§ The order of the day being read for the further consideration and second reading or the Bill, intituled, "An Act to deprive "her Majesty Caroline Amelia Elizabeth, "&c."; and for hearing Counsel for and against the same; the Counsel were accordingly called in. Then,
My lords; in reverting to the evidence upon which I was observing yesterday, I am naturally now brought to state that event from which the whole of those charges have originated: I mean, the engagement of that individual at Milan in the service of her royal highness, whose name is mis-stated in the Bill which your lordships are to discuss, and whose name has appeared so frequently in the course of these proceedings. I think it appears that he was engaged in the course of the month of October 1814; and undoubtedly he was engaged in a menial capacity. But I think it is impossible for any person to have entered into any service, with higher recommendations to the confidence of his employer, or with a better prospect and a fairer hope of being raised, perhaps 1096 with rapidity, in the service into which he entered. Mr. Keppel Craven states, at page 533 of the printed Evidence,* the very extraordinary recommendations with which he was introduced to his notice—that the marquis Ghisiliari, who was appointed by the Austrian chamberlain to attend upon her majesty in that capacity, not only treated him upon a footing of equality, but recommended him to her royal highness as a person fit to be trusted and fit to be promoted—as a person who, in the course of the changes that marked that eventful period, the year 1814, had suffered in his fortunes, from the consequences of the French revolution, and who, having been received in the French army on terms of confidence and intimacy, by persons of high rank and distinction, was then reduced by the misfortunes of the times, to seek his livelihood in a lower situation. Your lordships will not have forgotten, that it is stated by sir William Gell, in the 549th page of the Evidence,† that the marquis Ghisiliari treated him with the very highest distinctions, that he saluted him in the manner in which gentlemen and equals salute one another in that country. And your lordships will not be surprised at these testimonies of respect, when you find the French colonel, colonel Teuillé, who knew him for many years in the service of general Pino, speaking of him in the terms in which that gentleman has spoken of him. My lords, I am not defending Bergami upon this occasion. It is not necessary for me to enter into all the particulars of his character and conduct. The mode in which he was presented and introduced to the notice of her royal highness is alone important here; and I think that it is quite impossible to advert to any part of the evidence in which that introduction is stated, without seeing that he was such a person as any employer would be happy to receive into her service, and would watch every opportunity of advancing in it.
My lords; in the course of the twelve months he received that promotion which his friends had expected to be reserved for him. From a courier he became a page; and it may not be unfit to observe, that the courier of a royal person who wears a livery, wears a uniform—that that dress, which is placed upon him by the station he holds in the family of a person* See p. 331 of the present volume.† See p. 344 of the present volume.1097 of that high distinction, is not like the livery that ordinary servants wear. However, at Naples that livery was laid aside: he was then promoted to the situation of a page. In the course of the year, he became an equerry; and before that year was quite completed, I believe, he became a chamberlain to her royal highness. Now, my lords, I certainly do not mean to deny that it would have been very desirable for her royal highness to have placed in that high situation a person of high rank: but surely, my lords, when we talk of the conduct of persons, and are to attribute motives to the proceedings which they pursue, it is a little to be considered, what were her means and opportunities—what right the princess of Wales would have had at that time to expect, or what hope indeed she could have cherished, that any English person of noble rank would have been very fond of entering into that service, to enter into which at such a period was something very like incurring the risk of the displeasure of the court at home; and, with regard to foreign nobility, does it appear, in the first place, that she ever rejected any offer of that kind? On the contrary, Mr. Craven left her because he had engaged to attend upon his mother within the time. Sir William Cell left her, because, having heard of those projects of long travels, he felt his health perfectly unequal to attending her. She was, therefore, at the moment, without a chamberlain; and I do not know that it was possible for her to do better, in the situation in which she was then placed—not passing over any person of rank, for it does not appear, that she had an opportunity of retaining any one—I do not know that she could have done better than to bind a man of honourable character and constancy and of courage to her service, by conferring that obligation upon him, which it is perhaps the noblest privilege of royalty to be able to confer. For your lordships will not forget, that it is the prerogative, the personal prerogative of those persons in high stations, not only by conferring titles of honor as from the fountain of constitutional honor, but by the distinction they possess, to confer rank on those whom they choose to select for those favours; and the individual who has once had the honor of being promoted to the attendance upon, and company of, an individual of that distinction, becomes, as with respect to all the other persons who attend upon 1098 that individual, a person of such rank and distinction as they choose to make him. I am not, therefore, interested to inquire, whether captain Pechell formed a just conclusion, when he said, "I will not sit down to table with a man who once waited behind my chair, though he be the companion of the consort of the prince of Wales." Perhaps he formed a right judgment: at all events, he did rightly in acting upon the judgment he had formed. But, my lords, I say no man can suffer in his estimation in the world, by entering into the society of an individual so distinguished by the favour of a royal personage who thinks him entitled to that attention and regard.
My lords; it is proved by the evidence of Mr. Sicard—it is proved by the evidence of both the chamberlains who attended her majesty at Naples—that it was thought necessary she should have a guard placed near her; and it is an important fact, in the statement of the arrangement of the rooms at Naples, that Mr. Sicard said, that inasmuch as the cabinet opened into the garden, and that garden might be open to the invasion of any person who might attack the property or the lives of any persons in the House, he thought it absolutely necessary, that against that garden Bergami should be placed in the cabinet to protect the life of her royal highness. Without the smallest direction or wish on her part, he is placed in that cabinet adjoining the garden; and there he discharges honourably the service devolving upon him—a most important service; for no man can doubt, who reads the whole of this evidence, that her majesty was surrounded by spies, from the time she left this country, and that her personal safety was compromised by the persons by whom she was likely to be assailed. It is quite clear that her majesty entertained that idea: and, when this person had performed his service well, as her guardian upon that occasion, I ask, whether any thing could be more natural than that when Sicard was sent home, Bergami should be promoted from his situation of page to that of master of the household?—a situation for which he was qualified, for he appears to have been a man in the habit of keeping accounts. And when my learned friend asks me so repeatedly, what motive can be assigned for this sudden promotion, I think I can answer him in one sentence; and I believe every one of your lordships, who have of course fre- 1099 quently the honour of approaching royal persons, will bear me out in saying, that the single merit of saving the trouble of looking over the accounts and controlling the household would be a sufficient merit in a person for the exalted individual to place him in that high situation. It appears, from the evidence of Sicard, that he left her royal highness, because the state of her pecuniary affairs required a journey to England, and that he left her without being dismissed on her part, in order to bring a person into his situation; but that after he left her, this person being so qualified to keep her accounts and protect her person from danger, was promoted to a place for which Sicard, with all his good qualities, would evidently have been unfit. For it is not to be forgotten, that we are dealing with a person of very good manners: I think I may venture to say, from what we hear of the marquis Ghisiliari's reception of him, we are talking of a person who had been in a military situation several years, who might be introduced into society, without any of the appearances of that servile condition which hangs about some persons to the end of their lives, however honourable and however respectable in their conduct. Sicard could not be introduced into society as this person was—passing suddenly from a military station which he had lost by the close of the war, to the service of her royal highness, with the reports which accompanied him from general Pino of his good conduct. But your lordships will not forget, that when one of the duties imposed upon this individual was the hiring and dismissing of the servants of the family, at that moment he entered upon a duty which was sure to raise against him a host of enemies; and consequently, there is not one of the discarded servants who has not some complaint to make—that his wages were lowered, or that something he expected was not paid, or that he had to undergo the persecution of Bergami or his brother; and which would naturally make him jealous and impatient, and angry perhaps, at seeing that sudden promotion to which possibly he might fancy himself equally entitled. But when we come to consider, that this individual was faithfully discharging the duties of that office, I ask your lordships with confidence, whether there is any appearance that her royal highness had any greater reason for promoting any other individual to the station he filled, with so much pro- 1100 priety, and with such perfect satisfaction, looking honestly and fairly to the duties of the station he had to discharge, than this individual whom she did so promote?
My lords; it appears, that one of the virtuous feelings of her royal highness—and it is her great misfortune, that all her virtues are, in the course of these numerous inquiries, turned into crimes—it happened, that her great affection and regard for young children co-operated with the views that perhaps he might have formed of rising in her household. It seems, that at Genoa, the child Victorine was thrown in her way; and nothing could be more natural than that, with feelings and a heart like hers, this child, who does not appear, as the attorney-general opened her to be, the child of Bergami, he being a married man, but who was stated to her to be a child born out of marriage, and therefore wanting a protector, she should take under her protection, and feel by degrees the attachment of a mother towards her. And this is brought against her as a crime—a similar circumstance to that which, in 1806, led to the inquiry which then took place, most properly, I admit; for then there was a possibility of a doubt being thrown upon the succession to the Crown—a possibility which did not exist in the case to which I am now alluding. Then, if this individual was to be promoted to the situation of chamberlain, nothing could be so correct, nothing could so go the proof of innocence and the denial of guilt, as that that promotion should be openly and publicly made; and, I say, it became absolutely necessary, if her majesty was to preserve her consistency of character, that the individual who was to fill that rank in her household should appear in that rank and occupy the high station to which he was promoted. What would have been said, and justly said, if, at the time when these supposed suspicious appearances were going forward, he had still been kept a courier; if he had skulked in the kitchen, and had never appeared in the parlour in the course of the day, but had been introduced in the night, for the gratification of a disgraceful passion, when no person was there to witness it? What would have been said if, when she went on board the Leviathan, she had concealed from captain Briggs the fact that this person occupied a high station in her service? What would have been said, if, when she went on board the very same ship in which he had filled a humble situa- 1101 tion, she had dismissed him from her table—she had said, "Captain Pechell must not see you. You and I may enjoy our hours of stolen lust; but I must not show you in the sight of English witnesses, that favour which I have shown you in the sight of Italians alone." My lords, I put it to your lordships whether this was not the only course which an innocent person bold and firm in her innocence, could have pursued upon that occasion. And then, my lords, we are told, that he is loaded with titles, with honours, and with orders. He becomes the baron della Franchina: and how his title is purchased or obtained, we are at present in the dark. But your lordships will not suppose, that those of the continent are like those which can be traced to Runnymede, or the early period of our own history. They may be purchased for a few hundred livres, and without trouble: it is more a negation of rank not to have them, than any great distinction to enjoy them; and if her royal highness was to place this individual openly in a high situation about her person, it was perfectly fit and proper that some such trifling addition to his title should be made as that of the Baron della Franchina. Your lordships are aware, that these titles are not considered so high upon the continent—that the honours of rank are not kept up so strict and pure, as they are in this country, and perhaps in Spain. In the course of our numerous correspondence with persons abroad, we have received letters in which I believe every one of us have been dignified by the title of "My lord;" and particularly our excellent friend, Mr. Vizard, was requested by a volunteer witness, who was desirous to come and testify in behalf of her majesty, to obtain rooms for him in an hotel "as near as possible to his lordship's palace in the Fields where he holds his chambers."
Now, my lords, there is another offence, another crime, which appears upon the face of this Bill; and that is, that when this person had the control of her household, his relations were introduced into the service of her royal highness. My lords, I cannot conceive any thing more natural or more laudable. It appears perfectly in the spirit of nothing but extreme imputation to make that any thing like a charge 3gainst her royal highness. What did she know of the servants? They were hired by her maitre d'hotel. Does it appear that, up to this moment, she knew that the stable boy that was working in 1102 the courtyard, or those persons acting in the lower situation of her household, were the relatives of Bergami? There is not the smallest proof, that the fact was ever brought to her knowledge. And if the thing was done by the maitre d'hotel, he was doing rightly towards his relations and only incurring the displeasure of those who were removed, and thus raising enemies to her royal highness in consequence of their discharge. But there was no mystery in this: there was nothing like a mystery in the promotion bestowed upon this man—I think prudently, I think properly, I think his elevation is well and fairly accounted for; and it appears to me, there was no one individual who could have been with so much propriety placed in that situation in the establishment of her royal highness, as that individual whose elevation is almost the only fact of supposed guilt that we have now to contend with.
Then, my lords, between the periods to which I have alluded—between the leaving Naples and the going on board the polacre, he has become her chamberlain; and it is in that character he has to attend constantly on the person of her royal highness: it is his duty to guard her by night; to attend her by day; to be constantly within call; to be always at her command: and this being regularly done, without the least attempt at disguising it from the eyes of any of the persons who surrounded her royal highness, I think it is too much to impute to that fact alone any thing like the consequences which my learned friends have endeavoured to draw from it.
My lords; I shall take the liberty of recurring a little to that part of the evidence which relates to the polacre; because I apprehend it is almost the whole of the case upon which my learned friends will now have to rest. And, my lords, it may be proper to state, that I certainly did not yesterday do justice to the case upon that subject; because there is a witness connected with it to whom I did not allude, and who, so far from leaving it to vague inferences and surmises, that a criminal connexion took place upon that occasion, I think has endeavoured to make out the distinct fact as having happened within his own knowledge, and that in a way to which I will now direct your lordships attention. The witness to whom I allude is no other than Majoochi; and you will find that it was not thought sufficient 1103 to call upon your lordships to pronouncea verdict of guilty upon the suspicions that might be excited from the position of the tent and the beds, but that he was also to be called to prove the fact of a criminal connexion having taken place between these parties; which I should therefore have stated as one of the overt acts my learned friend was to prove. I think my learned friend did not open it. I do not know at what moment Majoochi might throw in that important fact. It is at page 26, and when he says he was sleeping in the cabin directly under the tent: "Did you ever, on any occasion at night, while the princess and Pergami were in the tent hear any motion over you?" "I have heard a noise." "What did that noise resemble; what did it appear to you to be?" Why, he says, it appeared to me to be "the creaking of a bench:"* and then with that admirable talent for mimicking which he possesses, he gave us precisely the sound; from which your lordships are to infer, that something very criminal took place in the tent immediately over the cabin in which he stated himself to be sleeping. This is a parallel to the extraordinary power of eyesight he possessed at Naples, where, with his eyes half shut, he saw this lady pass four times through his room, as if in order to let him into the secret of her going into the room of Bergami; and now he is to make your lordships believe, that he heard that kind of noise which should lead your lordships to think they were in criminal intercourse.
My lords; it is necessary to look a little more to this part of the case; and it is rather unfortunate for the case which he states, that he represents himself to have been upon a sofa in the cabin, and that it is perfectly clear, from the evidence to which I will allude, that there was no sofa in the cabin on which he could so sleep. Your lordships will find, that Paturzo states, in page 109,† that so far from sleeping in the cabin, Majoochi slept in the hold. It seems he was subject to sea-sickness of a very painful kind, and that the place provided for his reception was the hold below the cabin. Paturzo does not state, that he threw himself down as a sick man who did not know what to do with himself, but that there was actually a hammock slung for him in the hold, and that that hammock*See Vol. 2, p. 823.†See Vol. 2, p. 903.1104 was his distinct place of repose. So that I think the probability is, that instead of sleeping in the cabin, he slept in his hammock in the hold. But when he says he slept upon a sofa in the cabin, I must refer to lieutenant Hownam's evidence, in page 708, in which it is stated, that there were only four sofas in the ship, that two of them were lashed together in the cabin of the princess and that the other two were in the cabin of the countess Oldi.* So that he must have got access to one of those rooms, of her royal highness or the countess Oldi, withdrawn a sofa, and placed it in the cabin under the tent, for the purpose of lying there to overhear this circumstance. My lords, am I to be called upon to disprove this fact more completely? I cannot. It rests upon his evidence. It is a sort of twin fact to that stated to have occurred at Naples at the same time that he does not state himself to have witnessed any of those acts of indecency on board the ship, which are alone stated by the captain and mate, who have come from Messina to make their fortune by such statement.
My lords; I adverted yesterday to the evidence of lieutenant Flinn, that he believed that Bergami slept below in the cabin in the voyage from Jaffa to Syracuse; and it is very remarkable, that, from the evidence in support of the Bill, the belief of captain Flinn derives considerable support; for in p. 109, Paturzo is asked, "Where did Pergami sleep during the voyage from Jaffa?" to which he answers, "There were two beds under the tent, and when the tent was opened, it was seen that upon that small bed was Pergami, and on the sofa was the princess; when the tent was closed I had no communication with the part of the ship belonging to the princess, therefore I do not know." He is next asked, "On the voyage from Jaffa, had Pergami any other place to sleep in but the bed within the tent?" to which his answer is this: "When the princess and Pergami slept under the tent have not seen them; but what I know morally is, that the princess and Pergami slept under the tent, because there were horses on board, which made a great deal of noise, and they said they could not bear to sleep below." Then he is asked again, "Where were the beds placed during the voyage from Jaffa, which the princess and Pergami used, as described by you in the*See p. 502, of the present Volume.1105 voyage from Tunis?" and to that he answers, "On the sofa there was nothing else but the single mattress of the princess, which was doubled, and the other mattresses of the princess were placed on the bed, where they had been placed at the beginning, below." Then, my lords, the next question and answer are what I particularly wished to draw your attention to. "You stated, that the further part of the cabin was divided into two; in one of the rooms so formed slept the princess, and in the other countess Oldi; and the bed of Pergami was placed in the dining room; where were those two beds placed during the voyage from Jaffa?" "The bed of the princess remained there where it was; as to the bed of Pergami, when he got up, it was rolled up; for they had other things—their luggage; for the bed of Pergami had not a bedstead, but was put down on the planks of the corridor, and it was rolled up in the morning; but I never have paid attention to see whether the bed was there or was not there." So that that is perfectly consistent with the account given by lieutenant Flinn, that the same distribution, with regard to Bergami, might continue in the voyage homeward as had been made in the voyage outwards, and that that bed which had been occupied in the dining cabin in the one voyage, might continue to be occupied by him on the other, and I have here a witness who will be considered on the other side most unexceptionable, and from whom I am glad to derive any admission in favour of her majesty. I refer to the witness Louisa Demont, who, in page 292, has this question put to her: "What became of the bed that had been occupied by Pergami in the dining room?" "I do not recollect." Now I do infer from that, what lieutenant Flinn infers, that the same arrangement took place outward and homeward, and that it was perfectly possible for Bergami to have slept in the dining-room on the one voyage as he had done oh the other. My lords, it would be a good deal for me to admit, from the fact captain Hownam states, of his having seen Bergami and Flinn handing down her royal highness from the tent, that he slept there every night. In fact, if I am to take the statement of lieutenant Hownam founded on hearsay, I must take it altogether; and I find that his hearsay applies equally to other persons of the*See Vol. 2, p. 903.1106 suite, who, he has heard and believed, slept under that tent with her royal highness. My lords, what can be more natural, than that when the weather was calm and fair, some of the female attendants, if they kept their health and were not disordered in their stomachs, should remain under the tent with her, but that when there was the smallest appearance of a storm, or alarm of pirates, or a fear of the crew not being to be trusted (not very unusual in those seas), that Bergami should be directed to remain near her, he being, from his situation, constantly about her person?
My lords; it is asked, would not lieutenant Hownam or lieutenant Flinn, have been equally good protectors? Lieutenant Hownam says, "I have no doubt we should."* But, in case of a squall, those two individuals would have been wanted elsewhere: it would have been their duty and their interest, to have taken the vessel out of the hands of the Sicilian mariners; and to have committed it into the hands of Englishmen, who are so much more competent to the care of vessels; and therefore, it was proper, that some other individual should be in attendance upon her—not those individuals who might be required elsewhere, but some person who might be able to render her that assistance, which her situation might require. It is, in evidence, that her royal highness never pulled off her clothes at night, nor put them on in the morning, during the whole course of the voyage. She sometimes changed them during the day, but not at night, or morning, in that tent. I feel no doubt, that the statement of lieutenant Hownam, which he has equally from hearsay, that the individuals attending upon her royal highness in that tent, were changed, is correct; but there is nothing to negative the fact of Bergami having slept in the cabin, as he had done before: on the contrary, the evidence of Paturzo goes a great way to prove, that that was, at all events, occasionally the fact.
