Imatges de pÓgina
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in making such ample offers of mo- The House having now voted that ney and dignity, while they brought counsel should be called in, the foldforward such charges. This, how- ing doors behind the bar were thrown ever, was their concern; he came to open, and Messrs Brougham, Dendo his duty as a Peer of Parliament, man, Lushington, Williams, Tindal, unbiassed by any earthly considera- and Wild, followed by Mr Vizard, tion. When his noble friend asked, appeared on behalf of her Majesty . what State necessity existed for this A moment after, the Attorney and measure, he would answer, this was Solicitor-General, the King's Advothe necessity-he was placed with cate, Dr Adam, and Mr Park, enter. this alternative before him, either to ed by the door commonly appropriaproceed in some way or other to in- ted to strangers. They were attendvestigate the charges brought against ed by the Solicitor to the Treasury, the Queen, or else to consent to raise and by Mr Powell, who attended the her to the high dignity, and rank, Milan commission. and pre-eminence, which belonged The Duke of Hamilton having deto that exalted situation, while this manded by whom the Attorney-Geimputation rested on her character neral had been instructed to appear, unheard and unanswered. Before ad. Lord Liverpool replied, that it was in mitting the necessity, however, of the consequence of an order received from present bill, he would wish to be sa- the House. He had taken those steps tisfied by the opinion of the judges, which to him seemed best, for the

purwhether there did not exist grounds pose of obtaining information. He for laying an indictment for high had applied for information to the treason, when the inquiry could be Secretary of State for the Home Decarried on in a more regular manner, partment, and with that, and such and with greater advantages to the other information as had been obtainindividual accused.

ed, he now appeared for the purpose The Marquis of Lansdowne took of opening the case. nearly the same view of the subject. dir Brougham rose, and urged that The Lord Chancellor and the Earl of the time was now come, when he Liverpool enforced those which they ought to be heard against the prinhad formerly stated. The question ciple of the bill. He alluded to the proposed by Lord Grey was finally case in 1692, of the Duchess of Nor. put, when the Chief Justice deliver- folk, who had been heard on that ed the following opinion :

ground over and over, both at the “The Judges have conferred toge- first and second reading ; also to that ther upon the question proposed to of Knight and Burkett, in 1692; and them by the House, whether, if a fo. of Lord Anglesea, in 1700. reigner, owing no allegiance to the Counsel being removed, the Earl Crown of England, violates in a fo- of Liverpool suggested, that the rereign country the wife of the King's gular course was first to receive the eldest son, and she consents thereto, evidence, and then to hear counsel, she commits high treason, within the both upon the principle of the bill, meaning of the Act of the 25th Ed- and upon the facts proved. The Ward Ill.? And we are of opinion, Chancellor expressed the same opithat such an individual, under such nion; but Lord Lansdowne obsercircumstances, does not commit high ving, that if the learned counsel pretreason, within the meaning of that ferred to argue at present on the Act."

principle of the bill, it might spare

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the painful necessity of going at all peachment applied to all cases not into the evidence, the permission to cognizable by the ordinary jurisdicdo so was carried without a division. tions: There could be no reason

Mr Brougham, accepting the per- against impeachment, therefore, exmission, proceeded to argue against cept that the evidence was so lame the principle of the bill. He object- and defective, that no House of Comed, first, that it was a private law, in- mons could be expected to pass a vote troduced in a particular case for the upon it. In impeachment, her Mapunishment of an individual. It was jesty would have had a specification a mode of proceeding known unhap- of the charges, and all the advantages pily in the jurisprudence of all coun- of a real judicial proceeding. He tries, but never resorted to in any would not say that the present meacountry, nor in the worst of times, sure might not be carried on in the without producing a deep sense of its spirit of justice, but in every other hateful consequences, and its utter respect it was as unlike a just mearepugnance to every sound principle sure, as any to be found recorded in of jurisprudence. Such laws had, in the annals of Parliament. He would the earliest periods of Roman juris- ask, where was that impelling and prudence, been called privilegia, but overruling necessity (he did not say privilegia odiosa. They were such, motive, for that might be guessed) indeed, that governments, not the which alone could prescribe and juswisest or the best, bad started back tify this measure? Was the succesat the idea of plunging into suchsion or its purity endangered, or was

