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place of abode; the king wrote both down in his pocket-book, wished his young companion good bye," and then returned to the Castle. Perhaps the boy supposed that so the matter would end, and that he should hear no more of the good-natured old gentleman who had examined him in spelling, and talked to him so kindly, but it was not so. George III was not one of those who feel a momentary interest in some particular case, and then suffer it to pass from their minds altogether. No, he could act as well as feel; he was particularly practical in all his ways and habits.
So as soon as he reached the Castle that day, he sent for his Secretary, and said to him, "The poor people around here have not sufficient means of instruction,—more therefore must be provided for them." And then, putting a parcel into the Secretary's hands, he added, "This packet is to be immediately sent to the person to whom it is addressed; but at the same time, let it be expressly signified to the poor woman for whom it is intended, that this book is presented to her by us, only on condition that she shall continue to have her child instructed in reading. Let her circumstances also be enquired into, and provide her with the means to send her son to school."
The parcel, as you have already guessed, contained a Bible for the mother of the little
boy who had so much engaged the thoughts of the king that day. "Let it be sent forthwith," he said again to the Secretary, "for it is our will that every one in the kingdom shall have the opportunity of reading the Bible."
What a moment of delight was in store for the young shepherd boy, when he returned to his humble home that evening, after his daily work was over! You may imagine the joy and surprise with which he and his mother opened the packet, drew from it a new and handsome Bible, and read on the title-page, in the king's own hand-writing, "From George III., for M." And this was not all. To make the present more valuable still, there was enclosed within its leaves a five-pound note, which the good king himself had placed there, a welcome gift no doubt to the poor woman. You will not wonder to hear that she prized that Bible above everything else she possessed; and when, after the death of her honoured sovereign, she was offered for it a large sum of money, she declared that she would never part with it during her life, and desired that, when it should please God to lay her on her dying bed, that Bible might be placed beneath her pillow, to be her companion and her comfort in her last hours.
I am sure this story will make you love the name of George III., and it will show you
more of his real character, than many an account of a less simple nature could do. It is almost time that we should close this long reign, but there is still another event, or rather a series of events, of a very different kind from any which has previously occupied us, to be recorded. As it may lead to rather a lengthy story however, and will extend even to another reign, I will now end the present chapter, and leave what I have further to say respecting king George III., to another day.
XXXVIII. THE NEGRO'S COMPLAINT.
Forced from home and all its pleasures,
To increase a stranger's treasures,
Men from England bought and sold me.
Still in thought as free as ever,
What are England's rights, I ask,
Me from my delights to sever,
Dwells in black and white the same.
By our blood in Afric wasted,
Ere our necks received the chain;
By the miseries that we tasted,
Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Ere you proudly question ours!-CowPER.
BEFORE I begin to relate the circumstances to which I alluded at the close of the last chapter, and which are referred to in the lines you have just read, I will mention the remaining events I have to tell you in the reign of George III. I must not omit the union of Ireland with Great Britain, which took place in the beginning of the present century. Then there was the taking of Algiers by Lord Exmouth, in 1816, the year after the general peace. Algiers is, as you know, a country in the North of Africa, now belonging to the French. At the time of which I am speaking it was, with other of the Barbary States, inhabited by very lawless people, Mahometans in religion, and pirates and murderers in habit and practice. They were accustomed to seize the vessels belonging to Christian nations, to plunder them, and to carry their crews into slavery. It was to put a stop to doings such as these that this expedition under Lord Exmouth was undertaken. He was the commander of the fleet in the Mediterranean, and