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personality are found in this position, sionally there would be a stranger or there society has the benefit of a didactic two of distinction. Punctually a few use of these men incalculably more minutes before the hour the Doctor energetic and intimate than if they had would arrive among the gathered gronps been confined to authorship, or to that expecting him. His manner on arriving comparatively cooler exercise of personal was generally hurried and absent, and influence for which conversation in short he disappeared at once into his vestry flights with a few at a time affords or ante-room, there to put on his opportunity. Now, if we were to look gown, and his little white Geneva for the university whose history has bands, a pair of which he usually kept afforded the most striking illustra- in an odd brown-covered old volume of tions of this matchless advantage of the Leibnitz that lay handy for the purprofessorial system, what university pose on a side-table. Sometimes one would suggest itself sooner than that or two of the strangers would follow of Edinburgh? There may have been the Doctor into the vestry to bid other universities where till lately the him good morning before lecture, but drill in Latin and Greek, and the general he did not like the intrusion. Meanhabits of class-work, were more exact, while, the doors of the Hall having sound, and business-like. But there has been opened, the audience had entered been no university more conspicuously and filled it. It was more like a dingy fortunate in the possession always of, ill-contrived little chapel than a classsay two, or three, or four men simulta- room, having a gallery raised on iron neously, of the highest power, shedding pillars over the back rows of seats so as lustre over the whole body of their col- to darken them, and a pulpit opposite leagues, and exercising an influence this gallery rising to a level, with it. incalculably beyond that of ordinary The students, properly so called, the scholastic reckoning.
number of whom was from 100 to 130, Two or three and twenty years ago occupied the seats below, clear of and one of the great attractions in Edin- under the gallery; and in the comburgh University was the class-room of paratively empty gallery, not much Dr. Chalmers, called the Divinity Hall. minded of the Doctor, who generally It was on the right of the quadrangle, looked downwards to his students, sat immediately after entering through the the strangers of distinction and the portico from the street, and the access to military veterans. Emerging from the it was by a narrow flight of stone stairs vestry by its private entrance into the leading to a kind of stone-gallery looking Hall, the Doctor, now in his gown and upon the quadrangle. In this stone- bands, still rather hurried and absentgallery, or about the portico and quad- looking, mounted the pulpit, a sight for rangle, would be lounging at an early any physiognomist to see. Then genehour in the forenoon, waiting the doctor's rally, after a very brief prayer, which arrival, the members of his audience. he read from a slip of paper, but in such They were mostly young Scotsmen of from a way that you could hardly detect he eighteen to five-and-twenty, destined for was reading, the business of the hour the Scottish Kirk; but there was a con- began. Not unfrequently, however, it siderable sprinkling of young Irish Pres- would turn out that he had forgotten byterians, together with a group of oldish something, and, muttering some hasty military officers, who, after their service intimation to that effect instead of the in India or elsewhere, had settled for the expected first words of his prayerquiet evenings of their lives in Edin- once, I am told, it was this surprising burgh, and, partly to while away the communication, delivered with both his time, partly from a creditable interest in thumbs up to his mouth, “My artificial theological matters awakened at last in teeth have gone wrong"—he would their grizzled noddles, had taken to at- descend again from the pulpit and go tending Dr. Chalmers's lectures. Occa- back to his vestry. On such occasions
it was a chance if he did not come upon one or two late comers availing themselves of that quiet means of entrance, engaged while they did so in the interesting process of measuring their heads with his by furtively examining and trying on his vast hat. Suppose all right, however, and the lecture tegun. It was a perfectly unique performance-every lecture a revelation, though within so small and dingy a chapel, of all that the world at large had come to wonder at in Chalmers. For the most part he sat and read, either from his manuscript or from some of his printed books, from which he had a most dexterous art of helping himself to relevant passages-sat and read, however, with such a growing excitement of voice and manner that whether he was reading or not reading was never thought of. But every now and then he would interrupt his reading, and, standing up, and catching off his spectacles so that they hung from his little finger, he would interject, with much gesticulation, and sometimes with a flushing of the face, and an audible stamping of the foot, some little passage of extempore exposition or outburst. No one lecture passed in which the class was not again and again agitated by one of those nervous shocks which came from Chalmers's oratory whenever and about whatsoever he spoke in other public places. Clamours of applause had, indeed, become habitual in the class room ; and, as, in spite of their apparent indecorousness in such a place, they were justifiable by the audience on the plain principle, “If you lecture like that, then we must listen like this," he had been obliged to let them occur. Only at the natural moments, however, would he tolerate such interruptions. He was sensitive to even a whisper at other times, and kept all imperiously hushed by an authority that did not need to assert itself. To describe the matter of his lectures would be more difficult than to give an idea of their form. It was called Theology, and there certainly was a due attempt to go over the topics of a theological course,