My lords; a great deal was said about the bath that was taken in the polacre: and, if that is shown to be an impossible thing—if it is shown, that the account given by one of the witnesses, is contradicted by the other; and that she who contradicts Majoochi, Demont, credible in no ether part of her testimony, must be credited in this, because she states a*See Vol. 2, p. 1144.1107 mathematical fact—then, my lords, the fact about this bath is entirely put out of the question; because, to suppose, that Bergami was below stairs, in the room with her royal highness, when it is proved that there were women about, and that Demont was ordered to attend her at the moment, would be proving something quite ridiculous. Here is a lady of forty eight years of age, travelling in a polacre in the Mediterranean sea, attended by a person whose duty it was to attend her; and you are to believe, that a criminal conversation took place, because Bergami prepared the bath for her, and sent her maid servant to attend her, with her linen, after that had taken place!The natural place of taking the bath would be, not in the inner cabin, into which it could never go, but in the dining cabin, where curtains might be drawn, and where screens might be used; and where he might be, as persons are, in the baths at Paris, in the next room, without any personal contact between the man and the woman; and without the possibility of the man seeing what the woman was about at such a moment. Now, the witness whom I shall appeal to for that purpose is, I think, Paturzo. My lords, I am extremely sorry to be, for a moment, deficient in turning to these numerous facts, but I am sure, I shall receive your lordships indulgence, upon this as upon every other occasion. But it strikes me, in passing along, that these Sicilian witnesses have thought fit to state, that when her royal highness and Bergami were both in bed, they could see one another. This appears in page 95 of Paturzo's evidence, and p. 118 of Gargiulo.* It is a little remarkable that when Demont comes to be examined to that particular fact, she does not confirm the point of their being able to see one another, but she only states, that on one particular occasion, she heard them addressing one another—a circumstance which, on board a ship, I take to be of no uncommon occurrence between persons lying near each other; and which never, I believe, before, was esteemed to raise a presumption of guilt. My lords, at page 118, Gargiulo is asked, "What kind of bed was it, that the princess occupied; was it a single bed, or was it a double bed?" To which he answers, "Two sofas joined together, that would make together six palms and*See Vol. 2, p. 891 and p.917.1108 a half; it was about the breadth of six feet and a half." That is the size of the bed as proved by Gargiulo; and Paturzo proves the size of the rooms, which I will refer your lordships to in the course of a few minutes, when it is pointed out to me.—I am reminded, that on board the polacre, there is one contradiction to Majoochi—if it is worth while to state any contradiction to him. He denies that there was a communication between the cabin in which her royal highness slept, and that in which the countess Oldi slept. That is contradicted by the evidence of Paturzo, and the Plan which he drew at your lordships bar, and which appears upon the Minutes.*
My lords; the next case to which your lordships attention was called, in the opening of my learned friend, the attorney general, was a case to be proved by Sacchi, of his arriving in the night, and of Bergami coming to him out of her royal highness's bed-room: from which, undoubtedly, it might be inferred, that he was in that bed-room when Sacchi arrived, and that there had been something improper taking place. But when we come to look at the evidence—I do not now observe on Sacchi's credit—but when we come to look at the evidence, it by no means makes out the statement.—For, so far from saying, that Bergami came from the room of her royal highness, he says he came from a room of which he did not know who was the occupier; and therefore it is impossible to infer, that her royal highness was there. He says, "I returned immediately after midnight. I dismounted from my horse; I went into the kitchen, where I found a footman, whom I asked where M. Pergami was. I mounted the stairs, and went into the anti-room of the apartment of Pergami. I found a servant of Pergami asleep; and I went towards Pergami's bed-room: finding the door open, I went in, and saw the bed of Pergami tumbled, but there was nobody in it." Now, I will just observe, there are two servants of Bergami mentioned, neither of whom is called to confirm Mr. Sacchi upon that occasion, and of whom no account is given. The examination then proceeds: "I went away, and in going away, I heard a noise on the opposite side, and at the same time I heard 'Who is there?' Then I knew that it was the voice of Pergami, to whom I*See this Plan, at Vol. 2, p. 904.1109 answered, that it was the courier returned from Milan. Pergami told me that there was no such necessity to give him this answer. He was dressed in his dressing gown. I saw only about his breast, which was unbuttoned or untied, and I saw nothing else but his shirt. I saw him in a room where there was a door opposite to the door of his room."—"Did you see where Pergami came from?" "I could not see it, on account of the darkness."—"Where did that door lead to which you have mentioned, which was opposite Pergami's room?" "It led into more rooms."—"Who occupied those rooms?" "No one."—"Do you know what room was beyond those rooms? Do you know where the princess slept?" "I do not."—"Do you know where the princess's bed-room was?" "I do not."* And from this ignorance of the necessary witness, to prove, that this individual came out of the princess's bed-room, you are to infer, that it was the princess's bed-room—when he is perfectly unable to state the facts on which it is founded. But, in the subsequent page, that defect is attempted to be supplied, by showing, that at a later period—how much later does not appear, for there is no date given to either of these facts—when this witness returned with a letter, Bergami was seen coming from a place near that from which he was seen coming on a former night, and that near that was the room of her royal highness; but, as it happens in the very same page, that witness states there was an alteration of the bed-room of the princess of Wales, at the Villa d'Este; and, as no date nor time is given to that alteration, I ask, whether it is possible, in common sense, to draw an inference, that when he first went with his message from Milan, he saw Bergami coming out of the room of her royal highness? I venture to say, that no rational mind can draw such a conclusion. I think, therefore, that that particular case is entirely got rid of, even upon the evidence as it now stands.
My lords; the evidence is now pointed out to me, in which the size of the bedroom is given by Majoochi. It is at page 90, where he 6ays, in answer to the question, "What was the size of the bedroom?" "Perhaps from here to the first bench (from six or seven feet); a small room. The furniture in that room was a sofa bed, or sofa, where in the*See Vol. 2, p. 1267.1110 morning the cushions were placed when the tent was opened."* So that the room is six or seven feet long, and the sofa is six feet and a half long, and it is in that room that her royal highness is supposed to have taken the bath, and that she is proved to have taken it, if Majoochi is believed, and is not in this instance effectually contradicted by Demont. My lords, it would be a little worth while, perhaps, to make out a catalogue of all these overt acts opened by my learned friend, the attorney-general, and to see where they are supported by a solitary witness, and where they are supported by a variety of testimony. There is a list of sixteen of these overt acts. I am happy to say I have got almost to the end of them. The three first proved by Demont alone, namely, the scenes at Naples, the facts on the Opera night, the facts on the night of the masked ball, and the meeting in the corridor—they rest upon her evidence alone, which is totally incapable of being contradicted, as to those facts she particularly speaks to, from any other quarter; but which, wherever she has given us an opportunity of examining other witnesses,—these witnesses have effectually contradicted. Then there are two facts opened by my learned friend at Varise and Lugano, to which no evidence has been given. The case of Catania proved by Demont and no other person; the case at Savoan not attempted to be proved. The case of the tent on shore is attempted to be turned into a case of guilt by Majoochi and Demont, and by no other witness; but under circumstances which entitle them to no credit. The case at Ephesus is proved by Majoochi alone, and contradicted by several other witnesses. The case to which I have just referred of Sacchi's return from Milan is proved by him alone; and the case to which I am now going to call your lordships attention is proved by Demont, and by that only witness—it is the important case of Scharnitz.
Now, ray lords, as that story was told by my learned friend, what could be more clear and satisfactory than the circumstantial evidence he brought to prove that case, as he himself stated it, and I have no doubt believed it. Here is a lady supposed to have gone to bed, to be sleeping in her room, to be disturbed in. the night by a gentleman who has been long in her household, who comes sud-* See Vol. 2, p. 887.1111 denly into the room: the maid is turned out, and the gentleman and lady are supposed immediately to enter into that matrimonial connection which is imputed as the result of all the facts of the case. Now, my lords, undoubtedly there cannot be a better case than that; and if this had been a respectable inn; if it had been a place where the comforts of life existed; if there had been no bustle; if there had been no breaking up of the party; if there had been no long delay, which they were all anxious to get rid of; if the lady bad, in fact, undressed for the purpose of going to bed, and the gentleman had undressed to go into the same bed—all of which is inferred when we hear of two persons going to bed in the same room—we could never have held up our heads to attack such a case as that, by any other means than by the proof that the witness was entitled to no belief. My lords, we are not satisfied, in this instance, with proving that fact before you: we have placed it beyond the possibility of doubt, that Demont is a witness entitled to no credit; and we charge this upon her, as an additional proof of her malice and her corruption, that she has endeavoured to deceive my learned friends into the belief of facts as criminal, which admit no just imputation of crime, by stating, in general terms, such circumstances as might have been removed by circumstances equally within her own knowledge, if she had not chosen to give the primâ facie case alone, and to keep to herself that which constituted the defence against it. My lords, these are the facts. And how are they proved? It is perfectly true, as she states, that Bergami and the chevalier Vassali went to Inspruck, to rectify some mistakes as to passports: it is perfectly true, that they returned in the dark, between two and three in the morning: it is perfectly true, that Demont left her bed; and it is equally clear, from evidence which cannot be disputed and denied, that the whole party were instantly in motion, that there was nothing thought of but leaving the place: and the place was actually left by them all, as soon as it was possible for the unwieldy establishment of a royal personage to put itself in motion, in snowy weather, and under circumstances requiring a great deal of preparation from without. Her majesty was then on her journey to that palace at Rastadt, which she was not permitted afterwards to occupy. She, in 1112 the course of that journey, seems to have been received with all the distinction, and all the respect, that her rank and her personal qualities entitled her to receive; but in the course of that evening, in consequence of, I suppose, a mistake in the passports, she was obliged to take up her abode at this very miserable inn, where there were not beds, for the greater part of her suite; inasmuch as there was straw laid for them in the corridor, and it does not appear that any person went to bed at all to repose, even in their clothes, but the princess and Demont. At this late hour Bergami returned; and you will find, in pages 301, 323, and 363, all that is stated by Demont as making out this case: "Who went to bed in that room besides her royal highness? did any body? Myself.—Did Pergami return from Inspruck that night? Yes.—As well as you can recollect, how long after you were in bed? I do not recollect precisely, because I had already fallen asleep.—Did you sleep in the same bed with the princess, or in another bed? In a small bed which was laid on the floor.—Upon the arrival of Bergami, did you receive any orders from her royal highness? Did she tell you what you were to do? Her royal highness told me that I might take my bed and go."* And it appears probable, that she did take her bed and go; for when Vassali came into the room, there was no bed but that on which her royal highness was found sitting, with the child Victorine, ready to start at any period, and actually leaving the place with the first gleam of the dawn.
Whilst upon this point, it is material to refer to the Evidence of lieutenant Hownam, at p. 743. My lords, it is extremely important, as my learned friend reminds me, that in the first case proved by Demont to which I have just referred, there is nothing on the subject of her being dressed or undressed; but you are left to suppose, that her royal highness and her chambermaid retired to rest in the ordinary way, having taken off all their clothes. Nobody could read that which I have just stated, at page 301, without drawing that inference; and it is only at page 323, when she is particularly pressed to state the situation in which they were, that she lets out the fact, that there could be no criminality contemplated or committed; for she states, that her royal*See Vol.2, p. 1151.1113 highness went to rest in her dress; that having reposed in the day upon that bed, she continued upon it until Bergami came with the passports, and that she had immediately put herself into motion. I refer to page 323, where it is said: "Was there frost or snow upon the ground? There was a great deal of snow.—It was a poor inn, an indifferent inn, was it not? A small inn.—You are understood to say, that you were upon a bed in the room of the princess: was it so? Yes.—Had you taken off your clothes? Not entirely.—Had you taken off more than your gown? I do not perfectly recollect, but I believe not." So that she clings to the appearance of undressing entirely, as long as she possibly can. In the first place, you would suppose she was naked; in the next place, that she did not know whether she had taken any thing off but her gown. She is then pressed: "Had the princess undressed? I do not recollect; she was in bed; but I do not recollect whether she was undressed.—Do you remember the dress that the princess was in the habit of wearing at that time? Yes.—Was it not a blue habit trimmed with fur, and so on,"—(a travelling-dress of the most inconvenient description for any improper purpose)—"Yes, there was a great deal of fur here (about the bosom) it was a blue dress."—"Had not the princess gone upon the bed, or into the bed with that dress upon her in the middle of the preceding day?" The answer is, "Yes, she had."—"Do you mean to say, that from the middle of the day when she had got into the bed, or on the bed, she had undressed herself at all?"—which, up to this moment, your lordships are desired to infer from the statement made. She answers: "I saw her royal highness on the bed during the day in that same riding habit."—No longer in the bed, no longer naked, no longer by possibility undressed, but now, on the bed, in a riding habit, she had put on to be ready to start again on the journey.—"Did you see her royal highness take it off at all whilst she remained at that inn? I do not recollect seeing it.—You yourself were upon a bed in the same room with her? Yes.—You left that small inn as you describe early in the morning, did you not? Yes."* And then she is asked, immediately after that having been let into the secret of the parties considering themselves as on the*See Vol. 2, p. 1167.1114 same terms as husbands and wives, and then turning her out of the room, that they might enjoy their conjugal endearments—she is asked as to the period of her dismissal, and she says, that within a short period she was turned out of her royal highness's service—to which she would have been very happy to return.
My lords; I will make one remark, that perhaps some observation may be made upon the letter of Demont to her sister—as if, in the insincerity to which she was so much subject, she was ready to disclose secrets to those who might be disposed to take advantage of them—as if she was ready to depose to, or conceal, those secrets according to the treatment her royal highness gave her. Take it in that point of view, which I really think, in justice to her, we ought not to believe—but take it in that point of view, and what does the letter amount to? It is neither more nor less than a threatening letter—"I am very poor. I desire you to observe a very strict economy, for I am suffering from the want of it. I am denuded of what I might have laid by in the service of my bountiful mistress. Do not then subject yourself to such things. I am exposed to spies. Gentlemen from London came to offer me a brilliant establishment. I know the meaning of that, and I know that the intention is, that I should depose to those facts against her royal highness of which my learned friends will now say that she was the dangerous depository." Look at the conduct of her royal highness, and say whether it was entirely inconsistent with the possibility of her being in possession of such secrets. Does she send her any money? Does she take any steps to silence her? On the contrary, she leaves her from that time, till that time twelve months, when, Sacchi takes her to the Milan commission, without any promise to receive her back into her service, or any thing like an inducement held out to her to keep such secrets in her own bosom. It is absolutely impossible to suppose that this woman was in possession of any such secrets, even taking that base and sordid view, which is necessary to the case of my learned friend. So far from getting over it, it would show the conduct of an artful servant, and of an innocent mistress. But I believe that the mistress was pure, and the servant free from that sort of deception, until after that time.
1115 My lords; I will now return to the incident at Scharnitz. If you look to page 718, you will find, that lieutenant Hownam states, that it was necessary to go back to Inspruck for passports.—"Mr. Pergami went back immediately to Inspruck, with captain Vassali, I think, to procure passports."—"Do you recollect at what time Pergami and captain Vassali came back to Scharnitz?—I should think about one or two in the morning, it was very late.*"—At page 743, he is cross-examined upon the same subject, and it would have then been extremely easy for my learned friends, with all those materials for cross-examination which they have, of course, been daily receiving from their important witnesses, Sacchi and Demont, to reward lieutenant Hownam of any fact inconsistent with the statement we make in our defence, and to have compelled him to prove such fact; but, on the contrary, they ask him whether he recollects the town of Scharnitz, whether he recollects the circumstance of Bergami and Vassali going back for the passports; whether there was not a difficulty in proceeding, in consequence of the snow, whether there were not many persons employed to cut a way through; and whether they did not set out early in the morning, proceed to the barrier, and had some material interruption with regard to their luggage? There is not a single question put to lieutenant Hownam to show that that to which I shall call your lordships' attention, as proved by the witnesses acquainted with the fact, is not perfectly correct; and I will now, therefore, proceed to the evidence of chevalier Vassali, at page 937 of these Minutes. And, my lords, in introducing the chevalier Vassali to you, I trust you will not conceive it is any reflection on a soldier, that he has been a private soldier in the guard of honour—that it is perfectly consistent with his occupying a respectable rank in life; for we are all acquainted with the fact, that a person of his gentlemanly and military manners might have very well risen from that situation, and that he is not to be taken to be a person more liable to state that which is not true, from his having risen from that humble situation. You can hardly go into a town on the continent without being told respecting some respectable young man, that he was selected to form one of the guard of honour to Buonaparté*See p. 508 of the present Volume.1116 or Josephine, or the emperor of Austria, or some other sovereign of the continent. Vassali is asked, "In the course of that journey, do you remember having gone with Pergami from Scharnitz to Inspruck, about some passports? Yes."—"At what time did you set off? We set out after dinner, after twelve o'clock."—"About what time did you return to Scharnitz? Between two and three in the morning; and the moment we did return we went into the room of her royal highness. She was sitting on the bed, leaning, half-lying."—"Was she dressed or undressed? She was covered with shawls or something like it."—"Was any body with her? Yes, there was Pergami, then came Schiavini, and then afterwards the countess Oldi came out of her own room.*"—At the same time he saw the little Victorine sitting upon the bed of her royal highness; and that he saw when first he returned from Inspruck, which Demont thought fit to keep so much out of sight, as she did the circumstance of her royal highness retiring in her dress early in the day, and reposing in that dress the whole of the time she was in the room after his return from Inspruck. In the course of that morning an officer from the police arrived. He spoke to that officer, after which he returned to the room of her royal highness, and he frequently returned to that room. "First," he says, "I returned to give her an account we had arrived; afterwards to see whether she wanted any thing; and lastly to give to her an account of the weather, and that they were clearing the road from the snow." And then he says, "We remained up the whole of the night;" and that all the suit indiscriminately, Bergami and the rest, were constantly passing to and from the room of her royal highness. When he is asked, in cross-examination, how all this length of preparation could be necessary, he gives an answer which I am sure had occurred to the minds of every one of his hearers, that in attendance on a person of that rank and importance, one is upon the alert and in eternal movement. I am sure every man must feel, that nothing can be more natural than that impatience; and that the whole of the statement of Mr. Vassali is consistent with that of lieutenant Hownam, and inconsistent with nothing but that which Demont wished to impose upon*See p. 939 of the present Volume.1117 your lordships is most undoubtedly the truth of the case.
Your lordships will not forget also, that though Sacchi was sent to Scharnitz, yet, in the whole course of the examination of that individual, there is no question put to him to show, that the testimony of Demont was correct: on the contrary, he was driven through that town without a single question, although it is perfectly impossible, as my learned friend must see, that the story must not be contradicted in every point, and that Demont stood in such a situation as to require even his support, rather than be left without a support to her testimony.
My lords; the next case to which we go is the case of Carlsruhe. And here it becomes a little important to consider the circumstances under which her royal highness was there living—it is impossible not to look back with regret to the subjects of unparalleled complaint, which that illustrious lady has had to struggle with, through the whole of her married life. She had left the country with a variety of rumours and reports perhaps insidiously and maliciously circulated against her. She perfectly well knew she was surrounded by those who were ready and willing and anxious to destroy her by their artful interference with her concerns; and yet, in spite of all those circumstances, she exposes herself, in the course of a variety of journeys, to no less, I believe, than fifty different inns, on no one of which is there any attempt to impeach her conduct, except simply by the respectable witness Pietro Cuchi and by this young lady Barbara Kress. My lords, it is impossible not to meet a general statement of that kind with the general statement I made yesterday. How can it by possibility be true, if there was an adulterous intercourse carried on between these parties under the raised suspicion of her chambermaid, that the linen that was employed both about the person and about the bed of those parties should betray no symptom whatever of what was supposed to take place between them? Then, my lords, let me go back to the polacre. There were no bed-clothes; but the body-linen would have betrayed any sort of connexion that could have taken place in the course of the four weeks of the reposing under the awning. But there is not an attempt on the part of my learned friends to extract any such fact from Demont. I therefore infer that the fact is not 1118 true; and that she was perfectly aware that if it had been attempted to be proved by her, it would have been effectually contradicted.
