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"The fact [Swinney's calling on Lord G. S.] was true, and occurred but a day or two before the letter [private letter of Junius to Woodfall] was written: but how Junius, unless he had been Lord Sackville himself, should have been so acquainted with it, haflles all conjecture." "In the Miscellaneous Letters, the reader will meet with a passage, pretty conclusively showing the little ground there ever was for any such opinion," [as that Lord G. S. was Junius.]
The conclusive passage referred to, is in a paper which appeared in the Public Advertiser, October 22, 1767, and is attributed, by the editor, with sufficient probability, to Junius. It is a caustic satire, in the form of minutes of a grand council, on the subject of drawing up instructions to Lord Townsend on his being appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The assembled statesmen know nothing at all about the matter; no instructions, nor even general basis of instructions, are determined on: and Lord T. is made to say at last, "I believe the best thing I can do will be to consult with my Lord George Sackville. His character is known and respected in Ireland as much as it is here; and I know he loves to be stationed in the rear as well as myself." This is an allusion to the conduct of Lord George in the celebrated battle of Minden, in 1759, in which he commanded the right wing (consisting chiefly of the British, with some German cavalry) of Prince Ferdinand's army. His lordship was accused of disobeying the prince's orders for the quick advance of the cavalry, at a moment when a rapid charge would have ensured the almost entire capture or destruction of the French army, already in a state of complete rout. On his trial Lord Sackville produced very direct evidence that there was uncertainty and inconsistency in the orders, as announced to him by two aids-de-camp of the prince, and declared that the delay which constituted the alleged crime was purely an indispensable halt, till he could obtain a precise command from the general. On the other hand, there was equally positive evidence that the orders had been communicated to him in a manner sufficiently distinct; and on this evidence the military court dismissed his lordship from the service, in terms disqualifying him from ever being again admitted into it.This affair is very significantly and bitingly alluded to in a letter signed Titus, which appeared in the Public Advertiser, in defence of the Marquis of Granby against Junius, as early as the third or fourth of Junius's letters.
In whatever manner the cause of Lord G. Sackville was managed before the court-martial, it will certainly be the opinion of the reader, who is so obligingly left to form his own unbiassed judgment, that in the second trial of his lordship, on an arraignment for writing Junius's letters, the case could not well have been more meagerly and evasively stated. Why does not the editor plainly tell the public
what his father, who must unquestionably have had an opinion, thought on the question? Why does he not relate some of those numerous small particulars, of fact and surmise, which must have occurred to his father's vigilance in the course of so many years that he lived, and so much discussion that he heard? Certainly we can well believe that respectable printer felt himself, to a considerable extent, as the phrase is, on honour; and restrained his curiosity from any modes of inquisition which his haughty and confiding correspondent would have regarded and resented as prying and impertinent, after he had decisively signified his wish and will to be unknown. But nevertheless it is plainly impossible that his mind should not have been, both during and long after the period of the correspondence, habitually on the watch for any indicative glimpses of the important stranger:-unless, indeed, he early acquired so confident an opinion as to who was the man, that he had no longer doubt enough to be curious. And it was just as impossible that to a mind thus prepared and prompt to catch any casual lights, in a situation too and with acquaintance like those of Mr. Woodfall, no limits and significant incidents should ever have occurred to guide or confirm conjecture. Now are we to suppose that the present editor and essayist was not deemed worthy of so much of his father's confidence as to be admitted to look through any of the little chinks and crevices of the secret; that his father would never either voluntarily relate to him any of the particulars which must have been so interesting to himself, or give an explicit answer to any of the hundreds of minute questions which the son must have had less curiosity than other mortals, if he did not ask? If we are not to make a supposition so little flattering to our essayist, we may very fairly repeat, as many readers will, the question, why are not whatever were deemed the most illustrative of these particulars freely given to the public at once? Why may not the public be now put in possession of all the probabilities that Mr. Woodfall judged himself to possess? For instance, in stating the question relatively to Lord George Sackville, why did not the editor say whether his father did not, at some time or other, in so many years, meet with any specimen of that nobleman's handwriting, and, if he did, what were his observations on comparing it with that of Junius? If he did ever meet with such a specimen, under circumstances allowing opportunity for a careful comparison, we need not say how far his deliberately avowed opinion as to the identity or diversity of the hands, would go toward a decision on his lordship's claims. It is even fair to ask why, when a fac-simile is given in the book of the handwriting of every other person for whom a plausible, and of several for whom no plausible pretension is stated to have been advanced, no such aid is afforded to the question as affecting Lord George. Could it not be obtained, or is the omission a little artifice for preserving the desirable and stimulant quan
tity of uncertainty round the last of the persons brought in discussion, after the interest of suspecting and doubting had been extinguished with respect to the whole preceding list of claimants?*
In one of the letters sent to the Public Advertiser with a different signature, but given on very sufficient authority as from Junius, (V. II. p. 486.) the writer says, when speaking of Lord Townsend, Lord Lieutenant, and his brother the Hon. Charles Townsend, Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland, "I am not a stranger to this par nobile fratrum: I have served under the one, and have forty times been promised to be served by the other." It is not impossible that this might be a fictitious fact, pretended in order to give some weight to the opinions of an unknown correspondent; but it seems at least as probable it might be true. Now Mr. Woodfall would be very likely to make some little research into any existing public documents of Lord Townsend's military history, (we presume the "service" was military,) to ascertain whether at any time Lord G. Sackville was among his officers; and he would never fail to catch any references bearing on the subject that occurred in conversation. Did our editor never hear him say what was the result of such examination, or such listening?
