« ForrigeFortsett »
“ decorum, though perfectly chaste in person and even in thought ; supposing “ such a mother associating herself with her husband's enemies, making of them “ her confidants, and entering into the schemes of the factious for the purpose “ of thwarting, exasperating and traducing him ; supposing this mother to live “ separately from the husband, and on the worst terms with him; let all this be “ supposed, and ample reasons will be found for the Father's refusal of allowing “ the child to be educated under such an example without ascribing that refusal
to an opinion of the Mother's want of chastity. A woman may be chaste in person, yet of manners anc. habits leading to unchastity in others, or of a temper and inclination likely to make an undutiful child."
Having thus, under the guise of supposing a case, given what he evidently wishes to go forth as a description of the character of Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, he next, in the usual manner of such calumniators, says, that he does not wish it to be so understood.
“ It is not intended to assert or insinuate that this is a picture of the “ character of the Princess of Wales. Her friends, personally acquainted “ with her, represent her as mild and amiable in all respects. The “ picture is not drawn that it may be taken as a likeness of the Princess, “ but to show that there are other bad qualities besides unchasteness “ which may justify a father in refusing his child's education to a mother ; " and still more should that child be the heir presumptive to the throne, “ a personage for whom the British Constitution has specially provided." This is adding cowardice to calumny. He drew the picture with a mani. fest intention of its being applied to her Royal Highness, and this latter part of the paragraph is merely for the sake of avoiding a prosecution for libel, for which purpose, however, it is not sufficient, seeing that the real meaning of the writer can be mistaken by no man.
Now, then, my friend, what a picture is here given! And, observe, that this picture is intended to be applied to that same lady, who, in 1793, was received in England as an Angel bringing with her blessings, not only for the present generation, but for generations yet to come! Her husband was described as the happiest of mortals in possessing such a treasure ; and, in short, there were no expressions of praise that our lan. guage affords, which were not employed in the description of her person, her manners, and her mental endowments. For my part, I can know nothing of the Princess's manners; but, with the two pictures before me, and with a pretty good view of the circumstances under which both were drawn, I can have no hesitation in believing the picture now given to be a most foul and base attempt to disseminate falsehood. I believe the character of the Princess to be strongly marked with frankness and unreserve, but this, so far from a fault, is an amiable characteristic. More mischief is done by hypocrisy, in a day, than by the want of caution in a life-time.
However, the cowardly writer (for cowardice is the great characteristic of all the Princess's enemies) does not here venture to give countenance to the serious charges said to have been preferred against Her Royal Highness. He charges her with caballing with her husband's enemies. Who are they? The persons who espoused her cause in the first instance are now her husband's ministers, chosen by himself. He chose them for his ministers after they had espoused her cause; after they had advised the King to restore her to Court; and would he have chosen them, if be himself had not been convinced that she really was innocent of the things laid to her charge ?
She is charged here with entering into the schemes of the factious, for the purpose of thwarting, exasperating, and traducing her husband. And, where is the proof of this ? This charge, like all the others, is false. She complains to him in private, that she is not permitted to see her only child; she boldly asserts that there is no just cause for this severe affliction on her; and, her complaint not being attended to, she makes her letter public, in order that the world may not suppose, that the prohibition is founded on any misconduct of her's. Is this entering into the schemes of the factious ? Is there here any attempt to thwart, exasperate, or traduce her husband ? If she has caused her complaint to be made public, from what has that arisen but from the refusal to listen to that complaint ? Had her complaint been listened to, had she received redress, had she been permitted to see her child only once a week, we should never have seen the letter, because it is evident, that the letter never would have been written. With what justice, then, can she be charged with entering into the schemes of the factious for the purpose of thwarting, exasperating, and traducing her husband ?
The truth is, that being conscious of innocence, her forbearance is something wonderful; and, it is not less true, that any longer forbearance must have made against her in the opinion of the world. That the Prince, now invested with kingly powers, has a right to direct his daughter's educution, we know very well; but, this does not mean that the mother is to be shut out from free access to the child. Her seeing her child could not have interrupted the course of her studies. I never yet heard, that a part of good bringing up consisted in excluding the mother from a sight of the child to be brought up. It is in vain to attempt to twist the prohibition into a part of a system of education ; for the sole interpretation that it will admit of is that which the Princess has put upon it : namely, that she is unfit to be trusted in the presence of her daughter; and this being so manifestly the case, I put to any man of a just mind, what must have been the conclusion if the Princess had any longer forborne lo complain? I put it to any man, what he would have thought of her, if she had remained silent under such circumstances ? Yet is she, by these base panders of the press, charged with caballing and intriguing with her husband's enemies ; she is charged with obtruding herself upon the public. They seem really to think her something less than a worm. Something that either has no feeling, or that ought to suppress every feeling the discovering of which is inconvenient to her husband. This is a state to which no human being ought to be reduced ; and, it is a state to which no man, worthy of the name, would wish to reduce anything bearing the name of woman.
