Obrazy na stronie
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upon us

now,

* Yet lov'd he nature in her wildest Melting it flows, pure, num'rous, strong mood,

and clear, Her clefted rocks magnificently high, And fills th' impassion'd heart, and Her mountains awful, vast, sublime, wins th' harmonious eart. and rude,

The same warm admiration of naLifting their giant crests above the

ture must have been experienced by sky; Interminable glens that mock the eye,

almost every one in the least acquainMore than the gentler beauties of the ted with the appearance she assumes dale;

at this season. - It animates the heart, More than the flocks that on the flows

in a torrent of raptures, greensward lie;

places us in an ideal paradise, and afThe shepherd piping in his peaceful fords us a source of pleasure, attainable

vale ; The cot half-hid in trees, wav'd by the

only by those whose « minds are feelnoiseless gale *

ingly alive to each fine impulse.”

But the poet who wishes to make The rocky glen and sequestered this contemplation of nature subservivalley, o'erhung with wood, and wa- ent to the cause of religion, has, of all tered by a murmuring stream, sooth others, the best opportunity of attainto peace the wearied soul, ally each ing his object. It is when

every turbulent desire, dissipate every anxi- passion is lulled to repose, and every tus or corroding thought, and teach

turbulent desire is overcome, that we the mind to soar above the meaner find leisure to reflect on the power, pursuits of the world. In situations wisdom, and goodness of the Deity ; such as these, the student of nature and while we thus feel the impresand the lover of contemplation finds sions the surrounding scenery has on full scope for reflection, and can then the mind, we rise from the contemplaform, in imagination, those picturesque tion of Nature's works, to the contemand animated descriptions, the true plation of Nature's God. J. C. characteristics of a real poet. la scenes like these, which daring to Account of Manuscripts in the SCOTCụ de part

College at Paris. From sober truth, are still to nature (From the Preface to Mr Fox's Historical

Work.) forth

greatest TW' heroic muse employ'd ber Tas.

in the course of his labours, arose from How have I sat, when piped the pensive the manner in which Mr Macpherson

and Sir J. Dalrymple had explained To hear his harp by British Fairfax and conducted their respective publi

strung, Prevailing poet, whose undoubting mind dered as unsatisfactory. Hiscomplaints

cations, and which he always consiBeliev'd the magic wonders which he of both these authors were frequent;

sung : Hence at each sound imagination glows, and the more he examined and studied Hence his warm lays with softest their books, the more he perceived the sweetness flows,

necessity of making some further researches. He was anxious, if possible,

to consult the original documents from * Wallace; or the Vale of Ellerslie. which their extracts were made ; and I: seems not a little surprising, that this he was at first apprehensive, that nowem, possessed of no ordinary merit,

thing should be so little known. July 1808.

$ Collins,

true,

so's art !

wind!

thing short of an examination of all and I have now ascertained beyond all the manuscripts of the Scotch College doubt, that there were in the Scotch at Paris, could enable him to deter- College two distinct manuscripts, one mine the degree of credit due to the in James's own hand, consisting of paextracts of Macpherson. But he must pers of different sizes bound up togevery soon have despaired of obtaining ther, and the other a sort of historical that satisfaction, for he had strong rea- narrative, compiled from the former. sons to suspect, even before his journey The narrative was said to have been to Paris in 1802, that the most valu revised and corrected, as to style, by able part, if not the whole of them, Dryden * the poet, (meaning probably had been destroyed. Three important Charles Dryden, the great poet's son,) points, however, might yet be ascer and it was not known in the College tained :--Ist, Of what the manuscripts, whether it was drawn up in Jamesis so long preserved in the Scotch Cole life, or by the direction of his

