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lightful; it is continued the whole year, but as their amorous desire ceaseth, so ceaseth also their harmony, whereas the songs of other birds endureth the whole year through.
"Bernardo. They perchance account it needless to rechaunt their melodious tunes and sweet harmony, but at such time as the pride and gaiety of the season entertaineth them in love and jollity cheerfully with mutual sweetness, rejoicing one another, and each mate understanding the other's call.
"Ludovico. According to this, you will have the birds to understand one another.
"Bernardo. There is no doubt but they do, for even as the beasts know the voice one of another, assembling themselves together by their bellowing and braying, even so do they understand the churning and peeping one of another, calling themselves thereby together into shoals and flocks."
And here we shall leave our friends, the " interlocutores" Ludovico, Anthonio, and Bernardo, discoursing their strange histories, and still confiding in Solinus, and Albertus, and Olaus Magnus, and dealing round their marvels one to the other, while the orange and jessamine flowers are hanging over them, and the rich Spanish twilight is fading from their view. May the nightingale sing to them for ever its sweet and complaining story! And may they themselves never tire, but go on telling of fact and fable, of man and magician, and the wonders of earth and heaven, as pleasantly as they have done throughout the six days' entertainment that they have afforded us!
Art. VI. — Miscellaneous Works of the late Dr. Arbuthnot. With an Account of the Author's Life, in two volumes, 12mo. A new Edition. London, 1770.
On the publication of the first edition of this work in 1750, there appeared the following advertisement in the newspapers of the day.
"Having seen two volumes, intitled The Miscellaneous Works of the late Dr. Arbuthnot, printed at Glasgow, I think it my duty to declare, that they are not the works of my late father, Dr. Arbuthnot, but an imposition on the public.
"London, Sept. 25, 1750."
It is singular, that the writer of this advertisement should have thought it prudent to word it in such absolute terms, when he must have been aware, that the volumes in question undoubtedly contained many genuine productions of Dr. Arbuthnot's pen, and that consequently the effect of his disclaimer must be very much weakened by its obvious incorrectness. The only light, perhaps, in which it ought to be viewed is as an announcement from the representatives of Dr. Arbuthnot, that the publication appeared without the sanction of their authority, and that evidence of its genuineness must therefore be looked for from other sources. By a notice prefixed to this collection we are informed, that it contains all the author's pieces of wit and humour, with the exception of such as are comprised in Swift's Miscellanies. That some of these pieces are incorrectly attributed to Arbuthnot there is great reason to believe, and though we had no other assistance than is afforded us by internal evidence, we should feel inclined to reject several of the papers found in this collection, as unworthy the genius of the eminent individual to whom they are attributed. Amongst others, a poem, intitled The Masquerade, at the commencement of the second volume, bears no traces of Arbuthnot's pen. The Freeholder's political Catechism, also, though an able composition, is by no means in the doctor's style either of writing or thinking. Without attempting to decide upon the genuineness of all the productions to which the name of Dr. Arbuthnot has been attached, we shall, when we have occasion to present our readers with specimens of his wit and humour, select them from compositions which we have good reason to believe genuine.
John Arbuthnot, the son of a clergyman of the episcopal church of Scotland, and allied to the noble family from which he derived his name, was born at Arbuthnot, near Montrose, not long after the Restoration. Having at a proper age entered the University of Aberdeen, he applied himself with diligence to his studies, and ultimately took his doctor's degree. His father, not accommodating himself to the change of affairs at the Revolution, forfeited his living, and retired to a small estate of his own, while John and his brothers were compelled to look to their own exertions for their livelihood. Dr. Arbuthnot resolved to push his fortunes in London, where he was hospitably received in the house of Mr. William Pate, a linen-draper, where he resided for some time, and supported himself by teaching the mathematics. While he was thus employed, Dr. Woodward, in 1695, published his Essay towards a natural History of the Earth, a work to which Arbuthnot wrote an answer in 1697, under the title of An Examination of Dr. Woodward's Account of the Deluge, &c.; which, considering the imperfect acquaintance, at that time, with the science of geology, may be accounted a learned performance. It certainly laid the foundation of Arbuthnot's fame, which was extended by an Essay, published in 1700, On the Usefulness of the Mathematics to young Students in the Universities. His practice increasing with his reputation, he now became known to many of the most celebrated men of his day, and was, in 1704, elected a fellow of the Royal Society. By a fortunate accident, he was called in during the illness of Prince George of Denmark, and was shortly afterwards, by her majesty's special command, appointed physician extraordinary to Queen Anne. In 1709, this appointment was followed by that of fourth physician in ordinary; and in 1710, he was admitted a fellow of the College of Physicians. The confidence reposed in him by his royal mistress appears from the terms in which he is spoken of by Swift, who calls him " the queen's favourite physician," and "the queen's favourite." Being thus distinguished by his professional abilities, his influence at court, and his literary attainments, Arbuthnot acquired the friendship not only of the leading men of his party, as Harley and Bolingbroke, but that of all the wits and scholars of his time. On Swift's visit to London in 1710, a strict intimacy was formed between them, and soon afterwards Pope was added to the number of his friends.
