h&m \ httk&it)5K 15
London PubTzsKd Jim* 4'!' lS02,by J. Taylor. High Holborn..
THE THEORY AND PRACTICE
GRECIAN AND GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE,
IN THE POSSESSION OF
THE DIFFERENT NOBLEMEN AND GENTLEMEN,
for whose use they were originally written; THE WHOLE TENDING TO ESTABLISH FIXED PRINCIPLES IN THE RESPECTIVE ARTS.
By H. REPTON, Esq.
PRINTED BY T. BENS LEY, BOLT COURT, for j. taylor, at the architectural library, high holborn.
i / 1
HIS MAJESTY'S MOST GRACIOUS PERMISSION,
IS HUMBLY INSCRIBED BY
MOST FAITHFUL, OBEDIENT, AND HUMBLE SUBJECT, HUMPHRY REPTON.
Hare Street, near Romford, Dec. 31, 1802.
explaining the nature of this work.
Seven years have now elapsed since the publication of my Sketched and Hints on Landscape Gardening" during which, by the continued duties of my profession, it is reasonable to suppose much experience has been gained and many principles established. Yet so difficult is the application of any rules of Art to the works of Nature, that I do not presume to give this Book any higher title, than Observations tending to establish fixed Principles in the Art of Landscape Gardening"
After various attempts to arrange systematically the matter of this volume, I found the difficulties increase with the number of the subjects; and although each was originally treated with order and method in a separate state, yet in combining many of these subjects, the same order and method could not easily be preserved. I have, however, with as much attention to arrangement as my professional duties would admit, collected such observations as may best vindi-
cate the Art of Landscape Gardening from the imputation of being founded on caprice and fashion: occasionally adding such matter as I thought might suit the various taste or inclinations of various readers. Some delight in speculative opinions, some in experimental facts; others prefer description, others look for novelty, and some, perhaps, for what I hope will not be found in this Work, impracticable theories.
The present volume neither supersedes, nor contradicts my former work, neither is it a repetition nor a continuation; but to avoid the oblong and inconvenient shape of that book the present volume is printed under a different form and title, because I am less ambitious of publishing a book of beautiful prints, than a book of precepts: I must therefore intreat that the plates be rather considered as necessary than ornamental; they are introduced to illustrate the arguments, rather than to attract the attention. I wish to make my appeal less to the eye, than to the understanding.
In excuse for the frequent use of the first personal pronoun, it should be remembered, that when an author relates his own theory, and records his own practice, it is hardly possible to avoid the language of egotism-
When called upon for my opinion concerning the improvement of a place, I have generally delivered it in writing, bound in a small book, containing maps and sketches to explain the alterations proposed: this is called the Red Book of the place; and thus my opinions have been diffused over the kingdom in nearly two hundred such manuscript volumes.
From many of these, with the permission of their respective proprietors, this volume has been composed; sometimes adopting the substance, and sometimes quoting the words of the Red Book.
The severity of criticism is seldom abated in consideration of the circumstances under which a work is produced; yet should it be objected that some parts of this volume are unequal, the author can plead in excuse, that the whole has been written in a carriage during his professional journeys from one place to another, and being seldom more than three days together in the same place, the difficulty of producing this volume, such as it is, can hardly be conceived by those who enjoy the blessings of stationary retirement, or a permanent home.
The Plates are fac similes of my sketches in the original Red Books, and have been executed by various artists, whose names are affixed to each; to whom I thus publickly express my acknowledgments, and when tempted to complain of delay, disappointment, and want of punctuality in artists, 1 am checked by the consideration that works of genius cannot be restricted by time like the productions of daily labour."
The necessity of blending Architecture with Landscape Gardening, mentioned in my former work, induced me to
' The art of colouring plates in imitation of drawings lias been so far improved of late, that I have pleasure in recording my obligations to Mr. Clarke, under whose directions a number of children have been employed to enrich this volume.
turn the studies of one of my sons to that auxiliary" part of my profession; it is therefore to the assistance of Mr. John Adey Repton that I am indebted for many valuable ornaments to this volume. His name has hitherto been little known as an architect, because it was suppressed in many works begun in that of another person, to whom I freely, unreservedly, and confidentially gave my advice and assistance, while my son aided with his architectural knowledge and his pencil to form plans and designs from which we have derived neither fame nor profit; but amongst the melancholy evils to which human life is subject, the most excruciating to a man of sensibility is the remembrance of disappointed hope from misplaced confidence.
SOME OBSERVATIONS ON TASTE.
In every other polite Art, there are certain established rules or general principles, to Avhich the professor may appeal in support of his opinions; but in Landscape Gardening every one delivers his sentiments, or displays his taste, as whim or caprice may dictate, without having studied the subject, or even thought it capable of being reduced to any fixed rules. Hence it has been doubted, whether each proprietor of his own estate, may not be the most proper person to plan its improvement.
Had the art still continued under the direction of working gardeners, or nurserymen, the proprietor might supersede the necessity of such landscape-gardeners, provided he had previously made this art his study; but not, (as it is frequently asserted)because the gentleman who constantly resides at his place, must be a better judge of the means of improving it, than the professor whose visits are only occasional: for if this reason for a preference were granted, we might with equal truth assert, that the constant companion of a sick man has an advantage over his physician.
Improvements may be suggested by any one, but the professor only acquires a knowledge of effects before they are produced, and a facility in producing them by various methods, expedients, and resources, the result of study, observation, and experience. He knows what can, and what can not be accomplished within certain limits. He ought to know what to adopt,
and what to reject; he must endeavour to accommodate his plans to the wishes of the person who consults him,a although, in some cases, they may not strictly accord with his own taste.
Good sense may exist without good taste,h yet, from their intimate connexion, many persons are as much offended at having their taste, as their understanding, disputed; hence the most ignorant being generally the most obstinate, I have occasionally found that as a little learning is a dangerous thing," a little taste is a troublesome one.
Both taste and understanding require cultivation and improvement. Natural taste, like natural genius, may exist to a certain degree, but without study, observation, and experience, they lead to error: there is, perhaps, no circumstance which so strongly marks the decline of public taste, as the extravagant applause bestowed on early efforts of unlettered and uncultivated genius: extraordinary instances of prematurity deserve to be patronised, fostered, and encouraged, provided they excite admiration from excellence, independent of peculiar circumstances; but the public taste is endangered by the circulation of such crude productions as are curious only from the youth or ignorance of their authors. Such an apology to the learned will not compensate for the defects of grammar in Poetry, nor to the scientific artist for the defects of proportion and design in Architecture; while the incorrectness of such efforts is hardly visible to the bulk of mankind, incapable of comparing their excellence with works of established reputation. Thus in poetry, in painting, and in architecture, false taste is propagated by the sanction given to mediocrity.
a Thus before a house is planned, the proprietor must describe the kind of house he wishes to build. The architect is to consider what must be had, and what may be dispensed with. He ought to keep his plan as scrupulously within the expence proposed, as within the limits of the ground he is to build upon: he is, in short, to enter into the views, the wishes, and the ideas of the gentleman who will inhabit the house proposed.
b The requisites of taste are well described, by Dr. Beattie, under five distinct heads. 1. A lively and correct imagination; 2. the power of distinct apprehension; 3. the capacity of being easily, strongly, and agreeably affected with sublimity, beauty, harmony, correct ** imitation, &c; 4. sympathy, or sensibility of heart; and 5. judgment or good sense, which is the principal thing, and may not very improperly be said to comprehend all the rest."
Its dangerous tendency, added to its frequency, must plead my excuse for taking notice of the following vulgar mode of expression: I do not pro-" fess to understand these matters, but I know what pleases me." This may be the standard of perfection with those who are content to gratify their own taste without inquiring how it may affect others; but the man of good taste endeavours to investigate the causes of the pleasure he receives, and to inquire whether others receive pleasure also. He knows that the same principles Avhich direct taste in the polite arts, direct the judgment in morality; in short, that a knowledge of what is good, what is bad, and what is indifferent, whether in actions, in manners, in language, in arts, or science, constitutes the basis of good taste, and marks the distinction between the higher ranks of polished society, and the inferior orders of mankind, whose daily labours allow no leisure for other enjoyments than those of mere sensual, individual, and personal gratification.
" In most countries novelty, in every form of extravagance, broad humour, and caricatures, afford the greatest delight to the populace. This preference is congenial with their love of coarse pleasures, and distinguishes the mul-" titude from the more polite classes of every nation. The inferior orders of society are therefore disqualified from deciding upon the merits of the fine arts; and the department of taste is consequently confined to persons en-" lightened by education and conversant with the world, whose views of na-" ture, of art, and of mankind, are enlarged and elevated by an extensive range of observation." Rett's Elements of General Knowledge.
Those who delight in depreciating the present by comparisons with former times, may, perhaps, observe a decline of taste in many of the polite arts; but surely in architecture and gardening, the present sera furnishes more examples of attention to comfort and convenience than are to be found in the plans of Palladio, Vitruvius, or Le Notre, who, in the display of useless symmetry, often forgot the requisites of habitation. The leading feature in the good taste of modern times, is the just sense of general utility.
So difficult is the task of giving general satisfaction, that I am aware I shall cause offence to some by mentioning their places; to others, by not mentioning them: to some, by having said too much, to others, by having said too little. Yet to establish principles from experience, and theory from practice, it was necessary to quote examples; I have therefore prefixed a list of those places only to which I refer in the course of the work.
It will, perhaps, be observed, that some of these places are of great extent and importance, whilst others are so inconsiderable that they might have been omitted. But to the proprietor his own place is always important;, and to the professor a small place may serve to illustrate the principles of his art: and his whole attention and abilities should be exerted, whether he is to build a palace or a cottage, to improve a forest or a single field. Well knowing that every situation has its facilities and its difficulties, I have never considered how many acres I was called upon to improve, but how much I could improve the subject before me, and have occasionally experienced more pleasure and more difficulties in a small flower garden, than amidst the wildest scenery of rocks and mountains.
