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A good geologist,

A better mineralogist,

An able physician,

And learned metaphysician,

Who scents out how causes proceed;

A system inventor,

An experimentor,

Who raises potatoes from seed.

He knoweth full well

The forest and dell,

The chalets and dwellers therein;
The mountains and fountains,
The ices and prices,

Every town, every village, and inn.
Take him for your guide,

He has often been tried,

And will always be useful when needed;
You'll be merry together,

In fair and foul weather,

And shake hands at parting as we did." Southey evidently wrote these lines in one of his amiable and happy moments-moments which occasionally come to all of us. It was after dinner, in the inn at Zurich, which looks out upon the lake, and the neighbouring mountains of Schwitz and Glarus. It was a beautiful afternoon; a bottle of cool Rhenish wine stood before

him,-probably Johannisberg; and we will wager the Duchess of St Albans against a bad sixpence that his travel-worn feet were lapped in the elysium of slippers. He felt pleased with himself and with all mankind, and he therefore gladdened the heart of honest Hans Roth, by inditing the encomium we have given above.

Shift we the scene from Mr Southey and Switzerland to Mr John Ramsay, weaver in Kilmarnock. "How fleet is a glance of the mind!" and if a man is determined to hunt out genius, there is no saying in these days where he may be carried. "Why may not imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till he find it stopping a bunghole ?" asks Shakspeare. And, on the same principle, why may not imagination discover genius in a red nightcap, working at the loom in Kilmarnock? We care not for the outward casket; it is the gem silently glittering within which we prize. Is the dewdrop less beautiful because it happens to fall upon the humblest blade of grass, rather than into the bosom of the fullblown rose? Genius comes like the dew from the starry sky, and dreams not of the conventional distinctions of artificial society. Mr John Ramsay may be a weaver in the sight of man, but he is a poet in the sight of heaven; and he has his reward in his own heart. We do not mean to say that Mr John Ramsay is another Burus; all we mean is, that he has the gentler susceptibilities of genius about him, and that we are, therefore, glad to have it in our power to give publicity to one of his effusions. It is the latest effort of his muse, although, "in the present state of our trade," he writes, "I must say with Burns,sma' heart hae I to sing.""


There comes an hour, Eliza, when we must
Bid all farewell, and sink into the dust;
There comes a sun that shall behold us laid
Beneath the turf, forgotten and decay'd;
There comes a morning, at whose vernal voice
Earth shall revive, and nature shall rejoice,
But see us sleeping in the dewy sod,
And all unconscious as the kindred clod.
There comes a day, diffusing life and light,
With all that summer gives of warm and bright,
And, as away its beams of sunshine pass,
They'll shade us deeper in the long green grass.›
There comes a day when Autumn shall descend
Dispensing blessings with an open hand;
And o'er these fertile vales youths yet unborn
Shall wield the sickle in the waving corn;
Join in the jests and simple pranks that goad.
The hours along, and lighten labour's load;

And when the dews of evening deck the blade,
And the lone redbreast tops the mellow shade,
In love's embrace they'll hail the twilight scene,
Even in retreats where thou and I have been,→
While we, to love and all things else unknown,
Mix our cold dust with generations gone.
There comes a day, whose dull and dreary close
Shall see the world a cheerless waste of snows,
Whose farewell beam, and setting crimson streak,
Purpling yon ancient mountain's lofty peak,
Shall view the mantle of grim winter spread
Even o'er the stones that mark our narrow bed.
But these will pass, and ages will roll on,
And we remain unconscious they have flown:
Then comes a day when dark shall grow the sky,
The sun in mid-course close his dying eye,
The sea stand still, deep-smitten with dismay,
And every isle and mountain flee away;
The heavens evanish with an awful roll,
And the last trumpet sound from pole to pole;
Then shall our mortal put th' immortal on,
And meet Eternal Justice on his throne.

the notice of our readers. He continues to improve; We have already introduced Alexander Maclaggan to and, as we have good hopes of his future achievements, we shall report progress from time to time. The following is the last production he has put into our hands, and it strikes us as vigorous and good:


By Alexander Maclaggan.

The frantic wind is sweeping shrill
Over the head of the grey-hair'd hijl,—

Ruin rages in the gale;

The blasted tree, the bursting rock,
By earthquake's shake, by lightning's stroke,
Roll thundering to the vale.