son,

the lege at Paris, actually consisted ; Pretender. I doubt whether Carte 2ndly, To what part of them either ever saw the original journal ; but I Carte or Macpherson had access ;- learn, from undoubted authority, that 3dly, Whether any portion, copies, or Macpherson never did ; and yet to fragments, of the papers were still in read his Preface, page 6 and 7, (which existence. The result of his enquiries pray advert to,) one would have supwill be best given in his own words, posed, not only that he had inspected though upon the first point he had as it accurately, but that all his extracts certained * something more than ap at least, if not Carte's also, were taken pears from the following extract of his from it. Macpherson's impudence in letter to Mr Laing:

attempting such an imposition, at a “ With respect to Carte's extract, time when almost any man could have I have no doubt but it is faithfully detected hiin, would have been in anocopied; but on this extract it is neces- ther man incredible, if the internal sary to make an observation, which evidence of the extracts themselves applies to all the rest, both of Carte's against hiin were not corroborated by and Macpherson's, and which leads to the testimony of the principal persons the detection of an imposture of the of the College. And this leads me to latter, as impudent as Ossian itself. - a point of more importance to me. The extracts are evidently made, not Principal Gordon thought, when I from a journal, but from a narrative; saw him at Paris, in October 1802,

that all the papers were lost. I now * Among Mr Fox's papers were found hear froin a well-informed person, that a list of the works which were placed the most material, viz. those written in the Scotch College at Paris, soon af. in James's own hand-writing, were in. ter the death of James the Second, and deed lost, and in the way mentioned were there at the time of the French Revolution.” It is as follows:

by Gordon, but that the Narrative, Four volumes folio, six volumes quar

from which only Macpherson made to,--Memoirs in James the Second's own his extracts, is still existing, and that hand writing, beginning from the time Mr Alexander Cameron, Blackfriars that he was sixteen years of age.

Wynd, Two thin quarto volumes --Containing letters from Charles the Second's * It is the opinion of the present posministers to James the Second (then sessur of the narrative, that it was comDuke of York,) when he was at Brus. piled from the original documents by şels and in Scotland, MS.

Thomas Innes, one of the Superiors of Two thin quarto volumes-Contain the College, and author of a work en. ing Letters from Charles the Second to titled, A Critical Essay on the ancient Ir. his brother, James Duke of York, MS. habitants of Scotland,

Wynd, Edinburgh, either has it him- public carriage. Some other things self, or knows where it is to be found.” were put up with the Manuscripts..

The above information was correct. The whole arrived without any acciThere is strong presumptive evidence, dent, and was laid in a cellar. But that the Manuscripts of King James the patriotism of the Frenchman bethe Second were destroyed, but the coming suspicious, perhaps upon acNarrative, as described, was then, and count of his connection with the Engis now, in the hands of Dr Cameron, lish College, he was put in prison ; Roman Catholic Bishop in Edinburgh. and his wife, apprehensive of the conIt could not be in possession of a per- sequences of being found to have Engson who is better qualified to judge lish manuscripts, richly bound and orof its merits, and on whose fidelity, namented with Royal arms, in her should he be induced to print it, the house, cut off the boards, and destroypublic might more implicitly rely.- ed them. The Manuscripts, thus disI am indebted to his accuracy and figured, and more easily huddled up friendship, for some additional infor- in any sort of bundle, were secretly mation respecting the manner in which carried with papers belonging to the the Manuscripts of the Scotch College Frenchman himself, to his countrywere lost. As the facts are in them- house; and buried in the garden.selves curious, I lay before the reader They were not, however, permitted his succinct and interesting relation of to remain long there; the lady's fears them, contained in a letter to me, da.. increased, and the Manuscripts were ted Edinburgh, March 2, 1808. taken up and reduced to ashes.