Now, my lords, with regard to this fact at Carlsruhe, I beg to call your lord- ships attention to all the circumstances under which her royal highness was living. My lords, is it possible to doubt, upon this evidence, that from some strange, unfortunate attempt to degrade and destroy this illustrious lady, she was watched by persons in high authority, and possessing great power? How came an Hanoverian minister to have been the first sent to Rome? What possible connexion was there between that Protestant government and his holiness the Pope? What necessity was there for baron Ompteda coming to her royal highness's table but to appear afterwards as her betrayer? and what reason is there, that when a single question is put to any one of the witnesses upon the subject of that name, that it is immediately a signal for some objection being taken, for the mouth of the witness being closed, and for him to be prevented from giving that information which I am sure your lordships feel to be essential to the coming at the truth of this case.
My lords; Majoochi has, by somebody or other, been instructed to say, that he does not even know his name; that the name of Ompteda is to him as unknown as that of the chief of the Sandwich Islands; that he never heard any thing of the kind; that he is perfectly in the dark on the subject. Circumstances are brought to his recollection at various times: "Did he not frequently dine with her royal highness? Not to my knowledge I do not know the name. Did not he remain there two or three days? Not to my knowledge; there was a Prussian baron, but I do not know his name." And Demont also concurs in stating, that though she had heard the name, she never heard of any thing justifying the supposition, that he was filling the honourable situation of spy; that she never heard of locks being picked, or any thing of the kind. Why, my lords, let us look at the evidence that is suppressed and kept back from us upon this occasion; for your lordships are not to forget, that we are told by Restelli, that most active agent of the Milan commission, that he accompanied Mr. Cooke the head of that commission, to Frankfort for the purpose of seeing an im- 1119 portant witness of the name of Maurice Credi, a witness who had been a servant in the family of her royal highness, and who is described by Mr. Hownam to you, as having, in the course of that service, confessed, that he was urged by Ompteda, to pick the locks and to possess himself of the letters of her royal highness. Why was not Credi called as a witness before your lordships to explain these mysterious transactions? He was a servant in the family during the period when these things were supposed to have been going forward. He was a witness capable of telling as much, probably, as any of those persons have told, and perhaps as willing to tell it. He would have been compelled to admit the whole statement of that case, which it is essential to public justice to have sifted. He was at Frankfort to be examined by Mr. Cooke, but he is not here to be examined by my learned friend, and to be cross-examined by us. There is another witness of the name of Annette Preising, who is in this country; who was in the service of her royal highness during the whole of this time; who was seen by Restelli, and who is not called as a witness before you though proved to be in this country, and though my learned friends have been so anxious to lay before you every thing which could be proved on either side, without reference to the bearing of the evidence, wishing you should have the whole and draw your own impartial conclusion from the whole.
Now, my lords, with regard to Majoochi, you cannot have forgotten the circum. stances under which he denied any knowledge of Ompteda. I think it was on the second day of his cross-examination. He states, with the utmost clearness, that he has no knowledge at all about him, that he is quite a stranger to him, that he has nothing to say upon the subject of any thing he ever did, and he does not even know his name. Now, I introduce to you, upon that subject, the evidence of William Carrington, and in introducing that witness to your lordships, I beg to call your attention to the different situations, in which my learned friends (who say we have great advantages in this case) and ourselves are placed. William Carrington has no sooner left this bar, with the universal confidence and approbation, I am quite sure, of every honest man who saw and heard him give his evidence, than the materials for his cross-examination are laid by the first lord of the admiralty. 1120 The ships books are searched, his captain is called to town, he is cross-examined with the possession of these full materials, and every act of his life is sifted with the utmost minuteness. Do I complain of this? By no means. If it were not irregular, I would tender my thanks to the noble lord who, with the greatest ability, conducted that cross-examination. It redounded to the credit of the witness concerned. I say of that man what some foreign writers have said of this country, "You may find gentlemen in the lowest classes of society." I say, that in whatever part of society that man's lot is cast, nature made him a gentleman; and his evidence will not be disputed by any man who deserves that name. At page 538,* he states to your lordships the conversation he held with Majoochi upon the subject of Ompteda; at pages 555, and 579,* he undergoes the strictest cross-examination upon the whole of his statement; and I will venture to say, that any thing more clear, more satisfactory, and more convincing, was never drawn from any witness who appeared in a court of justice. It is perfectly clear, that this Majoochi, who comes here instructed to deny his knowledge of the existence of Ompteda, was so perfectly aware of his existence and his history, and his supposed crimes, he declared that the baron Ompteda,by corrupting Credi had brought all the servants under suspicion, and that if he met him on the road, he would kill him like a dog. There was a most strict and acute cross-examination. The result was in the highest degree satisfactory. After Carrington had undergone his two or three cross-examinations, that paper was put in which proves he was a midshipman as he describes himself, on board the Poictiers, which he left at the period when sir John Beresford declared, that he never parted with a sailor with so much regret, for he never knew a more excellent man in the service.
Now, my lords, what an advantage it would have been, supposing there had been in the whole life of this individual, one single blot in his escutcheon!—what an advantage my learned friends would have obtained over us, when their witnesses are all foreigners, when they come from all corners of the world, when we have no admiralty-books to refer to, when we*See p. 395 and p. 402 of the present Volume.1121 know nothing of their governments, but their ceremonious grant of every witness wanted for the Bill, and their unceremonious refusal of every witness we wanted for our case!My lords, an observation was made at the outset of the case—"they are foreigners; we cannot know them; if they are entitled to the greatest credit as their evidence appears, still there may be facts which would destroy them, if they were known." You see, my lords, what materials may be produced for cross-examining witnesses of this sort, who are natives of this country; but the foreigners are protected by the very fact of their being foreigners; and it is impossible for us, during the period of this protracted trial, to show them subject to discredit. It is therefore, most fortunate, that out of their own mouths, looking to the testimony—it is most fortunate for the cause of justice and of truth, that we are able to discredit them; because the means of doing so, from the previous history of their lives and their campaigns, are not, and cannot be, in our reach. These persons are so contradicted as to leave, I am sure, the strongest suspicion, that the story told by Demont is perfectly untrue; that the story told by Majoochi is perfectly untrue; and that there were individuals base enough to intrude themselves into the intimacy of her royal highness, for the purpose of distorting those innocent actions which an innocent person would be perhaps very careless in pursuing.
Now, my lords, we come to Carlsruhe; and, under circumstances like these, when we find there are no less than three ministers employed in bringing evidence to this country of facts which took place, and when we find that one of these ministers receives her royal highness into his chambers at the inn, and the moment she leaves those chambers, is found running about the rooms, searching for any thing that might condemn or convict her—I think it would not be uncharitable to say, that they thought they had her in the trap; that they thought they had now a witness to depose to something from which suspicion might be drawn, and that it was their own fault if they did not find in the chambermaid at Carlsruhe, a willing instrument of their plans. Now, what does she depose? She says, that she went one evening with water to the bed-room of Bergami, and that she saw the princess sitting upon his bed. That, I apprehend, will be found in page 183; and, my lords, 1122 it is by no means immaterial to keep in view that which I took the liberty of suggesting,—that is, the total want of support that almost every individual witness is left with stating his own case;—each witness proves his own case, and nothing more; and it is quite remarkable that Mrs. Kress, who proves her case, receives no confirmation in any part of it, but receives a direct contradiction of it from the courier Sacchi: for she states, that the courier had arrived; and then, she says, she placed this broad bed to which I allude—"What sort of a bed was placed in No. 12? A broad bed.—Was that bed in No. 12 before the princess arrived? or was it placed there after her arrival, and in consequence of that arrival? There was another there before, but I had been ordered to put a broad bed; I had been obliged to put this broad bed in before the princess of Wales arrived.—Had the courier of the princess of Wales arrived before that bed was placed? The courier had arrived; and then I placed this broad bed to which I allude.*"—Now, it is perfectly clear, that the thing meant to be inferred was, that the princess had sent her courier forward, and that knowing that the beds at Carlsruhe are particularly small, she ordered this broad bed for criminal indulgences. But, if your lordships will turn to page 435, you will find from Sacchi's evidence, that no change was made by him, especially at Carlsruhe:—"In the course of that journey what was the general disposition of the bed-rooms of Pergami and her royal highness?—I continued to distribute the lodgings as far as Carlsruhe; but when we arrived at Carlsruhe, there having happened the same thing that had happened; at Turin, that is to say, the change of the bed-rooms, I did not meddle with it any more during the rest of the journey, leaving to her royal highness and Pergami to choose what rooms they liked best.†"—So that, so far from his having come, and ordered a bed, which was placed in the bed-room, No. 12, by Kress, he states, that after he gave the order, the arrangement he previously made was actually altered by his principals when they arrived. Now, that is one circumstance to show, that where these parties are contrasted and compared together—wherever they give an opportunity for the contradiction, that contradic-*See Vol. 2, p. 970.†Ibid, p. 1271.1123 tion will appear in the course of the evidence they give.
Now, Kress states, that one night between seven and eight—the minutes she cannot exactly tell, nor does she recollect exactly where the princess and Bergami had dined on that day—upon carrying some water into No. 12, she saw the princess and Bergami in that room.—But, to return, for a moment, to this subject of the change of beds. I only know one way of reconciling this evidence at all. Kress speaks in the impersonal; she does not say, that the courier ordered it, but that the order was given "The courier had arrived; and then I placed this broad bed." You would infer, that the courier had given the order; but you may perhaps infer, that the order was given by baron Grimm, and that it was thought this case of adultery might be much better made out, if there was a broad bed capable of holding two, rather than a narrow one capable of holding one.—But to proceed. She says, that carrying some water into No. 12, she saw Bergami and the princess. Bergami was in bed, and the princess sat on the bed. When she entered, she had seen that Bergami had his arm round the neck of the princess, and when she entered, the princess let the arm fall, jumped up, and was alarmed at the moment; and he then left the place. I would call your lordships attention to this fact, that in her cross-examination she will not venture to deny, that she has stated, that she went into another room to satisfy herself whether the countess Oldi was there, and if she had any doubt, whether the countess Oldi was the person sitting upon that bed. I think the facts to which I shall call your lordships attention, in the evidence of Vassali, will satisfy you that it might very probably be the countess Oldi that was sitting there, but that it could, by no possibility, be the princess. She states in her cross-examination, that she will by no means swear that she had not said, that she had some doubt whether the countess Oldi was the person sitting upon that bed. Therefore, I should infer a most gross attempt to introduce a case against the princess, under circumstances in which a doubt remained upon her mind. May I draw your attention to page 209. "After you had seen the person you took for the princess in the evening in Pergami's room, did you go to see whether the countess of Oldi 1124 was in her room? No, I carried water immediately to No. 5, and there they were standing; at No. 5, the countess lodged." So that, in point of fact, for some purpose or other, she chooses to say for that of carrying water, she did go to that room of the countess Oldi: "Did you not go to No. 5, in order to see whether the countess was there? Yes, I went just there.—Did you not go there for the purpose of seeing whether the countess was there? I went, and saw just that it was the princess.—Did you not go there for the purpose of seeing whether the countess was there? No, I went not there; I just carried the water there.—Will you swear you did not go to that room, upon the oath you have taken, in order to ascertain whether the countess was there? I went just there to carry the water, because I must do this, as I did it every evening."—So however, she did.—"Will you swear, by the oath you have taken, that you did not go to that room in part for the purpose of ascertaining whether the countess Oldi was there? I cannot say this; I did not go for that purpose: I have never thought that I should be asked about this." So that she knew what she was to be asked to; she knew what she was to prove; and all the surrounding facts, upon which depend the character of the transaction, she has cautiously nut out of her mind. Then, the other interpreter a little varies the phrase, "I have never had any thought about this: I never thought that I should be asked about it." And then, upon a further cross-examination, "Will you swear upon the oath you have taken, that you have never told any person that you did go to the room of the countess for the purpose of seeing whether she was there or not? I cannot recollect it; I have no thought about it, whether I have said it to any body.—Will you swear that you have never had any conversation with any person about your going into madame Oldi's room that night? I can swear that I never had a conversation with any body about this matter, namely, that I went there for the purpose of ascertaining whether the countess Oldi was there or not."
Now, my lords, I do think that upon these facts, it is impossible not to see, that, if there is any truth in the circumstances to which she has deposed, when your*See Vol. 2, p. 1084.1125 lordships come to look at the other parts of her evidence, in which she states first of all the circumstances from which this inference is to be drawn—I do think, that so far from furnishing any inference whatever against her royal highness, they will only tend to show more clearly the nature of the practices which have been carried on, in every part of the world, against her royal highness. This witness went to Hanover, and there she saw Reden; she went to Frankfort, and there she saw another gentleman. Her recompence was "little, very little"—which is the answer given by the three witnesses who have acknowledged that they had received any thing, the captain, the mate, and Barbara Kress, but they all know that they are to expect but little, unless they swear up to the mark; and your lordships will see the nature of the compensation she has received already for that which she has already performed.
My lords; there is another circumstance from which something is inferred—that one day she found a grey cloak in the bed of Bergami, and that afterwards she saw that grey cloak on the shoulders of her royal highness. How it came into that bed, and whether it is the same cloak she saw upon the shoulders of her royal highness, I think appears rather doubtful; and, if the circumstance of the cloak furnished a more conclusive inference than such a circumstance can furnish, the evidenee of it is not convincing to any ordinary mind. Then there is a third fact, to which I have already alluded—a fact of stains which appeared upon the bed. Now, it is left in the dark at what time those stains were found there. At page 188,* the whole of that evidence is given, and the day and the time are left entirely unproved, except that it was in the morning of some day when she was making the bed, when those stains were found: whether it was immediately after or before the time that she saw any body sitting on the bed, or the time that she found a cloak in the bed, is left uncertain; and when you come to see what she states upon her oath, I am sure your lordships will see that she states that which is not to be believed. First, the condition in which they were found: it is perfectly impossible that a thing of that sort should at once have colour, and at the same time be in a state of humidity;*See Vol. 2, p. 973.1126 that I take to be perfectly impossible. And then, when she is asked, being a married woman, as to the state of those stains, she says she has not inspected them so nearly, but that she has seen that they were white; that she has made all the beds in the house; and then, when asked to the appearance of those stains seen in this bed, she has the impudence to say—being brought here to prove nothing material besides, "You will pardon me; I have not reflected on this; I have had no thoughts on it whatever." Then, if she had had no thoughts upon it whatever, why was this compensation given to her, and this force applied, and this reluctant witness brought at such an expense to speak against the Queen? If the thing be true, she ought to have declared it and would have declared it. Can any man believe, that, having made up her mind to appear here as a witness, she would thus suddenly be seized with a fit of modesty, and be incapable of telling that which she came to tell? It is trifling with the credulity of mankind to believe this witness, even if encumbered with no contradiction; and the blushes on her face, which were charitably ascribed, as she was a witness against the Queen, to the last remains of expiring modesty, may be rather attributed to the circumstance, that she was attempting to impose upon this assembly, by the statement of such a falsehood. She has withdrawn herself from it as much as she could; that she has been suborned to swear to this fact, knowing it to be perjury, I shall now make out by the statement of the evidence adduced against her.
My lords; at page 717, Mr. Hownam states, that he went to Carlsruhe; that, they were received by the grand chamberlain on her royal highness alighting from her carriage, and a chamberlain was appointed to attend her always after. The name of that gentleman was the baron d'Ende. Her royal highness passed her time while she was there almost always at Court, or in the family of the grand duke; that during her royal highness's stay at Carlsruhe, she usually dined at the Court, or else at the margravine's, the grand duke's mother; that her royal highness mostly supped out at the grand duke's, and he thinks once at the margravine's; that there were always on those occasions parties assembled to meet her royal highness, except the first day's 1127 dinner at the margravine's. This outcast, who was supposed to be bringing disgrace upon the family to which she belonged, and to be received by no one of respectability, dined out every day, either at the palace of the grand duke or at the margravine's. Mr. Hownam is cross-examined at page 767*—not cross-examined indeed, but some of your lordships put questions to him upon this subject, the cross-examination having passed it by: "You have said, that at Carlsruhe the princess dined with the grand duke, except one day that she dined with the margravine; did you dine in company with her royal highness on those Occasions? I did."—"You have said also, that she supped at the grand duke's, and also at the margravine's; did you sup in company with her? Yes, I did."—"At what o'clock at that court is the dinner? I positively cannot recollect that."—"About what hour? I do not recollect the hour sufficiently to be able to mark it."—"Have you any recollection of the lateness of the hour of supper, and the evening parties there? I cannot say to what hour they lasted, they lasted late in the night, probably twelve o'clock."—"Can you of your own knowledge say whether the princess had time to return home between dinner and supper; between the dinner and the subsequently going to the other house, or supping at the same house? I should imagine yes."—"Did she, to your knowledge, on any one of those days, return home between the dinner and the supper? I do not recollect that."—"Will you undertake to say, that she did not? I will undertake to say, that I do not recollect the circumstance; if I had the smallest recollection of it, f have no end in keeping it back, in withholding it."*—For which last assertion, I am sure every man gives lieutenant Hownam full credit. And then Vassali, at page 935,† puts this question beyond all possibility of doubt; for he says, they arrived at Carlsruhe on the 25th of March, staid till the 30th, and that on every day, they dined alternately with the grand duke and the margravine, and passed the evenings upon all those occasions, in company with those distinguished persons. He states, that on one of the evenings Bergami complained of the head-ache, and caused his sister to*See p. 550 of the present Volume.†See p. 938 of the present Volume.1128 accompany him to the inn, where they continued for some time, during which her royal highness remained with the grand duchess, and the witness remained there too. They staid till a late hour in the evening, and he says, that he himself performed in some concert—and sang with the grand duchess. Then he goes through the whole history of their dinings and their suppings. He says Madame Oldi returned with her brother, because he had the head-ache; and then, he is asked, at p. 944, by one of your lordships, to fix the time; and he answers that question in such a manner, as to give the most decided proof, that he was stating the whole truth precisely as it occurred to his mind, and not for the purpose of meeting any supposed case against her royal highness. "At what time did the evening parties, the conversazione commence?" His reply is, "There was no fixed hour."—About what hour? About half-past seven or eight."—"Where was it you dined at Carlsruhe the first day? At the margravine's."—"Was Pergami there? Yes."—"Where did you dine the second day? At the grand duke's."——Did Pergami dine there? Yes."—"What day was it after your arrival at Carlsruhe, that Pergami, you say, was taken ill? On the second day."—"About what time was he taken ill? After dinner:* from half past four to five o'clock."—"About what hour did you return home? I believe between half past seven and eight." Now, as that case stood at that moment, it would almost have appeared to be a confirmation of Kress; and I believe it was one of your lordships who put that question again to him, and got an explanation, from which it appears, that what Kress stated, could by no possibility be true: not because the princess and Bergami might not be at the inn about the time on the second evening that this woman states, but that he accounts for the whole of that time; her royal highness being in a state dress, having come home from the dinner at the grand duke's, being in the saloon, and going out again to the margravine's: he accounts for the time, so as to leave no possibility of his being in the bed-room, and her being on the bed, and his placing his arm round her back. "Are you rightly understood, that on the second night of her royal highness's residence at*See p. 944 of the present Volume.1129 Carlsruhe, she returned from Court to the inn at between 7 and 8 o'clock?" He replies, "Between 7 and 8 o'clock," and there the matter is left. Then again, at p. 961, "When her royal highness returned the second night she was at Carlsruhe from the palace to the inn, did you accompany her? I did not."—"When did you go there? When she returned borne between 7 and 8."—"That is the time as to which you are asked; did you accompany her? Yes, between 7 and 8."—"Into what room of the inn did you accompany her royal highness? The saloon."—"Whom did you find there? Pergami and his sister, and another person of the suite came to meet her?"—"Was Pergami dressed at that time? He was in a uniform."—"How was her royal highness dressed at that time? In a dress of great splendor."—"Did her royal highness remain for any time in that room which you call the saloon? Some time; then we went to the margravine's."—"Did you all go together? Pergami accompanying her royal highness as well as yourself? Yes."—"How long did you all remain at the evening party at Court after that? Till about 10 o'clock that evening." So that there is every evening during the whole of her royal highness's residence at Carlsruhe, most satisfactorily accounted for; and it is utterly impossible that the story of Kress can be true, unless Vassali has stated what is false; which I do not think any body would impute to him. My learned friend ingeniously asked him where they dined at Munich in the course of the same journey. The answer is, that they dined at the table of the king and queen three or four times in the course of ten or fifteen days, and the other days they were living at the inn. That is very far from being a circumstance to impress itself on the memory, as the circumstance of their dining out regularly with the relations of the Queen successively with the one and the other, and on the other day going to the baths at Baden, where they passed the night. On that nights of course, this circumstance spoken to by Kress cannot have taken place; and I think there is no possibility on the night, on which they were there, of that story being true; and that being disproved throws, I think, a great deal of suspicion upon the other parts of the case.
