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mians what we cannot refuse to the modern neighbours of the Ekimaux ?
"The truth is, that the resemblance at least, of all the virtues contained in the poems of Offian, and which are probably exag. gerated in the ufual manner of poetry, ftill remains in the Highlands of Scotland. The valour of the Highlanders is allowed by their greatest enemies; and the most prejudiced cannot accufe them of cruelty. Battle feems always to have been more the ob ject, than the rewards of victory. In the focial virtues, the lowest Highlander is not, even in this age, deficient.
"In ancient times, the Highlanders had much better oppor tunities to learn exalted fentiments, if fuch must be learnt, than in later ages. The moft prejudiced of our opponents will allow, that refinement is in every country, in a certain degree, an infeparable appendage of a court. In the days of Fingal, and for many ages after him, the Highlands were the feat of government. After the extinction, or rather the conqueft of the Pics, the kings of the Scots fixed their refidence in the low country. When the fouthern parts of Scotland were wrefted from the Saxons and Danes, an extenfion of territory and the danger of a fouthern enemy car ried the feat of government ftill further from the Highlanders. This circumstance had certainly its weight in depriving the pofterity of the Fingalians of fome part of that exalted character, which diftinguished their ancestors. But their retaining still fo many of the virtues celebrated by Offian, is certainly a good argument, that thofe virtues might have existed in their perfection, in more favourable times.
"But there is little occafion for fpeculative reafoning on a matter which is fo well established by fact. A whole people give their reftimony to the existence of the poems of Offian; and gentlemen of the first reputation for veracity, and a capacity to judge of the fubject, have long ago permitted their names to be given to the public, as vouchers for many parts of the collection published by Mr. Macpherson. Many more are ready to join their teftimony to that already given to the world. The truth is, that even the defending a matter of fuch notoriety, is the most plaufible argument that the prejudiced could have brought against the authenticity of the poems.
"To put the matter beyond the contradiction of the prejudiced, and the unbelief of the most incredulous, I am glad to be able to inform the public, that the whole of the poems of Offian are fpeedily to be printed in the original Gaclic. In vain will it be faid by Doctor Johnson and others, who have manifeftly refolved not to believe the authenticity of the poems, that the fame man who could invent them in English, might clothe them in a Celtic drefs. To this, I answer, that it would be impoffible for any perfon, let his talents be ever fo great, to impofe a tranflation, for an original, on any critic in the Gaelic language.
Doctor Johnson will certainly permit me to ask him, whether any of his countrymen could imitate the language of the age of
Chaucer, fo as to pafs his own work, for a compofition of thofe times? Doctor Johnson's critical knowledge of the English language, would fpurn the idea; but I will venture to affure the Doctor, that we have, among us, feveral perfons as converfant in the old Gaelic, as he himfelf is in the tongue of the ancient Saxons.
"In the arrangement of the whole work, and even in the improvement of particular paffages, the public are perhaps indebted to the taste and judgment of Mr. Macpherson. Being perfectly mafter of all the traditions relative to the Fingalian times, he has, no doubt availed himself of that advantage, in placing the poems in their most natural order, and in reftoring the fcattered members of fuch pieces, as he found floating on tradition only, to their original stations. As he collected fome parts of the poems from what Doctor Johnfon would call the recitation of the aged,' in different parts of the country, he was certainly excufable in taking the • bett readings in all the editions,' if the expreffion may be used. "Thus far we will admit, that Mr. Macpherson is the author of the poems. But more we will neither grant to him, nor to Doctor Johnson; who feems not to be aware of the compliment he pays to a writer, who, by meriting his envy, has excited his malevolence."
In the performance before us, our author hath refuted many mifreprefentations, and detected many inconfiftencies in the Doctor's Journey,' but fome of his remarks, we must here obferve, are trivial and infignificant. Hisnguage for the most part, is nervous and mafterly. But want of candour, fo apparent in his farcaftic expreffions, greatly di minishes the merit of a learned and faunch Scotchman, whom the amor patrie hath hurried on beyond the bounds of decency and good order. O..