'Tis Heaven commands ;-sweep on, ye storms! Gather and fight, ye mystic forms!

Dash down, each swollen cloud!
Wheel, earth! thy course, a shapeless blot
Of wind and wave,-but, O! wrap not
Yon cottage in thy shroud.

My Jessie and my cottage spare!
My spring-time and my summer's there,-
My life, and all life's worth:
Flash far away, dread lightning's power,
Blast not my home, blight not my flower,
Chill not my cheering hearth!

Her sweet smile is my summer's light,
My beacon in the darkest night;

And Oh! her gentle eye,

It is my morn-my evening star,
That shines upon me kindlier far

Than any in the sky.

Her virtuous mind's my store of wealth,-
Her blooming cheek my flower of health,—
Her mouth my honeycomb;
Her snowy, pure, and tranquil breast,
The down where sinks my head to rest,-

Rage, storms, but spare my home!


Let us turn now for a moment from poetry to prose. Here is a letter from as worthy an inhabitant of Scotland as ever visited London,-a Sexagenarian and an LL.D., with all the primitive simplicity and strong intellectual vigour of a gentleman of the old school. writes precisely as he speaks, disdaining to adapt even his spelling to the modern pronunciation of the ancient Doric of his country. His letter is dated a month or two back, but, as the subject is an interesting one, and is treated in an interesting manner, we shall give the greater part of it :—



"Yesterday was Sabbath. I dinna ken how it is, to me the Sunday is like no other day in the week. The

curse; and above another, a verse containing a blessing.
It is double-galleried nearly round and round, and was
crowded to suffocation. Through the whole service
there was a crushing out an' a crushing in, like a coun-
try Sacrament,—and none o' the best o' order about the
stairs. There is naething remarkable about Fletcher's
appearance; he is a stout, good-looking, dark-complex-
ioned man. His preaching is often eloquent, and contains
sound, excellent sense, but sae confoundedly mixed up
wi' wishy-washy clap-traps, that it is lost in nonsense.
This moment he is proving the truth o' revelation wi'
a' the force o' argument, an' the next he breaks away
into pitiful whine, about "some poor little boy that he
visited yesterday, and who is to be executed next Wed-
nesday morning at the Old Bailey, for the crime of Sab-
bath-breaking and horse-stealing;" or, "the last words
and dying confession" of some dear Christian sister,
that he had been to visit that morning."
In fact,
Fletcher has found the key to unlock the curiosity o'
the multitude. He is a kind o' story-telling Rowland
Hill the second.

face o' the sun-the fields-the streets-the countenances o' men-my ain thoughts, are a' different. It is ane o' the best blessings o' Christianity. There is something that exalts human nature in it, something, that in one day in seven raises the servant to an equality wi' his master; when tranquillity disperses the cares an' anxieties o' the world, an' holiness becomes visible. But it is only in Scotland,-on the green hills, an' in the lonely glens, o' our native land, that the Sunday is a Sabbath indeed. Here, an' throughout Eng. land, it is different. The Scottish peasant rises early, offers up his prayer in the midst of his children, and accompanies them to the distant kirk,-returns to his homely meal,-opens his Bible,-gathers his family around him, and concludes the evening wi' prayer. To this there are exceptions, but the example is characteristic. In England there are exceptions, but the excep. tion is the characteristic, and consists in a good dinner at the expense of the week, loitering away the evening at home, or in an ale-house, an' complaining o' the day as a weariness. In London, with the majority, it is a day o' pleasure, spent in excursions to Greenwich, Gravesend, the Nore, Richmond, &c.-ane goes a-fish-whose life hitherto has been a very strange and chequerNext follows a poem of great merit, written by one ing, a second a-shooting, an' a third follows his occupation as usual. But still there are thousands, an' tens ed scene, though we doubt not that, with steady perseo' thousands o' Christians in London; an', generally verance, better prospects are in store for him : speaking, the churches are respectably filled.

