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not appear. It was, however, before the 3rd | The Princess instantly answered, that she
that the King is ready to receive her, she will
68. This intimation, which was dated 10th February, 1807, was enough to inflame any one, and particularly a spirited woman; and now she threatened to do that which she ought to have done at the first; namely, expose the whole affair to the public. The Prince had had all the documents in his hands for seven months; and now, when he found that the Frincess was about to be received at Court, he wanted further delay, and she was, though the charges against her were proved to be false, still to remain in a state of disgrace! In her answer, therefore, to this intimation, she declares that she will endure this treatment no longer; and she tells them that, if another 67. The Princess, conscious of her inno-week pass without her receiving information cence, and indignant at the "foul conspiracy" against her, would, if she had been left to herself, or had had only some female friend of plain sense, able to write English, have blown the conspirators into the air in a short time; but, unhappily for her, and un-lay, and all the suspicions against her, to happily for the nation also, the faction out of which this long banishment from Court must place got her into their hands; and, as we are have given rise, a mere reception by the King, now about to see, sacrificed her to their own or at the Court, will not be sufficient for the purposes of power and emolument. The war- clearing of her character; that now it will be rant was issued, the commission held, and the necessary that she be received into the bosom report made, without her being at all informed of the Royal Family, aud restored to her of the matter. It was an exparte affair alto- former respect and station amongst them; aud gether; the first intimation that she received that, besides this, it will be necessary that she of the matter was in the report (par. 66), be "restored to the use of her apartments in which was sent to her by the Lord Chancellor. Carlton House;" or, that she have assigned On the 17th of August, she wrote to the King to her “some apartment in one of the Royal a commentary on this report, and praying for Palaces" in or near London. She then states, documents and further information. At last, distinctly, that these are the conditions on on the 8th December, she sent to the King which alone she can or will refrain from pubher grand statement of complaints against her lishing all the documents: and she concludes persecutors. All this time she had not been her letter in these words :-"I trust, therereceived at Court. But, on the 28th of Jan-"fore, sire, that I may now close this long uary, she received, through the Lord Chan-" letter, in confidence that many days will not cellor, a message from the King, saying that" elapse before I shall receive from your Mahe did not think it necessary for him "longer" jesty, that assurance that my just requests to decline receiving her into his presence;"" may be so completely granted, as may render but, at the same time, giving her a gentle re- "it possible for me (which nothing else can) primand on the score of levity of conduct." to avoid the painful disclosure to the world
"of all the circumstances of that injustice, friends of the Prince; and that it was not "and of those unmerited sufferings which "these proceedings, in the manner in which "they have been conducted, have brought " upon me."
69. No answer having been given to this letter, the Princess, on the 5th of March, again wrote to the King on the subject, for the last time; and after expressing her mortification at not having received an answer to her letter, said, in conclusion, "I am now "reduced to the necessity of abandoning all "hope that your Majesty will comply with "my humble, my earnest, and anxious re"quests. Your Majesty, therefore, will not "be surprised to find that the publication of "the proceedings alluded to will not be with "held beyond Monday next!"
