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monument of a taste the most depraved : the faults above mentioned, instead of being avoided, are cholen as beauties, and multiplied without end. Nature, it would feem, was deenied too vulgar to be imitated in the works of a magnificent monarch : and for that reason preference was given to things unnatural, which probably were mistaken for fupernatural.' I have often amused myself with a fanciful resemblance between these gardens and the Arabian tales : each of them is a performance intended for the amusement of a great king: in the fixteen gardens of Versailles there is no unity of design, more than in the thousand and one Arabian tales: and, lastly, they are equally unnatural; groves of jets d'eau, statues of animals conversing in the manner of Æsop, water issuing out of the mouths of wild beasts, give an impression of fairy-land and witchcraft, no less than diamond-palaces, invisible rings, spells and incantations.
A straight road is the most agreeable, because it shortens the journey. But in an embellished field, a straight walk has an air of formality and confinement: and at any rate is less agreeable than a wind. ing or waving walk ; for in surveying the beauties of an ornamented field, we love to roam from place to place at freedom. Winding walks have another advantage : at every step they open new views. In short, the walks in pleasure-ground ought not to have any appearance of a road: my intention is not to make a journey but to feast myeyeon the beauties of art and nature. This rule excludes not openings.directing the eye to distant objects. Such openings, beside yariety, are agreeable in various respects : first, as observed above, they extend in appearance the size of the field : next, an object, at whatever distance, continues the opening, and deludes the spectator into a conviction, that
the trees which confine the view are continued till they join the object. Sraight walks in recesses do well : they vary the scenery.. nd are favourable to meditation.
Avoid a straight avenue directed upon a dwellinghouse : better far an oblique approach in a waving line, with single trees and other scattered objects interposed. In a direct approach, the first appearance is continued to the end : we see a house at a distance, and we see it all along in the same spot without any variety. In an oblique approach, the interposed objects put the house seemingly in motion : it moves with the pafsenger, and appears to direct its course so as hospitably to intercept him. An oblique approach contributcs also to variety : the house, seen successively in different directions, assumes at each step a new figure.
A garden on a flat ought to be highly and variously ornamented, in order to occupy the mind, and prevent our regretting the insipidity of an uniform plain. Artificial mounts in that view are common : but no person has thought of an artificial walk elevata ed high above the plain. Such a walk is airy, and tends to elevate the mind : it extends and varies the prospect ; and it makes the plain, seen from a height, appear more agreeable..
Whether should a ruin be in the Gothic or Grecian form ? In the former, I think ; because it exhibits the triumph of time over strength*; a melancholy, but not unpleasant thought : a Grecian ruin suggests rather the triumph of barbarity over taste"; a gloomy and discouraging thought.
There are not many fountains in a good taste. Statues of animals vomiting water, which prevail every where, stand condemned as unnatural. A ftatue of a whale spouting water upward from its head is in
one fense natural, as certain whales have that power; but it is a sufficient objection, that its singularity would make it appear unnatural ; there is another reason against it, that the figure of a whale is in itself not agreeable. In many Roman" fountains, ftatues of fishes are employed to fupport a large bason of water. This unnatural conceit is not accountable, unless from the conneclion tliai water hath with the fin that swim in it; which by the way fhows the influence of even the slighter relations. The best design. for a fountain I have met with, is what follows. In an artificial rock, rugged and abrupt, there is a cava ity out of fight at the top : the water conveyed to it by a pipe, pours or trickles down the broken parts of the rock, and is collected into a bafon at the foot : it is fo contrived as to make the water fall in theets or in rills at pleasure.
