« PreviousContinue »
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. Roses, damask and red, are fastl flowers of their smell; so that you may walk by a whole row of them, and find nothing of their sweetness, yea,3 though it be in a morning's dew. Bays, Likewise, yield no smell as they grow, rosemary little, nor sweet marjoram; that which, above all others, yields the sweetest smell in the air, is the violet; especially the white double violet, which comes twice a-year—about the middle of April, and about Bartholomew-tide. Next to that is the musk rose; then the strawberry leaves dying, with a most excellent cordial smell; then the flower of the vines—it is a little dust like the dust of a bent,* which grows upon the cluster in the first coming forth—then sweetbriar, then wall-flowers, which are very delightful to be set under a parlour or lower chamber window; then pinks and gilliflowers,4 especially the matted pink and clove gilliflowers; then the flowers of the lime-tree; then the honeysuckles, so they be somewhat afar off. Of beanflowers I speak not, because they are field flowers; 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.
For gardens (speaking of those which are, indeed, princelike,5 as we have done of buildings), the contents ought not well to be under thirty acres of ground, and to be divided into three parts; a green in the entrance, a heath or desert in the going forth, and the main garden in the midst, besides alleys on both sides; and I like well that four acres of ground be assigned to the green, six to the heath, four and four to either1 side, and twelve to the main garden. The green hath two pleasures: the one, because nothing is more pleasant to the eye than green grass kept finely shorn; the other, because it will give you a fair alley in the midst, by which you may go in front upon a stately hedge, which is to enclose the garden: but because the alley will be long, and, in great heat of the year, or day, you ought not to buy the shade in the garden by going in the sun through the green, therefore you are, of either side the green, to plant a covert alley, upon carpenters' work, about twelve feet in height, by which you may go in shade into the garden. As for the making of knots, or figures, with divers-coloured2 earths, that they may lie under the windows of the house on that side on which the garden stands, they be but toys: you may see as good sights many times in tarts. The garden is best to be square, encompassed on all the four sides with a stately arched hedge; the arches to be upon pillars of carpenters' work, of some ten feet high, and six feet broad, and the spaces between of the same dimensions with the breadth of the arch. Over the arches let there be an entire hedge of some four feet high, framed also upon carpenters' work; and upon the upper hedge, over every arch, a little turret with a belly3 enough to receive a cage of birds: and over every space between the arches some other little figure, with broad plates of round coloured glass gilt, for the sun to play upon: but this hedge I intend to be raised upon a bank, not steep, but gently slope,4 of some six feet, set all with flowers. Also, I understand that this square of the garden shall not be the whole breadth of the ground, but to leave on either side ground enough for diversity of side alleys, unto which the two covert alleys of the green may deliver you ; but there must be no alleys with hedges at either end of this great enclosure—not at the hither end, for letting1 your prospect upon this fair hedge from the green—nor at the farther end, for letting your prospect from the hedge through the arches upon the heath.
1 Fast. Tenacious.
'Yet all this while in a moat fast sleep.'—Shakespere. 1 Yea. Nay: not only this, but more than this. 'For behold this self-same thing that yo sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, what clearing of yourselves, yea what indignution, yea what fear, yea what vehement desire, yea what zeal, yea what revenge.'—2 Cor. vii. n.
'I am weary; yea my memory is tired.'— Shakespere. s Bent. Bent-grass.
'His spear a bent both stiff and strong. And well noar of two inches long.'—Drayton. 'Juno is drawn in a mantle of dark grass green upon a garland of bents, king-cops, and maiden-hair.'—Fcacluim.
1 This name probably comes from the old French gilofre, for giroJU, a clove, derived from caryophyllus. 4 Frince-like. Princely.
'The wrongs he did me have nothing prince-like.'—Sliakespcrr.
1 Either. Each. See page 349.
'Murmuring waters fall
For the ordering of the ground within the great hedge, I leave it to variety of device, advising, nevertheless, that whatsoever form you cast it into first, it be not too busy,2 or full of work: wherein I, for my part, do not like images cut out in juniper or other garden stuff—they be for children. Little low hedges, round like welts,3 with some pretty pyramids, I like well; and in some places fair columns, upon frames of carpenters' work. I would also have the alleys spacious and fair. You may have closer alleys upon the side grounds, but none in the main garden. I wish, also, in the very middle, a fair mount, with three ascents and alleys, enough for four to walk abreast, which I would have to be perfect circles, without any bulwarks or embossments;4 and the whole mount to be thirty feet high, and some fine banqueting-house, with some chimneys neatly cast, and without too much glass.
