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of this transaction by the treasury previous to the beginning of this year? he said, "I apprehend it was not even known to the trea. sury, previous to this year." And being asked, whether any notice was taken by any other public office? he said," Not to my know. ledge."
The report then proceeds to state, that Mr. Rose, being examined, said, that the facts respecting Mr. Steele were not communicated to him until the 10th of February, 1806, at which time he considered himself completely out of office, and could not interfere officially, but he desi. red Mr. Thomas to write to Mr. Steele; he also had a conversation with that gentleman, and wrote a letter to him upon the subject, the answer to which led him to rest satisfied, that the whole matter would be communicated without delay to lord Grenville, or the paymastergeneral. The report then notices two sums of 110,000l. paid to Boyd and co. for services, which failed; the former of which was repaid, and the second was not, but is still in a course of legal proceeding, in consequence of the bankruptcy of that house. The report coucludes with suggesting regulations to prevent similar abuses.
"Upon the important subject of recommending measures which may prevent similar abuses in future, your committee observe great concern, that the most obvious, and perhaps the only effectual remedy, has been found by experience hi. therto unattainable; but they think it necessary to represent as their deliberate opinion, that without an earlier examination, and auditing of
accounts, irregularities can hardly be prevented; and that temptation will never be wanting to make use of public money, while there exists a great probability of its being for a long time uncalled for. After the accounts come before the commis. sioners for auditing, no attention is wanting in requiring proper warrants in discharge for every payment, and no sum is allowed without a voucher of that kind; but so slow has been the progress hitherto, that notwithstanding the observations made on the subject by the committee of finance in 1797 and 1798, not one account of any paymaster-general has been finally settled and decared, nor made ready for declaration, in the nine or ten years which have since elapsed."
Mr. Paull and Sir Francis Burdett's recent Duel.-Mr. Cooper's state
A publication which appeared in the morning papers of Saturday last, signed John Bellenden Ker,"* renders it impossible for me to remain any longer silent under representations and aspersions the most artful and unfounded that ever made their way to the public. If I have remained hitherto silent under such aspersions and misrepresentations from the pen of John Horne Tooke, and others, it has really been from contempt for the calumniators, and not for any ap prehensions of the result of a full developement of the circumstances of the recent duel, either as affecting Mr. Paull, or myself. I shall be brief as possible in stating the
See p. 426-428.
facts themselves; but I cannot help observing that many of these facts will appear in a very different point of view to that, in which they are given to the public by Mr. John Bellenden Gawler: he will excuse me for using the name by which he is best known to the pub. lic.
My object was not concealment, but I understood distinctly from Mr. Paull, that both he and sir Francis Burdett had decided against the utility of any statement beyond a mere mention of the meeting; and even that, if judged necessary, to be without the names of the seconds. To this moment I cannot imagine one substantial reason for any other line of conduct; and I leave it to the public to judge, if there is one new fact brought to light, (though a most reprehensible attempt has been made on the part of Mr. Gawler, to turn my conduct and character into ridicule, on a most serious occasion,) except, indeed, that he has proved, what I never denied, my ignorance in the loading of a pistol, the measuring of a distance, and the dropping of a signal." He, on the contrary, is an adept in the science of duel. ling; that he has long traded in af. fairs of this kind, that he seems equally indifferent to his appearing in the field, or in the forum, where he certainly has been no iaconsiderable actor in his day. Unfortunately for Mr. Paull and my self, Mr. Gawler was the second to sir Francis Burdett, on the intended affair with Mr. Whitbread. For the sins of my principal, and myself, an opinion was given by Mr. Paul to Mr. Gawler on that occasion, which did not seem to
have escaped the recollection of Mr. Gawler on the recent duel.
