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*) The behaviour of Gaul, throughout this poem, is that of a hero in the most exalted sense. The Inodesty of Offian, concerning his own ačions, is not less remarkable than his impartiality with regard to Gaul; for it is well known, that Gaul afterwards rebelled against Fingal, which might be supposed to have bred prejudices against him in the breast of Ossian. But as Gaul, from an enemy, became Fingal's firmest friend and greatest hero, the poet passes over one slip in his condućt, on account of his inany virtues.
**) Suil-mhath, a man of good eye-fight. **) Dubh - bhrama, dark mountain-stream. What
river went by this name, in the days of Ossian, is
beaming to the rising light, and their steps are before us on the heath.
*) Ossian seldom fails to give his heroes, though enemies, that generosity of temper, which, it appears from his poems , was a conspicuous part of his own charaćter. Those who too much despise their enemies, do not refle&t, that, the more they take from the valour of their foes, the less merit they have themselves in conquesing them. The custom of depreciating enemies is
mot altogether one of the refinements of modern heroism. This railing disposition is one of the capital faults in Homer's chara&ers, which, by
* B 3 - tlve
the bye, cannot be imputed to the poet, who kept to the manners of the times, of which he wrote. Milton has followed Homer in this refpect; but railing is less shocking in infernal spirits, who are the objects of horror, than in heroes, who are set up as patterns of imitation.