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same which the witnesses call the Blue room) he
painting the Princess, and he has slept in the
is one of those who cannot be suspected of un- |
had been left alone with Mr. Lawrence at his own house; to which she answers, that she, indeed, had left me there, but that she thinks she -If an inference left Mrs. Fitzgerald with me.————— of an unfavourable nature could have been drawn from my having been left there alone-was it, Sire, taking ail that care which might be wished, to guard against such an inference on the part of the Commissioners, when they omitted to send for Mrs. Fitzgerald to ascertain what Mrs. Lisle may have left in doubt. The Commissioners, I give them the fullest credit, were satisfied that Mrs. Lisle thought correctly upon this fact, and that Mrs. Fitzgerald, if she had been sent for again, would so have proved it, and, therefore, that it would have been troubling her to no purpose, but this it is, of which I conceive myself to have most reason to complain; that the examinations in several instances have not been followed up so as to remove unfavourable impressions.I cannot but feel satisfied that the Commissioners would have been glad to have been warranted in negativing all criminality, aud all suspicion on his part of the charge, as completely and honourably as they have done on the principal charges of pregnancy and delivery. They traced that part of the charge with ability, sagacity, diligence, and perseverance; and the result was complete satisfaction of my innocence; At that time Mr. Lawrence did not dine with complete detection of the falsehood of my acme; his dinner was served in his own room. After cusers. Encouraged by their success in that dinner he came down to the room where I and part of their inquiry, I lament that they did not, my Ladies generally sat in an evening, sometimes (as they thought proper to enter into the other there was music, in which he joined, and some- part of it at all), with similar industry, pursue it. times he read poetry. Parts of Shakespeare's If they had, I am confident they would have plays I particularly remember, from his reading pursued it with the same success; but though them very well; and sometimes he played chess they had convicted Sir Jolin and Lady Douglas with me. It frequently may have happened that of falsehood, they seem to have thought it imposit was one or two o'clock before I dismissed Mr. sible to suspect of the same falsehood any other of Lawrence and my Ladies. They, together with the witnesses, though produced by Sir John and Mr. Lawrence, went out of the same door, up Lady Douglas. The most obvious means, therethe same stair-case, and at the same time. Ac-fore, of trying their credit, by comparing their cording to my own recollection, I should have evidence with what they had said before, seems said, that in no one instance they had left Mr. to me to have been omitted. Many facts are Lawrence behind them alone with me. But I left upon surmise only and insinuation; obvious suppose it did happen once for a short time, means of getting further information, on doubtful since Mr. Lawrence so recollects it, as your Ma- and suspicious circumstances, are not resorted jesty will perceive from his deposition, which I to; and, as if the important matter of the inquiry annex. He staid in my house two or three nights (on which a satisfactory conclusion had been, together; but how many nights in the whole, I formed) was all that required any very attentive do not recollect. The picture left my house by or accurate consideration; the remainder of it April, 1801, and Mr. Lawrence never slept in my was pursued in a manner which, as it seems to house afterwards. That picture now belongs to me, can only be accounted for by the pressure of Lady Townsend. He has since completed an- what may have been deemed more important du other picture of me; and about a year and a half ties-and of this I should have made but little ago he began another, which remains at present complaint, if this inquiry, where it is imperfect, unfinished. I believe it is near a twelvemonth had not been followed by a Report, which the since I last sat to him.-Mr. Lawrence lives most accurate only could have justified, and upon a footing of the greatest intimacy with the which such an accurate inquiry, I am confident, neighbouring families of Mr. Lock and Mr. An- never could have produced.If any credit was gerstein; and I have asked him sometimes to given to Mr. Cole's story of the locked door, and dine with me to meet them. While I was sitting the whispering, and to Mr. Lawrence having to him at my own house, I have no doubt I must been left with me so frequently of a night when often have sat to him alone; as the necessity for my Ladies had left us, why were not all my Lathe precaution of having an attendant as a wit- dies examined? why were not all my servants exness to protect my honour from suspicion, cer- amined as to their knowledge of that fact? And tainly never occurred to me. And upon the same if they had been so examined, and had contraprinciple, I do not doubt that I may have some- dicted the fact so sworn to by Mr. Cole, as they times continued in conversation with him after must have done, had they been examined to it, he had finished painting. But when sitting in that alone would have been sufficient to have rehis own house, I have always been attended with moved his name from the list of unsuspected and one of my ladies. And, indeed, nothing in the unquestionable witnesses, and relieved me from examinations state the contrary. One part of much of the suspicion which his evidence, till it Mrs. Lisle's examination seems as if she had a was examined, was calculated to have raised in question put to her, upon the supposition that I your Majesty's mind. And to close this state.
