OUR NATIONAL ANNIVERSARY.
SOME ACCOUNT OF FRANCIS'S LIFE-BOATS AND LIFE-CARS.
MAURICE TIERNAY, THE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE.
THE HOUSEHOLD OF SIR THOS MORE.
PHANTOMS AND REALITIES.\u2014AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY.
A CHAPTER ON GIRAFFES.
THE SOLAR SYSTEM.
THE CONVICT'S TALE.
A BRUSH WITH THE BISON.
JOSEPHINE AT MALMAISON.
THE USURER'S GIFT.
A FRENCHMAN IN LONDON.
CONCERNING THE ECLIPSES IN THE MONTH OF JULY, 1851.
THE DESERTED HOUSE.
VISIT TO AN ENCAMPMENT OF LAPLANDERS.
THE WORSHIP OF GOLD.
MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.
Monthly Record of Current Events.
A Leaf from Punch.
ON the morning of a brilliant day in October, 1760, the heir apparent to the British throne and his groom of
the stole, were riding on horseback near Kew Palace, on the banks of the Thames. Theheir was George, son
of the deceased Frederick, Prince of Wales; thegroom was John Stuart, Earl of Bute, an impoverished
descendant of an ancient Scottish chieftain. The prince was young, virtuous, and amiable; the earl was in the
prime of mature manhood, pedantic, gay, courtly in bearing, and winning in deportment. He came as an
adventurer to the court of George the Second, for he possessed nothing but an earldom, a handsome person,
and great assurance; he lived in affluence in the royal household of Frederick, because he played Lothario
well not only in the amateur theatre, but in the drawing-room of the princess, and soon became her petted
The Prince of Wales died, and rumor with her half-lying tongue often whispered in the public ear the
suspicion that the earl and the dowager princess were unmindful of the requirements of virtue. Public
credulity believed the scandal, and the public mind became troubled because the pupilage of the future
sovereign was under the guidance of the shallow earl. He was a tutor more expert in the knowledge of
stage-plays, the paraphernalia of the acted drama, and the laws of fashion and etiquette necessary for the beau
and the courtier, than in comprehension of the most simple principles of jurisprudence, the duties of a
statesman, or the solid acquirements necessary for a reigning prince or his chief adviser. It was evident that
the groom of the stole would be the prime minister of the realm when George should possess the throne of his
grandfather, and this expectation made virtuous men and true patriots unhappy.
The prince and his inseparable companion had just reined up at the portal of the garden of the dowager, at
Kew, when a solemn peal[Pg 146] tolled out from the bells of London. While they were listening, a
messenger came in haste to the prince and announced the sudden death of the old king. He was soon followed
by William Pitt, the greatest commoner in England, the idol of the people, and, as prime minister, the actual
ruler of the affairs of the empire. Pitt confirmed the sad tidings, and made preliminary arrangements for
proclaiming the accession of George the Third.
EARL OF BUTE.
The earl and his pupil remained that day and night at Kew, in company with Doddington and a few other
friends, and the next morning rode up to St. James's, in London, to meet the great officers of state. At that
interview, Pitt presented the young king with an address to be pronounced at a meeting of the Privy Council.
The minister was informed that one had already been prepared. This announcement opened to the sagacious
mind of Pitt a broad and gloomy view of the future. He perceived that Bute was to be the ruling spirit in the
new cabinet; that he whom he despised for his weakness and illiberality, his pedantic assumption of superior
scholarship, and his merited unpopularity with the people, was to be the bosom friend and adviser of the king.
Pitt well knew his unfitness, and deplored the consequences. Unwilling to be held in the least responsible for
errors which were certain to abound in the administration of affairs, he soon withdrew to his mansion at
Hayes, and watched, with all the interest and anxiety of a statesman and patriot, the gradual weaving of the
web of difficulty in which the impotent men who surrounded the king, were soon ensnared.
By virtue of his office as groom of the stole, Bute was sworn in a Privy Councilor, and, by degrees he
obtained the control of the cabinet. For nearly ten years his unwise advice and defective statesmanship, in the
cabinet and in the parlor, led George the Third into many and grave errors, which finally resulted in the loss of
the fairest portion of his American possessions. Had Pitt been allowed to guide the public policy and direct the
honest but stubborn mind of the king at the beginning of his long reign of half a century, these United States
might have remained a part of the British Empire fifty years longer. But that great man, whose genius as a
statesman, eloquence and wisdom as a legislator, and whose thorough knowledge of human nature and the
past history of the world, made him peerless, and whose administration of government during almost the
entire progress of The Seven Years' War, had carried England to a height of prosperity and influence which
she had never before approached, was superseded by a fop; his eminent worth was overlooked; his services
were apparently forgotten, and he was allowed to retire from office and leave the young sovereign and his
government in the hands of weak, crafty, and selfish men. The people venerated Pitt; they despised the very
name of Stuart. They deprecated the influence of the king's mother as being unfavorable to popular freedom.
A placard which appeared upon the Royal Exchange, bearing, in large letters, the significant expression of
"No petticoat government\ue001no Scotch minister\ue002no Lord George Sackville," prefigured those popular tumults
which soon afterward disturbed the metropolis and extended to the American colonies. That placard was the
harbinger of that great Declaration, the adoption of which by a representative Congress of the
Anglo-American people fifteen years afterward, is the occasion of our National Anniversary.
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