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utterly untenable, against the observations I have made upon the credit and character of those witnesses, I shall ever most confidently maintain ; but that those observations leave their credit wholly unaffected, and did not deserve the least notice from your Majesty's servants, it is impossible that any honourable man can assert, or any fair, and unprejudiced, mind believe.
I now-proceed, Sire, to observe, very shortly, upon the advice further given to your Majesty as contained in the remaining part of the paper ; which has represented that, both in the examinations, and even in my answer there have appeared many circumstances of conduct which could not be regarded but with serious concern, and which have suggested the expression of a desire and expectation, that such conduct
may in future, be observed by me, as may fully justify these marks of paternal regard and affection, which your Majesty wishes to shew to all your Royal Family.
And here, Sire, your Majesty will graciously permit me to notice the hardship of the advice, which has suggested to your Majesty, to convey to me this reproof. I complain not so much for what it does, as for what it does not contain ; I mean the absence of all particular mention of what it is, that is the object of their blame. The circumstances of conduct, which appear in these examinations, and in my answer to which they allude as those which may be supposed to justify the advice, which has led to this reproof, since your Majesty's servants have not particularly
mentioned tliem, I cannot be certain that I know. But I will venture confidently to repeat the assertion, which I have already made, that there are no circumstances of conduct, spoken to by any witness, (whose infamy and discredit are not unanswerably exposed, and established,) nor any where apparent in my answer which have the remotest approach either to crime, or to indelicacy.
For my future conduct, Sire, impressed with every sense of gratitude for all former kindness, I shall be bound, unquestionably, by sentiment as well as duty, to study your Majesty's pleasure. Any advice which your Majesty may wish to give to me in respect of any particulars of my conduet, I shall be bound, and be anxious to obey as my law. But I must trust that your Majesty will point out to me the particulars, which may happen to displease you, and which you may wish to have altered. I shall be as happy, in thus feeling myself safe from blame under the benefit of your Majesty's advice, as I am now in finding myself secured from danger, under the protection of your justice.
Your Majesty will permit me to add one word more. Your Majesty has seen what detriment my
character has, for a time, sustained, by the false and malicious statement of Lady Douglas, and by the depositions of the witnesses who were examined in support of her statement. Your Majesty has seen how many enemies I have, and how little their malice has been restrained by any regard to truth in the pursuit of my ruin. Few, as it may be hoped, may be the instances of such determined, and unprovoked, malignity, yet, I cannot flatter myself, that the world does not produce other parsons, who may be swayed by similar motives to similar wickedness. Whether the statement, to be prepared by by the Prince of Wales, is to be confined to the old charges, or is intended to bring forward new circumstances, I cannot tell ; but if any fresh attempts of the same nature shall be made by my accusers, instructed as they will have been, by their miscarriage in this instance, I can hardly hope that they will not renew their charge, with an improved artifice, more skilfully directed, and with a malice inflamed rather than abated, by their previous disaj. pointment. I therefore can only appeal to your Ma jesty's justice, in which I confidently trust, tha whether these charges are to be renewed against m either on the old or on fresh evidence ; or whethe new accusations, as well as new witnesses, are to be brought forward, your Majesty, after the experi enče of these proceedings, will not suffer you: Royal mind to be prejudiced by ex parte, secre examinations, nor my character to be whispered away by insinuations, or suggestions, which I have no opportunity of meeting. If any charge, which the law will recognize, should be brought agains me in an open and a legal manner, I should hav no right to complain, nor any apprehension to mes it. But till I may have a full opportunity of i meeting it, I trust your Majesty will not suffer to excite even a suspicion to my prejudice. I mus claim the benefit of the presumption of innocence till I am proved to be guilty, for, without that presumption, against the effects of secret insinuation and ex parte examinations, the purest innocence can make no defence, and can have no security.
Surrounded, as it is now proved, that I have been, for years, by domestic spies, your Majesty must, I trust, feel convinced, that if I had been guilty, there could not have been wanting evidence to have proved my guilt.' And, that these spies have been obliged to have resort to their own invention for the support of the charge, is the strongest demonstration that the truth, undisguised, and correctly represented, could furnish them with no handle against me.
And when I consider the nature and malignity of that conspiracy, which, I feel confident I have completely detected and exposed, I cannot but think of that detection, with the liveliest gratitude, as the special blessing of Providence, who, by confounding the machinations of my enemies, has enabled me to find, in the very excess and extravagance of their malice, in the very weapons, which they fabricated and sharpened for my destruction, the sufficent guard to my innocence, and the effectual means of my justification and defence.
I trust therefore, Sire, that I may now close this long letter, in confidence that many days will not elapse before I shall receive from your Majesty, that assurance that my just requests may be so completely granted, as may render it possible for me (which nothing else can) to avoid the painful disclosure to the world of all the circumstances of that injustice, and of those unmerited sufferings, which these Proceedings, in the manner in
which they have been conducted, have brought upon me.
I remain, Sire,
Şubject and Servant,
(Signed) Montague-House, February 16, 1807.
As these observations apply not only to the official communication through the Lord Chancellor, of the 28th ult. ; but also to the private letter of your Majesty, of the 12th instant, I have thought it most respectful to your Majesty and your Majesty's servants, to send this letter in duplicate, one part through Colonel Taylor, and the other through the Lord Chancellor, to your Majesty. To the King
(Signed) C. P.
SIRE, When I last troubled your Majesty upon my unfortunate business, I had raised my mind to hope, that I should have the happiness of hearing from your Majesty, and receiving your gracious commands, to pay my duty in your Royal Presence, before the expiration of the last week. And when that hope was disappointed, (eagerly clinging to any idea, which offered me a prospect of being saved from the necessity of having recourse, for the vindication of my character, to the publication of the Proceedings upon the Inquiry into my Conduct), I thought it just possible, that the reason for my not having received your Majesty's commands to that effect, might have been occasioned by the