Imatges de pÓgina


house, held situations in the family, man not to ask himself, what he would travelled, spent months on shipboard have thought of such an incident ocalong with her. They had, there- curring in the house of an English tore, every opportunity of observing widow lady, of much humbler rank. her general deportment. They came The total breaking down of Lieuteforward, moreover, under an evident nant Flynn, made

perhaps a stronger anxiety to give the most favourable impression on the public than it detestimony possible. All, therefore, served. His contradictions were, in went well, so long as they were mere- fact, on matters of no consequence ; ly examined by the Queen's advocate; and the only doubt was, whether such so long as they kept within the circle dreadful dismay could havearisen, un

But, unfortunately, there less from a secret fear of not being able resides in the English bar a terrible to maintain the ground which he had power of cross-examination, of which taken. But when the confession was The Solicitor-General was endowed extorted from Lieutenant Hownam, with more than the usual portion of the parties having, in his belief, The witnesses, once placed before been accustomed to sleep together in the House, were obliged to answer the same tent on deck, an impression to any questions that might be put. was produced, which nothing could They were tortured, twisted, till efface. No plea, drawn from the neevery thing was sifted to the very cessity of protection, seemed sufficient bottom. It was soon wrung out, that to justify such an arrangement. More Bergami had entered the service of credit might have been given to that the Queen in the quality of a courier, plea, had the person employed been and had waited at table; that he had kept strictly in the character of a serbeen quickly raised to the place of vant; but when he was seen in every the Queen's most intimate compa- other respect filling the place of a lonion—the manager of all her affairs ver or husband, how difficult was it the master of her household. All his to avoid the most unfavourable confamily had become part of hers—his clusions ! mother, brother, sister, his infant The part of the evidence most addaughter-but always with the strict vantageous to the Queen, was that exception of his wife, who was never derived from the conduct of certain seen within the precincts of her resi- individuals connected with the Milan dence. All these things had indeed commission. Nothing, indeed, was been stated by the witnesses for the brought home, even in the way of prosecution ; but they made a very suspicion, against the English agents; different impression, coming from the but there seems no doubt, that some mouths of unknown and wretched bribes, and large promises, were offerItalians, brought over the seas to ed by several Italian agents. This witness against her, and when they fact, no doubt, threw a considerable were confirmed by respectable Eng- addition of discredit on the witnesses lish witnesses, testifying with an evi. for the prosecution. But these, as dent bias in her favour. When Lord already observed, were always liable Guildford stated, that in one visit to much exception; and, unfortuBergami had waited at table ; and nately, there were now facts standing that a few months after, he, with his on unquestionable grounds, which brother and sister, had sat at table, fully established the utmost excess of and done the honours of the house, it indiscretion, and left at least an inwas impossible for an English noble. delible suspicion of guilt. In fact, though the Queen's advocates strenu. and sofa on which they rested, were ously resisted the inferences from each placed at a distance from each other ; fact as it came, and though the mul- and, what never should be forgotten, titude still made her their idol, the the hatchway was always open. This most judicious Whigs were heard last fact was of the greatest importwhispering to each other, that really ance, because, in the examination-inthere was very little doubt of her guilt; chief of Majocci, he said that the and that the only ground on which tent was never open at night—that it they could support her, and oppose was entirely closed, shut up; but it her enemies, was the treatment which was extracted on cross-examination, might be supposed to have driven her and the fact was substantiated by to it, and the irregularity of the pro- other witnesses, that the hatchway ceedings against her.

was always open, and all who passed The counsel for the Queen began above, or below, or along the hatchnow to take a serious consideration way, could know what was doing. of the state of their proceedings. The The parties were sleeping as in a more evidence they had brought for- camp on Jand. Could it be supposed, ward in favour of their client, the for one instant, that this awning could worse her case had alwavs become. have been used for the


of an They had still several important wit- improper intercourse, which his learn. nesses ready to bring forward, parti- ed friends inferred from circumstances cularly Hieronymus, and the sister of which did not at all warrant it? They Demont, persons who, having been were told that this improper interlong domesticated in the house, were course took place in the day-time, most competent witnesses, and who and that the awning was let down were ready to give favourable testi- during the day. He knew not how mony. Dut could they be safely ex- to deal with this. If the awning was posed to the terrible cross-examina- let down during the day, what was it tion of the Attorney-General ? The but a challenge to all to see-he would keeping them back would afford to not say the use made of it, but it was the opposite side an opportunity of an open exposure of the mode of lydrawing the most unfavourable infer- ing in the beds, and of the purpose