Enactments of this nature, there even a possibility of its being in the age following that in which put in jeopardy? If this question had they had served their temporary pur- been brought forward while his illuspose,

had been almost always rescind- trious client was only Princess of ed. He would pass over the acts of Wales, divorce could have been obthat barbarous and detested prince, tained only on the ordinary terms, Henry VIII. The case of the Earl of and would consequently have been Strafford was sufficient for his pur- impossible. Her enemies had waited pose. The bill reversing his attain- till the question was not between der, branded it with such horror, that man and wife, but between King and all proceedings relative to it were to Queen. On this ground, however, be cancelled. The present bill, sub- he could not but implore their Lordstituting for death deprivation of ships to pause. “ I put out of view," rank the most illustrious, removal said Mr Brougham, “ at present the from a station the most exalted, and question of recrimination : I raised it the loss of privileges the most es- for the purpose of my argument, and teemed amongst women-ay, and I shall pursue it no further. I should what was yet dearer, the ruin

of her be most deeply, and I may say with character and happiness--belonged perfect truth, unfeignedly afflicted, if, strictly and technically to that class in the progress of this ill-omened of enactments, which their lordships' question, the necessity were imposed predecessors had thus characterized. upon me of mentioning it again; and The worst of those bills (not except- I should act directly in the teeth of ing even those relating to the wives the instructions of this illustrious woof Harry VIII.) was, when compa- man-(pointing to the Queen, who red with the present, a regular, con

sat immediately below him.) I should sistent, and judicial proceeding. Im- disobey her solemn commands, if I

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again used even the word recrimina- full confession on behalf of the party tion, without being driven to it by an accused, that he had been guilty of absolute and over-ruling compulsion. 'most immoral and unbecoming conThat argument, and every thing re- duct ?!” Mr B. called upon the other sulting from it, I willingly postpone side to produce an instance in which a till the day of necessity; and, in the marriage had been dissolved, without same way, I dismiss, for the present, the husband having come forward to all other questions respecting the con- complain. Marriage had been justly duct or connexions of any parties pre- described by Sir William Scott, as vious to marriage. These I say not the parent, not the child of civil soone word about; they are dangerous ciety—as a religious as well as a ciand tremendous questions, the conse- vil contract. The Attorney-General quences of discussing which, at the would not allow that the King was present moment, I will not even trust his client. He made his appearance myself to describe. At present, I hold at the bar, as counsel for nobody. them to be needless to the safety of Ministers had acted in such a way as my client; but when the necessity to make it impossible to believe that arrives, an advocate knows but one they credited the preamble to the duty, and, cost what it may, he must bill. They had done every thing to discharge it.” Was the mere bestow, forward the Queen's departure out of ing of favours upon a person, who had the country, and to encourage her been in a menial situation, so fatal to stay. They had never given her the the honour and dignity of the Crown? least hint as to the reports said to be He appealed to the justice of the circulated about her conduct—had House, to the heads of the church never said, “ Return ; this is dangerranged before him, if adultery was to ous—the country suffers—the Crown be considered a crime only in wo- is dishonoured--the Royal Family man—if the fame of the country was degraded, by these calumnious remore tarnished by it when proved ports.” To the last moment she was against a lady, than when confessed warned not to come back. She was by a prince." It is with the utmost to be pensioned, largely pensioned, pain that I make this statement: It for not coming home. She was to is wrung from me by hard compul- enjoy the rank she had degraded, sion ; for there is not a man who ac. and the privileges she had forfeited. knowledges, with a deeper sense of She was to have an income to enable gratitude than I do, all the obligations her to be wicked on a larger scale ; which this country and Europe owes all levity, all indiscretion,-even to that illustrious individual. I

say

it " adulterous intercourse" was to be not-God forbid I should--to visit pardoned on one condition; and that harshly upon him any of the failings condition was, that she should contiof our common nature, much less to nue abroad, before the eyes of foalter in one iota my recorded sense of reigners who envied and hated us. the baseness of that conspiracy, by She was to be the degrading spectawhich those failings were dragged be- cle of the Queen of this country, fore the public. I bring it forward, without one of the virtues that ought because it is in truth an answer to this to belong to her sex and condition. case. Why was no bill of degradation With these facts before him, he must brought in in 1809, after the resolu- have a mind capable of swallowing tion of the House of Commons, and a the most monstrous improbabilities,

VOL. XIII. PART 1.

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who could lend himself for one mo- they had offered. The preamble to ment to the belief, that ministers the bill appeared to him equally irregave credit to the preamble of the concileable to the alleged facts of the bill.

