Obrazy na stronie

Starkey, one of her Royal Highness's late tutors. The Swiss Protestant church assimilates, in a great degree, to the presbyterians of this country; and it certainly conveys the most pleasing reflections to a liberal mind, to behold the rulers of the nation discarding the false notions of an established faith, and joining in the divine worship of every sort or denomination in the true spirit of Christian toleration. The mind of the Princess Charlotte was of that enlarged and liberal cast which disregards the exterior formalities of religion ; and she questioned not, ere she passed her opinion of an individual, what his religious tenets were, but whether he acted up to them; and it was that which she considered to be the true criterion of the human character. In professions, she placed little or no reliance; but she adınired and applauded the individual, who, whatever his religious principles might be, acted in conformity to them, and who followed the Christian maxim, of “doing to others as he would himself be done unto.” · The indisposition of the Princess Charlotte now began to assume a more serious aspect; and, on Saturday the 9th, she was declared to be in a state of high fever, accompanied with a very troublesome cough.

In compliance with the express desire of the Princess Charlotte and of Prince Leopold, Mrs. Siddons undertook the character of Lady Macbeth on the 9th; but although it was generally apprehended that the sudden and lamented illness of her Royal Highness would deprive the audience of her presence and that of the Prince her husband, yet the hope of seeing

Mrs. Siddons filled the house at an early hour with the most splendid company of the metropolis. Neither of the illustrious personages were present.

The following bulletin respecting the Princess Charlotte's health was, on the Sunday morning, issued from Camelford-House.

.“ The Princess has had a good night's rest. The fever is somewhat abated. Her Royal Highness appears refreshed by sleep, but she has still a very irritable cough.”

Her Royal Highness was attended by Dr. Baillie, surgeon Keate, and Mr. Walker. The Royal Family suspended their visits, as no visitors were admitted to her Royal Highness' chamber, the medical gentlemen having given their orders that she should be kept very quiet.

The indisposition of the Princess Charlotte reached its crisis on the 15th, and from that day she continued in a convalescent state. On the 18th, her recovery was declared so complete, that she appointed the following days to receive the addresses upon her marriage, the presentation of which had been postponed in consequence of her Royal Highness's indisposition.

The arrangements for the purchase of ClaremontHouse being completed, Mr. Huskisson rose in the House of Commons, on the 20th, and said, “ he was not aware that any difference of opinion would prevail in the House, on the subject he was then about to bring forward, in pursuance of the notice he had given, namely, that of providing a country residence for the Princess Charlotte and the Prince of Saxe-Coburg; if

there was, the only difference could be with regard to the mode in which the provision was to be made. There were only two modes that could suggest themselves to the government ; the first was, that of finding a country residence in one of the palaces; the other was, that of procuring one by purchase. As soon as Claremont, the residence now intended for the illustrious individuals in question, had been fixed upon, an impartial surveyor was sent to set a valuation on it; in this he was assisted by another surveyor, and their joint report forned the foundation for the bargain, that was afterwards entered into. During the negotiation, the owner of the estate had made the most open and unreserved communications on every circumstance connected with it. · Persons, who had previously valued the estate, estimated it at some thousands more than the surveyor had done; the estate was estimated at 36,000l., independent of the buildings attached to it. Claremont-House was known to be in the most perfect state of repair*,

* How does this statement of Mr. Huskisson's taily with the accounts sent ia by the Board of Works for repairs, &c. at Claremont, which, I am assured, amounted to the very moderate sum of 22,0001., Dearly one half of the purchase money? The park paling alone cost nearly 40,001. When Mr. Huskisson made this statement, had he the jesuitical coachmaker in his eye, who, on selling a carriage, warranted it to be in complete repair. The wheels, however, broke on the first journey ; on which the purebaser complained to the coachmaker respecting the imposition which had been practised on him, in warranting him a carriage the wheels of which were rotten, “ True," said the coachmaker, “ I declared the carriage to be in complete repair ; but I said nothing about the wheels." Mr. Huskisson declares the house to be in

and it far exceeded any thing in the modern style of building. If such a house was to be built now, it would cost 90,0001.; the valuation set on it was, however, no more than 19,0001., and this was cheaper than if any of the palaces had been fitted up for the accommodation of the Prince and Princess. The whole sum now proposed for farm, buildings, &c., was 50,0001., and the furniture was estimated at 6,0001. The whole would then amount to 56,0001., including the furniture. He should now point out the mode in which the purchase was to be made. The commissioners under the land-tax redemption for the crown had made sales, which produced sums that now amounted to 259,0001. in the three per cents. The sale of some very inconsiderable manors belonging to the crown had produced a sum of 66,000l. It therefore appeared advisable that this fund should be made available to the purchase in question. . Whatever was to be taken from the land-tax redemption fund should be replaced by the sale of certain lands of the crown. In fact, this was only giving to the illustrious personages the use of an estate still belonging to the crown, and procured by means of services belonging to the crown, and in themselves of little value. It was proposed that the estate should be settled on the parties for their joint lives; and in case of their dying before the Princess came to the throne, then the estate was to revert to the crown. He was confident, no

complete repair, but says nothing about the paling, offices, &c., the repairs and improvements of which amounted to the sum above mentioned.

better arrangement could be adopted for purchasing a country residence for these distinguished persons. He concluded, by moving for leave to bring in a bill for ratifying the purchase of Claremont estate, and settling the same on her Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg.

Mr. Baring readily admitted that no improvident bargain had been made ; but the fact was, that fifty years ago this place had been sold for 10,0001. It was a fallacy to say, this would cost the public nothing because the purchase was to come from the crown lands; and because the property was still available to the public service. If small and inconsiderable por. tions of crown lands produced so much money, it

appeared highly desirable that similar bargains should be made for other unproductive crown lands for the benefit of the crown.

Mr. Huskisson in explanation stated, that when this estate was sold some years ago it produced a larger sum than that now contracted for.

Leave was given to bring in the bill.

Mr. Ellis, the proprietor of Claremont, gave for the estate 53,0001., but his purchase included several valuable farms which he still retains. In his fortunate bargain the house and grounds were estimated at less than half that sum, and they were on sale a few years since at the price of 30,000l. The park consists of 300 acres, ornamented with a profusion of timber, and beautifully diversified with rising grounds, and gently sioping declivities. An agreement was entered into at the same time, that the illustrious couple were to have with the estate,

« PoprzedniaDalej »