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Abstract

As has already been indicated, at the age of forty-five and very much at the height of his reputation as a successful advocate pleading before the highest court in the land, Kames’s thoughts turned seriously to marriage, and in August of 1741, he was united in the bonds of matrimony with Agatha Drummond, younger daughter of James Drummond, third laird of the sumptuous Blair Drummond estate, some eight miles northwest of Stirling, in southern Perthshire.

Keywords

Intimate Friend Colonial Policy Good Wife Domestic Relation Excellent Understanding 
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References

  1. 5.
    Boswell, I, 104. See also Ramsay, Ochtertyre MSS., I, pp. 497–500.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    Boswell, I, 104. Permission both quotations McGraw-Hill and Co. Scots Magazine, V (1743), p. 478.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Scots Magazine, V (1743), p. 478.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Wilmot Harrison, Memorable Edinburgh Houses (Edinburgh, 1893), p. 14.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    Letter, Kames to Franklin, 18 Feb., 1768. See The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Albert H. Smyth (New York, 1905–1907), vol. V, pp. 106–10. See infra, pp. 297f.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    James Boswell, London Journal, ed. F. A. Pottle (New York, 1950), pp. 48, 116, 205 and 270.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    Quoted in Randall, op. cit., pp. 119ff.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    This, her scandalous marital infidelity and resulting divorce, was, of course, not only a most painful experience to both of her parents, as we learn from her mother, but also a terrific blow to her father, so highly placed in public life and so solicitous of her early education. In the shock of it, he arranged to have his daughter leave the country, for France, for a time at least. Of her fate after this, we have no knowledge.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    Long before this, however, there had been irregularities in her life. It is more than mere conjecture that the young Boswell, who had received so many kindnesses under her parental roof at a time when he was much in disfavor with his own father, was more than merely infatuated with Jean; early in her married life she actually became Bos-well’s mistress for a time. Without naming her by name, Boswell, on a visit with the world-renowned Rousseau, manifests his emotional distress in personally discussing the matter with his host and seeking his counsel concerning this, his abuse of her parents’ confidence, particularly that of her father who “had heaped kindness upon me,” as well as that of her kindly and trusting husband, who had also befriended him But he attempts to rationalize this away. He reports Jean as being quite philosophical about it — as her father might have been had it not involved him so personally. In “granting me all,” Boswell tells this literary monarch, who might well be in a position to understand such matters, “she let me see that she loved me more than she loved her husband.” “I love my husband as a husband,” he reports her as philosophizing, “and you as a lover, each in his own sphere. I perform for him all the duties of a good wife. With you I give myself delicious pleasures. We keep our secret. Nature has so made me that I shall never bear children. No one suffers because of our loves. My conscience does not reproach me, and I am sure that God could not be offended by them.” We cannot but wonder whether this philosophizing was all Jean’s own or partly also Boswell’s rationalizing. On this whole affair see F. A. Pottle, James Boswell: The Early Years, 1740–1769 (New York, 1968), pp. 5f., 77–79, 83, 93, 178, 326 and 478f., and Boswell sources there given, including, for Lady Home Drummond’s account of their daughter’s disgrace, Yale MS M 135, 29 Nov., 1782.Google Scholar
  10. 14.
    Quotations which follow are from Ramsay, I, 201f. and 203f.; see also generally, 201–212, and Ochtertyre MSS., I, pp. 205ff. passim.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    We have it on Mossner’s authority (Life of Hume, p. 570) that this Mr. Edwards was none other than the renowned American philosopher-theologian, Jonathan Edwards, though the title of the sermon is probably misquoted.Google Scholar
  12. 19.
    S.R.O., GD 35/94, Ochtertyre Letters, folio 18. See also Ramsay, I, 207, n.l.Google Scholar
  13. 21.
    C. R. Fay, Adam Smith and the Scotland of his Day (Cambridge, 1956), p. 120. 22 Raymond Klibanski and Ernest C. Mossner, New Letters of David Hume (Oxford, 1954 ), Letter No. 3.Google Scholar
  14. 24.
    Mossner, Life of Hume, pp. 158f.Google Scholar
  15. 25.
    These letters of Hume to Karnes (See Klibanski and Mossner, op. cit., Letters No. 7, 8, 9 and 10) are the only references we have anywhere to Lady Home Drummond’s ill-health, apart from a letter written to Kames many years later by a Mr. Irvine, congratulating him on Mrs. Drummond’s recovery from a serious illness (Letter, 6 Apr., 1778, GD 24/1/553). There may also be a hint of this, however, in Boswell’s reference to “a little lowness of spirits” noted above (Supra, pp. 64f.).Google Scholar
  16. 26.
    Mossner, Life of Hume, pp. 412ff. On the Karnes-Hume friendship generally, see also pp. 58f., 174, 246 and 410–13. For more on this matter, see also infra, pp. 147f.Google Scholar
  17. 27.
    On the Kames-Oswald friendship, see Oswald’s Memorials, previously cited. These contain eleven letters from Oswald to Kames and four from Kames to Oswald. See also Tytler, I, 71–83 and Ramsay, I, 363f.Google Scholar
  18. 29.
    William L. Mathieson, The Awakening of Scotland: A History from 1747 to 1794 (Glasgow, 1910), pp. 31ff. and 55f.Google Scholar
  19. 30.
    Oswald’s Memorials, p. 13, letter dated 7 Jan., 1742.Google Scholar
  20. 31.
    Tytler, II, 74ff.; see also I, 262ff. For a further account of Franklin’s visit, see J. Bennet Nolen, Benjamin Franklin in Scotland and Ireland: 1759 and 1771 (Philadelphia, 1938 ).Google Scholar
  21. 32.
    For surviving Franklin to Kames letters and a few Karnes to Franklin letters, see, besides the Tytler references, The Life and Works of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Jared Sparks (10 vols.; Boston, 1836–40); Smyth, op. cit.; and S.R.O., GD 24/1/562.Google Scholar
  22. 35.
    Tytler, I, 267f. (letter dated 3 Jan., 1760) and II, p. 11 (letter dated 17 Aug., 1762 ).Google Scholar
  23. 37.
    For more than fifteen years,“ Ramsay tells us (I, 474f.), ”[Reid] spent a great part of the college vacation with Lord Karnes at Blair Drummond, much to the satisfaction of both. Among all his lordship’s literary friends, none were more upright and praiseworthy than this good man.“ For further characterizations of this friendship, see Henry Graham’s lively description, adapted with some license from the Ramsay materials, infra, p. 94; and also infra, pp. 143f. ”Lady Karnes“ would be an improper designation, since Kames’s title of lordship did not carry over to his spouse.Google Scholar
  24. 40.
    [James Burnet, Lord Monboddo], Of the Origin and Progress of Language (6 vols.; Edinburgh, 1773–92) and [James Burnet, Lord Monboddo], The Antient Metaphysics (6 vols.; Edinburgh, 1779–1799 ). For general background on Monboddo, see William Knight, Lord Monboddo and Several of his Contemporaries (London, 1900 ).Google Scholar
  25. 41.
    Ramsay, I, 356, n. 2 and 357, n.l. James Boswell, Boswelleana: A Commonplace Book, ed. Charles Rogers (London, 1874 ), p. 308.Google Scholar
  26. 43.
    James Boswell, Boswelleana: A Commonplace Book, ed. Charles Rogers (London, 1874 ), p. 308.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • William C. Lehmann

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