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pelled me to submit, as long as human forbearance could endure, to all the unfavourable inferences which were, through this delay, daily increasing in the public mind. What the strength and efficacy of these motives have been, your Majesty will do me the justice to feel, when you are pleased, graciously to consider, how long I have been contented to suffer those suspicions to exist against my innocence, which the bringing before the public of my accusa. tion and my defence to it, would so indisputably and immediately have dispelled.
The measure, however, of making these proceedings public, whatever mode I can adopt (considering especially the absolute impossibility of suffering any partial production of them, and the necessity that, if for any purpose any part of them should be produced, the whole must be brought before the public) remains surrounded with all the objections which I have enumerated; and nothing could ever have prevailed upon me, or can now even prevail upon mę to have recourse to it, but an imperious sense of indispensable duty to my future safety, to my present characier and honour, and to the feelings, the character, and the interests of my child. I had Aattered myself, when once this long proceeding should have terminated, in my reception into your Majesty's presence, that that circumstance alone would have so strongly implied my innocence of all that had been brought against ine, as to have been perfectly suffi. cient for my honour and my security; but accompanied, as it now must be, with the knowledge of the fact, that your Majesty has been brought to hesitate upon its propriety, and accompanied also with the very unjustifiable observations, as they appear to me, on wbich I shall presently proceed to remark; and which were made by your Majesty's servants at the time when they gave you their advice to receive me; I feel myself in a situation in which I deeply regret that I cannot rest in silence, without an immediate reception into your Majesty's presence; nor, indeed, with that reception, unless it be attended by other circumstances, which may mark my satisfactory acquittal of the charges which have been brought against me.
It sball at no time be said, with truth, that I shrunk back from these infamous charges; tbat I crouched before my enemies, and courted them, by my submission, into moderation ! No, I have ever boldly defied them. I have ever felt, and still feel, that, if they should think, either of pursuing these accusations, or of bringing forward any other which the wickeduess of individuals may devise, to affect my honour, (since my conscience tells me that they must be as base and groundless as those brought by Lady Douglas,) while the witnesses to the innocence of my conduct are all living, I should be able to disprove them all; and, whoever may be my accusers, to triumph over their wickedness and malice. But should these accusations be renewed; or any other be brought forward, in any future time, death may, I know not how soun, remove from my innocence its best security, and deprive me of the means of my justification, and my defence.
There are therefore other measures, which I trust your Majesty will think indispensable to be taken, for my honour, and for my security. Amongst these, I most humbly submit to your Majesty my most earnest entreaties that the proceedings, including not only my first answer, and my letter of the sth of December, but this letter also, may be directed by your Majesty to be so preserved and deposited, as that they may, all of them, securely remain permanent authentic documents and memorials, of this accusation and of the manner in which I met itz of my defence, as well as of the charge. That they may remain capable at any time, of being resorted to, if the malice which produced the charge originally, shall ever venture to renew it.,
Beyond this I am sure your Majesty will think it but proper and just, that I should be restored, in every respect, to the same situation, from whence the proceedings, under these false charges, bave removed me. That besides being graciously received again into the bosom of your Majesty's Royal Family, restored to my former respect and station amongst them, your Majesty will be graciously pleased, either to exert your influence with his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, that I may be restored to the use of my apartment in Carlton House, which was reserved for me, except while the apartments were undergoing d'epair, till the date of these proceedings; or 10 assign to me some apartment in one of your Royal Palaces. Some apartment in or near London is indispensably necessary for my con.
veuient attendance at the Drawing-room. And if I am not restored to that at Carlton House, I trust your Majesty will graciously perceive how reasonable it is, that I should request that some apartment should be assigned to 'me, suited to my dignity and situation, which may mark my reception and acknowledgment, as one of your Majesty's family, and from which my attendance at the Drawing-room may be easy and convenient.
If these measures are taken, I should hope that they would prove satisfactory to the public mind, and that I may feel myself fully restored in public estimation to my former character. And should they prove so satisfactory, I shall indeed be delighted to think that no further step may, even now, appear to be necessary to my peace of mind, my security, and my honour. But your
Majesty will permit me to say, that if the next week, which will make more tban a month from the time of your Majesty's informing me that you would receive me, should pass without my being, received into your presence, and without having the assurance that these other requests of mine shall be complicd with; I shall be under the painful necesssity of considering them as refused. In which case, I shall feel myself compelled, huwever reluctantly, to give the whole of these proceedings to the world. Unless your Ma jesty can suggest other adequate means of securing my honour and my life, from the effect of the continuance or renewal of these proceedings, for the future, as well as the present. For I entreat your Majesty to believe, that it is only in the absence of all other adequate means, that I can have resort to that measure. That I consider it with deep regret ; that I regard it with serious apprehension, by no means so much on account of the effect it may have upon myself, as on account of the pain which it may give to your Majesty, your august family, and your loyal subjects.