I went to hear our countryman Irving. He is not so much run after in his new chapel in Sidmouth Street, as he was at Hatton Garden; consequently, there is now no difficulty in obtaining seats; though at a' times, even in the middle o' his orations, he manifested anxiety for the accommodation o' strangers. The new church is a tolerably handsome structure, but too long for its width. It is not very large, but neatly fitted up, and the windows alternately ornamented wi' Scotch thistles in stained glass. Soon after I was seated, in came Edward, ane o' the most ungainly-looking figures I ever saw, with his thick, lang, black hair, which he used to wear à la Nazarene, now hanging about his ears in shaggy profusion. His action is uncouth, but, since he took to reading his sermons, it is less extravagant. It is a kind o' hap weel, rap weel, pell-mell action, swing. ing round his arm without mercy; then crouching together, like a tiger ready to spring, he raises his clenched nieves to the side o' his head, an', springing up wi' a loud, lang burst, discharges a tremendous thud upon the cushion, that echoes to the very ceiling. It is often impressive, always earnest; unstudied, but frequently ill-timed. His accent is harsh, grating, and national, -unpleasant even to a Scotsman, but adapted to the rude grandeur o' his eloquence. Irving is an orator, in so far as a wild imagination, enthusiastic earnestness, declamation, an' strang lungs, can make ane, farther I will not venture. Upon the whole, he is a good logician; there is a mathematical closeness in his reasoning, but it is like a superstructure weel-fitted together in its parts, but falling en masse before the least whiff o' wind, from the want o' a good foundation. His composition is a kind o' Ossianic transposition o' verbs, adjectives, an' playing wi' participles,--often lofty, seldom elegant, an' frequently inflated. He bore his ostentatious flattery nobly, but the turn o' the tide appears to have turned his temper; and Editors and all connected wi' the Press he raves against without mercy, abusing them for every thing but men an' Christians. In a word, Irving is a man o' genius,-a visionary certainly, but sincere,-an enthusiast, but now and then a sublime one.


In the afternoon I took a step down to Finsbury, to hear Fletcher, o' breach-o'-promise celebrity, (another countryman.) His new chapel is a huge, but not inelegant, mass of bricks, faced with cement. The doors are marked "Gallery," like a playhouse; and over one is inscribed a passage from Scripture, expressive o' a


And art thou false? my tried one!
Thou beautiful and best,
Who, lost in feeling, sigh'd when
We parted, and confest
Thy love, while wild emotion

Traced the memory of our youth,
When the kiss of fond devotion,
Melting, burning, seal'd our truth ;-
And art thou false?

Mindest thou at our last meeting,
Where the ocean weds the Tweed,
The moon their union greeting,
Seem'd their marriage vows to read;
There was music on the river,

And its sweetly blending tone
Sang their bridal, breathing ever-
'Tis not well to be alone ;-

And art thou false?

I have not yet forgotten
That heavenly, holy hour;
Nor shall absence place a blot on
Its remembrance, or its power:
It liveth, and it burneth,-

It will live, and it will prove
The heart thy kindred spurneth,
Yet is worthy of thy love.

And art thou false?

A thousand thoughts come o'er me→
Recollections of the past;

Still thy image weeps before me,
All lovely as thou wast,
When my burning cheek did borrow
Tears of agony from thine,-
Of affection and of sorrow,
Telling fondly thou wert mine,-
And art thou false?

'Tis true that fate had revell'd
In my anguish; it is true
It had young ambition levell'd,
Sparing nothing,-saving you;
Yet, with thy love to light me,-
Its blastings could not blight me,-
Wither hope,-nor chill desire;-
And art thou false?

My faults were spread before thee,-
Blacken'd, gather'd in a host;

Yet with the love I bore thee,

They mingled not,-were lost.
Ah! whatever were their number,-
Their turbulence,-design,-
Thy presence bade them slumber,--
My heart!-my heart is thine;-
And art thou false?

Can the ocean clothe the mountains?
Can the earth forsake the sun?
Can streams from upland fountains

Change their course, and backward run?
Can my heart forget the loved one

Of its being, and its birth?

And art thou, my fond, my proved one,
Deem'd truest on the earth-
And art thou false?

'Tis true this hath been told me,

This might weaker minds believe;
But the heart that thus could hold me,
Cannot-never could deceive.

I have search'd thee, and thy spirit
Is untainted-pure as bliss;
Still thy bosom I inherit,-
'Twas an enemy did this;-

Thou art not false!

