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moderate scheme,” in preference to the “ more extensive plan" of annual cle&tions.
We have, on former occafions, declared our preference of the last mentioned, molt original part of our parliamentary fyftem ; and we are ftill inclined to think chat the revival of it would prove the most efficacious means for completely recovering the impaired Conftitution of this country. The gentlemen of the Yorkshire Committee, indeed, appear convinced of the fuperiority of this plan ; but they are apprehenfive that, under the present circumstances of the nation, the scheme is too extenfiue for ettablishment. This opinion it is not, at this time, our with to controvert. If, as the gentlemen contend, the system which we would vote for is impradlicable, we thould most sincerely rejoice to see the measures, which are here so ably recommended, carried into execution, as, at all events, a palliative semedy is, beyond all dispute, highly preferable to a cotal, perhaps fatal, negleet of the disorder.
POLITICS OF IRELAND.
Joire, Lord Lieutenant Gencral, and General Governor of Ireland,
A panegyric on the late Irith adminiftration; and so far countenanced by truth, that, perhaps, laws more favourable to the essencial interests of that country were obtained within the term of it, than within any former period of the same duration.
PO ETICA L.
the Benefit of the Pauper-Charity in that City. Vol. IV. 8vo.
It is sufficient commendation of this elegant Miscellany to mention, among other respectable names, those of Anfty, Seward, Potter and Hayley, as contributors to it. There are, besides these, several whose names appear in the poetical world for the firft time, who amply mesit the delinction they have obtained. Indeed, we scarcely recolle& any publication of this kind, in which the materials bave been felected with more care.
That it may not be thought we have a predilection in favour of any particular name, our specimen of this publication shall be
CASTLES IN THE AIR.
By Anonymous, . :
To earth their views confine;
And equal rapture Thew;
have a merit that translations rarely possess. Were it not for the Roman imagery, that is sometimes injudiciously retained, no one, unacquainted with the originals, would suspect that Hammond wrote not from his immediate feelings. To say that
it would be hard to find in all his productions three stanzas that deserve to be remembered,' is certainly the height of prejudice. The Doctor forgets, that although at his time of life the subject of a love elegy may be totally uninteresting, it is not the case with every one, and we doubt not that at a cer. tain period there are those who read them with greater avidity than even “ LONDON,” or " the VANITY OF HUMAN Wishes."
Dr. Johnson is at a loss to tell why Hammond, or other writers, have thought the quatrain of ten syllables elegiac, The character of elegy, he adds, is gentleness and tenuity. Sa long as some of the most violent and impetuous of the passions are the subjects of elegy, so long will this be an imperfect and mistaken definition.
The next life that offers itself is that of Collins : a writer whose imperfections and peculiarities are lost in the blaze of genius. But hear what Dr. Johnson says— His diction was often harsh, unskilfully laboured, and injudiciously selected, He affected the obsolete when it was not worthy of revival; and he puts his words out of the common order, seeming to think, with some later candidates for fame, that not to write prose is certainly to write poetry. His lines commonly are of now motion, clogged and impeded with clusters of consonants. As. men are often esteemed who cannot be loved, so the poetry of Collins may sometimes extort praise when it gives little pleasure.
[To be continued.]
Stanhope shall come and grace his rural friend,
And for her husband's patron cull the best. The two first of these stanzas are original, the last is evidently borrowed from the following beautiful passage of the 5th elegy of the first book of Tibullus :
Huc veniet Messala meus, cui dulcia poma
Delia selectis detrahet arboribus:
Huic paret, atque epulas ipsa ministra gerat.
Lit. III. Az Equiry into the auricity of it: Pues clics.
Gfa. By W. Shaw, A. V. F. S. A. Actor of the Gaz Diciosary 21. Grammar. &ro15. 6 d. Mortay. viei. UR Readers need not be informed, that, at the forta
pearance of the poems ascribed to Oman, fufpic och were entertained of their authenticity: and rotwithitanda Dr. Blair produced a number of ftrong and explicit teftimon.es o fupport the credit both of the author and the trackator, yet there were fome “ sturdy” fceptics, who with little ceremoor pronounced them to be forgeries, and befitated not to deciz publickly, that Olian and Macpherson were the same. This éclaration received great fupport from the well-known decia fron of a very eminent writer, who reasoning on the improbati Aty of foch poems having been preferved through so many ages by tradition only, boldly pronounced their preservation, in Able.
What intrinsic beauties the poems of Offian may poffels, is no object of the present enquiry. Their merit, as compos tims, is however, with us, the principal reason for suppoling them to be, in a great degree at least, the produâion of a u bard of modern times.” The belief of their being genuine hath been indeed declining of late very fast; and it is the desiga of the present pamphlet to destroy it entirely. To effect this, it was necessary to weaken the int@nal evidence, and totally to invalidate the testimonies adduced in favour of the authenticity of Offian by Dr. Blair. (Vid. tbe “ Appendix” to his elegant a Differtation."]
Mr. Shaw's knowledge of the Galic language is undoubtedly very great; and the proofs he hath afforded of it are incontestable. In this view he is peculiarly calculated to investigate the present subject with the accuracy and precision of the critic and Icholas. What others have conje&ured, he hath proved : and particular detection hath given credit to general suspicion. 'I profeís myself, says this Author, to be an enquirer after truth.
