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was found in the uterus might have induced exhaustion; but this opinion can only be conjectural, as it is impossible to draw any certain inference from the rather indefinite expression “considerable,” contained in the Report of the Surgeons. Imagination, indeed, has been busy, and a phalanx of casual circumstances have been arranged to account for the dissolution; some of which are ungenerously and too unguardedly, not to say maliciously, calculated to attach blame to her attendants; but we must deprecate such expositions, as unjust to the individuals concerned, and in no degree honourable to the profession.

We have been informed, that the whole of the Royal Family are liable to spasms of a violent description; and to this hereditary predisposition, and the increased excitability of the amiable Sufferer, owing to the tedious nature of the labour, are we left to ascribe an event which has destroyed the flattering hopes of the nation, and lopped off the fairest branch from the stem of its monarchal succession.


There is a certain Court etiquette which prevents an authenticated account after the demise of an illustrious female. This is not confined to the Royal Family :—when the late Duchess of Devonshire died, the examination of the body was delivered, sealed, to her widowed consort. Like most other secrets, however, the important events gradually transpire; and, though for the reason above-mentioned, we can plead no direct authority, yet the various sources from which the whole of the following history has been confirmed, are sufficient to satisfy us that they are generally true. Nor does it lessen the validity of our report, if after all the circumstances we have collected, the cause of the fatal issue should not be perfectly ascertained. Every medical man is aware that the same difficulty occurs daily, more commonly in the most elevated ranks. It was an observation of the learned and ingenious Dr. Denman, that the inferior animals suffer less by parturition; and that females, the nearer they approach to a state of nature, for the most part suffer the least. A lively illustration he offers of this, in the difference which the Egyptian midwives remarked between those females about the court of Pharaoh, and the Israelitish women in a state of bondage.

Let us now consider the situation of Her Royal Highness. Just relieved from all the trammels of state, and from the apprehension of an union repugnant to her wishes, and even associated with the further apprehensions of expatriation, she found herself united to the husband of her choice a felicity rarely experienced by females, and least of all in that exalted rank. At first a temporary gloom prevailed, lest her own hopes, the hopes of her husband, of her family, and of the empire, should be disappointed. At length she became “ as those who love their lords would wish to be;" and, as this became more and more confirmed, all her prospects of earthly happiness seemed completed. Retired from the busy world, she had leisure to indulge this happiness in all its fulness. Her whole society, the females of her choice; and, when she thought proper, the intercourse of one to whose presence on an approaching period it was desirable that she should be familiarised. To complete this felicity, the residence was on a spot rendered classical by two of our celebrated poets in their best performances. The beauties of Esher and of the Mole, (report informs us,) had been selected to embellish a present to her Husband ; and, in the morning exercises, near the banks of the Thames, how often must she have reminded her companion of those lines which prove that the language she was teaching him is susceptible of all the music, if not of all the softness, of the Italian.

“Oh! could I make thy sweetly-flowing stream
My bright example, as it is my theme;
Though deep, yet clear-though gentle, yet not dull,
Strong, without rage--without o'erflowing, full."

Such appears to have been the uninterrupted tenor of a life too felicitous perhaps to be permanent in this transitory state of existence. It seems to bear a resemblance to that preternatural state of health from which the great father of physic teaches us to apprehend so much. But this is not all :—the whole period of gestation and parturition, it is well known, is a state of preternatural power and action. It is not difficult to guess what it must have proved with these additional excitements. We have reason to believe, though we know nothing from authority, that pains were taken to repress as much as possible a morbid excess of animal spirits, the effects of which were apprehended: but it is well known, that this is not only out of the power of the physician, but often of the patient herself.

Her Royal Highness may be said to have been fifty hours in labour, but with no dangerous symptoms, not being confined to bed during the greater part of that time.

At length, the slow progress induced Sir Richard Croft to wish the sanction of another physician-accoucheur, probably lest it should become doubtful whether instruments should be used. Dr. Sims arrived about two o'clock on Wednesday morning, (November 5th), and from that time the intercourse between him and Sir Richard was perpetual ; but nothing occurred, in the opinion of either, to justify any thing beyond the ordinary means. The length of time, and other events, induced the apprehension of a stillborn child ; and under this impression, the necessary apparatus for re-animation was in readiness.

At nine o'clock on Wednesday evening, Her Royal Highness was delivered of a still-born child, which, as far as we can learn, Drs. Sims and Baillie were endeavouring to re-animate, whilst Sir Richard remained with the Royal Mother. During the whole period, and for some time after, no unfavourable symptom occurred, excepting that Her Royal Highness was less exhausted than might have been expected by so tedious a labour and the subsequent events. Sir Richard, suspecting the hour-glass contraction from the tediousness of the subsequent process, thought it right to give some assistance, having of course first consulted and obtained the concurrence of his coadjutors. All this was accomplished without difficulty, and with no apparent danger, excepting what arose from the almost unnatural composure, not to say cheerfulness, of Her Royal Highness.

In this manner things remained for nearly three hours after the birth. At this time Her Royal Highness was sick, and threw up part of a cardiac medicine she had taken ; and, with the advice of Drs. Baillie and Sims, we have heard that an opiate was administered. Her Royal Highness remained quite composed for some time after this, and got some sleep; but about a quarter before twelve great restlessness came on; and Sir Richard Croft found it necessary to call in the other physicians. From that time the fatal issue advanced rapidly; a slight difficulty in swallowing, which soon subsided, added to the sickness, was all that had previously occurred. But from this time pain


in the chest, great difficulty in respiration, and extreme restlessness, increased, with a rapid, irregular, ayd weak pulse, till the vital spark was extinguished. It is scarcely necessary even to hint, that every means of support was administered. At iwo o'clock on Thursday morning, Her Royal Highness ceased to breathe!

The appearances after death are pretty well known. On examining the contents of the cranium, the dura mater was found natural, the vessels of the pia mater were less loaded with blood than often occurs, and the plexus choroides somewhat pale; in the ventricles was a small quantity of water; the substance of the brain natural. The pericardium contained two ounces of red fluid; the stomach, a good deal of Auid, probably most of wbat had been taken after the sickness. The abdominal viscera were quite natural. The uterus was so little contracted as still to reach as high as the umbilicus; the hour-glass form was still apparent, it contained a considerable quantity of coagula within its cavity-from what we

can learn, about a pound.

To what then are we to impute a death which has filled the whole nation with distress? A labour much longer protracted has often ended happily for mother and child ; the slow contraction of the uterus, however unfavourable in itself, was unattended with any consequences which should excite alarm. The fluid in the pericardium might readily explain the severe pain in the chest, the irregularity of the pulse, and might even prevent the heart from recovering its vigorous action. Was this extravasated during the pains, and were the consequent sensations suspended for a time by the composure of the Royal Patient, during so long, so tedious, and, without doubt, often so painful a labour? Where all is conjecture, we may be allowed to offer ours.

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