« AnteriorContinuar »
This recommendation was liberally attended to by Parliament, and, at tbe conclusion of the Session, on the 2d of June, 1762, his Majesty thanked bis faithful Commons in these words :
“ I return you my particular thanks for the proof which you have given of your regard to me, and to my family, in the ample provision you have made for the QUEEN -whose virtues and af'ection to this country will, I am confident, be found to deserve it."
The usual coogratulatory Addresses were presented to their MaJESTIES from both Houses of Parliament, the two Universities, and all Counties, Cities, and Corporations in the Kingdoro ; while the Grand Assembly of the Nation, on being formally acquaiuted with the marriage of the KING, had provided for the support of her MAJESTY, agreeably to the Sovereigo's wishes, by a jointure of 100,000l. per annum, wbich was settled upon her by an Act of the Legislature, together with the Palaces of Richmond and Buckingham House.
In the following year the joy of the nation was increased by the birth of an heir to the throne. The hope of continuing the Protestant succession in his MAJESTY's family was now changed to a kind of certainty, aod the birth of an heir, was of itself sufficient to have established the popularity of a Queen of ENGLAND, even had she wanted those many virtues which her late Majeste was so well known to possess.
The life of our late Queen bas since comprised a period of history the most eventful tbat cao arrest the attention of the statesman and philoso. pher, but the vicissitudes by which it was distinguished passed lightly over her bead, bearing no other reference to her uniform and tranquil life, than to mark by a happy contrast her total exemption from every political calamity. For with whatever interest her MAJESTY may have directed ber attention to the passing scenes of public life, she never appeared on the stage of politics as a busy or meddling actor ; her habits were essentially domestic, and it was the pride of her life, as it is now the most faltering eulogy on her memory, that she graced the throne with those virtues whicb gave their most endearing charin, and their own peculiar loveliness to the domestic circle. During the long period in which she presided in the Drawing Room at St. James's, she could never be induced, by the most carnest and particular entreaties, to relax the severity with which she watched over the moral character of the country; and vice, however exalted in rank, however robed in the gaiety of fashion, or the splendour of title, was ever rebuked by the firmness of her determination, and was never suffered to pollute her Court by its baleful influence.
Acknowledged virtues are not, however, always successful in ensuring popularity, and it was her MAJESTY's misfortune, during some latter years of her life, not to have succeeded in entirely gaining that flattering, though uncertain reward of merit. It would, perhaps, be difficult to account for this circumstance, and must be attributed solely to a misapprehension of her MAJESTY's real character. Her charity was unostentatious, but there are numberless proofs of its active benevolence.-We are unwilling, at the present instant, to pursue this subject farther. There is a moment
succeeding death which should be considered sacred to sorrow and reflection, before history has yet appropriated its rights, or can venture to weigh in its impartial balance the merits of the dead.
Until within these two years, her MAJESTY has enjoyed an almost uninterrupted state of bealtb ; and, as is sometimes the case with those whose habits are regular, and whose various bodily powers are thence exposed to a pretty equal pressure; the first very serious attack of disease was that which indicated a general breaking-up of her constitution ; and the water which accumulated in her limbs and on her chest, was an unequivocal symptom of the deadly stage which ber Majesty's sufferings had arrived at. This source of distress and immediate alarm was, however, acled upon, from time to time, both by medicine and surgical operations ;, which were productive of partial, though gradually diminishing, relief, until “the potent poison quite o'ergrew" the antidotes applied to it by professional science. Each interval of repose became shorter than the preceeding one-each succeeding paroxysm more acute,-each following struggle more nearly mortal ; and the Queen expired, at Kew Palace, about one o'clock on Tuesday, November 17, 1818, in the 75th year of
That her MAJESTY was provided with the best medical assistance which Eogland, the centre of human art and knowledge, could afford, must be a solid satisfaction to those who were personally attached to ber, as well as to all her sympathizing subjects ; and the following Bulletin of the physicians, which was the last issued, but too truly predicted the awful change, that was so soon to remove her from us.
