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• " The family, as far as it has been traced, was eminent for longen vity, so that our author entered the world with an hereditary claim to length of days, which it is evident he did not defeat by negligence, intemperance, or vice. .“ The first part of his literary education he received in a private school at Great Ealing, from whence, having, undoubtedly, attained a considerable proficiency in the learned languages, he was, on the twellth of February, 1704, removed to Wettmintter-fchool, where he was foon distinguished by his merit, and elected one of the forty King's fcholars. He seems, in the latter part of his life, to have recolleéted this distinction with pleasure; for, in a collection of minute. memorials written by himself not long before his death, he has inserted an epigram spoken by him in praise of Dr. Sprat, wbo was then Dean of Weitminster..
“ After six years spent at Westminster, he was elected to Trinity Cole, lege, in Cambridge, in the year 1710, having endured the contraint of a grammar-school to the twentieth year of his age. Why his le. moval was fo long delayed, no other reason can be given, than tha Doctor Bufby uted to derain thofe boys longest under his discipline, of whose future eminence he had most expectation; considering the fundamental knowledge which grammar-Ichools inculcate, as that which is least likely to be supplied by future diligence, if the student be sent deficient to the univerlity. To this long continuance of his initiatory Studies, he was perhaps indebted for the philological reparation by which he was afterwards so happily distinguished.
" Of his life, from the year 1710 to 1768, he has left a foort nar. rative written by himself in Novemver, 1769, the seventy-ninth year of his age; in which he has related principally his publick transactions, and the series of his preferments. This narrative, for whatever pur. pole it was left, has been thought necessary to be published, without any alteration, as being more satisfactory, at least of more authority, than any other account that could be given of him.” .
In this narrative we are told, that after being at the uni, versity about six years, he published the first edition of his Cicero de Oratore, which brought him acquainted with Lord Parker, then chief justice of the King's-Bench, and afterwards Earl of Macclesfield, and lord chancellor of Great Britain ; who continued his patron, and to whose memory he has erected a lasting monument of gratitude in the justification here published of that nobleman's conduct on occasion of the remarkable impeacliment and penalty inflicted on him after his refignation of the feals, .
" In the first years of his residence in Cambridge, fays the editor, - he fomncrimes ainused himself with lighter compofitions. The diurnal
papers of that time afforded to men, at once ainbitious and timorous, very tempting opportunities of trying their power of writing without hazard of reputation. A letter to the Sprilator or Guardian stole upon the publick with great advantage, being certain to be read, and if it deserved praise, certain to be praised; at least it was secure of candid perusal and impartial criticism, by which the writer might be pleased without envy, or corrected without shame.
. * Mr. Pearce did not omit to make the experiment. He wrote in che eighth volume of the Spectator, No 572, a bumorous eílay upon quacks, and N° 633, a serious differtation on the eloquence of the pulpit, of which the hint is taken from a fragment of Longinus, where Paul of Tanfus is numbered among the great masters of oratory. In the ludicrous paper the editor confelles that he has made additions and retrenchments, but the other is printed as it came to bis hand without wariation. A year before (1713) he had sent a letter to the Guardian figned Ned Mum, which gives a sprightly and fanciful account of a filent club. In two of these little pieces there is humour and gaiety, which might perhaps have been much advanced by cultivation, had not they been thrown afide in pursuit of more important truths, and application to higher Audies.
" In the year 1717 (says the bishop's narrative), Mr. Pearce was “ ordained a deacon by Dr. Fleetwood, the bishop of Ely, and in 1718 ít was ordained a prieit by the fanie bishop; he having always had in " his intention to devote himself to that holy profeffion, which he de4 layed to do till he was twenty-seven years of age; and, as he " thought, taken cime enough to prepare himself, and attain to to " much knowledge of that facred ofhce, as should be sufficient to an. « fwer all the good purpofes for which it is designed.
On the twelfth of May, in 1718, the Lord Chief Justice Parker ** was appointed lord high chancellor of Great Britain ; and Mr. Pearce 5 having been the next morning informed, that the great seal had been h the day before delivered to his lordship by King George the Firft, so and that a great number of the nobility and gentry were then at his “ chambers in Serjeant's-Inn, in Fleet-ftreet, congraulating him upon so the occafion, he went thither, and his name being carried to him, si in an inner room, where his lordship received the company one " after another, his secretary came foon out to Mr. Pearce, and said, $that his lordship desired him to stay till all the company was gone, " and that then he would see him. He did fa, and being brought to - At the lord chancellor, he, among other things, faid, thar · he should • pow want a chaplain to live with him in his house; and he asked • Mr. Pearce, if it would suit with his convenience to live with him in • that capacity. With this Mr. Pearce very readily, and with thanks, " complied; and, as soon as his lordship had provided himself with a “ proper house, he went into his family as his chaplain, and there " continued three years."