until they came into power that the Prince laid before the King, through the chancellor, the charges against his wife. The new opposition consisted, of course, of those who had been in the ministry of PITT, and who were now out of place, There were the then late chancellor, Eldon, the Dundases, Lord Castlereagh, Jenkinson, Canning, Huskisson, and some others of less note; but there now came a man amongst them who soon surpassed all the rest in power as well as in impudence and insolence towards the people. This was that SPENCER PERCEVAL of whose signal death we shall have to speak by-andby! This man, a sharp lawyer, iuured, from his first days at the bar, to the carrying on of state prosecutions; a sort of understrapper, in London, to the attorneys-general in London, and frequently their deputy in the counties; a short, spare, pale-faced, hard, keen, sour-looking man, with a voice well
70. The publication was delayed, however; it never appeared until 1813; and then, as will be shown in due time and place, it was brought forth by the acts of the writer of this history, had it not been for whotn, the pro-suited to the rest, with words in abundance at bability is, that it never would have appeared his commaud, with the industry of a laborious at all, or, at least, during the reign of George attorney, with no knowledge of the great IV. And now I have to unfold an intrigue, interest of the nation, foreign or domestic, the like of which has scarcely ever been but with a thorough knowledge of those means heard of, and in the history of which we shall by which power is obtained and preserved in see how a whole nation was made to suffer for England, and with no troublesome scruples these whims (to give them the mildest terms) as to the employment of those means. He of one single man. The requests of the had been Solicitor-General under Pitt up to Princess were granted; she was received at 1801, and Attorney-General under Addington court, and into the royal family; she had and Pitt up to February 1806. This man apartments allotted her in Kensington palace. became the adviser of the Princess, during the But, as all the world saw, these outward period of the investigation and correspondence signs did not clear her of all suspicion. The of which we have just seen the history; and, newspapers had for seven months been ring-as we are now about to see, the power he obing with the criminations and recrimina-tained, by the means of that office, made him tions; those on her side had repeatedly the prime Minister of England to the day of his threatened publication; on the other side it death, though no more fit for that office than was stated, that she had not been entirely any other barrister in London, taken by tosacquitted; even the newspapers of the out-sing up or by ballot. faction allowed that she had been guilty of some "trifling levities," and that the King had given her a gentle reprimand. Therefore, to be received at court, and to have apartments in a palace, were not enough to wipe away all imputation. It was knowu that a royal commission had heen sitting on her conduct: it was acknowledged that she had been reprimanded: and, therefore, it was impossible that some suspicion should not remain against her, until the whole affair should be made public. This, therefore, she ought to have done; and her not doing it was, * we shall see in time, the cause, and the se cause, of all those indignities and calamities which marked the remainder of her life, and that finally brought her to an untimely end.
71. How came she, then, not to do this? The answer to this question developes the grand intrigue above alluded to; but to give this answer properly, we must now go back, and get into party-politics. We have seen (in paragraph 64) that a new ministry, called the Whigs, was formed in February, 1806; that this ministry contained the most distinguished
72. At the close of paragraph 69, we have seen that the King was told that the publication would take place on the Monday. That Monday was the 9th of March. In this difficulty what was to be done? The Whig Ministry, with their eyes fixed on the probable speedy succession af the Prince, or, at least, his accession to power, the King having recently been in a very shakey state; the Whig Ministry, with their eyes fixed on this expected event, and not perceiving, as Perceval did, the power that the unpublished book (for “ THE Book" it is now called) would give them with the Prince as well as with the King; the Whig Ministry would not consent to the terms of the Princess, thinking, too, that in spite of her auger and her threats, she would not throw away the scabbard as towards the King.
73. In the meanwhile, however, Perceval, wholly unknown to the Whigs, had got the BOOK actually printed, and bound up ready for publication, and it is clear that it was intended to be published on the Monday named in the Princess's letter; namely, on the 9th of March, unless prevented by the King's yielding to the wishes of Perceval. He did yield; that is to
say, he resolved to change his ministers! Aing the Catholics, and of preserving some ground for doing this was, however, a difficulty little matter of character for political consisto be got over. To allege and promulgate the tency and honesty, entered, in the Counciltrue ground would never do; for then the Book, a minute in these words: "That they public would have cried aloud for the publica-"trusted that his Majesty would see the intion, which contained matter so deeply scan- "dispensable necessity of their expressing, on dalous to the King and all the Royal family." withdrawing the bill, the strong persuasion Therefore another ground was alleged; and they felt of the benefits which would result herein we are going to behold another and "from a different course of policy to the Caanother important consequence, and other "tholics of Ireland; and they further stated, national calamities, proceeding from this dis-" that it was indispensable to their characters, pute between the prince and his wife. "that they should openly avow these senti74. This other ground that was chosen was "ments, not only on the present occasion, the CATHOLIC BILL. The Whigs stood" but in the event of the Catholic petition pledged to pass a law for the further