Of the author of the following anecdote, it has been most truly said, that "his stock of traditionary lore is not exceeded by that of any other individual in the world." We consider ourselves very fortunate, now that his attention is devoted principally to works of a larger and more important nature, to be able to obtain so many of his shorter and miscellaneous pieces, full of interest and information as they usually are, for the LITERARY JOURNAL. Mr Robert Chambers is as yet a young man; but there is every reason to believe, that, in the course of twenty or thirty years, his collected works will form a body of national and traditionary literature of the most curious and valuable kind.


to the door, wishing to see him, the heart of the old gentleman leapt within him, and he instantly sent down his compliments to his respected visitor, begging him to excuse his own non-appearance, which was only owing to extremity of illness, but entreating that he would enter, and in every respect use the house as his own. Pitcalnie grunted out an assent to the last part of the message, and, being shown into a room, began to call lustily about him. In the first place, he ordered a specimen of Sir Lawrence's port, next of his sherry, then of his claret, and lastly of his champagne. When he had drunk as much as he could, and given a most unconscionable degree of trouble to the whole household, he staggered off, leaving it to Sir Lawrence to come, next day, to the best explanation he could with the deacon."

To this amusing anecdote we shall add another from a different pen, no less interesting, and a good deal more important, as it has an indirect connexion with our present gracious Sovereign. The title will somewhat surprise our readers :


"Previous to the year 1745, the Earl of Glencairn was Governor of Dumbarton Castle. His Countess was sister or cousin of Murray of Broughton, superior of the parish of Annworth in Galloway. At this time, the schoolmaster of Annworth was Mr Andrew Waddel, A.M. (afterwards well known as the translator of Buchanan's Psalms), who, being a very learned man, was recommended by Broughton to Lord Glencairn, as tutor to his sons. In this way, Mr Waddel was translated from Annworth to Dumbarton Castle. During Mr Waddell's residence with this noble family, a soldier in the garrison, called Sutherland, died. His death was very soon followed by that of his wife; and they left a son and daughter totally destitute. The boy, William, entered the army; and Mr Waddel, who was no less remarkable for his humanity than his learning, though encumbered with a large family of his own, and having very slender means, adopted the soldier's daughter.

"Mr Ross of Pitcalnie, an ingenious humorist, who "The little Margaret Sutherland, as she grew up, bespent his latter years chiefly in Edinburgh, was one night came a paragon of beauty, and was no less admired for (about the year 1780) reeling home in a state of intoxi- the gracefulness of her appearance than she was belocation through St Andrew square, when his fancy sug- ved for her amiable dispositions. Such attractions were gested to him the following amusing hoax upon Sir Law- too well calculated to excite stronger feelings than those rence Dundas. It occurred to his remembrance, on see- of mere admiration. Though no less virtuous than ing Sir Lawrence's fine house, (now the office of the beautiful, this innocent creature became the victim of Royal Bank of Scotland,) that that gentleman was then unlawful passions. A Captain Scott of the Artillery known to be engaged in the laudable business of pre- betrayed her unsuspecting confidence, and clandestinely vailing upon the members of the Town Council of carried her off from under the care of her venerable proEdinburgh to elect him their representative in Parlia- tector. It may easily be conceived that the good old ment, and that he had already secured the approbation man was plunged into the deepest distress by this unof so many of these worthy trustees of the public inte- principled act. For three long years, notwithstanding the rest, that, but for one recusant deacon, he was certain of most diligent and unceasing enquiries, he heard nothing his election. It was known that Sir Lawrence had tried of his much-loved protegée. At last a letter came, adevery possible means to bring over this dissentient voice, dressed to him in characters which he himself had taught but hitherto without success; and there was some rea- her to trace. The contents were most consolatory. The son to apprehend, that after all the pains he had expend- sweet girl, whose heart revolted at the idea of living ed upon the rest, the grand object would not eventually with Captain Scott on the terms he proposed, had, with be accomplished. Pitcalnie bethought him to assume a degree of spirit for which he was not prepared, inthe name of the deacon, to enter the house of the candi-sisted on returning to the bosom of the family of her date, call for what entertainment he pleased, and final- excellent friend in Scotland, from whom she never once ly, as Sir Lawrence was confined to bed with gout, to doubted, even under such circumstances, of meeting go away without being discovered. No sooner had he with the most cordial reception. The Captain found settled the plan in his own mind, than he proceeded to that to part with her was worse than death; and at last put it in execution. Reeling up to the door, he rung adopted the virtuous resolution of affording her the the bell with all the insolent violence which might have only adequate reparation in his power, by making her been expected from so consequential a person as the in- his lawful wife, which he had now done. dividual he wished to personate, and presently down came a half-dressed lacquey, breathing curses not loud but deep, against the cause of this unseasonable annoy"Tell your master," said Pitcalnie," that Dea(mentioning the name of the important elector) wishes to see him." When the man went up, and told Sir Lawrence that Deacon had come drunk



