Doctor Horoscope So truly Horoscope its virtue knows, To this bright idol 'tis, alone, he bows And fancies that a thousand pound supplies The want of twenty thousand qualities. Doctor Horoscope Francis Bernard (1627-98), physician on the staff of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London Doctor Horoscope's Soliloquy
From its very inception the New Science was promising material for satire, especially in its institutional manifestation, the Royal Society. To early modern eyes, used to a nonexperimental world-view, the activities of the scientists could seem downright bizarre, if not actually atheistic. The main target was the virtuoso or person who collected all kinds of oddities and grotesques from nature in the name of science, thus violating both moral and aesthetic codes at once. Dr. Samuel Garth's mock-heroic poem The Dispensary (1699) famously satirized an undignified squabble between the physicians and apothecaries (roughly equivalent to today's pharmacists) and described Horoscope, a virtuoso apothecary who collects all manner of strange objects from mummies to shark heads, flying fish to alligators, and dry'd bladders to drawn teeth (ii. 122ff.). Pope, whose Rape of the Lock had been influenced by Garth's poem, famously attacked scientists in the fourth book of his Dunciad (1742), where...
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