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of Great Britain himself was conclusion of that year, became strongly imbued with the opinion, duke, by the decease of Frederic of which he made no secret. In Eugene his father. Early in the 1796, when the first overtures summer of 1799, a gentleman were begun, on the part of the conversing with me on the subject Court of Wurtemberg, for the of the first Princess of Wurtemmarriage of their Prince to the berg's death, assured me that he Princess Royal, George the Third had seen and perused all the papers was so prepossessed against him, relative to her imprisonment and for having been supposed privy to decease; which, at the desire of the death of his wife, that he would the Prince, and by his authority, not listen to the proposal. In had been transmitted to George order to remove an obstacle of the Third ; who, after a full insuch magnitude, the Prince sent spection of them, became per. over to London a private agent, fectly convinced of his having had instructed to ascertain from what no part in that dark and melanquarter the accusation came, and choly transaction. Lastly, he gave furnished with documents for dis- it as his opinion, that Catherine proving it. That agent 1 per- had alone caused her to be poi. sonally knew, while he was here, soned unless her decease resulted employed on the above mission. from natural causes. Her husband He possessed talents, spirit, zeal, remained a widower near eight and activity, all which he exerted years after that event, before he in the cause. Having clearly attempted to obtain the hand of traced the imputation up to Count the Princess Royal of Great BriWoronzoff, who long had been, tain. During so long a period of and who then was the Russian time, he seems to have adopted no Envoy at our Court: he induced measures for repelling the calum: the Count, by very strong personal nious report circulated all over remonstrances, accompanied, as Europe, of his participation in the we must suppose, by proofs, to death of his wife: reports which declare his conviction of the Prince's had made the most unfavourable innocence, and utter ignorance of impression even in England. It the nature or manner of his wife's is true, that George the Third end, It followed of course, that became convinced of his innocence Catherine, under whose exclusive before he consented to the union care she remained, could alone be of the Prince with his eldest accused of having produced it. daughter : but though the King The agent finally satisfied his Na- yielded to the proofs brought upon jesty that the Émpress, and she this point, yet it was well known only, caused the Princess to be that he did it with reluctance and dispatched, without the partici- hesitation, rather giving way to pation, consent, or knowledge of the Princess's avowed wishes on her husband, if after all she the subject, than himself desiring did not die a natural death. In
or approving the match. So far, May, 1797, the Princess Royal of indeed, was he from pushing forEngland was married to the Prince ward the alliance, that I know, of Wurtemberg, who, before the from good authority, he offered the Princess, after all the preli- foundation in the front of that minaries were adjusted, and the second edition. marriage was fixed, to break it off, The Attorney-General said that if she chose to decline it, taking this would be no satisfaction to on himself personally the whole the character of Count Woronzoff, responsibility of its failure. There or atonement for the injury he remains still another important had sustained in the minds of those fact, which merits consideration. who had read only the first edition, We have seen that Count Woron- and the proposal constitated an zoff originally maintained his aggravation of the libel. Sovereign's innocence of the Prin- The court being subsequenth cess's death, though he was after- moved to make the rule absolute; wards induced to depart from after Mr. Scarlett had shewn cause that assertion : but when did he against it on the ground that the make such an admission ? Much defendant could not be supposed depends on the time; for Cathe- to have been actuated by malice
, rine died on the 6th of November, Lord Ellenborough said, the rule 1796; and after her death, a crime, must be absolute. The ground more or less, might not appear to upon which the Court is called be of much consequence, where so upon to interpose is, that there was many could be justly attributed to no motive of personal malice
. her.' Certain it is that the nego- If that was an excuse, it would ciation adranced much more ra- excuse the greater part of the most pidly after the decease of the Em- pestilent libels.