“ In December, 1719, Mr. Pearce was instituted into the rectory of 6 Stapleford Abbots, in Essex.
" In 1720, the rectory of St. Bartholomew, behind the Royal Ex66 change, becoming vacant by the death of Doctor Adams, the Pro“ voit of King's College Cambridge, of the yearly value of £.400, the “ lord chancellor, in whose gift it was, presented him to that living, " which was then supposed to be the molt valuable of any in the city " of London. And when Mr. Pearce made his acknowledgement of « thanks to the lord chancellor for this favour, his lordship faid,. You • are not to thank me so much as Doctor Bentley for this benefice.' « How is that, my lord, faid Mr. Pearce? • Why, added his lordship, (when I asked Doctor Bentley to make you a fellow of Trinity Col.
• lege, he consented so to do, but on this condition, that I would pro, 6 mile to upmake you again as soon as it lay in my power, and now • he, by having performed his promise, has bound me to give you this ! living.'
“ He was inducted into the rectory of St. Bartholomew, March 10, $6 1719-20.
“ In the same year, the ministers of state dining one day with the « lord chanceilor, Mr. Pearce being called in to say grace to them “ before they sat down to dinner, the Duke of Newcastle, then lord “ chamberlain, and one of the company, was pleased to take notice cs of Mr. Pearce, as he had known him at Westminster-school, and at “ Cambridge, in which places they had both been educated together; " and after he was withdrawn, the duke expreiled to the lord chan$6 cellor a favourable opinion of him. Upon which the lord chancel. .“ lor said, " Then, lord chamberlain, 1 ḥope, that, as you think so ! well of him, you will make him one of his Majesty's chaplains, when ¢ there is a vacancy' “ Yes, my lord, replied he, I will do so, when I « have an opportunity,' and accordingly Mr. Pearce received soon after 66 this the said chamberlain's warrant for that honour.”
“ In the year 1722, says the editor, the plague at Marseilles filled Europe with terror. A Fast was appointed for the deprecation of divine vengeance, which was observed through the kingdom with parti, cular seriousness and devotion. We escaped the dreadful visitation, and when the day of thanksgiving for the deliverance was set apart in the year following, Mr. Pearce preached before the lord mayor and aldermen of London, and afterwards published the sermon.'
" In February 1721-22, he inarried Mrs. Mary Adams, the daughter of Mr. Benjamin Adams, an eminent distiller in Holborn, with a considerable fortune. It is always pleasing to be told, that inen who deterve well of the publiek, are happy in domeítick life. He lived with her fifty-two years in the higheit degree of connubial happiness. The fiftieth year of their union they celebrated as a year of jubilee ; on which occafion they were complimented by a friend in the follow, ing itanzas.
No more let CALUMNY complain,
And makes his subjects flaves :
Her utmost malice braves.
Though long his subjects--Free:
A year of JUBILEE.” On January the roth, 1723-24, we are told, Mr, Pearce was inducted into the vicarage of St. Martin's in the Fields, to which he was presented by his patron the lord chancellor, betweco whom and Lord Carteret, then secretary of state,
fome little misunderstanding happened on the occasion, respecting the right of presentation. Soon after this induction, Mr. Pearce had the degree of doctor of divinity conferred on him by the archbishop of Canterbury, at the instance of the lord chancellor, who declined, at Mr. Pearce's request, to solicit a royal mandate to the university for that purpose.
In the year 1724, Dr. Pearce dedicated to his patron his edition of Longinus on the Sublime, with a new Latin version and notes; the year after which the lord chancellor refigned the seals, and the impeachment above-mentioned soon followed; the foundation for which Dr. Pearce relates, on the best information he could get, and which he declares, he believes to be the true one.
