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my arm broken by a shot, and received On the 22nd of July, in the same eight sabre wounds in my head; but I year, (1800,) the Union Act was passed. recovered, and here I am!" On being | During the discussions on this meaasked what had induced him to attempt sure, Pitt, with a view to conciliate the life of the king, he said, " I did not some of its opponents, had held out attempt to kill the king; I fired the hopes that it would be followed by pistol over the royal box.
I am as
some concessions to the Catholics; but good a shot as any man in England; but the king being of opinion that he could I am weary of life, and wish for death, not consent to their admission to polithough not to die by my own hands. tical power, without violating the spirit I was desirous of raising an alarm, and of his coronation oath, Pitt and his hoped the spectators would fall upon coadjutors retired from office early in me; but they did not. Still I trust my 1801. They were succeeded by the Adlife is forfeited!” It subsequently ap- dington administration ; and scarcely peared, that, after having behaved, for had the new arrangements been coma number of years, like a brave and pleted, when the king was attacked good soldier, he had been discharged with a very alarming illness, which on account of insanity, (which was sup seemed to threaten a return of his menposed to have been occasioned by a tal disorder. The complaint was a diswound in his head,) and admitted an tressing, feverish irritability, precluding out-pensioner of Chelsea hospital. all repose; and, as it continued for seve
When the king returned to the ral weeks, insanity seemed its necesqueen's house, he said, “I hope and sary termination. Mr. Addington, havpray that the poor creature, who has ing observed the efficacy of hops as a committed the rash assault upon me, sedative, advised the king to use a pilmay enjoy as sound a repose as I trust low stuffed with them, which enabled thai I shall this night!" He adopted him to rest, and led to his recovery, no additional precautions for his per when all other remedies were found sonal safety, observing to those who futile. To this circumstance the minisadvised him to do so, “I know that ter was indebted for his well-known any man in my dominions, who chooses nickname of " The Doctor." to sacrifice his own life, may easily take Military triumphs were so rare at this away mine; but I hope, if any one period, that the victory of Alexandria attempts such an act, he will do it occasioned much rejoicing. The Egyppromptly, without any circumstances tian expedition had been planned by of barbarity!” Sheridan soon after Lord Melville; Pitt had never cordially wards complimented him for the extra supported it, and the king's concurordinary resolution he had displayed. rence to it was signified in the follow“ Had your majesty abruptly quitted | ing words:-—" I consent, with the ut. the theatre," said he, “ the confusion most reluctance, to a measure, which would have been awful.” “I should seems to me to peril the flower of my have despised myself for ever," replied | army upon a distant and hazardous the king, “had I but stirred a single | expedition!" Lord Melville was in inch: a man, on such an occasion, retirement at Wimbledon, when the should need no prompting, but imme news arrived of the battle of Alexdiately feel what is his duty, and do it." andria: the king, soon afterwards, while
Hatfield was subsequently indicted breakfasting with him, filled a glass of for high treason, but the jury being wine, and bidding the queen, and all the satisfied that he was of unsound mind, guests, to follow his example, he drank, he was committed to Bethlein Hospital. To the health of the minister, who, He was living at the time of the demise in opposition to the opinion of his colof his intended victim's successor, and, leagues, and the avowed reluctance of for a long period, was an object of great his sovereign, dared to plan and forinterest to the visitors of the noble ward the Egyptian expedition!" establishment to which he had been The new minister was anxious for consigned, until, at length, Martin, the peace; and, in September, the prelimiincendiary of the cathedral at York, naries of the treaty of Amiens were became, to his great indignation, more signed. The king's consent to the popular in Bethlem than himself.
necessary negociations is said to have
been most reluctantly given, as he con- fro between the queen and the Prinsidered the peace impolitic, unsafe, and cess of Wales, and rapidly addressed the unwise. It has even been asserted, latter in the following words :—" You that Lord Hawksbury affixed his sig- must stop the week out at Windsornature to the articles, not only without all, all the week. I'll take no excuse. the king's approbation, but without his No! no! you must stay! I have got knowledge. The fact seems scarcely something for your amusement every credible ; and, perhaps, his known dis- day-every day!” Hearing Mr. Windlike to the treaty may have been exag- ham say something in praise of the gerated into this assumption of the spectacle, he turned round suddenly, regal power on the part of his ministers. exclaiming, “ Ah, Windham! You are
The peace was destined to be of short there : I hope you like it, eh?" Shortly duration ; for, in May 1803, much to afterwards he said to Lord Winchelsea, the satisfaction of the public, war was “ Winchelsea! Winchelsea! do you see again declared against France. The my horse? I mounted him fresh since king, on this occasion, absurdly at- I came into the park, as I always do; I tempted to shield Hanover from danger, have had him twenty years, and he is by declaring, that although he had pro- good now. Do you know the secret? claimed war against France, as King of I'll tell you, Winchelsea-I know his Great Britain, he deprecated hostili- worth, and I treat him accordingly. ties being commenced by that power That's the right way, Winchelsea!" against his electorate; which, however, Early in 1806, died the king's faearly in June, was over-run by the vourite minister, Pitt, and the Grenville French troops under Mortier.
