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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
"sition to the union, as he had extremely at heart to give
THE SUPPOSED AUTHENTICITY
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.
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
I. 1. That the Highlanders, to whom the name of Scots