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ing communicated. At the same time, morality, and who recollected when, no one could be more anxious than but a few years since, the opening of he, for an amicable accommodation.
a newspaper was regarded with fear If other propositions had been made and disgust by the father of every to her Majesty, which did not wear modest and well-conducted familyeven the appearance of an acknow- he called upon the House to pauseledgment of guilt—which, as a wo- only to pause, to ascertain if it were man of honour, and of unimpeached yet possible to escape from this threatcharacter and conduct, she might safe- ened calamity. ly acceptwhich would not have
The King was anxious for this in. been discreditable to a government quiry ; the Queen, conscious of innoto offer, and to which in justice the cence, and concerned for the vindiQueen might have yielded-hewould cation of her honour, was equally so; have been the first to have given his and they were seconded by a parhumble advicethat her Majesty should ty in the public actuated by a disrather go a step too far than not go eased and greedy appetite for scanfar enough to lend herself to an ho- dal. Considering himself as a mem. nourable but a private and amicable ber of the House, however, he would adjustment. His reason was this not hesitate even to go against her that from the beginning to the end Majesty's wishes. As her servant, he of these distressing transactions it would not disobey her commands, had been his most fervent wish, and and where her honour was at stake, upon
that principle his conduct had he would do his utmost to defend it; been built, that if it were possible for but in the humble performance of his her Majesty, consistently with her duty, he felt called upon here even to innocence, her honour, and her safe- thwart her Majesty's inclination, and ty, to submit to a private compro- he would tell her, “ Madam, if nemise rather than provoke a public gociation yet be possible, rather go discussion, she should give her con- too far, and throw yourself upon your sent. In this question the interest of country and upon Parliament for your the Royal Family was most deeply vindication, than not go far enough; concerned, and the interests of the if yet it be possible to avert the ruin constitution were implicated in pro- which this course, if persisted in, will portion; the peace, the tranquillity, bring upon the nation, do your utthe very morals of the nation, were most to postpone the calamity.” If involved ; we were on the brink of a he might advise those who stood in a precipice, or rather we were not yet similar situation with regard to the quite so near the edge as to afford a King, he would say to them, “ Act clear view of all its dangers; and if like honest men, and disregard all those who counselled the Crown did consequences-tender that counsel to not know, they ought to know, that your Sovereign which the case dewhen once the line was passed, re- mands, and do not fear that Parliatreat was impossible, and discussion ment will abandon you, or the couninevitable. For God's sake-for the try desert you; even party will not sake of the country--for the sake of disgrace itself to the lowest level to those whose memories might mislead which corrupt and unprincipled facthem, whose confidence might betray, tionists can descend, by taking ador whose blindness might beguile vantage of your faithful and fearless them-for the sake of the wives and discharge of a noble and disinterested daughters of all who loved decency, duty.” He did not believe that six or eight months would terminate the to watch her, and even bribing her threatened investigation. The cha- own servants, but it was found out racter of the witnesses must be tho- that he employed a smith to pick the roughly examined, and it would be locks of her writing-desk, in order to proved to be such, that if testimony examine any papers that might be in like theirs were believed, he would her possession. Unluckily for him, undertake to convict any man of any hat which he found proved that he offence. Mr Brougham insisted that had been on a false scent, and demonthe Queen had every reason to com- strated the innocence, instead of the plain of her treatment abroad. It guilt, of the illustrious personage. was said, that though the foreign mi- He admitted, indeed, that such connisters were not to acknowledge her duct had not been sanctioned by as Queen, they were to shew her all Count Munster, Ompteda's employer. sorts of civilities. Yet after all, to what Baron Reding, however, the present did these boasted civilities amount- minister at Rome, as soon as he heard civilities to the Queen of England- of the non-insertion of her Majesty's Queen whether we will or no-nay, name in the Liturgy, had procured Queen whether she herself will or the removal of the guard of honour no; what every merchant, trader, that had been appointed to attend dealer, and chapman, or even gentle- her. Nay, he would not give her the man's servant could obtain, was to be title of Queen, or even of Princess, lavished upon her, while every title but called her sometimes Caroline of of respect due to her elevated station Brunswick, at other times Caroline was to be rigorously withheld. And of England—a title which never, at could they wonder that any person, any time of her life, belonged to her. but more especially a woman, and Mr Brougham concluded, by destill more especially this woman, born manding, on the part of the Queen, a Princess, niece to Frederick of Prus- a speedy and open trial; while, from sia, niece to George III., daughter to himself, he besought the Commons the heroic Duke of Brunswick, and to save the country from those calaconsort to his present Majesty, the nities to which such an inquiry must first Sovereign of Europe; could they give rise. wonder that this exalted female should Mr Canning now rose, and made a feel acutely when the ministers of her speech which caused a peculiar senown country ventured to treat her sation both in the House and the pubwith indignity? He would give one lic, in consequence of the peculiar instance of the treatment which she tone which it assumed. This eminent had experienced. The Hanoverian statesman, in one of the many revoluinstrument, Baron Ompteda, who had tions of the political wheel, had been been most graciously and hospi- thrown into an intimate connexion tably received by the Queen, when with the Queen, while she was yet she was Princess of Wales—who had Princess of Wales ; and these public insinuated himself into her confi. ties were understood to have been dence, who had partaken largely of her combined with a peculiar degree of liberality, who had passed several personal intimacy and confidence. months at a time under her roof-this "The connection was not dissolved even man (not indeed the envoy of Hano- when a change of situation had placed ver to this country, but to the Holy Mr Canning in a less friendly attitude See) was discovered, not merely spy- towards her Majesty ; and it was suping into her actions, bribing strangers posed, that, even as Minister of the
King, his influence had been power- he had, and that he was equally conful in inclining her to the step of taking nected with both the parties between up her residence on the Continent. whom that difference had occurred. This original friendly intercourse ha- On the one side, to the sovereign ving thus continued without interrup- whom he served, he owed the duty of tion, it was probably with peculiar a privy counsellor ; on the other side, pain that Mr Canning found himself to the illustrious personage who was in a position so hostile as that which the remaining party to this discusnecessarily arose from the proceed- sion, he owed, and he unabated ings now in progress. In a crisis thus esteem, regard, and affection. And delicate, Mr Canning endeavoured to next to the extremity which was steer a difficult course—he sought to nearest his heart—that this inquiry maintain his place as minister, and to could be avoided-he cherished the support the views of his colleagues, hope that she would come out of without abating of that friendly and the trial superior to the accusation. flattering tone which he was wont to Mr Tierney had often pressed miuse towards the distinguished indivi- nisters with a dilemma, or figure of dual whose iews and claims he was speech, plausible in argument, but now called upon to oppose. This most fallacious in human affairs. He course, as is usual with middle and had said, “ Either the Queen is inno. temporizing measures, especially in cent, and ought to be fully acquitted; such an inflamed state of men's minds, or she is guilty, and ought not to reentirely failed. Without softening the ceive a shilling of the public money." opposite party, it was supposed to Ministers, however, he conceived, have given deep offence in a high were fully justified in their eager dequarter, whose views Mr Canning was sire to seize every means of avoiding supposed, by his situation, bound im- any discussion whatever. The sum of plicitly to second.
