But those works of his which have come down to us show few traces of unusual ability; and the laudation of him as a universal genius by Sir Thomas Urquhart and Aldus Manutius requires to be discounted.
The next year Crichton was in Venice, and won the friendship of Aldus Manutius by his Latin ode In appulsu ad urbem Venetam de Proprio statu J.
In the second, which took place in the Church of St John and St Paul, and lasted three days, he undertook to refute innumerable errors in Aristotelians, mathematicians and schoolmen, to conduct his dispute either logically or by the secret doctrine of numbers, &c. According to Aldus, who attended the debate and published an account of it in his dedication to Crichton prefixed to Cicero's "Paradoxa" (1581), the young Scotsman was completely successful.
Aldus in his edition of Cicero's De universitate (1583), dedicated to Crichton, laments the 3rd of July as the fatal day; and this account is apparently confirmed by the Mantuan state papers recently unearthed by Mr. Douglas Crichton (Proc. Soc. of Antiquaries of Scotland, 1909).
The panegyrics of Aldus Manutius require to be received with some caution, since he was given to exaggerating the merits of his friend, and uses almost the same language about a young Pole named Stanilaus Niegosevski; see John Black's Life of Torquato Tasso, ii.