relief of "coming forward: and they further insisted, the Roman Catholics. They had in Septem-" that the present deference to his Majesty ber, 1806, dissolved the Parliament, though it" might not be understood as restraining was then only four years old, for the purpose" them from submitting for his Majesty's de• ́ of securing a majority in the House of Com-" cision, from time to time, such measures as mons; and into this new House, which had "circumstances might require respecting the met on the 19th of December, 1806, they had" state of Ireland." introduced the CATHOLIC BILL, by the hands 76. The King, or rather Perceval, seems to of Mr. GREY (now become Lord Howick), have had no idea of the possibility of the Whig with the great and general approbation of the Ministry remaining in office after they had House, and with a clear understanding, that, been told that the King disapproved of the nootwithstanding all the cant and bypocrisy bill; he must, indeed, have regarded it as that the foes of the Catholics had, at different impossible that any men on earth could be so times, played off about the conscientious base as to withdraw, for the sake of retaining scruples of the KING, the King had now ex- their places, a measure which they had re plicitly and cheerfully given his consent to the peatedly represented as "absolutely necessary bringing in of this bill." What, therefore, was to the tranquillity and safety of the kingdom." the surprise of every-body, when on the 13th Alas! well as he knew them, he greatly underof March (mark the dates), it began to be rated the extent of their political meanness rumoured through the newspapers, that the and servility. He was, therefore, astonished King had changed his mind about the CA- when he found them still clinging to their THOLIC BILL; that his scruples of conscience places on the miserable shuffle contained in had returned upon him. This caused dread- this minute of council; and, therefore, to ful alarm in the tabernacles of the Whigs, the make short work with them, to choke them understrappers of which faction, who had off as it were, the King was advised, not only scarcely as yet touched the second half-year's to express his disapprobation of this minute of salary, ran about in a fright as great as that council, but to require of the Ministers that of people who feel an earthquake under their they should withdraw it too; and, further, that feet. To make a young man of sound mind they should sign a declaration of a directly in sound body resolve never to be a state-de-opposite nature, pledging themselves never to pendent, to hedge or ditch or fill dung-cart, rather than depend on a government for food and raiment, there needed nothing but the bare sight of these wretched people at that time.
75. Their fears were but too well founded, though the chiefs of the faction did everything in their power to preserve their places. They not only offered to withdraw the Catholic Bill, but actually withdrew it, and that, too, by the hands of that same Lord HowICK (now Earl Grey) who had brought it in amidst the plaudits of that same House, who now, on the 18th of March, without a single word, suffered that very bill to be withdrawn? But, the doctrine that the Whigs now openly avowed, and which we shall presently have to notice, exhibited the nature of this "beautiful constitution" in its true light. They withdrew the bill; but the Catholics, to whom they stood solemnly pledged, were coming with a petition for the bill that had been thus withdrawn. The Ministers (having no thought of quitting their places), therefore, in the hope of pacify
bring forward again the measure they had abandoned; nay more, never to propose, even to the King himself, any-thing connected with the Catholic Question.
77. If this had failed, the king must have set fire to Whitehall and Downing-street. It suc ceeded, however, not because the Whigs would not have signed even this declaration, if they could have hoped that they could thereby have retained their places; but they saw in this paper not the hand and the mind of the poor old king, but of somebody else, and they could see that that somebody, or those somebodies, who were indeed Perceval and his party, had got the power of turning them out; and that, therefore, even the signing of this declaration, degrading as it would have been, would not save them. Having refused to set their hands and seals to such a glaring proof of their baseness, they were turned out, and were of course succeeded by Perceval, Eldon, and the rest of that set who, under Pitt, had so long ruled this deluded nation.
78. The defence of themselves, on the part
of the Whigs, and the subsequent conduct and "course, feel myself very culpable, if I management of the parliament, exhibit, in" attempted to bring forward any measures their full blaze, all the beauties of this beauti-" in parliament as a ministerial measure unful and "venerable constitution.” The history" less I had previously submitted that measure of the withdrawing of the Catholic bill now "to the consideration of the king, and ob→ came out and a history more disgraceful," tained his majesty's consent to its adoption. never stained the character of any government" It was therefore that I laid before his maon earth. The public cried aloud for an ex- jesty all the particulars with regard to the planation of this matter. It was at once under-" measure respecting the Catholics, and waited stood by every-body that the ministers had to obtain his majesty's approbation before been turned out on account of the Catholic bill," I attempted to submit the consideration of and a cry was raised that they had attempted" that measure to this house." Here we have to force the king to break his coronation oath by making concessions to the Catholics! O how this nation was the sport of hypocrisy on this occasion! The Whigs, in order to parry this deadly cry, said that what they had done had been with the king's consent; that so far from their having, in this case, attempted to force him to act against his conscience, they had consulted 'him before they brought in the bill, and not only consulted him, but had explained all the details of the measure to him, and had, after this, brought in the bill with his cordial approbation.
