The Garden Guide

Book: An inquiry into the changes of taste in landscape gardening, 1806
Chapter: Part III. Literary And Miscellaneous Remarks.

Answer to Richard Payne Knight

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Answer to Mr. R P Knights Inquiry.-In perusing these works, the candid reader will perhaps discover that there is no real difference between us; but, in contending with an adversary of such nice discernment, such deep investigation, and such ingenious powers of expression, it is difficult to say how far we are actually of the same opinion. I thought I could discover a shade of difference between the opinions of Mr. Knight and Mr. Price, although the world confounded them as joint and equal adversaries to the art of modern gardening. We are now told that in both his volumes "his friend (Mr. Price) equally mistakes ideas for things, and the effect of internal sympathy for those of external circumstances, and thence grounds the best practical lessons of taste upon false principles and false philosophy." Under such severity of criticism both Mr. Price and I may console ourselves in our mistakes from the following remark: "When Montesquieu and Burke thus differ upon a subject of common sense and feeling, which each had made the particular object of his investigation, who shall hope to escape error in any theoretical inquiry?"