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Chapter 39 (2 references)

His notion as to the poems published by Mr M'Pherson, as the works of Ossian, was not shaken here. Mr M'Queen always evaded the point of authenticity, saying only that Mr M'Pherson's pieces fell far short of those he knew in Erse, which were said to be Ossian's. JOHNSON. 'I hope they do. I am not disputing that you may have poetry of great merit; but that M'Pherson's is not a translation from ancient poetry. You do not believe it. I say before you, you do not believe it, though you are very willing that the world should believe it.' Mr M'Queen made no answer to this. Dr Johnson proceeded, 'I look upon M'Pherson's Fingal to be as gross an imposition as ever the world was troubled with. Had it been really an ancient work, a true specimen how men thought at that time, it would have been a curiosity of the first rate. As a modern production, it is nothing.' He said, he could never get the meaning of an Erse song explained to him. They told him, the chorus was generally unmeaning. 'I take it,' said he, 'Erse songs are like a song which I remember: it was composed in Queen Elizabeth's time, on the Earl of Essex; and the burthen was

Chapter 89 (2 references)

'Dinner being ready, he wondered that his guests were not yet come. His wonder was soon succeeded by impatience. He walked about the room in anxious agitation; sometimes he looked at his watch, sometimes he looked out at the window with an eager gaze of expectation, and revolved in his mind the various accidents of human life. His family beheld him with mute concern. "Surely," said he, with a sigh, "they will not fail me." The mind of man can bear a certain pressure; but there is a point when it can bear no more. A rope was in his view, and he died a Roman death.' [Footnote: 'Essex was at that time confined to the same chamber of the Tower from which his father Lord Capel had been led to death, and in which his wife's grandfather had inflicted a voluntary death upon himself. When he saw his friend carried to what he reckoned certain fate, their common enemies enjoying the spectacle, and reflected that it was he who had forced Lord Howard upon the confidence of Russel, he retired, and, by a ROMAN DEATH, put an end to his misery.' Dalrymple's Memoirs of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. I p. 36.]