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DISSERTATION on the Authenticity of Ossian's Poems, by

Sir John Sinclair, Bart. containing Introduction to the Work

page iv

CHAPTER I. A Statement of the Evidence adduced in behalf of the Authenti

city of Ossian's Poems, with some Observations on the Objections which have been urged against their Authenticity


CHAPTER II. Account of the Gaelic Edition herewith printed, and the Circum

stances which have hitherto presented the Publication thereof; together with some Observations on the Beauties of the Poems of Ossian, as originally composed

lxxxv A New Translation of the First Book of Fingal, with Notes, by the Rev. Thomas Ross

ci A Translation from the Italian of the Abbé Cesarotti's Critical

Observations on the First Book of Fingal, by John M'Arthur, LL. D.


APPENDIX. No. I. Deposition by Captain John Macdonald of Breakish ccv No. II. Letter from the Reo. Mr. Rosing to Sir John Sinclair, accompanied by Extracts from Suhm's History of Denmark

ccviii No. III. Account of the Indian Subscription No. IV. Declaration by Captain Alex. Morison of Greenock

ccxxiv No.V. Observations on the Two English Translations of the First Book of Fingal

ccxxvi No. VI. A Scene from Ossian



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It has frequently been asserted, that the poetical works of Ossian, would never appear in the dialect in which they were said to have been originally composed; that the whole was a forgery, written in English, which never existed in any other form than the one in which it had been produced; and which in fact had no foundation in any other language, excepting some wandering ballads, of which hardly six lines could now be recited by any person of veracity.* There cannot be a more satisfactory answer to such groundless assertions, than the work

* The greatest antagonist to the authenticity of Ossian was the celebrated Dr. Samuel Johnson. In his journey to the Western Islands, (edition 1798, p. 205,) he roundly asserts, “ that the poems of Ossian never existed in any other form than that which

have seen. That the editor or author never could show the “ original, nor can it be shown by any other. That it is too long to be remembered, and that the language formerly had nothing "written. That he (the editor) has doubtless inserted names that


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