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perufe the Colonel's defence of the Irish with greater fatisfaction , than he must view Mr. Shaw's condust with indignation, for bringing this as an argument against the authenticity of Offian’s Poems, after what he himself had written. Mr. Shaw fays in the 15th page of his Analysis, “Unlike the Irish, the Scots Gae. “lic delights to pronounce every letter, and is “not briffled over with fo many ufeless and “quiescent confonants. -The English and the “French are infinitely more difficult to pronoun“ce.” Here he makes ufe of Mr. Macpherfon's own words. Let the reader compare this paffage with the prefent publication, and withhold the nạme of Impostor from its author, if he can. One of his asfertions muft be falfe, intentionally falfe too: for they relate not to matter of opinion, but are pofitive allegations, con- cerning a language, which, he fays, he underftands as well as any man living. Yet this very man has the confummate asfurance, to hold himself forth as a paragon of integrity; and the periodical papers of England are filled with his praife as fuch, representing him as a miracle of fincerity and truth.
. Great part of Mr. Shaw's pamphlet is taken up with a feeble and fruitleís attack on
(d) 4 . . Dr.
Dr. Blair's elegant Disfertation on the Poems of Offan. No facts, however, that have the fmalleft foundation in truth, are produced against the Disfertation ; and the reader will fcarcely imagine, that the Dostor ftands în need of fupport from any other writer, against the arguments of fuch an opponent as Mr. Shaw. The following asfertions, however, are very remarkable. “Dr. Blair," fays Shaw, “of alt men living, “has the greatest reafon to be displeafed, who “has been imposed upon, and led to write in
“defence of a forgery;” p. 19. “The Dostor “(Blair), how ftrenuously foever he has endea
“voured to make them appear authentic, muft “have known better ; for fome fay, it is the “promiscuous produstion of Dr. Blair and Mr. “Macpherfon :” p. 39.
I shall leave the reader, to make his own reflections on these two paragraphs, and reconcile them, if he can. , ,
I have personally applied to thefe two learned and elegant writers; and they have auè thorised me to asfure the publie, that the whole is, in every particular, a falfehood. Upon fuch authority, the public will not hefitate to treat the ftory with the contempt it merits.
Similar to this fistion, relative to two of the first literary chara&ers of this age as weri as nation, is what Shaw alleges concerning his interview with Mr. Maepherfon, on the fubjećt of the Poems of Offian. The distance of my place of refidence from that gentleman, prevented me from applying to him in perfon. I chofe therefore to request a friend, to wait upon him in London , rather than write to him. That friend accordingly called upon him in my name; and he gave him in fubstance the following detail. His words were, as nearly as my friend can recollest, “That, feveral years ago, “Mr. Shaw called at his houfe, and introduced (d) 5 • “him.« “himself without either recommendation or prior “acquaintance whatfoever, but merely as a na*“tive of one of the Scotch ifles, and a man **who had ftudied the Gaelic language. That “the avowed object of his calling was to follicit “Mr., Macpherson's intereft to promote a fub“scription for a grammar of the Gaelic language, “which he had written, or had in contempla“tion to write. That, as a specimen of his “knowledge of the Gaelic language, he left for “Mr. Macpherfon's perusal and judgment, a trans“lation of Mr. Pope's Mesfiah; which has been “fince printed, and annexed, by Mr. Shaw, to “his Grammar. That Mr. Macpherfon, upon “perusal of this fpecimen, conceived a very in“different opinion, both of Mr. Shaw's poetical “talents and knowledge of the Gaelic; as the “language was the very worst dialest of the “Gaelic tongue, (that spoken in the ifle of Ar“ran), and the words throughout, mispelt, and “fcarcely intelligible. That Mr. Shaw called “repeatedly, but at long intervals, upon Mr. “Macpherfon; by whom he was received only
“fight of his manufcripts; and that, even if he “had, Mr. Macpherfon fhould not have indulged “his curiofity, as he both disliked the manners “of the man, and knew that he was not capable “of forming any just judgment upon the mat“ter. That, whatever farther, than what is ftat“ed above, has been either written or faíd by “Mr. Shaw, relative to personal interviews with “Mr. Macpherfon, is mere exaggeration, or a “fistion meant to deceive and mislead the pub“lic.” Mr. Macpherfon alfo authorifed my friend, to declare to mė, “That the allegation of Mr. “Shaw, that the manufcripts in the hands of “Mr. Mackenzie are the fame, that were depo“fited with his bookfeller, by Mr. Macpherfon, “for the infpestion of the public, is an absolute “falfehood; as the laft mentioned manuscripts “have never been out of Mr. Macpherfon's pof*“fession, since he withdrew them from Mr. Bec“ket’s shop, after they had remained there for
“many months.” . As for my own part, I mention the very names of men of literary eminence with refpest. What then muft I feel, when I fee a man, distinguished for nothing lefs than for genius, truth, and candour, attempting to emerge from his