Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

painting the Princess, and he has slept in the same which the witnesses call the Blue room) ne house two or three nights together. I have of- does not know whether any person was with her; ten seen him alone with the Princess at eleven or but it appeared odd to him, as he had formed twelve o'clock at night. He has been there as some suspicions." The striking and important late as one and two o'clock in the morning. observation on this passage i (that when he One night I saw him with the Princess in the Blue first I talks of the door of the drawing-room room, after the ladies had retired. Some time of being locked, so far from his mentioning any terwurds, when I supposed he had gone to his room, thing of whispering being overheard,, he expressI went to see that all was safe, and I found the ly says, that he did not know that any body Blue room door locked, and heard a whispering in was with me. The passage is likewise deit ; and I went away.” Here, again, yoor Ma- serving your Majesty's most serions considerajesty observes, that Mr. Cole deals his deadliest tiou on another ground. For it is one of those blows against my character by insinuation. And which shews that Mr. Cole, thongh we have four bere, again, his insinuation is left unsifted and separate declarations made by him, has certainly unexplained. I here understand him to insinuate made other statements which have not been that, though he supposed Mr. Lawrence to have transmitted to your Majesty ; for'it evidently regone to his room, he was still where he had said | fers to something which he had said before of he last left hiqn; and that the locked door pre- having found the drawing-room door locked, and vented him from seeing me and Mr. Lawrence no trace of such a statement is discoverable in alone together, whose whispering, bowever, he the previous examination of Mr. Cole, as I have potwithstanding overheard. Before, Sire, I come received it, and I have no doubt tirai, in obedito my own explanation of the fact of Mr. Law-ence to your Majesty's commands, I have, at rence's sleeping at Montague House, I must again length, been furnished with the whole. I don't refer to Mr. Cole's original declarations. I must know, indeed, that it should be matter of comagain exainine Mr. Cole against Mr. Cole: which plaint from me, that your Majesty has not been I cannot help lamenting it does not seem to have furnished with all the statements of Mr. Cole, occurred to others to have done ; as I am per- because, from the sample I see of them, I cansuaded, it it had, his prevarications and his not suppose that any of them could have furnishfalsehood could never have escaped them. They ed any thing favourable to me, except, indeed, would then have been able to have traced, as that they might have furnished me with fresh your Majesty will now do, through my observa- means of contradicting him by himself. But, tious, by what degrees he hardened himself up to your Majesty will see that there have been other the infamy (for I can use no other expression) of statements not communicated; a circumstance stating this fact, by which he means to insinuate of which both your Majesty and I have reason to that he heard me and Mr. Lawrence, locked up complain. But it may be out of its place further in this Blue room, whispering together, and to notice that fact at present. alone. I am sorry to be obliged to drag your To return, therefore, to Mr. Cole :-In his Majesty through so long a detail; but I am con- third declaration, dated the 30th of January, fident your Majesty's goodness, and love of jus- there is not a word about Mr. Lawrence. In tice, will excuse it, as it is essential to the vindi- his fourth and last, which is dated on the 23d of cation of my cbaracter, as well as to the illustra- | February, he says, “ the person who was alone tion of Mr. Cole's. Mr. Cole's examination, with the lady at late hours of the night (twelve as contained in his first written declaration of " and one o'clock), and whom he left sitting up the 11th of January, has nothing of this. I mean « after he went to bed, was Mr. Lawrence, not to say that it has nothing concerning Mr. which happened two different nights." Here Lawrence, for it has much, which is calculated is likewise another trace of a former statement to occasion unfavourable interpretations, and which is not given ; for no such person is mengiven with a view to that object. But that cir- tioned before in any that I have been furnished cumstance, as I submit to your Majesty, in- with.Your Majesty then lrere observes, that, creases the weight of my observation. Had after baving given evidence in two of his déclarathere been nothing in his first declaration about tions, respecting Mr. Lawrence by name, in Mr. Lawrence at all, it might have been ima- which