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management of parties; and the gross gallantry of his father, without his good nature or hit honesty :—he might, perhaps, have been honest, if he had never hated his father, or had ever loved his son. Horace Walpole.
GEORGE III \
HIs parts, though not excellent, will be found tolerable, if ever they are properly exercised.
He is strictly honest, but wants that frank and open behaviour which makes honesty appear amiable.
When he had a very scanty allowance, it was one of his favourite maxims, that men should be just before they are generous: his income is now very considerably augmented, but his generosity has not increased in proportion.
His religion is free from all hypocrisy, but is not of the most charitable sort; he has rather too much attention to the sins of his neighbour.
He has spirit, but not of the active kind; and does not want resolution, but it is mixed with too much obstinacy.
He has great command of his passions, and will seldom do wrong, except when he mistakes wrong for right; but as often as this shall happen, it will be difficult to undeceive him, because he is uncommonly indolent, and has strong prejudices.
His want of application and aversion to business would be far less dangerous was he eager in
• This was written when his late majesty was twenty-one. Lord Waldegrave had then been three years his governor.
the pursuit of pleasure; for the transition from pleasure to business is both shorter and easier than from a state of total inaction.
He has a kind of unhappiness in his temper, which, if it be not conquered before it has taken too deep a root, will be a source of frequent anxiety. Whenever he is displeased, his anger does not break out with heat and violence; but he becomes sullen and silent, and retires to his closet, not to compose his mind by study or contemplation, but merely to indulge the melancholy enjoyment of his own ill humour. Even when the fit is ended, unfavourable symptoms very frequently return, which indicate that on certain occasions his royal highness has too correct a memory.
Though I have mentioned his good and bad qualities, without flattery, and without aggravation, allowances should still be made, on account of his youth and his bad education: for though the bishop of Peterborough, now bishop of Salisbury, the preceptor; Mr. Stone, the sub-governor; and Mr. Scott, the sub-preceptor, were men of sense, men of learning, and worthy good men, they had but little weight and influence. The mother and the nursery always prevailed.
The public conduct of this prince, and the tendencies of the political principles by which it was guided, might afford much scope for discussion, and will be differently estimated by opposite parties; but respecting his private and
domestic character, little variance of opinion has at any time existed among his contemporaries. Probity, and a strict sense of religious obligation, formed the basis of his moral character;— moderation and simplicity, of his habits and manners,—and benevolence, of his disposition. A faithful and affectionate husband, a fond and assiduous parent, and a kind, considerate, and affable master, he secured the respect and attachment of all who beheld him nearly, and was approved by the moral feelings of the whole nation. His intellectual faculties, originally of no high order, were permanently clouded by the constitutional malady which first exhibited itself at an early period of his life. An inflexible persistence in the line of conduct which he had once judged it right to adopt,—an immoveable adherence to the maxims of government, instilled into him by his earliest instructors, formed the leading characteristic of his mental constitution, and that which influenced in the most important manner the destinies of his kingdoms.
In literary taste George III. was supposed to be somewhat deficient, though he collected one of the noblest libraries extant; but the fine arts, especially music and painting, he loved, patronised, and in a considerable degree understood. Agriculture also and some of the mechanic arts were among his pursuits; and hunting, till a late period of life, formed his principal amusement.
His firm attachment to the church of which he was the head was totally exempt from bigot
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ry; he uniformly insisted that no species of religious persecution should take place under his sway: all the relaxations of the penal laws, affecting the catholics and the protestant dissenters, bear date from his reign, and were sanctioned by his beneficent and equitable mind; and a genuine scruple of conscience respecting his coronation oath seems alone to have opposed his conceding to the former sect the full rights of citizens.
To the system of general education, promulgated by Joseph Lancaster, his majesty early extended his firm and liberal support, nobly disdainful of the scruples and alarms which it excited in other quarters. On this subject he once uttered the memorable wish, "That the day might come in which every poor child in his dominions would be able to read the Bible."
Posterity will number George III. with the best men, though not the ablest monarchs, who have borne the British sceptre. Dr. Aikin.
JAMES I. OF SCOTLAND.
After two weak and inactive reigns, and two regencies of no superior character, a monarch is to succeed, whose government is to be distinguished for its novelty and vigour; and the house of Stuart is at last to know a sovereign. James had now attained his thirtieth year; and his prime of life was yet further recommended by every advantage, which natural talents and a
complete education could bestow. In person he was rather under the middle size, but endued with such firmness and agility as to excel in every manly exercise. In wrestling, in the management of the bow or the spear, in throwing the quoit, in running, in horsemanship, he yielded to none. But his mental abilities were yet more conspicuous. A man of science and learning, an excellent poet, a master of music, the fame of his accomplishments reflected glory even on the throne. Illustrious in every personal virtue, free from any personal vice, his very amusements adorned his character; his hours of leisure being frequently dedicated to elegant writing, and miniature painting, to mechanical arts, and to the cultivation of the garden and the orchard.
The features of his government it is more difficult to discriminate. If we believe some writers, not less than three thousand men were put to death in the two first years of his reign; and after the inroad of Donald Balloch, three hundred highland banditti met with the same fate. Happily these matters are quite unknown to contemporary and authentic monuments of our history: the justice of James fell only on a few nobles and some chiefs of clans; but the numerous dependents of those victims of equitable severity embraced every occasion to excite discontents, and propagate falsehoods against the government, falsehoods which have even passed into the page of history, for one of the misfortunes of the house of Stuart has consisted in the prejudices of several Scottish historians. If any blame must fall, let it fall where it ought, upon the misrule of the