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Serious well-judging person will be of opinion, that the part of the Bill which declares that she shall be divorced from her husband, is the most appropriate part of it. An adulterous intercourse by a Queen Consort, the King's eldest daughter, and the wife of the King's eldest son, with any man in England, was punishable with death, as high treason, probably for many ages before the 25th Ed. III. It was confined, at that time, to these three females, by that statute; because, by their misconduct, the legitimate succession to the Crown would be endangered, and, by the example of females in their high stations, the moral sentiments and conduct of all other women in the kingdom were likely to be contaminated and corrupted.
.. It has become a proverbial saying, repeated with some degree of approbation, that · Cæsar's wife ought not to be suspected. Clodius, a dissolute Roman youth, was discovered in female attire in the house of Pompeia, Cæsar's wife, who was then celebrating the awful and mystic sacrifices of the goddess Bona Dea. At the trial of Clodius, “ Cæsar negavit se aliquid comperisse. Interrogatus cur igitur repudiasset uxorem : Quoniam, inquit, meos tam suspicione quam crimine judico carere oportere." SUETON. J. Cæsar. 74.–That is, “ Cæsar declared that he had discovered nothing against his wife: but being asked why then he had divorced her,
he said, Because every one connected with me ought to be clear both from guilt and from suspicion."
Cæsar did not do that act, and assign that reason for it, for his own honour and happiness, but for the honour and happiness of all his subjects ; because Cæsar's wife was to be a pattern and example to the wife and daughter of every Roman citizen,
This might have been done in a country whose Magna Charta was Quod principi placuit, legis vigorem habet ; but the people of England, or their legitimate representatives, will never suffer a Sove, reign of Great Britain to repudiate his wife for suspicion, or for less than the most irrefragable proofs, manifested to all the world, of her criminality, and that also in a country where chastity is preeminently denominated the virtue of every female, and where, if that is lost, she is thought to have nothing left worth preserving.
o Virtue and Vice had boundaries, in old time,
Her sex's honour, was renounc'd herself, :
And taught th' unblemish'd to preserve with care..'
CowPER's Task, Book 3.
If the three illustrious persons, the Queen Consort, the King's eldest daughter, or the wife of the King's eldest son, should ever be impeached for that purity not preserved with care,—and if every Peer, without exception, should pronounce “ guilty upon my honour,"—it is indisputably true that they could not make a divorce part of their sentence:that must be done by a distinct, independent Act of Parliament.
But in a Bill of Pains and Penalties, where there is a strict adherence to the law of evidence, that Taw of evidence which must be observed both in an impeachment and also in an Act of Parliament for a divorce, there seems to be no repugnancy, but a consistency and propriety that a clause for a divorce should be made part of such a Bill. .
Since the introduction of the Bill of Pains and Penalties into the House of Lords, I have frequently read, in the Newspapers, that the word Conspiracy has been made use of in the very extraordinary papers or speeches ascribed to persons out of the House of Lords, and also that it lias been frequently used by very dignified characters within
the the House, but with a degree of vagueness and uncertainty which I lamented much to observe, because it seemed ill calculated to advance the cause of truth and justice.
Several questions have been put to the Judges, upon the legal evidence, to prove a Conspiracy ; and God forbid that that or any other crime should ever be proved, or attempted to be proved, by any other evidence than that which has been legal evidence for ages, past, and will be legal evidence for ages to come, if not constitutionally altered by the united wisdom of the King, Lords, and Commons, in Parliament assembled.
If I were called upon to explain what is a Conspiracy, to a person with an imperfect knowledge of the law of England, I should say it was a combination of two or more to do an illegal action: every conspiracy must be that; yet every such combination is not a conspiracy; as a combination between two poachers to kill game in a gentleman's preserve in the night time was held by Lord Ellenborough, and the Court of King's Bench, not to be a conspiracy ; because, otherwise, a whole field of hunters, or any two qualified gentlemen coursing or shooting, where they were trespassers, would be guilty of a conspiracy : but a combination
to take away the character of an innocent indivi-, dual is a conspiracy of a very nefarious nature indeed.
The object of the notorious conspiracy of the Cock-Lane Ghost was to induce the public to believe that a particular innocent individual had been guilty of the crime of murder. All who were proved to have been active to produce that wicked illegal object, were found guilty of a conspiracy, and received a severe sentence, but not more severe than just, from Lord Mansfield. One inan stood in the pillory three times.-King v. Parsons, 1 Black. Rep. 392. and Christian's Charges, 119.
It has also been held, that if two or more combine, tò destroy or injure the credit of a banker, they are, guilty of a serious conspiracy. Ibid. 118.
It will therefore follow, that those who join in charging innocent and honourable persons with a conspiracy, are themselves guilty of a conspiracy,—and of a conspiracy of no ordinary magnitude. When the wicked combine, the virtuous and the good must associate ; their union forms the bonds of honourable society, and of every wise and just government. Those who are particularly employed in the administration of justice, must