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says he," rising in the upper part of my garden, which forms a little wandering rill, and administers to the pleasure as well as the plenty of the place. I have so conducted it, that it visits most of my plantations; and have taken particular care to let it run in the same manner as it would do in an open field; so that it generally passes through banks of violets and primroses, plats of willow, or other plants, that seem to be of its own producing. There is another circumstance in which I am very particular, or as my neighbours call me, very whimsical : as my garden invites into it all the birds of the country, by offering them the conveniency of springs and shades, solitude and shelter, I do not suffer any one to destroy their nests in the spring, or drive them from their usual haunts in fruit time; I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs. By this means I have always the music of the season in its perfection, and am highly delighted to see the jay or the thrush hopping about my walks, and shooting before my eyes across the several little glades and alleys that I pass through *.” In scenes such as these, whose flowers
* Spectator, vol. vii. N° 477.
not nice Art
most men of taste and genius have wished to reside. It was the prayer of Horace, that he might possess, a Garden, a Rivulet, and a little Grove.
Hortus ubi, et tecto vicinus jugis aquæ fons
Sat. Lib. ii. Sat. vi. 2.
And that Virgil was enamoured of similar scenery, of the humble beauties of a garden arranged on Nature's plan, is evident from that exquisite passage in the fourth Georgic, where he poignantly expresses his regret on being obliged to wave a subject so congenial to his feelings:
Atque equidem, extremo ni jam sub fine laborum
Sung, twice each year, how Pæstan roses blow,
SOTHEBY. In short, as Mr. Mason has justly observed, the commencement of an actual reformation of gardening in this country may be dated from these essays of Addison, who forsook the clipped yew-trees, the jets d'eau, stone terraces, and embroidered knots of his tasteless contemporaries,
For hanging walks, and darksome groves,
Sannazarius apud Greswell. If we now pause to recapitulate the ameliorations which Addison, as a critic, and a man of taste, introduced into the polite literature of his country, it will be but a merited tribute of applause if we assert, that to no man has it been under greater obligations. He corrected in a most effectual manner the bad taste which prevailed both on the stage and in the literary world; he taught the public to admire, to understand, and even to emulate, the noblest efforts of sublimity, beauty, and pathos; he presented them with the first, and a very happy, specimen of philosophical criticism; and, by the fascination of his style and manner, he infused into his readers a love for the harmony and elegancies of compo. sition.
To these invaluable gifts may be added his successful efforts to introduce a relish for nature and simplicity in the formation of landscape gardening, efforts which, through the joint endeavours of succeeding writers and artists, have at length rendered his native isle the Paradise of Europe.
ON THE HUMOUR AND COMIC PAINTING OF
That the moderns are superior to the ancients in the production of wit and humour, is a position which has been generally and successfully maintained. The more extended and diversified knowledge of modern Europe, its political institutions as springing from the feudal system, its gallantry and deference towards the fair sex, its religious liberty and contrasted manners, have mutually contributed to this effect. When again it is asserted that England has almost exclusively monopolized the praise of humour, and that the very term is peculiar to this island, it will, perhaps, be found that prejudice and partiality have had too ample a share in the formation of the opinion.
Although the word itself be not found in any other European language save our own, who will