The Garden Guide

Book: Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, 1816
Chapter: Fragment Xxxvi. Harestreet. Of Quantity And Appropriation.

Repton's Cottage in Harestreet 2

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In my former volume, I used the word appropriation, to describe that sort of command over the landscape, visible from the windows, which denotes it to be private property belonging to the place. A view into a square, or into the parks, may be cheerful and beautiful, but it wants appropriation; it wants that charm which only belongs to ownership, the exclusive right of enjoyment, with the power of refusing that others should share our pleasure: and, however painful the reflection, this propensity is part of human nature. I have too frequently witnessed a greater satisfaction in turning a public road, in stopping a foot-path, or in hiding a view by a pale and a screen, than in the most beautiful improvements to the scenery; and sometimes have contended in vain against the firs and poplars, which, on the verge of a forest, presented more agreeable objects to the proprietor than the scenery of the forest itself; one acknowledged that he would rather look at a young sapling of his own, than the most venerable oaks belonging to the Crown.