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but as I trust I am not yet so far degraded as to have my character decided by the opinion of Mr. Cole, I shall not comment upon that observation. He then proceeds to describe the scene which he observed on the day when he brought in the sandwiches, which I trust your Majesty did not fail to notice, I had myself ordered to be brought in. For there is an obvious insinuation that Sir Sidney must have come in through the Park, and that there was great impropriety in his being alone with me. And at least the witness's own story proves, whatever impropriety there might be, in this circumstance, that I was not conscious of it, nor meant to take advantage of his clandestine entry, from the Park, to conceal the fact from my servant's observation. For if I had had such consciousness, or such meaning, I never could have ordered sandwiches to have been brought in, or any other act to have been done, which must have brought myself under the notice of my servants, while I continued in a situation, which I thought improper, and wished to conceal. Any of the circumstances of this visit, to which this part of the deposition refers, my memory does not enable me in the least degree to particularize and recal. Mr. Cole may have seen me sitting on the same sofa with Sir Sidney Smith. Nay, I have no doubt he must have seen me, over and over again, not only with Sir Sidney Smith, but with other gentlemen, sitting upon the same sofa; and Itrust your Majesty will feel it the hardest thing imaginable, that I should be called upon to ac
count what corner of a sofa I sat upon four years ago, and how close Sir Sidney Smith was sitting to me. I can only solemnly aver to your Majesty, that my conscience supplies me with the fullest means of confidently assuring you, that I never permitted Sir Sidney Smith to sit on any sofa with me in any manner, which, in my own judgment, was in the slightest degree offensive to the strictest propriety and decorum. In the judgment of many persons perhaps, a Princess of Wales should at no time forget the elevation of her rank, or descend in any degree to the familiarities and intimacies of private life. Under any circumstances, this would be a hard condition to be annexed to her situation. Under the circumstances, in which it has been my misfortune to have lost the necessary support to the dignity and station of a Princess of Wales, to have assumed and maintained an unbending dignity would have been impossible, and if possible, could hardly have been expected from me.
After these observations, Sire, I must now request your Majesty's attention to those written declarations which are mentioned in the Report, and which I shall never be able sufficiently to thank your Majesty for having condescended, in compli ance with my earnest request, to order to be transmitted to me. From observations upon those declarations themselves, as well as upon comparing them with the depositions made before the Commissioners, your Majesty will see the strongest reason for discrediting the testimony of W. Cole,
as well as others of these witnesses whose credit stands in the opinion of the Commissioners so unimpeachable. They supply important observations, even with respect to that part of Mr. Cole's evidence which I am now considering, though in no degree equal in importance to those which I shall afterwards have occasion to notice.
Your Majesty will please to observe, that there are no less than four different examinations, or declarations of Mr. Cole. They are dated on the 11th, 14th, and 30th of January, and on 23rd of February. In these four different declarations he twice mentions the circumstance of finding Sir Sidney Smith and myself on the sofa, and he mentions it not only in a different manner, at each of those times, but at both of them in a manner, which materially differs from his deposition before the Commissioners. In his declaration on the 11th of January* he says, that he found us in so familiar a posture, as to alarm him very much, which he expressed by a start back and a look at the gentleman.
In that dated on 22nd of February,† however (being asked, I suppose, as to that which he had dared to assert, of the familiar posture which had alarmed him so much,) he says," there was nothing particular in our dress, position of legs, or arms, that was extraordinary; he thought it improper that a single gentleman should be sitting quite close to a married lady on the sofa, and from that situa
tion, and former observations, he thought the thing improper. In this second account, therefore, your Majesty perceives he was obliged to bring in his former observations to help out the statement, in order to account for his having been so shocked with what he saw, as to express his alarm by starting back." But, unfortunately, he accounts for it, as it seems to me at least, by the very circumstance which would have induced him to have been less surprised, and consequently less startled by what he saw; for had his former observations been such as he insinuates, he would have been prepared the more to expect, and the less to be surprised at, what he pretends to have seen.
But your Majesty will observe, that in his depo-1 sition before the Commissioners,* (recollecting, perhaps, how awkwardly he had accounted for his starting in his former declaration,) he drops his starting altogether. Instead of looking at the gentleman only, he looked at us both; that I caught bis eye, and saw that he noticed the manner in which we were sitting; and instead of his own starting, or any description of the manner in which he exhibited his own feelings, we are represented as both appearing a little confused. Our confusion is a circumstance, which, during his four declarations, which he made before the appointment of the four Commissioners, it never once occurred to him to recollect. And now he does recollect it, we appeared he says, "a little confused."-A little con
fused!-The Princess of Wales detected in a situa* Appendix (A.) p. 11.、
tion such as to shock and alarm her servant, and so detected as to be sensible of her detection, and so conscious of the impropriety of the situation as to exhibit symptoms of confusion; would not her confusion have been extreme? would it have been so little as to have slipped the memory of the witness who observed it, during his first four declarations, and at last to be recalled to his recollection in such a manner as to be represented in the faint and feeble way, in which he here describes it?
What weight your Majesty will ascribe to these differences in the accounts given by this witness, I cannot pretend to say. But I am ready to confess, that, probably, if there was nothing stronger of the same kind to be observed, in other parts of his testimony, the inference which would be drawn from them, would depend very much upon the opinion previously entertained of the witness. To me, who know many parts of his testimony to be absolutely false, and all the colouring given to it to be wholly from his own wicked and malicious invention, it appears plain, that these differences in his representations, are the unsteady, awkward, shuffles and prevarications of falsehood.-To those, if there are any such, who from preconceived prejudices in his favour, or from any other circumstances, think that his veracity is free from all suspicion, satisfactory means of reconciling them may possibly occur. But before I have left Mr. Cole's examinations, your Majesty will find that they will have much more to account for, and much more o reconcile.