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isits most of my plantations; and have taken particular care to let it run in the same manner as it would do in an open field, so that it generally passes through banks of violets and primroses, plats of willow, or other plants, that seem to be of its own producing. There is another circumstance in which I am very particular, or, as my neighbours call me, very whimsical : as my garden invites into it all the birds of the country, by offering them the conveniency of springs and shades, solitude and shelter, I do not suffer any one to destroy their nests in the spring, or drive them from their usual haunts in fruil-time; I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs. By this means I have always the music of the season in its perfection, and am highly delighted to see the jay or the thrush hopping about my walks, and shooting before my eyes across the several little glades and alleys that I pass through. I think there are as many kinds of gardening as of poetry : your makers of parterres and flower-gardens are epigrammatists and sonneteers in this art : contrivers of bowers and grottos, treillages and cascades, are romance writers. Wise and London are our heroic poets; and if, as a critic, I may single out any passage of their works to commend, I shall take notice of that part in the upper garden, at Kensington, which was at first nothing but a grayel-pit. It must have been a fine gepius for gardening that could have thought of forming such an unsightly hollow into so beautiful an area, and to have hit the
with so uncommon and agreeable a scene as that which it is now wrought into. To give this particular spot of ground the greater effect, they have made a very pleasing contrast; for, as on
one side of the walk you see this hollow bason, with its several little plantations, lying so conveniently under the eve of the beholder; on the other side of it there appears a seeming mount, made up of trees rising one higher than another, in proportion as they approach the centre. A spectator, who has not heard this account of it, would think this circular mount was not only a real one, but that it had been actually scooped out of that hollow space which I have before mentioned. I never yet met with any one who has walked in this garden, who was not struck with that part of it which I have here mentioned. As for myself, you will find, by the account which I have already given you, that my compositions in gardening are altogether after the Pindaric manner, and run into the beautiful wildness of nature, without affecting the micer clegancies of art. What I am now going to mention will, perhaps, deserve your attention more than any thing I have yet said. I find that in the discourse which I spoke of at the beginning of my letter, you are against filling an English garden with evergreens; and indeed I am so far of your opinion, that I can by no means think the verdure of an evergreen comparable to that which shoots ont annually, and clothes our trees in the summer seasou. But I have often wondered that those who are like myself, and love to live in gardens, have never thought of contriving a winter-garden, which would consist of such tree: only as never cast their leaves. We have very often little snatches of sunshine and fair weather in the most uncomfortable parts of ihe vear, and have frequently several days in November and January that are as agreeable as any in the finest months. At such times, therefore, I think there could not be a greater
pleasure, than to walk in such a winter-garden as I have proposed. In the summer-season the whole country blooms, and is a kind of garden ; for which reason we are not so sensible of those beauties that at this time may be
every where met with; but when nature is in her desolation, and presents us with nothing but bleak and barren prospects, there is something unspeakably cheerful in a spot of ground which is covered with trees that smile amidst all the rigour of winter, and give us a view of the most gay season in the midst of that which is the most dead and melancholy. I have so far indulged myself in this thought, that I have set apart a whole acre of ground for the executing of it. The walls are covered with ivy instead of vines. The laurel, the horn-beam, and the holly, with many other trees and plants of the same nature, grow so thick in it that you cannot imagine a more lively scene. The glowing redness of the berries with which they are hung at this time, vies with the verdure of their leaves, and is apt to inspire the heart of the beholder with that vernal delight which you have somewhere taken notice of in your former papers. It is very pleasant, at the same time, to see the scveral kinds of birds retiring into this little green spot, and enjoying themselves among the branches and foliage, when iny great garden, which I have before mentioned to you, doch not afford a single leaf for their shelter.
You must know, sir, that I look upon the pleasure which we take in a garden as one of the most inno-, cent delights in human life. A garden was the habitation of our first parents before the fall. It is naturally apt to fill the mind with calmness and tranquillity, and to lay all its turbulent passions at rest. It gives us a great insight into the contrivance and wisdom of P:o5
vidence, and suggests innumerable subjects for meditation. I cannot but think the very complacency and satisfaction which a man takes in these works of nature, to be a laudable, if not a virtuous habit of mind. For all which reasons I hope you will pardon the length of my present letter.
I am, sir, &c.
RHYNS AULT AND SAPPHIRA.
When Charles duke of Burgundy, surnamed the Bold, reigned over spacious dominions now swallowed up by the power of France, he heaped many favours and honours upon Claudius Rhynsault, a German, who had served him in his wars against the insúlts of his neighbours. A great part of Zealand was at that time in subjection to that dukedom. The prince himself was a person of singular humanity and justice. Rhynsault, with no other real quality than courage, had dissimulation enough to pass upon his generous and unsuspicious master for a person of blunt honesty and fidelity, without any vice that could bias him from the execution of justice. His highness prepossessed tu his advantage, upon the decease of the governor of his chief town of Zealand, gave Rhynsault that command. He was not long seated in that government before he cast his eyes upon Sapphira, a woman of exquisite beauty, the wife of Paul Danvelt, a wealthy merchant of the city under his protection and government. Rhynsault was a man of a warm constitution, and violent inclination to women, and not unskilled in the soft arts which win their favour. He knew what it was to enjoy the satisfactions which are reaped from
the possession of beauty, but was an utter stranger to the decencies, honours and delicacies, that attend the passion towards them in elegant minds. However, he had so much of the world, that he had a great share of the language which usually prevails upon the weaker part of that sex, and he could with his tongue utter a passion with which his heart was wholly untouched. He was one of those brutal minds which can be gratified with the violation of innocence and beauty, without the least pity, passion, or love to that with which they are so much delighted. Ingratitude is a vice inseparable to a lustful man; and the possession of a woman by him who has no thought but allaying a passion painful to himself, is necessarily followed by distaste and aversion. Rhynsault, being resolved to accomplish his will on the wife of Danvelt, left no arts untried to get into a familiarity at her house; but she knew his character and disposition too well, not to shun all occasions that might ensnare her into his conversation. The governor, despairing of success by ordinary means, apprehended and imprisoned her husband, under pretence of an information, that he was guilty of a correspondence with the enemies of the duke to betray the town into their possession. This design had its desired effect; and the wife of the unfortunate Danvelt, the day before that which was appointed for his execution, presented herself in the hall of the governor's house, and, as he passed through the apartment, threw herself at his feet, and, holding his knees, beseeched his mercy. Rhynsault beheld her with a dissembled satisfaction; and assuming an air of thought and authority, he bid her arise, and told her she must follow him to his closet; and asking her whether she knew the hand of the letter he pulled out VOL. II.