Imatges de pÓgina

could justify the verdict of guilty. in the country against the bill. He His Lordship finally urged, that this would ask that noble and learned Lord, measure was not an impeachment, in whom he had seen, whom he had which they must have acted strictly heard, what he had seen, or what he in their judicial capacity; it was a had heard, that could have authorised bill, and must be considered in the the noble and learned Lord to make view of policy and expediency. It was this denial ? From what was done, not his habit, his temper, or his dise from one end of the country to the position, to call upon their lordships other, the reverse was manifest. It to desist from a necessary act from was done, not by the mob, not by the fear or apprehension. For proof of abble, as a noble Lord had thought this he could appeal to the whole proper to characterise a part of the course of his public life. But they people--and he could not but lament were legislating in this case for the that such terms should ever fall from public interest; and legislating for the any of their lordships, terms which public interests, what could they con.. only irritated and insulted, which sider of more importance than the served only to widen the breach betendency and necessary effects of tween their lordships and the peopassing this bill? That there were ple, and which tended to deprive the improper feelings excited, and exci- people of their natural and legitimate ted by improper means, he did not support. He wished such expressions deny. He lamented and reprobated were never used in that house; but many things that were done. He had, all farmers, artisans, and tradesmen, on a former occasion, expressed his and all honest men in the country, regret and disapprobation that her were decidedly against that bill. This Majesty had written such a letter to consideration deserved the attention the King. He had no hesitation now of their lordships, and, in passing in expressing regret and disapproba- this law, it formed an important tion at the answers to addresses to ground on which to rest their judgher Majesty. The Queen was ill ad- ment. A division of the two Houses vised in publishing such answers, and on this question was to be avoided as none could blame them more than he most inauspicious. It was not a mere did ; but they were not, therefore, to division of opinion or judgment; it pass the bill. If her Majesty, in cir- was a resolution and consent of this cumstances of peculiar difficulty, and House to degrade and render infato which she could not have been ac- mous the Queen of the kingdom, customed, had suffered her name to while the House of Commons rejectbe connected with such writings, ed such a proposal at once. Or, if the their lordships were not, therefore, other House should receive the bill, to act under the influence of her con- the consequence would be most haduct in that respect, to find her guilty zardous. They had seen that in this of another and quite different conduct. House, with only 200 members, and But their lordships mistook the state with every disposition to do their duof the public mind if they supposed ty, there was the greatest difficulty in that the feeling which prevailed preserving the dignity and decorum throughout the country was the et, that were necessary. How would it fect of such means as he had advert- be, then, in the other House ? How ed to. A noble and learned Lord on long, too, would this miserable case, the cross bench (Redesdale) had de- which occupied their lordships so nied that there was any general feeling long, be in the other House? All

public business, all questions of the who did not believe that the adultemost essential importance to the wel- rous intercourse had been proved by fare of the country, must be suspend- sufficient and satisfactory evidence. ed; all the evidence of this case must One principal part of the evidence rebe repeated there, and again circula- lated to the elevation of Bergami, and ted over the kingdom. If the honour this elevation gave a character to the of this country was of so much im- whole of the transaction, which it portance as to require this bill, what was necessary for the House constantmust all Europe think of the honour ty to bear in mind. He did not enter of Parliament in hearing, sifting, and upon this part of the subject for the entertaining details such as were be- purpose of giving an opinion whether fore their lordships, and must, if the act of adultery had or had not they passed the bill, go before the been committed at Naples. If the bill other House of Parliament ? He faire depended upon that only, he should ly avowed, that in the outset his pre- feel bound to find the Queen not judices and feelings were unfavour- guilty ; suspicion he should undoubtable to the Queen ; he did think it edly entertain, but there seemed to possible that a case would be made him no evidence that carried the case out that would compel him to vote, at Naples beyond grave suspicion. however reluctantly, in support of the The noble Lord then pointed out the bill; but as it now stood, viewing it care with which opportunities of infirst as a question of guilt or inno. dulging this passion had been sought. cence, and, next, as a matter of poli. He had marked the care with which tical expediency, he was bound to de- that point had been laboured; the clare that he could never lay down learned counsel had felt that the pohis head in tranquillity in future, if he lacre was a strong obstacle in their did not to his utmost resist its pro- path ; and had proposed to get over gress. He must therefore give the on- it by carrying an unsuspecting chaly vote he could reconcile to his ho- racter up to the very point; but he nour and his judgment; and, laying denied that absence of taint; he alhis hand upon his heart, with the leged, not only that there was suspideepest sense of the solemnity of the cion before that period, but that there occasion, conscientiously and fearless- was a moral certainty of guilt. Lord ly, before God, pronounce-Not guil. Liverpool finally addressed himself to ty.