he mentions nothing of locked doors, and gined that, perhaps, Mr. Lawrence escaped his after having, in another declaration, given an arrecollection altogether; or, that his declaration count of a locked door, but expressly stated, bad been solely directed to other persons; but, that he knew not whether any one was with me as it does coutain observations respecting Mr. within it, and said nothing about whispering beLawrence, but nothing of a locked door or the ing overbeard, but, impliedly, at least, negatived whispering within it;-how he bappened at that it. In the deposition before the Commissioners, time not to recollect, or, if he recollected, not he puts all these things together, and has the harto mention, so very striking and remarkable a dihood to add to them that remarkable circumcircumstance is not, I should imagine, very sa- stance which could not have escaped his recoltisfactorily to be explained. His statement in lection at the first, if it bad been true,_" of his that first declaration stands thus:--" In 1801, “ having, on the same night in which he found * Lawrence, the painter, was at Montague“ me and Mr. Lawrence alone, after the ladies “ House, for four or five days at a time, painting " were gone to bed, come again to the room “ the Princess's picture. That he was frequently " when he thought Mr. Lawrence must have “ alone late in the night with the Princess, and “ been retired, and found the door locked, and “ much suspicion was entertained of him.” Mr.“ heard the whispering ;" and then again he Cole's next declaration, at least, the next which gives another instance of his honesty, and upon appears among the written declarations, was the same principle on which he took no notice of taken on the 14th of January ; it does not men- the man in the great coat, he finds the door tion Mr. Lawrence's name, but it has this pas locked, hears the whispering, and then he silently sage" When Mr. Cole found the drawing-room, and contentedly retires. -And this witness, which led to the staircase to the Princess's apart. who thus not only varies in his testimony, but ments, locked (which your Majesty knows is the contradicts himself in such important particulars, is one of those who cannot be suspected of un. had been left alone 'with Mr. Lawrence at his favourable bias, and whose veracity is 'not to be own house; to which she answers, that she, inquestioned, and whose evidence must be credited deed, had left me there, but that she thinks she till decidedly contradicted. These observa- left Mrs. Fitzgerald with me. If an inference tions miglit probably be deemed sufficient, upon of au unfavourable nature could have been drawn Mr. Cole's depositiou, as far as it respects Mr. from my having been left there alone-was it, Lawrence; but I cannot be satisfied without ex- Sire, taking all that care which might be wished, plaining to your Majesty all the truth, and the to guard against such an inference on the part of particulars, respecting Mr. Lawrence, which I the Commissioners, when they omitted to send recollect. What I recollect then is as follows. for Mrs. Fitzgerald to ascertain what Mrs. Lisle He began a large picture of me, and of my daugh may have left in doubt. The Commissioners, I ter, towards the latter end of the year 1800, or give them the fullest credit, were satisfied that the beginning of 1801. Miss Garth and Miss Mrs. Lisle thought correctly upon this fact, and Hayman were in the house with me at the time. that Mrs. Fitzgerald, if she had been sent for The picture was painted at Montague House. again, would so have proved it, and, therefore, Mr. Lawrence mentioned to Miss Hayman his that it would have been troubling her to no pur. wish to be permitted to remain some few nights pose, but this it is, of which I conceive myself in the house, that, by rising early he might begin to have most reason to compiain; that the esapainting on the picture before Princess Charlotte minations in several instances have not been fol(whose residence being at that time at Shooter's lowed up so as to remove unfavourable impres. Hill, was enabled to come early), or myself, sions. I cannot but feel satisfied that the came to sit. It was a similar request to that Commissioners would have been glad to have which had been made by Sir William Beechy, been warranted in negativing all criminality, when he painted my picture. And I was sen- aud all suspicion on his part of the charge, as sible of no impropriety when I granted the re- completely and honourably as they have done on quest to either of thein. Mr. Lawrence occu- the principal charges of pregnancy and delivery. pied the same room which had been occupied by They traced that part of the charge with ability, Sir William Beechy; it was at the other end of sagacity, diligence, and perseverance; and the the house from my apartment.