“ In the unhappy year 1720, commonly called the South-sea year, So the money of the fuitors in chancery was, by ancient cuitom, or. “ dered by the lord chancellor to be paid into the hands of the master 56 in chancery whose turn it was to be in the court when an order “ was made by the lord chancellor to deposit any sum of money for " the security of the suitors. This custom is now altered, a better ! and more secure manner of lodging the money being now esta65 blished: but the former custom then prevailed, and one of the “ masters in chancery, Mr. Dormer, having in 1720 trafficked with “ the suitors money in 'Change-Alley, and dying soon after, it was “ found out, that he was deficient in his accounts of the suitors money " to near the value of £.60,000. This raised a mighty commotion " among the suitors, and all who were any way interested in the court “ of chancery, either as suitors or as pleaders and practitioners there; “ some of the last fort having personal resentments against that lord " from motives which were unworthy (as it might have been expected) " of operating so far to the prejudice, as they did, of a chancellor “ generally well esteemed for his great abilities and integrity in that “ important office. But operate thus they did, as he found by fatal “ experience; for when the fire was once kindled, there wanted not " those who contributed their assistance to raise it up to a flame. The “ late King George the Second was then Prince of Wales, and had “ lived separately from his father, as he had been ordered to do; and " the education of his children had been detained from him, upon an s opinion then given by ten of the twelve judges, called together at
his Majesty's command by Lord Macclesfield then chancellor, upon “ this question; Whether the education of the grandchildren did belong to " their grandfather, as sovereign, or to the Prince of Wales, as father ? * This meeting of the judges having been called by the chancellor, " and the question having been put to them by him upon his Majesty's “ order for to doing, and the answer of the judges being not pleasing " to the Prince of Wales, he bore it with fome resentment; and when ll the house of commons took the affair of the loft suitors money into
confideration, all the members of the house of commons who were " servants of the Prince's court at Leicester-house, and all others of
them who paid their addresses there, very readily joined in the out
bu cry against Lord Macclesfield, and came into the impeachment. “ Sir Robert Walpole was at first unwilling to encourage such a prece** dent as the impeachment of a minister of state, though he had some 166 degree of ill-will to that lord on former ininisteriai motives : howof ever, when he found that it could not be easily ftopped, he came 6 into the design, and as far concurred as he farely could with it, weil " knowing, that the King looked upon Lord Macclesfield with a gra66 cious eye, and thought that his son, the Prince of Wales, had too w much contributed to increase the flame for his being concerned in st doing what was to much to bis osuind, and so much against his fori's,
" Lord Macclesfield's trial before the house of lords is in print, and be to Dr. Pearce, who was every day prelent at it, it appears, that the | judgement of that house was a severe one. He was unanimousy be declared guilty, and was fined 6.30,000, though he had some time “ before paid 2.10,000.into the court of chancery, which was the “ whole tum received by him from the two last whom he had apse pointed to be matters there, and which two largest sums were the * moit clamoured against. And the house of lords directed, that he " should be contined in the Tower till that fine of £30,000 was paid, “ This judgement was given upon a itatute fo long ago made as in the Rs reign of Richard the Second, which forbade the selling of the office “ of a maiter in the chancery. That itatute had never been repealed, şi but a contrary custom had prevailed beyond the memory of map, Be Lord Macclesfield could have proved the fact to be so with regard to • several of his more immediate predecessors; but when he called “ upon his witncfies, who were then present, to prove the fact, Lord 66 Townsend stood up and objected to it, faying,'My lords, I hope
that you will not suffer witnesses to be produced to this purpose; for ” that will only sliew, that this sort of corruption is hereditary,' ufing " the word bereditary, on this occasion, by a very ridiculous mittake. “ Lord Macclesteld was, as I faid, declared to be guilty, and a fine “ of £. 30,000 was laid upon him; but, as he was then unable to pay kit, he borrowed it all of his son-in-law, Sir William Heathcore, 66 mortgaging a part of his small estate of £: 3100 per annum ; and * the money was all, by degrees, repaid to Sir William by Lord Mac. « clesfield's fon atter his father's death.
“ The know ledge of two circumitances, which not many persons at are informed oi, may contribute not a little to take off much of the *** odium of the charge brought against the noble earl, and of that of " the sen:ence giren upon it in the house of lords. The one was, * that before Lord King, who fucceeded him as chancellor, accepted “ of that high post, an additional salary of £1500 or £. 2000 a year
c was annexed, it was credibly faid, to the post out of the hanaper**• office, hy way of recompence for the loss which would arise to the “ chancellor for the time being, by that judgement of the house of * lords; though he was will allowed to dispołe of the masterships to '« his friends and relations, or to the recommendations of inen in
" power, who could in another way serve his friends and relations, : “ The other circumitance was, that, when some bill was brought “ hefore the lords, it is not remembered what the bill was, and a “ lord, objecting to some claust of it, or expreffion in it, faid, "That