« AnteriorContinuar »
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted ? Only to show how many tastes he wanted. What brought sir Visto's ill-got wealth to waste? 15 Some demon whisper'd, · Visto! have a taste.' Heaven visits with a taste the wealthy fool, And needs no rod but Ripley with a rule. See, sportive fate, to punish awkward pride, Bids Bubo build, and sends him such a guide: 20 A standing sermon, at each year's expense, That never coxcomb reach'd magnificence!
You show us, Rome was glorious, not profuse ; And pompous buildings once were things of use. Yet shall, my lord ! your just, your noble rules, Fill half the land with imitating fools; Who random drawings from your sheets shall take, And of one beauty many blunders make; Load some vain church with old theatric state; Turn arcs of triumph to a garden gate; Reverse your ornaments, and hang them all On some patch'd dog-hole eked with ends of
18 Ripley. This man was a carpenter, employed by a first minister, who raised him to an architect, without any genius in the art; and after some wretched proofs of his insufficiency in public buildings, made him comptroller of the Board of Works.-Pope.
20 Bubo. Bubb Doddington, who had just built a fine house at Eastbury, near Blandford. After ver. 22. in the Ms.
Must bishops, lawyers, statesmen have the skill
Bridgman explain the gospel, Gibbs the law ? 23 The earl of Burlington was then publishing the designs of Inigo Jones, and the antiquities of Rome by Palladio.Pope.
Then clap four slices of pilaster on’t,
peer A certain truth, which many buy too dear : Something there is more needful than expense, And something previous ev'n to taste ;,-'tis sense : Good sense, which only is the gift of Heaven, And, though no science, fairly worth the seven : A light, which in yourself you must perceive; 45 Jones and Le Nôtre have it not to give. To build, to plant, whatever you intend, To rear the column, or the arch to bend; To swell the terrace, or to sink the grot;In all, let Nature never be forgot :
50 But treat the goddess like a modest fair; Nor over-dress, nor leave her wholly bare: Let not each beauty everywhere be spied, Where half the skill is decently to hide. He gains all points, who pleasingly confounds, 55 Surprises, varies, and conceals the bounds.
Consult the genius of the place in all ; That tells the waters, or to rise or fall; Or helps the ambitious hill the heavens to scale ; Or scoops in circling theatres the vale; Calls in the country, catches opening glades, Joins willing woods, and varies shades from shades;
46 Le Nótre. The architect of the groves and grotos of Versailles : he came hither on a mission to improve our taste. He planted St. James's and Greenwich-parks.-Pope.
Now breaks, or now directs, the intending lines;
Without it, proud Versailles ! thy glory falls, And Nero's terraces desert their walls :
67 Spontaneous beauties. The true theory of landscape is laid down by Pope in these few lines. All landscape decoration that deserves the praise of taste must bave some connexion with utility: yet this principle, rational and obvious as it is, is violated in the whole practice of those modern decorators who labor to ambush' houses in unnecessary groups of vegetation, for the sake of the picturesque ; dig lakes where water is useless, and raise mounts where utility and nature would have left a plain. All changes, whose purpose is merely effect, are offensive to taste. The ancients, fond as they were of pomp, and vast as the means of their chief men were, often protested against this lavishness of rural decoration. Cic. de Leg.
70 The seat and gardens of the marquis of Buckingham,
71 Proud Versailles. Yet the sarcasms levelled against the formal magnificence of the French palaces forget one highly important circumstance, which would justify a much worse style. Versailles and its compeers were built as much for the people as the prince : they were clearly intended for a pleasing popular show, a source of popular indulgence, and a perpetual gratification for the national pride of the multitude. Their profusion of ornament was expressly adapted for the eyes of the Parisians : even the stiff regularity of their gardens rendered them only the fitter for their original pur. pose,-the promenade of the citizens. English palaces are not intended for those objects, and they thus have not the French excuse : but they also undoubtedly throw away, what was long felt in France to be a natural, innocent, and yet powerful source of royal popularity.
The vast parterres a thousand hands shall make; Lo! Cobham comes, and floats them with a lake : Or cut wide views through mountains to the plain, You ’ll wish
hill or shelter'd seat again. 76 Ev'n in an ornament its place remark, Nor in a hermitage set Dr. Clarke.
Behold Villario's ten years' toil complete; His quincunx darkens, his espaliers meet; 80 The wood supports the plain, the parts unite, And strength of shade contends with strength of
light; A waving glow the bloomy beds display, Blushing in bright diversities of day, With silver-quivering rills meander'd o'er : Enjoy them, you! Villario can no more : Tired of the scene parterres and fountains yield, He finds, at last, he better likes a field.
Or cut wide views through mountains to the plain,
You'll wish your hill or shelter'd seat again. This was done in Hertfordshire by a wealthy citizen, at the expense of above £5000 ; by which means, merely to overlook a dead plain, he let in the north wind on his house and parterre, which were before adorned and defended by beautiful woods.-Pope.
78 Set Dr. Clarke. Dr. S. Clarke's busto, placed by queen Caroline in the Hermitage.- Pope.
87 Tired of the scene. The earl of Leicester, on receiving some compliments on the completion of his house at Holkham, observed,— It is a melancholy thing to stand alone in one's country : I look round; not a house is to be seen but mine : I am the giant of Giant-castle, and have eaten up all my neighbors. This is Warton's anecdote, which Roscoe says,
is directly contradicted by the inscription placed by this lord Leicester over the entrance of Holkham :- This seat, on an open, barren estate, was planned, planted, built, decorated, and inhabited, in the middle of the eighteenth century.”' Yet, how contradicted ?–Might not the same man have thought differently on the same subject at different times? or have been pleased with his activity, yet wearied with his work ? or have expressed ideas in a chance conversation, of which he felt the unsuitableness in a grave record meant for posterity?
Through his young woods how pleased Sabinus
stray'd, Or sat delighted in the thickening shade, 90 With annual joy the reddening shoots to greet, Or see the stretching branches long to meet! His son's fine taste an opening vista loves, Foe to the Dryads of his father's groves; One boundless green, or florish'd carpet views, 95 With all the mournful family of yews : The thriving plants, ignoble broomsticks made, Now sweep those alleys they were born to shade.
At Timon's villa let us pass a day, Where all cry out, • What sums
are thrown away!' So proud, so grand; of that stupendous air; Soft and agreeable come never there.
100 Where all cry out, What sums are thrown away! This passage, as has been observed in the Life,' involved Pope in some of the inconveniences common to all who hold the pen of satire : it produced at least the partial alienation of the duke of Chandos, and the violent scurrility of those who volunteered to adopt his quarrel. A spurious edition of this epistle was published in 1732, with bitter notes, supposed to be by Concanen and Welsted, and a frontispiece by Hogarth, representing Pope on a builder's scaffold, whitewashing the gateway of Burlington-house, and hespattering the duke of Chandos's carriage passing by. Hogarth subsequently suppressed this print, which, of course, has become precious in the eyes of collectors. Warton observes it as remarkable, that Pope never once alludes to a man of such kindred genius, and such celebrity at the time, as Hogarth. Possibly the fear of 'the libell’d person and the pictured shape,' dictated this singular and perfectly prudent reserve.