We strolled down to the small lake which lies about 200 yds. from the house[.] It is diminutive but has beautiful as well as grand features[,] for when there are rich forests & stupendous mountains 'round a lake there must be such.
Leaving the upper lake we pursued our road to [the] lower one, which is much larger & more beautiful[.] I pointed out to Mr. O a view that I once painted, and which picture I believe was the first that was ever painted of that lovely lake that in future time will be the subject for a thousand pencils, except the desolating hand of modern improvement should destroy & deform it... Before us spread the virgin waters which the prow of the sketcher had never curl'd, green woods enfolding them whose venerable masses had never figured in trans-atlantic annuals, and far away the stern blue mountains whose forms were ne'er beheld by Claude or Salvator or been subjected to the canvass by the innumerable dabblers in paint for all time past. The painter of American scenery has indeed privileges superior to any other; all nature is new to Art. No Tivoli's[,] Terni's[,] or Mont Blanc's or Plinlimmons, hackneyed & worn by the daily pencils of hundreds, but virgin forests, lakes, & waterfalls feast his eye with new delights, fill his portfolio with their features of beauty & magnificence and hallowed to his soul because they had been preserved untouched from the time of creation for his heaven-favoured pencil. 1