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The ATTORNEY-GENERAL having opened his argument, proceeded to notice the various precedents cited by Mr. Brougham, particularly those of Bishop Atterbury and Lord Strafford. He then adverted to the opinion given by the Judges, that no criminal proceedings could be instituted against the Queen, under the Statue of Edward III. Had it been otherwise, he would never appear at the Bar, to support a Bill like the present, had any other remedy existed. He laboured under many disadvantages, and not the least of these was the knowledge which he had of facts he could not now disclose, and which he wished to God would never be disclosed. He wished that the House and his Learned Friends should never be made, as it were, spectators of those disgusting and licentious scenes, which the evidence would unquestionably disclose. Upon these he could not touch at present. He complained; with great warmth, of the unfair and indelicate mode of argument pursued by the other side. In adverting to the case of the Duke of York, in 1809-in harrow➡ ing up his feelings-in withdrawing the veil cast over transactions of the most painful' nature-in. reviving matters long buried in oblivion-in attacking with most unjust severity, an illustrious in, dividual, at the very moment when the utmost consideration was due to him from the recent and severe loss he had sustained. Hav. ing dismissed this topic, he went on to remark upon the general law relating to adultery and divorce, and to reply to the argument of Mr. Brougham, that no notice had been given to the Queen, that a proceeding of this kind would be instituted. He allowed that this Bilk was, in a degree, ex post facto, but necessarily so. The offence was not high treason; however abandoned and licentious the Queen might have been; however degrading and disgusting (and the more degrading, disgusting, and, perhaps,, criminal, because the adulterous intercourse took place with a menial föreigner,) the conduct of the Queen might have been, she could not be punished in any other way, but by the present. The Crown was driven to it, as the only remedy. The law of the land knew no offence of adultery with a föreigner, because the foreigner owed no allegiance to the Crown, and could not be punished; and it had been adopted with the utmost regret, and not without absolute and direct compulsion. What other topics had been addressed to the House? Every advantage had been taken of the means of exciting the feelings of the House, but the question of expediency was not before their Lordships. The Queen challenged investigation-she, demanded that her character and her conduct should be examined and vindicated; she could have, therefore, no objection to the measure, on the ground of expediency. As to the argument that the Bill had been delayed until her Majesty was Queen, it was used only for temporary trial, because the law applicable to her case, was precisely the same, whether she were Queen, or only Princess of Wales; as Princess of Wales, she would have been liable to the punishment of death, if the adultery had been committed with a subject of the state. The argument was, therefore, destitute of all solidity, and.. was merely used to catch the feelings, and produce a temporary,
but unfounded impression. Was it to be said, that because this crime had been committed out of the country, that it ought to be passed over in silence-that the Queen of England should roam about the Continent, degrading her rank, and disgracing her family, without restraint?-Unquestionably the Bill assumed that adultery had been committed; the evidence was yet to be adduced, and then the question would remain, whether the preamble had been proved, but it was wholly unfair and improper for the other side to anticipate what the decision of the House might then be Neither principle nor precedent bore out the Queen's Counsel in asserting, that impeachment would lie, and if so, the present Bill was the only step that could be taken. He might have omitted to answer some arguments urged on the other side: to topics of declamation, he had not adverted, but he well knew that he was addressing an assembly not to be alarmed: he did not fear for the future He had such confidence in the good sense and manliness of the people at large, that when once the facts were really known, he did not doubt that they would do justice to those persons who had instituted the present proceedings. If innocent, the Queen had nothing to fear; and if guilty, she was before her tribunal, that would take care that no injustice was done her. The result would show, that while the meanest subject had nothing to dread, when free from crime, the highest individual could not offend with impunit
The Solicitor-General followed on the same side.
Mr. BROUGHAM came forward to reply. So very little had been urged in answer to the objections to the Bill that he should think it unnecessary to trouble their Lordships at any considerable length, and would thus endeavour to keep a promise more frequently made than observed.
[At this moment her Majesty re-entered the House, and took her seat below Mr. Brougham. She had quitted it when the AttorneyGeneral rose, in all probability that her presence might put no restraint upon the expressions he should use as applicable to her conduct.]
