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dead, and his body here present to be buried, and therewith fell to his singing again. The gentleman being herewith in a great confusion, asked another, of whom he received the self same answer, so that being stricken with a great amazement, without more attending, he went out of the church, and getting upon his horse began to ride as fast as he could homeward : but he had no sooner turned his horse's head, when he was aware of two great black mastiffs that accompanied him, of each side of his horse one; who, do what he could, with rating and striking at them with his sword, would never leave him till he came to the gate of his house, where lighting off his horse and en
see the colour of his face so pale and deadly, assuring themselves that
such instance to tell them what ailed him, that, at last, he recited unto them all the particularities of the before-rehearsed history, having made an end of which, and entering into his chamber, the two black mastiffs of a sudden rushed in upon him, and worried him, so that his servants not being able to succour him, he died presently, verifying that of his funerals, which he had seen done while he lived.”
We next hear of a ghost (" colder than ice") who would come to a man who was in bed-then of a “ certain monk, called Thomas,” who, quarrelling with his brother friars, betook him to the mountains, where he met “a great tall man of a tawny sun-burned complexion,” who proposed carrying him on his shoulders through a river. Thomas, however, discovered when he was on the other's back, that “the ferryman's feet” were not altogether well-shaped, and accordingly began to pray lustily; upon which the devil (for it “ was the devil indeed”) threw our friend down, and vanished with a horrible noise and tempest (p. 72). We cannot afford much space even to these supernatural facts. The smart answer of Saint Andrew, however, deserves mention. The devil, in the shape of a beautiful woman, being sitting at a bishop's table, Saint Andrew came there “ as a pilgrim," to demand alms : upon which she (the devil) asked the saint how far distant heaven was from earth. “ Thou shouldst better know than I,” answered Saint Andrew, “ because thou hast fallen from thence.” The Scotch may be proud of this answer of their saint. Following this is a story of
“ A woman wailing for her dæmon lover;" — then, another of a maiden deceived by a dæmon, who visited her in the shape of a gentleman of Spain, of whom she was enamoured. Then comes a discussion on “ Necromancie," and on the use of “natural magique,” with “a pretty tale of sprights that were seen in Beneventa”- then succeed tales of hobgoblins and Robin-Goodfellows-then stories of enchanters, and what they did on “students,” and on“ learned men” of Spain - then“ a strange story of a sorceress” (p. 85)—and another history of a sorceress, told by Paulus Grillandus—then, an account of the “ men called Ophrogens”-and, in short, “ tales," “histories,” and “ particulars,” enough to satisfy the most ambitious student of ghost stories, and to tempt the patience of the most indefatigable critic.
The “ fourth" discourse treats of “ Chaunce, Fortune, and Destinie," and of the influences of the heavenly bodies, and other“ learned and curious points."
The “fifth” is a discourse “entreating of the Septentrional countries," with many things “ pleasant and worthy to be knowne.” In this the geographical knowledge of the Ancients is discussed, their speculations, their fables, &c. There is something curious in the account given by “ Sylenus," who, after displaying a little of the traveller's vein to King “Midas," added thereunto
“ Many other marvellous things, as that there were in other provinces thereof certain people, called Meropes, who inhabited many and great cities, within the bounds of whose country there was a place, called Anostum, which word signifieth a place whence there is no return: this country, saith he, is not clear and light, neither yet altogether dark, but between both; through the same run two rivers, the one of delight, the other of grief; upon the shore both of the one and the other are planted trees, about the bigness of poplar-trees; those that are on the banks of the river of grief, bring forth a fruit of the same nature and quality, causing him that eateth thereof to spend the whole time of his life in sad and melancholy dumps, bitter tears, and perpetual weeping. The fruit of those that grow on the banks of the other river have a contrary effect and virtue, yielding to the eater thereof a blessed course of life, abounding in all joy, recreation, and pleasure, without any one moment of sadness: when they are in years, by little and little they wax young again, recovering their former vigour and force, and thence they turn still backward even to their first infancy, becoming little babes again, and then they die.” '
The “ sixth discourse” is a continuation, in fact, of the fifth ; for it speaks only “ of sundry things that are in the Septentrional lands worthy of admiration." This discourse opens pleasantly. We feel as though we were present with the speakers.
“ Bernardo. It were good that we sat down under the shadow of these sweet eglantines and jassemines, whereby we shall not only receive the pleasant savour which they yield, but shall have our ears also filled with delight in hearing the nightingale record their sweet and delectable notes, to which, in my judgement, the curious forced melody of many musicians is nothing to be compared.
“ Ludovico. No doubt but of all birds their singing is most delightful; it is continued the whole year, but as their amorous desire ceaseth, so ceaseth also their harinony, 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 churping 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
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.
“ George Arbuthnot. - “ 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 "s 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.