The Age of George III

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The Letters of Junius

Letter XXXIII: Junius to his Grace the Duke of Grafton: 29 November 1769.

[116] My Lord

THOUGH my opinion of Duke of Graftonyour Grace's integrity was but little affected by the coyness with which you received Mr. Vaughan's proposals, I confess I give you some credit for your discretion. You had a fair opportunity of displaying a certain delicacy, of which you had not been suspected and you were in the right to make use of it. By laying in a moderate stock of reputation, you undoubtedly meant to provide for the future necessities of your character, that, with an honourable resistance upon record, you might safely indulge your genius, and yield to a favourite inclination with security. But you have discovered your purposes too soon; and, instead of the modest reserve of virtue, have shewn us the termagant chastity of a prude, who gratifies her passions with distinction, and prosecutes one lover for a rape, while she solicits the lewd embraces of another.  

Your cheek turns pale; for a guilty conscience tells you, you are undone. Come forward, thou virtuous Minister, and tell the world by what interest Mr. Hine has been recommended to so extraordinary a mark of his Majesty's favour; what was the price of the patent he has bought, and to what honourable purpose the purchase-money has been applied. Nothing less than many thousands could pay Colonel Burgoyne's expences at Preston. Do you dare to prosecute such a creature as Vaughan, while you are basely setting up the Royal Patronage to auction? Do you dare to complain of an attack upon your own honour, while you are selling the favours of the Crown, to raise a fund for corrupting the morals of the people? And do you think it is possible such enormities should escape without impeachment? It is, indeed, highly your interest to maintain the present House of Commons. Having sold the nation to you in gross, they will undoubtedly protect you in the detail; for, while they patronize your crimes, they feel for their own.  


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