Some of the places here enumerated are subjects which I have visited only once; others from the death of the proprietors, the change of property, the difference of opinions, or a variety of other causes, may not, perhaps, have been finished according to my suggestions. It would be endless to point out the circumstances in each place where my plans have been partially adopted or partially rejected. To claim as my own, and to arrogate to myself all that 1 approve at each place, would be doing injustice to the taste of the several proprietors who may have suggested improvements. On the other hand, I should be sorry, that to my taste should be attributed all the absurdities which fashion, or custom, or whim, may have occasionally introduced in some of these places. I can only advise, I do not pretend to dictate, and, in many cases, must rather conform to what has been ill begun, than attempt to pull to pieces and re-model the whole Work.
" Kon mihi res sed me rebus subjungere conor."
To avoid the imputation of having fully approved, where I have found it necessary merely to assent, I shall here beg leave to subjoin my opinion negatively, as the only means of doing so without giving offence to those from whom I may differ; at the same time, with the humility of experience, I am
conscious my opinion may, in some cases, be deemed wrong. The same motives which induce me to mention what I recommend, will also justify me in mentioning what I disapprove; a few observations, therefore, are subjoined to mark those errors, or absurdities in modern gardening and architecture, to which I have never willingly subscribed, and from which it will easily be ascertained how much of what is called the improvement of any place in the list, may properly be attributed to my advice. It is rather upon my opinions in writing, than on the partial and imperfect manner in which my plans have sometimes been executed, that I wish my Fame to be established.
OBJECTION No. 1.
There is no error more prevalent in modern gardening, or more frequently carried to excess, than taking away hedges to unite many small fields into one extensive and naked lawn, before plantations are made to give it the appearance of a park; and where ground is subdivided by sunk fences, imaginary freedom is dearly purchased at the expence of actual confinement.
The baldness and nakedness round a house is part of the same mistaken system, of concealing fences to gain extent. A palace, or even an elegant villa, in a grass field, appears to me incongruous; yet I have seldom had sufficient influence to correct this common error.
An approach which does not evidently lead to the house, or which docs not lake the shortest course, cannot be right.
A poor man's cottage, divided into what is called a pair of lodges, is a mistaken expedient to mark importance in the entrance to a Park.
The entrance gate should not be visible from the mansion, unless it opens into a court yard.
14 No. 6.
The plantation surrounding a place, called a Belt, I have never advised; nor have I ever willingly marked a drive, or walk, completely round the verge of a park, except in small villas where a dry path round a person's own field, is always more interesting to him than any other walk.
Small plantations of trees, surrounded by a fence, are the best expedients to form groupes, because trees planted singly seldom grow well; neglect of thinning and of removing the fence, has produced that ugly deformity called a Clump.
Water on an eminence, or on the side of a hill, *is among the most common errors of Mr. Brown's followers: in numerous instances I have been allowed to remove such pieces of water from the hills to the valleys; but in many my advice has not prevailed.
Deception may be allowable in imitating the works of nature; thus artificial rivers, lakes, and rock scenery, can only be great by deception, and the mind acquiesces in the fraud after it is detected: but in works of art every trick ought to be avoided. Sham churches, sham ruins, sham bridges, and every thing which appears what it is not, disgusts when the trick is discovered.
In buildings of every kind the character should be strictly observed. No incongruous mixture can be justified. To add Grecian to Gothic-, or Gothic to Grecian, is equally absurd; and a sharp pointed arch to a garden gate, or a dairy window, however frequently it occurs, is not less offensive than Grecian architecture, in which the standard rules of relative proportion are neglected or violated.
The perfection of landscape gardening consists in the fullest attention to these principles, Utility, 'Proportion,, and Unity or harmony of parts to the whole.
LIST OF THE PLACES
referred to as examples.
Abington Hall........Cambridgeshire......John Mortlock, Esq...........
Adlestrop.............Gloucestershire......J. H. Leigh, Esq..............
Antony..............Cornwall............R. P. Carew, Esq. M. P.........
Ashton Court.........Somersetshire........Sir Hugh Smyth, Bait.........
Aston................Cheshire............Hon. Mrs. Harvey Aston.......
Attingbam...........Shropshire..........Right Hon. Lord Berwick......
Babworth............. Nottinghamshire.....Hon. J. B. Simpson, M. P.......
Bank Farm...........Surry...............Hon. Gen. St. John............
Bayham..............Kent...............Earl Camden ................
Betchworth...........Surry...............Hon. W. H. Bouverie, M. P.....
Blaize Castle..........Gloucestershire.......J. S. Harford, Esq............
Brandsbury...........Middlesex...........Hon. Lady Salusbury..........
Bracondale...........Norfolk.............P. Martineau, Esq.............
Brentrey Hill..........Gloucestershire.......Wm. Payne, Esq..............
Buckminster..........Leicestershire........Sir Wm. Manners, Bart........
Bulstrode.............Buckinghamshiie.....His Grace the Duke of Portland
Burleigh on the Hill. . .Rutlandshire.........Earl Winchelsea..............
Catton...............Norfolk.............Jer. Ives, Esq................
Cashiobury...........Hertfordshire........Earl of Essex................
Catchfrench..........Cornwall............Francis Glan\ ille, Esq. M. P. . .
Chilton Lodge.........Berkshire...........John Pearse, Esq..............
Clayberry Hall........Essex...............James Hatch, Esq.............
Cobham Hall.........Kent...............Earl Darnley.................
Courteen Hall.........Northamptonshire____Sir Wm. Wake, Bart.........
Corsham House........Wiltshire...........Paul Cob. Methuen, Esq.......,
Condover Park........Shropshire...........Owen Smyth Owen, Esq......
Coombe Lodge........Berks & Oxfordshire .. Samuel Gardener, Esq.........
Cote Bank............Gloucestershire.......Wm. Broderip, Esq............
Crewe...............Cheshire............John Crewe, Esq. M. P.......
Donnington Park......Leicestershire........Earl Moira.................
Dulwich Casina.......Surry...............Richard Shawe, Esq..........
Dullingham House.....Cambridgeshire......Colonel Jeaffreson.............
Dyrbam Park.........Gloucestershire.......Wm. Blathwayte, Esq.........
Garnons..............Herefordshire........ J. G. Cotterel, Esq. M. P.......
Gayhurst.............Buckinghamshire.....George Wright Esq............
Glemham.............Suffolk.............Dudley North, Esq. M. P......
The Grove............Southgate...........Walker Gray, E;q.............
Hasells...............Bedfordshire.........Francis Pym, Esq............
Harewood House......Yorkshire...........Right Hon. Lord Harewood
Heathfield............Sussex..............Francis Newberry, Esq........,
High Legh...........Cheshire............G.J.Legh, Esq..............,
Hill Hall.............Essex...............Sir Wm. Smyth, Bart..........
Higham Hills.........Essex...............John Harman, Esq............
Highlands............Essex...............C. H. Kortright, Esq..........,
Holkham.............Norfolk.............T. W. Coke, Esq. M. P.........
Holwood............Kent...............Right Hon. Wm. Pitt...........
Holme Park...........Berkshire...........Richard Palmer, Esq............
Hooton..............Cheshire............Sir Thomas Stanley, Bart........
Hurlingham..........in Fulham...........John Ellis, Esq................
Langley Park.........Kent...............Right Hon. Lord Gwydr........
Lathom House........Lancashire..........Wilbraham Bootle, Esq. M. P. . .
Langleys.............Essex...............W. Tuffnel, Esq................
Livermere............Suffolk.............N. Lee Acton, Esq.............
Luscombe............Devonshire..........Ch. Hoare, Esq...............
Maiden Early.........Berkshire............E. Golding, Esq. M. P..........
Magdalen College......Oxford.............President and Fellows..........
Merly House..........Dorsetshire..........W. Willet Willet, Esq..........
Milton House.........Cambridgeshire......Sam. Knight, Esq..............
Milton Abbey.........Northamptonshire .... Earl Wentworth Fitzwilliam.....
Michel Grove.........Sussex..............Richard Walker, Esq...........
Moccas Court.........Herefordshire........Sir George Cornewall, Bart. M. P.
Mulgrave.............Yorkshire...........Right Hon. Lord Mulgrave......
Newton Park.........Somersetshire........W. Gore Langton, Esq. M. P.....
Normanton...........Rutlandshire.........Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Bart. M. P..
Oldbury Court........Gloucestershire.......T. Graeme, Esq................
Organ Hall...........Hertfordshire........Wm.Towgood, Esq............
Port Eliot............Cornwall............Right Hon. Lord Crags Eliot
Prestwood............Staffordshire.........Hon. Edw. Foley, M P.........
Plas Newyd...........Anglesea............Earl of Uxbridge..............
Purley...............Berkshire............J. Ant. Storer, Esq..............
Rendlesham...........Suffolk..............P.Thellusson, Esq. M. P.........
Rug.................North Wales........Col. E. V. W. Salesbury.........
Sarsden..............Oxfordshire..........J. Langston, Esq. M. P..........
Scarrisbrick...........Lancashire..........T. Scarrisbrick Eccleston, Esq. .. .
Sheffield Place.........Sussex..............Right Hon. Lord Sheffield.......
Shardeloes............Buckinghamshire.....Wm. Drake, Esq. M. P..........
Stoke Park............Herefordshire........Hon. E. Foley, M. P............
Stoke Pogies..........Berkshire............John Penn, Esq................
Stoneaston............Somersetshire........Hippesley Coxe, Esq. M. P.......
St. John's............Isle of Wight........Edw. Simeon, Esq..............
Stapleton.............Gloucestershire.......Dr. Lovell, M. D..............
Stratton Park..........Hampshire..........Sir Francis Baring, Bart. M. P.. ..
Streatham Villa........Surry...............Robert Brown, Esq.............
Sufton Court..........Herefordshire........James Hereford, Esq............
Sundridge Park........Kent...............Claude Scott, Esq. M. P.........
Suttons..............Essex..............Charles Smith, Esq. M. P........
