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Nemusculum “hoc in loco" est opacum, fontes limpidi et gemmei, antra muscosa, prata semper verna, “ fores odoriferi,” rivi levis et susurrans per saxa discursus, nec non solitudo, et quies Musis amicissima.
Turf, flowers, rocks, and water, form the pleasing subjects of the third book of the Gardens of De Lille, which, after a short exordium of rather too mythological a cast, alludes to the first of these constituents of the pleasureground, as of British introduction and culture, declaring that previous to our countrymen following, in this respect, the footsteps of free nature, the gardens of the continent were little better than a waste of barren sands, which burnt the foot and tired the aching eye. The acknowledgement is liberal and correct; for the beautiful and soothing repose of the closely mown lawn, forming so delightful a fore-ground, when gradually, and, as it were, mysteriously losing itself amid the adjoining plantations, may be yet said to flourish best in our happy island. “ There are,” remarked Sir William Temple long ago, “ besides the temper of our climate, two things particular to us, that contribute much to the beauty and elegance of our gardens, which are the gravel of our walks, and the fineness and almost perpetual greenness of our turf. The first is not known anywhere else, which leaves all their dry walks, in other countries, very unpleasant and uneasy. The other cannot be found in France or in Holland as we have it, the soil not admitting that fineness of blade in Holland, nor the sun that
greenness in France, during most of the .summer; nor indeed is it to be found but in the finest of our soils.”
From this praise of the smoothly-shorn lawn, when properly diversified by the intermixture of wood and copse, the author hastens to another mode of producing variety by the aid of flowers, and he invokes the assistance of these beautiful children of nature in the following animated
apostrophe, which appears to have sustained no deterioration by assuming an English garb.
Simples tributs du caur,'vos dons sont chaque jour
Ye simply-charming tributes of the heart !
And on his altar throw your blushing spoils, While with your chaplet crown'd Religion smiles ; Haste then, with all your charms our plain adorn, Ye dewy daughters of the youth of morn.
The locality and disposition, however, of these fragrant gems “ with colours dipt in heaven," demand no small portion of taste and judgment; for, as Mason has justly observed,
In the general Landscape's broad expanse Their little blooms are lost; but there are glades, Circled with shade, yet pervious to the sun, Where, if enamell’d with their rainbow-hues, The eye would catch their splendour :
and he then adds, –
· His taste will best conceive Their due arrangement, whose free footsteps, us'd To forest haunts, have pierc'd their opening dells, Where frequent tufts of sweetbriar, box, or thorn, Steal on the greensward, but admit fair space For many a mossy maze to wind between. So here may Art arrange her flow'ry groups Irregular :-*
• English Garden, Book iv., 1. 179. - 1. 194.
and in unison with this judicious advice of his accomplished contemporary, does De Lille teach us to scatter or to group the collected treasures of his Flora, gracefully finishing his precepts with a distinct eulogy on that queen of the garden, the unrivalled rose:
Sans obéir aux lois d'un art capricieux,
* The author of “ Hortorum libri quatuor,” a poem first printed at Paris in 1665. It was translated by the celebrated Evelyn, in 1673, and by Mr. James Gardiner of Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1706. The subject of his first book is flowers ; of his second, orchards ; of his third, waters; and of his fourth, forests. He is thus characterized by Mason :