John Arbuthnot

(29 April 1667 – 27 February 1735 / Kincardineshire, Scotland)

John Arbuthnot
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John Arbuthnot, often known simply as Dr. Arbuthnot, was a physician, satirist and polymath in London. He is best remembered for his contributions to mathematics, his membership in the Scriblerus Club (where he inspired both Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels book III and Alexander Pope's Peri Bathous, Or the Art of Sinking in Poetry, Memoirs of Martin Scriblerus, and possibly The Dunciad), and for inventing the figure of John Bull.

Biography

In his mid-life, Arbuthnot, complaining of the work of Edmund Curll, among others, who would commission and invent a biography as soon as an author died, said, "Biography is one of the new terrors of death," and so a ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.''
    John Arbuthnot (1667-1735), Scottish writer, physician. Quoted in Richard Garnett, Life of Emerson, ch. 7 (1888).
  • ''One of the new terrors of death.''
    John Arbuthnot (1667-1735), Scottish writer, physician. Quoted in Robert Carruthers, The Poetical Works of Pope, vol. 1, ch. 3 (1853). Arbuthnot r...
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Best Poem of John Arbuthnot

Epitaph On Don Francisco

An Epitaph.

Here lieth the Body of Colonel
DON FRANCISCO;

Who, with inflexible Constancy,
And inimitable Uniformity of Life,

Persisted, in Spite of Age and Infirmity,

In the Practice of every human Vice,
Excepting Prodigality and Hypocrisy;

His insatiable Avarice
Exempting him from the first,
And his matchless Impudence
From the latter.

Nor was he more singular
In that undeviating Viciousness of Life,
Than successful in accumulating Wealth;

Having,
Without Trust of public Money, Bribe,
Worth, Service, Trade, or ...

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