As far as myself am concerned, I am aware of the observations to wliich this publication will expose me. But I am placed in a situation in which I have the choice only of two most unpleasant alteroatives. And I am perfectly confident that the imputations and the loss of character which must, under these circumstances, follow from my silence, are most injurious and unavoidable; that my silence under such circumstances, must lead inevitably to my utter iofamy and ruin. The publication, on the other hand, will expose to the world nothing, which is spoken to by, any witness (whose infamy and discredit is not unanswerably exposed and established) which can, in the slightest degree, affect my character, for honour, virtue and delicacy.
There may be circumstances disclosed, manifesting a degree of condescension and familiarity in my behaviour and conduct, which, in the opinions of many, may be considered as not sufficiently guarded, dignified, and reserved : circumstances, bowever, which my foreign education, and foreign babits, misled me to think, in the humble and retired situation in which it was my fate to livé, and where I had no relation, no' equal, no friend to advise me, were wholly free from offence. But when they liave been dragged forward from the scenes of private life, in a grave proceeding on a charge of High Treason and Adultery, they seem to derive a colour and character, from the nature of the charge which they are brought forward to support. And I cannot but believe that they have been used for no other purpose than to afford a cover, to screen from view the injustice of that charge; that they have been taken advantage of, to let down my accusers more gently, and to deprive me of that full 'acquittal on the Report of the four Lords, which my innocence of all offence most justly entitled me to receive.
Whatever opinion, however, may be formed upon any part of my conduct, it must in justice be formed, with reference to the situation in which I was placed ; if I am judged of as Princess of Wales, with reference to the high rank of that station, I must be judged of as Princess of Wales banished from the Prince, unprotected by the support and the countenance which belong to that station; and if I am judged of in my private character, as a married woman, I must be judged of as a wife banished from her husband, and living in a widowed seclusion from him, and retirement from the world. This last consideration leads me to recur to an expression in Nrs. Lisle's examination, which describes my conduct, in the frequency and the manner of
my receiving the visits of Captain Mavby, though always in the presence of my ladies, as unbecoming a married woman. Upon the extreme injustice of setting up the opinion of one woman, as it were, in judgment upon the conduct of another; as well as of estimating the conduct of a person in my unfortunate situation, by reference to that, which might in general be expected from a married womau, living happily with her busband, I have before gecerally remarked:—but beyond these general remarks in forming any estimate of my conduct, your, Majesty will never forget the very peculiar circumstances and misfortunes of my situation. Your Majesty will remember that I had not been much above a year in this country, when I received the following letter from his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales :
Windsor Castle, April 30, 1796. “ MADAM, -As Lord Cholmondeley informs me that you wish I would define, in writing, * the terms upon wbich we are to live, I shall endeavour to explain myself upon that head, with as much clearness and with as much propriety as the nature of the subject will admit. Our inclisations are not in our power, nor should either of us be held answerable to the other, because nature has not made us suitable to each other. Tranquil and corfortable society is, however, in our power ; let our intercourse, therefore, be restricted to that, aud I will distinctly subscribe to the condition t which you required, through Lady Cholmondeley, that even in the event of any accident happening to my daughter, wbich I trust Providence in his mercy will avert, I shall not infringe the terms of the restriction by proposing at any period, a connection of a more particular nature. I shall now finally close this disagreeable correspondence, trusting that, as we have completely explained'our. selves to each other, the rest of our lives will be passed in uninterrupted tranquillity. “ I am, Madam, with great truth, very sincerely yours,
“ GEORGE P." And that to this letter I sent the following answer :
“ L'aveu de votre conversation avec Lord Cholmondeley, ne m'étonne, ni ne m'offense. C'étoit me confirmer, ce que vous m'avez tacitement insinué depuis une année. Mais il y auroit après cela, un manque de délicatesse ou, pour mieux dire, une bassesse indigne de me plaindre des conditions, que vous vous imposez à vous-même.
