The Poems of Ossian, Volume 4

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General Books LLC, 2010 - 86 pages
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Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1801. Excerpt: ... the chief of their blood, fo he, in return, confidered them as members of hit family. His commands, therefore, though abfolute and decisive, partook more of the authority of a father, than -of the tigor of a judge. Though the whole territory of the tribe was considered as the property of the chief, yet his vasfals made him no other consideration for their lands than fervices, neither burdenfome nor frequent. As he feldom went from home, he was*at no expence. His table was fupplied by his own herds, and what his numerous attendants killed in hunting. In this rural kind of magnisicence, the Highland chiefs lived, for many ages. At a diftance from the feat of government, and fecured, by the inaceelfiblenefs of their country, they were free and independent. As they had little communication with strangers, the customs of their ancestors remained among them, and their language retained its original purity. Naturally fond of military fame, and remarkably attached to the memory of their anceftors, they delighted in traditions and fongs, concerning the exploits of their nation, and efpicially of their own particular families. A fuccession of bards was retained in every clan, to hand down the memorable actions of their forefathers. Ab Fingal and his chiefs were the most renowned names in tradition, the bards took care to place them in the genealogy of every great family. They became famous among the people, and an - object of siction and poetry to the bards. The bards erected their immediate patrons into heroes, and celebrated them in their fongs. As the circle of their knowledge was narrow, their ideas were consined in proportion. A few happy expressions, and the manners they Mprefent, may pleafe thofe who understand the language; their obfcurity and inaccuracy would difgust in a tranfla...

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