Before Lord Gower, the British • This is the substance of the acEmbassador, left Paris, in the begin- count given to Mr Innes, and reported ning of the French Revolution, he by him to me in June 1802, in Paris. wrote to Principal Gordon, and offer- I desired it might be authenticated by ed to take charge of those valuable a proces verbale. A letter was therepapers, (King James's Manuscripts, fore written to St Omer, either by Mr &c.) and deposit them in some place Innes, or by Mr Cleghorn, a lay gentleof safety in Britain. I know not what man, who had resided in the English answer was returned, but nothing was College of St Omer, and was persondone. Not long thereafter, the Prin- ally acquainted with the Frenchman, cipal came to England, and the care and happened to be at Paris at this of every thing in the College devolved time. The answer given to this letter on Mr Alexander Innes, the only Bri- was, that the good man, under the tish subject who remained in it. Ac pressure of old age and other infirmis bout the same time, Mr Stapleton, ties, was alarmed by the proposal of then President of the English College a discussion and investigation, which of St Omer, afterwards Bishop in revived in his memory past sufferings, England, went to Paris, previously to and might, perhaps, lead to a renewal his retiring from France, and Mr In- of them. Any further correspondence hes, who had resolved not to abandon upon the subject seemed useless, espehis post, consulted with him about the cially as I instructed Mr Innes to go to means of preserving the manuscripts. St Omer, and clear up every doubt, in Mr Stapleton thought, if he had them a formal and legal manner, that some at St Omer, he could, with small risk, authentic document might be handed convey them to England. It was down to posterity concerning those therefore resolved, that they should be valuable Manuscripts. I did not forer carefully packed up, addressed to a see that war was to be kindled up anew, Frenchman, a confidential friend of or that my friend Me Innes was to die Mr Stapleton, and remitted by some 90 s0011.

M

“Mr Cleghorn, whom I mentioned even at this early period, is sometimes above, is at present in the Catholic se- found subjected to a degree of despominary of Old Hall Green, Pucker- tism, of which the severity can hardly idge, Hertfordshire. He can probab- be paralleled in more civilized ages. ly name another gentleman who saw One instance, indeed, that of the Natthe Manuscripts at St Omer, and saved ches, was here so striking, as inevitasome small things, (but unconnected bly to force itself upon the attention. with the Manuscripts, which he car. It has generally been regarded, howried away in his pocket, and has still ever, as a mere accidental occurrence, in his possession.

and as forming a singular exception to “ I need not trouble your Lordship that freedom, which forms the general with my reflections upon this relation: characteristic of savage life. But exbut I ought not to omit that I was tensive discoveries, made since the time told, sometimes, that all the Manu- of these writers, have brought to light scripts, as well as their boards, were a number of new societies, in which consumed by fire in the cellar in which the sovereign meets with the same unthey had been deposited upon their ar. limited submission. On an attentive rival at St Omer."

examination, too, of the accounts handThe gentleman alluded to in the ed down from antiquity, we shall dislatter part of the above letter, is Mr cover evident traces of the existence Mostýn, from whom Mr Butler of of these early sovereignties. Upon Lincoln's Inn very kindly procured a the whole, it appears to me evident, statement of the particulars relating that this is a regular and constant to this subject, in the year 1804, and stage through which man is destined transmitted it to Mr Fox. It contains to pass; and there is none, perhaps, in substance, though with some addi- which is more essential to the civilizational circumstances, and slight varia- tion of the species. tions, the same account as Mr Came- This form of government was, in ron's, up to the period of the writer's North America, by no means confinleaving St Omes, which was previousto ed to the Natches. It prevailed ethe imprisonment of the Frenchman. qually among the different nations of . Mr Fox, in a letter to Mr Laing, Florida and Virginia ; nay, it extendremarks, that, “ to know that a paper ed, in a greater or less degree, over is lost, is next best to getting a sight the whole east coast of North Ameriof it, and in some instances nearly as ca, from the Gulph of Mexico, to the good.” So many rumours have been river St Lawrence, without excepting circulated, and so many misapprehen- even the bleak shores of Nova Scotia. sions prevailed, respecting the contents The vicinity of the sea, by yielding and the fate of the manuscripts former- subsistence with ease and abundance, ly deposited in the Scotch College at thus at once increasing numbers and Paris, that it is hoped the above ac- diminishing the necessity of labour, count, the result of the Historian's re- accelerates the arrival of this state of searches, will not be deemed out of its things. In Nootka Sound, on the place in a Preface to a History of the north-west coast, we find several nutimes to which those manuscripts related. merous tribes living in a state of com

