James Macpherson

1736 - 1796


The Works of Ossian








To the

Earl of Bute,


Knight of the moſt Noble Order

of the Garter, &c. &c.


My Lord,

I Preſume to preſent to your lordſhip a compleat edition of the Works of Oſſian. They have already been honored with your approbation, and have been received with applauſe by men of taſte throughout Europe. This adreſs therfore is not an endeavor to ſecure the continuance of the public favor through the ſanction of your name.

Little ſolicitous myſelf about the reputation of an author, I permit, with no concern the Old Bard to take his chance with the world: It proceeds, my Lord, from another cauſe; the ambition of being hereafter known to have met with your favor and protection in the execution of this work; an honor which will be envied me, perhaps, more ſome time hence than at preſent. I throw no reflexions on this age, but there is a great debt of fame owing to the Earl of Bute, which hereafter will be amply paid; there is alſo ſome ſhare of reputation, with-held from Oſſian, which leſs prejudiced times may beſtow. This ſimilarity between the Stateſman and the Poet, gives propriety to this dedication; ſo your Lordſhip's avowed patronage of literature requires no adventitious aid to direct you the addreſſes of authors. It is with pleaſure I embrace this opportunity of teſtifying in public with what perfect attachment,


I am,

my Lord,

your Lordſhip's moſt humble,

moſt obliged,

and moſt obedient ſervant