those noble Lords who were convinThe Earl of Liverpool admitted ced of the Queen's guilt, but did not with the noble Lord, that the question think it expedient to pass the bill. of expediency was one which merit- He called upon them to look at the ed the attention of the House, but he inconvenience which would ensue on conceived that the time for consider- the rejection of this measure, after the ing that was the 12th of August, be- accusation had proceeded, and the fore the bill was brought in, and that parties joined issue as to the facts. now they had nothing to do but to Would not a rejection of the bill, if consider, whether the preamble had they believed her Majesty guilty, be been sufficiently proved. He wished a triumph of guilt under circumstanto admit most distinctly, that what- ces most fatal to the moral character of ever any noble Lord might think of the country? He conjured them to reall the allegations, no person ought to flect well on the consequences of such vote, and he desired that no person a proceeding in all their various bearwould vote, for the second reading, ings. Let them bear in mind that her Majesty could not retire from the bar adopted, or authorized such answers ? like a private individual, who might If really innocent, she would have be acquitted from want of evidence or abided by the sentiments expressed some other cause, and who, after her in her answer to the first address, in trial, would be again mixed up and which she said that she came to vin. lost sight of in the general mass of dicate her own character, and desired society; her Majesty would still be that her cause might not be mixed Queen of this country, while in the up with any political question. It was opinion of many of their lordships at least manifest, that she had since her character remained tainted with admitted persons about her, who adcrimes of the most heinous descrip- vised and acted in a way the best caltion, though the adultery might not culated to produce an impression of be legally established. Admitting that her guilt. Far was it from his intenthey were so situated that they must tion, however, to excite any prejuchoose between opposite evils, he dice against her on that account, which would contend that in all such cases should in the least interfere with the the straight-forward course was the decision of this question. But, if their most expedient. Whatever might be Lordships thought her guilty, and the inconvenience, if they believed the that by refusing to pass this bill, they Queen to be guilty, they were bound would enable guilt to triumph, then to proceed with the bill. He had too let not any base principle of fear premuch reliance on the good sense and vent them from the discharge of their just feelings of the people of this duty. It was his sincere hope that all country, to believe that the conse- would vote neither from fear, from quences of passing it would be fatal influence, nor from faction, but from or injurious. The noble Earl had ad- an opinion founded on the evidence verted to the clamour which had been alone. If they acted steadily on this raised upon this subject, and to the principle, the world would in the end public discontent which the measure do them justice. There was the utwould create. It was also very truly most confidence reposed in that high stated by counsel at the bar, that there tribunal ; but, like all others, they were disaffected men who converted stood before the still higher tribunal this subject into an instrument of their of public opinion. If they gave an own seditious purposes. Undoubted. honest vote, the calm and deliberate ly every grievance, every public mis. result of the solemn inquiry in which fortune, in times like the present, they had been engaged, they might would only serve to increase the ex- confidently look up to that tribunal ertions of those who entertained de- for its approving judgment. He would signs hostile to the constitution. He appeal to Him who alone knew the did not mean to prejudice the case of secrets of all hearts, and who could the Queen when he attributed such alone perhaps unravel all the mysteviews to some of those who surround. ries of this case, whether his own coned her ; but would to God he could clusion was not true; or, if not true, say that she was free from all parti. whether it was not founded in intecipation in their acts! But when he grity, in a disposition to temper juslooked at most of the answers which tice with mercy, in a desire to inflict had been returned to the addresses no punishment beyond what the nepresented, he would ask any man cessity of the case required, and in a whether a woman, conscious of in- sense of what was equally due to the nocence, would ever have offered, Crown and to the country.

The bill was opposed by_Lord was the occasion for considering what Erskine, Earl Grosvenor, the Earl of would be most conducive to the ends Rosebery, Earl of Harewood, Lords of public justice, and most accordant Arden, Falmouth, Ashburton, How- with public expediency. He certainard, Enniskillen, Calthorpe, Gran- ly had expected that the guilt chartham, Blessington, the Marquis of ged would be proved by evidence so Lansdowne, the Marquis of Stafford, clear, so unsuspicious, so untainted, the Duke of Somerset, and the Earl and so irresistible, that no plain man of Rosslyn. It was supported by the could refuse to yield it implicit creEarl of Lauderdale, Lord Redesdale, dit. He had expected that it would the Earl of Donoughmore, Lord Gren- produce a material change in the opiville, the Dukes of Atholl and North- nion of the public, and had thought umberland. The Earl of Harrowby, that the investigation, both in its prothough a minister, declared himself gress and result, would harmonize not prepared to vote for the divorce with the national feeling. Whether it clause.