result was complete satisfaction of my innocence; At that time Mr. Lawrence did not dine with complete detection of the falsehood of my ac. me; his dinner was served in bis owo room. After cusers. Encouraged by their success in that dinner he came down to the room where I and part of their inquiry, I lament that they did not, my Ladies generally sat in an evening, sometimes (as they thought proper to enter into the other there was music, in which he joined, and some part of it at all), with similar industry, pursue it. times he read poetry. Parts of Shakes re's If they had, I am confident they would have plays I particularly remember, from his reading pursued it with the same success; but though them very well; and sometimes he played chess they had convicted Sir Jolin and Lady Douglas with me. It frequently may have happened that of falsehood, they seem to bave thought it impos it was one or two o'clock before I dismissed Mr. sible to suspect of the same falsehood any other of Lawrence and my Ladies. They, together with the witnesses, though produced by Sir John and Mr. Lawrence, went out of the same door, up Lady Douglas. The most obvious means, therethe same stair-case, and at the same time. Ac fore, of trying their credit, by comparing their cording to my own recollection, I should have evidence with what they had said before, seerns said, that in no one instance they had left Mr. to me to have been omitted. Many facts are Lawrence behind them alone with me. But I left upon surmise only and insinuation; obvions suppose it did happen once for a short time, means of getting further information, on doubtful since Mr. Lawrence so recollects it, as your Ma- and suspicions circumstances, are not resorted jesty will perceive from his deposition, which I to; and, as if the important matter of the inquiry annex. He staid in my house two or three nights (on which a satisfaetory, conclusion had been together; but how many nights in the whole, Iformed) was all that required any very attentive do not recollect. The picture left my house by or accurate consideration; the remainder of it April, 1801, and Mr. Lawrence never slept in my was pursued in a manner which, as it seems to house afterwards. That picture now belongs to me, can only be accounted for by the pressure of Lady Townsend. He has since completed an- what may have been deemed more important duother picture of me; and about a year and a half ties—and of this I should have made but little ago he began another, Waich remains at present complaint, if this inquiry, where it is imperfect, unfinished. I believe it is near a twelvemonth had not been followed by a Report, which the since I last sat to him.Mr. Lawrence lives most accurate only could have justified, and mpon a footing of the greatest intimacy with the which such an accurate inquiry, I am confident, neiglabouring families of Mr. Lock aud Mr. An- never could have prodnced. If any credit was gerstein; and I have asked him sometimes to given to Mr. Cole's story of the locked door, and dine with me to meet them. While I was sitting the whispering, and to Mr. Lawrence having to him at my own house, I have no doubt I must been left with me so frequently of a night when often have sat to him alone; as the necessity for my Ladies han left us, why were not all my La-" the precaution of having an attendant as a wit- dies examined? why were not all my servants exness to protect my honour from suspicion, cer- amined as to their knowledge of that fact? And tainly never occurred to me. And upon the same if they had been so examined, and had contraprinciple, I do not doubt that I may have some- dicted the fact so sworn to by Mr. Cole, as they times continued in conversation with hiin after must have done, had they beeu examined to it, he had finished painting. But when sitting in that alone would have been sufficient to have rehis own house, I have always been attended with moved his name from the list of unsuspected and one of my ladies. And, indeed, nothing in the unquestionable witnesses, and relieved me from examinations state the contrary. One part of much of the suspicion which his evidence, till it Mrs. Lisle's examination seems as if she had a was examined, was calculated to have raised in question put to hier, upon the supposition that I your Majesty's mind. And to close this state

ment and these observations, and in addition to room alone. He was a person with whom the them, I most solemnly assert to your Majesty, Princess appeared to have greater pleasure in that Mr. Lawrence, neither at his own house, talking than with hier Ladies. Her Royal Highpor at mine, nor any where else, ever was for ness behaved to him ONLY as any worun would one moment, by night or by day, in the same who likes flirting. She (Mrs. Lisle) would not room with me when the door of it was locked; have thought any married woman would have behaved that he never was in my company of an evening properly, who behaved as Her Royal Higlmess did alone, except the momentary conversation which to Captain Manby. She can't say whether the Mr. Lawrence speaks to may be thought an ex- Princess was attached to Captain Manby, only that ception; and that vothing ever passed between it was a flirting conduct. She never saw any galhim and me which all the world might not have lantries, as kissing her hand, or the like.”- I witnessed. And, Sire, I have subjoined a depo- have cautiously stated the whole of Mrs. Lisle's sition to the same effect from Mr. Lawrence. evidence upon this part of the case; and I am

