in overcoming these difficulties. His sentences have generally an easy flow, with a dignified and varied rhythmus, and a harmonious cadence. Clear in their construction, they grow in strength as they advance, and come off at the close always with liveliness, and often with a sudden, stinging force. He is peculiarly happy in the choice of words. It has been said of Shakspeare, that one might as well attempt to push a brick out of its place in a well-constructed wall, as to alter a single expression. In his finest passages, the same is true of Junius. He gives you the exact word, he brings out the most delicate shadings of thought, he throws it upon the mind with elastic force, and you say, “What is written is written!" There are, indeed, instances of bad grammar and inaccurate expression, but these may be ascribed, in most cases, to the difficulty and danger of his correcting

Still, there is reason to believe that he was not an author by profession Certain words and forms of construction seem plainly to show, that he had never been trained to the minuter points of authorship. And, perhaps, for this very reason, he was a better writer. He could think of nothing but how to express his ideas with the utmost vividness and force. Hence he gave them a frank and fearless ut. terance, which, modified by a taste like his, has imparted to his best passages a perfection of style which is never reached by mere mechanical labor. Among other things, Junius understood better than most writers where the true strength of language lies, viz., in the nouns and verbs. He is, therefore, sparing in the use of qualifying expressions. He relies mainly for effect on the frame-work of thought. In the filling out of his ideas, where qualifying terms must of course be employed, he

3 How much Junius relied for success on the perfection of his statement, may be learned from the following fact. When he had hastily thrown off a letter containing a number of coarse and un. guarded expressions, of which he was afterward ashamed, he coolly requested Woodfall to say in a subsequent number, “We have some reason to suspect, that the last letter signed Junius in this paper was not written by the real Junius, though the observation escaped us at the time!" There is nothing equal to this in all the annals of literature, unless it be Cicero's famous letter to Lucceius, in which he asks the historian to lie a little in his favor in recording the events of his consulship, for the sake of making him a greater man !

* Voltaire somewhere remarks, that the adjective is the greatest enemy of the substantive, though they agree together in gender, number, and case.

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rarely uses intensives. His adverbs and adjectives are nearly all descriptive, and are designed to shade or to color the leading thoughts with increased exactness, and thus set them before the mind in bolder relief or with more graphic effect. ploys contrast also, with much success, to heighten the impression. No one has shown greater skill in crushing discordant thoughts together in a single mass, and giving them, by their juxtaposi: on, a new and force. Hardly any one but Demosthenes has made so happy a use of antithesis. His only fault is, that he now and then allows it to run away with his judgment, and to sink into epigram. The imagery of Junius is uncommonly brilliant. It was the source of much of his power. He showed admirable dexterity in working his bold and burning metaphors into the very texture of his style. He was also equally happy in the use of plainer images, drawn from the ordinary concerns of life, and intended not so much to adorn, as to illustrate and enforce. A few instances of each will show his wide and easy command of figurative language. In warning his countrymen against a readiness to be satisfied with some temporary gain, at the expense of great and permanent interests, he says, “ In the shipwreck of the state, trifles float and are preserved, while every thing solid and valuable sinks to the bottom and is lost forever.” Speaking of the numerous writers in favor of the ministry, he says, “They pile up reluctant quarto upon solid folio, as if their labors, because they are gigantic, could contend with truth and heaven." Again, “ The very sunshine you live in is a prelude to your dissolution : when you are ripe, you shall be plucked.” Exhorting the King no longer to give importance to Wilkes by making him the object of royal persecution, he says, "The gentle breath of peace would leave him on the surface neglected and unremoved. It is only the tempest that lifts him from his place.” And again, in a higher strain, " The rays of royal indignation collected upon him, served only to illuminate and could not consume.” The last instance of this kind which will now be cited, has been already referred to on a preceding page, as perhaps suggested by a classical allusion of Lord Chatham. If so, it is a beautiful example of the way in which one man of genius often improves upon another. Many have pronounced it the finest metaphor in our language. Speaking of the King's sacrifice of honor in not instantly resenting the seizure of the Falkland Islands, he says, "A clear, unblemished character comprehends not only the integrity that will not offer, but the spirit that will not submit to an injury; and whether it belongs to an individual or to a community, it is the foundation of peace, of independence, and of safety. Private credit is wealth ; public honor is security. The feather that adorns the royal bird supports his flight. Strip him of his plumage, and you fix him to the earth." Such are some of the characteristics of the style of Junius, which made Mr. Mathias, author of the Pursuits of Literature, rank him among the English classics, in the place assigned to Livy and Tacitus among the ancients.

