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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


206 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Ainslie Place. To the philosopher we have already referred in our account of Lothian Hut, in the Horse Wynd. In 1792 he published the first volume of the ?Philosophy of the Human Mind,? and in the following year he read before the Royal Society of Edinburgh his account of the life and writings of Adam Smith.; and his other works are too wellknown to need enumeration here. On the death of his wife, in 1787, he married Helen D?Arcy Cranstoun, daughter of the Hon. George Cranstoun, who, it is said, was his equal in intellect, if superior in blood. She was the sister of the Countess Purgstall (the subject of Basil Hall?s ? Schloss Hainfeldt ?) and of Lord Corehouse, the tiiend of Sir Walter Scott. Though the least beautiful of a family iq which beauty is hereditary, she had (according to the Quarter& Review, No. 133) the best essence of beauty, expression, a bright eye beaming with intelligence, a manner the most distinguished, yet soft, feminine, and singularly winning. On her illfavoured Professor she doted with a love-match devotion; to his studies and night lucubrations she sacrificed her health and rest; she was his amanuensis and corrector at a time when he was singularly fortunate in his pupils, who never forgot the charm of her presence, the instruction they won, and the society they enjoyed, in the house of Dugald Stewart Among these were the Lords Dudley, Lansdowne, Palmerston, Kinnaird, and Ashburton. In all his after-life he maintained a good fellowship with them, and, in 1806, obtained the sinecure office of Gazefie writer for Scotland, with A600 per annum. Her talent, wit, and beautymade the wife of the Professor one of the most attractive women in the city. ?( No wonder, therefore,? says the Quarfero, ?that her saloons were the resort of all that was the best of Edinburgh, the house to which strangers most eagerly sought introduction. In her Lord Dudley found indeed a friend, she was to him in the place of a mother. His respect for her was unbounded, and continued to the close; often have we seen him, when she was stricken in years, seated near her for whole evenings, clasping her hand in both of his. Into her faithful ear he poured his hopes and his fears, and unbosomed his inner soul ; and with her he maintained a constant correspondence to the last.? Her marriage with the Professor came about in a singular manner. When Miss Cranstoun, she had written a poem, which was accidentally shown by her cousin, the Earl of Lothian, to Dugald Stewart, then his private tutor, and unknown to fame ; and ?he was so enraptured with it, and so warm in his commendations, that the authoress and her critic fell in love by a species of second-sight, before their first interview, and in due time were made one. Dugald Stewart died at his house in Ainslie Place, on Wednesday, the 11th June, 1828, after a short but painful illness, when in the seventy-fifth year of his age, having been born in the old College of Edinburgh in 1753, when his father was professor of mathematics. His long life had been devoted to literature and science. He had acquired a vast amount of information, profound as it was exact, and possessed the faculty of memory in a singular degree. As a public teacher he was fluent, animated, and impressive, with great dignity and grace in his manner. He was buried in the Canongate churchyard. The funeral procession proceeded as a private one from Ainslie Place at, three in the afternoon ; but on reaching the head of the North Bridge it was joined by the Senatus Academicus in their gowns (preceded by the mace bearer) two and two, the junior members in front, the Rev. Principal Baird in the rear, together with the Lord Provost, magistrates and council, with their officers and regalia. He left a widow and two children, a son and daughter, the former of whom, Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Stewart, published an able pamphlet on Indian affairs. His widow, who holds a high place among writers of Scottish song, survived him ten years, dying in July, 1838. The Very Rev. Edward Bannerman Ramsay, LL.D. and F.R.S.E., a genial writer on several subjects, but chiefly known for his ? Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character,? was long the occupant of No. 23. He was the fourth son of Sir Alexander Ramsay, Bart., of Balmaine, in Kincardineshire, and was a graduate of St. John?s College, Cambridge. His degree of LL.D. was given him by the University of Edinburgh, on the installation of Mr. Gladstone as Lord Rector in 1859. He held English orders, and for seven years had been a curate in Somersetshire. His last and most successful contribution to literature was derived from his long knowledge of Scottish character. He was for many years Dean of the Episcopal Church in Scotland, and as a Churchman he always advocated moderate opinions, both in ritual and doctrine. He died on the 27th December, 1872, in the seventy-ninth year of hi5 age. In the summer of 1879 amemorial to his memory was erected at the west end of Princes Street, eastward of St. John?s Church, wherein he so long officiated. It is a cross of Shap granite, twenty-six feet in height, having a width of eight feet six inches from end to end of the arms. At the height .