But, my lords, if this female waiter is tube considered as effectually contradicted 1130 in her statement, what shall we say of the male waiter, who, probably aware of the circumstance that he might be contradicted, places his eye at the key-hole at Trieste, says that he saw Bergami going in a state of undress from the room of her royal highness to his own, for three or four out of six mornings? What shall we say of that witness who, to take up the gainful trade of a witness, say's, they remained six days at that inn; and therefore in order to make his case complete, he does not, like this young lady, stick to a particular time, lest he should be contradicted in that, but says it was the habit and the practice, and that on every one of these three or four mornings he saw the same thing take place? My lords, I shall not attempt to describe the man: if his was a face to be forgotten, my learned friend's portrait of him could not be forgotten. We had argued on the probabilities of the case, on the likelihood that false evidence would be given; and these probabilities are entitled to a very great consideration; particularly when it is found that out of the very numerous places in which her royal highness is stated to have conducted herself so unguardedly, there are only two witnesses called to swear to facts, who both are subject to the very substantial contradiction which is presented to them. The evidence of Pietro Cuchi is to be found in p. 167. There is no question put to Sacchi or Majoochi, how long they remained at Trieste; but it is left to this man to state the fact, and this is to be made out by the number of times: "How many times did you see that during the six days that the princess was at Trieste?" "Three or four times."—"Describe the manner in which Pergami was dressed at the time when you saw him so coming out of the room of her royal highness?" "He had a surtout, made according to the Polish fashion, which had some gold lace behind that reached from the waist down."—"Besides that robe, what had he on?" "He had drawers."—And then in cross-examination he is asked, "Have you any doubt about her royal highness having remained so much as five or six days?" "Six days."—"Are you sure she remained so many as six days?" "Yes."—He cannot, however, remember the day of the week; he cannot remember the day she went; but he states that his own room has a secret door that cannot be known to be a door by any person that was in the dining-room. It had 1131 painted canvas. That was the happiest possible situation for a spy to select; and there he saw Bergami coming from the room of the princess three or four mornings out of six; when it is demonstrated, beyond the possibility of a doubt, that she remained but one night at Trieste, and that upon the following day she went on to Venice!My lords, the evidence produced by Mr. Hownam upon that subject is most important; and I really do not like to state any thing but what is most strictly and most technically evidence; for the more this case is looked at with the eye of a lawyer, looking to clear and distinct proof, the more satisfactory will be the reputation we gave of this witness. My lords, this question must be carried further in another place; and we should be certainly deficient in our duty if we were not to bring this man to justice, if he should be found at Cotton Garden at the proper time. Whether he will have found his way after Restelli, to quite the apprehensions of his family also, I cannot say; but it is our duty to society to bring that man to justice, and that he should know that persons shall not be permitted to give such evidence to vilify the highest individual, at the expense of truth and justice. My lords, the evidence of Mr. Hownam upon that subject is most important; and it is to be remembered, that he was not cross-examined by my learned friend as to that "Do you remember her royal highness arriving at Trieste?" "I do."—"About what part of the day was it?" "The middle of the day, about noon I should think."—"Did any one receive her royal highness upon her arrival at Trieste?" "I think the vice-governor received the princess. We went to the Opera in the evening; and we left Trieste on the following day about 5 or 6 in the evening. I recollect that distinctly." And your lordships will observe the caution with which this witness speaks as to all facts which are not, as he expresses it, correctly marked upon his memory. "Have you any particular reason for your distinct recollection of this fact?" "I have a letter that I wrote at the time from Venice, on our arrival at that place; it is dated on the 18th of April in the morning. That letter I have in my pocket." "It is a letter written to the lady he has since married?" "It was charged at the post-office; it has the Venice post-mark, and there is a passage in that letter, by looking at which he is sure they arrived at Venice 1132 on the 17th. It is dated the 18th from Venice. They arrived at Trieste on the 15th. He wrote on the I7th, her royal highness having left Trieste for Venice in the afternoon of the 16th. My learned friends do not put a single question; they do not ask to see this letter, they feel, they know it is true. The same statement is made by Vassali at page 938, to which fact he also is not cross-examined.
My lords; there is another circumstance. It is extremely painful to be obliged to refer to disgusting and sordid subjects, but I am happy to say there is one circumstance in this man's evidence worthy of credit; because, though I think your lordships would not have sat to try this case, if you had supposed it a case of key-holes and chamber-pots, yet in the second of these articles there is something worthy of observation. Why has Demont never stated one word upon that subject? for this simple reason, because on such a fact it would have been very easy to have contradicted her. If Bergami had at one place constantly slept out of his own bed, for the purpose of resorting to that of her royal highness; if her royal highness had slept out of her bed, for the purpose of resorting to his embraces at another, it is perfectly clear that that appearance must have been found in the room of the one or the other; but there is nothing of the sort in any place, and therefore I give to that fact the same consideration which I gave to the appearance of the sheets and the linen. The absence of that proof, being a subject capable of contradiction, is a decisive proof that no such thing occurred; but, if no such thing occurred, it follows as a necessary consequence, that the adulterous intercourse charged has not taken place.
My lords; we come then to another period of the case, in which it is not the object to prove particular acts of incontinence, but in which it is the object to fasten upon her royal highness a statement of indelicacy and impropriety of manners—a readiness to encourage vice and profligacy, disgraceful to her taste as well as to her morals, and quite impossible to be conceived in any person of education and of rank, without the most clear and the most conclusive evidence. My learned friend, the attorney-general, tells you that at the Barona during the carnival, the most disgraceful scenes took place in this house—scenes which I would rather leave to the witnesses to describe 1133 to your lordships, than shock your lordships by detailing them,—scenes, which if fully proved before your lordships, will, I believe, satisfy you, that this house, the Barona, deserved the name of a brothel more than a palace, or a place fit for the reception of her majesty, or a person of the least virtue or delicacy. Balls were given there, not attended by the rank and nobility of the neighbourhood—nor by persons who, if her majesty had kept up her dignity would have been proud of the honour of her countenance, but persons of the lowest description."* I remember my learned friend, the solicitor-general, in summing up said, "the low in morals, the low in character, the degraded in principle and in feeling," and so on, though he had heard the evidence"—the greatest licentiousness prevailed in this house during the carnival—licentiousness which I would not state as an imputation upon her majesty, unless I was satisfied in my conscience I should be able to prove it passed with her knowledge." Now, in the first place, did it pass with her royal highness's knowledge? and, in the next place, did it ever occur at all? Why, my lords, I suppose you expected something different from what you have heard; you must have thought that this poor degraded Negro, who passes under the name Mahomet, and who is supposed to be unworthy the name of man in consequence of the indecent exhibitions he makes, was a kind of master of the revels at these indecent balls, and that there were exhibitions which would shock the delicacy even of the coarsest mind: but, on the contrary, it doe snot appear, that he was ever there at all, and from all that is stated on the part of the prosecution, there is no evidence of any act of indecency having been committed in the ball-room; and nothing is stated as having passed under the observation of her royal highness.
My lords; it is said that when first (that is Sacchi's account) those balls began, persons of distinction did indeed come; but that afterwards, upon witnessing those dreadful scenes of debauchery, they could not bring themselves to attend any more. Now, my lords, let me make one observation: if that had been the fact, why were none of those individuals called who are supposed to have attended at the outset of the proceedings, when there was nothing shocking or disgusting,*See Vol. 2, p. 788.1134 and to have withdrawn themselves from the scene of so much immorality as soon as it assumed that description? Is it not a little too much for any counsel to say, "I will tell you that the motives of particular individuals for withdrawing themselves from the society of her royal highness were founded on indecent exhibitions made in their presence, without tracing this to a single act of that description, and without proving that any individual ever withdrew from those balls. The censors of morals upon this occasion, are not the duchesses and the countesses and the baronesses supposed to have withdrawn from this society, because they were so much shocked; but the censors of morals and the delicate critics of manners are Majoochi, then Demont, and then Sac-chi. But, on being probed upon this subject, and having it known, that their depositions would be contradicted here, though they were not contradicted or cross-examined when taken ex-parte at Milan, those witnesses have told you, that in the presence of her royal highness nothing particular was observed. But these things are stated, by the attorney-general, to have passed under her immediate observation, and that, she appeared pleased at what was going forward, rather than expressed any dissatisfaction or disgust. Why, my lords, Demont, in pages 299 and 300,* does most expressly negative that particular fact, in the first place introduced by my learned friend in that period of the evidence. "How long did you continue at the Barona at that time?"—"The first time we only remained two or three days." "Did you afterwards return there?"—"Yes." "How long did you remain there then?"—"Nearly two months." "Were Pergami and her royal highness there during the whole of that time?"—"No." Where did they go to?"—"To Germany." "How long did they remain there before they went to Germany?"—"Nearly one month." And now there is a very important question put by my learned friend to that witness about that month, and which, if answered by a reputable witness in the way which I suppose he expected, would have been material evidence: "Did you make any observations upon the conduct of her royal highness and Pergami during that month, how they conducted themselves towards each other?" Now your lordships will*See Vol. 2, p. 1149.1135 not forget that here she has got out of the limits of her own exclusive jurisdiction over facts; she has come to facts in which persons may contradict her, if she states them falsely; and therefore her answer is: "I made no particular observation,"—apretty good failure, I think, considering what was there attempted. "How did they address each other?"—"The princess often said thou (toi) to Mr. Pergami, and Mr. Pergami addressing the princess merely said 'princess',"—where it depends upon her alone, it is a singular fact if that "tutoyé" took place, that there is nobody else to state it; for there must have been a number of persons who heard them address each other, and I do not find, that there is one of the witnesses who ever mentioned the fact of that familiar address: "Did you observe while you were at the Barona, Pergami doing any thing to her royal highness?" That is as complete a bonus upon an answer, as any I ever knew held out. If the witness had any thing to say, it is impossible but that that sweeping question must have drawn it from her; and that shows the value of what she had said before. For those questions respecting the familiarity of their conduct would not have been put to her in this court, if they had not been put into my learned friend's brief: and therefore you see the correspondence between what passed in one court and another court, and between what passed in the secret tribunal at Milan and the open court of this country: You may be sure there was stated upon their deposition some fact which my learned friend thought he should bring home to the knowledge of these parties; but her answer is, "I do not recollect." "Do you recollect any balls at the Barona?"—"Yes." "Who attended those balls?"—"People of a low condition." "State what you saw of the conduct of those persons at the ball, which was also seen in the presence of her royal highness?"—"In the presence of her royal highness I saw nothing particular." "Did you ever hear Pergami tell her royal highness any thing as to the conduct of any of the parties?"—"Yes, once: Mr. Pergami related a history or story which had happened in the house." Now, that Mr. Pergami related any such history or story, I do not believe: it is proved by this young lady alone, who must have undertaken to prove a vast deal more, before my learned friend would 1136 have made the opening of this part of the subject which he did, and who has failed in the whole course of that proof in making out any one single fact in the slightest degree disgraceful or discreditable to her royal highness.
My lords; at page 433, Sacchi speaks; of the same balls: "At the beginning" he says, "besides the persons in the suite, there came also some people of distinction; but in these balls were introduced people of all ranks and both sexes, and even of very low condition; and as between some of the suite of her royal highness and these low women there was some freedom, thus those people of distinction were no longer seen."* Now, that there might be between some persons of the suite and those low persons these improprieties committed in other places, but not in the ball-room—that Sacchi and Demont may have known of such facts or partaken of them—I am not disposed to contest, I think very likely. I give them perfect credit for the good faith of their own evidence: it is a deposition against themselves, and which affects no other person. These two might have known of some circumstances which were in a certain degree, and perhaps no small degree, disgraceful to the actors in them. "Have you seen the princess at those balls in the same rooms with those persons of low description, and girls who came there?" "Several times."—"Did the princess join in the dancing?" "Some times."—"Have you on any of these occasions, heard the princess make any other remark upon those women, or upon their conduct?" Then he thinks fit to give an anecdote out of his own fruitful brain, of some observation the princess made to him about the population of the Barona increasing, in consequence of some of these women; not giving you any name, it is impossible there should be a contradiction of it given—an anecdote of his own fabrication, which admits of no contradiction on our part, and which would have admitted of a corroboration on his part if there had been any truth in it.
Then, in page 465,† this is pursued a little further by your lordships, and it is there asked; "You are understood to have stated, that the princess was present during the ball mentioned by you, as*See Vol. 2, p. 1269.†See Vol. 2, p. 1316.1137 given by her royal highness at the Barona, how long was she usually present at those balls?" The answer is, "As her royal highness had her own apartment contiguous to the ball-room where she had her own party, so she came from the room and came into the ball-room, where she staid three or four minutes, and returned into her own room." Now this really is the history of the scenes of licentious and disgraceful debauchery said to have been committed under the immediate inspection and with the direct encouragement of the wife of the regent of England at the balls of the Barona, with the addition, that she seemed pleased with the indecency and wished to give as great an encouragement to profligacy as she had given an example of it. "You have stated, that the women were taken out of the ball-room at the will and pleasure of the men, do you remember that on any one occasion any of the women were taken out of the ballroom in her royal highness's presence?" to which his reply is, "I never made this observation." Now, really, I do think my learned friend, the solicitor-general, should have paused a little before he summed this up as a proof of any great impropriety of conduct on the part of her royal highness or of her giving any encouragement to persons who are conducting themselves in a licentious manner. There is not the smallest proof of it, even upon their own evidence. There is nothing but an imputation; exclusive of the long story this man chooses to tell about his sleeping with three girls at a time—a story of his own fabrication and invention, a story which rests upon the same foundation as all the other stories he has brought forward against her royal highness, but to which I give the most clear and decisive contradiction when I show what passed at those balls, when I show that there was nothing which passed on the part of her royal highness, but what many noble ladies indulge in, in their neighbourhoods at Christmas, by introducing persons of all descriptions, tenants and farmers and their servants and their grooms, and persons of the very lowest rank, coming in their best clothes to be received on that single occasion. And, was it ever to be supposed that this was to be formed into a ground of attack upon them, or that they were to be charged with licentious conduct for mingling with their inferiors? My lords, in England that is not uncommon. I have heard that in some of 1138 the greatest houses in this country, which I might almost call palaces, that custom prevails, and that ladies of high rank, so far from demeaning themselves, as my learned friend says, have thought they did themselves no discredit by mingling in them. And then, if it should happen that two of the persons present should have any toying upon the road home, would it be thought that the noble personage who gave the entertainment should be charged as the instigator of those freedoms so taken? That is the whole, except the anecdote he has introduced. The whole is, that being with a party in her own room she came out for three or four minutes and joined in a dance with the peasantry and tenantry. We have heard a great deal of the landlady of the St. Christopher of the name of Rosina. I expected to hear it proved that the St. Christopher was a house of ill fame, and that there was a great impropriety in her demeanor at this ball; but there is no proof of the kind, and we all know that the distinction of rank imposes a restraint upon persons when present on those occasions, and that there is not the smallest probability, in the human character, that such a libertine mode of exhibition should take place on such an occasion. I ask your lordships then, where is the proof of her royal highness having given such an example? where is the proof of any single person of respectability having withdrawn herself from that society. On the contrary, it appears, that being in a state of rural recreation during a month at this place, they had the same society from the first to the last, and that when the dance was not of such a nature that her royal highness chose to join in it, having been in the room for a short time she returned, as Sacchi says, to her own contiguous apartment and there played at cards or chess with the ladies attendant upon her. Mr. Hownam, at p. 742* makes it perfectly clear, that that was the case; and Vassali at p. 934, t gives in detail the very same description of evidence. Oggioni, another discarded servant, at p. 239, who is asked about the balls and admits that persons of her rank in society attended them, has not a single question put to him about any indecency there; and Filippo Pomi gives such a description of them, that one can hardly*See p. 527 of the present Volume.† Ibid, p. 937.1139 but wish one had been there. There is one young lady "the flower of gentlefolks." the daughters came with their fathers and their mothers, a large family of eighteen brought up by one couple of parents, the natural objects of great interest in a mind like that of her royal highness, who are all brought together to attend that ball. The party never consisted of above forty or fifty, and when Antongina came, being the tenant of the parish, it was merely because her royal highness wished to see that family assembled, lie says, nobody came unattended by their natural protectors and guardians; that the princess was in her own room; that he never said he saw any thing improper upon that occasion. I think there is too much imputation cast upon us, in regard to the balls at the Barona. But, my lords, it is totally disproved: nevertheless for that very reason it is important in the case; for it shows how the most innocent circumstances have been perverted into charges of guilt. As Demont says, this unfortunate lady has been surrounded by spies; she has the misfortune to be the object of aversion where she ought to have been protected; there is no lady more virtuous; there is no lady more injured. There is not an individual who has so much to complain of as my illustrious mistress has of the circumstance, that there is not a single action of her life but what is misinterpreted and turned from wholesome food into poison; there is not a virtue she possesses which is not brought in array against her. Her kindness, her affability, her love of children, which is almost inseparable from an amiable character, her wish to make happy those neighbours whom she invited, like many ladies in this country, to her balls, are all perverted into matters of the grossest kind. And when we come to look at those things which are transferred from the green-bag to my learned friend having been first transferred from Milan to the green-bag—you find there is no instance, in which contradiction can be offered, in which that evidence is not cut to pieces by that contradiction.
