Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

advanced by a fourth lawyer; one, certainly, who is not less emi-
nent for his knowledge and talents as a barrister, than for the sound
• ness of his principles as a politician. This respectable and learned
member is reported to have uttered the following sentence : If
the Duke of York had not A HIGH SENSE OF THE VALUE OF HONOUR
AND CHARACTER, he would not have parted with Mrs. Clarke when he
found her character would not bear intestigation ; and it was not
natural to suppose that a man, who at one time had so high a sense of
the value of character in A WOMAN LIVING UNDER HIS. PROTECTION,
should at another time think so slightly of character as to run the risk
of exposure, if he had not been conscious of his innocence." We recollect.
that some of the young members of the States General in France
were accustomed to attend what were called the Evening Sittings;
when, heated with wine, they frequently made motions and uttered
speeches at night, of which they were heartily ashamed when they
came to their sober senses in the morning. It was at one of these
sittings, called the Night of the Dupes, that the foundation was laid
for the subversion of all property, and for the destruction of all the
boundaries between right and wrong, virtue and vice. Now, if we
had not known the state of sobriety of the learned member to whom
the above speech has been imputed, we should certainly have been
induced to ascribe it to some preternatural stimulus, of a nature
similar to that which produced such an effect on the senatorial ora-
tors of revolutionary France. Certain, however, it is, that no
kuman being could suppose that this strange declamatory nonsense,
about honour and character, could refer to an adulterous connexion
between the Duke and his mistress! Away with this parliamentary
cant, which substitutes a courteous and delusive phraseology for the
plain, wholesome language of the country; -a man dismissing his
strumpet, because, forsooth, her character could not bear investi-
gation! In the name of common sense and of outraged decency,
what character can a man require or expect with a woman whom he
solicits to live with him in a state of double adultery, or, in modern
parliamentary language, to live under his protection ! . This mode of
softening down the appropriate epithets by which our honest fore-
fathers expressed their sense of vice and vicious practices, has a
tendency most injurious to the morals of the country, by accustom-
ing our females coolly to contemplate scenes from which, if clothed
in their proper colours, they would revolt with horror. Already,
in the course of this discussion, has adultery sunk into indiscretion;

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

and we doubt not that we shall soon see a new edition of the Deca. logue for the use of fashionable folks, in which the seventh commandment will run thus - .“ Thou shalt not commit indiscretion.". The lamentable instances which have lately occurred" of this particular species of indiscretion, which seems to spread with incredible rapidity in the fashionable world, should induce every public writer to set his face against every practice which can tend to lessen its atrocity, or to diminish its wickedness, in the eyes of the public. We are fully convinced, that its growth has been promoted, in no inconsiderable degree, by the indecent levity with which acts of adultery, in high life, have been treated in some of the public prints. And any thing which contributes to lessen the disgust which nuodesty and virtue naturally experience at the contemplation of vice, has a direct and immediate tendency to produce the same cflect. A modest female will shrink from a woman who lives in a state of whoredom or adultery; but she can accustom herself to talk of one who is only under the protection of a gentleman.

Of the three cases which have been, as it were, incidentally introduced into this inquiry, namely, O'Mara's, Carter's, and Kennet’s, though two of them have been deemed irrelevant, as haring no relation to the professional duty of the commander-in-chief; they are all, certainly, of a nature to throw a light on the disposition and general conduct of the Duke, and to remove a great deal of that improbability which bas furnished one of the grounds of argument for his defence. The case of poor Carter is simply this -- that the Duke converted his mistress's foot-boy into a gentleman, by giving him a commission in the army. We put it to any officer in the army, whether, if the colonel of a regiment had done this, it would not have occasioned a general discontent, and have been considered as an instance of ungentlemanly conduct, which constitutes a military offence. We do not mean to cast the smallest reflexion on the young man, whose conduct appears to have been truly praiseworthy, and who has gained promotion, not, as Colonel Gordon would call it, in the regular way, by money, but by his own merit. Let no false pride now deprive him of the fruits of his good conduct; but let him enjoy them in peace. But the merit which he subsequently displayed makes no difference as to the misconduct of the commander-in-chief, in raising him from the kitchen to the mess r.30m. It has been urged, indeed, that a colonel in the army, in a confidential situation with an illustrious personage, was himself a foot

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

regular

man, who has waited behind the chair of one of the Irish members
of the present Parliament; and thus, therefore, his promotion
justifies the appointment of Carter. We admit the fact, which he
been long known to us, but we deny the inference; and we appre-
hend few

persons will be found to contend that the existence of one
abuse is sufficient to justify another. We must here just observe,
that Colonel Gordon's evidence, which we have heard extolled as
most candid, satisfactory, and even decisive, appears to us by no
means to deserve the unqualified commendation which it has
received, or, to say the truth, any commendation at all; for of all

