Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

has doubted Barbour's authorship of the Brus, but argument has been attempted to show that the text as we have it is an edited copy, perhaps by John Ramsay, a Perth scribe, who wrote out the two extant texts, preserved in the Advocates' library, Edinburgh, and in the library of St John's College, Cambridge. Extensive portions of the poem have been incorporated by Wyntoun (q.v.) in his Chronicle. The first printed edition extant is Charteris's (Edinburgh, 1571); the second is Hart's (Edinburgh, 1616).

(2) Wyntoun speaks (Chronicle III. iii.) of a "Treteis" which Barbour made by way of "a genealogy" of "Brutus lynagis"; and elsewhere in that poem there are references to the archdeacon's "Stewartis Oryginale." This "Brut" is unknown; but the reference has been held by some to be to (3) a Troy-book, based on Guido da Colonna's Historia Destructionis Troiae. Two fragments of such a work have been preserved in texts of Lydgate's Troy-book, the first in MS. Camb. Univ. Lib. Kk. v. 30, the second in the same and in MS. Douce 148 in the Bodleian library, Oxford. This ascription was first made by Henry Bradshaw, the librarian of Cambridge University; but the consensus of critical opinion is now against it. Though it were proved that these Troy fragments are Barbour's, there remains the question whether their identification with the book on the Stewart line is justified. The scale of the story in these fragments forces us to doubt this identification. They contain 595 + 3118 = 3713 lines and are concerned entirely with "Trojan" matters. This would be an undue allowance in a Scottish "genealogy."

(4) Yet another work was added to the list of Barbour's works by the discovery in the university library of Cambridge, by Henry Bradshaw, of a long Scots poem of over 33,000 lines, dealing with Legends of the Saints, as told in the Legenda Aurea and other legendaries. The general likeness of this poem to Barbour's accepted work in verse-length, dialect and style, and the facts that the lives of English saints are excluded and those of St Machar (the patron saint of Aberdeen) and St Ninian are inserted, made the ascription plausible. Later criticism, though divided, has tended in the contrary direction, and has based its strongest negative judgment on the consideration of rhymes, assonance and vocabulary (see bibliography). That the "district" of the author is the north-east of Scotland cannot be doubted in the face of a passage such as this, in the fortieth legend (St Ninian), 11, 1359 et seq.

"A lytil tale ȝet herd I tel,
þat in to my tyme befel,
of a gudman, in murrefe [Moray] borne
in elgyne [Elgin], and his kine beforne,
and callit was a faithful man
vith al þame þat hyme knew than;
& þis mare trastely I say,
for I kend hyme weile mony day.
John balormy ves his name,
a man of ful gud fame."

But whether this north-east Scots author is Barbour is a question which we cannot answer by means of the data at present available.

(5) If Barbour be the author of the Legends, then (so does one conclusion hang upon another) he is the author of a Gospel story with the later life of the Virgin, described in the prologue to the Legends and in other passages as a book "of the birth of Jhesu criste" and one "quhare-in I recordit the genology of our lady sanct Mary."

(6) In recent years an attempt has been made to name Barbour as the author of the Buik of Alexander (a translation of the Roman d'Alexandre and associated pieces, including the Vœux du Paon), as known in the unique edition, c. 1580, printed at the Edinburgh press of Alexander Arbuthnot. The "argument" as it stands is nothing more than an exaggerated inference from parallel-passages in the Bruce and Alexander; and it makes no allowance for the tags, epithets and general vocabulary common to all writers of the period. Should the assumption be proved to be correct, and should it be found that the "Troy fragments were written first of all, followed by Alexander and Bruce or Bruce and Alexander, and that the Legends end the chapter," it will be by "evidence" other than that which has been produced to this date.

For Barbour's life see Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, ii. and iii.; Registrum Episcopatus Aberdonensis (Spalding Club); Rymer's Foedera.

