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To this statement of my sentiments on the subject, published in 1822, I will now add, as further applicable to your enquiries, that I consider the edition of Mr. Laing as having rather established than shaken the authenticity of the poetry of Ossian. For, in the first place, he bas egregiously failed in substantiating his charges of plagiarism from ancient aud modern authors; a vast proportion of the instances, which he has kelected, being vague and casual resemblances, brought forward in utter forgetfulness that similarity of objects and circumstances, that identity of scenery and character, will necessarily, in the hands of genius, produce a similarity of thought and expression. I will venture, indeed, to affirm, that, on the plan, which Mr. Laing has adopted, any work descriptive of the features of nature, or the play of human character and feeling, may be accused as imitating any other. — In the second place, by publishing the poems of MACPHERSON, which he wrote before and subsequent to his OSSIAN, Mr. Laing has placed before us a body of evidence, which operates very powerfully against the very conclusion, that he wishes us to draw; for their inferiority to the OSSIANIC poeins is so decided, they extribit, indeed, such a mediocrity of conception and exeention, as to warrant the assertion, that the author of these pieces could not have written the poetry ascribed to Ossian.
But perhaps the most convincing proof of MacPAERSON's being not the author, but merely the editor and translator of the poetry of OSSIAN, is the circumstance, that he has frequently mis-interpreted the original Gaelic of the Seventh Book of TEMORA, which he early published as a specimen; a result, which could not have taken place, had he, as Mr. Laing afirms, 'first written his Ossian in English, and, as he wrote, 'translated it into Gaelic.' In fact, he was so imperfectly acquainted with the Gaelic, as to find it necessary to call to his assistance those better instructed in the language than himself. One of these coadjutors was Captain Morison of Greenock, who, in a Letter quoted by Dr. Graham,* states that he was intimately acquainted with his' (Mac
PHERSON's) abilities, and knowledge of the Gaelic language; that he had much merit collecting, and arranging, and translating ; but that so far from composing such poems, as were translated, he' (Morison) 'assisted him often in understanding some words, and suggested some ' improvements. It is further stated in the sanie work, by the Rev. Mr. Irvine, an intimate friend of Captain Morison,' that he' (Morison) 'assured him, that Mr. MACPHERSON understood the Gaelic language
very imperfectly ; that he' (Morison) wrote out the Gaelic for him, . for the most part, on account of MR. MACPHERSON's inability to write or spell it properly ; that he assisted him much in translating ;
and that it was their general practice, when any passage occurred, * which they did not well understand, either to pass it over entirely, or to gloss it over with any expressions, that might appear to coalesce easily with the context.'t
The inference from these passages is obvious, and strangely must be the faculties of that man constituted, who does not acknowledge them as totally subversive of the supposition that MacrHERSON conld be the author of the Gaelic specimens, or anything more, indeed, than their translator and occasional interpolator. I have only time now to add, that I am, dear Sir,
Yours, ever faithfully, Natilan DRAKE."
Mr. Barker takes the present opportunity of announcing to the public his intention to reprint, entire, as speedily as possible, in Purts, at stated periods,
DR. WEBSTER'S American Dictionary of the English Language,
IN TWO VOLUMES QUARTO, which he trusts will be favourably received by the English public; and he respectfully and earnestly solicits contributions from intelligent and learned men for the intended Appendix.
The value of this Work will be well understood by reading the following passage, which Mr. BARKER extracts from a Letter addressed to himself by a distinguished American philologist, Joun PICKERING, Esq.:
Boston, U. S., March 30, 1829.
It is high time that we had one as good, in proportion to the present state of philology, as Johnson's was in his day. I sent you on the Ist instant an article published in one of our periodicals, (the AmeRICAN QUARTERLY Review,) in which you will see some of my views of this subject. I now send you another copy of it, with a short article on the same subject by a gentleman in this vicinity. Since these Reviews were published, we have had the long-promised Dictionary of our countryman, Mr. Webster, under the title of AN AMERICAN DICTIONARY of the English LANGUAGE, 2 vols. 4to. about 1800 pp., a work of erudition, but which I have not yet had opportunity to examine. A copy of it might perhaps be useful to you. The price is 20 DOLLARS, or about FOUR GUINEAS AND A HALF."
