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The vast parterres a thousand hands shall make;
Behold Villario's ten years' toil complete ;
light; A waving glow the bloomy beds display, Blushing in bright diversities of day, With silver-quivering rills meanderd o’er: 85 Enjoy them, you! Villario can no more : Tired of the scene parterres and fountains yield, He finds, at last, he better likes a field.
75 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!
100 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.
Greatness, with Timon, dwells in such a draught,
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;
116 No artful wildness. The taste for laying out gardens in the English style was seized on by Europe, towards the close of the eighteenth century, with the violence of a passion. The czarina, in her correspondence with Voltaire in 1772, writes,—'aime à la folie présentement les jardins à l'An146 Verrio or Laguerre. Verrio (Antonio) painted many ceilings, &c. at Windsor, Hampton-court, &c. and Laguerre at Blenheim-castle, and other places.- Pope.
And when up ten steep slopes you've dragg’d your thighs,
131 Just at his study-door he 'll bless your eyes.
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 ; 135 These Aldus printed, those Du Suëil 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; On 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. 150
But, hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call ; A hundred footsteps scrape the marble hall : The rich buffet well-color'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: glaise, les lignes courbes, los pentes douces, &c. En un mot, l'Anglomanie domine dans ma plantomanie.'
So quick retires each flying course, you'd swear,
Yet hence the poor are clothed, the hungry fed; Health to himself, and to his infants bread 170 The laborer 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, 175 And laughing Ceres reassume 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 splendor borrows all her rays from sense. 180
His father's acres who enjoys in peace,
180 Splendor borrows all her rays from sense. Lord Burlington's designs were sometimes criticised for their incompleteness. Chesterfield touch'd this error in an epigram :
Possess'd of one great hall for state,