My lords; must I talk of Mahomet? A word or two, perhaps; because it is of the same description. There we ought certainly to express our gratitude to Majoochi, who has disproved this case quite as effectually as he has the creaking on board the polacre. Your lordships will 1140 perceive, that here he had not been trained: if he had, he would have given the same description with the other witnesses; but, according to Majoochi's account, it is as innocent as any dance that was ever performed. Other persons, not called immediately after Majoochi, but who had a week to reflect upon his account, make it one of the most atrocious profligacies that ever was committed, when it is evident that Majoochi, who was present, describes it as a dance without offence to man or woman. He is confirmed in the account he gives, by Mr. Hownam, by Vassali, and by Mr. Granville Sharpe, who had seen at Calcutta a dance of the same description performed in the presence of persons of the highest rank and of morals, the most irreproachable. My lords, I' really cannot enter further into that most absurd subject. My learned friend, the solicitor-general, said we were stunned; that the evidence came out with convincing effect; and that because Birollo made a case of guilt, Majoochi had made one of innocence; and because Oggioni transferred a part of the dress into that which the marquis put into Latin, the membrum virile, we are to make imputations against her majesty, of indecent exhibitions performed upon that occasion. My lords, Mr. Hownam has not only told us the nature of the thing, but how it came to be commenced, and continued. This poor boy got into a quarrel with the doctor about taking his physic, and they made him dance before the doctor, whenever he came on the deck. So that, so far from having any sexual reference, it was merely in ridicule of that person who, I fear, was not so popular as he ought to have been in her majesty's establishment.
Then we have one case more, and that is Mr. Sacchi, who tells your lordships, that in the middle of the night, when the weather was so hot, that nobody couldsleep; when all the doors and windows of the Villa Ruflinelli were left open, he among the rest got out of bed to air himself, and that Bergami, while he was standing in his room thought he could I not find a more convenient opportunity?—all the doors being open so as to disclose; every part of the house to every one of its inmates, or taking the chance of their doing so—of stealing to the bed of his royal mistress. I think I can say no more upon that than I said yesterday. I am extremely sorry to detain your lord- 1141 ships with any observations of mine; but I have to say once more, that this is a servant, who after being discarded, thinks proper to come to speak to a fact which, if believed, would place the character of every man and every woman in civilized society entirely at the mercy of every individual who should be turned out of their service. It would be impossible it should be believed, unless it came from the gravest, the austerest, and most correct of mankind; from one whose testimony was above all contradiction and all suspicion; from one who could have no motive for I injuring the party against whom he spoke; from one who had never, upon any occasion, expressed himself but in terms of the highest indignation against those whom he so accused; from one who, the moment that he made such a frightful discovery, had hurried out of the scene of infection and pollution, and so far from asking for a character of the individual whom he had seen so polluted and defiled, would have thought he destroyed his own character by asking her praises of it. My lords, if the contrary of all this is found to be the case with Sacchi, and it is proved in a most distinct manner, that he is directly contradicted as to the filthy fact by witnesses worthy of credit, then I ask your lordships, what are we to think of a case to be supported by the infamous scandals that these discarded servants conspired to fabricate among themselves? and which at this moment mainly rests upon the credit of this Sacchi—if it is to affect the princess at all?
I pass over, my lords, that walking from door to door, and from room to room. It cannot be contradicted by any other witness; for he alone could have seen it, according to his own account; but I will call your lordships attention to that journey from Rome to Sinigaglia, in which he has had the audacity to state, that he witnessed that gross obscenity which your lordships ears were offended with when it came from his lips. I must refer to page 438.* He says, he went every morning when day appeared near to the carriage to ask her royal highness whether she wanted any thing, and, my lords, Demont is not called to state the fact, as to what carriage her royal highness travelled in, or whether it was possible for a servant to open the curtains and*See Vol. 2, p. 1274.1142 look into the carriage. No witnesses are called to confirm him in that story; but he says, in that journey he was always, by the side of the princess's carriage; that there were curtains round it, and that he went to draw aside the curtains several times. "Every morning when day appeared, I went near to the carriage to ask her royal highness whether she wanted any thing. Mr. Pergami travelled in that carriage; and sometimes," he says, "there was the countess Oldi, or the little girl of Pergami."—"Upon any occasion," it is then put to him, "when you have gone for this purpose, have you observed in what situation the princess and Pergami were? It has happened to me two or three times to have found them both asleep, and having their respective hands one upon another."—"Describe in what way''? And then he swore, and he did it with all the unfeeling coolness which accompanied the whole of his evidence, that it was upon a particular part of the one and the other: "Her royal highness held her hand upon the private part of Mr. Pergami, and Pergami held his own upon that of her royal highness"—which I believe to be impossible in the nature of things. Then when he is asked, who was in the carriage at the time, he avails himself of the protection, which may be sufficient in the case of Majoochi also, to escape the punishment he deserves. My. lords, is it possible, that, any human being should be ignorant whether there was a person in the carriage at the time? is it possible that he should be doubtful whether the sister of the party in that odious situation, was with him by his side at the times his hands were so employed? It is to me quite impossible. That answer alone is to me a conviction that the fact is altogether an invention.
But, my lords, I do not rest on any speculations. I am not satisfied with the incredibility of the story. I go to direct evidence to contradict it. And if ever a I story was distinctly contradicted, it is that fact, by this miserable gentleman, who has forfeited all claims to that title, if he ever possessed them, by the evidence he has given here. I refer your lordships to page 634 and there it appears, that instead of Sacchi performing the office of courier upon that journey, he travelled in the caratella before, and that Carlo Forti, the witness, was the*See p. 437 of the present Volume.1143 man who attended on horseback with the carriages. So far, therefore, from having an opportunity of approaching the windows of the carriage in which her royal highness travelled, he did not take the orders; he was as much shut up as her royal highness and her fellow-travellers could be. My lords, he is next examined, at page 640,* with the greatest strictness; and in that page, so far from giving the smallest contradiction, or entering into any inconsistency, or betraying any doubt whatever on his mind, he repeats the same evidence, with circumstances showing he could not be mistaken about it. He went from Milan to Loretto along with the suite of her royal highness; at Loretto he wished to go forward to Rome; he undertook to deliver dispatches there; and he states this remarkable fact, that Sacchi, who had been the courier, was unable to go forward, that he was chafed in his riding; and he went forward therefore with those dispatches, and upon a subsequent occasion having performed that duty well, he was definitively taken into the service of her royal highness and that journey he performed from Rome to Sinigaglia, which would have been performed by Sacchi to his great inconvenience, if he had been continued in that service. But her royal highness, in her great kindness, spared him, and took this Roman into her service.
My lords; there is an anxious cross-examination of this man, and there is not an attempt to convict him of any thing like an inconsistency* Then, I have this confirmation upon the subject—that Demont herself, so well acquainted as she was with Sacchi, so perfectly cognizant of all his movements upon all occasions, was never asked even as to this fact of confirmation, whether he did or did not ride as courier upon the journey from Rome to Sinigaglia? I mean, that she was not so asked when she was originally called here as a witness; and I mean to say, that all the evidence given by that individual required all the possible confirmation that could be derived from any direct swearing to the same effect, or from any circumstances drawn from whatever quarter to support him. She was not asked to that subject. And now, my lords, in addition to the evidence of Carlo Forti, let us look to what is stated by lieutenant Hownam, at page 722, †where*See p. 442 of the present Volume.† See p. 511 of the present Volume.1144 he says, in conformity to the evidence of Carlo Forti, that her majesty instead of travelling in a carriage that admitted of the curtains being turned aside by a courier, was in an English landaulet with spring blinds, which could be opened only from within; and he mentions a variety of circumstances, showing his memory is quite equal to the whole which passed upon that occasion; and, if there should be any doubt as to the time, it is material that there is but one journey performed by her royal highness from Rome to Sinigaglia. He is asked, "Have you any recollection yourself who did perform the office of courier upon that journey? I do not recollect: there were two couriers." Carlo Forti is so far confirmed, that he was at that time courier in the service of her royal highness. "Can you, by adverting to any thing, recollect which of the two rode as courier upon that journey?" "I do not recollect positively which of the two it was."—"Do you remember at all whether Sacchi was taken ill upon any occasion?" I do, it is very imperfectly in ray recollection; I remember he was not well."—"When the name of her royal highness is mentioned to you, does that bring to your recollection any thing about his being ill?" "No," he fairly answers, it brings nothing to his recollection—"I know the fact of her travelling in a particular carriage; I know the fact that Carlo Forti and Sacchini were both couriers, but which rode by her side, I cannot state from any recollection."
Then I would go to page 744*, where he is cross-examined upon the same subject, where every circumstance in the course of the journey is fully called to his recollection, where he is asked as to every thing which had occurred, and where my learned friends show that they have been put in full possession of all the means of cross-examining and contradicting this witness: "What sort of carriages were they? He describes them, "An English landau, an English landaulet, a little German carriage belonging to William (a calash), and another Roman calash, a carriage made at Rome."—"How far did you go that first day; you travelled by night, it being very hot weather?" "We travelled by night, and stopped in the heat of the day."—"Do you remember where you stopped the*See p. 527 of the present Volume.1145 second morning, was it not at Nocera?" "I think it was, because there were some mineral springs there." "Did you not stop some time at a place called Fano, the third day?" "I think we breakfasted there. We might have stopped there an hour or two."—"How far is Fano from Sinigaglia?" "One or two posts; about ten miles. I think we arrived at Sinigaglia about one or two o'clock in the day. It may have been later. It is not marked sufficiently upon my memory, to say whether it was two or five o'clock."And now, having called Mr. Hownam's recollection to the place called Fano, my learned friend endeavours to get hold of something which is supposed to be likely to confirm Sacchi. He is asked, whether he remembers seeing Sacchi there?" "I do not."—"Do not you recollect Sacchi being ill there for a short time?" "No, I do not recollect it." Then he adds distinctly, being asked again as to the carriage in which her royal highness travelled, "I think it was in the landaulet."—"Are you sure it was in the landaulet?" "I am not certain, but I think it was: she had travelled in that to Rome; in fact, she always travelled in that carriage." So that the fact of her travelling in the landaulet, not in a carriage with curtains which could be drawn aside, appears to be placed beyond all doubt by Mr. Hownam. But he is further examined upon that subject by some of your lordships at page 755*, and he states there, that he has no decisive recollection which of the couriers accompanied the princess; that he has a slight recollection of one of them going before the princess in a carriage, but he does not recall it; he believes one of them did, but he has no positive recollection as to the fact. "The circumstance being recalled to your recollection, can you state your belief which of the two it was?" "I do not recollect; if I should—believe either, it would be Sacchini." "But you cannot be positive?" "I cannot be positive." And that is the account that Mr. Hownam gives from first to last, in which he places it beyond all possibility of doubt, that her royal highness was travelling in an English carriage, which had spring blinds to it, and that she was accompanied by Madame Oldi in that carriage.
Then, my lords, the next witness upon*See p. 537 of the present Volume.1146 this subject is colonel Olivieri* a person of great respectability, and who gave his evidence in such a manner as to show that he was not disposed to strain beyond the truth. There is not the slightest reflection upon him; and I should not do him justice, if I did not speak of him in the highest terms of respect. When her royal highness set out from Rome to Sinigaglia, he saw her mount her carriage: he did not accompany her upon that journey, but he says; "I supped with her royal highness the evening before she set out, or the evening of her setting out." "At what time did she set out on her journey?" "About midnight."—So far differing from Vassali, who says it was about ten o'clock—one of those sort of discrepancies which confirm rather than contradict.—"Did you hand her into the carriage?" "I had also that honour".—"Into what kind of carriage did you hand her?" "It was what we call in Italian carrettina, a landaulet, an English carriage."—"Besides her royal highness, who got into the same carriage?" "Countess Oldi, and Pergami, and the child Victorine." Mr. Vassali was upon that journey, and Mr. Hownam also. He saw them in their carriage, and bowed to them—he knows that carriage perfectly well—there is not the least doubt it was the carriage in which her royal highness rode. And when he is asked, who rode as courier from Rome on that occasion, he says, "I saw Carlo Forti set out as courier;" and that of course is all to which it is possible for him to depose upon such a subject. He is cross-examined to these facts, and the question is put having been asked about their going out from Rome to Sinigaglia, and having stated that Mr. Hownam and Vassali went upon that occasion is he to be understood that they were in the same carriage? he says, "I have not said that I was upon that journey. I saw them set out; they were in two separate carriages; Mr. Hownam and Vassali, the two temmes de chambre, Mr. William Austin, Louis Pergami I think, and I remember no others." Schiavini did not set out at that time, but on the following day, he thinks two carriages besides her own, accompanied her royal highness; but whether two or three, he does not distinctly recollect; but he swears that upon that occasion when her majesty set out in the landaulet, and when Carlo Forti was*See p. 919 of the present Volume.1147 performing the duties of courier, he did not see Sacchi.
Then I go to captain Vassali; and there I find the whole of this distinctly confirmed. It is extremely important to draw your lordships attention to those facts which are stated on the one side, and to show how they are distinctly answered. In page 939*, he says, "I cannot precisely say how long the journey lasted; about three days. Her royal highness travelled in an English landaulet. Countess Oldi, Pergami, and little Victorine travelled with her. I saw Carlo Forti on horseback."—"Did you see Sacchi on horseback as courier during that journey?" "No." Then he states precisely those circumstances under which Carlo Forti was hired, provisionally at Loretto, and definitively at Rome. He is then cross-examined, but there is not one single circumstance in which he deviates from the answers he had given before, or contradicts any one witness before called. So that here is Mr. Sacchi swearing to an indecent, improbable, and incredible fact, detected by him upon the public highway, when he was riding as courier by the side of a foreign carriage, the curtains of which could be drawn on the outside, and not knowing whether any body was travelling by the side of her royal highness or not. He is contradicted as to the fact of his riding courier, by the individual who did ride courier. I mean Carlo Forti: he is contradicted by the fact, that colonel Olivieri saw Carlo Forti set out as courier, and did not see Sacchi: he is contradicted by the idea that one courier would be sufficient for such a journey: he is contradicted by Vassali, who states that one did not ride, and that the other did; and he is contradicted by Hownam—all these go to the impossibility of that fact being true on which Sacehl must rely, as principally setting up his evidence against her royal highness; which admitted of the confirmation of Demont with regard to the distribution of the persons; and which called for every confirmation it could by possibility receive, but which has received no confirmation in any one of its particulars, while our account has received no contradiction whatever. Is it possible, my lords, when a story is incredible, when a witness is entitled to no credit; is it possible, on such an occasion, to go further*See p. 940 of the present Volume.1148 than we have done, or to show by evidence more distinct and decisive, that the story he told is altogether false? And, if that story be false, what becomes of his statement of his seeing Pergami pass through the door on a hot night, when all persons were watching, and none asleep? What becomes of his recital of private conversation between him and the princess, as to his indecent intercourse with women coming to the Barona? And what becomes of his statement, that persons of rank and condition were disgusted with what passed, not one of whom has been called to prove that fact?
My lords; it appears that the princess of Wales stated to Demont (though that rests upon her credit), that she was blackballed, as my learned friend emphatically expressed it, at the Cassino at Milan, though her exalted rank would make every one so desirous to receive her. If that be so, it was not in consequence of any impropriety of conduct, but because she was known to be the wife of the Prince Regent of this country; because she was known to be his exiled and calumniated wife; because she was known to be compelled to be wandering over the face of the earth; because there was no home for her here; and because the friends who had carried her through her first persecution, were, known to be her enemies, and are now, found in a situation on which I will not trust myself to dwell. My lords, under those circumstances, it is impossible but that evidence must have been found, because it was known to be wanted, for all such facts as to which there was a demand to attack the character of her royal highness. But is it necessary for me to go further—to go through this list of witnesses now given, these Guggiaris, and these Bianchis and Mejanis Oggionis, and so on, with all their Italian names? Is it necessary for me to go into any detail upon this subject? Do I not give a specimen sufficient to dispose of them all, when I show how Cuchi is perjured. But, my lords, if it were necessary, we are furnished with such samples of what might have been done in the way of contradiction and disproof, as no case ever furnished. But what are we to say, my lords, about the story of the Adam and Eve? Has any man a doubt as to the falsehood of that case now? And yet it was one of the most; disgusting, one of the most offensive, and one of the most disgraceful acts charged upon her royal highness. I do not State 1149 the particulars of it. It is enough for me I to state that Santino Guggiari, who is perfectly acquainted with those premises, and where those figures stood, has proved, beyond a possibility of doubt, that it was impossible for any man in that situation to have seen what he described. We have proved by Giarolini by the plan, the same fact. Why, my lords, is there any contradiction to any of those facts; and can my learned friends pretend to say, that they did not expect to be contradicted upon them; that their evidence might not require confirmation? It is quite impossible that such an account could be suffered to remain; and when the man Raggazoni thought proper to say he had witnessed such facts in the grotto, it was essential to make the case believed, that the plan should be produced to him, to show whether it was possible he could see it where he stood. They have made plans; we hear of the architect Ratti and other persons taking plans; and we know from the expressions of some of their witnesses, that there were plans taken of all the places where her royal highness was ever found. Why is not this plan, then, given? But it is proved to be impossible that, according to any state of facts consistent with the truth, this Raggazoni could have seen the fact. I do not dwell upon this—it is a specimen; it shows what men will do when there is a great inducement held out to them to commit this sort of perjury; and it shows how cautious all persons ought to be, before they enter into any proceeding which can amount to an encouragement of that most foul offence.
My lords; look again at the fact proved by Raggazoni, to which he calls another witness to his aid—the witness Domenico Brusa. In page 224,* it will be found that on some occasion when there was some house warming, when the gardens were illuminated, and every one admitted, the princess and Pergami were seen sitting on the same seat. What imputation is there in that, except that Raggazoni tells us, as proved by my learned friends that it happened at two in the morning, which would be a most extraordinary detection to make, and would cast no inconsiderable imputation; but when we come to Domenico Burisa, my learned friend recollects the mode of counting the time in Italy: it turns out to be half past nine at*See Vol. 2, p. 1243.1150 night—when the Italian peasantry are most enjoying the beauties of the country and the happy climate in which they live—when persons are moving about in alt directions—it turns out (if existing at all, of which I am sure I know nothing), that the thing happened at that time, just as open and as public as mid-day at Charing-cross, and at a time when the gardens were illuminated, and when those low persons, as they are called by my learned friends, were passing through the gardens.
Then there is Antonio Bianchi, who states, at p. 357,* the extraordinary fact of her royal highness and Pergami being found bathing in the Brescia; and that upon being seen by him and four gentlemen who were along with him, they ran away, took to their boat, and sailed down the Brescia, which I suppose would carry them into the lake of Como. Why, my lords, it would have carried them there with a vengeance—it appears to be a perfect cataract; it is either dry, or it is a torrent; and lieutenant Hownam proves that to be perfectly impossible, and that fact, my lords, shews the uncontrollable invention of persons who will come forward to tell such tales to an English public, which must be known to all Italy to be impossible. They have their hosts of witnesses; but they call none of them to confirm this man. It looks all very well on paper, till it is examined; but it is now proved, on evidence which cannot be disbelieved, and which might have been effectually disproved, if untrue, that this Brescia, instead of being a place where persons can bathe, is a place where they, could neither bathe nor sail in a boat. But, if there were four gentlemen in the boat with this man, how happens it that not one of them is called? That is an observation which runs through the whole of these proceedings. Surely it was more desirable that those four gentlemen should, have proved the fact, than that Antonio Bianchi should prove it alone!
Then we have another person a Giuseppe Guggiari.† who states that he took her royal highness from the theatre at Como in a boat and that he actually saw her saluting with her lips Bergami about four times—a greater number of times than Majoochi or Demont had worked up their consciences to speak to*See Vol. 2, p, 1245.† See Vol.2, p. 1264.1151 during the whole of the three years that they perpetually and lynx-like attended upon her majesty. He mentioned among the persons present Tomaso Lago Maggiore, and we have him here, and he says, "I was nearer the carriage of her royal highness; there was glass between them and me. I can undertake to say no such thing took place." It would have been decent and proper that this man should have been supported, in the first instance, by some of the other boatmen; but he is not, and we have one of them to contradict him.
