English Authors on Gardening,
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICES OF THEM.
Lately published, by the same Author, price 3s.
GLEANINGS ON GARDENS;
Chiefly respecting those of the Ancient Style in England.
PRINTED BY LOWE AND HARVEY, PLAYHOUSE YARD, BLACKFRIARS.
AUTHORS ON GARDENING,
Your painting is almost the natural man.—Timon of Athens.
A snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.—Winter's Tale.
I will make a prief of it in my note-book.—M. W. of Windsor.
BY S. FELTON.
SECOND EDITION, WITH CONSIDERABLE ADDITIONS.
PUBLISHED BY EFFINGHAM WILSON, ROYAL EXCHANGE; AND JOSEPH ONWHYN, CATHARINE STREET, STRAND.
The following pages apply only to those English writers on gardening who are deceased. That there have been portraits taken of some of those sixty-nine English writers, whose names first occur in the following pages, there can be no doubt; and those portraits may yet be with their surviving relatives or descendants. I am not so presumptuous as to apply to the following most slight memorials, some of which relate to very obscure persons, who claimed neither "the boast of heraldry, nor the pomp of power," but whose
——useful toil, Their homely joys and destiny obscure
benefited society by their honest labour;—I am not so vain as to apply to these, any part of the high testimony which Sir Walter Scott has so justly paid to the merit of Mr. Lodge's truly splendid work of the portraits of celebrated personages of English history. I can only take leave to disjoint, or to dislocate, or copy, a very few of his words, and to apply them to the following scanty pages, as it must be interesting to have exhibited before our eyes our fathers as they lived, accompanied with such memorials of their lives and characters, as enable us to compare their persons and countenances with their sentiments:—portraits shewing us how "our ancestors looked, moved, and dressed,"—as the pen informs us "how they thought, acted, lived and died." One cannot help feeling kindness for the memories of those whose writings have pleased us.
What native of the county of Hereford, but must wish to see their town-hall ornamented with a life-breathing portrait of Dr. Beale, embodying, as it were, in the resemblance of the individual, (to use the words of a most eloquent person on another occasion), "his spirit, his feelings, and his character?" Or what elegant scholar but must wish to view the resemblance of the almost unknown Thomas Whately, Esq., or that of the Rev. William Gilpin, whose vivid pen (like that of the late Sir Uvedale Price), has "realized painting," and enchained his readers to the rich scenes of nature?
Dr. Johnson calls portrait painting "that art which is employed in diffusing friendship, in reviving tenderness, in quickening the affections of the absent, and continuing the presence of the dead."
The horticultural intercourse that now passes between England and France, induces one to express a wish, that the portraits of many of those delightful writers on this science, whose pens have adorned France, (justly termed from its climate la terre classique d'horticulture), were selected and engraved; for many of their portraits have never yet been engraved. If this selection were accompanied with a few brief notices of them and their works, it would induce many in this country to peruse some of the most fascinating productions that ever issued from the press. Amongst so many, whose portraits and memoirs would interest us, I will mention those of Champier, who distinguished himself at the battle of Aignadel, and who published at Lyons, in 1533, Campus Elisius Galliae amenitate referens; Charles Etienne, who, in 1529, produced his Praedium Rusticum; and who with Leibault published the Maison Rustique, of which upwards of thirty editions have been published, (and which our Gervase Markham calls a work of infinite excellencie); Paulmier de Grenlemesnil, a most estimable man, physician to Charles IX., and who died at Caen in 1588, and wrote a treatise de Vino et Pomaceo; and the only act of whose long life that one regrets is, that his great skill was the means of re-establishing the health of Charles, who, with his mother, directed the horrid Massacre of St. Bartholomew; Cousin, who died in the prison of Besancon, and wrote De Hortorum laudibus; that patriarch of agriculture and of horticulture, Olivier de Serres, whose sage and philosophic mind composed a work rich with the most profound reflections, and whose genius and merit were so warmly patronized by "le bon Henri," and no less by Sully; Boyceau, intendant of the gardens of Louis XIII., who, in 1638, published Traite du Jardinage, selon les raisons de la nature, et de l'art, avec divers desseins de parterres, pelouses, bosquets, &c.; Andre Mollet, who wrote Le Jardin de plaisir, &c.; Claude Mollet, head gardener to Henry IV. and Louis XIII., who, in 1595, planted the gardens of Saint Germain-en-laye, Monceau, and Fontainbleau, and whose name and memory (as Mr. Loudon observes), has been too much forgotten; Bornefond, author of Jardinier Francois, et delices de la campagne; Louis Liger, of consummate experience in the florist's art, "auteur d'un grand nombre d'ouvrages sur l'agriculture, et le jardinage," and one of whose works was thought not unworthy of being revised by London and Wise, and of whose interesting works the Biographie Universelle (in 52 tomes) gives a long list, and mentions the great sale which his Jardinier fleuriste once had; Morin, the florist, mentioned by Evelyn, and whose garden contained ten thousand tulips; the justly celebrated Jean de la Quintinye, whose precepts, says Voltaire, have been followed by all Europe, and his abilities magnificently rewarded by Louis; Le Notre, the most celebrated gardener (to use Mr. Loudon's words) that perhaps ever existed, and of whom the Biographie Univer. observes, that whatever might have been the changes introduced in whatever Le Notre cultivated, "il seroit difficile de mettre plus de grandeur et de noblesse;" Charles Riviere du Fresnoy "qu'il joignot a un gout general pour tous les arts, des talens particuliers pour la musique et le dessein. Il excelloit sur-tout dans l'art de destribuer les jardins. Il publia plusieurs Chansons et les Amusemens serieux et comiques: petit ouvrage souvens re-imprime et pleins de peintures vives et plaisantes, de la plupart des etats de la vie. On remarques dans touts ses productions une imagination enjouee et singuliere;" Pontchasteau, who wrote on the cultivation of fruit trees, whose penitence and devotion were so severely austere, and whose very singular history is given us in the interesting "Lettres de Madame la Comtesse de la Riviere;" Linant, to whom Voltaire was a warm protector and friend, and who, in 1745, wrote his poem Sur la Perfection des Jardins, sous la regne de Louis XIV.; and of whom it was said that "les qualites du coeur ne le caracterisoient pas moins que celles de l'esprit;" Le Pere Rapin; D'Argenville; Le Maistre, curate of Joinville, who in 1719 added to his "Fruitier de la France," "Une Dissertation historique sur l'origine et les progres des Jardins; Vaniere, who wrote the Praedium Rusticum; Arnauld d'Andilli, in so many respects rendered illustrious, who retired to the convent of Port Royal, (that divine solitude, where the whole country for a league round breathed the air of virtue and holiness, to quote Mad. de Sevigne's words), and who sent each year to the queen some of that choice fruit which he there with such zeal cultivated, and which Mazarin "appelloit en riant des fruits benis." This good man died at the age of eighty-six, and the letter of Mad. de Sevigne, of the date of Sept. 23, 1671, will alone consign him to the respect of future ages; Jean Paul de Ardenne, superior of the congregation of the oratory of Marseilles, one of the most famous florists of the period in which he lived, and who devoted great part of his time in deeds of charity; Francis Bertrand, who, in 1757, published Ruris delicae, being poems from Tibullus, Claudian, Horace, and from many French writers, on the pleasures of the country; Mons. de Chabanon; Morel, who assisted in laying out Ermenonville, and who wrote, among other works, Theorie des Jardins, ou l'art des Jardins de la Nature; the animated Prevost; Gouges de Cessieres, who wrote Les Jardins d'Ornament, ou les Georgiques Francoises; he, too, whom the Prince de Ligne calls
——enchanteur De Lille! O Virgile moderne!
and whose generous invocation to the memory of Captain Cook must endear his name to every Englishman; the Viscount Girardin, who wrote De la Composition des Paysages, who buried Rousseau in his garden at Ermenonville, and who kept a band of musicians to perambulate those charming grounds, performing concerts sometimes in the woods, and at other times on the water, and at night in a room adjoining his hall of company; the venerable Malherbes, the undaunted defender of the oppressed, who throughout his life lost no opportunity of drying up the tears of the afflicted, and never caused one to flow; whose whole life had been consecrated to the happiness of his fellow-creatures and the dignity of his country, but whose spotless reputation could not save him from the guillotine at his age of seventy-two; Schabol; Latapie, who translated Whately's Observations on Modern Gardening, to which he added a discourse on the origin of the art, &c.; Watelet, who wrote Essai sur les Jardins, and whose name has given rise to some most charming lines in De Lille's poem, and whose biography is interestingly drawn in the Biog. Univers.; Lezay de Marnesia, whose poems de la Nature Champetre, and le Bonheur dans les Campagnes, have passed through many editions, and of whom pleasing mention is made in the above Biog. Univers.; M. de Fontaine, author of Le Verger; Masson de Blamont, the translator of Mason's Garden, and Whately's Observations; Francois Rosier; Bertholan, the friend of Franklin.
I am indebted, in a great measure, for the above list of French authors, to that immense body of diffuse and elaborate information, the Encyclopaedia of Gardening, by Mr. Loudon.
Those who are more conversant with the literature of France, than my very limited researches have extended to, can, no doubt, easily enumerate many very distinguished persons of that country, many talented men, who though they may not have written on the subject of gardens, yet evinced an ardent attachment to them, and became their munificent patrons. Let us not then omit the name of Charles the Great, or Charlemagne, in one of whose Capitulaires are Directions concerning Gardens, and what plants are best to set in them. He died in 814, after reigning forty-seven years over France: "Quoiqu'il ne sut pas ecriere (says the Nouv. Diet. Hist.), il fit fleurer les sciences. Aussi grand par ses conquetes, que par l'amour des lettres, et en fut le protecteur et la restaurateur. Son palais fut l'asyle des sciences. Le nom de ce conquerant et de cet legislateur remplit la terre. Tout fut uni par le force de son genie." De Sismondi calls him "a brilliant star in that dark firmament." Mr. Loudon, in p. 40 of his Encyclopaedia, says, that "The Abbe Schmidt informs us (Mag. Encyc.) that this monarch, who had domains in every part of France, gave the greatest encouragement to the eradication of forests, and the substitution of orchards and vineyards. He was on terms of friendship with the Saracenic prince Haroun al Raschid, and by that means procured for France the best sorts of pulse, melons, peaches, figs, and other fruits."
