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Cruden was a devotedly loyal subject of the house of Hanover. In the reign of George the Second he was frequent and loud in his testimony_against the false principles and dark designs of the Jacobite Tories, of whom he shrewdly says, in the third part of his Adventures," the Jacobites and disaffected occasion the continuance of taxes, as a parish is obliged to encrease the number of watchmen, the more loose, disorderly persons live in their neighbourhood." Nor was he less vigilant in guarding the throne when it was attacked by the violence of popular fury. When London and Middlesex were in an unprecedented state of ferment, he launched a spirited pamphlet against that audacious and crafty demagogue John Wilkes; and, with no small danger to himself, he industriously obliterated the signs of John's popularity, by erasing from the walls of the metropolis, with a large sponge, the factious and disloyal inscription of No. 45. Such, indeed, was his delicate attention to the guardianship of public morals, that in his walks through the city he was usually supplied with the implements necessary for the expunction of any writings offensive to modesty, which might appear on the buildings which he passed.
In the year 1769 he visited his native town of Aberdeen. To this journey it should seem that he was impelled, not merely by the interest which mankind usually take in the place of their birth, and the scenes of their early joys and sorrows, but by his zeal for the promotion of the cause of virtue; for during his temporary residence in Aberdeen, he gave a lecture on reformation in the public hall of the university. It is to be feared, however, that he made no more impression on the plebeians of Marischal College, than he had done on the aristocracy of Oxford; and that he experienced the truth of the adage, that "a prophet hath no honour in his own country." The extravagance of his principles, or his manner of enforcing them, excited the laughter of his audience, whose demeanour on this occasion put the placidity of his temper to a severe trial. That he possessed the power of turning the tables on those who ridiculed him, he evinced by a practical repartee which he made to one of his quizzers, a conceited young clergyman, to whom he made a present of a little manual, at that time popular in Scotland, entitled, "The Mother's Catechism, dedicated to the Young and Ignorant."
Cruden remained at Aberdeen about a year, and then returned to London, and took lodgings in Camden-street, Islington. Here, having gone to bed on the preceding night, in apparently perfect health, on the morning of the first of November, he was found dead in his chamber, in the attitude of prayer.
Cruden was a man entirely free from vice, and a strict
economist. At no time of his life was he destitute of the means of support; and he even appears to have had always something to spare for the occasional exigencies of life. He was liberal in his donations to the poor. His law adventures, as he called them, must have been somewhat costly; and when he repaired to St. James's to solicit the honour of knighthood, he was provided with a hundred pounds to pay the customary fees. At his death he was possessed of some property, which he bequeathed to his relations, with the exception of an annuity of five pounds per annum, which he devoted to the establishment of a bursary, or exhibition, at Marischal College,
In the history of Alexander Cruden, we behold at once a striking instance of the infirmity of human nature, and of the efficacy of a good education, and the early imbibing of virtuous principles, in alleviating the greatest calamities to which human nature is subject. For, notwithstanding the occasional alienation of his reason, the purity of his views, and the kindness of his feelings, rendered him unobnoxious to others, and cheerful and happy in himself. In the midst of the disappointments which he experienced, in consequence of the failure of his extravagant projects, he was always devoutly submissive to the divine will, and derived great comfort from an unshaken trust in God. The habits of industry which he had acquired in his youth, no doubt, tended to lengthen the intervals of his sanity, and enabled him, notwithstanding the whimsical nature of his designs, to contribute a respectable share to the general stock of knowledge, both in the useful occupation of a private tutor, and as an editor of the works of antiquity. Amongst the clergy of all denominations, his Concordance has long been a standard work; and we have occasionally met with powerful extempore preachers, who have been mainly indebted for their reputation, as being " mighty in the scriptures," to their study of the references supplied by that work. On a review of the incidents of his life, it may admit of a question, whether it were, at any time, expedient to put him into harsh and strict confinement? He never appears to have been dangerous to himself or to others; and the dread of danger from a lunatic is, perhaps, in most cases, the only justifiable reason for subjecting him to the severity of restraint in the professed receptacles for patients of this unhappy description. We are persuaded that many persons, slightly affected by insanity, have been totally lost to society, by being consigned to the duress of the strait-waistcoat, who, by due attention, and by gentle treatment, under the superintendance of their friends, might have had their mental complaints alleviated, if not entirely cured. The chances of recovery, however, depend much upon the early habits of the individual patient. Had Cruden been profligate
and debauched in his youthful years, the first attack of his malady would have been decisive of his fate; and his bodily organs, enfeebled by intemperance, would have imparted an equal debility to the powers of his mind. The strictest abstemiousness is most essential to the counteracting of any tendencies to aberration of intellect; and in such cases it is of the first importance that the inclination to brood over some single erroneous notion, which is incident to those who are liable to such a tendency, should be dissipated by the kindness of their friends, and by the cheerfulness superinduced by some easy and pleasant employment. It was once our lot to be acquainted with a man of cultivated mind, who, by a stretch of law, was for a political offence confined, without the use of books or materials for writing, for three months in a solitary cell; and he has often observed in our hearing, that in these circumstances he preserved himself from madness, by working mathematical problems on the boarded floor of his apartment with the point of an iron skewer, which he contrived to conceal from the vigilance of his keepers.
