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pondency or of despair was to be found in the letter, so the very hand-writing itself indicated composure of mind, with every calmness, dignity, and self-command.
An instance happened this year, which shewed the attention the King always paid to the services and rewards of the army. Lord Amherst, then commander-in-chief, carried him a packet of military commissions to be signed: and the King, first looking over the list, observed one appointed captain over an old lieutenant.
“ He cannot purchase, said his lordship: but something in the name struck the King, and before he signed the commissions, he turned to one of many large folios, which are all in his own hand-writing, and presently finding the name of the officer, with some memorandum of his private life very much to his credit, he immediately ordered him to be promoted to the vacant company.
Indeed, we may also add here, that the King took as much pleasure in noticing the merits of the subaltern as of the general officer, as was evinced by his frequent attentions to Major Topham, when only adjutant of the First Regiment of Life Guards, he having converted that heavy ill-disciplined corps into a very good one, and prepared it for its subsequent gallant exploits in the field, instead of being subjected to Swift's illnatured remark, that the Guards were good for nothing but to drink the children's milk, and kiss the nursery maids.
Toplam was at that period exhibited in the print shops as the tip-top adjutant.
His Majesty not only often inspected his guards, but even condescended sometimes to put them through different evolutions. It is recorded of him, that one day, after trying some manoeuvres, he requested a Prussian officer, of high rank, to shew a mode which he spoke of as more effective. This was done; but the King was not satisfied with the result-said it was very well; but that he liked his own way best.
In the distribution of honours the King never forgot his own personal feelings, though he sometimes granted to political solicitation what was by no means agreeable to himself. Indeed, in one instance, he is said to have yielded a baronetcy for a jeu d'esprit. The late Dr. Elliot had never been a favourite; and when Lord George Germain requested His Majesty to confer the title on that physician, the King manifested much unwillingness, saying, at length, “ But, if I do, he shall not be my physician." “ No, Sir," replied his lordship, “ he shall be your Majesty's baronet, and my physician !" This excited the royal smile, and the bloody hand was added to the doctor's arms.
The King was always mindful of his promises ; and this year he conferred the bishopric of Winchester on Lord North's brother, then Bishop of Worcester, in compliance with an engagement pledged to Lord North a few years before, obtained under circumstances which display
display a little of the general system of court intrigue. Lord North had been particularly anxious to procure the see of Winchester for his brother, and took a singular method of obtaining it, by asking for him the archiepiscopal mitre of York, on the demise of Dr. Drummond. He well knew that the King intended to confer this dignity upon the Bishop of Chester, Dr. Markham, as a reward for the particular care which he had taken of the Prince of Wales's education; he asked it, therefore, expecting a refusal, but still appeared to use the privilege of a prime minister in urging his claim. His Majesty, as he was well aware, continued resolute; and the premier, as if on a forlorn hope, said, “I hope then your Majesty will have no objection to translate him to Winchester, when that see may become vacant.” To this the King assented; and the death of Dr. Thomas, shortly after, completed the arrangement.*
As the anecdote is told, it shews that the King would not yield to his minister, where his own sense of right and wrong stood in the way. As for Lord North, it must be owned that he cannot be accused
Bishop North seems to have met with earlier episcopal promotion than has hitherto fallen to the lot of any other Protestant prelate: but his conduct through life fully justified it. He was Dean of Canterbury before the age of twenty-nine; Bishop of Coventry at thirty-three.
of family aggrandisement. He was spåring of honours to all; and if his financial management was careless, it was never profuse.
On the expected arrival of the British North Sea fleet, after the action off the Dogger Bank, the King determined to pay a visit to the gallant Hyde Parker; and accordingly, on the seventeenth of September, he and the Prince of Wales, embarking in their respective yachts, proceeded from Greenwich, receiving the usual salutes from the different forts, dock-yards, and ships, as they passed, and anchored in Sea Reach about four in the afternoon.
At five, the next morning, they got under weigh, and proceeded into the Medway, anchoring off Blackstakes about nine, from whence they went on shore to Sheerness, to visit the dock-yard and new fortifications. At noon they returned to their yachts, and proceeded towards the Nore, at the very moment when Parker's squadron was coming to an anchor.
The vice-admiral, after the usual salutes, went on board the royal yacht, where he had the honour of dining with His Majesty; after which the King and Prince went on board the Fortitude, the flag ship, when the royal standard was hoisted, the whole fleet saluting with twenty-one guns each.
His Majesty then retired to the great cabin, where the captains and officers of the squadron were graciously received, and had the honour of kissing the royal hand: after which the King and Prince visited all parts of the ship; and sailed for Chatham the same evening.
The public were surprised that the King did not confer some mark of distinction upon the admiral ; but it was said, that although he expressed a wish to do so, the veteran seaman refused it, on the plea that his victory was only a drawn battle, which he attributed to his want of sufficient force, through the misconduct of the Admiralty.
On the thirtieth of December, the youthful Bishop of Osnaburgh left Buckingham House, accompanied by Colonel Greville, on his way to the continent, the King intending that he should enjoy the advantages of foreign travel, and a Prussian military education.
This arrangement, however, was much blamed by factious partisans at the time, as if it had been a dereliction of parental duty; but the fact is, that nothing but a sense of propriety could have produced it, for it is well known that nothing could be more affecting than the parting between his royal highness and the other members of his august family. Both their majesties wept severely ; and the Prince of Wales was so much affected at being now deprived, for so long an expected period, of the sole companion of his youth, that he was unable to give vent to his feelings by words, and could only express them by tears, which burst from him in spite of his manly resolution to restrain them,