Aolib.comFragment of Photochrom print of the front of Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany (ca. 1897)

A History of the Four Georges, Volume I »


By Justin McCarthy

misfortunes of her brother Charles and his dynasty. Elizabeth survived

the English troubles and saw the Restoration, and came to live in England, and to see her nephew, Charles the Second, reign as king. She

barely saw this. Two years after the Restoration she died in London.

Sophia was her twelfth child: she had thirteen in all. One of Sophia’s

elder brothers was Prince Rupert–that “Rupert of the Rhine” of whom

Macaulay’s ballad says that “Rupert never comes but to conquer or to

die“–the Rupert whose daring and irresistible charges generally won

his half of the battle, only that the other half might be lost, and

that his success might be swallowed up in the ruin of his companions.

His headlong bravery was a misfortune rather than an advantage to his

cause, and there seems to have been one instance–that of the surrender

of Bristol–in which that bravery deserted him for the moment. We see

him afterwards in the pages of Pepys, an uninteresting, prosaic,

pedantic figure, usefully employed in scientific experiments, and with

all the gilt washed off him by time and years and the commonplace wear

and tear of routine life.

[Sidenote: 1714–The “Princess of Ahlden”]

George inherited none of the accomplishments of his mother. His father

was a man of some talent and force of character, but he cared nothing

for books or education of any kind, and George was allowed to revel in

ignorance. He had no particular merit except a certain easy

good—nature, which rendered him unwilling to do harm or to give pain to

any one, unless some interest of his own should make it convenient.

His neglected and unrestrained youth was abandoned to license and to

profligacy. He was married in the twenty—second year of his age,

against his own inclination, to the Princess Sophia Dorothea of Zeil,

who was some six years younger. The marriage was merely a political

one, formed with the object of uniting the whole of the Duchy of

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