Emma Corbett; or, The Miferies of Civil War. Founded on
[Continued from page 268.]
From the comment which was given in our laft Review, of this elegant and interefting performance-(interefting indeed to every reader within thefe realms, because on a fubject in which every lover of his country and his kind, is concerned)
we proceed to the extracts, which, in that comment were promited. Introductory, however, to thefe, it is impoffible to fuggeft any thing more in point, (from whence the diffe
rence betwixt this work and the general run of novel-nonfenfe may be feen) than what will be found in one of the last letters of the history written by (in our opinion) its most admirable character.
"Sir Robert Raymond to his Friend.
"I am just come from the most agonizing ceremony, oh Frederick, that can poffibly pass under the eye of man!-May you never feel what otherwife you can never know! Eafy in your fortunes, quiet in your fituation, unconnected in your interefts, you can, happily for you, have no conception-at leaft no perfect oneof that rend in the heart which is made by death, when youth, in. nocence, and beauty, is committed to the duft-when the parent hangs his drooping head over the last fad tenement-when the orphans
What have I faid? Youth, innocence, and beauty !—and do all these then go down to the earth's cold bofom? Shall none of them afcend? The glooms of the foul almot carry fenfation into fin! They fhall ALL afcend! The one fhall enfure everlasting exif tence to the others. Innocence fhall immortalize beauty and youth.
"I am reafoning with an almoft breaking heart, Berkley; while poor old Corbett, the furvivor of his family, in all the folemn pathos of grief, forgets every pain of body in nurfing that which is feated within. The romance of youth may teach you to expect that I should execrate that I should fummon to my affiftance every infernal power-that I should tax heaven itself with cruelty, and take refuge from altercating man, amidst the friendly concealment of impenetrable woods. This may, perhaps, answer the purpose of the novellift, but it correfponds not with the nature of your friend. No, Berkley. It is not in a moment like this that the truly touched and truly tender indulge themfelves in outrage. The first burst is paft: that which began with loudness, with vehemence, and with vociferation, fettles into the ftill, the folemn, and the affecting. The temper, ftormy and headftong, of Corbett himself, terminates in the eloquence of dumb diftrefs. The tears fall fast from me as I write. More impetuous periods I have felt: so awful and so affecting a crifis never did I experience. You, who knew not Emma, and have not a regular though you have a worthy heart, cannot know what I have loft. The manner of her death-the motive-and the whole tenour of circumstances connected with it, throw over every paffage of the fcene, a colour fo movingly fad, that I fit wonderftruck in the room, and feem almoft in my grave, with the world about me. I have exerted myfelf to fay thus much at the winding up of this folemn catastrophe, left you, my dear Berkley, or any other perfon, into whofe hands thefe incidents may fall, fhould prefume to question the ways of Almighty God, which are juftifiable in every part of this pathetic ftory. Erroneous notions of punishment and reward, are perhaps the leading steps to religion and infidelity. The vile herd of novellifts have done an ef
ential injury to the cause of virtue, by facrificing to the pleasure of the reader, beyond the fimplicity of truth. Difficulty, in the beginning of a narrative; love, in the middle; and marriages, at the end, make up, almost invariably, the recipe of a modern romance. This is called rewarding virtue; a bad character or two, perhaps, drops off, and that is called punishing vice. Falfe, foolish, conclufion! Look into life. Doth not heaven's blessed beam fhine equally on the juft and the unjuft. Are all rewards fo mechanically contrived? Hath virtue no joys of her aun?joys, which generous forrow only can produce? Is the facred ftruggle of a good man altogether afflictive? To pafs through a road perplexed and thorny to travel through a hard and difficult life, without tearing the finer principles from the heart, doth it require no better conduct than moves in the machinery of thofe contemptible pages where all is given up to letter'd art, and distorted imagination? Are there no fweets in the penfive figh-the pious tear? Break they from the mourner without offering him any balm? Hath heaven-born conftancy no comforts? Confider the life of Emma! Hath death, at once virtuous and chriftian, nothing to lift the furvivor's spirit above every care of vulgar being? Oh, Frederick, I am touched by a very tender example. In lamenting as I now lament, fay my friend, is there no dear and welcome mitigations? Yes, I feel-I feel that there are. Would I part with this generous grief?-Ah no! What would I take in exchange?-The univerfe fhould not buy it from me. I even anticipate the holy fatisfaction when I fhall teal from the fhout and ftrife of fociety, to the tomb of a vir tuous woman. Think you I love her less because I no more shall fee her? Hath fhe suffered in my esteem by her ascension into beaven? Shall she lose as an angel, what as a mortal fhe acquired? I love her better. The Omnipotent placed her in the path of my life, ta fix and concentrate the best of paffions. I am not of difpofition or age to change again. Oh, that the daughter of Emma may live! Shall I be content with a parent's common duty-to cloathe, to feed, to educate ? Confider Berkley, whose babe it is!
