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sure I am, that he who studies the various effects and characters of form, colour, and light and shadow, and examines and compares those characters and effects, and the manner in which they are combined and disposed, both in pictures and in nature, will be better qualified to arrange, certainly, to enjoy, his own and every scenery, than he who has only thought of the most fashionable arrangement of objects; or who has looked at nature alone, without having aca quired any just principles of selection.'
I believe, however, that this part of my Essay, and the very title of it, may have given a false. bias to the minds of many of my neaders: I am not surprised at such an effects; for it is a very natural conclusion, and often justifieds, that an author is partial to the particular subject, on which he has written; but mine is a particular case. The two characters which Mr. Burke has so ably discussed, had, it is true, great need of investigation; but they did not want to be recommended to our attention : what is really sublime, or beautiful, must always attract or command it; but the picturesque is much less obvious, less generally attractive, and had been totally neglected and despised by professed improvers : my business therefore, was to draw forth, and to dwell upon those less observed beauties. From that circumstance it has been conceived, or at least asserted, that I not only preferred such scenes as were merely rude and picturesque, but excluded all others.
The second part is built upon the foundations laid in the first; for I have examined the leading features of modern gardening, in its more extended sense, on the general principles of painting: and I have shewn in several instances, especially in all that
relates to the banks of artificial water, how much the character of the picturesque has been neglected, or sacrificed to a false idea of beauty. .
But though I take no slight interest in whatever concerns the taste of gardening in this, and every other country, and am particularly anxious to preserve those picturesque circumstances, which are so frequently and irrecoverably destroyed, yet in writing this Essay, I have had a more comprehensive object in view: I have been desirous of opening new , sources of innocent, and easily attained pleasures, or at least of pointing out, how a much higher ' relish may be acquired for those, which, though known, are neglected ;. and it has given me no small pleasure to find that both my objects have in some degree been attained.
That painters do see effects in nature, which men in general do not see, we have, in the motto prefixed to this Essay, the testimony of no-common observer; of one, who was sufficiently vain of his own talents and discernment in every way, and not likely to acknowledge a superiority in other men without strong conviction. It is not a mere observation of Cieero; it is an exclamation: Quam multa vident pietores! it marks his surprise at the extreme difference which the study of nature, by means of the art of painting, seems to make almost in the sight itself. It may likewise be observed, that his remark does not extendito form,-in which the ancient painters are acknowledged to be our superiors; not. to colour, --in which tliey are also conceived: to be at least our rivals; but to light and shadow,—the supposed triumph of modern, over ancient art: on which account, the professors of painting since its revival, have a still better right to the compliment
x of so illustrious a panegyrist, than those of his own age. .. ...
If there were no other means of seeing with the eyes of painters, than by acquiring the practical skill of their hands, the generality of mankind must of course give up the point; but luckily, we may gain no little insight into their method of considering nature, and no inconsiderable sbare of their relish for her beauties, by an easier process--by studying their works. This study, has one 'great advantage over most others; there are no dry elements to struggle with. Pictures, as likewise drawings and prints, have in them what is suited to all ages and capacities: many of them, like Swift's Gulliver's Travels, display the most fertile and brilliant imagination, joined to the most accurate judgment and selection, and the deepest knowledge of