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And there shall the cowslip and primrose be cast, SONG. BY A WOMAN.-PASTORALE.
And the new-blossom'd thorn shall whiten her With garlands of beauty the queen of the May
tomb. No more will her crook or her temples adorn;
CHORUS.- ALTRO MODO.
On the grave of Augusta this garland be plac'd,
We'll rifle the Spring of its earliest bloom, On the grave of Augusta these garlands be And there shall the cowslip and primrose be cast, plac'd,
And the tears of her country shall water her We'll rifle the Spring of its earliest bloo:n,
LIFE OF ARMSTRONG,
BY MR. CHALMERS.
THESE scanty materials are taken principally from Mr. Nichols's Life of Bowyer, and the Biographical Dictionary. To the former they were communi. cated, however sparingly, by the friends of Dr. Armstrong.
He was born in the parish of Castleton in Roxburghshire, where his father and brother were clergymen: and having compleated his education at the university of Edinburgh, took his degree in physic, Feb. 4, 1732', with much reputation. His thesis De Tabe purulente was published as usual.
He appears to have courted the Muses while a student: his descriptive sketch in imitation of Shakespeare was one of his first attempts, and received the cordial approbation of Thomson, Mallet, and Young. Mallet, he informs us, intended to have published it, but altered his mind. His other imitations of Shakespeare were part of an unfinished tragedy written at a very early age. Much of his time, if we may judge from his writings, was devoted to the study of polite literature, and although he cannot be said to have entered deeply into any particular branch, he was more than a superficial connoisseur in painting, statuary, and music,
At what time he came to London is uncertain, but in 1735, he published an oc. tavo pamphlet, without his name, entitled An Essay for abridging the Study of Physic: to which is added a Dialogue between Hygeia, Mercury, and Pluto, relating to the Practice of Physic, as it is managed by a certain illustrious So. ciety. As also an Epistle from Usbeck the Persian, to Joshua Ward, esq. It is dedicated to the “Antacademic Philosophers, to the generous despisers of the schools, to the deservedly-celebrated Joshua Ward, John Moor, and the rest of the nu. merous sect of inspired physicians." The Essay, which has been lately reprinted in Dilly's Repository, is an humourous attack on quacks and quackery, with al. Jusions to the neglect of medical education among the practising apothecaries ;
Three days after he sent a copy of his thesis to sir Hans Sloane, accompanied by a handsume Latin letter, now in the British Museum. I find in the same repository a paper written by bim in 1741 on the alcalescent disposition of animal fluids, which appears to have been read in the Royal society, but not published. c.
but the author had exhausted his wit in it, and the Dialogue and Epistle are con. sequently flat and insipid.
In 1737, he published A Synopsis of the History and Care of the Venereal Disease, probably as an introduction to practice in that lucrative branch: but it was unfortunately followed by his poem, The Economy of Love, which, a). though it enjoyed a rapid sale, has been very properly excluded from every col. lection of poetry, and is supposed to have impeded his professional career. Ia 1741, we find him soliciting Dr. Birch's recommendation to Dr. Mead, that he might be appointed physician to the forces then going to the West Iudies.
His celebrated poem, The Art of Preserving Health, appeared in 1744, and contributed highly to his fame as a poet. Dr. Warton, in his Reflections on Didactic Poetry, annexed to his edition of Virgil, observed that “ To describe so dislicult a thivg, gracefully and poetically, as the effects of distemper on the human body, was reserved for Dr. Armstrong, who accordingly hath nubiy executed it at the end of the third book of his Art of Preserving Health, where he hath given us that pathetic account of the sweating sickness. There is a classical cor. rectness and closeness of style in this poem that are truly admirable, and the subject is raised and adorned by numberless poetical images." Dr. Mackenzie, in bis History of Health, bestowed similar praises on this poem, which was indeed every where read and admired.
In 1746, he was appointed one of the physicians to tħe hospital for lame and sick soldiers behind Buckingham-house. In 1751, he published his poem on Be. nevolence, in folio, a production which seems to come from the heart, and contains sentiments which could have been expressed with equal ardour only by one who felt them. His Taste, an Epistle to a young critic, 1753, is a lively and spirited imitation of Pope, and the first production in which our author began to view men and manners with a splenetic cye. In 1758, he published Sketches, or Essays on Various Subjects, under the fictitious name of Lancelot Temple, esq. In some of these he is supposed to have been assisted by the celebrated John Wilkes, with whom he lived in habits of intimacy. What Mr. Wilkes contributed we are not told, but this gentleman, with all his moral failings had a more chaste classical taste and a purer veio of humour than we find in these Sketches, which are deformed by a perpetual flow of affectation, a struggle to say smart things, and above all a most disgusting repetition of vulgar oaths and exclamations. This practice, so unworthy of a gentleman or a scholar, seems to hav, predominated in Dr. Armstrong's conversation, and is not unsparingly scattered through all his works, with the exception of his Art of Preserving Health. It incurred the just censure of the critics of his day, with whom, for this reason, he could never be reconciled.
lo 1760, he was appointed physician to the army in Germany, where in 1761 he wrote a poem called Day, addressed to Mr. Wilkes. It was published in the same year, probably by some person to whom Mr. Wilkes had lent it. The edi. tor, in his prefatory advertisement, professes to lament that it is not in his power to present the public with a more persect copy of this spirited letter. He ventures to publish it exactly as it came into his hands, without the knowledge or consent of the author, or of the gentleman to whom it is addressed. His sole molire is to