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From London to Land's End Daniel Defoe

From London to Land's End

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While the gardens were thus laid out, the king also directed the laying the pipes for the fountains and JET-D'EAUX, and particularly the dimensions of them, and what quantity of water they should cast up, and increased the number of them after the first design.

The ground on the side of the other front has received some alterations since the taking down the Water Galley; but not that part immediately next the lodgings. The orange-trees and fine Dutch bays are placed within the arches of the building under the first floor; so that the lower part of the house was all one as a greenhouse for sometime. Here stand advanced, on two pedestals of stone, two marble vases or flower-pots of most exquisite workmanship--the one done by an Englishman, and the other by a German. It is hard to say which is the best performance, though the doing of it was a kind of trial of skill between them; but it gives us room, without any partiality, to say they were both masters of their art.

The PARTERRE on that side descends from the terrace-walk by steps, and on the left a terrace goes down to the water-side, from which the garden on the eastward front is overlooked, and gives a most pleasant prospect.

The fine scrolls and BORDURE of these gardens were at first edged with box, but on the queen's disliking the smell those edgings were taken up, but have since been planted again--at least, in many places--nothing making so fair and regular an edging as box, or is so soon brought to its perfection.

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On the north side of the house, where the gardens seemed to want screening from the weather or the view of the chapel, and some part of the old building required to be covered from the eye, the vacant ground, which was large, is very happily cast into a wilderness, with a labyrinth and ESPALIERS so high that they effectually take off all that part of the old building which would have been offensive to the sight. This labyrinth and wilderness is not only well designed, and completely finished, but is perfectly well kept, and the ESPALIERS filled exactly at bottom, to the very ground, and are led up to proportioned heights on the top, so that nothing of that kind can be more beautiful.

The house itself is every way answerable on the outside to the beautiful prospect, and the two fronts are the largest and, beyond comparison, the finest of the kind in England. The great stairs go up from the second court of the palace on the right hand, and lead you to the south prospect.

I hinted in my last that King William brought into England the love of fine paintings as well as that of fine gardens; and you have an example of it in the cartoons, as they are called, being five pieces of such paintings as, if you will believe men of nice judgment and great travelling, are not to be matched in Europe. The stories are known, but especially two of them--viz., that of St. Paul preaching on Mars Hill to the self-wise Athenians, and that of St. Peter passing sentence of death on Ananias--I say, these two strike the mind with the utmost surprise, the passions are so drawn to the life; astonishment, terror, and death in the face of Ananias, zeal and a sacred fire in the eyes of the blessed Apostle, fright and surprise upon the countenances of the beholders in the piece of Ananias; all these describe themselves so naturally that you cannot but seem to discover something of the like passions, even in seeing them.

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From London to Land's End
Daniel Defoe

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