Works.—(1)The Brus MSS. and early editions u.s. Modern editions: J. Pinkerton, 3 vols. (1790) (called by the editor "the first genuine edition," because printed from the Advocates' Library text, but carelessly); Jamieson (1820); Cosmo Innes (Spalding Club, 1856); W. W. Skeat (Early English Text Society, 1870-1889; reprinted, after revision by the editor, by the Scottish Text Society, 1893-1895). On the question of the recension of Barbour's text, see J. T. T. Brown, The Wallace and The Bruce restudied (Bonn, 1900). (2 and 3) Troy Fragments. C. Horstmann has printed the text in his Legendensammlung (ut infra). See Bradshaw, Transactions of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society (1866); the prolegomena in Horstmann's edition; Skeat, Brus (S. T. S. edit. u.s. pp. xlvi. et seq.); Köppel, "Die Fragmente von Barbours Trojanerkrieg," in Englische Studien, x. 373; Panton and Donaldson, The Gest Historiale of the Destruction of Troye (E. E. T. S. pt. ii. Introd. pp. x. et seq.); G. Neilson (ut infra); and J. T. T. Brown (ut supra) passim. (4) Legends of the Saints. C. Horstmann, who upholds Barbour's authorship, has printed the text in his Barbours des schottischen Nationaldichters Legendensammlung nebst den Fragmenten seines Trojanerkrieges, 2 vols. (Heilbronn, 1881-1882), and that of the legend of St Machor in his Altenglische Legenden. Neue Folge (Heilbronn, 1881) pp. 189-208. A later edition by W. M. Metcalfe, who disputes Barbour's claim, appeared in 1896 (Legends of the Saints in the Scottish Dialect of the Fourteenth Century, 3 vols., Scottish Text Society). See the introductions to these editions; also Skeat and Koppel u.s., and P. Buss, Sind die von Horstmann herausgegebenen schottischen Legenden ein Werk Barberes? (Halle, 1886) (cf. Anglia, ix. 3, 1886). (5) For the Gospel-story evidence see Metcalfe, u.s. I. xxix. (6) On the Alexander Book and its assumed relationships, see G. Neilson, John Barbour, Poet and Translator (1900) (a reprint from the Transactions of the Philological Society); J. T. T. Brown u.s., "Postscript," pp. 156-171; and Athenaeum, 17th of November, 1st and 8th December 1900, and the 9th of February 1901.

 (G. G. S.) 

BARBUDA, an island in the British West Indies. It lies 25 m. N. of Antigua, of which it is a dependency, in 17° 33′ N. and 61° 43′ W., and it has an area of 62 sq. m. Pop. (1901) 775. It is flat and densely wooded. On the western side there is a large lagoon, separated from the sea by a spit of sand. The part of the island under cultivation is very fertile, and the air is remarkable for its purity. Cattle and horses are bred and wild deer are still found. Salt and phosphates of lime are exported. The island was annexed by Great Britain in 1628 and was bestowed in 1680 upon the Codrington family who, for more than 200 years, held it as a kind of feudal fief.

BARBY a town of Germany, in the kingdom of Prussia, on the left bank of the Elbe, 82 m. S.W. of Berlin on the direct railway to Cassel. Pop. (1900) 5136. It has two evangelical churches and a seminary for school teachers, which is housed in the former castle of the lords of Barby. The industries are mainly agricultural, but there are sugar factories and breweries. Here from 1749 to 1809 was a settlement of the Herrnhut evangelical brotherhood.

BARCA (mod. Merj), an ancient city founded in the territory of Cyrene in the middle of the 6th century B.C. Rising quickly to importance it became a rival of the older city, and gave its name to the western province of the latter's territory. The name as a provincial designation is still in occasional use, but is now applied to all the province of Bengazi. Barca is said to have owed its origin to Greek refugees flying from the tyranny of Arcesilaus II. (see Cyrene), but it is certain that it was rather a Libyan than a Greek town at all times. A Persian force invited by the notorious Pheretima, mother of Arcesilaus III., in revenge for Barcan support of a rival faction, sacked it towards the close of the 6th century and deported a number of its inhabitants to Bactria. Under Ptolemaic rule it began to decline, like Cyrene, and its port Ptolemais (Tolmeita) took its place: but after the Arab conquest (A.D. 641) it became the chief place of the Cyrenaica for a time and a principal station on the Kairawan road. Though now a mere village, Merj is still the chief centre of administration inland, and has a fort and small garrison. No ruins of earlier period than the late Roman and early Arab seem to be visible on the site. The latter lies, like Cyrene, about ten miles from the coast on the crest of Jebel Akhdar, here sunk to a low downland. It owed its early prosperity to its easy access to the sea, and to the fact that natural conditions in Cyrenaica and the