A History of the Four Georges And of William Iv, volume Iii (Of 4)

Cover of book A History of the Four Georges And of William Iv, volume Iii (Of 4)
Categories: Fiction » Classic

"SUPREME IRONIC PROCESSION."For six and forty years England had been ruled by German princes. OneElector of Hanover named George had been succeeded by another Electorof Hanover named George, and Georg


e the First and George the Second,George the father and George the son, resembled each other in being bynature German rather than English, and by inclination Electors ofHanover rather than Kings of England. Against each of them a Stuartprince had raised a standard and an army. George the First had hisJames Francis Edward, who called himself James the Third, and whom hisopponents called the Pretender, by a translation which gave aninjurious signification to the French word "pretendant." George theSecond had his Charles Edward, the Young Pretender who a generationlater led an invading army well into England before he had to turn andfly for his life. A very different condition of things awaited thesuccessor of George the Second. George the Second's grandson was anEnglish prince and an Englishman. He was born in England; his fatherwas born in England; his native tongue was the English tongue; and ifhe was Elector of Hanover, that seemed an accident.The title was as unimportant and trivial to the King of {2} England ashis title of King of France was unreal and theatrical. The remnant ofthe Jacobites could not with truth call the heir to the throne aforeigner, and they could not in reason hope to make such ademonstration in arms against him as they had made against hisgrandfather and his great-grandfather. The young King came to a muchsafer throne under much more favorable auspices than either of the twomonarchs, his kinsmen and his namesakes, who had gone before him.[Sidenote: 1760--Accession of George the Third]The young King heard the first formal news of his accession to thethrone from the lips of no less stately a personage than the GreatCommoner himself--the foremost Englishman then alive. George theThird, as he then actually was, had received at Kew Palace somemessages which told him that his grandfather was sinking fast, that hewas dying, that he was dead. George resolved to start for London. Onhis way, and not far from Kew, he was met by a coach and six, which,from the blue and silver liveries, he knew to be that of Mr. Pitt.George received the congratulations of his great minister--the greatMinister whom, as it was soon to appear, he understood so little andesteemed so poorly. Then Pitt, turning his horses' heads, followed hissovereign into London. Never perhaps in English history was a youngking welcomed on his accession by so great a minister. Among the manyauspicious conditions which surrounded the early days of George theThird's reign not the least auspicious was the presence of such abulwark to the throne and to the realm. For the name of Pitt was nowfeared and honored in every civilized country in the world. It hadbecome synonymous with the triumphs and the greatness of England. Pittwas the greatest War Minister England had yet known. He was the firstEnglish statesman who illustrated in his own person the differencebetween a War Minister and a Minister of War.

A History of the Four Georges And of William Iv, volume Iii (Of 4)
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