But, if it be part of a system of education to exclude the mother from the child, how comes it, that the Queen was never shut out from her chil. dren? And how comes it, that she is not now shut out from her grandchild? Why is the grandmother more fit to have the care of the child than the mother herself? The writer before quoted, whose malignity can be traced to only one source, expresses his fears of the Princess Charlotte being initiated into German manners.
“What education,” says he,“ does the young Princess require ? Is it lessons “ in German morality? Are we not sufficiently Germanized ? Must we German“ ize our females in manners as our fops are Germanized in dress? What should “ we do; set the example before the young Princess of a dutiful wife, or of one “ who could go repeatedly to the Opera, where she was applauded in reproach of “ her husband, and he was hissed in her praise : of one who can endanger the " raising of the public indignation against him, on grounds so shallow as those of “ the letter in question ? Unfortunately the Prince and Princess live sepa“ rately, on the worst terms. This state of things can only have arisen from “ what the Prince thinks sufficient cause, and to give up the government of his “ child to a person whose conduct he himself impeaches, would be to confess " himself conscious of being wrong, of being highly criminal in living separately " from the mother."
Now, if there be any danger in German manners, why are so many Germans introduced into our army, and why have they, in England, the command even of English troops ? But, why was not this perceived when the marriage took place ? Did not the Prince and the King know, that the Princess was a German woman ? Nay, is not the Queen, the King's wife and the Prince's mother, a German woman? And yet, behold, this man can discover no danger in her manners or precepts. Is the Queen less a German, is she less a foreigner than the Princess ? To what miserable shifts are these assailants of her Royal Highness driven ! Nothing more clearly shows the weakness, the miserable weakness, of their cause.
But the Princess is here called an undutiful wife. And why, because she was, it is here said, applauded at the Opera in reproach of her hus. band. How was she to blame for that, or for the hisses, which he is here said to have received in her praise ? She had not the power to restrain either the applauses or the hisses ; and, as to going to the Operu, was she to refrain from doing that because she was separated from her hus. band, and thus, by shunning the eye of the public, tacitly acknowledge herself in fault? The Prince, behold, is, by this writer, justified in excluding the mother from the daughter, lest by allowing the intercourse, he should seem to confess himself conscious of being wrong in living in u state of separation from his wife. But, the mother, oh! she is to hold her tongue, she is even to shun the light, she is to look no one in the face, she is to do nothing to convince the world, that she is not in the wrong; she, though innocent, is to act the part of an acknowledged criminal; and, because she does not do so, she is to be called an unduti. ful wife! She has now, it seems, " endangered the raising of the public indignation against her husband.” And how ? Only by publishing her appeal to himself. That is all she has done. She has complained to him of her treatment; and, if the publishing of this complaint exposes him to the danger here spoken of, she is not to blame; or, if she be, so is every man who makes known to the public any grievance under which he labours. If her complaint, as contained in her letter, be well founded, it will and it ought to produce an effect in the public mind ; if it be ille founded, let it be answered ; let it be shown to be ill-founded. She makes certain assertions. She says, that perjured and SUBORNED accusers have been brought against her; she says, that she has been fully acquitted of all the charges preferred by them; she says, that, if any one is still wicked enough to whisper suspicions against her, she wishes for a fresh inquiry. And, what answer bas been given to this ? Base insinuations only, by anonymous writers. This answer will not satisfy the world ; this is not the way to answer a serious complaint, signed with the complain. ant's name.
Much has been said about the Princess having acted under bad advice; and it has been frequently stated that she would have cause to repent of what has been called her rashness. The newspapers have been filled with accounts of great councils of state held upon the subject of her letter, and of depositions and examinations taken before magistrates. But, still, we see no answer to the bold and distinct assertions of her innocence ; and, I say again, that those assertions are not to be answered by hints and insinuations of anonymous writers of paragraphs. In my conception of it there never was a plainer case. The limitation of the Princess's visits to her daughter must rest for defence upon some ground of complaint against herself. This all the world will allow. Indeed, this is allowed on all hands. Well, then, she positively asserts that there is no ground of complaint against herself, and, if any one suspects that there is, she challenges fresh inquiry into her conduct. This challenge remains hitherto unanswered ; and, until some sort of authentic answer be given to it, she may safely rest her case where it is.
