Imatges de pàgina

that, on such an occasion, her Ma- Majesty. What was understood was, jesty had not resorted to the advice that by her Majesty remaining abroad, of those who were her professional ad- the whole of those conflicts would be visers, and that she should have suf- avoided which must arise from her refered by a base and pernicious inter- sidence in this country; for it could ference. It was a full month ago not be denied, that, if her Majesty resince ministers had communicated to mained here, with the rights and pri. Mr Brougham the principle on which vileges of her rank as Queen, it would they intended to act. He had no he occasion daily conflicts in a particular sitation in stating, that if her Ma quarter, which there would be no lack jesty had allowed that practical se- of disposition to turn to another purparation to continue which had so pose. The understanding with respect long subsisted, and had remained to her Majesty's title as Queen was, abroad, so far from bringing on any that (assuming her residence abroad) measure of this kind, his Majesty's she should travel under such a title as ministers would have felt it their duty might prevent the recurrence of those to avert this painful examination. He circumstances which must be painful deprecated the assertion, that it was

to her Majesty, and which arose from a flagrant breach of duty to have held conflicts with public officers abroad out what was termed a bribe to her while travelling under her title as Majesty—that it was a forgetfulness Queen. But this was never meant to of constitutional duty to have offered be understood as requiring her Maany sum of money, without previous- jesty to surrender any legal right or ly consulting the House, who were ul- title which she possessed;

and the hotimately to vote it. In contracting nourable and learned gentleman poswith a foreign power for a subsidy, sessed a document which would put no previous mention was made to this matter beyond all doubt, and Parliament of the sum so to be given. shew that no such thing was ever in No doubt the treaty would be after- contemplation as to take away any of wards to be submitted to Parliament, her Majesty's legal rights or titles. and such would be the understanding As to the reports of his Majesty's with all the contracting parties; but ministers acting as men and as minisstill it was the practice to arrange the ters in opposition to her Majesty, and amount of the sum, without any pre- wishing to deprive her of those rights vious application to Parliament. It and privileges which she ought to was said that the offer had been made enjoy, he would say, that there was to her Majesty on condition of her re- no foundation for the charge. There signing her titles and rank as Queen. existed no such disposition amongst No such proposition could be made ; his Majesty's ministers. But in looknor could it be said that proceedings ing at the privileges of her Majesty, should be commenced as against her the House should distinguish between Majesty, in consequence of her not those which she held as matters of resigning her honours and titles as right, and those which she enjoyed as Queen. Her Majesty could not re- matters of grace and favour on the sign those titles; they belonged to part of his Majesty. If not debarred her, and they could not be removed, from those which belonged to her as unless the legislature concurred in an matters of right, she ought not to act for that purpose. Therefore such complain that she did not enjoy those a proposition could not be made to, which are only or effectively complied with by her As an instance of a privilege

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of the latter description, he would of application made by the minister at mention reception at court;of this Stutgard. These instructions distinctthe King himself must be the best ly said, that they were not in their ofand sole judge, for no one would as- ficial character to give to her Majesty sert that he had not a right to regu- any public or official reception ; that late his own court and his own fami- they were not themselves to be the ly; and no one could justly complain instrument of introducing her Maof his doing so. When this subject jesty at foreign courts; and that if was before the House on a former oc- any foreign court should think fit to casion, it was held that the King was give a public reception to her, they the regulator of his own court, and were not to assist on the occasion as the Queen of her drawing-room; and the ministers of this country. But that the King had the undoubted right it would be found that it was laid to arrange his court and family as down in those instructions, quite as be pleased. He apprehended that broadly, that they were equally enany honours paid to the Royal Fami- joined to obtain for, and give to her ly were derived from the favour of the Majesty, every possible facility and Crown; and any want of respect to comfort in the prosecution of her trathe Crown might be a ground for velsthrough the kingdoms where they depriving any member of that family might be stationed ; and that she was of those privileges. He apprehended not to receive any interruption. He that the coronation was also a privi- hoped the House, at least, were satislege which must be considered as de- fied with the explanations which he rived from the grace and favour of the had given; but he had no hesitation Crown; but he would admit, that in in saying, that the miseries which had this the Crown should not act irra. attended her Majesty's travels arose tionally, but upon intelligible princi- from the situation of her Majesty herples

