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the whole tribe of sylvan deities.
and their stories are so well expressed, that the whole seems a collection of all the most beautiful fables of the antient poets translated into colours. The remaining spaces of the roof, ten feet on each side of the cieling, are of the clearest glass, to let in the sky and clouds from above. The buildings point full east and west, so that I enjoy the sun while he is above the horizon. His rays are improved through the glass; and I receive through it what is desirable in a winter sky, without the coarse allay of the season, which is a kind of sifting or straining the weather. My greens and flowers are as sensible as I am of this benefit: they flourish and look cheerful as in the spring, while their fellow-creatures abroad are starved to death. I must add, that a moderate expense of fire, over and above the contribution I receive from the sun, serves to keep this large room in a due temperature; it being sheltered from the cold winds by a hill on the north, and a wood on the east.
The shell, you see, is both agreeable and conve nient; and now you shall judge whether I have laid out the floor to advantage. There goes through the whole length of it a spacious walk of the finest gravel, made to bind and unite so firmly that it seems one con-. tinued stone; with this advantage, that it is easier to the foot, and better for walking, than if it were what it seems to be. At each end of the walk, on the one and on the other side of it, lies a square plot of grass of the finest turf and brightest verdure. What ground remains on both sides, between these little smooth fields of green, is paved with large quarries of white marble; where the blue veins trace out such a variety of irregular windings, through the clear surface, that these
these bright plains seem full of rivulets and streaming meanders. This to my eye, that delights in simplicity, is inexpressibly more beautiful than the chequered floors which are so generally admired by others. Upon the right and upon the left, along the gravel walk, I have ranged interchangeably the bay, the myrtle, the orange, and the lemon-trees, intermixed with painted hollies, silver firs, and pyramids of yew; all so disposed, that every tree receives an additional beauty from its situation, besides the harmony that rises from the disposition of the whole: no shade cuts too strongly, or breaks in harshly upon the other; but the eye is cheered with a mild rather than gorgeous diversity of greens.
The borders of the four grass plots are garnished with pots of flowers: those delicacies of nature recreate two senses at once, and leave such delightful and gentle impressions upon the brain, that I cannot help thinking them of equal force with the softest airs of music, toward the smoothing of our tempers. In the centre of every plot is a statue. The figures I have made choice of are a Venus, an Adonis, a Diana, and an Apollo; such excellent copies, as to raise the same delight as we should draw from the sight of the antient originals.
The north wall would have been but a tiresome waste to the eye, if I had not diversified it with the most lively ornaments, suitable to the place. To this intent I have been at the expense to lead over arches, from a neighbouring hill, a plentiful store of springwater, which a beautiful Naiad, placed as high as is possible in the centre of the wall, pours out from an urn. This, by a fall of above twenty feet, makes a most delightful cascade into a bason that opens wide
within the marble floor on that side. At a reasonable distance, on either hand of the cascade, the wall is hollowed into two spreading scollops, each of which receives a couch of green velvet, and forms at the same time a canopy over them. Next to them come two large aviaries, which are likewise let into the stone. These are succeeded by two grottos, set off with all the pleasing rudeness of shells, and moss, and cragged stones, imitating, in miniature, rocks and precipices, the most dreadful and gigantic works of nature. After the grottos, you have two niches; the one inhabited by Ceres, with her sickle and sheaf of wheat; and the other by Pomona, who, with a countenance full of good cheer, pours a bounteous autumn of fruits out of her horn. Last of all come two colonies of bees, whose stations lying east and west, the one is saluted by the rising, the other by the setting sun. These, all of them being placed at proportioned intervals, furnish out the whole length of the wall; and the spaces that lie between are painted in fresco by the same hand that has enriched my cieling.
Now, sir, you see my whole contrivance to elude the rigour of the year, to bring a northern climate nearer the sun, and to exempt myself from the common fate of my countrymen. I must detain you a Hittle longer to tell you that I never enter this delicious retirement but my spirits are revived, and a sweet complacency diffuses itself over my whole mind. And how can it be otherwise, with a conscience void of offence, where the music of falling waters, the symphony of birds, the gentle humming of bees, the breath of flowers, the fine imagery of painting and sculpture, in a word, the beauties and the charms of nature and of art, court all my faculties, refresh the fibres of the
brain, and smooth every avenue of thought? What pleasing meditations, what agreeable wanderings of the mind, and what delicious slumbers, have I enjoyed here! And when I turn up some masterly writer to my imagination, methinks here his beauties appear in the most advantageous light, and the rays of his genius shoot upon me with greater force and brightness than ordinary. This place likewise keeps the whole family in good humour, in a season wherein gloominess of temper prevails universally in this island. My wife does often touch her lute in one of the grottos, and my daughter sings to it; while the ladies with you, amidst all the diversions of the town, and in the most affluent fortunes, are fretting and repining beneath a lowering sky for they know not what. In this green-house we often dine, we drink tea, we dance country dances; and, what is the chief pleasure of all, we entertain our neighbours in it, and by this means contribute very much to mend the climate five or six miles about us.-I am your most humble servant,
PARENTAL ADVICE. No. 189.
THE Common race of esquires in this kingdom use their sons as persons that are waiting only for their funerals, and spies upon their health and happiness; as indeed they are, by their own making them such. I am sorry to own it, but there is one branch of the house of the Bickerstaffs, who have been as erroneous in their conduct this way as any other family whatsoever. The head of this branch is now in town, and
has brought up with him his son and daughter, who are all the children he has, in order to be put some way into the world, and see fashions. They are both very ill-bred cubs; and having lived together from their infancy, without knowledge of the distinctions and decencies that are proper to be paid to each other's sex, they squabble like two brothers. The father is one of those who knows no better than that all pleasure is debauchery, and imagines, when he sees a man become his estate, that he will certainly spend it. This branch are a people who never had among them one man eminent either for good or ill; however, have all along kept their heads just above water, not by a prudent and regular economy, but by expedients in the matches they have made in their house. When one of the family has, in the pursuit of foxes, and in the entertainment of clowns, run out the third part of the value of his estate, such a spendthrift has dressed up his eldest son, and married what they call a good fortune; who has supported the father as a tyrant over them during his life, in the same house or neighbourhood. The son, in succession, has just taken the same method to keep up his dignity, until the mortgages he has eat and drank himself into, have reduced him to the necessity of sacrificing his son also, in imitation of his progenitor. This had been, for many generations, the whole that had happened in the family of Sam Bickerstaff, until the time of my present cousin Samuel, the father of the young people we have just now spoken of.
Samuel Bickerstaff, esquire, is so happy, as that by several legacies from distant relations, deaths of maiden sisters, and other instances of good fortune, he has,
besides his real estate, a great sum of ready money. Library,