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of the exquisite pleasure which you experience from every act of benevolence, especially when you are the instrument of promoting merit, no one, to whom you have been as long known as to myself, can entertain a doubt. There are few instances of persons so highly preferred as Your Grace, who have at the same time excited so little envy. Among the candid and judicious your honours cannot appear to be undeserved. Your works as a Divine are before the public, and have been justly appreciated: your merits as a Professor, particularly in the revival and elucidation of a long-neglected branch of the Shemitic dialects, are not less known in foreign Universities than in our own : and your name will long be cherished with reverence and affection in the province, over which you now preside,
on account of that tolerant and conciliating spirit in matters of religious controversy, which
have steadily maintained amidst the clamour of
angry polemics, and which the legislative authority of this country has at length been disposed to sanction and adopt.
Your faithful servant,
Dec. 21, 1829.
ALEXANDER NICOLL, D.C.L. &c.
ALEXANDER NICOLL, youngest son of Mr. John Nicoll, of Monymusk, in the Shire of Aberdeen, was born on the 3d of April, 1793, and at an early age was sent by his father to the parochial school of his native village. The benefits which the people of Scotland have for more than two centuries derived from those excellent institutions, the parochial schools, are perhaps neither generally understood, nor duly estimated, by their southern neighbours. On such moderate terms as place them within the reach of nearly all ranks, young persons
are in these seminaries instructed not only in reading, writing, arithmetic, and such branches of knowledge as will qualify them for the departments of trade and commerce, but may also acquire somewhat more than merely the elements of classical literature; and it is certain that, with an education not more extensive than that which was obtained at these schools, many have emigrated to England and other countries, where they have advanced themselves to situations of opulence and honour.
It was to the school above mentioned that the subject of this narrative was indebted for his first acquaintance with the Latin tongue, on the study of wbich he entered in the month of July, 1800; and in the same month of the year 1805 was removed to the grammar school of Aberdeen, where he remained till the commencement of the session at the Marischall College in November following. At the close of the session it appears that a contest usually