« ZurückWeiter »
Sold by JAMES WATSON & Co. No 40. South Bridge;
FOR CLEANSING THE TEETH.
THE teeth being in this age fo much attended to (and perhaps not too much) by both fexes, a few hints concerning the purification of them may not be unacceptable: Clean your teeth at night, because when eating, particles of meat are apt to cleave about the mouth, and enter the crevices of the teeth, and which, thro' the natural heat of the mouth, will putrify if they be left in till the morning, of confequence these putrid particles will become harbours of animalculæ, which are the ruin of the teeth. Alfo the groffness which is collected in the day, will not be fo eafily erafed in the morning as at night. Never ufe any powder (or at least very feldom), the compofition of which being prejudicial in general to the teeth, as it rubs off the enamel, the prefervation of which conftitutes the goodness of the teeth; if any powder is to be used I would recommend fine charcoal duft, or Peruvian bark; only use a dry brush, or elfe water that is milk-warm to wash your mouth with; for fo great a tranfition as from hot foups to cold water, instead of bracing up the teeth, only tends to enervate and make them ache.
COMMISSIONER TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
ANECDOTE OF THE LATE LORD CHESTERFIELD.
HIS Majefty having been oppofed in the cabinet, and difappointed in carrying fome meafures which he was much fet upon, retired to his private chamber in great dudgeon before all the bufinefs was finished. Among other things, a Commiffioner to reprefent his Majefty in the General Affembly of the Church of Scotland behoved to be named. The Cabinet Council overheard his Majefty beating and pockering the fire very violently, which he frequently did when in a paffion, and each declined going into his prefence to get a Commiffioner named. Knowing Lord Chesterfield's address and humour, they all pitched on his Lordship to get the business done, as it would not admit of delay. His Lordfhip accordingly went in, making his bows with "pleafe your Majefty".. The King continued pockering the fire with his back to the door, and took no notice of Lord Chesterfield. Upon advancing fome steps, always addreffing the King, he at last got out, "Whom will your Majefty be pleased to name as Commiffioner to represent your Majefty in the General Affembly of the Church of Scotland?" without turning round, he called out," the Devil." Upon repeating the meffage again and again, he got the fame answer, "the Devil" Then fays Lord Chesterfield, will it please your Majefty to continue the writ of Commiffion in the ufual ftyle? Shall we call him "your Majesty's Well beloved Coufin and Counfellor ?" This put his Majefty in good humour, and the business was done in the usual way.
For APRIL 1796.
AN ACCOUNT OF JAMES MACPHERSON, ESQ.
HIS Gentleman was defcended from one of the most ancient families in the North of Scotland, being coufin-german to the Chief of the clan of the Macphersons, who deduce their origin from the antient Catti of Germany. He was born at Ruthven in the county of Inverness, in the latter end of the year 1738, and received the first rudiments of his education at home, from whence he was fent to the grammar school of Inverness, where his nius became fo confpicuous, that his relations, contrary to their original intention, determined to breed him to a learned profeffion. With this view, he was fent fucceffively to the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh, in the last of which he finished his ftudies.
While at the University, he exercised his poetical talents, which, however, were not (if a few paffages of Offian are excepted) of the first order. In the. year 1758, he printed at Edinburgh a Poem in fix Cantos, intituled "The Highlander," in 12mo. This performance is a tiffue of fuftian and abfurdity, feeble, and in fome parts ridiculous, and fhews little or no talent in the art of verfification. In a fhort time the Author was fenfible himself of its faults, and, it is faid, endeavoured to fupprefs it. We fhall, therefore, not revive this abortive effort by any extract. About the fame period he wrote the following Ode on the Arrival of the Earl Marifchal in Scotland, which is called an Attempt in the Manner of Pindar.
The villagers all on the green,
Th' arrival of their Lord attend; The blithfome fhepherds hafte to join, And whistling from the hills defcend; Nor orphan nor lone widow mourns;
E'en hopeless lovers lofe their pains;
Once more to bless his native plains.
How he with Tyrcis, at the chace,
Hy'd o'er the hill and dale: Their hoary heads with rapture glow, While each to each repeats How well he knew where to bestow, Was to oppreflion still a foe; Still mixing with their praife his youthful
Then from the grafs Melanthus rofe, The arbitrator of the plains,
And filent all ftood fixt to hear
The Tityrus of Mernia's fwains : For with the Mufe's fire his bofom glow'd, And eafy from his lips the numbers flow'd. "Now the wifh'd-for day is come, Our Lord reviews his native home; Now clear and ftrong ideas rife, And wrap my foul in extacies. Methinks I fee that ruddy morn, When, waken'd by the hunter's horn, I rofe; and, by yon mountain's fide, Saw Tyrcis and Achates ride: While floating by yon craggy brow The flowly fatt'ring mift withdrew : I faw the ro huck crefs yon plan, Yon heathy fteep faw him gain;
The hunters fill fly o'er the ground,
"The memory of those happy days
Thus as he fpoke, each youthful breast
Glows with wild extacies;
In each eye rapture ftands confeft,
Each thinks he flies along the mead,
And hears the beagles' cries.
