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contented himself with a few superficial enquiries, and took his text from Victor's
Letters, which were published before he gave his account.
Now, as to the words. The copies " sung at the Theatres "contain the three
stanzas still usually sung, but during the progress of the rebellion a fourth was
" Lord, grant that Marshal Wade, May he sedition hush
May, by Thy mighty aid, And like a torrent rush,
Victory bring', Rebellious Scots to crush,
God, save the King!"
In the December number of the Gentleman's Magazine, for the same year, is "An attempt to improve the song 'God save the King,' the former words haying no merit but their loyalty." This commences, " Fame, let the trumpet sound," but the alteration was not adopted. Many similar attempts were subsequently made without better success. A copy of " God save the King" rendered into Latin, will be found in The Gentleman's Magazine for 1795.
On the 15th of May, 1800, George III. having been shot at by James Hatfield, at Drury Lane Theatre, the following stanza (said to have been written on the spot, by the Right Hon. R. B. Sheridan) was sung by Mr. Kelly, at the end of the farce, and encored with enthusiasm:—
" Prom every latent foe, O'er him thine arm extend,
From the assassin's blow, For Britain's sake, defend
God, save the King! Our father, prince, and friend,
God, save the King !"
The following Jacobite parody is contained in The True Loyalist, or Chevalier's Favourite, 1779. It is also entitled " God save the King:"—
" Britons, who dare to claim Join in the jii3t defence
That great and glorious name, Of James, our lawful prince
Rouse at the call! And native King;
See British honour fled, Then shall true greatness shine,
Corruption's influence spread, Justice and mercy join,
Slavery rear its head, Restor'd by Stuart's line,
And freedom fall. Virtue's great spring.
Church, King, and liberty, Down with Dutch politics,
Honour and property, Whigs and their fanatics,
All are betrayed : The old Rump's cause.
Foreigners rule the land, Recall your injured prince,
Our blood and wealth command, Drive Hanoverians hence,
Obstruct with lawless hand Such as rule here against
Justice and truth. All British laws.
Shall a usurper reign, Borne on the wings of Fame
And Britons hug the chain ? James's heroic name
That we'll deny : All his foes dread.
Then let us all unite He, from his father's throne
For church, king, and law we'll fight; Pulls usurpation down,
To retrieve James's right, Glorious success shall crown
Conquer or die. His sacred head."
Now as to the tune. The alterations in the first and fourth bars of the melody were made within a short time of its having been sung at the theatres. Tho A, in the first bar (instead of a third G), is even to be found in Dr. Arne's score.
A change of later years, is, however, greatly to be deprecated. When the anticipation of the key-note at the termination of a tune grew out of fashion, the
end of "God save the King" was changed to