memoir of robert chambers

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. SETTLING IN EDINBURGH — 1813-1814. TJ AMILIES falling by misfortune into straitened cir- -- cumstances, of course lose many old friends and acquaintances, at least as far as familiar personal intercourse is concerned. This loss, though often the subject of sorrowful and angry remark, is not an unmitigated evil. Sympathy is doubtless due throughout all perplexing social distinctions ; gracious are the acts of a true friend ; kindness to the unfortunate will ever command approbation ; but let us not forget that it is better for personal intimacies to suffer some modification, than for the impoverished to lose self-respect and become dependent on a system of habitual condescension. It seems hard to take this view of the matter, but I fear that on no other basis can the indigent aspire to be the associates of the affluent. Could matters be seen rightly, they would appear to be as well ordered in this as in other things which concern our welfare. Happily, the defection, real or apparent, of old friends is not uncompensated. Sinking into a lower sphere, a new and hitherto undiscovered region is disclosed. A higher class, as we are apt to feel, has cruelly turned its back on us : but we are received with open arms by a very good and agreeable sort of people, in whose moderate incomes, and, it may be, misfortunes and struggles, we feel the pleasures of fellowship. The Vicar of WakeSETTLING IN EDINBURGH. 65 field, it will be recollected, did not find the jail such a bad thing after all. My parents, on settling in Edinburgh, may be presumed to have found consolations of this nature. According to immemorial usage, families with limited means from the southern counties of Scotland, who seek a home in the capital, sagaciously pitch on one of the second-rate streets ...
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