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PRINTED FOR JOHN STOCKDALE; LONGMAN, HURST, REEs, or ME, AND BRowN; LACKINGTON,
AND CO.; AND WILLIAM LOWE. ...) •
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PEARCE, ZAcHARY, a learned and worthy prelate of the Church of England in the 18th century, was born in London, in the year 1690. He was the son of a distiller in HighHolborn, who, having acquired a competent fortune, retired to an estate which he had purchased at Little-Ealing, in Middlesex. Zachary received the first part of his education in a private school at Great-Ealing; whence, in the year 1704, he was removed to Westminsterschool, then under the government of Dr. Busby. In this seminary he spent six years, during which he so distinguished himself by his merit, that he was elected one of the King'sscholars. In 1710, when he was in his twentieth year, he was elected to Trinity-college, in the University of Cambridge. To this long continuance of his classical studies, the reason for which does not appear, he was, perhaps, indebted for the philological reputation which he afterwards so deservedly acquired. Mr. Pearce prosecuted his academic studies with great diligence and success, and was admitted to his degrees in arts at the statuteable periods. During the first years of his residence at Cambridge, he occasionally amused himself with the lighter species of composition, and sent specimens of his talent in this line, some of which discover humouf and gaiety, and are referred to towards the end of this article, to the “Guardian and Spectator.” In the year 1716, he published, from the University press, An edition of “ Cicero de Oratore,” in 8vo., with notes and ‘emendations; which, at the desire of a friend, he dedicated to Lord Chief
* Justice Parker, and by so doing laid the founda
* WOL. VIII, o
tion of his future fortunes. For soon after the book had been presented, Dr. Bentley, themaster of Trinity-college, being on a visit to Lord Parker, His Lordship expressed his approbation of Mr. Pearce's performance, and his hope that, as the editor was then a candidate for a fellowship in his college, the Doctor would secure his election. This Dr. Bentley engaged to do, upon receiving a promise that, if he made Mr. Pearce a Fellow, His Lordship would unmake him again, as soon as it should be in his power to present him to a living; and Mr. Pearce was elected accordingly. Immediately afterwards he waited on Lord Parker, who received him in a very obliging manner, putting into his hands a purse of fifty guineas; and from that time, whenever he renewed his visits to His Lordship, he always met with a kind reception. In the year 1717, Mr. Pearce entered into deacon's orders; and in the following year he was ordained priest. It had always been his intention to devote himself to the clerical profession; but, as he himself informs us, he “ delayed to do it, till he was twenty-seven years of age ; and, as he thought, had taken time to prepare himself, and to attain to so much knowledge of that sacred office: as 'should be sufficient to answer all the göod purposes for which it is designed.” In the year 17 F8; Lerd Parker having been appointed Lord Chancéllór, Mr. Pearce was invited to live with his Lordship, in the capacity of domestic chaplain; which invitation he gratefully accepted, and retained that post three years. In 1719, he was presented to the rectory of Stapleford-Abbots, in Essex; to which preferment the Lord ChanB