15Boswell, James, Georges Birkbeck Norman Hill, and Lawrence Fitzroy Powell. Boswell's Life of Johnson: Together with Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides and Johnson's Diary of a Journey into North Wales : in Six Volumes. Oxford: Clarendon, 1975.This particular passage may be read online here.
Johnson continued: "What would you have me retract? I thought your book an imposture; I think it an imposture still. For this opinion I have given my reasons to the publick, which I here dare you to refute. Your rage I defy. Your abilities, since your Homer, are not so formidable; and what I hear of your morals, inclines me to pay regard not to what you shall say, but to what you shall prove. You may print this if you will."
After a trip to Scotland, in part to conduct his own investigation of the Ossian sources, Johnson reported: "t is said, that some men of integrity profess to have heard parts of it, but they all heard them when they were boys; and it was never said that any of them could recite fix lines. They remember names, and perhaps some proverbial sentiments; and, having no distinct ideas, coin a resemblance without an original." (Johnson, Samuel. A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. London: J. Williams, 1775. 190-91. Read online here.)