Francis I. when he built his palace at Fontainbleau, introduced into its gardens, much of what he had seen in those of Italy, and when he completed St. Germains, its style of grandeur may be guessed at from its rocks, cascades, terraces and subterraneous grots.
Henry IV.'s attachment to agriculture and to gardens, is well known. The magnificent improvements he made at St. Germains, and the attention he paid to his gardens at la Fleche, Vendome, and the Thuilleries, shew this. Indeed, his employing Claude Mollet, and Jean Robin, are sufficient proofs.
Louis XIV. magnificently rewarded La Quintinye, that original writer, who conducted the fine gardens of Tambourneau, and whose precepts Mons. de Voltaire tells us were followed by all Europe. The zeal of Louis for the decorations of gardens, met with an able assistant when he patronized Le Notre, to do justice to whose name, I can only refer my reader to the concise but rich review of the grand efforts of this singular genius, as they are noticed in p. 35 of Mr. Loudon's Encyclopaedia, and which "dazzled and enchanted every class of observers."
Madame de Sevigne's delight in gardens pervades many of her letters: that of July 1677, paints the charms which one in Paris gave her: "I was invited in the kindest manner possible to sup at Gourville's with Mad. de Scomberg, Mad. de Frontenac, Mad. de Coulanges, the Duke, M. de la Rochefoucault, Barillon, Briole, Coulanges, Sevigne, in a garden of the hotel de Conde; there were water-works, bowers, terraces, six hautboys, six violins, and the most melodious flutes; a supper which seemed to be prepared by enchantment, an admirable bass-viol, and a resplendent moon, which witnessed all our pleasures." Of her own garden, formed by her own pure taste, M. de Coulanges thus speaks: "I have spent a most delightful fortnight here. It is impossible sufficiently to praise the gardens of the Rocks; they would have their beauties even at Versailles, which is saying every thing." And that she delighted in what she well knew how to describe, is evident from her letter from Chaulnes: "This is a very handsome house, which carries with it an air of grandeur, though it is partly unfurnished, and the gardens neglected. There is scarcely any verdure to be seen, and not a nightingale to be heard; in short, it is still winter, on the seventeenth of April. But it is easy to imagine the beauties of these walks; every thing is regular and magnificent; a spacious parterre in front, bowling-greens opposite the wings, a large playing fountain in the parterre, two in the bowling-greens, and another at a distance in the middle of a field, which is well named the solitary; a fine country, beautiful apartments, and a pleasant prospect, though flat." She in another letter from Chaulnes says; "I was walking alone the other day, in these beautiful alleys." And in a subsequent one she says: "It is a pity to be obliged to quit so beautiful and so charming a place." Her frequent mention in her letters of my pretty walks at the Rocks, sufficiently paints her delight in her own garden. In compliment to this lady, I cannot help applying to her the exact words which Petrarch applies to Laura: une haute intelligence, un coeur pure, qui a la sagesse de l'age avance, ait le brilliant de la belle jeunesse.
Few passed more happy hours in their garden at Baville, than the illustrious Lamoignon, of whom it was said, that "Son ame egaloit son genie; simple dans ses moeurs, austere dans sa conduite, il etoit le plus doux des hommes, quand la veuve et l'orphein etoient a ses pieds, Boileau, Racine, Bourdaloue, Rapin, composoit sa petite cour,"—and whom Rapin invokes, not only in his poem on gardens,
My flowers aspiring round your brows shall twine, And in immortal wreaths, shall all their beauties join;
but in his letters, preserved with those of Rabutin de Bussy, he paints in high terms the name of Lamoignon, and frequently dwells on his retreat at Baville. Mons. Rab. de Bussy, in a letter to Rapin, says: "Que Je vous trouve heureux d'avoir deux mois a passer a Baville, avec Mons. le presidant! Il est admirable a Paris; mais il est aimable a sa maison de campagne, et vous savez qu'on a plus de plaisir a aimer qu'a admirer." On his death, Rapin thus speaks of him: "Il n'y eut jamais une plus belle ame jointe a un plus bel esprit. Le plus grand de tous les eloges est, que le peuple l'a pleure; et chacun s'est plaint de sa mort comme de la perte d'un ami, ou de celle d'un bienfacteur."
The name of Boileau is too interesting to be overlooked. Many of his letters and pages discover the delight he took in his garden at Auteuil. In his epistle to Lamoignon, he describes his seat there as his "bless'd abode," his "dear delicious shades," and he then paints the pleasures of his country seat:
Give me these shades, these forests, and these fields, And the soft sweets that rural quiet yields; Oh, leave me to the fresh, the fragrant breeze, And let me here awhile enjoy my ease. Let me Pomona's plenteous blessings crop, And see rich autumn's ripen'd burden drop, Till Bacchus with full clusters crowns the year, And gladdens with his load the vintager.
His celebrated epistle to Anthony, his old gardener, not only shews the kind master, but his own love to his garden. I cannot refrain from quoting a few lines from Lempriere: "As a poet, Boilieu has deservedly obtained the applauses of every man of genius and taste. Not only his countrymen boast of the superior effusions of his muse, but foreigners feel and admire the graces, the strength and harmony of his verse, and that delicacy of satire, and energy of style, by which he raised himself to immortality." Another of his biographers says: "La religion, qui eclaira ses derniers momens, avoit anime toute sa vie." The author of the Pursuits of Literature thus speaks of him: "The most perfect of all modern writers, in true taste and judgment. His sagacity was unerring; he combined every ancient excellence, and appears original even in the adoption of acknowledged thoughts and allusions. He is the just and adequate representative of Horace, Juvenal, and Perseus, united, without one indecent blemish; and for my own part, I have always considered him as the most finished gentleman that ever wrote." In his Life, translated by Ozell, we are told, that "he was full of sentiments of humanity, mildness, and justice. He censured vice, and sharply attacked the bad taste of his time, without one spark of envy, or calumny. Whatever shocked truth, raised in him an indignation which he could not master, and which accounts for that energy and fire which pervades his satires. The sight of any learned man in want, made him so uneasy, that he could not forbear lending money. His good nature and justice did farther appear in his manner of recompensing his domestics, and by his liberality to the poor. He gave by his will fifty thousand livres to the small parishes adjoining the church of Notre Dame; ten thousand livres to his valet de chambre, and five thousand to an old woman who had served him a long time. But he was not contented to bestow his benevolence at his death, and when he was no longer in a condition of enjoying his estate himself, he was, all his life long, studious in seeking opportunities of doing good offices." Part of this is confirmed by another biographer: "Une piete sincere, une foi vive et une charite si grande, qu'elle ne lui a presque fait reconnoitre d'autres heritiers que les pauvres." The Lettres of Mad. la Comtesse de la Riviere, and those of de Sevigne, frequently mention the charm which attended the visits of Boileau. Rabutin du Bussy thus speaks of him, in a letter to the Pere Rapin, after eulogizing Moliere: "Despreaux est encore merveilleuse; personne ne'crit avec plus de purete; ses pensees sont fortes, et ce qui m'en plait, toujours vraies."
The above is a very cursory and brief allusion to what might be gathered respecting those superb gardens in France, whose costly and magnificent decorations so charmed many of our English nobility and gentry, when travelling there, during the periods of Charles II., James II., William, Anne, and during subsequent reigns. One need recur only to a very few, as to Rose, who was sent there by Lord Essex, to view Versailles; to George London, who was commissioned to go there, not only by the same Rose, but who afterwards accompanied the Earl of Portland, King William's ambassador; but to Evelyn, Addison, Dr. Lister, Kent, when he accompanied Lord Burlington through France to Italy; to the Earl of Cork and Orrery (the translator of Pliny's Letters), whose gardens at Marston, and at Caledon, and whose letters from Italy, all shew the eagerness with which he must have viewed the gardens of France, when passing through the provinces towards Florence; to Ray, Lady M. W. Montague, Bolingbroke, Peterborough, Smollet, John Wilks, John Horne (when he met Mr. Sterne, or designed to meet him, at Toulouse), to Gray, Walpole, R. P. Knight, who must have passed through the rich provinces of France, as, in his work on Taste, he speaks of "terraces and borders intermixed with vines and flowers, (as I have seen them in Italian villas, and in some old English gardens in the same style), where the mixture of splendour, richness, and neatness, was beautiful and pleasing in the highest degree;" and to the lately deceased Sir U. Price, who must also have passed through France, to view (with the eagerness with which he did view) the rich and magnificently decorated gardens of Italy, "aided with the splendour and magnificence of art," their ballustrades, their fountains, basons, vases and statues, and which he dwells on in his Essays with the same enthusiasm as when he there contemplated the works of Titian, Paul Veronese, and other great masters. Indeed, those pages where he regrets the demolition of many of our old English gardens, and when he dwells on the probability that even Raphael, Giulio Romano, and M. Angelo, (which last planted the famous cypresses in the garden of the Villa d'Este) were consulted on the decorations of some of the old Italian ones; these pages at once shew the fascinating charms of his classic pen.
England can boast too of very great names, who have been attached to this art, and most zealously patronized it, though they have not written on the subject:—Lord Burleigh, Lord Hudson, Sir Walter Raleigh, Lord Capell, who honoured himself by several years correspondence with La Quintinye; William the Third,—for Switzer tells us, that "in the least interval of ease, gardening took up a greater part of his time, in which he was not only a delighter, but likewise a great judge,"—the Earl of Essex, whom the mild and benevolent Lord William Russell said "was the worthiest, the justest, the sincerest, and the most concerned for the public, of any man he ever knew;" Lord William Russell himself, too, on whom Thomson says,
Bring every sweetest flower, and let me strew The grave where Russell lies,
whose fall Switzer feelingly laments, as one of the best of masters, and encouragers of arts and sciences, particularly gardening, that that age produced, and who "made Stratton, about seven miles from Winchester, his seat, and his gardens there some of the best that were made in those early days, such indeed as have mocked some that have been done since; and the gardens of Southampton House, in Bloomsbury Square, were also of his making;" the generous friend of this Lord William Russell, the manly and patriotic Duke of Devonshire, who erected Chatsworth, that noble specimen of a magnificent spirit; Henry Earl of Danby, the Duke of Argyle, beheaded in 1685, for having supported the rebellion of Monmouth; the Earl of Halifax, the friend of Addison, Swift, Pope, and Steele, and on whom a funeral poem thus speaks,
In the rich furniture of whose fair mind, Those dazzling intellectual graces shin'd, That drew the love and homage of mankind.
