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puzzle than to enlighten or direct those who might adopt it. He himself had experienced the difficulty of making practical application of the general reasonings, and of the diffuse, and at times irrelevant discussions to be found in some of these authors; and it was only by means of light derived from his own practice that he was able to put them to profit. In the work of Price, for example, the leading precepts substantially are Study pictures familiarize your taste with scenes which painters would delight to copy—become acquainted with the elements of the picturesque—and seek to realize the resulting ideas in and about your residence. Most gentlemen of liberal education know something of pictures; but there are few who would not disclaim such a special culture in the fine arts, as would fit them to apply the principles of painting to the improvement of their grounds. To prescribe such a course is virtually to require a professional education, or to impose the amateur labour of half a lifetime. The object of the present work is to preserve a plain and direct method of statement, to be intelligible to all who have had an ordinary education, and to give directions which, it
is hoped, will be found to be practical by those who have an adequate knowledge of country affairs.
The author earnestly disclaims all intention of detracting from the acknowledged merits of his illustrious predecessors. He has been willing to sit at the feet of Wheatley, Price, and Gilpin. He has learned much from their writings. His aim, in this volume, has been to popularize their principles, and to simplify and extend their processes in practice. He has, however, sedulously avoided those redundant and often merely controversial discussions by which some of their literary works are encumbered. At the same time he is convinced that Landscape Gardening, like the other Fine Arts, is of a progressive nature; and that its ascertained principles compose a fabric to which successive writers have added, or have yet to add, each his stick and his stone. He has endeavoured to do his part. While, however, he has not been inattentive to the literature of his profession, he has looked even more intently at nature; he has sought to draw directly from her inexhaustible stores; and in offering to the public the results of his observations, he humbly trusts that he has contributed to the progress of the art.
In adding to his original plan two chapters on the Arboretum and the Pinetum, the author has sought to supply a want in regard to ornamental collections of trees, which is becoming daily more apparent. So far as his limited space has allowed, he has endeavoured to treat these subjects on the principles both of science and taste; and he hopes that the botanical information, which he has drawn from the best sources, though it may be uninteresting to the general reader, will not be unacceptable to the lovers of these pleasing departments of Arboriculture.
Edinburgh, August, 1852.