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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 which 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 Swift'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 by 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, cansisting 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, ithan Dr. Arbuthnot to promote the objept
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, but 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 Art 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 depth of research and learning pompously bestowed upon the 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 by 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
Placc The bare merit, (quoth he,) thautboys en
days, with no other arms than their instruments, as did that ancient piper, Pythocaris? Have ever wild-boars, elephants, deer, dolphins, whales, or turbots, shewed the least emotion at the most elaborate strains of your modern scrapers, all of which have been, as it were, tamed and humanized by ancient musicians? * * * Whence proceeds the degeneracy of our morals? Is it not from the loss of ancient music, by which, says Aristotle, they taught all the virtues? Else might we turn Newgate into a college of Dorian musicians, who should teach moral virtues to those people. Whence comes it, that our present diseases are so stubborn?' Whence is it, that I daily deplore my sciatical pains ? Alas! because we have lost their true cure by the melody of the pipe. All this was well known to the ancients, as Theophrastus* assures us (whence Cæliust calls it loca dolentia decantare) only, indeed, some small remains of this skill are preserved in the cure of the tarantula. Did not Pythagorast stop a company of drunken bullies from storming a civil house, by changing the strain of the pipe to the sober spondæus ? and yet your modern musicians want art to defend their windows from common nickers. It is well known, that when the Lacedæmonian mob were up, they ß commonly sent for a Lesbian musician to appease them, and they immediately grew calm as soon as they heard Terpander sing. Yet I don't believe that the pope's whole band of music, though the best of the age, could keep his holiness's image from being burnt on a fifth of November.' •Nor would Terpander himself (replied Albertus) at Billingsgate, nor Timotheus at Hockley in the Hole, have any manner of effect, nor both of them together bring Hornecks to common civility.' "That's a gross mistake,' said Cornelius very warmly, and to prove it so, I have here a small lyre of my own, framed, strung, and tuned, after the ancient manner.
them upon the most passionate creatures alive.' 'You never had a better opportunity,' says Albertus, ‘for yonder are two apple-women scolding, and just ready to uncoif one another. With that Cornelius, undressed as he was, jumps out into the balcony, his lyre in his hand, in his slippers, with his breeches hanging down to his ancles, a stocking upon his head, and a waistcoat of murrey-coloured satin upon his
nor were his hopes frustrated. The odd equipage, the uncouth instrument, the strangeness of the man and of the music, drew the ears and the eyes of the whole mob that were got about the two female champions, and at last of the champions themselves. They all approached the balcony in as close attention as Orpheus's first audience of cattle, or that of an Italian opera when some favourite air is just awakened. This sudden effect of his music encouraged him mightily, and it was observed, he never touched his lyre in such a truly chromatic and eni
. * Athenæus, lib. xiv.
Quintilian lib. i. cap. 10. + Lib. de sanitate tuenda, cap. 2. § Suidas in Timotheo. ,
[Horneck, a scurrilous scribbler, who wrote a weekly paper, called The High German Doctor.
harmonic manner, as upon that occasion. The mob laughed, sung, jumped, danced, and used many odd gestures, all which he judged to be caused by the various strains and modulations. “Mark,' quoth he, in this the power of the Ionian ; in that you see the effect of the Æolian. But in a little time they began to grow riotous and threw stones : Cornelius then withdrew, but with the greatest air of triumph in the world, .brother,' said he, do you observe, I have mixed unawares too much of the Phrygian. I might change it to the Lydian, and soften their riotous tempers. But it is enough; learn from this sample to speak with veneration of ancient music. If this lyre, in my unskilful hands, can perform such wonders, what must it not have done in those of a Timotheus or a Terpander ? Having said this, he retired with the utmost exultation in himself and contempt of his brother; and, it is said, behaved that night with such unusual haughtiness to his family, that they all had reason to wish for some ancient Tibicen to calm his temper.”
