William Blake in This World

by Harold Bruce
Jonathan Cape, Ltd. Thirty Bedford Square, London

First Published, 1925

I William Blake in Limbo


II William Blake in This World


III A Firm Persuasion That a Thing Is So


IV The Divinity of Yes and No Too


V Dark Satanic Mills


VI Genius Cannot Be Bound


VII Self-Portrait of the Undistracted Dancer


VIII The Neurotic and the Stupid


IX A Bosom Secure from Tumultuous Passions


X The Heart of the Mystery
A The Spectators in the Sky


B The Poem Dictated by Authors in Eternity


C The Spectators on the Earth


XI Neither in Bedlam Nor Always in Paradise


Table of Sources





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I I want! I want! Frontispiece
II Catherine
"And I love you," said the honest girl


III Flaxman
One who preferred living to starving


IV Blake by Flaxman
If he will only condescend to give attention to
worldly concerns


V Fuseli by Flaxman
He swears so


VI Hayley
Your ever affectionate and afflicted hermit


VII Linnell
Really anxious to fathom the truth


VIII Crabb Robinson
No power beyond that of a logical understanding


IX Blake by Phillips
I closed the book and cried, "Aye! Who can paint


an angel?"

X Blake and Varley
Sagittarius crossing Taurus


XI Blake at Hampstead
None now to give him scorn





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William Blake in Limbo
IN 1757 William Blake was born in London; in 1827 he died there;
where he has been since 1827 I do not know. Others do not share my
ignorance. They suggest that from the shadows he is directing their
pens; that they catch "some impulse . . . perhaps straight from
Blake;" that an "image of the man has risen" in their minds; that his
spirit was "transfused" into Walt Whitman; that "the real Blake is
yet with us, his posterity, as he was with Catherine, his widow." The
twilight of their suggestions falls too across his life and works. He
"went astray in only a single particular--in being born on this
earth;" he was "thrown by chance . . . out of the world of eternity
into that of time and space, to appear there for an instant and then
return to his true dwelling;" therefore "the time and place of his
-1to earth are of small importance." "A cultured person must belong to
'the world inside' if he would grasp the real meaning of any one of
Blake's poems or pictures." "It needs the insight of the mystic to
understand the mystic soul of William Blake." Finally, wings are
clapped on a ghost suspected of a cloven hoof. As one of Shelley's
biographers fondly dwells on how Shelley, if he had been better used,
might have sat "clothed and in his right mind . . . at the feet of
Jesus," so one of Blake's biographers believes that Blake, if he
could have lived for another three score years, "would have reached

the catholic form of Christianity," and another takes "unspeakable
pleasure" in asserting that though Blake "did not for the last forty
years attend any place of Divine worship, yet he was not a
I am lost in this limbo. I take no comfort in imagining that he has
left the "Golden House" he described,
above Time's troubled fountains,
On the great Atlantic Mountains,
to sit at the elbows of his biographers or to loaf across America
inside the skin of Walt Whitman. The time and place of his coming to
earth were to
-2him, I suspect, of decisive importance; he had to work at the time of
Sir Joshua Reynolds, not at the time of Michael Angelo; he had to pay
the bills at Hercules Buildings and in Fountain Court, no matter
where his true dwelling was. I doubt if one must belong to the world
inside to grasp the real meaning of a poem "written with considerable
vim" in which Blake said to "Widows and Maids and Youths also:"
Come and be cur'd of all your pains
In Matrimony's Golden Cage.
I doubt if a soul is to be understood, or a ghost to be saved by
If I turn to detailed accounts of Blake on this too, too solid earth,
I am still in a kind of limbo in which it is hard to tell where fact
leaves off and romancing begins. Thus a story "pretty extensively
retailed about town," and dredged up by Alexander Gilchrist, his most
painstaking biographer, says that Blake's patron, Thomas Butts, once
discovered Blake and Mrs. Blake sitting naked in their summer house
behind Hercules Buildings and was welcomed by Blake, "Come in! it's
only Adam and Eve, you know!" This anecdote, I find, as soon as
published in 1863, was
-3declared by surviving acquaintances of Blake to be a piece of
unqualified romancing. Nevertheless it has proved too intriguing to
die. A story, told by William Butler Yeats, that Blake's father was a