.. Truth hath always been dearer to me than my country; nor frall lever support an ideal national honour founded on an imposture, though it were to my hindranèe. I can shew. Dr, Johnson, that there is one Scotchman who loves truth better ihan his country, and that I am a sturdy enough moralift to declare it, though it nould mortify my Caledonian vanity. I think proper to speak in this clear and open manner, and prefix ay name, becaule I know that some men imagine there is no moral turpitude in anonymously publishing one thing in a pamphict, whilst they think and believe the contrary,'
When the authenticity of the poems of Ollian was first call. ed in question, the pretended original manuscript was said to
have been left, for the space of fix weeks, at Mr. Becket's shop
for the inspection of the curious. This MS. however was 62 never feen by any person, who was capable of reading it. If ale any MS, at all' was left with the publisher, just by way,
of a blind to the credulous, Mr. Shaw conjectures that it might corsi have been some Irish MS. * and this conjecture is strength en ened by a very fingular circumstance which will be related
hereafter. At ali cvents it could not be a MS. of the z poems of Ofian : for it is very well known (says Mr. Shaw)
that the Earse dialect of the Galic was never written nor Footprinted, until Mr. Macfarlane, late minister of Killinver,"
Argylelhire, published in 1954, a translation of Baxter's Call ta the Unconverted. Since his time there have been some songs and books of piety printed. This I can easily prove, because no Earre MS. ever
can be produced. And although the Psalms of David, and Confeffion of Faith, have been translated into Galic, it is well known that it is neither the Earfe spelling nor dialect; but written in the Irish Galic. It was first published in 1694, and was versified by the Synod of Argyle; but the best executed psalms are allowed to be done by. the Romilh clergy of the North of Ireland.'
Mr. Shaw quotes a passage from Col. Valancey's Irith Gram, mar, to prove that Mr. Macpherson, instead of translating from the Galic into English, hath on the contrary translated his own English into Galic. From this remarkable detection, Mr. Shaw Ihrewdly hints, that if ever Mr. Macpherson intends to publish a Galic version, he would do well to attend to the true orthography of the old Galic; especially if he wishes to con
tinue the impofture. chiqa
We must not pretend to purfue this Writer in his attempts to overthrow the credit of Ollian from internal evidence ; never, theless we cannot quit this part of the subject without presenting our Readers with the following very curious remark:
'The mythology of the Poems of Olian hath been raised entirely on the superstition of the second fight, heightened by poetry, and the stories of ghosts, apparitions, &c. &c. fo common in the fifteenth century, which Mr. Macpherson so much affects to despise: but to which, however, he is indebted for all the materials he had,
• The other great spirits to which allusions sometimes are made, is nothing less nor more than the common Highland idea of the devil, who is believed to raise every storm, and go abroad with it. All these notions are still prevalent in the mountains, and a proper part of a mythology. In short, the whole machi
• A manuscript was certainly left with Mr. Becket; who declares that several persons called to examine it; and that he hcard none deny its authenticity.
reasons 5t be ea be H. basds, poetica en de ei,
“Tre Sproof Lili is ingesctrarated from It's in 2 52270 -arian Gir, daca ia 22', caled as IILIT - Laisha, V. Supercs, at pertaps knozirgi Lasian was tse I: íb rise Gé Losint, tuins it to Live, :Ia's it a part of Scaré saria. Tie tale cakes biuras Ext of wet, ard fonec ses a koigst ertzat engage: Wiad, tben a gaso kong fico balto bill across E: It a5ozied, 55azier, to an actor a good hint; and Mr.::2:pherica ad cor red it to the Spirit of Lida. Toista: is cs5.Ton in the Highlands to this day.'
The Arhx of it's Engury, after being observed how ea? it is to give a pen with fica Galic epithets, as tegia white bajomn'i, daré-brown hair, &c. and having tranflated : fta za of it in'o Earse, to impose the whole for an original si “ oiker tit.5" co the credulous and ignorant reader, relates a very fing!a: fra to freagaben his attention, viz. that in this manner a coilection was made up and published at Edinburg, three years ago by Mr. C arke, entitied The Caledonian Bards. It was reviewed in London, and adduced as an argument fo: the genuiseries of Fingal. Mr. Clarke, when I charged him with it, confered that it was ertirely made up! One of the poems of that collection is happily set off with the title of Tbx IVords of W32. The author told me, that all he had for the ground-work of it was a long called Jurram na truaidhe, composed on a late emigration of the Highlanders to America. In the same manner the rest of the collection was made up *.'
After an examination of the internal evidence of the authenticity of the poems ascribed to Ofian, Mr. Shaw proceeds to the examination of external testimony ; on this head he is full, clear, and explicit.
Mr. Smith, the ingenious author of “ Galic Antiquities" published last year, hath assured us, that “ Mr. Macpherson “ hath always been readiet to thew his originals to the best “ judges.” This assertion Mr. Shaw flatly denies : and then observes with respect to himself, that Mr. Macpherson had often promised him a sight of those pretended originals, but never could be induced, after application to him at lix different times, to fulfil his promise. There was always some apology made;—the MSS. were at his house in the country, or millaid; or the key was loft; or I thould see them some other time. Why did he promise to fhew them? And since he promiled, why not shew them? Let the Public draw inferences. This is true. Let Mr. Macpherson contradict it if he can,'
* Mr. Clarke hath just published an Answer to Mr. Shaw's EnquiTy ;--which we have not yet perused.