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JOHN ARMSTRONG, the son of the parish minister of Castleton, in Roxburghshire, was born in 1709. He studied for the medical profession, in Edinburgh University, and took his M.D. degree in 1734. Having completed his education, he started for London, probably fired by the success of his countrymen Thomson and Mallet, with whom he soon became on the most friendly terms. intimacy with them, and his introduction into literary society, drew him aside from his proper profession; and his publication of the Economy of Love, a poem of a somewhat licentious tone, destroyed his prospects as a physician. He afterwards revised the poem, and toned down its more objectionable features.


In 1744, he published The Art of Preserving Health, in four books; and in 1746, he received the appointment of physician to the Hospital for Lame and

Sick Soldiers. In 1751, he published Benevolence; and in 1753, Taste, an Epistle to a Young Critic. In 1758 appeared his Sketches, or Essays on various subjects, by Lancelot Temple, Esq., in which Wilkes is supposed to have had a hand. They consist chiefly of critical strictures upon tasteless innovations in the language and manners, &c. In 1760, he was appointed physician to the Army in Germany; but at the conclusion of the Seven Years' War, in 1763, he returned to London on half-pay, and resumed his medical practice. About 1773, he quarrelled with Wilkes, and made the acquaintance of Fuseli, the celebrated Swiss painter, whose genius he was one of the first to appreciate.

While getting out of a carriage, in which he returned from a visit in Lincolnshire, he met with an accident which brought on a fever, of which he died in September 1779. Though

apparently unsuccessful in business, he❘ And where the cynorhodon1 with the rose was found to have left £3000 at his death.

In disposition Armstrong was irritable, and fond of controversy-a bias that brought him into several literary squabbles; yet he had many attached friends, who appreciated his worth and knew his bitterness to be rather splenetic than venomous.

For fragrance vies: for in the thirsty soil
Most fragant breathe the aromatic tribes.
There bid thy roofs high on the basking


Ascend, there light thy hospitable fires.

And let them see the winter morn arise,
The summer evening blushing in the west`;
While with umbrageous oaks the ridge

O'erhung, defends you from the bluster-
ing north,

And bleak affliction of the peevish east.
Oh! when the growling winds contend,

and all

As a poet, he does not rank high, yet his Art of Preserving Health, at least in its subject, takes up unoccupied ground, and deals with it in as poetical and pleasing a manner as is consistent with The sounding forest fluctuates in the the theme. It is evidently suggested by his friend Thomson's Seasons, and is

arranged in four books, headed Air, Diet, Exercise, The Passions, from each of which we have selected favourable specimens. But, though in Thomson's manner, the treatment of the subject is original, and is characterized by good taste and judgment, in exhibiting only such aspects of it as are capable of being presented in poetical language. Rightly deeming that it is the object of poetry rather to excite interest in a subject than to teach it in detail, the poet has avoided making his poem a medical




Meantime, the moist malignity to shun Of burthen'd skies; mark where the dry champaign

Swells into cheerful hills; where marjoram

And thyme, the love of bees, perfume the



To sink in warm repose, and hear the din
Howl o'er the steady battlements, delights

Above the luxury of vulgar sleep.
The murmuring rivulet, and the hoarser


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But may no fogs, from lake or fenny plain, Involve my hill! And wheresoe'er you build;

And kindles into life the ponderous spheres.

Cheered by thy kind invigorating warmth,

Whether on sun-burnt Epsom, or the We court thy beams, great majesty of day!

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What does not fade? The tower that long had stood

The crush of thunder and the warring winds,

Fierce coughs will teaze you, hoarseness Shook by the slow but sure destroyer

bind your voice,

Or moist gravedo load your aching brows. These to defy, and all the fates that dwell In cloistered air tainted with steaming life, Let lofty ceilings grace your ample rooms; And still at azure noontide may your dome

At every window drink the liquid sky.

Need we the sunny situation here, And theatres open to the south, commend? Here, where the morning's misty breath infests

More than the torrid noon? how sickly grow,

How pale the plants in those ill-fated vales That, circled round with the gigantic heap Of mountains, never felt, not ever hope To feel, the genial vigour of the sun! While on the neighbouring hill the rose inflames

The verdant spring; in virgin beauty blows The tender lily, languishingly sweet; O'er every hedge the wanton woodbine


And autumn ripens in the summer's ray. Nor less the warmer living tribes demand The fostering sun: whose energy divine Dwells not in mortal fire; whose generous heat


Now hangs in doubtful ruins o'er its base. And flinty pyramids, and walls of brass, Descend the Babylonian spires are sunk; Achaia, Rome, and Egypt moulder down. Time shakes the stable tyranny of thrones, And tottering empires, crush by their own weight.

