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INSTEAD of a little dozing closet (according to the unwholesome custom of most people) I chuse this spacious room, for all my small affairs, reading books or writing letters; where I am never in the least tired, by the help of stretching my legs sometimes in so long a room, and of looking into the pleasanteft park in the world juft underneath it.
VISITS, after a certain hour, are not to be avoided; some of which I own a little fatiguing (tho’ thanks to the town's laziness, they come pretty late) if the garden was not so near, as to give à seasonable refreshment between those ceremonious interruptions. And I am more forry than my . coachman himself, if I am forced to go abroad any part of the morning. For though my garden is such, as by not pretending to rarities or curiositics, has nothing in it to inveagle one's thoughts ; yet by the advantage of situation and prospect, it is able to sugo gest the noblest that can be ; in presenting at once to view a vast Town, a Palace, and a magnificent Cathedral. I confess the last with all its splendour, has less share in exciting my devotion, than the most common Thrub in my garden : For though I am apt to
be sincerely devout in any sort of religious assemblies; from the very best (that of our. own Church) even to those of Jews, Turks, and Indians : Yet the works of nature appear to me the better sort of sermons ; and every flower contains in it the most edifying rhetorick, to fill us with admiration of its omnipotent Creator.
AFTER I have dined (either agreeably with friends, or at worst with better company than your country-neighbours) I drive away
to a * Place of air and exercise; Marybone.
which some constitutions are in absolute need of: agitation of the body, and diversion of the mind, being a composition for health above all the skill of HIPPOCRATES.
The small distance of this place from London, is just enough for recovering my weariness, and recruiting my spirits, so as to make me fitter than before I set out, for either bufiness or pleasure. At the mentioning the last of these, methinks I see you smile; but I confess myself so changed [which you maliciously, I know, will call decayed] as to my former enchanting delights, that the company I commonly find at home is agreeable enough to make me conclude the evening on a delightful Terrace, or in a Place free
from late visits, except of familiar acquaintance.
By this account you will see, that moft of my time is conjugally spent at home; and consequently you will blame my laziness more than ever, for not imploying it in a way, which your partiality is wont to think me capable of. Therefore I am obliged to go on with this trifling description, as some excuse for my idleness. But how such a description itself is excusable, is what I should be very much in pain about, if I thought any body could see it besides your self, who are too good a judge in all things to mistake a friend's compliance in a private letter, for the least touch of Vanity,
THE Avenues to this house are along ST. JAMES’s Park, through rows of goodly Elms on one hand, and gay flourishing Limes on the other; that for coaches, this for walking i with the Mall lying between them. This reaches to my iron palisade that incompasses a square court, which has in the midst a great bason with statues and water-works and from its entrance, rises all the way imperceptibly, 'till we mount to a Terrace in the front of a large Hall, paved with square white stones mixed with a dark-coloured VOL. II. S
marble; the walls of it covered with a sett of
a pictures done in the school of RAPHAEL, Out of this, on the right hand we go into a parlour thirty three foot by thirty nine, with a niche fifteen foot broad for a Bufette, paved with white marble, and placed within an arch, with Pilasters of diverse colours, the upper part of which as high as the ceiling is painted by Ricci.
From hence we pass through a suite of large rooms, into a bed-chamber of thirty four foot by twenty
seven ; within it a large closet, that opens into a green-house.
On the left hand of the hall are three stone arches supported by Corinthian pillars, under one of which we go up eight and forty steps ten foot broad, each step of one entire Portland-Itone: These stairs, by the help of two resting-placcs, are so very casy, there is no need of leaning on the ironballuster. The walls are painted with the story of DIDO; whom though the Poet was oblig'd to dispatch away mournfully in order to make room for LAVINIA, the better-natured Painter has brought no farther than to that fatal Cave, where the Lovers appear just entring, and languishing with desire.
The roof of this stair-case, which is fifty five foot from the ground, is of forty foot by thirty fix, filled with the figures of Gods and Goddesses; in the midst is Juno, condescending to beg assistance from Venus, to bring about a marriage which the fates inten“ ded should be the ruin of her own darling Queen and People. By which that sublime Poet wisely intimates, that we should never be over-eager for any thing, either in our pursuits, or our prayers ; left what we endeavour or ask too violently for our inte test, should be granted us by Providence only in order to our ruin.
The bas-reliefs and little squares above are all episodical paintings of tlie same stofy: and the largeness of the whole has admitted of a fure remedy against any decay of the colours from falt-petre in the wall, by making another of oak-laths four inches within it, and so primed over like a picture.
FROM å wide Landing-place on the stairshead, a great double-door opens into an apartment of the same dimensions with that below, only three foot higher : Notwitha standing which, it would appear too low, if the higher Salon had not been divided