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by their condition, to waste the vigour of life in hard labour, thould ever go far in fo refined and difficult a pursuit.

Our Author severely animadverts on the gardens of Italy, France, Germany, and Spain, as well as those of England. The latter, he says, differ very little from common fields, fo closely is common nature copied in most of them. There is generally, he adds, so little variety in the objects, such a poyerty of imagination in the contrivance, and of art in the arrangement, that these compositions rather appear the offspring of chance than design; and a stranger is often at a loss to know whether he be walking in a meadow, or in a pleafure-ground, made and kept at a very considerable expence : he sees nothing to amuse him, nothing to excite his curiosity, nor any thing to -keep up his attention. At his first entrance, he is treated with the light of a large green field, scattered over with a few strage gling trees, and verged with a confused border of little shrubs and flowers ; upon farther inspection, he finds a little ferpentine path, twining in regular effes amongst the shrubs of the border, upon which he is to go round, to look on one side at what he has already seen, the large green field; and on the other side at the boundary, which is never more than a few yards from him, and always obtruding upon his fight : from time to time he perceives a little feat or temple stuck up against the wall; he rejoices at the discovery, lits down, rests his wearied limbs, and then reels on again, cursing the line of beauty, till spent with fatigue, half roasted by the sun, for there is never any shade, and tired for want of entertainment, he resolves to see no more : vain resolution ! there is but one path; he must either drag on to the end, or return back by the tedious way he came.

• Such is the favourite plan of all our smaller gardens : and our larger works are only a repetition of the small ones; more green fields, more shrubberies, more serpentine walks, and more feats ; like the honest batchelor's feast, which consisted in nothing but a multiplication of his own dinner ; three legs of mutton and turneps, three roasted geese, and three buttered apple-pies.'

Our discerning Readers, who are acquainted with the moft approved pleasure-grounds of this country, will perceive nothing in this picture but a wild exaggeration, and a boundless passion for that endless and incongruous variety, which, deviating from Nature and Simplicity, has fixed its gorgeous residence in the glittering gardens of the East. Does his description suit the royal gardens at Richmond? Is it applicable to the manner of Kent, or to any of Brown's designs? In a word, is it a fair representation of any one garden in England, designed by an artist of any eminence? Perhaps, indeed, Sir William has even

deigned deigned to aim this shaft at the humble Leafowes, the seat of the late ingenious and modeft Shenstone: but the grounds of Mr. Snenftone were not designed for a garden.

in Europe, the advances which have been made in science and in literature, have refined the taste of its inhabitants, to a degree that is to be found in no other quarter of the world; but with respect to the Chinese, if we except politics, they have not made an accurate and comprehensive progress in any branch of knowledge or the fine arts. In painting they are clumsy and aukward ; void of invention, and ignorant of proportion. Tis philosophy they are entire strangers ; and with respect to polite learning, they have that rudeness and indelicacy whicha is characteristic of men in an imperfect state of civilization. But, with all these disadyantages, this people, in the opinion of our Author, have brought gardening to such perfection as is altogether unknown to the Europeans. Without tafte, they have yet been able to cultivate an art which chiefly depends on tafle ; and the most enlightened nations are, in this respect, in the condition of barbarians !

We shall not enter into the dispute, whether or not our Author hath ever personally visited the interior parts of China; but be this as it may, certain it is that the delicacy of the Chinese, in relation to foreigners, is extreme; and, on this account, it is not natural to suppose that, in opposition to the laws, they admitted bim to their familiarity and favour, and allowed him to wander in their retirements and pleasure grounds. Indeed he candidly acknowledges himself to have been obliged to others * for part of his materials ; and he has made not a little use of Father Attiret's account of the Emperor of China's gardens near Pekin, of which an abstract is to be found in the 7th volume of our Review, and the whole may be seen in Dodfley's Fugitive Pieces.

The great purpose, in ornamental gardening, is, undoubtedly, to excite agreeable sensations in the mind, and to prevent it from falling into languor through the want of variety; but, in pursuit of this laft point, the designers of the Chinese gardens are chiefly intent on producing surprize, and even the painful emotions of terror! To this end they contrive caverns, they form gloomy woods, and they procure monstrous animals and reptiles to inhabit them. In general, too, the vaft extent of their gardens gives birth to a variety of feelings which, not growing out of each other, distract instead of delighting the

* Pref. p. viii. he says, “ The following account of the Chinese manner of gardening is collected from my owo observations in China, from conversations with their artists, and remarks transmited to me, , at different times, by travellers.'

spectator.

{pectator. His eye is filled; but he either sees objects in confufion, or his mind is fatigued with a rapid fucceffion of difcordant sensations. The profufion of their ornaments, too, , it may be observed, seems to be a proof that they are, in a great measure, deftitute of genius; and only serves to cover their want of invention, and of art. If the lessons of our Author should be followed, and if the gardening of China could poffibly be introduced into England, Nature would, in many inftances, be violated, in order to produce whatever is most hideous and deformed. c. The following descriptions, in which our Differtator seems to enjoy himself, will afford our Readers a specimen of Chinele. connoisseurship in gardening; and, at the same time, give them an idea of his literary merit. They will also serve as a proper fupplement to what we have already extracted (in the volume of our Review above referred to) from Sir Harry Beaumont's * translation of F. Attiret's Narrative. ::~: Their scenes of terror are composed of gloomy woods, deep vallies inaccessible to the sun, impending barren socks, dark caverns, and impetuous cataracts rushing down the mountains from all parts. The trees are ill formed, forced out of their natural directions, and seemingly torn to pieces by the violence of tempefts : some are thrown down, and intercept the course of the torrents; others look as if blasted and thattered by the power of lightening: the buildings are in rujns; or half consumed by fire, or swept away by the fury of the waters: nothing remaining entire but a few miserable huts dirpersed in the mountains, which serve at once to indicate the existence and wretchedness of the inhabitants. Bats, owls, vul tures, and every bird of prey Autter in the groves ; wolves, tigers, and jackalls, howl in the forests; half-famished animals wander upon the plains; gibbets, crofles, wheels, and the whole apparatus of torture, are seen from the roads; and in the most dismal recefles of the woods, where the ways are rugged and overgrown with weeds, and where every object bears the marks of depopulation, are temples dedicated to the king of vengeance, deep caverns in the rocks, and descents to subterraneous habitations, overgrown with brushwood and brambles; near which are placed pillars of stone, with pathetic descriptions of tragical events, and many horrid acts of cruelty, perpetrated there by outlaws and robbers of former times : and to add both to the horror and fublimity of these scenes, they fometimes conceal in cavities, on the fummits of the highest mountains, founderies, Jime-kilns, and glass-works; which fend forth large volumes of flame, and continued columns of