- To satisfy myself, therefore, and your Ma- sure your Majesty, in reading it, will not fail to jesty, I have shewn, I trust, by unanswerable ob- keep the facts which Mrs. Lisle speaks to sepaservations and arguments, that there is no colour rate from the opinion or judgment which she for crediting Mr. Cole, or, consequently, any part forms upon them. I mean not to speak disreof this charge, which rests solely on his evidence. spectfully or slightingly of Mrs. Lisle's opinion, But to satisfy the requisition of the Commission or express myself as in any degree indifferent to ers, I have brought my pride to submit (though it. But whatever there was which she observed not without great pain, I can assure your Ma in my conduct that did not become a married jesty) to add the only contradictions which I con- woman, that was only like a woman who liked ceive can be given, those of Mr. Lawrence and flirting,” and “ONLY a flirting conduct," I am myself.—The next person with whom these ex-convinced your Majesty must be satisfied that it aminations charge my improper familiarity, and must have been far distant from affording any with regard to which the Report represents the evidence of crime, of vice, or of indecency, as it evidence as particularly strong, is Captain Manby passed openly in the company of my Ladies, of With respect to him, Mr. Cole's examination is whom Mrs. Lisle herself was one.--The facts silent. But the evidence on which the Commis- she states are, that Captain Manby came very sioners rely on this part of the case is Mr. Bid frequently to my house ; that he dined there good's, Miss Fanny Lloyd's, and Mrs. Lisles. It three or four times a week in the latter end of respects my conduct at three different places; at the year 1802 ; that he sat next to me at dinner; Montague House, Southend, and at Ramsgate; and that my conversation after dinner, in the I shall preserve the facts and my observations evening, used to be with Captain Manby, sepamore distinct, if I consider the evidence, as ap- rate from my Ladies. These are the facts: and plicable to these three places, separately and in is it upon them that my character, I will not say, its order; and I prefer this mode of treating it, is to be taken away, but is to be affected?-as it will enable me to consider the evidence of Captain Manby had, in the autumn of the same Mrs. Lisle in the first place, and consequently year, been introduced to me by Lady Townshend, put it out of the reach of the harsher observa. when I was upon a visit to her at Rainham. I tions which I may be under the necessity of think he came there only the day before I left it. making upon the testimony of the other two. He was a naval officer, as I understood, and as I For though Mrs. Lisle, indeed, speaks to having still believe, of great merit. What little expense, seen Captain Manby at East Cliff in August, in the way of charity, I am able to afford, I am 1803, to the best of her remembrance it was best pleased to dedicate to the education of the only once. She speaks to his mecting her at children of poor, bat honest persons ; and I nost Deal in the same season ; that he landed there generally bring them up to the service of the with some boys whom I took on charity, and navy. I had at that time two boys at school, who were under his care ; yet she speaks of vo- whom I thought of an age fit to be put to sea. Í thing there that can require a single observation desired Lady Townshend to prevail upon Captain froni me. The material parts of her evidence Manby to take them. He consented to it, and respect her seeing him at Blackheath the Christ- of course I was obliged to him.- About this mas before she had seen him at East Cliff. She time, or shortly afterwards, he was appointed to says, it was the Christmas after Mr. Austin's the Africaine, a ship which was fitting up at child came, consequently the Christmas 1802-3. Deptford. To be near his ship, as I understood He used to come to dine there, she says he al- and believe, he took lodgings at Blackheath; ways went away in her presence, and she had no and as to the mere fact of his being so frequently reason to think he staid after the Ladies retired. at my house-his intimacy and friendship with He lodged on the heath at that time; his ship Lord and Lady Townshend, which of itself was was fitting up at Deptford; he came to dinner assurance to me of his respectability and characthree or four times a week, or more. She sup- ter--my pleasure in shewing my respect to them, poses he might be alone with the Princess, but by notice and