Taplow..............Buckinghamshire.....J. Fryer, Esq..................
Tendring.............Suffolk.............Sir Wm. Rowley, Bart..........
Thoresby.............Nottinghamshire.....Lord Viscount Newark.........
Valleyfield............Perthshire...........Sir Robert Preston, Bart. M. P... .
Wall Hall............Hertfordshire........G. W. Thellusson, Esq.M- P......
West Wycombe.......Buckinghamshire.....Sir J. Dashwood King, Bart......
Wentworth House.....Yorkshire...........Earl Wentworth Fitzwilliam.....
Welbeck.............Nottinghamshire.....His Grace the Duke of Portland. .
Whitton Park.........Middlesex...........Samuel Prime, Esq.............
Woodley.............Berkshire...........Right Hon. H. Addington, M. P. .
Wycombe............Buckinghamshire.....Right Hon. Lord Carrington.....
IntroductionGeneral PrinciplesUtilityScaleVarious Examples of comparative ProportionUse of PerspectiveExample from the FortGroundSeveral Examples of removing Earth The great Hill at Wentworth.
The Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening have seldom fallen under the consideration of the same author; because those who have delivered their opinions in writing on this art have had little practical experience, and few of its professors have been able to deduce their rules from theoretical principles. To such persons indeed had its practice been committed, that it required no common degree of fortitude and perseverance to elevate the art of landscape gardening to its proper rank.
and amongst those which distinguish the pleasures of civilized society from the pursuits of savage and barbarous nations.
Not deterred by the sneer of ignorance/ the contradiction of obstinacy, the nonsense of vanity, or the prevalence of false taste, I made the attempt; and with the counsels and advice of men of science, and the countenance of some of the first characters in the kingdom, a very large portion of its scenery has been committed to my care for improvement. Hence it might be expected that with some degree of confidence I now should deliver the result of my observations; yet from the difficulties continually increasing with my knowledge of the subject, I submit this work to the public with far more diffidence than I did my former volume: 'because in this, as in every other study, reflection and observation on those things which we do know, teach us to regret our circumscribed knowledge, and the difficulty of reducing to fixed principles the boundless variety of the works of Nature.
If any general principles could be established in this art, I think they might be deduced from the joint consideration of relative fitness or utility, and comparative proportion or scale; the former may be referred to the mind, the latter to the eye, yet these two must be inseparable.
Under relative fitness I include the comfort, the convenience, the character, and every circumstance of a place, that renders it the desirable habitation of man, and adapts it to the uses of each individual proprietor; for it has occasionally happened to me to have been consulted on the same subject by two diffe-
a The ignorance and obstinacy here alluded to, relate to the frequent opposition I have experienced from gardeners, bailiffs, and land stewards, who either wilfully mar my plans, or ignorantly mistake my instructions.
rent proprietors, when my advice has been materially varied, to accord with the respective circumstances or intentions of each.
The second is that leading principle which depends on sight, and which I call comparative proportion; because all objects appear great or small by comparison only, or as they have a reference to other objects with which they are liable to be compared.
As this will be more clearly explained by an example, the vignetteb at the beginning of the chapter presents two obelisks, of exactly the same size, yet by the figures placed near each, they appear to be of very different dimensions. The height of a man we know to be generally from five to six feet, but an obelisk may be from ten to an hundred feet high; we therefore compare the unknown with the known object, and immediately pronounce one of these obelisks to be twice the size of the other. Yet without some such scale to assist the eye, it would be equally difficult either in nature, or in a picture, to form a correct judgment concerning objects of uncertain dimensions.
At Holkham, about twenty years ago, the lofty obelisk seen from the portico, appeared to be surrounded by shrubbery, but
b Beside the obelisks in the vignette, are several other emblems relating to landscape gardening: the proportional compasses are often necessary to fix the exact comparative dimensions on paper, to reduce or enlarge the scale, and the flowing lines of ribbon or linen cloth are frequently necessary to mark the outline of a piece of water, when its effect is to be judged of at a distance; but above all, the eye to observe and the hand to delineate, are always necessary, and will often supersede the use of every instrument, because the judicious artist must rather consider things as they appear than as they really exist, by which he may unite distant objects, and separate those in contact; his effects must be studied with the eye of the painter, and reduced to proper scale with the measurement of the land surveyor.
on a nearer approach, I found that these apparent shrubs were really large trees, and only depressed by the greater height of the obelisk. A similar instance occurs at Welbeck; the large grove of oaks seen from the house across the water, consists of trees most remarkable for their straight and lofty stems; yet, to a stranger, their magnitude is apparently lessened by an enormous large and nourishing ash, which rises like a single tree out of a bank of brushwood. When I was first consulted respecting Wentworth House, the lawn behind it appeared circumscribed, and the large trees which surrounded that lawn appeared depressed by four tall obelisks: these have since been removed, the stately trees have assumed their true magnitude, and the effect of confinement is done away.
I have illustrated these observations by the example of an obelisk, because its height being indeterminate, it may mislead the eye as a scale; since according to its size and situation the very same design may serve for a lamp-post, a mile-stone in the market-place of a city, an ornament to a public square, or it may be raised on the summit of a hill, a monument to a nation's glory.
The necessity of observing scale or comparative proportion, may be further elucidated by a reference to West Wycombe, a place generally known from its vicinity to the road to Oxford. Amongst the profusion of buildings and ornament which the false taste of the last age lavished upon this spot, many were correct in design, and, considered separately, in proportion; but even many of the designs, although perfect in themselves, were rendered absurd, from inattention either to the scale or situation of the surrounding objects. The summit of a hill is
covered by a large mass of Grecian architecture, out of which apparently rises a small square projection, with a ball at the top, not unlike the kind of cupolas misplaced over stables; but in reality this building is the tower of a church/ and the ball a room sufficiently large to contain eight or ten people.
This comparative proportion, or, in other words, this attention to scale or measurement, is not only necessary with regard to objects near each other, but it forms the basis of all improvement depending on perspective, by the laws of which it is well known, that, objects diminish in apparent size in proportion to their distance: yet the application of this principle may not perhaps have been so universally considered. I shall therefore mention a few instances in which I have availed myself of its effects.
At Hurlingham on the banks of the Thames, the lawn in front of the house was necessarily contracted by the vicinity of the river, yet being too large to be kept under the scythe and
c On the summit of another building, viz. a saw-mill in the park, was a figure of a man in a brown coat and a broad brimmed hat, representing the great Penn of Pen-silvania, which being much larger than the natural proportion of a man, yet having the appearance of a man upon the roof of the building, diminished the size of every other object by which it was surrounded. It has since been removed, and is now in the possession of Mr. Penn at Stoke Pogies, where, placed in a room, it seems a colossal figure. Another instance of false scale at this.place, was the diminutive building with a spire at the end of the park, which, perhaps, when the neighbouring trees were small, might have been placed there with a view of extending the perspective. This artifice may be allowable in certain cases, and to a certain degree, yet a cathedral in miniature must in itself be absurd; and when we know that it was only the residence of a shoemaker, and actually dedicated to St. Crispin, it becomes truly ridiculous.
I have drawn these examples of defects from West Wycombe, because they are obvious to every passenger on a very public road, and because I shall, in the course of this volume, have occasion to mention the many beauties of this place
roller, and too small to be fed by a flock of sheep, I recommended the introduction of Alderney cows only; and the effect is that of giving imaginary extent to the place, which is thus measured below a true standard; because if distance will make a. large animal appear small, so the distance will be apparently extended by the smallness of the animal.
The same reasoning induced me to prefer at Stoke Pogies a bridge of more arches than one over a river which is the work of art, whilst in natural rivers a single arch is often preferable, because in the latter we wish to increase the magnitude of the bridge, whilst in the former we endeavour to give importance to the artificial river.
Another instance of the necessity of attending to comparative scale, occurred near the metropolis, where a gentleman wished to purchase a distant field for the purpose of planting out a tile-kiln, but I convinced him, that during the life of man the nuisance could never be hid from his windows by planting near the kiln, whilst a few trees judiciously placed within his own ground, would effect the purpose the year after they were planted.
The Art of Landscape Gardening is in no instance more intimately connected with that of painting than in whatever relates to perspective, or the difference between the real and apparent magnitude of the objects, arising from their relative situations; for without some attention to perspective, both the dimensions and the distances of objects will be changed and confounded.
Few instances having occurred to me where this can be more forcibly elucidated than in the ground at the fort near Bristol; I shall avail myself of the following observations to shew what can, and what can not be done by a judicious application of the laws of perspective.
When I first visited the fort, I found it surrounded by vast chasms in the ground, and immense heaps of earth and broken rock; these had been made to form the cellars and foundations of certain additions to the city of Bristol, which were afterwards relinquished. The first idea that presented itself was to restore the ground to its original shape; but a little reflection on the character and situation of the place, naturally led me to enquire whether some considerable advantage might not be derived from the mischief which had thus been already done.
Few situations command so varied, so rich, and so extensive a view as the fort; situated on the summit of a hill which looks over the vast city of Bristol, it formerly surveyed the river, and the beautiful country surrounding it, without being incommoded by too much view of the city itself: but the late prodigious increase of buildings had so injured the prospect from this house, that its original advantages of situation were almost destroyed, and there was some reason to doubt whether it could ever be made desirable either as a villa or as a country residence; because it was not only exposed to the unsightly rows of houses in Park Street and Berkeley Square, but it was liable to' be overlooked by the numerous crowds of people who claimed a right of footpath through the park immediately before the windows. It was therefore as public as any house in any square or street of Bristol. If the earth had been simply put back to the places from
whence it had been taken, the expence of its removal would have been greater than the method which occurred to me as more advisable; viz. to fill up the chasms partly by levelling the sides into them, and raising a bank with a wall to exclude the foot-path, as shewn in the annexed section, where the dotted line shews the original shape of the ground; the zig-zag line, holes from fifteen to twenty feet deep; the shaded line, the shape of the ground as altered.
