It would be unjust and even cruel to deny that the King was a religious man according to his lights, but his lights were many times sadly blurred by surrounding conditions. He was essentially a weak man, and he was generally inclined to take the advice of the last person who strove to guide him on any particular subject. His vague ideas seldom crystalised into anything that could be called a clear opinion. That had been his trouble all through life, before he came to the throne and after. It must have been hard for those around him always to know what was the real King William beneath the Crown and within the State robes. He was often found ready to affirm, in tones of the deepest emotion, that nothing on earth should prevail on him to consent to some particular measure, and the very next day he yielded to the renewed pressure brought to bear on him by his Ministers, and he accepted the measure and put his royal signature to it. If he had had the obstinacy of George III. he would no doubt have done as much mischief in his time as George III. could do, and it was only his utter weakness which rendered his reign comparatively harmless to his people. He does not appear to have had any knowledge of public affairs which could have enabled him to distinguish for himself between a policy of reform and a policy of reaction, between measures which were constitutional and measures which were unconstitutional. No chapter of his life became him so well as that one chapter which ended in his death. There was something peculiarly pathetic about the consolation which he found to the last in a sincere faith in his own integrity of purpose and his own desire to be a great and good sovereign. A great sovereign he certainly never could have been; nature had not given him any of the qualities which make great kings. He had not distinguished himself as a naval officer or a naval administrator; he Had not, indeed, distinguished himself in any way. His youth and his manhood had been full of faults, and it was not until the responsibility of the Crown was imposed upon him that any real sense of public duty began to stir within his mind. We may, perhaps, say of him that he was a good King so far as his circumstances and his intellectual condition allowed him to be, and we may, at least, safely admit that he had not as King done one single act which his conscience had not at the particular moment declared to be good. His death is, in one sense, full of a deep historical interest. With him came to a close - and we may believe for ever - the long line of English sovereigns who clung to the faith that the business of a king is to govern according to his own goodwill and pleasure. William was, of course, talked again and again into governing as his Ministers would have him govern; but he always remained in the fond belief that he had done it all out of his own head and because he knew better than anybody else. He died on the morning of the 20th of May, 1837, and made way for the first really constitutional Sovereign of England.

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