Page:Cassell's Illustrated History of England vol 5.djvu/15

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CHAPTER I

REIGN OF GEORGE III

Character of George III.—Traits of it omitted or disguised by all former Historians—His Marriage with Hannah Lightfoot, the Quakeress—Lord Bute, his Mother's Favourite, becomes the King's Right-hand Man—Sworn of the Privy Council—Catals at Court—New Prayer of the Liturgy—Funeral of George II.—Opening of Parliament—King's Popularity—Plans of Newcastle, Bubb Dodington, and Bute—Retirement of Onslow. Speaker of the Commons—Change of Administration—King's Marriage announced—Character of Queen Charlotte—Her Arrival—The Coronation—Campaign in Silesia—Schweidnitz taken by the Austrian—Colberg by the Russians—Frederick on the brink of Ruin—The Princes of Brunswick—Victory of the Allies at Kirch-Denkern. near the Ancient Teutoburg of the Germans—Projected Congress at Augsburg—Negotiations for Peace—English take Belleisle—Spain allies herself with France—The Family Compact—Pitt recommends War with Spain—He resigns with Lord Temple.

The opening of the reign of George III. is the opening of the most eventful period of all human history. During this long reign two most momentous wars were waged and finished, the one essentially leading to the other: the first inaugurating the erection of colonies into great and independent nations; the second, originating in a people stung to desperation by the oppressions of their government, throwing off royalty, and proclaiming republicanism. The American war of independence against this, the mother country, and the French war of independence against their government, were both the result of despotisms and oppressions, and became eternal lessons to dynasties—warnings and landmarks, by their good and their evil, to all after ages; facts never more to be forgotten by the nations, however they may occasionally be by their rulers; facts yet operating, and destined inevitably to operate, till all governments become wise, or perish in their unwisdom. Such were the grand events of the period we are now entering upon—scenes of con-