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ing no imitative genius sprung up, and exploded the reigning motly whims, by realizing the charming descriptions : how finely, and with what judgment and taste, does Milton fing the beauties of the garden.
Thus was this place A happy rural seat of various view : Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums &baim; Others whose fruit burnifh'd with golden rind Hung amiable, Hefperian fables true, If true, here only ; and of delicious taste : Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks Grazing the tender herb, were interposed, Or palmy hillock; or the flow'ry lap Of fome irriguous valley spread her store, Flow'rs of all hue, and without thorn the rose : Another side umbrageous grots, and caves Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creepe Luxuriant; mean-while murm'ring waters fall Down the Nope hills, dispers’d, or in a lake That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams. The birds their quire apply ; airs, vernal airs, Breathing the smell of field and grove, attune
The trembling leaves, while universal Pan
Par. Loft, Book iv,
The famous Le Nôtre, who flourished in the reign of William III. was the capital gardener of his time; he was succeffively employed in the execution of the finest gardens in England and France; and he mangled nature with all that fire of genius, which then was the prevailing mode: his designs were exceedingly extenfive and powerful, in his way, but surely they were puerile ; he never consulted nature, but to rob, her of her beauty ; and that rule and line fo dangerous to handle was his darling child, whom he eyer fondled with the moft ridiculous distinction, Long avenues, straight canals, ponds octangular, fquare and oblong, composed his favourite waters ; mounts regular and uniform, naked and unadorned.; temples B 3
without shade; crouds of monkey figures, marked the fine clipped holly, the yew, and the box; while flaming red gravel gave its affiftance, in a thousand methodical zig-zag walks, to dazzle the eyes, as well as scorch the feet, while tracing the dull round of every childish parterre.
What man of taste can behold the ftit. died labour of Hampton or Kensington, without mortification and disguft! Instead of those delightful scenes which rise from the hand of talte, those scenes which captivate on the first fight, and rivet the attention, he fighs to see nature thus mutilated and torn by the pencil of art : his eyes are every where abforbed in proud expence, and tasteless prodigality ; he looks round him, walks, finds himself, still surrounded by a tiresome fameness his expectation is wearied out, and he retires unsatisfied and fatigued. But these fantastic whims, these ridiculous fopperies
in the art of gardening, are at length become obsolete ; the champions for magnificence and regularity, tho' reluctantly, admit the force of the present elegant tafte, and the fight of two or three masterly productions, hath charmed them into conviction.
Among the many justly celebrated places in this kingdom, which have merited a defcription, none perhaps deserve it more than Hagley, Envel, and the Leafowes. In these places appear almost every beauty the fancy can wish for, or the moft refined taste can give; the eye is never hurt by a trifling or uninteresting object, but roves from scene to scene with new delight, and the spectator is charmed into approbation, and an acknowledge ment of the merit they are fo juftly famed for.
I don't know any country that can boast a greater variety, or more enchant
ing prospects than appear
from nence, and every valley, within the vicinity of the above-mentioned places. From Birmingham, indeed, for about five or fix miles, little appears to confirm that opinion; but the attention of the traveller is, perhaps, as pleasingly amused by the surprizing populousness and cultivation which appears round him. Industry is every where apparent, and chearfulness and plenty seem to bless the doors of every cot. Even children of both fexes are feen busily, employed, and the tinkling of hammers is the constant mufic of the road : the vast quantity of nails which are manufactured within the circle of a few miles, is incredible; almost every indie vidual being employed in that branch, except when called from it by the necessity of their attending seed time and harvest.
But the opening country soon calls the attention from the busy face of in