Page images
PDF
EPUB

left-the love of my dear and only child. To permit me to enjoy this was loo great an indnlgence. To see my daughter-to fold her in my arms—to mingle my tears with hers—to receive her cheering caresses, and to hear from her lips assurances of never ceasing love ;-hus to be comforted, consoled, upheld, and blessed, was too much to be allowed me. Even on the slave mart the eries of " Oh! my mother, iny mother! Oh! my child, iny child !” have prevented a separation of the victims of avarice. But your advisers, inore inhuman than the slave-dealers, remorsely tore the mother from the child.

Thus bereft of the society of my child, or reduced to the necessity of imbitlering her life by struggles to preserve that society, I resolved on a temporary absence, in the hope that time might restore me to her in happier days. Those days, alas! were never to come. To mo. thers--and those inothers who have been suddenly bereft of the best and most affectionate and only daughter-it belongs to estimate my sufferings and my wrongs. Such mothers will judge of my affliction upon hearing of the death of my child, and upon my calling to recollection the last look, the last words, and all the affecting circumstances of our separa

tion. Such mothers will see the depth of my sorrows. Every being with a heart of humanity in its bosom, will drop a tear in sympathy with me. And will not the world then, learn with indignation, that this event, calculated to soften the hardest heart, was the signal for bew con. spiracies, and indefatigable efforts, for the destruction of this afflicted mother! Your Majesty has torn my child from me; you had deprived me of the power of being at hand to succour her; you had taken from me the possibility of bearing of her last prayers for her mother; you saw me bereft, forlorn, and broken-hearted; and this was the moment you chose for redoubling your persecutions.

Let the world pass its judgment on the constituting of a commission, in a foreign country, consisting of inquisitors, spies, and informers, to discover, collect, and arrange matters of accusation against your wife, 'without any complaint having been communicated to her; let the world judge of the employment of ambassadors in such a business, and of the enlistiog of foreign courts in the enterprise ; but on the measures which have been adopted to give final effect to these preliminary proceedings, it is for me to speak; it is for me to remonstrate with your Majesty ; it is for me to protest ; it is for me to apprize you of my determination.

I have always demanded a fair trial. This is what I now demand, and this is refused me. lostead of a fair trial, I am to be subjected to a sentence by the Parliament, passed in the shape of a law. Against this I protest, and upon the following grounds :

The injustice of refusing me a clear and distinct charge, of refusing me the names of the witnesses, of refusing me the names of the places where the alleged acts bave been committed; these are sufficiently flagrant and revolting, but it is against the constitution of the Courl itself that I particularls object, and that I inost solemnly protest.

Whatever may be the precedents as to Bills of Pains and Penalties, none of them, excopt those relating to the Queen of Henry the Eighth, 'can apply here ; for here your Majesty is the plaintiff. Here it is intended by the Bill to do you what you deem good, and to do me great harm. You are, therefore, a party, and the only complaining party.

You have made your complaint to the House of Lords. You have conveyed to this House written documents scaled up. A secret Com

[ocr errors]

miltee of the House have examined these documents. They have reported that there are grounds of proceeding; and then the House, merely upon that report, bave brought forward a Bill containing the most outrageous slanders on me, and seotenciog me to divorce and degradation.

The injustice of putting forlh this Bill to the world for six weeks before it is even proposed to afford me an opportunity of contradicting its allegations, is too manifest not to have shocked the natiou ; and, indeed, the proceedings eveu thus far, are such as to convince every one, that no justice is in teoded me. But if none of these proceedings, if none of ihese clear indications of a determination to do me wrong had taken place, I should see io the constitution of the House of Lords itself, a certainty that I could expect no justice at its hands.

Your Majesty's Ministers have advised this prosccution; they are responsible for the advise they give; they are liable to punishment if they tail to make good their charges : and not only are they part of my judges, but it is they who have brought in the bill; and it is too notorious that they have always a majority in the House; so that, willout any other, here is ample proof that the House will decide in favour of the Bill, and of course against me.

