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relief was resorted to, but it speedily became more and more evident, that the fatal termination of her MAJESTY's sufferings was near at hand.
Immediately on the arrival of the Prince Regent and the Duke of York, Sir H. Halford had an audience of their Royal Highnesses, in the great drawing-room ; the Princess Augusta and the Duchess of GlouCESTER being also present; when Sir Henry amounced, that there was no longer any bope of their August Parent surviving the paroxysm. Their Royal Highnesses received the melancholy information with the most poignant affliction ; and Princess Augusta, in particular, was so much afflicted, that for some time she suffered uoder a severe hysterical affection. Their Royal Highuesses repaired to the chamber of their expiring Parent; who, we are happy to say, was still perfectly sensible of their presence.
At this time the Royal Sufferer appeared free from pain, but she was nearly exbausted; and at twenty minules past one o'clock, she breathed her last, so gently, that it was almost unperceived by those, who were so anxiously watching her.
The scene was now truly distressing, the Prince Regent had the trying task of supporting bis mother in her last breathings; a fit, though melancholy, close of his incessaut attendance day and night, and of his anxious adoption of every expedicut that could administer relief, or comfort to his Parent, in her long and afflicting illness. His Royal Highness was assisted hy the Duke of York and their Royal Sisters : but the expiring scene,- the heart-rending feelings of the Regent, and all present, it would be equally impossible and unbecoming to attempt to describe. The Brothers and Sisters were supported with much difficully to a private room, where the Regent coutinued several bours, and then left for town.
As far as luman suffering can be alleviated at such a moment, by the consolations of religion, by the aid of professional skill, and, by what is more precious than either, the tender offices of filial love and duty, her MAJESTY found that alleviation. The affectionate solicitude, the unwearied aitention of the Prince Regent, of his illustrious brother, the Duke of York, and of their afficted Sisters, who have taken up their abode at Kew during the whole time of her Majesty's residence there, must, indeed, have soothed the anguish of disease, and caluned the perturbalions of expiring nalure. It was their sad, yet pleasing task,
“ To rock the cradle of declining age;
With lenient acts extend a mother's breath,
The first communication which arrived in town of thc melancholy tidings, was about half past two at Carlton House, by a communication sealed with black, addressed to Viscoant Sidmouth, as Secretary of State for the Home Department; together with a letter to Sir Henry Torrens, from the Duke of Yorr, to postpone bis Royal Highuess's leree. The intelligence was soon circulated, and the enquiries were very num:rous
at Carlton House, until tbroe o'clock, when the following notification was issued :
“ Carlton House, Nov. 17, 1818. “ Her Majesty expired at one o'clock this day, without a pain.”
It was written on paper with wide black edges ; and shortly after, the following letter, sent by Lord Siduouth to the Lord Mayor, was placarded at the Mansion House :
“ MY LORD,
WHITEHALL, Nov. 17, 1818. “ It is my painful duty to inform you of the death of her MAJESTY the QUEEN. This melancholy event took place at Kew Palace, at one o'clock this day.” “ I have the honour to be, your Lordship’s most obedient,
“ SIDMOUTH." “ To the Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor."
The bulletin of the morning continued to be shewn at the Queen's Palace till past four o'clock, no official account of the decease of her Maiesty having been received there, till it was sent from Carlton House, when the Palace was closed. In the evening, bowever, and before the posthour, a special Gazelle, with a black border, supplementary to the regular one, was published, for the express purpose of announcing her MAJESTY'S decease, in the following words :
“ WATEHALL, Nov. 17, 1818. This day, at one o'clock, the QUEEN departed this life, to the inexpressible grief of the Royal Family, after a tedious illness, wbich her Majesty bore with the most pious fortitude and resignation. The many great and exemplary virtues which so eminently distinguished her MAJESTY throughout her long life, were the object of universal esteem and admiration amongst all classes of his MAJESTY'S subjects, and render the death of this illustrious and most excellent Princess an unspeakable loss to the whole nation."
