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284 SIR JAMES liOSWEI.I..

secretly defamed his kinsman, Mr. James Stuart, of Dunearn, "with whom he had long been on good terms." Though the articles were written in a disguised hand, the authorship was detected. He received a challenge from the injured man, and at the first shot fell mortally wounded. He dined with Scott a day or two before the duel, and " though Charles Matthews (the famous comedian) was present, poor Sir Alexander Boswell's

His only son, Sir James Boswell, the last male descendant of the author of the immortal Life, shared his father's illiberal feelings about Johnson. Miss Macleod of Macleod told me that when she was on a visit at Auchinleck, he said to her one day that he did not know how he should name one of his race-horses. She suggested Boswell's Johnsoniana, which made him very angry. He was, I learnt, a man of great natural ability, who, had he chosen, might have become distinguished. His feeling of soreness against his grandfather was partly due to another cause than dis- like of hero-worship. Boswell, in an access of that particular kind of folly which he called " feudal enthusiasm," had entailed his estates on the heirs male of his father to the exclusion of his own nearer female descendants. Sir James, who had no sons, saw that Auchinleck on his death would pass away from his daughters to his cousin, Thomas Alexander Boswell, Lord Auchinleck's grandson by his second son David. He managed to get the settlement upset on the plea that in the deed the first five letters of the word irredeemably were written upon an erasure. 2 It is not impossible that the lawyer who drew it up, not liking the provision, inten- tionally contrived this loop-hole.

Among Boswell's male descendants, his second son James was, so far as I know, the only one who was not ashamed of the Life of JoJinson. He supplied notes to the later editions. His father, writing of him when he was eleven years old, says : " My second son is an extraordinary boy ; he is much of his father (vanity of vanities)." Croker describes him as "very convivial, and in other respects like his father though altogether on a smaller scale." 4 According to Lockhart, he was " a man of considerable learning and admirable social qualities. To him Sir Walter Scott

1 Lord Cockburn's Memorials, pp. 380, 392, and Lockhart's Scott, vii. 33.

2 Rogers's Bt'swelliana, p. 195, and Notes ami Queries, 3rd Series, vii. 197.

3 Letters of Boswell to Temple, p. 315. 4 Croker's Boswell, p. 620.

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