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Kay's Originals Vol. 1


304 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. Lord Craig never possessed a robust constitution, and fell into bad health several years before his death, which happened at Edinburgh on the 8th July 1813,.in the sixty-eighth year of his age. He resided for many years in George Square; but latterly removed to York Place. While Sheriff-depute of Ayrshire he chiefly occupied a house called Strathaird, on the banks of the Waterof- Ayr: No. CXXIII. MUNGO WATSON, BEADLE OF LADY YESTER’S CHURCH, ETC. MUNGO was a living chronicle of the Presbyterian Church, or rather of the passing events in what he called the religious world. He was keeper of the hall for the meetings of the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, beadle of Lady Yester‘s Church, and one of the door-keepers during the sittings of the General Assembly. Such a variety of official employments gave him every opportunity of acquiring early notice of what was going on, and enabled him to fill up the rest of his time profitably-for Mungo never lost sight of profit-as the following anecdote proves :-Mr. Black, the minister of Lady Yester’s Church, was perhaps the most popular preacher of his day; and strangers visiting the church generally gave a trifle to the beadle to procure a seat. A gentleman had con- It may perhaps be worthy of notice that Lord Craig was cousin-german of Mrs. Ill‘Lehose, the celebrated CLARINDAo f Burns, who is still living in Edinburgh, and was left an annuity by his lordship. We found her sitting in the parlour, with some papers on the table. Her appearance at first betrayed a little of that languor end apathy which attend age and solitude ; but the moment she comprehended the object of our visit, her countenance, which even yet retains the lineaments of what CZarinda may be supposed to have been, became animated and intelligent. “That,” said she, rising up and pointing to an engraving over the mantel-piece, “is a likeness of my relative (Lord Craig) about whom you have been inquiring. After a little further conversation about his lordship, she directed our attention to a picture of Burns, by Horsburgh after Taylor, on the opposite wall of the apartment. “You will know who that is-it was presented to me by Constable and Co. for having simply declared, what I knew to be true, that the likeness w a good.” We spoke of the correspondence betwixt the Poet and Clarinda, at which she smiled and pleasantly remarked on the great change which the lapse of so many years had produced on her personal appearance. Indeed, any observation respecting Burns seemed to afford her pleasure ; and she laughed at 8 little anecdote we told of him, which she had never before heard. Having prolonged our intrusion to the limits of courtesy, and conversed on various topics, we took leave of the venerable lady, highly gratified by the interview. To see and talk with one whose name is so indissolubly associated with the fame of Burns, and whose talents and virtues were so much esteemed by the bard-who has now been sleeping the sleep of death for upwarda of forty years-may well give rise to feelings of no ordinary description. Burns, she said, if still living, would have been much about her own age-probably a few mont,hs older. She is now nearly eighty years of age, but enjoys excellent health. He WBS the best friend I ever had” In youth Clarinda must have been about the middle size. Yeb. 24, 1837.
Volume 8 Page 425
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