Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

4

James's Palace, London, had been laid out by a celebrated French gardener, and the taste which he made general in Europe prevailed in England in a most exaggerated form.

3. It appeared as if the main object was to be as unlike nature as possible, and to convert gardening into a strange form of sculpture. The trees were carved into cones, or pyramids, or globes, into smooth even walls, or into fantastic groups of men and animals. The flower-beds were laid out in architectural figures. Long, straight, and formal alleys, each one exactly like the other, were considered essential to a well-arranged garden.

4. The passion for gardening, however, at this time took some root in England, and the writings of Evelyn* did much to extend it. King William introduced the fashion of masses of clipped yews forming the avenue or shading the approaches of the house, and of imposing iron gates.

5. But early in the eighteenth century the great gardeners—Bridgeman, who died in 1737, and Kent, who died in 1748—originated a new form of landscape-gardening, which speedily acquired an almost universal popularity. They utterly discarded all attempts to imitate sculpture, and all uniformity of design, gave free scope to the wild and irregular beauties of nature, and made it their aim to reproduce, as far as possible in a small compass, its variety and its freedom.

6. Addison and Popes laid out their gardens on the new plan, and defended it with their pens, and Pope is said to have greatly assisted Kent by his advice. The gardens of the Prince of Wales at Carlton House were imitated from that of Pope at Twickenham. The example was speedily followed,

[graphic][subsumed]

and often carried to an absurd excess, so that even dead trees were sometimes planted, and every straight walk was condemned. This change of taste, however, was accompanied by a great in

6

crease in the love of gardening in every part of England.

7. Thousands of new plants were introduced, some from Madeira and the West Indies, and some from the American colonies. The taste for botany was spread still more widely by the publication of the works of Linnæus, a great Swedish botanist, who was the first to suggest a system of classification of plants. Though his system is now superseded, his writings gave a very great impulse to the study of the interesting science of botany.

8. Landscape-gardening? is said to have been introduced into Ireland by Dr. Delany, and into Scotland by Lord Kaimes; but both countries remained in this respect far behind England. At Edinburgh a botanical garden appears to have existed as early as 1680. In England the love for gardens and for botany continually extended, and it forms one of the most remarkable features in the history of national tastes during the first half of the eighteenth century.

9. In the art of painting, of all the great civilized nations England ranked the last. In the beginning of the eighteenth century not a single English painter or sculptor had taken a permanent place in European art, and the number of painters, even of third or fourth rate excellence, was very small.

. The principal and most congenial employment of the British artist appears to have been the production of the gaudy sign-boards which nearly every shopkeeper was then accustomed to hang out before his door.

10. Henry VIII., Elizabeth, and, above all, Charles I. had warmly patronised art. Charles was one of the greatest collectors of pictures of his time. He purchased some of the most valuable collections then to be found in Europe, and brought some of the greatest painters who have ever lived, especially Rubens and Vandyck,8 to England.

11. The only kind of art patronised in this country was that of portrait painting, and many distinguished painters came over from foreign countries to England. One of these, a Dutch painter named Vanloo, remained here only four years, and accumulated great wealth.

12. Early in the reign of George II. a painter of great and original genius emerged from obscurity, who, in a low form of art, attained a high and almost a supreme perfection. William Hogartho was born in London, of obscure parents, in 1698. He was the first really great English painter.

1. Revolution of 1688.—Theabdi. cation of James II. and selection of William III. as King is so called.

2. William and Mary.-William was nephew, and Mary daughter, of James II. Queen Mary died in 1695. William died in 1702.

3. East Indian calicoes.-Calico takes its name from Calicut, a town in Hindostan, once celebrated for its cotton manufacture. Calico is now made chiefly in Lancashire, from cotton imported from the Southern States of North America.

4. John Evelyn, born 1620, was one of the founders of the Royal Society, 1662. In 1664 he wrote a

book called Sulva, on Trees, which led to the planting of large numbers, He died 1706.

5. Addison and Pope.-Two celebrated writers. Addison was born 1672, died 1719. He was the principal writer in the Spectator. Pope was born 1688, died 1744. He was an accomplished poet. He lived at Twickenham, near London.

6. Linnæus may be considered the founder of the science of botany. He was born 1707, died 1778.

7. Landscape-gardening. - The art of laying out gardens so as to combine them with all the natural surroundings.

8. Rubens and Vandyck.—Two of the greatest painters. Rubens was born probably at Antwerp, 1577, died 1640. He decorated Whitehall, which was then one of the Royal Palaces, in London, in front

of which Charles I. was beheaded, January 30th, 1649.

Vandyck, also born at Antwerp, 1599,
was appointed chief Court-painter to
Charles I. in 1632, and died 1641.
His portraits are very celebrated.

9. William Hogarth.-Born in London 1698, and died there 1764. Buried at Chiswick.

LESSON XXXI.

SOCIAL TASTES OF THE EIGHTEENTH

CENTURY.--Part II.

1

1. During the early part of this century, the passion for inland watering places was at its height. Bath, under the long reign of Beau Nash, fully maintained its old ascendancy, and is said to have been annually visited by more than 8,000 families. A poet of the time, in one of the most brilliant satirical poems of the eighteenth century, painted, with great skill, its follies and its tastes; and the arbitrary, but not unskilful sway and self-important manners of its great master of the ceremonies, were widely celebrated in verse and prose.

2. Among the commands which he issued there is one which is well worthy of a passing notice. Between 1720 and 1730 it was observed that young men of fashion in London had begun in their morning walks to lay aside their swords, which were hitherto looked upon as the indispensable signs of a gentleman, and to carry walking-sticks instead.

3. Beau Nash made a great step in the same direction by absolutely prohibiting swords ́ within his dominions, and this was, perhaps, the beginning of a change of fashion which appears to have become general about 1780, and which has a real historical importance as reflecting and sustaining

« НазадПродовжити »