with frequent references to Butler, Paley, Jonathan Edwards, the Theologia Elenctica of Turretin, and, by way of general text-book, to Dr. George Hill's Lectures in Divinity. But really it was a course of Chalmers himself, and of Chalmers in all his characters. Within two or three consecutive sessions, if not in one, every listener was sure to be led so completely and with so much commotion through the whole round of Chalmers's favourite ideas, that, if he remained ignorant of any one of them or unsaturated with some tincture of them all, it could only be because he was a miracle of impassiveness. But through all and over all was the influence of a nature morally so great that by no array and exposition of its ideas, repeated never so often, could it be exhausted, and by no inventory of them represented. Merely to look at him day after day was a liberal education.
One of Chalmers's colleagues in the Theological Faculty of the University (in which faculty there were then but three professors in all) was a certain clerical old gentleman, with a great squab bald head, fat pinkish-white cheeks, portly and punctiliously clean general appearance, and very fat calves neatly encased in black stockings, who professed to teach the Oriental languages. Considering the little I have to say of him, I need not name him ; but we used to call him sometimes “The Rabbi,” in compliment to his Orientalism generally, and sometimes “Waw," from a certain occult idea of the fitness of the name of one of the Hebrew letters, as pronounced by himself, to represent the total worth of his existence. How so fat-faced and placid a man, in such specklessly-clean linen and apparel, should have been so near an approach to Inutility personified, I do not know; but to this day, when I think of the matter, it is one of the most baffling problems that have come across me personally, what reason there was, I will not say for the Rabbi's existence on earth, but for his existence in the position of Professor of Oriental Languages in the University of Edinburgh. He
had been appointed to the post as long have been acquired by six evenings of ago as 1813, and I suppose there were sleepy inspection of the Hebrew grammar then some authorities whose business it and the Hebrew Bible at home. What was to make such appointments. It do I remember of the class? I rewas within our knowledge also that he member the Rabbi in his chair, looking was the widower of a lady who had listless and placidly-peevish, as if he been of some distinction as a novelist thought the whole thing a discomfort, at a time when lady-novelists were rarer and wanted to be home to his cats. I than they are now, that he cherished remember the insipidity of the Hebrew her memory in his old age with a fond according to his wretched system of proand faithful affection, and that, in his nunciation, which neglected the points, own house, he was a kindly, innocent stuck in an indefinite sound of the old gentleman, who had one or two pet vowel e between every two consecutive cats and fed them at his breakfast-table. consonants, and made the great unutterMoreover he had been a parish-clergy. able name sound as a series of the man-in which capacity, for aught I feeblest human vowels, IEUE. I know, he may have been most exemplary remember that, with one or two exand worthy of all respect. I speak of ceptions, easy to be accounted for apart him only as Professor of Oriental from the Rabbi's influence, none of us, Languages; and, in the conjoint names when called up to read to the Rabbi, of Gesenius, Renan, and Max Müller, I could construe or translate three lines will have my say about the Rabbi, dead of Hebrew, unless he had a torn leaf though he is, in this capacity. For thirty- of the English Bible clandestinely infive years he was the man upon whom the serted in the Hebrew volume by way of Kirk of Scotland depended, so far as the help. I remember, in short, that it metropolitan university was concerned, was a disgust and weariness to us all, for the teaching of Hebrew, Syriac, and that from no fault of our own, but Chaldee, and Persic. I forget whether from a perfectly just estimate of the Arabic was included in his course, but possibilities here afforded us by a great it is all the same whether it was or was university, for fees which we had paid not. As for the Syriac, the Chaldee, down, of learning what we were comand the Persic, if the Syriac, Chaldee, pelled at least to profess to learn within and Persic alphabets had been written its walls. Perhaps my own most vivid out on pieces of paper, and these pieces recollections of the Rabbi's class-room of paper had been steeped in a bucket are of letters to friends which I wrote of water, and each student of the Rabbi's in it, by way of