Imatges de pÓgina

here with every expectation, with every reasonable hope, of sharing it -and who, it was now attempted to be argued, had forfeited-not forfeited, indeed, but had lost-her just claim to it. The learned Counsel then urged the religious, as well as civil character of marriage, on which he was particularly anxious that Dr Lushington should be heard; he represented the hardship which his illustrious client suffered, in the substitution of a bill of pains and penalties, for a judicial proceeding; he protested in her name against the former measure, and he concluded, "I beg to say, my Lords, that whatever may be enacted-whatever may be done by the exertions of any individual, by the perversion of truth, or through the perjury of witnesses-whatever be the consequences which may follow, and whatever she may suffer-I will, for one, never withdraw from her those sentiments of dutiful homage which I owe to her rank, to her situation, to her superior mind, to her great and royal heart; nor, my Lords, will I ever pay to any one who may usurp her Majesty's station, that respect which belongs alone to her whom the laws of God and man have made the Consort of the King, and the Queen of these kingdoms.'


sent, by any thing but their own assertion. They had been reasoned upon, however, as if certain and indisputable; and the passions and feelings of their lordships had been worked upon accordingly by speeches of the most extraordinary eloquence, the impressions of which he implored them to efface from their minds. The simple dry question before them was, whether the bill was sustainable upon principle. The learned Counsel then stated the grounds on which an impeachment could not lie, and consequently a legislative proceeding was necessary. If he had not known it to be the opinion of others, in whose legal judgment he could confide, that the charge contained in the preamble of this bill did not amount to high treason-an opinion which fortunately was now formally sanctioned by the highest authorities that could be referred to, he would not have presumed to stand at their lordships' bar as the advocate of the present course of proceeding. That uncertainty was now removed, and he boldly challenged his learned friends to the argument, and defied them to produce a single case in support of their assertion, that the facts alleged in the preamble of this bill would bear out an impeachment, and that, consequently, an impeachment was the course that ought to have been adopted. The learned Counsel reprobated the manner in which the witnesses had been treated, as suborned, perjured spies, calumniators, and traducers. This was tampering with their lordships' feelings, and treating the subject quite unfairly at a time when they had not heard a single deposition. His learned friends had much abused the liberty they had obtained, of arguing now against the principle of the bill. How should he be arraigned if he so far forgot himself as to expatiate on the

The Attorney-General could not help remarking the extraordinary licence taken by the learned Counsel. Instead of arguing strictly on the principle of the bill, they had gone into statements of facts, which, although they were all introduced into this part of the case as facts, he must contend were not yet founded on the evidence before their lordships; by assumptions, gratuitously made; and by calumnies (an expression by which he meant not the slightest disrespect to his learned friends, but he must repeat it) -by calumnies, unsupported, at pre

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enormities of the charge contained in the preamble of this bill against a person of the high rank of Queen, then indeed a Princess, but niece to the late King of Prussia, and next in rank to the Queen of England? How should he be arraigned by his learned friends, if he in the present stage were to enlarge on the evidence about to be produced? The pain of the task would be great enough, God knew, when the necessity arrived. The present bill was no more an ex post facto law, than every divorce bill was. Her Majesty would be deprived of no means of defence as Queen, which she would have enjoyed as Princess of Wales. She courted inquiry; and the present bill afforded the means of as complete and fair inquiry, as either impeachment or any other measure would have done. His mind was in no degree affected by the declamatory topics in which the other side had indulged. He felt that he was addressing a grave assembly, composed of persons of the highest rank, attainments, and honour, in the country; and he knew that on such an occasion appeals to the passions, however they might excite admiration for the advocate at the bar, would ultimately be of no effect. Their lordships were not to be made, either by entreaty, by hints, or by menaces, to swerve from the straight-forward path of duty. He was aware that this, as it had been called by his learned friend Mr Denman, was a tremendous inquiry: he knew that the peace of the country might be affected by it; but he knew also that clamour would have no effect on their lordships' minds. He was not appalled; he did not fear for the future: he had such confidence in the good sense of the country, that he felt assured, when the facts were before them which had hitherto been concealed, and in ignorance of which their minds had artfully been wrought

on, they would see the necessity and the propriety of the course that had been resorted to. The question was a momentous one, affecting not only the parties immediately concerned, but the dignity and honour of the country itself. "If innocent, however," continued the learned gentleman, "the party accused need not fear your lordships' judgment. If guilty, I am sure that nothing can be stated which will induce you to swerve from the path of duty; but that, fearless of popular clamour, you will put your hands to your hearts, and decide conscientiously and justly. By your lordships' decision you will satisfy the public, that while the meanest subject in the realm is protected by innocence, the highest subject cannot offend with impunity."

