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ner I could; and fear, from my never having before attempted a thing of the kind, it will be full of errors, and being much fatigued from writing of it, from the original, in eight and forty hours, of the facts contained therein, I believe they are correct: I am ready to assert, in the most solemn manner, that I know them all to be true.
Copies of all the Papers alluded to in this detail are in the hands of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
Narrative of the Duke of Kent.
TO introduce the following relation, it is necessary for me to premise that, on entering the Prince of Wales's bedroom, where our interview took place, my Brother, after dismissing his attendants, 'said to me, that some circumstances had come to his knowledge, with respect to a transaction with the Princess of Wales, in which he found that I had been a party concerned; that if he had not placed the most entire reliance on my attachment to him, and, he was pleased to add, on the well-known uprightness of my character and principles, he should certainly have felt himself in no small degree offended, at having learnt the facts alluded to from others, and not, in the first instance, from me, which he conceived himself every way entitled to expect but more especially from that footing of confidence on which he had ever treated me through life; but, that being fully satisfied my explanation of the matter would prove, that he was not wrong in the opinion he had formed of the honourable motives that had actuated me in observing a silence with regard to him upon the subject; he then was anxiously waiting for me to proceed with a narrative, his wish to hear which, he was sure he had only to express, to ensure my immediate acquiescence with it. The Prince then gave me his hand, assuring me he did not feel the smallest degree of displeasure towards me, and proceeded to introduce the subject upon which he required information; when, feeling it a duty I owed him, to withhold from his knowledge no part of the circumstances connected with it that I could bring back to my recollection, I related the facts to him, as nearly as I can remember in the following words:
"About a twelvemonth since, or thereabouts, (for I "cannot speak positively to the exact date,) I received a "note from the Princess of Wales, by which she requested
"me to come over to Blackheath, in order to assist her "in arranging a disagreeable matter between her, Sir Sidney Smith, Sir John and Lady Douglas, the particulars "of which she would relate to me when I should call. I, "in consequence waited upon her, agreeable to her de"sire, a day or two after, when she commenced the con"versation by telling me, that she supposed I knew she "had, at one time lived with Lady Douglas on a footing "of intimacy, but that she had had reason afterwards to
repent having made her acquaintance, and was there"fore rejoiced when she left Blackheath for Plymouth, as "she conceived that circumstance would break off all "further communication between her and that Lady; "that, however, contrary to her expectation, upon the "return of Sir John and her from Plymouth to London,
Lady Douglas had called and left her name twice or "three times, notwithstanding she must have seen that "admission was refused her; that having been confirmed " in the opinion she had before had occasion to form of "her Ladyship, by an anonymous letter she had receiv❝ed, in which she was very strongly cautioned against
renewing her acquaintance with her, both as being un"worthy of her confidence, from the liberties she had "allowed herself to take with the Princess's name, and "the lightness of her character, she had felt herself ob
liged, as Lady Douglas would not take the hint that "her visits were not wished for, to order Miss Vernon "to write her a note, specifically telling her, that they "would in future be dispensed with; that the conse
quence of this had been an application through one of "her ladies, in the joint names of Sir Sidney Smith, Sir "John and Lady Douglas, for an audience, to require
an explanation of this, which they considered as an af"front; and that being determined not to grant it, or to "suffer any unpleasant discussion upon the subject, she "entreated me to take whatever steps I might judge best
"to put an end to the matter, and rid her of all further "trouble about it. I stated, in reply, that I had no "knowledge of either Sir John or Lady Douglas, and "therefore could not, in the first instance, address myself "to them; but that I had some acquaintance with Sir Sid66 ney Smith, and if the Princess was not averse to that "channel, I would try what I could in that way effect."This being assented to by the Princess, I took my "leave, and immediately on my return home, wrote a "note to Sir Sidney, requesting him to call upon me as soon as he conveniently could, as I had some business
to speak to him upon. Sir Sidney, in consequence, "called on me (I think) the next day, when I related to "him the conversation, as above stated, that I had had "with the Princess. After hearing all I had to say, he "observed, that the Princess, in stating to me, that her
prohibition to Lady Douglas to repeat her visits at "Blackheath, had led to the application for an audience "of her Royal Highness, had kept from me the real
cause why he, as well as Sir John and Lady Douglas ❝ had made it, as it originated in a most scandalous anonymous letter, of a nature calculated to set on Sir John "and him to cut each other's throats, which from the "hand-writing and stile, they were both fully convinced
was the production of the Princess herself. I naturally expressed my sentiments upon such conduct, on the "part of the Princess, in terms of the strongest animad"version; but, nevertheless, anxious to avoid the shame"ful eclat which the publication of such a fact to the "world must produce; the effect, which it coming to "the King's knowledge would probably have on his "health, from the delicate state of his nerves, and all the "additional misunderstandings between His Majesty and "the Prince, which, I foresaw would inevitably follow, were this fact, which would give the Prince so powerful ❝ a handle to express his feelings upon the countenance
"shewn by the King to the Princess, at a time when I "knew him to be severely wounded by His Majesty's vi"sits to Blackheath, on the one hand, and the reports he "had received of the Princess's conduct on the other, to "be brought to light, I felt it my bounden duty, as an "honest man, to urge all these arguments with Sir Sidney "Smith in the most forcible manner I was master of; "adding also, as a further object, worthy of the most se"rious consideration, the danger of any appearance of "ill-blood in the Family at such an eventful crisis, and
to press upon his mind the necessity of his using his "best endeavours with Sir John Douglas, notwithstand"ing all the provocation that had been given them, to "induce him to let the matter drop, and pursue it no "further. Sir Sidney observed to me, that Sir John Douglas was a man, whom, when once he had taken a "line, from a principle of honour, it was very difficult "to persuade to depart from it; however, as he thought, "that if any man could prevail upon him, he might flatter "himself with being the most likely to persuade him, "from the weight he had with him; he would imme"diately try how far he could gain upon him, by making "use of those arguments I had brought forward to induce him to drop the matter altogether. About four or five
days after this, Sir Sidney called upon me again, and in"formed me, that upon making use with Sir John of "those reasons, which I had authorized his stating to be "those, by which I was actuated in making the request, "that he would not press the business further, he had not "been able to resist their force; but that the whole ex"tent of promise he had been able to obtain of him, "amounted to no more, than that he would, under exist
ing circumstances remain quiet, if left unmolested; for "that he would not pledge himself not to bring the sub"ject forward hereafter, when the same motive might no "longer operate to keep him silent. This result I com