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To which is subjoined
A CRITICAL DISSERTATION on the
POEMS of OSSIAN. By Hugh Blair, D.D.

L O N D ON:
Printed for T. Becket and P. A. DE HONDT,
at Tully's Head, in the Strand.

MDCCLXV.

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DISSERTATION,

THE history of those nations which originally

poffessed the north of Europe, is little known. Destitute of the use of letters, they themselves had not the means of transmitting their

great actions to remote posterity. Foreign writers saw them only at a distance, and therefore their accounts are partial and undistinct. The vanity of the Romans induced them to consider the nations beyond the pale of their empire as barbarians; and consequently their history unworthy of being investigated. Some men, otherwise of great merit among ourselves, give into this confined opinion. Having early imbibed their idea of exalted manners from the Greek and Roman writers, they scarcely ever afterwards have the fortitude to allow any dig. nity of character to any other ancient people.

Without derogating from the fame of Greece and Rome, we may consider antiquity beyond the pale of their empire worthy of some attention. The nobler passions of the mind never shoot forth more free and unrestrained than in these times we call barbarous. That irregular manner of life, and those manly pursuits from which barbarity takes its name, are highly favorable to a strength of mind unknown in polished times. In advanced VOL. II.

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