The public has been already in. formed of the meeting at the Crown and Anchor on the 1st of May, and the letters that were then read by Mr. Jones Burdett at that din. ner. I attended as a friend of Mr. Paull, to whom I had been introduced by a near relation in the India service.-Alter quitting the Crown and Anchor, he requested me to attend him as his second upon a most unforeseen, unexpect. ed, and unfortunate affair, in which he found himself engaged with his friend sir Francis Burdett. Mr. Paull said he was loth to im pose this duty on me on account of my family circumstances; but that the hour was late; and from what I had seen, not a moment was to be lost, if he (Mr. Paull) meant to stand well with his friends or the public. He immediately wrote two addresses to the electors of Westminster, which having dis patched, he then wrote a letter to sir Francis Burdett, and gave me instructions, from which I was upon no account to depart. These instructions were, " to explain coolly and deliberately to sir Francis Bur dett the injury he (Mr. Paull) had sustained, both in a public and pri vate point of view; that after the explanations that had passed be tween him and sir Francis in the early part of the week, and especially on Thursday, sir Francis was left without an excuse for his conduct; and that, at all events, the manner, the time, and terms made use of to strike the blow, without any previous hint having been given of the mode of attack, was so unfeeling and unkind, that
October, (which was at a dinner at the Crown and Anchor,) a dinner was fixed on, and sir F. named as the chairman in a public advertisement, and of which sir F. was advised on the same evening by Mr. Paul, who received in answer that extraordinary private letter, which was read by Mr. Jones Burdett, at the Crown and Anchor; upon the receipt of which Mr. Paul dispatched, by express, an answer to sir F. at Wimbledon, in which he expressed his sincere concern that any mistake or misconception should have taken place, and the grounds upon which he (Mr. Paull) was induced to conclude sir F. would have ta
an apology he had a right to insist upon, and that, if refused, other alternative only remained. As we proceeded to Wimbledon, Mr. Paull represented to me the painful necessity of this measure; but he had no alternative, as the insult was gross, wanton, and unprovoked: He stated to me it was long the wish of his heart to see sir Francis Burdett in parliament, but that unhappily his wishes were counteracted by an influence superior to his own. That on Sunday last, he (Mr. Paull) repaired to Wimbledon on hearing that a dissolution was intended ; that he had a long conversation with sir Francis, the result of which was, that though sir Fraucis would not pub-ken the chair. He apologized, he licly offer himself as a candidate for Westminster, and though (contrary to Mr. Cobbett's opinion) he despaired of the country, he should be well pleased to find that so much public spirit existed in the city of Westminster, as to returu both Mr. Paull and him to parliament. Mr. Paull said, he concluded the conversation by requesting sir Francis to nominate him, as he had done last October, (which was at a dinner at the Crown and Anchor,) to which sir Francis most readily consented; Mr. Paul stayed dinner, and was sorry to perceive that Mr. Tooke's opinion was decidedly against sir Francis Burdett going into parliament; to which opinion he (Mr. Paul) attributed the conduct of sir F. Burdett, as exhibited by the letters from him, which were read by his brother at the Crown and Anchor meeting. Connected as Mr. Paull had been for a long pe riod with sir Francis Burdett, and the assent given by sir Francis Burdett on the Sunday, to nominate Mr. Paull as he had done last 4
said, in a manner rather humiliating, for the liberty he had taken under the influence of misconception, and offered to do away the effect of the advertisement in any manner that sir F. would prefer; that in another letter on the following day, sent by express, Mr. Paull reiterated these expressions of regret, and offered the same means of remedying the advertisement; but no farther objection was stated, no de sire expressed for withdrawing the advertisement, no remedy pointed out; all which he attributed to the subsequent consent given by sir Francis to serve if he was elected to represent the city. That on Thurs. day, Mr. Paull, on entering the drawing-room of col. Bosville, was accosted by sir Francis in the most cordial and friendly manner; that Mr. Paull took sir F. into an ad joining room, when he shewed him an advertisement in a newspaper called the Pilot, in which Mr. Paull was announced as the chairman to put certain resolutions, which personally regarded sir F. Burdett.
No observation was made by sir F. tending to disapprove of the nature of that advertisement; they then retired with the rest of the company from the drawing-room to dinner, and as soon as the cloth was removed, Mr. Paull gave to sir F. across the table, the resolutions that were to be moved on the ensuing day at the Crown and Anchor, which he very deliberate. ly read, and in returning them to Mr. Paull he said, he highly approved of them, that they were excellent. After quitting the house of colonel Bosville, sir F. Burdett, Mr. Jones Burdett, and Mr. Paull, walked towards home together, and parted at Blake's Hotel, in Jermyn-street; and the result of the conversation during the walk was, that sir Francis should discontinue his address to the electors of Middlesex, until the result of the meeting at the Crown and Anchor, the next day, should be known. Nothing occurred from that time till the moment of entering the dining-room at the Crown and Anchor, when Mr. Jones Burdett made his appearance; that Mr. Paull, little imagining what brought him there, immediately led him to the top of the table, and placed him on his right hand.-That during dinner, he (Mr. P.) had repeatedly and momentarily solicited Mr. Jones Burdett to explain the nature of the communication, which he had declared his intention to make to the company assembled; that he (Mr. P.) persevered in these efforts of obtaining that know ledge, mentioned the notes that had passed between him and sir. F. and alluded strongly to the friendly terms on which they parted the even. ing before; the conversation clo.
sed, Mr. Paull said, with Mr. Bur. dett's stating, " that he had an imperative commission from his brother to execute; that he was determined to execute it in the very manner prescribed, whatever might be the consequences. He admitted it to be a most disagreeable duty to perform, and that he would do it for no other man on earth but sir F. Burdett."
