9* s. ix. APRIL 19, 1902.] NOTES AND QUERIES.
to David Pearson, whom the writer addresses as fully worthy of his very best corre- spondence. In one he communicates an account of a picturesque and impressive vision or dream, and in another he warmly describes his friend as his " rival in immortal hope." During an illness Pearson was attended by a medical specialist, to whom Bruce ad dressed, in his friend's stead, a poetical letter of gratitude. The original copy of this document was given to Logan, together with the other Bruce MSS., and sixteen lines of its somewhat rugged heroic couplets were afterwards recaptured from oblivion through the retentive memory of Pearson (Grosart's
- Works of Michael Bruce,' p. 235). Here,
then, is no ordinary man. He is intellectually strong, he has deep and moving sympathies, and he enjoys the entire confidence of his devoted friend. Pearson, moreover, in com- mon with the class to which he belonged, had stern religious convictions, and would have suffered much rather than perjure himself in any cause whatever. Now, he maintained throughout life that he was familiar with Bruce's 'Ode to the Cuckoo' before he ever heard of Logan. He knew it, as he knew the other work of his friend, because it had been submitted to him for approval, and he had it by heart as he had his Catechism. Writing to Anderson, of the ' British Poets,' Pearson said that a few days after the death of Michael Bruce the poet's father read to him some passages from the MS. book afterwards secured by Logan. The poems selected, he said, were the ' Ode to the Cuckoo 'and the ' Musiad,' " at which," runs the narrative, " the good old man was greatly overcome." This is either the truth or a very heartless fabrication, and a just estimate of Pearson's character will readily help to fix the category in which it is to be placed. In another letter the same staunch witness writes :
"I need not inform you concerning the bad treat- ment that his poems met with from the Rev. Mr. Logan, when he received from his father the whole of his manuscripts, published only his own pleasure, and kept back those poems that his friends would gladly have embraced, and since published many of them in his own name. The 'Cuckoo' and the Hymns in the end of Logan's Book are assuredly Mr. Bruce's productions."
Is Pearson's testimony to be ignored as a delusion or a deliberate tissue of misrepre- sentation ? We have seen the relations that existed between Bruce and Pearson, and we have noted Pearson's literary appreciation and his excellent memory. The * Ode to the Cuckoo ' is a poem that was not likely to be forgotten after it was once heard or read,
and Pearson could remember a succession of comparatively trivial heroics. His evidence for the authorship of the disputed poem is essential, stands at the very beginning of the Question, and claims attention and consideration before dates and everything else. This was a man directly and closely familiar with what he discussed, and his acknowledged reputation rebuts the possi- bility of charging him with deliberate false- hood. Those who know what the men of Pearson's creed and manner were will admit that they would have been ready to perish at the stake rather than lend themselves to the propagation of an untruth. They were upright as l*urns's cottar, con- scientious as Scott's David Deans, arid candid as the Ettrick Shepherd himself. Surely these are qualities before which it is becoming to make obeisance. The advocates of Logan's authorship of the poem must not only show that it is representative of his genius, but they must annul the testimony of David Pearson. Let them satisfactorily eliminate this witness from the number cited in Bruce's favour, and then they may advance a little. As matters stand, they seem to get forward only while trampling him ignominiously under foot. THOMAS BAYNE.
A ROYAL YACHT (9 th S. ix. 244). There is a long and interesting account of the Fubbs in the 'History of Music,' by Hawkins. The yacht was built at Greenwich in 1682 by Sir Phineas Pitt, rebuilt at Deptford in 1724, and was in the Navy list down to 1761.
W. H. CUMMINGS.
GREEK PRONUNCIATION (9 th S. vii. 146, 351, 449 ; viii. 74, 192, 372, 513 ; ix. 131, 251). When people look at anything from varying standpoints, that thing will often present different appearances ; and then it is difficult for them to come to an agreement as to what,
that the Latin sal could have become sel " in French. What I thought was that possibly the Latin sal never had so to become," but that the sound of the Latin sal, originally, was probably much what the sound of the present French word sel yet is. If we con- sider that all languages may be expected to have had a drop in the vowel tones, and that yet we find the sounds salz and sel, for in- stance, still remaining, while sal and sealt stand out as guideposts from the past, one can only think of our own sound (sorlt) as a much-travelled, fashionable monstrosity. And