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purpose, in 1787, again to call upon the nation for an immense sum to pay off the prince's debts, without doing something that should amount to à censure on him by whom those debts had been contracted? The transactions of 1787 had left the prince no justification and no excuse for this new mass of debts. At that time he had had, from the time of his coming of age in 1783, an allowance from the king, out of the civil list, of 50,0001. a year; an allowance enormous, especially if we consider the then low price of all household expenses. Nevertheless, it required but four years to involve the prince in debts; a circumstance that reflected less credit on him than the friends of kingly government could have wished to see belong to so distinguished a branch of the royal family; a circumstance, in fact, which was, in itself, no weak argument in favour of the French, who were contending for a Republican government.
40. It was not, therefore, without some severe animadversions on his conduct, that the House of Commons entertained a proposition to pay the debts of 1787; and they did not pass the grant, until the king had given them the strongest assurances, that a similar application, for a similar
purpose, would never again be made. In his message of the 21st of May, 1787, the king, after expressing his great concern at being under the necessity of acquainting the House of the
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extent of the prince's debts, and after observing how painful it was to him to propose, on this account, an addition to the burdens of his people, proceeds thus : "His Majesty could not, however,
expect or desire the assistance of this House, “but on a well-grounded cxpectation that the "prince will avoid contracting any debts in fu“ ture. With a view to this object, and not from
any anxious desire to remove any possible doubt “ of the sufficiency of the prince's income to sup“port amply the dignity of his situation, his
majesty has directed a sum of 10,0001. per annuin to be paid out of his civil list, in addition “to the allowance which his majesty has hither“ to given him ; and his majesty has the satis“faction to inform the House, that the Prince of “Wales has given his Majesty the fullest assu
rance of his determination to confine his future expenses within his income, and has also settled a plan for arranging those expenses in the “several departments, and for fixing an order for
payment under such regulations as his majesty “ trusts will effectually secure the due execution “ of the prince's intentions.”
41. Upon this message the minister proposed, and the parliament voted, the sum of 161,1091. to pay off the debts; a sum perfectly monstrous, if we consider the prices of things at the time, and if we also consider, that it must have been contracted within the short space of about three
years and a half. The nation, however, always foolishly liberal, seems to have been willing to overlook the past, in consequence of the solemn assurances of the prince, conveyed to it under the hand of the king himself, that this should be the last application of the kind.
42. When, therefore, another application of precisely the same kind was to be made, how could any minister advise the king to make it, without accompanying that application with a proposal to do a something in the way of security for the future, and of censure for the past? Accordingly the king recommended and the parliament adopted, in 1795, the appointment of commissioners to superintend the payment of the debts, and the passing of the act before-mentioned.
43. It is easy to conceive how disagreeable it must have been to the prince to have every debt, and the nature of every debt, canvassed before commissioners ! And how very different this was from placing, at once, the 639,8901. at his own disposal. There was a commission to sit for at least nine years, as they were to pay only 73,0001, a year. All this time there must necessarily be a great many discontented creditors, who are by no means the most patient or most friendly of mortals. The prince was a debtor all the while; and, while the nation thought, and truly thought, his allowance very large, he found that what he was receiving was much
too small for those purposes which he deemed his wants.
44. Thus his marriage, instead of affording the prince that relief from embarrassment, which his friends said he had been led to expect from it, was, to him, a season of the deepest humiliation. Those friends were very
loud in their reproaches against the minister ; and the prince's brother, the Duke of CLARENCE (now WILLIAM IV.) said, in his place in the House of Lords, that, “when " the marriage of the prince was agreed upon,
there was a stipulation that he was to be exonerated from his debts.”
45. The marriage had failed, therefore, of accomplishing one of its apparent objects. In such cases personal affection is never much to be relied on. The thing is altogether an affair of statepolicy; and, under circumstances such as have here been stated, it is but too natural to suppose that the other party in the inarriage would derive no advantage from the disappointment of the above-mentioned pecuniary hopes. There were, indeed, added to the annual sum, 27,0001, for expenses of the marriage ; 28,0001. for jewels and plate; and 26,0001. to finish the prince's palace of Carlton House : but, there was a control as to the expenditure of those sums, which were by no means to be spent by the prince. So that in fact, his pecuniary circumstances, his capacity of spending money, became lowered, and
greatly lowered, by his marriage, which of necessity augmented his household expenses.
46. It is very true, that 65,0001, a year, clear of all taxes, undeducted from by house-rent, furniture, repairs, and many other of those outgoings which so largely deduct from other men's incomes, was a sum so large, that one can hardly imagine how it was to be disposed of without an absolute throwing of it away. But having seen, that, during the seven years previous to the marriage, the prince had expended 140,0001. a year, we are not to be surprised, that he experienced deep mortification at being reduced to less than half the sum ; and, especially when he saw his stipend placed in the hands of commissioners, responsible to the law for the distribution of the money.
47. This mortification was strongly expressed by his friends in parliament; and, certainly, anyo thing more mortifying, more humiliating, cannot well be imagined than the provisions of the act relating to the application of the new settlement of 140,0001. a year. The commissioners were to be, the speaker of the House of Commons; the chancellor of the Exchequer; the master of the King's household; the accountant-general of the court of Chancery; and the surveyor-general of the crown-lands. They were to have complete power to examine all creditors on oath; to inquire into the origin and nature of every