men surely he is the most irregular. In trifles his memory is wonderfully tenacio:is and retentive; in essentials most wuéfully defective. Colonel Wardle's ignorance of the Christian name of the Captain Maling, respecting whom he wislied to make some inquiry, supplied the sagacious and provident colonel with a fine opportunity for the display of his professional regularity and skill. He chose to infer, that the Captain Maling about whom he was questioned, was that Captain Maling to whose situation the questions could not possibly apply; and although he was perfectly aware that there was another Captain Maling to whom they would apply, he did not conceive it to be consistent with the rules of professional regularity to set Colonel Wardle right. It afterwards came out, however, that there was a Captain Maling in the Duke of York's own office, in respect of whom the regulations laid down by the Duke himself, and, according to his secretary, most rigidly adhered to, had been grossly violated, and that at the very recommendation of this regular secretary himself! For this Captain Maling had received his company without having seen any service, without having even joined his regiment!!! So much for the regularity of the Duke's office, and of the Duke's official secretary! But it is most remarkable, that after a very long examination, in which his answers all referred to the other Captain Maling; when Colonel Gordon was asked, “What were the services of Captain Maling's brother, who is, I believe, a captain in the army, who is in the War Office?" answered, “There is a Captain Maling, an assistant of mine, in the office of the commander-in-chief; I take for granted that is the person referred to." Is it credible, that Colonel Gordon should not have been aware, from the

very

first question that was put to him about Captain Maling, that this was the person referred to? And if so, though his answers might be strictly

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

regular, they certainly had the effect of prevarication, for they tended to lead the examiner astray. He then acknowledges what is stated above, that though this Captain Maliog had seen no service, he recommended him to be placed on the half pay as a captain; and for what reason why, because he had “an extraordinary good character, and more than common abilities," as a clerk in office! And this extraordinary admission followed a declaration of the colonel's to this effect-- "I conceive it my particular duty to take care, that any officer whose name is submitted to his royal highness is a fit and proper person, duly qualified in all respects, as to points of service, and as to his majesty's regulations, for the service into which he is so recommended." And yet, in breach of this particular duty; he recommends for promotion a man whom he knows to be wholly unqualified, both as to points of service, and as to his majesty's regulations; and this is not prevarication, but regularity! But we have done with this regular witness, with his eternal explanations, and his constant reference to his box.

We shall dismiss Doctor O'Mara and his case in a few words.The first question that naturally suggests itself to the mind is, how came a doctor of divinity, and a candidate for the mitre, to be acquainted with a woman of easy virtue? Expressing our abhorrence of the conduct of a clergyman, who could so far degrade his character and station, as to make a prostitute the channel of an application for any ecclesiastical object; we consign this wretched man to his diocesan, who, if he knows his duty, will provide for him a much severer punishment than any that the pen çan inflict.

But we must maintain, that the facility with which the Duke complied with the request of his mistress to obtain permission for Dr. O'Mara to preach before the King, afforols a strong, presumptive and corroborative proof of his disposition to grant any request which she might choose to prefer. For certain it is, that he could not act with greater impropriety, or disgrace himself more, by listening to her petitions on military affairs, than by gratifying her wishes in this respect.

Kennett's case, though a strange one, has been little dwelled upon. He was a man not merely of doubtful character, but of a character so bad as to be rendered incapable by law (having stood on the pillory) of being a competent evidence in a court of justice. Yet did the Duke of York, without the smallest scruple, not only pommunicate with this man, but, in the hope of obtaining 4

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

pecuniary loan through his means, actually recommended him as a fit person to hold a situation under government. It would be an insult to our readers to point the moral of this case. Imbecility itself may discern its profligacy.

We should have been induced to enter into a regular analysis of the evidence on such particular case, had not this task been most ably, and effectually, performed in several of the periodical prints. We have already stated the effect which the whole in vestigation bas produced on our minds; and we can assure his majesty's ministers, that in every society which we have frequented, in

every conversation which we have had with individuals, we have not found one man in a hundred who is not as strongly conyinced as ourselves of the past misconduct of the commander-inchief. When, too, they find that such men as the conductors of the Courier, of the Antijacobin, and of some other publications of similar principles, are deeply impressed with a belief of the same fact; they must be persuaded that their opinions do not proceed from prejudice, much less from disaffection, but are the delibe rate result of unbiassed julgment, issuing from bonest, upright, and impartial minds. Let it not, then, be inferred, that every man who thinks the Duke of York unfit for his office, is concerned in a conspiracy against the House of Brunswick.

If such a conspiracy shall ever be found to exist, it will not, we venture to assert, find more resolute and ardent opponents than the writers in question ; who will not only employ their pens, but who will shed the last drop of their blood; should occasion require it, in desence of the illustrious family on the throne. And here we cannot forbear to notice a most preposterous and dangerous notion, that had the house resolved the Duke of York to be guilty of the practices, or cong nivance, laid to his charge, they must, of necessity, have passed a bill to exclude him from the throne. Indeed, this strange idea of interrupting the succession, so solemnly fixed by the ac: of settleinent, was canvassed with as much apparent indifference as could have been displayed in the discussion of the provisions of a common turn-, pike bill! . Such loose asseverations, however, ought not to be tole. fated; they display a want of reflexion and of wisdom, not less reprehensible in itself, than mischievous in its effect. To provide against possible evils, was an act of folly which our sober ancestors disdained to commit. It will be sufficient, for the security of our excellent constitution, to supply a remedy for an existing grievance,

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »