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to inquire, even in the case of Wigh Treason, any other crime known to the laws of the country If it is lawful in the case of lligh Treason,suppose to be committed by me, surely it must be laws also in the case of Iligh Treason supposed to committed by other subjects of your Majesty.
That there is much objection to it, in reason a principle, my understanding assures me. That sui Inquiries, carried on upon ex parte examinatio and a Report of the result by persons of high ai thority, may, nay must, have a tendency to pr judice the character of the parties who are expo ed to them, and thereby influence the further p ceedings in their case ;--that are calculated keep back from notice, and in security, the pe son of a false accuser, and to leave the accused the predicament of peither being able to look fo ward for protection to an acquittal of himse nor for redress to the conviction of his accuser. That these and many other objections occur i such a mode of proceeding, in the case of a cria known to the laws of this country, appears to I quite obvious.-- But if Commissioners acting u der such a power, or your Majesty's Privy Cou cil, or any regular. Magistrates, when they have satisfied themselves of the falsehood of the principal charge, and the absence of all legal and substantive oflence, are to be considered as empowered to proceed in the examination of the particulars of private life; to report upon
proprieties of domestic conduct; and the decoruins of privite behaviour, and to pronounce their opinion against the party, upon the evidence of dissatisfied servants, whose veracity they are to hold up as unimpeachable, and to do this without permitting the persons whose conduct is inquired into, to suggest one word in explanation or contradiction of the matter with which they are charged : it would, I submit to your. Majesty, prove such an attack upon the security and confidence of domestic life, such a means of recording, under the sanction of great names and high authority, the most malicious, and foulest imputatiuns, that no character could possibly be secure; and would do more to break in upon and undetermine the happiness and comfort of life, than any proceeding which could be imagined.
The public in general .perhaps may feel not much interest in the establishment of such a precedent in ny case. They may think it to be a course of proceeding scarcely applicable to any private subject; yet, if once such a court of bonour, of decency, and of manners, was established, many subjects might occur to which it might be thought advisable to extend its jurisdiction, beyond the instance of a Princess of Wales. But should it be intended to be confined to me, your Majesty; I trust, will not be surprised to find that it does not reconcile me the better to it, should I learn myself to be the single instance in your kingdom, who is exposed to the scrutiny of so severe and formidable a tribunal. So far there. fore from giving that sanction or consent to any fresh Inquiry, upon similar principles, which I should seem to do, by requiring the renewal of
these examinations, I must protest against it;
upon ex parte examinations, --- till I am better reconciled to the justice of their proceedings, I cannot fail to fear. And till I am better informed as to their legality, I cannot fail in duty to my dearest interests, most solemnly to remonstrate and to protest against them.
If such tribunals as these are called into action againstmebythe false charges offriends turned enemies, of servants turned traitors, and acting as spies by the foul conspiracy of such social and domestic treason; I can look to no security to my
honour in the most spotless and most cautious innocence.
By the contradiction and denial which in this case I have been enabled to procure, of the most im. portant facts which have been sworn against me by Mr.Cole and Mr.Bidgood ;--by the observations, and the reasonings, which I have addressed to your Majesty, I am confident, that to those whose sense of justice will lead them to wade through this long detail, I shall have removed the impressions which have been raised against me.-But how am I to insure a patient attention to all this statement? How many will hear that the Lord Chan. cellor, the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, the First Lord of the Treasury, and one of your Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, have reported against me, upon evidence which they have declared to be unbiassed and unquestionable ; who will never have the opportunity, or if they had the opportunity, might not have the inclination, to correct the error of that Report, by the examination of my statement.
I feel, therefore, that by this proceeding, my character has received essential injury. For a Princess of Wales to have been placed in a situation, in which it was essential to her honour to request one gentleman to swear, that he was not locked up at midnight in a room with her alone: and another, that he did not give her a lascivious salute, and never slept in her house, is to have been actually degraded and disgraced.--I have been, Sire, placed in this situation, I have been cruelly, your Majesty will permit me to say so, cruelly degraded into the necessity of making such requests. A necessity which I never could have been exposed to, even under this Inquiry, if more attention had been given to the examination of thesc malicious charges, and of the evidence on which they rest.
Much solicitude is felt,and justly so, as connected with this Inquiry, for the honour of your Majesty's illustrious Family. But surely a true regard to that honour should have restrained thosewho really felt for it, from casting such severe reflections on the character and virtue of the Princess of Wales.
If, indeed, after the most diligent and anxious Inquiry, penetrating into every circumstance connected with the charge, searching every source from which information could be derived, and scrutinizing with all that acuteness, into the credit and character of the witnesses, which great experience, talent, and intelligence could bring to such a subject ; and above all, if, after giving me some opportunity of being heard, the force of truth had, at length, compelled any persons to form, as reluctantly, and as unwillingly as they would, against their own daughters, the opinion that has been pronounced ; no regard, unquestionably, to my honour and character, nor to that of your Majesty's Family, as, in some degree, involved in mine, could have justified the suppression of that opinion, if legally called for, in the course of official and public duty. Whether such caution and reluctance are really manifest in these proceedings, I must leave to less partial judgments than my own to determine.