A History of the Four Georges and of William IV, Volume IV
Justin Huntly McCarthy
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The closest student of history would find it hard indeed to turn to the account of any other royal reign which opened under conditions so peculiar and so unpropitious as those which accompanied the succession of George the Fourth to the English throne. Even in the pages of Gibbon one might look in vain for the story of a reign thus singularly darkened in its earliest chapters. George the Fourth had hardly gone through the State ceremonials which asserted his royal position when he was seized by a sudden illness so severe that, for a while, the nerves of the country were strained by the alarm which seemed to tell that a grave would have to be dug for the new King before the body of the late sovereign had grown quite cold in the royal vault.