room alone. He was a person with whom the Princess appeared to have greater pleasure in talking than with her Ladies. Her Royal Highness behaved to him ONLY as any woman would who likes flirting. She (Mrs. Lisle) would not have thought any married woman would have behaved properly, who behaved as Her Royal Highness did to Captain Manby. She can't say whether the Princess was attached to Captain Manby, only that it was a flirting conduct. She never saw any gallantries, as kissing her hand, or the like." -I have cautiously stated the whole of Mrs. Lisle's evidence upon this part of the case; and I am -To satisfy myself, therefore, and your Ma- sure your Majesty, in reading it, will not fail to jesty, I have shewn, I trust, by unanswerable ob- keep the facts which Mrs. Lisle speaks to sepa servations and arguments, that there is no colour rate from the opinion or judgment which she for crediting Mr. Cole, or, consequently, any part forms upon them. I mean not to speak disreof this charge, which rests solely on his evidence. spectfully or slightingly of Mrs. Lisle's opinion, But to satisfy the requisition of the Commission- or express myself as in any degree indifferent to ers, I have brought my pride to submit (though it. But whatever there was which she observed not without great pain, I can assure your Ma- in my conduct that did not become a married jesty) to add the only contradictions which I con- woman, that "was ONLY like a woman who liked ceive can be given, those of Mr. Lawrence and flirting," and "ONLY a flirting conduct,” I am myself.The next person with whom these ex- convinced your Majesty must be satisfied that it aminations charge my improper familiarity, and must have been far distant from affording any with regard to which the Report represents the evidence of crime, of vice, or indecency, as it evidence as particularly strong, is Captain Manby. passed openly in the company of my Ladies, of With respect to him, Mr. Cole's examination is whom Mrs. Lisle herself was one.--The facts silent. But the evidence on which the Commis- she states are, that Captain Manby came very sioners rely on this part of the case is Mr. Bid- frequently to my house; that he dined there good's, Miss Fanny Lloyd's, and Mrs. Lisle's. It three or four times a week in the latter end of respects my conduct at three different places; at the year 1802; that he sat next to me at dinner; Montague House, Southend, and at Ramsgate; and that my conversation after dinner, in the I shall preserve the facts and my observations evening, used to be with Captain Manby, sepamore distinct, if I consider the evidence, as ap-rate from my Ladies. These are the facts: and plicable to these three places, separately and in is it upon them that my character, I will not say, its order; and I prefer this mode of treating it, is to be taken away, but is to be affected?as it will enable me to consider the evidence of Captain Manby had, in the autumn of the same Mrs. Lisle in the first place, and consequently year, been introduced to me by Lady Townshend, put it out of the reach of the harsher observa- when I was upon a visit to her at Rainham. Í tions which I may be under the necessity of think he came there only the day before I left it. making upon the testimony of the other two. He was a naval officer, as I understood, and as I For though Mrs. Lisle, indeed, speaks to having still believe, of great merit. What little expense, seen Captain Manby at East Cliff in August, in the way of charity, I am able to afford, I am 1803, to the best of her remembrance it was best pleased to dedicate to the education of the only once. She speaks to his mecting her at children of poor, but honest persons; and I most Deal in the same season; that he landed there generally bring them up to the service of the with some boys whom I took on charity, and navy. I had at that time two boys at school, who were under his care; yet she speaks of no- whom I thought of an age fit to be put to sea. İ thing there that can require a single observation desired Lady Townshend to prevail upon Captain from me. The material parts of her evidence Manby to take them. He consented to it, and respect her seeing him at Blackheath the Christ- of course I was obliged to him.