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English Hill . 622-44
MONG the pleasures of a country
life, Gardening is not only a com
mendable and recreative amusement, but a pleasing and delightful fludy; it fills the mind with the most agreeable sensations, it charms the eye, and wherever it is introduced, makes the face of nature smile in elegance and perpetual verdure.
The modern taste univerfally adopted in the disposition of objects, in parks, and pleasure grounds, is natural, lively, and picturesque :
The defigner, attentively cautious of falling into the exploded error, of offending nature, by uniformity, and futile exactnefs, now robes her in all her own simplicity, and careless dignity ; follows her through all her sweet receffes with the dress of fancy-assisted by Genius, he hides her blemishes, and with a graceful hand exposes all her offered charms.
what the ge
Taste depends so much upon good sense, that it is no wonder such execrable blunders shew themselves in the many productions that rise before us, without meaning, beauty, or design. But however dependent taste
upon nerality of designers may be strangers to, I can by no means be persuaded to think so much of the latter is required to form even a copious and interesting scenery ; especially where nature hath done her part, in the diversity of hill, valley, and water. --I have known a peasant scatter, without design, fome beauties round his cot, that, were they to stand within the pale of the first park in England, would be an honor to it. The great difficulty lies chiefly in giving the consequence and a striking imagery to those situations, where nature hath denied her agreeable variety ; here, genius and sense muft for ever go hand in hand, or disgrace and contempt will be the inevitable consequence.
Have you a canal to form ? look if you can discover any natural stream that meanders in a direct line: - Hills rise not uniforinly regular, nor are woods, lawns, rocks, or water, confined to a mathematical exactness. Beauty in gardening is not to be considered by a perfect symmetry, as in a palace; it is composed, and ever delights in the wildness of fancy, and a sympathizing irregularity : Art must never be visible; and every scene distinct. ly variable; and each so happily blended, or secluded from the other, as to strike the beholder with pleasure and surprize.
This is the grand chain to be observed by the attentive designer; if one link is broken in the most trifling object by wrong judgment, it is of such importance, that the whole may fall into censure, and other beauties be sullied by its deformity.
The genius of the place must never be neglected; it is the principal object in gardening; and to follow nature implicitly as she leads, is equally as important. The artist, upon consulting these leading maxims, will easily determine where to rear the ample obelisk-his temples will rise on the brows of well-fheltered hills, or on the easy floped lawn, within the umbrage of the hanging grové-his grots, contemplative and retired, will be saluted by the peaceful lake, or the foothing monotony of the trickling rill his cascades will be romanticly disposed, bold, confufed, and artless; his rocks broken, jagged, and mishapen-mellifluous shrubs will scent his more retired walks, where distant objects are not called for, and elegance and beauty will grace the whole. To surprize and please, is the very foul of taste; and whoever is happy enough to accomplish this, has done what the whole ant of gardening can dictate to him.
One would imagine, among the liberal arts that have flourished in a state of perfection for such a number of years, that the ornamenting of parks and pleasure grounds, in the genuine taste they now appear, would long before the present æra have rose into the same repute. The Romans, when architecture was in its perfect glory, when palaces in every village stood in such majesty, we do not find their gardens any way remarkable, except for grandeur and a prodigality of expence ; nothing pleased but what had the air of greatness; the soft and delightful receflies of nature were despised, rejected; arc filled every corner, and nought but the pageantry of magnificence claimed the attention of the people of that great and powerful empire.
The celebrated poets of all ages, in their pastorals,
paint the beauties and fimplicity of nature in such lively colours, and so invitingly, that it is amazB 2