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Under the present circumstances, the Duke naturally feeling unwilling to promote any scene of festivity, had sent Mr. Greville to request the King's commands, or at least to ascertain the wishes and opinion of the Queen. Previous to the flag, annually presented by his grace, being deposited in the guard chamber, it had been brought to his Majesty, who laying his hand upon it, and touching the eagle, said “I am glad to see it. Tell the Duke of Wellington that I desire his dinner to take place to-morrow: I hope it will be an agreeable one." In the course of the night, the Queen observed to his Majesty, that the archbishop had only been invited to stay to the following day-that his grace wished to be honoured with his commands--and that he expressed himself not only willing but anxious to stay as long as his services could be either acceptable or useful to him. The King immediately said, “Yes ; tell him to stay. It will be the greatest blessing of God to hear that beautiful service read by him once more;" alluding to the Liturgy of the church of England, from the frequent use of the prayers of which his Majesty had been so much comforted and supported in his illness.
Monday, June 19— Though his Majesty passed a tolerably tranquil night, yet no corresponding effect was produced upon his health. Decaying nature could no longer be recruited by the ordinary resources of strength and sustenance. His Majesty, however, rose at seven, for he had at no time during his illness been confined to his bed, and had even, for some weeks, anticipated by an hour his usual time of rising. There was much in the King's language and manner this morning which bespoke his sense of approaching death. On awaking, he observed to the Queen, “ I shall get up once more to do the business of the country;" and when being wheeled in his chair from his bed-room to his dressing-room, he turned round, and looking with a benign anci gracious smile on the Queen's attendants, who were standing in tears near the door, “ God bless you !” and waved his hand.
At nine o'clock, by desire of the queen, who was naturally anxious that the hope so fervently expressed by the King on
the preceding night might be gratified as soon as possible, the archbishop entered the King's room, and was received, as at all times, with the significant tokens of joy and thankfulness, which his grace's presence never failed to call forth.
On this occasion the archbishop read the service for the Visitation of the Sick. The King was seated as usual, in his easy chair ; the Queen affectionately kneeling by his side, making the responses, and assisting him to turn over the leaves of the large Prayer Book which was placed before him. His Majesty's demeanour was characterised by the most genuine spirit of devotion. Though unable to join audibly in the responses which occur in the services, yet when the archbishop had rehearsed the articles of our creed, his Majesty, in the fullness of his faith, and labouring to collect all the energies of sinking nature, enunciated with distinct and solemn emphasis the words, “ All this I steadfastly believe.”
During the whole service his Majesty retained hold of the Queen's hand, and in the absence of physical strength to give utterance to his feelings, signified by the fervent pressure of it, not only his humble acquiescence in the doctrines of our holy faith, but his grateful acknowledgment of those promises of grace and succour which so many passages of this affecting portion of the Liturgy hold out to the dying Christian, and the belief of which his Majesty so thankfully appreciated in this his hour of need.
With the other hand his Majesty frequently covered his eyes and pressed his brow, as if to concentrate all his power of devotion, and to restrain the warmed emotions of his heart, which were so painfully excited by the destress of those who surrounded him. His Majesty did not allow the archbishop to withdraw without the usual significant expression of his gratitude, “ A thousand, thousand thanks.”
It was then when the archbishop pronounced the solemn and truly affecting form of blessing contained in the “ Service for the Visitation of the Sick,” that the Queen for the first time in his Majesty's apartment was overpowered by the weight o her affliction.
The King observed her emotion, and said, in a tone of kind encouragement, “ Bear up, bear up."
At the conclusion of the prayers his Majesty saw all his children ; and as they successively knelt to kiss the hand, gave ther his blessing in the most affectionate terms, suitable to the character and circumstances of each. They had all manifested the most truly filial affection to his Majesty during his illness; but on Lady Mary Fox, the eldest of his Majesty's surviving daughters, had chiefly devolved the painful, yet coiisolatary duty, of assisting the Queen in her attendance on the King.
The extreme caution of his Majesty, and his anxiety to avoid causing any pain or alarm to the Queen, was very remarkable. He never alluded in distinct terms to death in her Majesty's presence. It was about this period of the day that he tenderly besought her Majesty not to make herself uneasy
about him ; but that he was already anticipating his speedy dissolution was evident from his expressions to several of his relatives. Even at this advanced stage of his disease, and under circumstances of the most distressing debility, the King had never wholly intermitted his attention to public business. In accordance with his usual habits, he had this morning frequently desired to be told when the clock struck half-past ten, about which time his Majesty uniformly gave audience to Sir Herbert Taylor. At eleven, when Sir Herbert was summoned, the King said, “ Give me your hand.” Now get the things ready.” On Sir Herbert saying that he had no papers to-day, his Majesty, appeared surprised, till Sir Herbert added, “ It is Monday, Sire; there is no post, and no boxes are come ;" when he replied, “ Ah, true--I had forgot.” The Queen then named Sir Henry Wheatly, who had entered the apartment. The King regarded him with a gracious look, and extended his hand to him, as he did also to Dr. Davis, evidently influenced by the same motive which had prompted a similar action to Sir Herbert Taylor-a last acknowledgement of their faithful