Letters were also sent off by the Government bags, to all the different branches of the Royal Family now abroad; and Mr. Vicke, the King's Messenger, was despatched with the melancholy tidings to the Congress of Sovereigns at Aix-la-Chapelle. About nine o'clock also, Mr. Masa, of the Lord Chamberlain's Office, and Mr. France, the Royal Undertaker, arrived at Kew Palace, to make arrangements for the Royal funeral. St. Paul's bell and those of all the other Churches of the Metropolis tolled at intervals throughout the whole of the evening; the several Tbealres were shut, and published notices that they would remain closed till after the burial; and most of the shops in Bond-street, Piccadilly, &c. &c. were half closed on the melancholy occasion.
It is now nearly a century since England experienced a similar calamity. Queco CAROLINE, the consort of George II. died on the 20th of November, 1737 ; and the character which history has bestowed upon her, may, with strict justice, be applied to her late MAJESTY. “ This accomplisbed Princess," observes a modern Historian, “ was a model of virtuous and exemplary conduct from her earliest years, to the maturity of age.
At the approach of death she discovered no symptoms of fear, but maintained to the last moment her accustomed fortitude and serenity of temper."
It is, however, the lot of greatness to provoke enmity, and draw upon itself the shafts of calumny. Her Majesty did not escape this common destiny ; but they who were most forward to arraign her, were too often those whose own conduct excluded them from her notice and approbation. Fertile as England is, and we hope will continue to be, of females do less illustrious by their virtues, thap by their rauk, and their accomplishments, it would be impossible to name one who more failhfully discharged the duties of domestic life, than did her late MAJESTY. And this is the poblest praise that can belong to a Queen of England. We never wish to see that title blended with the character of an intriguing politician. As a wife, and as a mother, the conduct of her MAJESTY was in the highest degree irreproachable; and those virtues which constituted her own daily practice, she never dispensed with in the objects of her patronage or attachment. During the long period in which she may be said to have presided over the English Court, it was remarkable for the steady countenance uniformly extended to virtue, and as uniformly withdrawn from its opposite. Her undeviatiog adherence to this principle sometimes exposed her to the exasperated invectives of those who had to make the faults they ridiculed or condemned : but wbat every honest man would wish to see bis daughter become, in the relations of domestic life, every unprejudiced man might behold in the character of her late MAJESTY.
From political affairs she kept studiously aloof, and the only occasion upon wbich she departed from this course, was one that fully justified the aberration. We allude to the first Regency question, when the part she then took was equally honourable to her as a Sovereign and as a wife. In the former capacity, she adhered to the Constitution: in the latter, she asserted the rights of her husband when Providence bad incapacitated him from defending them himself. Her conduct, as might be expected, created enemies ; but they were her encinies, only because she would not sacrifice to their feelings of party spirit, ber own beiter feelings, and unbiassed judgment.
When her MAJESTY was first united to our revered Sovereign, there was bardly a Court in Europe that was not marked by its licentiousness. The vices of the French Nobility notoriously led to the Revolution, which deluged that country with blood ; while the same cause occasioned, in a great measure, the borrors witb wbich Spain and Naples were subsequently visited. During that time England presented from the Throne the example of those virtues that form the great and binding links of the social chain ; and to it we may in part ascribe our happiness in baving withstood the storm, which visited the rest of Europe with all the horrors of invasion or of anarchy. This example was the more salutary, as every thing in our situation tended to an excessive dissoluteness of manpers. Our sudden and rapid prosperity was calculated to produce the greatest moral relaxation ; and it is undeniable, that the influence of the domestic life led by their
MAJESTI ES powerfully contributed to check the torrent of corruption which, from a vast accumulation of wealth, threatened to overflow the country, and lay waste all virtue.
