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material parts of her evidence respect her seeing him at Blackheath the Christmas before she had seen him at East Cliff. She says, it was the Christmas after Mr. Austin's child came, consequently the Christmas 1802-3. He used to come to dine there; she says he always went away in her presence; and she had no reason to think he staid after the ladies retired. He lodged on the Heath at that time; his ship was fitting up at Deptford; he came to dinner three or four times a week, or more. She supposes he might be alone with the Princess, but that she was in the habit of seeing gentlemen and tradesmen without her being present. She (Mrs. Lisle) has seen him at luncheon and dinner both. The boys (two boys) came with him two or three times, but not to dinner. Captain Manby always sat next the Princess at dinner. The constant conpany were Mrs. and Miss Fitzgerald, and herself; all retired with the Princess, and sat in the same room. Captain Manby generally retired about eleven, and sat with us all till then. Captain Manby and the Princess used, when we were together, to be speaking together separately, conversing separately, but not in a room alone. He was a person with whom the Princess appeared to have greater pleasure in talking than with her ladies. Her Royal Highness behaved to him only as any woman would who likes flirting. She (Mrs. Lisle) would not have thought any married woman would have behaved properly, who behaved as her Royal Highness did to Captain Manby. She can't

say whether the Princess was attached to Captain Manby, only that it was a flirting conduct. She never saw any gallantries, as kissing her hand, or the like.

I have cautiously stated the whole of Mrs. Lisle’s evidence upon this part of the ease ; and I am sure your Majesty, in reading it, will not fail to keep the facts, which Mrs. Lisle speaks to, separate from the opiniou or judgment which she forms upon them. I mean not to speak disrespectfully or slightingly of Mrs. Lisle's opinion, or express myself in any degree indifferent to it; but whatever there was which she observed in my conduct, that did not berome a married woman, that “ was only like a woman who liked flirting,” and “Only a flirting conduct.” I am convinced your Majesty must be satisfied that it must have been far distant from affording any evidence of crime, of vice, or of indecency, as it passed openly in the company of my ladies, of whom Mrs. Lisle herself was one.

The facts she states are, that Captain Manby came very frequently to my house; that he dined there three or four times a week in the latter end of the year 1802; that he sat next to me at dinner; and that my conversation after dinuer, in the evening, used to be with Captaiu Manby, separate from my ladies. These are the facts : and is it upon them that my character, I will not say, is to be taken away, but is to be affected ?

Captain Manby had, in the autumn of the same year, been introduced to me by Lady Towvshend, when I was upon a visit to her at Rainham. I think he came there only the day before I left it. He was a naval officer, as I understood, and as I still believe, of great merit. What little expence, in the way of charity, I am able to afford, I am best pleased to dedicate to the education of the children of poor, but honest persous; and I most generally bring them up to the service of the Navy. I had, at that time, two boys at school, whom I thought of an age fit to be put to sea. I desired Lady Townshend to prevail upon Captain Manby to take them; he consented to it, and of course I was obliged to him.

About this time, or shortly afterwards, he was appointed to the Africaine, a ship which was fitting up at Deptford. To be near his ship, as I understood and believe, he took lodgings at Blackheath ; and as to the mere fact of his being so frequently at my house, his intimacy and friendship with Lord, and Lady Townshend, which of itself was assurance to me of his respectability and character, my pleasure in shewing my respect to them, by notice and attention to a friend. of theirs, bis undertaking the care of my charity boys, and his accidental residence at Blackheath, will, I should trust, not unreasonably account for it. I have a similar account likewise to give of payiug for the linen furniture with which his cabin was furnished. Wishing to make him some return for his trouble with the boys, I desired that I might choose the pattern of his furniture. I pot only chose it, but had it sent to him, and paid the bill. Finding, however, that it did not come to more than about twenty pounds, I thought it a shabby present, and therefore added some trifling present of plate. So I have frequently done, and I hope, without offence, may be permitted to do again to any Captain on whom I impose such trouble. Sir Samuel Hood has now two of my charity boys with him; and I have presented him with a silver epergne. I should be ashamed to notice such things, but your Majesty perceives that they are made the subject of .io. quiry from Mrs. Fitzgerald and Mr. Stikeman, and I was desirous that they should not a ppear to be particular in the case of Captain Manby.