But further, there are reasons for your Ministers having a majority in this case, and which reasons do not apply to common cases. Your Majesty is the plaintiff; to you it belongs to appoint and to elevate Peers. Many of the present Peers have been raised to that dignity by yourself, and almost the whole can bo, at your will and pleasure, furthor elevated. The far greater part of the Peers hold, by themselves and their funilies, offices, pensions, and other emoluments, solely at the will and pleasure of your Majesty, and these of course, your Majesty can take away whenever you please. There are more than four-fifths of the Peers in this situation, and there are many of them who might thus be deprived of the far belter part of their incomcs.

If, contrary to all expectation, there should be found, in some Peers, Jikely to amount to a inajority, a disposition to reject the Bill, some of these Peers may be ordered a way to their ships, regiments, governments, and other duties, and, which is an equally alarmius power, oew Peers may be created for the purpose, and give their votes in the decision. That your Majesty's Ministers would advise these measures, if found necossary to render their persecution successful, there can be very little doubt; sceing that they have bitherto stopped at nothing, bowever unjust or odious.

To regard such a body as a Court of Justice would be to calumniate that sacred name; and for me to suppress an expression of my opiniou on the subject, would be tacitly to lend myself to my own destruction, as well as to au imposition upon the nation and the world.

In the House of Comwons I can discover uo better grounds of security. The power of your Majesty's Ministers is the same in both Houses; and your Majesly is well acquainted with the fact, that a majority of the House is composed of persous placed in it by the Peers an: by your Majesty's Treasury.

It really gives me pain to state these things to your Majesty; and, if it gives your Majesty pain, I beg ihat it may be observed and remernbered, that the statemont has been forced from nie. I must either protest against this mode of trial, or, hy lacitly consenting to it, suffer my hunor lo be sacrificed. No ionucence cao secure the accused, if the

Judges and the Jurors be chosen by tbe accuser ; and if I were tacitly 10 submit to a tribunal of this description, I should be instrumental in my own dishonour.

On these grounds I protest against this species of trial. I demand a trial in a court where the Jurors are taken impartially from amongst the people, and where the proceedings are open and fair. Such a trial i court, and to no other will I willingly subinit. If your Majesty per. severe in the present proceeding, I shall, even in the Houses of Parlia. ment, face my accusers ; but I shall regard any decision they may make against me, aś pot in the smallest degree reflecting on my bopour; and I will not, except compelled by actual force, submit to any septeoce which shall not be pronounced by a Court of Juslice.

I have now frankiy laid before your Majesty a statement of my wrongs, and a declaration of my views and intentions. You have cast upon me every slur to which the female character is liable. Instead of loving, honouring, and cherishing me, agreeably to your solemn vow, you have pursued me with hatred and scorn, and with all the means of destruction. You wrested from me my child, and with her my only comfort and consolation. You sent me sorrowing through the world, and even in my sorrows pursued me with unrelenting persecution. Having left me nothing but my innocence, you would now, by a mockery of justice, deprive me even of the reputation of possessing that. The poisoned bowl and the poniard' are means more manly than perjured witnesses and parlial tribunals; and they are less cruel, inasmuch as life is less valuable than honour. If my life would have satisfied your Majesty, you should have had it on the sole condition of giving me a place in the same tomb with my child; but since you would send me dishonoured lo the grave, I' will resist the attempt with all the means that it shall please God to give me.

(Signed)

CAROLINE R. Brandenburgh House, Aug. 7, 1820.

The above letter was sent by the Queen's messenger on the 8th to Windsor, accompanied with a note to Sir B. Bloomfield, desiring him to deliver it immediately to the King Sir B. Bloomfield being absent, the letter was forwarded immediately to him at Carlton House, who Teturned it, informing her Majesty that he had received the King's 'commands, that any communications that might be made, should pass through the channel of his Majesty's government. The Queen immediately dispatched a messenger with the letter to Lord Liverpvol, desiring his Lordship to lay it before his Majesty. He returned an answer that he would lose no time in laying it before the King. On the 11th no reply having been received, the Queen wrote again to Lord Liverpool, re. questing information whether any further communication would be made on the subject of the letter to his Majesty. Lord Liverpool wrote the same das fron, Combe Wood, that he had not received the King's commands to make any communication to her Majesty, in consequence of her letter.

