Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Lord Castlereagh rose, and stated, the manner in which these wholesale that this refusal of the House to make grants had been proposed to other what was judged by ministers and the members of that illustrious house. If Royal Family the necessary provision the principle was applicable to all the for the Duke of Clarence, might be princes, why pass on to the youngest, considered as putting an end to the and leave out one royal duke, whose treaty of marriage. This was con- character stood so eminent, whose pubfirmed next day, when his Lordship lic conduct was so excellent, and who stated, that he had that morning com- had so particularly distinguished himmunicated the matter to his Royal self by the measures he had taken for Highness, and added, " I beg to say, relieving himself from those incumthat I should not be doing justice to brances which he believed could not his Royal Highness, if I omitted to be considered as imputable to himself? state, that in receiving this communi. The Duke of Kent had already been cation, and in the observations which mentioned. Much had been said of the he made to me upon the subject, he private affairs of the Duke of Cam. seemed impressed with sentiments of bridge, and viewing, as he did, ecothe highest respect for the decision of nomy, not only as meritorious, but as the House. But as his acceptance of a virtue, (and if not a virtue, the most any provision which might be voted rigid moralist would allow it to be the for him, would necessarily imply an ob- parent of many virtues), he should ofligation to maintain an establishment fer to his Royal Highness the tribute such as would be required by his situ- of his admiration. But his Royal ation in this country after his mar- Highness the Duke of Cambridge had riage, and as his Royal Highness is practised it in circumstances which thoroughly convinced that he could made that virtue comparatively easy, not undertake to maintain such an es- He had a large military income, and tablishment with the sum proposed, in Hanover he had an income which without the certainty of incurring em- had been stated at 60001. a-year, barrassments from which he would besides a town and country house, have no means of extricating himself, a shooting seat, with the use of the his Royal Highness deems it incum- king's stables and servants. The cry bent upon him, in this state of the of economy had gone forth from one proceedings, to authorize me to de. end of the kingdom to the other; and clare, with the utmost deference to if one kind was more loudly called for the opinion of the committee of the than another, it was that particularly whole House, that he feels himself connected with the Princes of the compelled to decline availing himself Royal House. If the sum was grant, of the provision intended for him." ed to the Duke of Cambridge, he did

The House liaving now gone into a not see how it could be refused to the committee, Lord Castlereagh propo- Duke of Cumberland. sed, without further comment, the vote Lord Castlereagh, in reply, obser. of 60001. a-year to the Duke of Cam- ved, that it was not the fact, as had bridge. Mr Brougham did not con- been represented by the honourable ceive it as necessarily following from and learned gentleman, that the House what had passed, that it was only need- was called upon to decide the cases in ful to name a royal duke, to get him the lump. No lumping or general vote 60001. a.year.

He was certain, that had been proposed; on the contrary, if any thing could make the grief of every question was a subject of special the nation more poignant, it would be motion. According to the honourable

and learned gentleman's principle,when Tierney declared, that it was contrary a marriage in the royal family happen- to his private feelings of esteem that ed to be desirable, from any circum- he opposed the vote to the Duke of stances, with a view to perpetuating Cambridge. Should his appointments the succession in the reigning family, in Hanover cease, he would be willing the course to be pursued would be to to make the allowance; but he consisearch and pick out that prince who dered these in the meantime sufficient would be willing to marry on the low. for the purpose. Other members opest terms ; and on the same principle posed the grant, which was, however, ang member of the family, however carried by a majority of 177 to 95. low or remote, provided he was lineal. Lord Castlereagh now brought for15, or collaterally in the line of descent, ward, with much modesty and hesiif willing to marry with a less provi- tation, the proposition of a similar sioa than another. He must acquit the grant to the Duke of Cumberland. Mr people of England of harbouring any Brougham observed, that from the principle of economy so contemptible manner in which the noble lord had as that which the honourable and learn- opened the measure, it was evident he ed gentleman had attributed to them. did not feel the least expectation of preIf no proposition had been made for vailing on the House to adopt it. Yet the Duke of Kent, it was merely be- the motion was at first received in a cause his Royal Highness's marriage manner unexpectedly favourable. Mr was not at present in contemplation. Wrottesley said, if amiable conduct in

