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be aimed at (which however is not their chief excellence) the waving line, with more easy transitions, will become of greater importance.—Events relating to them may be simulated by numberless little artifices; but it is ever to be remembered, that high hills and sudden descents are most suitable to castles; and fertile vales, near wood and water, most imitative of the usual situation for abbeys and religious houses; large oaks, in particular, are essential to these lat
so Whose branching arms and reverend height,
admit a dim religious light.” A cottage is a pleasing object, partly on account of the variety it may introduce; on account of the tranquillity that seems to reign there; and perhaps (I am somewhat afraid) on account of the pride of human nature;
“ Longi alterius spectare laborem.” In a scene presented to the eye, objects should never jie so much to the right or left, as to give it any uneasiness in the examination. Sometimes, however, it may be better to admit valuable objects even with this disadvantage. They should else never be seen beyond a certain angle. The eye must be fore it can be pleased. No mere slope from one side to the other can be agreeable ground: the eye requires a balanceri. e. a degree of uniformity: but this may be otherwise effected, and the rule should be understood with some limitation.
alley has it's brother,
and half the platform just reflects the other." Let us examine what may be said in favour of that regularity which Mr. Pope exposes. Might he not seemingly as well object to the disposition of a hu
man face, because it has an eye or cheek, that is the very picture of it's companion? Or does not Providence, who has observed this regularity in the external structure of our bodies and disregarded it within, seem to consider it as a beauty? The arms, the limbs, and the several parts of them correspond, but it is not the same case with the thorax and the abdomen. I believe one is generally solicitous for a kind of balance in a landscape; and, if I be not mistaking, the painters generally furnish one; a building, for instance, on one side, contrasted by a group of trees, a large oak, or a rising hill on the other. Whence then does this taste proceed, but from the love we bear to regularity in perfection? After all, in regard to gardens, the shape of ground, the disposition of trees, and the figure of water, must be sacred to nature; and no forms must be allowed that make a discovery of art.
All trees have a character analogous to that of men: oaks are, in all respects, the perfect image of the manly character: in former times I should have said, and in present times I think I am authorized to say, the British one. As a brave man is not suddenly either elated by prosperity or depressed by adversity, so the oak displays not it's verdure on the sun's first approach; nor drops it on his first departure. Add to this it's majestic appearance, the rough grandeur of it's bark, and the wide protection of it's branches.
A largebranching, aged oak, is perhaps the most venerable of all inanimate objects.
Urns are more solemn, if large and plain; more beautiful, if less and ornamented. Solemnity is perhaps their point, and the situation of them should stil co-operate with it.
By the way, I wonder that lead statues
are not more in vogue in our modern gardens. Thu' they may not express the finer lines of an human body, yet they seem perfectly well calculated, on account of their duration, to embellish landscapes, were they some degrees inferior to what we generally behold. A statue in a room challenges examination, and is to be examined critically as a statue. A statue in a garden is to be considered as one part of a scene or landscape; the minuter touches are no more essential to it, than a good landscape painter would esteem them were he to represent a statute in his picture. Apparent art, in it's proper province, is almost as important as apparent nature. They contrast agreeably; but their provinces ever should be kept distinct. Some artificial beauties are so dexterously managed, that one cannot but conceive them natural; some natural ones so extremely fortunate, that one is ready to swear they are artificial.
Concerning scenes, the more uncommon they appear, the better, provided they form a picture, and include nothing that pretends to be of nature's production, and is not. The shape of ground, the site of trees, and the fall of water, are nature's province. Whatever thwarts her is treason. On the other hand, buildings and the works of art need have no other reference to nature than that they afford the
ευσεμνον with which the human mind is delighted
Art shouid never be allowed to set a foot in the province of nature, otherwise than clandestinely and by night. Whenever she is allowed to appear here, and men begin to compromise the difference-night, gothicism, confusion, and absolute chaos, are come again,
To see one's urns, obelisks, and waterfalls laid open; the nakedness of of our beloved mistresses, the naiads and the dryads, exposed by that ruffian Winter to universal observation; is a severity scarcely to be supported by the help of blazing hearths, cheerful companions, and a bottle of the most grateful burgundy.
The works of a person that builds, begin immediately to decay; while those of him who plants begin directly to improve. In this, planting promises a more lasting pleasure than building; wh were it to remain in equal perfection, would at best begin to moulder and want repairs in imagination. Now trees have a circumstance that suits our taste, and that is annual variety. It is inconvenient, indeed, if they cause our love of life to take root and flourish with them; whereas the very sameness of our structures will, without the help of dilapidation, serve to wean us from our attachment to them. It is a custom in some countries to condemn the characters of those (after death) that have neither planted a tree, nor be
The taste of the citizen and of the mere peasant are, in all respects, the same. The former gilds his balls; paints his stonework and statues white; plants his trees in lines or circles; cuts his yew-trees four-square or conic; or gives them, what he can, of the resemblance of birds, or bears, or meu; squirts up his rivulets in jetteaus; in short, admires no part of nature, but her ductility; exhibits every thing that is glaring, that implies expense, or that effects a surprise because it is unnatural. The peasant is his admirer.
It is always to be remembered in gardening, that sublimity or magnificence, and beauty or variety, are very different things. Every scene we see in nature is either tame and insipid ; or compounded of those.
It often happens
got a child.
that the same ground may receive from art, either certain degrees of sublimity and magnificence, or certain degrees of variety and beauty; or a mixture of each kind. In this case it remains to be considered in which light they can be rendered most remarkable, whether as objects of beauty or magnificence. Even the temper of the proprietor should not, perhaps, be wholly disregarded: for certain complexions of soul will prefer an orange tree or a myrtle, to an oak or cedar. However, this should not induce a gardener to parcel out a lawn into knots of shrub'bery: or invest a mountain with a garb of roses. This would be like dressing a giant in a sarsenet gown, or a Saracen's head in a Brussel's night-cap. Indeed the small circular clumps of firs, which I see planted upon some fine large swells, put me often in mind of a coronet placed upon an elephant or camel's back. I say, a gardener should not do this any more than a poet should attempt to write of the king of Prussia in the style of Phillips. On the other side, what would become of Lesbia's sparrow, should it be treated in the same language with the anger of Achilles ?
Gardeners may be divided into three sorts, the landscape gardener, the parterre gardener and the kitchen gardener, agreeably to our first division of gardens.
I have used the word landscape-gardeners; because, in pursuance of our present taste in gardening, every good painter of landscape appears to me the most proper designer. The misfortune of it is, that these painters are apt to regard the execution of their work, much more than the choice of subject. The art of distancing and approximating, comes truly within their sphere? the former by the gradual diminution of distinctness,