By this expedient we hide the objectionable part of the view, and by planting the raised heap of earth we produce a degree of privacy and seclusion in this newly created valley within the pleasure grounds, which was never before known or expected in this open situation. The pleasure ground, immediately near the house, is separated from the park by a wall, against which the earth is every where laid as before described, so as to carry the eye over the heads of persons who may be walking in the adjoining foot-path. This wall not only hides them from the house, but also prevents their overlooking the pleasure ground. Yet notwithstanding this great utility, this absolute necessity, the appearance of such a wall from the park gives an air of confinement, and the only expedient by which this might be well remedied, would be a total change in the character of the place,
or rather by altering the house to make it what its name and situation denote: for if the fort were restored to its original character of a castle or fortress, this wall, instead of being objectionable, would then act as a terrace, and contribute to the general effect of extent, and the magnificence of the whole.6
The drawing represents the view from the house, as it appeared before and after the improvement; upon the slide arc shewn five rods or poles, each of which are supposed to be ten feet high, and placed at different distances from the eye; these shew the difference in the apparent height of the same object in the different situations, and of course what may be expected from trees planted of any given size at each place: from hence it is evident that a young tree at No. 1. will hide nothing for many years except the park wall. A tree of the same size at No. 2. will do little more; this is confirmed also by the large trees already growing there; but at No. 3. where a heap of earth has been thrown up to a considerable height, a tree of twenty feet would hide most of the houses, and in like manner at No. 4. and No. 5; immediate effects may be produced by judiciously planting to shew the distant objects over or under the branches of trees in the foreground.
Although from the nature of this work it is difficult to preserve any connecting series of arrangement, yet it may not be
d A drawing is inserted in the red book to shew the manner of thus altering the house; but the plate in this work is sufficient to explain the process used in ascertaining the possibility of so planting out the view of the neighbouring houses as to exclude what ought to be hid, without hiding what ought to be seen.
improper in this place to mention a few remarkable instances of removing earth and altering the shape of the surface of ground, especially as there is no part of my profession attended with so much expence, or more frequently objected to, because so often mismanaged.
Where a ridge of ground very near the eye intercepts the view of a valley below, it is wonderful how great an effect may be produced by a very trifling removal of the ridge only; thus at Moccas Court a very small quantity of earth concealed from the house the view of that beautiful reach of the river Wye which has since been opened. At Oldbury Court the view is opened into a romantic glen by the same kind of operation. At Catchfrench the same thing is advised to shew the opposite hills; and in this instance it may appear surprising, that the removal of a few yards of earth was sufficient to display a vast extent of distant prospect.
But this effect must depend on the natural shape of the surface near the eye; for example, if the shape be that of the upper line A.
the object at F. cannot be seen without the removal of all the earth between the dotted line and the surface; but if the shape be that of B. the removal of the part not shaded will be suffi-
cient to shew the valley; and it is not always desirable to see the whole surface, on the contrary, it is better that a part should be concealed, than that the whole should be shewn foreshortened, which is always the case in looking down or up an inclined plane."
The most arduous operations of removing ground are generally those where the geometric taste of gardening had distorted the natural surface, and where it would now be attended with much greater trouble and expence to restore the ground to its original shape, than had been formerly dedicated to make those slopes and regular forms, which are more like the works of a military engineer than of a painter or a gardener.
Few instances have occurred to me where great expence in moving ground was requisite to produce pleasing effects, and it is always with reluctance that I advise much alteration in the surface of ground,' because however great the labour or expensive the process, it is a part of the art from which the professor can derive but little credit, since his greatest praise must be, that the ground looks when finished, as if art had never interfered. "Ars est celare artem."
1 Having often seen great expence incurred by removing ground to shew the whole surface of a valley from the top of a hill, it may not be improper to explain that such an effort is seldom useful or desirable. To the painter it is impossible to represent ground thus fore-shortened, and the first source of beauty in the composition of a landscape, is the separation of distinct distances; the imagination delights in filling up those parts of the picture which the eye cannot see; and thus in a landscape while we do not see the bottom of a deep glen, we suppose it deeper than it really is; but when its whole shape is once laid open, the magic of fancied rocks and rattling torrents, is reduced perhaps to the mortifying discovery of a dry valley or a swampy meadow.
When I was first consulted at Sundridge Park by Mr. Lind the former possessor, the house, which has since been pulled down, stood on the south side of the valley; and those who knew the spot despaired of finding a situation for a house on the opposite side of the valley that the rooms might have a southern aspect, as the bank was too steep to admit of any building. My much respected friend, the present possessor, was aware of this circumstance, and by art we have produced a situation which nature denied. The earth was lowered thirty feet perpendicularly at the spot on which the house was built, and so disposed at the foot of the hill, that no trace of artificial management is now to be discovered.
Among the greatest examples of removing ground may be mentioned the work going on at Btjlstrode under the direction of his Grace the Duke of Portland himself; whose good taste will not suffer any part of that beautiful park to be disguised by the misjudging taste of former times, and who, by opening the valleys and taking away a great depth of earth from the steins of the largest trees, which had been formerly buried, is
f The house, and the hill on which it stands, are exactly in due proportion to each other; and the former is so fitted to the situation and views which it commands, that I regret having shared with another the reputation of designing and adapting this very singular house to circumstances which cannot well be explained but upon the spot: having given a drawing and description of the scene to Mr. Angus, in justice to his work, I will not insert any view of this house; but its distance is so short from the capital, that, like many others, my best reference will be to the place itself.
In thus referring to places improved under my direction, it is not to be supposed that they are at all times accessible to idle curiosity; but the same good taste, and the same liberality of sentiment which induces a proprietor to consult the professor of an art, will naturally operate in favour of scientific inquiry.
by degrees, restoring the surface of the ground to its original and natural shape.g f
As connected with the subject of moving ground, 1 .shall extract from my Red Book of Wentworth the following observations concerning the great work at that place which had so long been carrying on under the direction of the late Marquis of Rockingham.
Of the view from the portico at Wentworth House, my opinion is so contrary to that of many others who have advised a farther removal of the hill, that I hope it will not be improper to state very fully the reasons on which I ground this opinion, viz. that so far from such an operation being equivalent to the trouble by which it must be executed, I would not advise its removal, if it could be much more easily effected, because
1. The outline of the horizon beyond this hill is almost a straight line, and would be very offensive when shewn over another straight line parallel to it.
2. The view of the valley beyond, however rich in itself, is too motley to form a part of the proper landscape from such a palace as Wentworth House, although from many situations in the park it is a very interesting feature.
3. The vast plain, which has with so much difficulty been obtained in front of the house, is exactly proportionate to the extent of the edifice, and tends to impress the ideas of magni-
E In this great work are occasionally employed among the more efficient labourers, an hundred children from ten to fifteen years old, who are thus early trained to habits of wholesome industry, far different from the foul air and confinement of spinning in a cotton mill; to the benevolent observer no object can be more delightful than park scenery thus animated.
licence which so great a work of art is calculated to inspire. Such a plain forms an ample base for the noble structure which graces its extremity; the building and the plain are evidently made for each other, and consequently to increase the dimensions of either seems unnecessary.
The foregoing reasons relate to the hill as considered from the house only, I shall now consider it in other points of view.
Wentworth park consists of parts in themselves truly great and magnificent. The Woods, the Lawns, the Water, and the Buildings, are all separately striking; but considered as a whole, there is a want of connexion and harmony in the composition: because parts in themselves large, if disjoined, lose their importance. This I am convinced is the effect of too great an expanse of unclothed lawn, but when the young trees shall have thrown a mantle over this extensive knowl, all the distant parts will assume one general harmony, and the scattered masses of this splendid scenery will be connected and brought together into one vast and magnificent whole.
The use of a plantation on this hill in the approach from Rotherham is evident from the effect of a small clump which will form a part of this great mass, and which now hides the house, till by the judicious bend round that angle, the whole building bursts at once upon the view.
It can readily be conceived, that before the old stables were removed there might appear some reason for not planting this hill; not because it was too near the front, but because the view thus bounded by a wood on one side, and the large pile of old stables on the other, would be too confined. That objection is removed with the stables, and now a wood on this hill will form
'WKT.nVOR TH TOIRKSHIBE
WzrOlTOJiT H YORKSHIRE
lnut,'n.na/M'J 4 June /<. f J Tm-ler. Jfrjh Bottom
a foreground, and lead the eye to each of those scenes, which are too wide apart ever to be considered as one landscape. In the adjoining sketch I have endeavoured to shew the effect of planting this hill, leaving part of the rock to break out among the trees. In a line of such extent, and where the angle nearest the house will be rather acute, it may be necessary to hide part, and to soften off the corner of the plantation by a few scattered single trees in the manner I have attempted to represent.
Among the future uses of the hill plantation it may be mentioned, that the shape which the ground most naturally seems to direct for the outline of this wood is such as will hereafter give opportunity to form the most interesting walk that imagination can suggest; because from a large crescent of wood on a knowl the views must be continually varying, while by a judicious management of the small openings, and the proper direction of the walks, the scenery in the park will be shewn under different circumstances of foreground with increased beauty.
Optics or Vision At what Distance Objects appear largestAxis of Vision Quantity or Field of Vision Ground apparently altered by Situation of the Spectator Refections from the Surface of Water explained and applied Different Effects of Light on different ObjectsExample.
Landscape Gardening being connected with optics or vision, or rather with the application of their rules to practical improvement, it may not be improper to devote a chapter to the following; observations.
There is a certain point of distance from whence every object appears at its greatest magnitude. This subject was originally discussed in consequence of observing that a particular rock at Port Eliot appeared higher or lower, at different distances. The inquiry into the cause of this difference led me to propose a question to several ingenious friends.
Query, At what distance does any object appear at its greatest height?
