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June 6 You should send, Mr Editor, your indolent infidels to see what wonders have been done, even in the stile of English gardening, in this, one of the worst Russian provinces, which nothing but political and commercial motives could make the residence of the court and nobility; whilst they have such a superior country, and climate as Muscow to retire
Putting the imperial gardens of Sarscocello and Peterhoff out of the question, I fhall only hint at a few of the many, planted by subjects during my own time, which will sufficiently justify my criticism.
Prince Orloff, about eighteen or nineteen years ago, adorned a magnificent seat (Gatchina, fifteen versts east of Sarscocello, belonging at present to his imperial' highnefs the grand duke of Russia,) in a wild part of the country, with a beautiful garden, planned by one, and executed by another Englishman, of the name of Sparrow; and surely amongst all the fine things of this delightful summer residence, the noble. plantations are the most conspicuous, and draw most attention. Fifteen versts beyond Gatchina, where the country, grown still wilder and apparently more steril, without a tree to be seen till you arrive at his estate, Peter Demidoff, esq. a private Rufsian gentleman, who had been long enough in England to speak and write the language, has adorned his country seat of Sivorik with four extensive contiguous gardens, in as many varieties of the English stile, to suit the size, ornaments, furniture, and water of four houses placed at proper distances; where he entertains his friends in a stile correspondent to the
comparative magnificence or simplicity of the seat and gardens, table service, and every thing else in character, from silver down to white stone ware.
But it is to his plantations, Mr Editor, in this unprotected northern situation, that I wish to draw the attention of your readers, and I can assure you we may wander thirty versts, on gravel walks meandring through them, and count at least fourteen* different kinds of trees, which afford fhade, independent of the number of handsome fhrubs which ornament. the wide range of these carelian pleasure grounds. Now, Sir, all this magic (for magic it must appear to those who find difficulty to plant in Scotland,) has been produced by the gentleman's own peasants, during our fhort summers in these northern regions; whilst you are obliged to write, or at least print efsays, to convince the negligent inhabitants of an island, in a considerably lower latitude, of the practicability of raising timber, in their country, kept in a perpetual temperature by the surrounding sea.
No, Mr Editor, people from the north of Europe would not receive such excuses as valid for a want
* Sorbus aucaparia,-robinia caragai-p'nus larix,-pinus cembra, for these four I do not know the English names,-pinus sylvestris, Scotch fir, pinus abies, common fir-betula alba, birch-betula alnus, alder -ulmus campestris, elm-populus tremula, trembling poplar-salix alba,. white willow-acer platonoides, maple-quercus robur, oak.
In this list I do not observe the afh tree, fraxinus, now the most common tree in Scotland. It is observable that no afh trees are ever found in any of the mofses in Scotland, hence it is doubtful whether it was a native or not. Will my ingenious correspondent inform me if this tree be found in Rufsia? it is a must beautiful tree and valuable; neither do I observe the beech, fagus, though a beautiful and hardy tree.
of wood in any island under the crown of Great Britain, the Bass, probably, excepted, when they see the scanty portion of soil that is necefsary to support it, even on barren rocks; but I am afraid you will think me in jest, when I affirm, that we see every day, in driving through the streets of Petersburg, self sown birches, growing, in derision of such doctrine, out of the mofs collected on the tops of old houses, as you may be afsured by people, now in Edinburgh; so very little is the portion of the soil necefsary for raising certain trees. If this last argument does not apologize for the liberty I took of smiling at the paper alluded to in this letter, I must plead guilty of contumacy, after just hinting at one other consideration, which militates on my side, viz. that such efsays may lead people to suspect that Johnson's laughable remark did not proceed so much from imperfect vision, as your patriots have willingly alled ged, in which number, I hope, you will include your correspondent ARCTICUS.
P.S. As I write rather for information than instruction, I fhall be obliged to any of your learned correspondents, to point out if there is any thing in our long duration of frost and snow, or other circumstances attending our climate, (which you are now well acquainted with, by the philosophical transactions of your Royal Society,) which give Finland advantages over Scotland, on the subject that I have ignorantly. engaged in; as on conviction, I fhall, in future, treat with more respect the bare, and therefore bleak lands of Caledonia,- terms of opprobrium which I am so
159 heartily tired of hearing, that I could wish, with you, to see them done away, by a little industry of the kind you so much recommend, and which cannot fail to have a wonderful effect on the climate and produce of Scotland; whose sterility and chillness, if well founded, can only be owing to the uncontrouled influence of certain winds; a real difhonour to the inhabitants, when it is considered how much their temperature must be modified, from whatever quarter they blow, by passing over a long tract of sea; nay, the very dress of the country ascertains the fact. A great coat, at most, being all that is required in the most rigorous season; and some go without one the: whole year round; whilst those who laugh at them are covered with furrs seven months of the twelve. Imperial cadet corps, Į St Petersburg.
REMARKS ON THE ABOVE BY THE EDITOR.
IN elucidation of the subject that affords these sportive remarks to my ingenious correspondent, I beg leave to inform him that he is much mistaken when he supposes that the people in Scotland, in general, are either ignorant of the manner of rearing trees, or backward in cultivating them. So far is this from being the case, that I am firmly persuaded there is no part on the globe, of the same extent, where so many trees have been planted within the last half century, as in Scotland; nor any other country where this branch of rural economy is so well understood. One gentleman afsured me, himself, that he alone had planted, during his own life time, upwards of forty
eight millions of trees; and he lived several years. after that; and sent me word about two months after I saw him, that he had, in that time, planted two hundred thousand more. I believed no other man ever existed on the globe who had actually planted so many trees. This was the late Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk, in Aberdeenshire. And though it would perhaps be difficult to find another person who comes near to this, yet the present earl Fife, the late earl Findlater, and many other gentlemen, have planted immense numbers, and are daily increasing their plantations. General Gordon of Fyvie planted three millions in one. single inclosure; and there is scarcely a private gentleman in Aberdeenshire, who owns an estate of five or six hundred a-year, who has not planted many hundred thousand trees. Indeed all along the coast, especially to the north of the Tay, the number of trees planted every year is astonishingly great. It is on the west coast only that plantations are not general; and it is the neglect of the OAK tree, the native wood of a great part of Scotland. that we have reason to complain of. The fact is, that many fine stocks. of oak woods, in the west Highlands, are abandoned to cattle and fheep; and many more are cut as copses, on account of the quick return for bark and forge wood, by which oak trees, as TIMBER, are become very rare. An evil that ought certainly to be rec
The variety of kinds of wood that are here reared for ornament, is very great; and almost every kind thrives in one part or other; but none prosper so well, or succeed so universally as the larch-pinus