Yet this, after all, would be for which those beds were occupied less fatal, than if any disastrous con- by night as well as by day. The pefession were to be wrung out of them. riod during which lier Majesty Under the influence of these consider this situation, was from the 20th of ations, Mr Brougham now announced July to the 17th of August. During the termination of his case.

that time her Royal Highness was The evidence for the prosecution proved to have been extremely fabeing thus closed, Mr Denman pro- tigued ; and it was absolutely ceeded to sum it up, in a long speech, sary, as Lieutenant Hownam had sta, from which our limits allow us to ted, that her Royal Highness should make only a few extracts

. On the be attended by some person. By what subject of the tent on board of the person, then, both for convenience polacre, where she and Bergami are and for every necessary purpose; admitted to have slept, he observed : could she be more properly attended It was the awning of the deck, hang than by the chamberlain, whom she ing loosely around, covering a large had appointed to provide every attenspace-the bed of the Queen and tion and protection which her situathat of Bergami, or rather the bed tion required ? The whole time that


was in


her Royal Highness reposed there, false and important charges, was at she had her clothes on ; no time was last accused of one single and compa. found when the parties were not ratively insignificant offence?--would clothed. There was but one moment not the judge declare on the instant, when it appeared that Bergami was in a case like the present, that no positively under the tent, and then proof existed of criminal intercourse he was clothed. Let it be recollect that the main fact had been dised, that their lordships were now try- proved—that though the parties had ing the highest subject of the realm perhaps been shewn together in the for the highest crime a subject could tent, and though there might be a commit. It was their duty to allow surmise or possibility of guilt, because no middle course --no disgraceful one of the witnesses had hinted at compromise between their duty and such a situation, yet that all criminal their inclination. They were not to re- intent was negatived, and that the ceive light evidence, under the suppo- excuse for the situation was given sition that the punishment was light. under the same oath that had sworn The punishment was not light; it was to it? A judge who, under such cirthe heaviest that could be inflicted on cumstances, did not declare that a a Queen. For his own part, without prisoner ought to be instantly acquite anyexaggerated sentiment, which per- ted, would deserve to be impeached haps in an advocate might be allow- at the bar of this House for a gross ed, he might say that he would rather and infamous dereliction of his duty. see bis royal mistress tried at the bar, As to the discomposure of Lieutelike Anna Bulleyn, for her life, than nant Flynn, Mr Denman urged : No in the more perilous situation in which person could forget how this gallant the Queen now stood. He would officer was cross-examined. He did much rather have to hand her to the not undervalue the talents of the Soscaffold, where she would have to lay licitor-General; he held in the highher august head upon the block, with est honour that greatest of legal taall the firmness and magnanimity be- lents, that most important means of longing to her illustrious family, than detecting falsehood which man could witness her condemnation under the display, that best shield of slandered present charges, which would render innocence-he meant that talent of her an object indeed of general pity, cross-examination which was often but of more general scorn; to be found successful in dragging reluctlooked upon only as one who was en- ant truth from its lurking-places, in titled to compassion, having fallen by making a witness disclose what he was the misconduct of those who after, most anxious to conceal, and in diswards brought her to punishment, playing most conspicuously those imbut at the same time to be regarded portant truths which were most seas a most deplorable instance of de- dulously withheld. But that sham graded rank and ruined character. cross-examination which was exerciThe House was bound therefore to sed in taking advantage of the alarm try the Queen, as if the commission and agitation of a witness—though he of an act of high treason on board the honoured the talent of cross-examinpolacre had been charged ; and, thus ation which elicited important truth, he viewing it, what would be the lan- regarded with a very inferior degree guage of any judge regarding a pri- of honour that sham cross-examinasoner, who, having by the evidence tion, either in its motives or its con. been acquitted of a great number of sequences. His learned friend (the

Solicitor-General) by his powers of crept to the bed of a domestic, how mind, by his great powers of counte- was it possible to contradict such a nance, and by his talent in cross-ex- witness, who had been dismissed, nota amination, had in the case of this wito withstanding his possession of a secret ness got, what, if the paper and its so fatal, but by the general purity contents were important, might lead of the character of the illustrious acto an inference most unfavourable to cused, and by the malice of the accuthe credit of the witness; but what, ser betraying itself in the very foulunimportant, perfectly unimportant ness of his charge? One of the serand immaterial, as the paper was, led vants in the case of the witness to only to the conclusion, that he was whom he had already alluded, being entirely overcome byhis own agitation questioned upon subjects of this foul and alarm. The greatest men in the and filthy description by one of the field were known to be nervous and persons who had attempted to suhorn agitated on occasions foreign to their her, had given him an answer full of profession.

