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FOR SEPTEMBER, 1818.
JAMES PERRY, Esq. [WITA A PORTRAIT, FROM AN ORIGINAL PICTURE BY SIR THOMAS LAWRENCE, R.Ai
DRAWN BY WIVELL, AND ENGRAVED BY J. THOmson.] L'homme sensé refusera-l-il donc ou de s'associer avec ceux qui croit sages, ou de conduire
ceux qui croit imprudens.-L'homme de bien sortira-t-il des routes de la Vertu parcequ'il peut y rencontrer des hypocrits---enfin, celui qui à la conscience de sa bonne fui y trouve-t-il rien qui le conduise a soupçonner celle des autres ?
La Vie de Thomas Wentworth, Comte de Strafford. IN 'N giving the following Memoir a mercial celebrity, have made out to
place in our pages, we are well themselves an eminent claim to public aware that we may be exposed to sur attention; and, whatever may be the mises which will prejudge our motives; stedfastness of our own sentiments, with in order, therefore, to obviate the coue respect to those points of political feel. sequent misapprehensions which must ing on wbich we have assumed to our. always ensue from ex parte conclusions, selves the right of differing from some we take upon ourselves to declare the of those individuals whose Momoirs we real and personal feeling with which we have given, we have always considered have introduced it. It has always, we it a duty which we owe to our Readers, believe, been admitted, that imparti. on no account to allow that feeling to ality is the most genuine characteristic degenerate so far into party prejudice of Truth of sentiment. If so, the only as to induce us to exclude froin our question that can arise out of the posi. Work the history of the public life of tiou is this:--Does such impartiality any one so distinguished, on the inderequire us to depart from those prioci. fensible plea that he thinks not as we ples which we have adopted as the do, and as tbe comown phrase expresses ground of our opivion? The deduc. il, " is not one of us.” That the Subtion must instantly present itself. We ject of our present Memoir has raised have all along considered, and still do bimself into disiinction, will not be decoosider, our opinions of all things that micd, when it is understood that he relate to the political constitution of has bcen the Editor for nearly thirty our sentiments to be valid and truc; years of a daily Journal, admitted on and if we should reject impartiality, as
all sides lo bare beco carried ou with a we have defined it, from our standard of superior degree of talent; and that this judgment, we must necessarily implicate distinction has been highly honourable the justice and truth of that standard. to himself, may also be asserted, when It is not unfelt by us, that the professed il cau be added without fear of contraand, lei us be allowed to add, the sin- diction, that the consistency of its osten-, ccre, declaration of our political creed, sible principles has never been surrenmay be quo:cd against us, when we are dered to any offers or prospects of adscen combining with our pages the Mc vantige which a change in them might moir of a Gentleman who has always have secured. supported the opposition side of our nie We feel, therefore, that no apology Lional polilics. To such au allusion we is required for the biographical article would offer the following reply :--As of our present Sumber; for we presume far as the nature of our publicativo per to think that the profession of a Joururils us to extend its biographical de nalist, when pursued with integrity and partment, we have always been auxious independence, is of no mean importance to render it a compendious history of to a country that enjoys the blessing of those distinguished Characters wle), by a free press; and, of all occupations, their literary, professivozi, uod coni. that of a Juurnalisi is perhaps the most
delicate. A lawyer is bound to take up hood. But after long and ineffectual the side of a cause which is first pre- attempts to gain employment be came sented to him, and it is essential to the to. England, and was, for two years, enends of justice that he should do so ; gaged in Manchester as Clerk to Mr. he receives also a fee for his exertions. Denwiddie, a respectable manufacturer. But a Journalist must take up no cause In this situation he cultivated his mind of which his understanding and heart by the study of the best authors, and do not approve ; por any cause for gained the friendship and protection of money. He degrades himself and pros. the principal gentlemen of the town, by titutes the Press when he is seen to the talents he displayed in a Society waver in his political opinions grounded which was then established by them for in conviction ; or, when he carries his philosophical and moral discussions, talents and opportunities to market. It and by several literary Essays, wbich is the good fortune of Mr. Perry that obtained their approbation. he has not merely been upiform, but In the beginoiog of 1777, he brought disinterested, in his long political career. with him recommendations from all the He has never, for the sake of temporary principal manufacturers to their corresuccess, fallen in with, or flattered, the spondents, but they all failed of procurchanging opinions of the day, but has ing him any suitable introduction; it ioflexibly adhered to tbe doctrines of was, however, the accidental effect of Whiggism, even when they were the most one of them that tbrew him into the unfashionable; and it would seem that, line of life which he has from that pein trusting to the principles which he riod persevered in with such invariable adopted for ultimate favour, and to the constancy. public for remuneration, he has not been There was at tbat time an Opposition disappointed, since the success of his Journal, published under the title of paper has secured to him an easy inde. The General Advertiser,and being a new pendance with an unblemished repula- concern, it was the practice of the pro tion.