runaway Irishman named O'Neil, who married Ellen Blake and took her
name, which has likewise proved to be without foundation, has
likewise persisted. It explains so aptly Blake's temper and his
Celtic revolt against the despotism of fact, that it is difficult to
let him be, as he named himself, "English Blake,"
giving his body ease
At Lambeth beneath the poplar trees.
A story told by Edwin J. Ellis, Yeats's collaborator in the study of
Blake, pictures Blake and his wife as "poor children of the heart . .
. very miserable . . . lost in the labyrinth of love's forest," and
tells how Blake at one time lay down on his bed, "choked with the
love that was flung back on him," while Catherine "crying out in her
desolation . . . fell down in a heap by the bed. Something else as
well as her courage gave way then. In that cry and that heavy
fall . . . we have the sad knowledge why this vigorous and unstained
young couple lived childless all their lives. Cath-4erine was at that moment on her way to become a mother.""All this,"
says Ellis, who calls his book The Real Blake, "all this was so
because it must have been."
To blot out the stories that are so because they must have been would
be costly. Along with the episodes of Adam and Eve, of the runaway
Irishman, of the poor lost children of the heart, would go nicely
consistent descriptions of the wrong ancestor and of the wrong house:
Ellis's description of Shawn O'Neil, who "feeling an uncontrollable
fit of rage coming on," ordered himself buried up to his neck in
sand, and Gilchrist's description of 13 Hercules Buildings, a house
with a "wainscoted parlour, pleasant low windows, and a narrow strip
of real garden behind, wherein grew a fine vine." A lady who, "as a
girl used . . . to call on the artist here" told Gilchrist that "
Blake would on no account prune this vine, having a theory it was
wrong and unnatural to prune vines." It was wrong and unnatural to
change the numbers on the houses between the time Blake lived in and
the time Gilchrist visited Hercules Buildings, but the Lambeth ratebooks show that it was done.
Blake's plea to be true to the imagination, in other words, has not
been lost on his biographers.

William Blake in This World
To try to sift fact from romance, to try to erase the details of
Blake's life not backed by competent, material, and relevant
evidence, will be to blur a smooth and highly-finished portrait, and
to substitute a flawed and imperfect one,with lines sometimes dim,
wavering, or blotted out. But this portrait, traced by Blake's own
words and by the memories of those who knew him, however flawed and
imperfect it turns out to be, has certain sharply clear lines, and is
at least a partial likeness of him as he was.
An outline will bring under quickest survey the order of Blake's
experiences, the record of his words and works, the list of his
acquaintances. This outline presents in its first division the chief
events of Blake's life. It shows when and where he was thrown by
chance into the world of time and space. He was born; he studied
drawing; he married; he took various lodgings in London; he went once
for three years as far as Felpham, sixty
-6miles away; he died. Chance let him live three score years and ten,
but was not prodigal to him in her gifts of place. In its next
divisions the diagram presents Blake's work, charts the rich tortuous
vein of his genius. It shows that if in his body he was no Ulysses,
in his mind he sailed as far as America and Jerusalem, as far as
Heaven and Hell. The creative impulse which drove him on his mental
voyages found double expression, now in poetry, now in drawing and
engraving. The Tiger burns bright in one field against The Ancient of
Days in the other; The Songs of Innocence make strange pattern with
the Illustrations to Job. Letters and marginalia open the shutters,
show what was, at times, going on in his mind. Lastly, the diagram
presents Blake's acquaintances in a world which, it has been
suggested, was not his true dwelling. Companions, artists, patrons,
quacks, friends, foes, they are the witnesses for him. His words and
their words make the cracked and wavy mirror in which is reflected
what is known of William Blake in this world.

