« PoprzedniaDalej »
jesty it was no longer necessary should be continued. I perceive, therefore, what I always believed, that it was to them, and to them only, that I owed the protracted continuance of my sufferings, and of my disgrace; and that Your Majesty, considering the whole of this proceeding to have been instituted and conducted under the grave responsibility of Your Majesty's servants, had not thought proper to take any step, or express any opinion, upon any part of it, but such as was recommended by their advice. Influenced by these sentiments, and anxious to have the opportunity of conveying them, with the overflowings of a grateful heart, to Your Majesty, what were my sensations of surprise, mortification, and disappointment, on the receipt of your Majesty's letter of the 10th instant, Your Majesty may conceive though I am utterly unable to express.
That Letter announces to me, that his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, upon receiving the several documents which your Majesty directed your Cabinet to transmit to him, made a personal communication to your Majesty of his intention to put them into the hands of bis Lawyers, accompanied by a request, that Your Majesty would suspend any further steps in the business, until the Prince of Wales should be enabled to submit to your
Majesty the statement which he proposed to make; and it also announces to me that your Majesty therefore, considered it incumbent on you, to defer
naming a day to me, until the further result of the Prince of Wales's intention should have been made known to your Majesty.
This determination of your Majesty, on this request, made by His Royal Highness, I humbly entrust our Majesty will permit me to entreat your, in your most gracious justice, to re-consider. Your Majesty I am convinced, must have been surprised at the time, and prevailed upon by the imporkunity of the Prince of Wales, to think this determination necessary, or your Majesty's generosity and justice would never have adopted it. And if I can satisfy your Majesty of the unparrelleled injustice, and cruelty of this interposition of the Prince of Wales, ať such a time and under such cireuma stances, I feel the most perfect confidence that your Majesty will hasten to recall it.
I should basely be wanting to my own interest and feelings, if I did not plainly state my sense of that injustice and cruelty; and if I did not most Ioudly complain of it. Your Majesty will better perceive the just grounds of my complaint when I retrace the course of these proceedings from their commencement,
The four noble Lords, appointed by your Majesty to inquire into the charges brought against me, in their Report of the 14th of July last, after having stated that His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales had laid before him, the eharge which was made against me by Lady Douglas, and the declarations in support of it, procecd in the following manner
“ In the painful situation in which His Royal Highness was placed by these communications, “ we learnt that His Royal Highness had adopted “ the only course which could, in our judgment, 56 with propriety, be followed. When informa• tions such as these, had been thus confidently “ alledged, and particularly detailed, and had been “ įn some degree supported by collateral evidence, “ applying to other facts of the same nature,
(though going to a far less extent,) one line only “ could be pursued.”
“ Every sentiment of duty to your Majesty, and
of concern for the public welfare, required that “ these particulars should not be withheld from
your Majesty, to whom more particularly be “ longed the cognizance of a matter of State, so “ nearly touching the honour of your Majesty's
Royal Family, and, by possibility, affecting the “ succession of your Majesty's Crown.
“ Your Majesty had been pleased, on your part “ to view the subject in the same light. Consi
dering it as a matter which, on every account “ demanded the most immediate investigation,
your Majesty had thought fit to commit into our “ hands the duty of ascertaining, in the first in “stance what degree of credit was due to the in“ formation, and thereby enabling your Majesty u to decide what further conduct to adopt respect“ ing them."
* Report, p. 6 ante.
His Royal Highness then, pursuing, as the four Lords say, the only course, which could in their judgment, with propriety, be pursued, submitted the matter to your Majesty.--Your Majesty directed the Inquiry by the four noble Lords. The four Lords in their Report upon the case, justly acquitted me of all crime, and expressed (I will not wait now to say how unjustly) the credit which they gave, and the consequence they ascribed to other matters, which they did not, however, characterize as amounting to any crime.-To this Report I made my answer.-That answer, together with the whole proceedings, was referred by your Majesty, to the same four noble Lords, and others of your Majesty's confidential servants. They advised your Majesty, amongst much other matter, (which must be the subject of further observations) that there was no longer any reason why you should decline receiving me.
Your Majesty will necessarily conceive that I have always looked upon my banishment from your Royal Presence, as in fact, a punishment, and a severe one too. I thought it sufficiently hard, that I should have been suffering that punishment, during the time that this Inquiry has been pending, while I was yet only under accusation, and upon the principles of the just laws of your Majesty's Kingdom, entitled to be presented to be innocent, till I was proved to be guilty. But I find this does not appear to be enough in the opinion of the Prince of Wales. For now, when
after this long Inquiry, into matters which required immediate investigation, I have been acquitted of every thing which could call for my banishment from your Royal Presence. After your Majesty's confidential servants have thus expressly advised your Majesty that they see no reason why you should any longer decline to receive me into your presence : after your Majesty had graciously notified to me, your determination to receive me at an early day, His Royal Highness interposes the demand of a new delay ; desires your Majesty not to take any step ; desires you not to act upon the advice which your own confidential servants have given you that
you need no longer decline seeing me; not to execute your intention and assurance, that you will receive me at an early day; because he has laid the documents before his Lawyers, and intends to prepare a further statement. And the judgment of your Majesty's confidential servants, is as it were, appealed from by the Prince of Wales, (whom, from this time, at least, I must be permitted to consider as assuming the character of my accuser ;) the justice due to me is to be suspended, while the judgment of your Majesty's sworn servants, is to be submitted to the revision of my accuser's Counsel ; and I though acquitted in the opinion of your Majesty's confidential servants, of all that should induce your Majesty to decline seeing me, am tc have that punishment, which had been inflicted upon me, during the inquiry, continued after that acquittal, till a fresh