Lord Weymouth; Dr. Sherard of Eltham; Collinson, "to whose name is attached all that respect which is due to benevolence and virtue;" Grindal, Bishop of London, who cultivated with great success the vine and other productions of his garden at Fulham; Compton, Bishop of London, eminent, as Mr. Falconer in his Fulham observes, for his unbounded charity and beneficence, and who was so struck with the genius, the learning, and probity of Mr. Ray, that he was almost at the entire charge of erecting the monument to him; the Earl of Scarborough, an accomplished nobleman, immortalized by the enchanting pen of Pope, and the fine pen of Chesterfield; the Earl of Gainsborough; the great Chatham, whose taste in the embellishment of rural nature has been exultingly acknowledged by Mr. Walpole, and by George Mason; with numerous other men of rank and science. These have highly assisted in elevating gardening to the rank it has long since held, and has allured multitudes to this delightful science:—no wonder, when Homer writeth how Laertes the olde man, was wont with his travaile in his Orchards, to drive from his minde the sorrow hee tooke for the absence of his sonne. When old Gerarde asks his courteous and well-willing readers—"whither do all men walk for their honest recreation, but where the earth hath most beneficially painted her face with flourishing colours? and what season of the year more longed for than the spring, whose gentle breath enticeth forth the kindly sweets, and makes them yield their fragrant smells?" When the Lord Chancellor Bacon declares a garden "is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man:" and when this wonderfully gifted man thus fondly dwells on part of its allurements;—"the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (where it comes and goes like the warbling of music), than in the hand; therefore, nothing is more fit for that delight, than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air; the flower, which above all others yields the sweetest smell in the air, is the violet; next to that is the musk rose, then the strawberry-leaves, dying with a most-excellent cordial smell; then sweet briar, then wall-flowers, which are very delightful to be set under a parlour, or lower chamber window; but those which perfume the air most delightfully, not passed by as the rest, but being trodden upon and crushed, are three—that is, burnet, wild thyme, and water-mints; therefore you are to set whole alleys of them, to have the pleasure when you walk or tread." Or when Mr. Evelyn, in the joy of his enthusiasm, exultingly transposed from Virgil:—
O fortunatos nimium, bona si sua norint Horticulas!
and who declared, that the employ and felicity of an excellent gardener was preferable to all other diversions. When Mr. Addison says that a garden "fills the mind with calmness and tranquillity, and lays all its turbulent passions at rest." When Sir William Temple (who infused into his writings the graces of some of the best writers of ancient times), thus allures his readers: "Epicurus, whose admirable wit, felicity of expression, excellence of nature, sweetness of conversation, temperance of life, and constancy of death, made him so beloved by his friends, admired by his scholars, and honoured by the Athenians, passed his time wholly in his garden; there he studied, there he exercised, there he taught his philosophy; and indeed no other sort of abode seems to contribute so much to both the tranquillity of mind, and indolence of body, which he made his chief ends. The sweetness of air, the pleasantness of smells, the verdure of plants, the cleanness and lightness of food, the exercises of working or walking; but above all, the exemption from cares and solitude, seem equally to favour and improve both contemplation and health, the enjoyment of sense and imagination, and thereby the quiet and ease both of the body and mind." When the industrious Switzer says:—"'Tis in the quiet enjoyment of rural delights, the refreshing and odoriferous breezes of garden air, that the deluge of vapours, and those terrors of hypochondraism, which crowd and oppress the head are dispelled." When the industrious and philosophic Bradley observes, that "though the trouble of the mind wears and destroys the constitution even of the most healthful body, all kinds of gardens contribute to health." When Pope, who loved to breathe the sweet and fragrant air of gardens, in one of his letters says, "I am in my garden, amused and easy; this is a scene where one finds no disappointment." When that "universally esteemed and beloved man," the Prince de Ligne, declares, "Je voudrois echauffer tout l'univers de mon gout pour les jardins. Il me semble qu'il est impossible, qu'un mechant puisse l'avoir. Il n'est point de vertus que Je ne suppose a celui qui aime a parler et a faire des jardins. Peres de famille, inspirez la jardinomanie a vos enfans. When a taste for gardening (as Mr. Cobbet observes) "is much more innocent, more pleasant, more free from temptation to cost, than any other; so pleasant in itself! It is conducive to health, by means of the irresistible temptation which it offers to early rising; it tends to turn the minds of youth from amusements and attachments of a frivolous or vicious nature; it is a taste which is indulged at home; it tends to make home pleasant, and to endear us to the spot on which it is our lot to live." When Mr. Johnson forcibly paints the allurements to a love for this art, when concluding his energetic volume on gardening, by quoting from Socrates, that "it is the source of health, strength, plenty, riches, and of a thousand sober delights and honest pleasures."—And from Lord Verulam, that amid its scenes and pursuits, "life flows pure, and the heart more calmly beats." And when M. le V. H. de Thury, president de la Societe d'Horticulture de Paris, in his Discours d'Installation says: "Dans tous les temps et dans tous les pays, les hommes les plus celebres, les plus grands capitaines, les princes, et les rois, se sont livres avec delices, et souvent avec passion, a la culture des plantes et des jardins." And among other instances he cites "Descartes, qui se livrait avec une egale ardeur a la science des astres et a la culture des fleurs de son jardin, et qui souvent, la nuit, quittait ses observations celestes pour etudier le sommeil et la floraison de ses plantes avant le lever du soliel." Petrarch, too, who has enchanted every nation and every age, from his endeared Vaucluse, thus speaks of his garden: "I have formed two; I do not imagine they are to be equalled in all the world: I should feel myself inclined to be angry with fortune, if there were any so beautiful out of Italy. I have store of pleasant green walks, with trees shadowing them most sweetly." Indeed, what Cicero applies to another science, may well apply to horticulture: "nihil est agriculturae melius, nihil uberius, nihil dulcius, nihil homine, nihil libero dignius." Let me close with a most brilliant name;—the last resource in the Candide of Voltaire is,—cultivate your garden.
In my transient review of the gardens of ancient times, at the commencement of the following work, I have not even glanced at those of the Saxons, in this island; when one should have thought that the majestic name of ALFRED alone, would have made a search of this nature interesting, even if such search were unavailing. I have also inadvertently omitted any allusion to those of the Danes and the Normans. I have only then now to say, that Mr. Johnson's researches, as to these gardens, in pp. 31, 37, 38, 39 and 40 of his lately published History of English Gardening, with his elegant language and the flow of sentiment that pervades those pages, would make any search or review of mine presumptuous. In those pages, he dwells on the tendency which the then introduction of the christian religion had to soften the manners of the people, and by thus rendering them more domestic, gardening became an art congenial to their feelings; and whilst the country at large was devastated by war, the property of the religious establishments was held sacred, and varieties of vegetables preserved, which otherwise would soon have become extinct, if cultivated in less hallowed ground. He then traces the existence of many gardens, orchards, and vineyards, belonging to our monasteries, proving, that even in the time of the Danes, horticulture continued "silently to advance," and that at the time of the arrival of the Normans, gardens were generally in the possession of the laity, as well as of the ecclesiastics; and he refers to Doomsday Book for his assertion, that "there is no reason to doubt, that at this period, every house, from the palace to the cottage, was possessed of a garden of some size." He concludes with interesting references to the gardens, vineyards, and orchards, of the Abbot of Ely and other monks.
The above work of Mr. Johnson's is the result of original thought, and of an ardent and extended scientific research. Mine is a compilation, "made with a pair of scissors," to copy the words of Mr. Mathias, which he applies to a certain edition of Pope. I content myself, however, with the reflection of Mr. Walpole, that "they who cannot perform great things themselves, may yet have a satisfaction in doing justice to those who can."
Having alluded at pp. 71 and 120 to Dr. Alison, and having given at p. 211 Dr. Dibdin's tribute to him, I cannot omit reminding my reader, that the graceful language, the sublime and solemn thoughts, which this admirable divine has transfused into many of his Sermons on the Seasons, make one doubly feel the truth and propriety with which he has so liberally reviewed Mr. Whately's Observations on Modern Gardening.
ON THE PORTRAITS OF English Authors on Gardening.
ON THE PORTRAITS OF ENGLISH AUTHORS ON GARDENING.
The earliest accounts we have of gardens, are those recorded in Holy Writ; their antiquity, therefore, appears coeval with that of time itself. The Garden in Eden had every tree good for food, or pleasant to the sight. Noah planted a Vineyard. Solomon, in the true spirit of horticultural zeal, says, I planted me Vineyards, I made me Gardens and Orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit. We have all heard of the grandeur of Nebuchadnezzar's Gardens.
Whether that of Alcinous was fabulous or not, it gave rise to Homer's lofty strains:—
The balmy spirit of the western gale Eternal breathes on flowers untaught to fail; The same mild season gives the blooms to blow, The buds to harden, and the fruit to grow.
That Homer was all alive to the rich scenery of nature, is evident, even from his Calypso's Cave:—
All o'er the cavern'd rock a sprouting vine Laid forth ripe clusters. Hence four limpid founts Nigh to each other ran, in rills distinct, Huddling along with many a playful maze. Around them the soft meads profusely bloom'd Fresh violets and balms.
The Egyptians, the Persians, and other remote nations, prided themselves on their magnificent gardens. Diodorus Siculus mentions one "enriched with palm trees, and vines, and every kind of delicious fruit, by flowery lawns and planes, and cypresses of stupendous magnitude, with thickets of myrtle, and laurel, and bay." He paints too the attachment which some of the ancients had to landscape scenery:—
None of art's works, but prodigally strown By nature, with her negligence divine.
The splendid gardens at Damascus, were superintended by a native of Malaga, who "traversed the burning sands of Africa, for the purpose of describing such vegetables as could support the fervid heat of that climate." The cities of Samarcand, Balckd, Ispahan, and Bagdad, were enveloped and surrounded by luxurious and splendid gardens. No wonder when those countries were partly governed by such celebrated men as Haroun-al-Raschid, and his son Al-Mamoun, the generous protectors of Arabian literature, and which son (about the year 813) has been justly termed the Augustus of Bagdad. "Study, books, and men of letters, (I am quoting the eloquent pages of De Sismondi On the Literature of the Arabians,) almost entirely engrossed his attention. Hundreds of camels might be seen entering Bagdad loaded with nothing but manuscripts and papers. Masters, instructors, translators, and commentators, formed the court of Al-Mamoun, which appeared rather to be a learned academy than the centre of government in a warlike empire."