prietors to exhibit the wbole coptepts of MR. JAMES PERRY is a native of it upou boards at different sbop-windows Aberdeen. He was born on the 301b of and doors, in the same manner as we October, 1756, and received the first now see the iheatrical placards displayed. rudiments of education at Chapel of Mr. Perry being unemployed, awused Garioch, of which parish the Rev. W. himself with writing Essays and scraps Farquhar, father of Sir Walter Far- of Poetry for this paper, which he fluog quhar, was minister, and where, along into the letter-box of the printing. with the youngest brother of Sir Wal- house, and which were always ioserted. ter, he received from that venerable Calling one day at the shop of Messrs. and learned Divine the most assiduous Richardson and l'rquhart, book sellers, jostruction. The Rev. Dr. Tait, who to whom he had letters of recommenhas since risen to a dignified station in dalion, he found the latter busily enthe Church of England, was then Mas. gaged in reading and apparently enjoy. ter of the School of hapel, and gave ing, an article in The General Adver. it celebrity by bis erudition and a wili tiser. Aller Mr. l'rqubart had finished ties. From this, Mr. Perry was re the perusal, Mr Perry put the usual moved to the High School of Aberdeen, question to him, whether he had heard which he went througli with credit to of any situation that would suit him ; himself, under the Messieurs Duun, to which he replied in the negative, then its principal masters.
al the same time holding out the paper, In the year 1771, he was entered of he said, “ If you could write such artie Mareschall College, in the University of cles as ibis I could give you inmediate Aberdeen, and was afterwards placed employment." It happened to be a under Dr. Arthur Dingwall Fordyce, Humorous Essay, wrillen by Mr. Perry Advocate, to qualify him for the pro. himself. This he instantly intimated fession of the Scots law; but his father, to Mr. Urquhart, and gave him another who was an eminent Builder, having article in the same hand-writing, which engaged in some unsuccessful specula- he bad proposed to drop into the lellertions of bis business, the young man box. Mr. Urquhart expressed great left Aberdeen in 1774, and proceeded satisfaction at the discovery, and in. to Edinburgh in the hope of obtaining formed him that he was one of the pria. a situation in some professional gentle. cipal proprietors of the Paper; that they man's chambers, where he might at once wanted just such a person; and as there pursue his studies and obtain a livelia was to be a mecting of the Propriсtors
that same evening, he would propose predecessor of Mr. Perry in The Gazete Mr. Perry as a writer. He did so ; and leer bad been in the habit of spinning the next day he was engaged at a salary out the reports of Debates for weeks, of one guinea per week, and an addi- and even months, after tbe Session had tional half-guinea for assistance to the closed; wbile Mr. Woodfall, in The London Evening Post, then printed by Morning Chronicle, used to bring out the same person.