“ Je ne vous aurois point fait de réponse, si votre lettre n'étoit conçue de manière à faire douter, si cet arrangement vient de vous, ou de moi ; et vous savez que vous en avez seul l'honneur. La lettre que vous m'announcez comme la dernière, m'oblige de communiquer au Roi, comme à mon Souverain, et à mon Père, votre aveu et ma réponse. Vous trouve. rez ci-incluse la copie de celle que j'écris au Roi. Je vous en préviens pour ne pas m'attie rer de votre part la moindre reproche de duplicité. Comme je n'ai dans ce moment, d'autre protecteur que Sa Majesté, je m'en rapporte uniquement à lui. Et si ma conduite mérite son approbation, je serai, du moins en partie, consolée.
“ Du reste, je conserve toute la reconnoissance possible de ce que je me trouve par votre moyen, comme Princesse de Galles, dans une situation à pouvoir me livrer sans contrainte, a une vertu chère à mou cæur, je veux dire la bienfaisance. Ce sera pour moi un devoir d'agir de plus par un autre motif, savoir celui de donner l'exemple de la patience, et de la résignation
* The substance of this letter had been previously conveyed in a message through Lord Chol. mondeley to her Royal Highness But it was thought by her Royal Highness to be infinitely too important to rest merely upon a verbal communication, and therefore she desired thras his Royal Highness's pleasure upon it should be communicated to her in writing.
+ Upon the receipt of the message alluded to, in the foregoing note, her Royal Highness; though she had nothing to do but to submit to the arrangement which his Royal Highness might determine upon, desired it might be understood, that she should insist that any such arrangement if once made, shonld be considered as final. And that his Royal Highness should not retain the right, from time to time, at bis pleasure, or under any circumstances, to alter it.
dans toutes sortes d'épreuves. Rendez-moi la justice de me croire, que je ne cesserai jamais de faire des veux pour votre bonheur, et d'ètre votre bien dévouée.* « Ce 6 de Mai, 1796.
The date of his Royal Highness's letter is the 301b of April, 1796. The date of our marriage, your Majesty will recollect, is the 816 day of April, in the year 1795, and that of the birth of our only child the 7th of January, 1796.
On the letter of his Royal Highness I offer no comment. I only entreat your Majesty not to understand me to introduce it, as affording any supposed justification or excuse for the least departure from the striciest line of virtue, or the slightest deviation from the most refined delicacy. The crime which has been insinuated against me would be equally criminal and detestable; the indelicacy imputed to me would be equally odious and abo. minable, whaiever renunciativo of coujugal authority and affection, the above letter of his Royal Highness might in any construction of it be supposed to have conveyed. Such crimes and faults derive not their guilt from the consideration of the coujugal virtues of the indi. vidual who may be the most injured by them, however much such virtues may aggravate their enormily. No such letter, therefore, in any construction of it, no renunciation of conjugal affection or duties, could ever palliate them. But whether conduct free from all crime, free from all indelicay (which I maintain to be the character of the conduct to which Mrs. Lisle’s observations apply), yet possibly not so measured, as a cautious wife, careful to avoid. the slightest appearance of not preferring her husband to all the world, might be studious to observe : whether conduct of such description, and possibly, in such sense, not becoming a marr:ed woman, could be justly deemed, in my situation, au offence in me, I must leave to your Majesty to determine.
In making that determination, however, it will not escape your Majesty to consider, that the conduct which does or does not become a married woman materially depends upon wbat is known by her to be agreeable to her husband. His pleasure and happiness ought unques:ionably to be her law; and his approbation the most favourite object of her pursuit. Different characters of men require different mudos .of conduct in their wives ; but when a wife can no longer be capable of perceiving, from time to time, what is agreeable or offensive to her husband, when her conduct can no longer contribute to his bappiness, no longer bope to be rewarded by his approbation, surely to examine that conduct by the standard of what ought, in general, to be the conduct of a married woman, is altogetber unreasonable and unjust.
