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his first political operations. In the riodical work of The Jesuit soon appeared, adoption of that measure, he appears and several very distinguished members to have been actuated by several im of the Party are confidently stated to bave portant considerations. The borough of contributed to that production *. At Stafford was not devoted to the interest length, the Coalition having gained a deof any particular patron; it was freecisive victory over the new-fangled Admi. from all suspicion of ministerial inQuence, nistration formed by the Shelburne party, and the aris of corruption had been ever Mr. Sheridan was once more brought into tried without effect to undermine the in- place, and appointed, in April 1783, Sedependence of the electors. All these cretary of tbe Treasury. It was extremely circumstances, strengthened by a press natural to suppose, that I'he Jesuit would ing invitation, and promise of the most not be attacked by those to whose cause zealous support from a principal gentleman it had been devoted: but the spirit of of the place, induced Mr. Sheridan ļo pro. prosecution, though allowed to slumber pose bimself as a candidate to representthe for a short interval, broke out with reborough of Stafford in ibe dext Parlia. doubled vigour, when bis Grace of Portment. He accordingly proceeded to the
land was succeeded, as First Lord of the spot, and was perfectly satisfied with the Treasury, by Mr. Pitt, and an entire change pleasing prospect of success that opened took place in men and measures.
The to bis ambition. But although he ex
Altorney General was obliged, ex officio, perienced uncommon disinterestedness, to continue the prosecution, the groundand great lib ality of conduct in the peo
work of which still existed; and Mr. Wil. ple of Stafford, a certain degree of expense, kie, who had the courage to conceal the which has for a long time blended itself names of the gentlemen by whom he had with the purest proceedings of the elective been employed, was sentenced to an ima' system in this country, was found unavoid- prisonment of twelve months. The system able, and his affairs were not at that time of party-politics evinced in this insiance, in the most flourishing state. He was
as it has in almost every other case, sel. soon convinced, that the moderate sum of fishness and ingratitude. The man who one thousand pounds was a sine qua non,
possessed the courage to expose his own which alone could bring the negotiation person to punishment, and his circumbetween the young champion of liberty
stances to ruin, in order to screen those and the independent electors to a success
by whom he bad been engaged in his proful conclusion. The money was raised, fessional pursuits, for the purpose of proand he was in consequence returned for moting their favourite end, is said to have Stafford ; and, from the moment of his
been treated with neglect; and it will introduction into the House of Commons,
with difficulty be credited, that bis exhe became a firm supporter of all the penses were never paid. measures of Opposition. Though he con
Mr. Sheridan appears to have been a tented himself at the commencement of figure originally introduced into the polithe Session with giving a silent vote against tical picture, more for the purpose of the Minister, he was indefatigable without completing the group in the back ground, doors in seconding the views of bis Party, than of standing forward as a principal and exciting the clamour of publie indig. character. But the irresistible impulse pation against the measures of Govern
of genius gave a sudden expansion to his ment. He constantly attended popular powers, extricated bim from the inferior meelings and political clubs, and his
estimation in wbich he was held, and pen was employed with success in se
placed bim, if not in an equal rank with Feral periodical publications. He had
Mr. Fox and Mr. Burke, at least in the a considerable share in The Englishman, very next to it. a Paper which was conducted with great East India Bill was distinguisbed for lo
His defence of Mr. Fox's celebrated acrimony against the Administration of Lord North; and, when the Rockingham gical precision; and though he had not, party came into power, in 1782, his ex
on previous occasions, delivered his senestions were rewarded with the appoint. timents with extraordinary ability, bis ment of Under Secretary to Mr. Fox, speech on that interesting subject was so then Secretary of State for the Foreiga masterly, as to induce the public opinion Department. The death of the Marquis of Rocking
* This is a mistake-the few papers ham, and the unexpected elevation of the published under the title of “The Jesuit,” Earl of Shelburne to the important office we believe only 18 in number, were all writ. of First Lord of the Treasury, completely ten by one gentleman, who has been dead defeated the views of his friends; and the a few years. Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, and ever-memorable Coalition having been their friends, were the persons who sog. formed, Mr. Sheridan was once more call- gested the idea of such a pablication; ed
upon to carry on literary hostilities but not one of those gentlernen wrote a against the new Administration. The pe- siogle line in it.