his hasty sketch of the Debate in the Such was the incident that threw Mr. evening of the following day. Mr. Perry into the profession of a Jour Perry's plan was adopted ; and by a nalist. He was most assiduous in his succession of Reporters, The Gazeticer exertions for The General Advertiser ; was published in the morning with as and, during the memorable trials of long a Debate as Mr. Woodfall brought Admirals Keppell and Palliser, he, for out in the evening, and sometimes at six weeks together, by his individual midnight. efforts, sent up daily from Portsmouth Some of our Readers may recollect cight columns of the trials, taken by that, in the years 1780, 1781, and 1782, him in Court: whicb, from the interest there were numerous Debating Societies they excited, raised the Paper to a sale in every part of the Metropolis, wbere of several thousands per day.
many persons that have since been con. At tbis time, Mr. Perry wrote and spicuous in Parliament, in the Pulpit, published several political pamphlets and on the Bench, distinguished themand poems; and, in 1782, he formed selves as public Speakers. Mr. Perry the plan, and was the first Edilor, of this was a Speaker in these Societies, and is Magazine, upon the design of combio- mentioned with great praise in the Hisa ing; in one montbly publicatiou, the tory of The Westminster Forum. Mr. usual miscellaneous contents of such a Pitt used to attend these Societies, alWork, with a Review of New Books. though he never spoke at any of them ; He conducted it, however, only for the and it is pot perbiaps generally known, first twelve months, as on the death of that The Lyceum was fitted up and rea Mr. Wall he was chosen by the Pro- ceived that title, expressly for a superior prietors of The Gazetteer to be the Edi School of Oratory, by Jobo Sheridan, tor of that respectable Paper. The Esq. a Barrister, with the view of en Proprietors of which consisted of the abling such young Gentlemen as were principal Bouksellers in London-Mr: designed for ihe Senate and Dar to prac. Thomas Payne, Mr. White, Mr. Nicol, tice public speaking before a genteel Mr. Lockyer Davies, Mr. Paul Vaillant, auditory. It was opened for a few the present Sir Nathaniel Conant, Mr. nights at five shillings as the price of Elsmlie, &c. &c. Mr. Perry under- admittauce. Mr. Pitt and several of took the Editorship of the Paper at a his friends frequented it, but the enter. salary of four guineas per week, on the prise fell to the ground. We mention express condition that he was to be left these particulars, because we have been to the free exercise of his political opi- credibly informed that, afterwards, vions, which were those asserted by Mr. when Mr. Pilt came to be Chancellor of Fox ;-opinions which, from their libe- the Exchequer, baving had frequent oprality in the cause of freedoin, justice, opportunities of witnessing Mr. Perry's and humanity, had made on his first en talept in public speaking, and particu, tering tbe gallery of the House of Com-larly in reply, caused a proposal to be mous, an iinpressiou that could not be made to biin of coming into Parlia, effaced from his mind. It is truly ment, which would have probably led bonourable to those Gentlemen, that,
on to high fortune. Mr. Perry, how during the eight years in which he ever, thought proper to reject it, as he continued the Editor, they never en did afterwards an offer of the same kind deavoured to influence his senti- from the Earl of Shelburne; and be bas nents, but were pleased to express their uniformly maintained the priuciples uoqualified satisfaction with his exer with which he first set out in bis polititions.
