The Garden Guide

Book: Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening, 1795
Chapter: Chapter 6: On on the ancient style of gardening; Of symmetry and uniformity

Symmetry is distasteful when it is useless

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Wherever symmetry is useful to the soul, and may assist her functions, it is agreeable to her; but wherever it is useless, it becomes distasteful, because it takes away variety. Therefore, things that we see in succession ought to have variety, for our soul has no difficulty in seeing them; those, on the contrary, that we see at one glance, ought to have symmetry: thus, at one glance we see the front of a building, a parterre, a temple; in such things there is always a symmetry, which pleases the soul by the facility it gives her of taking the whole object at once."