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66 was asked, did he afterwards? Why, go seem to involve a dereliction of his duty; "down stairs: she sent him for a book." but he trusted nothing should so far "How long was he in getting it?"" make him forget that duty, as to touch "Twenty minutes. Then it was asked, 6C upon matters by whose disclosure it "how long he staid the second time. This might be impaired. But the character 66 part of the examination was as much like" of his Noble Colleagues must not be left "an imputation on Mrs. Lisle, as upon" to suffer through his silence. They "the Princess. Well then the Princess" were all placed in the strange and hard "actually made Captain Moore a present "situation where they must be condemned "of a silver inkstand! Mrs. L. saw him" unheard, or look for an imperfect vindi"afterwards on the Princess Charlotte's" cation by the scantiness of their right to "birth-day, when he went. away before" explain. But nothing should prevent "the rest of the company. He (Mr. W.)" him giving the fullest denial to the ca"might now go to Mr. Lawrence, and so "lumny in question,-that Joulest, basest, "on to the end of the chapter in the same " and most malignant calumny that could 66 manner. He had, he conceived, done" have been thrown out against men in "enough in referring to this book; and "he clearly saw that the notes of the ex"amination took the sting entirely out of "the depositions."
the situation which he and his Noble "Colleagues had held. It would be "remembered that some years since His "Majesty had been advised to issue a This was the speech of Mr. WHITBREAD," Commission for an inquiry into matters as reported in the news-papers. He had, "which involved some eminent persons in by some means, obtained a written copy of " this country. In that Commission his the questions put to the witnesses. This" (Lord Ellenborough's) name was inpaper, it seems, he read to the house,serted, without his knowing any thing of making his remarks on it as he proceeded. "the matter. Once engaged by His MaNo notice, in public, was taken of this," jesty's command, he did his duty to the by the Four Lords, till the 22d of March, best of his power. But it was in the when they all four spoke of it in the House" performance of that duty that some perof Lords. Lord Ellenborough, the Lord son, with the most abandoned and deChief Justice, led the way; and, as the" lestable slander, had dared to charge other three gave their full assent to him with a gross act of dishonesty; him, correctness of his statement, I will not on whose character for integrity, diliinsert any of their speeches except his, gence, and care, depended more of the which I take from the Report, published' property and interests of the people than in the Times news-paper of the 23d of "on those of any other man in the country; March, and which report gave it in the yet of him, it was foully and slanderfollowing words.
ously alleged, that he had falsified the "evidence given before the Commission, "giving in as a document, evidence that
"Lord Ellenborough commenced by "( saying, that he had to trouble their 66 Lordships on an occasion, in which many was not received, and suppressing that "motives concurred to make him come "which was actually given. This was ali "forward reluctantly. The House would "a lie—a vile slander,—all false as Hell. "understand, that the circumstance to "He would not violate the propriety of "which he alluded, was connected with" that House; he knew the respect and "the mention of individuals whom his re- "decency which it required; but he must 66 spect would not allow him lightly to "give the lie to falsehood. He should now 66 name. He was aware, that in coming "trouble the House with a short statement "forth to clear himself, there might be "of facts. In the course of the inquiry' an imputation of weakness and irritation" his Noble Colleagues thought it proper "under the charge which forced him for-" to have some person to take down and "ward; but then it was necessary that 66 arrange the evidence. His Majesty's "truth should be told: there were cases, "Solicitor General at that time, (Sir "in which all of respect that we could feel" Samuel Romilly,) was the person Exed "for general opinion,-all of credit that" on. One evening the Commission havwe could claim with the world,-all ho-" ing met, and the witnesses being in atnour and propriety urged us on exculpa-" tendance, it was thought better not to ❝tion. Another reason still might retard" defer the examination, and lose the even"him,-he was a Privy Councillor: go- "ing, though from some circumstance or "ing into a question of this nature might "other Sir Samuel Romilly was not in
"attendance. The messenger sent for" Now what was the case in which leading "him could not find him, and the exami- " questions could be put? It was, where "nation proceeded. The Commissioners" there were contending parties; and lead"requested that he (Lord Ellenborough)," ing questions were only improper when as he had been in the habit of taking "the counsel might be suspected of in"down evidence, and probably took down "structing his own witness. But the Judge "in the year twice as much as any man in "had a right to put any question which "the kingdom, should take down the evi-" appeared to him likely to elucidate the "dence of the witnesses in attendance." truth. There was another case, when "He declared upon the most sacred asse- "the witness was adverse; but here the "veration that could be made,-the most" rule had its exceptions, and nothing to હ solemn sanction of an oath,-that every "be derived from it could impeach the "word of that deposition came from the "putting of any questions by Commissioners lips of the witness in question,-that" who could have had no object but the truth. "every word of it was read over to her,- "It remained for this stupid and cursed "if not paragraph by paragraph, as it was" impudence, for impudence was a curse, "taken down, certainly all after it was to add another query, and gravely de"taken, and every sheet signed with "mand why the examination had not been If it would not be going" written in question and answer.