' The general optical distinction of the magnitude of objects is into real and apparent; the real being what its name imports, and the apparent not that which may ultimately result to the mind, but that which is immediately impressed on the eye. This is measured by a plain and certain rule, namely, the angle which is formed at the eye by lines drawn from the extremities
of the object. The apparent height of a man therefore at a quarter of a mile distance, is not the conception which we form of his height, but the opening or angle of the two lines above mentioned, viz. of the two drawn from the extremities of the object to our eye. This apparent height therefore of any object, will be measured always upon the simplest principles; and will vary according to, first, the distance of the object; secondly, the inclination it makes with the horizon; and thirdly, our relative elevation or depression. Any two of the above three tilings continuing the same, the apparent magnitude will decrease with the third, though not in exact proportion to it.
' Thus the object being perpendicular to the horizon, and our elevation remaining the same, its apparent height will decrease with the distance. Our elevation and the distance remaining the same, the apparent height of the object will decrease with its inclination to the horizon. The inclination and distance being the same, the angle, or apparent height, will decrease with our elevation or depression, supposing our height was at first the middle point of the object. This last being liable to some exceptions, the general rule is, that the distance from the object, measured by a perpendicular to it, being the same, the point at which its apparent height will be greatest, is, where the perpendicular from the eye falls upon the centre.
' The apparent height of a body, as upon the same principles any other of its dimensions, is a matter of easy consideration; its inclination, its distance, and the relative position of the observer being known. The difficulty is to know what the conception is that we shall form of the height and magnitude of an object; according to different circumstances, its apparent height,
as well as its real height, remaining the same. This you will see belongs to wholly different principles, and such as cannot be reduced to certain rules; it appears too from hence, that the question has little or nothing to do with mathematical principles, at least beyond those simple ones which I have just stated. Of other principles, the consideration is more diversified : much may be ascribed to the habit, which we probably have, of estimating the height of objects, not by the angle formed by lines to the summit and the base, when the base is below us, but by that formed between a line from the summit and a line parallel to the horizon; in this way our conception of the magnitude may be less, while the apparent magnitude may be greater. A thousand other causes may likewise operate, amongst which will be some that belong to what is called aerial perspective, or those rules by which we judge of the distance or dimensions of objects, not by their outline on the retina, but by their colour and distinctness. The existence and operation of these can hardly be found, but by a careful examination and comparison of particular instances.'
The concluding paragraph in this letter, from one of the most able men of the age, encouraged me to examine and compare particular instances as they fell under my observation, and from a variety of these I am led to conclude, that among those numerous causes here said to operate independent of mathematical principles, one may proceed from the position of the eye itself; which is so placed as to view a certain portion of the hemisphere without any motion of the head. This portion has been differently stated by different authors, varying from sixty to ninety degrees.
The question before us relates to the height, and not to the general magnitude of the object, these being sepai'ate considerations; because the eye is capable of surveying more in breadth than in height; but it is also capable of seeing much farther below its axis than above it, as shewn by the following profile. From hence it appears that the projection of the forehead and eyebrow causes great difference betwixt the angle A. B. and the angle A. C. and that the line parallel to the horizon A. which I shall call the axis of vision, does not fall in the centre of the opening betwixt the extreme rays B. and C.
Doubtless these angles may vary in different individuals from various causes, such as, the prominency of the eye, the habit or usual position of the head, &c. yet the upper angle A. B. will seldom be greater than one half of the lower angle A. C. and I have ascertained, with some precision, that I could not distinguish objects more than twenty-eight degrees above my axis
of vision, although I can distinctly see them fifty-seven degrees
below it. From hence I conclude that the distance at which an object appears at its greatest height, is, when the axis of vision and the summit of the object form an angle of about thirty degrees; because, under this angle, the eye perceives its full extent without moving the head, yet not without some effort of the eye itself to comprehend the whole of the object.
To this theory it may, perhaps, be objected, that in the act of seeing, the motion of the head is too rapid to effect any material difference; but it will be found, on examining this subject attentively, that the object is seen in a new point of view, from the instant the head is moved, because the rays no longer meet at the same centre; and therefore the effect of such vision on the mind, is rather a renewal in succession of similar ideas, than the same single idea simultaneously excited: and this difference may be compared to that between seeing a landscape reflected in a mirror at rest, and the same landscape when the mirror has been removed from its original position.s
From frequent observation of the difference between seeing an object with and without moving the head, I am inclined to believe, that by the latter the mind grasps the* whole idea at once, but by the former it is rather led to observe the parts separately: hence are derived many of those ideas of apparent magnitude or proportion which induce us to pronounce at the first glance, whether objects are great or small. I should there-
Perhaps this difference may be more familiarly explained by observing, that when a lark ascends in the air we have no difficulty in keeping the bird in sight so long as we continue our head in the first position; but from the moment the head is moved, we have to search for the object again, and often in vain, through the vast expanse of sky.
fore answer the question, at what distance does any object appear at its greatest height?'' by saying, when the spectator is at such a distance that the line drawn from his eye to the top of the object forms an angle of not less than twenty-eight degrees with the axis of vision; and thus supposing the eye to be live feet six inches from the ground, the distance will be according to the following table.
Scale of Feet shewing the Distance of the Spectator from the several Objects.
The scientific observer will always rejoice at discovering any law of Nature by which the judgment is unconsciously directed. At a certain distance from the front of any building, we admire the general proportions of the whole: but if the building can only be viewed within those angles of vision already described, it is the several parts which first attract our notice, and we generally pronounce that object large, the whole of which the eye can not at once comprehend.
Hence it is commonly observed by those who have seen both St. Peter's at Rome, and St. Paul's at London, that the latter appeared the largest at the first glance, till they became aware of the relative proportion of the surrounding space; and I doubt whether the dignity of St. Paul's would not suffer if the area round the building were increased, since the great west portico is in exact proportion to the distance from whence it can now be viewed according to the preceding table of heights and distances: but if the whole church could be viewed at once like St. Peter's, the dome would overpower the portico, as it does in a geometrical view of the west front.h
The field of vision, or the portion of landscape which the eye will comprehend, is a circumstance frecpiently mistaken in fixing the situation for a house; since a view seen from the windows of an apartment will materially differ from the same view seen in the open air. In one case, without moving the head, we see from sixty to ninety degrees; or by a single motion of the head, without moving the body, we may see every object within one hundred and eighty degrees of vision. In the other case the portion of landscape will be much less, and must de-
h I have sometimes thought that this same rule of optics may account for the pleasure felt at first entering a room of just proportions, such as twenty by thirty, and fifteen feet high; or twenty-four by thirty-six, and eighteen feet high; or the double cube when it exceeds twenty-four feet
pend on the size of the window, the thickness of the walls, and the distance of the spectator from the aperture. Hence it arises that persons are frequently disappointed after building a house to find, that those objects, which they expected would form the leading features of their landscape, are scarcely seen except from such a situation in the room as may be inconvenient to the spectator; or otherwise the object is shewn in an oblique and unfavourable point of view. This will be more clearly explained by the following diagram.
F\ \ / yd
' a ...... \\ -:::"a
It is evident that a spectator at A. can only see through an aperture of four feet those objects which fall within the opening B. C. in one direction, and D. E. in the other, neither comprehending more than twenty or thirty degrees. But if he removes to a near the windows, he will then see all the objects within the angle F. G. in one direction, or H. I. in the other; yet it is obvious that even from these spots, that part of the landscape which lies betwixt the extreme lines of vision F. and H. will be invisible, or at least seen with difficulty, by placing the eye much nearer to the window than is always convenient.
From hence it follows, that to obtain so much of a view as
may be expected,1 it is not sufficient to have a cross light or windows in two sides of the room at right angles with each other; but there must be one in an oblique direction, which can only be obtained by a bow-window: and although there may be some advantage in making the different views from a house distinct landscapes, yet as the villa requires a more extensive prospect than a constant residence, so the bow-window is peculiarly applicable to the villa. I must acknowledge that its external appearance is not always ornamental, especially as it is often forced upon obscure buildings where no view is presented near great towns, and oftener is placed like an uncouth excrescence upon the bleak and exposed lodging houses at a watering-place; but in the large projecting windows of old gothic mansions beauty and grandeur may be united to utility.
The apparent shape of the ground will be altered by the situation of the spectator. This is a subject of much importance to the Landscape Gardener, although not generally studied.
In hilly countries where the banks are bold, a road in a valley is always pleasing, because it seems natural, and carries
1 Of this I observed a curious instance at Hooton House, from whence a distant view of Liverpool, and its busy scenery of shipping, is not easily seen without opening the windows, while the difference of a few yards in the original position of the house would have obviated the defect while it improved its general situation.
with it the idea of ease and safety; but in a country that is not hilly, we ought rather to shew the little k inequalities of ground to advantage. The difference betwixt viewing ground from the bottom of a valley, or the side of a hill, will be best explained by the following diagram, where the rules of perspective again assist the scientific improver.
The spectator at A. in looking up the hill towards C. will lose all the ground that is fore-shortened; and every object Avhich rises higher than five feet (i. e. the height of his eye) will present itself above his horizon if the slope is exactly an inclined plane or hanging level; but as the shape of ground here delineated more frequently occurs, he will actually see the sky, and
k That I may not be misunderstood as recommending a road over hill and dale to shew the extent or beauty of a place, I must here observe, that nothing can justify a visible deviation from the shortest line in an approach to a house, but such obstacles as evidently point out the reason for the" deviation.
consequently the utmost pitch of the hill beneath the body of the animal placed at B. and part of the thorn at C. becomes invisible.
This accounts for the highest mountains losing their importance when seen only from the base; while, on the contrary, a plain or level surface (for instance the sea) appears to rise considerably when viewed from an eminence. Let us suppose another spectator to be placed at D. it is evident that this person will see no ground fore-shortened but that below him, while the opposite hill will appear to him far above the head of the man at A. and above the cow at B. In the section the dotted lines are the respective horizons of the two spectators, and the sketches shew the landscape seen by each, in which the forked tree may serve as a scale to measure the height of each horizon.
The reflections of objects in water are no less dependent on the laws of perspective, or of vision, than the instances already enumerated.
