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frequently, from gratitude, exaggerate 1773;—set out for Dr. Majendie's, at their praises; and as this proceeded Kew green. He informed me that the from a good motive, it was certainly king would see me at twelve. At that excusable, as far as error could be ex- hour we went to the king's house. We cusable."
The king inquired what he had been only a few minutes in the thought of Dr. Hill. Johnson answered, hall, when the king and queen came that he was an ingenious man, but had in from an airing; as they passed, the no veracity; and mentioned an assertion king called me by name, and asked of his, that he had seen objects mag- how long it was since I came from nified to a much greater degree, by town. "I shall see you," says he," in using three or four microscopes at a a little while.” We waited for some time, than by using one. ** Now," time, the king being busy, and then we added Johnson, " every one acquainted were called into the library, where the with microscopes knows, that tire more king was walking about, and the queen of them he looks through, the less the sitting in a chair. I had the honour of object will appear.” “ Why," said the a conversation with them for upwards king, “this is not only telling an un- of an hour, on various topics, in which truth, but telling it clumsily; for if that both their majesties joined, with a be the case, every one who can look degree of cheerfulness, affability, and through a microscope will be able to ease, that was to me surprising, and detect him.” That he might not leave
relieved my embarrassment. an unfavourable impression against an They both complimented me on my absent man, Johnson added, “ Dr. Hill Essay, which, they said, they always is, however, a very curious observer, kept by them; and the king said, he and if he would have been contented had one copy of it at Kew, and another to tell the world no more than he knew, in town. I never stole a book but he might have been a very considerable one,' said his majesty, 'and that was man, and needed not to have recourse yours; I stole it from the queen, to to such mean expedients to raise his give it to Lord Hertford to read.' He reputation.” Some conversation fol- had heard that the sale of Hume's lowed on the literary journals of the Essays had fallen since the publication day, in the course of which Johnson of my work. He asked me when the observed, that the Royal Society had second part would be ready for the now a better method of arranging their press; and I told him, if my health materials than formerly.
was good, I might finish it in two or the king, “they are obliged to Dr. three years. He asked how long I had Johnson for that.” He then expressed been in composing my Essay; praised a wish to have the literary biography | its cautious tone, and said he did not of the country well executed, and pro- wonder it had taken five or six years. posed such a work to Johnson, with He asked about my poems, and I said, which desire the doctor readily com- there was only one poem of mine which plied, and to this circumstance we pro- I valued (meaning the Minstrel). We bably owe his Lives of the Poets. After talked much on moral subjects, from the interview, Johnson said to the which their majesties let it appear, that librarian, “Sir, they may talk of the they were warm friends to christianity, king as they will, but he is the finest and disinclined to believe that any gentleman I have ever seen !" He sub- thinking man could be an atheist, unsequently declared, that the king's man- less he imagined he had made himners were those of as fine a gentleman as self;-a thought which pleased the one might suppose Louis the Fourteenth king exceedingly, and he repeated it or Charles the Second to have been. several times to the queen. They Not long after this interview, the king greatly commended the moderation and said, alluding to the sceptical writers of mild behaviour of the Quakers. I was the day, "I wish Johnson would mount asked many questions about the Scots his dray-horse, and ride over them.” universities. The king inquired what
Dr. Beattie has left the following cir- | I thought of Lord Dartmouth. I said, cumstantial account of the first inter- | his air and manner were not only view which he had with the king and agreeable, but enchanting, and that queen :-" Tuesday, the 24th of August, he seemed to me one of the best of
men. * They say that Lord Dartmouth only a private lady, one would notice is an enthusiast,' said the king, but, her as one of the most agreeable women surely he says nothing on the subject in the world. Her face is much more of religion but what evey christian may pleasing than any of her pictures ; and ought to say! He asked whether I and in the expression of her eyes, did not think the English language on and in her smile, there is something the decline. I answered 'yes' and the peculiarly engaging." Beattie subseking agreed, naming the Spectator as quently had another interview with his one of the best standards of the language. majesty, at which, however, nothing When I told him, that the Scots' clergy worthy of repetition occurred. sometimes prayed a quarter, or even It is said that the king, at one time, half an hour at a time, he asked, whether contemplated the creation of a new that did not lead them into repetitions. order of knighthood, for the reward of I said it often did. “That,' said he, literary merit: and that ministers were I don't like in prayers; and excellent willing to support his views on the as our liturgy is, I think it somewhat subject, until he proposed that the faulty in that respect. Your majesty knights should receive salaries with knows,' said I, that three services are their ribbons; to which objections were joined in one.' • True,' he replied, “and raised, on the score of the large exthat circumstance also makes the ser pences in which a long and vigorous vice too long.' From this he took oc war had involved the nation; and the casion to commend the composition of project was ultimately abandoned. the liturgy: Observe,' said he, ‘how He displayed a strong inclination to flat those occasional prayers are, that encourage painting; although he apare now composed, in comparison with pears to have been rather deficient in the old ones.