- -About this mas before she had seen him at East Cliff. She time, or shortly afterwards, he was appointed to says, it was the Christmas after Mr. Austin's the Africaine, a ship which was fitting up at child came, consequently the Christmas 1802-3. Deptford. To be near his ship, as I understood He used to come to dine there, she says he al- and believe, he took lodgings at Blackheath; ways went away in her presence, and she had no and as to the mere fact of his being so frequently reason to think he staid after the Ladies retired. at my house-his intimacy and friendship with He lodged on the heath at that time; his ship Lord and Lady Townshend, which of itself was was fitting up at Deptford; he came to dinner assurance to me of his respectability and characthree or four times a week, or more. She sup- ter-my pleasure in shewing my respect to them, poses he might be alone with the Princess, but by notice and attention to a friend of theirs-his that she was in the habit of seeing Gentlemen undertaking the care of my charity boys-and and tradesmen without her being present. She his accidental residence at Blackheath, will, I (Mrs. Lisle) has seen him at luncheon and dinner should trust, not unreasonably account for it. I both. The boys (two boys) came with him two have a similar account likewise to give of paying or three times, but not to dinner. Captain for the linen furniture, with which his cabin was Manby always sat next the Princess at dinner. furnished. Wishing to make him some return for The constant company were Mrs. and Miss Fitz- his trouble with the boys, I desired that I might gerald and herself-all retired with the Princess, choose the pattern of his furniture. I not only and sat in the same room. Captain Manby gene- chose it, but had it sent to him, and paid the rally retired about eleven, and sat with us all bill; finding, however, that it did not come to till then. Captain Manby and the Princess used, more than about twenty pounds, I thought it a when we were together, to be speaking together shabby present, and therefore added some trifling separately, conversing separately, but not in a present of plate, So I have frequently done,
ment and these observations, and in addition to them, I most solemnly assert to your Majesty, that Mr. Lawrence, neither at his own house, nor at mine, nor any where else, ever was for one moment, by night or by day, in the same room with me when the door of it was locked; that he never was in my company of an evening alone, except the momentary conversation which Mr. Lawrence speaks to may be thought an exception; and that nothing ever passed between him and me which all the world might not have witnessed. And, Sire, I have subjoined a deposition to the same effect from Mr. Lawrence.
they are not both examined to these circumstances? But Miss Fitzgerald is not examined at all; and Mrs. Fitzgerald, though examined, and examined too with respect to Captain Manby, does not appear to have had a single question put to her with respect to any thing which passed concerning him at Montague House. May I not therefore complain that the examination, leaving the generality of Mrs. Lisle's expression unexplained by herself; and the scenes to which it relates unexamined into, by calling the other persons who were present, is leaving it precisely in that state, which is better calculated to raise a suspicion, than to ascertain the truth?But I am persuaded that the unfavourable impression which is most likely to be made by Mrs. Lisle's
But to return to Mrs. Lisle's examination. Mrs. Lisle says, that Captain Manby, when he dined with me, sat next to me at dinner. Before any inference is drawn from that fact, I am sure your Majesty will observe that, in the next line of Mrs. Lisle's examination, she says, "that the constant company was Mrs. and Miss Fitz-examination, is not by her evidence to the facts, gerald, and herself, Mrs. Lisle." The only gen- but by her opinion upon them. "I appeared," tleman, the only person of the whole party who she says, " to like the conversation of Captain was not of my own family, was Captain Manby; Manby better than that of my ladies. Î beand his sitting next to me, under such circum- haved to him only as a woman who likes flirting; stances, I should apprehend could not possibly my conduct was unbecoming a married woman; afford any inference of any kind. In the even- she cannot say whether I was attached to Caping we were never alone. The whole company tain Manby or not; it was only a flirting consat together; nay, even as to his being with me duct."