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debt; to watch over the future expenditure; and, in short, to be absolute, as to all the pecu, niary affairs of the prince, who was placed under a guardianship and control as severe as if he had still been an infant, or something even lower in the scale of intellectual capacity.
48. FRANCIS DUKE OF BEDFORD, in adverting to these measures, in his place in parliament, vehemently censured the ministers.
He said, that “a variety of circumstances would occur to « candid minds in extenuation of the errors of
the prince, which were of a juvenile description, " and did by no means call for asperity of cen
sure.". The EARL OF LAUDERDALE said, that “it did not become so great and opulent a peo“ ple to act with severity towards a young
prince, from who se virtues, abilities, and ac“ complishments, they might justly expect to “ derive so much contentment."
49. The nation, however, does not appear to have thought that thirty-three years of age was a very "juvenile" stage of life. If it were such, however, in this particular case, the nation could see no objection to a guardianship, and control such as are usual in the “ juvenile” state. And as to those virtues and abilities of which the Earl of Lauderdale spoke, though no one was presumptuous enough to deny, or to express a doubt as to their existence; no one, on the other hand, appeared to be able to deduce a proof of them,
from what had happened in 1787, or from the present exhibition of debts which had been contracted notwithstanding the solemn assurances given at the former period.
50. Harsh, severe, humiliating, as the measures of Pirt certainly were, they met with the approbation of the nation at large, who, whatever they might think of the prince himself, had a very bad opinion of some, at least, of those who were regarded as being in his confidence and in his favour. Besides, the nation looked attentively at the causes of the debts. They looked at the list of claimants and of claims. They looked at the items; and in them they did not discover anything which seemed to form a compensation, either in possession or in hope, for the immense sums which the prince's indulgences had drained from the fruit of their labour.
Indeed, the princess seems to have been, in regard to this point, their only source of consolation. Concluding, from the experience of mankind, that matrimony would put an end to those things which had been so costly to them, and had so long filled them with alarm, they looked upon the princess as giving them much better security than they could have in commissionerships and acts of parliament.
51. The marriage had brought the prince a wife, but it had brought him none of those other things which his friends and partizans, at least,
said he expected from it; and it had brought him worse than no fortune at all; for it had, in fact, taken from him, as to the management of his pecuniary concerns, all sort of power, and even of influence. The reader will judge for himself, whether these immediate consequences of the marriage (so different from those that had been anticipated) were likely to operate in the mind of the husband favourably towards the wife. Precisely how they did operate we cannot pretend to know; but certain it is that domestic happiness was not long an inmate at Carlton House.
52. The mortification of the prince seemed to admit of little addition: it seeined to be complete; but it did receive an addition in the conduct of the parliament towards the princess, on whom, by an act pased on the same day with that which established a commission to manage thie affairs of the Prince, they settled a jointure of 50,0001. a year, leaving the expenditure entirely under her own control! Thereby making by law a contrast between the husband and wife, to the disgrace of the former. Never did the prince to the hour of his death forget this ! Mr. Grey, who was in fact the beginner of the attack upon him, he never forgave; and this is the real cause of his unconquerable aversion to every arrangement that included the putting of Lord Grey into power. Certainly, the treatment of the prince in this case, was, in itself considered, most in
sulting; but before we say that a man is insulted, we must consider what the man is; and not merely what his rank is, but what his character is, and what his conduct has been; and if we thus consider in this case, we cannot say that there could be an insult inflicted; for, what, alas! was that character, and what had been that conduct?
From the Marriage of the King, in April, 1793,
to the commencement of his Regency, in July, 1811.
53. It was not in reason nor in nature to expect, that a marriage, a marriage of mere state-policy, and attended by circumstances so mortifying to the husband as those detailed in the foregoing chapter, should be happy, especially when that husband had at his nod scores of women, equal in point of accomplishments and far surpassing in personal charms, the lady with whom it was his lot to be united; that such a marriage should be happy was not to be expected ; but, it might have led to a life free from scandal, free from disgrace, free from cruelty to the disliked party, and free from measures throwing enormous burdens on the people; it might have been free from all these it might not have been made the cause of taking from the labour of the people a million of pounds, or thereabouts, in measures to bring