When I mentioned the pictorial taste. In 1765, he granted a smallness of the church livings in Scot charter to the society of artists, and land, he said, “He wondered how men knighted its first president, Reynolds; of liberal education would choose to to whom, however, he never gave any become clergymen there;' and asked, commission, apparently preferring the "whether, in the remote parts of the works of Coates and Ramsay, two incountry, the clergy, in general, were ferior cotemporary painters, to those of not very ignorant ?' I answered, “No, the highly-gifted Sir Joshua. He was for that education was cheap in Scot even averse to any proposition for the land, and that the clergy, in general, advancement of the art which emanated were men of good sense and competent from the president, to whose idea of learning. We discoursed on many other gratuitously embellishing Saint Paul's topics. The queen bore a large part by the combined efforts of all the most in the conversation, and both their eminent living painters in the country, majesties shewed a great deal of good his majesty expressed so great a dissense, acuteness, and knowledge, as like, that it was necessarily abandoned. well as of good nature and affability. But Benjamin West, who succeeded to At last, the king took out his watch, the president's chair on the death of which Dr. Majendie and I understood Sir Joshua Reynolds, was a great faas a signal to withdraw; we accord vourite with the king; for whom, in the ingly bowed to their majesties, and I course of thirty years, he executed sixtysaid, 'I hope, Sir, your majesty will four pictures, and received during that pardon me, if I take this opportunity to period £34,187. return you my humble and most grate It is related by Angelo, that, on ful acknowledgements for the honour being shown a landscape, which Wilson you havc been pleased to confer upon had painted, by command, for the royal me.' He answered, • I think I could do collection, the king exclaimed, “ Hey! no less for a man who has done so much what! Do you call this painting ? Take service to the cause of christianity.' it away: I call it daubing! -Hey,The queen sat all the while, and the what !-- 'Tis a mere daub!" He then king stood, sometimes walking about a inquired what Wilson expected for his little. The queen speaks English with performance, and being told one hunsurprising elegance, and little or nothing dred guineas, he declared that it was of a foreign manner, so that if she were the dearest picture he ever saw:-“ Too
much-too much," added his majesty; opinion, nobs were actually fixed on “ tell him I say so." Opie, the self iron rods at the end of Buckinghamtaught artist, having painted a picture, house. Nor was this all : he wished which attracted the king's notice, his the Royal Society to declare that Frankmajesty desired that it might be brought lin was wrong; but the president reto Buckingham-house, where Opie, ac plied, he could not reverse the order of cordingly, soon afterwards presented nature.". himself with his painting; for which, Ramsden, who was a very dilatory however, the king gave him only ten man, on one occasion positively proguineas, observing that he could not mised to make the king an instrument, afford any more for it.
which his majesty had ordered, by a George the Third was particularly particular day. Months, however, fond of music, and afforded consider- elapsed before it was completed ; and able encouragement to its professors. then Ramsden refused to take it to the To Handel's oratorios he was scarcely palace, unless the king would promise ever weary of listening. Angelo re not to reprove him for his want of lates that, during one of the royal con punctuality “ Well, well,” said the certs, a violent thunder-storm came on, king, “ let him come; since he is conwhereupon the king exclaimed, “ How scious of his fault, it would be hard to sublime !–What an accompaniment ! reprimand him for it.”
