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stand this fact, respecting the man in a great coat, to be one of those which inust necessarily give occasion to the most unfavourable interpretations ? which must be credited till decidedly contradicted ? and which if true, deserve the most serious consideration ? The unfavourable interpretations which this fact may occasion, doubtless are, that this man was either Sir Sidney Smith, or some other paramour, who was adınitted by me into my house in disguise at midnight, for the accomplishinent of my wicked and adulterous purposes. And is it possible that your Majesty, is it possible that any candid mind can believe this fact, with the unfavourable interpretations which it occasions, on the relation of a servant, who for all that appears, mentions it for the first time, four years after the event took place; and who gives himself, this picture of his honesty and fidelity to a master, whom he has served so long, that he, whose nerves are of so moral a frame, that he starts at seeing a single man sitting at mid-day, in an open drawingroom, on the same sofa, with a married woman, permitted this disguised midnight adulterer, to approach his master's bed, without taking any notice, without making any alarm, without offering any interruption. And why? because (as he expressly states) he did not believe him to be a thief; and because (as he plainly insinuates) he did believe him to be an adulterer.
But what makes the manner in which the Com
missioners suffered this fact to remain so unex. plained, the more extraordinary is this ; Mr. Cole liad in his original declaration of the* 11th of January, which was before the Commissioners, stated “ that one night, about twelve o'clock, he saw a person wrapped up in a great coat, go across the Park into the gate to the Green House, and he verily believes it was Sir Sidney Smith.” In his declaration then, (when he was not upon vath) he ventures to state, “that he verily believes it was Sir Sidney Smith.” When he is upon his oath, in his deposition before the Commissioners, all that he ventures to swear is, “ that he gave no alarm, because the impression upon his mind was, that it was not a thief.” And the difference is most important. “ The impression upon his mind was, that it was not a thief!!" I believe him, and the impression upon my mind too is, that he knew it was not a thief-That he knew wlio it was--and that he knew it was no other than my watchman. What incident it is that he alludes to, I cannot pretend to know. But this I know, that if it refers to any man with whose proceedings I have the least acquaintance or privity, it must have been my watchman; who, if he executes my orders, nightly, and often in the night, goes his rounds, both inside and outside of my house. And this circumstance, which I should think would rather afford, to most minds, an inference that I was not preparing the
Appendix (B) p. 98.
way of planning facilities for secret midnight assignations, has, in my conscience, I believe, (if there is one word of truth in any part of this story, and the whole of it is not pure invention). afforded the handle, and suggested the idea, to this honest, trusty man, this witness," who cannot be suspected of any unfavourable bias,” “ whose veracity in that respect the Commissioners saw no ground to question," and " who must be credited till he received decided contradiction," suggested, I say, the idea of the dark and vile insinuation contained in this part of his testimony.
Whether I am right or wrong, however, in this conjecture, this appears to be evident, that his examination is so left, that supposing an indictment for perjury or false, swearing, would lie against any witness, examined by the Commissioners, and supposing this examination had been taken before the whole four.--If Mr. Cole was indicted for perjury, in respect to this part of his deposition, the proof that he did see the watchman, would necessarily acquit him; would establish the truth of what he said, and rescue bim from the punishment of perjury, though it would at the same time prove the falsehood and injustice of the inference, and the insinuation, for the establishment of which alone the fact itself was sworn.
Mr. Cole chooses further to state, that he ascribes bis removal from Montague House to London, to the discovery he had made, and the notice he had taken of the improper situation of Sir Sid
ney Smith with me upon the sofa. To this I can oppose little more than my own assertions, as iny motives can only be known to myself.—But Mr. Cole was a very disagreeable servant to me; he was a man, who, as I always conceived, had been educated above his station. He talked French, and was a musician, playing well on the violin.-By these qualifications he had got admitted occasionally, into better company, and this probably led to that forward and obtrusive conduct, which I thought extremely offensive and impertinent in a servaut. I had long been extremely displeased with him; I had discovered, that when I went out he would coine into my drawing-room, and play on my harpsichord, or sit there reading my books ;and, in short, there was a forwardness which would have led to my absolutely discharging him a long time before, if I had not made a sort of rule to myself, to forbear, as long as possible, froin removing any servant who had been placed about me by his Royal Highness.—Before Mr. Cole lived with the Prince, he had lived with the Duke of Devonshire, and I had reason to believe that he carried to Devonshire House all the observations he could make at mine. For these various reasons, just before the Duke of Kent was about to go out of the kingdom, I requested his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, who had been good enough to take the trouble of arranging many particulars in my establishment, to make the arrangement with re-, spect to Mr. Cole; which was to leave him in town
to wait upon me only when I went to Carlton House, and not to come to Montague House except when specially required. This arrangement, it seems, offended him. It certainly deprived him of some perquisites which he had when living at Blackheath ; but upon the whole, as it left him so much more of his time at his own disposal, I should not have thought it had been much to his prejudice. It seems, however, that he did not like it; and I must leave this part of the case with this one observation more-That your Majesty, I trust, will hardly believe, that, if Mr. Cole had, by any accident, discovered any improper conduct of mine, towards Sir Sidney Smith, or any one else, the way which I should have taken to suppress his information, to close his mouth, would have been by immediately adopting an arrangement in my family, with regard to him, which was either prejudicial or disagreeable to him: or that the way to remove him from the opportunity and the temptation of betraying my secret, whether through levity or design, in the quarter where it would be most fatal to me that it should be known, was by making an arrangement which, while all his resentment and anger were fresh and warm about tiin, would place him frequently, nay, almost daily, at Carlton House; would place him precisely at that place, from whence, unquestionably, it must have been my interest to have kept him as far removed as possible.
There is little or nothing in the exanıinations of