party, which Fox had joined, went into On the 14th of February, 1804, the office. king became suddenly and alarmingly For some time past the king's sight indisposed. It was said, that his com- had been materially affected ; but at the plaint was rheumatic, but an opinion beginning of this year, his power of prevailed, to a considerable extent, that vision was rather improved, and he his mind, on this occasion, was more could clearly distinguish objects at the affected than his body. The symptoms, distance of twenty yards. Of his mode however, gradually abated, and a trip of living, at this period, a late writer has to Weymouth completely re-established given a very minute account, of which his majesty's health.
the following are the most interesting It being quite evident, that the Ad- particulars. The king was less abstedington cabinet was incapable of ad- mious than he had formerly been. He vantageously conducting the affairs of slept on the north side of the castle, in the nation, early in May, Pitt, with a large room, on the ground floor, his friends and adherents, again went which had been furnished in a modern into power.
style, but without a carpet, under the So great a misunderstanding had direction of the Princess Elizabeth. existed for a considerable time between He generally rose about half-past the Prince of Wales and his royal father, seven, and immediately proceeded to that they had not met; and the here- the queen's saloon, where one of the ditary variance between the sovereign princesses received him. He then atand the heir-apparent was thus per- tended divine service in the chapel; petuated to the fourth generation. On breakfasted with the queen; and usually the 12th of November, however, a re- rode out on horseback, if the weather conciliation took place, which appeared | were fine, and if otherwise, he played at to be sincere and cordial on both sides. chess. He dined alone, at two o'clock;
On the 26th of February, 1805, an but visited, and took a glass of wine entertainment of unequalled magni- and water with the queen and prinficence, the expense of which exceeded cesses at five. After that hour he fre£50,000, was given by the king, at quently attended to public business in Windsor castle. This was followed, his study. The evening was passed at on the 23rd of April, by a grand in- cards, in the queen's drawing-room, stallation of the Knights of the Garter. with a select party of the neighbouring The king's vivacity, on this occasion, nobility, &c. When the castle clock was absolutely boyish. He ran to and struck ten, visitors departed; supper was then set out, but as a matter of Of the king's appearance, during his form only, for none of the family par- walks on the castle terrace, in the sumtook of it, and their majesties retired to mer of 1810, the following is an abridged rest at eleven.
account, taken from “ An Excursion to In 1807, Lord Grenville, and his col- | Windsor," by the Rev. John Evans;leagues, attempted to change the king's At seven o'clock in the evening, a little opinions with regard to Catholic eman- door in the castle was thrown open, cipation; but his majesty was inflexible, and two attendants led the venerable and declared, " That although he had monarch, with great care, down a flight firmness sufficient to quit his throne, of steps, to the terrace. Two of the and retire to a cottage, or place his princesses then took him by the arms, neck on a block, if his people required and paced backwards and forwards it, yet he had not resolution to break with him for an hour. He looked the oath which he had taken, in the ruddy and full; his voice was sonorous, most solemn manner, at his corona- and he conversed with cheerfulness, tion!" Shortly afterwards, (on the 24th though when he attempted to speak of March,) Lord Grenville received a quick, it was not without hesitation. note from the king, stating, that his His want of sight was apparent, for his majesty would be ready to receive the hat was drawn over the upper part of resignations of his ministers at noon his face, and he felt about with his cane. on the following day. The premier Up to this period the king had not disand his colleagues, accordingly, gave up continued his rides : he was still able their seals ofoffice the next morning; and to mount on horseback with considerthe Perceval administration succeeded. able agility; but it had now become
In the summer of 1808, Louis the necessary for him to have the assistance Eighteenth, his queen, and the Duchess of one of his servants in guiding his of Angoulême, came to England : they horse. met with a very kind reception from The Princess Amelia, the king's his majesty, but their royal character youngest and darling child, had long was not recognized. The Prince of been in a declining state of health ; and Orange, with his two children, and also towards the close of this year,(1810,) her above twelve thousand French emi- situation became hopeless. “ Nothing," grants, had, long before, sought and said one of the official attendants, “could found refuge in this country.