We rejoice at the publication of this letter as we have made more bold and pointed assertions in the Republican on the affairs of the King and Queen, than has appeared in any other publication, but the Queen has now corroborated every asser'tion. It is a most important document and inerits a general reading

EDITOR.

A LETTER TO THE INHABITANTS OF MAN

CHESTER AND ITS VICINITY, ON THE ANNI, VERSARY OF THE 16TH AUGUST, AND OŅ PRESENT PROSPECTS.

Dorchester Gaol, August 16, 1820. Fellow Citizens, It having been suggested by Mr. Hunt, that it would be becoming in the Reformers to mark this day with some particular observations, expressive of their strong recollections of it: for my part, as I am a recluse from society, I have come to the conclusion, that the best manner in which I can notice it with effect is, to address myself to you, and to occupy a portion of the day in that purpose. I do this, too, with peculiar satisfaction to myself, because our enemies, who on this day twelve months fancied that they had erushed us with the fright of that wanton and murderous attack which they made upon us, are now beginning to see that our attitude, although displayed in a different channel, is in fact more formidable now than it was on the morning of the 16th August, 1819. It matters nothing that those men who were considered to direct and give a tone to the public voice are in, or on the verge of, a prison: you will find that their confinement and persecution will serve you as much, as their exertions would if at large. It is the accumulation of public persecution, public misery, and public discontent, that works revolutions in all countries, because the hatred and opposition borne to established systems of misrule, will always operate in a ratio to the extent of their outrages.

You, the inhabitants of Manchester and its vicinity, have borne a conspicuous part in the cause of reforming the government, and from my knowledge of the immense number of political disquisitions that have passed through your hands within these last four years, I can venture to say, that your ideas are ripe on the nature and effects of different kinds of govertiment, but more particularly on the abuses of that system under which you languish, and on what, and what only, is necessary to reform that system and restore the country to its prosperity and becoming rank among nations. There were times when the machinery of government was less complex than at present, and when a king, if he were well disposed towards his subjects, had it in his power to correct all the abuses by which they were aggrieved, but now the case is

quite different, for the king has scarcely more power than I have to correct abuses; he is disciplined into a system of sanctioning abuses under the notion, that any amelioration would tend to a republican form of government; and finding his ministers willing to pamper his appetite with whatever it may crave, he is rendered a dolt to passing events and becomes the mere tool of his administration. The proof of this assertion is so strong in the case of the present king, that it must flash conviction on every mind that reflects, and may not hitherto have borne the impression. It is therefore vain to expect that the present king will do any thing of his own accord towards correcting the abuses under which we linger, soine in prison and the rest out of it in a state of absolute distress and want; there appears to be no possibility of rousing him to a sense of his danger, and you will find, that he will not move out of his present path until his ministers feel themselves in danger, when they will desert him with the same feelings as a debauchee does his cast off mistress; those are hatred and contempt.

I have not the least wish to lead the mind of any one of you to look further than a system of representative government, and I sincerely avow myself to you that I could wish its accomplishment to take place in just the same manner as it has in Spain. I am satistied, and I doubt not but you are fully convinced of its propriety, ihat it would be better to leave every species of correction in the abuses of the government to the steady and deliberative hand of the representatives of the people in parliament assembled, than to correct them by violent means, even when the people have the power to do so. It is well to give all these things a full consideration at this moment, and before a convulsion takes place, for that a convulsion is approaching and near, is, I believe, an idea that fills the mind of every man and woman in the country, whatever be their different opinions as to its necessity: I have no hesitation in saying it is my opinion. The treatment of the Queen is a new circumstance to hasten it, and we have her distinct avowal in her famous letter to the King (wbich I hope will ornament every house in the three kingdoms in a neat frame), that she will not acknowledge his authority to degrade her with such a parliament as the present, and that she will resist his attempt to do it, and that nothing but superior force shall induce her to yield.

The conduct of the Queen, as a persecuted woman, has been, and continues to be, admirable: it forms an excellent lesson of the ulility of resisting oppression as far as in us lies. She has

« PreviousContinue »