But to return to Mrs. Lisle's examination, Mrs. Lisle says that Captain Manby, when he dined with me, sat next to me at dinner. Before any inference is drawn from that fact, I am sure your Majesty will observe that, in the next line of Mrs. Lisle's examination, she says, “ that the constant company was Mrs. and Miss Fitzgerald, and herself, Mrs. Lisle." The only gentleman, the only person of the whole party who was not of my own family, was Captain Manby; and his sitting next to me, under such circumstances, I should 'apprehend could not possibly afford any inference of any kind. In the evening we were never alone : the whole company sat together; nay even as to his being with me alone of a morning, Mrs. Lisle seems to know nothiug of the fact, but from a conjecture founded upon her knowledge of my known usual habit, with respect to seeing gentlemen 'who might call upon me; and the very foundation of her conjecture demonstrates that this circumstance can be vo evidence of any thing par. ticular with regard to Captain Manby.

As to my conversing with Captain Manby separately, I do not understand Mrs. Lisle as meaning to speak to the state of the conversation uninterruptedly, during the whole of any of the several evenings when Captain Manby. was with me; if I did so understand her, I should certainly most confidently assert that she was not correct. That in the course of the evening, as the ladies were working, reading, or otherwise amusing themselves, the conversation was sometimes more and sometimes less general, and that they sometimes took more, sometimess less part in it; that, frequently it was between Captain Manby and myself alone; and that, when we were all together, we two might frequently be the only persons not otherwise engaged, and therefore be justly said to be speaking together separately; besides, Captain Manby has been round the world with Captain Vancouvre. I have looked over prints in books of voyages with him : he has explained them to me; the ladies may or may not have been looking over them at the same time; they may have been engaged with their own amusements. Here, again, we may be said to have been conversing separately, and consequently that Mrs. Lisle, in this sense, is perfectly justified in saying that “ I used to converse separately with Captain Manby," I have not the least difficulty in admitting. But have I not again just reason to complain that this expression of Mrs. Lisle's was not more sifted, but left in a manner calculated to raise an impression that this separate conversation was studie ously sought for, was constant, uniform, and uninterrupted, though it hy no means asserts any such thing? But whether I used always so to converse with him, or generally, or only sometimes, or for what proportion of the evening I used to be so engaged, is left unasked and unexplained. Haye 1 noť likewise just reason to complain, that though Mrs. Lisle states that Mrs. Fitzgerald and Miss Fitzgerald were always of the party, they are not both examined to these circumtances! But Miss Fitzgerald is not examined at all; and Mrs. Fitzgerald, though examined, and examined too with me spect to Captain Mapby, does not appear to have had a single question put to her with respect to any thing which passed concerning him at Montague-house. May I not therefore complain that the examination, leaving the generality of Mrs. Lisle's expression unexplained by herself, and the scenes to which it relates unexamined into, by calling the other persons who were present, is leaving it precisely in that state, which is . better calculated to raise a suspicion thau to ascertain the truth?

But I am persuaded that the unfavourable impression which is most likely to be made by Mrs. Lisle's examination, is not by her evidence to the fact, but by her opirion upon them. “ I appeared,” she says, “ to like the conversation of Captain Manby better than that of my ladies. I behaved to him only as a woman who likes flirting; my conduct was unbecoming a married woman; she cannot say whether I was attached to Captain Manby or not; "it was only a flirting conduct," Now, Sire, I must here again most seriously complain that the Commissioners should have called for, or received, and much more reported, in this manner, the opinion and judgment of Mrs. Lisle upon my conduct. Your Majesty's Warrant purports to authorise them to collect the evidence, and not the opinion of others; and to report it, with their own jadg| ment surely, and not Mrs. Lisle's. Mrs. Lisle's judgment was formed upon those facts which she stated to the Commissioners, or upon other facts. If upon those she stated, the Commissioners, and your Majesty, are as we'l able to form the judgment upou them as she was. If, upon other facts, the Commissioners should have heard what those other facts were, and upon them have formed and reported their judgment.

