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For what has Virro painted, built, and planted? Only to shew, how many Tastes he wanted.

What brought Sir Visto's ill-got wealth to waste? 15
Some Demon whisper'd, "Visto! have a Taste."
Heav'n visits with a Taste the wealthy fool,

And needs no Rod but Ripley with a Rule.
See! sportive fate, to punish awkward pride,
Bids Bubo build, and sends him such a Guide: 20
A standing sermon, at each year's expense,
That never Coxcomb reach'd Magnificence!


After Ver. 22 in the MS.

Must Bishops, Lawyers, Statesmen, have the skill
To build, to plant, judge paintings, what you will?
Then why not Kent as well our treaties draw,
Bridgman explain the Gospel, Gibbs the Law?


Ver. 17. Heav'n visits with a Taste the wealthy fool,] The present rage of Taste, in this overflow of general Luxury, may be very properly represented by a desolating pestilence, alluded to in the word visit. W.

Ver. 18. Ripley] This man was a carpenter, employed by a first Minister, who raised him to an Architect, without any genius in the art; and after some wretched proofs of his insufficiency in public Buildings, made him Comptroller of the Board of Works. P.--But Mr. Walpole speaks more favourably of this architect.

Ver. 19. See sportive fate, to punish awkward pride,] Pride is one of the greatest mischiefs, as well as highest absurdities, of our nature; and therefore, as appears both from profane and sacred History, has ever been the more peculiar object of divine vengeance. But awkward Pride intimates such abilities in its owner, as eases us of the apprehension of much mischief from it; so that the Poet supposes such a one secure from the serious resentment of Heaven, though it may permit fate or fortune to bring him into that public contempt and ridicule which his natural badness of heart so well deserves. W.

You shew us, Rome was glorious, not profuse, And pompous buildings once were things of Use.


Ver. 23. The Earl of Burlington was then publishing the Designs of Inigo Jones, and the Antiquities of Rome by Palladio. P.

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Ver. 23. You shew us, Rome] Thus our Author addresses the Earl of Burlington, who was then publishing the Designs of Inigo Jones, and the Antiquities of Rome by Palladio. "Never was protection and great wealth*," says an able judge of the subject, more generously and judiciously diffused than by this great person, who had every quality of a genius and artist, except envy. Though his own designs were more chaste and classic than Kent's, he entertained him in his house till his death, and was more studious to extend his friend's fame than his own. As we have few samples of architecture more antique and imposing than the colonnade within the court of his house in Piccadilly, I cannot help mentioning the effect it had on myself. I had not only never seen it, but had ever heard of it, at least with any attention, when, soon after my return from Italy, I was invited to a ball at Burlington-house. As I passed under the gate by night, it could not strike me. At day-break, looking out of the window to see the sun rise, I was surprised with the vision of the colonnade that fronted me. It seemed one of those edifices in Fairy tales, that are raised by genii in a night's time." Pope having appeared an excellent moralist in the foregoing Epistles, in this appears to be as excellent a connoisseur, and has given not only some of our first, but our best rules and observations on architecture and gardening, but particularly on the latter of these useful and entertaining arts, on which he has dwelt more largely, and with rather more knowledge of the subject. The following is copied verbatim from a little paper which he gave to Mr. Spence: “Arts are taken from nature; and, after a thousand vain efforts for improvements, are best when they return to their first simplicity. A sketch or analysis of the first principles of each art, with their first consequences, might be a thing of most excellent service. Thus, for instance, all the rules of Architecture might be reducible to three or four heads; the justness of the openings; bearings upon bearings; the regularity of the pillars, &c. That which

*Mr. Walpole, p. 108. Anecdotes of Painting, vol. iv.

Yet shall (my Lord) your just, your noble rules, 25 Fill half the land with Imitating-Fools;


is not just in buildings is disagreable to the eye, (as a greater upon a lesser, &c.) and this may be called the reasoning of the eye. In laying out a garden, the first and chief thing to be considered is the genius of the place. Thus at Riskins, now called Piercy Lodge, Lord*** should have raised two or three mounts, because his situation is all a plain, and nothing can please without variety."

Mr. Walpole, in his elegant and entertaining History of Modern Gardening, has clearly proved that Kent was the artist to whom the English nation was chiefly indebted for diffusing a taste in laying out grounds, of which the French and Italians have no idea. But he adds, much to the credit of our Author, that Pope undoubtedly contributed to form Kent's taste. The design of the Prince of Wales's garden at Carlton House was evidently borrowed from the Poet's at Twickenham. There was a little affected modesty in the latter, when he said, of all his Works he was most proud of his garden. And yet it was a singular effort of art and taste to impress so much variety and scenery on a spot of five acres. The passing through the gloom from the grotto to the opening day, the retiring and again assembling shades, the dusky groves, the larger lawn, and the solemnity of the termination at the cypresses that lead up to his mother's tomb, are managed with exquisite judgment; and though Lord Peterborough assisted him

"To form his quincunx, and to rank his vines,"


those were not the most pleasing ingredients of his little perspective. I do not know whether the disposition of the garden at Rousham, laid out by General Dormer, and, in my opinion, the most engaging of all Kent's works, was not planned on the model of Mr. Pope's, at least in the opening and retiring" shades of Venus's Vale."