Mr Wilberforce, in supporting the private life, if dignity of manners, if motion, took occasion to express his goodness of disposition, could endear disapprobation of the act relative to to the people of England an individual royal marriages. That act he did not brought amongst them from a foreign think wise or salutary. It precluded country, he knew not of any personage the several branches of the royal family in elevated life who possessed those from entertaining the best feelings, and qualifications in a higher degree than from forming connexions which would the Duchess of Cumberland. Mr Forat once promote their happiness and bes appealed to the House,“would they guarantee their virtue. It seemed to object to the vote, and thereby offer imply, that they could be rendered bet- an insult to those royal personages ? ter political characters by being worse Would they decide on the scandalous men, which was one of the most mis- reports, which, he believed, were withtaken notions, as well as the most im- out any foundation whatever, that had moral of public doctrines. The cone been propagated against those illustriduct of the Dukes of Kent and Sus- ous individuals? He did not know those sex in devoting their time, in render. illustrious persons. He acted on pubing their rank and influence subservient lic grounds alone; and doing so, he callto purposes of charity and instruction, ed on the House to consider the case was such as to conciliate universal well before they came to a vote-bepraise. It were to be wished that fore they came to a decision—for he other princes

, especially on the conti- should insist on dividing the House on dent, would imitate such illustrious this occasion;" and Sir W. Scott said, examples. On the whole, he thought that the Duchess of Cumberland bad, that ministers had upon this occasion during her residence in this country, brought forward a very moderate de- discharged in the most exemplary manmand, which the finances of the coun- ner the duties of her station, Her try could easily afford to meet. Mr character was known, and by univers

guage as

sal attestation approved. Nay, Mr F. The allusions made on these occaDouglas, who had voted against the sions by several members to the Duke allowance to the Duke of Clarence, of Kent, were not long of being met. declared himself ready to vote for the On the 15th May, a message from present one. Sir John Newport, how the Prince Regent announced his apever, contended, that as the House had proaching nuptials with a German negatived a proposition of the same princess, strongly recommended to the kind three years ago, they were bound nation by being the sister of their fato reject it in the present instance. Mr vourite, Prince Leopold. The proWynn also remained staunch to his posed allowance was passed with little former purpose. Were they, he ex- opposition, and amid high panegyrics claimed, to be addressed with such lan- on the character of the royal Duke.

“ Will you enter into the The Duke of Clarence meantime comcharacter of the royal family?" when pleted his proposed matrimonialengageit was obvious, that in the cases of ment, without even accepting the reduthese grants, that character was of the ced allowance made by Parliament. It greatest importance towards the set- was understood that the means of form. tling of the question? Upon such oc- ing a suitable establishment had been casions, was advantage to be taken of supplied out of the private funds of the that delicacy which every man felt Royal Family. Lord Castlereagh, in when he was destined to hear of his own remotely alluding to this circumstance, failings? and was it to be assumed, that endeavoured to point out the disgrace all that was said in praise of individuals, incurred by the nation in obliging its was to pass current for truth, because Princes to look elsewere for so essen. no one had taken upon himself the in. tial an object; but this taunt providious task of contradicting it? No duced no effect in the obdurate quarother marriage had taken place on which ter towards which it was directed. they had not called on the House to A bill was introduced by the Chancongratulate the throne; but upon that cellor into the House of Lords, for occasion they felt that there was no altering some clauses in the Regency ground for doing so. A female of the Act. The motive of the change was highest rank in this country had testi- produced by the state of her Majesty's fied her objection to the match by re- health, which rendered her residence • fusing to receive the lady in her pre- at Windsor inexpedient, and which - sence. It was on these grounds that also afforded apprehensions of a speedy the former decision of the House was dissolution. In reference to the for. one that gave satisfaction to the feel. mer circumstance, it was proposed to ings and morals of the country; and empower her Majesty to nominate four whatever had since been the conduct commissioners, in addition to those of the lady to whom he alluded, the who at present aided her, in the custody best panegyric that could be pronoun. of his Majesty's person. In reference ced on her was, that nothing further to the latter, without, however, any whatever had been heard of her. Not- express allusion to it, the clause which withstanding, therefore, the favourable ordained, that in case of the Queen's promises at the opening of the debate, ceasing to have the care of his Majesthe grant was rejected by 143 to 136. ty's person, Parliament should be forthThe sum of 60001. was, however, with summoned, was proposed to be granted as a jointure to the Duchess omitted, on account of the inconveniof Cumberland, in case of her husband's ence it would occasion, and the care death.

