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should retain the right to alter it. This answer produced the written proposal, which must be preserved here in the prince's own words. Shameful words to be by any man addressed to any woman. What must they be then when addressed by a husband to a wife, and to a wife, too, with an only child in her arms, and that child only three months old! The man overcomes the historian here, and makes him, for the honour of his sex and country, recoil at the thought of putting the words upon record. But not only is this demanded by truth and justice; it is necessary to a clear understanding of the most important transactions of the regency and the reign of this king.


Windsor Castle, April 30, 1796.

As Lord Cholmondeley informs me that you wish I would define, in writing, the terms upon which we are to live, I shall endeavour to explain myself upon that head, with as much clearness and with as much propriety as the nature of the subject will admit. Our inclinations are not in our power, nor should either of us be held unswerable to the other, because naturc has not made us suitable to each other. Tranquil and comfortable society is however in our power; let our intercourse therefore be restricted to that, and I will distinctly subscribe to the condition which you required through Lady Cholmondeley, that even in the event of any accident happening to my daughter, which I trust Providence in its mercy will avert, I shall not infringe the terms of the restriction, by proposing at any period, a connexion of a more par- · ticular nature. I shall now finally close this disagreeable

correspondence, trusting that as we have completely explained ourselves to each other, the rest of our lives will be passed in uninterrupted tranquillity.

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59. It is unnecessary to remark on the rudeness and grossness of this letter; they are too obvious not to fill every one with disgust; but, taking subsequent events into view, it is curious that the writer, even at so early a period, should have anticipated the possibility of some accident happening to the infant daughter! His pious reliance on the mercy of Providence to spare the life of his child, while he was casting off the mother to whose breast that child was clinging, does, perhaps, surpass any-thing of the kind ever heard of before. To this letter the princess sent an answer, in French, on the sixth of May, in the following words:

L'AVEU de votre conversation avec Lord Cholmondeley, ne m'étonne, ni ne m'offense. C'étoit me confirmer ce que vous m'avez tacitement insinué depuis une année. Mais il y aurout après cela, un manque de delicatesse ou, pour mieux dire, une bassesse indigne de me plaindre des conditions, que vous imposez à vous même.

Je ne vous aurois point fait de reponse, si votre lettre n'étoit conçue de maniere à faire douter, si cet arrangement vient de vous, ou de moi; et vous sçavez que vous m'annoncez l'honneur. La lettre que vous m'annoncez comme

la derniere, m'oblige de communiquer au Roy, comme à mon Souverain et à mon Pere, votre aveu et ma reponse. Vous trouverez çi incluse la copie de celle que j'ecris au Roy. Je vous en previens pour ne pas m'attirer de votre part la moindre reproche de duplicité. Comme je n'ai, dans ce moment, d'autre protecteur que Sa Majesté, je m'en rapporte unique. ment à lui. Et si ma conduite merite son approbation, je serai, du moins en partie, consolée.

Du reste, je conserve toute la reconnoissance possible de ce que je me trouve par votre moyen, comme Princesse de Galles, dans une situation à pouvoir me livrer sans contrainte, à une vertu chere à mon cœur, je vieux dire la bienfaisance. Ce sera pour moi un devoir d'agir de plus par un autre motif, sçavoir celui de donner l'exemple de la patience, et de la resignation dans toutes sortes d'epreuves. Rendez moi la justice de me croire, que je ne cesserai jamais de faire des vœux pour votre bonheur, et d'être votre bien devouée.

Ce 6 de May, 1796.




THE avowal of your conversation with Lord Cholmondeley neither surprises nor offends me. It merely confirmed what you have tacitly insinuated for this twelvemonth. But after this, it would be a want of delicacy, or rather an unworthy meanness in me, were I to complain of those conditions which you impose upon yourself.

I should have returned no answer to your letter, if it had not been conceived in terms to make it doubtful, whether this arrangement proceeds from you or from me, and you are aware that the credit of it belongs to you alone.

The letter which you announce to me as the last, obliges me to communicate to the King, as to my Sovereign and my Father, both your avowal and my answer. You will find enclosed the copy of my letter to the King. I apprise you of it, that I may not incur the slightest reproach of duplicity from you. As I have at this moment no protector but His

Majesty, I refer myself solely to him upon this subject, and if my conduct meets his approbation, I shall be in some degree at least consoled. I retain every sentiment of gratitude for the situation in which I find myself, as Princess of Wales, enabled by your means, to indulge in the free exercise of a virtue dear to my heart, I mean charity.

It will be my duty likewise to act upon another motive, that of giving an example of patience and resignation under every trial.


Do me the justice to believe that I shall never cease to pray your happiness, and to be,

Your much devoted


6th of May, 1796.

60. In these documents we have the real foundation of not only all the inquietudes, the scandal, the shame, the mortification, and the just reproach, which this king had to endure for the rest of his life, and the laughing holiday, in and about London, on the very day of his funeral; not only of these, for these would, comparatively, be an insignificant matter; but the foundation also of mischievous appointments and measures innumerable; the foundation, and the sole foundation of the long-continued and disastrous power of Perceval, Eldon, Liverpool, Sidmouth, Castlereagh, and Canning; the cause, in short, of the waste of hundreds of millions of money, the cause of national disgrace in war, the cause of laws, the stain of which will never be effaced, and, finally, the real root of that mass of suffering on part of the people of this once happy nation,


which suffering, arrived at the utmost verge of endurance, now threatens the very existence of the state, now causes to totter to its base that famous fabric of government, which, for so many ages, was the pride of Englishmen, and the admiration of the world.

61. This is ascribing great effects to an apparently inadequate cause; but the sequel will prove the truth of what is here asserted. The "Wrath of Achilles," sung by Homer and Pope, was not to Greece, a more "direful spring of woes" than the conduct of this royal husband was to England. And what was his apology for that conduct? "Our "inclinations are not in our power, nor should "either of us be answerable to the other, because 66 nature has not made us suitable to each other." Shameful words! Was this the language of the "first gentleman in England?" And was it for this that this generous nation had loaded him with luxuries out of the fruit of its cares and toils! Was it for this that his enormous debts had been twice discharged; that 27,000l. had been given to defray the expenses of his marriage, 28,000%. for additional jewels and plate, and 26,000l. to beautify the matrimonial mansion; and was it for this that, after all his squanderings, the nation still gave him 138,000l. a year, and settled on his wife a jointure of 50,000l. a year! Was this the return that he made for indulgence, kindness, and generosity, which, all the circum

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