About one o'clock,
we arrived at Wimbledon, and I delivered the letter to sir Francis, and explained to him Mr. Paull's expectations.
Sir Francis obser. ved, it was a most unfortunate busi ness; "had the interval of time admitted of it, I would myself have seen Mr. Paull, and probably this unfor. tunate business would have been prevented;" to this I replied, "Sir Fran cis, did not Mr. Paull put into your hands, last Thursday, at the house of colonel Bosville, the Pilot news. paper, containing the advertise. ment alluded to, and were you not then silent on its alledged impropriety?" His answer was, "I am, Mr. Cooper, one of the most careless men in the world; and as it was at the moment of going down to dinner Mr. Paull put that paper into my hand, I certainly did not pay attention to the advertisement." He declined any apology, but proceeded to write a note to Mr. Paull, which note, when copied, I deliver. ed to Mr. Paull. His direction to me then was, to tell sir Francis, "This is adding insult to injury; I shall proceed to Kingston, and do you fix as carly an hour for the meeting as possible." On my return to the house, I delivered Mr. Paull's message; upon which sir Francis solicited I would be second to both; which upon my declining, he (sir F.) said, he must then write
to a friend, and that he would be, if possible, at the King's-Arms, Kingston, between seven and eight o'clock. About five o'clock, Mr. Paull and myself reached the inn; when Mr. Pauli lay down, desiring to be called by his servant exactly at seven o'clock. About eight o'clock, on walking out on the Wimbledon road, we met sir Francis on horseback. I slightly bowed, Mr. Paull took no notice of him, but returned immediately to the inn; a few minutes afterwards, sir F. sent for me, and said, that he expected Mr. Gawler immediately, as he had left his barouche waiting for him at Wimbledon. About nine o'clock, Mr. Paul wrote a note to sir F. in reply to the one received in his carriage at Wimbledon, in which he distinctly pointed out the injury he had received from sir F. and conclu., ded by saying, that as the day was far advanced, we had better return towards Wimbledon to meet his friend. On delivering this note to sir F. he called for pen, ink, and paper, to answer it; on my observing, "it was a pity your brother persisted in reading the letters at the Crown and Anchor," his answer was, "I wish he had not." Mr. Gawler not having arrived, sir F. again pressed me to be second to both; which I again declined, and immediately I entered the carriage with Mr. Paull, on our return towards Wimbledon. A short distance from Kingston, we met Mr. Gawler; when Mr. Paull accosted him. Mr. G. asked rapidly." Where is Burdett?" said, "he had been detained, or he would have arrived sooner." Mr. Paull replied Sir Francis was at the inn, but that he thought we had better not stop there any longer; and if Mr. Gaw VOL. XLIX.
ler approved of it, he would drive through Hampton Court and Bushy Park, to prevent any possibility of the affair transpiring." Mr. G. drove on to the inn at Kingston, and we followed, Mr. P. remaining in his carriage: I entered the room where sir F. was sitting, at the. same time with Mr. G.; when that gentleman, with a manner as perfectly uncivil as sir F. was polite, asked who I was? Sir F. said, "Mr. Cooper, Mr. P.'s friend.". If I made use of the words, 64 Sir, sir, sir," as recited by Mr. G. (which I do not at all remember to have done) they must have been the effect of the mild and gentle demcanour of Mr. Gawler. Sir F. then. suggested Coombe Wood, as the most proper place; to where we im-. mediately drove, and arrived at twenty minutes after ten o'clock. Whilst advancing into the wood, I did my utmost endeavours that an explanation should take place, but without effect. Mr. Gawler's hasty conduct to Mr. Paull was peculiarly striking. Mr. Paull observed to Mr. Gawler, that this was no common affair, and as it was possible an accident might happen either to him or to sir Francis, he was particularly anxious that even Mr. Gawler should not be ignorant of the particulars and the grounds on: which he demanded an apology, or satisfaction; that so eager was Mr. Paull for explaining matters to Mr. Gawler, that he pressed the conversation twice or thrice; to which Mr. Gawler tartly replied, that he had learned all the particulars from sir F. B. and was perfectly satisfied; although, by the bye, he had not been with sir Francis, from his first arrival, to the entrance into the wood, more than 20 minutes; and