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dames dans le pays pouvoient, à cette epoque, se vanter d'avoir reçu une éducation supérieure à la sienne.'
This defect is the more unhappy, as the original and translation are, in these volumes, printed together
If this was designed for the convenience of the learner, it would have been better had it heen applied to some work more susceptible: of a translation perfectly accurate.
Ait. XI. The Identity of Junius with a Distinguished Living Cha
racter established. 8vo. pp. 366. Price 12s. Taylor and Hessey,
1816. 1 F Junius be now living, and be a man of any considerable
refinement of moral sensibility, he is sorry to have been the cause of the waste of so much valuable time as writers and readers have consumed in the inquiry what his real name may have been, or may be ;--for is not this the amount of the question ? Even if we were to place out of the account the immensity of time and mental action wasted, in every sense of the word, on the pretensions raised and discussed, with various measures of labour, for nearly thirty names, every one as totally destitute of claim as any other name in the world to be substituted for the denomination of Junius,- and were to consider only the one investigation, if such a one there were, that should demonstrate the true name,--even then, what equivalent would appear to have been gained for the time and effort ? What but to be able to exchange the classical name for some two ordinary ones, and to know whether the owner of this couple of vocables, this christeped name and surname, be under these denominations still addressed as seen, or only spoken of sometimes as remembered ? Really this eager inquiry has furnished a most memorable example of Much ado about Nothing. When the investigator, after expending many months, or perhaps the substance of years, on his undertaking, completes it in the complacency of his own full conviction that he has discovered the truth, and of a confifidence that he shall impress this conviction on others, how long can he preclude the intrusion upon him of the ungracious thought, And what have I done, after all ? For the whole inte rest of the affair seems confined to a mere point of curiosity, no matter of the slightest importance to general truth or utility appearing in any way to depend on the manner in which the
question inay be decided, or on its being, or not being, decided at all. And curiosity is so perverse a passion, as to be very capable, after making the discovery eagerly sought for, of wishing that it remained still to be made.
At any rate, if there be something magnificent and commanding in the effect of the object partially involved in mystery, it is
very palpably a general law of our nature, that the removal of that obscurity will diminish that effect. On account of the operation of this law, so well attested by familiar experience, we may have on a former occasion confessed, for ourselves, that we had no very eager wish for the decided success of the search after Junius, recently resumed in such magnitude of activity and numbers, as to acquire almost the character of an enterprise. Perhaps not one of the numerous investigators may have been actuated by the precise motive of wishing to lessen the imposing effect of the dictates, proscriptions, and maledictions, of that formidable, self-constituted, invisible censor of his contemporaries; but each of them must have been aware, that the authorized substitution of his favourite claimant's name in the title-page of the Letters for the accustomed “ Stat Nominis Umbra,” would very sensibly modify the lofty, judicial, and menacing aspect of the work. As well as all the rest, the Author of the present shrewd, elaborate, and entertaining book, must bave had this perception ; and now that he is perfectly convinced of the identity of Junius and Sir Philip Francis, be will, with all imaginable respect for the latter, find himself incapacitated to read any more the Letters of the former, with all that force of impression which he may have formerly been gratified to indulge.
The present able pleading of our anonymous Author, comes under a curious and a rather aukward disadvantage, namely, that it is but a short time since he published an argument, assuming to have proved, that the Letters of Junius were the production of a different person from Sir Philip; for though Sir Philip was deemed to be in some way implicated in the concern with his father, Dr. Francis, yet he being supposed to have been at the time no more than nineteen years old, it could not be seriously surmised that he was the actual author of any part of those compositions. It is an unlucky thing that a whole host of probabilities should have such a flexible and mercenary aptitude to serve, indifferently, under one hypothesis or another; and that, nevertheless, in their latter service they shall seem so perfectly in their right appointment, that it would not be suspected they had been transferred from a different one.
As to the dual hypothesis, however, it is probable the Author himself felt somewhat more than be was willing to confess of the aukwardness wbich struck almost ludicrously every one else in the notion of a partnership, even to the extent maintained, in a business so homogeneous and concentrated as that of Junius. This alone appeared to us so fatal a presumption against the pretended discovery and proof, that we thought it could be little better than lost time even to read the essay..' Sensible as the Author must have been of the inevitable appearance of clumsiness in his theory, we can imagine the gratification he would feel on finding, in the perusal of a different, and he believes wellauthenticated, memoir of Sir P. Francis, that instead of nineteen, Sir Philip was twenty-seven years old at the time of the appearance of the first of the Miscellaneous Letters, which Mr. Woodfall has assigned to Junius ; for that instead of the year 1748, he was born, in Dublin, in 1740. Consequently,
* All the Letters signed Junius were written when Sir Philip was passing from his twenty-ninth year to his thirty-second, a time of life in which it has often been remarked, men generally undertake the greatest designs of which they are capable. And surely he, who is at any time able to compose such letters as these, is even more likely to produce them at such a period than at any other ; since the ardour of youth, which alone could stimulate and carry him through such great exertions, is yet in full action, while the judgment has received such lessons from experience, as naturally fortify opinion.'