This huge rotundity we tread grows old; And all those worlds that roll around the


The sun himself shall die; and ancient Night

Again involve the desolate abyss: Till the great FATHER through the lifeless gloom

Extend His arm to light another world,
And bid new planets roll by other laws.
For through the regions of unbounded

Where unconfined Omnipotence has room,
BEING, in various systems, fluctuates still
Between creation and abhorred decay :
It ever did, perhaps, and ever will.
New worlds are still emerging from the

The old descending, in their turns to rise.


Glows through the mass of grosser Toil, and be strong. By toil the flaccid

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Grow firm, and gain a more compacted Not less delightful, the prolific stream


The greener juices are by toil subdued, Mellowed, and subtilised; the vapid old Expelled, and all the rancour of the blood. Come, my companions, ye who feel the charms

Of Nature and the year; come, let us stray Where chance or fancy leads our roving walk:

Come, while the soft voluptuous breezes fan The fleecy heavens, enwrap the limbs in balm,

And shed a charming languor o'er the soul. Nor when bright Winter sows with prickly frost

The vigorous ether, in unmanly warmth Indulge at home; nor even when Eurus' blasts

This way and that convolve the labouring woods.

My liberal walks, save when the skies in rain

Or fogs relent, no season should confine,
Or to the cloistered gallery or arcade.
Go, climb the mountain; from the ethereal


Imbibe the recent gale. The cheerful morn Beams o'er the hills; go, mount the exulting steed.

Already, see, the deep-mouthed beagles catch

The tainted mazes; and, on eager sport
Intent with emulous impatience try
Each doubtful trace. Or, if a nobler prey
Delight you more, go chase the desperate

And through its deepest solitudes awake
The vocal forest with the jovial horn.


But if the breathless chase o'er hill and dale

Exceed your strength; a sport of less fatigue,

Affords. The crystal rivulet, that o'er
A stony channel rolls its rapid maze,
Swarms with the silver fry. Such, through
the bounds

Of pastoral Stafford, runs the brawling

Such Eden, sprung from Cumbrian mountains; such

The Esk, o'erhung with woods; and such the stream,

On whose Arcadian banks I first drew air,

Liddel; till now except in Doric lays Tuned to her murmurs by her love-sick swains,

Unknown in song: though not a purer


Through meads more flowery, more romantic groves,

Rolls toward the western main. Hail,

sacred flood!

May still thy hospitable swains be bless'd In rural innocence; thy mountains still Teem with the fleecy race; thy tuneful woods

For ever flourish; and thy vales look gay With painted meadows, and the golden grain !

Oft, with thy blooming sons, when life was


Sportive and petulant, and charmed with


In thy transparent eddies have I laved : Oft traced with patient steps thy fairy banks,

With the well-imitated fly to hook The eager trout, and with the slender line

And yielding rod solicit to the shore The struggling panting prey; while vernal clouds

And tepid gales obscured the ruffled pool, And from the deeps called forth the wanton swarms.


Who plans the enchanted garden, who directs

Formed on the Samian1 school, or those The vista best, and best conducts the

of Ind,

There are who think these pastimes scarce


Yet in my mind (and not relentless I)
His life is pure that wears no fouler stains,
But if through genuine tenderness of heart,
Or secret want of relish for the game,
You shun the glories of the chase, nor care
To haunt the peopled stream; the garden

A soft amusement, a humane delight.
To raise the insipid nature of the ground;
Or tame its savage genius to the grace
Of careless sweet rusticity, that seems
The amiable result of happy chance,
Is to create; and gives a god-like joy,
Which every year improves.


Nor thou

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Whose groves the fastest thicken and ascend;

Whom first the welcome spring salutes ; who show's

The earliest bloom, the sweetest, proudest


Of Flora; who best gives Pomona's juice, To match the sprightly genius of cham


Thrice happy days! in rural business past: Blest winter nights! when as the genial fire Cheers the wide hall, his cordial family With soft domestic arts the hours beguile, And pleasing talk that starts no timorous fame,

With witless wantonness to hunt it down: Or through the fairy-land of tale or song Delighted wander, in fictitious fates Engaged, and all that strikes humanity : Till lost in fable, they the stealing hour Of timely rest forget. Sometimes, at eve His neighbours lift the latch, and bless

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