I am aware, indeed, that if I were to argue that the facts which Mrs. Lisle states, afford the explanation of what she means by “ only flirting conduct," and by "behavious unbecoming a married woman," namely, “that it consisted in having the same genticmau to dine with me three or four times a week; letting him sit vext me at diuner, when there were no other strangers in company; conversing with him separately, and appearing to prefer bis conversation to that of the ladies; it would be observed, probably, that this was not all, that there was always a certain indescribable something in manner, which gave the character to conduct, and must have entered mainly into such a judgment as Mrs. Lisle has here pronounced.

To a certain extent I should be obliged to agree to this; but if I am to have any prejudice from this observation; if it is to give a weight and authority to Mrs. Liste's judgment, let me have the advantage of it also. If it justifies the conclusion that Mrs. Lisle's censure upou my conduct is right, it requires also that equal credit should be. given to the qualification, the limit, and the restriction, which she herself puts upon that censure.

Mrs. Lisle seeing all the facts which slte' relates, and observing much of manner, which perhaps she could not describe, limits the expression “firting conduct" by calling it “only firting,” and (upon having the question asked her, no doubt, whether from the whole she could collect that I was attached to Captain Manby) says, she could not say whether I was attached to him, my conduct was not of a nature that proved any attachment to him, it was only a flirting conduct.” Unjust, therefore, as 1 think it, that any such question should have been put to Mrs. Lisle, or that her judyment should have been taken at all; yet what I fear from it, as pressing with peculiar hardship upon me, is, that though it is Mrs. Lisle's final and ultimate judgment upon the whole of my conduct, yet, when delivered to the Commissioners of your Majesty, it. becomes evidence, which connected with all the facts on which Mrs. Lisle had formed it, may lead to still further and more unfavourable conclusions, in the minds of those who are


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afterwards to judge upon it;--that her judgment will be the foundation of other judg. ments against me, much severer than her own; and that though she evidently limits her opivion, and by saying “ONLY flirting" impliedly negatives it as affording any indica"tion of any thing more improper, while she proceeds erpressly to negative it as affording

any proof of attachment; yet it may be thought, by others, to justify their considering it as a species of conduct, which sbewed an attachment to the man to whom it was addressed; which in a married woman was criminal and wrong.

What Mrs. Lisle exactly means by only flirting conduct—what degree of impropriety cf conduct she would describe by it, it is extremely difficult, with any precision, to - ascertain. How many women are there, most virtuous, most truly modest, incapable of any thing impure, vicious, or immoral, in deed or thought, who, from greater vivacity of spirits, from less natural reserve, from that want of caution, which the very consciousness of invocence betrays them into, conduct themselves in a manner, which a woman of a graver character, of more reserved disposition, but not with one particle of superior virtue, thinks too incautious, too unreserved, too familiar; and which, if forced upon ber oath to give her opinion upon it, she miglıt feel herself, as an honest womnan, bound to say in that opinion, was flirting?

But whatever sense Mrs. Lisle annexes to the word “flirting" it is evident, as I said before, that she cannot mean any thing criminal, vicious, or iudeceut, or any thing with the least shade of deeper impropriety than that which is necessarily expressed in the word “Airting:" She never would have added, as she does in both instances, that it was ONLY flirting; if she had thought it of a quality to be recorded in a formal Report, amongst circumstauces which must occasion the most unfavourable interpretations, and which deserved the most serious consideration of your Majesty. To use it so, I am sure your Majesty must see, is to press it far beyond the meaning which she would assign to it herself.

And as I have admitted that there be may much indescribable in the manner of doing avy thing, so it must be admitted to me that there is much indescribable, and most material also, in the manner of saying any thing, and in the accent with which it is said: The whole contest serves much to explain it; and if it is in answer to a question, the words of that question, the manner and the accent in which it is asked, are also wost material to understand the precise meaning, which the expressions are intended to couvey; and I must lament, therefore, extremely, if my character is to be affected by the opinion of any wituess, that the questions by which that opiuion was drawn from, ber, were not given too, as well as her answers, and if this inquiry had been prosecuted before your Majesty's Privy Council, the more solemn and usual course of proceediog there, would, as I am informed, have furnished, or enabled me to furnish your Majesty with the questions as well as the answers.