an economy of time had drunk a tumblerful of the water, that would otherwise have been useless, that would have been about the meta- and of a large course of reading, on the phorical measure of the Syriac, the same principle, in books of witchcraft, Chaldee, and the Persic that the Rabbi which I took with me for the purpose, contrived to impart. But take the beginning with Defoe's “ History of Hebrew, on which naturally would be the Devil.” In justice to myself, I must laid the stress. We were, I can answerbeg the reader to believe that, from for it, a docile set of students, willing, mere respect for routine, I would have and even eager, to learn anything that given the work of the class the preoffered itself with a touch of human ference, had I been able to see there interest; and we were bound by rule was any. Now there would be no to attend the Rabbi two years. Yet need for such behaviour. The opporI undertake to say, with the most tunities of instruction in Hebrew and literal exactness, that, so far as it de- its cognates now furnished by the Scotpended on attendance on the Rabbi tish Universities are as good, I believe, during these two years, all that was as any in the kingdom ; and in Edinacquired, or that it was possible to burgh University there has been reacquire, of Hebrew scholarship might cently founded, in addition to the gene
ral chair for the Oriental languages, a minister for several years of one of the special chair for Sanscrit.
parishes of Glasgow, and before that The remaining colleague of Dr. again minister of the retired country Chalmers, using the same class-room as parish of Crossmichael in Kirkcudthe Rabbi, but at a different hour, and brightshire. for a class much more numerous and a The most notable portion of Welsh's thousand times more radiant, was Dr. life, and that on account of which many David Welsh, Professor of Ecclesiastical who might have cared little for his History. Of this man there remains a clerical quality would have looked at fine and high, if not a wide, memory him with interest, had been the ten among his countrymen, and most justly years of his youth, from 1810 to 1820, 80. He was considerably the youngest before he had been appointed to Crossof the three colleagues, being, at the michael parish. During these ten years time of which I speak, forty-six or forty- he had been on terms of the most familiar seven years of age. He was a thin, spare, friendship with Dr. Thomas Brown, the weak-chested man, of middle height, or metaphysician. He had first seen Brown less, with a delicately blond complexion in the winter of 1809-10, when Brown and scanty light hair, a finely-shaped for the second time did temporary duty head of the erect type, a grave expression for Dugald Stewart in the Moral Phiof countenance, and a peculiar habit of losophy class in Edinburgh University. knitting his brows and corrugating his Welsh was then a lad of sixteen, up in eye-lids as he spoke, but very capable of Edinburgh from his native Dumfriesa kindly laugh, which ran over his face shire to attend the classes, and with a like a gleam, and was accompanied by a particularly keen taste for logical and flash of his upper teeth. His appearance, philosophical studies. Brown at once and especially his narrow chest, indi captivated him. He was one of those, cated precarious health, and indeed it of whom there were many, that so much was known that from his youth he had relished Brown's new, brilliant, and given signs of pulmonary weakness, and analytical style of metaphysics as to be that more recently he had been warned almost sorry when Stewart resumed duty, of heart disease. Although on these and proportionately glad when, in the grounds he had to take precautions which following session, Brown was formally made him more of a recluse than was appointed colleague to Stewart, thencenatural for one in his position, and, forward to do the whole work, while although in particular the exercise of Stewart lived on as a sleeping partner. speaking was difficult for him, the result Would not the day of Stewart and his as regarded his class was no impairing of sober metaphysics of the old school be his efficiency, but only some peculiarities over, and was not the era of a new and in bis manner as a lecturer. He hardly more daringly Whig metaphysics about trusted at all to extempore discourse, to begin ? Such were the expectations and in any attempt of the kind hesitated. of many ardent young men about Edinand stammered, and kept up a dry clear- burgh, in what happened, at any rate, ing of his throat, and prolonging of to be the great comet year, 1811. An syllable after syllable, that would have eminent surviving friend of Welsh rebeen painful but for his always hitting members how, going then as a boy in on something right and emphatic at last. the evenings to see young Welsh in his In reading there was not of course this lodgings and receive lessons from him, painful hesitation, and the labour which he used, in passing through George the act of sufficiently loud speaking then Square, to look up with never-ceasing cost him only imparted a sense of his wonder at the great shining meteor conscientious earnestness, and sometimes taking up such a space in the heavens. an effect as of eloquence. He had been By that time Welsh had attained the appointed to the Church-History chair in desire of his heart in becoming privately the year 1831, having been before that acquainted with Brown; and, during
No. 62.-VOL. XI.
