Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub
[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

THE PARKS AND GARDENS OF

OF LONDON.

new

Truths may become so evidently true to us that we reading in a low and musical voice--what, we knew cease to question them, cease to think of them, and so not, nor cared to know; it could not be more beautiful at last cease to act upon them ; until some unexpected or suggestive to the heart and mind of man than the incident restores them to us once more in all their scene in which they were, and to which their appreoriginal power. We remember an instance of this ciation of it, so luxuriously complete, lent a kind, which may not unfitly precede our general charm. And then it was that once more dawned upon remarks on the Public Gardens of London. It was us a fresh sense of the particular beauty of these an evening in July ; one of those wondrously rich gardens, and of the privilege which all may enjoy of glowing sunsets which bathe the world in glory, when walking in them, as well as of the anparent uncon. we found ourselves wandering through Kensington sciousness of so many men and women who might Gardens. Suddenly we came out in front of those benefit by them, -of what they lose by their neglect grand old cedars of Lebanon, which so richly darken to do so. the green sward in the western part of the gardens, We strolled on through the flower-walk, with its choice near the Palace, in one of its most lovely and least collection of trees and shrubs, and felt that we never saw frequented spots. The gorgeous light was fully upon so plainly before the peculiar beauties and characteristics them at their tops, while beneath you saw through of each ; we ranged in vision over the sylvan glades long and low vistas, far away in the distance, stretching on the left, climbed in the same way the magnificent along and touching the ground, a line of rosy light, trees, and were again arrested by the scene-unequalled of the loveliest conceivable hue, and barred perpen- surely anywhere - that presented itself at the eastern dicularly by the black slender-looking tree trunks. As extremity of the gardens, where you look over the we turned away, after a long silent reverential study of low wall, with its sunken fosse, or Ha-ha! beyond to the scene in that direction, another of a different kind the well-known Rotten row that divides the gardens, arrested the eye. An artist was at work upon those from the park. In that road, ranged in almost military cedars, aiming doubtless to catch and fix for ever that precision and silence, was drawn up a long line of wondrous combination of form and colour which they horsemen and horsewomen, who had quitted for the then presented. He was seated on a low portable moment the army of mounted irregulars to which garden-stool, and leaned his back against one of the they belonged, and who kept sweeping to and fro in garden seats, on which sat a lady, with a book in her the rear: our modern domestic chivalry-in a word, hands, and with her head bending down towards him, the flower of the male and female aristocracy of England. Inside and lining the garden wall, and thus practice that shall never disappoint him—the practice protected from any sudden inroad from the “ Row,” of the continual study of external nature, for it shall or promenading up and down the broad walk, or give himself the health, bodily and mental, that he thickly covering the green lawn on the left, or grouped often loses while pining for the opportunity to secure picturesquely a little farther off, or scattered more and health to others ; —let the professional man, if success. more sparingly as the eye compassed a greater distance, ful, forget not that the heart is apt to harden and the we looked upon hundreds of fair women, arrayed in tastes to grow false amid material splendours ; and colours sportive and brilliant and varied as the rain that it is not to the uncultivated that the poet's lines bow, and which would have been almost as harmonious, apply with their greatest forcebut for the ugly black forms called gentlemen, that, in

[graphic]

FRED

1.- SERPEN

IDGE.

“A primrose on the river's brim rainter's language, spotted the picture all over. And

A yellow primrose was to him,what was the charm that arrested alike promenaders

And it was nothing more." and equestrians? what but the lovely strains of Mozart's Magic Flute,' exquisitely performed by one of the Lastly ; let those who have no occupation but to household regiments? And this too, we thought, is spend the leisure and money fortune has placed at the people's! Twice a week may they here enjoy one their disposal, try how well the first may be relieved of the highest of all human pleasures, and benefit by by occasionally sharing with the People the varied one of the highest of all those influences that tend to advantages afforded by our public places of resort ; spiritual culture—they may hear divine music, wor- and how well the other may be used by helping to thily rendered, and in a spot so congenial that we establish, wherever their social or pecuniary influence need only contrast it with the theatre, or with the may extend, similar places of resort for their less expensive and fashionable concert-room, to see that the favoured brethren. poorest of amateurs is not also in this matter one of It is cheering now to count up our places of popular the most unfortunate.