Madam. one must take the testimony of a steady-going source-hunting professor of history who once employed him. a crop of anecdote sprang up to testify that he had been in his childhood also an intimate of spirits." and Victoria. Benjamin Heath Malkin. in a Lifeof William Blake -9- . bright wings on every bough. it was related after he was dead at seventy." Malkin's manner was concrete. as became his calling and his enthusiasm. dear. "the first time you saw God was when you were four years old.III A Firm Persuasion That a Thing Is So A CROP of prophetic anecdote springs up behind every picturesque maturity. an Oxford man enthusiastic for a return "home to plain tales and first-hand authorities." his wife said sixty-five years after the apparition. clasps the Duchess's hand and murmurs. of an expansive young artist who was a disciple to him. married." four-year-old Ruskin wants for the background of his photograph "blue hills. and translated to his reward. unemotional. "I will be good. when the Duchess of Kent tells her that she will one day be queen. misunderstood. the story ran." Before he was ten. that he was under the direction of messengers from heaven daily and nightly. not among visions but among apprentices." For more realistic and perhaps equally prophetic anecdotes of Blake's childhood. "You know. he saw angelic -8figures walking among the haymakers. he said of the engraver Ryland (who obliged by fulfilling the prophecy). in which he moves not among angels but among actual people." gave an account perhaps "derived from the artist's own lips" of Blake's "early education in art. the agony is abated. Shakespeare holds the horses' heads at the theatre door. and of a garrulous keeper of the prints in the British Museum who ran across him as he was playing the lion. and at Peckham Rye saw a whole tree full of angels. At fourteen. The expansive young artist. The professor. saw Ezekiel under a tree in the fields." Once William Blake in his maturity had said that angels stood round his spirit. "Thank you. Frederick Tatham. "I do not like the man's face--it looks as if he will live to be hanged. and He put his head to the window and set you ascreaming. infant Macaulay says of his scalded leg. got Blake born.

Three times conversed with King George the Third. and I'll tell ye the whole story." At the next. "He is rising. ." Blake began to look at pictures and to attend sales at Langford's.of William Blake in which he turned rhapsody on and off like water at a tap. Christie's. "His complaint turned out to be the gall mixing with the blood. ye sons of morning. -10Partook of a pint of porter with an elephant. and other auction rooms. "What I tell you is the fact. one in the "line of London's watchful lovers. he is on the wing: sing. he admitted. withered only from holding fast to those dead branches which were her former life and shadow. And was shut up in a room with Mr. and sit down. "Rainy-Day" Smith. Smith sat down to tell the whole story of his life. some of which great men would be proud of: I received a kiss when a boy from the beautiful Mrs. the Hercules. and the dews of darkness are passed away. Kean's lion. were "frequented by most of the literary and talented people of the day." At one turn his widow "was decayed by fretting and devoured with the silent worm of grief ." Almost as soon as Blake was dead. "various heads. "Ever since his death her stomach had proved restless and painful. Was patted on the head by Dr. At one turn Blake was dying. . hands. shows the curtain of existence going up before Blake in London in the years in which it was going up before Burns on his hillside. Tatham." In a friend's album he wrote: I can boast of seven events. Saved Lady Hamilton from falling when the melancholy news arrived of Lord Nelson's death." At the next. and Smith. for the vapours of night are flown." used to say to his visitors. and "what I tell you is the fact. His father bought for him the Gladiator. Mathew which." The garrulous keeper of the prints. An eighth event was his meeting with Blake at "conversaziones" of a Mrs." The testimony of Malkin. the Venus of Medici. Robinson. Have frequently held Sir Joshua Reynolds' spectacles. . Johnson. "Very early in life.

"I have given up my whole soul to art. and then I shall buy some clothes. . for instance. From Pars to Basire to Moser was progress academic enough. when a generous-hearted lass declared that she pitied him from her heart. ." By the time he was "put to" Pars he had drawn nearly everything around him "with considerable ability." so Blake might have said. concerning Blake and Catherine. perhaps all." and there he "continued making designs for his own amusement. . who allowed him to say everything that was loving. or certainly nearly all the noble antique figures in various views. he hurried out to the auction room to look for bargains in "Raphael." He escaped pneumonia. with friendly precipitation. There was. He became known to the -11dealers and to the auctioneers: Langford called him his little connoisseur "and often knocked down to him a cheap lot. ." and supplied him with money to buy prints. drawing Gothic effigies "in every point -12he could catch. which he had made in the holiday hours of his apprenticeship." At Pars's he drew from plaster casts of the antique. Catherine Boucher. Michael Angelo . a great number of historical compositions. . in Blake's own phrase. and as soon as he had any money." Not in the art schools alone was the curtain of existence going up before Blake. whenever he could steal a moment from the routine of business. and as soon as I get any money I shall buy pictures and paper to draw pictures on. . . he was in his youth famous for. "Our Artist fell in love with a lively little girl. "I have given up my whole soul to Greek learning." Under Basire he spent his winters in the London churches. and the rest of the historic class. He was lamenting this in the house of a friend. but each step was taken with the vigour which." At ten he was "put to" Pars's drawing school.and feet. frequently standing on the monument and viewing the figures from the top. As Erasmus said. at twenty-one he began a course at the Royal Academy under Moser. and as soon as I get any money I shall buy Greek books--and then I shall buy some clothes. . the fruits of his fancy. . which he received from a friend. but would not listen to his overtures on the score of matrimony. Smith handed on an anecdote. and carried away from Basire "a portfolio. who received it from Blake. at fourteen he apprenticed himself to the engraver Basire for seven years." At Moser's he "drew with great care.