I will refer to this Giuseppe Guggiari again; because he is one of those who has given us an opportunity of contradiction, by referring to others. He says he was in the habit of attending in the pantry, and that he frequently saw great familiarities go on between the parties. He says his brother, and a certain Giovanni Capella was there; and there were always two; and yet only one of the men is called. But it so happens, that another of those whom he names, Carlo Rancatti, is called as a witness for some other purpose before Guggiari makes his appearance here, and he is never asked as to any such fact having taken place. My lords, what are we to say upon this point? When witnesses come by themselves to state facts in which, if true, they can be completely confirmed but they are in no instance confirmed, will you believe the facts stated by them, unless it is a matter of notoriety so complete as to make it imperative upon you to give credit to them? But what will you say when the persons perfectly contradict the facts for which they have vouched them? Tomaso Lago Maggiore expressly denies the fact he is stated to have seen; namely, the kissing in the boat; and this other witness, Carlo Rancatti, disproves, by his silence, the fact of his having been in the pantry at the time those familiarities are Stated to have taken place. My lords, these are trifling circumstances, but on that account the more important; and your lordships will not forget the way in which this case has been got up, in which falsehood has been ingrafted upon the plain truth, in which it was only for the suspicions of debauched and profligate minds to find any blame in her royal highness's conduct. It is impossible not to say that, up to that point, there is a consistency in their story; but, my lords, when the question is upon the motive, and 1152 when, as I have stated, the motives which naturally account for the elevation of such an individual as Bergami, why are your lordships to look for opposite motives to impute those of a criminal description; where it can be fairly and justly accounted for? Why are you to draw your inferences of guilt and infamy from these guilty and infamous witnesses—who have foresworn themselves on almost every important point, and have in every instance wanted that confirmation, without which such persons are not entitled to be listened to in a court of justice?
My lords; I perceive—indeed, one cannot cast one's eye on any note one has taken without seeing there is something omitted. It can hardly be out of your memory, and you will see it upon your notes. I mean that direct, positive, palpable falsehood told by Sacchi, where he states that at Paris, above a twelvemonth ago, he was induced to put off his own name and assume that of Milani, in consequence of the tumult that had occurred at Dover, when it is perfectly well known that at that time not only no such tumult had occurred, but I believe very few persons in England ever dreamt that any proceedings would take place against her royal highness. When you discover an important witness to material facts, on oath, directly stating a positive falsehood, it will be allowed that that circumstance supersedes the necessity of discrediting him any further; for it is clear that he is not a man to be believed in a court of justice.
But then, my lords, we come to that most important name in this inquiry—the most important of all, because he does confirm his friend Sacchi as to the nature of the facts to which they both dare to depose. I mean Giuseppe Restelli, whom I was reproved for considering as one of the most active agents of the Milan commission, but who certainly does appear, upon all the evidence as it now stands before you, to have been one of the most active agents that ever a commission employed. My lords, I hope not to be misunderstood upon the subject of that commission. We have heard a great deal upon the motives for its being appointed and the character of the gentlemen who were appointed to execute its duties. With regard to the head commissioner, Mr. Cooke, I cannot say—I have no interest in saying—that I ever heard any thing at all against that character—that I should have every disposition to respect it, from 1153 all that I have ever heard with regard to it; but that that disposition does feel a considerable involuntary check, when I find, that he could stoop to accept the office which that commission imposed upon him. My lords, he is a profound lawyer—a man of great and extensive scientific research—a man of learning and judgment, upon points of legal doubt; but I confess, my lords, that of all the distinguished names in Westminster-hall, I do not think that any one could have been selected of whom less was known as a person likely to cross-examine, and to sift evidence with any degree of effect—as a man whose habits, whose talents, whose experience put him at all in a condition to check the falsehoods that should be brought before him by willing witnesses, or to check the practices of those that might be joined with him, or employed under him, in inducing witnessess to come forward with all the zeal they did.
With regard to colonel Browne, I suppose it can be no offence to a military man to say, that, in a situation which required the most anxious and serious attention to the conduct and demeanor of witnesses, he could hardly be supposed capable of given any useful assistance upon that subject; and therefore it appears to me to result entirely in this, that the only real and active commissioner was Mr. Powell, whom we now find the attorney for this prosecution, and who, I believe, is the very first attorney who was ever enabled to collect evidence, and to prepare a case for trial, by means of the compulsory power with which such a commission would furnish him. Colonel Browne was but the hand to bring those witnesses before him—colonel Browne was a necessary instrument in the hands of this government, to operate on the Austrian government, and he would compel the attendance of every individual whom Majoochi, Sacchi, or Restelli might mention in their several journies. It is the first instance of an attorney forming the sole commission upon such a subject. I make no observation upon it. I wish Mr. Cooke had never accepted the offer, but, perhaps, I am not displeased that Mr. Powell is the person who filled it.
My lords; Restelli was first engaged as a witness, and then as a courier; and I beg to call your attention to that which struck us very early in this business, as to the great impropriety of employing the same person in both those capacities, at 1154 the time of instituting such an inquiry. It was very well for him, in these hard times, to have sure and constant employment as a courier under that commission; there was no necessity for that additional stimulus which would result from giving him the opportunity of seeing the witnesses, and comparing their notes, as to all the facts they could press into the service of a false accusation, during the time that he and others had an opportunity of watching the conduct of her royal highness. I say, it was a most incorrect proceeding, and one that ought never to have taken place. I say, the characters of witness and courier should have been kept entirely distinct, and that not only had Mr. Powell the vast power of that commission to enable him to execute the duties of attorney, but he had a vast advantage in the previous preparation which Restelli would be sure to give to all the witnesses he brought. He goes to Frankfort to see Credi; and Mr. Cooke also goes to Frankfort. Credi is not examined; but he is one of the important persons on whom the experiment is made: they see the chambermaid, Annette Preising, on the same occasion; but she is not called here. It is impossible to doubt, from the employment of this man as a courier, that he would be, according to the expression of one of these witnesses, beating up for recruits; and that his object would be, to prolong his gainful office, and to support his own testimony, by beating up for recruits in every quarter. He states, that he never offered any money to any witnesses to appear against the Queen. That most material fact is met, I think, with some effectual contradiction. But, my lords, the most material fact of all is that which has occurred within your lordships observation—that most striking and important circumstance, that one of the witnesses who has told a story that reflects upon her royal highness more deeply than perhaps any other, and that exposes her by the statement of it, even after it is disproved, to a degree of suspicion of the most hateful kind—that that witness, who has been constantly active as a courier, as an agent, as a clerk I will say, for such were his duties when he was sent to converse with the witnesses, and persuade them to come—that that witness, over whom, above all' others, we should like to have held the terrors of perjury, and to proceed in this country, provided we could distinctly prove (as I 1155 have no doubt we should have done) the falsehoods of some material facts of this case—that that witness, when there was a distinct pledge on the part of the prosecutors, that no single witness should be permitted to leave the country, has gone back to Milan, to beat up for more recruits, to mingle himself with more witnesses, to instruct himself upon new facts, and to find, in case of contradiction, by what means these new facts might be supported by additional testimony. We were told, and were told with truth, that the injury inflicted upon her majesty, by being deprived of the opportunity of cross-examining that man at the moment, was a mischief that perhaps might never be repaired, it is impossible for any human wisdom to say that it can. Those are the words of truth and of soberness: it is utterly impossible to calculate the effect of being deprived of a witness under circumstances under which you have a fair chance of extracting the truth from him on points of the testimony, such as this of Restelli. My lords, he has disappeared somehow. He was sent away on the 14th of September, and now, on the 25th of October, we have no reason to think he has returned. What becomes of our security—of the security which your lordships gave (upon the opinion, I believe, of the learned Judges), that truth should be told by the witnesses in this case, and the only security that could operate upon a mind like his? I mean, that he should be subject to the penalties of perjury; that he should be convicted of that offence. But, my lords, that is not the worst part of the story: for he is taken away at a period when it would be in his power to procure fresh witnesses, and to fetch up new facts either in confirmation of what had passed, or in contradiction of what we might be able to prove. My lords, I think we have some reason to complain of want of candour in the whole of this transaction; and I think this requires all that weight of character to which some persons are so ready to appeal in their own case, and in the case of those employed under them, to get over the imputations which the whole of this matter justly excites.
My lords; I say, that if this individual, through any inadvertence, through any want of judgment and proper recollection, had been sent out of the country, it was the duty of those who had pledged themselves to us, that every individual should 1156 be retained in the country, to give us immediate information of that fact. It was their duty, not to take the chance of our making the discovery, which, if Restelli had returned before the 14th of October, we never should have done; but on that day when he was called for, he would have appeared before us as a person who had been constantly kept within these walls, and had had no communication whatever with any individual who could have supported his testimony, or confirmed it: I think we should have been told of that fact, according to the ordinary candour in cases of prosecution. We were not told of it. The matter is accidentally discovered on the cross-examination of a witness brought forward to contradict him: and then, for the first time, it appears, that he has fled, and has not yet returned. Whether he will return I know not; but it is not unimportant to look at all the circumstances under which that extraordinary disappearance has occurred.
My lords; when Mr. Powell was first examined upon this point, he told your lordships that the sending away of Restelli was his own act; that he recommended that Restelli should be sent abroad; that he recommended it to the Foreign Office—
§ The Earl of Darlington
.—If Mr. Denman wishes to withdraw, perhaps this would be a convenient time.
.—If your lordships will indulge me with half an hour—I will not be quite so long.
[Mr. Denman retired for half an hour, and then proceeded as follows:]
In the course of the observations which I have had the honour of submitting to your lordships, it has been my most anxious wish to follow closely and minutely every fact that has been brought in evidence against her majesty, the Queen; and I am not sure, on looking back to what I have prepared as the general subject of my observations, that there is any single point which I have left untouched (though many might have been more fully and successfully handled), except the performances at the Villa d'Este. I think there is nothing to prove, that those performances exceeded a single night—that it appears, that on the house-warming, or some festival, exhibitions were made at the Theatre, and upon that occasion, among other characters, the prin- 1157 cess performed the character of Columbine, Luigi Pergami being Harlequin. My lords, upon that fact, which may be supposed to lower, in some degree, the high dignity of the personage and the illustrious rank of her royal highness, I have only one observation to make, which, is familiar to those of your lordships who are acquainted with the Italian Theatre; which is, that those characters are as different from those of Drury-Lane Theatre, as any characters in any two plays whatever; because they are speaking characters; the Harlequin is Harlequino, the valet of the Lover, and Columbine, who is called Rosalva, instead of being the I lover of Harlequin, or in familiar intercourse with him, is the lover of Lellio, whose servant Harlequino is. So that those characters here called Harlequin and Columbine, would be incorrectly translated into Harlequino and Rosalva of the Italian Theatre. I was surprised to find that this was to cast any thing like disgrace on the highest rank. My lords, upon this, as upon the rest of the case, I merely make the observation, that there might be too much of affability and condescension, too much of consideration of those in a lower rank, too much disposition to enjoy the innocent pleasures of life with those around her. But her royal highness appears to possess that peculiar talent which persons of her high rank are often found to possess, of mixing at one time in the most familiar intercourse of the most ordinary life, without in the smallest degree losing her claim to that respect, to that deference, to that attention, which it belongs not only to good subjects, but to gallant and to honest men to pay, under all circumstances, to females who occupy so exalted a station.
My lords; in referring to the Milan commission, my learned friend Mr. Brougham, is supposed to have admitted, that there was nothing which could be called a conspiracy in existence; but I think, if I remember right what he said upon that occasion, his observation was, that supposing a conspiracy to exist, which it was no part of his duty to prove in the first instance against the individuals charged with it—that supposing such a conspiracy to exist, it would exhibit all the symptoms and all the indications that are found to arise from that Milan com. mission.* My lords, I beg leave to adopt* See p. 130 of the present Volume.1158 both parts of that proposition. We are not bound to charge individuals, or classes of persons, with any thing like a conspiracy: perhaps we shall be able to do so; but if we can satisfy your lordships, that all which has occurred can be reasonably accounted for on no other supposition, upon such a series of aggressions as those practised against the honor and character of her majesty, we shall then, I think, have a much better case of suspicion and inference, and indeed of conclusive reasoning, against those who have prosecuted her majesty, than they have been able to fabricate and manufacture, with all their vast means, with all their unbounded resources, with all their uncontrolled power, to make out a case of impropriety and degradation against her. How came the witnesses here? Your lordships process does not run to bring them here. They do not come under any compulsion. If they come here as volunteers, and without the sordid and corrupt motives we impute, they must come as the apostles of morality, with no brass nor gold nor copper in their pockets, with no shoes to their feet, and no two coats to their backs, out of a tender regard for the honor and dignity of the English Crown, and out of a feeling sympathy for the moral interests of the population of this vast empire. Its moral interests may be thought to have been better consulted by a different course of proceeding; because, whatever great moral results may be ultimately looked to as proceeding from this present bill, as it now stands, it has the most unfortunate effect upon public morals, of any proceeding that ever was committed to the reports of roan. Because, my lords, in the first place, the most innocent and ordinary occupations of life have been connected, by this evidence, with the most vicious and revolting associations and ideas. The commonest transactions of every day's occurrence have been vitiated and polluted by the harpy touch of their calumny and atrocity. And, what is worse than all, supposing all the facts proved against her majesty, which I say are contradicted and refuted—even supposing that she were guilty of all those offences against morality which are thus unblushingly laid to her charge—there still will be lurking in the minds of men, that mischievous casuistry, which shall find a justification for impurity; which shall find an excuse for what has been committed; which shall weigh the degrees 1159 of provocation which have led to so unfortunate a result; and which will leave a most fatal, distressing, and unfortunate impression, as to the effect on the sound principles of domestic morality in all future ages. That supposition only arises, supposing the facts to be proved. They have been not made out. They shall be shown to have resulted, in every instance, from such circumstances and such individuals as are entitled to no credit whatever, at the bar of any just tribunal.
My lords; I was proceeding to observe upon the Milan commission, and upon the extraordinary absence of that individual who fills the double character of witness and collector of witnesses, under the employment of that commission—a double character which he shares with Sacchi, which he shares with Majoochi, and of which Demont appears to have been the first object in the course of his travels under that employment.
My lords; Restelli has been withdrawn from our notice, and it became material to know from the gentlemen who sent him away, and from whom alone that information could be received, what were the circumstances under which he was sent. I beg your lordships attention to Mr. Powell's statement upon that subject, at page 811* of the printed evidence. Mr. Powell says, that he sent Restelli on a mission out of the country, recommending him to the Foreign Office as a courier. "Did you get passports for that purpose at the Foreign Office?" "I did not." "Can you state who did?" "I did not." "But you applied to the Foreign Office you recommended he should be sent?" And then, my lords, the motives, and reasons, and grounds, upon which he could think himself justified in sending away so important a personage, are stated at large by Mr. Powell. It was necessary, he says, that some comfort should be given to the anxious families of the witnesses who had been mal-treated at Dover, and that their minds should be assured, that no farther danger of the same kind would exist, to make it impossible for other witnesses to appear in this country. Now, if that were the fact, I beg to know why Restelli was the person sent? And the answer given to us, is, that Restelli was the person who brought several of them over, and therefore was likely to be known, and to convey* See p. 624, of the present Volume.1160 confidence, by the assurance that he might give upon the subject of their safety. But all those persons, it seems, wrote letters? Why was Restelli to be the courier to carry those letters? Are the families of those witnesses at Milan such extreme sticklers for the niceties of legal evidence, that they will not trust to hearsay, and that when they see the hand-writing of their friends, unless it is proved to be theirs, they will give no credit to it? Why, my lords, Restelli states expressly, in the course of his own evidence, that he knew them only by sight, and that he was acquainted with them in consequence of nothing but the fact of having brought them over to this country; and he states the individuals whom he so knew in page 413:* "Some I know, some I do not know. Those I know, I knew because we came together, but I had never seen them before."—"Who are they?" "They are various; I knew them by sight before, but I had no intimacy with them." Then he states the names of Rancatti and of Mejani, who are still here; of Ogioni, who must be taken to be in the same situation; of Riganti and Baie, neither of whom have been called; either of whom, therefore, would have been at liberty to attend the courier Krouse when he was sent to Milan, and who might have personally assured the families of all he knew there, and have carried letters to relieve their fears and apprehensions.
Restelli, however, is sent; and when Mr. Powell is examined, not cross-examined, with all possible consideration by your lordships, he first tells us, that he thought there would have been ample time for Restelli to return before the 3rd of October, and that his instructions were specific, that he should come on or before that day. He evidently admits, by that answer, that he thought it essential that that witness should be in attendance during the remainder of the trial now going forward in this House, and not looking forward to any future proceedings—of which, I trust and hope, there is but little chance. And then, in answer to a further question, "Have you had any communication which enables you to state whether it is probable that Restelli will soon again be in England?" he tells us "I have every reason to believe that he will soon be in England, because the most positive directions have been sent, that* See Vol. 2, p. 1250.1161 every means should be used to make him come over here. He is then asked, "When were those directions sent?" "They have been sent two or three times; the last on Saturday or Sunday, the most positive directions." And it is very remarkable, that such is Mr. Powell's confidence in the efficacy of those directions, that he has not the least doubt they will cure him of the fever under which he labours and that, though he is subject to medical attendance and has been blooded and kept his bed, the moment those directions are brought to his notice he will instantly take up his bed and walk, and present himself in five days before your lordships.
Now, my lords, I think I heard some correspondence read here yesterday, in which it was stated, that though Restelli had told colonel Browne that he was ill of a fever, yet colonel Browne thought he was shuffling—he was in bed and said be had a fever from crossing the water, and was heartily sick of the manner in which the witnesses are confined in England, because he might have heard that the pillory, which is abolished as to other offences, is still applicable to perjury. "He is heartily sick of the manner in which the witnesses are confined in England." Aye, and a longer confinement might have, perhaps, ensued, if he had remained here. "I wish he had not been sent back at such a moment as it will, I am sure, be difficult to move him again. I shall press him, the moment he leaves his bed." That is dated on the 27th of September, and then on the 2nd of October, he is "also on his pillow and has been bled twice yesterday. He has a serious fever, and, as I hear he attributed it to having vomited blood on the passage over the water, I expect very great difficulty in getting him back to London."* And yet, in spite of that suspicion of his shuffling, and in spite of his hearty sickness of the manner in which he has been confined, and in spite of the great difficulty there was likely to be in getting him to return to London, Mr. Powell states, on the 13th of October, that he has every reason to believe that he will be very soon in England!Then, on being a little further pressed, he states, that he had not the least idea that he would be again wanted as a witness in the House of Lords. Then why the instructions to return on the 3rd of October?* See p. 969 of the present Volume.1162 What reason could there be for having him back when you were to recommence the proceedings, when there was no idea of his being wanted in England until the bill was on the table of the House of Commons? And then he states, that he had a full expectation, that the man would return; that he never would have sent him, if he had not felt an impression that he would be there on the 3rd of October.
