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BRIEF MEMOIR

OF HIS

LATE

MOST

GRACIOUS MAJESTY GEORGE IU,

(With a Portrait.)

sions like these, the biographer may indulge his own feelings, without wounding those of others, and trans

mit to posterity, the personal history In the preceding number of the Impe- of a Monarch, rendered imperishable, rial Magazine, we began a Memoir of by being embalmed in a nation's tears. his late Royal Highness the Duke of His late Majesty George III. was Kent, which we have finished in this. born on the 24th of May, 1738, which, His late Majesty having then paid that by the alteration of the style in 1752, debt of nature from which no child of became the 4th of June. His father, mortality can plead an exemption, Frederick Prince of Wales, was son we announced our intention of intro- of George II. and was the presumpducing into this number, a brief deli- tive heir to the crown; but dying beneation of his history and character, fore his father, the right of inheritance accompanied with a Likeness, which devolved on his son Prince George, all, who had an opportunity of ob- our late beloved, but now much laserving his countenance, must allow mented Sovereign, he being the first to be particularly striking.

son in the royal line. His mother was To give to the world only a brief de- the Princess Sophia of Saxe-Gotha. lineation of the history and character His parents were married in 1736, and, of such a monarch as George III. es- prior to his birth, Princess Augusta pecially as we have full in our view, was born of this union. and strongly in our recollection, the It has been shrewdly observed by bright assemblage of those illustrious Voltaire, that reasons of state are virtues, which, clustering round his mysteries to the vulgar.” Whether throne, conferred new dignity on roy-. this remark be founded in truth or alty, appears somewhat like a reflec- falsehood, it is an indisputable fact, tion on his memory. To prevent such that we frequently perceive in the an impression from being made on the abodes and suburbs of royalty, effects publie mind, it may be necessary to detached from their causes and conseassign a reason for the method thus quences; and in the same proportion adopted.

in which they appear insulated, they Already has the proprietor of the must always be involved in darkness. Imperial Magazine begun to publish, For some reasons which have not in parts and numbers, a Life of our been developed, the first pregnancy of late most gracious Sovereign, in which our late King's mother, if not kept a he hopes to unfold at large, so far as profound secret, was not publicly anthey can be open to inspection, those nounced, until within a month of her dignified excellencies, which rendered delivery, when, without that etiquette him venerable in the eyes of contend- of ceremony which such an event ing parties, and those private virtues, seemed to require, she was conducted which, independently of birth or sta- | to St. James's by Prince Frederick, to tion, endeared him to the population await her approaching accouchment. of an empire as a man. On the pre- The king, who was evidently offended sent occasion, a general outline is at this circumstance, manifested his therefore all that we design to place displeasure, by insisting on their debefore our readers, referring them to parture, so as prudence and the work itself, for the full develop- safety would allow. They then rement of a character, which cannot be moved to Kew, where for a considerdrawn in miniature.

able time they lived in retirement. Never perhaps, within the annals of Unhappily these events tended to our country, has a task so mournfully widen a breach between the Royal pleasing been assigned to the biogra- parties, which had already for some pher of royalty. It is mournful to re- time subsisted, and which was not for cord the departure of the best of many years completely repaired. kings; but it is pleasing to have an The early education of the young opportunity of expatiating upon excel Prince was entrusted to Dr. Ascough, lencies and virtues, which we have who was afterwards dean of Bristol. seen embodied in real life, without This gentleman, in a letter to Dr. either resorting to fiction for artificial Doddridge, dated Feb. 10, 1744, when aid, or risking the danger of incurring his Royal Highness was under six the imputation of flattery. On occa- 1 years of age, speaks of his amiable

No. 14,- VOL. II.

soon

P

66

disposition in terms favourable to that concealed from her; and she expressed piety, which in his riper years he was her fears that his time was not always always fond to cherish. Dr. Ascough improved to the best advantage. His states, that of his own accord he had natural disposition she represented as learnt several pages of Dr. Doddridge's amiable; stating that he was very verses on Christianity.

honest in his communications ;—that On another occasion, when the Prince his warmest affection was for his browas about ten years old, George II. ther Edward ;-that he had a tender sent Baron Stainberg to examine regard for the memory of his father; the children of Prince Frederick in but that she regretted, he was not more their learning. This office the Baron manly and less childish for one of his discharged with punctual fidelity, by age, which was then about fifteen. taking them all in regular succession. On another occasion the Princess At the conclusion of his examination, observed, that “ in his natural dispohe observed to the young Prince, that sition he was shy and backward, neibe would report to his Majesty the ther wild nor dissipated in his manners, great proficiency he had made in his but good natured and cheerful, having Latin, but intimated that he should be on the whole a serious air;—that he glad if he would make himself better was not remarkably quick, but apacquainted with his German Gram-peared, to those who were intimately mar, as an accurate knowledge of this acquainted with him, affable and inlanguage might be of essential service telligent;—that his education had to him in future life. · German Gram- given her much pain ;--that of his mar! German Grammar!” replied the book-learning she was incompetent to Prince, “why any dull boy can learn judge ; but so far as she could observe, that.” The Baron, on his return, re- it appeared to be small, if not nearly peated this observation to his Majesty, useless, and that she hoped he would who thinking that it was an expres- have been made acquainted with men sion wbich treated the German lan- and things.” guage with disrespect, was much of- As the manner in which he was fended, and, instead of commending brought up was so particularly sethe child for the sprightliness of his cluded from society, it is only from remark, manifested an indignity which these transient glances on his characreflects no honour on his natural dis- ter, taken from passing events and position.

