Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/208

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
196
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

which is a gallery of curiosities, and underneath a spacious dining-room, where the roaring of the sea, even in a storm, is heard but faintly; it looks upon the garden and the gestatio which surrounds the garden. The gestatio is encompassed with a box-tree hedge, and, where that is decayed, with rosemary; for the box, in those parts which are sheltered by the buildings,_ preserves its verdure perfectly well; but where, by an open situation, it lies exposed to the spray of the sea, though at a great distance, it entirely withers.

"Between the garden and this gestatio runs a shady plantation of vines, the alley of which is so soft that you may walk barefoot upon it without any injury. The garden is chiefly planted with fig and mulberry trees, to which this soil is as favorable as it is averse to all others. In this place is a banqueting-room, which, though it stands remote from the sea, enjoys a prospect nothing inferior to that view: two apartments run around the back part of it, the windows whereof look upon the entrance of the villa, and into a very pleasant kitchen garden. Hence an inclosed portico extends, which by its great length you might suppose erected for the use of the public. It has a range of windows on each side, but on that which looks toward the sea they are double the number of those next the garden. When the weather is fair and serene, these are all thrown open; but if it blows, those on the side the wind sets are shut, while the others remain unclosed without any inconvenience.

"Before this portico lies a terrace, perfumed with violets, and warmed by the reflection of the sun from the portico, which, as it retains the rays, so it keeps off the northeast wind; and it is as warm on this side as it is cool on the opposite; in the same manner it proves a defense against the southwest; and thus, in short, by means of its several sides, breaks the force of the winds from whatsoever point they blow. These are some of its winter advantages: they are still more considerable in summer; for at that season it throws a shade upon the terrace during all the forenoon, as it defends the gestatio, and that part of the garden which lies contiguous to it, from the afternoon sun, and casts a greater or less shade, as the day either increases or decreases; but the portico itself is then coolest when the sun is most scorching that is, when its rays fall directly upon the roof. To these, its benefits, I must not forget to add that, by setting open the windows, the western breezes have a free draught, and by that means the inclosed air is prevented from stagnating. On the upper end of the terrace and portico stands a detached building in the garden, which I call my favorite; and indeed it is particularly so, having erected it myself. It contains a very warm winter room, one side of which looks upon the terrace, the other has a view of the sea,