He denied that he deviated, unnecessarily, into any points uncon. nected with the great question before the House. In disputing the principle of this Bill, even collateral matters became relevant, and further, in his own justification, he drew a distinction between the course he should have pursued, had this proceeding been an impeachment instead of a Bill of Pains and Penalties. He contended that Bills of Pains and Penalties, in the abstract, were most objec tionable; they were contrary to the spirit of the Constitution, although, like Lord Chancellor Cooper, he admitted the case might, by possibility, occur to justify a resort to them. It was for the other side, however, to establish that justification, by proving the necessity of the Bill to accomplish the great objects now in view, It had been urged, however, that the principle of the Bill was decided, because it had been read a first time, and an order made for the hearing of Counsel on the second reading. If the principle
were in truth decided, then indeed all argument was useless, and the Queen must submit. It was, however, on the second reading that the principle was always debated, and the mouths of the Counsel were shut in the earlier stage because it was intended that it should be read at a future period. Thus it was competent to him and his Learned Friend to urge all measures of the absense of necessity and of inexpediency. He then endeavoured to answer the argument of the Attorney-General, that impeachment would not lie in this case, or at least that there was great doubt upon the point, and that in a doubtful case this Bill ought to be adopted. He (Mr. B.) insisted, that the dubiousness of the law upon this point, would not justify this Bill; and further, that the law was not in any respect dubious. The most important cases discountenanced the notion that impeachment would only lie when a known law had been violated, and Lord Coke expressly held, that the contrary was one of the prerogatives of the House of Lords. Impeachment, in truth, was necessary in cases where there was no express law that could be infringed. Such, generally, was the situation of public functionaries, who misconducted themselves in their offices. He then noticed the precedents on the subject as far as the reign of Edward III., and coming down to the case of Mr. Hastings, all of which, as he contended, asserted the right of Parliament to impeach for matters of which no court of law could have cognizance. The chief argument on the other side had been, that this Bill ought to be adopted, because an indictment for high treason would not lie; but this depended upon the opinion of the Judges on a point that had never occurred since the passing of the statute of treasons. The great point made by the Solicitor-General was, that this measure was merely a Bill of Divorce, and that the King ought not to be deprived of a remedy enjoyed by all his subjects. He (Mr. B.) required no better admission, for where could an instance be found, of a Bill of Divorce without proof, in the first place, in the Eccle siastical Court, of the foul crime of adultery. The terms of the preamble of this Bill, "Adulterous Intercourse," were unknown there. In addition, it was important to observe, that the conduct of the party suing for a Divorce Bill was always taken into the account. Some further remarks on the impolicy of the measure terminated his reply.
Lord KING rose, to bring forward a Resolution, which, however, he should not now press upon the attention of the House. The object of it was to declare that the Bill now pending against the Queen, was neither requisite for the preservation of the public peace, nor for the cause of morality, He postponed any motion for the subject until to-morrow.
Adjourned at a quarter past four.
THIRD DAY-AUGUST 19.
Lord KING rose, according to notice, and moved,
"That it is the opinion of the Peers of this House, that it is not
The LORD CHANCELLOR proceeded to put the original question,
The Counsel were then called in; and the Attorney-General and
CHARGES AGAINST THE QUEEN.
The ATTORNEY-GENERAL proceeded immediately to state the
of November, 1814. This person had not been in her Majesty's service more than three weeks. He should have stated that, besides the persons whom he mentioned as accompanying her Majesty from this country, there was a lad whose name was perhaps familiar to their Lordships-he meant William Austin. Up to the time of her Majesty's arrival at Naples, this lad was the object of her peculiar attention, and, in fact, being a boy of only six or seven years of age, was in the habit of sleeping in a bed in the same room withi her Majesty. The arrangement of her Majesty's own sleeping apartment devolved upon one servant, whose peculiar duty it was to attend to that branch of her domestic comfort. arrival of her Majesty's suite at Naples, it was so arranged that her Majesty's sleeping-room was at an opposite side of the house to that of her menial domestics, among whom was her courier. On the first night of her Majesty's arrival at Naples (the 8th of November) to which he had called their Lordship's attention, this arrangement was continued. Bergami slept in that part of the house which had been prepared for the domestics, and young Austin slept in her Majesty's apartment. But on the following morning, November the Ninth, the servants of the Establishment learned with some surprise that Bergami was no longer to sleep in that part of the house where he had slept the night preceding; but that it was her Majesty's pleasure that he should sleep in a room from which there was a free communication with that of her Majesty, by means of a corridor or passage. He need not state, that such a circumstance was calculated to excite the surprise of those who were about her Majesty's person; and that surprise was increased when they learnt from her Majesty that she no longer wished William Austin to continue to sleep in her room. For this she assigned a reason, which if it was her only motive, was very proper; she said that he had now arrived at an age when it was no longer becoming that he should sleep in her apartment, and a separate room was prepared for his use. Upon the evening of the 9th of November, her Majesty went to the opera at Naples, but it was observed that she returned home at a very early hour. The person who waited upon her, on her return, was the maid-servant, whose duty it was particularly to attend to her bed-room. She was struck with the manner of the Princess, and with the agitation which she manifested. She soon retired; but not without those suspicions which the circumstances mentioned were calculated to excite. She knew, at the time, that Bergami was in his bed-room, for this was the first night of his taken advantage of the arrangement which had been previously made. The following morning, on observing the state of her room, it was evident that her Majesty had not slept in her own bed that night. Her bed remained in the same state as on the preceding evening, while the bed of the other person had, to those who saw it, clear and decisive marks of two persons having slept in it. Her Majesty did not make her usual signal on rising, but remained in the apartments with Bergami until a late hour. As she had recently