In the quarto edition of 1741, the thirteenth chapter of the Memoirs of Scriblerus was entitled The Double Mistress; but owing to the grossness of the greater part of it, it was omitted in the edition of Pope's Works, by Warburton. Dr. Warton and Mr. Bowles, less delicate than their predecessor, have admitted this highly humorous chapter, though, it must be confessed, it is not altogether fitted for the public eye. There appears to be little doubt that the chapter of The Double Mistress, like the rest of the first book of Martinus Scriblerus, was the unassisted production of Dr. Arbuthnot. In almost every part of it, we recognize his professional pen, and in the arguments of the learned counsel, Dr. Pennyfeather and Dr. Leatherhead, respecting the seat of the soul, we trace the developement of an idea touched upon in a letter from Arbuthnot to Swift.* There is not, perhaps, in the whole compass of the English language, so much wit and humour conjoined in the same number of pages, as in this obnoxious chapter. The grave ludicrous is carried to its very highest pitch, and the solemn proceedings in the ecclesiastical court are certainly unequalled. As this portion of The Memoirs of Scriblerus, owing to the laudable decorum of Warburton, is probably out of the reach of many of our readers, we shall indulge in a short extract for their amusement. It must be premised, that while Martin was walking forth one evening “through the western confines of the famous metropolis of England, not far from the proud battlements of the palace of Whitehall,” he beheld a caravan wherein a variety of wild beasts and monsters were exhibited for the
admiration of the public.—Attracted by this spectacle, the youthful virtuoso entered.
. “ Martin, with infinite pleasure, heard the history of the several monsters, which was courteously opened to him by a person of a grave and earnest mien, whose frank behaviour and ready answers discovered him to have been long conversant with different nations, and to have journeyed through distant regions. By him he was informed that the lion was hunted on the hills of Lebanon, by the Basha of Jerusalem ; that the leopard was nursed in the uninhabited woods of Lybia; the porcupine came from the kingdom of Prester John; and the man-tiger was a true descendant of Hanniman the Magnificent.
Sir,' said Mr. Randal (for that was the name of the master of the show the whole world cannot match these prodigies : twice have I sailed round the globe; these feet have traversed the most remote and barbarous nations; and I can with conscience affirm, that not all the desarts of the four quarters of the earth furnish out a more complete set of animals than what are contained within these walls.'* Friend,' answered Martin, 'bold is thy assertion, and wonderful is the knowledge of a traveller ; but didst thou ever risque thyself amongst the Scythian cannibals, or those wild men of Abarimon, who walk with their feet backwards ? Hast thou ever seen the Sciopi, so called, because, when laid supine, they shelter themselves from the sunbeams with the shadow of their feet? Canst thou procure me a Troglodyte footman, who can catch a roe at his full speed? Hast thou ever beheld those Illyrian damsels, who have two sights in one eye,whose looks are poisonous to males that are adult? Hast thou ever measured the Gigantic Ethiopian, whose stature is above eight cubits high; or the Sesquipedalian pigmy? Hast thou ever seen any of the Cynocephali, who have the head and voice of a dog, and whose milk is the only true specific for consumptions?'— Sir, (replied Mr. Randal) all these have I beheld, upon my honour; and many more, which are set forth in my journal. As for your dog-faced men, they are no other than what stands before you; that is naturally the fiercest, but by art the tamest man-tiger in the world.' - That word (replied Martin) is a corruption of the Manticora of the ancients; the most noxious animal that ever infested the earth, who had a sting above a cubit long, and would attack a rank of armed men at once, finging his poisonous darts several miles around him. Canst thou inform me whether the boars grunt in Macedonia ? Canst thou give me a certificate that the lions in Africa are afraid of the scolding of women? Hast thou ever heard the sagacious hyæna counterfeit the voice of a shepherd, imitate the vomiting of a man in order to draw the dogs together, and even call a shepherd by his proper name? Your crocodile is but a small one; but you ought to have brought with him the bird trochilos, that picks his teeth after dinner, at which the silly animal is so pleased that he gapes wide enough to give the ichneumon, his mortal enemy, an entrance into his belly. Your modern ostriches are dwindled to mere larks, in comparison to those of the ancients; their's were equal in stature to a man on horseback. Alas! we have lost the chaste bird