« AnteriorContinuar »
that she might hear the Princess, in case her assistance might be wanted s and the Prince of Cobourg remained. About two hours after leaving her, Mrs. G. was called by the Prince, in consequence of observing by her Royal Highness's articulation and countenance, that she was much indisposed. Mrs. Griffiths, on first sight of the Princess, also discovered that a serious change bad taken place, and immediately solicited the attendance of Sir RICHARD CROPT; who, finding her much exhausted, administered a little warm brandy and water. The symptoms becoming more alarming, he then urged the immediate attendance of Dr. BAILLIE and Dr. Sius. On these gentleman appearing, the Princess, apparently much agitated, inquired if tbey considerod her to be in danger ; to which Dr. BAILLIE replied, wish your Royal Highness to compose yourself.”—The difficulty of breath. ing increased, and in a few ipinutes she expired !
The members of his Majesty's Privy Council, who were in attendance in another part of the house, being informed that the delivery was effected by gature, that the Princess was as well, if not better, thao could be expected, after so tedious a labour, but that the child was still-born-expressed their satisfaction that the labour was completed without the use of instru. meats.
It has been said by Dr. Sims, that they were not at liberty to employ instruments in the case of the Princess CHARLOTTE, without the consent of the Prince REGENT. If this be really the case, the presence of his Royal Highness was alınost as necessary as that of the Doctors; for cases of such emergency do occur, in which the speedy assistance of an instrument may, be necesary to save both the inother and the infant, that the lives of both may be lost by the delay even of a few moments,
Sir Richard Crops has been much censured for baving left the Princess so soon after delivery. The Princess being placod in bed, we know no reason why he should have continued in the room. It was very desirable she sbould obtain a little rest, and for this purpose the room should have been kept as quiet as possible ; and with this view, the absence of Sir RICHARD was more to be desired than his presence. After a patient is safe in bed, the Accoucheur always leaves the room, and in general does not think of seeing the patient again for perhaps twelve hours; but in this case Sir RICHARD only retired to an adjoining room, from whence he might be summoned in one minute. Had he left the house, which is not unusual after the patient is safe in bed, there inight have been some ground for øensure, but in this instance there is ponc.
The arrangements made with Mrs. GRIFPITBS to retire to an adjoining room, the door of which opened into the chamber of the Princess, was ju. dicious ; and in order that the utmost tranquillity should be kept arouod her, no person, do our opinion, should have been allowed to remain in the room, particularly one that was likely to interrupt her repose by conversa. tion. The nervous system is in a high degree of irritation after a tedious labour, and the slightest occurrences often produce the most serious cuasequences. It has been said, that the presence of the Prince of COBOURG was more likely to tranquillize the mind than otherwise, and on this account the
Medical gentlemen allowed it. In confirmation of the truth of this assertion, it has been stated to us, that the Princess observing, shortly after her accouchement, that her consort appeared much distressed, and was lear. ing the room, concluded that it arose from learning that the infaol was stillborti. With that lively and 'amiable solicitude which not even her ex. hausted state could repress the exertion, the Priocess entreated that he might be sent for that she inight pour the balm of consolation into bis mind, and'assist him to bear, without repining, the temporary disappointment of all their hopes. The Prince returned ; and her languid countenance, beamiog with unutterable affection, tended as much as her words to soothe bim for their mutual loss. At this period some nourishment being deemed proper, she took from the Prince's hands a little chicken broth and some gruel.
Shortly after, the Princess was seized with spasras, a coldness of the extremities was observed the sure precursor of death. Blankets properly heated were immediately applied, in the hope of arresting " the grisly monarcb's visitation ;" but this, and other remedies, proved unavailing. la her last agonies, the Princess grasped thuse near her, and expired in the arms of her oldest female-attendant, Mrs. Lewis, who had never been separated from ber for the last twelve years. It was Dr. BAILLIE who first discovered the extinction of the vital spark, and pronounced that her pure spirit bad fled its earthly mansion. · The grief of those present may be conceived, it cannot be adequately deseribed. The female attendants were conveyed out of tbe room in a state of insensibility.
