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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 Com. missioners. 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,t 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 iinproper that a single gentleman should be sitting quite close to a married lady on the sofa, and from that situation, 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
* See Appendix (B., p. 98. + See Appendix (B.) p. 102. ;
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 deposition before the Commissioners,* (recollecting, perhaps, how awkwardly he had accounted for his starting in his former declaration) he drops liis 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 cir-. cumstance, 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 confused !--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 he wholly from his own wicked and malicious invention, it appears plain,
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 circunsstances, think that his veracity is free froin all suspicion, satisfactory means of reconciling them inay 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.
Mr. Cole's examination before the Commissioners goes on thus:-"*A short time before this,
one night about twelve o'clock, I saw a man go “ into the house from the Park, wrapt up in a great coat.
I did not give any alarm, for the “ impression on my mind was, that it was not
a thief.” When I read this passage, Sire, I could hardly believe my eyes; when I found such a fact left in this dark state, without any further explanation, or without a trace in the examination, of any attempt to get it further explained. How he got this impression on his mind, that this was not a thief? Whom he believed it to be? What part of the house he saw himn enter? If the drawingroom, or any part which I usually occupy, who was there at the time? Whether I was there? Whethier alone, or with my Ladies ? or with other company? Whether he told any body of the circumstance at the time? or how long after ? Whom he told? Whether any inquiries were made in consequence. These, and a thousand other questions, with a view to have penetrated into the mystery of this strange story, and to have tried the credit of this witness, would, I should have thought, have occurred to any one; but certainly must have occurred to persons so experienced, and so able in the examination of facts, and the trying of the credit of witnesses, as the two learned Lords unquestionably are, whom your Majesty took care
Appendix (A.) No. 5..
to have introduced into this Commission. They never could have permitted these unexplained and unsifted hints and insinuations to have had the weight and effect of proof.-But, unfortunately for me, the duties, probably, of their respective situations prevented their attendance on the examination of this, and on the first examination of another most important witness, Mr. Robert Bidgood and surely your Majesty will permit me here, without offence, to complain, that it is not a little hard, that, when your Majesty had shewn your anxiety to have legal accuracy, and legal experience assist on this examination, the two most important witnesses, in whose examinations there is more inatter for unfavourable interpretation, than in all the rest put together, should have been examined without the benefit of this accuracy, and this experience. And I am the better justified in making this observation, if what has been suggested to me is correct; that, if it shall not be allowed that the power of administering an oath under this warrant or commission is questionable, yet it can hardly be doubted, that it is most questionable whether, according to the terms or meaning of the warrant or commission as it constitutes no quorum, Lord Spencer and Lord Grenville could administer an oath, or act in the absence of the other Lords; and if they could not, Mr. Cole's falsehood must be out of the reach of punishment.
Returning then from this digression, will your Majesty permit me to ask, whether I am to under