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A single garden must be distinguished from a plu. rality; and yet it is not obvious in what the unity of a garden confifts. We have indeed fome notion of unity in a garden surrounding a palace, with views from each window, and walks leading to every corner : but there may be a garden without a house ; in which case, it is the unity of design that makes it one garden ; as where a spot of ground is so artfully dressed as to make the several portions appear to be parts of one whole. The gardens of Versailles, properly expressed in the plural number, being no fewer than sixteen, are indeed all of them connected with the palace, but have scarce any mutual connection : they appear not like parts of one whole, but rather like small gardens in contiguity. A greater distance between these gardens would produce a better effect : their junction breeds confusion of ideas, and upon the whole gives less pleasure than would be felt in a lower fucceflion.
Regularity is required in that part of a garden which is adjacent to the dwelling-house ; because an immediate accessory ought to partake the regularity of the principal object :* but in proportion to the distance from the house considered as the centre,
regularity * The influence of this connection furpaffing all hounds, is still visible in many gardens, formed of horizontal plains forc'd with great labour and expense, perpendicular faces of earth supported by male sy stone walls, terrace-walks in Atages one above another, regular ponds and canals without the least motion, and the whole surrounded, like a prison, with high walls excluding every external obje&t. At firt view it may puzzle one to account for a tafle so opposite to nature in every particular. But nothing happens without a causc. Perfect regularity ard uniformity are required in a house ; and this idea is extended to its acceffory the garden, especially if it be a small spot incapable of grandeur or of much variery: the house is regular, so must the garden be ; the floors of the houle are horizontal, and the garden must have the same position ; in the house we are protected from every intruding eye, fo muft we be in the garden. This, it must be confefied, is carrying the notion of resemblance very far : but where reason and talle are laid asleep, nothing is more common than to carry resemblance beyond proper bounds.
regularity ought less and less to be studied; for in an extensive plan, it hath a fine effect to lead the mind insensibly from regularity to a bold variety. Such arrangement tends to make an impression of grandeur: and grandeur ought to be studied as much as possible, even in a more confined plan, by avoiding a multiplicity of small parts. A small garden on the other hand, which admits not grandeur, ought to be strictly regular.
Milton, describing the garden of Eden, prefers justly grandeur before regularity :
Flowers worthy of paradise, which'not nice art
Paradise Loji, b. 4.
In the manner of planting a wood or thicket, much art may be displayed. A common centre of walks, termed a far, from whence are seen remarkable objects, appears too artificial, and consequently too stiff and formal, to be agreeable : the crowding withal so many objects together, lessens the pleasure that would be felt in a flower succession. Abandoning therefore the star, let us try to substitute some form more nato
ural, * See chap. 4.
ural, that will display all the remarkable objects in the neighbourhood. This may be done by various apertures in the wood, purposely contrived to lay open successively every such object ; sometimes a single object, sometimes a pluraliiy in a line, and fometimes a rapid succession of them : the mind at intervals is roused and cheered by agreeable objects : and by surprise, upon viewing objects of which it had no expectation.
Attending to the influence of contrast, explained in the eighth chapter, we discover why the lowness of the ceiling increases in appearance the size of a large room, and why a long room appears still longer by being very narrow, as is remarkable in a gallery : by the same means, an object terminating a narrow opening in a wood, appears at a double distance. This suggests another rule for distributing trees in fome quarter near the dwelling-house : which is to place a number of thickets in a line, with an opening in each, directing the eye from one to another ; which will make them appear more distant from each other than they are in reality, and in appearance enlar ze the size of the whole field. To give this plan it ut noft eiiect, the space between the thickets ought, to be considerable: and in order that each may be seen distinctly, the opening nearest the eye ought to he wider than the fecond, the second wider than the third, and so on to the end.*
By a judicious distribution of trees, other beauties may be produced. A landscape so rich as to ingross the whole attention, and so limited as sweetly to be
comprehended * An object will appear more difiant than it really is, is different col.
be planted between it and the eye. Suppose holly and Proses, and the holly which is of the deeper colour, nearer the cye : the degradation of colour in the Eurel, makes it a pear at a great dif. Parice from the holly, and conlequently tmoves the oljert, in appears to *HICS, to a greater dida: 6c than it really is.
comprehended under a single view, has a much finer effect than the most extensive landscape that requires a wandering of the eye through succeslive scenes. This observation suggests a capital rule in laying out a field ; which is, never at any one station to admit a larger prospect than can easily be taken in at once. A field so happily situated as to command a great extent of prospect, is a delightful subject for applying this rule : let the prospect be split into proper parts, by means of trees, studying at the same time to introduce all the variety posible. A plan of this kind. executed with taste will produce charming effects the beautiful prospects are multiplied : each of ihem is much more agreeable than the entire prospect was originally : and, to crown the whole, the scenery is greatly diversified.
As gardening is not an inventive art, but an imitation of nature, or rather nature itself ornamented; it follows necessarily, that every thing unnatural ought to be rejected with disdain. Statues of wild beasts vomiting water, a common ornament in gardens, prevail in those of Versailles. Is that ornament in a good taste ? A jet d'eau, being purely artificial, may, without disgust, be tortured into a thousand shapes : but a representation of what really exists in nature, admits not any' unnatural circumstance. In the statues of Versailles the artist has displayed his vicious taste without the least colour or disguise. A lifeless statue of an animal pouring out water, may be endured without much disgust! but here the lions and wolves are put in violent action, each has seized its prey, a deer or a lamb, in act to
devour ; and yet, as by hocus-pocus, the whole is : converted into a different scene : the lion, forgetting
his prey, pours out water plentifully; ard the deer, forgetting its darger, aperforms the fame work : a
representation no less absurd than that in the opera, where Alexander the Great, after mounting the wall of a town besieged, turns his back to the enemy, and entertains his army with a fong. *
In gardening, every lively exhibition of what is beautiful in nature has a fine effect : on the other hand, distant and faint imitations are displeasing to every one of taste. The cutting evergreens in the shape of animals, is very ancient; as appears from the epistles of Pliny, who seems to be a great: admirer of the conceit. The propensity to imitation gave birth to that practice; and has supported it wonderfully long, considering how faint and insipid the imitation is. But the vulgar, great and small, are entertained with the oddness and singularity of a resemblance, however distant, between a tree and an animal. An attempt in the gardens of Versailles to imitate a grove of trees by a group of jets d'eau, appears, for the same reason, no less childish,
In dcfigning a garden, every thing trivial or whimfical ought to be avoided. Is a labyrinth then to be justified ? It is a mere conceit, like that of composing verses in the shape of an axe or an egg: the walks and hedges may be agreeable ; but in the form of a labyrinth, they serve to no end but to puzzle: a rid. dle is a conceit not fo mean; because the folution is proof of fagacity, which affords no aid in tracing a Labyrinth.
frie gardens of Versailles, executed with boundless expense by the best artists of that age, are a lasting
* Ulloa, a Spanish writer, deforibing the city of Lima, fays, that the great square is finely orvamenied. " In the centre is a fountain, equally semarkable for its grandeur and capacity. Raised above the fountain is a bronze ftatue of Fame, and four finall bàsons on the angles. The water issues from the trumpet of the statue, and froin the mouths of eight Lions furrounding it, which in his opinion) greatly heighten the beauty of the whole,"