attention to a friend of theirs-his that she was in the liabit of seeing Gentlemen undertaking the care of my charity boys-and and tradesmen without her being present. She his accidental residence at Blackheath, will, I (Mrs. Lisle) has seen him at luncheon and dinner should trust, not unreasonably account for it. I both. The boys (two boys) came with him two have a similar account likewise to give of paying or three times, but not to dinner. Captain for the linen furniture, with which his cabin was Manby always sat next the Princess at dinner. furnished. Wishing to make him some return for The constant company were Mrs. and Miss Fitz. his trouble with the boys, I desired that I might gerald and herself--all retired with the Princess, choose the pattern of his furniture. I not only and sat in the same room. Captain Manby gene chose it, but had it sent to him, and paid the rally retired about eleven, and sat with us all bill; finding, however, that it did not come to till then. Captain Manby and the Princess used, more than about twenty pounds, I thought it a when we were together, to be speaking together shabby present, and therefore added some trifling separately, conversing separately, but not in a present of plate, So I have frequently done, and I hope, without offence, may be permitted they are not both examined to these circum. to do again, to any Captain on whom I impose stances? But Miss Fitzgerald is not examined such trouble. Sir Samuel Hood has now two of at all; and Mrs. Fitzgerald, though examined, my charity boys with him; and I have presented and examined too with respect to Captain Manhim with a silver epergne. I sbould be ashamed by, does not appear to have had a single question to notice such things, but your Majesty perceives put to her with respect to any thing which passed that they are made the subject of inquiry from concerning him at Montague House. May I not Mrs. Fitzgerald and Mr. Stikeman, and I was de- therefore complain that the examination, leaving sirous that they should not appear to be particu- the generality of Mrs. Lisle’s expression unex lar in the case of Captain Manby.

plained by herself; and the scenes to wbich it But to return to Mrs. Lisle's examination relates unexamined into, by calling the other Mrs. Lisle says, that Captain Manby, when he persons who were present, is leaving it precisely dined with me, sat next to me at dinner. Be in that state, which is better calculated to raise fore any inference is drawn from that fact, I am a suspicion, than to ascertain the truth?

---But sure your Majesty will observe that, in the next I am persuaded that the unfavourable impression line of Mrs. Lisle's examination, she says, " that which is most likely to be made by Mrs. Lisle's the constant conspany was Mrs. and Miss Fitz-examination, is not by her evidence to the facts, gerald, and hersell, Mrs. Lisle.” The only gen- but by her opinion upon them. “ I appeared, tleman, the only person of the whole party who she says, " to like the conversation of Captain was not of my own family, was Captain Manby; Manby better than that of my ladies. I beand his sitting next to me, under such circum- haved to him only as a woman who likes flirting ; stances, I should apprehend could not possibly my conduct was unbecoming a married woman; afford any inference of any kind. In the even- she cannot say whether I was attached to Caping we were never alone. The whole company tain Manby or not; it was only a flirting coosat together; nay, even as to his being with me duct."—Now, Sire, I must here again most alone of a morning, Mrs. Lisle seems to know seriously complain that the Commissioners should nothing of the fact, but from a conjecture found. have called for, or received, and much more, ed upon her knowledge of my known usual habit, reported, in this manner, the opinion and judg. with respect to seeing geutlemen who might ment of Mrs. Lisle upon my conduct. Your call upon me. And the very foundation of her Majesty's Warrant purports to authorize them to conjecture demonstrates that this circumstance collect the evidence, and not the opinion of can be no evidence of any thing particular with others; and to report it, with their own judge regard to Captain Manby.As to my convers. ment surely, and not Mrs. Lisle's. Mrs. Lisle's ing with Captain Manby separately, I do not judgment was formed upon those facts which understand Mrs. Lisle as meaning to speak to she stated to the Commissioners, or upon other the state of the conversation uninterruptedly, facts. If upon those she stated, the Commis. during the whole of any of the several evenings sioners, and your Majesty, are as well able to when Captain Manby was with me; if I did so form the judginent upon them as she was. If understand her, I should certainly most coufi- upon other facts, the Commissioners should have dently assert, that she was vot correct. That heard what those other facts were, and npou in the course of the evening, as the ladies were them have formed and reported their judgment. working, reading, or otherwise amusing them- - I am aware, indeed, that if I were to argue selves, the conversation was sometimes more that the facts which Mrs. Lisle states, afford the and sometimes less general; and that they some explanation of what she means by “ only flirting times took more, sometimes less part in it;

