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Mr. Macpherson, although then in town, a fingle 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 it as a specimen of the original !'
In our Review of Mr. M‘Nicol's “Remarks on Dr. Johnson'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 flighteft fufpicion. 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 shall not take up my time, says Mr. Shaw, with making observations on the illiberalities and scurrilities of which it is made up: but only will point out to the world such a fresh inftance of impofture as will aftonith; in which Mr. M.Nicol triumphs as having proved the authenticity of Olian'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 him “ in a way of being satisfied nearer bome. If he will call fome “ 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 os will be pleased to look at, after what he hath said. Among " there is a volume which contains some of Ossian's poems. On reading the last sentence, I was overjoyed that the originals of Offian 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 Offian therein. They are MS. written in the Irish dialect and character, on the subject of Irilh 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 reputation 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 fightest attempt to rob the " bard of other times” of his " bearded thistle," or his four
grey stones of the dusky heath!'. 2
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 composition of Offian, and procure affidavits for that purpose.'
' A gentleman promised to ornament a scalloped sheil with silver, if I should bring him one from the Highlands, and to swear it was the identical shell out of which Fingal used to drink!'
We should suppose this last circumstance to be rather ludi. crous than serious. But Mr. Shaw marks it with a very folemn interjection!-as much as to say—“How Scotchmen-how my own countrymen are addicted to lying!”
But truth - TRUTH is our Author's “ dear delight !"-yea, as he himself assures us in page 37.
66 it is dearer to him than his country !” We are not to wonder that he remained " corrupted e'en among” Scotchmen! The scalloped Mell 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, together 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 hould imagine, secure their integrity, and rendeć them superior to the meaner artifices of timid imposture, or the more daring asseverations of direct and palpable fallhool. But, what fall we lay? what can we think? To say the least, we are faggered. To give the foftest terms to our teclings, we are mocked. There must be imposture :-—there must be follhood somewhere.
General and diffuse representations of the opinions, cuítoms, 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 lights adunit of various representations; and imagination will always give different colours and different dimensions 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 fallify.
The main object of the present controversy is now reduced to a very narrow compass. Can the editor of Olian 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 : Rey, Dec, 1786.
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 eafy 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 Ofian is heard of; and for which all the beauties of Fingal and Temora can never make an adequate atonement.
Let not Mr. Macpherson affect a contemptuous fuperiority to the accusations of his enemies. “They accuse from envy". it may be faid. So much the better for Mr. Macpherson's bonour: They are sooner answered, especially as their charges respect fact and not speculation. But let him not talk of answering by filence. The Public will not be satisfied at so easy a rate ; nor will be himself with to dispense. so easily with ro lerious 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, Macleods, 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 share in the impofture.
N. B. Mr. Shaw hath aflurted that Doctors Blair and Fergufon were concerned in a collufion, to impose on Dr. Percy a pretended passage of the original Galic of Ofian, by making a young Highlander repeat before bim fome 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 acknowledged his mistake, so far as Dr. Ferguson was faid to be accessary to the imposition : but he still avers the faft to be in the main true; and we have not heard that it was ever contradicted by Dr. Blair or Dr. Peicy.
Art. IV. A rew Translation of the First Epifle of Paul the Apofle to
the Thessalonians ; offered to the Public as a Specimen of an in-
men, and which he intends to pursue through his whole design, if his first effay 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 connection, and obscuring the sense ; but for the conveniency of reference, they will be ranged in the margin. Other divisions, as the sense and series of the subject shall 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 (affigning reasons for every deviation from the old version) 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 adminiAer 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 altogether 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 some approved MSS.'
420 Wakefield’s Translation of the Firs 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 ift Epistle to the Thessalonians, together with the Nutes at the end, designed to justify his deviation from the old verfion. 13.
• But I would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning 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 afcep, 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 17. Christ Thall rise first. Then we who are alive, who re
main, shall be caught up together with them in clouds, to
meet the Lord in the air ; and so fhall we ever be with the 18. Lord. Wherefore encourage one another with these
Notes. - V. 14. τες κοιμηθεντας δια τε Ιησg-them which Meep in Jesus, is neither agreeable to grammatical construction, nor the scope of the passage. ev Ings, 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 converfion and the writing of this Epiftle, to be the exclusive subject of their forrow and consolation. Befides, the Apoftle is arguing from the resurrection of Christ as the pattern, pledge, and mediate instrument of our own: so that an oppofition is required in the two corresponding clauses, ou autw, with him. What sense can this expresfion have when Christ is already risen? our often means as well as, in the fame 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 considering 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 afleep (i. e. all mankind), as certainly as he brought him thence.
V. 15. sv dogw, by a word; i. e. by a command or direction. . Quarjev, prevent, in this fenfe [i. é. to go before, though a proper one, is become obfolete.
*V. 16. XEMBUTUOTI, a commanding thout seems to express the exact meaning of the word φωνη – αρχαγγελ-σαλπιγγι 2!! without the article. Ev Xposw might perhaps be better rendered