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reduced to Scotch money, three, six, nine, and twelve hundred pounds, have a better sound, and are quite adapted to the poverty of the country in these times. The least is lord Banff's il. 125. ; but we discover from Carstairs that his lordship, a papist, was.so poor as to embrace the protestant faith that he might solicit a small sum for his journey or vote in parliamənt. Carstairs, 737. Never was an union so cheaply purchased.

Dr. Somerville observes that the money was partly distributed as arrears, partly to defray the expence of magistrates, partly to counteract the intended bribery of the French and Dutch. Hist. Q. Anne, 223. The question is not whether the arrears were due, but whether they would have been advanced unless to purchase votes. The marquis of Athol, who received his arrears, but retained his vote, is a singular exception ; nor do we know what secret services he might have performed, like Hamilton. But arrears never paid till then, to create influence, are not the less bribes because they were justly due. As the provost of Wigton, the only magistrate in the list, sat in parliament, the money was undoubtedly given for his vote. ] he bribery intended, but never practised by the Dutch, is a mere egotism of Cuningham the historian, who affects to have dissuaded them by his influence from the attempt. Hamilton required 20,000l. from France to prevent an union; the very sum which Queensberry procured from England. But the smallness of the bribes must be ascribed to the want of a competition for the purchase of votes.

NOTE VIII. P. 362. A LATE historian of the Hamilton family, quotes a letter from Middleton to Hamilton, “ beseeching his grace, in be5 half of his master, to forbear giving any farther oppo« sition to the union, as he had extremely at heart to give rs to his sister this proof of his ready compliance with her “ wishes ; not doubting but he would one day have it in « his power to restore to Scotland its ancient weight and « independence.” A letter quoted as extant, might have passed as authentic: but the author, lest any doubt should be entertained that such a letter once existed, quotes another from Hamilton to his son. “Tell my lord Middleton not « to be uncasy about his letter; I have been too sick to “ answer it, but I burnt it with other papers for fear of « accident.” Till a letter mentioning that another had been burnt, shall be received as sufficient evidence to authenticate a quotation from that last letter which was burnt, it will be difficult to persuade the world that Godolphin and Marlborough meant to restore the Stuarts, or Harley to secure the protestant succession. Hamilton's Trans, during the reign of queen Anne, p. 43---4

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DISSERTATION

ON

THE SUPPOSED AUTHENTICITY

OB

OSSIAN's POEMS.

Igitur qui de veteribus annalibus Britannorum originem afferre se ass

severant, reddenda opinor illis erit ratio, quis primus ista tradiderit, ubi tamdiu latuerint, quomodo ad nos tot post sæculis incorrupta pervenerint. ' Quod autem ad Bardos et Seneciones, veteris mea moriæ custodes, quidam confugiunt, prorsus perridicule faciunt. Id autem multo magis intelligetur, si explicavero quale fuerit id genus hominum, cui de tantis rebus, tạm obscuris, et a memoria nostra tam procul remotis, fidem haberi volunt.

BUCHANAN'S Hist. L. II.

A S the poems of Ossian are about to be published in m Earse, their supposed original, some reason may be expected for transferring them from the third to the eighteenth century. The argument already stated and explained, in the third volume, (p. 45.) I hold to be unanswerable. In ascribing such primeval refinement to the first and rudest stage of society, we must believe that the highlanders degenerated on emerging from the savage state, and became more barbarous in proportion as they became more civi. lized. But the believers in Ossian may still require a more minute detection, which infidels will not be displeased to peruse; and unless my opinion is fully vindicated, I shall be accused of an invidious opposition to our national bard, on the eve of his appearance in the original Earse. The detections that occur, will exceed the usual latitude indulged in these notes. In reducing, however, the numerous detections, historical and critical, under a few general heads; 1. The Roman history of Britain: II. The middle ages : III. Tradition: IV. The customs and manners of the times : V. The real orign of the poems: VI. Imitations of the ancient and modern poets: VII. The pretended originals: VIII. Macpherson's avowal of the whole imposture; it is my sincere desire to disabuse my countrymen, and to put an end, if possible, to the controversy and

to the deception for ever. Deteqtion. I. 1. That the Highlanders, to whom the name of Scots of Ossian.

was at first appropriated, originated from Ireland, the ancient Scotin, is an historical fact, which was never controverted except by Maitland, Goodall, and the two Macphersons. The latter have wisely abandoned a millennium of fabulous kings. But the arrival, or the return of the Scots from Ireland, under Fergus Mac Erth and his brother Learn, is established by the concurrence of every Scottish and Irish historian; and their first arrival is marked by Bede, under Riada their leader, from whom their settlement was named Dalriada. Their migration is confirmed by the Irish histories, and their arrival is fixed at the year 25%, when a colony was first conducted by Riada to Argyle. In the next century they occur in Marcellinus, under the designation of Attàcotti and Scots; a new people, unknown to Ptolemy, that retained the same settlements in Argyle till expelled by the Picts. But whether their first migration and arrival from Ireland is placed at 258, under Cairbar Riada, or postponed till 503, when they were restored by Fergus, it is an historical fact that there was not a high,

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