« PreviousContinue »
"ESSAY ON THE PICTURESQUE.'
"Uvedale Price's Essay on the Picturesque, the most finished composition in the English language.”"-DR. PARR.
A MASTER mind, that Taste and Genius grace,
The fine designs of Nature's hand can trace ;
Where they may differ, where again we see
The beautiful and picturesque agree.
How light, where stands a tree of beauty plays,
The eye delighting through a thousand sprays:
How Autumn to the landscape gives a glow
Divine, that painters o'er their canvass throw;
Hence Titian's golden hue, and colouring warm,
That has of Autumn all the mellow charm.
How sudden bursts of sunshine in the spring
O'er the green flourishing tree their lustre fling;
The delicate foliage of the leaf conceals
In part the boughs beneath, in part reveals.
How undulate the boughs in wavy pride,
As sweeps the light breeze o'er the river's tide :
How distant openings through the glade invite
Inquiry, source of ever new delight;
Leading the eye as in a wanton chase,
Onwards, with happy art creating space :
Itself the same, through combinations new
Changes from every spot beheld the view,
Advances here a wood, and there recedes
A stream, again, far glittering o'er the meads!
How stretch along the hills, around, above,
Trees singly, or in groups, or lengthen'd grove.
How fan-like branches of the cedar, spread
Magnificently, feather overhead,
In avenues, of which the pillar'd shade
Attracts the devotee, or love-sick maid.
How on its gorgeous canopy of leaves
The widely-branching chestnut light receives.
Now, Uvedale, pour thy storm of satire down
On that great master of improvement, Brown.
Who would variety's fair charms deny,
And with eternal clumps fatigue the eye?
Thickets and glens and every natural grace
To that magician's tasteless art give place.
Romantic walks and coves, projections grand,
Are swept away by his all-levelling hand.
Oaks that around their arms majestic throw,
If rooted in the soil proscribed, must go.
Wild flowers, that o'er the river's margin stray
In intertangling knots, are mown away!
The cheerful stream, that silently beneath
O'erhanging boughs in many a mazy wreath
Stole on, or babbling o'er the shallows ran
Fretting the stones, is widen'd by a plan;
Shrubs are destroy'd, banks levell'd down in haste,
A sheet of water glares, so wills it Taste.
UVEDALE PRICE'S" ESSAY ON THE PICTURESQUE.”
How light, where stands a tree of beauty plays.
"Take a single tree only, and consider it in this point of view. It is composed of millions of boughs, sprays and leaves intermixed with and crossing each other in as many directions, while through the various openings the eye still discovers new and infinite combinations; yet in this labyrinth of intricacy there is no unpleasant confusion: the general effect is as simple as the detail is complicate.”—UVEDALE PRICE on the Picturesque, vol. i. P. 262.
Now, Uvedale, pour thy storm of satire down.
"It is to be regretted," says the amiable and highly gifted Sir Henry Stewart in his Planter's Guide (Note 13, page 411) “that Sir Uvedale Price in his valuable Essays on the Picturesque (probably the most powerful example of controversial writing and acute criticism in the language) should have somewhat lessened their effect by personal sarcasm and the bitterness of controversy. As to Brown, he has not, according to the vulgar phrase, left him the likeness of a dog;' and his conceit, his ignorance, his arrogance, his vanity, of all which Brown had his full share, are blazoned forth in the most glaring colours."