Now, in the first place, my lords, it is quite clear, that there might have been other persons sent who would have tranquillized the minds of the relations of those witnesses. But, on the following day, when Mr. Powell is called to state something about Restelli's disappearance, he tells you, Restelli took out some papers to be legalized, and that he was to return with those legalized papers here, on or before the third of October. Now, I am at a loss to conjecture what documents could be legalized to be brought in evidence here; but I take it for granted there were such documents—only it shows that the whole truth was not disclosed on the former occasion, for that Restelli, went also for the purpose of getting more documents legalized for some future proceeding. And then it seems, that the statement from colonel Browne that Restelli was ill of a fever is to be considered a confidential statement—that a client writing to his attorney that another is ill of a fever, is to be protected from all further inquiry. Mr. Powell says, he does not know what letters Restelli took for the comfort of the minds of those families; but he is afterwards asked, "You were understood to say, that you gave positive injunctions to Restelli to return before the third of October?" And he says, "If I recollect right, I stated to Restelli, that he was to be back on or before the 3rd of October, or as soon as he possibly could." "You were understood to state yesterday, you did not expect that Restelli would be wanted before this business was proceeded on in the House of Commons?" "I did not expect he would be wanted as a witness, until this proceeding would go on in the House of Commons." Why, what difference does that make as to the date of the time at which he was to be called on to return? None whatever. But then, my lords, in addition to the statements that I have now referred your lordships to, and to all that appears on the part of colonel Browne upon this occasion, we have 1163 a further statement, dated Lincoln's-Inn, the 13th of September, in which Restelli does not appear to be sent solely for the purpose of comforting the Italians, or to legalize documents, but Mr. Powell says, "I now return you Restelli, as I conceive he may be of use to you"—to you, the resident Milan commissioner, who are now the agent in getting up this cause against the Queen; but you must take care, that he is sent back by the 3rd of October." What? that he may be ready to stand further cross-examination here? No; but that he may come with all the information, evidence, and witnesses, you can collect. So that there he goes for these different objects and purposes—one unfolding itself after the other.
But I do not mean to say, in any manner, that Mr. Powell has wished to falsify the evidence he has given. I only ask you, whether, if a gallant, though perhaps not a well-informed individual, had given evidence of that description on cross-examination on the part of my learned friend the solicitor-general, there would not have been a thrill of delight, and some murmur of applause, and some triumph trumpeted about the streets of London? Lieutenant Flinn was told he had stated something as to his handwriting to a paper, which he had not stated, and he was supposed to have been guilty of something like prevarication and falsehood.
My lords; upon this subject I think it may perhaps be very right, as it it shows what is proceeding upon this great occasion, and the sort of machinery that is employed to destroy the illustrious individual now upon her trial, to advert to a statement of what I had the honour of addressing to your lordships yesterday. I am supposed to have said, that in consequence of a deviation from correctness with respect to a paper of no consequence, lieutenant Flinn had been consigned to infamy. My lords, I think I need not do more than refer to what I said. Nothing can be more completely wide of the truth. I merely make the remark on the statement, in order to contrast the nervous hesitation and the hesitating manner betrayed by that individual when before an assembly which he never faced before, with the evidence of Mr. Powell; and I ask whether there are not, if persons are disposed to judge harshly of witnesses, more proofs of prevarication and falsehood in that evidence, than in any thing which 1164 proceeded from the lips of lieutenant Flinn? The same paper informs us, that Madame Martigni admitted that her husband had been a bankrupt. Now, I think your lordships can hardly have forgotten, "Mon Dieu, oui; ni lui ni moi!" I quite distressed and astonished at being told of that fact, and repelling it with all possible strength. It is not worth while to follow it, but it may be worth while to consider the effect on the public from the daily misrepresentations which now, for the first time, are proceeding from the English press, in order to destroy a party accused, and to take from the defendant, not only that presumption of innocence which ought to exist until the moment that defendant is proved guilty, but to convert the proofs of innocence into signals of guilt.
—The "Morning Post." Now, my lords, upon the subject of this Milan commission—supposing there had been a disposition to get evidence at all risks, and at any price, would it have been possible to resort to better agents for the purpose, than the discarded servants of her royal highness—those who had been discharged from her service by the individual charged with her—and those who would bear malice against her as well as that individual? Would it have been possible to resort to better agents—more active friends—than the Restellis—the Sacchis—and the Majoochis? And would it be possible to apply to a better source for confirmation, than to Demont, who had been for three years in constant attendance upon her person, in every place she visited? I think, when those great powers were spoken of, which we are in utter ignorance of, in regard to the commission, it would have been fit to take care that the commissioners should not have the power of proceeding in the way they have appeared to proceed, and that of all the persons who could be employed to get up witnesses and facts, in all the quarters to which application was made, it was quite impossible to find an individual more unfit for the object, if truth was the object, or more fit, if falsehood was the object, than Restelli, whose absence we have so much reason to deplore. When he comes, with new witnesses and new information—when he has recruited a new set of spies and informers and traitors, ready to depose to any thing—how different will be our state to that which it 1165 was at the first moment!And as to saying, "a large and liberal allowance can be made," none such can be made—it is an insuperable loss—you can no more make it up than you can recall the time that is past—you cannot undo that which has been done. The impression has sunk into the minds of men, and it is impossible for any thing to operate as a compensation in such a case. Will you give us up Cuchi—will you strike him out of the case as a set-off?—We do not want him—we have destroyed him already. What next? Raggazzoni with the Adam and Eve, we have disposed of them—we do not want Oggioni—we do not want Mahomed—they are all gone—they are all lost—the subjects of eternal ridicule and eternal indignation. And if you are to strike out any of the evidence which appears respectable against us, the only difficulty is, to find, in the whole of the five hundred pages of all that has been proved against the Queen, where that respectable evidence is to be found, which it is possible for you to give us, in the way of allowance against the disreputable evidence we have lost.
My lords; Restelli, in the month of December 1815, having been dismissed, is soon after beating up for recruits in all quarters; and I think the evidence of Filippo Pomi is of the utmost importance to show the whole proceedings resorted to under that commission. He has stated, that having gone to the Barona, he was there met by several persons, including Restelli and Demont, and that Restelli addressed him, and told him, that he was frequently in the habit of attending at the house of her royal highness—that he was an individual who might be well applied to as a witness, because he must know facts discreditable to her royal highness. The answer of the man makes no difference in Restelli's application—it is in vain for him to say, "I know nothing that affects her royal highness's character in the least; on the contrary, I know she is beneficent, charitable and kind, and I would go to the end of the world to serve her; I know nothing of the scandals about this house, but I have been in it frequently when I have attended the balls, and seen her conduct on a variety of occasions—so far from detecting impropriety or indecency, I have observed nothing but what has been to her honour, and excites my admiration on her behalf." But here is Demont, says Res- 1166 telii; she has made a good day's work of it; she has done well for herself—you cannot do better than follow that good example. He told me, "Pomi, if you have any thing to depose against her royal highness, now is your time; you will have a great present; you will become a great man, and shall receive a great present—and we went to the inn together, and there we drank." Well, and then what did he say about Demont? Why, "I asked him whether Demont was still in the service of her royal highness; he told me, that she was; he did not mention to me her name on that day, but he mentioned it on the second day, and told me that she had made a good day's work." "Then I said, tell me, how is this business, for he told me that Demont was still in the service, and then I found out that she was here; and he told me at that time that if I would depose something, I should have a great present; and I said that I had been night and day a long time in the house, and I never saw any thing that enabled me to speak ill of that lady; then he told me, you know nothing, for that house was a very bad house, bad women and so; and I answered, that this was a real falsehood, for I had been in the house day and night, and I saw nothing of this, and so we ended."* But, do you believe that so they all ended? Do you believe that Rugiari was so faithful to the truth as this poor man? Do you believe Raggazzoni, who speaks to the Adam and Eve, did not do so in consequence of applications of the same nature, and those applications made not only with an unlimited power of promising, and an almost unlimited command of money, backed by the Austrian government? It is impossible but every individual who heard of this should have thought his fortune might be made by it. Riganti is proved to have been making similar offers. The same Pomi, who was not permitted to state that at first, because he had not fixed the agency of Riganti, stated it afterwards, that here was another active agent of the Milan commission employed in directly corrupting witnesses against the Queen. Why, with all this protection of confidential agency, is it not a great deal that we, who have had no list of witnesses, and no opportunity of coming at the truth, should have been able so clearly to detect two individuals acting in* See p. 666 of the present Volume.1167 this manner—the one that Restelli who is spirited away, the other Riganti, who is left behind, and whom they dare not call to contradict the man who charges him with bribery to support the case against the Queen? "Have you ever seen those jokes between the princess and Pergami; now is the time to come forward to gain something, and to become a man?" "I answered him, No, I have seen no scherzi;" and he replied, 'Oh, have you not seen Pergami put the princess on the back of the donkey, and put his hand under her petticoats? In answer to that, I told him, that this was a perfect falsehood; for, instead of that, he paid her all possible respect and decency, which was due to that great personage."* My lords, that fact is of some little importance; you may recollect that, at Genoa, Majoochi would have made it a case of great impropriety, that her majesty was embraced by Pergami when it was to put her on the ass; and it is attempted, from the most innocent and ordinary occurrence, to give a willing witness an opportunity of swearing to a falsehood which the occasion gave some opportunity for; but as to the foundation of it, there is none whatever. Restelli is sent away. Riganti is in the country, and might have been called to contradict Pomi; but the only witness to contradict ours, is captain Briggs, on whom I shall make one observation before I quit this case.
I proceed to Bonfiglio Omati, a witness whose evidence requires great consideration; because, impossible as it is to call him a pure character, yet with reference to those who appeared against the Queen, he is purity itself. He charges himself with facts he has repented of. I wish the other side had repented too, before it was too late, without involving your lordships in this most odious proceeding. He states, in p. 858, in the most distinct manner, that having been a clerk to the advocate Codazzi at Milan, who was concerned as a professional agent for the princess, he was sent for by Vimercati, by a man whom he did not know—that he was sent to his chambers, and had frequent communications with him upon the subject of purloining the papers in the office, that might criminate the Queen. He states, that he had the scandalous weakness to come into that proposal, and that he received between* See p. 831 of the present Volume.1168 three and four hundred francs for the papers he brought. Now, my learned friends would have us believe, that this comes on them by entire surprise—and yet they cross-examine to the case in such a way as proves, that to their knowledge, a part of the facts are true; because he says, "I went to colonel Browne's, and he, colonel Browne, shut the door of the room, in order that we should not be heard; and he told me to speak not so loud, because I complained of the advocate Vimercati; and he told me to call the next day on Vimercati, from whom he would cause me to receive 200 francs. How do my learned friends cross-examine to that point? from the instructions they have received from colonel Browne.? They say, it is true he was there, and shut the door; but then they say, it was, to tell him he should not go till he had told him his name, and that he told him he was a most infamous fellow. What necessity to know his name; and when he has got his name, does the examination point to this fact, that he gave notice to the master that the clerk was robbing him? There is no such thing supposed; but he shut the door for the purpose of knowing his name, according to the statements of my learned friends opposite, and which they had received from colonel Browne—when the witness, Omati, states, he shut the door for the purpose of not being heard. But then the man says, "I got papers at several times, and I repented early in the year;" and then it is puttohim, "Now, I ask you, upon your oath, whether you did not, even so late as July, furnish Vimercati with some papers? Why, I would not wish for a better proof, of something going forward between this clerk and Vimercati. I do not want this individual's evidence after that; because the instructions of my learned friend are true, and they show, that Vimercati was employing this man for the purpose, up to the 27th of July, the time at which he says he ceased to do any such thing; but he admits, that on that day he took him a list of the witnesses in favour of the Queen, consequently they had a list of the witnesses in favour of the Queen, while we wanted the list of those against her; and they have had an opportunity of contradicting every witness we called, from the papers they got from this clerk, and which we trace pretty nearly to the hands of colonel Browne, at least to his know- 1169 ledge, and which my learned friends do not attempt to get rid of; but they set up the evidence, to the extent of all but the private conversation between colonel Browne and Omati, when he saw him; for that he did see him is distinctly admitted.
Then, my lords, I do think, that, as the case now stands, it is a case of great and heavy imputation against this gentleman, such as I have scarcely ever seen proved in a court of justice, and I cannot stand here and say, but that it may be due to colonel Browne, on some future occasion, to hear all he can produce in his justification; but I say that, with the notice he evidently possessed of the charges so to be brought against him, and of the fact of Omati being to come as a witness, it was his duty to be here from the first, to answer for himself, and to show whether he could stand that cross-examination, when he was to contradict a witness, whom he knew to be prepared to prove these facts against him. My learned friends say, it is not proved; but they cannot be ignorant of the fact, that a process was instituted by the advocate Codazzi against colonel Browne, on the evidence of this individual, and that it was dismissed, because the papers to which it referred were of no intrinsic value [The Attorney General said, he was not aware of that process]. I thought it was known, and that my learned friends would admit it, subject to any observation they might make on it. But it is beyond dispute clear, that colonel Browne was perfectly aware of the nature of the charge against him, and of the individual to prove it: and, with such imputations resting on him, he has not thought proper to appear here in vindication of his character. It was quite monstrous to ask for time on such an occasion; because there was every reason why he should have been upon the spot, from first to last. He was wanted to explain the Milan commission—he was wanted as a witness—he had no business to be where he was, after acting as a commissioner, getting up evidence as an attorney in the cause. He ought to have been here to answer for his acts, and to clear his character from that charge which he must know the individual in question came to bring against him.
My lords; most undoubtedly it could not but be matter of great surprise to us when, after some of the most able cross- 1170 examinations that I ever beard applied to witnesses, such as those which my learned friend applied to our witnesses on the part of the defence—cross-examinations involving a great variety of particulars, in which, if our case was false, it might have met with a direct contradiction—it could not but be matter of very great surprise, to find, that there was but one witness to be called before your lordships' bar, and that one to a fact of the nature which I have now to observe upon. Lieutenant Hownam has distinctly sworn, that, during the three years he was in her royal highness's household, seeing Bergami as a page, seeing Bergami as an equerry, seeing Bergami as a chamberlain—seeing him introduced to her table, and keeping his seat there with the rank of his office, he never observed the smallest impropriety existing between those two persons. He has sworn that in a manner which entitles him to the fullest credit; because it is perfectly clear, that, looking through the long period through which he went, he has not overstated a single fact, nor strained his memory to give any thing more than its fair bearing. But it appears that, walking the quarter-deck with the captain of the Leviathan, he is asked, whether he said any thing to that captain on the subject of his going down upon his knees, and requesting her royal highness not to take Bergami to her table. Now, my lords, observe his answer;—he says, "I do not recollect it, I do not believe." He never said, "I am sure I never did the thing supposed;"—and therefore not recollecting, and believing it to be most improbable, I can only say I do not believe it ever took place at all. Your lordships know extremely well, that matters of belief are not the subject of direct contradiction, unless you can prove a direct knowledge in the party at the time. But we did not take an exception of that description—we thought it right and just to the character of both those honourable men, that what one recollected he should be entitled to state, and therefore we listen to what he had to say with regard to this circumstance. Now, it is quite impossible, that the thing should have passed!and for this reason, that there was no previous arrangement made for Bergami dining with her royal highness: it took place at Bellinzone, in the journey to Mount St. Gothard, when there was a want of refreshment; therefore, for the first time, without preparation or conside- 1171 ration, the courier was found at the same table where her royal highness was snatching her hasty repast. It was impossible that He wham should have said it—even if he, a young man dependant upon her royal highness for her bounty, had thought it objectionable, it is quite impossible. If he thought himself justified in taking such a liberty, that the circumstances should have given him an opportunity of doing so. My lords, it is not to be conceived that any such thing could have taken place. It would have been such a freedom on the part of that young man, as no man will suppose he was guilty of. I will not pretend to disguise from your lordships—on the contrary, I believe captain Briggs meant to state what is true; but I have always understood that such communication between officers is secret and confined to the quarter-deck, and that any man would be surprised to find a captain reporting it any where, particularly when it was considered that the person was in the most confidential situation with regard to her royal highness—a protégé brought up by her, and owing his preferment to her. Surely it would have been better if captain Briggs had never stated such a fact, supposing it to have existed; but to the extent to which it is said to exist, I am sure, for the reasons I have given, it is not true. I do not pretend to deny, that it is possible Mr. Hownam may have seen, when the circumstance was fresh, more impropriety in it than he now avows; but I think it more likely that, in parallel with that case, that Mr. Craven has given you of her walking out on the terrace with Bergami; he may have thought it was imprudent—that it was exposing herself to sinister interpretations—that he would do much to prevent it—and probably the expression was of a strong disposition to prevent it—probably the expression was, "If I could prevent it by going down on my knees, and entreating her not to do it, I would do so;"—because he knew the persecutions that surrounded her wherever she went. That is the only interpretation that can be put on this contradiction. I know they are both honourable men, and I should be sorry to say a syllable to reflect on one for the purpose of defending the other. My lords, that circumstance and the circumstance of lieutenant Flinn's answering with respect to a piece of paper, are the only two circumstances in the whole mass of evidence, from the begin- 1172 ning to the end of it, with which it is necessary to speak with one word of apology. There is nothing besides in the mass of what we have proved, either in the character of the witnesses, in the probabilities of what they state, in their mode of stating, in the nature of the whole case—there is nothing that calls for one word of apology or explanation. I think that the apology should come from the other side, when lady Charlotte Lindsay, who was so long in a confidential and dependent situation, in her royal highness's household, which she brought her mind to submit to for the sake of a person most dear to her—that apology must come from the other side, when you find that what she stated to that individual, has found its way into a court of justice, and when we are told, that the reports she heard were rumours reflecting on her character, and making it desirable that she should withdraw from the service. Those rumours and reports are the things of which we complain. We say, that they ought not to be scattered against us by our enemies, and next brought as evidence to criminate us. If they have resulted from facts, they should be proved; and if they have not resulted from facts, they are only a farther proof of the malice, antipathy, and unfortunate persecution, to which, to the misfortune of us all, this illustrious lady has been subject.
What is the case on the part of the Queen? Much I have already said—much I have already observed and drawn from the evidence on our part, in observing upon that brought against us. But, when I look to the substantive case we have proved, I say there is an end of this bill,—if there is justice or common sense in England; because, to say that her majesty was conducting herself abroad in such a manner as to bring scandal and disgrace upon the Crown and dignity of the nation, is to sin in the face of the oaths of all the respectable persons we have brought. If such facts had existed at Naples, lady Charlotte Lindsay, whatever the distress of her husband might be, would never have remained one hour in her service—she would then have withdrawn herself from so polluted a house—she would have thought it necessary to make inquiries, to understand and know them; and the circumstance of her continuing in her service from Naples to Genoa, and from Genoa till the year 1817, is a proof of the entire acquittal, in her mind, of her 1173 royal highness, as to all those facts so malevolently brought against her. We have a long list of persons supposed to have withdrawn themselves in consequence of improprieties; beginning with Mr. St. Leger, and ending with Mr. William Burrell, who was a visitor there for a few days. There was a list of a dozen respectable names, every one of whom was divorced from her majesty at that important crisis, because of some impropriety going on. If so, was there ever such an opportunity of proving it by evidence?—not of resorting to rumours and reports, which might make it desirable for a lady of rank and delicacy not to stay there, but facts of the clearest nature, every one of which might have been made out beyond the possibility of doubt, if those facts had existed. I cannot believe they were even thought to be true.—I cannot believe that if at that period it had been really and bonâ fide believed, that her majesty had been so degrading herself as this bill supposes, that she would not have immediately received remonstrances and complaints and summonses from home—that she would not have been told she must give up that low society; that it was necessary for her to answer here for her conduct; and that the princess of Wales could no longer be allowed to wander over the world accompanied by the persons of the low description and the infamous nature stated. Captain Briggs and captain Pechell must have made their report;—lieutenant Hownam could be applied to. No such report has been made unfavourable to her royal highness; but they must have deposed in private, as they deposed here, to no single fact to bring her honour into suspicion. My lords, it is impossible to suppose any human being would have the cruelty to let such an accusation sleep for six years. How can, at that distance, facts be brought to rebut such imputations; not resting on specific facts, but the result of a long train of inferences, each by possibility in itself admitting of an easy answer, if timely questioned. But now, at this immense distance of years, there is nothing left but the suspicion preserved to produce its malignant operation against the Queen. I cannot believe there was a real opinion of her guilt at that period, and I can only lament that any circumstance should have occurred, to throw the smallest probabilities before the bloodhounds of scandal and villainy in the neighbourhood of Milan, as should have 1174 given them a foundation to build this fabric of calumny upon. That is her majesty's sole fault; and if that is a fault; and indiscretion—supposing it to be so, for I admit no impropriety of conduct, it is only indiscreet because Mr. Craven had; warned her against spies—because lieutenant Hownam had made a similar remonstrance—because she had had the experience of six years, and the knowledge of baron Ompteda—it is only on these grounds that I call it imprudent and indiscreet; because, in every other point, the circumstance seems clearly and satisfactorily explained.
