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te res or the audacia,
HT THINs, and amas, from
te auma being at meste. É DEŠ Je nach viel v = 1 vime community thus afferet, aut is reace mi ever greatness endangered in sini a cause, must ve uc be senseless Andert, must ve te smetting myrtaching to bruse, if we it to seek for some means of protesting onreines against the like in future? The king bay by his parasites and enough of them be always had been called the "first gentleman in Eis kingdom." Gentleman is a very equivocal term; but, if its meaning be to be interpreted by the conduct of George IV., it will hardly be greatly coveted by the majority of mankind. He had, in this case, two duties to fulfil, both of a sacred nature; one towards his wife; and another towards that virtuous, industrious, forgiving, and too generous people,
from whose care and toil he had, for thirty-three years, derived the means of living in ease, splen dour, and even extravagance.
55. With regard to the first of these duties, though the law restrained him in the choosing of a wife, this restraint was a condition upon which he was to enjoy royal magnificence and power; and, though it restrained him in his choice, it did not compel him to marry anybody. A good and dutiful son, even in the lowest walks of life, will hesitate long before he marry against the wish of his father and family. So that there is no excuse to be built on this ground. He was perfectly free to refuse the hand of the lady that had been chosen for him; to take that hand was his own voluntary act; therefore, he was bound by every tie that ought to bind a husband; and, though personal affection was wanting, were there not the dictates of justice? Was there not his solemn vow; did he not promise before God, that he would love and cherish and keep constant to this lady? Was there not, supposing a want of every-thing else, common humanity to tell him, that it was cruel to the last degree even to slight a person situated as the princess was, in a foreign country, cut off from home, parents, and friends, surrounded with envious rivals and satirists, and placed solely under his protection and at his mercy? Amongst the honest boasts of England,
is, that it possesses "manly hearts to guard the fair." As far as belonged to the people of England, the unfortunate CAROLINE experienced the literal truth of this poetic description; but, we shall presently see how it was exemplified in the conduct of him who was one day to be their king, and the mildness of whose reign and generosity of whose character have been extolled by those who were amongst his intimates and councillors.
56. As to his duty towards the nation, it bound him, in the first place, to refrain from any indulgence, from giving way to any passion, from doing any-thing which, operating in the way of example, might be injurious to public morals. We are all aware of the powers of fashion; we know that in dress, in eating, in drinking, in sports and pastimes of all sorts, the high are followed as nearly as possible by the low. As the servant-maid imitates as nearly as possible the dress of her mistress, and the footman the airs of his master, so will a people imitate, in a greater or less degree, the example of their rulers. If snuff became sought after because it was by a shrewd tobacconist named "Prince's mixture," is it to be believed that ill-treatment of a wife at Carlton House would not have its pernicious influence on every man at all prone to disregard the marriage vow? Besides, for what had the nation given to this prince such enormous sums of money?
For what had it a second time discharged the long score of his squanderings? For the purpose of seeing him lead a life of sobriety, order, and conjugal fidelity; for the purpose of seeing a family of children about him; for the purpose of seeing him not only not a bad example to married men, but to set a good example; and finally to render all dispute about succession to the throne next to impossible, and to prevent that which Englishmen have always hated, that succession calling in foreigners to reign. These were the purposes for which the nation had made such great pecuniary sacrifices; and he by his conduct to his wife defeated them all; and by that conduct, and that conduct alone, laid the foundation of all those discontents, troubles, commotions, and all that waste of money and that spilling of blood, to which I have alluded in the first paragraph of this present chapter; and of this fact no man, when he is fully informed of all the circumstances, can possibly doubt.
57. The marriage, as we have seen, took place on the 8th of April, 1795. On the 7th January, 1796, two days only short of nine months, the princess was delivered of a daughter, who was baptized by the name of CHARLOTTE, and of whose premature death I shall in due time and place have to speak. During these nine months even, the princess has since complained, not only of neglect the most mortifying, but of indignities
the most gross and insupportable. She was a woman of too high a spirit to endure this treatment unresented. Cruelty and cowardice always go together; or the former, at least, is never unaccompanied by the latter. Men are cruel, in many cases, only because they are cowardly. The courageous robber even spares the life of his victim; the cowardly one kills him, lest he should bring him to justice. The princess did not bear her ill-treatment with tameness; she made her husband feel that she was not to be insulted with impunity; but this, of course, only added to his antipathy; which at the end of only one year and five or six days from the day of the marriage, led to a message from him to her proposing a separation from bed and board. It was a lord who had the high honour to deliver this message; it was a peer, an hereditary law-giver, who was charged with this noble mission, and who actually had the manliness to deliver the delicate message to the wife and mother from his own lips.
58. The princess, however, very prudently requested to have her husband's wishes stated in writing; but she at once told the bearer of the message, that though she must, of course, submit to the arrangement that the prince might resolve on, she desired it might be clearly understood that any such arrangement, if once made should' be final, and that under no circumstances he