The gardens of Epicurus, and of Pisistratus, Cimon, and Theophrastus, were the most famous of any in the Grecian empire. Those of Herculaneum may be seen in the 2nd vol. of the paintings found there. The luxurious gardens of the affluent Seneca, and the delight with which Cicero speaks of his paternal seat, (which enraptured his friend Atticus with its beauty,) and the romantic ones of Adrian, at Tivoli, and of Lucullus, of Sallust, of the rich and powerful Crassus, and of Pompey, shew the delight which the old Romans took in them. One may gather this also from Livy; and Virgil's energy of language warmly paints the
——flowering pride Of meads and streams that through the valleys glide. A country cottage near a crystal flood, A winding valley, and a lofty wood.
* * * * *
Leisure and calm in groves, and cooling vales; Grottoes and babbling brooks, and darksome dales.
Messaline (says a translation of Tacitus) avoit une passion extreme pour les jardins de Lucullus, qu'il embellisoit superbement, ajoutant tous les jours quelque nouvelles beautez a celles qu'ils avoint receues de leur premier maitre.
We are reminded in a magic page of our own immortal poet, of those of Julius Caesar, and of
——his walks, His private arbours, and new-planted orchards,
when the noble Antony invokes the Romans to
——kiss dead Caesar's wounds, And dip their napkins in his sacred blood.
Horace's incomparable lines on the happiness and delight of a country life, his country granges, his woods, his garden, and his grove; and many of the other Roman writers, abundantly shew their attachment to gardens, as accompaniments to their splendid villas. There was scarcely a romantic valley that was not crowded with their villas.
Martial and Juvenal ridicule the clipped box trees, cut dragons, and similar grotesque fancies, at some of their villas, both admiring the nobler grace with which nature adorned each spot.
The Romans were perhaps the first who introduced that art into Britain, meagerly as they did introduce it. The earliest account I can find of an English writer on Gardening, is,
Alfred, an Englishman, surnamed the Philosopher, much respected at Rome. He died 1270, and left four books on the Meteors of Aristotle; also one on Vegetables, and five on the Consolations of Boethius. We are not very likely to discover his portrait. Nor that of the following:—
HENRY DANIEL, a Dominican friar, said to be well skilled in the natural philosophy and physic of his time, left a manuscript inscribed Aaron Danielis. He therein treats De re Herbaria, de Arboribus, Fructibus, &c. He flourished about the year 1379.—N. B. I have copied this article from Dr. Pulteney's Sketches, vol. 1, page 23.
I believe there are no Portraits engraved, nor perhaps yet discovered, of the following sixty-nine persons; at least I know of none:—
RICHARD ARNOLDE, who in his Chronicle, printed in 1502, has a chapter on "The crafte of graffynge, and plantyne, and alterynge of fruyts, as well in colours, as in taste." The celebrated poem of the Nut-brown Maid first appeared in this Chronicle. Sir E. Brydges, in vol. 6 of his Censura Literaria, has transcribed the whole poem as it appears in Arnolde.
THOMAS TUSSER, whose memory has had the felicity to merit the notice of Mr. Warton, in his History of English Poetry, from his having published his poem of "A Hundreth good Pointes of Husbandrie, imprinted at London, in Flete strete, within Temple barre, at the syne of the Hand and Starre, by Richard Totell, An. 1577." A copy of this first edition (probably unique) is preserved in the British Museum. A re-print of this singular literary rarity is given in Mr. Hazlewood's British Bibliographer. The subsequent editions of this curious book are interestingly enumerated by Mr. Mavor, in his edition of Tusser. No portrait I believe has been discovered of this benevolent man, whose good sense, impressive maxims, enlightened and philosophic turn of mind and feeling for the poor, shine through most pages of his poem:—
What better bed than conscience good, to pass the night with sleep, What better work, than daily care, from sin thyself to keep? What better thought, than think on God, and daily him to serve, What better gift than to the poor, that ready be to sterve?
His estimate of life is concise:—
To death we must stoop, be we high, be we low, But how and how suddenly few be that know; What carry we then but a sheet to the grave, (To cover this carcass) of all that we have?
His hospitable heart thus pleads for the desolate, during the festivities of Christmas, and his love of "mirth and good cheer" makes him not forget Harvests home:—
At Christmas, the hardness of winter doth rage, A griper of all things, and specially age; Then sadly poor people, the young and the old, Be sorest oppressed with hunger and cold.
At Christmas, by labour there's little to get, That wanting—the poorest in danger are set: What season then better, of all the whole year, Thy needy, poor neighbour, to comfort and cheer.
At Christmas be merry, and thankful withal, And feast thy poor neighbours, the great with the small: Yea all the year long, to the poor let us give, God's blessing to follow us, whiles we do live.
In harvest time, harvest folk, servants and all Should make, all together, good cheer in the hall; And fill out the black bowl of blythe to their song, And let them be merry all harvest time long.
Once ended thy harvest, let none be beguil'd, Please such as did help thee—man, woman, and child,— Thus doing, with alway, such help as they can, Thou winnest the praise of the labouring man.
Now look up to God-ward, let tongue never cease In thanking of him, for his mighty increase, Accept my good will—for a proof go and try; The better thou thrivest, the gladder am I.
Tusser died about the year 1583, aged about sixty-five, and is buried in St. Mildred's church, in the Poultry. His epitaph is preserved in Stowe's Survey of London; and (as Mr. Mavor observes) it is perfectly in character with the man and his writings; and if conjecture may be allowed, was penned by himself:—
Here Thomas Tusser, clad in earth, doth lie, Who sometime made the Points of Husbandry. By him then learn thou may'st. Here learn we must, When all is done, we sleep and turn to dust. And yet, through Christ, to heaven we hope to go: Who reads his books, shall find his faith was so.
His book exhibits an authentic picture of the state of horticulture during the time of Mary, and Elizabeth; and, as Mr. Warton observes, his work "is valuable as a genuine picture of the agriculture, the rural arts, and the domestic oeconomy and customs of our industrious ancestors."
Walter Blith says of him:—"As for Master Tusser, who rimeth out of his experience, if thou delightest therein, thou mayst find things worthy thy observation."
Sir John Hawkins, in his History of Music, thus writes:—"The life of this poor man was a series of misfortunes; and is a proof of the truth of that saying in Holy Scripture, that 'the battle is not to the strong, nor the race to the swift.' As to the Points of Husbandry, it is written in familiar verse, and abounds with many curious particulars, that bespeak the manners, the customs, and the modes of living in the country, from the year 1520 to about half a century after; besides which, it discovers such a degree of oeconomical wisdom in the author, such a sedulous attention to the honest arts of thriving, such a general love of mankind, such a regard to justice, and a reverence for religion, that we do not only lament his misfortunes, but wonder at them; and are at a loss to account for his dying poor, who understood so well the method to become rich."
From the "Literary Life and Select Works of Benjamin Stillingfleet," I select a small part of what that worthy man says of Tusser:—"He seems to have been a good-natured cheerful man, and though a lover of oeconomy, far from meanness, as appears in many of his precepts, wherein he shews his disapprobation of that pitiful spirit, which makes farmers starve their cattle, their land, and every thing belonging to them; chusing rather to lose a pound than spend a shilling. Upon the whole, his book displays all the qualities of a well-disposed man, as well as of an able farmer. He wrote in the infancy of farming, and therefore I shall give a full account of his practice, especially as his precepts will be comprised in a narrow compass, and as a sort of justice done to him as an original writer."
Mr. Mavor observes, "The precepts of Tusser indeed are so excellent, that few can read them without profit and improvement; he appears to have possessed such a degree of pious resignation to the will of the Supreme, of christian charity, and of good humour, under all his miscarriages, that his character rises high in our esteem, independent of his merits as a writer. The cultivated and liberal mind of Tusser seems to have been ill-suited to his fortune, and to his vocation. A love of hospitality probably kept him from independence; yet if he was imprudent, we cannot help loving the man and admiring the justness of his sentiments on every subject connected with life and morals."
Fuller, in his Worthies of Essex, says, "he spread his bread with all sorts of butter, yet none would stick thereon. Yet I hear no man to charge him with any vicious extravagancy, or visible carelessness, imputing his ill success to some occult cause in God's counsel."
I am indebted, in some degree, for these several testimonies, to Mr. Mavor's spirited edition of this book, which he has enriched with a biographical sketch of Tusser, and with many interesting illustrations of his poem. He exhibits another instance of the private character of Tusser, in his concluding remarks on the last page of his work:—"The moral feeling and the pious resignation which breathe in the concluding stanzas of this poem, leave a powerful impression on the mind; and whatever vicissitudes in life the Editor or his Readers may experience, he wishes for Himself and for Them, the same philosophic and christian composure, on a retrospect of the past, and the anticipated view of futurity."
Of Mr. Warton's remarks on Tusser, Mr. Mavor thus partly speaks:—"For the personal kindness of Warton to me, at an early period of life, I shall ever retain an affectionate remembrance of him, and for his genius and high attainments in literature, I feel all that deference and respect which can belong to his most enthusiastic admirers; but no man was less a judge of the merits of a book on Husbandry and Huswifry."
Mr. Warton observes, that "Tusser's general precepts have often an expressive brevity, and are sometimes pointed with an epigrammatic turn, and smartness of allusion."
In Tusser's poetical account of his own unsuccessful life,
How through the briers my youthful years Have run their race,—
how he was forced from his father's house when a little boy, and driven like a POSTING HORSE, being impressed to sing as a chorister, at Wallingford College; his miseries there, and the stale bread they gave him; the fifty-three stripes the poor lad received at Eton, when learning Latin; his happy transfer to Trinity College, which to him seemed a removal from hell to heaven; the generosity of Lord Paget,
Whose soul I trust is with the just;
——good parents dy'd One after one, till both were gone, Whose souls in bliss, be long ere this.
His remaining ten years at court, where
Cards and dice, with Venus' vice, And peevish pride, from virtue wide, With some so wraught, That Tyburn play, made them away, Or beggars state.
His residing in Suffolk, as a farmer,
To moil and toil, With loss and pain, to little gain, To cram Sir Knave;
his removal to near Dereham Abbey, which he left, (though stored with flesh and fish) from the squabbles and brawls of lord with lord; the death of the worthy Sir Richard Southwell,
——that jewel great, Which op'd his door to rich and poor, So bounteously,—
on whose decease he was left to sink or swim; his removal to Salisbury, as a singing man; thence
With sickness worn, as one forlorn,
he removed to a parsonage house in Essex, to collect tithes, in its miry ways; his foreboding the parson's death, and foreseeing new charges about to be made for tithes,
——I spy'd, if parson died, (All hope in vain) to hope for gain, I might go dance; Once rid my hand, of pars'nage land, Hence, by-and-by, away went I To London straight, to hope and wait For better chance.