-Now, Sire, I must here again most alone of a morning, Mrs. Lisle seems to know seriously complain that the Commissioners should nothing of the fact, but from a conjecture found- have called for, or received, and much more, ed upon her knowledge of my known usual habit, reported, in this manner, the opinion and judg with respect to seeing gentlemen who might ment of Mrs. Lisle upon my conduct. Your call upon me. And the very foundation of her Majesty's Warrant purports to authorize them to conjecture demonstrates that this circumstance collect the evidence, and not the opinion of can be no evidence of any thing particular with others; and to report it, with their own judg. regard to Captain Manby.As to my convers- ment surely, and not Mrs. Lisle's, Mrs. Lisle's ing with Captain Manby separately, I do not judgment was formed upon those facts which understand Mrs. Lisle as meaning to speak to she stated to the Commissioners, or upon other the state of the conversation uninterruptedly, facts. If upon those she stated, the Commisduring the whole of any of the several evenings sioners, and your Majesty, are as well able to when Captain Manby was with me; if I did so form the judgment upon them as she was. If understand her, I should certainly most confi- upon other facts, the Commissioners should have dently assert, that she was not correct. That heard what those other facts were, and upon in the course of the evening, as the ladies were them have formed and reported their judgment. working, reading, or otherwise amusing themselves, the conversation was sometimes more and sometimes less general; and that they some-explanation of what she means by “ only flirting times took more, sometimes less part in it;- conduct," and by "behaviour unbecoming a that frequently it was between Captain Manby married woman," namely, that it consisted in and myself alone; and that, when we were all having the same gentleman to dine with me together, we two might frequently be the only three or four times a week ;-letting him sit persons not otherwise engaged, and therefore be next me at dinner, when there were no other justly said to be speaking together separately. strangers in company;-conversing with him seBesides, Captain Manby has been round the parately, and appearing to prefer his conversaworld with Captain Vancouvre. I have looked tion to that of the ladies,-it would be observed over prints in books of voyages with him; he has probably, that this was not all; that there was explained them to me; the ladies may or may always a certain indescribable something in not have been looking over them at the same manner, which gave the character to conduct, time; they may have been engaged with their and must have entered mainly into such a judg own amusements. Here again, we may be said ment as Mrs. Lisle has here pronounced.To to have been conversing separately, and conse- a certain extent I should be obliged to agree to quently that Mrs. Lisle, in this sense, is perfect this; but if I am to have any prejudice from ly justified in saying that "I used to converse this observation; if it is to give a weight and separately with Captain Manby," I have not the authority to Mrs. Lisle's judgment, let me have least difficulty in admitting. But have I not the advantage of it also. If it justifies the conagain reason to complain that this expression of clusion that Mrs. Lisle's censure upon my conMrs. Lisle's was not more sifted, but left in a duct is right, it requires also that equal credit manuer calculated to raise an impression that should be given to the qualification, the limit, this separate conversation was studiously sought and the restriction which she herself puts upon for, was constant, uniform, and uninterrupted, that censure.- -Mrs. Lisle, seeing all the facts though it by no means asserts any such thing? which she relates, and observing much of manBut whether I used always so to converse with ner, which perhaps she could not describe, lihim; or generally, or only sometimes, or for what mits the expression" flirting conduct" by calling proportion of the evening I used to be so en- it "only flirting," and says (upon having the, gaged, is left unasked and unexplained. Have question asked to her, no doubt, whether from I not likewise just reason to complain, that the whole she could collect that I was attached though Mrs. Lisle states, that Mrs. Fitzgerald to Captain Manby) says "she could not say and Miss Fitzgerald were always of the party, whether I was attached to him, my conduct was
and I hope, without offence, may be permitted to do again, to any Captain on whom I impose such trouble. Sir Samuel Hood has now two of my charity boys with him; and I have presented him with a silver epergne. I should be ashamed to notice such things, but your Majesty perceives that they are made the subject of inquiry from Mrs. Fitzgerald and Mr. Stikeman, and I was desirous that they should not appear to be particular in the case of Captain Manby.