My lords; we were told, as I mentioned so often, that all the witnesses were to be called, in whatever way their evidence might operate; and I suppose, that my learned friend, the solicitor-general, who concluded with a prayer for the Queen, to give her the victory over all her enemies—which prayer he must satisfy himself is likely to be granted—must have thought that the earl of Guildford, who was received at her majesty's table without restraint and without disguise, at the time that Bergami had been newly promoted to a seat there—not once but twice; might prove something unfavourable to her majesty, and therefore, out of pure charity he was not called. I must presume when lord Glenbervie, whose lady had been years in attendance on her majesty, found her at Genoa without a lady of honour it would be thought injurious to state, that he made a voluntary tender of the services of his lady to her royal highness, and this after a period when, some how or other, her English suite had dropped away from her. I suppose it was thought, that lady Charlotte Lindsay was likely to be an unfavourable witness, that they would take no specimen of these gentlemen and ladies, lord Llandaff and others, who might have been called and examined to the same effect—and I suppose it was out of pure consideration and kindness that Mr. Craven and sir William Gell were left to be called for the defence; that Dr. Holland was considered to be a most mischievous person towards the Queen, and that he who had had an opportunity of dining at her table at Genoa every day, and did often dine there, would have deposed to facts extremely likely to produce the conviction of her majesty. If so, they have had au opportunity of drawing out those facts, not by the tardy process of an examination in chief, to which my learned friends 1175 have so great objections, but by that clear and powerful and compendious process which they know so Well how to employ—cross-examination, which admits of leading questions, which courts inquiry, and which allows every thing to be raked up of judgment, opinion and belief, and which they have had an opportunity of applying to those four witnesses, who should have been the first four on the brief of my learned friends. Why! am I to be told that those witnesses are immaterial; that they prove nothing; and that they do not go to the direct facts of the case alleged? I say, they do go to the direct facts of the case. I say that they give the clearest and most decisive negative to the fact of public scandal, and I say, they disprove, as far as argument and inference can disprove, the existence of any adulterous intercourse; for there is no attempt to disguise or conceal. The promotion of the individual is attended with circumstances that appear to account for it; and there is nothing in his manners towards the princess or any other individual, that marks an improper assumption of those privileges which an illicit answer would entitle him to claim. And when this bill is founded on the supposition of the low, menial, and degraded capacity of the individual so promoted, I think it would have been but fair to inquire under what circumstances he was received into the service; under what circumstances her majesty was placed when under the necessity of choosing a new chamberlain; and to consider whether it was possible, under such circumstances, to have raised a man to that office who was more likely to fill it with ability, discretion, and propriety.
My lords; I perhaps ought not to go through—particularly through—all the evidence we have called; and yet that is my more peculiar duty. I should refer otherwise to William Carrington, to John Whitcombe, the servants of sir W. Gell and Mr. Craven, who gave the most clear reasons possible, that the whole story of the supposed illicit connexion at Naples is a pure fabrication of Demont—otherwise, I might refer to all the subsequent witnesses on our part; to Sicard, who negatives other circumstances, and to Dr. Holland who negatives part of the evidence of Majoochi, and to Mr. Mills, and indeed to every other person who appears on behalf of her majesty. But it is not necessary I should go minutely into those 1176 particulars, because we have done more than was enough—we have disproved, in many points, a case unworthy of credit—we have answered, by express contradictory testimony, the testimony of witnesses who stand self-convicted, and self-condemned. We have done more than we should be called on, in any court of justice to do, when we condescended to give an answer to such animals as were brought against us. Every attempt at contradiction has been evaded by my learned friends—every opportunity of contradiction has been successfully seized by us. In every single point where it was possible to show a falsehood, that falsehood has been distinctly proved; and it is quite impossible to suppose, that your lordships will for a moment give ear to the insinuation, that those who are thus contradicted and discredited in every point where other witnesses could be brought to bear on the same facts, should be entitled to a moment's credit and belief, where the facts rest in the knowledge or invention of themselves alone. Need I refer more particularly to Sinigaglia, Scharoitz, and Carlsruhe—those atrocious causes of conspiracy—those attempts at suborning witnesses; and to the attempts to convert innocent facts to wicked purposes? for that is a circumstance that gives us the justest reason to complain of the conduct of Demont, in abiding by her majesty three years, when the facts are supposed to be committed, and afterwards coming here with those facts. That mode of proceeding it is quite impossible to grapple with in any other mode than that which we have adopted.
My lords; I am quite aware that it will be expected of me, to say a little upon the subject of the witnesses whom we have not called; and here, my lords, as in every part of the case, I beg leave to contrast, in principle and in substance, the situation of an accuser and of an accused. Every prosecutor who pretends to come forward in behalf of public justice, is bound, by the duties of the office he has assumed, to lay before the court and the jury who are to try the charges he adduces, all the evidence that can bear upon them either way. What, then, shall we think of that prosecutor, who puts up a primâ facie case of charge against the first individual in the country, but knowing, or having the means of knowing, that that primâ facie case of suspicion is capable of being removed by clear evidence, 1177 if he will Follow that evidence to the extent to which it may be taken, declines to make that examination, or keeps that evidence in his pocket, or lets the primâ facie case be proved by a witness who knows the excuse, and leaves it to chance whether the defendant shall discover it or not. I know not with what face my learned friends can call on us to call more witnesses, when they themselves have been so cautiously abstemious in calling all those individuals they were not afraid to vouch, whose names they referred to, whose motives they speculated on, whose conduct supported the facts they were proving by other means, when those individuals would have disproved the facts. This is new in the history of English justice—it is quite new, that a case of belief and suspicion, extorted on cross-examination from the witnesses who deposed to important facts on behalf of a defendant, should be tortured with an inference of guilt with regard to those facts which admit of clear proof in the first instance, which might have been brought to the test of complete examination, if the duty of the prosecutors had been honestly performed in calling those other witnesses who knew the existence of the whole of the facts. And, my lords, see the effect of this in a case like the present bill!Not only do we take the chance of having every unfavourable inference and fact proved that is immediately connected with the crime with which we were charged, but we take the chance of calling the witnesses we have placed before you, and the frailty of their memory, running through six years, and the weakness of their nerves when brought before such an assembly as this—of the forgetfulness and the delusions of memory, and the delusions of the mind, and of the little triumph we see produced, whenever any thing like a slip occurs, that can expose our witnesses to the suspicion that their credit is questionable, or that their memory has not performed its office.
But then we have gone much further—for we have shewn, not only that the individuals have not spoken truth, and are not entitled to credit in a common court of justice, but we have shown such practices employed to collect the evidence, such bribes offered, such means resorted to, as perhaps were never disclosed before in the history of English justice, for it seldom happens, that a discovery is made so soon after the event. The history of 1178 Dr. Crook at Milan, was not disclosed for many years after. The Cotten Records were searched, and then those purchases of opinions from the doctors of that day were discovered, which does not give so much value to their authority as they would have had if those bribes had not been given. But if the authority of the doctors is varied by the amount of the fee, what shall we say to witnesses, discarded servants and domestic traitors, who offer themselves against their benefactress in the course of this most interesting inquiry, affecting her life and character, and who come forward for corrupt and selfish purposes, to destroy that character on which they had passed just encomiums, and shown by their whole conduct to her, during the whole course of the time of the crimes committed, that they knew that the charge that they now came to support, was absolutely false.
My lords; there is one topic upon which, as a matter of fact, it is quite impossible not to comment. We have been told of the conduct of the Queen as furnishing inferences with regard to several of the facts produced against her. We have been told we are to look to her conduct as raising inferences and conclusions. My lords, I am ready to abide by that test. I ask you, whether it is possible for a person so degraded, in the first place to have turned off all her servants the moment they were possessed of the most important facts, and afterwards to have proceeded in that low attachment and debauchery with an individual she had raised for the most criminal purposes, in defiance of all the principles of human nature with which we have been ever acquainted? It is one consequence of such an attachment, that all worldly considerations are lost sight of—"Not Caesar's empress would she deign to prove"—No, if she had been the degraded mistress of a menial in her service, would she not have been willing to hide her head in any part of the continent, in the enjoyment of that luxurious retirement which was offered—which she so manfully refused—would she not have retired to the lake of Como at Pesaro, and receive her vast income. Is it possible to suppose, that, after the loss of all that makes life valuable, she would have come to this country, irritated and stung by nothing but this attack on her character. Look at the conduct of her nameless and unseen persecutors. For a long series of years, she knows her- 1179 self to be the subject of those fatal persecutions. The death of her only daughter is immediately followed by this frightful conspiracy. The death of her last remaining protector, whose name continued a protection to her, though his affection could not be displayed—that death was announced to her, not in the terms of decent condolence or kind respect, but in the shape of a forestated decision of the parliament of England, by the cardinal Gonsalvi stripping her of her rank down to the title which, before her marriage she possessed. The very first gazette which records the first transactions of this new reign—an era in which even traitors are spared, in which felons, are pardoned, in which the royal perogative of mercy is lavishly applied—the first act of that reign is the most illegal and the most unchristian act that has yet been recorded in the annals of the monarchy of England. To the Queen it is a reign of degradation from the throne which she justly fills—it is the commencement of a period of exclusion from the Liturgy in which the prayers of the people are forbidden to join her, but in which their hearts have made her full compensation for that odious exercise of unjust authority.
My lords; in such a case as this, what are we to say of the proceeding that is now before you? As a divorce bill, it exists no more. The mere fact of six years residence abroad permitted by the husband is an answer, in that point of view, to any misconduct on the part of the wife. The fact of that letter of licence, so recently granted after the marriage ceremony was performed, is of itself an answer to the bill in that point of view. But, as a bill of Pains and Penalties, degradation, dethronement, and disgrace, if you have the nerve to proceed against this persecuted and injured woman, I can only say, that it is at your—it is at your pleasure so to do; but I am sure that your honour, your justice, and your feeling will compel you to take part with the oppressed, and not give the victory to those who have thus oppressed her.
My lords; I was about to observe, that there were certain individuals whom we have not called before you; and it is simply for this reason—that our case is already proved, and that we do not think it decent or consistent with the principles of justice to overload these Minutes of Evidence, already so vast and unwieldy—we do not think it consistent with the 1180 principles of justice, to admit, that we ere bound to go one step further. We heard the challenges and defiances, and we heard that Bergami might he called. This is a fiction—this is one of the unparalleled circumstances of this extraordinary case. From the beginning of the world to the present moment, no instance is to be found in which a party accused is called to prove the adultery. We are to be told, forsooth, because he knows the fact, he ought to be called to the bar to take his oath upon the subject. The answer is in a word—there is either a case against us, or there is none; if there is no case, there is no occasion for us to call a witness—if there is a case, no man would believe the supposed adulterer. That is a circumstance upon which the nicest casuist might dispute, with some prospect of success, on either side of the question; but I think the feelings of mankind would triumph over their morals, and it would be thought more excusable even to deny on oath a circumstance so degrading as that—a circumstance of confidence so unfit to be betrayed—that perjury would be thought venial in comparison with the exposure of the woman he might have betrayed into his toils. Will my learned friends show a case in which such a witness has been produced? And if not, it must be taken, that the abstinence from calling such witness must be founded in too deep principles in the nature and heart of man to be repelled, even upon this occasion, to which so many principles have been made a sacrifice.
My lords; this is a criminal prosecution of the highest kind—it requires the clearest and the most convincing proof—here have been six years of constant attention and unceasing vigilance and jealous persecution. We have heard of a distinction between a queen of grace and favour, and a queen of right and law; but this unfortunate lady has been taught to feel the difference between a husband of affection and guardianship, and a husband of jealousy and persecution; and to know, that it is possible, after the ties of conjugal affection have been broken down, to extort from the object who had a right to enjoy them, the most exact and scrupulous attention, not only to the substantial virtues of her sex, but to every appearance of every decorum of the most regular and orderly state of existence. Then let me ask you, what is it that can justify you in such a case, in passing such a bill. It ap- 1181 pears to me, without looking to the principle of the bill (for your lordships know I am now at liberty to do so, and I only advert to it that I may not be supposed to wave it), but it appears to me, that there is not one page of evidence in this whole volume, that can warrant your lordships in passing it—there is not a single page of evidence, proceeding from any respectable quarter whatever, which has not been answered or explained; and, as to all the rest that is important, it has been contradicted so effectually in all its greater branches, it becomes immaterial to pursue it into the minuter ramifications in which the same spirit of perjury has prevailed.
I know rumours are abroad—I have heard that, at the moment we are defending her majesty against a charge, there are several persons—not in the lowest condition—not confined to the public press—not even excluded from your lordships august assembly—who are daily circulating most odious and atrocious calumnies against her majesty. My lords, at such a moment as this, can the fact be believed? and yet, can we live one hour in the world without knowing the fact is true? Your lordships know, that if a juryman, upon such an occasion, should be found to possess any knowledge upon the subject, we should be justified in calling him to the bar as a witness—we should say "Come, if you know a fact, and prove it—let us confront you with our witnesses; let us cross-examine you and see if no explanation can be given of that which is true, and whether no refutation may be applied to that which is false." But, my lords, I would tell any man whom I could suspect of so base a practice as that he should be whispering calumnies into the ears of his brother jurymen—I would say, "Come forward, and let me see your face—if you would resemble the respectability even of an Italian witness, come forward! You are worse than an Italian assassin, because you are planting a dagger in my heart unseen, and converting your poisoned stiletto into the semblance of the sword of justice!" My lords, I say it is impossible these stories can be true—I cannot say it is impossible, because I read the papers—but I should have thought it impossible for any man, with the heart of a man, of any man with the honour of a peer, to adopt such a course, I would challenge him as a judge—would impeach him as such—and if it were possible for the blood royal to have done 1182 so, I should say, that such conduct was a far more just forfeiture of his right to succeed to the throne, than all the charge's brought forward to deprive my client of the crown, which she is so justly entitled to. My lords, I know there are persons—and I think under the circumstances I have a right to allude to them—I know there are persons in this House who have read a variety of depositions against her majesty. To those persons I think I may distinctly say, "You, at all events, must acquit the Queen. It is utterly impossible that your secret committee—I know nothing of the facts brought before it, but I know it is impossible for rational men—to present such a case as this is as a ground for dethroning and disgracing the majesty of the English Crown. It is-impossible that such facts should have been proved before you—it is impossible but that they must have been of a more grave, more serious, more infamous description; and whether they are not proved by any witnesses who came to your bar, or whether the witnesses stated them in their depositions upon those occasions, but have not dared to repeat them, the consequence is the same; you could never mean to make out a case of key-holes and chamber-pots. You must have intended a case of profligacy and prostitution." Has that case been made out? Has it not been expressly contradicted and disproved? Is there any man who can-read the evidence against the Queen, without a firm conviction that she has been most infamously traduced, and that an immense proportion of the stories against her are utterly destitute of foundation? What the boatmen of Como may have said to the idle English Who we're gaping wide for slander—what the rumours on the continent were, I know not; but, if they had been true, there have been facilities to prove them unexampled in the history of criminal jurisprudence. They are not proved—they are false.
May I flay one word more? I know there is a spirit gone abroad in the world—at least that is the suspicion of your lordships—upon the subject of her majesty the Queen; and I have heard it said, that there has been a low sort of rabble encouraged to acts of mischief; but I know that the same person who uttered that expression was obliged to admit, in the course of a few weeks, because the truth could not be concealed, that the whole of the generous population 1183 of England had taken her majesty's part. It is possible that these things may be true. It is certain that among all the sound and middling orders of society, these feelings do exist on behalf of her majesty. It is possible, for aught I know, that there may be some apostles of mischief in some corner, lurking to strike a blow at the constitution, and who may seek to avail themselves of an opportunity for open violence. My lords, if that be so, these generous feelings will be gratified by a verdict of acquittal that your lordships must pronounce; as those mischievous and disaffected men who must be supposed to exist would deprecate nothing so much as to see your lordships, in the face of the power of the Crown, venturing to pronounce a verdict of not guilty against a defendant so prosecuted. My lords, I trust your lordships will not allow the idea of having tear imputed to your minds, to direct you from the straight course of duty. I will venture to say it would be the worst of injustice towards the individual accused, and the worst of. cowardice and baseness in any man who acted on such a principle. And therefore, I say, if your minds go along with the evidence—if you are satisfied that all that appeared important has been scattered like dew-drops from the lion's mane, and that we have even supplied some facts to the case of my learned friends which, resting on belief and apprehension, and upon circumstances which they never could bring against us—under such circumstances, your lordships will never think yourselves justified in considering whether your conduct will be imputed to dread of a mob, or Radical mobs, as they are called in the jargon of the day, which I detest—but will pursue that straight course which the principles of justice require. That course is, where the case has not been proved, to acquit the Queen of those charges foully brought up against her. Never was there such an inquiry! Never were there such means of accusation!
My lords; before I conclude, I must be permitted to say, that during the whole of these proceedings—(personally, I am sure, I have every reason to thank your lordships for the kindness and indulgence I have experienced)—but the highest gratification to my mind has been, that with my learned friend I have been joined upon this occasion, fighting the battles of morality, Christianity, civilized society—that, in the language of the dying warrior, 1184In this glorious and well-foughten fieldWe kept together in our chivalry:"—that when he had gained the mighty victory which his great exertions achieved, and covered himself with immortal glory, and his client with the adamantine shield of genius and eloquence, it has been my lot to discharge a few random arrows at the defeated champions of a disgraced cause.
My lords; it is no small satisfaction that I could witness that display of surprising faculties that belonged to my learned friend, with no other emotions than those of exultation on the part of our client, that that great triumph has been achieved, and with no other sentiment except that of admiration at the prodigious powers by which it was gained. My lords, we have done. This is an inquiry unparalleled in the history of the world—this illustrious lady has been searched out and known—her down-sitting and her uprising has been searched out—there is no thought in her heart and no word in her lips, but has been brought to this ordeal—there has not an idle thought escaped, or idle look by which she has been betrayed into a moment's impropriety which has not been, by the unparalleled and disgraceful assiduity of her malignant enemies, brought against her. It is an inquisition of the most solemn kind. I know nothing in the whole race of human affairs—I know nothing in the whole view of eternity—which can resemble it, except that great day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed—He who the sword of Heaven would bear,Should be as holy as severe:"—And if your lordships have been furnished with weapons and powers which scarcely I had almost said, Omniscience possesses, for coming at the secret, I think you will feel that some duty is imposed on you of endeavouring to imitate, at the same moment, the justice, the beneficence, and the wisdom of that Divine Authority who, when even guilt was detected and vice revealed, said, "If no accuser can come forward to "condemn thee, neither will I condemn "thee: go and sin no more."
§ After a short pause,
said, that he should now consider the case on the part of her majesty closed, if the attorney-general did not intend to reply by more than one counsel. If he did, he should beg till to- 1185 morrow, to consider whether he should not request his learned friend Dr. Lushington to take up the parts of the bill, that were of a consistorial nature.
The Attorney General
said, that it was his intention to avail himself of the assistance of his learned friend, the solicitor-general, to which he was fully entitled, as his learned friends had both spoken in opening their case.
The Lord Chancellor
said, it was the rule to hear two counsel on the respective sides, and that one party, by waving his claim, did not deprive the other of his right.
said, that as the attorney-general did not mean this privilege, Dr. Lushington would address their lordships to-morrow morning.
§ The House then adjourned.