Cerutti, Joseph Anthony Joachim

, a French poet and miscellaneous writer, was born at Turin in 1738, and after being educated among the Jesuits, joined their order, and became professor of their college at Lyons. In 1761 he gained two academical prizes at Toulouse and Dijon; the subject of the one was “Duelling,” and the other an answer to the question “Why modern republics have acquired less splendour than the ancient.” This last, before Cerutti was known as its author, was attributed to Rousseau. It was printed at the Hague in 1761, 8vo, and reprinted at Paris in 1791. When the order of the Jesuits was about to be abolished, Cerutti wrote in their defence “L’Apologie de Pinstitut des Jesuites,1762, two parts, 8vo, the materials being furnished by the two Jesuits Menoux and Griffet. Some time after, he was obliged to appear before the procurator-general of the parliament of Paris, to abjure the order which he had defended. It is said that after he had taken the prescribed oath, he asked if there was any thing to subscribe, to which the magistrate answered, “Yes, the Alcoran.” His “Apology,” however, was much admired, and recommended him to the Dauphin, who welcomed him to court. Here he contracted an unhappy and violent passion for a lady of the first rank, which brought on a tedious illness, from which the friendship of the duchess of Brancas recovered him, and in her house at Fleville he found an honourable asylum for fifteen years. This lady, who appears to have been somewhat of the romantic kind, as soon as she received him into her house, put a ring on his finger, telling him that friendship had espoused merit. When the revolution broke out, he came to Paris, and became a zealous partizan, and was much employed by Mirabeau in drawing up reports. His Memoir on patriotic contributions procured him a place in the legislative body, but he died in 1792, after which the municipality of Paris honoured him by giving his name to one of the new streets. Besides the works already mentioned, he published 1. “L’Aigle | et le hibou,” an apologue in verse, Glasgow and Paris, 1783, 2. <c Recueil de quelques pieces de literature en prose et en vers,“ibid. 1784. The best of these is a dissertation on antique monuments, occasioned by some Greek verses discovered on a tomb at Naples, in 1756. 3.” Les Jardins de Betz,“a descriptive poem, 1792, 8vo. 4.” Lettre sur les avantages et l’origine de la gaiete“Francaise,Lyons, 1761, 12mo; Paris, 1792, 8vo. 5. An essay on the question “Combien un esprit trop subtil ressemble a un esprit faux,1750, 8vo. 6. “Les vrais plaisirs ne sont faits que pour la vertu,1761, 4to. These two last were honoured with the academical prizes of Montauban. 7. “Pourquoi les arts utiles ne sont-ils pas cultives preferablement aux arts agreables,1761, 4to. 8. “Sur l’origine et les effets du desir de transmettre son nom a la posterite,Hague, 1761, 8vo Paris, 1792, 8vo. 9. “Traduction libre de trois odes d’Horace,1789. 10. “De Tinteret d’un ouvrage dans le sujet, le plan, et le style,Paris, 1763, 8vo. Besides these, he published some tracts on the subjects which arose out of the revolution, and was joint editor with Rabaut de St. Etienne, of the “Feuille. villageoise,” a paper calculated to spread the revolutionary delusions among the country people, but his style was not sufficiently simple and popular. In 1793, a collection of his works was published in an 8vo volume. Those which are on subjects of literature are ingenious and interesting, but as a poet he cannot be allowed to rank high. 1