For fountains, they are a great beauty and refreshment; but pools mar all, and make the garden unwholesome, and full of fiies and frogs. Fountains I intend to be of two natures, the one that sprinkleth or spouteth water; the other a fair receipts of water, of some thirty or forty feet square, but without any fish, or slime, or mud. For the first, the ornaments of images, gilt, or of marble, which are in use, do well; but the main matter is so to convey the water as6 it never stay, either in the bowls or in the cistern—that the water be never by rest discoloured, green or red, or the like, or gather any mossiness or putrefaction; besides that, it is to be cleansed every day by the hand—also some steps up to it, and some fine pavement about it, do well. As for the other kind of fountain, which we may call a bathing-pool, it may admit much curiosity' and beauty, wherewith we will not trouble ourselves: as, that the bottom be finely paved, and with images; the sides likewise; and withal embellished with coloured glass, and such things of lustre, encompassed also with fine rails of low statuas;2 but the main point is the same which we mentioned in the former kind of fountain, which is, that the water be in perpetual motion, fed by a water higher than the pool, and delivered into it by fair spouts, and then discharged away under ground, by some equality of bores, that it stay little; and for fine devices, of arching water without spilling, and making it rise in several forms (of feathers, drinking glasses, canopies, and the like), they be pretty things to look on, but nothing to health and sweetness.
1 Let. To hinder. 'Ofttimes I purposed to come unto you, but was let hitherto.' —Ramans i. 13.
3 Busy (now only applied to the agent, and not to the subject'). Elaborate.
3 Welts. Edging; border. 'Certain scioli, or smatterers, may have some edging or trimming, of a scholar, a welt or so ; but no more.'—Ben Jonson.
* Embossments. AnyOung standing out from the rest. 'It expresses the gaeat emliossment of the figure.'—Addison.
6 Receipt . Receptacle; place for receiving. 'He saw Matthew sitting at the receipt of custom.'—Mark ii. 14,
0 As. That. See page 26.
For the heath, which was the third part of our plot, I wished it to be framed, as much as may be, to a natural wildness. Trees I would have none in it, but some thickets made only of sweetbriar and honeysuckle, and some wild vines amongst, and the ground set with violets, strawberries, and primroses; for these are sweet, and prosper in the shade, and these are to be in the heath here and there, not in any order. I like also little heaps, in the nature of mole-hills (such as are in wild heaths), to be set, some with wild thyme, some with pinks, some with germander, that gives a good flower to the eye; some with periwinkle, some with violets, some with strawberries, some with cowslips, some with daisies, some with red roses, some with lilium convallium, some with sweet-williams red, some with bear's-foot, and the like low flowers, being withal sweet and sightly—part of which heaps to be with standards of little bushes pricked upon their top, and part without—the standards to be roses, juniper, holly, berberries (but here and there, because of the smell of their blossom), red currants, gooseberries, rosemary, bays, sweetbriar, and such like; but these standards to be kept with cutting, that they grow not out of course.
1 Curiosity. Elegance. J * Even at the base of Pompcy's datua.'—Shakesperc, Jul. Cxsar.
For the side grounds, you are to fill them with variety of alleys, private to give a full shade; some of them wheresoever the sun be. You are to frame some of them likewise for shelter, that, when the wind blows sharp, you may walk as in a gallery; and those alleys must be likewise hedged at both ends, to keep out the wind, and these closer alleys must be ever finely gravelled, and no grass, because of going wet. In many of these alleys, likewise, you are to set fruit-trees of all sorts, as well upon the walls as in ranges; and this should be generally observed, that the borders wherein you plant jour fruit-trees be fair, and large, and low, and not steep, and set with fine flowers, but thin and sparingly, lest they deceive1 the trees. At the end of both the side grounds I would have a mount of some pretty height, leaving the wall of the enclosure breast-high, to look abroad into the fields.
For the maiu garden, I do not deny but there should be some fair alleys ranged on both sides with fruit-trees, and some pretty tufts of fruit-trees and arbours with seats, set in some decent order; but these to be by no means set too thick, but to leave the main garden so as it be not close, but the air open and free. For as for shade, I would have you rest upon the alleys of the side grounds, there to walk, if you feel disposed, in the heat of the year or day; but to make account, that the main garden is for the more temperate parts of the year, and, in the heat of summer, for the morning and the evening, or overcast days.
For aviaries, I like them not, except they be of that largeness as they may be turfed, and have living plants and bushes set in them, that the birds may have more scope and natural nestling, and that no foulness appear on the floor of the aviary. So I have made a platform of a princely garden, partly by precept, partly by drawing—not a model, but some general lines of it—and in this I have spared * for no cost; but it is nothing
1 Deceive. To deprive by stealth; to rob. 'And so deceive the spirits of the body, and rob them of their nourishment.'—Bacon. 'Biither than I would embraile or deceive him of a mite, I would it were moult, and put into my muuth.'— Givendish. Life of Cardinal Wolsey.
2 Spare. To restrict oneself; to forbear.
'We might have spared our coming.'—Milton.