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MY EVER DEAR LADY A I most heartily thank you for your very kind letter, which I hasten to answer. But I must not forget that this letter must be a letter of congratulation, yes, of congratulation the most sincere; I love you, and therefore there is no wish that I do not form for your happiness in this world. May you have as few cares and yexations as may fall to the lot of man; and may you long be spared, and may you long enjoy the blessing of all others the most precious—your dear mother who is not more precious to you than to me. But there is a trifle which accompanies this, which I hope you will like; and if it sometimes reminds you of me, it will be a great source of pleasure to me. I shall be most happy to see yoll, for it is long since I have had that pleasure. Adieu, my dear Lady A- and believe mc cver Your affectionate and sincere friend,
During her residence at Bognor, the jubilee in honour of his Majesty was celebrated; and Mrs. Wilson, in commemoration of that event, established a school for the education of poor children. Of this school her Royal Highness be- . came the patroness; and under her auspices, , and the benevolent exertions of the foundress, aided by the voluntary subscriptions of the inhabitants and visitors, the jubilee school flourished. The promoters were at length encouraged to erect a new school-house. The plan for this new school was only a very short time ago presented to the Princess for her approbation, and a very handsome sum was immediately subscribed by her Royal Highness, towards defraying the expense of the building. The Earl of Arran, a resident at
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Bognor, and one of the earliest friends of her Royal Highness, laid the first stone, under the direction of the Princess, on which occasion a public breakfast was given by his lordship.
This may be quoted as one of the many instances of the manner in which this excellent Princess went continually about doing good; and thus has the Bognor jubilee school, and many other excellent institutions, lost a munificent benefactress, by that lamentable event, which has at one stroke, crushed a nation's hopes.
It will now be necessary to enter into a further detail of the unfortunate dissensions between the august parents of the Princess Charlotte, and which had such a decided influence on the future happiness of her life.
The Princess of Wales had from her retirement in the summer of 1796, withdrawn to her solitary residence at Montague-House, Blackheath, and for nearly ten years she seemed totally lost in oblivion and obscurity. The people knew of the existence of the personage to all appearances destined to be their future queen, but of her ac, tions, or her mode of life, little hạd transpired to attract the general attention. That the separation of the royal pair had arisen from private dislike, or other personal motives, and not from the commission of any criminal act which could be imputable to the Princess, was evident from the visits which his Majesty made to Blackheath, where he often passed a whole day in the society of his
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daughter-in-law and his dearly-beloved grandchild. Some severe misunderstandings had, however, occurred between his Majesty and the Prince on account of these visits; but as no circumstance had taken place to warrant his Majesty in withdrawing his countenance from the Princess, the Prince yielded in filial obedience to the wishes of his parent, and forbore to express his chagrin upon the occasion. His Majesty's health was at this time in a very delicate state, and every thing was cautiously avoided which could excite the least irritation in his mind, or wound those feelings, which, on certain points, were known to be of a most acute nature. : It requires not a profound knowledge of the world, nor an extensive acquaintance with the subtle artifices and intrigues which are practised to gain a desired end, to consider the case as amounting to almost a mathematical demonstration, that the actions of an individual of the exalted rank of the Princess of Wales, and placed as she was under circumstances of the most singular and unexampled nature, should not be the object on which malice would spit its venom, or malignity direct its poisoned shafts; especially too as it was considered that, if the arrow hit the mark, the intelligence would be received in every quarter with no common feelings of interest, and in some with satisfaction.
Let not, however, the inference thence be drawn, that an illustrious individual, either strung the
instance in with
ishes of chagrin
bow, or directed the hand which guided the arrow; the contrary must be affirmed in the strictest sense of truth and justice; and the caution, the circumspection, and the doubt, with which he received the report tending to vilify the character of the Princess, are in themselves all sufficient vouchers for the falsehood of the insinuation, that his Royal Highness himself was the author or the instigator of them.
With the character and conduct of that illustrious female was connected the object of his dearest interests. Whatever personal dislike or animosity might exist between them, it was not thence a natural deduction, that it was unfit or improper that the early education of his daughter, on whom all the hopes of the nation were fixed, should not be intrusted to the peculiar care of her mother. But where is the parent, who, looking with a jealous and scrutinizing eye on every impression which can be stamped on the mind or disposition of his child, at that critical age, when it becomes indelible, will not remove it from those scenes, from the continual view of which an early moral contamination is likely to ensue? and where is the parent, tremblingly alive to the future welfare of his child, who will not place an insuperable obstacle in its way against all further intercourse with those individuals, (let them stand in whatever relation they may), who by their eonduct have rendered themselves amenable to those afflicting consequences, resulting from a
wanton departure from the established rules of virtue and decorum?
It must, however, be admitted, on the grounds of liberality and justice, that no person is authorized, under any plea, nor under any circumstances whatever, to anticipate the guilt of. another, and to direct his actions in such a manner, as if that guilt were actually established. The most profound, the most delicate investigation is necessary; not only the actions themselves, but the motive of those actions, (that infallible criterion of the human character,) should be traced thtough all their windings, through the most remote ramifications, until the root be gained; nor should the verdict of guilt be pronounced until the evidence of either side has been confronted, and all party spirit, all private animosity, been abandoned in the judgment.
In November of the year 1802, the Princess Charlotte being then nearly seven years old, the Princess of Wales, under circumstances of the most eccentric and extraordinary kind, adopted a child of
obscure parents, of the name of Austin, and it was suckled and brought up under her own immediate eye. She appeared to lavish on it the kindness and caresses of a mother, and it was in all respects treated as a royal offspring. Of the propriety of this step, not a dissenting opinion can be entertained. The Princess had constantly an object before her, worthy of being nourished in her heart's core, on whom she could,