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passes into the gardens beyond Styx, to be shaken by the hand by old John Evelyn. I agree with Edgar Poe that gardening is the supreme art. It brings you
into partnership with God. My friend last-named blends the poet and the gardener as no man ever blended them since Adam made his first lovelyric within the nightingale-haunted foliagewalls of Eden. I know nothing pleasanter than to lunch with him on Muscat grapes and Moselle mousseux and listen to the caprices of his converse.
If, dear reader, I could bring before you either of these three : one, let us say, in a brilliant saloon at London-super-Mare ... the second feeding the tame pheasants, a hundred or more, on the lawn of his manor house; the third pruning his trees, budding his roses, ... polishing his stanzas, by the Thames: you would understand better than I have been able to tell you what I mean by the classic character.
Thi sun is the great origin of health ... the sea is the great healer. The man who would live long should never shun the sunlight. Build your house wide-windowed
and many-windowed, so as to catch plenty of it: and have a nursery under glass for your children, where they may roll about in nudity, and absorb the life-giving sunshafts. I suppose that the finest physical example of manhood is an English non-political country gentleman in his prime. Well, he lives out of doors. In autumn and winter he hunts and shoots ; in spring and summer he looks after his parks and woodlands. All day long he is in the open air, getting vigour from the sun.
So he grows like one of his ancestral oaks. It must not be supposed that such vigour is unattainable from the great solar source upon a cloudy or rainy day. The light is there, though retarded : no cloud that ever overspread the sky could intercept the solar influence.
In taking as an instance of high physical health the typical country gentleman who abstains from politics, I may be accused of ignoring my theory that ideas are life. It is not so. There are ideas beyond the limits of the House of Commons, the Stock Exchange, and the newspapers. The life of an English country-gentleman is singularly like the life of Homer's heroes ... who indeed were simply a set of Greek country-gentlemen, obliged to unite and punish the people of Troy, a city of sea-robbers and Sybarites. They relucted for a long time, just in the
Ergash fazon, betirer l'inserioard te thing had to be done.ard so they cd it pretty Efstively. Through Homer'símbological machinery and poetic refraction all this is clear enough: and in reading Homer I am often amazed at the likeness of his characters to the country peers and squires of this day. It was through this quality in him that the late Earl of Derby, though no poet, caught so much of the spirit of the Niad.
Well, will anyone tell me that Achilles and Odysseus, Agamemnon and Menelaus, were men without ideas? Their life was simple enough when no fighting had to be done. They lived in great houses amid pleasant gardens, and all their retainers and dependents lived with them. They rose early, looked well after their estates, were not ashamed to drive the plough themselves, delighted to go wown amorig their labourers and refresh them from the wine-skin. They hunted boar and deer—and when the quarry was brought home would cut it up and cook it themselves. They loved athletic sports, and had many a holiday for the youth to race and wrestle and throw weights. They loved the banquet, plentiful and with abundant wine ; and loved, when
e; it was over, to hear the recitation of some wandering poet. They loved to entertain a stranger—to welcome him with the bath and clean raiment and a noble meal—and afterward to hear his adventures. When the Greek squire's linen was to be washed, his daughters and their maidens would drive in a four-horse waggon to some secluded river, and do the work quickly, and bathe thereafter, and end the summer day with a merry game at ball. For the father there was nó Times, for the mother no Mudie, for the boys no short pipes, for the girls no croquet or curates. But, so far as I can judge from their historian, Homer—and his truthfulness none dare question—they lived