plete subjection. Most of the fertile

and beautiful islands of the south sea; On certain Forms of Despotism which the Society, the Marquesas, the Sand

prevail in the Savage State. wich, the Friendly, and the Pelew IsFrom Murray's " Enquiries Historical and lands, exist under this form of governMoral

ment. To them, may be added, the WRITE!

RITERS on this subject have most fruitful and populous part of New not failed to observe, that man, Zealand.

and can

In ancient history, too, we discover him as the object of supreme veneranot glimpses merely, but distinct tra- tion. Hence the obedience, the blind ces of this form of society. The most submission paid to him, are absolutely populous and civilized of the Scythian without a parallel. tribes, particularly the Massagetes; We may observe, moreover, that the Scandinavians, the Britons, evie the despotism thus established is coludently exhibit all its leading charac- pletely the despotism of opinion. In teristics.

the great states afterwards formed, a. Man in a rude stete, as we have re small body of men armed and collectpeatedly observed, is liable, in every ed round the person of the sovereign, passion, to run into extremes. Of this may keep in awe extensive provinces, we have already seen instances in those incapable of acting in concert, ignoof pride and resentment; and the case rant of each others sentiments, and deis the same with that of admiration. prived of the means of communicaThe untutored mind, when confined tion. But here all the subjects are above all to a narrow round of ob- collected within a small compass; they jects, is, in all cases, liable to be affec are equally armed *, assemble ted, in an unlimited degree, by this on all occasions with the utmost facisentiment. Any being, then, who pos- lity. The savage chief, however, withsesses a striking superiority over others, out palace, without guards, and withespecially if that superiority be benefi- ont attendants, sleeps safer, resting on cently exerted, becomes, as it were, its the assured fidelity of his subjects, idol, and is worshipped with a reve- than the eastern monarch, surrounded rence which knows no bounds. This by myriads of satellites, in the most propensity, indeed, with the devotion- secret recesses of his haram. The hisal character which it assumes, may, torian of Louisiana observes, that aperhaps, be considered as a secret ten. mong all the monarchs he knew of, dency of the soul towards that Being that of the Natches alone was absowho is alone worthy of this unbound- lutely secure from all danger of rebeled affection.

lion. The Chiefs of the South Sea We daily see the veneration with islands were thus seen by our navigawhich such persons, above all, when tors, without any external marks of placed in rural and sequestered situa- royalty, going about unattended and tions, regard men superior in rank, by unguarded, often paddling their own whom they are treated with kindness. canoes ; and were distinguishable only Now, in the societies we are now con- by the awful prostrations, and signs of sidering, the chief, who has once risen profound homage, with which their to distinction by personal qualities, or presence was hailed. Advantage was the supposed favour of the divinity,

fre. becomes the grand object on which the eyes of all are constantly fixed.

* To this observation, I have met There is not, as in a more cultivated

only with two exceptions ; one of the society, any variety of objects to di- Suiones in Scandinavia ; and the other, versify the passions, or prevent them of a savage nation in South America.--from all centering in this single point. In both these cases, the arms were all Nor is the authority of the sovereign, kept in a place by themselves, under as in the most absolute of subsequent the royal custody. Yet this is so diferformas of government, checked by any ent from the general practice, that I

should suspect it to be rather a mere are restraint of law, of custom, of public

rangement of convenience, than a sympopinion ; for these are not yet form- tom of jealous precaution. (Charlevoix, ed; nor is there any sentiment capa. Paraguay, I. 71. Tacitus, de Moribus ble of rivalling that, which represents Germanorum, 44.)

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