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bring.her the king's cat to kiss." Previously to his visit to France, Arbuthnot is said to have assisted Gay in the farce of Three hours after Marriage, which was brought upon the stage in 1716. The satirical attack in the drama upon Dr. Woodward, seems to favour this supposition.
In the autumn of 1722, Arbuthnot, finding himself unwell, visited Bath, whither he was accompanied by one of his brothers, who had lately arrived in England, probably the one under whose care he had left his daughters on his visit to Paris in 1718. Mr. Robert Arbuthnot was a person of a singularly benevolent character, and is commemorated in a letter from Pope to the Hon. Robert Digby (Warton's Pope, viii. 58.) "His brother, who is lately come to England, goes also to the Bath, and is a more extraordinary man than he, and worth your going thither on purpose to know him. The spirit of philanthropy, so long dead to our world, is revived in him. He is a philosopher all of fire; so warmly, nay, so wildly in the right, that he forces all others about him to be so too, and draws them into his own vortex. He is a star, that looks as if it were all fire, but is all benignity, all gentle, and beneficial influence. If there be other men in the world that would serve a friend, yet he is the only one I believe that could make even an enemy serve a friend."
There are but few traces of Arbuthnot's proceedings for some years after this time, nor does he appear, during that period, to have been occupied in any literary undertakings. He was chosen second censor of the College of Physicians, on the 30th September, 1723; and, in the autumn of 1725, he had a dangerous attack of illness. His friend Pope visited him on this occasion, and thus communicates the intelligence of his illness to Dean Swift. "Dr. Arbuthnot is, at this time, ill of a very dangerous distemper, an imposthume in the bowels, which is broke, but the event is very uncertain. Whatever that be (he bids me tell you, and I write this by him,) he lives and dies your faithful friend, and one reason he has to desire a little longer life is, the wish to see you once more." (Scott's Swift, xvi. 35.) The news of the doctor's recovery was conveyed by himself in a letter to Swift, on the 17th October, 1725, in which he adds, " people tell me of new impostures (as they call them) every day." (xvi. 47.) In the following year, although the circumstance does not appear in the memoirs prefixed to his works, the doctor again seems to have visited France, as may be collected from a letter addressed to him by Pope (Warton's Pope, vii. 366.) In the year 1727, he published a work of great learning and value, entitled Tables of ancient Coins, Weights, and Measures, explained and exemplified in several dissertations," 4to. This volume, which does great
honour to the antiquarian knowledge, and industry of the writer, though not wholly free from inaccuracies, has ever since been considered a standard work. Although much engaged in professional avocations, he still occasionally diverted himself in compositions of wit and humour, amongst which his Epitaph upon the infamous Colonel Chartres has been preserved. In 1732, he published a professional treatise On the Nature and Choice of Aliments; and, in the following year, an essay On the effects of Air on Human Bodies.
Although the health of Arbuthnot was now fast declining, yet, if we may credit the date, (January 26,1734-5,) affixed to a paper in his miscellaneous works, entitled Critical Remarks on Capt. Gulliver's Travels, by Doctor Bantleu, his facetious
fenius did not desert him even at the very close of his life, he well-preserved gravity of these critical remarks, and the copious citations from ancient authors with which they are accompanied, certainly induce a belief that they are the production of Arbuthnot. The writer's object was to prove, that the Houyhnhnms were well known to the ancients, which he affects to do by numerous authorities, some of which he has manufactured with great skill, of which the following imitation of Chaucer may serve as an instance.
"The first author I shall cite is Chaucer, a poet from our own nation, who was well read in the ancient geography, and is allowed by all critics to have been a man of universal learning, as well as of inimitable wit and humour.
"The passage is literally thus, as I transcribed it from a very fair ancient copy in the Bodleian library, and compared it with other editions in the library of St. James's, my Lord Oxford's, and Lord Sunderland's.
"Certes (quod John) I nat denye
"From this remarkable passage it is evident, that the nation of the Houyhnhnms was commonly known to the ancient inhabitants of this island by the name of Stedlonde, or Steed-land; and that their manners, which are, indeed, more copiously treated of by the traveller, are yet described with great strength and beauty by the poet."
Finding the state of his health becoming still more precarious, Dr. Arbuthnot retired, in 1734, to Hampstead. "I came out to this place" (says he, in an affecting letter to his friend Swift, dated Oct. 4,)" so reduced by a dropsy and an asthma, that I could neither sleep, breathe, eat, or move. I most earnestly desired and begged of God that he would take me." Contrary to his hopes and expectations, the air of Hampstead revived him for a little while, and he again enjoyed the society of his friends, and the endearing attentions of his family, with all that warmth of heart and cheerfulness of temper, for which he was remarkable. He had, indeed, sustained a severe loss in the death of one of his sons, and this circumstance, joined to the grief which his family displayed at the prospect of losing so affectionate a parent, was a sensible affliction to him. His attachment to Swift is strongly and tenderly manifested at the conclusion of this letter. "I am afraid, my dear friend, we shall never see one another more in this world. I shall to the last moment preserve my love and esteem for you, being well assured you will never leave the paths of virtue and honour; for all that is in this world is not worth the least deviation from that way."
