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fore the " Society for supporting the Bill of Rights," in which he ridiculed the pretended patriotism of this celebrated writer, and questioned the tendency of all his positions. He endeavoured, at the same time, to expose him as the "pander of corruption ;" and "to deprecate the malevolent effects of that eloquence, the open and declared object of which seemed to be confined to the support of ministerial abuses, and an apology for rotten boroughs!"

But, notwithstanding Junius failed in this controversy, yet the letters under this signature are the composition of no vulgar hand. Although apparently plain, easy, and perspicuous, they are elaborate as to composition, and have served as models, in point of elegance, to the present age. If not a practical lawyer, the author was at least deeply versed in the principles of our constitution: he must have frequented the best company, as he was well acquainted with all the occurrences of high life; and that he could be argumentative as well as eloquent, is evident from his very able attacks on sir William Blackstone and lord Mansfield.

In respect to the party espoused by him, he appears occasionally to have supported the whole body of the opposition, although his praises are bestowed with considerable modesty and seem

ing reluctance. Yet, on one occasion *, he commends the earl of Shelburne, by implication, for his spirited intervention in behalf of Corsica; and on another, he readily bears witness to the "proud, imposing superiority of lord Chatham's abilities; the shrewd inflexible judg ment of Mr. Grenville, and the mild, but determined integrity of lord Rockingham."

As to the precise person, it is far more easy to prove who was not, than to point out who was the author. From his dedication, it would appear, that he was a native of Great Britain. This, if meant to be taken literally, must reduce the candidates to a small number. I have lately learned, however, from a governor-general of India, who is himself a scholar and a man of letters, that the late Mr. Walter Boyd solemnly asserted in his house, a little before his death, that the correspondence, under the name of Junius, was not the solitary effort of a single individual, but of many men of talents, and that he himself acted as editor. I have good reason to suppose, that the late duke of Grafton attributed the whole to the pen of “ single-speech Hamilton," and I have been assured, more than

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*Letter xii, to his grace the duke of Grafton, May 30, 1769.

+ Letter xv, dated July 8, 1769.

once, by the subject of this memoir, that he absolutely knew the author. To another gentleman, he lately added, "that he was still alive."

It must be owned, however, that this information tends but little to gratify public curiosity; on the contrary, it only serves to puzzle speculation and render conjecture more vague and more ineffectual.

CHAPTER IX.

FROM 1772 TO 1777.

Mr. Horne resigns his Gown, and retires to a Cottage His Studies - Contests with the House of Commons — Tried for a Libel.Characters of Mr. Thurlow and Lord Mansfield.-Sentence of the Court of King's Bench.

WE have thus beheld Mr. Horne busily occupied in all the various political contests of this period. There seemed to be no end to his labours; one controversy gave birth to another; and the triumph over a single foe, produced a dozen of new combatants.

Meanwhile, the current of existence glided on apace,varied from day to day, and from year to year, by the professional duties attached to his chapelry and the occurrences of the times, in which he continued, as usual, to take an active and conspicuous share. But he had now attained a period of life, when prudent men are carrying their

theories into practice, and completing the outline, which they have sketched out for themselves at an earlier period. The age of thirty-seven, if it still possesses something of the bloom of youth, at the same time generally exhibits somewhat of the sobriety of senility; and yet, strange as it may appear, at that advanced period, Mr. Horne had actually a profession to look for. True, he had been bred to the church, and still possessed a living; but the duties were not sufficiently numerous to occupy his attention, or the revenues so extensive, as to prove fully equal even to his very moderate habits of expense. By the publication of his letter from Montpelier, all hopes of professional preferment were cut off, while, at the same time, he had rendered himself one of the most marked men in the kingdom, by his recent controversy with Mr. Wilkes. A consciousness of the injustice resulting from this latter circumstance, perhaps, might in some measure have soured his temper, and rendered him but little desirous of the applause of the multitude during the remainder of a long life.

But, if Mr. Wilkes and his partisans had, at this period, fairly cried him down, by the same arts they had practised with equal success against three successive administrations, there

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