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A light which in yourself you must perceive ;
Jones and Le Nötre 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:
But treat the goddess like a modest fair,
Nor over-dress, nor leave her wholly bare ;
Let not each beauty every where be spied,
Where half the skill is decently to hide.
He gains all points, who pleasingly confounds,
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;
Now breaks, or now directs, the intending lines,
Prints as you paint, and as you work designs.
Still follow sense, of every art the soul :
Parts answering parts shall slide into a whole,
Spontaneous beauties all around advance,
Start e'en from difficulty, strike from chance :
Nature shall join you ; time shall make it grow
A work to wonder at-perhaps a Stow.
Without it, proud Versailles! thy glory falls ;
And Nero's terraces desert their walls ;
The vast parterres a thousand hands shall make,
Lo! Cobham comes, and floats them with a lake:
Or cuts wide views through mountains to the plain,
You'll wish your hill or shelter'd seat again.
E’en 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 gloom 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.
Through his young woods how pleased Sabinus
Or sat delighted in the thickening shade, (stray'd,
With annual joy the reddening shoots to greet,
Or see the stretching branches long to meet!
His son's fine taste an opener vista loves,
Foe to the Dryads of his father's groves !
One boundless green, or flourish'd carpet views,
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 cries out, 'What sums are thrown away!
So proud, so grand; of that stupendous air,
Soft and agreeable come never there.
Greatness, with Timon, dwells in such a drought
As brings all Brobdignag before your thought.
To compass this, his building is a town,
His pond an ocean, his parterre a down:
Who but must laugh, the master when he sees,
A puny insect, shivering at a breeze !
Lo, what huge heaps of littleness around !
The whole a labour'd quarry above ground.
Two Cupids squirt before ; a lake behind
Improves the keenness of the northern wind.
His gardens next your admiration call,
On every side you look, behold the wall!
No pleasing intricacies intervene,
No artful wildness to perplex the scene :
Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,
And half the platform just reflects the other.
The suffering eye inverted nature sees,
Treer cut to statues, statues thick as trees; 120
With here a fountain never to be play'd,
And there a summer-house that knows no shade ;
Here Amphitrite sails through myrtle bowers ;
There gladiators fight, or die in flowers ;
Unwater'd see the drooping sea-horse mourn,
And swallows roost in Nilus' dusty urn.
My lord advances with majestic mien,
Smit with the mighty pleasure to be seen :
But soft-by regular approach-not yet
First through the length of yon hot terrace sweat! 130
And when up ten steep slopes you've dragged your
Just at his study door he'll bless your eyes. (thighs,
His study! with what authors is it stored ?
In books, not authors, curious is my lord ;
To all their dated backs he turns you round;
These Aldus printed, those Du Sueil has bound!
Lo, some are vellum, and the rest as good,
For all his lordship knows, but they are wood!
For Locke or Milton, 'tis in vain to look :
These shelves admit not any modern book. 140
And now the chapel's silver bell you hear,
That summons you to all the pride of prayer :
Light quirks of music, broken and uneven,
Make the soul dance upon a jig to heaven.
On painted ceilings you devoutly stare,
Where sprawl the saints of Verrio or Laguerre,
Or gilded clouds in fair expansion lie,
And bring all Paradise before your eye.
To rest, the cushion and soft dean invite,
Who never mentions hell to ears polite.
But, hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call;
A hundred footsteps scrape the marble hall:
The rich buffet well-colour'd serpents grace,
And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face.
Is this a dinner ? this a genial room?
No, 'tis a temple, and a hecatomb.
A solemn sacrifice perform'd in state :
You drink by measure, and to minutes eat.
So quick requires each flying course, you 'd swear
Sancho's dead doctor and his wand were there. 160
Between each act the trembling salvers ring,
From soup to sweet wine, and God bless the king.
In plenty starving, tantalized in state,
And complaisantly help'd to all I hate,
Treated, caress'd, and tired, I take my leave,
Sick of his civil pride from morn to eve;
I curse such lavish cost and little skill,
And swear no day was ever pass'd so ill.
Yet hence the poor are clothed, the hungry fed ;
Health to himself, and to his infants bread, 170
The labourer bears : what his hard heart denies,
His charitable vanity supplies.
Another age shall see the golden ear Imbrown the slope, and nod on the parterre, Deep harvests bury all his pride has plann'd, And laughing Ceres re-assume the land.
Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil ? Who plants like Bathurst, or who builds like Boyle. 'Tis use alone that sanctifies expense, And splendour borrows all her rays from sense. 180
His father's acres who enjoys in peace, Or makes his neighbours glad if he increase : Whose cheerful tenants bless their yearly toil, Yet to their lord owe more than to the soil; Whose ample lawns are not ashamed to feed The milky heifer and deserving steed; Whose rising forests, not for pride or show, But future buildings, future navies, grow : Let his plantations stretch from down to down, First shade a country, and then raise a town. 190
You, too, proceed! make falling arts your care, Erect new wonders, and the old repair; Jones and Palladio to themselves restore, And be whate'er Vitruvius was before : Till kings call forth the idea of your mind, (Proud to accomplish what sueh hands design'd ;)
Bid harbours open, public ways extend,
Bid temples worthier of the God ascend;
Bid the broad arch the dangerous flood contain,
The mole projected break the roaring main ;
Back to his bounds their subject sea command,
And roll obedient rivers through the land:
These honours peace to happy Britain brings ;
These are imperial works, and worthy kings.
Occasioned by his Dialogues on Medals.
This was originally written in the year 1715, when Mr. Addison intended to publish his book of medals; it was some time before he was secretary of state ; but not published till Mr. Tickell's edition of his works ; at which time his verses on Mr. Craggs, which conclude the poem, were added, viz. in 1720.
As the third Epistle treated of the extremes of avarice and profusion ; and the fourth took up one particular branch of the latter, namely, the vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality, and was therefore a corollary to the third ; so this treats of one circumstance of that vanity, as it appears in the common collectors of old coin; and is, therefore, a corollary to the fourth.
SEE the wild waste of all-devouring years! How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears ! With nodding arches, broken temples spread! The very tombe now vanish'd like their dead!