If the water be raised to the level of the ground beyond it, we lose all advantage of reflection from the distant ground or trees: this is the case with pieces of water near the house in many places, for all ponds on high ground present a constant glare of light from the sky; but the trees beyond can never be
reflected on the surface, because the angle of incidence and the angle of reflection are always equal: and the surface of the water will always be a perfect horizontal plane. This I shall farther explain by the following lines.
The spectator at A. in looking on the upper water will see only sky; because the angle of incidence B. and that of reflection C. being equal, the latter passes over the top of the trees D. on lower ground: but the same spectator A. in looking on the lower water, will see the trees E. reflected on its surface, because the line of reflection passes through them, and not over them, as in the first instance.
There are other circumstances belonging to reflection on the surface of water, which deserve attention, and of which the landscape gardener should avail himself in the exercise of his art. Water in motion, whether agitated by wind or by its natural current, produces little or no reflection; but in artificial rivers the quiet surface doubles every object on its shores, and for this reason I have frequently found that the surface could be increased in appearance by sloping its banks: not only that which actually concealed part of the water, but also the oppo-
site bank; because it increased the quantity of sky reflected on the surface.
Example. The spectator at A. sees the sky reflected only from B. to C. while the opposite bank is round; but if sloped to the shaded line, less of the bank will be reflected in the water, and the quantity of sky seen in the water will be from B. to D. and as the brilliancy of still water depends on the sky reflected on its surface, the quantity of water will be apparently increased.
As properly belonging to this chapter, may be mentioned a curious observation which occurred in the view of the Thames from Purley. In the morning, when the sun was in the east, the landscape appeared to consist of wood, water, and distant country, with few artificial accompaniments; but in the evening, when the sun was in the west, objects presented themselves, which were in the morning scarcely visible. In the first instance, the Wood was in a solemn repose of shade, the Water reflecting a clear sky was so brilliantly illuminated, that I could trace the whole course of the river, the dark Trees were strongly
fWiffl Fithlis-h d + June
EVE WIN Go
contrasted by the vivid green of the meadows, and the outline of distant Hills was distinctly marked by the brightness of the atmosphere. I could scarcely distinguish any other objects; but these formed a pleasing landscape from the breadth or contrast of light and shade.
In the evening the scene was changed; dark clouds reflected in the water rendered it almost invisible, the opposite hanging wood presented one glare of rich foliage; not so beautiful in the painter's eye, as when the top of each tree was relieved by small catching lights: but the most prominent features were the Buildings, the Boat, the Path, the Pales, and even the distant town of Reading, now strongly gilded by the opposite sun.
On comparing this effect with others which I have frequently since observed, I draw this conclusion: that certain objects appear best with the sun behind them, and others with the sun full upon them; and it is rather singular, that to the former belong all natural objects, such as Woods, Trees, Lawn, Water, and distant Mountains; while to the latter belong all artificial objects, such as Houses, Bridges, Roads, Boats, Arable-fields, and distant Towns or Villages.
In the progress of this work I shall have occasion to call the reader's attention to the principles here assumed, and which, in certain situations, are of great importance, and require to be well considered.
Water it may be too naked or too much clothedExample from West WycombeDigression concerning the Approach Motion of Water Example at AdlestropArt must deceive to imitate NatureCascade at Thoresby The Rivulet Water at Wentworth describedA River easier to imitate than a LakeA bubbling Spring may be imitateda Ferry Boat at HolkhamA rocky Channel at Harewood.
The observations in the preceding chapter concerning the reflection of sky on the surface of water, will account for that brilliant and cheerful effect produced by a small pool, frequently placed near a house, although in direct violation of nature: for since the ground ought to slope, and generally does slope from a house, the water very near it must be on the side of a hill, and of course artificial. Although I have never proposed a piece of water to be made in such a situation, I have frequently advised that small pools so unnaturally placed should be retained, in compliance with that general satisfaction which the eye derives from the glitter of water, however absurd its situation.
It requires a degree of refinement in taste bordering on fastidiousness, to remove what is cheerful and pleasing to the eye, merely because it cannot be accounted for by the common laws of nature; I was, however, not sorry to discover some plea for my compliance, by considering, that although water on a hill
is generally deemed unnatural, yet all rivers derive their sources from hills, and the highest mountains are known to have lakes or pools of water near their summits.
We object, therefore, not so much to the actual situation, as to the artificial management of such water. We long to break down the mound of earth by which the water is confined; although we might afterwards regret the loss of its cheerful glitter; and hence, perhaps, arises that baldness in artificial pools, so disgusting to the painter, and yet so pleasing to the less accurate observer. The latter delights in a broad expanse of light on the smooth surface, reflecting a brilliant sky; the former expects to find that surface ruffled by the winds, or the glare of light in parts obscured by the reflection of trees from the banks of the water; and thus while the painter requires a picture, the less scientific observer will be satisfied with a mirror.
During great part of last century West Wycombe was deemed a garden of such finished beauty, that to those who formerly remembered the place, it will seem absurd to suggest any improvement. But time will equally extend its changing influence to the works of nature and to those of art, since the planter has to contend with a power
'' A hidden power! at once his friend and foe !
Tis Vegetation Gradual to his groves
She gives their wished effects, and that displayed,
O that her power would pause but active still,
She swells each stem, prolongs each vagrant bough,
And darts, with unremitting vigour bold,
From grace to wild luxuriance"
Thus at West Wycombe, those trees and shrubs which were once its greatest ornament, have now so far outgrown their situation, that the whole character of the place is altered; and instead of that gaiety and cheerfulness inspired by flowering shrubs and young trees, gloom and melancholy seem to have reared their standard in the branches of the tallest elms, and to shed their influence on every surrounding object: on the House, by lessening its importance; on the Water, by darkening its surface; and on the- Lawn, by lengthened shadows.
The prodigious height of the trees near the house has not merely affected the character, but also the very situation of the house. Instead of appearing to stand on a dry bank, considerably above the water (as it actually does) the house, oppressed by the neighbouring trees, became damp, and appeared to have been placed in a gloomy bottom, while the water was hardly visible, from the dark reflection of the trees on its surface, and the views of the distant hills were totally concealed from the house.
It is a fortunate circumstance for the possessor where improvement can be made rather by cutting down than by planting trees. The effect is instantly produced, and as the change in the scenery at this place has actually been realized before I could make a sketch to explain its necessity, the following drawing serves to record my reason for so boldly advising the use of the axe. I am well aware that my advice may subject me to the criticism of some, who will regret the loss of old trees, which, like old acquaintances, excite a degree of veneration, even when their age and infirmity have rendered them useless, perhaps offensive, to all but their youthful associates.
The tedious process of planting and rearing woods, and the dreadful havock too often made by injudiciously falling large trees, ought certainly to inspire caution and diffidence; but there is in reality no more temerity in marking the trees to be taken down than those to be planted, and I trust there has no i been a single tree displaced at West Wycombe, which has not. tended to improve the healthfulness, the magnificence, and the beauty of the place.
Most of the principal rooms having a north aspect, the landscape requires peculiar management not generally understood1. Lawn, wood, and water, are always seen to the greatest advantage with the sun behind them, because the full glare of light between opposite trees destroys the contrast of wood and lawn; while water never looks so brilliant and cheerful when reflecting the northern, as the southern sky: a view therefore to the north would be dull and uninteresting: without some artificial objects, such as boats or buildings, or distant corn fields, to receive the opposite beams of the sun.
A sketch (in the Red BookJm shewed the effect of taking down trees to admit the distant woods, and by removing those on the island, and of course their reflection, the water becomes more conspicuous; in addition to this, the proposed new road of approach, with carriages occasionally passing near the banks of the lake, will give animation to the view from the saloon.
1 This subject has been explained in the preceding Chapter.
m A view of the house across the water, not here inserted, being exactly the reverse of that which represents the view towards the house, which is inserted.
The view of West Wycombe, inserted in this work, being taken from the proposed approach, I shall here beg leave to make a short digression, explaining my reasons for that line, founded on some general principles respecting an approach, although it has no other reference to the water than as it justifies its course in passing the house to arrive at its object.
If the display of magnificent or of picturesque scenery in a park be made without ostentation, it can be no more at variance with good taste than the display of superior affluence in the houses, the equipage, the furniture, or the habiliment of wealthy individuals. It will, therefore, I trust, sufficiently justify the line of approach here proposed, to say, that it passes through the most interesting part of the grounds, and will display the scenery of the place to the greatest advantage, without making any violent or unnecessary circuit, to include objects that do not naturally come within its reach. This I deem to be a just and sufficient motive, and an allowable display of property without ostentation.
The former approach to the house was on the south side of the valley, and objectionable for two reasons; 1st, it ascended the hill, and after passing round the whole of the buildings, it descended to the house, making it appear to stand low: 2nd, by going along the side of the hill, little of the park was shewn, although the road actually passed through it; because, on an inclined plane," the ground which either rises on one side or falls on the other, becomes fore-shortened and little observed, while the eye is directed to the opposite side of the
" This is explained in Chap. II.
WEST WC 03IBE, BTCin^
valley, which, in this instance, consisted of enclosures beyond the park. On the contrary, the proposed new approach, being on the north side of the valley, will shew the park on the opposite bank to advantage, and, by ascending to the house, it will appear in its true and desirable situation upon a sufficient eminence above the water; yet backed by still higher ground, richly clothed with wood, this view of the house will also serve to explain, and I hope to justify, the sacrifice of those large trees which have been cut down upon the island, and whose dark shadows being reflected on the water, excluded all cheerfulness.
The water at West Wycombe, from the brilliancy of its colour, the variety of its shores, the different courses of its channel, and the number of its wooded islands, possessed a degree of pleasing intricacy which I have rarely seen in artificial pools or rivers; there appears to be only one improvement necessary to give it all the variety of which it is capable. The glassy surface of a still calm lake, however delightful, is not more interesting than the lively brook rippling over a rocky bed; but when the latter is compared with a narrow stagnant creek, it must have a decided preference; and as this advantage might
0 Mr. Brown has been accused of cutting down large old trees, and afterwards planting small ones on the same spot; the annexed plate may serve to vindicate the propriety of his advice.
easily be obtained in view of the house, I think it ought not to be neglected.
