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will offer himself to perform the sacrifice. He will not scruple to prostitute his dignity, and betray the sanctity of his office, whenever an arbitrary point is to be carried for government, or the resentment of a court to be gratified.
These principles and proceedings, odious and contemptible as they are, in effect are no less injudicious. A wise and generous people are roused by every appearance of oppressive, unconstitutional measures, whether those measures are supported only by the power of government, or masked under the forms of a court of justice. Prudence and selfpreservation will oblige the most moderate dispositions to make common cause, even with a man whose conduct they censure, if they see him persecuted in a way which the real spirit of the laws will not justify. The facts, on which these remarks are founded, are too notorious to require an application.
This, Sir, is the detail. In one view, behold a nation overwhelmed with debt; her revenues wasted; her trade declining; the affections of her colonies alienated; the duty of the magistrate transferred to the soldiery; a gallant army, which never fought unwillingly but against their fellowsubjects, mouldering away for want of the direction of a man of common abilities and spirit; and in the last instance, the administration of justice becomes odious and suspected Ito the whole body of the people. This deplorable scene admits of but one addition-that we are governed by counsels, from which a reasonable man can expect no remedy but poison, no relief but death.
If, by the immediate interposition of Providence, it were possible for us to escape a crisis so full of terror and despair, posterity will not believe the history of the present times. They will either conclude that our distresses were imaginary, or that we had the good fortune to be governed by men of
acknowledged integrity and wisdom: they will not believe it possible that their ancestors could have survived or recovered from so desperate a condition, while a Duke of Grafton was Prime Minister, a Lord North Chancellor of the Exchequer, a Weymouth and a Hilsborough Secretaries of State, a Granby Commander in Chief, and Mansfield chief criminal Judge of the kingdom.-Letters of Junius.
3. To his Grace the Duke of Bedford.
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 derive 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 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 richest 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 not 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 dependants,
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 minister, with deference and respect. His authority would either sanctify or disgrace the measures of government.— The people would lock 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 safely confide.-Letters of Junius.
4. To the Right Hon. Lord Mansfield.
You will not question my veracity, when I assure you, that it has not been owing to any particular respect for your person that I have abstained from you so long. Besides the distress and danger with which the press is threatened, when your lordship is party, and the party is to be judge, I confess I have been deterred by the difficulty of the task. Our language has no term of reproach, the mind has no idea of detestation, which has not already been happily applied to you, and exhausted.-Ample justice 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 virtue tortures the
Permit me to begin with paying a just tribute to Scotch sincerity wherever I find it. I own I am not apt to confide in the professions of gentlemen of that country; and when they smile, I feel an involuntary emotion to guard myself against mischief. With this general opinion of an ancient nation, I always thought it much to your lordship's honour, that, in your earlier days, you were but little infected with the prudence of your country. You had some original
attachments, which you took every proper opportunity to acknowledge. The liberal spirit of youth prevailed over your native discretion. Your zeal in the cause of an unhappy prince was expressed with the sincerity of wine, and some of the solemnities of religion. This, I conceive, is the most amiable point of view in which your character has appeared. Like an honest man, you took that part in politics which might have been expected from your birth, education, country, and connections. There was something generous in your attachment to the banished house of Stuart. We lament the mistakes of a good man, and do not begin to detest him until he affects to renounce his principles. Why did you not adhere to that loyalty you once professed? .... England, I think, might have spared you without regret. Your friends will say, perhaps, that although you deserted the fortune of your liege Lord, you have adhered firmly to the principles which drove his father from the throne;-that, without openly supporting the person, you have done essential service to the cause, and consoled yourself for the loss of a favourite family, by reviving and establishing the maxims of their government. This is the way in which a Scotchman's understanding corrects the errors of his heart. My lord, I acknowledge the truth of the defence, and can trace it through all your conduct. I see through your whole life one uniform plan to enlarge the power of the crown, at the expence of the liberty of the subject. To this object, your thoughts, words, and actions, have been constantly directed. In contempt or ignorance of the common law of England, you have made it your study to introduce into the court where you preside, maxims of jurisprudence unknown to Englishmen.....
The injustice done to an individual is sometimes of service to the public. Facts are apt to alarm us more than the