button to main menu   West's Guide to the Lakes, 1778/1821

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Page 290:-
natural, and therefore not beautiful. Houses, which are the work of art, seldom look well in this form. In short, whatever be the circumstances of the base of a fine mountain as to wood, its top should either be wholly naked, or ornamented with one of those artificial erections spoken of before.
These observations will also hold good with respect to little abrupt prominences, or swells, in ornamental grounds; which (if they must be tampered with) would receive more improvement from being encircled with an assortment of shrubs, over whose tops the crown of the hills (either plain or terminated with some agreeable erection of stone) might be fairly seen, than from a few large trees, planted, as we often find, on their summits: for where these swells are pretty frequent (as they mostly are in uneven countries) art is better applied in lowering them, as it were, to the eye, than giving them real additional height.
As to the avenues of tall trees, they have certainly a noble effect for a private walk, or the first part of an approach to a gentleman's seat: but, seen from distant eminences, they often betray a good deal of the formality of a common fence.
To close the subject with a maxim or two more. Keep all large trees at a good distance from every neat looking house.[1] Always consider extensive, unevenly-bounded forests to have an infinitely better effect in a landscape, than an equal quantity of trees dispersed over it in crowded, formally-enclosed patches. And, above all things, never forget the superlative beauty which (for a near view) may be given to a park, farm, or cultivated country, by single trees lightly and irregularly placed out of the hedge rows.
[1] Respecting houses, I would just observe, by the bye, that to any person, save a native inured to them, buildings of blue rag, without mortar, have a very mean and depressing look; and that, if it fall conveniently within reach, the common rough-cast of limestone countries, has the most neat and chearful appearance of any outside finish, of an easy expense, and of easy management.
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