It may perhaps be objected, that to introduce rock scenery in this place would be unnatural; but if this artifice be properly executed, no eye can discover the illusion; and it is only by such deceptions that art can imitate the most pleasing works of nature. By the help of such illusion we may see the interesting struggles of the babbling brook, which soon after
Into a liquid plain, then stands unmov'd Pure as the expanse of Heaven."
This idea has been realized in the scenery at Adlestrop, where a small pool, very near the house, was supplied by a copious spring of clear water. The cheerful glitter of this little mirror, although on the top of the hill, gave pleasure to those who had never considered how much it lessened the place, by attracting the eye and preventing its range over the lawn and falling ground beyond. This pool has now been removed; a lively stream of water has been led through a flower garden, where its progress down the hill is occasionally obstructed by ledges of rock, and after a variety of interesting circumstances it falls into a lake at a considerable distance, but in full view both of the mansion and the parsonage, to each of which it makes a delightful, because a natural, feature in the landscape.
Few persons have seen the formal cascade at Thoresby in front of the house, and heard its solemn roar, without wishing to retain a feature which would be one of the most interesting scenes in nature, if it could be divested of its disgusting and
artificial formality; but this can only be effected by an equally violent, though less apparent, interference of art; because without absolutely copying any particular scene in Nature, we must endeavour to imitate the causes by which she produces her effects, and the effects will be natural.
The general cause of a natural lake, or expanse of water, is an obstruction to the current of a stream by some ledge or stratum of rock which it cannot penetrate; but as soon as the water has risen to the surface of this rock, it tumbles over with great fury, wearing itself a channel among the craggy fragments, and generally forming an ample bason at its foot. Such is the scenery we must attempt to imitate at Thoresby.p
Having condemned the ill-judged interference of art in the disposition of the ground and water at Thoresby, it may perhaps be objected that I now recommend an artificial management not less extravagant; because I presume to introduce some appearance of rock scenery in a soil where no rock naturally exists; but the same objection might be made with equal propriety to the introduction of an artificial lake in a scene where no lake before existed. When under the guidance of Le Notre and his disciples, the taste for geometric gardening prevailed, nature was totally banished or concealed by the works of art.
p No drawing is inserted of this cascade, because the whole has been so well executed, that the best reference is to the spot itself, which will, I trust, long continue to prove my art above the pencil's power to imitate."
In forming this cascade huge masses of rock were brought from the craigs of Creswell, one in particular of many tons weight, with a large tree growing in its fissures; the water has been so conducted by concealed leaden pipes, that in some places it appears to have forced its way through the ledges of the rocks.
Now in defining the shape of land or water, we take nature for our model; and the highest perfection of landscape gardening is, to imitate nature so judiciously, that the interference of art shall never be detected.
L'Arte che tutto fa nulla se scopre.
A rapid stream, violently agitated, is one of the most interesting objects in nature. Yet this can seldom be enjoyed except in a rocky country; since the more impetuous the stream, the sooner will it be buried within its banks, unless they are of such materials as can resist its fury. To imitate this natural effect, therefore, in a soil like that of Thoresby, we must either force the stream above its level and deprive it of natural motion, or introduce a foundation of stones disposed in such a manner as to appear the rocky channel of the mountain stream. The former has been already done in forming the lake, and the latter has been attempted according to the fashion of geometric gardening in the regular cascade; where a great body of water was led under ground from the lake to move down stairs, into a scolloped bason, between two bridges immediately in front of the house.
The violence done to nature by the introduction of rock scenery at Thoresby is the more allowable, since it is within a short distance of Derbyshire, the most romantic county in England; while from the awful and picturesque scenery of Creswell Craigs such strata and ledges of stone, covered with their natural vegetation, may be transported thither, that no eye can discover the fraud.
It is scarcely possible for any admirer of nature to be more
enthusiastically fond of her romantic scenery than myself; but her wildest features are seldom within the common range of man's habitation. The rugged paths of alpine regions will not be daily trodden by the foot of affluence, nor will the thundering cataracts of Niagara seduce the votaries of pleasure frequently to visit their wonders; it is only by a pleasing illusion that we can avail ourselves of those means which nature herself furnishes even in tame scenery to imitate her bolder effects; and to this illusion, if well conducted, the eye of genuine taste will not refuse its assent.
" La nature fuit les lieux frequentes, e'est au soininet des montagnes, au fond des forets, dans les isles desertes, qu'elle etale ses charmes les plus touchants, ceux qui raiment et ne peuvent laller chercher si loin, sont reduits a lui faire violence, et a la forcer en quelque sorte a venir habiter par mi eux, et tout cela ne peut se faire sans un peu d'illusion."J. J. Rousseau.
One of the views from the house at Thoresby looked towards
-" the long line
Deep delv'd of flat canal, and all that toil Misled by tasteless fashion could atchieve To mar fair nature's lineaments divine." Mason.
As in this instance I shall have occasion to propose a different idea to that suggested by Mr. Brown, I must beg leave to explain the reasons on which I ground my opinion.
Amidst the numerous proofs of taste and judgment which that celebrated landscape gardener has left for our admiration, he frequently mistook the character of running water; he was too apt to check its progress by converting a lively river into a stagnant pool, nay, he even dared to check the progress of the furious Derwent at Chatsworth, and transform it into a tame and sleepy river unworthy the majesty of that palace of the mountains. Such was his intention with respect to the stream of water which flows through Thoresby park; but since the lake presents a magnificent expanse of water, the river below the cascade should be restored to its natural character: a rivulet in motion.
At Wentworth, although the quantity of water is very considerable, yet it is so disposed as to be little seen from the present approach, and when it is crossed in the drive on the head between two pools, the artificial management destroys much of its effect: they appear to be several distinct ponds, and not the series of lakes which nature produces in a mountainous country. But the character of this water should rather imitate one large river than several small lakes; especially as it is much easier to produce the appearance of continuity, than of such vast expanse as a lake requires. The following sketch is a view of the scenery presenting itself under the branches of trees, which act as a frame to the landscape.
To preserve the idea of a river nothing is so effectual as a
Icndcn Fuhbshal hr J. Tuikr ffwh Hcthcru -tup?~r ,602.
bridge; instead of dividing the water on eacli side, it always tends to lengthen its continuity by shewing the impossibility of crossing it by any other means, provided the ends are well concealed, which is fortunately the case with respect to this water. Although the upper side of the bridge would be very little seen because the banks are every where planted; yet as the bridge would not be more than fifty yards long, it would be more in character with the greatness of the place to have such a bridge as would no where appear a deception, and in this case the different levels of the water (being only five feet) would never be discovered.
The rippling motion of water is a circumstance to which Improvers have seldom paid sufficient attention. They generally aim at a broad expanse and depth, not considering that a narrow shallow brook in motion over a gravelly bottom is not less an object of beauty and worthy of imitation; the deep dell betwixt the boat-house and the bridge, might be rendered very interesting by bringing a lively brook along the valley; the embouchure of this brook should be laid with gravel, to induce cattle to form themselves in groups at the edge of the water, which is one of the most pleasing circumstances of natural landscape. It sometimes happens near large rivers that a clear spring bubbles from a fountain, and pours its waters rapidly into the neighbouring stream; this is always considered a delightful object in nature, yet I do not recollect it has ever been imitated by art; it would be very easy to produce it in this instance by leading water in a channel from the upper pool, and after passing under ground by tubes for a few yards, let it suddenly burst through a bed of sand and stones, and being
thus filtered by ascent, it would ripple along the valley till it joined the great water. Milton was aware of this contrast between the river and the rill, where he mentions amongst the scenery of his Allegro,
" Shallow brooks and rivers wide."
As applicable to the subject of this chapter, I shall insert the following extract from the Red Book of Holkham.
" The opposite banks in the middle part of the lake being the most beautiful ground in Holkham park, it is a desirable object to unite them without the long circuit which must be made by land round either end of the lake.
. A bridge, however elegant for the sake of magnificence, or however simple for the sake of convenience, would be improper; because it would destroy the effect of the lake, and give it the character of a river, which its round and abrupt terminations render improbable. I therefore propose to unite these opposite shores by a ferry-boat of a novel construction, so contrived as to be navigated with the greatest safety and ease, as explained by the following sketch.
The ferry-boat to be a broad flat-bottomed punt A. at the bottom is a pulley-shaped wheel and axis B. about a yard in diameter, carrying a rope fastened to the two opposite sides of the lake, which will sink to admit the passing of other boats; this wheel is put in motion by the correspondent one above it, which has five times as many teeth as the pinion C. consequently at every five turns of the winch E. the wheel makes one revolution, and the boat advances three yards, or three times the diameter of the wheel; at each end of the boat the rope must pass through rings of brass smoothly polished, which will always guide it to one certain spot. The whole machinery, which is very simple, and not likely to be out of order, may be covered by a box C.C. to form a convenient seat in the centre of the ferry-boat, and the surface or deck of this boat D. may be covered with gravel and cement, having a hand-rail on each side; thus it will in a manner become a moveable part of the gravel walk."
Where two pieces of water are at some distance from each other, and of such different levels that they cannot easily be made to unite in one sheet: if there be a sufficient supply to furnish a continual stream, or only an occasional redundance in winter, the most picturesque mode of uniting the two, is by imitating a common process of nature in mountainous countries,
where we often see the water in its progress from one lake to another, dashing among broken fragments, or gently gliding over ledges of rock, which form the bottom of the channel: this may be accomplished at Harewood, where the most beautiful stone is easily procured; but in disposing the ledges of rock, they should not be laid horizontally, but with the same slanting inclination that is observed more or less in the bed of the neighbouring river. A hint of such management is shewn under this bridge, the design of which may serve as a specimen of architecture, neither too much nor too little ornamented for rock scenery, in the neighbourhood of a palace.