50,0001. had been that fixed by the Mr Canning began with declaring marriage treaty as her jointure; it had he never rose to deliver his sentiments been voted to her, by Parliament, as on a subject of so much delicacy and Princess of Wales, in contemplation interest, as that now before the House. of her permanent separation from her He was prepared to say, not only that husband. With regard to her Majesministers did not come to the coun- ty's titles, there was no design to take try-not only that they did not come any of them away ; but in a letter to Parliament-not only that they had which had since been published, the not sought this occasion—not only phrase that she should lay down all that they deprecated it with all their claim to the title and dignity of Queen hearts—but that they had interposed of England, was made use of. The every possible expedient to prevent a real proposal, however, was,
" that calamity, which they would with all she should use some other name than their power and all their means have that of Queen.” Gentlemen seemed averted. He must declare, individu- to confound the phrases, but they ally for himself, that in all the discus- were widely different and distinct. It sions which had preceded the unfor. had never been understood, that the tunate crisis to which they had now Emperor of Russia, when travelling arrived, he had looked to the whole through Germany under the title of case with as much anxiety, solicitude, Count-he recollected not what Count and pain, as if it had arisen from a -had renounced the title of Empedifference between the dearest friends rør. When goaded by charges of un
necessary and wanton insult, he must ing point of disaffection and of politi
could have made him a party to it. If tigation from proceeding further, if it any sacrifice on his part could have were possible; because, if the step then prevented this painful discussion, he recommended to them was once taken, would willingly have retired into the retreat would be found impossible afmost insignificant situation. Ministers ter it. If he saw a spirit in the House had, to the very last moment, entere likely to accede to such a suggestion, tained hopes of being able to bring he would propose an adjournment of the negociation with her Majesty to a this question for a day or two, in orfavourable conclusion ; those hopes der to see whether, through the inhad unfortunately been frustrated, and strumentality of common friends, some the cup of expectation dashed from compromise might not take place betheir lips at the very moment when tween the two parties. On every acthey were ready to enjoy it. One count, such a measure would be decourse only was then left for them to sirable; and, amongst others, on acadopt, and that was the course which count of the public morals, which they had adopted.
would not receive any taint from the Mr Brougham, admitting himself disgusting details which the papers as the author of the propositions al- then on the table of the House in all luded to by Mr Canning, declared, probability contained. that he had no expectation of their Mr F. Burton strongly seconded a being kept secret; and at the same motion, which, he said, if carried, time he denied having ever been, in any would carry with it the blessings of shape, the agent of ministers. At the the country. He was supported by desire of the Queen, he had, in July Mr Wynn, Mr Stuart Wortley, and a last, made a proposal to Lord Liver- crowd of other members. pool; but this proposal differed very Lord Castlereagh, though it was his materially from that afterwards made conviction that little could be expectto her Majesty by Lord Hutchinson. ed from delays, was ready to bow to It had been intimated, that she might the wisdom of those who entertainbe willing to remain abroad incognito; ed a different opinion. Without wishbut this was very different from being ing to enter at present into any discalled upon to renounce the title and cussion, he could not help expressing, honours of Queen. The propositions his strong disapprobation of much of first made had been tendered with ag- what had been said. To what the Sogravations he could not call them vereign must have felt as a man, and modifications which rendered it im- he must have felt most deeply, he possible to accept them.
would not advert; but the course which Mr Tierney made a pretty long and his Majesty had adopted was, to take rather desultory speech, censuring, in the advice of Parliament as to what all respects, the conduct of ministers, was fit to be done for the honour and and thinking that all concerned in the for the dignity of the Crown. He late negociation had got themselves should have been guilty of disobeinto a piteous plight.
dience to the orders of his Majesty, if Mr Wilberforce now came forward he had attempted to mix any opinion with a proposition tending to avert the or statement of his own with the imdiscussion with which the House was pulse which had governed his Majesty threatened. He was sure that there in the execution of a duty due to the was not a man in the House who was public; and it was impossible to avoid not desirous of preventing the inves- stating, that in the discharge of such