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1977027 AUG 25 1913 WE P93 ī
TO THE FIRST VOLUME.
As the general plan and intention of my first publication have been a good deal misunderstood, I wish to give a short account of them both.
The title itself might have shewn, that I aimed at something more than a mere book of gardening; some, however, have cona ceived that I ought to have begun by setting forth all my ideas of lawns, shrubberies, gravel-walks &c.; and as my arrangement did not coincide with their notions of what it ought to have been, they seem to have concluded that I had no plan at all.
I have in this Essay, undertaken to treat of two subjects, distinct, but intimately, connected; and which, as I conceive, throw a reciprocal light on each other. I have begun with that which is last mentioned in the title, as I thought some previous discussion with regard to pictures and picturesque scenery, would most naturally lead to a particular examination of the character itself. In the first chapter, I have stated the general reasons for studying the works of eminent landscape painters, and the principles of their art, with a view to the improvement of real scenery; and in order to shew how little those works, or the principles they contain, have been attended to, I have supposed the scenery in the landscape of a great painter, to be new modelled according to the taste of Mr. Brown. Having shewn this contrast between dressed scenery, and a picture of the most or
namented kind, I have in the second chapter compared together two real scenes ; the one, in its picturesque, unimproved state; the other, when dressed and improved according to the present fashion. The picturesque circumstances detailed in this scene, very naturally lead me in the third chapter, to investigate their general causes and effects; and in that, and in the six following chapters, I have traced them, as far as my observation would enable me, through all the works of art and of nature. : This part, the most curious and interesting to a speculative mind, will be least so to those, who think only of what has a direct and immediate reference to the arrangement of scenery : that, indeed, it has not; but it is a discussion well calculated to give just and enlarged ideas, of what is of no slight importance--the general character of each place, and the particular
character of each part of its seenery. Every place, and every scene worth observing, must have something of the sublime, the beautiful, or the picturesque; and every man will allow, that he would wish to pres serve, and to heighten, certainly not to weaken of destroy, their prevailing character. The most ohvious method of succeed. ing: in the one, and of avoiding the other, is by studying their causes and effects; but, to confine that study to-scenery, only, would, like all confined studies for a particulari purposes tend to contract the mind;. at least when compared with a more comprehensive view of the subject. I have therefore endeavoured to take the most enlarged: view possible, and to include in it whatever had any relation to the character I was, occupied in tracing, or which shewed its distinction from those, which a very superior mind, had already investigated; and