From which place the plague drove him to Cambridge, to
The college, best of all the rest, With thanks to thee, O Trinity! Through thee and thine, for me and mine, Some stay I got.
He concludes with pious resignation to God.
DIDYMUS MOUNTAIN, who, in 1571, wrote "The Gardener's Labyrinth," in 4to. "wherein are set forth, divers knottes and mazes, cunningly handled for the beautifying of gardens." And in 1577 appeared a second part, "with the wittie ordering of other daintie hearbes, delectable flowres, pleasaunt fruites, and fine rootes, as the like hath not heretofore been vttered of any." Other editions in 4to. 1608, and in folio 1652.
BARNABY GOOCHE published The whole art and trade of Husbandry, contained in foure books, enlarged by Barnaby Googe, Esq. 4to. black letter, 1578. The two later editions, in 1614 and 1631, both in black letter, and in 4to. are said by Weston to have been re-printed by Gervaise Markham. The 2nd book treats "Of Gardens, Orchards, and Woods."
In the 2nd vol. of the Censura Litt. is some information respecting B. Gooche, and his epistle to the reader shews his own liberal mind: "I haue thought it meet (good Reader) for thy further profit and pleasure, to put into English, these foure Bookes of Husbandry, collected and set forth, by Master Conrade Heresbatch, a great and a learned Counceller of the Duke of Cleues: not thinking it reason, though I haue altered and increased his vvorke, with mine owne readings and obseruations, ioined with the experience of sundry my friends, to take from him (as diuers in the like case haue done) the honour and glory of his owne trauaile: Neither is it my minde, that this either his doings, or mine, should deface, or any wayes darken the good enterprise, or painfull trauailes of such our Countrymen of England, as haue plentifully written of this matter: but alwayes haue, and do giue them the reuerence and honour due to so vertuous, and well disposed Gentlemen, namely, Master Fitzherbert, and Master Tusser: vvhose vvorkes may, in my fancie, without any presumption, compare with any, either Varro, Columella, or Palladius of Rome."
SIR HUGH PLATT, "that learned and great observer," but of whom we know so little, was, as Mr. Weston, in his Catalogue of English Authors, informs us, "the most ingenious husbandman of the age he lived in: yet, so great was his modesty, that all his works seem to be posthumous, except the Paradise of Flora, which appeared in 1600, when it is probable he was living. He spent part of his time at Copt-hall, in Essex, or at Bishop's-hall, in Middlesex, at each of which places he had a country seat; but his town residence was Lincoln's Inn. He held a correspondence with all lovers of agriculture and gardening throughout England; and such was the justice and modesty of his temper, that he always named the author of every discovery communicated to him." In 1606 he had a garden in St. Martin's Lane. A list of his works appears in the late Dr. Watts's most laborious work, the Bibl. Brit. in 4 vols. 4to. In his "Floraes Paradise, beautified and adorned with sundry sorts of delicate fruites and flowers, to be sold in Paule's church-yard, at the signe of the Holy Ghost, 1608," 12mo. he thus concludes his address to the studious and well affected reader:—"And thus, gentle Reader, hauing acquainted thee with my long, costly, and laborious Collections, not written at adventure, or by an imaginary conceit in a Scholler's priuate Studie, but wrung out of the earth, by the painfull hand of experience: and hauing also giuen thee a touch of Nature, whom no man as yet euer durst send naked into the worlde without her veyle; and expecting, by thy good entertainement of these, some encouragement for higher and deeper discoueries heereafter, I leaue thee to the God of Nature, from whom all the true light of Nature proceedeth. Bednall-greene, neere London, this 2 of July, 1608."
In his chapter of "An offer of some new, rare, and profitable Inventions," after speaking of "the most rare and peerless plant of all the rest, I meane the grape," he mentions the wholesomeness of the wine he then made from his garden at Bednall-greene, neere London:—"And if any exception shold be taken against the race and delicacie of them, I am content to submit them to the censure of the best mouthes, that professe any true skill in the iudgement of high country wines: although for their better credit herein, I could bring in the French Embassador, who (now almost two yeeres since, comming to my house of purpose to tast these wines) gaue this sentence vpon them; that he neuer drank any better nevv Wine in France. And Sir Francis Vere, that martiall Mirrour of our times, who is seldom or never without a cup of excellent wine, at his table, assured me that he neuer dranke the like vnto mine, but once, and that in France. So that now mee thinks I begin to growe somewhat strong in my supporters; and therefore I make some doubt, whether I shall need to bring in that renowned Lady Arabella, the Countesse of Cumberland, the Lady Anne Clifford, the Lady Hastings, the Lady Candish, and most of the Maides of Honour, with diuers Lordes, Knights, and Gentlemen of good worth, that haue generally applauded the same; or leaue it heere to worke out his owne credit in his due time, because it is rich, and of a strong boiling nature."
In his chapter of "Secrets in the ordering of Trees and Plants," he alludes to a gardener of the name of Maister Andrew Hill, or to his garden, no less than twenty-three times; and frequently to one of the name of Maister Pointer, of Twickenham. Also to one of the name of Colborne; and to a parson Simson. He thus concludes this chapter:—"Heere I will conclude with a pretty conceit of that delicate knight, Sir Francis Carew; who, for the better accomplishment of his royall entertainemet of our late Queene of happy memory, at his house at Beddington, led her Maiestie to a Cherrie tree, whose fruite hee had of purpose kept backe from ripening, at the least one month after all Cherries had taken their farewell of England. This secret he performed, by straining a Tent or cover of canvas ouer the whole tree, and wetting the same now and then with a scoope or horne, as the heate of the weather required; and so, by with-holding the sunne-beames from reflecting vppon the berries, they grew both great, and were very long before they had gotten their perfect cherrie-colour: and when hee was assured of her Maiesties comming, he remoued the Tent, and a few sunny daies brought them to their full maturitie."
In the 2nd vol. of Censura Litt. is some information respecting Sir Hugh.
GABRIEL PLATTES, who (Harte says) "had a bold, adventurous cast of mind." The author of "Herefordshire Orchards," calls him "a singular honest man." Mr. Weston says, "This author may be considered as an original genius in husbandry. This ingenious writer, whose labours were productive of plenty and riches to others, was so destitute of the common necessaries of life, as to perish with hunger and misery. He was found dead in the streets, without a shirt to cover him, to the eternal disgrace of the government he lived under. He bequeathed his papers to S. Hartlib, whom a contemporary author addresses in this manner: 'none (but yourself, who wants not an enlarged heart, but a fuller hand to supply the world's defect,) being found, with some few others, to administer any relief to a man of so great merit.' Another friend of Hartlib's, gives Plattes the following character: 'certainly that man had as excellent a genius in agriculture, as any that ever lived in this nation before him, and was the most faithful seeker of his ungrateful country's good. I never think of the great judgement, pure zeal, and faithful intentions of that man, and withal of his strange sufferings, and manner of death, but am struck with amazement, that such a man should be suffered to fall down dead in the streets for want of food, whose studies tended in no less than providing and preserving food for whole nations, and that with as much skill and industry, so without pride or arrogance towards God or man.'—A list of his many works appears in Watts's Bibl. Brit. and also in Weston's intelligent Catalogue; and much information is given of Plattes in vol. 2 of the Censura Litteraria. Two of his works appear to be,
1. Treatise of Husbandry; 1633, 4to.
2. Discourse of Infinite Treasure, hidden since the World's beginning, in the way of Husbandry; 1632, 1653, 1656, 4to.
WILLIAM LAWSON published in 1597, A New Orchard and Garden, in 4to. Other editions, in 4to., in 1623, and 1626. His singular assertions are treated with great candor by the author of Herefordshire Orchards,—"for I thought I found many signs of honesty and integrity in the man, a sound, clear, natural wit."
SIMON HARWARD published in 1597, a Treatise on the Art of propagating Vegetables; and annexed it to Lawson's New Orchard and Garden,
THOMAS JOHNSON, the learned editor of the enlarged and valuable edition of Gerarde. Wood calls him "the best herbalist of his time." Mr. Weston, in his Catalogue, relates with great pleasure, the sanguine and interesting tours which Mr. Johnson, and some friends, made in various counties, to examine the native botanical beauties of his own country.
Wood further informs us, that at the siege of Basinghouse, "he received a shot in the shoulder, of which he died in a fortnight after; at which time his work did justly challenge funeral tears; being then no less eminent in the garrison for his valour and conduct as a soldier, than famous through the kingdom for his excellency as an herbalist and physician." I have given in a note below, his approbation of Parkinson's work, merely to shew Mr. Johnson's liberal mind.
RALPH AUSTEN, published his Treatise of Fruit Trees, shewing the manner of Grafting, Planting, &c. with the spiritual use of an Orchard, or Garden, in divers similitudes. Oxford, 1653 and 1657, 4to. He appears to have lived and died at Oxford. He dedicates it to his friend S. Hartlib, Esq. Worlidge says, that in this treatise Austen hath "very copiously set forth the high applauses, dignities, advantages, and variety of pleasures and contents, in the planting and enjoyment of fruit trees."
FRANCIS AUSTEN, published in 1631, Observations on Sir Francis Bacon's Natural History, so far as concerns Fruit trees, 4to. Another edition, 4to., 1657.
JOHN BONFEIL, published Instructions how to Plant and Dress Vines, &c. and to make Wine, &c. Printed with his Art of making Silk, 4to., 1622.
STEPHEN BLAKE, published in 1664, The complete Gardener's Practice, 4to.
WILLIAM HUGHES published
1, The complete Vineyard, 8vo. 1670, and 1683.
2, The American Physician, or a Treatise of the Roots, Plants, &c. growing in the English Plantations; 12mo. 1672.
3, The Flower Garden, 12mo. 1672 and 1734.
SAMUEL HARTLIB, ESQ. published Sir Richard Weston's "Discourse of Husbandrie used in Brabant and Flanders, shewing the wonderful improvement of land there, and serving as a pattern for our practice in this Commonwealth." Lond. 1645, 4to. 24 pages. Mr. Weston, in his interesting Catalogue, says, "It is remarked in the Phil. Trans. that England has profited in agriculture to the amount of many millions, in consequence of the Flanders husbandry having been made known by this little treatise. In another edition (I believe 1655) Hartlib, in order to enlarge, and better explain it, annexed Dr. Beatie's Annotations to it." Mr. Hartlib also published,
1, Legacie; or an Enlargement of the Discourse of Husbandry; 4to. 1650. A second edition in 1651, and a third in 1655.