was necessary for him to state his own Lord Ellenborough struck out a impression, on a review of all the evicourse peculiar to himself, and which dence, he scarcely knew ; but if it considerably influenced the House. were, he must avow that he could As one of those who had concurred not declare the Queen innocent, and with the secret committee in recom- he was unwilling to pronounce her mending a solemn inquiry—as one guilty. At the same time it appearwho had agreed that it would be best ed to him that in some respects guilt carried on in a legislative form, and was clearly proved, and that several that the mode of proceeding actually material allegations had been substanadopted was the most convenient as tiated. Others were certainly not one, also, who had supported the bill made out to his satisfaction, and he on its first reading, but who now was unwilling to vote for a bill of this thought it highly inexpedient and de- description if it rested at all upon trimental to the public interest that suspicious testimony. His chief reit should proceed any farther-heluctance, however, to give any farfelt a natural desire to state briefly the ther support to this measure, arose grounds of his present opinion. It had from the strong and almost universal been said that no one ought to vote for feeling which existed against it. This the bill who did not think the Queen feeling, he was aware, sprung out of guilty ; to which he would beg leave delusion; and if the whole inquiry to ald, that all who might vote against should prove abortive, it would be it did not think the Queen innocent. the most disgraceful triumph of falseThey had been exhorted to be “ just hood over truth that the world had and fear not;" a maxim which he yet witnessed. He had always looked would amend by saying, " be politic at this question as one of public moas well as just.” He had understood rals and national character. The bill a noble Lord (Arden) to express a was intended to affix a mark of inwish, either that the preamble should famy, but what was the probable con· be greatly modified, or that the sense sequence if it passed ? It would be

of the House should be expressed in regarded as an act of violence; it some other way. If any change was would not produce its effect; it would to take place in the course which they cause a re-action, and bring about a were pursuing, the time and proper result directly opposite to those views point for it had now arrived." This with which alone it could be entertained. With these considerations he second reading of this bill. But he felt himself impelled by a sense of trusted the House would not separate duty to vote against the second read- without a very strong expression of ing of the bill. But whilst he enter- their Lordships' feeling and opinion tained this opinion, he should think on the subject of the Queen's conit most inexpedient, he should think duct, founded on the untouched part it a great desertion of duty on the of the evidence on that portion of it part of that House, if, after what they which was not suspected, and which had learned of the Queen's conduct, no man could deny. they were to pass over it without cen- On the 7th November the grand sure. The Queen of England was a division took place, when there appublic character; she exercised high peared for the second reading 123, functions; he meant not that she was against it 95 ; forming a majority of to advise or act in the administration only 28 ; a smaller one than had been of public affairs; but that she stood anticipated. forth in the public view as a model On the following day her Majesty, and example of female conduct. All through her usual channel Lord Dacre, that was required of her was that she presented the following protest :should be a correct model and example in this respect; and in this re- " CAROLINE REGINA. spect it was that the present Queen “ To the Lords Spiritual and Tempoutterly failed. Every unprejudiced ral in Parliament assembled. man who had heard the evidence, every man who lived at all in the “ The Queen has learnt the deciworld, would admit that the Queen sion of the Lords upon the bill now was one of the last women whom he before them. In the face of Parliawould wish his wife to resemble—one ment, of her family, and of her counof the last whom the father of a fa- try, she does solemnly protest against mily would propose as an example to it. Those who avowed themselves his daughters. He did not, however, her prosecutors have presumed to sit conceive that the bill could become in judgment upon the question beexpedient under any modifications. tween the Queen and themselves.He would rather propose expressing Peers have given their voices against the sense entertained by the House her who had heard the whole evidence of her Majesty's improper conduct; for the charge, and absented themalso a diminution of her dignity, by "selves during her defence. Others have limiting the allowance for her sup- come to the discussion from the Seport. Anxious as he was for the ho cret Committee with minds biassed by nour of that House--feeling as he did a mass of slanders, which her enethat its power was essentially neces- mies have not dared to bring forward sary for preserving the balance of the in the light. constitution--considering the peculi- The Queen does not avail herself ar nature of this measure, which im- of her right to appear before the comperatively called on them to act in the mittee; for to her the details of the spirit of justice and sound policy- measure must be a matter of indiffermindful also of the circumstances that ence; and, unless the course of these might flow from its enactment-look- unexampled proceedings should bring ing to all these points, and being the bill before the other branch of the strongly actuated by them, he would legislature, she will make no referundoubtedly give his vote against the ence whatever to the treatment ex

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