cal course. On his commencing Editor of The Mr. Perry was for several years Edi. Gezeller, he suggested to the proprie- tor of Debrett's Parliamentary Debates, tors the plau of employing several re to the exclusion of advertisements and porters, to facilitate the publication of other extraucous matter. This Work ihe Debates in Parliaweni. Up to that bad fallen into disrepute, and the pro. line each Paper had bui one Reporter prictors set it up in public salc. In the in each House of Parliaweut; and the incun while, Mr. Woodiall undertook
another Paper, under the title of The To the Editor of the European Magazine. Diary, and Mr. Perry bought The Morning Chronicle. himself, in conjunction with his friend I heard my Master l'other day, as I
was watching the falling crumbs Mr. Gray, as joint Proprietor and Edi- from his break fast-table, reading to his tor, and declared he would be responsi- little girl about 12 years of age, ad acble for its contents. From that time to count in the Newspaper of the sagacity the present day,it has continued to be the of a dog who pointed out to a lady a Organ of genuine Whig principies, uni- shawl which she had dropped off fier formly asserting the doctrines that placed shoulders, and which had been left by the illustrious House of Brunswick upon her where it fell, at some distance in the throne of the United Kingdom, and the path she bad walked in. I owo I was equally deprecating all violent changes, greatly pleased to hear such a testimony whether attempted by Jacobins on one borne to the cleverness of one of my side or Ultra-royalists on the other. species, more especially as the lady herThe consequence has been, that he has self could not boast balf so much if the been assailed and reviled by both ex tale was rightly told; for I cannot help tremes of party, while the great consti- thinking that she displayed a great deal tutional body of the Whigs, and of the of stupidity io not missiog the shawl off friends of freedom, have considered the her sboulders at the time it fell. Chronicle as the true vebicle of sound However this may be, I beg to send constitutional doctrines. We pretend you a little anecdote of myself ; not, I not to enter into any discussion of this assure you, because I wish to bring my. adoption, but we seize this opportunity self into public notice by a personal putt, of remarking, what is truly creditable like many of our reasoning masters, but to Mr. Perry, that he has never suffered merely to sbew that a dog may some. his paper io he degraded by private times claim a degree of supcriorityeven personalities or scandal, and that he has over the much-boasted rational powers never becu suspected of venality. Twice of Him who calls him Dog, and kicks in the course of forty years he has been and feeds bim alternately just as the prosecuted by ex oficio informations, capricious humour of his lordly authoand has been as ofteu hovourably ac rity may infoence bim. quitted. In the first instance he was You must know that my Master, bis most ably dcfended by his noble friend Wife, and my young Mistress, Mary, Lord Erskine, and in the second he look were going last Sunday in their sha’-cart his defence upon himself.
to dine with a frieod at Brixton Cause. In private life, Mr. Perry had the way. I was allowed to follow at a rehappiness to maintain bis aged parents spectful distaoce upon my four pads. in comfort, and to bring up the orphan T'he weather was uncommonly bot, and family of his sister by her first mar my Master drove on at a pretty good riage. She was afterwards married, for trot, so that I had much ado to keep up the second time, to the celebrated Pro. with bim, that I might take advantage fessor Porson, and died in 1796.
of the shade of the sha'. Just as we bad In 1798, Mr. Perry was married to got ibrough Kcopinglon Tornpike, a Miss Anne Hull, a young Lady of the ragged suspicious looking fellow, with most amiable acconsplislumenis, --with his leg tied up with a red garter, and a whom, for many years, lie lived in the crutchi under his arın, hobbled of the most perfect state of connubial felicity. causeway and asked for charity. My She brought bim eight children, one of Master, I suppose, thinking that charity whom died young; and the eldest, a covereth a multitude of sins, and would daughter, of the most promising talents, compensate for that which he was then was carried off at the age of fourteen, committing it, breaking the Sabbath by by the rupture of a blood vessel, in the going a pleasuring, threw the beggar arms of her mother, which gave a shock one of the halfpence which the Tollto that lady's constitution which she ne keeper had given him in change. As ver recovered. She sunk islo a decline, soon as he did this I instantly ran to. and ivok a voyage to Lisbon in hopes wards it; and as I had the advantage ia of restoration by a milder climate ; on point of legs over the mendicant, I ker reiuro she was taken prisoner by an reached the spot where it fell before he Algerine frigate, and after suffering could come up, and seizing it in my much in the voyage, she sunk under mouth, but withstanding tbe menace of ber complaint soon atler she was landed the fellow who lified up bis crutch at at Buurdeaux.
me, I quietly tripped back with it after