"We here come to the most interesting part of our story. When it became necessary to find a nurse for the infant Prince of Wales, the now happy and respectable Mrs Captain Scott (who had by this time increased her family) was suggested, and accepted; and she had the distinguished honour of suckling our present most gracious Sovereign. The person from whom we have

derived our information is the grandson of Mr Waddel. He is himself an old soldier, and saw Mrs Scott in London about twelve years ago. At this time she was old and infirm, but still retained traces of her former beauty. In her elevation she did not forget her brother, who, having returned disabled from the wars, enjoyed, through her interest, a small pension."

We have been much pleased with the spirit of the following


Lady! thou wert not form'd for this cold clime,

Nor for this tame and unchivalric age;

Thou'rt all misplaced upon this humble stage,Thou hast come to the world behind thy time. Thou shouldst have lived, five hundred years agone, In some lone castle by the proud Garonne; With such concourse of lovers from all Spain, That towns at length should rise on thy domain: Kings shou'd come there to break their hearts in scores; And thou shouldst hold a massacre of knights Once every week, until the river's shores

Should peopled be with their unhallowed sprites. Thou shouldst lay waste all Europe with thy charms, And give thyself to none but Death's victorious arms!

Glasgow is a city which, from the numerous literary

effusions it has already sent us, we are convinced contains many a poet, passing quietly and unobtrusively amid the unconscious throng, perhaps himself engaged

in all the bustle of active business, and more esteemed for his knowledge of arithmetic than for his portion of the divinus afflatus; but nevertheless, proud, honestly proud. in the secret consciousness that a light is burning within him which gives him a participation in the feelings, and a kindred claim upon the friendship, of those who move afar off, and "summer high upon the hills of God." We are always glad to hear from Glasgow; at present we have room for only one copy of verses from that quarter, but they are striking and original:


I thocht the grave was a sweeter part,
Where ane wud rest in a sounder sleep;

I thocht that upon the tender heart
The cauldness wud nae lie sae deep.

I used to think, when I wont to lie
By the dike-side on the mossy brae,
Wi' my een turned on the bonny blue sky,
Where the wee wreathy clouds sae peacefully lay
When I felt the summer's breath warm on my face,
And o'er me was coming slumber deep-
That the grave was sic another place,

Where ane wud lie in as sweet a sleep.

But I see pae mair the heaven's gladsome licht, And nae mair I feel the sweet breath o' the sky; And black and heavy on my sicht

The calm dead airs of my dungeon lie; I for ever look on the grave's lonely wa',

Where creeps each earthy and loathsome beast, And frae which the big draps o' the dead dew fa', And heavily sink through my wasting breast; There's nae warm friendly voice to cheer

The darkness and silence sae dismal and dree; There's nae saft word that comes to speer, How it is in the lanely house wi' me.

Hark! how aboon my dreary grave,
Weightily splashes the fast-fa'ing rain;
Hark! how the sweeping nicht-winds rave,
When stay'd in their speed by the big grave-stane.
I wish I were up, to straught my banes,

And drive frae my face the cauld dead air;
I wish I were up, that the friendly rains
Micht wash the dark mould frae my tangled hair;
I wish I were up, ance mair to drink

The fresh breath o' heaven frae the healthy plain, And see the wee stars as they blithesomely blink, And hear the sweet voice o' a friend again!

We were about to conclude, when our eye fell on the following verses by a poet who hides his light too much under a bushel, but whose name, we confidently anticipate, will one day be far better known than his modesty will at present permit. It may be as a poet, or it may be in another capacity, but at all events as a man of genius:


By E. B.

