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

The Occasion of the Law Suit. chapter I

I need not tell you of the great quarrels that have happened in our
neighbourhood since the death of the late Lord Strutt; how the
parson and a cunning attorney got him to settle his estate upon
his cousin Philip Baboon, to the great disappointment of his cousin
Esquire South. Some stick not to say that the parson and the
attorney forged a will; for which they were well paid by the family
of the Baboons. Let that be as it will, it is matter of fact that
the honour and estate have continued ever since in the person of
Philip Baboon.

Late King of ...

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