תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Mr. Macpherson, although then in town, a single line. Thus fruitless hitherto has been every attempt to discover a single stanza of an original -excepting what hath been translated from the English, to impose ic as a specimen of the original !

In our Review of Mr. M‘Nicol's “Remarks on Dr. Johnfon's Journey to the Western Ilands,” we quoted a passage of which Mr. Shaw takes very particular notice, and in a manner of which we could not have formed the flightest suspicion. We shall beg the Reader's indulgence for quoting it again, for the sake of relating a circumstance which happened in consequence of it, which it would be unpardonable to omit.

• I Ihall not take up my time, says Mr. Shaw, with making observations on the illiberalities and fcurrilities of which it is made up: but only will point out to the world such a fresh in. Stance of impofture as will astonish; in which Mr. M.Nicol tri. umphs as having proved the authenticity of Offian's poems. The book was written on purpose to establish the genuineness of those poems. How far it hath succeeded, appears from the following fraud, the only argument adduced." But as Dr. « Johnson may think it too great a trouble to travel again to

the Highlands for a fight of old MSS. I shall put bim “ in a way of being satisfied nearer bome. If he will call some 6 morning on John Mackenzie, Esq; of the Temple, Secretary " to the Highland Society, he will find in London more vo« lumes in the Galic language and character, than perhaps he 66 will be pleased to look at, after what he hath said. Among “ these is a volume which contains some of Oslian's poems." On reading the last sentence, I was overjoyed that the originals of Olban were at last discovered, notwithstanding my own bad success in meeting with them. Being impatient to see them, I accordingly loft no time in waiting on Mr. Mackenzie, and having looked over these volumes in MS. found no compofition of Oflian therein. They are MS. written in the Irilh dialect and character, on the subject of Irich and Highland genealogy. There is every reason to believe, that this is the very MS. if any, that was left at Becket's by Mr. Macpherson some time ago, with a view to impose it as that of Olian, for I am credibly informed that this piece was sent to' Mr. Mackenzie by him?

If we are to credit Mr. Shaw, there seems to have been a general: combination among his countrymen, to support the repu. tation of Offian, at the expence of almost “ every virtue under heaven!” In their ideas, the very honour of Scotland is deeply interested in the dispute : and the highest encomiums, bestowed upon its present state of letters, will not atone for the Nighteft attempt to rob the “ bard of other times” of his " bearded thistle," or his “ four grey stones of the dusky beach!".

In my tour in the Highlands, says Mr. Shaw, a respectable minister begged I would set about a translation of Fingal, and that he and others would undertake to prove it the compofition of Offian, and procure affidavits for that purpose.'

"A gentleman promised to ornament a scalloped feil with silver, if I spould bring him one from the Highlands, and to fwear it was the identical shell out of which Fingal uled to drink!

We should suppose this last circumstance to be rather ludi. crous than serious. But Mr. Shaw marks it with a very folemn interjetion!—as much as to say—“ How Scotchmen-how my own countrymen are addicted to lying!

But truth - TŘUTH is out Author's “ dear delight !"-yea, as he himself assures us in page 37. “ it is dearer to him than his country!” We are not to wonder that he remained “Uno corrupted e'en among" Scotchmen! The scalloped sell is still without its silver, and Fingal without its Earse!

We have now discharged the duty of impartial critics, by presenting the Reader with a general view of this pamphlet, too gether with an enumeration of some of the most striking facts that are produced in support of the Author's appeal :- for an Appeal it may be juftly called ;-an appeal to the common sense and reason of mankind; and above all, a direct and unambigu. ous appeal to gentlemen, whose professions and characters in life would, we thould imagine, secure their integrity, and render them superior to the meaner artifices of timid imposture, or the more daring afleverations of direct and palpabl: falMooi. But, what shall we say? what can we think? To lay the lealt, we are Jaggered. To give the softelt terms to our teclings, we are mocked. There must be imposture : -chere must be felthuod fomeu here.