A1rs. Lisle, it should also be observed, was at the time of her examination, under the severe oppression of having, but a few days before, heard of the death of her daughter;-a daughter, who had been happily married, and who had lived happily with her hųsband, in mutual attachment till her death. The very circumstance of her then șituar tion wouid naturally give a graver and severer cast to her opinions. When the question was proposed to her, as a general question (and I presume it must have been so put to her), whether my conduct was such as would become a married woman, possibly der own daughter's conduct, and what she would have expected of her, might present itself to her mind. And I confidently submit it to your Majesty's better judgment, that such a general question ought not, in a fair and candid considerativo.of my case, to have been put to Mrs. Lisle, or any other woman. For, as to my couduct being, or not being, becoming a married woman; the same conduct, or any thing like it, which may occur iu my case, could not occur in the case of a married woman, who was not living in my unfortunate situation; or, if it did occur, it must occur under circumstances which must give it, and most deservedly, a very different character. A married woman, living well and happily with her husband, could not be frequently having one gentleman at her table, with no other company but ladies of her family ;-she could not be spending her evenings frequently in the same society, and separately conversing with that gentleman, unless either with the privity and consent of her husband, or by taking advantage, with some management, of his ignorance and his absence ;-if it was with his privity and consent, that very circumstance alone would unquestionably alter the character of such a conduct ;-if with management she avoided bis knowledge, that very management would betray a bad motive. The cases therefore are not parallel ;-the illustration is not just ;—and the question, which called for such an answer from Mrs. Lisle, ought not, in candour and fairness, to have been put.

I intreat your Majesty, however, not to misunderstand me;-) should be ashamed indeed to be suspected of pleading any peculiar or unfortunate circumstance, in my situation, as an excuse for any criminal or indecent act. With respect to such acts, most unquestionably such circumstance can make no difference ;-can afford no excuse. They must bear tlieir own character of disgrace and infamy, under all circumstances. But there are acts, which are unbecoming a married woman, which ought to be avoided by her, from an apprehension least they should render her husband uneasy, not because they must give him any reason to distrust her chastity, her virtue, or her morals, but because they might wound his feelings, by indicating a preference to the society of another man, over his, in a case where she had the option of both. But surely, as to such acts, they must nécessarily bear a very different character, and receive a very different construction, in a case where, unhappily, there can be no such apprehension, and where there is no such option. I must, therefore, be excused før dwelling so much upon this part of the case; and I am sure your Majesty will feel me warranted in saying, what I say with a confidence, exactly proportioned to the respectability of Mrs. Lisle's character, that whatever she meant, by any of these expressions, she could not, by possibility, have meant to describe conduct, which to her mind afforded evidence of crime, vice, or indecency. If she bad, her regard to her own character, her own delicacy, her own honourable and virtuous feelings, would in less than the two years, which have since elapsed, have found some excuse for separating herself from that intimate connection, which by her situation in my household, subsists between us. She would not have remained exposed to the repetition of so gross an offence, and insult, to a . modest, virtuous, and delicate woman, as that of being made, night by night, witness to scenes, openly acted in her presence, offensive to virtue and decorum. If your Majesty thinks I have dwelt too long, and tediously, on this part of the case,

1 entreat your Majesty to think what I must feel upon it. I feel it a great hardship, as I have frequently stated, that under the cover of a grave charge of High Treason, the properties, and decencies, of my private conduct and behaviour, have been made the subject, as I believe so unprecedently, of a formal investigation upon oaths. And, that in consequence of it, I may at this moment, be exposed to the danger of forfeiting your Majesty's good opinion, and being degraded and disgraced, in reputation through the country, because what Mrs. Lisle has said of my conduct,- that it was“ only that of a woman who liked flirting," has become recorded in the Report on this formal Inquiry, made into matters of grave crimes, and of essential importance to the state.

Let me conjure your Majesty, over and overagain, before you suffer this circumstance to prejudice me in your opinion, not only to weigh all the circumstances I have stated, but to look around the first ranks of female virtue, in this country, and see how many


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