button to main menu  Observations on Picturesque Beauty, page 100

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vol.1 p.100
Their lubricity is lost. More or less, they all flow cum gurgite flavo. But the lake, like Spencer's fountain, which sprang from the limpid tears of a nymph,

----- is chast, and pure, as purest snow,
Ne lets her waves with any filth be dyed.
Refined thus from every obstruction, it is tremblingly alive all over: the merest trifle, a frisking fly, a falling leaf, almost a sound alarms it,

----- that sound,
Which from the mountain, previous to the storm,
Rolls o'er the muttering earth, disturbs the flood,
And shakes the forest-leaf without a breath.
This tremulous shudder is sometimes even still more partial: It will run in lengthened parallels, and separate the reflections upon the surface, which are lost on one side, and taken up on the other. This is perhaps the most picturesque form, which the water assumes: as it affords the painter an opportunity of throwing in those lengthened lights and shades, which give the greatest variety and clearness to water.
There is another appearance on the surfaces of lakes, which we cannot account for on any principle either of optics, or of perspective.
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