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view” with evident complacency adverts to a discovery the author has made, of “the superiority of literature to politics for developing the kindlier feelings, and conducing to an agreeable life.” This prompts the following energetic tribute to the superiority of the pleasures of private over those of public occupations, and in so far falls in with the tenor of this last part of our lucubration. “We are truly glad that Mr. Courtenay is so well satisfied with his new employment, and we heartily congratulate him on having been driven by events to make an exchange, which, advantageous as it is, few people make while they can avoid it. He has little reason, in our opinion, to envy any of those who are still engaged in a pursuit from which, at most, they can only expect that, by relinquishing liberal studies and social pleasures, by passing nights without sleep, and summers without one glimpse of the beauty of nature, they may attain that laborious, that invidious, that closely watched slavery which is mocked with the name of power."*

* Edinburgh Review, 1838, vol. lxviii. p. 114.

No. XI.




“When Epicurus to the world had taught

That pleasure was the chiefest good,
And was, perhaps, i' the right, if rightly understood;

His life he to his doctrine brought,
And in a garden's shade that sov'reign pleasure sought."


Though in my last dream I seemed to take my

leave of the general subject of ambition, closing with the account of that which is rational and happy; yet, in revolving the matter, I find it escaped me to notice the case of a man, a friend of my own, fitted by abilities and powers for the business of the world, and already advancing to its honours, yet from too much sensibility and fineness of mind renouncing advantages already achieved, and all the brilliancy of prospective success. In fact, a man who, after earning and when on the eve of reaping its rewards, was pleased, like Warton's bee, to return to “the little straw-built home,” and throw ambition behind him. I, therefore, advert to this with a satisfaction which, from the pleasurable topics it will afford, I hope will not be unwelcome to the reader, particularly as in the course of it, though not immediately, we shall have much to say of the seducing subject of gardens and a country life. Indeed, the philosophy, if I may so call it, of a garden, is so allied to the topics of our last dream, and contributes so much to the superiority of moderate wishes over eager struggles in the chances of procuring happiness, that it seems but pursuing the track we have begun to make it the subject of our next lucubrations.

Bacon, who understood a garden, as he did every thing else, with a wisdom that was consummate, observes that God Almighty first planted it, and that it is the purest of human pleasures, as well as the greatest refreshment to human spirits. How much, how

very much is said in those few words; and how do we agree with him! Moreover, we incline to think, with the person who gives his name to this essay,

that whoever takes a real delight in his garden can never be a wicked man. If we are asked the reason, it is because our Maker, Ruler, and Judge seems so close to us, so visibly present in all its changes, operations, and concerns, that we dare not swerve from innocence if we would. In this, the love of a garden has the advantage of music, which, although it soothes, yet also at the same time can melt to licentiousness, or excite passions even the most ferocious. Hence a man who is not without music in his soul may be fit for

treasons, stratagems, and spoils ;" for observe, the master, in the famous passage wherein this sentiment appears, in saying that he who has it not is fit for these cruelties, does not say that he who has it may not be fit for them also. Hence many a profligate in morals (as is proved nightly by the operas in all the capitals of Europe), many a tyrant and even murderer, may be a devotee of music, and yet persist in the perpetration of crime. It is not so with gardening, for which we have already given the reason, that its pleasure must be founded in innocence, and the consciousness that it is the work of the Creator himself. His operations we seem to see as visibly before our eyes, as we feel its results; whereas, in the production of the finest harmony of sounds, we seem only to feel the effort of man.

The innocence, therefore, of our sensations, which is the invariable accompaniment of the enjoyment of a garden, is its first and greatest advantage. All its other enjoyments (and they are many) spring from taste and sense, but these are mental, and must have virtue and religious thankfulness for their foundation.

This characteristic of the art has been noticed by all the best writers upon the subject. Thus the poet we have so often quoted says, in the same tone of reasoning, after observing upon the universal power of the Creator,

“But well he knew what place would best agree
With innocence, and with felicity;
And we elsewhere may seek for them in vain ;

God the first garden made, and the first city Cain."* So also a very sweet French poet, singing of gardens, designates his subject as

“L'art innocent et doux, que célèbrent mes vers,
Remonte aux premiers jours de l'antique univers." +

• Cowley, The Garden.

† De Lisle, chant i.


The same opinion is expressed by other considerable names, who have delighted us with their pleasing mention of this pleasing taste. Virgil among the ancients, who tells you that the cultivator of the

regum æquabat opes animis,” equalled the wealth of kings in the content and freedom of his mind. Sir William Temple withdrew from the greatcst employments, to find his greatest happiness in the ease of his garden; and Cowley, Evelyn, Addison, Hervey and Cowper, Pope and Shenstone, are always most eloquent and attractive when indulging most in its praises. With regard to Cowley, I cannot refrain from inserting his picture of Diocletian (drawn with unction) refusing, after abdicating, to resume his throne, and the reasons for it.

“Methinks I see great Diocletian walk
In the Salonian garden's noble shade,
Which by his own imperial hands was made ;
I see him smile, methinks, as he does talk
With the ambassadors, who come in vain
To entice him to his throne again.
If I, my friends, said he, should to you show
All the delights which in these gardens grow,
'Tis likelier much that you should with me stay,
Than 'tis that you should carry me away.
And trust me not, my friends, if ev'ry day
I walk not here with more delight
Than ever after the most happy fight
In triumph to the Capitol I rode,

To thank the gods, and to be thought myself almost a god."* This at once contains the pith of what I would impress, of the happy and soothing effects of this delightful occupation, which never failed him whose mind (for mind has far more to do with its pleasures

* Cowlev, The Garden.

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