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*23. 1820.-H. B. H. Duke of Kent died.
His Royal Highness was distinguished for the exercise of talents and virtues in the highest degree worthy of a beneficent Prince and of an enlightened English gentleman. There was no want nor misery which he did not endeavour to relieve to the extreme limits of his embarrassed fortune. There was no public charity to which his time, his presence, his eloquence, were not willingly devoted, nor to the ends of which they did not powerfully conduce. The traces of his intercourse with the inhabitants of London, on occasions of a salutary tendency to the morals and happiness of his poorer fellowcreatures, will never be effaced from the grateful hearts of those who saw and heard him. His manners were affable, condescending, dignified, and engaging; his conversation animated ; his information varied and copious; his memory exact and retentive; his intellectual power quick, strong, and masculine. He resembled the late King in many of his tastes and propensities; he was an early riser, a close economist of his time; temperate in eating; indifferent to wine, though a lover of society; and heedless of slight indisposition, from confidence in the general strength of his constitution; a kind master, a punctual and courteous correspondent, a steady friend, and an affectionate brother. His Royal Highness died in his 53d year, and has left a widow, the sister of Prince Leopold, who has in her hands the presumptive hype of the British Empire.
25.--CONVERSION OF SAINT PAUL. · Saint Paul suffered martyrdom under the general persecution of Nero. Being a Roman citizen, he could not be crucified by the Roman laws, as his colleague St. Peter was; he was, therefore, beheaded :-hence the usual representation of him with a sword in his hand.
The Sicilian festival in commemoration of the martyrdom of St. Paul, is thus described by an eyewitness. On the vigil of the festival the church was beautifully illuminated, and the figure of St. Paul was presented to the people, whose enthusiasm and distortions of countenance were indescribable. Viva San Paolo! with the clashing of bells, resounded every moment through the church. The commotion was terrible ; every one strained his lungs to the utmost; conceiving that the louder he bawled, the more spiritual fervour he expressed, becoming, at the same time, the greater favourite of his patron saint. On the morrow, at break of day, a colossal statue of St. Paul, not badly carved in wood, and fresh gilt, was paraded through the streets with all the honours of a newly-elected member, every one striving to share the glory of chairing the precious idol.
All this, however, was but a prelude to the grandissima processione, in the evening, which consisted of a band of music; boys dressed à la Turque ; the high priest most sumptuously apparelled, accompanied by bishops; horsemen in various dresses, two and two; the scribe on foot carrying a sword and book; guards preceding the mighty Nero (personated by a painter from Rome), whose visage pourtrayed every passion requisite to discharge his august office with dignity. He held a sceptre in his hand. Some prisoners preceded poor St. Paul with a rope round his neck, led by two blacks, having swords in their hands. He mounted the scaffold with great solemnity; Nero signed the fatal war
rant; and the hangman apparently stabbed him to the heart, that is to say, he had concealed under his shirt a leathern bottle, full of wine, which poured down in torrents. He was then dragged to the block (a species of guillotine), and at one blow a false head jumped into the air, and was afterwards shown to the multitude amidst peals of Viva San Paolo! In the true spirit of the drama, the fictitious saint afterwards walked through the crowd, deluged with imaginary blood; and the emperor, bishops, &c. having played their mimic parts, returned to their humble situations of tailors, bricklayers, &c'.
A singular custom was observed on this day in St. Paul's cathedral, until the reign of Elizabeth.See our last volume, p. 20. *28. 1815.-WILLIAM CRAVEN, D.D. DIED, ÆT. 85.
He was many years Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, and at one time Arabic Professor in the University, which situation he resigned to accommodate the late Professor Carlisle, who was about to publish his Specimens of Arabian Poetry. Dr. Craven published ‘Discourses on the Jewish and Christian Dispensations, compared with other Institutions: and a Future State of Rewards and Punishments, in answer to the Objections of Hume. In the year 1807, when Mr. Fox's' administration resigned, on account of the Catholic Question, the University addressed his late Majesty, and Dr. C. was one of the Deputation, who always kiss hands when the Address and Answer have been read. When it came to his turn, instead of putting his hand under the King's, and raising it to his lips, he shook the King by the hand, and said God bless you. Such a token of irregular respect and affection from so venerable a person, seemed more acceptable to His Majesty than the Address itself, and was received most graciously.
* See Literary Panorama, 0. S., vol. iv, p. 138.
*29. 1820.-King George III died, æt. 81.
The King possessed many of the more attractive qualifications of an educated and accomplished gentleman. With the love of the fine arts he was deeply imbued ; his taste for music was chiefly indulged in the frequent performances which he encouraged of the works of HANDEL and other old composers; and his preference for their compositions was grounded not merely on a sense of the scientific knowledge which they displayed, but on a reverence for the sublime character which pervaded them, and for the solemn occasions to which they were devoted. No human being was more susceptible than His Majesty of the train of sentiment which such an application of the powers of music was fitted to inspire and to support. Of the sister art of painting he was a competent judge and a liberal patron-among the Sovereigns of this country, the first and only patron since the Revolution. The Royal Academy, established by GEORGE III, will yet, we trust, afford some lasting monument to the memory of its illustrious founder. But the general course of the King's education seems to have been guided more with a view to the business of life than to its embellishments. He made small progress in classical knowledge. His advances in Roman literature were not such as to afford him a lively enjoyment of its beauties. Of the Greek he knew still less. But he spoke the modern languages with ease and elegance; and he studied early, and correctly understood the history of modern times, and the just relations of England with the other States of Europe. Such, however, were but secondary features in the portrait of George III. The principles of his character, which may be said with truth to
have influenced most powerfully the occurrences of his eventful reign, and which will, therefore, most engage the notice of posterity, were moral rectitude and inflexible resolution.
This good King possessed that accidental felicity which is considered essential to the completeness of every human reputation. He had not merely great and useful qualities; but they were qualities adapted to the position in which he was placed, called for by the period during which he acted, and congenial to the character of the nation over which he ruled. Henry IV, of France would be to mankind at large a far more dazzling and captivating monarch; but he would not have so well suited the meridian of the people of England, nor the exigencies of the present age. His religion was not sufficiently serious, his morals were not austere enough, to rebuke and confound the licentious infidel, the living pestilence of the 18th and 19th centuries. The sober dignity of the English Court, while GEORGE III threw round it the mantle of his domestic affections and well-regulated life, represented truly the characteristic virtues of this grave and manly nation, and powerfully encouraged and sustained them. We mean GEORGE III no dishonour, we do him none, by saying, that the familiar name of John Bull' was applicable specifically to the whole consti| tution of his mind and habits. He was an Eng| lishman all over-but an Englishman worthy to | be at the head of a nation of English'.
| : The best account we have seen of the public and domestio life of his late Majesty is written by Mr. Holt, and is ornamented with numerous beautifully engraved portraits of the Royal Family, and the illustrious men who tourished during this long and eventful reign.