Hugh Blair (essay date 1765)
SOURCE: A Critical Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian, the Son of Fingal, Garland Publishing, Inc., 1765.
[In the following excerpt from the first major examination of Ossian's authenticity, Blair defends Ossian's works as genuine.]
Among the monuments remaining of the ancient state of nations, few are more valuable than their poems or songs. History, when it treats of remote and dark ages, is seldom very instructive. The beginnings of society, in every country, are involved in fabulous confusion; and though they were not, they would furnish few events worth recording. But, in every period of society, human manners are a curious spectacle; and the most natural...
(The entire section is 12326 words.)