' said the honest girl. Mary's Battersea: 1782 Banns of Marriage No. On this theme the early nineteenth century spoke. I do. 'and -13I love you. The morning of their married life was bright as the noon of their devoted love. the noon as dear as the serene evening of their mutual equanimity. 'Yes.] and warm with the glow of youth. This Marriage was solemnized between Us WILLIAM BLAKE The mark of X Catherine Butcher In the presence of THOMAS MONGER BUTCHER JAS. most sincerely. Gardner Vicar. 281 William Blake of the Parish of Battersea Batchelor and Catherine Butcher of the same Parish Spinster were Married in this Church by License this Eighteenth Day of August in the year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty two by me J. MUNDAY Parish Clerk.' said he. this bride was presented to her noble bridegroom.'--'Well. BLAKE ROBT. . in the person of Tatham: "Nimble with joy -14- Catherine "And I love you.'--'Then.' The consequence was." said the honest girl [This page intentionally left blank. they were married. 'I love you for that. and lived the happiest of lives.'Do you pity me? asked Blake." Of their marriage and of their happiest of lives the eighteenth century left only an entry in the register of St.

instead of falling down. There he met Blake and often heard him "read and sing several of his poems. Johnson. and morning. what did it matter--when Jehovah sat on a cloud of curled fire over the doorway And angels with silver trumpets played Hosannas under the wooden groins of the peaked roof! William and Catherine Blake left the painted windows behind in the newly rebuilt Church of Battersea. he reported. a drawing room of Rathbone Place. the publisher. And the angels played on their trumpets under the plaster ceiling of their lodging. Blake was getting acquainted. only eighteen years old. Morning." To Rathbone Place came Rainy-Day Smith. which with his fiery eye and expansive forehead. With Flaxman he was a guest at Mrs.Although not handsome. "listened to by the company with profound silence. his hair was of yellow brown. In her parlour he appeared not as art student or as wooer and husband." Later. -15But God and the angels went out with them." Blake was. in the person of Miss Amy Lowell. but. The rising curtain back in the eighteenth century revealed to Blake. and evening. with Henry Fuseli. Mathew's were not so . and curled with the utmost crispness and luxuriance. as "erratic bard. returned to the subject. William Blake and Catherine Bourchier were married in the newly rebuilt Church of Battersea where the windows were beautifully painted to imitate real stained glass. and looked at a distance like radiations. forty-five round years. must have made his appearance truly prepossessing. with J. full of expression and animation. his dignified and cheerful physiognomy. Mathew's. Pigments or crystal. when Blake's visits at Mrs. his locks. to quote Gilchrist. with John Flaxman. as yet unhonoured by saving Lady Hamilton from falling when the melancholy news arrived of Lord Nelson's death. and allowed by most of the visitors to possess original and extraordinary merit. along with the newly rebuilt church of Battersea. stood up like a curling flame." The early twentieth century. he must have had a noble countenance.

Or the blue regions of the air Where the melodious winds have birth. he continued to write. -17Whether on crystal rocks ye rove. Fifteen years before the eighteenth century died with prose accompaniment in the Lyrical Ballads. Whether on Ida's shady brow. who paid for their printing in a thin octavo of Poetical Sketches. "many songs" and to -16compose tunes to them. the notes are few! Fifteen years before English verse was mustered back by Wordsworth and Coleridge to . In this unregarded volume Blake seems now an apparition out of the void. Or the green corners of the earth. and though. Beneath the bosom of the sea. Mathew. that his tunes were sometimes most singularly beautiful. Fair Nine. Or in the chambers of the East. forsaking Poetry! How have you left the ancient love That bards of old enjoy'd in you! The languid strings do scarcely move! The sound is forc'd. but the poems which brought profound silence to Mrs. Mathew's parlour were saved by Flaxman and by Mr. The chambers of the sun. that now From ancient melody have ceas'd. an early unofficial birth.frequent. according to Smith. his ear was so good. "These he would occasionally sing to his friends. dated 1783. Wand'ring in many a coral grove. sunk deeper than ever plummet sounded." The tunes are gone. according to his confession. he was entirely unacquainted with the science of music. Whether in Heaven ye wander fair. and were noted down by musical professors. it died to music (a phrase of Arthur Symons) in Blake poem To the Muses.