In the year 1712 appeared the first part of The History of John Bull, of which it has been justly said, that " never was a political allegory managed with more exquisite humour, or with a more skilful adaptation of characters and circumstances." Dr. Aikin, in his General Biography, seems to consider Arbuthnot's claim to this satire to rest only upon the authority of the Biographia Britannica, but it is expressly attributed to him by Swift in his Journal to Stella (Scott's Swift, iii. 124); and by Pope in Spence's Anecdotes (Singer's edit: 145) who says, that "Dr. Arbuthnot was the sole author." The object of this highly humorous production was to throw a ridicule upon the splendid achievements of Marlborough, and, if possible, to render the country discontented with the war. Arbuthnot, who was one of that literary phalanx attached to the fortunes of Harley and the Tories, was aware how entirely the existence of that minister's power depended on a peace with France, and he therefore applied all the stores of his wit to the accomplishment of that desired end. With the same design, but with graver arguments, Swift had attacked the Whigs, in his celebrated treatise upon the Conduct of the Allies, and in his Remarks upon the barrier Treaty. Powerful as was the effect produced by the pamphlet on the Conduct of the Allies, of which four editions were sold in the space of one week, there is every reason to believe, that the History of John Bull was equally efficacious in forwarding the purposes of the Tories. The ingenuity of the story, united to its intelligible straightforward comic humour, rendered it a favourite in every quarter, while the exquisite skill of the satire gave it a keen relish to the politicians. Even in the selection of the names by which the personages of the story are distinguished, there is something happy. The King of France is Lewis Baboon; the King of Spain, Lord Strutt. The States of Holland appear under the character of Nic Frog, the linen draper; and the Duke of Marlborough figures under the name of Humphrey Hocus, the attorney. A very principal object of the satire doubtless was to degrade the character of the duke, and accordingly he is represented as an "old cunning attorney, who loved money, was smooth-tongued, gave good words, and seldom lost his temper. He was not worse than an infidel, for he provided plentifully for his family, but he loved himself better than them all." The sly attack with wbich this character concludes, must have been very galling to his grace; "the neighbours reported that he was hen-pecked: which was impossible by such a mild-spirited woman as his wife was." It is difficult, and indeed we should hope, unnecessary, to give any extracts from this inimitable piece, which may be read to the greatest advantage in Sir Walter Scott's valuable edition of Swifi's Works, (vol. VI.) where the satirical allusions are illustrated and explained by copious notes. After the accession of the House of Hanover, a supplement to The History appeared, but it has been doubted whether this is the genuine production of Arbuthnot's pen. It appears to be the same as is inserted in the second volume of his Miscellaneous Works, there called, The History of John Bull, part III., and the only part of the satire comprised in that collection. It has indeed been thought iby some, that the two first parts of the History, as printed in Swift's Works, are all that proceeded from Arbuthnot. Imitations of this satire have been from time to time attempted, amongst which, one entitled, The History of Sister Peg, is mentioned with high commendation by Sir Walter Scott. A composition of the same kind, under the title of The History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan, possessing considerable claims to merit, was published a few years ago in America, and attributed to Mr, Paulding, a gentleman of literary talent in that country.
In 1714 the celebrated Scriblerus Club was formed, consisting of most of the greatest wits and statesmen in the country. Amongst others, we learn from Spence's Anecdotes, that Harley, Atterbury, Pope, Congreve, Gay, Swift, and Arbuthnot, were members. In this brilliant collection of learning and genius, no one was better qualified, both in point of wit and erudition, than Dr. Arbuthnot to promote the object of the society, which was "to ridicule all the false tastes in learning, under the character of a man of capacity enough; that had dipped into every art and science, hut injudiciously in each." Political animosities, and the absence of some of their members, soon terminated the meetings of the club, though a portion of their labours still survives in three inimitable pieces—the first book of Martinus Scriblerus—the Travels of Gulliver—and The Art of Sinking in Poetry. Of these, the first book of Scriblerus was published after the death of Arbuthnot, in 1741, in the quarto edition of Pope's Prose Works; the Travels of Gulliver in 1726; and The A?t of Sinking, in the Miscellanies of Pope and Swift, in 1727. There is some difficulty in assigning to each of the "illustrious Triumvirate," as Warburton has called them, the exact share which they respectively took, in preparing for the world the Works and the Memoirs of the learned Scriblerus ; but there seems to be every reason to believe, that of the three pieces mentioned above, Arbuthnot was the sole author of the first, Swift of the second, and Pope of the last. The first book of Scriblerus has, indeed, been printed in the collected editions of the works both of Swift and Pope, and is not to be found in the volumes at the head of the present article, and yet the internal evidence is sufficient to prove it the entire production of Arbuthnot, to whom Warton has attributed the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, tenth, and twelfth chapters, "whatever may be determined of other parts of the Memoirs." The medical and antiquarian knowledge displayed in the other chapters, and the ridicule on Dr. Woodward in the third, afford, however, strong presumption of their having the same origin as the rest. The very humorous essay concerning the origin of the sciences, which is usually appended to the Memoirs of' Scriblerus, appears from Spence, to be a joint production of Arbuthnot, Pope, and Parnell.
Notwithstanding the solemn censure of Johnson, who has asserted, that no one was ever wiser, better, or merrier, for reading this work, there does not, perhaps, exist a composition more perfect in its kind than the Memoirs of Scriblerus. The singular gravity of the style so finely opposed to the extravagant folly of the subject .matter, and the dentil of research and learning pompously bestowed upon ithe illustration of the most amusing trifles, give a keen relish to the satire, unequalled in any similar production. What can exceed the exquisite humour of the dissertation on the ancient music, and the practical exemplification of its power bv the erudite Cornelius?
"The bare mention of music threw Cornelius into a passion. 'How can you dignify, (quoth he,) this modern fiddling with the name of music? Will any of your best hautboys encounter a wolf now-a