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and of size ; the latter by the reverse.
A straightlined avenue that is widened in front, and planted there with yew trees, then firs, then with trees more and more fady, till they end in the almond-willow, or silver vsier; will produce a very remarkable deception of the former kind; which deception will be encreased, if the nearer dark trees are proportionable and truly larger than those at the end of the avenue that are more fady.
To distance a building, plant as near as you can to it, two or three circles of different-coloured greens.
Ever-greens are best for all such purposes. Suppose the outer one of holly, and the next of laurel, &c. The consequence will be that the imagination. immediately allows a space betwixt these circles, and another betwixt the house and them; and as the imagined space is indeterminate, if your building be dim-coloured, it will not appear inconsiderable. The imagination is a greater agnifier than a microscopic glass. And on this head, I have known some instances, where, by shewing intermediate ground, the distance has appeared less, than while a hedge or grove concealed it. Hedges, appearing as such, are universally bad. They discover art in nature's province. Trees in hedges partake of their artificiality, and become a part of them. There is no more sudden and obvious improvement, than a hedge removed, and the trees remaining; yet not in such manner as to mark out the former hedge.
Water should ever appear as an irregular lake or winding stream.
Islands give beauty, if the water be adequate; but lessen grandeur through variety. It was the wise remark of some sagacious observer, that familiarity is, for the most part, productive of contempts Graceless offspring of so amiable a parent! Unfor. tunate beings that we are, whose enjoyments must be either checked, or prove destructive of themselves. Our passions are permitted to sip a little pleasure; but are extinguished by indulgence, like a lamp overwhelmed with oil. Hence we neglect the beauty with which we have been intimate; nor would any addition it could receive, prove an equivalent for the advantage it derived from the first impression. Thus, negligent of graces that have the merit of reality, we too often prefer imaginary ones that have only the charm of novelty: and hence we may account, in general, for the preference of art to nature, in our old-fashioned gardens. Art, indeed, is often requisite to collect and epitomize the beauties of nature: but should never be suffered to set her mark upon them; I mean, in regard to those articles that are of nature's province; the shapirg of ground, the planting of trees, and the disposition of Jakes and rivulets. Many more particulars will soon occur, which, however, she is allowed to regulate, somewhat clandestinely, on the following account-man is not capable of comprehending the universe at one survey. Had he faculties equal to this, he might well be censured for any minute regulations of his
It were the same, as if, in his present situation, he strove to find amusement in contriving the fabric of an ant's nest, or the partitions of a bee-hive. But we are placed in the corner of a sphere; endued neither with organs, nor allowed a station, proper to give us an universal view, or to exhibit to us the variety, the orderly proportions, and dispositions of the system. We perceive many breaks and blemishes, several neglected and unvariegated places in
the part; which, in the whole, 'would appear either imperceptible, or beautiful.
And we might as rationally expect a snail to be satisfied with the beauty of our parterres, slopes, and terraces—or an ant to prefer our buildings to her own orderly range of granaries, as that man should be satisfied, without a single thought that he can improve the spot that falls to his share. But, tho’art be necessary for collecting nature's beauties, by what reason is she authorized to thwart and to oppose her? Why fantastically endeavour to humanize those vegetables, of which nature, discreet nature, thought it proper to make trees? Why endow the vegetable bird with wings, which nature has made momentarily dependent on the soil? Here art seems very affectedly to make a display of that industry, which it is her glory to conceal. The stone which represents an asterisk, is valued only on account of it's natural production: nor do we view with pleasure the laboured carvings and futile diligence of gothic artists. We view with much more satisfaction some plain Grecian fabric, where art, indeed, has been equally, but less visibly industrious. It is thus we, indeed, admire the shining texture of the silk-worm; but we loath the puny author, when she thinks proper to emerge; and to disgust us with the appearance of so vile a grub. But this is merely true in regard to the particulars of nature's province; wherein art can only appear as the most abject vassal, and had, therefore, better not appear at all. The case is different where she has the direction of buildings, useful or ornamental; or, perhaps, claims as much honour from temples, as the deities to whom they are inscribed. Here then it is her interest to be seen as much as possible: and, tho'
nature appear doubly beautiful by the contrast her structures furnish, it is not easy for her to confer a benefit which nature, on her side, will not repay. A rural scene to me is never perfect without the addition of some kind of building: indeed, I have known a scar of rock-work, in great measure, supply the deficiency. In gardening, it is no small point to enforce either grandeur or beauty by sure prise; for instance, by abrupt transition from their contraries--but to lay a stress on surprize only; for example, on the surprise occasioned by an aha! without including any nobler purpose; is a symptom of bad taste, and a violent fondness for more concetto. Grandeur and beauty are so very opposite, that you often diminish the one as you increase the other. Variety is most a-kin to the latter, simplicity to the former.
Suppose a large hill varied, by art, with large patches of different-coloured clumps, scars of rock, chalk-quarries, villages, or farm-houses; you will have, perhaps, a more beautiful scene, but much less grand than it was before.
In many instances, it is most eligible to compound your scene of beauty and grandeur.-Suppose a magnificent swell arising out of a well-variegated valley; it would be disadvantageous to encrease it's beauty, by means destructive to it's magnificence. possibly, but there seldom happens to be any occasion to fill up valleys, with trees or otherwise. It is for the most part the gardener's business to remove trees, or aught that tills up the low ground; and to give, as far as nature allows, an artificial eminence to the high.
The hedge-row apple-trees in Herefordshire afford a most beautiful scenery, at the time they are in blossom; but the prospect would be
really grander, did it consist of simple foliage. For the same reason, a large oak (or beech) in autumn, is a grander object than the same in spring. The sprightly green is then obfuscated. Smoothness and easy transitions are no small ingredients in the beautiful; abrupt and retangular breaks have more of the nature of the sublime. Thus a tapering spire is, perhaps, a more beautiful object than a tower, which is grander. Many of the different opinions relating to the preference to be given to seats, villas, &c. are owing to want of distinction betwixt the beautiful and the magnificent. Both the former and the latter please; but there are imaginations particularly adapted to the one, and to the other.
Mr. Addison thought an open uninclosed champaign country, formed the best landscape. Somewhat here is to be considered. Large, unvarigated, simple objects have the best pretensions to sublimity; a large mountain, whose sides are unvaried with objects, is grander than one with infinite variety: but then it's beauty is proportionably less. However, I think a plain space near the eye gives it a kind of liberty it loves: and then the picture, whether you chuse the grand or beautiful, should be held up at it's proper distance. Variety is the principal ingredient in beauty; and simplicity is essential to grandeur. Offensive objects, at a proper distance, acquire even a degree of beauty : for instance, stubble fallow ground.