Those who bave connected the Queen with the transactions of this reign, and ascribed to her an ascendant influence, have merely betrayed their ignorance of the means by which the political machine is moved ; for they have also tried to fix upon ber the blame of events over which sbe had do controul. But in their eager desire to discover imagivary defects, tbey have overlooked substantial virtues--the unsullied purity of her privale life, and the noble example she afforded to the women of Great Britain. Upon the conduct of that sex mainly rests the edifice of public, as well as private morals ; and it is but just, to trace to the example which has been given from the throne for the last fifty seven years, much of that purity by which the female character is still distinguished in this couotry. During that time, no woman, bowever elevated her rank, or powerful ber connexions, if her reputation was known to have suffered the slightest taini, was permitted to appear in the presence of her MAJESTY; and of this the following Anecdote is a striking instance. The Countess of C. a woman of high birth, ancient family, and great connexions, applied to a Lady who was much about her Majesty's person, to beg ber intercession with the Queen, that her sister, who had committed a faux pas, and was divorced, might be allowed to go to the Drawing-Room, she baving married the man against whom her former husband had obtained damages. This was a very delicate task, and required great address even to bring the subject before her MAJESTY in any shape. The lady, however, succeeded so far as to prefer the request. The Queen for that time turned the conversation ; but on the repeated solicitations of the Countess, this lady, who was high in her Majesty's favour, again ventured to urge it; and on receiving no reply, demanded of the Queen what it was her gracious pleasure she should say lo the Countess. “ Tell her,” said her Majesty with indignation,—" Thal you have dared not to ask me!”
If we except the calamity that has befallen her Royal Consort, and latterly some uobappy events in her own family, perhaps no Queen ever reigned so happily in the rearing and cultivation of her numerous offspriog, their love and their welfare have been her only care; and though she could be QUEEN, whenever her duty required her to sustain the character in public, yet the domestic relations of wife and mother, to which she most gladly descended, interested her feelings more nearly ; to these she was alive ; nor did ber high station, nor the time and attention it incessantly occupied, ever induce her to forego, or neglect, the many attentions that were attached to them.
This power of transforming herself bas had its use; and has long acquired her the distinguished reputation of the most princely woman in Europe, for having married at an early period of life, it required a more than ordinary effort to resist the false glare of a court, and all its fascinating allurements, and devote herself to the happiness of her husband and family.
The Queen bas been frequently charged with economy, and economy is always considered by spendthrifts as a degrading quality; but how much
inconvenience, how much meanness, how much sacrifice of honour and priociple would they avoid, were they to follow its golden rules! We are aware that it may be carried to excess; but we are by no means aware that her Majesty did so, unless a predilectiou for simple enjoyments, merits that imputation.
It is an undoubted fact, that her MAJESTY distributed large sums of money in the exercise of private charity: but her charity was really private, not ostentatiously performed, that the world might applaud the giver. It was an express injunction, which accompanied every act of benevolence, that it should be kept secret. To each nurse of her children she gave a pension of 2001. a year, as well as to several of their sons, and among the many instances of her charity, we may select the following: Her MAJESTY took charge of, and educated the orphan child of an officer who died in the West Indies. The infant being brought to England by the Serjeant of the regiment, the Queen's notice was attracted by an advertisement in the public papers from the serjeant, and her MAJESTY not only educated this child, but caused him to be amply provided for; and it is a fact equally known, that the Queen took upder her protection the widow of an officer killed at Bunker's-hill, and educated the son. These two facts are men. tioned, not as solitary instances of ber Majesty's charitable feelings, but to shew the nature of her application of the large sums of money supposed to have been in her possession. Many a retired and solitary sufferer has been cheered by her royal beneficience, without knowing the hand from which the succour proceeded.
In natural disposition she was pleasing and good-humoured, with a peculiar aptitude, especially in her younger days, for sprightly and even facetious conversation, abounding in anecdotes, which were always characteristic, and marked by an acute and discriminating observation, and a thorough insight into the springs of human conduct.
But the crown and consummation of all her other excellencies was, that the entire unity of affection, which for above half a century knit together her heart and that of our beloved MonarCu: nor can we ever reflect but with a feeling of national gratitude on that constant personal attention to the good old King, which her MAJESTY continued in so exemplary a manner to pay for years after he had become unconscious of her kindness,—when lingering, as it were, between both worlds,-standing betwixt the living and the dead, our aged Sovereign has demanded all those attentions which love, and tenderness, and duty could bestow, to alleviate the sufferings of pain, and helplessness, and second childhood.
“ Oh! honour'd be that aged bead,
White with the venerable snows
Oh! doubly honour'd, by the woes,