The morn hath long been over the billows,
That call me to launch on life's wide sea;
And I'll leave thee, my lyre,-but not on the willows,-
Till the breeze of my fortunes waken thee!
Though my bark be frail, and rude the gale,

A weaker than mine hath return'd with gain;
And though lofty the song of a rival throng,
Still, still, into heaven, may mount thy strain!
Sweet friend of life!-though oft thy measures
Have lured me to laugh at Wisdom's frown,➡
Yet thine were never the palling pleasures,
That madden the hearts they fail to drown!
Tho' love's young light hath left my sight,

And many a comrade hath cross'd my way;
Thy friendship, since first its dawning I nurst,
Oh! light's the fault, if prudence outlive it,
Hath never forsaken, could never betray!
To spend our holiday years with thee;
And if pride refuse to smile and forgive it,

Thy worth may be proved more wise than he.
So sleep, my lyre! till manhood's fire

Awaken thy chords into nobler life: And the heaven-born strain that floats from thee then, May soar beyond the cold world's strife!

For a week or two we again drop the curtain. Our Slippers, during that period, will neither be heard of nor seen; while in a more abstract and sublime, though less concentrated character, we shall travel over the land, intellectually embodied in that glorious emanation of mind-the EDINBURGH LITERARY JOURNAL.



THE style of Dr Chalmers' eloquence is so marked and peculiar, and its defects and its beauties are so prominent, that the only difference of opinion which can exist with regard to it, must refer rather to its merit than to its character. If vigour of thought, and power of imagination, and warmth of colouring, and singularly forcible expression, are the principal elements of oratory, Dr Chalmers is well entitled to all his fame. Few men can match him in communicating an air of freshness to common-places;-his power of illustration is inexhausti ble his humour admirable-and no man can command more powerfully the attention, or engage the sympathies, of a popular audience. He is by no means a correct, much less a classical speaker; there is nothing elegant about him, either in his person, his manners, or his language; neither is there any thing that is in the slightest degree offensive; there is no affectation, no pretension; you are struck with the carnestness of his manner, and the enthusiasm with which he urges his argument; and his vehement tones and uncouth gesticulations, are so much in unison with the character of his eloquence, or rather, they are so much part and parcel of it, that although in another they would very justly incur ridicule, in him they serve only to strengthen the hold which the speaker has upon our attention. Dr Chalmers, though a considerable proficient in the exact sciences, is not a close reasoner; he seldom treats his argument as a logician would treat it; he is fond of reasoning from apalogy, and his great force lies in illustration. He presents the same idea under twenty different forms, he loads it with comparisons, he adorns it with all the brilliancy of ornament which an exuberant fancy can command, and

never dismisses it till he has lavished upon it more warmth of imagination, and a greater variety of illustration, than would serve a less impassioned orator for a speech of two hours' length. He always speaks with apparent effort, but the difficulty evidently arises not from any deficiency of ideas, but rather from the rapidity with which they present themselves to his mind, and from his anxiety to express them in weighty language. His labour is like that of Jupiter parturiens, painful, just because the offspring to which he is giving birth must attain maturity before it leaves the brain, that it may rush forth full-armed and irresistible.

Dr Chalmers is not very powerful as a mere debater. Pe has not Dr Thomson's readiness, nor his acuteness; he cannot so easily extricate himself from a difficulty, nor can he avail himself with so much dexterity of any blunder which his antagonist makes. He is, in short, too much of an orator, in the usual acceptation of the word, to be distinguished as a special pleader. He is never flippant-he seldom indulges in personal sarcasm-and even his enthusiasm is more the enthusiasm of genius. than of party spirit. His private character is highly amiable, and his intercourse with churchmen of both parties extensive and liberal. It will not be wondered at, that a man possessed of such virtues and of such high intellectual endowments, should unite in his favour the suffrages of political friends and political enemies, and that his voice should have considerable weight in the courts of that Church which boasts of him as her most eloquent and popular preacher.


