The Age of George III

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The Letters of Junius

Letter VI: To Junius: 27 February 1769.

[23] SIR, 

I HAVE a very short answer for Junius's important question. I do not either take an oath, or declare upon my honour, that I have no place of profit, civil or military, when I receive the half pay as an Irish colonel. My most gracious Sovereign gives it me as a pension: he was pleased to think I deserved it. The annuity of £200 Irish, and the equivalent for the half pay, together, produce no more than £350 per annum, clear of fees and perquisites of office. I receive £167 from my government at Yarmouth. Total £547 per annum. My conscience is much at ease in these particulars; my friends need not blush for me.

Junius makes much and frequent use of interrogations: they are arms that may be easily turned against himself. I could, by malicious interrogation, disturb the peace of [24] the most virtuous man in the kingdom. I could take the decalogue, and say to one man, Did you never steal? To the next, Did you never commit murder? And to Junius himself, who is putting my life and conduct to the rack, "Did you never bear false witness against thy neighbour?" Junius must easily see, that, unless he affirms to the contrary, in his real name, some people who may be as ignorant of him as I am, will be apt to suspect him of having deviated a little from the truth: therefore let Junius ask no more questions. You bite against a file: Cease, viper!

W. D.

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