resort. Battersea Park, it is true, is yet in the land of Pursuing our walk, we reached the bridge, where a good intentions; not a very solid ground we fear-nor new aspect of beauty wooed us. (Cut, No. 1.) The a place easy to find ; although a map of the district is waters of the Serpentine were dancing, every here and doubtless deposited in the recesses of the "Woods there, in long trails of light; the wide stretches of green and Forests;" but Victoria Park (peculiarly an sward that encompass the river were lustrous with the artisan's and tradesman's park), is a realized fact; and, new life that had been given by recent rains; the lofty as we shall presently show, a peculiarly interesting forest trees seemed to dilate to an unusual magnitude fact. The south and east thus provided for, we have their glorious bulk; white sails were gliding to and fro; on the north, the open country about Copenhagen while from boats with low picturesque awnings, the fields, where a new park is proposed to be founded at pleasant sound of uproarious laughter ascended at the very time we are writing; and, in case they should be intervals. As evening drew on, bands of youths and quite built over, the charming Hampstead- heath, and men gathered upon the water's edge, and gradually its neighbourhood extending nearly up to Regent's became the sole occupants of the place, for bathing Park; while on the west we have the cluster of Parks commenced. Again the thought occurred with renewed -happily called the “Lungs of London " - under force--and these health-giving, these truly manly the several names of St. James's Park, the Green enjoyments can be enjoyed by all, under circumstances Park, Hyde Park, and Kensington Gardens. With of beauty and fitness that the richest nobleman in the a gradual thinning out of London, therefore, a process land cannot in essentials surpass.

that is now constantly going on in the worst portionAnd Kensington Gardens forms but one of those the city-and with the embankment of the river in a priceless possessions of the people of London, which style worthy of its position, size, uses, and associations, we venture to think they do not yet sufficiently use or there will be a fair chance for the pure breeze of enjoy. And we convey no class reflection in those heaven, to penetrate to our streets and houses, and to words. We would rather ask, whose soul is large convey us a message and an invitation, now and then, enough to take in even the entire wealth of the from the open country beyond. smallest of landscapes on a purple summer's eve ? Before we proceed with what may be called the Grow as we will, its beauty will grow faster. Never several biographies of the parks, it may be useful to shall we be able to say—"Now I have it all.” So is indicate in a few words their common relations, story, it with each of the elements that serves for our spiritual and character. nurture. Let then the poor artisan forget awhile the Hyde Park, the Green and St. James's Parks, may weary struggles with adverse fortune, and respond to be regarded as forming part of an uninterrupted space the invitation which these public gardens make: he of open pleasure-ground. This is not so apparent will find himself, not more but less weary afterwards. now that they only touch with their angles, but it was Let the tradesman take advantage of his “slack" | otherwise before the ground on which Apsley House days, to fill his heart with a renewed sense of those and Hamilton-place stand was filched from Hyde Park. things which business is not at all calculated to feed. Even yet the isthmus which connects them, where Let the professional man, if unsuccessful, seek one Hyde Park-gate and the gate at the top of Consti

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

tution-hill front each other, is only attenuated, not to win over the Roman citizens from the party of intersected. They have moreover since the Revolution Brutus and Cassius to that of the friends of Cæsar, been invariably intrusted to the care of the same he told them that the Dictator had bequeathed to ranger. To remind the reader of their continuity, a them plan of old St. James's Park, is suhjoined. (Cut,

“ All his walks, No. 2.)

His private arbours, and new-planted orchards,
Each of the Parks has its own peculiar character. On that side Tiber; he hath left them you,
St. James's, lying among palaces, and hedged round And to your heirs for ever; common pleasures,
on all sides from a comparatively early period by the

To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.” fashionable residences of the “West End,” is the

measure accounts courtier. Hyde Park, not yet quite surrounded by The popularity attending such a the town, and decidedly extending into a rural

for the fact that in almost all the capitals of Europe neighbourhood, is the “fine old country gentleman," the very names of the open spaces of ornamented essentially stately and noble, and a courtier too on ground most frequented by their inhabitants demonoccasions, yet with a dash of rusticity. The Regent's strate them to have been, at an earlier period, places Park is a more equivocal character, more difficult to

reserved for the private pleasures of the monarch. describe ; not a parvenu exactly, for its connection

The jardins of the Luxemburg, the Thier-Garten of with royalty is as ancient as either of the others; not

Berlin, and the Grosser-Garten of Dresden, and our so unequivocally bon ton, for it has at times associated own royal parks, are examples. with curious society, and been kept in the background -a sort of Falconbridge, perhaps, whose connection

IIYDE PARK AND KENSINGTON GARDENS. with royalty is rather irregular, but when once admitted within the circle, can ruffle it with the best. The fields which now constitute St. James's Park Victoria Park is both in the letter and in the spirit an were acquired by Henry VIII. for some lands in artisan's and tradesman's park. To the passionate Suffolk. The Hospital of St. James, which had fondness of the early English sovereigns for the chase, previously stood there, was pulled down, the sisterwe owe, in all probability, the preservation of the hood pensioned off, a "goodly palace" erected on its sites of our older parks; while to their love of popu- site, and a park enclosed by a brick wall. Hyde Park larity we owe the gradual dedication of the parks came into the possession of the same bluff monarch themselves to the service of the people. From the by a less formal process, at the dissolution of the days of Julius Cæsar downwards this has been a monasteries. It formed part of the Manor of Hyde, . recognized mode of courting the vox populi. That the property of the Abbot and Monastery of St. eminent antiquary, Mr. William Shakspere, records Peter at Westminster. . As mention is made of the Mark Antony's successful use of this device, when, keeper of the park very soon after its acquisition by

« PředchozíPokračovat »