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THE LETTERS OF JUNIUS
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL ISAAC BARRÉ, M. P.
BY JOHN BRITTON, F.S.A.,
1 Janm no
Drawn by F. W. Fairholt, from a Sketch by J. B.
THE "CATHEDRAL, AND THE ARCHITECTURAL ANTIQUITIES," " A DICTIONARY OF THE
J Walmsley, Sc.
THE BRITISH PRESS.
INVESTED with vast and varied powers, you have attained an influence, a dominion, surpassing that of any or all the autocrats of the world. Beyond and superior to legislative laws and equity decisions, you often influence and even control the makers of the one, and the authors of the other. Hence it is your bounden duty to be watchful and circumspect; to be honest and just; and, in admonishing the weak and the wicked, to inculcate the most stringent maxims of goodness and of wisdom. If the fertilizing waters of instruction flow from pure sources, and are skilfully distributed over the vast field of human intellect, the ever-teeming crops of knowledge must be abundant and substantially beneficial.
To what, or to whom, can the present glorious and unparalleled state of Great Britain be ascribed but to your watchful guardianship-to your intrepidity-to your unflinching courage and liberty of speech? Be resolute in justifying, maintaining, and wisely employing these characteristics, and you may ultimately, it is hoped speedily,
counteract and subdue not only all the direct, but also the insidious enemies of that civil liberty which is the birthright and boast of the "true born Englishman."
Junius inscribed his Letters to "THE ENGLISH NATION." I venture to address this humble Essay to the Mirror which reflects and fixes the moral and mental images of that nation; as the photogenic process imprints and preserves the archetypes of all objects which range within the focus of its lens.
As a veteran Author, ardently devoted to Literature for more than half a century, I cordially and sincerely reiterate the axiom of Junius, that "the liberty of the Press is the Palladium of all the civil, political, and religious rights of an Englishman!"
March 1, 1848.