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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


412 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. respective literatures. These young men are said to have entered into an agreement to promote the advancement of one another in life to the utmost of their power ; and though there was a degree of singularity in the compact, and perhaps no real increase from it in the disposition to serve each other, it is certain that individually all the three parties mentioned could ascribe important advantages to the good offices of one or other in that association. The merits of Mr, Baird early secured for him the friendship and patronage of the Professors. In 1784 he was recommended by Professor Dalzel as tutor to the family of Colonel Blair of Blair ; but this situation he relinquished on obtaining, through the influence of his former class-fellow, Mr. Finlayson, the more important one of minister of Dunkeld-a step which, resulting from the honourable circumstances connected with his career at College, was the fortunate precursor of others of greater consequence. In 1786 Mr. Baird received license from the Presbytery of Linlithgow; and the following year was ordained to the parish of Dunkeld, to which charge he had been presented by the Duke of Atholl. Here he remained for several years, living as an inmate of the Duke’s family, and at the same time superintending the education of his Grace’s three sons, the last survivor of whom was the late Lord Glenlyon. In 1789 he received an unsolicited presentation to the parish of Lady Yester’s, Edinburgh, which, upon the earnest entreaty of the Duke and Duchess of Atholl, he declined. He was transferred, however, to the New Greyfriars’ Edinburgh in 1’792 ; and, at the same time, appointed to the Chair of Oriental Languages in the University. In 1779 he was translated to the New North Church, as successor to Dr. Hardie, and colleague to Dr. Gloag ; and to the High Church, in 1801, as successor to Dr. Blair, and colleague to Dr. Finlayson j and in this charge he officiated with Dr. Gordon as colleague. No. CCCX PROVOST ELDER AND PRINCIPAL BAIRD. AN important event in the life of Dr. Baird was his appointment to the Principality of the University of Edinburgh in 1793. The presidency of such an institution, requiring less the vigour and enterprise of youth, than that the established reputation of the seminary should be upheld by the wisdom of years, naturally associates itself with grey hairs and ripened experience. The nomination of a young man, not more than thirty-three years of age, did not well accord with this view, and was the more offensive when it was recollected that so venerable a person as Dr. Blab was connected with the University;
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