." and he "knew them both to be heavy lumps of . make it so?". . I'll drink of the clear stream And hear the linnet's song. ." and his taste laughed at as mechanical. without prose outriders." He was sent to sketch in the Abbey. got upon some pinnacle on a level with his scaffold in order better to annoy him. despised restraints and rules. Woollett and Strange. so much that his father dared not send him to school. it returned spontaneously. Basire's and Moser's. That bards of old enjoy'd . "Does a firm persuasion that a thing is so. he "met with . . . And there I'll lie and dream The day along: as it did in his lines to the evening star: Let thy west wind sleep on The lake. When he came under Basire. . Mathew's parlour. everywhere except under the plaster ceiling where he lodged with Catherine. But choice and taste remained unchanged. and answered his own question. to that ancient love in Blake's light-hearted songs." Tatham says that at home Blake "from a child . Blake showed that he was a poet in his own sense of the word. "All poets believe that it does. Blake knew "intimately from their intimacy with Basire. And wash the dusk with silver." At Pars's. .the ancient love. if Catherine had been willing to testify. . opposition and ridicule." Blake brushed him off as he would a fly. His choice was for the most part contemned by his youthful companions. at Pars's. Two en-19gravers. . -18At his father's. and perhaps there too. Once he wrote. . speak silence with thy glimmering eyes. Basire soon had to get him out of the shop because of his "frequent quarrels with his fellow apprentices concerning matters of intellectual argument. . in Mrs. but there a Westminster School boy. "after having already tormented him . . ten years old.

"and said. are eat up with envy. Huffcap would kick the bottom of the pulpit out with passion. Gimblet. Locke. and all for the good of their souls. and throw it at the people. "read the church service more beautifully than any other clergyman in London. to the most competent. He has often proved his ignorance before me at Basire's by laughing at Basire's knife tools and ridiculing the form of Basire's graver. How did I secretly rage! I also spoke my mind! I said to Moser. recently dug up from the obscurity in which he left it buried. hard." Later. and jumbled names are characters whose "nasty hearts. as if she hoped you had not an ill opinion of her--to be sure. Scipio Africanus. farcical dialogue.cunning and ignorance. poor devils. Huffcap may be Mr. -20"in consequence of his unbending deportment. I know this. 'You should not study these old." A Mr. or what his adherents are pleased to call his manly firmness of opinion. But his ignorance had a contrary effect upon me. he said." Opinions he held with firmness are perhaps suggested by his satire. They envy my abilities. he was looking over the prints from "Raffaelle" and Michael Angelo in the Library of the Royal Academy. when Blake was working under Moser. and Voltaire. who at St." "Ah. Gimblet's mouth seem--"I don't know how. stiff and dry unfinished works of art: stay a little and I will show you what you should study. He'd cry and stamp and kick and sweat. then. till Basire was quite dashed and out of conceit with what he himself knew. we are all poor creatures!" According. Mathew. "did not know how to grind his graver. An Island in the Moon. which certainly was not at all times considered pleasing by every one." In the company of Sir Isaac Newton.--'These things that you call finished are not even begun: how then can they be finished? The man who does not know the beginning cannot know the end of art!'" To the parlour at Rathbone Place after a time Blake came less often. appears Mrs. reported Rainy-Day Smith.' He then went and took down Le Brun and Rubens' Galleries. The corners of Mrs." Woollett. says Gilchrist. but very odd.-would tear off the sleeve of his gown and set his wig on fire. In this medley of lyrics. Martin's in the Fields. Mr. ma-21- ." he wrote. "Moser came to me.

