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King, who used to amuse himself with the construction of optical and other philosophical instruments. It will give an idea of his good-nature to mention, that his Majesty had bespoken a complicated instrument from the celebrated Ramsden, and had directed the artist, who was not so much renowned for punctuality as for talents, to have it ready against a particular day. When at length it was sent home, the only notice which the King took of the want of punctuality, was by telling the optician, good-humouredly, that "he had observed the day of the week and month accurately, he had only forgotten the year."

Yet, with all the pretensions to popularity afforded by a life devoted to duty, and relieved only by such innocent amusements, George the Third, at the commencement of his reign, and for a long period after, was by no means popular. His character was respected, and his merits appreciated, by those who approached his person; but he was not a favourite of the people at large, to whom his merits were only known by report.

One of his first acts of royalty was to call to his administration a nobleman who had been his own tutor; a person of worth and honour, a patron of literature and the arts, but not possessing political talents comparable to those of the celebrated Earl of Chatham, whom he succeeded in power. That daring minister had engaged the country, for no very adequate cause, in a bloody war with France, whom Britain had humbled in every part of the globe. The new minister made a peace so much inferior to the high-blown expectations of the country, that it seemed he had wilfully thrown

away the advantages which had been gained so dearly; and the King's support of this unfortunate nobleman gave the utmost dissatisfaction to the country, and led the way to a spirit of mobbish license, which in British history had never been so directly levelled against the person of the monarch.

This cause of discontent, skilfully kept up by demagogues, did not by any means subside at the dismissal of the obnoxious servant of the crown. The breach between the King and his favourite is now well known to have been absolute, from the dissolution of the ministry; they never afterwards saw each other, except in public, and then in the most formal manner, insomuch, that we are aware of Lord Bute having expressed with some vehemence his sense of the King's harshness, when his Majesty, on an occasion when his lordship appeared at court, did not even ask after the health of his lady, which was then in a precarious condition. Whether the King thought that Lord Bute had too early given way to the popular clamour, and in some degree deserted him, by giving in his resignation before it was required by the royal mandate, we do not pretend to decide. One thing is certain, that if his Majesty's breach with his late favourite had been made so total with the purpose of disarming the obloquy attending the connexion, (which we do not believe to have been the case,) the intended consequence was not attained. For several years afterwards, the watchword for discontent was, that ministers actually in office were merely puppets, and all was managed by Lord Bute behind the curtain. Such assertions served long to excite

factious clamours against the King; while the exminister, with more reason, complained of the inexorable displeasure, which did not permit his Majesty to use even ordinary civility towards his early and faithful servant.

The disputes with the colonies, and the war which ensued, kept up and encouraged the spirit of public disaffection. This unhappy war might have a great colour of justice in theory; but in practice it was so il conducted, and on the whole was so very impolitic, that all will now allow we had better have manumitted the Americans on their first exhibiting symptoms of discontent. But it is no less clear, that the King, in honour and conscience, deemed himself obliged to carry on the unhappy struggle to the very last; and being in a remarkable degree the justus et tenax propositi of the moral poet, he would not consent to the dismemberment of his dominions until necessity absolutely compelled him to that sacrifice. His speech to Adams, envoy from the American States, after the peace, was singularly expressive of his character. The ambassador naturally felt that the first interview betwixt him and his late sovereign must be unpleasant; when the King at once relieved him of his painful feelings, by saying to him, with the utmost frankness," Mr Adams, I was the last man to consent to the peace with America; but that peace being made, I will be the first in my dominions to oppose any attempts which may be made to disturb its conditions." Still the people of Britain only saw that an unsuccessful war had been carried on with pertinacity, until it was concluded

by a peace, which was only short of being disgraceful; and remembering the victories of Chatham's administration under George the Second, were in proportion discontented with the ministers and measures, and even with the of their preperson, sent Sovereign.

It might have been thought that the personal character of the monarch would have alleviated the strong censure arising from public misfortunes. But candour must admit, that, with the advantages which we have mentioned, George the Third laboured under some disadvantages, which for a long time obscured his highly estimable qualities. Notwithstanding what we have said of his personal qualities, his education had been narrow and confined in an unusual degree, and no adequate pains had been taken either to form his external manners, or to cultivate his mind in classical or polite literature. The King felt these wants, and in the earlier part of his reign was shy and reserved, admitting very few to his familiar society, and avoiding rather than courting the opportunities of appearing in public. The general voice of an Opposition, distinguished for talents and for wit, accused the King of affecting the retired state of an Eastern sultan, rather than the social dignity of a British monarch. The qualities which ought to have counterbalanced those impressions, the firmness and soundness of his judgment, the steadiness of his courage, the high principle upon which he regulated his conduct, the sacrifices of ease, of amusement, of indulgence, even of health, which, with unostentatious perseverance, George III. offered up year

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after year to the regular discharge of his regal duties, were long in forcing their way to the public. But at length they made their due impres


The first act of the King's life which obtained him the general expression of the people's gratitude, was his conduct during the riots in 1780. The then Lord Mayor of London, (a man of deep political research, like high civic authorities in the present day,) was so steady a friend to the right of petitioning parliament, that, instead of dispersing a body of 60,000 men, who had assembled to exercise this constitutional privilege, he suffered them to occupy the city, which they set on fire in twenty different places. The confusion was yet upon the increase, and the petitioners had already destroyed a million's worth of houses, goods, and furniture, before the constitutional sages could satisfy their scrupulous consciences, when or how government ought to exercise that important function for which of all others it is chiefly intended, the protection, namely, of the peaceable subject in his life and property. The King cut the knot, by offering to march into the city at the head of his Guards, and, at every personal risk, to put down this disgraceful commotion. The common sense and manly spirit which dictated his decision, gave energy to the timid counsellors around him-London was saved-no one complained of the infringement of the right of petitioning and we cannot observe that our liberties suffered much by the forcible dispersion of those who had assembled to exercise it in so tremendous a manner.

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