It would seem to us that nothing can be more futile than the latter of these sentences : as if the votaries of ambition, the aspirants to distinction and rank among and above their fellow-mortals, the disappointed and mortified competitors who have failures and injuries to avenge,--and we may add, the genuine patriots, if such there be, who are actuated by an ardent hostility against the state iniquities that are oppressing and depraving their country,-- were not capable, quite to old age, of maintaining a course of the most toilsome and protracted exertion. Who, that has ever so little approached the scenes of ambitious strife and exhibition, or the high and fiercely coveted and contested stations of official toil, has failed to observe, or to be affected in observing, the wrinkled sallow visage, the trembling hand, and the voice faultering with age, intensely, relentlessly, remorselessly, actuated by the passion for acquiring or maintaining the adored ascendancy in a competition which must so soon be relinquished for the grave ? And to say the least, it is matter of ordinary experience that this passion rages more unremittingly, more systematically, and with a more entire possession of the man, body and soul, at a later stage of life than in that now in question. If it be falleged that the passion which actuated Junius partook of better elements than those here described, and if we should ad. mit that it did, this will be nothing against what we are saying, namely, that great and persevering exertions relative to matters connected with public interests, are more likely to be made with concentrated purpose and invincible perseverance after the age of thirty than before.
But it may be observed, at the same time, that the undertaking of Junius was not a great design, though it was eventually a great achievement; for it is probable he little enough anticipated, at the commencement, the length to which he was compelled to go. Vol. VII N.S.
We have no disposition to go into an examination of this volume. It will be read by all who continue to feel an interest in the question. We have passed rather hastily through it, with very considerable entertainment; not, however, without being sometimes a little sorry that so sensible and laborious an inquirer should have expended so much thought and research on such a subject. As to the question itself, he has, we think, made out a much stronger case than the advocate of any other of the multitude of claimants. The exhibition of coincidences is very striking, both in number and precision : and a great proportion are of a much more tangible matter-of-fact kind than those on which most of the other advocates have rested much of their argument. Indeed, if it could be proved, to a certainty, that Sir P. Francis is not Jupius, the concurrence of so many circumstances favouring the presumption that he is Junius, would forn one of the most remarkable curiosities in literary history.
If the Author could contrive to fall upon some third biographical document, which correcting, on evidence, the second, should add just another eight years to Sir Philip's age, and make him towards forty at the time that Junius first appeared, we should really be constrained to give up the case as lost for 'any otber candidate. It is but just barely possible to believe, that a man on the green side of thirty should write in the mature, condensed, austere, and commanding style of Junius; and with suoh ample and at the same time perfectly available knowledge of history, politics, law, and contemporary facts and characters. As to this last kind of knowledge, however, it is shewn that Sir P. F. had at that period the means of knowing all that Junius surprised and puzzled the public, and especially the objects of his vengeance, by shewing them that he knew. His situation during the time, and for a considerable number of years before, in the War Office, accounts for that evident personal acquainiance with men in high official rank, and that knowledge of many transactions in detail, and of the schemes and clandestine measures of the government and its agents, which so greatly aggravated the contemporary interest and fear of Junius. It is shewn how very aptly and fully the assumed identity of Sir P. F. and Junius, will account for the vastly disproportioned importance, in the attention and indignation of Junius, of several official underlings, such as Chamier, Whateley, &c. who were actually, at that very 'time, very great grievances to Sir P. Francis, and at last caused him the loss of his situation, which exact circumstance is noted, in a vindictive tone, in the Letters. • There is also a most remarkable coincidence of time between Sir Philip's removal from the War-Office, followed by his going abroad for the greater part of a year, and the cessation of the Letters of Junius. But indeed apt and plausible indications of
coincidence so abound in this volume, that the reader is some-
The Author compresses at the end the results of the inquiry
Art. XII. Idwal and other Portions of a Poem ; to which is added,
Gryphiadæa, Carmen Venatorium. By P. Bayley, Esq. 8vo.
pp. 274. Price 10s. Longman and Co, 1817.
the nature of the episode, selected froin a poem of the epic
“ The poem, from which the following fragments are taken, is
his harp, to celebrate the strife of a people against oppres-
• The first of the subsequent portions is an Episode, connected with