to select him from the second class of industry, to support the splendid fame Parliamentary Speakers. In 1785, his he had acquired; and accordingly preparpowers began to expand in proportion to ed himself, with unremitting assiduity, to the confidence which he acquired in de perform his official duties as one of the bate; and bis observations on Mr. Pitt's Managers of the prosecution, instituted by Perfumery Bill were justly admired for the Representatives of the people against splendid effusions of wit and great force Mr. Hastings, and carried on before the of argument. But the part he took in supreme tribunal of the nation. In the the consideration of the Irish Propositions, long examination of Mr. Middleton, he which were brought forward during the gave decided proofs of a strong and dissame year, was peculiarly striking, and criminating mind; but when, in June raised his reputation as an orator to a 1788, he summed up the evidence on the very superior degree. In calling the at. charge, respecting the confinement and tention of the House to the fourth propo- imprisonment of the Princesses of Oude, sition, he displayed a general knowledge and the seizure of their treasures, his suof the interests of both kingdoms, and a periority over his colleagues was estabdepth of investigation which the most san Jished by universal consent. But, howguine expectations of bis friends could not ever admirable his speech may be now have anticipated ; and froin that moment considered, as a composition, there were, he was viewed as a formidable opponent at that time, several circumstances of by the late Minister, and looked up to with magnitude and singularity, that conspiradmiration, as a principal leader of the ed to give it a celebrity which posterity party to which he belonged.
will scarcely admit it to possess. To form Mr. Sheridan had many difficulties to a just opinion of this memorable oration, encounter in his Parliamentary life. His which occupied the attention of the Court, father was an Actor, he had himself and excited the admiration of the Publick, largely contributed to the entertainment for several hours, it would be necessary of the Publick, and was the Manager of a to have heard Mr. Sheridan himself; and, Theatre. The prejudices of Mankind, to those who have not witnessed the corhowever ridiculous, are too often victo rectness, strength, and animation of his rious over the claims of genuine merit, elocution, it will be sufficient to repeat and would have, perhaps, prevailed in in what was said by Æschines to the people timidating any other person than the man of Rhodes, in praise of the harangue against whom they were, in this instance, which had caused his banishment-"What directed. Fully convinced of his decided applauses would you not have conferred, superiority over birth and fortune, he had you heard Demosthenes himself deliproceeded regardless of personal reflec
ver it?" tions; and if his opponents succeeded in Soon after this great era in the public irritating him by the asperity of their allu life of Mr. Sheridan,'the melancholy insions, he met them with manly resolution, disposition of his Majesty, which plunged chastised ihem with the lash of legitimate the country into a state of the deepest satire, or beld thein up to universal ridi distress, led to the discussion of a ques. cule in bursts of extemporaneous wit, that tion, exceeding in political importance have never been equalled, perhaps, in the every other national occurrence from the British Senate. He was rapidly ap Revolution of 1688 down to that time. proaching to perfection as an orator, when The Ministry and Opposition essentially the impeachment of Mr. Hastings sup differed with respect to the means to be plied him with an opportunity of display- adopted for supplying the defect of the ing powers which were then unrivalled.
personal exercise of the Royal authority ; His speech delivered in the House of Com. and Mr. Sheridan took a leading part in mons, in April 1787, on the eighth article, the attempts which were made to de. as stated in the order laid down by Mr. clare the Prince of Wales Regent, withBurke, relative to “money corruptly and out such restrictions as Parliament should illegally taken,” was allowed to equal the tbink fit to impose. The favour in which most argumentative and impassioned ora he was held at Carlton House was certions that had ever been addressed to the tainly superior to that enjoyed by the most judgment and feelings of the British Par distinguished Members of the party, and liament. He fixed the uninterrupted at his conduct occasioned suspicions that tention of the House for upwards of five have never been completely removed. hours, confirmed the minds of those who His Royal Highness was very much in the wavered, and produced co-operation from habit of consulting Mr. Sheridan, and his a quarter, which, it was supposed, would answer to Mr. Pitt's letter, with respect have been hostile to any farther proceed to the restrictions on the Regency, which ing.