• A literary name, assumed by the late Mr. Spence.

thick smoke, that give to these mountains the appearance of volcanoes.

• Thei: surprizing, or supernatural scenes, are of the romantic kind, and abound in the marvellous; being calculated to excite in the minds of the spectators, quick' successions of oppolite and violent sensations. Sometimes the passenger is burried by steep descending paths to subterraneous vaults, divided into apartments, where lamps, which yield a faint glimmering light, discover the pale images of ancient kings and beroes, reclining on beds of state ; their heads are crowned with garlands of stars, and in their hands are tablets of moral fentences : flutes, and soft harmonious organs, impelled by subterraneous waters, interrupt, at stated intervals, the filence of the place, and fill the air with folemn melody.

• Sometimes the traveller, after having wandered in the dusk of the foreft, finds himself on the edge of precipices, in the glare of day-light, with cataracts falling from the mountains around, and torrents raging in the depths beneath him ; or at the foot of impending rocks, in gloomy vallies, overhung with woods, on the banks of dull moving rivers, whose shores are covered with sepulchral monuments, under the shade of willows, laurels, and other plants, facred to Manchew, the genius of sorrow.

• His way now lies through dark passages cut in the rocks, on the fides of which are recesses, filled with coloflal figures of dragons, infernal fiends, and other horrid forms, which hold in their monstrous talons, mysterious, cabalistical sentences, infcribed on tables of brass ; with preparations that yield a constant fame ; serving at once to guide and to astonish the passenger: from time to time he is surprized with repeated shocks of electrical impulse, with showers of artificial rain, or sudden violent gufts of wind, and instantaneous explosions of fire; the earth trembles under him, by the power of confined air; and his ears are successively struck with many different sounds, produced by the same means ; some resembling the cries of men in torment; others the roaring of bulls, and howl of ferocious animals, with the yell of hounds, and the voices of hunters ; others are like the mixed croaking of ravenous birds; and others imitate thunder, the raging of the sea, the explosion of cannon, the found of trumpets, and all the noise of war.

· His road then lies thro'yh lofty woods, where serpents and lizards of many beautiful forts crawl upon the ground, and where innumerable monkies, cats, and parrots, clamber the trees, and intimidate him as he paffes; or through Aowery thickets, where he is delighted with the singing of birds, the harmony of Autes, and all kinds of soft imitrumental music : formetimes, in this romantic excursion, the parlenger finds himfelf in extensive recesses, surrounded with arbours of jessamine; vine, and roses, where beauteous Tartarean damsels, in loole transparent robes, that flutter in the air, present him with rich wines, mangoftans, ananas, and fruits of Quangfi; crown him with garlands of lowers, and invite him to taste the sweets of retirement, on Persian carpets, and beds of camulathkin down.

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• These enchanted scenes always abound with water-works, so contrived as to produce many surprizing effects; and many {plendid pieces of scenery. Air is likewise employed with great fuccess, on different.occasions ; not only for the purposes above, mentioned, but likewise to form artificial and complicated echoes : some repearing the motion of the feet; some the ruftJing of garments; and others the human voice, in many different tones : all which are calculated to embarrass, to surprize, or to terrify the passenger in his progress.

• All sorts of optical deceptions are also made use of; fuch as paintings on prepared surfaces, contrived to vary the representations as often as the spectator changes place : exhibiting, in one view, groupes of men; in another, combats of animals ; in a third, rocks, calcades, trees, and mountains; in a fourth, temples and colonades ; and a variety of other pleasing subjects. They likewise contrive pavements and incrustations for the walls of their apartments, of Mofaic work, compoled of many pieces of marble, seemingly thrown together without order or design; which, when seen from certain points of view, unite in forming lively and exact represeotations of men, animals, buildings, and landscapes ; and they frequently introduce pieces of architecture, and even whole prospects in perspective; wbicb are formed by introducing temples, bridges, vessels, and other fixed objects, leffened as they are more distant from the points of view, by giving greyifh tints to she distant parts of the com. position ; and by planting there trees of a fainter colour, and smaller growth, than those that appear in the fore ground: thus rendering considerable in appearance, what in reality is triAing.

« The Chinese artists introduce into these enchanted scenes, all kinds of fenfitive, and other extraordinary trees, plants, and flowers. They keep in them a surprizing variety of monstrous birds, reptiles, and animals, which they import from distant countries, or obtain by crossing the breeds. These are tamed by art; and guarded by enormous dogs of Tibet, and African giants, in the habits of magicians.'.

With respect to style, this production is, in general, well written ; although it appears, in some instances, to be wrought up with a laboured correctness, which seldom accompanies the elegance that is seen in the perforhiances of those free and easy writers who possess the happy art of expressing their thoughts

naturally,

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