Boswell, James, 1740-1795. 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.
- TO JAMES BOSWELL, Esq
- ODE TO TRAGEDY.
By a GENTLEMAN of SCOTLAND.
EDINBURGH: Printed by A. DONALDSON and J. REID. For ALEX. DONALDSON. MDCLXI.
[Price SIX PENCE.]
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,