was allowed to be dignified, cautious, and Mr. Sheridan seems, at this period, to temperate, has been principally ascribed have been convinced of the necessity of to the prudent counsels of this gentleindefatigable application and persevering
Mr. Sheridan's zealous interference in tional subjects, he evinced great depth of support of his patron is, perhaps, the inquiry, and acuteness of discrimination. only instance in which he can be charged Mr. Sheridan's voice was strong and with political inconsistency. The 'spirit distinct, and his delivery very easy, clear, of party, and the strong prejudices of the and impressive. He wanted the dignity of moment, are now consigned to oblivion ; Mr. Pitt, aud the fre of Mr. Fox; but, and it may be fairly asked, whether he, in the ingenuity of observation, and the or any other declared advocate of the felicity of reply, he was not inferior to rights of the people, acted consistently in either of them in their happiest moments. opposing the following Resolution, which He excelled in raillery, which, at once was proposed by Mr. Pitt, and passed by elegant and severe, was peculiarly suited the British Parliament:-“ Resolved, to the Senate. Though he seemed cauThat it is the opinion of this Committee, tiously to avoid the use of figurative dicthat it is the right and duty of the Lords tion and splendid imagery in his speeches, Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons of his celebrated oration on the trial of Mr. Great Britain, now assembled, and law Hastings is an ample testimony of his fully, fully, and freely representing all ability to introduce them with the most the estates of the people of this realm, to appropriate effect. It cannot be denied, provide the means of supplying the defect that his propepsity to epigrammatic point of the personal exercise of the Royal au and humorous allusion frequently exceedthority, arising from his Majesty's indis. ed the bounds of propriety, and hurried position, in such a manner as the exigency him to a levity of remark that was at vaof the case may appear to require.”—Mr. riance with the gravity of the subject in Sheridan's objection to the Resolution did discussion. We laughed indeed for the not arise from any statement contained in moment, but soon condemned the speaker it, respecting the full and free represen for trifling with a great object of national tation of the people; but he and his friends consideration, argued against the power of both Houses, Mrs. Sheridan died in June 1792, and in any case, to limit the authority of the he had a son by that lady, Mr. Thomas Regent, and contended, that the immediate Sheridan, who possesses considerable abi. nomination of the Heir-apparent ought to
lities. In 1795, he married Miss Ogle, take place, as a matter of constitutional youngest daughter of the Reverend Doctor right. Those who are sincere admirers of Newton Ogle, Dean of Winchester. The the British Constitution, as derived from the issue of his second marriage was also a legitimate source of authority, will not son, Mr. Charles Sheridan, readily coincide in the doctrines advanced His conduct as Manager and principal upon this occasion, by the leading Mem. Proprietor of the first Theatre in the bers of Opposition.
kingdom, and his punctuality in the disMr. Sheridan continued a strenuous op charge of the duties contracted by him ponent of the measures of Mr. Pitt's Ad in that situation, bave rarely been the ministration, and, in consequence of Mr. subject of praise. Yet, in justice to his Fox's secession, stood at the head of Op memory, we cannot but observe, that in position. With the single exception of the legal discussion of the claims of the his conduct on the question of the Re Proprietors of Drury Lane Theatre, in gency, his Parliamentary life cannot be the Court of Chancery, so far from any accused of inconsistency. He professed, imputation being thrown out against his in common with most of his friends, an conduct, it was generally the subject of enthusiastic admiration of the French Re praise; and the Chancellor himself (Lord volution, and considered the Constitution Eldon) spoke in the handsomest terms of it had formed, as a glorious fabrick of hu. Mr. Sheridan's integrity, though certainly man wisdom, erected for the perfection of he thought his prudence was in some inhuman happiness; but when he saw that stances liable to be questioned. Of his Constitution defaced and polluted by the extraordinary qualities and powers to frantic and murderous policy of the suc please and charm in private life it is alcessive rulers of France, he readily con most unnecessary to speak. They were, curred in reprobating crimes, which were indeed, unrivalled. destructive of freedom and social happi It was, perhaps, in the knowledge of ness, and directly repugaant to the prin.