The Solicitor-General equally condemned the course followed by the gentlemen on the other side. Instead of temperately discussing a grave, dry, constitutional question, they had indulged in personal invective, and the most unfounded aspersions. The question appeared to him very simple. By a technical distinction of law, the Queen Consort, committing adultery with a foreigner abroad, could not be brought in as guilty of high treason. Yet, if the Queen Consort was guilty of a crime but one shade removed from the highest crime known to the law-of the deepest dye either in a religious, a moral, or a civil point of view-was a person so regardless of what she owed to the country, to the crown, and to her rank, to sit on the throne by the side of the monarch of these realms? Could he address an assembly of men of honour, stating that such scandalous conduct had taken place, and at the same time affirm that the person who had been guilty of it was worthy to remain upon the throne of England? The pains and penalties attached to

this bill, were no greater than in any common case of divorce; and was the King to have less means of redress than the humblest individual? It appeared to him that there could be no necessity so great as that which called for the present inquiry; the necessity of not allowing such a series of conduct as was here charged to pass with impunity, and the individual so demeaning herself to sit on the throne of these realms. He agreed, indeed, that silence upon this subject could hardly be purchased at so dear a price: but the moment the Queen challenged inquiry, the moment she asserted her innocence, the moment she set her foot in the country, and claimed her rank and privileges as Queen Consort, it became impossible to shun this dreadful proceeding. Bills of pains and penalties had been as old as the constitution, and were essential to it. The case of Strafford was wholly inapplicable; the injustice of it consisted in the Houses having been overawed by violence and clamour out of doors. It had been said, who was the complaining party? True it was, that the King was not here the complaining party; it did not suit his high character and station to come before this court as the complaining party; but, knowing the facts of the case, he pursued the course befitting his dignified and princely capacity; he ordered the papers to be laid before the parliament, that it might deal with the case as to its wisdom might seem meet. Thus he became a consenting, though not a complaining, party. It had been the misfortune of these proceedings, from the commencement, and through every stage, that collateral topics, calculated to excite prejudice, and to inflame the passions of the multitude-to create distraction in the country, and to shake the very foundations of the monarchy, had been introduced by the profes

sional and unprofessional advisers of the Queen. In touching on recrimination, his learned friends had introduced a topic, from which their minds must have revolted, and which they could not but know to be inapplica ble. They had even advanced the extraordinary proposition, that there was no difference between adultery committed by a man and a woman. But why was this topic introduced? For a most strange and unjustifiable purpose. He should have thought that the common feeling of delicacy and humanity, which he knew pervaded the bosoms of his learned friends, would have compelled abstinence at least on this point. It was an unwarrantable, because an unnecessary, attack upon an illustrious personage, whose conduct had been twice dragged before the House. His great talents and popularity throughout the country might at all times, but more particularly at the present moment, have shielded him from so cruel and so wanton an assault. Knowing from what quarter it proceeded, it filled him with surprise and amazement. It had been insinuated that her Majesty had been encouraged to go abroad, that she might fall a victim to a foul conspiracy. Was this meant as a charge against ministers? Was it possible to suppose that such detestable wickedness could enter into the minds of the basest in society, much less into the minds of men refined by education, polished by intercourse with the highest classes, and raised by their talents to the highest functions of the state? He would no longer follow the wandering course of his learned friends, but would only remind the House, that the question before them simply related to the mode of proceeding, and he trusted they would find no reason for altering that which they had deliberately adopted.

Mr Brougham replied at some

length, after which Lord King announced a motion, That it appears to the House that it is not necessary for the public safety, that the bill entitled "An act to deprive her Majesty," &c. should pass into a law.

On the following day this motion was fully debated, being supported by Lord King himself, and at great length by Earl Grey; while the Earl of Liverpool spoke in opposition. The debate was long and animated; but as no topic could now be introduced, which had not already been urged over and over, an analysis of it would have little interest. There was some novelty, however, in the statement made by Lord Liverpool, relative to the allegation, that the whole object of this bill was, that the illustrious personage filling the throne might be able to get rid of his wife, and marry again. He (Lord Liverpool) declared most solemnly before their Lordships, that he believed that no such feeling had entered into the mind of his Majesty. For himself, and for those who acted with him, he could assure the House, that that provision was a part of the bill to which the least value was attached. Undoubtedly it followed as a corollary to the rest of the measure it was a fair and ordinary conclusion; but it was the least important part of it, and was very far from being its chief object and in


The motion was negatived by a majority of 181 to 65.

