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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 .
Volume 4 Page 206
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