2, Concerning the Defects and Remedies of English Husbandry, in a letter to Dr. Beale; 4to. 1651.
3, A Designe for Plentie, by an universall planting of Fruit-trees; tendered by some Well-wishers to the Public. Lond. without date, but probably (as Mr. Loudon observes) 1652, 4to. "Published by Hartlib, who had the MS. from the Hon. Colonel John Barkstead, Lieutenant of the Tower. The author was an aged minister of the Gospel, at Lovingland, near Yarmouth."
4, The Commonwealth of Bees, 1657.
Mr. Weston gives much information respecting Mr. Hartlib. I select only the following:—
"He was a German gentleman by birth, a great promoter of husbandry during the times of the commonwealth, and much esteemed by all ingenious men in those days, particularly by Milton, who addressed to him his Treatise on Education; Sir William Petty also inscribed two letters to him on the same subject. Lond. 4to. 1647 and 1648. Cromwell, who was a great favourer of agriculture, in consequence of this admirable performance, allowed Hartlib a pension of L100. a year; and Hartlib afterwards, the better to fulfil the intentions of his benefactor, procured Dr. Beatie's excellent annotations on the Legacy, with other valuable pieces from his numerous correspondents. This famous work, attributed to Hartlib, and called the Legacy, was only drawn up at his request, and, passing through his correction and revision, was published by him." His name will ever stand honoured, from Milton having dedicated his Tractate on Education to him, and from his having, in this tract, painted with affection, and with warm and high colours, the character of Mr. Hartlib.
Dr. JOHN BEALE, author of that celebrated little tract, the "Herefordshire Orchards, a pattern for the whole of England." London 1657, 12mo.; 1724, 8vo. He addresses this to Mr. Hartlib, and thus commences it:—"Your industrious endeavours for the benefit of all men, and particularly for the good of this nation, hath well deserved the grateful acknowledgement of all good men, and of my self in special; for that in my rural retirement I have received some profit, and very much innocent and refreshing delights in the perusal of those treatises, which are by your diligent hand communicated to the publick." He thus affectionately concludes it:—"I briefly hint unto you what esteem we do truly owe unto your labours. I pray the Lord to remember your diligence in the great day of his appearance in glory. Your hearty well-wisher." In vol. 6 of the works of the Honourable Robert Boyle, are many letters from Dr. Beale. That dated Oct. 26, strongly paints his attachment to the fruits of Herefordshire, or whatever may tend to the benefit of that his native county. Mr. Boyle says of him, "There is not in life, a man in this whole island, nor on the continents beyond the seas, that could be made more universally useful to do good to all." And Mr. Gough, in his Topography, records the benefits he conferred on that county. Such a testimony as the above, from such a man as Mr. Boyle, is, indeed, honourable. The learned Boerhaave tells us who Mr. Boyle was: "Boyle, the ornament of his age and country, succeeded to the genius and enquiries of the great Verulam. Which of all Boyle's writings shall I recommend? All of them. To him we owe the secrets of fire, air, water, animals, vegetables, fossils, so that from his works may be reduced the whole system of natural knowledge." His charities amounted to L1000. annually. Dr. Beale resided chiefly at Hereford, (1660) when he was made Rector of Yeovil, Somersetshire, where he died in 1683, at the age of eighty. His other works are enumerated in Mr. Loudon's Encyclopaedia of Gardening. Mr. Evelyn, in the greatest of his works, (his Sylva,) adds to it Dr. Beale's advertisement concerning Cyder.
William Brome, a principal ornament of Christ Church, a native of Herefordshire, and who afterwards lived in retirement at Ewithington, in that county, "formed the plan (says the late Mr. Dunster in his edition of Phillips's Cyder) of writing the Provincial History of his native county, a work for which he was eminently qualified, not only by his great and general learning, but as being particularly an excellent naturalist and antiquary. After having made a considerable progress, he abandoned his design, and, which is still more to be lamented, destroyed the valuable materials which he had collected." I merely introduce this to state, that from Mr. Brome, much information, in all likelihood, might have been gathered respecting Dr. Beale. We have to regret, that time and mortality, have now obliterated every fading trace of contemporary recollection of a man, who, in his day, was so highly esteemed.
ROBERT SHARROCK, Archdeacon of Winchester, and Rector of Bishop's Waltham, and of Horewood. Wood, in his Athenae, says, "he was accounted learned in divinity, in the civil and common law, and very knowing in vegetables, and all appertaining thereunto. He published The History of the Propagation and Improvement of Vegetables, by the concurrence of art and nature. Oxford, 1660, 8vo., and 1672, 8vo.: an account of which book you may see in the Phil. Trans. No. 84, page 5002." He also published Improvements to the Art of Gardening; or an exact Treatise on Plants. London, 1694; folio. This must have been a posthumous work, as he died in 1684.
—— ILIFFE, in 1670, published in 12mo. The compleat Vineyard.
JOHN REA, the author of "Flora, Ceres, and Pomona." It is enriched by a frontispiece engraved by D. Loggan. He dedicates the above folio, in 1665, to Lord Gerard, of Gerard's Bromley. His lordship, it seems, about that time, determined to erect that noble mansion, which Plot has given us a plate of; and Rea, in this folio, enumerates those plants, fruits, and flowers, which he thinks this then-intended garden ought to be furnished with; and a small bit, or a piece or parcel, of which once most sumptuous garden, Plot gives us. "Altho' (says Rea) our country cannot boast the benignity of that beautiful planet which meliorates their fruit in Italy, France, and Spain; yet, by reflection from good walks, well gravelled walks, the choice of fit kinds, we may plentifully partake the pleasure, and yearly enjoy the benefit, of many delicious fruits: as also the admiration and delight in the infinite varieties of elegant forms, various colours, and numerous kinds of noble plants, and beautiful flowers, some whereof have been heretofore handled by a renowned person of your name; but since his time, nature hath discovered many new varieties, not known to former ages, as I hope shortly will appear in your own collections, gloriously adorning your spacious garden, which I wish may correspond, both in fashion and furniture, with that noble structure to which it appertaineth. Accept then, my honoured lord, this humble offering, which may possibly live to do you service, when I am dust and ashes, and, according to my highest ambition, remain as a testimony of my sincerest gratitude for the many favours I have received from your honour, your most accomplished lady, and that noble family from whence she is descended. I should here add my prayers for your honour's preservation, did I not reserve them for my morning sacrifice, daily to be presented to the immortal deities by him that is, your most humble and most devoted servant, John Rea." He addresses also a long poem to Lady Gerard, on Flora inviting her to walk in this garden, in which he celebrates her "bright beauty."
Self-loved Narcissus, if he look On your fair eyes, will leave the brook, And undeceived, soon will rue He ever any loved but you. If to the hyacinth you turn, He smiles, and quite forgets to mourn. The enamoured heliotrope will run To your bright stars, and leave the sun. Our lilies here do make no show, They whiter on your bosom grow, And violets appear but stains, Compared with your bluer veins.
* * * * *
New-blown buds, all scents excelling, As you pass by, invite your smelling.
* * * * *
Mark the glorious tulips rise In various dress, to take your eyes, And how the fairest and all the rest Strive which shall triumph on your breast.
* * * * *
Thus your rich beauty and rare parts Excel all flowers, exceed all arts. Live then, sweet lady, to inherit Your father's fortune, and his spirit, Your mother's face and virtuous mind.
Throughout this long poem, John Rea's warmth much exceeds that of the most romantic lovers. One of the latter only observes, that the flowers courted the tread of his fair one's foot; that the sky grew more beautiful in her presence, and that the atmosphere borrowed new splendour from her eyes. Rea's passion seems even warmer than this. In his address to the reader, he says, "I have continued my affection to this honest recreation, without companion or encouragement; and now in my old age, (wearied and weaned from other delights) find myself more happy in this retired solitude, than in all the bustles and busie employments of my passed days." He thus concludes his book:—
—— this is all I crave: Some gentle hand with flowers may strew my grave, And with one sprig of bays my herse befriend, When as my life, as now my book, doth end.
Rea gives us also another very long poem, being that of "Flora to the Ladies," which he thus concludes:—
Silent as flow'rs may you in virtues grow, Till rip'ning time shall make you fit to blow, Then flourish long, and seeding leave behind A numerous offspring of your dainty kind; And when fate calls, have nothing to repent, But die like flow'rs, virtuous and innocent. Then all your fellow flow'rs, both fair and sweet, Will come, with tears, to deck your winding-sheet; Hang down their pensive heads so dew'd, and crave To be transplanted to your perfum'd grave.
These love poems seem all to have been written in his old age; and that passion causes him thus to open his first book:—"Love was the inventor, and is still the maintainer, of every noble science. It is chiefly that which hath made my flowers and trees to flourish, though planted in a barren desert, and hath brought me to the knowledge I now have in plants and planting; for indeed it is impossible for any man to have any considerable collection of plants to prosper, unless he love them: for neither the goodness of the soil, nor the advantage of the situation, will do it, without the master's affection; it is that which renders them strong and vigorous; without which they will languish and decay through neglect, and soon cease to do him service. I have seen many gardens of the new model, in the hands of unskilful persons, with good walls, walks and grass-plots; but in the most essential adornments so deficient, that a green meadow is a more delightful object; there nature alone, without the aid of art, spreads her verdant carpets, spontaneously embroidered with many pretty plants and pleasing flowers, far more inviting than such an immured nothing. And as noble fountains, grottoes, statues, &c. are excellent ornaments and marks of magnificence, so all such dead works in gardens, ill done, are little better than blocks in the way to intercept the sight, but not at all to satisfy the understanding. A choice collection of living beauties, rare plants, flowers and fruits, are indeed the wealth, glory, and delight of a garden." He seems enamoured with tulips. He describes no less than one hundred and ninety different sorts. He calls them "Flora's choicest jewels, and the most glorious ornaments of the best gardens. Such is their rarity and excellence, and so numerous are the varieties, that it is not possible any one person in the world should be able to express, or comprehend the half of them, every new spring discovering many new diversities never before observed, either arising from the seeds of some choice kinds, the altering of off-sets, or by the busy and secret working of nature upon several self-colours, in different soils and situations, together with the help of art." Switzer says, "the practical and plain method in which he has delivered his precepts, are admirable." There is a second edition of the Flora, with additions. What these are, I know not; unless they are the cuts of parterres, which were omitted in the first edition. There is an edition in 1696.