What then is my case ? Your Majesty will do me the justice to remark, tbat, in the above letter of the Prince of Wales, there is not the most distants urmise, that crime, that vice,
The avowal of your conversation with Lord Cholmondeley, neither surprises, nor offends me. It merely confirmed what you have tacitly insinuated for this twelvemonth. But after this, it would be want of delicacy, or rather an unworthy meanness in me, were I to complain of those conditions which you impose upon yourself. I should have returned no answer, to your letter, if it had not been conceived in terms to make it doubtful, whether this arrangement proceeds from you or from me, and you are aware that the credit of it belongs to you alone. The letter which you announce to me as the last, obliges me to communicate to the King, as to my Sovereign and my Father, both your avowal and my answer. You will find enclosed the copy of my letter to the King. I apprize you of it; that I may not incur the slightest reproach of duplicity from you. As I have at this moment no protector but his Majesty, I refer myself solely to him upon this subject, and if my conduct meets bis approbation, I shall be in some degree at least consoled. I retain every sentiment of gratitude for the situation in which I find myself, as Princess of Wales, enabled by your means to indulge in the free exercise of a virtue dear to my heart, I mean charity It will be my duty likewise to act upon another motive, that of giving an example of patience and resignation under every trial.--Do me the justice to believe that I shall never cease to pray for your happiness, and to be your much devoted 6th of May, 1796.
that indelicacy of any description, gave occasion to bis determination ; and all the tales of infamy and discredit, which the inventive malice of my enemies has brought forward on these charges, have their dale, years and years after the period to which I am now alluding. What then, let me repeat the question, is my case ? After the receipt of the above letter, and in about two years from my arrival in this country, I had the misfortune entirely to lose the support, the countenance, the protection of my husband I was banished, as it were, into a sort of humble retirement, at a distance from him, and almost estranged from the whole of the Royal Family. I had no means of having recourse, either for society or advice, to those from whom my inexperience could have best received the advantages of the one, and with whom I could, most becomingly, have enjoyed the comforts of the olber; and if in this retired, unassisted, unprotected state, without the check of a husband's authority, without the benefit of his advice, without the comfort and support of the society of his family, a stranger to the habits and fashions of this country, I should, in any instance, under the influence of foreign babits, and foreign education, have observed a conduct, in any degree deviating from the reserve and severity of British mauners, and partaking of a condescension and familiarity which that reserve and severity would, perhaps, deem beneath the digoity of my exalted rank, I feel confident (since such deviation will be seen to have been ever consistent with perfect innocence), that not only your Majesty's candour and indulgence, but the candour and indulgence, which, notwithstanding the reserve and severity of British manners, always belong to the British public, will never visit it with severity or censure.
It remains for me now to make some remarks upon the further contents of the paper, which was transmitted to me by the Lord Chancellor, on the 28th ult. And I cannot, in passing, omit to remark, that that paper has neither title, date, signature, nor attestation ; and unless the Lord Chancellor had accompanied it with a note, stating, that it was copied in bis own hand from the original, which his Lordship had received fronı your Majesty, I should have been at a loss to have perceived any single mark of authenticity belonging to it; and as it is, I am wholly unable to discover what is the true character which does belong to it. It contains, indeed, the advice which your Majesty's servants have offered to your Majesty, and the message which, according to that advice, your Majesty directed to be delivered to me.
Considering it, therefore, wholly as their act, your Majesty will excuse and pardon me, if, deeply injured as I feel myself to have been by them, I express myself with a feedom upon their conduct. I may speak, perhaps, with warmth, because I am provoked by a sense of gross injustice; I shall speak certainly with firmness and with courage, because I am emboldened by a sense of conscious innocence.
Your Majesty's confidential servants say, “ they agree in the opinions of the four Lords,” and they say this, “after the fullest consideration of my observations, and of the affidavits which were annexed to them.”. Some of these opinions, your Majesty will recollect, are, that “ William Cole, Fanny Lloyd, Robert Bidgood, and Mrs. Lisle, are witnesses who cannot," in the judgment of the four Lords, “ be suspected of any unfavourable bias;" and " whose veracity, in this respect, they had seen no ground to question ;” and “ that the circumstances to which they speak, particularly as relating to Captain Manby, must be credited until they are decidedly contradicted." Am I then to understand your Majesty's confidential servants to mean, that they agree with the four noble Lords in these opinions ? Am I to understand, that after baving read, with the fullest consideration, the observations which I have offered to your Majesty; after having seen William Cole there proved to have submitted himself, five times at least, to private, unauthorized, voluntary examination by Sir John Douglas's Soli. citor, for the express purpose of confirming the statement of Lady Douglas (of tbat Lady Douglas, whose statement and deposition they are convinced to be so malicious and false, that they propose to institute such prosecution against ber as your Majesty's Law Officers may advise, upon a reference, uow at lengih, after six months from the detection of that malice and falsehood, intended to be made)--after having seen this William Cole, submitting to such