Hitherto a garden has been treated as a work intended solely for pleasure, or, in other words, for giving impressions of intrinsic beauty. What comes next in order, is the beauty of a garden destined for use, termed relative beauty;* and this branch shall be dispatched in a few words. In gardening, luckily relative beauty need never stand in opposition to in-trinsic beauty : all the ground that can be requisite for use, makes but a small proportion of an ornamented field and may be put in any corner without obstructing the disposition of the capital parts. At the same time, a kitchen-garden or an orchard is fulceptible of intrinsic beauty ; and may be so artfully disposed among the other parts, as by variety and contralt to contribute to the beauty of the whole. In this respect, architecture requires a greater stretch of art, as will be seen immediately; for as intrinsic and relative beauty mult often be blended in the fame
building, * See thefe terms defined, Chap. 3.
building, it becomes a difficult talk to attain both in any perfection.
In a hot country it is a capital object to have what may be termed a summer-garden ; that is, a spot of ground disposed by art and by nature to exclude the sun, but to give free access to the air. In a cold country, the capital object should be a winter-garden, open to the sun, sheltered from wind, dry under foot, and taking on the appearance of summer by variety of evergreens. The relish of a country-life, totally extinct in France, is decaying fast in Britain. But as still many people of fashion, and some of taste, pass the winter, or part of it, in the country, it is amazing that winter-gardens should be overlooked. During summer, every field is a garden ; but during half of the year, the weather is seldom so good in Britain as to afford comfort in the open air without shelter ; and yet seldom so bad as not to afford comfort with shelter. I say more, that befide providing for exercise and health, a winter-garden may be made subservient to education, by introducing a habit of thinking. In youth, lively spirits give too great a propensity to pleasure and amusement, making us averse to serious occupation. That untoward
bias may be corrected in some degree by a winter-garden, which produces in the mind a calm satisfaction, free from agitation of passion, whether gay or gloomy; a fine tone of mind for meditation and reasoning.*
Gardening * A correspondent, whose name I hitherto have concealed, that I might not be thought vain, and which I can no longer conceal, (a) writes to me as foll.ws : " In life we generally lay our account with prosperi. ty, and seldom, very feldom, prepare for adversity. We carry that proa penfity even into the fructure of our gardens: we cultivate the gay or, namcots of summer, relishing no plants but what flourish by mild dews and gracious funfune: we banish from our thoughts ghafly winter, when the benign influences of the fun cheering us no more, are douhly reg etted by yielding to the piercing north wind and nipping froit. Sage is the gardener, in the metaphorical as well as literal sense, who procuies a friendly shelter to protect us from Dem
cember (a) Mss. Montagu.
Gardening being in China brought to greater per. fection than in any other known country, we shall close our present subject with a flight view of the Chinese gardens, which are found entirely obsequious to the principles that govern every one of the fine arts. In general, it is an indispensable law there, never to deviate from nature : but in order to produce that degree of variety which is pleasing, every method consistent with nature is put in practice. Nature is ftrialy imitated in the banks of their artificial lakes and rivers ; which sometimes are bare and gravelly, sometimes covered with wood quite to the brink of the water. To flat spots adorned with flowers and shrubs, are opposed others steep and rocky. We fee meadows covered with cattle ; rice grounds that run intolakes; groves into which enter navigable creeks and rivulets : these generally conduct to some interesting object, a magnificent building, terraces cut in a mountain, a cascade, a grotto, an artificial rock. Their artificial rivers are generally serpentine ; fometimes narrow, noisy, and rapid ; sometimes deep, broad, and flow : and to make the scene still more active, mills and other moving machines are often erected. In the lakes are interspersed islands ; fome barren, surrounded with rocks and shoals ; others enriched with every thing that art and nature can furnish. Even in their cascades they avoid regularity, as forcing nature out of its course : the waters are seen bursting from the caverns and windings of the artificial rocks, here a roaring cataract, there many gentle falls ; and the stream often impeded by trees and stones, that seem brought down by the violence
of cember storms, and cultivates the plants that adorn and enliven that dreary
He is no philosopher who cannot retire into the Stoic's wak, when the gardens of Epicurus are out of bloom: he is too much a philosopher who will rigidly proscribe the flowers and aromatics of summer, to fit constantly under the cypress shade.'' VOL. II. , Y