General and diffuse representations of the opinions, customs, and manners of a people at large, may be given by one author, and may be controverted by another, without subjecting either of them to the charge of intentional deceit. Candour will make due allowance for involuntary mistakes; and some apology may be made for prejudice itself. Objects viewed in various lighis adinit of various representations; and imagination will always give different colours and different dimentions to what is not fixed in its appearance, nor definite in iis limits. But in matters of plain and unequivocal fact, there is no scope left for the play of fancy. In such matters, fiction is imposition; and to misrepresent, is to failify.

The main object of the present controversy is now reduced to a very narrow compaís. Can the editor of Oddian produce the originals, which he pretends to have collected in the Highlands and Hebrides? If he can, what reason hach he to give for refusing them? The world will no longer be satisfied without them : Rev. Dec, 1786.

Еe

and

and the only alternative left to Mr. Macpherson, is, their immediate communication to competent and disinterested judges; or the infamy that ought ever to stigmatize the character of an impostor :-the contempt and execration of the wise and good; and particularly of those who, having been deluded by novelty, or charmed by ingenuity, gave too easy credit to his honour and veracity.

Though we are staggered, we will not, as yet, say, that we are convinced. We call on Mr. Macpherson to step forward to vindicate himself from the opprobrium that will otherwise blacken his name, as long as Osian is heard of; and for which all the beauties of Fingal and I emora can never make an adequate atonement.

Let not Mr. Macpherson affedt a contemptuous superiority to the accusations of his enemies. “They accuse from envy”— it may be faid. So much the better for Mr. Macpherson's honour: They are sooner answered, especially as their charges respe&t fact and not speculation. But let him not talk of an. swering by filence. The Public will not be fatisfied at so easy a rate ; nor will he himself with to dispense. so easily with ro se. rious a charge, if he hath the support of truth, or the sense of honour. If he is an honest man, he ought not to bear it; and if he is a gentleman, he will not :- for affected indifference, like " stubborn audacity, is frequently the last refuge of guilt.”

But Mr. Macpherson is not the only person whose credit in point of veracity is affected by this controversy. The names of several gentlemen are directly pointed out, who are declared to have been auxiliaries in the fraud. If Messrs. Macqueen, MacJeods, Macaulay, &c. &c. have truth on their fide, they will as openly repel the attack, as it hath been openly made, on their honour; and not suffer the world to infer their guilt from their filence.

If Dr. Blair hath been made the dupe of artifice, he ought not to be too proud to confess it. It will thew a greatness of foul to disavow what he is unable to vindicate; and the world will forgive his credulity, when it is convinced that he had no fare in the imposture.

N. B. Mr. Shaw hath allested that Doctors Blair and Fergufon were concerned in a collusion, to impose on Dr. Percy a pretended passage of the original Galic of Ofian, by making a young Highlander repeat before him some lines, which he declares were only a translation of Macpherson's English. It is proper to observe, that Dr. Ferguson hath positively denied the charge by a public advertisement. Mr. Shaw hath publicly ac. knowledged his mistake, so far as Dr. Ferguson was faid to be accessary to the imposition : but he still avers che fad to be in the main true; and we have not heard that it was ever contradieted by Dr. Blair or Dr. Peicy.

B..dok. Art.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Art. IV. A new Translation of the First Epifle of Paul the Apostle po

The Thesalonians ; offered to the Public as a Specimen of an in.
tended Version of the whole New Testament, with a Preface con-
taining a brief Account of the Author's Plan. By Gilbert Wake.
field, B. A. late Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge; and now
Classical Tutor, at Warrington Academy. 8vo. 6 d. Printed at
Warrington by Eyres ; Sold by Johnson in St. Paul's Church yard,
London. 1781.
THE method which the Author hath adopted in this speci.

men, and which he intends to pursue through his whole design, if his first essay should meet with proper encouragement, will be best explained by the following extracts from the Preface :

• It is the Author's purpose always to follow the phraseology of the old version, except where some obsolete word or form of speech, some grammatical inaccuracy, or some perversion of the sense, demands an alteration.