Reference has already been made to the violent passions of Junius, and his want of candor toward most of his opponents. Still it will be seen, from the following sentiments contained in a private letter, that in his cooler moments he had just and elevated views concerning the design of political discussions. He is speaking of an argument he had just stated in favor of rotten boroughs, and goes on to say, man who fairly and completely answers this argument, shall have my thanks and my applause. My heart is already with him. I am ready to be converted. I ad. mire his morality, and would gladly subscribe to the articles of his faith. Grateful as I am to the Good BEING, whose bounty has imparted to me this reasoning intellect, whatever it is, I hold myself proportionably indebted to him, whose enlightened understanding communicates another ray of knowledge to mine. But neither should

5 Referring to the story of the giants' tearing 1 p mountains, and ling Pelion upon Ossa, in theis contest with the gorls.

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I think the most exalted faculties of the human mind a gift worthy of the divinity, nor any assistance in the improvement of them a subject of gratitude to my fellowcreatures, if I were not satisfied that really to inform the understanding, corrects and enlarges the heart." "Si sic omnia!"

"Si sic omnia !” Would that all were thus! Happy were it for the character of Junius as a man, if he had always been guided as a writer by such views and feelings!

Who was Junius ? Volumes have been written to answer this question, and it remains still undecided. At the end of eighty years of inquiry and discussion, after the claims of nearly twenty persons have been examined and set aside, only two names remain before the public as candidates for this distinction. They®are Sir Philip Francis, and Lord George Sackville, afterward Lord George Germain. In favor and against each of these, there is circumstantial evidence of considerable weight. Neither of them has left any specimens of style which are equal in elegance and force to the more finished productions of Junius. Lord George Sackville, however, is far inferior in this respect. He was never a practical writer; and it seems impossible to believe, that the mind which expressed itself in the compositions he has left us, could ever have been raised by any excitement of emotion or fervor of effort, into a capacity to produce the Letters of Junius. Sir Philip Francis was confessedly a far more able writer. He had studied composition from early life. He was diligent in his attendance on Parliament; and he reported some of Lord Chatham's speeches with uncommon elegance and force. If we must choose between the two_if there is no other name to be brought forward, and this seems hardly possible—the weight of evidence is certainly in his favor. Mr. Macaulay has summed it up with his usual ability in the following terms : “ Was he the author of the Letters of Junius? Our own firm belief is, that he

The external evidence is, we think, such as would support a verdict in a civil, nay, in a criminal proceeding. The handwriting of Junius is the very peculiar handwriting of Francis, slightly disguised. As to the position, pursuits, and connections of Junius, the following are the most important facts which can be considered as clearly proved : First, that he was acquainted with the technical forms of the Secretary of State's office ; secondly, that he was intimately acquainted with the business of the War office; thirdly, that he, during the year 1770, attended debates in the House of Lords, and took notes of speeches, particularly of the speeches of Lord Chatham ; fourthly, that he bitterly resented the appointment of Mr. Chamier to the place of deputy Secretary at War; fifthly, that he was bound by some strong tie to the first Lord Holland. Now Francis passed some years in the Secretary of State's office. He was subsequently chief clerk of the War office. He re peatedly mentioned that he had himself, in 1770, heard speeches of Lord Chatham; and some of those speeches were actually printed from his notes. He resigned his clerkship at the War office from resentment at the appointment of Mr. Chamier. It was by Lord Holland that he was first introduced into the public service. Now, here are five rks, all of which ought to be found in Junius. They are all five found in Francis. We do not believe that more than two of them can be found in any other person whatever. If this argument does not settle the question, there is an end of all reasoning on circumstantial evidence.

