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be considered, is the genius of the place. Thus at Riskins, now called Piercy Lodge, Lord *** should have raised two or three mounts, because his situation is all a plain, and nothing can please without variety.”
Mr. Walpole, in his elegant and entertaining History of Modern Gardening, has clearly proved that Kent was the artist to whom the English nation was chiefly indebted for diffusing a taste in laying out grounds, of which the French and Italians have no idea. But he adds, much to the credit of our author, that POPE undoubtedly contributed to form Kent's taste. The design of the Prince of Wales's garden at Carleton House, was evidently borrowed from the Poet's at Twickenham. There was a little affected modesty in the latter, when he said, of all his works, he was most proud of his garden : and yet it was a singular effort of art and taste to impress so much variety and scenery on a spot of five acres.
The passing through the gloom from the grotto to the opening day, the retiring and again assembling shades, the dusky groves, the larger lawn, and the solemnity of the termination
at the cypresses that lead up to his mother's tomb, are managed with exquisite judgment; and though Lord Peterborough* assisted him
To form his quincunx, and to rank his vines,
those were not the most pleasing ingredients of his little perspective. I do not know whether the disposition of the garden at Rousham, laid out for General Dormer, and in my opinion the most engaging of all Kent's works, was not planned on the model of Mr. POPE's, at least in the opening and retiring “ shades of Venus's Vale."
It ought to be observed, that many years before this epistle was written, and before Kent was employed as an improver of grounds, even so early as the year 1713, Pope seems to have been the very first person that censured and ridiculed
* I cannot forbear adding, in this place, the following anecdote from Pope to Mr. Spence, which I give in his own words: “ Lord Peterborough, after a visit to FENELON, Arch. bishop of Cambray, said to memFenelon is a man that was cast in a particular mould, that was never made use of for any body else. He's a delicious creature! But I was forced to get from him as soon as I possibly could, or else he would have made me pious."
the formal French, Dutch, false and unnatural, mode in gardening, by a paper in the Guardian, Number 173, levelled against capricious operations of art, and every species of verdant sculpture, and inverted nature; which paper abounds with wit as well as taste, and ends with a ridiculous catalogue of various figures cut in ever. greens. Neither do I think that these four lines in this epistle,
Here Amphitrite sails thro' myrtle bow'rs;
do at all excel the following passage in his Guar
“ A citizen is no sooner proprietor of a couple of
yews, but he entertains thoughts of erecting them into giants, like those of Guildhall. I know an eminent Cook, who beautified his countryseat with a' coronation dinner in greens, where you see the champion flourishing on horseback at
one end of the table, and the
in perpetual youth at the other.”
But it was the vigorous and creative imagination of MILTON, superior to the prejudices of his times,* that exhibited in his EDEN, the first hints and outlines of what a beautiful garden should be ; for even his beloved ARIOSTO and Tasso, in their luxuriant pictures of the gardens of ALCINA and ARMIDA, shewed they were not free from the unnatural and narrow taste of their countrymen; and even his master, SPENSER, has an artificial fountain in the midst of his bowre of bliss.
I cannot forbear taking occasion to remark in this place, that, in the sacred drama, intitled,
L'Adamo, written and published at Milan, in the year. 1617, by G10. BATTISTA ANDREINI, a Florentine, which Milton certainly had read, (and of which Voltaire has given so false and so imperfect an account, in his Essay on the Epic
* How astonishing, that his spirit could not be diminished or crushed by poverty, danger, blindness, disgrace, solitude, and old age!
Poets,) the prints that are to represent Paradise are full of clipt hedges, square parterres, strait walks, trees uniformly lopt, regular knots and carpets of flowers, groves nodding at groves, marble fountains, and water-works. these prints were designed by CARLO ANTONIO ProcCACHINI, a celebrated landscape painter of his time, and of the school of the CARRACHES : many of those works are still admired at Milan. To every scene of this drama is prefixed a print of this artist's designing. And, as the book is very curious and uncommon, I intend to give a specimen and analysis of it in the Appendix to this volume.
It hence appears, that this enchanting art of modern gardening, in which this kingdom claims a preference* over every nation in Europe, chiefly owes its origin and its improvements to two great poets, Milton and POPE. May I be suffered to add, in behalf of a favourite author, and who
* In CASTELL's Villas of the Ancients Illustrated, folio, London, 1728, may be seen how much the celebrated Tuscan villa resembled our gardens, as they were planned a few years ago. Pliny's villa was like his genius.