the modern creed of the Whig politicians. What does the English constitution, or the law of parliament, know of any two-fold capacity of the members of the House of Commons? According to that constitution, those members are the guardians of the property and the liberties of the people; and they are nothing else. But now we learn; now, for the very first time since the parliament of England began to exist, the House of Commons are flatly and plainly told, that there is another body, namely, the Cabinet Council, who discuss bills, and resolve upou adopting them, 79. No doubt of the truth of this; but then before they are presented to that house, before the withdrawing of the bill, which was a fact leave be given to bring them in! One of their then fresh in every mind, became, in the eyes own members rises in his place, and plaiuly of every man of seuse, an act of indelible dis- tells them, that he has recently brought in a grace, involving a principle utterly subversive bill because the king wished him to do it, and of every idea of any-thing like representative that he has since withdrawn that bill because government. Lord Howick, who was now, the king changed his mind, and for no other Fox having died in the autumn of 1806, be- reason whatever, though he was, at the same come secretary of state for foreign affairs, had time, firmly convinced, that the passing of to perform the task of giving, in the House of the bill was necessary to tranquillize and conCommons, the explanation of this matter, ciliate a fourth part of the people of the kingwhich, on the 26th of March, 1807, he did, in dom! Nay, he does not stop here; but goes on these strange and memorable words: "It has to say, that unless he had obtained the king's "been stated," said he, “by some persons approbation for bringing in the bill, he should "who have animadverted upon this transac- have regarded it as an act highly culpable to "tion, that ministers were not warranted in have brought it in! We might, perhaps, have "bringing forward a public measure without presumed before, that such really was the "previously obtaining the consent of his ma- case; but now it is openly avowed, that bills, "jesty. But this extravagant proposition before leave be moved for to bring them in, "scarcely deserves serious notice. According are discussed and resolved upon in the cabinet; "to any rational view of the subject, the duty that is to say, amongst men who are the king's "of a magistrate appears to be two-fold. He servants during pleasure, and that they remay act in a double capacity upon different ceive the sanction of their master before they "occasions; namely, as a minister, and as an are proposed to the parliament. What pretty "individual member of parliament. There stuff have Blackstone and Paley and that fo"was no minister who had not acted so occa-reign sycophant De Lolme been writing about "sionally. If, indeed, it were culpable to "pursue the course some extravagant writers "now maintain, Mr. Pitt's conduct upon the "slave trade and parliamentary reform would "have been highly censurable; for that dis"tinguished statesman, in both these in"stances, brought forward the propositions as "an individual member of parliament. The "constitutional distinction which, in concur"rence with my colleagues, I take between "the duty of a minister in the one case and "the other, is this; that when a minister "brings forward any motion as a measure of "government which has undergone any dis"cussion in the cabinet, he violates his duty "unless such measure shall have received "the sunction of that authority. I should, of
the checks and balances in that wonderful product of human wisdom called the English constitution! As to the distinction between bills brought forward as measures of the cabinet, and bills originating with persons as individual members of Parliament, what does the constitution know of such distinction? Does any writer upon our constitution make such a distinction? Does Blackstone, who has given us a commentary upon the whole of our laws talk of any such distinction? Has he once named such a thing as a cabinet? Can the parliament recognise the existence of any such council, or body of men? Is not such a body utterly unknown to our laws? Besides, let us ask a little, what bills there are of any consequence, which are not measures of the
cabinet, if we admit of this distinction? All these words, sometimes in chalk and some-
82. Away went the delusion all over the country! The ministerial members got turned out of their seats, as a set of delinquent servants are driven out of their places. Many of them did not dare to show their faces in the boroughs and counties where they before had been elected; and, in short, as Mr. WINDHAM told PERCEVAL in the House of Commons, the new ministry sent the majority of the parliament back to the people to be torn to pieces. And all this on a pretext as false as perjury itself! There were the people putting up prayers for the prolongation of the life of the good old king," as their sole protector against the horrors of popery, and exclaiming against those ministers who