Mr. Barker is in daily expectation of receiving the copy, which his enlightened friend has forwarded to him.
“ The most important article in the present No. of the North-AMERICAN REVIEW, is that on Dr. Webster's English DicTIONARY. From the account given of this work by the Reviewer, it would appear to be one of the most valuable contributions our literature has yet received from our trans-Atlantic brethren. Dr. Webster has, it seems, devoted 20 years of his life to bis task. The publication appears in two Vols. 4to., -- and in so far at least as respects the general character of its contents, may be considered as modelled upon JOHNSON; though the entirely new manner, in which each of its departments is treated, makes it, even in regard to plan, a new work. In so far as we may judge from the present paper, Dr. Webster's qualifications, as an English etymologist, appear to be of the first order. We have, indeed, nowhere met with a more enlightened exposition of the principles of etymological science than is given in the article before us."
The London-Magazine, June 1829. “ Another opportunity will soon be afforded us of recurring to this subject, if we shall have the resolution to meet it, in the great and longexpected work of Mr. Noah Webster. His extensive and ardent researches in philology are well known, and calculated to excite the impatient curiosity of the scholar. We shall certainly welcome all productions of this kind, which shall tend to make the Eng'ish language more studied and better understood; and we shall not feel the less grateful to the authors of them, because they labour in a vocation, which to most scholars is far from being attractive."
The North-American Review, Oct. 1828.
London, 1828. Printed for the Editor, and published by
Jonn Bonn, Henrietta-Street, Covent-Garden, pp. 972. 16s. bds., 17s, 6d. bound,
DR. LEMPRIERE'S CLASSICAL DICTIONARY, Containing a copious Account of the Proper Names mentioned in Ancient Authors, with the Value of Coins, Weights, and Measures, used among the Greeks and Romans, and a Chronological Table. The third Edition, greatly enlarged, 1797.
RE-EDITED BY E. H. BARKER, Esq.,
OF THETFORD, NORFOLK. With the extensive and valuable Corrections, Improvements, and Additions, above 4,000 in Number, indicated by Brackets, and, (with his knowledge and approbation,) introduced from the sixth American Edition, published by Charles ANTHON, Esq. Adjunct Professor of Lanyuages and Ancient Geography in Columbia-College, New-York; to which is subjoined by the present Editor, an APPENDIX of various Matter, extracted from several Books.
N. B. As three other Editions of the original Work have been recently published, which will on examination be found to possess advantages very inferior to those, which the Edition now offered to the public notice contains, it will be necessary for such, as desire to procure this Work, to be very exact in their orders for it. The learned Masters of the Charter-House, Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester, Shrewsbury, and other large Schools, have introduced it among their pupils, and there can be little doubt that it will soon be universally substituted in Schools and Academies for the old Work. The new matter, which it contains, and which perhaps constitutes one-fifth of the volume, is not mere compilation from printed books, but the result of learned investigations, (extending over a vast surface of literature,) by the American Editor, Professor Anthon, who is one of the most enlightened scholars of our times. The frequent references to, and quotations from, books of Voyages and Travels, will be particularly useful to students; and the Work is now of so intellectual and so philological a cast, as to be capable of affording ready and great aid even to the advanced scholar.
London, 1828. Sold by John Bohn, Henrietta-Street, Covent
Garden, and T. Rodd, 2 Great Newport-Street, Long-
AUTHORSHIP OF JUNIUS'S LETTERS:
PUBLISHED BY THE SAME EDITOR.
Addressed, 1. to CHARLES BUTLER, Esq., 2. to the Rev. Dr. M. Davy, M. D., 3. to Sir JAMES MACKINTOSH, M. P., 4. to GODFREY HIGGINS, Esq., 5. to Sir UVEDALE PRICE, Bart., with considerable Alterations and Additions. In which are fully discussed, and, as the Author believes, satisfactorily refuted, the Claims of Sir Philip Francis, as set forth by Mr. John Taylor, and the Claims of CHARLES LLOYD, Esq. as advocated by the Rev. DR. SAMUEL PARR. With occasional references to the Claims of the Right Hon. Edmund BURKE and others; a great variety of new information, which has been drawn from sources hitherto unexplored by the Writers on this question, and which in other hands may lead to useful discoveries, and an attempt to lay down certain rules for conducting this and similar Controversies in future. Also an APPENDIX, containing Extracts from many AuThors on the Conduct, Character, and Writings of BURKE.