Soon after, - How this would have delighted | Ramsden went with his instrument to Handel!" Soon after hostilities had first the king, who observed, with a goodcommenced between this country and natured smile, “Well done, Ramsden; America, at an oratorio which he at you have kept your promise, on this tended, the following lines in Alex- occasion, to the very day of the month, ander's Feast are said to have had an and made a trifling mistake only as to extraordinary effect upon him:
Henry Angelo attributes to the king The princes applaud with furious joy,
a considerable knowledge of architecAnd the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy.
ture, and states that his majesty deHe rolled up his book of the perform- | signed the small temple in Kew ance into the form of a truncheon, gardens, engraved in the works of which he flourished over his head, and, Chambers, and the old gate entrance starting on his feet, exclaimed, “Bravo! for St. James's park to Carlton-house bravo! Encore ! encore !"
gardens. He was fond of the methusiastic call for the repetition of the chanical arts, and is said to have been words was generally, but, perhaps, very a good practical turner: at one time, erroneously, attributed to the warmth he had a large room in Buckinghamof his feelings against the refractory house fitted up with lathes, and emcolonists.
ployed the ingenious Pinchbeck, either The king, in many instances, dis to assist or instruct him in working played a laudable desire for the ad them. vancement of science. He patronized The king rose early, often at six Cook, Byron, and Wallis, the navi o'clock; and the two following hours gators ; Herschel, the astronomer; and he termed exclusively his own. He Ramsden, the celebrated mathematical so exceedingly fond of riding, instrument maker; and placed large that, whenever the weather permitted, sums at the disposal of the Royal during a considerable portion of his Society. During the dispute in 1779, life, he passed much of the interval as to the best form for conductors to between the hours of breakfast and secure buildings from lightning, which dinner on horseback. He frequently Banks and others, in opposition to went from Kew, on his hack, to attend Franklin, declared would be of greater a levee or council at St. James's, in the efficacy if made with blunt instead of midst of a heavy shower; and resharp ends, “ The king,” says Wol peatedly rode for several hours at recot, is being rather partial to blunt con views, (in which he took great delight,) ductors, thought to end the matter at with no covering but his ordinary dress, once, by avowing his belief in the and often without a hat, during the superiority of nobs. To confirm his most boisterous weather. For a number
of years, he hunted regularly during
with Lord Amherst relative to a list of the season, and followed the hounds commissions, which had been presented with as much ardour as any of his for signature, the king found that an yeomen prickers. One day, the stag
officer had been nominated to a comhaving taken water at Hampton, a pany over the head of an old lieutenant, number of sportsmen in the royal hunt who, as Lord Amherst stated, could rode up to the toll-gate on the bridge, not purchase. The king was struck shouting, “The king! the king !" They
with the old lieutenant's name, and on were permitted to pass without paying, reference to a large folio, entirely in but Feltham, the gate-keeper, stopped
his own hand writing, found some cira second party, who attempted to ob cumstances recorded which were greatly tain a free passage by uttering the same to the honour of the poor subaltern; cry. “I tell you what,” said he, “I who, at the express command of the give £100 a year for the bridge, and king, was immediately appointed to the before I open the gate l'll have your
vacant company: money. I've let King George through, When his majesty visited the exhi- God bless him !--and I know of no bition at Somerset House, he delighted other king in England. If you have in discovering, without the aid of the brought the King of France with you, list, for whom thk principal portraits he sha'n't pass toll free.” His majesty, were meant to be likenesses.
“ It was on being made acquainted with the highly interesting,” Cosway often recircumstance, ordered the toll to be marked, “ to observe the king's quick paid for all his attendants; and, many perception of the person intended by years afterwards, having occasion to a portrait, if he had ever seen the incross the bridge, he said to the gate dividual." keeper, whose name and person be He is said to have been greatly perfectly remembered, “No fear of amused with caricatures, even with the King of France coming to-day,
those in which his own person or purFeltham.”
