The Garden Guide

Book: History of Garden Design and Gardening
Chapter: Chapter 3: European Gardens (500AD-1850)

Frascati Gardens

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112.At Frascati, Belvidere, a villa of Prince Borghese, commands most glorious prospects, and is itself a fine object, from the scenic effect of its front and approaches. Behind the palace is an aquatic stream, which flows from Mount Algidus, dashes precipitately down a succession of terraces, and is tormented below into a variety of tricks. The whole court seems alive at the turning of a cock. Water attacks you on every side; it is squirted in your face from invisible holes; it darts up in a constellation of jets d'eau; it returns in misty showers, which present against the sun a beautiful iris. Water is made to blow the trumpet of a centaur and the pipe of a cyclops; water plays two organs; makes the birds warble, and the muses tune their reeds; sets Pegasus neighing, and all Parnassus on music. �I remark,� says Forsyth, �this magnificent toy as a specimen of Italian hydraulics. Its sole object is to surprise strangers; for all the pleasure that its repetitions can impart to the owners, is but a faint reflection from the pleasure of others.� (Ibid.)