Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

tion. What future improvers may effect, time only will show. But let these bints supersede much of criticism on landscape gardening: and as the genius of the place does not require, so will our attempts not aspire to length or labour of description.

[blocks in formation]

These grounds, then, as they are now disposed, consist of several walks with plantations of majestic elms, except one of a grand row of chesnuts, and two or three of limes. The walks are in general strait, and Cam moves near them; not crowned about here with much of his sedge, nor yet with cheerful underwood, but with slow,

Milton, therefore, was always for abusing him, whether writing in Latin or English. The narrow

sullen course.

a Hence in his Lycidas:

Next Camus, reverend sire, came footing slow,
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge.

And in his Latin Elegies, (ad Car. Deodatum):

Jam nec arundiferum mihi cura revisere Camum,

*

Nuda nec arva placent, umbrasq. negantia nolles:

Quam male Phæbicolis convenit ille locus!

Milton had a thorough batred of Cambridge. Hear, on the other side, Cowley :

O sacri fontes, et sacræ vatibus umbræ !

Quas recreant avium Pieridumq. chori!
O Camus! Phæbo nullus quo gratior amnis!

Eleg. Dedicat. &c. ad Acad. Cantao.

Gray and Mason were full of affectionate greetings to the Cam.

bed of the river does not admit of large magnificent bridges, but one by the late Mr. Essex, an ingenious architect, formerly of this town, is of great elegance, and universally admired.

It may be admitted, that the public walks of our sister university have some superior charms over these we are now describing: the walks are generally more winding, without so many formal strait lines, and acute angles; the trees have greater variety of foliage, (and, consequently, you have bolder lights and shades,) and there is more of underwood and shrubbery, amidst their fine oaks, beech, birch, and elms: Cambridgeshire is very parsimonious of trees, and her oak is proverbial for the willow a: the stately wide walk of Christ Church, some overshadowed walks, a more majestic spread of water, a sprightlier course of the river, and the affectionate junction of the two streams 5, on Christ Church meadow, are extremely interesting and fine, and when considered in detail, or by being compared with what is beautiful in the Cambridge walks, must be allowed to rise by the comparison.

But, still our walks have their peculiar beauties, adapted to the place and the walk planted with limes from Clare Hall, forms a vista, lengthened, and of admirable effect. You might say, perhaps, that Oxford has not any thing of the kind equal to this: the eye is also carried across the river through a fine vista, formed by rows of lime and elm, as you come from Trinity library, terminating in Coton

Cowley, we may see, was not ashamed of our Cambridge willow.

Felix, qui nunquam plus uno viderit amne!

Quiq: eadem Salicis littora more colit!

Where meet our streams, indulging short delay.

Warton's Complaint of Cheruell.

Church; the view of Clare Hall piece, as seen from King's College, or Clare Hall, with the adjoining objects, forms a most pleasing landscape, as seen over the Cam, and opening, through a plantation of venerable elms, to the adjacent fields : any eye that can perceive rural beauty may dwell on these pictures with delight: but, taking into consideration the beauty and grandeur of the several buildings, to be seen from Clare Hall, or King's College, Oxford must yield to Cambridge: nor must you say this is not Grasmere nor Keswick; there is no scene of the kind throughout all England, that can be compared with these. The aspect, too, is the best that could be, both for the walks, and effect on the adjoining buildings ; a south-western more lightly planted; but it is more strongly planted and fortified against the north.

Having mentioned Mr. Brown, I cannot forbear just stating what his more bold attempt at improvements was. He proposed that the river, instead of taking its course, as it comes from Newnham, should be removed to a greater distance from the colleges: this would certainly have removed some nuisances, and formed the agreeable part in landscape scenery, as viewed from the chambers of those colleges, near which it now passes; and particularly, instead of moving closely under the western building of St. John's, it was, by being moved to a considerable distance, to have taken its course not, as now, on the south side of Magdalen College, but on the north side, between that college and St. Peter's Church, and all those summer houses, and other small houses on each side of the bridge, now abutting on Magdalen College and St. John's

a For these two or three ideas of Mr. Brown's plan, I am indebted to Mr. Asbby's MSS

-certainly no great ornaments — were to have been removed.

This plan, had it been executed, might certainly have added some beauties to these grounds, and have been more pleasing, by its distant view, from all those colleges; as it was to have had the accompaniment of other improvements, of which, in Mr. Brown's hands, these grounds were certainly susceptible: but it is enough just to have hinted at these matters. And this must suffice for our public walks.

[ocr errors]

CHAP. II.

ATTEMPTS AT OTHER IMPROVEMENTS.

IN speaking of Mr. Brown's attempts at improvement, I am insensibly led to some suggested by Mr. Ashby, late fellow of St. John's: I at least suppose them to be his : for I am indebted to his paper for several ideas on this subject. One was, and he calls it the chief, to render the east end of Trumpington Street less inconvenient: for, if the corners could have been rounded off, and thereby much good done, yet the street, in that part, for a considerable way, is so very narrow, (besides the sharp turning off to Newmarket, which is again repeated at the entrance of Jesus Lane,) as to be quite inadequate to accommodate the great number of carriages passing constantly to and from all the eastern and northern counties : as the street cannot be widened, he thought the evil might be remedied by making an entire new street, from near the back gate of the Rose Inn, over against the lane between Trinity and Caius Colleges, in a strait line to open against Jesus Lane: this would, he thought, have carried off the numerous carriages, that wanted to go into Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex; and as the town is rather defective in dwelling houses, for gentlemen occa

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »