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Lomond, who appeared so intelligent that I was
induced to ask him some questions upon this subject.
5 He told me that he could sing a great many of the songs Si l of Ossian, but added, that they were old fashioned
things, and he would sing me a modern Erse song upon the present Duke of Montrose's patriotism in being the means of restoring to them the ancient highland dress. He said that he had never heard that the poems of Ossian had been translated into English, and seemed much surprised that I should know any thing about them.
With respect to the internal evidence which these celebrated poems afford, neither party seem to have considered it with sufficient accuracy. Young persons are struck with the wild and romantic splendour of the imagery, with the bravery of the heroes, and the beauty of the women. Those of a more advanced age
are tired with the perpetual recurrence of the same ll images: Bran bounding over the heath, the
the thin and shadowy forms of departed valour appearing in a cloud, and even the white arms and bosoms of female loveliness, are so little varied and so generally prominent, that neither the young nor the old are tempted to penetrate deeper than the language, to discover the real merits of the composition. If they did, a discrimination of character, a strength of colouring, even a variety of incident might be observed, which escape the notice of inattentive readers. In proof of this, let the affecting intercourse of Ossian and Malvina, of which there is no parallel in any ancient writer, be observed ; let the nervous and original character of Oscar, and the striking circumstances of his
death, be considered. * Add to these the contrast between the generous Cairbar and his ferocious brother, and that between the two Irish warriors Foldath and Malthos, both in the field and council; the beautiful episode of Sulmalla; the awful introduction of the venerable and unconquered Fingal to the war (though that seems less original than most other parts of the poems), and the distinction between the characters of his sons, as well as of the manner of their deaths.
If these poems be impartially considered therefore, with no reference to the beauty or singularity of the language, surely it will hardly be supposed that the whole of them can be due to Macpherson's invention; or indecd, that he, or any well-educated man, could so totally unlearn all his classical acquirements, as to produce a work betraying so little, if any, imitation of those great exemplaria Græca, with which the mind of every scholar must be filled. Probably in this, as in most things, the truth may lie in the middle. He found these songs volitantes per ora virum, defective and imperfect. He supplied those parts which were wanting, added, omitted, and filled up as he thought necessary, and has thus given a work to the world, of the merit of which no greater proof can be required, than that it has been translated into every modern language, and is admired and beautiful in them all. I am, Sir, &c. &c.
* What reader of taste and feeling but must shudder when red-haire:: Olla raises the song of death on the distant heath!
ART. XXII. Literary Obituary.
April 16. In Mansfield Street, æt. 73, Edward King,
April 17. Mr. Mark Supple, of considerable literary
To the Reader,
April 24, 1807.
Age, present, gives encouragement to Biography, Essay on the proper objects
Birkenhead, Sir John, 369
Bloomfield, Rt. his powers of descrip-
Blount's Travels, account of, 147, and
of the author, 150
Border-history, curious, 322
Bofart, Joh. his Bibliotheca, 120,
Boucher, Rev. Jon. 2 2 2
Bradley's Appendix to his Planting and
His Riches of a Hop-garden,
ib.; his Complete Seedsman, ib.
Bradshaw, Serjt. 186
Breda, Treaty at, 4
Buckingham, G. Villiers, Duke of, 11
Bulftrode, Sir Rd, his letters, 5
Byrche, Rev. W. D. his epitaph, 209
Byron, Sir John, 181
Cade, Joh. ob. 219
Cares, exemption from, not favourable
Carter, Mrs. Eliz. 262
a satirical tract, account of, 369
extract from, 263
Chapman, G. 128
Chaucer, Gower, and Lidgate, 7
Chefter, Rt. his Love's Martyr, account
MS. of, 409
Chreftolleros, seven books of epigrams,
by T. Bastard, an account of, 374
Falkland, Lacius, Ld. 54
Bible's History, 258; fpecimen, 259 Farrer, Miss, notices of, 194
Fox, Charles, duly fenfible of the raluc
of literature, 202
hiftory, tranNated by Danett, 21; Free, Dr. his epitaph by himfell, 205
various editions of the original, 22, 23 Freeman's Rub and a Great Caft, as-
ib.; specimens, 130, 131, 136
count of, 143
original style, 107
187; Richard, his character, 189 Gage, Tho. his Survey of the W, Ire
Gainsborough, painter, anecdotes of, by
Gardiner, Bp. 258
Gascoigne, Geo. Whetstone's Life of
Glasfe, Dr. 221
Goddard's Dialogue between Alexander
and Diogenes, 216
His Mastiff Whelp, con-
taining epigrams, 216
His Neast of Wasps, 217
Goldsmith, his poetical character, 92,
Godolphin, Sir Wm, his letters, 5
Gorges, Ferd. his Spanish Conquef of
the Indies, 22
Graham, Simon, 4!
Green, Mr. John, compiler of Afley's
Grymeston, Elizabeth, her Miscellanes,
an account of, 39; and of the author,
ib; her son Bernye, ib. 42
Hall, Bp: 357.
Voyage, 143, 145
Hakluyt's Voyages, an account of, 113;
character of, 115, 117; account of