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slept in my bed-room ; after having seen that he founded himself on this most false fact, and most foul and wicked insinuation, upon the circumstance of observing a bason and some towels where he thought they ought not be placed ; after having seen that this fact, and this insinuation, were disproved before the four Noble Lords themselves, by two maid-servants, who, at that time, lived with me at Southend, and whose duties about my person,
my apartments, must have made them acquainted with this fact, as asserted, or as insinuated, if it had happened ; after having observed too, in confirmation of their testimony, that one of them mentioned the name of another female servant (who was not examined), who had, from her situation, equal means of knowledge with themselvesI ask whether, after all this decisive weight of contradiction to Robert Bidgood's testimony, I am to understand your Majesty's confidential servants to agree
with the four Noble Lords in thinking, that Mļ. Bidgood is a witness, who cannot be suspected of unfavourable bias, and that there is no ground to question his veracity? If, Sire, I were to go through all the remarks of this description, which occur to me to make, I should be obliged to repeat nearly all my former observations, and to make this letter as long as my original answer ; but to that answer I confidently appeal, and I will venture to challenge your Majesty's confidential seryants to find a single impartial, and honourable man, unconnected in feeling and interest with the parties, and unconnected in Council, with those who have already pledged themselves to an opinion upon this subject, who will lay his hand upon his heart, and say that these three witnesses, on whom that Report so mainly relies, are not to be suspected of the grossest partiality, and that their veracity is not most fundamentally impeached.
Was it then noble, was it generous, was it manly, was it just, in your Majesty's confidential servants, instead of fairly admitting the injustice, which had been, inadvertently, and unintentionally, no doubt, done to me, by the four Noble Lords in their Report, upon the evidence of these witnesses, to state to
your Majesty, that they agree with these Noble Lords in their opinion, though they cannot, it seems, go the length of agreeing any longer to withhold the advice, which restores me to your Majesty's presence? And with respect to the par: ticulars to my prejudice, remarked upon in the Report as those“ which justly deserve the most “ serious consideration, and which must be credited “ till decisively contradicted," instead of fairly avowing, either that there was originally no pretence for such a remark, or that, if there had been originally, yet that my answer had given that decisive contradiction which was sufficient to discredit them; instead, I say, of acting this just, honest, and, open, part, to take no notice whatsoever of those contradictions, and content themselves with saying, that “ none of the facts or allegations
stated in preliminary examinations, carried on in " the absence of the parties interested, could be con“ sidered as legally or conclusively establislied ?"
They agree in the opinion that the facts or allegations, though stated in preliminary examination, carried on in the absence of the parties interested, must be credited till decisively contradicted, and deserve the most serious consideration. They read, with the fullest consideration, the contradiction which I have tendered to them ; they must have known, that no other sort of contradiction could, by possibility, from the nature of things, have been offered upon such subjects; they do not question the truth, they do not point out the insufficiency of the contradiction, but in loose, general, indefinite, terms, referring to my answer, consisting, as it does, of above two hundred written pages, and coupling it with those examinations (which they admit establish nothing against an absent party) they advise your Majesty, that “ there appear
many circumstances of conduct, which could not “ be regarded by your Majesty without serious
concern ;" and that, as to all the other facts and allegations, except those relative to my pregnancy and delivery, they are not to be considered as “ legally and conclusively established," because spoken to in preliminary examinations, not carried on in the presence of the parties concerned. They do not, indeed, expressly assert, that my contradiction was not decisive or satisfactory; they do not expressly state, that they think the facts and allegations want nothing towards their legal and conclusive establishment, but a re-examination in the presence of the parties interested, but they go far to imply such opinions. That those opinions are
utterly untenable, against the observations I have made upon the credit and character of those witnesses, I shall ever most confidently maintain ; but that those observations leave their credit wholly unaffected, and did not deserve the least notice from your Majesty's servants, it is impossible that any honourable man can assert, or any fair, and unprejudiced, mind believe.
I now proceed, Sire, to observe, very shortly, upon the advice further given to your Majesty as contained in the remaining part of the paper ;
which has represented that, both in the examinations, and even in my answer there have appeared many circumstances of conduct which could not be regarded but with serious concern, and which have suggested the expression of a desire and expectation, that such a conduct may in future, be observed by me, as may fully justify these marks of paternal regard and affection, which your Majesty wishes to shew to all your Royal Family.
And here, Sire, your Majesty will graciously permit me to notice the hardship of the advice, which has suggested to your Majesty, to convey, to me this reproof. I complain not so much for what it does, as for what it does not contain ; I mean the absence of all particular mention of what it is, that is the object of their blame. The circumstances of conduct, which appear in these examinations, and in my answer to which they allude as those which may be supposed to justify the advice, which has led to this reproof, since your Majesty's servants have not particularly
mentioned them, I cannot be certain that I know. But I will venture confidently to repeat the assertion, which I have already made, that there are no circumstances of conduct, spoken to by any witness, (whose infamy and discredit are not unanswerably exposed, and established,) nor any where apparent in my answer which have the remotest approach either to crime, or to indelicacy.
For my future conduct, Sire, impressed with every sense of gratitude for all former kindness, I shall be bound, unquestionably, by sentiment as well as duty, to study your Majesty's pleasure. Any advice which your Majesty may wish to give to me in respect of any particulars of my conduct, I shall be bound, and be anxious to obey as my law. But I must trust that your Majesty will point out to me the particulars, which may happen to displease you, and which you may wish to have altered. I shall be as happy, in thus feeling myself safe from blame under the benefit of your Majesty's advice, as I am now in finding myself secured from danger, under the protection of your justice.
Your Majesty will permit me toadd one word more.
Your Majesty has seen what detriment my character has, for a time, sustained, by the false and malicious statement of Lady Douglas, and by the depositions of the witnesses who were examined in support of her statement. Your Majesty has seen how many enemies I have, and how little their malice has been restrained by any regard to truth in the pursuit of my ruin. Few, as it may be hoped, may be the instances of such determined, and un