Water . . . which, though not absolutely necessary to a beautiful composition, yet occurs so often, and is so capital a feature, that is is always regretted when wanting; and no large place can be supposed, a little spot can hardly be imagined in which it may not be agreeable; it accommodates itself to every situation; is the most interesting object in a landscape, and the happiest circumstance in a retired recess; captivates the eye at a distance; invites approach, and is delightful when near; it refreshes an open exposure; it animates a shade; cheers the dreariness of a waste, and enriches the most crowded view; in form, in style, and in extent, may be made equal to the greatest compositions, or adapted to the least; it may spread in a calm expanse to sooth the tranquillity of a peaceful scene; or hurrying along a devious course, add splendor to a gay, and extravagance to a romantic situation.

Thomas Whately
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