-I am aware, indeed, that if I were to argue that the facts which Mrs. Lisle states, afford the
had been prosecuted before your Majesty's Privy Council, the more solemn and usual course of proceeding there would, as I am informed, have furnished, or enabled me to furnish, your Majesty with the questions as well as the answers, Mrs. Lisle, it should also be observed, was at the time of her examination, under the severe op pression of having, but a few days before, heard of the death of her daughter;-a daughter, who had been happily married, and who had lived happily with her husband, in mutual attachment till her death. The very circumstance of her then situation would naturally give a graver and severer cast to her opinions. When the question was proposed to her, as a general question, (and I presume it must have been so put to her) whether my conduct was such as would become a married woman, possibly her own daughter's conduct andwhat she would have expected of her,might present itself to her mind. And I confidently submit to your Majesty's better judgment, that such
not of a nature that proved any attachment to him, it was only a flirting conduct." Unjust| therefore, as I think it, that any such question should have been put to Mrs. Lisle, or that her judgment should have been taken at all; yet what I fear from it, as pressing with peculiar hardship upon me, is, that though it is Mrs. Lisle's final and ultimate judgment upon the whole of my conduct, yet, when delivered to the Commissioners and your Majesty, it becomes evidence, which, connected with all the facts on which Mrs. Lisle had formed it, may lead to still further and more unfavourable conclusions, in the minds of those who are afterwards to judge upon it;—that her judgment will be the foundation of other judgments against me, much severer than her own; and that though she evidently limits her opinion, and by saying ONLY flirting" impliedly negatives it as affording any indication of any thing more improper, while she proceeds expressly to negative it as affording any proof of attachment; yet it general question ought not, in a fair and candid may be thought by others, to justify their con- consideration of my case, to have been put to sidering it as a species of conduct, which shewed Mrs. Lisle, or any other woman. For, as to my an attachment to the man to whom it was ad- conduct being, or not being, becoming a mar dressed; which in a married woman was crimi- ried woman; the same conduct, or any thing nal and wrong.What Mrs. Lisle exactly like it, which may occur in my case, could not means by only flirting conduct-what degree of occur in the case of a married woman, who was impropriety of conduct she would describe by not living in my unfortunate situation; or, if it it, it is extremely difficult, with any precision, did occur, it must occur under circumstances to ascertain. How many women are there, most which must give it, and most deservedly, virtuous, most truly modest, incapable of any a very different character. A married woman, thing impure, vicious, or immoral, in deed or living well and happily with her husband,could not thought, who, from greater vivacity of spirits, be frequently having one gentleman at her table,' from less natural reserve, from that want of with no other company but ladies of her family, caution, which the very consciousness of inno--she could not be spending her evenings fre cence betrays them into, conduct themselves in quently in the same society, and separately cona manner, which a woman of a graver character, versing with that gentleman, unless either with of more reserved disposition, but not with one the privity and consent of her husband; or by particle of superior virtue, thinks too incautious, taking advantage, with some management of his too unreserved, too familiar; and which, if ignorance and his absence;-if it was with bis forced upon her oath to give her opinion upon privity and consent, that very circumstance it, she might feel herself, as an honest woman, alone would unquestionably alter the character bound to say in that opinion, was flirting?- of such conduct,-if with management she avoidBut whatever sense Mrs. Lisle annexes to the ed his knowledge, that very management would word "flirting" it is evident, as I said before, betray a bad motive. The cases therefore are that she cannot mean any thing criminal, vicious, not parallel; the illustration is not just; and the or indecent, or any thing with the least shade of question, which called for such an answer from deeper impropriety than what is necessarily ex- Mrs. Lisle, ought not, in candour and fairness, pressed in the word "flirting." She never would to have been put. I entreat your Majesty, have added, as she does in both instances, that however, not to misunderstand me; I should be it was ONLY flirting; if she had thought it of ashamed indeed to be suspected of pleading any a quality to be recorded in a formal Report, peculiar or unfortunate circumstance in my situamongst circumstances which must occasion the ation, as an excuse for any criminal or indecent most unfavourable interpretations, and which act. With respect to such acts, most unquesdeserved the most serious consideration of your tionably such circumstances can make no differMajesty. To use it so, I am sure your Majesty ence; and afford no excuse. They must bear must see is to press it far beyond the meaning their own character of disgrace and infamy, un. › which she would assign to it herself.--And as der all circumstances. But there are acts, which I have admitted that there may be much inde- are unbecoming a married woman, which ought scribable in the manner of doing any thing, so to be avoidedbyher,from an apprehension lest they it must be admitted to me that there is much should render her husband uneasy, not because indescribable, and most material also in the they might give him any reason to distrust her inanner of saying any thing, and in the accent chastity, her virtue or her morals, but because with which it is said. The whole context serves they might wound his feelings, by indicating a much to explain it; and if it is in answer to a preference to the society of another man, over question, the words of that question, the man. his, in a case, where she had the option of both. ner and the accent in which it is asked, are also But surely, as to such acts, they must necesmost material to understand the precise mean-sarily bear a very different character, and receive ing, which the expressions are intended to a very different construction, in a case, where, convey; and I must lament therefore extremely, unhappily, there can be no such apprehension, if my character is to be affected by the opinion and where there is no such option, I must there of any witness, that the question by whien that fore be excused for dwelling so much upon this opinion was drawn from her, were not given part of the case; and I am sure your Majesty too, as well as her answers, and if this inquiry will feel me warranted in saying, what I say with