“ The internal evidence seems to us to point the same way. The style of Francis bears a strong resemblance to that of Junius; nor are we disposed to admit, what is generally taken for granted, that the acknowledged compositions of Francis are very decidedly inferior to the anonymous letters. The argument from inferiority, at all events, is one which may be urged with at least equal force against every claim

. It has been shown in the London Athenæum, that the recent attempts to make the younger Lyi fleton Junius, and nlso a Scottish surgeon named Maclain, are entire failures.

ant that has ever been mentioned, with the single exception of Burke, who certainly was not Junius. And what conclusion, after all, can be drawn from mere inferior. ity ? Every writer must produce his best work; and the interval between his best work and his second best work may be very wide indeed. Nobody will say that the best letters of Junius are more decidedly superior to the acknowledged works of Francis, than three or four of Corneille's tragedies to the rest; than three or four of Ben Jonson's comedies to the rest ; than the Pilgrim's Progress to the other works of Bunyan; than Don Quixote to the other works of Cervantes. Nay, it is certain that the Man in the Mask, whoever he may have been, was a most unequal writer. To go no farther than the Letters which bear the signature of Junius—the Letter to the King, and the Letters to Horne Tooke, have little in common except the asperity; and asperity was an ingredient seldom wanting either in the writings or in the speeches of Francis.

“ Indeed, one of the strongest reasons for believing that Francis was Junius, is the moral resemblance between the two men. It is not difficult, from the letters which, under various signatures, are known to have been written by Junius, and from his dealings with Woodfall and others, to form a tolerably correct notion of his charac

He was clearly a man not destitute of real patriotism and magnanimity-a man whose vices were not of a sordid kind. But he must also have been a man in the highest degree arrogant and insolent—a man prone to malevolence, and the error of mistaking his malevolence for public virtue. Doest thou well to be angry?' was the question asked in old time of the Hebrew prophet. And he answered, 'I do well.' This was evidently the temper of Junius; and to this cause we attribute the savage cruelty which disgraces several of his Letters. No man is so merciless as he who, under a strong self-delusion, confounds his antipathies with his duties. It may be added, that Junius, though allied with the democratic party by common enmitics, was the very opposite of a democratic

politician. While attacking individuals with a ferocity which perpetually violated all the laws of literary warfare, he regarded the most defective parts of old constitutions with a respect amounting to pedantry—pleaded the cause of Old Sarum with fervor, and contemptuously told the capitalists of Manchester and Leeds that, if they wanted votes, they might buy land and become freeholders of Lancashire and Yorkshire. All this, we believe, might stand, with scarcely any change, for a character of Philip Francis."

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7 Charles Butler, in his Reminiscences, suggests a mixed hypothesis on this subject. He thinks that Sir Philip Francis was too young to have produced these Letters, which indicate very thorough and extensive reading, and especially a profound knowledge of human character. He mentions, likewise, that Junius shows himself in the most unaffected manner, throughout his private correspondence with Woodfall, to have been not only a man of high rank, but of ample fortune-prom. ising to indemnify him against any loss he might suffer from being prosecuted, a thing which Francis, with a mere clerkship in the War office, was unable to do. He therefore thinks that Sir Philip may have been the organ of some older man of the highest rank and wealth, who has chosen to remain in proud obscurity. It is certain that some one acted in conjunction with Junius, for he says in his fifty-first note to Woodfall, “ The gentleman who transacts the conveyancing part of this correspondence, tells me there was much difficulty last night.” This person was once seen by a clerk of Woodfall, as he withdrew from the door, after having thrown in a Letter of Junius. He was a person who "wore a bag and a sword,” showing that he was not a mere servant, but, as Junius described him, a "gentleman.” It seems probable, also, that the hand of another was used in transcribing these Letters, for Junius says concerning one of them, “You shall have the Lettor acme time tomorrow; it can not be corrected and copied before;" and again, of another, “The in closed, though begun within these few days, has been greatly labored. It is very correctly copied." This, though not decisive, has the air of one who is speaking of what another person had been do ing, no himself. If this be admitted, Mr. Butler suggests that these Letters may actually have been sent to Woodfall in the handwriting of Francis, without his being the original author. Still