Before I conclude, I cannot refrain from expressing my hope, that the Princess will not resort to lawyers as advisers. Her case is too plain to require, or admit of, the use of subtlety. I am far from supposing that the gentlemen of the bar are, in the smallest degree, less honest, and they must necessarily be more acute and discriminating, than the mass of men. But with full as much honesty as other men, and with greater faculties of judging rightly than fall to the lot of men in general, they are by no means to be preferred where politics or political power, may intermix themselves with the matters in question. Other men are exposed to but the one old vulgar species of temptation, the yielding to which becomes visible at once to all eyes ; but, the Devil has in this country, at least, such a choice of baits when fishing for a lawyer; he has them of so many sizes, adapted to such a variety of swallows and of tastes, and has, in every case, such ready means of neatly biding his hook, that, when he chooses to set in earnest about it, I am much afraid, that very few of these gentle. men escape him.
In my next I shall enter into other parts of the subject, and in the meanwhile, I remain
Your faithful friend,
TO JAMES PAUL, of Bursledon, in Lower Dublin Township, in Philadelphia County,
in the State of Pennsylvania;
MATTERS RELATING TO HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, THE
PRINCESS OF WALES.
Botley, 9th March, 1813, My Dear Friend,
It is now seventeen years since I first took pen in hand, with an intention of sending the production of it to the press; and, certainly, I never did, from that day to this, experience more satisfaction in sitting down to write, than I do at this moment, in the full assurance, that the present Number of my Register will convey to you and to the world a thorough conviction of the innocence of the injured Princess of Wales, and of the baseness, the unparalleled black-heartedness of her calumniators.
At the out-set of my last letter, having occasion to revert to the period of the separation of the Princess and the Prince, I observed to you, that it was said, that there was a Lelier in existence upon the subject; and I ventured to predict, that when that letter should be published, the world would see the falsehood of all the infamous tales, which, up to that period, the tongues of base parasites had been engaged in circulating. The letter, or, a Letter, dated about the time referred to, and upon the subject referred to, has, since my last, been published in the London newspapers ; and also a letter of the Princess in answer thereunto. I will say nothing myself as to the authenticity of these documents; but, as they have obtained general circulation, through the means of the press; and, as their authenticity has not been called in question, in print, at least, I take them for authentic, and, viewing them in this light, I shall insert them here. Letter from the Prince to the Princess of Wales.
Windsor Castle, April 30, 1796. MADAM,-As Lord Cholmondeley informs me that you wish I would define, in writing, the terms upon which we are to live, I shall endeavour to explain myself upon that head with as much clearness, and with as much propriety, as the nature of the subject will admit. Our inclinations are not in our power ; nor should either of us be held answerable to the other, because nature has not made us suitable to each other. Tranquil and comfortable society is, however, in our powe er; let our intercourse, therefore, be restricted to that, and I will distinctly subscribe to the condition which you required through Lady Cholmondeley, that, even in the event of any accident happening to my daughter-which I trust Providence in its mercy will avert-I shall not infringe the terms of the restriction, by proposing, at any period, a connexion of a more particular nature. I shall now finally close this disagreeable correspondence, trusting that, as we have com. pletely explained ourselves to each other, the rest of our lives will be passed in uninterrupted tranquillity.-I am, Madam, with great truth,
Very sincerely yours,
(Signed) GEORGE P.
AvswER. The avowal of your conversation with Lord Cholmondeley, neither surprises nor offends me. It merely confirmed what you tacitly insinuated for this twelvemonth. But aster this, it would be a want of delicacy, or rather, an unworthy meanness in me, were I to complain of those conditions which you impose upon yourself.
I should have returned no answer to your letter, if it had not been conceived in terms to make it doubtful whether this arrangement proceeds from you or from me, and you are aware that the eredit of it belongs to you alone.
The letter which you announce to me as the last, obliges me to communicate to the King, as to my Sovereign, and my Father, both your avowal and my an.
You will find enclosed the copy of my letter to the King. I apprize you of it, that I may not incur the slightest reproach of duplicity from you. As I have at this moment no protector but His Majesty, I refer myself solely to him on this subject; and if my conduct nieets his approbation, I shall be, in some degree, at least, consoled. I retain every sentiment of gratitude for the situation in which I find myself, as Princess of Wales, enabled by your means to indulge in the free exercise of a virtue dear to my heart, I mean charity.
It will be my duty likewise to act upon another motive,-that of giving an example of patience and resignation under every trial.
Do me the justice to believe, that I shall never cease to pray for your happi. ness, and to be
Your much devotel, 6th May, 1796.