. In the same manner must be self. He had already explained, that viewed the reception by authorities at her Majesty, since the accession of home or abroad; they all proceeded his Majesty, had travelled under no from the grace and favour of the So- other character than that of Queen of vereign. Was it meant to be said, that England; and the fact was, that her the Crown, for exercising its undoubt- Majesty was in the habit of pressing ed prerogative in withholding these the question of her public situation distinctions, was to be accused of in- upon the public authorities of counjustice towards that individual whom tries; and, first, upon our own miniits determination affected? He should sters, because they were the channels be prepared, at another time, to con- of the highest respectability for in. tend, that it was entirely in the discre- troduction to foreign courts. As to tion of the Crown, whether the mem- guards of honour, which were matbers of the Royal Family should be ters of favour, and by no means matprayed for in the liturgy, by name, or ters of right, they were not usually generally as the Royal Family; but, granted to those travelling under an above all

, he should contend that it incognito; and from this, and other was for the Crown to grant or with- circumstances, it was to be inferred, hold such a favour. As to the treat- that her Majesty's own acts were the ment of the Queen by the foreign mi- only reason why every facility, of nisters of the Crown, this point had every kind, was not experienced by been settled since 1817, when instruc- her. There had been no unbecoming tions had been issued in consequence severity exercised towards her Ma

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jesty, even after her unwished-for ar- who had taught her either that her rival in this country. Immediate no- honour or her innocence and he tice had been given that her income trusted that she might be able to would be continued without interrup- vindicate both-would be supported tion. If a palace had not been pro- by the agitation of the country, she vided, it was merely because there could reap nothing but regret and was none in readiness; and others of disappointment from allowing herthe Royal Family were in a similar self, however undesignedly, to be the situation. He did not disguise from dupe of such wicked and dangerhimself, nor attempt to conceal from

If she had any enemies others, the difficulties of the peculiar upon earth, whose advice could make situation of the House ; nor its anxi. her cause despicable as well as odious ous embarrassment, under the circum- in the sight of all honest men, they stances of the case ; nor the desire were those who would advise her to a which it must feel to conclude such a garbled, untrue, and inaccurate disdiscussion. But he trusted, that what closure of facts, or who advised any ever were the difficulties of the case; disclosure but to Parliament, which whatever might be their feelings upon would hear her with that favour with it; yet, under the influence of our which it was always disposed to listen happy constitution, there would be to the accused. It was only by ignowisdom enough in both Houses of rant, weak, or wicked persons, that Parliament to meet them ; that there any appeal could be advised, which would be found to prevail the most might have the effect of reviving temperate deliberation, and an ab- crimes, or repeating agitations, which sence of all that feeling and irritation had already disturbed and disgraced upon the subject, which might pre- the country. vent Parliament from arriving at the Lord Castlereagh was answered by only goal, which, he would assure the Mr Brougham, whose observations, House, was contemplated by his Ma- independent of the great talent by jesty's Government namely, the which they were marked, excited peexecution of impartial justice be- culiar interest, from the confidential tween the parties, without favour or situation in which he stood, with reaffection. He did trust that the gard to the Queen. He began by extone and attitude which were always pressing his satisfaction, that the hour assumed by Parliament upon great was at length arrived when he might occasions would be preserved upon freely, fully, and openly defend those this ; and that though the people interests to the best of his abilities, could not help sharing in the anguish although he must do so, unfortunatewhich the unfortunate circumstances ly, under the consciousness of his inof the case were calculated to cause adequacy to so great a task-great, to every bosom in the country, yet as regarded those interests which were they would have the satisfaction of here at stake, and yet more so, as reknowing that the interests of justice garded those others which they inwere properly supported. But if there volved. It was to Parliament that was any disposition to evade this the illustrious lady, who was the subquestion, coming as it did before Par- ject of this debate, addressed herself; liament; if, unfortunately, an illus- but it was to the high court of Partrious

personage had lent her ear to liament, and not to any selected band any mischievous or false adviser, (loud of mutes, that she made her appeal. and repeated cries of Hear, hear, hear,) Her sagacity, not inferior to that of any person in public or private life ed her heart, and given vent to her whom he had ever met with, her na- feelings in acknowledgment of the tural propriety of conduct, a proprie- reception which she met with. It ty maintained under circumstances was perhaps a misfortune that such the most dangerous and hostile to do things had occurred, and that the mestic harmony and domestic virtue, possibility of their occurrence had satisfied the mind of her Majesty, not been prevented. The noble lord that an open investigation could alone (Castlereagh) the organ in that House answer the ends of justice. Exposed of a ricketty and shattered adminias she had been to unusual and im- stration, the leading member of a caminent temptation, separated from binet whose only glory was, that it all those friendships and that regular comprised the first military genius intercourse which were the best guar- of his age, (the Duke of Wellingdians and preservatives of female vir- ton,) and the most successful comtue; under all the perilous circum- mander whom his country had prostances in which she was placed, she duced ; that noble lord had, it was courted, and declined not, inquiry. true, endeavoured to shew that the Although deprived of that salutary form of proceeding which he recomassistance and control which was best mended might wear the semblance afforded by habits of a domestic na- of a just and impartial investigation. ture-of that advantage which must Did any man in sober sense even imaalways be reaped from an association gine that a select committee of that with those where the feelings of na- House bore the least similitude to a ture were most cherished—the illus- grand jury? Was there any thing at trious lady in question came forward all analogous to the ordinary course with, to all appearances, nothing but of law, the forms of its process, or conscious innocence to support her. the rules of its dispensation, in the The moral vigour, the strong facul- proceeding to which the noble lord ties to which he had alluded, would invited their support ? Many would of themselves, independent of her il- concur with the noble lord's object, lustrious birth, have prevented any but few would assent to his reasonmean or degrading concession on her ing. The evidence which the noble part.

