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GEORGE THE THIRD,
HIS COURT, AND FAMILY.
First Appearance of Pitt and Sheridan.—Royal Anec
dotes, military, naval, political, and domestic.-Encouragement of Literature.- Attempted Assassinations. — Illness, and Recovery, &c. &c.
The year 1781 was remarkable in parliamentary history, in the first appearance of Pitt and Sheridan in the lower house; and both then in opposition : but Fox had for some time been before the public.
The King's personal dislike, however, against Mr. Fox was of long standing, and for two reasons ; first, his personal character; and, secondly, his violent opposition to all the measures of the American war: but, as yet, he had not particularly shewn it. The King's command of himself, indeed, under all political squabbles, or military reverses, was highly honourable to his personal character; and of this he exhibited a remarkable instance, on the arrival of
intelligence of Lord Cornwallis's surrender at York Town, which may be said to have given the final blow to all his hopes of retaining the sovereignty of the American colonies. On the day of its arrival, a political party dined with Lord George Germain, who had received the intelligence, and despatched it to His Majesty, from whom a note shortly afterwards was brought to the minister, who observed to Lord Walsingham : “ The King writes just as he always does, except that I observe he has omitted to mark the hour and the minute of his writing, with his usual precision."
The letter is stated to have been of the following import : "I have received, with sentiments of the deepest concern, the communication which Lord George Germain has made me of the unfortunate result of the operations in Virginia. I particularly lament it, on account of the consequences connected with it, and the difficulties which it may produce in carrying on the public business, or in repairing such a misfortune. But I trust that neither Lord George Germain, nor any member of the cabinet, will suppose
that it makes the smallest alteration in those principles of my conduct which have directed me in past time, and which will always continue to animate me under every event, in the prosecution of the present contest.”
It has been stated by a recent biographer, who saw the royal note, that as not a sentiment of des