Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/294

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210
ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

in a butler's pantry). Among the best of his coloured political caricatures, we may mention, Greece and her Rough Lovers (i.e. Russia and Turkey), published by Maclean, in 1828. Lithography afforded greater facilities of execution than the old process, and much of Seymour's work in political as well as social satire was executed by himself on stone.

Death of George IV. The year 1830 brought the life and reign of George the Fourth to a close. He had been breaking up for a long time past. The first entry of any moment occurs in Mr. Greville's diary, of 25th August, 1828: "The king has not been well; he goes fishing and dining at Virginia Water, stays out late, and catches cold." A year later, the diarist relates that the king had nearly lost his eyesight, and would be "couched" as soon as his eyes were in a proper state for the operation. On the 7th of December he attended a chapter of the Bath, "looked well," but was so blind that " he could not see to read the list, and begged [Mr. Greville] to read it for him." The Sangrado treatment was then in full force; and we find that in January, 1830, the king, being very ill, "lost forty ounces of blood." He grew at last so much worse that the preparations for the festivities with which the royal birthday was to have been celebrated were obliged to be postponed sine die. A victim to dropsy, the operation of puncturing the legs was resorted to, with the result of giving him temporary relief. The patient, however, became liable to violent fits of coughing, in one of which he ruptured a blood vessel, and expired early on the morning of Saturday the 26th of June, 1830.

A more contemptible, selfish, unfeeling being as a man than this king could scarcely have been found, "a mixture of narrow-mindedness, selfishness, truckling, blustering, and duplicity, with no object but self, his own ease, and the gratification of his own fancies and prejudices."[1] "A more despicable scene," continues Mr. Greville, " cannot be exhibited than that which the interior of our Court presents—every base, low, and unmanly propensity, with selfishness, avarice, and a life of petty intrigue and mystery."[2] George the

  1. "Greville Memoirs." vol. i. p. 180.
  2. Ibid., p. 207.