James Bruce

He expressed an utter contempt for all kinds of suspicion with regard to his veracity, which he could never be prevailed on to take any pains to substantiate. When requested by his friends, to alter or explain any thing, he would sternly repeat, What I have written, I have written!' with which words he concluded the preface to his travels. Dining out, one day,' says Major Head, at the house of a friend, a gentleman present observed, "that it was impossible the natives of Abyssinia could eat raw meat;" on which, Bruce without saying a word, left the table, and shortly returned from the kitchen with a piece of raw beef-steak, peppered and salted in the Abyssinian fashion, and said to the gentleman, "Sir, you will eat that, or fight me;" the person addressed chose to do the former, when, Bruce calmly observed, "Now sir, you will never again say it is impossible." ' Major Head also relates the following anecdote: Single-speech Hamilton, who was Bruce's first cousin, one evening said to him, "that to convince the world of his power of drawing, he need only draw something then in as good a style as those paintings which it had been said were done for him by his Italian artist." "Gerard!" replied Bruce, very gravely, " you made one fine speech, and the world doubted its being your own com position but, if you will stand up now here, and make another speech as good, we shall believe it to have been your own." '

He used to teach his daughter, who was scarcely twelve years old, the proper mode of pronouncing the Abyssinian words, that he might leave,' as he said, 'some one behind him who could pronounce them correctly. He repeatedly said to her, with feelings highly excited, I shall not live, my child, but you probably will, to see the truth of all I have written thoroughly confirmed.'