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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 11. 12s. ; 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 parliament. 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. The 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 be"half of his master, to forbear giving any farther oppo

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"sition to the union, as he had extremely at heart to give
"C 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
uneasy 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 au-
thenticate 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

OF

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OSSIAN'S POEMS.

Igitur qui de veteribus annalibus Britannorum originem afferre se usseverant, 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 memoriæ custodes, quidam confugiunt, prorsus perridicule faciunt. Id autem multo magis intelligetur, si explicavero quale fuerit id genus hominum, cui de tantis rebus, tam obscuris, et a memoria nostra tam procul remotis, fidem haberi volunt.

BUCHANAN'S HIST. L. 11.

As

S the poems of Ossian are about to be published in 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

Detection of Ossian.

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 in-
dulged in these notes. In reducing, however, the numerous
detections, historical and critical, under a few general
heads; I. 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. Imita-
tions of the ancient and modern poets: VII. The pre-
tended originals: VIII. Macpherson's avowal of the whole
imposture; it is my sincere desire to disabuse my country-
men, and to put an end, if possible, to the controversy and
to the deception for ever.

I. 1. That the Highlanders, to whom the name of Scots
was at first appropriated, originated from Ireland, the an-
cient Scotia, is an historical fact, which was never contro-
verted except by Maitland, Goodall, and the two Macpher-
sons. 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
Loarn, 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 settle-
ment was named Dalriada. Their migration is confirmed
by the Irish historics, and their arrival is fixed at the year
258, when a colony was first conducted by Riada to Argyle.
In the next century they occur in Marcellinus, under the
designation of Attacotti and Scots; a new people, unknown
to Ptolemy, that retained the same settlements in Argyle
till expelled by the Picts. But whether their first migra-
tion 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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