her name. "into the particular disclosure, which was there a man grey-headed in the law "nothing could induce him to allow or "who had ever heard of such a thing? "advise, the bare inspection of the paper "If the whole of the facts could be de"would be enough to shew that fabrica-tailed, no prejudice on the subject could "tion was impossible. It was full of in- " lie on the minds of the public for an "terlineations; the mind of the party was "instant. But as a Privy Councillor he "expressed in its language,-any man" could not address the Prince Regent. "might have seen, in its changes and cor- "for that purpose-( Hear)-One of the rections, that the deposition went to most alarming symptoms of the age was, "ascertain the full meaning of the witness," that brutal and savage indifference with "and could not have been the work of "which men threw about slander at the "him or the other Commissioners. He 66 highest characters: this was tossing "might, at least, from his station, take "firebrands,' and then saying, am I not "the credit of laborious accuracy; and he" in sport? But in the whole transaction, "would venture to say, that not one word" he and the Noble Commissioners, he was in that written deposition which had "must be allowed to say, felt, not perfect "not been spoken by the witness. But" indifference, (for who could feel indif"how absurd was the charge! Would "ference?) but a single desire to do their "his Noble Colleagues have suffered him" duty-Hear!). He was sorry to have "to vitiate the evidence! Would they SO far troubled the House. His purpose "have allowed him to set down a word on "the paper which was not deposed by the "witness? He had every reason, from "the most perfect recollection, to say, "that the paper in question contained the "whole evidence-and nothing but the "evidence of the witness. Their Lord"ships would forgive him for those repe"titions; but when they shewed so just a 'jealousy of the reputation of their body, "when it was so important that his (Lord "Ellenborough's) integrity should stand "without suspicion, from the multitude of "interests connected with it,-their Lord"ships could not blame him for standing "forth to repel in the strongest manner so "base and impudent, and miscreant an im"putation. (Hear.) Nay, the thing was "foolish as well as wicked. It was despi"cable from its very stupidity. It charged "him with putting leading questions.
was not vindictive, but exculpatory. "For whatever punishment the offence "might call, he would call for none;-he
was only desirous to stand unimpeached "in the opinion of the country, and honest "in the eyes of his fellow-men."
My Lord, the Chief Judge, appears to have been very much enraged upon this occasion. He appears to have been greatly moved. He appears to have been in a passion, as people call it. But, before I make any remark on the merits of this dispute between the Four Lords and Mr. Whitbread, it will be necessary to pursue the matter as it proceeded in parliament, where, on the 23d of March, Mr. Whitbread, having, in the meanwhile, applied to Mrs. Lisle, produced a letter, signed by that lady, stating, that the paper, which he had sent to her (the same which he had read in the House) was a correst
copy of the questions put to her and of her | Lisle, who had read and signed her deanswers, as she had written the whole position, seems to have thought it necessary down, immediately after the examination to guard against this; for, upon her going took place. He also entered into an ex- home, she wrote down the answers as conplanation as to the nature of the animad- tained in her deposition, and she put to versions which he had made upon the con- them the questions, by which those anduct of the Four Lords; and said, that he swers were drawn forth. This she rehad not accused them of putting a false garded as an act of justice due to Her deposition upon paper; that he had not Royal Mistress, and, as appears from her accused them of any fabrication; that he Letter to Mr. Whitbread, she immediately had not said, that they had been guilty of gave Her Royal Highness a copy of the any falsification of testimony; but, that he whole of the examination, in question and had said, that leading questions were put, answer; and, as you will perceive, Her and that, if the evidence had been inserted Royal Highness says, in one part of her by question and answer, instead of putting defence, that, in such a case, the quesdown the answers only, Mrs. Lisle's tes- tions as well as the answers ought to have timony would have appeared in a very dif- been subjoined to the Report. ferent light from what it did; and this appears to have been the impression on the mind of Mrs. Lisle herself; for, otherwise, why did she write down the questions and answers upon going home from the Commissioners ?
