THE editor of Kay’s Portraits gives the following account of a personal interview with Clarinda:-
“We found her sitting in the parlour (24 Feb, 1837) with some papers on the table. Her appearance at first betrayed a little of that langour and 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 Clarinda 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 enquiring. He was the best friend I ever had.
After a little further conversation about his lordship, she directed our attention to a picture of Burns, by Horsburgh after Tylor, on the opposite wall of the apartment.
‘You will know who that is – it was presented to me by Constable & Co. for having simply declared what I knew to be true – that the likeness was 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, my observations respecting Burns seemed to afford her pleasure, and she laughed at a little anecdote we told of him which she never before heard. Having prolonged out intrusion to the limits of courtesy, and conversed on various topics, we took leave of the venerable lady, highly gratified by the interview. In youth, Clarinda must have been about the middle size. Burns, she said, if still living, would have been much about her own age, probably a few months older.”