This gentleman has long been distinguished in the Assembly by his useful talents for business, and his acquaintance with the constitution and rules of the Church. Without much merit as a speaker, he, nevertheless, always commands respect and attention, by the clearness of his statements, and the good order in which he marshals his arguments. His plain churchman-like manners and presence, and his unaffected style of delivery, eminently become the head of a College, and the occasional leader of a party. No man better knows the temper of the venerable house, or watches the progress and turn of a debate with more intelligence; and whenever he ventures to recommend a particular decision of a question, he seldom fails to carry a majority. It is, indeed, true, that the party with which he is connected usually forms, in itself, a majority of the Assembly; but when we consider what is certainly the case that there is less subordination and unanimity among the members of this party, than is to be remarked among the opposition; when we look at a numerous and increasing squadrone volante, which draws its recruits almost wholly from the moderate ranks; and when we consider, that in the Assembly there are many perfectly independent men, who seldom make up, or know how to make up, their minds on a question, till it is fully discussed, and who vote without reference to party,-when we consider all this, we are not to refuse credit to the tact and judgment of the man, who succeeds most frequently in directing the sense of the House. His policy is often, however, too timid and wavering to command the entire confidence of one, or the uniform respect of either party. In some of his healing motions-framed to catch the stray and the doubting the very spirit of his principles seems to evaporate. He certainly wants the firmness and manly confidence of a great leader. Still, many who object to him all this and more, would be sorry, we have no doubt, to see a more sturdy politician hazard, by frequent failures on individual questions, the general ascendency of his party; and many more would, if intrusted with the conduct of a party themselves, hesitate to incur the responsibility of those ultra measures from which they accuse the Principal of shrinking. Robertson, with all the weight of his talents and his fame, and Hill, with all the influence which his wisdom and grace

ful eloquence could command, were neither of them above that caution which party spirit will sometimes call timidity; and Dr Nicol, succeeding such men, does well perhaps, even in this respect, to stand in the third degree of comparison.

Dr Nicol has been elected a member of the existing Assembly, and on this account we have spoken of him in the present tense, though we grieve to say, that indisposition now deprives, and is likely in future to deprive, church courts of his useful and respectable talents.


Would evidently be the wit-we fear he is, in reality, only the jester-of the Assembly. The ready grin, and the loud laugh, waits on almost every sentence he utters; but then his person, and looks, and gestures, and tones, all partake the triumph with his matter and speech; and probably have, after all the principal share in the effect of his oratory. For whether he hit or miss -whether he speak sheer nonsense, or very passable sense-whether his humour be bastard or lawfully beg tten-the result is pretty much the same. Indeed, we have known a text of Scripture, delivered in his rich and very peculiar nasal tones, pass for an exceeding good jest. But we doubt whether Mr Carment does not, without any intention of his, impose a little both on himself and the world. With the former party, he evidently passes for a cleverer and a wiser man than he is ;-and with the latter, he has little credit for any thing but a fund of second-rate buffoonery. But, in point of fact, be is a person of some shrewdness, and not without a certain insight into the merits of a question. We have been sometimes struck with the exactness of his memory in matters of precedent, and all his jokes are not alike bad. But so long as he cultivates the reputation of a joker only, he must be content to take his stand even below his real, as we fear he always must below his own, valus



This gentleman is professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow. Remarkable for his extensive reading in all the branches of theological learning, and for skill and assiduity in the management of his class, he is advantageously known in church courts by the judgment and candour which he displays on most questions. As a speaker, he is pleasing and unaffected. There is a great appearance of seriousness and self-conviction in all his reasonings and statements, which cannot fail to recommend the man as well as his argument. He is somewhat of a precisian perhaps in his opinions, as well as in his mode of address; but a Calvinist and a professor of Divinity will easily be forgiven on this score. The respectability of his station and attainments pointed him out last year as a proper person for the Moderator's chair, which he filled with exemplary dignity and propriety.


Were a man's station as an orator to be determined by his general intellectual powers, we are not sure that there is any individual connected with our church who would be entitled to take precedence of Dr David Ritchie. No man reasons more closely, no man can expose a sophism more successfully, and few can follow out an argument through all its parts, with so much precision as this doughty logician. Accordingly, he never fails to distinguish himself when he has an opportunity of addressing the understanding upon some abstruse question, or when the argument rests upon some nice distinction which requires to be stated and explained. He thinks with clearness, and expresses himself correctly; he is seldom pathetic, never flighty. He neither at tempts to storm the affections of his audience by bursts of

passion, nor is he ever so much warmed by his own eloquence as to lose sight of a single link in the chain of his argument. His great fault as a speaker in church courts is, that he has no minute acquaintance with the

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