JOHN WORLIDGE published his Systema Agriculturae in folio, 1668; second edition in 1675, folio: fourth edition in 1687, folio. An octavo edition 1716, with its English title of "A compleat System of Husbandry and Gardening, or the Gentleman's Companion in the Business and Pleasures of a Country life." In the preface to this, and indeed throughout all his works, we may trace his fondness for gardens. The great variety of rural subjects treated on in this book, may be seen in its Index, or full Analysis. In his second section "Of the profits and pleasures of fruit-trees," he strongly enforces the planting of vineyards.
His Systema Horticulturae, or the Art of Gardening, was published in 1677, 8vo.; a third edition 1688; a fourth edition 1719.
Vinetum Britannicum, or a Treatise on Cyder, and other Wines and Drinks, extracted from Fruits: to which is added, a Discourse on Bees; 8vo., second impression, much enlarged, 1678. He therein thus paints the pleasures of a garden:—"The exercises of planting, grafting, pruning, and walking in them, very much tendeth to salubrity, as also doth the wholesome airs found in them, which have been experienced not only to cure several distempers incident to our nature, but to tend towards the prolongation of life. For nothing can be more available to health and long life, than a sedate quiet mind, attended with these rural delights, a healthful air, and moderate exercise, which may here be found in all seasons of the year."
He also published, The Second Parts of Systema Agriculturae, 8vo. 1689.
The Second Part of Vinetum Britannicum, 8vo. 1689. This is usually bound with the above.
His attachment to whatever concerns a rural life, shines through most of his pages. Take the few following for a specimen:—
In his description of the month of April, he says, "In this month your garden appears in its greatest beauty, the blossoms of the fruit-trees prognosticate the plenty of fruits for all the succeeding summer months, unless prevented by untimely frosts or blights. The bees now buz in every corner of your garden to seek for food; the birds sing in every bush, and the sweet nightingale tunes her warbling notes in your solitary walks, whilst the other birds are at their rest. The beasts of the woods look out into the plains, and the fishes of the deep sport themselves in the shallow waters. The air is wholesome, and the earth pleasant, beginning now to be cloathed in nature's best array, exceeding all art's glory. This is the time that whets the wits of several nations to prove their own country to have been the Garden of Eden, or the terrestrial paradise, however it appears all the year besides. In case unseasonable weather hinders not, the pleasantness and salubrity of the air now tempts the sound to the free enjoyment of it, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of Bacchus in a smoaky corner." In his month of May, he says, "He that delights not in physick, let him now exercise himself in the garden, and take the smell of the earth with the rising sun, than which to the virtuously inclined, there is nothing more pleasant; for now is nature herself full of mirth, and the senses stored with delights, and variety of pleasures." His month of July thus recommends itself: "Grotts and shady groves are more seasonable to recreate yourself in than the open air, unless it be late in the evening, or early in the morning, to such that can afford time to take a nap after noon."
In his Syst. Hort. he observes, that "A fair stream or current flowing through or near your garden, adds much to the glory and pleasure of it: on the banks of it you may plant several aquatick exoticks, and have your seats or places of repose under their umbrage, and there satiate yourself with the view of the curling streams, and its nimble inhabitants. These gliding streams refrigerate the air in a summer evening, and render their banks so pleasant, that they become resistless charms to your senses, by the murmuring noise, the undulation of the water, the verdant banks and shades over them, the sporting fish confined within your own limits, the beautiful swans; and by the pleasant notes of singing birds, that delight in groves, on the banks of such rivulets."
And in his preface to this last work, he says, "My principal design being not only to excite or animate such as have fair estates, and pleasant seats in the country, to adorn and beautifie them; but to encourage the honest and plain countryman in the improvement of his Ville, by enlarging the bounds and limits of his Gardens, as well as his Orchards, for the encrease of such esculent plants as may be useful and beneficial to himself and his neighbors."
FRANCIS DROPE, B. D., who died at Oxford, and whose father was Vicar of Cumner, in Berkshire. Wood, in his Athenae, says, "he hath written on a subject which he much delighted in, and wherein he spent much time, but which was not published till his death: A short and sure guide to the practice of raising, and ordering of fruit trees, Oxford, 1672, 12mo., a large and laudable account of which you may see in the Phil. Trans. No. 86, p. 10, 49."
MOSES COOKE, Gardener to the Earl of Essex, at Cashiobury, afterwards a partner with Lucre, Field and London, in the Brompton Park Nursery. He wrote "The Art of making Cyder," published in Mr. Evelyn's works. The manner of raising Forest Trees, 4to. 1696. Other editions in 8vo. in 1717, 1724, and 1770. Mr. Evelyn (speaking of Cashiobury) says, "The gardens are very rare, and cannot be otherwise, having so skilful an artist to govern them as Cooke." Moses Cooke, in his preface, justly says, "Planting and Gardening add much to the health and content of man; and these two jewels no man that well understands himself, would willingly be without; for it is not only set down for a certain truth by many wise men, but confirmed by experience. The learned Lord Bacon commends the following of the plough in fresh ground, to be very healthful for man; but more, the digging in gardens." His pages, here and there, record some of "the fine stately trees that we have growing in the woods at Cashiobury." Cooke unfortunately fancied himself a poet; but gratitude to his noble master, and loyalty to his king, seem to have been the motives of his inspiration. "One night (methought) walking up one of my Lord's lime-walks, I heard the grateful trees thus paying the tribute of their thanks to his lordship:—
Like pyramids our stately tops we'll raise, To sing our noble benefactor's praise; Freshly we will to after-ages show What noble Essex did on us bestow: For we our very being owe to him, Or else we had long since intombed been In crop of bird, or in beast's belly found, Or met our death neglected on the ground. By him we cherish'd were with dung and spade, For which we'll recompense him with our shade. And since his kindness saw us prun'd so well, We will requite him with our fragrant smell; In winter (as in gratitude is meet) We'll strew our humble leaves beneath his feet. Nay, in each tree, root, trunk, branch, all will be Proud to serve him and his posterity."
And he thus invokes the stately oak, after enumerating many of the rich commodities which this tree bears through our Thames:—
Of silks and satins fine, to clothe the back; Of wines, Italian, French, and Spanish sack.
* * * * *
'T was faithful oak preserved our king, that we Might thence learn lessons of true loyalty.
* * * * *
When in salt seas Sir Francis Drake did steer, Sailing in oak he say'd one day i'th'year. His oak, which the terrestrial globe did measure, Through dangers led him t' honour, profit, pleasure. No wood like oak that grows upon the ground, To make our house and ships last long and sound; No oak like ours: by love to oak let's then Appear true subjects, and right Englishmen.
ANTHONY LAWRENCE published in 4to. 1677, Nurseries, Orchards, Profitable Gardens, and Vineyards Encouraged.
JOHN READ, "one of the earliest Scotch gardening writers." He wrote "The Scotch Gardener," 1683, 4to. An Edinburgh edition in 8vo. 1766; to which is added, a short Treatise of Forest Trees, by the Earl of Haddington.
J. GIBSON, who wrote A Short Account of several Gardens near London, as viewed in 1681, in vol. xii of the Archaeologia.
T. LANGFORD wrote Plain and Full Instructions to raise all sorts of Fruit Trees that prosper in England; with Directions for making Liquors of all sorts of Fruits; 8vo. 1681. To the second edition, in 1696, is prefixed a very handsome epistle from Mr. Evelyn, in which he says, "As I know nothing extant that exceeds it, so nor do I of any thing which needs be added to it." Also,
The Practical Planter of Fruit Trees; 8vo. 1681. Also, Systemae Agriculturae, being the Mystery of Husbandry Discovered; folio, 1681.
LEONARD MEAGER'S Portrait perhaps we may not be very desirous to discover, when he tells his readers, neither to "sow, plant, nor graft, or meddle with any thing relating to gardening, when the sun or moon is eclipsed, or on that day, nor when the moon is afflicted by either of the unfortunate planets, viz. Mars or Saturn." His English Gardner, in 4to. with cuts, came out in 1683; the ninth edition came out in 1699, 4to.; it contains several clearly pointed plates of knots, or parterres.
Meager also published The New Art of Gardening, with the Gardener's Almanack; 8vo. 1697; and
The Mystery of Husbandry; 12mo. 1699.
The many editions that came out of Meager's English Gardner, sufficiently shews the estimation in which his book was held.
GEORGE LONDON and HENRY WISE, so eminent in their day, that, as a contemporary says, "If the stock of their nurseries at Brompton Park, were valued at one penny a plant, the amount would exceed L40,000. Mr. Evelyn declares, that we may place the above nursery above the greatest works of that kind ever seen or heard of, either in books or travels." Mr. Evelyn again calls it "that vast ample collection which I have lately seen, and well considered, at Brompton Park; the very sight of which alone, gives an idea of something that is greater than I can well express. One needs no more than to take a walk to Brompton Park, (on a fair morning) to behold and admire what a magazine these industrious men have provided." The Rev. John Laurence, in his Clergyman's Recreation, willingly attests their skill, integrity, and reputation, "so well established amongst the nobility and gentry."