human nature that he surpassed all his ciples on which the Revolution was ori. contemporaries. His sagacity was partia ginally effected. He ever was the zea cularly exercised in discovering the chaJous supporter of Parliamentary Reform, racter and propensities of his acquaintand the uniform friend of the Liberty of ances, or of those with whom he had any the Press, and of Civil and Religious Free business to transact, and he generally sucdom. In financial considerati ns, in our ceeded in converting this kind of knowledge political and commercial relations with to his own advantage. Ireland, and more particularly in every After a retirement of twenty years from important discussion relative to Constitu the stage, Mr. Sheridan came forward at
the end of the season in 1799. in the der. In conducting a passion through its humble situation of the Editor of Kotze most intricate mazes, he is, perhaps, unbue, the celebrated German Dramatist, equalled, and he seldom fails to produce and appears in that instance to have been emotions of the most agonising kind. But more actuated by his interest as a Ma- probability, the genuine source of connager than by the generous feelings of a cern and dramatic feeling, is too frequentwriter emulous of lasting fame. The ly violated. An instant's reflection is speech of Rolla, exhorting the Peruvians sufficient to expose the delusion of the to defend their King and country, and scene, and destroy the interest which the their
civil and religious institutions, skill of the Poet creates. Mr. Sheridan against a ferocious band of lawless in was himself convinced that, with the ex. vaders, was highly instrumental to the ception of Rolla's patriotic harangue, Pic success of the piece, and it is the only zarro was more indebted for its popularity passage of the Play to which Mr. Sheri to the merits of the original, to the actor, dan has an exclusive claim. The appeal the machinist, the painter, and the comto the people in support of their righis poser, than to any alterations he made, and national independence is bold and or to any judgmeut he evinced in adapting animating The striking image of the it to the English stage. . It is to be lavulture and the lamb is, however, used mented, that by this motley exhibition he with more effect in his speech on the im degraded his reputation as the first dra. peachment of Mr. Hastings; but his right matic writer of the country, and sunk to borrow from himself cannot be ques. himself to a level with tbe Play-wrights of tioned. The genius of the German dra the day, to whom profit was every thing, matist is unquestionably of the first or fame nothing.
DAVID PIKE WATTS, Esq. Died on the 29th of July last, aged 62 to the grave; and the conduct of Mr. years, at his house in Portland-place. Watts upon that melancholy occasion,
In his early years he received his educa. and a more intimate acquain: ance with tion from Alexander Cruden, the pious his subsequent character, so endeared author of the “Concordance to the Bible," him to his patron, that unavailing regret whose favourite, as well as pupil, he had accompanied the rest of Mr.Kenton's days! the bappiness of being—and it was to this As Mr. K. advanced in life, bis prosperity influence upon his mind that much of Mr. and public fame as a wine-merchant, ac. Watts's serious turn of thought may be companied his progress, and when those ascribed : the advantages of study under were well-established he retired from bu. such a tutor were also considerably en ness, and left the whole of his extensive larged by the pious example of both his
to Mr. Watts's management. parents, to whose memory he always de During their connexion Mr. W. married voted the reverence of filial love!
Miss Morrison of Durham, by whom he His connexion with the late Benjamin had two sons and one daughter. Both Kenton, esq. commenced at a very early the sons were brought up for the army. period of his life ; and in this he had the Mr. Kenton died May 25, 1800; by good fortune to find exemplified in prac which event, and by the paternal dispotice, that integrity and goodness of heart sitions of his will, Mr. Watts became the which his education had taught him to master of chief part of his immense forcherish as the only means of uniting the tune; all acquired by personal assiduits duties of society with his more import- and unvarying integrity and he trans. ant duty to God. Mr. Kenton had an mitted with these fruits the seeds of an only daughter; it was natural that the example which were sown in a soil equally respect and esteem for her father which sufficient to produce perfection! Soon Mr. Watts invariably felt, should awaken afier this event Mr. Watts retired from a sympathetic affection for ber-and it business to the late residence of Mr. K. was equally so, that this affection should in Gower-street, where he devoted his meet its due return; but it was not re active mind to the cares of domestic life, ceived by Mr. K. with approbation! What and to the extension of his fortune in the ever may have been his intentions to promotion of public welfare; in which he wards Mr. Watts at that time, or what may be literally said to have “gone about ever may have been his views for his doing good;" but his private life was yet daughter, bis resolution was decisive, and more endearing, for he possessed the rare his determination was not to be reversed : quality of consistency, in that his pure --the result was of serious consequence charity, joined to his native sweetness of to the father as well as to his daughter, temper, rendered bis dwelling the abode of for it so severely impaired her health, that, peace; and he possessed that native poby a graduat decline, she sunk in sorrow liteness of beart which rendered him cour.