suits were held up to ridicule; and to The tenacity of his memory was have heartily enjoyed the satirical efastonishing: he knew the names, num
fusions of Peter Pindar, which were rebers, and uniform, of every regiment gularly forwarded to his majesty, on in the service ; and could at once the day of publication. The following ticularise every sea-worthy vessel in
instance of his own humour has been his navy. West, the painter, declared recorded: two privates of the lifethat, during the progress of his paint guards having gone through the sword ings at Windsor, he never made an exercise before him, Lord Cathcart alteration, however minute, in any of inquired if his majesty would permit them, that was not detected by the two of the youngest officers to display king. Garrick asserted that the king their skill in the use of their weapons. was not only perfectly well acquainted The king consented, and when the with most of the early English dramas, young gentlemen had concluded their but that he recollected the names of exhibition, he requested that the two their authors, and the dates of their oldest officers on the ground, (Lord production respectively. When he was Cathcart and Major Barton) would also at Weymouth, pending the alterations give him a specimen of their dexterity at Windsor castle, he corresponded re in the exercise, which they accordingly gularly with the architect; and, from did, to his majesty's infinite amusement. his vivid remembrance of every part of A few anecdotes of his excursions to the building, suggested hints for various Worcester, Tewkesbury, and Cheltenimprovements, which had escaped the ham, have been related, which are not, notice of those who were employed on perhaps, unworthy of repetition. On
the morning of his arrival at Worcester, It has been asserted that he recog he was recognised while walking alone nized the persons and remembered on the bridge, and a crowd soon collected the names of individuals many years about him. “ This, I suppose," said after they had been introduced to him, he, “is Worcester new bridge." “ Yes, although he had never seen or heard of please your majesty," replied a dozen them in the interim. In a conversation voices. “ Then, my boys," exclaimed
the king, “ let's have a huzza !" A George the Third frequently entered tremendous shout ensued, in which the into familiar conversation with the persovereign most heartily joined. The sons whom he happened to meet. The next morning he was in the streets by following dialogue occurred one day, behalf-past five o'clock : at the residence tween his majesty and a young clown:of Colonel Digby and Colonel Gwynn, “ Who are you, boy?- who are youhe found a female servant cleaning the eh, eh ?” “I be a pig-boy.” “Where door-way, whom he requested to shew did you come from?—who do you work him where the “ fellows” slept, and for here?-eh?" "I be from the low personally roused them from their country, out of work at present.” “Don't slumbers. When he visited the Guild they want lads here !--not want lads, hall, the mayor offered him a jelly, eh?” “ I doan't know; all about here which, however, the king unexpectedly belongs to Georgy." “ Georgy!declined, saying, “ Although I never who's Georgy ?" * He lives at the yet did take wine in the forenoon; yet, castle yonder, but he does no good for on this pleasant occasion, I will venture I.” The king immediately gave the lad on a glass.” Some rich old mountain employment on his farm, and told him, was immediately handed to him, and if he were a steady lad, “ Georgy he drank,“ Prosperity to the city of might be a friend to him. Worcester!"
He thus addressed a stable boy whom At Cheltenham, he said to the queen, he met near the castle :-"Well, boy! “ We must walk about for two or three what do you do?-what do they pay days to please these good people who
I help in the stable, but they wish to see us, and then we may walk only give me victuals and clothes,” said about to please ourselves.” As he rode the lad. “ Be content; I have no into Tewkesbury, observing several per- more," was the king's answer. sons on the walls of the bridge, he said Visiting his stable, one morning, he to them, “ My good people, I am afraid found the grooms disputing so loudly that some of you may fall; don't run that his arrival was unnoticed. "I such hazards' for the sake of seeing don't care what you say, Robert," quoth your king; I will ride as slowly as you one, but every body else agrees, that please, that you may all see him." the man at the Three Tuns makes the
While strolling early one morning, he best purl in Windsor." “ Purl! purl!" met a countryman walking at a very exclaimed the king : “ Robert, what's brisk rate, and thus accosted him :
The manner of making the “ You seem to be very warm, my good beverage having been explained to fellow-eh?" “Yes, sir," was the him, the king said, “ Very good drink, reply, “I have come a long way: ! no doubt; but, grooms, too strong for want to see the king." "Friend,” said breakfast." Five years afterwards, on his majesty, " you see him before you: / entering the stables one morning, he here is half-a-guinea ; refresh yourself asked å boy, to whom he was unafter your fatigue.” On another oc known, where all the men were. “I casion, perceiving a woman working don't know, sir," replied the lad; alone in a field, during harvest, he “ but they will soon be here, for they asked her what had become of her
expect the king." “Ah, ah!" said his companions. " They are gone," said majesty," then run, boy, to the Three she,'" to see the king.” “Why do Tuns, and say the king expects them ; you not go?" inquired his majesty: “I -to the Three Tuns, boy, d'ye hear? would not give a pin to see him," re They are sure to be there, for the landplied the woman; “ besides, the fools lord makes the best purl in Windsor !" will lose a day's work, which is more In August, 1785, while on his return than I can afford, for I have tive with the queen from Egham races, a children to keep.' "Well, then," remarkably fine child attracted his said his majesty, giving her some notice. “Whose son are you, boy, money, “ you may tell your compa eh?" inquired his majesty. nions, who are gone to see the king, father is the king's beef-eater,” rethat the king came to see you."
plied the little fellow. “ Indeed!" exDuring his frequent rambles about claimed the monarch; "then down on Windsor, when he resided at the castle, your knees, sir, and you shall kiss