TO HIS GRACE THE
DUKE OF BUCCLEUGH.
THOUGH I am conscious of a presumption, almost inexcuseable, yet I have dared to send the following sheets to the public, under the sanction of your Grace’s protection; which, I am justified in asserting, will impress the highest consequence on a work that claims, from its subject, a patronage so noble.
I DO not solicit the DUKE of BUCCLEUGH’S suffrage in favour of a REBEL, but to grant it to a HERO, who, from being a relative to your family—the rigour of his sufferings—severity of his fate, and lamentable termination of his unjustifiable pretensions, demands your countenance—to heal the wounds his character has suffered—to soften the calumniating stigma, which for more than a century has sullied a fame, which, but for his daring pretensions, had shone with the brightest lustre—and obliterate the odium of rebellion by a generous allowance for the faults of a mistaken and ambitious opinion, an ambition that was marked with condign punishment.
THAT he was imprudent, rash, and justly met his fate on the scaffold, is allowed; but his premature death will be emancipated from decided infamy, when he appears in the world under your indulgent auspices.
To ascribe every perfection to a Nobleman, whose delicacy would feel by such an ascription, would be to incur the censure of adulation, to which even the obscurity of my situation cannot tempt me—but when public spirit, untainted loyalty, with an independent freedom of action, are leading traits in the Duke of BUCCLEUGH’S general character, which all must perceive, and in viewing acknowledge; it would therefore be useless and insincere to labour for a forced eulogium, where so many excellences and virtues stand forth to attract the notice of a discerning public.
I have the honour to subscribe myself, with respect,
Most humble and
ANNA MARIA JOHNSON.
March 1, 1790.