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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/119

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Bruce
Bruce
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his son’s quarto book, a few days after Michael’s death. It was never seen in Logan’s handwriting before 1767, the year in which he obtained Bruce’s manuscripts. After publishing his own volume, Logan in 1781-2 tried to prevent by law a reprint of the 1770 book; but it was reprinted at Edinburgh for a Stirling bookseller in 1782. It was reprinted in 1784, 1796, and 1807. Against Logan it is urged that his posthumously published sermons (1790–1) show plagiarisms; and that he claimed as his own (using them as candidate for a chair at Edinburgh) a course of lectures afterwards published in his lifetime by Dr. W. Rutherford. The vindication of Bruce's authorship of the contested poems and hymns was ably undertaken by William Mackelvie, D.D., of Balgedie, in his ‘Lochleven and other Poems, by Michael Bruce; with Life of the Author from original sources,’ Edinburgh, 1837, 8vo, and has been further pursued by the Rev. Dr. Grosart, in his edition of Bruce’s ‘Works,’ 1865, 8vo, with memoir and notes. On the other hand, the claim of Logan is advocated in David Laing's ‘Ode to the Cuckoo, with remarks on its authorship, &c.,’ 1873 (privately printed). A strong point is that the Rev. Thomas Robertson, minister of Dalmeny, writes to Baird on 22 Feb. 1791, saying that he and Logan had looked over the manuscripts of Bruce together; and the cuckoo ode is not among those he identifies as Bruce's. In the article ‘Michael Bruce’ in the ‘Encyclopaedia Britannica’ (ninth edition, 1876, iv. 393) stress is laid on the admission of Logan's authorship of the ‘Ode to the Cuckoo’ by Isaac D’Israeli, Thomas Campbell, Robert Chambers, and David Laing The writer erroneously supposes that Bruce’s title to this ode was first (after Logan’s claim) brought forward by Mackelvie. The letters of Pearson (29 Aug. 1795) and Joseph Birrel (31 Aug. 1795), claiming the ode for Bruce, are given by Anderson in his life of Logan (1795). Later defences of Logan's claim will be found in the ‘Brit. and For. Evangelical Review,' 1877 and 1878, articles by John Small, M.A. reprinted separately) and Rev. R. Small. It is not easy to relieve Logan of the charge of having appropriated Bruce’s poem; at the same time his alterations, so for as they can be traced, appear to be improvements on the original work.

[Life, by Robert Anderson, M.D., in his British Poets, vol. ix. 1795. pp. 273 sq., 1029 sq., 1221 sq.; Miller’s Our Hymns, their Authors and Origin. 1866, pp. 242 sq., 247 sq.; Shairp, in Good Words, November 1873; authorities cited above.]

A. G.


BRUCE, PETER HENRY (1692–1757), military adventurer, was born at Detring Castle in Westphalia, his mother's home, in 1692. He was descended from the Bruces of Airth, Stirlingshire. His grandfather, John Bruce, took refuge from the Cromwellian troubles in the service of the Elector of Brandenburg, and his father was born in Prussia, and obtained a commission in a Scotch regiment in the same service. The father accompanied his regiment on its return to Scotland in 1698, and took his wife and child with him. The boy was now sent to school at Cupar in Fife for three years, after which he remained three years more with his father at Fort William. In 1704 his father took him to Germany, and left him with his mother's family, by whom he was sent to a military academy to learn fortification. Soon after his uncle Rebeur, who was colonel of a regiment serving in Flanders, took charge of him, and entered him in the Prussian service (1706). He got his commission in his sixteenth year (1708), in consequence of distinguished conduct at the siege of Lille, and he appears to have been present at a considerable number of the battles and sieges in which Prince Eugene's troops took part. In 1711 he quitted the Prussian service, and entered that of Peter the Great of Russia, on the invitation of a distant cousin of his own name, who held high rank in the Russian army at that time. He was sent with despatches to Constantinople in 1711, and his ‘Memoirs’ give an interesting account of that city as he saw it. His ‘Memoirs’ also contain many interesting anecdotes of Peter the Great and his court during the years 1711–24, for the greater part of which period Bruce appears to have lived at St. Petersburg when not following the czar on his expeditions. In 1722 he accompanied the Persian expedition led by the czar. They sailed down the Volga from Nischnei-Novgorod to Astrachan, and then coasted along the western shore of the Caspian as far as Derbent, passing through the countries of several Tartar tribes, of whose manners and habits he gives a very good account.

After this expedition he at last succeeded in obtaining leave of absence for a year, and quitted Russia in 1724, determined never to see it again. He now returned to Cupar after an absence of twenty years, and settling down on a small estate left him by his granduncle, he married, and turned farmer for sixteen years, during which time he had several children. In 1740, desiring to increase his income, he again took military service, and was sent by the British government to the Bahamas to carry out some fortifications there. Five years later he again returned