The Age of George III

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The Letters of Junius

Letter X: To Mr Edward Weston: 21 April 1769

[33] SIR,

I SAID you were an old man without the benefit of experience. It seems you are also a volunteer, with the stipend of twenty commissions; and, at a period when all prospects are at an end, you are still looking forward to rewards which you cannot enjoy. No man is better acquainted with the bounty of government than you are.

Ton impudence,
Temeraire vieillard, aura sa recompence.

But I will not descend to an altercation either with the impotence of your age, or the peevishness of your diseases. Your pamphlet, ingenious as it is, has been so little read, that the public cannot know how far you have a right to give me the lie, without the following citation of your own words:—

Page 6th.— "1. That he is persuaded that the motives which he (Mr. Weston) has alleged, must appear fully sufficient, with or without the opinions of the surgeons.
"2. That, those very motives must have been the foundation on which the Earl of Rochford thought proper, &c.
" 3. That he cannot but regret, that the Earl of Rochford seems to have thought proper to lay the chirurgical reports before the King, in preference to all the other sufficient motives," &c.

[34] Let the public determine whether this be defending government on their principles or your own.

The style and language you have adopted, are, I confess, not ill suited to the elegance of your own manners, or to the dignity of the cause you have undertaken. Every common dauber writes rascal and villain under his pictures, because the pictures themselves have neither character nor resemblance. But the works of a master require no index; his features and colouring are taken from nature; the impression they make is immediate and uniform: nor is it possible to mistake his characters, whether they represent the treachery of a minister, or the abused simplicity of a King.


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