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THE AUTHOR OF
THE LETTERS OF JUNIUS,
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
Non stat diutius nominis umbra.
JOHN GRAY & CO., PUBLISHERS.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
JOHN GRAY & CO.
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington,
ONE hundred years ago to-day, Junius wrote as follows:
*The man who fairly and completely answers this argument, shall have my thanks and my applause. Grateful as I am to the good Being whose bounty has imparted to me this reasoning intellect, whatever it is, I hold myself proportionably indebted to him from whose enlightened understanding another ray of knowledge communicates to mine. But neither should I think the most exalted faculties of the human mind a gift worthy of the Divinity, nor any assistance in the improvement of them a subject of gratitude to my fellow-creatures, if I were not satisfied that really to inform the understanding corrects and enlarges the heart."
These were the concluding words of his last Letter. So say I now, and I make them the preface to an argument which now sets the great apostle of liberty right before the world. They serve, like a literary hyphen, to connect the two ages-his own with this; and the two lives--the masked with the open one; in both of which ages and lives he did good to mankind, and that mightily.
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 21, 1872.
The literary work which survives a century has uncommon merit. Time has set the seal of approval upon it. It has passed its probation and entered the ages. A century has just closed upon the work of Junius. The causes which produced it, either in act or person, have long since passed away. The foolish king, the corrupt minister, and the prostituted legislature are forgotten, or only recalled to be despised; but the work of Junius, startling in thought, daring in design, bristling with satire, a consuming fire to those he attacked, remains to be admired for its principles, and to be studied for its beauty and strength.
The times in which Junius wrote were big with events. The Seven Years' War had just closed with shining victories to Prussia and England. Frederic, with an unimpaired nation and a permanent peace, it left with a good heart and much personal glory; but George III., with India and America in his hands, with the plunder of a great conquest to distribute to a greedy and licentious court, it left pious, but simple. Great wars disturb the masses. They awaken them