accidental communications, that we In the year 1751, after the death of have any opportunity of beholding his father, his late Majesty was created him, during his minority. Lord ChesPrince of Wales, at which time he had terfield, in a letter to his son, dated in attained the age of thirteen. We March 1755, observes, “ It is to be learn from the well known diary of hoped, and is most probable, that the Bubb Dodington, Baron of Melcombe king, who is now perfectly recovered Regis, that the Bishops of Norwich from his late indisposition, may live to and Peterborough were at this time see his grandson of age. his preceptors, and that a considerable riously a most hopeful boy; gentle portion of his early life was passed in and good-natured, with good sound comparative seclusion, under the care sense.' of his mother. The memorials which In a paper dated August 6th, 1755, this gentleman has preserved, are par- Lord Melcombe, after passing the day ticularly interesting, as they throw with the Princess at Kew, observes, much light on the manner in which 6. The conversation fell on the king's the young Prince was educated, and proposal of marrying Prince George show what care was taken to prepare to a Princess of the house of Brunshim, through the gradations of his wick, of which she much disapproved. younger years, for the important sta- She thought the match premature : the tion, which, at the head of a mighty Prince ought to mix with the world empire, he was destined to fill. At the marriage would prevent it-he was this time his principal and almost only shy and backward—the match would companion was his brother Edward, shut him up for ever, with two or three afterwards Duke of York. His mo- friends of his, and two or three of hers. ther, however, complained much, that That he was much averse to it himthe principles which were instilled into self, and that she disliked the alliance his mind, were in a great measure extremely.” The resistance to these

He is se

sur

political intrigues, which the young former had been neglected, the native Prince had the fortitude to make, com- vigour of his understanding amply pelled those who wished to promote supplied that deficiency, and the gracehis marriage, to relinquish their de- fulness, dignity, and propriety, with signs. Even George II. found him- which he appeared, displayed such a self foiled, and he gave up his so- commanding superiority of talents, inlicitations, which had been accompa-dustry, and virtuous principles, as no nied with offers of a splendid esta- system of education, without a suitable blishment, with this memorable re- mental soil, could possibly bestow. mark: “ The boy is good for nothing, The celebrated Horace Walpole, and only fit to 'read the Bible to his whose intimate acquaintance with men mother.”

and manners, few will be disposed to On the 25th of October, 1760, George question, describes the young King in the Second died suddenly in the 77th the following language, in a letter year of his age, and the 34th of his which he wrote to Mr. Montague. reign. His death is supposed to have “ The young King has all the apbeen occasioned by a rupture in his pearance of being amiable. There is heart. No sooner was this event an- great grace to temper much dignity, nounced, than the Privy Council, as and extreme good nature which breaks is customary on similar occasions, was out on all occasions. For the King immediately summoned, when they himself, he seems all good nature, were addressed by the young King, and wishing to satisfy every body. then twenty-two years of age, as fol- All his speeches are obliging. I saw lows:

him

again yesterday, and was The loss that I and the nation have prised to find that the Levee-room had sustained by the death of the king my lost so entirely the air of the lion's grandfather, would have been severely den. This Sovereign don't stand in felt at any time; but coming at so cri- one spot with his eyes fixed royally on tical a juncture, and so unexpectedly, the ground, and dropping bits of Ĝeritis by many circumstances augmented, man news ; he walks about and speaks and the weight falling on me much in- to every body. I saw him afterwards creased. I feel my own insufficiency on the throne, where he is graceful to support it as I wish; but animated and genteel, sits with dignity, and by the tenderest affection for my na- reads his answers well.” tive country, and depending upon the Prior to His Majesty's ascending advice, experience, and abilities of the throne, the occasional your Lordships, and on the support tions of his character, that had and assistance of every honest man, escaped his sequestered abode, had I enter with cheerfulness into this ar- impressed upon the public mind, an duous situation, and shall make it the opinion, that a strong attachment to business of my life to promote in every religion, morality, and virtue, would thing, the glory and happiness of these characterize his approaching reign. kingdoms, to preserve and strengthen Nor was this impression founded upon the Constitution both in Church and an erroneous calculation. One of his State; and as I mount the throne in first acts was, to issue a Proclamation the midst of an expensive but just and against vice and profaneness, and necessary war, I shall endeavour to to enforce the laws against sabbathprosecute it in a manner the most breaking, and other prevailing immolikely to bring on an honourable and ralities. This Proclamation was orlasting peace, in concert with my al- dered to be read at all assizes and lies.”

quarter-sessions of the peace, and in The graceful and unembarrassed all parochial churches and chapels, at mien with which His Majesty appeared least four times in every year, as a on this occasion, and on others which standing memorial of his determinafollowed in quick succession; the easy tion to support public morals. It was manner in which he pronounced the dated October 31, 1760.

In some sentences of his speech, and that pe- places this injunction is regularly culiar emphasis with which, in his ar- obeyed; but it is much to be regretted, ticulation, he distinguished the more that in others, it is either neglected or important parts, betrayed no symp- forgotten. toms, either of a defective education, In the month following His Majesor of an unenlightened mind. If the ty's accession to the throne, the Par

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