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LECT. laugh at the plantations of our Europeans, which XXIII. are laid out by the rule and the line; becaufe,

they fay, any one may place trees in equal rows and uniform figures. They chufe rather to fhew a genius in works of this nature, and therefore always conceal the art by which they direct themselves. They have a word, it feems, in their Language, by which they express the particular beauty of a plantation, that thus ftrikes the imagination at first fight, without discovering what it is that has fo agreeable an effect.

THESE fentences furnifh occafion for no remark, except that in the last of them, particular is improperly used instead of peculiar-the peculiar beauty of a plantation that thus ftrikes the imagination, was the phrafe to have conveyed the idea which the Author meant; namely, the beauty which diftinguishes it from plantations of another kind.

Our British gardeners, on the contrary, instead of humouring nature, love to deviate from it as much as poffible. Our trees rife in cones, globes, and pyramids. We fee the marks of the fciffars on every plant and bufb.

THESE fentences are lively and elegant, They make an agreeable diversity from the ftrain of those which went before; and are marked with the hand of Mr. Addison. I

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have to remark only, that, in the phrafe, in- LECT. ftead of humouring nature, love to deviate from it-bumouring and deviating, are terms not properly opposed to each other; a fort of perfonification of Nature is begun in the first of them, which is not fupported in the fecond.To bumouring, was to have been opposed, thwarting-or if deviating was kept, following, or going along with nature, was to have been used.

I do not know whether I am fingular in my opinion, but, for my own part, I would rather look upon a tree, in all its luxuriancy and diffufion of boughs and branches, than when it is thus cut and trimmed into a mathematical figure; and cannot but fancy that an orchard, in flower, looks infinitely more delightful, than all the little labyrinths of the most finished parterre.

THIS sentence is extremely harmonious, and every way beautiful. It carries all the characteristics of our Author's natural, graceful, and flowing Language.-A tree, in all its luxuriancy and diffufion of boughs and branches, is a remarkably happy expreffion. The Author feems to become luxuriant in defcribing an object which is fo, and thereby renders the found a perfect echo to the fenfe.

But

LECT.
XXIII.

But as our great modellers of gardens bave their magazines of plants to difpofe of, it is very natural in them, to tear up all the beautiful plantations of fruit trees, and contrive a plan that may moft turn to their profit, in taking off their evergreens, and the like moveable plants, with which their fhops are plentifully flocked.

AN Author fhould always ftudy to conclude, when it is in his power, with grace and dignity. It is somewhat unfortunate, that this Paper did not end, as it might very well have done, with the former beautiful period. The impreffion left on the mind by the beauties of nature with which he had been entertaining us, would then have been more agreeable. But in this fentence there is a great falling off; and we return with pain from thofe pleafing objects, to the infignificant contents of a nursery-man's shop.

LECTURE XXIV.

CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE STYLE IN

A PASSAGE OF DEAN SWIFT's WRITINGS.

MY

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Y design, in the four preceding Lec- LECT. tures, was not merely to appretiate the merit of Mr. Addifon's Style, by pointing out the faults and the beauties that are mingled in the writings of that great Author. They were not composed with any view to gain the reputation of a critic; but intended for the affiftance of fuch as are defirous of studying the moft proper and elegant conftruction of fentences in the English language. To fuch, it is hoped, they may be of advantage; as the proper application of rules refpecting Style, will always be beft learned by means of the illuftration which examples afford. I conceived that examples, taken from the writings of an Author fo juftly esteemed, would, on that account, not only be more attended to, but would also produce this good effect, of familiarifing those who study compofition with the Style of a writer, from whom they may, upon

the

XXIV.

LECT. the whole, derive great benefit. With the fame view, I fhall, in this Lecture, give one crititical exercise more of the fame kind, upon the Style of an Author of a different character, Dean Swift; repeating the intimation I gave formerly, that fuch as ftand in need of no affiftance of this kind, and who, therefore, will naturally confider fuch minute difcuffions concerning the propriety of words, and ftructure of fentences, as beneath their attention, had best pass over what will feem to them a tedious part of the work.

I FORMERLY gave the general character of Dean Swift's Syle. He is esteemed one of our most correct writers. His Style is of the plain and fimple kind; free from all affectation, and all fuperfluity; perfpicuous, manly, and pure. Thefe are its advantages. But we are not to look for much ornament and grace in it. On the contrary, Dean Swift seems

*I am glad to find, that, in my judgment concerning this Author's compofition, I have coincided with the opinion of a very able critic: "This eafy and fafe convey"ance of meaning, it was Swift's defire to attain, and "for having attained, he certainly deferves praife, though, perhaps, not the highest praife. For purposes merely "didactic, when fomething is to be told that was not "known before, it is in the highest degree proper: but

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against that inattention by which known truths are fuf"fered to be neglected, it makes no provision; it instructs, "but does not perfuade." Johnfon's Lives of the Poets; in Swift.

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