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to fifty-eight lines, with the literal translation by Mr. Macpherson subjoined , besides other specimens from that bard. These were never published by Mr. Macpherson. In p. 133 of the Analysis, at the foot of another quotation froin Oliian, we have these remarkable words:
These lines have beauties, which the transe · "lation, (Mr. Macpherson's), notwithstanding
its excellence, has not been able to display,"
· I should like to hear Mr, Shaw pay a modest compliment to his own abilities, by telling us, that he translated the lines alluded to, from the English. If he does, I shall be at no loss for an answer to himn : suffice it for me to say, at present, They are Ossian's. He has indeed favoured us with a translation of Mr. Pope's Mel. fiah, and some other pieces, from English, into Gaelic poetry. But oh! how different from Malvina's Dream! He has, indeed, had the pru. dence to save himself from the possibility of any particular criticism ; for I defy, him to find one Highland scholar, who can make two lines of it approach, in the least, to common sense, or even understand the meaning of his very words; - probably he has gone upon an old
supposition”,- that, what is not understood, must bę admired.. . '' , J
Thus it appears from Mr. Shaw's, own writing, that what he asserts is not true; and that more of the original of Ossian is to be found, than Mr. Macpherson has translated.
“Why not publish (says he) large extracts "'from these manuscripts? - Are they afraid, !"that the Highland public, who are so zealous "to establish the authenticity, will not purchassse ?. It cannot be believed; but the reason is, fathey are not to be found;" P. 45. Our author forgot to place the signature of irony after this paragraph. But those who know, what pushing and sollicitation Mr. Shaw had to make, before he could procure subscribers to indemnify the expence of publishing his own Dictionary of that language, will read this passage with a proper tone. I have just now before me a let. ter, written by Mr. Shaw, advising me not to publish any originals. As there is nothing of a private nature contained in the letter, the fol. lowing extract from it can do no hurt to Mr. Shaw, where he ought not to be hurt; and it will explain this matter. (e) 4
“The Gaelic is the worst subject, you can “use your pen upon. The Highlanders themsel“yes, that have taste, are poor, and buy ng sbooks; those who have any thing, despise - both the language and those who speak it,
but when they have regiments to raise."
The question has been thus answered by Mr. Shaw himself, tong before he put it; and the passage requires no comment.. . .
- Mr. Shaw tells us, that he offered to pur.chafe any number of lines of the original of Ossian , from Professor Macleod of Glasgow, not under fix, at the rate of half a crown each word.
As the anfwer to this assertion could only come with propriety from Professor' Macleod himself, I used the freedom to apply to that gentleman, through the medium of a friend, who has the honour of his acquaintance. The Professor, with that liberality which marks his character, wrote me, in consequence of my friend's application, the following letter, the original of which is in my poffeffion.' . .
II : ..;"In answer to your inquiry, respecting the suse made of my name in the pamphlet against “Mr. Macpherson, I beg leave to assure you, S*that the pamphleteer has taken those liberties k'with my name, most improperly, without my “knowledge, and without a due regard to truth. “In particular, I declare, that Mr. William “Shaw never did challenge me to produce any “number of lines of the original of Ossian's 'poems, offering to pay me half a crown per
word, for all that I should produce; and that “nó fuch challenge was given, nor offers made, snor any thing to the same purpose said, by "any person, at any time, either to me, or to “any other in my hearing. I have only to add,
that, if any such offer fhiould hereafter bę "made, by any man possessed of half-crowns, I "shall not hesitate to accept the condition; as"sured as I am, that I shall find no difficulty “in procuring any number of lines of the origi. “nal poems. Mr. Macpherson , ' with whom I "had the happinefs of cominencing a very ear.. "ly acquaintance at college, read a considerable "part of thofe poems to me in the original "Gaelic, before the publication of his version; "and it was owing to my own engagements
' (@ 5
"at the time, and not to any backwardness on
“I have the honour to be, &c."
We have seen, froin the above, that Mr. Shaw inade no pecuniary offer whatsoever to Professor Macleod. But if he will be so very obliging, as to make a similar offer to me., I shall engage, to ease him of all the cash he has to spare,
It will be needless tą fay any thing with respect to the general attack, which Mr. Shaw has made on the character of the gentlemen and clergy of the Highlands, whose testimonies have been produced as proofs of the authentici.