" KEW PALACE, Nov. 17, 1818. 6. The Queen's state last night was one of great and imminent danger. Her MAJESTY continues very ill this morning."
" F. MILLMAN,
This prepared us for the final calamity: for, in truth, the pature of her MAJESTY's disorder, combined with the advanced period to which Provi. dence had prolonged her days, left no well-grounded hope, that she could be eventually preserved. And wben, indeed, we reflect upon
her protracted sufferings, it may be permitted to us, rather to rejoice, than mouro, that nature at length found its last repose. Completely exhausted, by the severe and repeated attacks of a most distressing disorder, her transition from life to death was upmarked by any of those struggles which sometimes acuminate the last trying scene of human existence; and she expired, with all the tranquillity of one who resigns herself to a gentle slumber.
Throughout the afterpoon of Monday, her MAJESTY remained in the same lethargic state, which has so often been described ; and so little was any immediate important change expected by her medical attendants, that, at six o'clock, Sir H. Halford was proceeding on bis usual visit to the King, and Princess Sophia, at Windsor ; and the first messenger from Carlton House was returned without a report. The carriage of Sir Henry, however, had scarcely drawn up at the door of the Palace, when her
Eirop. Mug. Vol. LXXIV. Nov. 1818.
Majesty manifested such an increase of restlessness, that he was induced to delay his departure ; and the journey was postponed for the night. At balf.past seven o'clock the second messenger from Carlton House, who was still waiting at the Palace, was despatched with letters from the Princess Augusta, and the Physicians, to the PRINCE Regent; tbe consequence of wbich was, that about ten o'clock, bis Royal Highness, accompanied by the Duke of York, arrived at the Palace, and had an immediate interview with the Physicians. After their conference, his Royal Highness accompanied the Princesses to the chamber of her MAJESTY, and remained there a considerable time.
From nine o'clock all the worst symptoms of her Majesty's disorder developed themselves in succession, with alarming rapidity; and the most scrious apprehensions, as to the result, being entertained, bis Royal Highness determined to spend the night at Kew.
In consequence, orders were given to prepare apartments for the accommodation of his Royal Highness, in the mansion of the Duke of Cambru
RIDGE, on Kew Green ; but soon after twelve o'clock, so material an abatement took place in her MAJESTY's sufferings, that this arrangement was abandoned ; and, about midnight, his Royal Highness left the Palace for Carlton House, accompanied also by the Duke of York.
This relaxation in the symptoms of her Majesty's disorder, however, was but temporary. They shortly returned with increased severity, and throughout the remainder of the night she was in almost continual pain. Sir F. Milman, Sir H. Halford, and Mr. Brande, remained in the antechamber nearly the whole night; and the Princesses did not relire till between two and three in the morning.
At half-past nine o'clock, the Bulletin was forwarded to town in the customary manner ; and the groom, who carried it, was the bearer also of a letter from the Physicians to the Prince Regent, describing the variations which had taken place in her Majesty's disease, after his Royal Highness's departure.
The messenger, however, had not left the Palace more than three quarters of an hour, when her Majesty became so much worse, that a second letter was despatched to Carlton House, to request the immediate attendance of his Royal Highness. Couriers were also sent off at the same time to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Baillie, Mr. Keate, and Lady Halford. Centinels were placed at the extremity of Kew Green, to prevent carriages, with enquirers, from approaching the Palace ; other messengers were despatched to the Duchess of York, at Oatlands, the Duke of Sussex, at Tunbridge Wells, and the Princesses, at Windsor Castle, and every thing indicated the immediate approach of the last awful crisis.
The ARCHBISHOp being from home, did not reach the Palace until after three o'clock; though the Prince Regent and the Duke of York arrived shortly after twelve.
By thistime, however, all hope of her MAJESTY's surviving the paroxysm was at an end : her respiration was laborious ; tbe tension on the side was painful almost to suffocation, and symptoms of mortification bad begun to manifest themselves in the lower extremities. Every possible mode of attempling