An ode to tragedy. By a gentleman of Scotland. Edinburgh: printed by A. Donaldson and J. Reid. For Alex. Donaldson MDCLXI, 1761. 12p.; 4⁰. (ESTC T71923; OTA K060978.000)

  • AN ODE TO TRAGEDY.

    By a GENTLEMAN of SCOTLAND.

    EDINBURGH: Printed by A. DONALDSON and J. REID. For ALEX. DONALDSON. MDCLXI.

    [Price SIX PENCE.]

  • TO JAMES BOSWELL, Esq

    MY DEAR SIR,

    IF Adam Fitzadam presumed to inscribe a volume of the WORLD to MR MOORE, I can see no reason why I, a Gentleman of Scotland, may not take much the same liberty with MR BOSWELL.

    Do not imagine, Sir, because this address comes in the form of a dedication, that I have been invoking the goddess of Flattery. Indeed I have no intention to pay your compliments: not that your discernment is so nice as to reject them with indignation; but because it is my sincere opinion that they would do you harm. To entertain agreeable notions of one's own character, is a great incentive to act with propriety and spirit. But I should be sorry to contribute in any degree, to your acquiring an excess of self-sufficiency.

    To talk thus freely, is certainly a proof that I wish[Page 3] you well: and I make no doubt, Sir, but you consider me as your very good friend; although some people, — and those too not destitute of wisdom, — will not scruple to insinuate the contrary.

    Be that as it may, give me leave to thank you for your particular kindness to me; and chiefly for the profound respect with which you have always treated me.

    I own indeed, that when I have boasted of a glimpse of regard from the finest eyes, and most amiable heart in the world; or, to display my extensive erudition, have quoted Greek, Latin, and French sentences, one after another with astonishing celerity; or have got into my Old-hock humour, and fallen a-raving about princes and lords, knights and geniuses, ladies of quality and harpsichords; — you, with a peculiar comic smile, have gently reminded me of the importance of a man to himself, and slily left the room, with the witty DEAN lying open at ∔ P. P. clerk of this parish.

    The following ODE which courts your acceptance, is on a subject grave and solemn; and therefore may be considered by many people, as not so well suited to[Page 4] your volatile disposition. But I, Sir, who enjoy the pleasure of your intimate acquaintance, know that many of your hours of retirement are devoted to thought; and that you can as strongly relish the productions of a serious Muse, as the most brilliant sallies of sportive Fancy.

    As to my merit as a poet, I shall only say, that while I am certain of YOUR approbation, I shall be entirely satisfied: and if I can any how improve the noble feelings of that honest open heart of yours, I shall reckon myself infinitely happy.

    I must now bid you farewell, with an assurance, that while you continue the man that you are, you shall ever find me, with the greatest sincerity and affection,

    MY DEAR SIR,
    Yours, &c.
  • ODE TO TRAGEDY.