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tinguish between such a silly, contemptible dignity and that dignity which is never offended but when it has just grounds of offence; and though I have a strong feeling of such a distinction, yet I don't feel that it is incumbent on me to speak, when by so doing I am exposed to careless, neglectful answers, and would show that I gladly catch at the honour of their conversation. My present treatment has given me a disgust at the situation of a tutor. I can assure you that my place at present is not nearly so eligible or respectable as the schoolmaster's at Anster. I know that I could be in that situation, but I know likewise that it would hurt you and my other friends, and I shall be far removed from you before I enter into such a situation.-I am, yours affectionately,
Matters grew worse as the summer months rolled on. Though at first disposed to favour one so zealously bent on the careful training of his children, his employer, won over at last by the predominating female influence, passed into the ranks of the enemy. The very servants, catching the spirit which prevailed elsewhere, were disposed to be insolent. The whole combined household were at war with him. The undaunted tutor resolved nevertheless to act his part with dignity and effect. Remonstrances were vain. To the wrong they did him in dismissing him, when company came, to his own room, they would apply no remedy. He devised therefore a remedy of his own. He was living near a town in which, through means of introductions given him by Fifeshire friends, he had already formed some acquaintances. Whenever he knew that there was to be a supper from which he would be excluded, he ordered one in a neighbouring inn, to which he invited one or more of his own friends. To make his purpose all the more manifest, he waited till the servant entered with his solitary repast, when he ordered it
away, saying, "I sup elsewhere to-night." elsewhere to-night." Such curiouslytimed tutorship suppers were not very likely to be relished by Mr., who charged him with unseemly and unseasonable pride." Sir," said he, "the very servants are complaining of your haughtiness. You have far too much pride." are two kinds of pride, sir," was the reply. "There is that pride which lords it over inferiors; and there is that pride which rejoices in repressing the insolence of superiors. The first I have none of the second I glory in." It is not probable that the charge was repeated. Having obtained the hearty acquiescence of his father, he announced his intention to quit. the situation whenever the term of his engagement should expire. According to the terms of that engagement he was to be allowed three months at St. Andrews; but if he went as he intended at Christmas, he might have been required to give six weeks after the termination of the session. Mr. Chalmers was willing to return if his employer wished, but it was not insisted on. He left the family about the end of the year, and reached St. Andrews in the beginning of January 1799. Soon after his return, he applied to the Presbytery of St. Andrews to be admitted to his examination preparatory to his obtaining a license as a preacher of the gospel. Some difficulties were raised against its being received. He had not completed his nineteenth year, whereas presbyteries were not wont to take students upon probationary trials till they had attained the age of twenty-one. It happily occurred that one of his friends in the Presbytery fell upon the old statute of the Church, which ordains, "that none be admitted to the ministry before they be twenty-five years of age, except such as for rare and singular qualities shall be judged by the General and Provincial Assembly to be meet and worthy thereof." Under cover of the last clause of this statute, and translating its more dignified phraseology into terms of commoner use, his friend pleaded for Mr. Chalmers'
reception as "a lad o' pregnant pairts." The plea was admitted; and after the usual formalities, he was licensed as a preacher of the gospel on the 31st July 1799. It was one of the tales of his earlier life which he was in the habit in later years of playfully repeating, that such a title had been so early given to him, and such a dispensation as to age had been granted.
FAMILY HISTORY-FIRST SERMON-TWO SESSIONS AT EDINBURGHPROFESSORS PLAYFAIR, HOPE, STEWART, AND ROBISON-ASSISTANTSHIP AT CAVERS-MATHEMATICAL ASSISTANTSHIP AT ST.
No strong desire was shown to exercise the privilege thus conferred. Without even waiting to discharge the customary duty of preaching for one of the ministers within the bounds of the Presbytery which had licensed him, Mr. Chalmers set out on a second visit to England. This abrupt departure was due in part to the attractive prospect of a family reunion. It was possible that five-and nearly certain that four-brothers, who had not seen each other for years, would meet at Liverpool. James, the eldest brother, who was eight years older than Thomas, was now married and established there in business. George, the second brother, who was three years older than Thomas, had gone to sea in his seventeenth year, and had already visited both the East and West Indies. The unfortunate career and untimely fate of William, the third brother, threw one of the earliest and darkest shadows over the household at Anstruther. He was but a year and a half older than Thomas. Destined for one of the learned professions, he had been two sessions-those of 1791-2, 1792-3—at the University of St. Andrews. The two brothers, William and Thomas, lodged together, and helped each other to be idler than perhaps either of them would have been alone. In May 1793, William was apprenticed to Mr. Young, a writer to the signet in Edinburgh. Here he was as inattentive to the duties of the desk as at St. Andrews he had been to those
of the class-room. Too often when a law-paper should have been completed, he was off to some boating excursion at Leith. Mr. Young was at last obliged to inform Mr. Chalmers of the conduct of his son; and the sad intelligence drew forth the following affectionate remonstrance:
"ANSTRUTHER, 30th December, 1793.
"MY DEAR WILLIAM,-I wrote you last week, and have none of yours now to reply to; but have had a letter to which I am obliged to reply, and a very painful task it was to me to do so. I do not mean either to rail on or to abuse you; but desire, with soberness and affection, to expostulate with you. The letter I mention was from Mr. John Young, who regrets the necessity he was under of informing me of your inattention to your business; of your treating his entreaties and orders with neglect and contempt; of your absenting yourself whole days, even weeks, without any reason or apology; and that as he cannot trust to your attendance, he can only reckon you as a supernumerary hand; and as no application is given by you, it is not possible you can reap any benefit. Now, my dear Willie, the remedy is only with yourself; and I really think you may have resolution enough to accomplish it. The consideration of your friends, and your own interest, I should think reasons sufficiently strong to urge you to it. You are Mr. Young's legal apprentice. The penalty on your failure I am liable to pay. Every day you absent yourself, you are liable to serve two for it at the end of your apprenticeship. After all that has happened, I still hope you may do well. As you tender the authority and regard of a father, the affection of your mother-the peace and comfort of both parents, brothers, sisters, and relations—as you regard your future prosperity in life, and the authority of God, who commands obedience and respect to earthly masters, I beseech you, my dear son, to leave off