be more striking than the sight of the On the 25th of October, 1809, the king, aged and nearly blind, bending venerable monarch commenced the over her couch, and speaking to her fiftieth year of his reign, and a jubilee about salvation through Christ, as a took place on the occasion. London, matter far more interesting to them and all the principal cities in the king- both than the highest privileges and dom, were illuminated ; and large sums most magnificent pomps of royalty !" were raised, by subscription, for the The prospect of her speedy dissolution, benefit of the poor. The queen gave a and his daily sorrowful interviews with grand entertainment at Frogmore, at the princess, at one of which she silently which however, his majesty did not placed a ring on his finger, inscribed appear. The rapid decay of his sight, with the words, “ Remember me,” had at this period, considerably affected his a powerful effect on the king's mind. spirits. He would often shed tears On the 25th of October, Mr. Perceval during the performance of Handel's was informed that an alarming alteraTotal Eclipse, a composition to which lion had taken place in his majesty's he was exceedingly partial; and, one deportment; and, by the 1st of Novem. morning, the Prince of Wales, on en- ber, he had betrayed such positive inditering his royal father's apartment, cations of mental disease, that it became found him pathetically reciting the fol- expedient to make parliament aclowing passage from Milton :
quainted with the facts. Early in De“ Ob dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon !
cember, it was admitted that the malady Irrevocably dark! Total eclipse,
had assumed so violent a character that Without all hope of day!
but slight hopes could be entertained Oh! first created beam and thou great Word, Let there be light, and light was over all ;
of his majesty's restoration; and after Why am I thus deprived thy prime decree ?"
much animated discussion, a regency bill, similar to that proposed by Pitt, in At length deafness was added to his 1788, was passed.
other calamities: and his manner and In 1811, the conduct of the king, on appearance are described as having been several occasions, induced the royal | pitiable in the extreme. He became family and the public to entertain a firmly impressed with the idea that he hope that he might ultimately recover. was dead; and said to his attendants, In February, he had an interview of “I must have a suit of black, in memory two hours' duration with the Prince of George the Third, for whom I know Regent, and appeared several times on there is a general mourning." the terrace, at Windsor. On the 20th In 1817, he appears to have had a of May he was sufficiently well to take faint glimmering of reason again ; his an airing on horseback. He afterwards sense of hearing also was not only rewent to the queen's apartments, and stored, but became so remarkably acute congratulated her on the return of her that he could readily distinguish, by birth-day. But a violent relapse soon their footsteps, those who approached followed; and though he sometimes or passed him. He also recollected knew those about him, and appeared that he had made a memorandum, many susceptible of religious consolation, his years before, which was found in the recovery at length became hopeless. precise place he described, to destroy a
At intervals he still took a lively in favourite horse, on a day,when he would terest in politics. His perception was attain a certain age, and he requested good, though mixed up with a number of that the animal might be shot acerroneous ideas; his memory was tena- cordingly. cious, but his judgment unsettled ; and In November, 1817, the queen, whose the loss of royal authority seemed con- health had for some time past been destantly to prey on his mind. His ma- clining, visited Bath, for the purpose of lady seemed rather to increase than drinking the waters; and while there, abate, up to the year 1814; when at she received intelligence of the death of the time of the arrival of the allied the Princess Charlotte, which, it is said, sovereigns in England, he evinced in- | produced a most serious effect on her dications of returning reason, and was
debilitated frame. On the 23rd of May, made acquainted with the astonishing 1818, she held her last drawing room; events which had recently occurred. and in the following week attended an The restoration of Hanover to the examination, at the Mansion-house, of House of Brunswick, it is said, afforded the children educated the national him particular satisfaction. He even schools. She never appeared in public expressed a wish to see the royal again. Her disease was a hopeless visitors, which, of course, it was not anasarcous (dropsical) affection of the deemed proper to indulge.