Lord Liverpool having moved that counsel be called in, Earl Grey and Lord Calthorpe made a last attempt to stop proceedings, by negativing this proposition. It was carried, however, by a majority of 176 to 64.

The Attorney-General now entered, and, at the desire of the Lord Chancellor, proceeded to open the case. This opening speech consisted

almost entirely of a detail of the facts, which counsel were prepared to prove against her Majesty. It composed, therefore, an abstract of the evidence afterwards produced, which evidence having been given at great length in the first article of the Appendix, it would neither be necessary nor consistent with our limits, to introduce it here in a different shape.

The Attorney-General having concluded, immediately introduced his witnesses. The appearance of the first of them, Theodore Majocchi, was followed by a loud scream from the Queen, who, calling out "Theodore!" immediately ran out. This action caused an extraordinary sensation in the House, and when reported; throughout the country, her enemies proclaiming it as the symptom of conscious guilt, and of dreaded detection at the view of one well able to witness it; while her friends described it as a natural agitation at the view of an old and long favourite servant, coming forward to betray her.

The period from the 21st of August to the 7th of September, was now uninterruptedly occupied in the hearing of evidence against the Queen. For this, as already hinted, our readers are referred to the first article of the Appendix, where it is given at very full length. We have preserved, in all the important parts, both the ipsissima verba, and the form of question and answer, without which the spirit and character of testimony can never be fully exhibited. Having devoted to this purpose so large a proportion of our pages, it could servno purpose to give here a comparae tively uninteresting abstract.

The evidence being closed, the Solicitor-General proceeded to sum up. Before beginning this task, however, he begged their Lordships would allow him a few moments to justify

was always to be inferred from accompanying circumstances, which left no doubt of the fact upon the mind of a rational and intelligent man. On this point of proof he would beg leave to quote the opinion of one of the most enlightened judges that ever sat in this country. He had received this opinion from one of his learned friends, who had taken notes of it at the time it was pronounced by the learned judge. It was in the case of Loveden v. Loveden, before Sir William Scott, in the Consistory Court, in the year 1809. The learned judge then stated, that there was no necessity in a case of that nature to prove the actual fact of the adultery, for that could not be proved in 99 cases out of 100, where there was still no doubt of its having taken place. The uniform rule was, that where facts were proved which directly led to the conclusion that the act of adultery had been committed, such proof must be taken as sufficient. Now let the House for a moment look at the case in this light :-Suppose an adulterous intercourse really to have existed, how would that intercourse have manifested itself? How, but from the habitual conduct of the parties? After going over the facts of the case, he remarked, it was impossible for him to sit down without alluding to what had before been said to every cross-examination, and had been rung in their ears already, from the beginning to the end of this case; indeed, from the first moment any mention was made of the subject, and for the purpose of involving in reproach every individual who took any part in the proceedings. It was quite impossible for the persons at the head of his Majesty's government not to have established some mode of inquiry; it was quite impossible that they should not have inquired into reports in the highest

himself, and his other friends who acted with him, as to the course pursued by them, and the principles by which they were actuated, in conducting this most painful and anxious inquiry. The moment the Attorney-General had received his instructions to support this bill, he, together with his learned friends who were appointed to assist him, directed their most minute and anxious attention to collect all the evidence that it would be their duty to adduce before their Lordships upon such an occasion. They lost not a moment in weighing well and considering all the materials, and every other evidence which could bear upon this great question. They collected together and digested every thing which they thought material to this paramount inquiry, without regard to either the influence or the impression which any parts of that evidence were calculated to create when it came before their lordships. In so doing, they felt that they were performing their duty fully, fairly, and candidly to their lordships. Now that the evidence had been gone through, they trusted their lordships thought they had fully discharged the duty imposed upon them. They felt, that in the progress of this cause, they were not to make themselves a party to the inquiry; but to pursue it, according to their lordships' instructions, fairly, candidly, and honestly. The learned Counsel then proceeded to sum up the various facts detailed in the evidence, through which, for reasons now repeatedly mentioned, we decline to follow him. We may quote, however, his observation as to the absence of any direct proof of the criminal act. He should merely observe, that he did not recollect a single instance, in cases of adultery, where the actual fact was fully proved in evidence. The crime

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