of his Majesty to be left in the hands

of the Commissioners, till the meeting investigation which this crisis promptof Parliament. Earl Grey opposed ed, seemed to sbew, that this change both these clauses, particularly the last, of sentiment took place without any with great pertinacity, demanding, not sufficient cause. She had, in fact, very judiciously, the reason why it been a good queen, and had fulfilled should be introduced at present, which, all the functions of her high station, though well understood, it would have without overstepping them. She had been obviously improper to mention. performed all her domestic duties in The House, on the whole, seemed to an exemplary manner, and was never be satisfied, when the first clause was accused of any undue interference in so far altered that the appointment of public affairs.' She shone peculiarly the Commissioners was vested in Parliam in the proper station of a queen, in ment. The measure then passed with maintaining the propriety and dignity little opposition through both Houses of her court. Without any revolting

This year concluded by a tragical, austerity, she took unremitting care though for some time expected event to maintain the strictness and purity of in the Royal Family. The Queen after public morals. At a time when licena lingering and dangerous illness, died tiousness of manners was making rapid on the 17th November. This event did progress among the higher ranks, her not excite throughout the nation circle was irrevocably shut against all nearly the same emotion as had been whose character had sustained any caused in the former year by the fate taint; and she thus, at a critical peof her daughter-in-law. There was riod, essentially contributed to the nothing in it abrupt or premature. maintenance of that domestic purity The Queen had for a long time led a which has so honourably distinguished retired life, and been little in the pub- the female character, in the nation over lic eye. She had even lost somewhat which she reigned. of her former popularity ; though the

CHAPTER XI.

SCOTLAND.

Proceedings in regard to Burgh Reform- Aberdeen-Dundee-Edinburgh.

Lord A. Hamilton's Motion respecting Proceedings in the Case of M*KinleyRespecting the Set given to Montrose.Lord Advocate's Bill for the Regulation of Scottish Burghs. Proceedings relative to Interference in the Lanark Election.

In Scotland, the cause of burgh which the town was not even able to reform continued to be eagerly pure pay the interest, had exposed it to sued, though its progress did not cor- disgrace, and involved in loss or ruin respond to the sanguine expectations many individuals and public establishwhich its votaries had at first been led ments. The magistrates, under whom to entertain.

this disaster ensued, had openly acThe point which, by every one in knowledged their own incapacity, and terested in this question, was looked had pointed to the defective constituto with the greatest anxiety, was the tion of the burgh as the source of the decision to be formed by the Privy dreadful condition to which it was reCouncil in the case of Aberdeen. On duced. After such a confession, was one side it was urged, that after grant- it possible even to contemplate the reing a new set and a poll-election to placing of these magistrates, and this Montrose, it was impossible, with any constitution unaltered ? Whatever the shew of reason or decency, to refuse Privy Council might feel or wish, the a similar boon to a city, with claims circumstances of such a case left them so much stronger: The constitution no choice whatever, but that of folof Montrose had been set aside solely lowing the example of Montrose. on account of some unintentional In reply to these arguments, it was and trivial omissions in point of form; urged by the supporters of an oppoand the new set had been granted site system, that Montrose had been merely upon the expressed wish of considered as a single and insulated the parties concerned, without any case, such as it then stood. In this circumstances clamantly demanding view, government, willing to gratify it. But Aberdeen had fallen under a the wishes of a body of respectable catastrophe unprecedented in the an- individuals, had consented, too hasti. nals of burgh policy. Bankruptcy, to ly perhaps, to adopt the proposed althe enormous extent of 230,0001. of teration. But the case was greatly

« AnteriorContinuar »