The fage Melanthus now again
"The kings of th' earth, with open arms,
See! warlike Cyrus, great and wife,
And all his breast unveil.
A defert lies where'er they go,
"With dread the Turks have oft beheld
With wrath redoubled rag'd;
Stretch'd forth his hand, and thus refum'd When from their native rocks the frighted
"Now my youthful heat returns,
When, to hunt the fallow deer,
All in the light and healthy drefs
Our brave forefathers wore
In Kenneth's wars, and Bruce's days, And when the Romans fled their dreadful wrath of yore.
"O'er every hill, o'er every dale,
All by the winding banks of Tay, Refounds the hunter's chearful peal,
Their armour glitt'ring to the day." Big with his joys of youth the old man ftood
Dunnotyr's ruin'd towers then caught his
'Twas then, through ftreams of fmoke and blood,
Achates mounts the city wall; Though wounded, like a god he stood, And at his feet the foes fubmiffive fall.
Brave are the Goths, and fierce in fight, Yet these he gave to rout and flight: Proud when they were of victory. He rufh'd on like a ftorm; difpers'd and weak they fly.
Thus, from the Grampians old,
A torrent deep and ftrong,
And sweeps the shepherd and the flock along.
"When, through an aged wood,
So, many a German field can tell,
He ftopt-and hung his head in penfive "When with their num'rous dogs, the fwains
And from his bofom burst th? unbidden figh,
Then turning with a warrior look Shaking his hoary curls, the old man spoke:
"Virtue, O Fortune! fcorns thy pow'r, Thou canst not bind her for an hour;
Virtue fhall ever fhine;
And endless praife, her glorious dow'r,
Surprize the aged lion's den,
And scorns the rage of dogs and men ;
Stands trembling in his breaft, his dauntless heart
Glows with a victor's pride.
"So the old lion, brave Achates fought; And miracles of prowess wrought;
Thus as he spoke, each hoary fire
Fights o'er his ancient wars;
Beneath his lifted arm, ftruck pale,
Him with the fhouts of victory.
After this performance, we hear no more of Mr Macpherson's metrical compofitions.
It was intended that he should enter into the service of the Church, but whether he ever took orders we are uncertain. Mr Gray speaks of him as a young Clergyman*, but David Hume probably more truly defcribes him as "a modeft fenfible young man, not fettled in any living, but employed as a private tutor in Mr Graham of Balgowan's family, a way of life which he is not fond of t." This was in the year 1760, when he furprised the world by the publication of "Fragments of Antient Poetry, collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and tranflated from the Gaelic or Erfe language." 8vo. Thefe Fragments, which were declared to be genuine remains of ancient Scottish poetry, at their first appearance delighted every reader; and fome very good judges, and amongst the reft Mr Gray, were extremely warm in their praifes. As other fpecimens were faid to be recoverable, a fubfcription was fet on foot to enable our Author to quit the family he was then in, and undertake a miffion into the Highlands, to fecure them. He engaged in the undertaking, and foon after produced the Works whofe authenticity has fince occafioned fo much controverfy, but which now feem gene
• Mafon's Life of Gray.
+ Vol. 5. page $29.
rally admitted to be the Works of Mr Macpherson himself.
In 1762 he published "Fingal, an Antient Epic Poem, in fix books," together with feveral other Poems, compofed by Offian, the fon of Fingal, tranflated from the Gaelic language, * 4to. The fubject of this Epic Poem is an invafion of Ireland by Swaran, King of Lochlin. Cuchullin, General of the Irish tribes during the minority of Cormac King of Ireland, upon intelligence of the invafion, affembled his forces near Tura, a cattle on the coast of Uister. The Poem opens with the landing of Swaran; councils are held, battles fought, and Cuchullin is at laft totally defeated. In the mean time Fingal, King of the Highlands of Scotland, whofe aid had been folicited before the enemy landed, arrived, and expelled them from the country. This war, which continued but fix days, and as many nights, is, including the epifodes, the ftory of the Poem. The fcene, the heath of Lena, near a mountain called Cromleach in Ulfter. This Poem also was received with equal applaufe as the preceding Fragments.
The next year he produced "Temora," an ancient Epic Poem, in eight books: together with feveral other Poems compofed by Offian, fon of Fingal, 4to.: which, though well received, found the Public fomewhat lefs difpofed to bestow the fame measure of applaufe. Though thefe Poems had been examined by Dr Blair, and others, and their authenticity afferted, there were not wanting fome of equal reputation for critical abilities, who either doubted or declared their difbelief of the genuinenefs of them. By this time the Author feems to have devested him felf of that modesty which Mr Hume had formerly commended, and treated his antagonists in an arrogant manner, not calculated to remove any impreffions they had received.
"Since the publication," fays he, "of the laft collection of Offian's Poems, many infinuations have been made, and li doubts