Sad trouble came on the good old king in his later years. He lost his sight, and, about the same time, died his youngest child, the Princess Amelia, of whom he was very fond. His grief clouded his mind again, and there was no recovery this time. He was shut up in some rooms at Windsor Castle, where he had music to amuse him, and his good wife, Queen Charlotte, watched over him carefully as long as she lived.
George III.—The regency. A.D. 1810—1820.
When George III. lost his senses, the government was given to his son, the Prince of Wales—the Prince Regent as he was called. Regent means a person ruling instead of the king. Everyone expected that, as he had always quarreled with his father, he would change everything and have different ministers; but instead of that, he went on just as had been done before, fighting with the French, and helping every country that tried to lift up its head against Bonaparte.
Spain was one of these countries. Napoleon had managed to get the king, and queen, and eldest son, all into his hands together, shut them up as prisoners in France, and made his own brother king. But the Spaniards were too brave to bear this, and they rose up against him, calling the English to help them. Sir John Moore was sent first, and he marched an army into Spain; but, though the Spaniards were brave, they were not steady, and when Napoleon sent more troops he was obliged to march back over the steep hills, covered with snow, to Corunna, where he had left the ships. The French followed him, and he had to fight a battle to drive them back, that his soldiers might embark in quiet. It was a great victory; but in the midst of it Sir John Moore was wounded by a cannon shot, and only live long enough to hear that the battle was won. He was buried at the dead of night on the ramparts of Corunna, wrapped in his cloak.
However, before the year was over, Sir Arthur Wellesley was sent out to Portugal and Spain. He never once was beaten, and though twice he had had to retreat into Portugal, he soon won back the ground he had lost; and in three years’ time he had driven the French quite out of Spain, and even crossed the Pyrenean mountains after them, forcing them back into their own country, and winning the battle of Toulouse on their own ground. This grand war had more victories in it than you will easily remember. The chief of them were at Salamanca, Vittoria, Orthes, and Toulouse; and the whole war was called the Peninsular War, because it was fought in the Peninsular of France and Spain. Sir Arthur Wellesley had been made duke of Wellington, to reward him, and he set off across France to meet the armies of the other European countries. For, while the English were fighting in Spain, the other states of Europe had all joined together against Napoleon, and driven him away from robbing them, and hunted him at last to Paris, where they made him give up all his unlawful power. The right king of France, Louis XVIII., was brought home, and Napoleon was sent to a little island named Elba, in the Mediterranean Sea, where it was thought he could do no harm.