Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

“ three feet from the ground, excepting the pilasters, “ placed at convenient distances to strengthen and “ beautify the building. The intermediate spaces are “ filled up with large sashes of the strongest and most

transparent glass. The middle sash (which is wider " than any of the other) serves for the entrance, to “ which you mount by six easy steps, and descend on " the inside by as many. This opens and shuts with

greater ease, keeps the wind out better, and is at the “ same time more uniform than folding-doors.

" In the middle of the roof there runs a cieling " thirty feet broad from one end to the other. This is “ enlivened by a masterly pencil, with all the variety s of rural scenes and prospects, which he has peopled “ with the whole tribe of sylvan deities. Their cha

racters and their stories are so well expressed, that « the whole seems a collection of all the most beauti“ ful fables of the ancient poets translated into co“ lours. The remaining spaces of the roof, ten feet on “ each side of the cieling are of the clearest glass, to « let in the sky from above. The building points full " east and west, so that I enjoy the sun while he is 6 above the horizon. His rays are improved through " the glass, and I receive through it what is desirable " in a winter sky, without the course allay of the sea

son, which is a kind of sifting or straining the wea" ther. My greens and flowers are as sensible as I « am of this benefit : they flourish and look cheerful 6 as in the spring, while their fellow-creatures abroad

are starved to death. I must add, that moderate

expence of fire, over and above the contributions I 66 receive from the sun, serves to keep this large room * in a due temperature ; it being sheltered from the “ cold winds by a hill on the north, and wood on the

[ocr errors]

66

66 east.

“ The shell, you see, is both agreeable and conve“ nient; and now you shall judge, whether I have 6 laid out the floor to advantage. There goes through “ the whole length of it a spacious walk of the finest “ gravel, made to bind and unite so firmly that it seems “one continued stone ; with this advantage, that it is “ easier to the foot, and better for walking, than if it “ were what it seems to be. At each end of the walk, « on the one and on the other side of it, lies a square “ plat of grass of the finest turf, and brightest verdure. “ What ground remains on both sides, between these “ little smooth fields of green, is flagged with large “ quarries of white marble, where the blue veins trace “out such a variety, of irregular windings, through “ the clear surface, that these bright plains seem full 6 of rivulets and streaming meanders. This to my eye, “ that delights in simplicity, is inexpressibly more « beautiful than the chequered floors which are so ge“ nerally admired by others. Upon the right and upon “ the left, along the gravel walk, I have ranged inter“ changeably the bay, the myrtle, the orange, and the « lemon-trees, intermixed with painted hollies, silver « firs, and pyramids of yew ; all so disposed, that

every tree receives an additional beauty from its « situation ; besides the harmony that rises from the “ disposition of the whole, no shade cuts too strongly, " or breaks in harshly upon the other; but the eye is - cheered with a mild rather tian gorgeous diversity

« of greens.

>

" The borders of the four grass-plots are garnished “ with pots of flowers: those delicacies of nature re“ create two senses at once, and leave such delightful « and gentle impressions upon the brain, that I cannot “ help thinking them of equal force with the softest " airs of music, towards the smoothing of our tempers. “ In the centre of every plot is a statue. The figures “ I have made choice of are a Venus, an Adonis, a “ Diana, and an Apollo; such excellent copies, as to “ raise the same delight as we should draw from the “ sight of the ancient originals.

6 The north wall would have been but a tiresome “ waste to the eye, if I had not diversified it with the “ most lively ornaments suitable to the place. To 6 this intent, I have been at the expence to lead over “ arches from a neighbouring hill a plentiful store of “ spring-water, which a beautiful Naiad, placed as « high as is possible in the centre of the wall, pours “ out from an urn; this by a fall of above twenty feet, “ makes a most delightful cascade into a bason, that opens

wide within the marble floor on that side. « At a reasonable distance, on either hand of the cas“ cade, the wall is hollowed into two spreading scal“ lops, each of which receives a couch of green vele vet, and forms at the same time a canopy over them. " Next to them come two large aviaries, which are « likewise let into the stone. These are succeeded 6 by two grottos, set off with all the pleasing rudeness “ of shells and moss, and cragged stones, imitating, o in miniature rocks and precipices, the most dread“ ful and gigantic works of nature. After the grot“ tos, you have too niches; the one inhabited by

Ceres, with her sickle and sheaf of wheat; and the “ other by Pomona, who, with a countenance full of “ good cheer, pours a bounteous autumn of fruits out c of her horn. Last of all come two colonies of bees, “ whose stations lying east and west, the one is salut

ed by the rising, the other by the setting sun. These, 66 all of them being placed at proportioned intervals, “ furnish out the whole length of the wall; and the

spaces that lie between are painted in fresco, by the 6 same hand that has enriched my cieling.

“ Now, Sir, you see my whole contrivance to elude “ the rigour of the year, to bring a northern climate “ nearer the sun, and to exempt myself from the com« mon fate of my countrymen. I must detain you a “ little longer, to tell you that I never enter this de“ licious retirement, but my spirits are revived, and a 6 sweet complacency diffuses itself over my whole

[ocr errors]

« mind. And how can it be otherwise, with a con“ science void of offence, where the music of falling

waters, the symphony of birds, the gentle humming “ of bees, the breath of flowers, the fine imagery of “ painting and sculpture; in a word, the beauties and “ the charms of nature and of art, court all my facul

ties, refresh the fibres of the brain, and smooth every

avenue of thought? What pleasing meditations, “ what agreeable wanderings of the mind, and what " delicious slumbers have I enjoyed here? And when “ I turn up some masterly writer to my imagination, " methinks here his beauties appear in the most ad“ vantageous light, and the rays of his genius shoot

upon me with greater force and brightness than or“ dinary. This place likewise keeps the whole family “ in good humour, in a season wherein gloominess of “ temper prevails universally in this island. My wife “ does often touch her lute in one of the grottos, and

my daughter sings to it, while the ladies with you, " amidst all the diversions of the town, and in the most 66 affluent fortunes, are fretting and repining beneath a

lowering sky, for they know not what. In this green-house we often dine, we drink tea, we dance

country-dances; and what is the chief pleasure of " all, we entertain our neighbours in it, and by this

means contribute very much to mend the climate five or six miles about us. “ Your most humble servant,

« T. $."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I am,

[merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

From my own Apartment, June 2. I HAVE received a letter which accuses me of partiality in the administration of the censorship, and says, that I have been very free with the lower part of mankind, but extremely cautious in representations of matters which concern men of condition. This correspondent takes upon him also to say, the upholsterer was not undone by turning politician, but became a bankrupt by trusting his goods to persons of quality; and demands of me, that I should do justice upon such as brought poverty and distress upon the world below them, while they themselves were sunk in pleasures and luxury, supported at the expence of those very persons whom they treated with negligence, as if they did not know whether they dealt with them or not. This is a very heavy accusation, both of me, and such as the man aggrieved accuses me of tolerating For this reason,

I resolved to take this matter into consideration, and upon very little meditation could call to my memory many instances which made this com plaint far from being groundless. The root of this evil does not always proceed from injustice in the men of figure, but often from a false grandeur which they take upon them in being unacquainted with their own business, not considering how mean a part they act when their names and characters are subjected to the litile arts of their servants and dependants. The overa seers of the poor are a people who have no great reputation for the discharge of their trust, but are much less scandalous than the overseers of the rich. Ask a young fellow of a great estate, Who was that odd fellow spoke to him in a public place? He answers, one that does my business. It is with many, a natural

« VorigeDoorgaan »