ART. III.-Arcadia di M. Jacopo Sanazzaro ; Ora finalmente alla sua vera Lezione ridotta. Padua: 1723.
It is one of the delights of having devoted ourselves to other centuries, perhaps our greatest, that while, in unofficial moments, we may indulge in the promise of that felicity which modern exertions are maturing for mankind, our public capacity is exempt from the dissensions incident to disputed tenets, and from the clamour attendant on innovation. Like the traveller at Pompeii, without laying aside the garb of our nation and age, we walk among the mansions of the dead, and excite no observation; we stand unawed in the adyta of their temples, and seat ourselves for contemplation on the very statues of their overthrown gods. Their prisons are crumbled, their guards skeletons, their palaces and paintings cinders and dust. We have nothing to fear or to hope from them; but, while the spirit of inquiry pervades and estimates their public places and their dwellings, respect shall hallow our curiosity. We will remember that they have been wise and ardent in their time; and the rising smile will often be repressed by the consciousness that the same idols, with slight variation of name and worship, are still knelt to; and that we have each some household god in our heart, though we build not altars to it on our hearth.
VOL. X. PART I.
Our walk is at present through another Arcadia, one of the thousand names given by the creative melancholy of man to the paradise of his own conception, and each crowded with the trees and joys whose odour was most grateful to the earthly tastes of the idealist. The wassail and skulls of Odin, the indefatigable houris of Mahomet, and the good hunting beyond the mountain of death, are, at this moment, the secret heavens of many a orthodox warrior, voluptuary, and country gentleman. There is not a heaven yet described by mortal pen which will unite the suffrages of mankind; imagination, with the passions, the affections, the great globe itself, yea! all which it inherit at its command, cannot collect materials for a home of universal bliss. But this difficulty has not deterred the wisest and best of our race from indulging in such speculations; and it has been their amusement, or, perhaps, alas! their torture under poverty, persecution, or the mere weight of unenjoyed existence, to suffer an ardent longing for a better state of being; and however various the pictures they may have drawn, or the roads which they may have chosen, whether their orb of happiness has been entirely fanciful and revolving amidst other spheres, or confined to the perfection of political and moral order in this; whether pure and solitary, or
"With one fair spirit for their minister;"
sin and sorrow have ever been excluded or overcome, and whatever might have been the practical result of their scheme, amelioration was its object. They were the well-wishers if not the benefactors of mankind; and as such, we, the children of their love, and the brethren of their weakness, should dissent from them with caution, and remark on their singularities with respect. It would be an interesting and philosophical enquiry to trace the influence of character, climate, and circumstance, in forming the opinions which have held or hold dominion over. man; and to find, perhaps, in the personal history of an adventurous Arab the seeds of that worship which now stultifies the luxuriant East. But ours is an humbler task; the Arcadia of Sanazzaro has had no believers, and few aspirants, and is itself a copy from manners and scenes almost proverbial for insipidity; but the man of genius is distinguishable through the folds of his pastoral disguise, nor does his continued effort at classical rivalry always shut us out from glances at the young and loving Italian. The admiration of Virgil, which produced and moulded his greater works, is conspicuous in this. The desire of fame, the noble mind which sacrificed his fortune to the wants of his patron, and the passionate feeling of beauty which urged him, even when a septuagenarian, to a daily ascent of a por
tion of Vesuvius, are strongly manifested even in this work of his early age; and as if his death were to set the seal upon his unfeigned sympathy with the beauties of nature, the glow of foliage, lake, and sky, which gives its prevailing character to the poem, it is attributed to the sudden intelligence of the destruction of his favorite villa, his poetic Mergillina, which perished under the hands of an imperial army (a mob led by a prince). At the age of seventy-two, even hope, the great magician, has but little power of deception left; and if we are condemned then to plant saplings anew, we know their broad shadows must fall on another generation. He lies buried at Posilipo, close to his living residence, and to the tomb of his great master.
"Da sacro cineri flores, hic ille Maroni
To his Latin works and his Italian poetry we may devote some future page; but we must now hasten to the work which stands at the head of this article. It consists of twelve portions of prose and twelve eclogues, arranged alternately; it is preceded by a "proemio," setting forth the advantages of the simple and natural style; and terminates with an address "Alla Zampogna," consecrating it to the memory of his departed mistress, to melancholy, and to the solitude of the Arcadia, whose simple occupations it has sung. There is no plot, no developement of character; it is a pure pastoral, descriptive of the joys, and amorous sorrows, and employments of the inhabitants in the vicinity of an imaginary Monte Partenio, without any admixture of the heroic; and if there be any point which is not closely and frequently verbally copied from the models of antiquity, it is the reality of his own affection for Filli, which has more heartiness and sensibility than we meet with in Bucolic love. The reader need scarcely be told, after reading the following extract, that the passion was real and the writer young. Čarmosina Bonifazio, the Harmosyne of his Latin, and the Filli of his Italian poetry, had rendered even Naples a desert when she ceased to smile on him; and he retired to France, by absence and study to conquer his conqueror. During the voluntary exile he composed this work; and thus, in the "Settima Prosa," tells the history of his woes to Carino, under his well-known name of Azzio Sincero.
"In quella città (Napoli) dunque nacqui io, ove non da oscuro sangue, ma, se dirlo non mi si disconviene, secondo che per le più celebri parti d' essa città le insegne de' miei predecessori chiaramente