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heard,' said she, ‘no doubt, that the favours I bestow, are by no means consistent with a state of inactivity. The only time when you were allowed an opportunity to deserve then, was the time when your pupils were the most refractory and perverse.
The honours you expect in my court are proportioned to the difficulty of a good undertaking. May you, hereafter, partake them, in reward of your more vigorous conduct: for the present, you are little entitled to any recompence from me. As to your pupils, I observe, they have passed sentence on themselves.' At this instant of time the bell rang for supper, and awaked me: I found the gardener by my side, prepared to plant a parcel of trees; and that I had slumbered away the hours, in which I should have given him suitable directions.
UNCONNECTED THOUGHTS ON
Gardening may be divided into three species-kitchen-gardening - parterre-gardening - and landscape, or picturesque gardening: which latter is the subject intended in the following pages.--It consists in pleasing the imagination by scenes of grandieur, beauty, or variety. Convenience merely has no share here, any farther than as it pleases the imagination.
Perbaps the division of the pleasures of imagination, according as they are struck by the great, the various, and the beautiful, inay be accurate enough for my present purpose; why each of them affects us with pleasure may be traced in other authors. See Burke, Hutchinson, Gerrard, the "Theory of agreeable Sensations,” &c.*
There seem, however to be some objects, which afford a pleasure not reducible to either of the foregoing-heads.
A ruin, for instance, may be neither new to us nor majestic, nor beautiful, yet afford that pleasing melancholy which proceeds from a reflection on decayed magnificence. For this reason, an able gardener should avail himself of objects, perhaps not very striking; if they serve to connect ideas, that convey reflections of the pleasing kind.
Objects should, indeed, be less calculated to strike the immediate eye, than the judgment or well-formed inagination; as in painting. It is no objection to the pleasure of novelty, that it makes an ugly object more disagreeable. It is enough that it produces a superiority betwixt things in other respects equal. It seems, on some occasions, to go even farther. Are there not broken rocks and rugged grounds, to which we can hardly attribute either beauty or grandeur ; and yet when introduced near an extent of lawn, impart a pleasure equal to more shapely scenes? Thus a series of lawn, tho' ever so beautiful, my satiate and cloy, unless the eye passes to them from wilder scenes; and then they quire the grace of povelty. Variety appears to me to derive gond part of it's effect from novelty; as the eye, passing from one form or colour to a form or colour of a different kind, finds a degree of novelty in it's present object, which affords immediate satisfaction.
Variety, however, in some in. *Garden-scenes may, perhaps, be divided into the sublime, the beauti“ ful, and the melancholy or pensive ; to which last I know not but we may assign a middle place betwixt the former two, as being in some sort com. posed of both. See Burke's " Sublime."
stances, may be carried to such an excess as to lose it's whole effect. I have observed ceilings so crammed with stucco-ornaments; that, altho' of the most different kinds, they have produced an uniformity. A sufficient quantity of undecorated space is necessary to exhibit such decorations to advantage. Ground should first be considered with an eye to it's peculiar character: whether it be the grand, the sav. age, the sprightly, the melancholy, the horrid, or the beautiful. As one or other of these characters prevail, one may somewhat strengthen its effect, by allowing every part some denomination, and then supporting it's title by suitable appendages--for instance, the lover's walk may have assignation seats, with proper mottoes—urns to faithful lovers--trophies, garlands, &c. by means of art.
What an advantage must some Italian seats derive from the circumstance of being situate upon ground mentioned in the classics? And, even in England, wherever a park or garden happens to have been the scene of any event in history, one would surely avail one's self of that circumstance, to make it more interesting to the imagination. Mottoes should allude to it, columns, &c. record it; verses moralize on it; and curiosity receive it's share of pleasure. In designing a house and gardens, it is happy when there is an opportunity of maintaining a subordination of parts; the house so luckily placed as to exhibit a view of the whole design. I have sometimes thought that there was room for it to resemble an epic or dramatic poem. It is rather to be wished than required, that the more striking scenes may succeed those which are
Taste depends much on temper. Some prefer Tibullus to Virgil, and Virgil to Ho
mer-Hagley to Persfield, and Persfield to the Welsh mountains. This occasions the différent pref erences that are given to situations.-A garden strikes us most, where the grand and the pleasing succeed, not iutermingle with, each other. I believe, however, the sublime has generally a deeper effect than the merely beautiful.
I use the words landscape and prospect, the fornier as expressive of home scenes, the latter of distant images. Prospects should take in the blue distant hills; but never so remotely, that they are not distinguishable from clouds. Yet this mere extent is what the vulgar value.
Landscape should contain variety enough to form a picture upon canvas; and this is no bad test, as I think the landscape painter is the gardener's best designer. The eye requires a sort of balance here ; but not so as to encroach on probable nature. A wood, or hill, may balance a house or obelisk; for exactness would be displeasing. We form our notions from what we have seen; and tho', could we comprehend the universe, we might perhaps find it uniformly regular; yet the portions that we see of it, habituate our fancy to the contrary. The eye should always look rather down upon water; customary nature makes this requisite. I know nothing more sensibly displeasing than Mr. T's flat ground betwixt his terrace and his water. It is not easy to account for the fondness of former times for straight lined avenues to their houses; straight lined walks through their woods; and, in short, every kind of straight line; where the foot is to travel over, what the eye has done before. This circumstance, is one objection. Another, somewhat of the same kind, is the repetition of the same object,
tree after tree, for a length of way together. A third is, that this indentity is purchased by the loss of that variety, which the natural country supplies every where, in a greater or less degree. To stand still and survey such avenues, may afford some slender satisfaction, through the change derived from per. spective; but to move on continually and find no change of scene in the least attendant on our change of place, must give actual pain to a person of taste. For such a one to be condemned to pass along the famous vista * from Moscow to Petersburg, or that other from Agra to Lahor in India, must be as disagreeable a sentence, as to be condemned to labour at the gallies. I conceived some idea of the sensation he must feel, from walking but a few minutes, immured, betwixt Lord D-'s high-shorn yew hedges; which run exactly parallel, at the distance of about ten feet; and are contrived perfectly to exclude all kind of objects whatsoever.
When a building or other object, has been once viewed from it's proper point, the foot should never travel to it by the same path, which the eye has traveled over before. Lose the object, and draw nigh obliquely. The side trees in vistas should be so circumstanced as to afford a probability that they grew by nature. Ruinated structures appear to derive their power of pleasing, from the irregularity of surface, which is variety, and the latitude they afford the imagination, to conceive an enlargement of their dimensions, or to recollect any events or circumstances appertaining to their pristine grandeur, so far as concerns grandeur and solemnity. The breaks in them should be as bold and abrupt as possible.--If mere beauty,
* In Montesquieu, “ Taste.”