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lution, as before or after the fall of the Roman empire, before or after the dark
ages. Strawberry Hill, notwithstanding its name, iş quite flat, even low, and seems damp; the road, passing close by, is covered with a pointed gothic arch of elms, forming a very appropriate avepue. The aspect of the house is melancholy; the grounds are well carpeted with green, and shaded with large trees, the usual decoration here.
The King loves astronomy, and has an observatory in the little park of Richmond, called the King's Paddock. It is furnished with a large telescope of Herschell; a transit instrument of eight feet, through which we saw Venus crosșing the meridian ; a vertical instrument of twelve feet for zenith observations; a mural of eight feet radius ; an equatorial telescope, and several other instruments less considerable :a few models of machines; among them one to determine the lateral pressure of arches; a collection of German minerals ; and a good apparatus for philosophical experiments. His majesty happen. ed to be at the observatory some years ago to observe an occultation of a planet, when a deer
rsued from Windsor crossed the river, leaped over the park palings, followed by the dogs, and was taken at the foot of the observatory, precisely at the moment of the occultation. We took the
liberty of inquiring whether the attention of his Majesty had been proof against this interruption, and were answered that a cloud had unfortunately interposed just then, otherwise nothing could have taken off his Majesty's attention.
The King's Paddock is a dead flat, without any other view than its own meadows and scattered trees, but that is really enough. English park trees have a character of picturesque magnificence, unequalled any where else, and a few of them on a lawn constitute alone a landscape. They form the principal charm of the view from Richmond Hill, so justly celebrated.
From the brow of an inconsiderable hill, per. haps 300 feet, you see a vast plain, and the Thames winding through its rich pastures, where cattle and sheep graze at liberty. Dark masses of tufted trees project irregularly in the shape of bays and promontories over a sea of verdure, with detached shady islands. Here and there the eye distinguishes an oak stretching its vast horizontal limbs ; oftener an elm rearing, in suc cessive tiers, its rounded masses and plumy top. A few houses half hid among these groves, and paths slightly marked across the green, are the only perceivable traces of man ; no ditches, no hedges, no inclosures of any sort, -no roads, no strait lines. As far as the eye can reach in an immense semicircle, the scenery, always the same,
is ever varied. As the prospect recedes, every slight depression of the level sketches the nearest distance in a rich outline of edging tops of trees, upon the farthest, fainter and bluer, till all is lost in the vague greyish haze of the horizon, with some indications of hills. If they were real hills, the prospect would leave nothing to wish for.
From a far greater height, whence the eye measured a plain far more extensive, torn and laid waste, rather than embellished, by a broad and rapid stream, which disdains winding, I was accustomed, in the days of my infancy, to con. template an horizon skirted by the Alps, with Mont Blanc in the centre. In autumn, a thick fog often fell during the night, on the vast plain below; and it was seen early in the morning like a sea ; its surface perfectly calm and unruffled, and the margin exactly defined along the sides of the hill. The eastern glow of the morn. ing witnessed no change ; but no sooner had the rising sun darted its first level rays from between the deep black, dentated summit of the Alps, than the sea of vapours began to heave its billows; the mighty waves rolled and tumbled furiously as in a tempest, till, losing their density, they rose, slow and majestic, in vast clouds, and, enveloping at last the spectator himself, hid the vision of glory from his sight.
Richmond Hill, without pretending to so much sublimity, bas a style of beauty more ornamented, mild, riant, and pleasing. It is not a forest, for there is nothing rude and neglected ; not a gar. den, for there is no art; not a country, for cultiration and business are nowhere going on ;-the simplicity and unity of plan and means, trees and grass, and vast extent, give it an appearance of nature, but nature was never seen so select and chaste, and unmixed with offensive objects. It is at least rich, elegant, and high-born nature, and something, at any rate, unique of its kind. Most of this magical effect is owing to the fol. lowing circumstances: Some rich proprietors happen to occupy all the fore.ground of the pic. ture in the plain below,--Lord Dysart, Mr Cambridge, &c.+They have spread their lawns, planted their groves, and levelled their enclosures. Further on are the royal grounds. All the rest of the country is sufficiently planted to give it, when seen fore-shortened in the remote view, a very woody appearance, and make it an uninter. rupted and boundless continuation of the near cene. The blue haze of distance finishes the ront view. The fine old forest-trees of the park of Richmond, hanging on the left side of the hill, and on the right other trees, and good-looking houses, form the screens or frame of the picture. It is, however, a pity that so many people should have had the same taste as to the beauty of this view, and that it should be only eight or ten miles from London. Houses have accumulated along the top of Richmond Hill, forming a street, or rather a row, looking over the beautiful terrace, and inhabited by substantial citizens ;-a class of people more respectable for their good conduct, than remarkable for their taste. The walkers on the terrace and in the park admire most what their glasses alone enable them to dig. cover; the colours flying on the top of Windsor Castle, or the roofs and chimneys of London. And with Thomson,
The raptured eye
Beauties without a name are no beauties for them. The Thames, which they call majestic, holds the first rank among the objects of their admiration. It is no doubt a pretty little stream, a narrow ribbon or silvery snake twisting along the green meadows; but if it were dried
and its muddy bed filled and sodded over, I do not think the prospect would be materially injured.