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cises a superintending power over the Royal family, it is by no means to be contended, that, upon every light occasion, an inquiry should be encouraged into the manner of executing this high trust. Into the branches of the prerogative, it is not usual to examine, unless some ground is laid for the supposition that there has been maladministration: and perhaps, from the peculiar nature of the functions in question, a peculiarly strong ground should be required to justify either Parliament or the Public in interfering. But that the attention of both should at all times be awake, and that every circumstance should be deemed fit for consideration which may bear upon such high public interests as are involved in the exercise of this power, must be manifest to all who have attended to our preceding observations. It may very possibly happen that a case should not be made out which will justify public and formal proceedings against the advisers of the Crown, or even a rigorous inquiry into the discharge of the duty in question; but it never can be a sufficient answer to the complaints preferred, to deny the right of interference; to assert that the matter is private and not public; and to speak of the Royal House and its affairs, as of the domestic establishment of any private individual On this, as on every other question respecting the exercise of the prerogative, it is the duty of Parliament to watch; always to entertain the matters propounded, as if abuse of power were possible, and further proceedings might be necessary; but only to adopt those further proceedings when their necessity is evinced by evidence sufficient to make it probable that the abuse exists.

Thus much may suffice for the present upon the general topics connected with this subject-topics eminently interesting to all who value the security of the government, and the tranquillity and happiness of their country. But we should be meanly declining the duties required of good citizens in arduous times, if we shrunk from going a step further, and indicating some of the matters to which it chiefly imports the community, that the principles now laid down should be applied. Once for all, we desire to be understood as casting no reflection upon any person whatsoever. We do not insinuate that guilt exists; and we hope and trust that there never will be room for such an insinuation: But we say that circumstances require a jealous and vigilant attention. We complain not of what has been done, or omitted; but we assert, that the more alive the people are to their best interests, the less reason will they hereafter have for complaints of mismanagement or neglect. Without affirming that a discretion has been abused, we assert that large powers entrusted to men are liable to be misused; and the more so,

when their exercise is withdrawn from the public eye. Without so much as insinuating that any sinister interests have in fact been suffered to stand in the way of right, we venture to remind the community, that watchfulness is doubly necessary, when right, unaccompanied by power, is exposed to a collision with interests invested with the highest. We speak only the language of the Constitution. Why should we hesitate? There are precedents to hear us out; aye, down to the year before the last, and relative to the very persons now in supreme authorityprecedents in which all squeamishness was sacrificed to a sense of duty. Why then should we scruple, from any motives of false delicacy, to speak out? When the regency was arranged, it was not deemed fit to commit, to the Illustrious Person at the head of the Government, the care of the King's person! Who ever thought of opposing this precaution, upon the ground that it was unhandsome or invidious towards the Prince; that it conveyed suspicions of the most atrocious kind, and such as no human being had ever harboured against him? It was enough that so tremendous a danger was in itself possible; and that the public was bound to guarantee such mighty interests against the most remote and unlikely hazards. We have in truth the highest of all authorities for vindicating the extraordinary scrupulousness manifested by the authors of the measure;-for they were speedily received into the favour and confidence of the exalted Individual against whom their vigilant cares had so recently been directed.

The anxiety of the public has been more than once very strongly excited by the peculiar predicament in which the presumptive Heiress of the Crown is placed. Arrived at the years of womanhood, and liable at any day to be raised to the throne, without the least chance of any restrictions being imposed upon the exercise of her royal functions, it is natural for the people whom she will one day govern, to be anxious that her education should fit her betimes for those exalted duties which she will then have to perform. They ask, if she is permitted to associate with the world, to become acquainted with affairs, to learn the science of practical government, to engage in that which is the proper study of mankind,' but the peculiar qualification of their rulers. What answer is made to inquiries so natural? First, we are told, that all this is private matter-But to this we have already replied perhaps but too much at large. Then it is said, in the same spirit, that a young woman ought not to go about, or be left too much to herself. Does any man seriously believe that such stuff can for an instant deceive or satisfy the inquirers? He must then be prepared to introduce the Salic law at once, which

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excludes females from the succession; though his reasons will be very different from those of the old lawgivers, for he must proceed on the mere fear of offending female delicacy, and running counter to a lady's habits. Such reasoners as this have no other alternative; for how can they bear even to think of a Queen Regnant's occupations? Are they aware that the young woman' whom they would lock up because ordinary misses are sometimes so treated, (at least one in ten thousand we believe may be so *), is doomed, by the condition of her birth, to overcome and disregard the delicacies which all other females are bound to observe, indulge, and cherish? Do they mean to say, that Courts Martial shall, in her reign, never be held, where the evidence may wound a female ear, because that evidence must be all reported to her? Or that no offences of a nature inconsistent with decency, shall ever be brought to trial, because it may be necessary to lay their details before the Supreme Distributer of mercy? Really a single glance at the subject, is enough to demonstrate the extreme absurdity of confounding a personage so peculiarly circumstanced, with the common run of women, whose lot is cast in private stations, and who never can have any duties to discharge but those of wives and mothers.

