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"In the earlier examples selected from this cathedral the gradual advancement of architecture is rather marked by the improvement of taste, than by any distinctive alteration of style; but in the present, [the Presbytery] although the antecedent characteristics are retained, they are blended with much novelty of design and decoration. Thus the buttresses have their use and solidity in some measure disguised by ornaments, the pedimental terminations being decorated with crockets, creepers, and finials; the angles with clusters of slender columns, and the faces with brackets and canopies, for the reception of statues. The windows which were before of single lights, are here divided into several, by mullions and tracery of geometrical forms, an invention peculiar to pointed architecture, and of the highest importance, as it enabled architects to increase the size of their windows to any dimensions required, and thus to render them important features in their designs. In short, in every particular a greater degree of lightness and elegance may be observed. The mouldings, although they retain the forms before used, are smaller and more numerous― and in the ornamental parts considerable improvement is also apparent, the foliage, so tastefully and profusely introduced, being in no small degree imitative of the variety and luxuriance of nature.'
This is the progress of art in every thing. That the advance of Gothic architecture was rapid and surprising, almost beyond credibility, to an age and people, among whom three centuries have produced only one cathedral, is easily enough understood; but it is only so from a want of imagination to transport ourselves back to those ages, when such buildings were undertaken by individuals, and from not remembering that probably more cathedrals than now exist in all Europe, were then erected in less than three centuries. Besides, it is easy enough to account for "the general and contemporary adoption of the style," without his lordship's supposition. The Quarterly Reviewer, indeed, says, "The intercourse between the various states of Europe was then hazardous, desultory, and unfriendly;" but, in reference to the present subject, this is entirely erroneous. The clergy were a distinct body of people, in constant communication, and Rome was to them all a common home, to and from which, they were in constant progress-the temporalities and spiritual dignities of all the churches in Europe, were within the grasp of the Pope; foreigners, therefore, were not unfrequently appointed to sees
extraordinary beauty; and could not but wonder at the progress that has been made in all illustrative architectural works within the last half century. Some of the plates, both in the Lincoln and Worcester, are perfect pictures, and have about the same relation to the engravings in Grose and Pennant, that the plates in the Gentleman's Magazine have to works of art. Mr. Britton's works are also beautiful.
and benefices in Britain, and Englishmen as often obtained ecclesiastical preferment abroad;-these things tended to the "simultaneous" communication of knowledge; but, if any further explanation be wanting, we have it in the certainty, that foreigners were not unfrequently engaged here as architects, and that some of the most celebrated foreign ecclesiastical structures were the works of Englishmen. And let us add, that, after all, the general and contemporary adoption is no more extraordinary, than the general and contemporary abandonment, which seems to have excited no astonishment, and to be barely remembered. Similar causes were, we think, operative on both occasions. The power, the riches, the magnificence of the Romish religion and clergy were, in the one instance, flourishing and increasing, in the other, declining, and on the eve of a revolution that eventually swept away the pomp and splendour of its being, and tore from the universal church some of the fairest and wealthiest of its votaries. Europe was soon engaged in theological discussion, and controversial divinity; the mitred prelates found it politic to conceal, rather than make ostentatious display of their wealth and power; and even in those countries where the Pope's authority and the Catholic religion still prevailed, they were both" shorn of their beams;" for no man, we think, can doubt that the Reformation had a moral influence from one end of Europe to the other, and awakened speculation and inquiry, where before men's minds were subdued, humble, and confiding.
In the quotation from the Earl of Aberdeen, reference is made to the opinion of Horace Walpole, and what we have said is in confirmation of that opinion; but we must observe, in justice to later writers, that his was an opinion thrown out incidentally, and as far as it rested on authority, was erroneous. He supposed that shrines were the prototypes of Gothic architecture. They were, no doubt, the prototypes of the florid Gothic, but where are these shrines antecedent to Gothic architecture itself? They are like Gothic architecture in the east, no where to be met with. We have it in proof, we think, that larger buildings came with the pointed arch, and that, for some time, magnitude and beauty grew together. Shrines came afterwards; their minute proportions were transferred to larger buildings; and sometimes engrafted on old ones; till at length, the passion for ornament took such hold on the imagination, that the age could produce nothing but a shrine, and King's College, and Henry the Seventh's Chapel, and others, are the evidence.
ART. II. The Adventures of Alexander the Corrector; the Third Part. Giving an Account of his wonderful Escape from an Academy at Bethnal Green, by cutting with a Knife the Bedstead to which he was chained: and of the Dissolution of the pretended Court of the Blind Bench, and their designs against the Corrector. And an Account of his Application at St. James's Palace for the Honour of Knighthood, and his conduct at Guildhall as a Candidate for one of the Representatives in Parliament of this great Metropolis. With an Account of his Law Adventures, while he acted the part of a Counsellor, in the King's Bench in Westminster Hall. which is added, a History of his Love Adventures, with his Letters, and a Declaration of War sent to the amiable Mrs. Whitaker, a Lady of a shining Character and great Revenues. Interspersed with various religious Reflections, shewing the necessity of appointing a Corrector of the People, or of taking some effectual measures for a speedy and thorough Reformation. London: printed for the Author, and sold by A. Dodd, &c.
