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Kent, on the 7th June, announced it to me: He announced to me, the Princess of Wales, in the first communication made to me, with respect to this proceeding, the near approach of two attornies (one of them, I since find, the solicitor employed by Sir John Douglas,) claiming to enter my dwelling with a warrant, to take away one half of my household, for immediate examination upon á charge against myself, Of the nature of that charge, I was then upinformed. It now appears, it was the charge of High Treason, committed in the infamous crime of adultery. His Royal Highness, I am sure, will do me the justice to represent to your Majesty, that I betrayed no fear, that I mapifested no symptoms of conscious guilt, that I sought no excuses to prepare, or to tutor my sertants for the examination which they were to undergo. The only request which I made to his Royal Highness was, that he would have the goodness to remain with me till my servants were gone; that he might bear witness, that I had no conversation with them before they went, In truth, Sire, my anxieties' under a knowledge that some serious mischief was planning against me, and while I was ignorant of its quality and extent, had been so great, that I could not but rejoice at an event, which seemed to promise me an early opportuny of ascertaining what the malice of my enemies intended against me.
It has not been, indeed, without impatience the most painful, that I have passed the interval, which
has since elapsed. When once it was not only known to me, but to the world (for it was known to the world) that Inquiry of the gravest nature had been instituted into my conduct, I looked to the conclusion, with all the eagerness that could belong to an absolute conviction, that my innocence, and my honour, to the disgrace and confusion of my accusers, would be established; and that the groundless malice, and injustice of the whole charge would be manifested to the world, as widely as the calumny had been circulated. I knew that the result of an ex parte inquiry, from its very nature, could not, unless it fully asserted my
entire innocence, be in any degree just.. And I had taught myself most firmly to believe, that it was utterly impossible, that any opinion, which could in the smallest degree work a prejudice to my honour and character, could ever be expressed in any termss by any persons, in a Report upon a solemn formal Inquiry, and more especially to your Majesty, without my having some notice, and some opportunity of being heard. And I was convinced, that, if the Proceeding allowed me, before an opinion was expressed, the, ordinary means, which accused persons have, of vindicating their honour and their innocence, my lionour and my innocence must, in any opinion, which could then be expressed, be fully vindicated, and effectually established. What then, Sire, must have been my astonishment, and my dismay, when I raw that notwithstanding the procipal accusation was found to be utterly false, yet some of the wit. nesses to those charges which were brought in support of the principal accusation, witnesses, whom, any person, interested to have protected my character, ' would easily have shewn, 'out of their own mouths, to be utterly unworthy of credit, and confederates in foul conspiracy with my false accusers, are reported to be “ free from “ all suspicion of unfavourable bias ;" their veracity, “ in the judgment of the Commissioners, “ not to be questioned;" and then infamous stories, and insinuations against me, to be “ such " as deserve the most serious consideration, and as “ must be credited till decisively contradicted.”
The Inquiry, after I thus had notice of it, continued for above* two months. I venture not to complain, as if it had been unnecessarily protracted. The important duties, and official avocations of the Noble Lords, appointed to carry it on, may naturally account for, and, excuse some delay: But however excusable it may have been, your Majesty will easily conceive the pain and anxiety, which this interval of suspence has occasioned; and your Majesty will not be surprised, if I further represent, that I have found a great aggravation of my painful sufferings, in the delay which occured in communicating the Report to
For though it is dated on the 14th July, * The time that the Inquiry was pending, after this notice of it, is here confounded with the time which elapsed before the Report was communicated to Her Royal Highness. The Inquiry itself only lasted to the 14th or 16th of July, which is but between fire and six weeks from the 7*h of June.
I did not receive it, notwithstanding your Majesty's gracious commands, till the 11th of August. It was due unquestionably to your Majesty, that the result of an Inquiry, commanded by your Majesty upon advice which had been offered, touching matters of the highest import, should be first, and immediately communicated to you. The respect and honour, due to the Prince of Wales, the interest which he must necessarily have taken in this Inquiry, conibined to make it indisputably fit, that the result should be forthwith also stated to His Royal Highness. I complain not therefore that it was too early communicated to any one: I complain only, and I complain most seriously, for I felt it most severely) of the delay in its communication to me.
Rumour had informed the world, that the Report had been early communicated to your Majesty and to His Royal Highness. I did not receive the benefit intended for me by your Majesty's gracious command, till a month after the Report was signed. But the same rumour had represented me, to my infinite prejudice, as in possession of the Report, during that month, and the malice of those who wished to stain my honour, has not failed to suggest all that malice could infer, from its remaining in that possession, so long unnoticed. May I be permitted to say, that, if the Report acquits me, my innocence entitled me to receive from those, to whom your Majesty's commands had been given, an immediate notification of the fact that it did acquit me?
That if it condemned me, the weight of such a sentence should not have been left to settle in any mind, much less upon your Majesty's, for a month before I could even begin to prepare ap answer, which, when begun, could not speedily be concluded; and that, if the Report could be represented as both acquitting and condemning me, the reasons which suggested the propriety of an early communication in each of the former cases, combined to make it
necessary in the latter.
And why all consideration of my feelings was thus cruelly neglected; why was I kept upon the rack during all this time, ignorant of the result of a charge, which affected my honour and my life; and why, especially in a case, where such grave matters were to continue to be “credited, to the prejudice of my honour," till they were
decidedly contradicted,” the means of knowing what it was, that I must, at least, endeavour to contradict, were withholden from me a single unnecessary hour, I know not, and I will not trust myself in the attempt to conjecture.
On the 11th of August, however, I at length received from the Lord Chancellor, a packet containing copies of the Warrant or Commission air thorizing the Inquiry; of the Report; and of the Examinations on which the Report was founded. And your Majesty will be graciously pleased to recollect, that on the 13th, I returned my grateful