Repton, Humphry, 1752-1818 / Fragments on the theory and practice of landscape gardening: including some remarks on Grecian and Gothic architecture, collected from various manuscripts, in the possession of the different noblemen and gentlemen, for whose use they were originally written; the whole tending to establish fixed principles in the respective arts
Preface, pp. [vii]-viii
viii others propose, without having bestowed a thought on the first principles of Landscape Gardening or Architecture. That these two Sister Arts are, and must be inseparable, is obvious from the following consideration. The most beautiful scenes in Nature may sur- prize at first sight, or delight for a time, but they cannot long be interesting, unless made habitable; therefore, the whole Art of Landscape Gardening may properly be defined, The pleasing combination of Art and Nature adapted to the use of Man. During the last ten years, the Art of Landscape Gardening, in common with all other Arts which depend on Peace and Patronage, has felt the in- fluence of War and War Taxes, which operate both on the means and the inclination to cultivate the Arts of Peace; these have languished under the impoverishment of the Country, while the sudden acquirement of Riches by individuals has diverted Wealth into new channels; men are solicitous to increase property rather than to enjoy it; they endeavour to improve the Value rather than the Beauty of their newly purchased Estates. The Country Gentleman, in the last century, took more delight in the sports of the field, than in the profits of the Farm; his pleasure was to enjoy in peace the venerable home of his ancestors; but the necessity of living in Camps, and the habit of living in Lodgings or Watering-places, have of late totally changed his character and pursuits; and at the same time, perhaps, tended to alienate half the ancient Landed Property of the Country. It is not therefore to be wondered at, that the Art of Landscape Gar- dening should have slowly and gradually declined. Whether the influence of returning Peace may revive its energies, or whether it is hereafter to be classed among the "A rtes perditae," the Author hopes its memory may be preserved a little longer in the following pages.
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