, he by no means considers him a mere copyist. Francis may have collected valuable information may have given very important hints; may even have shared, to some extent, in the composition

But, whatever may be thought of the origin of these Letters, it is not difficult te anderstand the political relations of the writer, and the feelings by which he was actuated. A few remarks on this subject will close the present sketch.

The author of these Letters, as we learn from Woodfall, had been for some years an active political partisan. He had written largely for the public prints under various signatures, and with great ability. A crisis now arrived which induced him to come forward under a new name, and urged him by still higher motives to the utmost exertion of his powers. Lord Chatham's “checkered and dovetailed” cabinet had fallen to pieces, and the Duke of Grafton, as Junius expressed it, became “min. ister by accident,” at the close of 1767. He immediately endeavored to strengthen himself on every side. He yielded to the wishes of the King by making Lord North Chancellor of the Exchequer, and by raising Mr. Jenkinson, the organ of Lord Bute, to higher office and influence. Thus he gave a decided ascendency to the Tories. On the other hand, he endeavored to conciliate Lord Rockingham and the Duke of Bedford by very liberal proposals. But these gentlemen differing as to the lead of the House, the Bedford interest prevailed; Lord Weymouth, a member of that fam. ily, was made Secretary of the Home Department; while Lord Rockingham was sent back to the ranks of Opposition under a sense of wrong and insult. Six months, down almost to the middle of 1768, were spent in these negotiations and arrangements.

These things wrought powerfully on the mind of Junius, who was a Grenville or Rockingham Whig. But in addition to this, he had strong private animosities. He not only saw with alarm and abhorrence the triumph of Tory principles, but he cherished the keenest personal resentment toward the King and most of his ministers. Those, especially, who had deserted their former Whig associates, he regarded as traitors to the cause of liberty. He therefore now determined to give full scope to his feelings, and to take up a system of attack far more galling to his opponents than had ever yet been adopted. One thing was favorable to such a design. Parliament was to expire within a few months; and every blow now struck would give double alarm and distress to the government, while it served also to inflame the minds of the people, and rouse them to a more determined resistance in the approaching elecnons. Accordingly, at the close of the Christmas holidays, when the business of the session really commences, he addressed his first Letter to the printer of the Public Advertiser, under date of January 21, 1769. It was elaborated with great care ; but its most striking peculiarity was the daring spirit of personal attack by which it was characterized. Junius, for the first time, broke through the barriers thrown around the monarch by the maxim," the King can do no wrong." He assailed him like any other man, though in more courtly and guarded language. Assuming an air of great respect for his motives, he threw out the most subtle insinuations, mingled with the keenest irony, as to his “ love of low intrigue,” and “the treacherous amusement of double and triple negotiations.” It was plainly his intention not only to distress, but to terrify. He represented the people as driven to the verge of desperation. He hinted at the possible consequences. He spoke of the crisis as one " from which a reasonable man can expect no remedy but poison, no relief but death.He attacked the ministry in more direct terms, commenting with great severity on the or, at least, the revision of the Letters; for the writer was plainly not an author by profession. In short, Francis may have been to him, in respect to these Letters, what Burke was more fully to Lord Rockingham, and what Alexander Hamilton was at times to Washington. On this theory the government would have the same motives to buy off Sir Philip Francis, a thing they seem plainly to have done when these Letters stopped so suddenly in 1772. It may have been a condi. tion male by Junius in favor of his friend. To have made it for himself seems inconsistent with his whole character and bearing, both in his Letters to the public and his confidential communi cations to Woodfall. The the is, at least, an ingenious one, and has therefore een here stated It has, however, very serious difficulties, as the reader will easily perceive.

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