« السابقةمتابعة »
TO RICHARD BOYLE, EARL OF BURLINGTON.
OF THE USE OF RICHES.
The vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality. The
abuse of the word taste. That the first principle and foundation in this, as in every thing else, is good sense. The chief proof of it is to follow nature, even in works of mere luxury and elegance. Instanced in architecture and gardening, where all must be adapted to the genius and use of the place, and the beauties not forced into it, but resulting from it. How men are disappointed in their most expensive undertakings for want of this true foundation, without which nothing can please long, if at all; and the best examples and rules will but be perverted into something burdensome and ridiculous. A description of the false taste of magnificence; the first grand error of which is to imagine that greatness consists in the size and dimension, instead of the proportion and harmony, of the whole ; and the second, either in joining together parts incoherent, or too minutely resembling, or, in the repetition of the same too frequently. A word or two of false taste in books, in music, in painting, even in preaching and prayer, and lastly in entertainments. Yet Providence is justified in giving wealth to be squandered in this manner, since it is dispersed to the poor and laborious part of mankind. [Recurring to what is laid down in the first book, ep. ii. and in the epistle preceding this.] What are the proper objects of magnificence, and a proper field for the expense of great men. And, finally, the great and public works which become a prince.
'Tis strange the miser should his cares employ
For what has Virro painted, built, and planted ?
magnificence ! You show us* Rome was glorious, not profuse, And pompous buildings once were things of use;
1 A gentleman who was a judicious collector of drawings. 2 An architect, who was originally a carpenter. 8 An allusion to Bub Dodington's mansion at Eastbury, near Blandford, which he had just finished.
4 The Earl of Burlington was then publishing the Designs of Inigo Jones, and the Antiquities of Rome by Palladio.
Yet shall, my lord, your just, your noble rules
hinted to your brother peer
To build, to plant, whatever you intend,
He gains all points who pleasingly confounds,
Consult the genius of the place in all ;
every art the soul; Parts answering parts shall slide into a whole, Spontaneous beauties all around advance, Start e’en from difficulty, strike from chance: Nature shall join you ; time shall make it grow A work to wonder at-perhaps a Stowe.
Without it, proud Versailles ! thy glory falls, And Nero's terraces desert their walls : The vast parterres a thousand hands shall make, Lo! Cobham comes, and floats them with a lake : Or cut wide views through mountains to the plain, You'll wish your hill or shelter'd seat again. E'en in an ornament its place remark, Nor in a hermitage set Dr. Clarke.
Behold Villario's ten years' toil complete: His quincunx darkens, his espaliers meet, The wood supports the plain, the parts unite, And strength of shade contends with strength of
light; 6 Dr. S. Clarke's bust was placed by the Queen in the Hermitage, while he regularly frequented the Court.
A waving glow the bloomy beds display,
At Timon's villa 6 let us pass a day, Where all cry out, “what sums are thrown away;" So proud, so grand; of that stupendous air, Soft and agreeable come never there; Greatness with Timon dwells in such a draught As brings all Brobdingnag before your thought. To compass this, his building is a town, His pond an ocean, his parterre a down: Who but must laugh, the master when he sees, A
puny insect shivering at a breeze! Lo, what huge heaps of littleness around ! The whole a labour'd quarry above ground.
6 See Memoir prefix'd to these volumes, p. lxxxvi.