Mr. London's grateful apprentice, Switzer, thus affectionately and zealously records them in his History of Gardening, prefixed to his Iconologia:—"But now let us look amongst the nobility and gentry, which at this time were every where busied in making and adorning their gardens and plantations. To enumerate and set down the history of gardening in its several particulars in this reign, would require a volume of itself, but will be for the most part summed up in the person and character of George London, Esq. Superintendent of their Majesties gardens, and Director-General of most of the gardens and plantations of Great Britain. I am not well enough informed, neither is it material I should go back to the birth and education of this eminent gardener; his industry and natural parts soon and sufficiently recommended him to the nobility and gentry, that he was courted and caressed by all; so true it is, That the gifts of nature are much more valuable than those of original birth and fortune, or even learning itself. And to the eternal honour of the present age be it spoken, never was virtue, laudable industry, nor art more encouraged, of which the person we are here speaking of is an undeniable instance. I shall content myself therefore to find him under the care and instruction of Mr. Rose (whose character has been already drawn). The early and vigorous appearances he made in business were soon discovered by his master, who spared no pains, nor hindered him of any liberty, whereby he might improve himself. After he had been with him about four or five years, he sent him (if I am right informed) into France, the great seat of learning at that time in the world, especially in the errand he went about. Soon after he returned, he was preferred to the Bishop of London's service before-mentioned; and, in a few years more, he (with his associates) entered on that great undertaking of Brompton Park; and upon the Revolution, was made superintendant of all their Majesties gardens, for which he had L200. a year, and a Page of the Back Stairs to Queen Mary. Mr. London and Mr. Wise being joined partners, and thus, as it were, both possessed of the royal favour, and the purses of the king, queen, and nobility, left no stone unturned to carry on their designs. Soon after the peace of Reswyck, Mr. London took another journey into France, with the Right Honourable the Earl of Portland, that was sent, by King William, Ambassador-Extraordinary on that occasion; and then it was that he made those observations on the fruit gardens at Versailles, which are published in the preface to their abridgement. After the death of the Queen, and not many years after her the King, their royal successor, Queen Anne, of pious memory, committed the care of her gardens in chief to Mr. Wise, Mr. London still pursuing his business in the country. It will perhaps be hardly believed in time to come, that this one person actually saw and gave directions once or twice a year in most of the noblemen's and gentlemen's gardens in England. And since it was common for him to ride fifty or sixty miles in a day, he made his northern circuit in five or six weeks, and sometimes less; and his western in as little time; as for the south and east, they were but three or four days' work for him; most times twice a year visiting all the country seats, conversing with gentlemen, and forwarding the business of gardening in such a degree as is almost impossible to describe. In the mean time his colleague managed matters nearer home with a dexterity and care equal to his character; and in truth they have deserved so much of the world, that it is but common justice to transmit their memory to ages to come. To speak more particularly of the knowledge Mr. London was supposed to be master of in this matter, the little opportunity he had in laying a foundation of learning, was, without doubt, a great obstruction to his progress in occult philosophy, which is involved in so many hard terms; this, nevertheless, he overcame purely by industry; and what he wanted in one, he abounded with in the other. He was perfectly well skilled in fruit, which seemed to be his master-piece; as for other parts, as greens, trees, flowers, exoticks, and the like, he certainly had as much knowledge as any one man living; and though he might not come up to the highest pitch of design always, yet that might be attributed to the haste he was generally in; and it can be no great blemish to his character, that he was not the greatest person in every thing, when it is surprising to find he could possibly know so much; so great a surprise indeed, that we must hardly ever expect his equal, much less any one that will exceed him. The planting and raising of all sorts of trees is so much due to this undertaking, that it will be hard for any of posterity to lay their hands on a tree in any of these kingdoms, that have not been a part of their care. Mr. London, by his great fatigues in heat and cold, notwithstanding naturally of a healthy, strong constitution, was at last seized with an illness, which carried him off after a few months' sickness. I shall take no other notice of him than what relates to my purpose in gardening, in which he has left a laudable example to all that shall have the encouragement to enter, and the courage and strength to perform what he did. He died towards Christmas in the year 1713."
In the preface to his Iconologia, he again mentions them:—"Had their leisure been equal to their experience, the world might from them have reasonably expected the compleatest System of Gardening that any age or country has produced. It is to them we owe most of those valuable precepts in gardening now in use, and their memory ought to be transmitted to posterity, with the same care as those of the greatest and most laborious philosophers and heroes, who by their writing and practice have deserved so well of the world."
He again mentions his old master, Mr. London:—"In fine, he was the person that refined the business and pleasure of kitchen and fruit gardens to a pitch beyond what was ever till that time seen, and more than was thought possible for one man ever to do; and (till the succession of two eminent persons in these kingdoms, who have very much outstript him) has not had his fellow in any century that history gives us account of."
Switzer, speaking of Dr. Compton, Bishop of London, says, "He was a great encourager of Mr. London, and probably very much assisted him in his great designs. This reverend father was one of the first that encouraged the importation, raising and increase of exoticks, in which he was the most curious man in that time, or perhaps will be in any age. He had above one thousand species of exotick plants in his stoves and gardens."
No monument has, I believe, been erected to Mr. London's memory, deservedly eminent and esteemed as he was in his day, courted and caressed by all, nor can I find out even where he was born or buried. If one could obtain a resemblance of him, one hopes his Picture, or his Bust, may not deserve the censure of our noble poet:
What is the end of fame? 'tis but to fill A certain portion of uncertain paper;
* * * * *
To have, when the original is dust, A name, a wretched picture, and worse bust.
The two following works were published by them:—
The Complete Gardener, &c. by Mons. de la Quintinye. Now compendiously abridged, and made of more use; with very considerable Improvements. By George London and Henry Wise. To which is prefixed, An Address to the Nobility and Gentry, by J. Evelyn, Esq.; folio, 1693; octavo, 1699, 1717. Seventh edition in 1719. There is a curious plate of a garden prefixed, and two neat ones at page 22. There are also other cuts. Mr. Evelyn wrote this Address purposely to recommend their "extraordinary and rare industry." And he also wrote the Preliminary Discourse to that part which relates to Fruit-trees, wherein he thus breaks out:—"Let us but take a turn or two in a well-contrived and planted garden; and see what a surprising scene presents itself in the vernal bloom, diffusing its fragrant and odoriferous wafts, with their ravishing sweets; the tender blossoms curiously enamelled; the variously-figured shapes of the verdant foliage, dancing about, and immantling the laden branches of the choicest fruit; some hiding their blushing cheeks; others displaying their beauties, and even courting the eye to admire; others the hand to gather, and all of them to taste their delicious pulps. Can any thing be more delightful, than to behold an ample square (in a benign aspect) tapestried and adorned with such a glorious embroidery of festoons, and fruitages, depending from the yielding boughs, pregnant with their offspring, and pouring forth their plenty and store, as out of so many Amalthean horns? Some tinctured with the loveliest white and red; others an azurine-purple; others striped with an incarnadine, as over a tissue of vegetable gold. Colours of an oriency, that mock the pencil of the most exquisite artist; and with which their native beauty, perfume, fragrancy, and taste, gratify and entertain more senses at once, than does any sublunary object in all unvitiated nature besides."
Their other Work was thus announced in one of the original numbers of the Spectator, which came out in small folio weekly numbers, and a portion of each number was appropriated to advertisements. It was thus advertised in that of May 5th, 1711:—"The Retired Gardener. Vol. i. Being a Translation of Le Jardinier Solitaire; or, Dialogues between a Gentleman and a Gardener: containing the methods of making, ordering, and improving a fruit and kitchen garden; together with the manner of planting and cultivating flowers, plants, and shrubs, necessary for the adorning of gardens, &c. Vol. ii. containing the manner of planting and cultivating all sorts of flowers, plants, and shrubs, necessary for the adorning of gardens; in which is explained, the art of making and disposing of parterres, arbours of greens, wood works, arches, columns, and other pieces and compartments usually found in the most beautiful gardens of country seats. The whole enriched with variety of Figures, being a Translation from the Sieur Louis Liger. To this volume is added, a Description and Plan of Count Tallard's Garden, at Nottingham. The whole revised by George London and Henry Wise. Printed for Jacob Tonson, at Shakspeare's Head, over against Catherine-street in the Strand." This book, after giving the mode of culture of most flowers, generally gives what the author calls its history. I will merely give its history of one flower:—"On a day when they were keeping holiday in heaven, Flora summoned all the deities that preside over gardens, and, when they were met, addressed herself to them in this manner: 'You, who have always been the shining ornaments of my court, I have now called together, to consult in a matter of great importance. I know I am the sovereign of all the flowery kind; but for the more firm establishment of my empire, I am thinking to choose them a Queen of a spotless and unblemished reputation; but will do nothing of this nature without your counsel and assistance.' To these words, all the deities that were present, having first filled the court with murmurs, answered in this manner: 'Great goddess, be pleased to reflect a little on the animosities such a choice may create among the rival flowers; even the worthless Thistle will pretend to deserve the crown, and if denied, will perhaps grow factious, and disturb your peaceful reign.' 'Your fears are groundless,' replied the goddess; 'I apprehend no such consequence; my resolution is already fixed; hear, therefore, what I have determined:—In the deep recesses of a wood, where formerly the oaks were vocal, and pronounced oracles to mortals, at the foot of a little hill is a grotto, whose structure is nature's master-piece, there a wood nymph passed her quiet days; she was extremely beautiful, and charmed all that beheld her; her looks, her mien, and her behaviour had something of more than human; and indeed she was the daughter of a Dryad, and of a sylvan god. Her chastity and devotion equalled her beauty, she was perfectly resigned to the will of heaven, and never undertook any thing without having first implored our assistance; her heart was pure, and her hands undefiled. This nymph is dead, and my intention is to raise a flower from her precious remains, to be Queen of all the flowery race. The applauding gods straight prepared for the ceremony; Priapus put on a grave countenance; Vertumnus loaded himself with perfumes of an excellent scent; Pomona heaped up canisters with all sorts of richest fruits; Venus was attended with a train of smiles and graces; Vesta promised wonders; and Bacchus supplied rivers of nectar, and crowned vast goblets with that divine liquor. In this equipage they left their celestial mansions, and repaired to the grotto, where they saw the dead body of the nymph stretched along on a soft couch of turf, and approaching it with profound awe and silence, prepared to pay the sacred rites; and Flora, having thrice bowed herself to the ground, was heard to pronounce this prayer:—'Almighty Jupiter, great ruler of the universe, exert thy creating power, and from the dead corpse of this lovely nymph let a plant arise, and bear no less lovely flowers, to be Queen of all thou hast already created.' Scarce had she made an end, when, behold a wondrous change! The nymph's extended limbs were turned into branches, and her hair into leaves; a shrub sprung up, adorned with sprouting buds, which straight unfolding, disclosed a fragrant and vermilion flower; a sudden light filled all the grotto, and the well-pleased goddess breathed thrice on the new-born babe, to spread it into life, and give it an odorous soul. Then seeing the vegetable Queen adorned with every grace, she kissed her thrice, and, breaking the general silence, revealed her secret joy. 'Approach,' said she, 'at my command, oh, all ye flowers, and pay your grateful homage to your Queen, the ROSE, for that is the name I give her.' Then taking a crown in her hand, that had been made on purpose in heaven, she placed it on the head of the new-made majesty; while to complete the ceremony, the attending gods sung joyful Io Paeans, amidst a symphony of flutes, harps, and all other tuneful instruments, with which the air resounded, while Flora and her bright celestial train ascended back rejoicing into heaven."