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G d Stuart St~et.1 PROFESSOR AYTOUN. 207 of sixteen feet there spring curves which bend round into the arms, while between those arms and the upright shaft are carried four arcs, having a diameter of six feet. On each of its main faces the cross is divided into panels, in which are inserted bronze basreliefs, worked out, like the whole design, from drawings by R. Anderson, A.R.S.A. Those occupying the head and arms of the cross represent the various stages of our Lord?s Passion, the Resurrection and the Ascension; in another series of six, placed thus on either side of the shaft, are set forth the acts of charity, while the large panels in the base are filled in with sculptured ornament of the fine twelfth-century type, taken from Jedburgh abbey. Three senators of the College of Justice have had their abodes in Ainslie Place-Lord Barcaple, raised to the bench in 1862, Lord Cowan, a judge of 1851, and George Cranstoun, Lord Corehouse, the brother of Mrs. Dugald Stewart, who resided in No. 12. This admirable judge was the son of the Hon. George Cranstoun of Longwarton, and Miss Brisbane of that ilk. He was originally intended for the army, but passed as advocate in 1793, and was Dean of Faculty in 1823, and succeeded to the bench on the death of Lord Hermand, three years after. He was the author of the famous Court of Session jeu rFespn2, known as ?The Diamond Beetle Case,? an amusing and not overdrawn caricature of the judicial style, manners, and language, of the judges of a bygone time. He took his judicial title from the old ruined castle of Corehouse, near the Clyde, where he had built a mansion in the English style. He was an excellent Greek scholar, and as such was a great favourite with old Lord Monboddo, who used to declare that Cranstoun was the only scholar in all Scotland,? the scholars in his opinion being all on the south side of the Tweed. He w& long famed for being the beau-ideal of a judge; placid and calm, he listened to even the longest debates with patience, and was an able lawyer, especially in feudal questions, and his opinions were always received with the most profound respect. Great Stuart Street leads from Ainslie Place into Randolph Crescent,which faces the Queensfeny Road, and has in it3 gardens some of the fine old trees which in former times adorned the Earl of Moray?s park. In No. 16 of the former street lived and died, after his removal from No. I, Inverleith Terrace, the genial and. patriotic author of the Lays of t h e . Scottish Cavaliers,? a Scottish humourist of a very high class. William Edmondstoune Aytoun, Professor of Rhetoric in the University of Edinburgh, was born in 1813, of a fine old Fifeshire family, and in the course of his education at one of the seminaries of his native capital, he became dis tinguished among his contemporaries for his powers of Latin and English composition, and won a prize for a poem on ?( Judith.? In his eighteenth year he published a volume entitled Poland and other Poems,? which attracted little attention ; but after he was called to the bar, in 1840, he became one of the standing wits of the Law Courts, yet, save as a counsel in criminal cases, he did not acquire forensic celebrity as an advocate. Five years afterwards he was presented to the chair of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres in the University, and became a leading contributor to Blackwoofls Magazine, in which his famous LL Lays,? that have run through so many editions, first appeared. Besides these, he was the author of many brilliant pieces in the Book of Ballads,? by Bon Gaultier, a name under which he and Sir Theodore Martin, then a solicitor in Edinburgh, contributed to various periodicals. In April, 1849, he married Jane Emily Wilson, the youngest daughter of Christopher North,? in whose class he had been as a student in his early years, a delicate and pretty little woman, who predeceased him. In the summer of 1853 he delivered a series of lectures on ?Poetry and Dramatic Literature,? in Willis?s Rooms, to such large and fashionable audiences as London alone can produce ; and to his pen is ascribed the mock-heroic tragedy of Firrnilian,? designed to ridicule, as it did, the rising poets of ?? The Spasmodic School.? With all his brilliance as a humourist, Aytoun was unsuccessful as a novelist, and his epic poem ?Bothaell,? written in 16 Great Stuart Street, did not bring him any accession of fame. In his latter years, few writers on the Conservative side rendered more effective service to their party than Professor Aytoun, whom, in 1852, Lord Derby rewarded With the offices of Sheriff and Vice-Admiral of Orkney. Among the many interesting people who frequented the house of the author of ?The Lays? few were more striking than an old lady of strong Jacobite sentiments, even in this prosaic age, Miss Clementina Stirling Graham, of Duntrune, well worthy of notice here, remarkable for her historical connections as for her great age, as she died in her ninety-fifth year, at Duntrune, in 1877. Born in the Seagate of Dundee, in 1782, she was the daughter of Stirling of Pittendreich, Forfar
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