There is genepress; and, on the 18th of May, rally speaking no personal motive 1797, the nuptials were solemnized. of malice in the libels brought Over the nature, as well as over before us; the object, in general, the author, of the first Princess of is to make that which is slander, Wurtemberg's death, a deep or and catches the itehing ears of the impenetrable veil is drawn. We public, most profitable. Whether must leave it to time to unfold, if the publication gives pain or pieait does not rather remain, as is sure, the object looked ai is a lumore probable, for ever proble- crative sale of that which, from matical." Upon the publication its malignity, is likely to be bought of this libel, the prosecutor wrote I do not know whether that is the to the defendant to ask him who motive of Sir N. Wraxall, but it this “ private agent" was, whom is with reference to one of the the author " personally knew;" worst publications of the kind and the answer which he received that we are desired to give way was, that it was so many years and not exert the arm of the law. ago that he had forgotten; but Could the person libelled bare for that he never meant to libel the borne to make the complaint be prosecutor, and if he would assure has urged to our justice? He is the author he was in error, he a person representing once a great would expunge the whole story in potentate, and he is libelled in a second edition of the work which respect of a communication of facts was about to appear ; he further most injurious to his honour and promised to assert the want of its character. Could he do otherwise
than come before the Court, and rative of a forced Journey through coming for the reparation of his Spain," &c. in which his Lordship fame, will the Court deny him introduces the name of the plainthose means which are necessary tiff in this action, stating, that, on to him for the purposes of bring. his arrival at a certain village, he ing the person who has assailed (Lord Blaney) was surprised to his character before the tribunal see, among other persons, the of justice? It was the duty of Duke of Sorentino, (mentioning Count Woronzoff towards himself him by one of his inferior titles), to apply to the Court for redress, whom he had formerly met at Lord and it is the duty of the Court to Nelson's: at which time he was grant him the effect of his appli- partner in a faro bank, and a colcation. There are a great number lector of modern antiques; that he of anecdotes in this work, which disposed of them to young tramay be entitled to a greater or less vellers who wished to acquire the degree of respect; but the repre- characters of cognoscenti, and as sentation I have pointed at is not the Marquis always introduced of doubtful effect. It is a hardy them with a long harangue, he and calumnious inference which was represented as very successful; the party chooses to draw. It that he (Lord Blaney) had bought states that Count Woronzoff had some of them, which, though at the baseness while his sovereign the time he wrote they were more lived and it was material to ancient than when he bought them, him to have her favour) to as- he would willingly sell for less sert her innocence, but that he than prime cost; that the same departed from the assertion as soon Duke had been obliged, in haste, as she was dead, and he could ex- to quit Palermo, having been pect no further advantage from openly detected in cheating in his her; that he admitted her to be Lordship’s presence at Sir W. Hacriminal, considering that one milton's, and that afterwards he crime more would not be much, (the Duke of Sorentino) had been where there were so many. It is turned out of the English fleet by an imputation of that sort of base- Lord Keith, strongly suspected of ness which, independent of the being a French spy. The book truth or improbability of the other went on to state that Lord Blaney, passages, warrants Count Woron- in the course of his forced journey, Zoff in his application to the Court, meeting with the Duke of Sorenand warrants the Court in saying, tino again, knowing him to be an that his application ought not to entertaining fellow, from whom be made in vain, The Court can- he might derive information, his not discharge its duty to the pub- Lordship determined to overlook lio without making this rule abso. the slight blemish of the Duke's lute.-The rule was made absolute being a professed swindler, who, accordingly.
on this renewal of their acquain.
tance, had adverted to the affair at Le Duc de Sorentino e. Lord Palermo, and treated it as a mere Blaney.--The defendant is the au- bagatelle. His Lordship then pro. thor of a work, entituled, " Nar. cceded in his work to notice the removal of the plaintiff from Italy, founded him with an Italian Count, his marriage with a Spanish lady, who had been so guilty, and es. his attachment to the French au- pelled the city in consequence, and thorities, and his acquisition of that he could establish his innoproperty near the village in Spain, cence of all these offences laid to where his Lordship had then-ar- his charge, by many witnesses. rived. For this libel the Duke de The letter concluded in these words, Sorentino brought the present ac- " I know well the honour and the tion.