It has been urged to the prejudice of the illustrious female relatives of the deceascd, that none of them were present at the time of parturition, if not to give the benefit of their experience, at least to soothe and sustaio the spirits of the fair sufferer. But before we admit the justice of this reproach, we must recollect that the Princess, from motives pot difficult to be con. jectured, lived with her Consort in so much seclusion, that even in health, mere visitors were rarely admitted at Claremont. As it was known that ibe Princess herself did not wish for the presence of any females beyond the nurse and the ladies of her own establishment, a request urged at such a time, even in the most affectionate and gentle manner, must bave been ungracious, and, to the Princess, would bave worn the appearance of constraint. Besides, it should not be forgotten that the Prince and his consort were independent—that the latter was of an inflexible spirit, and that such a request, even if desirable, could not have been eoforced. With ordinary female attendants, many of whom were experienced matrons, the Princess was sufficiently provided long before the period of her accouchement Lady JOEN THYNNE, one of the ladies in waiting, was in constant attendance about two mooths previous to that event taking place. Mrs. CanfBELL and Mrs. Lewis, who had been with her Royal Hightless from her iofancy, were resident at Claremont. Mrs. CONENBOURG, the Princess's dresser, and Mrs. Pailles, the housekeeper, were both confidential domestics; and Mrs. Griffiths had been an inmate at Claremont six weeks before her services were required in the capacity of nurse.
The last visit which the Princess paid was to Lord and Lady Ossulston. This was about two months before ber confinement. The last visit which her Royal Highoess received was from the Duchess of YORK, who remained at Claremont about an hour, the same evening the Princess was con• fined.
Mrs. Gripfiths, who attended the Princess Charlotte, is an experienced ourse, and about sixty years of age. Her busband, who has been dead many years, was in some department of the Custom-house; and Mrs. G. has herself bad a large family, and has reared six children. She is greatly esteemed by inany noble families, as an active, assiduous, and affectionate nurse; and, from the commencement of the Princess's labour, was scarcely an instant absent.
Though circumstances have lately transpired to prove that the accouchement of the Princess was not premature, yet, previous to its occurring, ao opinion was credited that a week or ten days must elapse before it could be looked for. The Lord CHANCELLOR, when called up at five on the Tuesday morning, and apprized of the Princess's confinement, said he was taken by surprise, as one of the medical gentlemen, whoin he had seen on the Saturday. preceding, assured him that he did not think his altendance would be required at Clareniont for ten days. His Lordship Had, in consequence, delayed engaging post-horses ; and, upon the exi. gency of the moment, and notwithstanding the number of stable-keepers, four horses could not be procured nearer than St. Martin's-lane.
The several cotsins in which the reinains of the Přincess CHARLOTTE were interred, weighed together between five and six bundred pounds. At Claremont they were borne into the hearse by sixteen men, in the employment of Messrs. France and Bantine. In the processiop formed in Windsor Chapel, eigbt Yeomen of the Guard bore them for about a quarter of an bour ; and two of those men, who were not in a robust con. dition, have been since much indisposed.
That religion is the surest source of consolation to the beart of man when it sioks in mental suffering beneath the burden of sorrow, is a truth which every Christian gratefully admits in his most satisfactory convictions; and, wheu the shock of grief is sudden and unlooked for, it would seem to be the natural movement of his soul to make its supplicatory appeal to beaven for that aid which it knows to be ever at hand in all its reviving infuence.
if this is the pious acknowledgment of our individual experience, it surely must be the feeling of a people stricken by sonne unexpected and unforeseen calamity-for with a country that claims to itself a peculiar character of Christian sincerity, the priociple of piety is in no degree weak. ened, but rather acts with increased efficacy by the general adoption of it; and that sentiment which every man avows as a becoming confession of bis dependence upon Divine Providence for the continuance of his felicity, as well as for support under distress, must necessarily operate with a more diffusive interest when the joy or grief pervades a whole nation at once. That sympathy which is common to all, and is by all thus acknowledged,
will necessarily be evidenced by a testimony as unfeigned as it is universal; and the faith that prompts it associates the sensibilities of all in one cominon energy of devotional impulse.
In such a state of the public miod, struck down to the dust by a thunder. bolt of death, which bad risen and destroyed its proudest and its fondest hopes, was it to be wondered at that the population of these reálms, yielding to the first gush of their griefs, should seek to pour out the lainen tation of their hearts in the tempies of religion, and implore, at the throne of grace, the intervention of the Divine Mercy to avert from their native land those fearful results wbich their forebodings taught them to contem. plate in the late awful calamity.