He did not wish to treat the Mr Brougham's speech being con. subject with levity, yet it appeared to cluded, Mr Denman obtained permis- him that they had been rehearsing the sion to delay his address to the House School for Scandal-that they had till next day. He expressed strongly been performing a solemn farce. Had his sense of the importance of his of- Malvolio really intrigued with his misfice—an office which, in the present tress ? or had the other servants quarhour of trial and of difficulty, he pri- relled with the steward, and determized far more highly than the proud- ned to seek revenge? A trial her est favours which royalty could con- Majesty had challenged: but she refer in the moment of prosperity. The garded the bill as no trial as a procommittee had not acted in any de- ceeding calculated only to bewilder gree as a grand jury ; they had mere- and betray, and as to the justice of ly found that there was room for so- which the public would have a right lemn inquiry, but had not pronounced to entertain strong suspicions. Mr any opinion upon the facts, nor re- Denman referred in the same tone as commended the proceeding by bill. Mr Brougham, to the disgraceful case The charge of a degrading intimacy of Lord Strafford. When he comwas one too vague to become the object menced his address, his royal client of legislative or judicial investigation. had not entered the House, and thereThe familiarity and openness of man- fore he now, in her presence, once ners, which was generally graceful more appealed to their lordships to and engaging, might appear blame- avert this public mischief-miscalled able to persons of a reserved and au. a trial. Her Majesty was departing stere character. Anne Boleyn, whose from no principle in making this apinnocence was generally acknowled- peal : she still challenged a trial, but ged, had been remarked by Hume as à fair trial ; she was not satisfied that having a certain gaiety, and even le. her accưser should send sealed bags vity of manner, which exposed her to of papers to the most distinguished the malice of her enemies. A re- of her judges, or that the final senmarkable instance of familiarity with tence should be pronounced by himpersons of low station, occurred when self. Was this a bill of divorce, or the illustrious party was Prince of was it not; and was divorce ever Wales, during which period a note granted, except when the complainwas once delivered to him, commen- ing party was free from blame? Let cing in this way—“ Sam Spriggs, of their Lordships, then, suppose the case the Cocoa-tree, sends his compliments of a young and accomplished woman to his Royal Highness.” The Prince, coming to these shores from a foreign on afterwards meeting with MrSpriggs, country, with prospects of splendour observed to him, “ This may be very almost unparalleled ; that on her arwell between you and me, Sam ; but, rival, instead of meeting an affectionfor God's sake, do not play these ate husband, she found an alienated tricks with our high fellows; it would mind: that the solemnities of marrinever do with Norfolk or Arundel.” age did not prevent his being still surThe learned Counsel then urged the rounded by mistresses; that the birth inconsistency of the charges made by of a child, instead of affording a pledge ministers with the proposals which of mutual regard, became the signal of aggravated insult, and was shortly troduction of a measure like that befollowed by her expulsion from the fore their lordships, one peer could husband's roof. That, even then, uncrown the Queen, another peer spies were placed over her to report or might uncrown the King; and he to fabricate stories of her conduct. If, would say further, that the public after all these circumstances, an ex opinion, which, after all, must dispose parte inquiry took place and termina- of crowns, and sceptres, and kingted in a complete acquittal; and, in doms, would receive the same bias consequence of that acquittal, she with equal facility. It was very rewas restored to society and to the markable, but their lordships would embraces of a father by whom she well remember, that the origin of the was never deserted; if, subsequently, French Revolution was marked by she had been induced to go abroad, calumnies and libels against the French and the same machinations were re- Queen--imputations against that unnewed against her, in the hope that fortunate woman, which were coupled what had failed in England might with slanders and insinuations against succeed in Italy, and the charges, all that was pure, and noble, and howhich had before been blown to atoms nourable, in France. Their lordships by argument and ridicule, might at would recolleet that eventful and length avail, if not to convict, at least gloomy period, when the unhallowed to blacken, to degrade, and to de- hands of desperate men were raised stroy; in a case like this, where the against insulted royalty-a period at husband has thus shewn himself indif- which, as had been well observed by ferent to the honour and happiness of an elegant writer (Mr Burke), all the his wife-where he has abdicated all beautiful delicacy of the female chathose duties which alone gave him the racter was violated and despised--a rights of a husband-would their lordo period at which that modest sensiships listen for one moment to his tiveness, that sacred purity, which case ? It appeared, that this question impose upon man “ all those moral might at some distant period lead to obligations which the heart owns, a disputed succession. If his Majes- and which the understanding ratifies, ty should again marry, and a child, were lost in the licentious profligacy the fruit of that marriage, be born, of the day; when it had become a there might yet remain in moral and common observation, that " a king religious minds a doubt as to the va- was but a man—a queen was but a lidity of that marriage, and whether woman-a woman was but an animal, its offspring had a just title to the and that animal not of the highest crown. Mr Denman then referred, in order.” The greatness of the female the same tone as his precursor, to character consisted in throwing from certain proceedings in 1809, relative it, to an immeasurable distance, that to an illustrious person, the heir-ap- species of impertinence and intrusion parent to the throne. So, with re- which would presume to violate, by gard to the other Royal Dukes of the unwarranted inquiries, the sanctity of same illustrious family, the same ob- domestic privacy; and upon these jection might perhaps be addressed grounds alone he might rest his only to them, if their conduct for six whole and general defence, if it were necesyears were to be examined with a view sary, of the Queen, against a measure of detecting scandalous freedoms or intended to exclude from the throne adulterous intercourse. If by the in- her who ought to adorn it--who came

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