In the same strain of earnest friendship, Dr. Arbuthnot had a little while before addressed a letter to Pope. (Warton's Pope, viii. 242.)
"As for you, my good friend, I think, since our first acquaintance, there have not been any of those little suspicions or jealousies, that often affect the sincerest friendships: I am sure not on my side- I must be so sincere as to own, that though I could not help valuing you for those talents, which the world prizes, yet they were not the foundation of my friendships; they were quite of another sort; nor shall I at present offend you by enumerating them; and I make it my last request, that you will continue that noble disdain and abhorrence of vice which you seem naturally endued with; but still with a regard to your own safety, and study more to reform than chastise, though the one cannot be effected without the other.
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"A recovery in my case and at my age is impossible; the kindest wish of my friends is Euthanasia, Living or dying, I shall always be yours."
Pope was not insensible to the affection and advice of his excellent friend. "If," says he in his reply, " it be the will of God (which I know will also be yours) that we must separate, I hope it will be better for you than it can be for me. You are fitter to live or to die than any man I know. Adieu, my dear friend, and may God preserve your life easy, or make your death happy." The closing wish of this letter was soon afterwards accomplished. Arbuthnot, finding his recovery hopeless, left Hampstead, and returned to his house in Cork Street, Burlington Gardens, where he died, on the 27th February, 1734-5. Of his family, one son, Charles, entered into the church, and died shortly before his father; and another, George, filled the post of secondary in the Remembrance Office under Lord Masham, a lucrative appointment.
As a wit and a scholar, the character in which he is best known to us, Arbuthnot may be justly ranked amongst the most eminent men of an age distinguished by a high cultivation of intellect, and an almost exuberant display of wit and genius. To have been an equal sharer in the reputation of such men as Swift, Pope, Addison, and Gay, were alone the highest praise, but as a satirist, and a writer of humour, Arbuthnot has been acknowledged by some of his most celebrated contemporaries to have been their superior. "His good morals," Pope used to say," were equal to any man's, but his wit and humour superior to all mankind." "He has more wit than we all have," said Dean Swift to a lady, " and his humanity is equal to his wit." In addition to these brilliant qualities, the higher praise of benevolence and goodness is most deservedly due to him. His warmth of heart and cheerfulness of temper rendered him much beloved by his family and friends, towards whom he displayed the most constant affection and attachment. The character which Swift has left us of him is in the dean's best manner.—" Mr. Lewis sends me an account of Dr. Arbuthnot's illness, which is a very sensible affliction to me, who, by living out of the world, have lost that hardness of heart, contracted by years and general conversation. I am daily losing friends, and neither seeking nor getting others. O, if the world had but a dozen Arbuthnots in it, I would burn my travels! but, however, he is not without fault. There is a passage in Bede highly commending the piety and learning of the Irish in that age, where, after abundance of praises, he overthrows them all, by lamenting that, alas! they kept Easter at a wrong time of the year. So our doctor has every quality and virtue that can make a man amiable and useful, but, alas I he hath a sort of slouch in his walk !* I pray
* This slouch in the doctor's walk is noticed in a letter from Pope to Mr. Digby, in which, after recommending Arbuthnot to Mrs. Mary God protect him, for he is an excellent Christian, though not a Catholic." (Scott's Swift, xvii. 41.) As a politician, Arbuthnot was firmly and conscientiously attached to those high Tory principles, from the evil operation of which the country was happily rescued by the seasonable accession of the House of Hanover. The part which he acted as a courtier and a favourite was probably a more important one than can now be ascertained, and the influence which both his situation and talents thus gave him over the affairs'of the country must necessarily have been very extensive. Lord Orrery's character of him is,. upon the whole, so able and correct, that with it, we shall conclude this brief account of his life and writings.—" Although he was justly celebrated for wit and learning, there was an excellence in his character more amiable than all his other qualifications: I mean the goodness of his heart. He has shewed himself equal to any of his contemporaries in humour and vivacity, and he was superior to most men in acts of benevolence and humanity. His very sarcasms are the satirical strokes of good nature; they are like slaps on the face given in jest, the effects of which may raise a blush, but no blackness will appear after the blows. He laughs as jovially as an attendant upon Bacchus, but continues as sober and considerate as a disciple of Socrates. He is seldom serious, except in his attacks upon vice, and there his spirit rises with a manly strength and a noble indignation. * * * No man exceeded him in the moral duties of life, a merit still more to his honour, as the united powers of wit and genius are seldom submissive enough to confine themselves within the limitations of morality."
Art. VII.—TEXNOrAMIA : Or, The Marriages of the Arts: A Comedie, written by Barten Holiday, Master of Arts and Student of Christ Church in Oxford, and acted by the Students of the same house, before the Universitie at Shrovetide. London, printed by John Haviland, for Richard Meighen; and are to be sold at his shop, next the Middle Temple gate, and in St. Dunstan's church-yard, in Fleet-street, 1630. \to.
Barten Holiday was born about the latter end of Queen Elizabeth's reign, in the parish of All Saints, Oxford.. He was
Digby, he says: "But, indeed, I fear she would outwalk him, for, as Dean Swift observed to me the very first time I saw the doctor, He is a man that can do every thing but walk."