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with all the rapture of a mother's feelings, have lavished her utmost fondness, and experienced in return for that fondness, all the sweet endearments, all the nameless joys, of filial love. The child,-her own, her only offspring, who was fourishing under her eye towards maturity, and to whom Heaven in its bounty had given all that could charn, or please, or captivate the parent's heart, was now to behold the affections of her mother divided, and those kisses profusely lavished on another,which ought to have been bestowed upon herself. But this is not the least important view of the matter. Wasit consistent with the dignity of her daughter, born to ascend the throne of the most mighty and civilized nation of the world, that she should be made the playmate, the companion of the son of a common porter? Were her ears to be constantly assailed with the high encomiums of his personal qualities? were her eyes to behold a sword placed in his hands, wherewith this champion, this redresser of her mother's wrongs, was to defend her from her enemies, amongst whom two illustrious personages were mentioned, whom a sense of common propriety, whatever her private sentiments might have been, should have restrained her from naming ?
The dearest interests of the nation became thus involved, and the most unpleasant reports still continuing to reach the ear of the Prince of Wales, he considered himself imperiously called upon to take those decisive measures, by which
their validity could be either confirmed or refuted. In one of the reports which was conveyed to his Royal Highness, the Duke of Kent was mentioned, as being privy to some of the transactions which had taken place at Blackheath, and an interview immediately took place between their Royal Highnesses on the subject. It was in the bed-room of the Prince of Wales where this interview took place, and which may be considered as the groundwork of the ulterior proceedings which were adopted, and which had so decisive an influence on the future prospects of the Princess Charlotte.
On being closeted with the Duke of Kent, the Prince immediately dismissed his attendants, and informed his royal brother, that circumstances had come to his knowledge, with respect to a transaction with the Princess of Wales, in which he found that the Duke had been concerned ; and that if he had not placed the most implicit reliance on the attachment of the Duke to himself, and he added, to the Duke's well-known uprightness of character and principle, he should certainly have felt himself in no small degree offended in having learnt the facts alluded to from others, and not in the first instance from the Duke himself, which he conceived himself every way entitled to expect, and more especially from that footing of confidence on which the royal brothers had always stood with each other. Being, however, fully satisfied in his own mind that the explanation would justify him in the opinion which
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he always entertained of his brother, and that he had been actuated by the most honourable motives in observing a silence towards himself on this, to him, most interesting subject. He requested the Duke to give him a distinct statement of the transaction, as far as he was himself concerned; and offering his hand to the Duke at the same time, assured him that he did not feel the slightest displeasure towards him, but expected the most candid statement from him of every particular, connected with the purport of his visit.
It appeared from the narrative of the Duke, that the Princess of Wales had at one period lived on a footing of the greatest intimacy with Sir Sydney Smith, and Sir John and Lady Douglas. That the Princess, having been cautioned by an anonymous letter, of the character of Lady Douglas, and of the liberties which she had allowed herself to take with the name of the Princess, her Royal Highness saw herself obliged to refuse the visits of Lady Douglas; and she directed Miss Vernon to write a note to that lady, specifically telling her, that her visits would be dispensed with. That, in consequence of this note, an application was made in the joint names of Sir Sydney Smith, Sir John and Lady Douglas, for an explanation; as it was considered a marked affront on them collectively; which explanation her Royal Highness was determined not to grant; and, in order to avoid any unpleasant discussion on the subject, the mediation of the Duke of Kent was solicited.
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It appears, that in this mediation, the Duke acted
There is not a more infallible method of ex-
A commission was therefore issued, under the royal sign manual, appointing Lord Erskine, Chancellor; Lord Grenville, First Lord of the Treasury; Lord Spencer, Secretary of State; and
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Lord Ellenborough, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, the royal commissioners to investigate the truth of the allegations, to examine witnesses, and to report the result of that examination.
At this period began the restrictions which were placed between the intercourse of the Prin: cess of Wales and her daughter; and it was ora dered that the visit should be only once a week, and even then, under certain conditions which could not but prove highly mortifying both to the mother and the daughter. It is not, however, generally known, that through the medium of a trusty friend, little suspected by the argus who was appointed to watch over the motions of the Princess Charlotte, that a regular correspondence was kept up, and her Royal Highness was aca quainted with every particular of the investigation, which was then prosecuting into the conduct of her august mother. Through this channel, her Royal Highness was made acquainted with the hostile dispositions of a particular branch of the royal family towards her mother; and it was the means of putting her upon her guard in many instances, in which she would otherwise have committed herself. Opinions, formed on assumed grounds, were often advanced in her presence, the admission of which, on her part; would have been immediately converted into an instrument of indirect evidence against her mother, or the clue would have been discovered by which the mys
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