Whether it be from intention, or through negligence, there is a want of uniformity in the expressions, occurring here and there, respecting the late Mr. Woodfall's ignorance of the real author. The language in some places would seem to attribute to him an unqualified ignorance; in others it seems intended to import that he all but absolutely knew-that he must have had at least what he deemed a very probable guess.
On the whole, we suppose the generality of readers, while pleased to see so many pretensions finally put out of question, and while disgusted much with the present editor's whiffling language, ostentatious reserve, and petty air of mystery, respecting his father's knowledge and opinions, and respecting the illustrative particulars bearing on the claim of Lord George Sackville, will be inclined, though with a perception that the evidence is very narrow and unsatisfactory, to confer on that nobleman "the vacant honours of Junius."
-The affirmative appearances are indeed somewhat affected by the allusion to Minden, in terms coinciding with the popular opinion against Lord George, in a paper attributed, with strong probability, to Junius. Would it be altogether out of character to suppose, that a proud spirit might please itself with the dignity of its own
The fac-similes here given of Junius's handwriting are a whole set of specimens, showing all its varieties, which indeed are, rudically, very inconsiderable. We are disposed to hope their publication may have the effect of drawing from some quarter or other, into equal publicity, a sample or two of the writing of Lord George Sackville.
justice in thus choosing to make a condemnatory reflection on itself? It may be remarked, too, that the supposition of Lord George's being Junius, would supply one reason, in addition to all considerations of personal safety, for the unrelenting resolution of perpetual secrecy. We may imagine the writer chose to live down to future times, under the imperial name of Junius, in preference to his own, and that he was resolved no blemish, no mark of disgrace to be triumphed over by men that he despised, should be transferred from his real to that proud adopted name. We can really suppose him to feel a kind of sullen exultation in this transmigration, so to call it, out of a personality and a name that the world had gained some advantages against, into the impassable, commanding, avenging, and immortal form of Junius.
[The length of the following admirable article will prevent us from presenting our readers with that variety which may be a paramount recommendation with the million. But we will here observe, (if national hostilities will allow the confession,) that we prefer, at any time, to lay before them a substantial sirloin of real old English roast beef, to crowding our table with dishes of a more piquant but less nutritious nature.]
Propositions for ameliorating the condition of the poor, and for improving the moral habits, and increasing the comforts of the labouring people, by regulations calculated to reduce the parochial rates of the kingdom, and generally to promote the happiness and security of the community at large, by the diminution of immoral and penal offences, and the future prevention of crimes, &c. &c. By P. Colquhoun, L. L. D.
[From the Quarterly Review, for December, 1812.]
THE Commencement of the present century was distinguished in this country by two measures of prime importance; the population of Great Britain was then for the first time ascertained, and this was followed by an official inquiry into the state of the poor. The population was found to be 10,942,646. The number of persons receiving parish relief, amounted to 734,817; those who received occasional relief from the poor rates, were 305,899; and the vagrants who obtained assistance, appeared to be 194,052:* a frightful proportion of paupers. The first result taught us our strength, the second discovered our weakness. When we knew that there were in Great Britain alone, more than 2,700,000 men capable of defending their country, it became apparent that we
*Here is an unavoidable ambiguity in the statement, which may best be explained in a note. Relief had thus often been given, but it by no means follows that it had been given to so many different persons. If one of these vagabonds cheats 19 parishes per annum, 10,000 of them would appear 190,000 in the enumeration.
might defy the world in arms; but the fact, that nearly one person in nine of the whole population was dependent upon parochial aid, made it but too evident, that there was something rotten in our internal policy.
Formidable, however, as this official and authentic statement must necessarily appear to every reflecting mind, it by no means represents the whole evil. The proportion of persons who are unable to maintain themselves, and therefore rely upon the contributions of the community for support, may, perhaps, be as great in some other countries, and yet in those countries there would not be the same degree of danger to the state. For in England, the great mass of the manufacturing populace, whatever be their wages, live, as the phrase is, from hand to mouth, and make no provision for the morrow-being utterly improvident, because their moral and religious education has been utterly neglected. The number of paupers, therefore, which elsewhere is stationary, or increases only in proportion to the increase of the other classes of society, is here at all times liable to a sudden and perilous augmentation, from the effects of an unfavourable season, in a climate where the seasons are peculiarly precarious; from the fluctuations of politics affecting a people, to whom foreign commerce has become of too much importance; and even from the caprice of fashion in a country where thousands of families are dependent for daily bread upon the taste for silks or stuffs, ribands, and buttons, and buckles. Formerly, indeed, these things seldom produced any farther evils than that of a few riots upon market days in times of scarcity. But the same accident, which to a healthy subject would occasion only a slight and temporary inconvenience, scarcely felt at the moment, and drawing no ill consequences after it, will produce gangrene or cancer in a system that is morbidly predisposed; and certain it is, that in these our days, a morbid change has been wrought in the great body of the populace.
How this state of things has been produced; what is the real condition of the poor, what means have been taken for ameliorating it, and what remains to be done, to counteract the danger with which social order otherwise is threatened, are the topics suggested to our most serious consideration by the publications which form the subject of this article.
Every one has his reason ready for the increase of the poor, from the youngest tyro in the art of talking, to the most celebrated proficients in political quackery. Mr. Whitbread, and the pamphleteers and essayists of Mr. Roscoe's shallow school, ascribe it to the war. Mr. Brougham imputes it more specifically to the orders in council, but joins in the sweeping cause, and agrees in prescribing peace. Sir Francis Burdett charges it upon the borough-mongers, and would purify the constitution from its VOL. II. New Series.