Of PLANTING for immediate and for future EffectClumps GroupsMassesNew Mode of planting Wastes and Commons the browsing Line describedExample Milton Abbey Combination of Masses to produce great WoodsExample Coombe LodgeCharacter and Shape of Ground to be studied Outline of new Plantations.
The following observations on planting are not intended to pursue the minute detail so copiously and scientifically described in Evelyn's Sylva, and so frequently quoted, or rather repeated from him, in modern publications; I shall merely consider it as a relative subject: and being one of the chief ornaments in landscape gardening when skilfully appropriated, I shall divide it into two distinct heads: the first including those single trees or groups which may be planted of a larger size to produce present effect; the second comprehending those masses of plantation destined to become woods or groves for future generations.
Since few of the practical followers of Mr. Brown possessed that force of genius which rendered him, according to Mason,
--" The living leader of thy powers.
it is no wonder that they should have occasionally copied the means he used, without considering the effect which he intended
to produce. Thus Brown has been treated with ridicule by the contemptuous observation, that all his improvements consisted in belting, clumping, and dotting; but I conceive the two latter ought rather to be considered as cause and effect, than as two distinct ideas of improvement; for the disagreeable and artificial appearance of young trees, when protected by what is called a cradle fence, together with the difficulty of making them grow thus exposed to the wind, induced Mr. Brown to form small clumps fenced round, containing a number of trees calculated to shelter each other, and to promote the growth of those few which might be ultimately destined to remain and form a group.
This I apprehend was the origin and intention of those clumps, and that they never were designed as ornaments in themselves, but as the most efficacious and least disgusting manner of producing single trees and groups to vary the surface of a lawn, and break its uniformity by light and shadow.
In some situations where great masses of wood, and a large expanse of open lawn prevail, the contrast is too violent, and the mind becomes dissatisfied by the want of unity; we are never well pleased with a composition in natural landscape, unless the wood and the lawn are so blended that the eye cannot trace the precise limits of either; yet it is necessary that each should preserve its original character in broad masses of light and shadow; for although a large wood may be occasionally relieved by clearing small openings to break the heaviness of the mass, or vary the formality of its outline, yet the general character of shade must not be destroyed.
In like manner the too great expanse of light on a lawn must
be broken and diversified by occasional shadow, but if too many trees be introduced for this purpose, the effect becomes fritter'd, and the eye is offended by a deficiency of composition, or, as the painter would express it, of a due breadth of light and shade. Now it is obvious, that in newly formed places, such a redundance of trees will generally remain from former hedgerows, that there can seldom be occasion to increase the number of single trees, though it will often be advisable to combine them into proper groups.
It is a mistaken idea scarcely worthy of notice, that the beauty of a group of trees consists in odd numbers, such as five, seven, or nine; a conceit which I have known to be seriously asserted. I should rather pronounce that no group of trees can be natural in which the plants are studiously placed at equal distances, however irregular in their forms. Those pleasing combinations of trees which we admire in forest scenery, will often be found to consist of forked trees, or at least of trees placed so near each other that the branches intermix, and by a natural effort of vegetation the stems of the trees themselves are forced from that perpendicular direction, which is always observable in trees planted at regular distances from each other. No groups will therefore appear natural unless two or more trees are planted very near each other/ whilst the perfection of a group consists in the combination of trees of different age, size,, and character.
' To produce this effect two or more trees should sometimes be planted in the same hole, cutting their roots so as to bring them nearer together; and we sometimes observe great beauty in a tree and a bush thus growing together, or even in trees of different characters, as the great oak and ash at Welbeck, and the oak and beech in Windsor Forest. Yet it will generally be more consonant to nature if the groups be formed of the same species of trees.
The two sketches in the annexed plate exemplify this remark; the first represents a few young trees protected by cradles, and though some of them appear nearer together than others, it arises from their being seen in perspective, for I suppose them to be planted (as they usually are) at nearly ecpial distances. In the same landscape I have supposed the same trees grown to a considerable size, but from their equi-distance, the stems are all parallel to each other, and not like the group below, where being planted much nearer, the trees naturally recede from each other. A few low bushes' or thorns produce the kind of group in the lower sketch, consisting of trees and bushes of various growth. It may be observed that the single tree, and every part of the upper sketch is evidently artificial, and that the lower one is natural, and like the groups in a forest.
Another source of variety may be produced by such opake masses of spinous plants as protect themselves from cattle; thus stems of trees seen against lawn or water are comparatively dark, while those contrasted with a back ground of wood appear light. This difference is shewn in both these sketches: the stems of the trees A. A. appear light, and those at B. B. are dark, merely from the power of contrast, although both are exposed to the same degree of light.
Where a large tract of waste heath or common is near the boundary of a park, if it cannot be inclosed, it is usual to dot certain small patches of trees upon it, with an idea of improvement; a few clumps of miserable Scotch firs, surrounded by a mud wall, are scattered over a great plain, which the modern improver calls clumping the common." It is thus that Hounslow Heath has been clumped; and even the vast range of country
London Tublyhd, 4^Junc. tSoz.fy J.Tqyloe HighHoliorn..
formerly the Forest of Sherwood, has submitted to this meagre kind of misnamed ornament.
It may appear unaccountable that these examples, which have not the least beauty either of nature or art to recommend them, should be so generally followed; but alteration is frequently mistaken for improvement, and two or three clumps of trees, however bad in themselves, will change the plain surface of a flat common. This I suppose has been the cause of planting some spruce firs on Maiden Early Common, which fortunately do not grow; for if they succeeded, the contrast is so violent between the wild surface of a heath, and the spruce appearance of firs, that they would be misplaced: besides, the spiral firs are seldom beautiful, except when their lower branches sweep upon the ground, and this could never be the case with those exposed to cattle on a common. ,
Afar better method of planting waste land, where inclosures are not permitted,has been adoptedwith great success inNorfolk, by my much valued friend the late Robert Marsham, Esq. of Stratton. Instead of firs surrounded by a mud bank, he placed deciduous trees of every kind, but especially birch, intermixed with thorns, crabs, and old hollies, cutting off their heads and all their branches about eight feet from the ground: these are planted in a puddle and the earth laid round their roots in small hillocks, which prevent the cattle from standing-very near to rub them; and thus I have seen groups of trees which looked like bare poles the first year, in a very short time become beautiful ornaments to a dreary waste.
This sketch shews the difference between the sort of clump so often seen on a common, and that mode of planting stumps of trees and thorns recommended in the foregoing page; the appearance at first is not very promising, but in a few years they will become such irregular groups and natural thickets as are represented below, while the formal clump of firs will for ever remain an artificial object.
Mr. Gilpin, in his Forest Scenery, has given some specimens of the outlines of a wood, one of which is not unlike that beautiful skreen which bounds the park to the north of Milton Abbey, and which the first of the two annexed sketches more
accurately represents. We have here a very pleasing and varied line formed by the tops of trees, but from the distance at which they are viewed, they seem to stand on one straight base line, although many of the trees are separated from the others by a considerable distance: the upper outline of this skreen is so happily varied, that the eye is not offended by the straight line at its base; but there is another line which is apt to create disgust in flat situations, and for this reason; all trees unprotected from cattle will be stripped of their foliage to a certain height, and where the surface of the ground is perfectly flat, and forms one straight line, the stems of trees thus brought to view by the browsing of cattle, will present another straight line parallel to the ground, at about six feet high, which I shall call
the q browsing line.
Whether trees be planted near the eye or at a distance from it, and whether they be very young plants or of the greatest stature, this browsing line will always be parallel to the surface of the ground, and being just above the eye, if the heads of single trees do not rise above the outline of more distant woods, the stems will appear only like stakes of different sizes scattered about the plain; this is evidently the effect of those single thorns or trees in the upper sketch marked A.B.C.
In the lower sketch.I have represented a view of that long
q All trees exposed to cattle are liable to this browsing line, although thorns, crabs, and other prickly plants, will sometimes defend themselves; the alder, from the bitterness of its leaves, is also an exception; but where sheep only are admitted, the line will be 60 much below the eye, that it produces a different effect, of which great, advantage may sometimes be taken, especially in flat situations.
A B G
skreen at Milton Abbey, which shuts out Castor Field, and which is certainly not a pleasing feature, from its presenting not only a straight line at the bottom, but the trees being all of the same age; the top outline is also straight. This skreen forms the back ground of a view taken from the approach, and the slide represents the difference between an attempt to break the uniformity of the plain by open or by close plantations.
The trees of this skreen are of such a height that we can hardly expect in the life of man to break the upper outline by any young trees, except they are planted very near the eye as at E. because those planted at F. or G. will, by the laws of perspective, sink beneath the outline of the skreen; it is therefore not in our power to vary the upper line, and if the plantations be open, the browsing line will make a disagreeable parallel with the even surface of the ground; this can only be remedied by preventing cattle from browsing the underwood, which should always be encouraged in such situations; thus, although we cannot vary the upper line of this skreen, we may give such variety to its base as will, in some measure, counteract the flatness of its appearance.
The browsing line being always at nearly the same distance of about six feet from the ground, it acts as a scale, by which the eye measures the comparative height of trees at any distance; for this reason the importance of a large tree may be injured by cutting the lower branches above this usual standard. It is obvious that the following trees are of different ages, characters, and heights, yet the browsing line is the same in all, and furnishes a natural scale by which we at once decide on their relative height at various distances. .
Let us suppose the same trees pruned or trimmed by man, and not by cattle, and this scale will be destroyed; thus a full grown oak may be made to look like an orchard tree, or by encouraging the under branches to grow lower than the usual standard, a thorn or a crab tree may be mistaken for an oak at a distance.
The last tree in the foregoing example is supposed to be one of those tall elms which, in particular counties, so much disfigure the landscape; it is here introduced for the sake of the following remark. I am sorry to have observed, that when trees have long been used to this unsightly mode of pruning, it is difficult, or indeed impossible, to restore their natural shapes,