"I have hurried down ftairs to examine my treasure!
64 It lives, it fleeps. I have felt its gentle breath on my cheek.
"God will fpare it. Louifa's orphan too is mine. Corbett too fhall live. I have moved towards his bed-fide often, fince I began to write. His face is hid-he will not yet endure existence, but the hours of refignation are at hand.
"I conjure you then, Berkley, to fettle your opinions about Providence. Bring your piety to a point.-Cultivate your tenderness. -Love, like Emma; and if you meet with fuch a disappointment, do not transfer your affection, but turn it to a generous account. The vulgar effect of tender diftrefs, is diffipation or defpair. Had I yielded to thefe, a poor old man would have wanted a friend; two lovely infants, a parent; and I the felf-approving bofom-ray, which s my fpirit in this vale of forrow.
Circumfcribe not, therefore, the rewards of Heaven. The writer of a romance would paint me as a wretch without hope, who calls down the stroke of fate in pity to his aid. Attend you to the reality, my friend; and behold a man who wishes ftill to live! and who thinks himself rewarded. Farewel
"ROBERT RAYMOND." Sentiments like thefe, as eloquent as they are affecting, reconcile us to the various shocks of fympathy which we suffered in the perufal of Emma Corbett: They reconcile us to her pilgrimate, her poifon, her wounds and her death. In a POLITICAL light, this performance is to be confidered as giving a new form to old matter;-as pointing, with a mafter's hand, at the deep gafhes that are made in the fide of relationship and fociety in this wretched conteft, where to fpeak as men, we must acknowledge both parties are wrong. The author holds up to our eye (and the impreffion enters our heart) two violent partizans of oppofite principles, the one an American, the other a Briton, in fentiment: and then, he attempers these again by the medium of a third character, over every part of which is thrown the fineft luftre of philanthropy. Of all these perfonages, (who are intimately con→ nected with every event of the ftory) the reader may form fome judgment from the fubfequent letters fuppofed to be written by themselves :
"To Emma Corbett.
"Emma, be yourself. You must make one generous effort. I fee you languishing under my eye and cannot bear it. Thrice have I feen you in the fick chamber within a few weeks. It is easy to perceive that your whole foul is pining after Henry-the perfidious Henry; with whom your union must never be while you think proper to own a father, and accept his protection. I tell thee, Emma, that were he this moment returned, and returned with what degenerate Britons now call glory-nay, could he lay the conqueft of the plundered colonies at thy feet, there exifts a reason which would make it vile yes, mark the strength of the term-VILE, in Emma Corbett to accept it. But I fee nothing less than the entire explanation of the fact will convince thee.
To crush, therefore, every lingering hope at once, know thou dear infatuated, thy father ftill leans his very foul on the welfare of America. Thofe fortunes which have been destroyed, those debts which have impoverished me, as well as thofe ample streams of commerce which rolled unobstructed from shore to fhore, were all dedicated to injured America. For her thy brother's blood was fhed, and had I yet more fons, more fortunes, and more refources, they fhould all be at the fervice of that violated country. She is injured-fhe is aggrieved, my daughter, Her oppreffions are at my VOL. XI. Rr heart