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It s even more gratifying to the author of this work to know, from actual observation, that the public taste in Rural Embellishment has, within a few years past, made the most rapid progress in this country, than to feel assured by the call for a fourth edition, that his own imperfect labors for the accomplishment of that end have been most kindly appreciated.
In the present edition considerable alterations and amendments have been made in some portions especially in that section relating to the nature of the Beautiful and the Picturesque. The difference among critics regarding natural expression and its reproduction in Landscape Gardening, has led him more carefully to examine this part of the subject, in order, if possible, to present it in the clearest and most definite manner.
The whole work has also been revised, and more copiously illustrated, and is now offered in a more complete form than in any previous edition.
A. J. D. Newburgh, New York, Jan. 1849.
PREF A C E.
A Taste for rural improvements of every description is advancing silently, but with great rapidity in this country. While yet in the far west the pioneer constructs his rude hut of logs for a dwelling, and sweeps away with his axe the lofty forest trees that encumber the ground, in the older portions of the Union, bordering the Atlantic, we are surrounded by all the luxuries and refinements that belong to an old and long cultivated country. Within the last ten years, especially, the evidences of the growing wealth and prosperity of our citizens have become apparent in the great increase of elegant cottage and villa residences on the banks of our noble rivers, along our rich valleys, and wherever nature seems to invite us by her rich and varied charms.
In all the expenditure of means in these improvements, amounting in the aggregate to an immense sum, professional talent is seldom employed in Architecture or Landscape Gardening, but almost every man fancies himself an amateur, and endeavors to plan and arrange his own residence. With but little practical knowledge, and few correct principles for his guidance, it is not surprising that we witness much incongruity and great waste of time and money. Even those who are familiar with foreign works on the subject in question labor under many obstacles in practice, which grow out of the difference in our soil and climate, or our social and political position.
These views have so often presented themselves to me of late, and have been so frequently urged by persons desiring advice, that I have ventured to prepare the present volume, in the hope of supplying, in some degree, the