female spirit and virtuous indignation In regard to the character of the wit

-an answer which he preferred to nesses, Mr Denman represented, they give in the original, because he was were discarded servants, and he would unwilling to diminish its force, and say so, though in time all phrases be- because being less known the coarsecame lacknied in the mouths of men; ness would be less understood : yet, if after the lapse of six years such testimony was to be received, he Καθαρωτερον, ο Τιγελλινς το αιδοιον και δισwould appeal to the House in what тоуа k8 т8 8 гокато хв. situation human society would be placed. He never could reflect upon To such discarded suborners as Sacthe conduct of discarded servants, chi and Rastelli might this answer be with reference to the matter now be- applied. Sacchi had talked a great fore the House, without remembering deal about his being a soldier and a the immortal words of Burke, where gentleman; he had received the rehe directed the fire of his eloquence ward of his fidelity on the field of batagainst spies in general, but especial. tle, and one of the first proofs he gave ly against domestic spies : He said, that he deserved it, was coming forthat by them “the seeds of destruca ward to betray his mistress. What tion are sown in civil intercourse and mighty distinction was there between happiness; the blood of wholesome treachery and perjury-between the kindred is affected; our tables and

man who betrayed truths that had our beds are surrounded with snares; come to his knowledge in the excess and all the means given by Provi- of confident reliance, and the man dence to make life safe and comfort, who would invent them for the sake ble, are converted into instruments of a base reward? The witness who of terror and alarm.” Discarded ser- was summoned to an English court vants had it in their power at all times of justice, was bound by his oath to to depose to facts on which they disclose the truth, and the whole could not be contradicted. If any truth ; but why upon this occasion man should dare to swear that the had Sacchi made his appearance? Benoble consort of one of their lord- cause he had been bribed to give his ships had got out of her bed in the evidence. He had received no sum. middle of the night,unseen butthrough mons, no subpæna, and no force had the key-hole or crevice of a door, and been necessary to compel him; he


was a volunteer in iniquity, not for motives of her Royal Highness for its own sake, but for the most base engaging Bergami were made the and sordid purposes, and was equally subject of discussion, he would ask, infamous, whether he came to dis- what right, what hope, she could close the real secrets of his mistress, have at that period of obtaining the or to perjure himself by the assertion service of any English person of disof what was false. The greatest of all tinction ? How could she expect traitors the first apostate to Christi- such a person would like to incur the anity and human nature—was not for. displeasure of the Court at home, for sworn: he only came to betray his the sake of entering into her service ? master ; yet the execrations of man- Her Royal Highness could not exkind had followed him from that mo- pect Mr Craven to remain in her serment to the present. He (Mr Den- vice, because he had stipulated to atman) always thought of this great tend her only for a period, as his afprototype of treachery and infamy fairs would permit; and Sir William when he saw such a witness as Sacchi Gell left her because his health did advance the Bible to his lips, ready, not permit him to accompany her like Judas, to betray God and man at Royal Highness on her trave once with the same blaspheming kiss. was, then,

after these gentlemen quitThe elevation of Bergami was

ted her service, left without the means sought to be justified on the

following of supplying the office of chamberlain grounds : He thought it was impos- by any person of rank from this counsible to advert to all the circumstan- try; and, under these circumstances, ces connected with his introduction, and with the recommendations she without perceiving that Bergami was had received of Bergami, he would such a person as any employer would ask whether it was possible she could be glad to receive, and the employ- have done better than to bind to her ment of whom it was proper to advise, service, by a judicious promotion, a and without being ready to acknow- man of honour and courage? To give ledge that there was nothing extraor- honourable distinction by their fadinary in the promotion which in the vours, was one of the proudest prerocourse of the following twelve months gatives which royal personages poshad taken place. Here it might not sessed. Their lordships would unbe improper to observe, that the cou- derstand he did not mean that conrier of a royal person is not consider- stitutional honours were so conveyed; ed a menial servant; and that the but this would surely be admitted dress which belongs to that station in that any individual who is once insuch a service is not a livery. How- troduced to the notice of a royal perever, Bergami was, in the course of sonage, and obtains a share of the the year after he was engaged, pro- royal favour, becomes, at least with moted to the situation of page, and, respect to all others who attend on he believed, in the same year received that royal personage, a person of disthe key of chamberlain. Now, he did tinction. He would not ask whether not mean to deny, that it would have Captain Pechell had exercised a right been advisable for her Royal High- judgment in refusing to sit at table ness to have appointed to the sta- with Bergami. Perhaps it might be tion of chamberlain some person of thought right by many; at any rate, rank and distinction from this coun- he was right in acting on his own try, if such a person could have been judgment, suc las it was. But this found at the time ; but when the he would saya baino person could

« AnteriorContinua »