teous to his most familiar associates. - other, which embraced nations and peoBut these domestic comforts were em ple to whom the English Liturgy could be bittered by the severest trials—in the loss comparatively of no interes! ; but whereof his wife, and not long after, of both ever they could be united with eff ct, he his sons successively; while every pro availed himself of every opportunity of spect of future patronage and advance- rendering service to the general planment shone upon their hopes : to these which may be deemed “ a plan of Prodispensations, however, no man better vidence, or at least one of the means enknew how to bow with duteous resigna- couraged for bringing about some great tion, or where to seek for the truest cousola. event of which either our own age, or the tion !his eldest son David, who had been following, is to be the witness.” a Lieut. in the 141h Light Dragoons, and His early education was sufficient for bad exchanged, for promotion, to a regi a mind like his, to point the road of study ment in the West Indies, died a few days and superior information; on every subject after his landing at Jamaica of the yel which appeared to him important, , his low fever, in the 20th year of his age. natural ardour excited a thirst for its inHis second son, Michael, was Ensign in the vestigation : he embraced principles, only Coldstream regiment of Guards, and fell when he bad examined them ;-he purat the battle of Barossa, also in his 20th sued a conduct, only when he learnt the year!--These losses served to conceuter propriety and honour of its motive ;-he his affections upon his surviving daughter instructed, only when he had ascertained and then become his only child-the pe the truth :-cool and dispassionate, he culiar fervour of his parental love, was the never boldly asserted ; charitable, he, cherished solace of his heart, and it was never was heard to offend by condemna. sincerely returned with the most filial de tion ;-amiable, he was never lifted by votion !--he had the grateful satisfaction, prosperity or pride, but may be said to some few years previous to his death, of have possessed his soul in peace ;-mens seeing her united to Jesse Russell, junr. conscia recti. esq. of Ilam-hall near Ashbourne in Der. Thus he became the liberal friend of Libyshire, and of living to see the happy terature and learned men—he re-pected fruits of this marriage in four promising their talents, and lamented and secretly children. To her he has bequeathed, with relieved the severe 'privations of many the exception of a few legacies to rela. whose studies had not always secured them tions, the whole of his ample fortune-act. from temporal distress; and whose sta. ing in this to the last, upon a fixed prin- tion or professional habits were such as ciple, that as the steward of his talent to depress their merit. while he remained here, he should leave The same disposition led him to pa: that stewardship where it could be safely tronize Christ's Hospital, the Institution reposed. During his last illness he was of Sunday-schools, and all the methods assiduously attended by his son-in-law adopted for the religious instruction of and his daughter, and although his death youth: I have not unfrequently heard bed was visited by bodily pain, yet it was him lament that the days of impiety and rendered a blessed and instructive scene, licentiousness had left fatal snares befor it was truly the death of the righteous! hind them, which the ignorance of the There is a considerable difficulty in de. first principles of the Christian religion lineating the just character of a man of would help to encrease, an indifference to retired disposition and inward piety; the great interests of human life, to the prominent features are easily pourtrayed ; peace of society, and to the general prac-the motives of action which dwell in the tice of religious and domestic duties : heart require a higher pencil than that impressed with these sentiments, he gave of human skill. I believe him to have been a hearty encouragement to the Institutruly a Christian ja heart and deed-he tion of the Central National School in was a zealous member of the Church of Baldwin's Gardens, and also to those paEngland, not more so in its forms, wbich rochial and ward schools more imme. he cherished, thap in its principles, which diately aitached to his places of business he venerated, and as a duty maintained : and residence; justly esteeming great punctual and devout in all its public or part of the work of salvation done, when dinances--very respectful to its prieste youth were securely instructed in the hood, and active in promoting Christian blessings of the Gospel; as the only ef. knowledge, and propagating the Gospel fectual means of preventing crimes, which according to its tenets; to the societies the mild compassion of his temper led him which embraced these great objects, and to cherish, rather than the most appro. also to the Institution for diffusion of the priate punishment on conviction. Holy Scriptures without note or comment, Io the periods of his life when he ache was a liberal benefactor-his candid tively pursued his business, and afterwards mind judged it not any wise injurious to when his enlarged prosperity enabled him the one to encourage the efforts of the to choose his way, his acts of charity