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It was confidently asserted, by their opponents, that both he and his coadjutors received immense sums of money from the treasury, and that the largesses conferred on them at least equalled a German subsidy; but their lives and their deaths equally confute this assertion, for although they were comparatively economical in their expenses, they left little or nothing to their heirs. Indeed, but for the kindness of the Thrale family, to which he had originally introduced his friend Dr. Johnson, and one or two well-timed donations, from the discriminating liberality of the Literary Fund, the latter days of this gentleman would have been embittered by the extremes of poverty and dis
But the ministers found, perhaps, their most useful ally in Hogarth, an artist of acknowledged humour, and original genius. Forgetting all the ties of friendship, and true to interest alone, by caricaturing the persons, and distorting the actions of their antagonists, he often exposed them to contempt; and, if his art did not extend to the vindication of their own conduct, yet he contrived to blunt the shafts of their oppo
insertion of all officers names in the gazette-a regulation never before practised.
nents, by means of the most exquisite ridicule. The respectable profession of Churchill, and the unhappy physiognomy of Mr. Wilkes, alike exposed them to the keenness of his graphic wit; and even the talents and the virtues of the first William Pitt did not always shield this great man from the puny but successful vengeance exercised by the grayer of the king's serjeantpainter.
While the party-writers, on both sides, combated each other with various success, and, by turns, assailed, defended, ridiculed, and panegyrised all the great men of the day, a warrior, with his visor up, suddenly entered the lists, without disclosing either his name, or rank, and was fortunate enough to find a cavalier, decked with a red riband, ready to break a lance with him. Having unhorsed this knight of the bath in the very first encounter, he by turns attacked all the champions in the field, and the earls of Bute and Mansfield, together with the duke of Grafton, by turns felt the effects of his skill and intrepidity. Even majesty itself was not sacred from his attacks; for he rudely approached the throne, and brandished his weapons, in the face of the sovereign. The eyes of all were instantly fixed upon him, and, with loud shouts, demanded who he was? but
he fought in a mask, under the feigned appellation of JUNIUS, which was proudly emblazoned on his banner, and, as he did not openly wear the colours of any party, it is difficult to trace either his person or his motives. Although he levelled the most deadly blows with impunity, and at times recurred to weapons not always warranted by the courtesy of modern warfare, yet his doom was already sealed, for he was now stopped, in mid-career, and vanquished by the arm of a priest!
The first letter, published by this celebrated writer, was addressed to the printer of the "Public Advertiser," and is dated January 21, 1769. After depicting the situation of the country in the most gloomy colours, and condoling with the people on their fate, in elegant and polished periods, which seemed to give additional energy to his attack, he concludes thus:-"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, and lord North chancellor of the exchequer; a Weymouth, and a Hillsborough, secretaries of state; a Granby, commander-in-chief; and a Mansfield, chief criminal judge of the kingdom." The replies of sir William Draper attracted fresh abuse on his own friends, and acquired additional celebrity to this writer, who was now complete master of the field, when, in a rash moment, he wantonly selected from the throng, and attacked the subject of these memoirs with an unusual degree of rancour, malignity, and injustice. It was not until his fifteenth letter *, however, dated July 9, 1771, that he mentioned this gentleman. with asperity; and it is no small proof of the estimation in which his influence was then held, that Mr. Horne's supposed defection from the public cause, and his alledged misconduct in the city, in opposition to Mr. Wilkes, constituted
This is addressed to the duke of Grafton; and, being written during the election for sheriffs of London, contains many pointed allusions to city politics. On that occasion, Mr. alderman Oliver having refused to serve the office with Wilkes, the latter immediately united with Mr. alderman Bull, and obtained a large majority for himself and his colleagues. Messrs. Plumbe and Kirkman were the ministerial candidates.
the basis of the accusation. After mentioning his "new zeal," in support of administration, he proceeds as follows:
"The unfortunate success of the rev. Mr. Horne's endeavours in support of the ministerial nomination of sheriffs, will, I fear, obstruct his preferment. Permit me to recommend him to your grace's protection. You will find him copiously gifted with those qualities of the heart, which usually direct you in the choice of your friendships. He, too, was Mr. Wilkes's friend, and as incapable as you are of the liberal resentment of a gentleman. No, my lord-it was the solitary, vindictive malice of a monk, brooding over the infirmities of his friend, until he thought they quickened into public life, and feasting with a rancorous rapture upon the sordid catalogue of his distresses. Now, let him go back to his cloister. The church is a proper retreat for him. In his principles, he is already a bishop. The mention of this man has moved me from my natural moderation : let me return to your grace; you are the pillow on which I am determined to rest all my resentments."
An attack, at once so scandalous and so false, on the person, principles, and profession of Mr. Horne, was not to be endured; and, although he was assailed from several quarters, and even