• No regard will be paid to common divisions and subdivisions of chapter and verse, which are altogether arbitrary,

and not unfrequently very injudicious, interrupting the con: néation, and obscuring the sense; but for the conveniency of

reference, they will be ranged in the margin. Other divifions, as the sense and series of the subject thall dictate, will be substituted in their room, to relieve the eye, and accommodate the reader.

• Where the idiom of the English language requires the insertion of one or more additional words, not expressed in the original Greek, such insertion will be notified, as in the old version, by the Italic character, to prevent all misapprehension and complaint.

"The Notes (afligning reasons for every deviation from the old verfion) shall be as concise as perspicuity will admit; and will be comprized in a separate volume.

The Author intends to proceed in his work leisurely and with deliberation, and to avail himself of every advantage, that the execution of it may be as complete as posible. He will be extremely glad of any communications from his friends and other candid and learned men, who will condescend to adminifer to this useful undertaking.

No particular edition of the Greek Testament will be exclusively followed. In various readings, and especially those of controverted texts, the first respect will be paid to the number and authority of the manuscripts, not alcogerher disregarding the scope and exigencies of the passage. I shall however be particularly circumspect to adopt no readings, but what are countenanced by the authority of fome approved MSS.' Ee 2

Such

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

420 Wakefield's Translation of the First Epift. to the Thessalonians.

Such is the general outline of our Author's plan. As a specimen of his abilities in executing it, we will present the Reader with his translation of the concluding part of the 4th chapter of the ist Epistle to the Thessalonians, together with the Nutes at the end, designed to justify his deviation from the old ver

fion.

13. But I would not have you ignorant, brethren, con

cerning them who are laid asleep, that you grieve not your

selves, even as the rest of mankind who have no hope: for 14. if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, fo will God

also bring through Jefus them who are laid allcep, as well 15. as him. For this we say unto you by a direction from the

Lord, that we who are alive, who remain unto the coming

of the Lord, shall not be beforehand with them who are 16. laid asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from

Heaven, with a commanding thout, with a voice of an archangel, and with a trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ Thall rise first. Then we who are alive, who remain, Ihall be caught up together with them in clouds, to

mect the Lord in the air ; and so thall we ever be with the 18. Lord. Wherefore encourage one another with these .. words.'

Notes. V. 14. TEŞ xovun, Terras doce T8 Inox-them which feep in Jefus, is neither agreeable to grammatical construction, nor the scope of the passage. Ev Inos, not dia, would express that meaning; as i Cor. xv. 18. And the Thessalonians had been converted but a short time, so that very few, and most probably none, had died in the interval between their convere fion and the writing of this Epistle, to be the exclusive subject of their sorrow and consolation. Besides, the Apostle is asguing from the resurre&tion of Christ as the pattern, pledge, and mediate instrument of our own : so that an opposition is required in the two corresponding clauses, ou autw, with him. What sense can this expression have when Christ is already risen? guy often means as well as, in the same manner as. So Gal. iii.g. The whole passage may be thus exhibited at length : For if we believe upon good grounds, that Jesus died and rose again, so we must believe, from confidering the design of his resurrection that God will bring from among the dead, by the instrumentality of the same Jesus, those also who were laid afleop (i. e. all mankind), as certainly as he brought him thence.

·V. 15. Ev dogw, by a word; i. e. by a command or direction. QFarwev, prevent, in this sense [i. e. to go before, though a proper one, is become obfolete.

V. 16. XEM EU O Mati, a commanding shout seems to express the exact meaning of the word Owen - apXe77818-Gontyno alt without the article. Ev Xposw might perhaps be better rendered

through

« הקודםהמשך »