whole system; but it does not appear The queen, one day, found the af- that she was made acquainted with her flicted monarch engaged in singing a dangerous state until the day before she hymn, and accompanying himself on died. Up to that time, she had expressed the harpsichord. After he had con- great anxiety to go to Windsor, for the cluded the hymn, he knelt down, prayed purpose of seeing the king; and on befor his family and the nation, and ear- ing told that she must resign all hopes nestly supplicated for the complete res- of again quitting Kew, which had been toration of his mental powers. He then her place of residence for some months burst into tears, and his reason suddenly past, she appeared to be dreadfully left him. But he afterwards had occa- shocked; but shortly afterwards dicsional lucid moments. One morning tated and signed her will with great hearing a bell toll, he asked who was calmness. In a few hours she became dead. “ Please your majesty," said | lethargic, and expired without a strugan attendant, “ Mrs. S- “Mrs. gle, on the 17th of November, 1818. Srejoined the king, “ she was a Her remains were deposited in the royal linen-draper, and lived at the corner of mausoleum, at Windsor, on the 2nd of
- street. Ay, she was a good woman, the following month. and brought up her family in the fear In her youth, although certainly not of God:-she is gone to heaven ;-I hope beautiful, the queen's person is said to I shall soon follow her!"
have been very agreeable. She was of
a middling stature, but her form was Although she was inflexible, with refine, and her deportment graceful. Her gard to the exclusion of improper perhands and neck were particularly well sons from her court, the queen was, formed. She had a round face, a light | generally speaking, condescending, complexion, auburn hair, lively blue affable, and kind. One night, a lady, eyes, a flat nose turned up at the point, who attended her to the theatre, being rosy lips, but rather a large mouth. An far advanced in pregnancy, strove in anonymous writer has thus described vain to conceal the dreadful exhaustion, her appearance in 1777:~"She has an produced by standing, pursuant to etielegant person, good eyes, good teeth, quette, behind her majesty's chair. The a Cleopatra nose, and fine hair. The ex queen perceiving her distress, begged pression of her countenance is pleasing her to be seated; the lady thanked her and interesting; it is full of sense and majesty, but hesitated to take a chair; good temper.” The writer adds, “ She until her royal mistress said, “ Pray be loves domestic pleasures; is funder of seated, madam, or I too must stand.” diamonds than the Queen of France, The conduct of her majesty during one as fond of snuff as the King of Prussia, of the royal visits to Weymouth has is extremely affable, and very pious." been thus described :-“She was easy During the latter part of her life the of access, and would not suffer the queen was very thin, and remarkably meanest persons to be excluded from pale.
her presence. She was never angry at The piety and the purity of her mo the most uncourtly approach, nor ofrals have never been questioned : as a fended by the most importunate petiwife, her conduct was most exemplary; tioner.” In Smith's account of Nollekens and few women have performed the it is stated, that the queen was one duties of a mother so admirably. A
day unexpectedly announced to Mrs. lady of high rank having, one day, said Garrick, at Hampton, while that lady to her, “ My children must be doing was engaged in preparing onions for well, for they have plenty of servants pickling; but she not only prevented to attend to them,” the queen exclaimed, Mrs. Garrick from putting them aside, “ What! do you leave them entirely to but condescendingly took a seat, and attendants? I dare not do so; for it is assisted her to peel them. impossible that servants, however good, The queen was generally supposed to can have the feelings of a parent!” The have been of a parsimonious disposition; lady attempted an excuse, but the and it must be admitted, that in striving queen interrupted her by saying, to be laudably economical, she was oc“ There can be no apology for the casionally guilty of meanness. It is said, neglect of our first duties: it is enough but the story is scarcely credible, that that you are a mother and converse at one period, when the popular feeling with one; and I should be sorry to was unusually strong against negro slasuppose you indifferent where your very, she refused sugar to her servants, sensibilities ought to be most acute." because she could not conscientiously
Under her auspices the British court, permit the use of an article which had which, during the two preceding reigns, been cultivated by means so hostile to had been disgustingly licentious, be religion and humanity. “A Miss Jenner, came completely reformed. She suf of Gloucestershire," says Dr. Wolcot, fered no lady to be presented to her "with her mother, viewing the palace of whose character was not above suspi St. James's, and entering the royal cion. It is stated, that a woman of big dressing room, where a cushion full of rank, but whose reputation was ques pins lay on the toilette, the young tionable, having prevailed on a peeress, lady expressed a strong desire for havwho was a favourite at court, to solicit ing one of the queen's pins to carry permission to visit the queen's drawing- into the country, and was reaching out room; and her majesty having given her hand to take one; when the atan unqualified refusal to the request of tendant caught her hand, saying it was the fair petitioner; the latter exclaimed, impossible, as her majesty would cer“ Alas! what shall I say to her lady- tainly find it out. — D'ye think I ship?” “ Tell her," replied the queen, might change a pin?' said the lady. “ that you did not dare to ask me." • Miss,' replied the attendant, it is