« PreviousContinue »
ever tempt him to take up his quarters in Scotland again ; so that in after years, when faction prevailed, and many leading families of that country were avowedly his enemies, we cease to wonder that this antipathy was increased to extreme aversion and disgust.' The fac-simile of his Lordship’s handwriting annexed to this volume, is also taken from a letter to Major Younge. The reader will perceive, on a comparison with Mr. Woodfall's specimens, that there is a striking resemblance, the same peculiarities existing in each. It is proper, however, to observe, that Junius lays great stress on the pains he took in correcting and transcribing. In a private letter to Mr. Woodfall, No. 9., he says, “You shall have it some time to-morrow night: it cannot be corrected and copied sooner.” Again, No. 24., “ The inclosed, though begun within these few days, has been greatly laboured. It is very correctly copied.”
Several other instances might be adduced, but these are sufficient to shew that a very close resemblance can hardly be expected between them; one being written in a familiar, careless manner, and the others, both with regard to style and writing, greatly laboured.
Nevertheless, most of the words which I have selected to compare with those of Junius bear so close a resemblance, particularly where there
is any peculiarity, that the reader will probably be convinced they were written by one and the same person.
Lastly, we may observe, that the handwriting is but a secondary object. We are not so much labouring to establish the autography as the authorship of the Letters, which is, I presume, sufficiently proved by the internal evidence, without this additional testimony.
Wandsworth Common, 1825.
It was an accidental circumstance which induced me to enter into the present enquiry. One evening in company, the conversation turned on Voltaire's Siècle de Louis XIV. et XV., more particularly on those parts of the work, where that elegant historian so pathetically describes the hardships, sufferings, and obstacles of the Pretender. “Que les hommes privés,” he observes, “ qui se plaignent de leurs petites infortunes, jettent les yeux sur ce prince et ses ancêtres.”—Comments were also made on the war in America and Germany, during the reign of George the Second. Finally, on Voltaire's candid confession that “La bataille que les François perdirent aupres de Minden en 1759, et les autres échecs qu'ils essuyerent, les firent retrograder.”
The affair at Minden and its subsequent consequences convinced me that Lord George Sackville was the author of the Letters of Junius;