The main points to be considered here are, first, whether leading questions ought to have been put by the Four Lords upon such an occasion; secondly, whether they ought to have reported the evidence in question and answer, or only in the an
Mr. Whitbread has, by the writers in some of the news-papers, as well as by the Four Lords, been charged with ignorance, because he complained of the putting of leading questions. It is very well known, that, what is called a leading question is sometimes intended or has an obvious tendency to draw from a witness that which is not true; or, at least, to point out to him what to say; and, such questions are not allowed to be put by the advocate on whose side the witness is brought; but that any question may be put by the adverse advocate, or by the Judge, because they cannot be suspected of any desire to tutor the witTherefore, as applicable to the present case, Lord Ellenborough is reported to have said, that "nothing could impeach the putting of leading questions by "the Commissioners, who could have no "object but the truth." No: certainly. God forbid that I should say, that they had any object but the truth; but, still, when a deposition, consisting, in part, of answers to leading questions, came to be published to the world, such deposition might be understood in a sense different from that in which a simple declaration, or narration, of the witness would be understood; and, indeed, in this case, Mrs.
Upon this second point, the Lord Chief Justice defied any man to cite an instance, in which the minutes of a Judge had been taken down in any other way than that in which Mrs. Lisle's deposition had been taken down; and, in the House of Commons, Mr. Whitbread was told, that he ought to have known, from his attendance at the Quarter Sessions, that such was the universal practice; and that, therefore, he ought to have considered it as proper in this case.
Now, observe, it must here be supposed, that the reprovers of Mr. Whitbread spoke either of depositions or examinations previous to trial; or, of examinations before a court and jury; and, I am of opinion, that neither of these furnishes a case in point. As to the first, the examinations thus taken do not serve as the ground of any final decision; the party accused may be held to bail or committed upon them; but, he is afterwards to be tried; the whole is to be heard over again before other magistrates and before jurors, who are to decide upon the case; but, who are not to decide, till they themselves have heard the witnesses speak; till they themselves have heard the questions as well as the answers. In the case of Mrs. Lisle's deposition, there was no after examination' to take place. The King, to whom the deposition was sent along with the Report upon it, was to form his judgment upon the answers only. The difference here is so manifest and so important that it needs nothing further to make you fully sensible
As to examinations before a court and jury, it is very true, that the Judge makes a minute of the answers only. When he sums up the evidence, he seldom says a word about the questions, and merely tells
the jury, that the witness has sworn thus | House of Commons, for instance, this is and thus, repeating, as nearly as possible, the practice; and, the reason of it appears the words of the witness; but, observe, to be this: that the House itself, who is to though the Judge does not minute down the questions; though he does not state the questions to the jury; the jury have HEARD THEM ALL; and, when they are told by the Judge, that the witness has said so and so, they have fresh in their mind the question in answer to which he so said; and that, by that means, they are enabled to give to the answer its precise value, which no one who has not heard the question can be able to do.
You will please to bear in mind, that it was the King who was to decide upon Mrs. Lisle's testimony. It was to him, that the Four Lords made their report upon that evidence, and that it was to him, that her deposition was sent. And, it is necessary for you to keep in mind also, that Mrs. Lisle was one of the four witnesses,, mentioned at the close of the Report, as having given testimony calculated to give rise, and, indeed, which must necessarily give rise, to very unfavourable interpretations as to the conduct of the Princess. The other three of these four witnesses, Cole, Bidgood, and Fanny Lloyd, we have seen enough of before; but Mrs. Lisle, a lady of unimpeached character, who had been with the Princess for many years, and who has remained with her almost up to this time, was, and is, worthy of serious attention.
It was the King, you will perceive, who was to decide upon the value of every expression of Mrs. Lisle, and the King was not present, as a juror is, to hear the questions as well as the answers; and, therefore, as Mr. Whitbread contended, the King had not the best means of arriving at a just opinion of the value of Mrs. Lisle's evidence. The same might be said of the public. They saw only the answers; and, though the Four Lords did not publish the depositions, the depositions were published; the answers of Mrs. Lisle were published; and, therefore, Mr. Whitbread thought it just; he thought it necessary to a right decision by the people, that the questions as well as the answers should be publicly known.
When it was contended, that Judges in their minutes and Justices in their examinations took down and recorded only the answers of witnesses, it might have been recollected, that, in other cases, the ques
well as the answers are taken als before Committees of the
decide upon any special report of their Committees, are not present to hear the examinations; and, therefore, must have question as well as answer to enable them to judge correctly of the real value and amount of the evidence. And, as to trials that are published, the question, as well as the answer, is invariably given, as being absolutely necessary to give the public a clear insight of the matter. The fact appears to me to be this; that, where the party who is to decide is not present at the examination, the question as well as the answer is necessary to the ends of fair decision. The Four Lords, looking upon theinselves apparently as judges or magistrates, followed the usual practice of judges or magistrates; but, they do not appear to have adverted to the circumstance of the king not being present as jurors are; and, as to the capacity of magistrate, they did, unfortunately for the Princess and fortunately for Lady Douglas, soon find, that they were not acting in that capacity.
