"The most perfect specimen of topiary work with which we are acquainted is at Levens in Westmoreland. At that place a profusion of yews, hollies, and other evergreens have been transformed into more shapes than Proteus would trouble himself to assume, unless he happened to be in a more than usually changeable humour. Here is Madame la Reine with her arms most royally akimbo, opposite to Monsieur le Roi bearing the semblance (we will not say how near) of a kingly crown. Not far distant are some trees like gigantic chessmen. The smaller shrubs, of which there is a vast number, greenly shadow forth cones, cubes, vases, foaming tankards, &c."
August 5, 2011