-conduct,” and by “ behaviour unbecoming å that frequently it was between Captain Manby married woman," namely, that it consisted in and myself alone; and that, when we were all having the same gentleman to dine with me together, we two might frequently be the ouly three or four times a week ;-letting him sit persons not otherwise engaged, and therefore be next me at dinner, when there were no other justly said to be speaking together separately. strangers in company ;-conversing with him se. Besides, Captain Manby has been round the parately, and appearing to prefer his conversaworld with Captain Vancouvre. I have looked tion to that of the ladies,- it would be observed over prints iu books of voyages with him ; he has probably, that this was not all; that there was explained them to me; the ladies may or may always a certain iudescribable something in not have been looking over them at the same manner, which gave the character to conduct, time; they may have been engaged with their and must have entered mainly into such a judga own amusemenis. Here again, we may be said ment as Mrs. Lisle has here pronounced.To to have been conversing separately, and conse- a certain extent I should be obliged to agree to quently that Mrs. Lisle, in this sense, is perfect this ; but it I am to have any prejudice from ly justified in saying that “ I used to converse this observatiou; if it is to give a weight and separately with Captain Manby," I have not the authority to Mrs. Lisle's judgment, let me have least ditticulty in admitting. But have I not the advantage of it also. If it justifies the conagain reason to complain that this expression of clusion that Mrs. Lisle's censure upon my conMrs. Lisle's was not more sifted, but left in a duct is right, it requires also that equal credit manuer calculated to raise an impression that should be given to the qualification, the limit, this separate conversation was studiously sought and the restriction which she hersell puts upon for, was constant, uniform, and uninterrupted, that censure, -Mrs. Lisle, seeing all the facts though it by no means asserts any such thing which she relates, and observing much of manBut whether I used always so to converse with ner, which perhaps she could not describe, lihim ; or generully, or only sometimes, or for wliat mits the expression “ flirting conduct” by calling proportion of the evening I used to be so en- it “only flirting,” and says (upon, having the gaged, is left masked and unexplained. Have question asked to her, no doubt, whether froin I not likewise just reason to complain, that the whole she could collect that I was attached though Mrs. Lisle states, that Mrs. Fitzgerald to Captain Manby) says " she could not say and Miss Fitzgerald were always of the party, whether I was attached to him, my conduct nas

not of a nature that proved any attachment to had been prosecuted before your Majesty's laim, it was only a flirting conduct.” Vojnst Privy Council, the more solemn and usual course therefore, as I think it, that any such question of proceeding there would, as I am informed, should bave been put to Mrs. Lisle, or that her have furnished, or enabled me to furnish, your judgment should have been takeu at all ; yet Majesty with the questions as well as the answers. what I fear from it, as pressing with peculiar Mrs. Lisle, it should also be observed, was at hardship upon me, is, that though it is Mrs. the time of her examination, under the severe opLisle's tinal and ultimate judgment upon the pression of having, but a few days before, heard whole of my conduct, yet, when delivered to of the death of her daughter ;-a daughter, who the Commissioners and your Majesty, it be had been happily married, and who bad lived comes evidence, which, connected with all the happily with her husband, in mutual attachment facts on which' Mrs. Lisle had formed it, may till her death. The very circumstance of her lead to still further and more unfavourable con- then situation would naturally give a graver and clusions, in the minds of those who are after severer cast to her opinions. When the queswards to judge upou it;—that her judgment will tion was proposed to her, as a general question, be the foundation of other judgments against (and I presume it must have been su put to her) me, much severer than her own; and that whether my conduct was such as would become a though she evidently limits her opinion, and by married woman, possibly her own daughter's consaying “Only firting' impliedly negatives it as duct andwhat shewould have expectedof her,might affording any indication of any thing more im- present itself to her mind. And I confidently proper, while she proceeds expressly to negative submit to your Majesty's better judgment, that