But, perhaps the necessity of early appointing a Court and Establishment for the Heiress presumptive is, in a constitutional view, still more apparent, when we consider the fitness of affording her defence and protection against risks, imaginary no doubt as to the existing circumstances, but in the eye of the law necessarily regarded as possible. She, whose wellbeing stands in the way of many great interests, requires extraordinary protection; more especially if those interests appertain to powerful individuals. Again, we deprecate all petulant misconstructions; we are far indeed from insinuating that any danger exists: But remote possibilities are to be contemplated in affairs of such paramount importance; and they who approved the excess of caution which refused to entrust a son with the care of his sick and aged parent, cannot surely be impatient of the reasonable objections which may arise to surrounding a defenceless niece with uncles who have regiments, aye and armies at their disposal. The man who dares not speak out upon this subject, would never, by the honest discharge of his duty to the Constitution, rather than the individual Monarch, have earned the high distinctions of Princely favour, which rewarded the framers of the Regency

*We doubt if more than this proportion in London can be found who, at almost nineteen years of age, never have been allowed to see a Play!

Act, as soon as the Illustrious person whom it hampered in the most delicate particulars, out of an extreme jealousy, succeeded to the pittance of authority conferred by it. He is not dealing fairly, we may be assured, who affects not to see in the peculiarly critical situation of the Illustrious female, a more than ordinary occasion for separate establishment, household, officebearers-in short every arrangement which can multiply checks and defences, by creating interests favourable to her protection, and bestowing on her the security which publicity alone can fully give.

Under these circumstances, we are persuaded, no difference of sentiment can exist, upon the extreme impropriety of any arrangement which should carry this exalted Personage out of the country. Such a plan would be highly unconstitutional, and, we believe, it would be pregnant with danger to the tranquility of the country. Upon this subject let a single remark suffice. Suppose her Royal Highness to be abroad, and incapable, from approaching confinement, to return at a moment's warningBut indeed it is enough to suppose her abroad. The Regent's decease, or illness, or going abroad, occasions a vacancy in the regency. We know that Parliament refused to provide beforehand, by a general law, for such an emergency: the reasons of this refusal we do not know, nor can they be easily conjectured; -but a vacancy takes place: Is it not manifest that there will be an election of a person to fill it? that there will be competitors and conflicting claims? We shall have the rightful heir absent, under circumstances likely to furnish arguments to those on the spot; the other competitors present, one with a family-perhaps the other with an army :-Can any man contemplate the bare possibility of such a contest without dismay? We are afraid of extending the right of voting for members of Parliament, for fear of multiplying contested elections; but what shall we say to a contested regency? In very truth, it would be as bad as an elective crown. Now it may be remarked, that the case, here put, imputes no criminal intent to the supposed competitors. The law, as declared by the precedents of 1788 and 1811, is, that no person has a strict right to the place; that the Heirapparent, or presumptive, has a paramount claim, (to use Mr Pitt's distinction); but that the choice rests with the two Houses of Parliament. A principle borrowed from the anarchy of elective constitutions, is thus transplanted into our hereditary monarchy: it becomes us most sedulously to see, that it brings none of the evils along with it which so rankly infest the soil it came from. Parliament, by rejecting the proposal of a general prospective arrangement, and leaving each vacancy to be filled

up in the confusion which it creates, has given up the best means of prevention that could be devised ;-but on this account it becomes the more indispensably necessary to guard against elective anarchy by all the means that are left: And surely the unfortunate state of things which those decisions of the Legislature have created, increases a thousand fold the dangers of such vacancies happening while the principal candidate, the person whose appointment alone can maintain the peace of the realm, is detained beyond the seas, and the field is occupied by powerful competitors. We have already observed, more than once, that in matters of such high concernment, it is the part of wisdom to provide against remote possibilities; following therein the example of the law, which is not satisfied with removing every solid reason that might tend to disturb the tranquillity of the realm, but seeks moreover to destroy all pretexts for discord, * as well aware, that in contentions of this nature, a pretence, and that not always the most plausible, may, when backed by force, have a fatal power to unsettle the public peace.

Having touched upon this subject, we cannot close the discussion without observing upon another intimately connected with it, the alliance by marriage with a foreign prince, by many persons so much desired, that we may plainly perceive they had never attentively considered the subject. Such a connexion appears in every view to be deprecated. Have we not had enough of continental family concerns? Must the interests of England be wedded to another part of Europe, and still more deeply entangled with its affairs? No one can doubt that this country has an interest in every thing which passes on the Continent; and they know little of our real policy who would counsel us against maintaining, by every means, our connexions with the rest of Europe. But those connexions must be the result of our interest, and not the dictates of personal or family attachments, of which we have already had enough and to spare. Accidental circumstances promise speedily to put an end to these, at least, in the person of the next Sovereign: Would it not be the height of folly, if, instead of profiting by this good fortune,

* The Treason law affords a remarkable instance of this anxiety. It might have been enough to enact, that all the Queen Consort's children born in wedlock should be deemed legitimate. Indeed the common law makes them so: but because any suspicion cast upon their real parentage might be used as a pretence for setting them aside by a powerful pretender, extraordinary penalties are denounced against whatever may tend to excite this doubt, and to furnish such pretences.

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