« PreviousContinue »
NOTICE TO THE FIFTH PART.
On the publication of the Fourth Part of this work, it seemed to me that I had surmounted the most difficult half of my undertaking, and that the remainder would proceed with increased speed. But I was mistaken, and have found the present Part the most difficult and troublesome of any, and accordingly it has been the longest in hand. My predecessor evidently slackened as he advanced, while I feel impelled by the love of my subject nto an opposite course ; and being by circumstances thrown more than ever on my own resources, my labours increase instead of diminish. Bibliographers will see that the present Part has received an unusual amount of attention ; indeed, almost every principal article has been revised or enlarged. It may
suffice here to mention a few ; IRELAND, IRVING (Washington), JAMES (G. P. R.), JESTS, JOHNSON (Dr. S.), JUNIUS, KLOPSTOCK, KNIGHT (Charles), KOLMANN (my first master), KOTZEBUE, LAMARTINE, LANDOR, LABDNER (Dr.), LAMB (Charles), LANDON (L. E. L.), LEWIS, LINDLEY, LINNÆUS, LODGE, LONDON, LouDON, LUTHER, Lysons. Several of these, and especially JESTS, Junius, and LONDON, have been so extensively elaborated, that they may fairly be called Monographs.
Besides these, all the Scottish articles, such as John Knox, Sir David LINDSAY, &c., have been rendered very complete by the kind assistance of David Laing, Esq., of Edinburgh, than whom no one is better versed in this department of Bibliography. With respect to Junius, I have been fortunate enough to obtain the co-operation of two earnest enquirers into its authorship, and hence have been enabled to render the article more perfect than anything that has yet been presented to the public. One of these gentlemen, Joseph Parkes, Esq., has, by dint of constant attention, succeeded in forming a very remarkable collection, both of books and manuscripts, relating to the subject, and will probably, at some not very distant period, bring his labours to an interesting development.
And now, in respect to JUNIUS, I will reveal a matter which I have kept secret for the last ten years, governed more by some notions of my own as to professional employment, than by any circumstance connected with the particular transaction, which was of an ordinary character, and neither exacted nor implied any secrecy whatever.
In the middle of July, 1850, I was suddenly called upon to value, or as my instructions ran, “ to inspect the political papers, manuscripts, and a library of books, at No. 3, St. James' Square;" and some pressure of circumstances required that this should be done within an hour, which I undertook.
On running my eyes round the library, I perceived a strong indication of politics in the time of George III., and, remembering that I was in the supposed precincts of Junius, I searched eagerly, but without success, for the vellum-bound copy. It was quite clear, however, from numerous gaps, that the older part of the library, for it consisted of two very distinct classes of books, had been thoroughly gutted. Having declared the value of it
to be very small indeed in proportion to its extent, I was shown into the Manuscript room. Here I found a considerable quantity of carefully preserved papers, all, with the exception of two very large brown paper parcels (which were distinctly placed apart), contained in drawers, and chronologically arranged. I immediately turned to the Junius period, and there found—although nothing signed Junius—a great many letters from the King to the EARL OF HOLDERNESSE,* communicating and discussing political subjects without reserve; a considerable number from Sir Wm. Draper, one of them quailing about Junius, and wondering how he could have obtained information of certain matters, and others enumerating unrequited services, and earnestly begging a place; a vast many, often of a very confidential character, from the Earl of Hillsborough it several from Benjamin Franklin, long and very interesting; and some, at various dates, from the Duke of Manchester, Duke of Grafton, Lord North, Chatham, the Grenvilles, Lord George Sackville, Chesterfield, and other political characters. In one of the drawers was a rough
* The Earl was on intimate terms with the King, had filled several diplomatic offices, and was twice Secretary of State in the previous reign. In 1771, April 12, he was appointed Governor to the Prince of Wales. He died, at an advanced age, in 1778. In the Grenville Correspondence is printed one of his letters, dated Nov. 20, 1755, in which he officially (being then in the ministry) discharges Mr. Geo. Grenville from his office of Treasurer of the Navy. His wife, Mary, Countess of Holdernesse, was appointed Lady of the Bedchamber in 1770, and his uncle, Sir Conyers D'Arcy, who died in 1758, had been Comptroller of the Household and Privy Councillor.
of The Earl of Hillsborough was a Member of the Privy Council, Comptroller of the Household, Joint Post-Master General, Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1768 to 1772, First Commissioner of Trade and Plantations from 1763 to 1772, (with short intervals in 1765 and 1767), and always on intimate terms with the King. He died in 1793.
draft, in the well-known upright kind of writing attributed to Junius, but corrected by another hand, of an unpublished letter of Lucius to the Duke of Grafton. It was endorsed letter X, and commenced, according to my memorandum, the only one I made, with—"A long retirement from the world of Politics may perhaps have rendered," &c.—and contained the phrases, proselyte, and busy scum, ending with the word children, and simply signed Lucius. This, it will be remembered, is one of the best authenticated Pseudonymes of Junius. Having to get through my valuation with extreme speed, I could take no deliberate notes, nor had I time to examine a tithe of the papers, which extended over nearly half a century. One rather interesting MS. was a Diary beginning at an early date, and ending, I think, with a journey to Paris, in the autumn of 1772, which is about where it might be expected to end to be connected with Junius ; but in glancing hastily over it, without any aid but my memory, I could trace nothing in the shape of evidence. Feeling that I was in the path of discovery, I entreated to see the contents of the two large parcels set aside, which-full a quarter of a hundred weight each-were sealed at every aperture, and prominently marked on all sides most secret ;' but this was declined until actual right of possession had been obtained. To secure these important papers, I offered five hundred pounds for those I had só hastily inspected, and as much more, speculatively, for the two parcels of most secret ones ; under a strong impression that the Junius correspondence was there; and I was promised them, in case they should be for sale. On subsequent enquiry, in October of the same year, I learnt that the papers had been claimed by the Duke of Leeds ; and at a later period I was informed that they had been deposited in the strong room of a banker, with the pos