character of a Peer and an EnglishThe Attorney General, in open- man, and I am persuaded that I ing the case, reprobated the man- risk nothing by referring to your ner in which the writers of modern Lordship the manner of doing me travels frequently attacked the justice, and of effacing the imcharacters and conduct of persons pression occasioned by an attack with whom they became acquaint- as outrageous as it is unjust." ed. In this instance there was Such being the sentiments of bis not a syllable of truth in the as-' client, and being aware of the sertions of Lord Blaney; and as disposition of the noble defendant the statement was circulated on to make every reparation, the Atthe Continent soon after its puh- torney-General abstained from lication, it became important to the making those remarks upon the Duke de Sorentino to give it a di.. libel that, under other circumrect, positive, and public contra- stances, he should think it well diction; such was his motive for merited. this proceeding. As early as pos- Before any witnesses were called, sible he addressed a temperate but Mr. Scarlett, on behalf of Lord firm letter to Lord Blaney, charg- Blaney, expressed his readiness to ing his Lordship with having en- admit all the facts necessary to tirely mistaken the individual, de- entitle the plaintiff to a verdict. claring that he had never disposed Lord Blaney was as sensible as the of any antiques excepting two Duke of Sorentino of the injury gems, which had been sold after- he had done, and was, if possible, wards in England for 750l. to more anxious that it should be reMr. Payne Knight, and for which paired. As soon as he was conhe took others in exchange; that vinced, by the letter of the plainhe had never been turned out of tiff, of the error into which he had the English fleet as a French spy; fallen, he stopped the sale of bis on the contrary, that he had been work, published a newandamended treated with the utmost attention edition, with an advertisement by Lord Nelson, at whose house stating his reasons, and doing jusat Merton he spent some time, tice to the plaintiff. As a nobleand referring to the wounds he man and a soldier, Lord Blaney bore, as ample proof of his enmity did not think it now unbecoming to France ; that the terrible impu- to make an apology by his Counsel, tation which made him shudder, and to express his sincere regret that he had been detected in cheat at the unintentional mistake; it ing at Palermo, was wholly false; was impossible to say a single and that Lord Blaney had con word in justification of the false
assertions he had made in his when he went out he was not work.
sure that he even shut the door ; The Attorney-General, for his the key was found in it, the declient, expressed himself satisfied fendant went into the room after with the apology, and as the ob- the plaintiff went out, and put ject was only the vindication of out the candle, which he had left character, a verdict was taken for burning: the defendant did not obthe plaintiff.-Damages 40s. serve then whether the boxes were
there. Under these circumstances
the learned judge left it to the COMMERCIAL CAUSES.
jury, that an innkeeper was prima Burgess v. Clements. This was facie responsible for the goods of an action tried before Mr. Baron his guest ; but the guest might Richards, at the last Oxford As- discharge him from that liability sizes, by a traveller, against the by his own conduct, and left it to landlady of the Three Cups Inn, them whether the present plaintiff in that city, to recover the value had not done so : the Jury being of three boxes of Birmingham of that opinion, found their verdict trinkets, which the plaintiff va. for the defendant. lued at 6001, or 700l. and which Mr. Jervis obtained a rule nisi were stolen from a room in the last term to set aside this verdict, inn, while the plaintiff was there and grant a new trial upon the as a guest. The facts of the case authority of the 4th Resolution in were these :-The plaintiff had Calye's case, 8 Rep. 65, which been in the habit of frequenting declares “an innkeeper bound in the defendant's house: there was law to keep his guest's goods and a common traveller's room, but chattels safe, without any stealing the plaintiff, on this occasion, or purloining ; and it is no excuse wished to have a private room, for the innkeeper to say, that he for the purpose of receiving cus- delivered the guest the key of the tomers, who might come to pur- chamber in which he is lodged, and chase his wares, and asked for a that he left the chamber door open; particular room up stairs for this but he ought to keep the goods purpose. The landlady shewed and chattels of his guest there in him into a private room, the door safety.” of which opened into the gateway, After some pleadings, Lord Eland the windows of which could lenborough said, we cannot se he looked into from the street: any ground for impeaching the she gave him the key of the room finding of the jury in this case, to lock it when he went out, and although the facts of the case might advised him to bolt the door: the have been commented on more at loss happened at pight; the plain- large by the learned Judge than tiff had a candle in his room, but appears from this report, and he the curtains of the windows were might have availed himself more down. When the defendant's son decidedly of the rights of his own left him he was packing up his province in laying down the law. goods; he had been out two hours But the question is, whether the before the loss was discovered; Jury have rightly exercised their