By E. H. BARKER, Esq., of Thetford, Norfolk. N. B. These papers have been submitted to the perusal of many very intelligent and very intellectual men, who have expressed much approbation of the mode of reasoning employed by the Author, and their decided conviction that he has subverted the claims most ingeniously and powerfully urged by Mr. J. Taylor on the behalf of Sir Philip FRANCIS.
London, 1828, Published by Longman and Co. Price 5s. 6d. bds.
1. CICERO'S CATILINARIAN ORATIONS, from the Text of ERNESTI ; with some notes by the present Editor, E. H. BARKER, Esq., and many selected from Ernesti's edition of Cicero's Works, from his Clavis CICERONIANA, from Scheller and ExNESTUS ANTONIUS: and with Extracts from ANDREAS SCHOTTUS'S Dissertation, entitled CICERO A CALUMNIIS VINDICATUS. 2. TACITUS'S DIALOGUS DE ORATORIBUS SIVE DE CAUSIS CORRUPTÆ ELOQUENTIÆ, from the Text of SCHULZE, 1788. 3. Several beautifuì EXTRACTS FROM ENGLISH AU. THORS, with a suggestion to the ('onductors of classical schools to devote one day in the week to the study of English literature.
London, 1828. 4th edn. Revised, price 58. 6d. bds.
Whittaker and Co., Rivingtons, and other Booksellers ;
Price Four Shillings and Sis-pence, bound.
A SELECTION OF EXERCISES
IN READING AND SPEAKING, Designed to fill the same place in the Schools of the United States, that is held in those of Great Britain by the Compilations of Murr:y, Scott, Enfield, Mylius, Thompson, Ewing, and others, by JOHN PIERPONT, Compiler of “ THE AMERIcan First Class Book.” Boston, 1828. Re-Edited by E. H. Barker, Esq. of Thetford, Norfolk, for the use of Schools. With an APPENDIX by the present Editor.
VI. In the Press, and speedily will be Reprinted by E. H. Barker, Esq.,
AMERICAN FIRST CLASS-BOOK;
Or, Exercises in Reading and Recitations, Selected principally from Modern Authors of GREAT BRITAIN and AMERICA, and designed for the use of the highest Class in public and private schools. By John PIERPONT, Minister of Hollis-Street Church, Boston, Author of “ AjRS OF PALESTINE,” &c.
Price Five Shillings.
Extract from the Preface. This Book has been compiled with a special reference to the public Reading and Grammar-schools of this City. It is the result of an attempt to supply the want, which has long been a subject of complaint among those, whom the citizens of Boston have charged with the general superintendence of their public Schools, as well as with those, who are appointed to the immediate instruction of them-- of a Book of Exercises in Reading and Speaking, better adapted than any English compilation, that has yet appeared, to the state of society as it is in this country, and less obnoxious to complaint, on the ground of its national or political character, than it is reasonable to expect that any English compilation would be, among a people whose manners, opinions, literary institutions, and civil government, are so strictly republican as our own.
Extract from the Records of the School-Committee, Boston. At a meeting of the School -Committee, held July 18, 1823. it was ordered that the AMERICAN First Class Book be hereafter used in the public Reading Schools instead of SCOTT'S LESSONS. Attest,
Wm. Ellis, Secretary. The American First Class Book, which has been favourably known to the public for several years, was intended, as its name imports, for the most advanced classes of the highest Schools, in which reading forms a part of the course of instruction. The extensive and increasing circulation, which that valuable selection has received and is receiving, and the success, with which the use of it has been attended, are sufficient indications, that such a book was needed, and that the author has made a judicious selection and arrangement of exercises. American Journal of Education.