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Gibbs said of Mr. Taylor's book, (The Identity of Junius with a Distinguished Living Character Established,) that, if the matter had been argued before him as a Judge in a trial for libel, he should have directed the Jury to find Sir Philip Francis guilty, - a speech which has been also attributed to the late Lord Ellenborough, and even to the late Lord Erskine, - when the friend of the Author, Mr. Butler, in his Reminiscences 1, 93. apparently in allusion to these opinions, declares “ the external evi. dence produced by Mr. Taylor to be very strong, so strong, perhaps, that, if he had been tried upon it for a libel, and the case had rested upon the facts, from which this evidence is formed, the Judge would have directed the Jury to find him guilty," and when the Edinburgh-Reviewer of Mr. Taylor's book, (57,96.) has delivered the following character of it: We are half inclined to think, how

ever, that the real author is at length detected; and “we shall proceed to lay before the reader the ground of “ this opinion. The merit of the discovery, if the truth “ is indeed found out, belongs entirely to the author of “ the work before us. Sir Philip had never, as far as "we know, been suspected. The book is written in a “way abundantly creditable to the author ; especially if,

as we suspect, he is not a professed literary man. It “ does not certainly make the most of the evidence; it “is somewhat too prolix; frequently dwells upon trifles; “ and is not always very distinct in its statements. But “it contains every thing necessary for determining the

question, and is written without affectation. That « it

proves Sir Philip to be Junius, we will not affirm “ but this we can safely assert that it accumulates such


a mass of circumstantial evidence, as renders it extremely difficult to believe he is not; and that, if so

many coincidences shall be found to have misled us in “ this case, our faith in all conclusions drawn from proofs “ of a similar kind may henceforth be shaken:” — when the evidence for Sir Philip Francis is thus characterised by three eminent Judges, one eminent Conveyancer, and one eminent Counsellor, it is entitled to a fair and full examination, and such an examination it has received from the Author of this book. He does not pretend, and without hypocrisy could not pretend, to be indifferent to the honour of having disproved claims thus powerfully supported; - such philosophy is too high for him, he knows that he is mortal, and possesses the common feelings of humanity ; - he has endeavoured to merit the honour, and if the public voice re-echo the general opinion of his intellectual and literary friends, he will enjoy the honour without indecently exulting in the victory, or ungenerously insulting the vanquished.

A friend in a Letter dated Oct. 31, 1827. compliments the pursuit in these terms: “If the riddle were solved, as in the case of any other riddle, the interest would instantly cease. The death of George III. took away much of the importance of this enquiry:- its present state puts me much in mind of a Scotch story. A had sold, and been paid for his horse, was asked to give its bona-fide character. “Truly,' says he, it has but two faults, I. very hard to catch, 2. good for nothing, when

you catch him. But yet, I doubt not, there is amusement in the pursuit.” One thing, at least, is cer: tain, that much, which has been written on this question,

man, who

would have been withheld from the public eye, if the writers had applied to their compositions that strictness of proof, and that closeness of reasoning, which the Author has employed; and one other thing is certain, that the rules, whish the Author has endeavoured to lay down, are calculated to bring the investigation nearer to an end by striking out of the number of claimants, those, whose pretensions cannot be placed within those rules. As the Author is not prepared to match his friend with a story, he will present him with the following extracts :

The question respecting the author of Junius's Letters is thought, we believe, by philosophers to be one of more curiosity than importance. We are very far from pretending that the happiness of mankind is materially interested in its determination; or that it involves any great and scientific truths. But it must be viewed as a point of literary history; and among discussions of this description, it ranks very high. After all, are there many points of civil or military history really more interesting to persons living in the present times ? Is the guilt of Queen Mary, — the character of Richard III,story of the Man in the Iron Mask, very nearly connected with the welfare of the existing generation ? Indeed, we would rather caution, even the most profound of philosophers, against making too nice an inquiry into the practical importance of scientific truths; for assuredly there are numberless propositions, of which the curiosity is more easily descried than the utility, in all the branches of science, and especially in the severer ones the professors of which are the most prone to deride an enquiry like that about Junius. That the community

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has long taken an extraordinary interest in this question, that a great and universal curiosity has been felt to know who wrote the Letters, seems quite sufficient to justify a good deal of pains in the research, and satisfaction in the discovery. He, who should find out the longitude, would, no doubt, more substantially benefit the world ; yet we dare to assert that for one, who really profited by the discovery, a thousand would derive nothing beyond the mere gratification of curiosity; and the inventor's fame would depend chiefly on their voice. Is any man much the better for knowing how the alkalies are composed ? In his circumstances, no one but, in his scientific capacity, every one, who regards the gratification of a learned curiosity. Let us not be too curious in settling the relative importance of literary labour, or even of scientific pursuits. It is a good thing to find out the truth, at all events; and the pleasure of knowing what was before unknown, forms, perhaps in all cases, the greater proportion of the value derived from the inquiry."*

The Edinburgh-Review (of Mr. Taylor's

book on Junius,) 57, 94. *«The praise of Delolme's superficial book,” says the Reviewer p. 96., "contained in the Preface to Junius, is only a new example of the rashness, with which men, engaged in controversy, will bestow commendations upon a work containing doctrines, of which they wish to avail themselves. Burke's praises of Vattel may be given as another instance; and they have greatly added to the undue reputation enjoyed by that popular work.” In the same way the Author may remark, that Reviewers are too apt to take for granted the truth of assertions and statements made by respectable writers, whose works they are criticising, when those assertions and statements are, intentionally or unintentionally, contrary to facts. Thus the Reviewer writeth p. 105:

The writer now lays down his pen

with something like a persuasion,” says a very excellent friend of the Author, “ that it will be allowed he has proved his two points, that Sir William Cavendish of Chatsworth

“ The manner, in which Junius always treats Lord Chatham, coincides exactly with the expressions of Sir Philip in his speeches and writings; and is such as might naturally be expected to result from the kindness he had received from that great man, as well as from his known principles. But the high admiration of Lord Chatham, whích Junius has shown, seems not easily reconciled with his kindness towards his antagonist, Lord Holland. 'I wish Lord Holland may acquit himself with honour,' says he in a Letter to Woodfall, (1, 174.) and when he suspected Mr. Fox of attacking him anonymously in the Newspapers, instead of retaliating as he did in the Letters already noticed against Lord Barrington, and at once charging Lord Holland, or his son, with having been the writers of this attack, as did Lord Barry and others in similar cases, he says that 'he designedly spares Lord Holland and his family; but adds that it is worthy of their consideration, whether Lord Holland 'be invulnerable, or whether Junius should be wantonly 'provoked.' (3, 410.) He shows this manifest forbearance towards the Fox-family, not under his usual signature of Junius, but under another, assumed for the obvious purpose of concealing it, and yet of keeping them from forcing him into a contest with them. The history of Sir Philip at once explains all this. His father was Lord Holland's domestic chaplain, lived on intimate terms with him, and dedicated his Translation of Demosthenes to him, as the patron, to whom he owed his church-preferment. Sir Philip himself received from Lord Holland his first place in the Foreign-Office. These circumstances must have overcome the natural inducement, which Junius had to join in the attacks upon Lord Holland, for a conduct, which, whether justly or not, was made the constant topic of invective by all, who took the side of Lord Chatham.

Now in the following pages the Author has abundantly proved that Lord Chatham was, in the earlier part of Junius's reign, the constant object of attack, and that Junius subsequently, but very guardedly, panegyrised him; and that, as political aversion was the cause of the attack, so political attachment was the cause of the panegyric. The argument,

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