The vast difference between a report of evidence in question and answer, and one only in the answers, will appear in a moment, if we take a passage from this very evidence of Mrs. Lisle, in which, for instance, she says;
"At Lady Sheffield's Her Royal Highness paid more attention to Mr. "Chester than to the rest of the Com
66 pany. I knew Her Royal Highness "walk out alone with Mr. Chester "twice in the morning; once a short "time it rained-the other not an hour 66 -not long. Mr. Chester is a pretty young man.' Now, this, though quite sufficient for a judge, or for a jury, who had heard the questions, must have, on mere readers of the deposition, a very different effect from that which would naturally be produced by the reading of the same thing in question and answer; thus:
At Lady Sheffield's did Her Royal High
ness pay more attention to Mr. Chester than to the rest of the company?— Yes.-Did you know Her Royal Highness walk out alone with Mr. Chester?—Yes; she walked out twice in the morning once a short time it rained-the other not an hour-not long.Is Mr. Chester a handsome young man?—He is pretty. You see, my friend, the statement is
precisely the same in words; but, the im- "flirting;" and, in another place she calls pression it conveys is very different indeed. the conduct of the Princess "ONLY a As the story stands in the deposition," flirting conduct." The word to flirt stripped of the form of question and answer, means, in its proper sense, to banter ar it would appear to come voluntarily from jeer. I know not, for my part, what other Mrs. Lisle; and the circumstance of Mr. sense can be given to it; and, therefore, all Chester being a pretty young man would that Mrs. Lisle says here is, that the naturally, in the mind of the mass of read- Princess behaved with Captain Manby like ers, appear to have occurred to Mrs. Lisle a woman who likes bantering and joking. herself as the CAUSE of the Princess's Lord preserve all our wives from such attention to him more than to the rest of the a scrutiny! I am really afraid, that it company, and also as the CAUSE of the would be too much even for those most walks with him alone. Therefore, though amiable and most virtuous of creatures, the it was the duty of the four Lords to use all sleek sisterhood of Pennsylvania. And yet, possible means to get at the truth as to every as you see by the Report, Mrs. Lisle's evicircumstance; and though they, in re- dence did, in the opinion of the Four cording the evidence, followed the usual Lords, give rise to unfavourable interprepractice of judges and magistrates, we can- tations. Judge, then, to what a pitch we, not help lamenting that they did not think in this country, carry our notions of female it necessary to put down and report the decorum! questions as well as the answers. Lord Ellenborough appears to have thought, that he and his coadjutors had been charged with a falsification of evidence; a suppression of evidence; but, really, I did not so understand Mr. Whitbread. I understood him simply to say; that, if the questions as well as the answers, in the case of Mrs. Lisle, had been given, the impression produced by her evidence, upon the mind of the reader of it, would be different from what it must be while nothing but the answers were seen. It seems to have been understood, that Mr. Whitbread had stated, that the evidence was taken down by the four Lords in question and answer, and that they put only the answers into the deposition. But, this is not the way in which I understood him. I understood him to say, that he had obtained a copy of the answers accompanied by the questions; but, not to say that the questions had been taken down by the four Lords, and afterwards suppressed by them; and, in short, the only points upon which there seems to have been any real difference of opinion were these: whether, in the first place, it was right to put leading questions; and whether, in the next place, the questions ought not, in this case to have been given as well as the answers.
The word ONLY seems, however, to take the sting completely out of this part of Mrs. Lisle's evidence; for, if she had meant by the word flirting, any thing criminal, any thing vicious, any thing indecent, any thing gross, any thing indecorous, any thing improper, she would never have prefixed to it the word ONLY. She would not have said only criminal, only vicious, only indecent, only gross, only indecorous, or, only improper; and, if it was something, which was neither criminal, vicious, indecent, gross, indecorous, nor improper; if it was neither of these, in the name of common sense, what harm was there in it; and, in what way could it possibly give rise to unfavourable interpretalions? You see, too, that Mrs. Lisle must have had some question put to her which drew forth the word ONLY; so that, this word must be taken to exclude all that is not included in the word flirting; and, of course, to shut out every thing of a higher cast than that of flirting, which means neither more nor less than bantering. You yourself are a very sober, grave man, and not at all likely to wink at improper conduct in any woman, especially a married woman, though separated from her husband without any fault of her's; but, would you, if you were told, that such a woman were given to banter, and did actually banter, with a man in the presence of several other women, think it right to give an unfavourable interpretation to her conduct on that account?
The defence of the Princess is so complete and every way satisfactory upon the evidence of Mrs. Lisle, that I can hardly think it necessary for me to say any thing more about it; but, there is one point or two on which I cannot refrain from making But, Mrs. Lisle says, as is stated in the a few observations. She says, that "Her deposition (see Register, p. 466), that "she "Royal Highness behaved to Capt. Manby "would not have 1HOUGHT that any "ONLY as any woman would' who likes" married woman would have behaved pro