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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. IV


208 OLD AND NEW EDINBURGH. [Great Stuart Street. shire, and of Amelia, daughter of Alexander Graham, of Duntrune, who died in 1804 and was thus the last lineal representative of Claverhouse. In addition to her accomplishments, she possessed wit and invention in a high degree, and was always lively, kind, and hospitable. She had a keen perception of the humorous, and was well known in Edinburgh society in the palmy days of Jeffrey. Gifted with great powers of mimicry, her personifications at private parties were so unique, that even those who knew her best were deceived. One of the most amusing of these took place in 18z1, at the house of Jeffrey. He asked her to give a personation of an old lady, to which she consented, but, in order to have a little amusement at his expense, she called upon him in the character of a ? Lady Pitlyal,? to ask his professional opinion upon an imaginary law plea, which she alleged her agent was misconducting. On this occasion she drove up to his house in? the carriage of Lord Gillies, accompagood humour. Her conversation, so far as I have had the advantage of hearing it, is shrewd and sensible, but noways brilliant. She dined with us, went off as to the play, and returned in the character of an old Scottish lady. Her dress and behaviour were admirable, and her conversation unique. I was in the secret of course, and did my best to keep up the ball, but she cut me out of all feather. The prosing account she gave of her WILLIAM EDMONSTOUNE AYTOUN. (F7m a Ph&-ra#h ay MCSSYX. Ross and Tbmsa.) nied by a young lady as her daughter, and so complete was the personification, that the acute Jeffrey did not discover till next day that he had been duped ! This episode created so much amusement in Edinburgh that it fdund its way into the pages of Blachood. Sir Walter Scott, who was a spectator of Miss Graham?s power of personation, wrote thus regarding it :- Went to my Lord Gillies to dinner, and witnessed a singular exhibition of personification. Miss Stirling Graham, a lady of the family from which Claverhouse was descended, looks like thuty years old, and has a face of the Scottish cast, with good expression, in point of good sense and ? March 7. son, the antiquary, who found an old ring in a slate quarry, was extremely ludicrous, and she puzzled the professor of agriculture with a merci!ess account of the succession of crops in the parks around her old mansion house. No person to whom the secret was not entrusted had the least guess of an impostor, except the shrewd young lady present, who.observed the hand narrowly, and saw that it was plumper than the age of the lady seemed to warrant. This lady and Miss Bell, of Coldstream, have this gift of personation to a much greater degree than any person I ever saw.? Miss Graham published in 1S29 the ?Bee Preserver,? translated from the work of M. de Gelieu, for which she received the medal of the Highland Society. She possessed a large circle of friends, and never had an enemy. Her friend William Edmondstoune Aytoun died on the 4th August, 1865, sincerely regretted by all who knew him, and now lies under a white marble monument in the beautiful cemetery at the Dean. Charles Baillie, Lord Jerviswoode, who may well be deemed by association one of the last of the historical Lords of Session, for years was the occupant of No. 14, Randolph Crescent, and his name is one which awakens many sad and gentle
Volume 4 Page 208
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