lord now talked of referring to a comMr Brougham seemed to admit, mittee, was made up of papers only, that the abrupt arrival in England of papers transmitted from beyond was an error, but excused it on ac- the Alps, and which, for reasons that count of her long residence abroad, he could not understand, were now and disunion from English society. for the first time to be disclosed. Would those who heard him, pos- These papers, however, it appeared, sessing as he knew they did, the feel. were intended to save the committee ings of men and of gentlemen, with the trouble of examining witnesses a living spark of honour animating to their face. For his own part he their breasts, severely blame an er knew nothing of the materials which ror, if an error it was, which, under were to constitute the subject of in. the guidance of perhaps not absolute quiry ; his knowledge was confined wisdom, her Majesty had been induced to the exterior of a green bag. In to commit? After an absence of six that bag was contained not only all years, placed in a difficult and trying the documentary evidence, but all situation, it would have been almost the evidence of any kind which could unnatural if the Queen had not open- be adduced before a committee. He



had reason to believe that no living curity, when left to the uncertain iswitness would be brought forward sue of a committee's investigation ? for any further purpose than that of Might not that character be in effect verifying certain signatures.

destroyed and blasted by the report Mr Brougham then made severe of a committee? The House well strictures on the conduct of an emic knew, that if his Majesty's ministers nent practitioner in Chancery, who thought that there were grounds of achad taken an active part in collecting cusation, the committee would think the evidence; but the noble lord so likewise. Why did not his Mathought proper to contend, that all jesty's ministers act upon the persuaproceedings before a committee would sion which they affected to entertain? be indifferent as to the result of an Why shift responsibility on other ulterior inquiry. This proposition shoulders, or shelter themselves behe begged leave to deny at once. hind better names than their own? The report of a committee of that If the House upon its own rights House was not indifferent to the fame thought proper to become accusers, or interests of any individual. What he for one should be much more sahonourable member would choose to tisfied than with the report of a comhave his honour, his life, or his repu. mittee. Such a mode of proceeding tation, made dependent on the deli- would carry with it no prejudice, nor berations or judgment of such a tri- raise any obstruction to the free course bunal ? Who would be satisfied to of judicial inquiry. Admitting that have his whole conduct during six something in the nature of a prelilong years, and at the distance of a minary investigation ought to take thousand miles, without the power place, it was not to the keeping of a of calling a single witness, or know- committee that he would entrust a ing what was in agitation against sacred charge-thechargeof a Queen's him, made a matter of grave inquiry? honour and fair fame. He called on every man who heard In regard to the negociation, Mr him to lay his hand on his heart and Brougham admitted the propriety declare, whether in his own case he with which ministers could make would put his trust, or rest his final an offer, subject to the future sanchope, on a committee. The House tion of Parliament. The offensive part would bear in mind what would be of the proposition was, that 50,000l. the probable composition of that com- had been offered, on condition of mittee, and would easily understand steps on the Queen's part, which that it would sit within the wall of would imply a tacit admission, that darkness. Was then a solemn par- there was something about her, which liamentary opinion to be recorded in would not bear the light. It was no this manner? The noble lord's dis doubt common for royal personages tress, in bringing forward this pro- to travel under a borrowed name, position, was manifest. There was, but then this name was usually one he verily believed, nothing of his belonging to their family; the privi(Lord Castlereagh's) earthly goods, lege of using which, the Queen was nothing of his future hopes, which he required to renounce. He had been would not cheerfully surrender, in falsely represented, as having advised order to avoid the dreadful alterna- the Queen to reject the propositions tive which awaited him. How could only after having heard her impresthe character of her Majesty, or of sions on the subject ; he had given any other person, be said to be in se- this advice immediately on their be

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