the remainder of Brown's life, Welsh, gradually advancing from the stage of a student of Divinity to that of a licensed preacher or probationer of the Scottish Kirk, was continually in the company of the brilliant metaphysician. Every other evening, when in Edinburgh, he would be one of the family-party around Brown's tea-table, hearing his cheerful talk with his mother and sisters, and so much one of them as to be consulted even abont those poems of Brown which he published in succession about this time, and which he read before publication to none outof his own household. “Penitus domi inspexi” is Welsh's description of the degree of his intimacy with his celebrated friend and senior, in words quoted from Pliny the younger where he speaks of a like friendship of his, “Penitus “ domi inspexi, amarique ab eo laboravi, " etsi non erat laborandum. Erat enim “obvius et expositus, plenusque huma"pitate quam præcepit. Atque utinam “sic ipse spem quam de me concepit im"pleverim ut,” &c. What may have been the nature of the hope which Brown had formed of Welsh's future career can only be guessed. When Brown died of consumption at Brompton, in April, 1820, at the age of forty-two, his surviving friend-who had been the last to bid him farewell in Edinburgh, and who always remembered the sad leave-taking as one of the greatest griefs of his life—was but a youth of six-and-twenty, a probationer of the Scottish Kirk, whose sole appearances in any character of his own had been in a few stray writings for periodicals. His real outfit for the future was his enthusiasm for Brown, and the reputation which descended to him of having been Brown's friend. These he carried with him, in 1821, to the country parish of Crossmichael, but, at the same time, a strong interest in phrenology, as then taken up and expounded in Edinburgh by Messrs. George and Andrew Combe. In phrenology he had þegun to discern the promise of a science that should corroborate some of Brown's psychological speculations, and even lend a new method for the study of the human mind.
Of a family in which the strong Scottish form of piety was hereditary, and being also sincerely“Evangelical” in his views of Christian theology, Welsh was able, in his parish of Crossmichael, to combine, to an extent that might have been thought difficult beforehand, the character of a zealous and devout pastor of “ Evangelical” sentiments with that of a worshipping disciple of Brown's philosophy and a seeker after light even in the new cerebral physiology of Gall and the Combes. He was known also, generally, as a young clergyman of scholarly tastes, and more fastidious than usual in his efforts after a classical English style. Of his intellectual and literary qualities the public had the means of judging when he published, in 1825, that biography of Brown which had for some time been expected from him. It was an octavo volume, entitled, Account of the Life and Writings of Thomas Brown, M.D., late Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh. The shorter memoir of Brown, prefixed to all the late editions of his Lectures, is an abridgment of this volume, made for the purpose by Welsh himself. The book is really a very good specimen of philosophical or literary biography, not in any way rich or striking, but careful, dignified, affectionate, and conveying a sufficiently distinct image of Brown personally. The phrenological leanings of the work appearing only casually in the notes, the credit which Welsh derived from it was of a general kind. He had thoughts of following it up with a Treatise on Logic, but before that intention could take effect he was removed from Crossmichael to Glasgow. He had been but three or four years in Glasgow when the Church-History chair in Edinburgh fell vacant. The Melbourne ministry, on the strong recommendation of Chalmers, appointed Welsh to the chair. Jeffrey, in announcing the appointment to Chalmers, stated that it had been made expressly in deference to his wishes; but on other grounds it was such an appointment as a Whig ministry might have been expected to make. Welsh was, and re