It ought to be observed, that many years before this Epistle was written, and before Kent was employed as an improver of grounds, even so early as the year 1713, Pope seems to have been the very first person that censured and ridiculed the formal French, Dutch, false and unnatural mode in gardening, by a paper in the Guardian, No. 173, levelled against capricious operations of art,

Who random drawings from your sheets shall take, And of one beauty many blunders make;


and every species of verdant sculpture and inverted nature; which paper abounds with wit as well as taste, and ends with a ridiculous catalogue of various figures cut in evergreens. Neither do I think that these four lines in this Epistle,

Here Amphitrite sails thro' myrtle bow'rs;
There gladiators fight, or die in flow'rs;
Unwater'd see the drooping sea-horse mourn,
And swallows roost on Nilus' dusty urn;

do at all excel the following passage in his Guardian :

“A citizen is no sooner proprietor of a couple of yews, but he entertains thoughts of erecting them into giants, like those of Guildhall. I know of an eminent cook who beautified his country-seat with a coronation dinner in greens, where you see the champion flourishing on horseback at the end of the table, and the queen in perpetual youth at the other."

But it was the vigorous and creative imagination of Milton, superior to the prejudices of his times, that exhibited in his Eden the first hints and outlines of what a beautiful garden should be; for even his beloved Ariosto and Tasso, in their luxuriant pictures of the gardens of Alcina and Armida, shewed they were not free from the unnatural and narrow taste of their countrymen; and even his master, Spenser, has an artificial fountain in the midst of his bower of bliss.

I cannot forbear taking occasion to remark in this place, that in the sacred drama, entitled L'Adamo, written and published at Milan, in the year 1617, by Gio Battista Andreini, a Florentine, which Milton certainly had read (and of which Voltaire has given so false and so imperfect an account in his Essays on the Epic Poets), the prints that are to represent Paradise are full of clipped hedges, square parterres, straight walks, trees uniformly lopped, regular knots and carpets of flowers, groves nodding at groves, marble fountains, and water-works. And yet these prints were designed by Carlo Antonio Proccachini, a celebrated landscape painter of his time, and of the school of Carraches : many of those works are still admired at Milan. To every scene of this drama is prefixed a print of this artist's designing. The poem, though wild and incorrect, has many strokes of genius. The author was an actor.

Load some vain Church with old Theatric state,
Turn Arcs of Triumph to a Garden-gate ;



It hence appears, that this enchanting art of modern gardening, in which this kingdom claims a preference over every nation in Europe, chiefly owes its origin and its improvements to two great poets, Milton and Pope. May I be suffered to add, in behalf of a favourite author, and who would have been a first-rate poet, if his style had been equal to his conceptions, that the Seasons of Thomson have been very instrumental in diffusing a general taste for the beauties of nature and landscape?

Ver. 28. And of one beauty many blunders make ;] Because the road to Taste, like that to Truth, is but one; and those to error and absurdity a thousand.

Ver. 29. Load some rain Church with old Theatric state,] In which there is a complication of absurdities, arising both from their different natures and forms: for the one being for religious service, and the other only for civil amusement, it is impossible that the profuse and lascivious ornaments of the latter should become the modesty and sanctity of the other. Nor will any examples of this vanity of dress in the sacred buildings of antiquity justify this imitation; for those ornaments might be very suitable to a Temple of Bacchus, or Venus, which would ill become the sobriety and purity of the Christian Religion.

Besides, it should be considered, that the form of a Theatre would not permit the architectonic ornaments to be placed but on the outward face; whereas those of a Church may be as commodiously, and are more properly, put within; particularly in great and close pent-up Cities, where the incessant driving of the smoke, in a little time, corrodes and destroys all outward ornaments of this kind; especially if the members, as in the common taste, be small and little.

Our Gothic ancestors had juster and manlier notions of magnificence, on Greek and Roman ideas, than these Mimics of Taste, who profess to study only classic elegance. And because the thing does honour to the genius of those Barbarians, I shall endeavour to explain it. All our ancient Churches are called, without distinction, Gothic; but erroneously. They are of two sorts; the one built in the Saxon times; the other in the NorSeveral Cathedral and Collegiate Churches of the first sort


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