· The virtues of the illustrious object of their solemn regrets had drawn towards her their reverent affections—the promise which they rejoiced in of a multiplied blessing drew the tie of loyal regard still closer between them and their future queen. The engaging qualities of her personal domeanour coociliated every rank of society; and the accents of praise were heard from every tongue-the higher orders of society confessed the purity of her greatness, and the humble dwelt with delight upon the siacerity of her condescension.
The bour drew nigh which was to make her the mother of an beir to the throne of British kings-the anticipations, the wishes, the prayers of all who knew how to value the unsophisticated excellence of her characler, were directed towards heaven in ansious suspeose-that hour came, but not the blessing with it-malas! the day in which such an hour was found, so dark and disastrous, so full of bitterness and woe. Our hope was lurved into despair--the joyful expectations of millions were converted into lears and anguish, and the tremblings of affliction shook the heart of the country. Then was displayed the ingenuous spirit of Britons, and a scene of mourne iog presented iiself, which exalted their native simplicity of benevolence into the highest standard of national benignity. They had won the meed of valour by the most glorious victories- by the prowess of their arms they bad given peace to the civilized world—but never did their laureld fame raise them higher in the scale of true greatness than did their mournfal self-abasement when, on the day of those funeral riles which consigued the mortal remains of their august Princess to the darkness of the grave; they crowded in multitudinous concourse to the hallowed houses of prayer, and sought, in the ordinances of religion, that help from on high which it well became the brave lo beseech when their days of triumph were tlius over. shadowed by the sudden night of desolation ; and she, whose brow they would have gladly enwreathed with the chaplet of their country's glory, was iir one eveniful instant numbered with the dead. It is the sacred criterion of patriot truth to love the country of our birth for the sake of those virtues which grace our brethren of the soil - virtues which depend not for ibeir designation upon doubtful or devious qualifications, but which prove their positive claim to our regard by the decided uniform properties of their excellence-among these may justly be ranked a reverence for religion ; and never was this reverence more earnestly, or with
deeper interest, exemplified, than in the sad day of memorial to which these remarks refer.
We would presume that those of the clergy of our veperable establishineat, who, in the true spiritual concern of faithful pastors, met the aoxieties and consulted the feelings of their respective docks, will by their own impressions justify ours. it is not for us to enter into the question of church discipline, vor would we take upon ourselves to decide upon tbe propriety őr impropriety of those opposite measures which were adopted by that respectable body; but we will honestly confess, that in every instance, wbether in church or chapel, or meeting, by which access to the rush of affectionate fervour and devotional disposilion was given to the sorrowing clouds, we are ioclined to recognize a more prudential and a more pastoral accommodation of the public sentiment, than in the pleas which have been urged for the refusal of it.
We cannot couccive that if it had pleased God to have reversed the result, and to have filled the country wiib joy, by sparing the life of the estable mother and that of ber boped-for offspring, a day of thanksgiving.would have been appointed and sure, we are, that not an iobabitant of the British dominiums whose head and heart could comprehend and feel the mercy of the providential booo, would have suffered any purpose of temporal concern which : might have been at all dispensed with, to bave interposed between bis joy and his gratitude, bis patriolisin and his piety-may we not, then, as justifiably conclade, that the expression of grief at the total subversion of all this prospective good was entitled to an attention equally consistent with the general sentiment; and that this attention could not have acted in a more appropriate direction than that which might blend the public feeling with the duties of religious reflection.
It is upon extraordinary occasions that more than ordinary energies may be expected to be put forth, and upon this ever-to-be-deplored event we bave to bear witness to some of the most impressive and appropriate discourses that bare ever proceeded from tbe pulpit. Most of those ministers of religion who wisely thought that a more important scuson could not be adopted to improve the public miod, while thus sensitively conditioned, have allowed these sermons to pass through the press; and those which we have recorded by their several texts may certainly be registered amoug ibe ablest specimens of prompt ability and intellectual aptitude of unpremeditated eloquence. We do not particularize any of them - among so many excellent ones, such distinction would be in vidiousbut we content ourselves with one unreserved declaration of our opiniontbat while the religious feelings and babits of our countrymen are thus unequivocally expressed and thus liberally consulted, neitber the throne nor the people can possess a surer ground of relative dependence and reci. procal right thau ihat which inculcates with equal authority of dictate, ibe comwands of God and the laws of man, and unites the doctrines and consolations of faith with the duties and affections of social life.