Though divers good and sufficient reasons have hitherto prevented us from figuring amongst the members of the Roxburgh club, yet, in a small way, we delight in the acquisition and collection of scarce and curious books. Many an hour have we spent in town and in the country, in examining the contents of book-stalls, and of those miserable magazines of trumpery, where a few volumes may not unfrequently be found buried amidst heaps of old iron, cordage, earthenware, and the other vilia scruta, for which it is astonishing that their grim, unwashed proprietors can find any customers. Nor have our excursions in search of cheap and antiquated literature been confined to this island. We have given a hog (six-pence English) for a volume, which an Hibernian bibliopolist on Ormond Quay, Dublin, has, with the modesty characteristic of his countrymen, at the commencement of our negociation, estimated at five shillings-and, on the Quai Malaquais, at Paris, we have purchased for an ecu, a quatro cento, upon the description of a fellow copy, on which Mr. Dibdin has expended three pages in his Catalogue of Lord Spenser's library. Researches of this kind, it is true, are often very unprofitable," Experto crede, Lector benevole." But occasionally, like a miner hitting upon a rich vein of metal, we have detected literary curiosities lurking in most unpromising quarters, and at the cost of a shilling have possessed ourselves of a prize, which has for an even
ing rendered us the envy and admiration" of a little knot of brother collectors, who have assembled in close divan to inspect our purchase. As an instance of our good luck in this particular, we may be permitted to state, that it was from the profane hands of a minor dealer in salt butter, that we rescued the long-titled pamphlet which we now introduce as a stranger to our readers, and which was written by Alexander Cruden, the compiler of that most elaborate work, The Concordance to the Old and New Testament.
This extraordinary man was born in the town of Aberdeen, in the year 1701, and was the second son of William Cruden, "Merchant," of that place. Such of our readers, however, as have not had the good fortune to visit the "Land o' Cakes," must not allow this appellation of "Merchant" to lead them to imagine that the father of our hero had, or professed to have, extensive dealings in foreign parts, or that he possessed half-adozen ships, and extensive warehouses well stored with the commodities of the East and West Indies. A Scotch " Merchant," (the word is derived immediately from the French Marchand) is no more than a shop-keeper; and if Mr. Baring has ever travelled into Caledonia, his mercantile pride must, on his making his grand entrée into Annan, have been wounded on his seeing the title of "Merchant" inscribed in rudely formed characters over many a half door, leading to a room some eight feet by seven, where sits a shrewd pains-taking wight, whose returns from his trading operations do not amount to more than fifty shillings and four-pence per week. Nay, if the said Mr. Baring has beheld on the border, a stout raw-boned chield, walking firmly on beneath the pressure of a portable shop, ycleped a "pack," be it known to him that this chield in Scotland, participates with him in the designation of a" travelling merchant."
That William Cruden, however, was not a "travelling merchant," but what is called a respectable shopkeeper, may be inferred from the fact, that, like the immortalized Jarvie, he served the office of Baillie in the town which he had fixed upon as the seat of his business.
The facility of obtaining a good and useful education, has long been an incalculable advantage to the natives of Scotland. In this respect, the town of Aberdeen possessed superior privileges, of which the father of young Cruden faithfully availed himself for the improvement of his son. He sent him, at an early age, to the grammar school of his native place, where he laid an excellent foundation of classical knowledge, and afterwards entered him as a student in Marischal college. Though the fact cannot be now ascertained, we may perhaps be justified in regarding it as extremely probable, that it was
intended by his father that young Alexander should exhibit his talents in a pulpit. And certain it is, that for the office of a clergyman of the Scottish church he was well fitted, by the exemplariness of his diligence, the piety of his principles, and the kindness-and we will venture to add, without fear of giving offence where no offence is intended-the simplicity of his character. But he had hardly finished his collegiate studies, when his prospects were clouded by manifest symptoms of insanity, which his friends imagined, but evidently erroneously, to be occasioned by the bite of a mad dog. Whilst he laboured under this malady, he fell deeply in love with the daughter of a clergyman, to whom he paid his addresses in form. His suit was of course rejected; but such was the ardour of his passion, that he persevered in his attempts to visit his fair one, and was so violent in his efforts to force his way to her, that her friends were obliged to have recourse to the civil power, and the poor student was sent to expiate his impetuosity by imprisonment in the town jail. Soon after his liberation from "durance vile," his feelings were exquisitely wounded by the discovery that another lover had made too deep an impression on the susceptibility of his inamorata, who was suddenly withdrawn from society, and sent away, nobody knew whither, to avoid the shame of the "cutty stool."
This unpleasant incident was, in all probability, the cause of Alexander's quitting Aberdeen; for we find that he left that place in the year 1722, and fixed his residence in London. Here he contrived for some years to gain a subsistence by giving instructions in the classics, as a private tutor. He next appears to have been settled for a short time in the Isle of Man, where he pursued the same employment. Finding this too narrow a sphere for his energies, he returned to London in the year 1732. He now opened a bookseller's shop under the Royal Exchange, and filled up his leisure time, and added to his scanty emolument, by acting as corrector of the press for different printers; an occupation which his varied knowledge, his minute accuracy, and his strict punctuality, enabled him to turn to good account.
During the time of his occupying the shop above-mentioned, a friend called upon him, and proposed to introduce him to one of his countrymen, whose acquaintance, he said, would be both pleasant and profitable to him. Cruden consented to accompany him, to make a call on the individual in question. On their knocking at the door of his residence, it was opened by the ci-devant object of Alexander's affections, who, it should seem, had fled to shelter her disgrace in the crowd of the English metropolis. Poor Cruden started with horror at the sight of her who was once so dear to