Sund, July 25. At 6 this am, for the first time in the week, sun & surface were just right for mirror-effects—so the lake was full of pictures.
The lake is glass, this morning, its surface richly painted with reflections & as far away as your eye can detect the gliding spectre of a boat you can also make out its wake—not the usual disordered ruffle on the water, but a thin long white pencil mark as straight as a ray of light & sharply defined & intense. And of course with every little change in the position of the sun the colors of the water change & blend dissolve, & these enchantments know no stay, no interruption, no limit where there is light for the magician to work with. This is a paradise, & the people who could enjoy it most shut themselves up in the world’s suffocating cities & leave it to the undisputed possession of a handful of ignorant, poor, good-hearted jabbering animals who are as happy in it as if they had in some way earned this distinction of being allowed to live in heaven before their earthly contract is up [NB 42 TS 18-20].