such it as affording any proof of attachment; yet it a general question ought pot, in a fair and candid may be thought by others, to justify their con- consideration of my case, to have been put to sidering it as a species of conduct, which shewed Mrs. Lisle, or any other woman. For, as to my an attachment to the man to whom it was ad- conduct being, or not being, becoming a mar. dressed; which in a married woman was crimi- ried woman; the same conduct, or any thing aal and wrong. What Mrs. Lisle exactly like it, which may occur in my case, could not means by only flirting conduct—what degree of occur in the case of a married woman, who was impropriety of conduct she would describe by not living in my unfortunate situation; or, if it it, it is extremely difficult, with any precision, did occur, it must occur ander circumstances lo ascertain. How many women are there, most which must - give it, and most deservedly, virtuvas, most truly modest, incapable of any a very different character. A married woman, thing impure, vicious, or immoral, in deed or living well and happily with her husband,could not thought, who, from greater vivacity of spirits, be frequently having one gentleman at her table, trom less natural reserve, from that want of with no other company but ladies of her family, caution, which the very consciousness of iono

--she could not be spending her evenings frecence betrays them into, conduct themselves in quently in the same society, and separately cona manner, which a woman of a graver character, versing with that gentleman, unless either with of more reserved disposition, but not with one the privity and consent of her husband; or by particle of superior virtue, thinks too incautious, taking advantage, with some nianagement of his too unreserved, too familiar; and which, if ignorance and his absence ;-if it was with his forced upon her oath to give her opinion upon privity and consent, that very circumstance it, she might feel herself, as an honest woman, alone would unquestionably alter the character bound to say in that opinion, was flirting?- of such conduct,-it with management she avoidBut whatever sense Mrs. Lisle anuexes to the ed his knowledge, that very management would word “flirting" it is evident, as I said before, betray a bad motive. The cases therefore are that she caunot mean any thing criminal, vicious, uot parallel; the illustration is not just; and the or indecent, or any thing withi the least shade of question, which called for such an answer from deeper impropriety than what is necessarily ex- Mrs. Lisle, ought not, in candour and fairness, pressed in the word " flirting.” She never would to bave been put.--I entreat your Majesty, have added, as she does in both instances, that however, not to misunderstand me; I should be it was only flirting ; if she had thought it of ashamed indeed to be suspected of pleading any a quality to be recorded in a formal Report, peculiar or unfortunate circumstance in my situamongst circumstances which must occasion the ation, as an excuse for any criminal or indecent most unfavourable iuterpretations, and which act. With respect to such acts, most unquesdeserved the most serious consideration of your tionably such circumstances can make no differMajesty. To use it so, I am sure your Majesty ence; and afford no excuse. They must bear inust see is to press it far beyond the meaning their own character of disgrace and iufamy, unwhich she would assign to it herself.---And as der al circumstances. But there are acts, which I have admitted that there may be much iude. are unbecoming a married woman, which ought scribable in the manner of doing any thing, so to be avoidedbyher,trom an apprehension lest they it must be admitted to me that there is much should render her husband uneasy, not because indescribable, and most material also in the they might give him any reason to distrust her manner of saying any thing, and in the accent chastity, her virtne or ber morals, but because with which it is said. The whole context serves they might wound his feelings, by indicating a much to explain it; and if it is in answer to a preference to the society of another man, over question, the words of that question, the man his, in a case, where she had the option of both. Der and the acceut in which it is asked, are also But surely, as to such acts, they must necesmost material to understand the precise mean- sarily bear a very different character, and receive ing, which the expressions are intended to a very different construction, in a case, where, convey; and I must lament therefore extremely, unhappily, there can be no such apprehension, if my character is to be affected by the opinion and where there is no such option. I must there: of any witness, that the question by hicũ that fore be excused for dwelling so uch upon this opinion was drawn from her, were not given part of the case; and I am sure your Majesty too, as well as her ausweis, and if this inquiry will teel me warranted in saying, what I say with

« PoprzedniaDalej »