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Paul’s Church-yard, roaring along, and then came to Ashley’s Punch-house and drank three threepenny bowls.  (London Journal, 338–9) And so on. Boswell the Scotsman disapproves of Scottish manners and then goes out and exceeds their exemplification in spades, including the obsession with money sneered at by Johnson and others. This is not the only emplaced joke in this passage: in describing the first whore as a ‘brimstone’, Boswell identifies her with the effects of venereal disease, while in pretending to be a ‘barber’ he is the man to cure it (is this also a return to the ‘soaping one’s beard’ jokes he shared with Erskine?

Its rhetoricization is comparative: it uses the language of self which is prohibited or ignored (and so retained as a means of communicating matters of private or community significance, as the flexibility of registers in Scots was used) to express sympathy for the other. Thus it was that Byron used the language of Ossian to express Albanian patriotism; thus also that Thomas Moore used the then widespread idea of the eastern origins of Irish to characterize Ireland’s plight in Lalla Rookh. In Boswell’s case, the language of representation he adopted was one which derived from the patriot historiographical tradition in Scotland, one espoused by the Jacobites, but discarded by his Enlightenment contemporaries, David Hume and William Robertson, who replaced it with what has been called ‘a huge wave of derision’ for the Scottish past (Anderson, 5).

Boswell’s letter made allusion in its mention of ‘l’orgueil des Ecossois’ to the proverbial touchiness of Scots, a condition very much also that of Rousseau himself: and one, of course, completely at odds with the cold Scots of the 1767 Temple letter! It built on Rousseau’s existing interest in Fletcher of Saltoun (Letters, 1: 61). ). Marischal himself pushed Rousseau to write a life of Fletcher of Saltoun, whom he compared to Cato in his fight for liberty. Nation and Freedom were the watchwords of Boswell’s Corsica, as we shall see in Chapter Three; moreover, Marischal’s deployment of Cato as a comparator to Fletcher is a gesture towards the kind of Jacobite republican rhetoric first identified by Paul Monod, which had its links to later examples of patriot republicanism, notably those in Ireland in the 1790s.

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