terial. . The ridicule which made another quite dashed and out of conceit had upon him a contrary effect. Among them. Among the talented and literary people he soon came less often. but given just then to whole-hearted criticism by torch and guillotine. a devoted student. saying. There's not an English heart that would not leap To hear that ye were fallen at last. he knew. he knew. and they have made me sick of the name of liberty. When France in wrath her giant-limbs upreared had sung his "lofty gratulation. to a taste that was laughed at. to the laureateship under George the Third. and relevant testimony concerning his youth. he also spoke his mind. "What George? What Third?" "The King of England. At the recommendation of his instructor he not only secretly raged. "I will tell you what the French have done. the curtain of existence was going up on the "death-birth" of a world not given to art." . Blake. and to write. lived to ask forgiveness for his song. wrote during the Terror." Unawed . something of a literary lion. in Europe eventually and on the Susquehanna immediately. who. Thus Cowper. He stuck to a choice that was contemned. a quick lover. as among the apprentices. he knew. . -22IV The Divinity of Yes and No Too ENGLISHMEN rejoiced at the fall of the Bastille and recanted after the Reign of Terror. who in 1785 had addressed the Bastille." Coleridge. -23And patriot only in pernicious toils! Southey passed from dreams of a millennium. who had given his whole soul to art and who brooked no criticism. Before this Blake. amid a slavish band. which I never thought to do. They have made me weep for a King of France. which I never thought to be. had everywhere the poet's firm persuasion that things were so.

the French Revolution was the herald of the Millennium. of a new age of light and reason. He was." one who "may have even gone the length of despising the 'Constitution. . "at this date . Into a posture like theirs. The rejoicing and the recantation of Cowper. "an ardent member of the New School." Blake himself "tore -25off his . a vehement republican and sympathiser with the Revolution." But--now the second part of the formula--with the "September doings . reissued in 1880.'" To him. Brave as a lion at heart was the meek spiritualist. Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive. . and philosophically walked the streets with the same on his head. Wordsworth. Coleridge. . Southey. published in 1863. . "the enormities. said Gilchrist. But to be young was very Heaven! viewing the later deeds." the remaining books of his poem. Wordsworth. "were never printed. Blake was thrust by Alexander Gilchrist in the Life of William Blake. all was changed." of France. and others established itself as a type." felt that. And Southey lives to sing them very ill. He courageously donned the famous symbol of liberty and equality--the bonnet rouge--in open day. . a standard and most reason-24able English attitude towards the French Revolution. and assuredly never wore the red cap again. not unacceptable to the Victorians walking softly on their crust of compromise. forgot that such a sound was ever heard As Liberty upon earth. who "till with open war Britain opposed the liberties of France." . and 1922.Europe has slaves--allies--kings--armies still. . and always the chief store-house of fact and anecdote concerning Blake. and consequent defiance of kings and of humanity" in Paris. cockade. "Events taking a different turn from the anticipated one. . . . The French Revolution. 1907.

oh." This picture of Blake playing the prudent bourgeois--assuredly. Paine." William Godwin. "a remarkable coterie. he never wore the red cap again! assuredly if he moved among the radicals it was to rebuke them--has been since 1863 usually accepted and even occasionally touched up. said that Blake "grew to look on Godwin as summing up all that is most dangerous and abominable. Tom Paine. either Johnson or Blake. most assuredly. in 1907." Blake said: The American War began. who then took off the red cap of Liberty with which he had alarmed his friends." and that "when the September mas-26sacres in 1792 came with a shock of horror to all Europe. for instance. And. In a poem written to Flaxman descriptive of his "lot on earth." and Edwin J. . . M." he "rebuked. they were burned in the same mood of horror. wrote in the seventies that Blake "would zealously and vigorously confute the freethinkers. finding that the words of others had upon him a contrary effect. he was a "rebel"." at once added sentences calculated to reassure Victorian readers. the "profanity of Paine. a reliable index is at hand as to whether he so precipitately whipped off the red cap which expressed in England at that epoch a contrary effect. Paul's Churchyard. Johnson's bookshop in St. though he pictured Blake as in the habit of meeting at the time of the French Revolution in J. to the "theological or anti-theological tenets" of Godwin. If there had been any copies sold. since it happens that he set down rather precisely what he thought about that revolutionary and self-criticizing world into which in his thirties he flung himself. Blake burning his French Revolution behind him is a surprisingly orthodox figure sequent to the stubborn Blake of pre-revolutionary days advancing from the art schools upon the world. W. . Ellis. all its dark horrors pass'd before my face . and the others." Ellis believed in spontaneous combustion. "Precise doctrinaire Godwin" Blake "got on ill with and liked worse". "and others of very 'advanced' political and religious opinions. Rossetti. burned the whole issue [of Book One of The French Revolution].Gilchrist likewise. such as Paine and Godwin.

1 In fact. -27"When France got free. The book is the relic of a three-cornered argument. "To what. creeping Jesus --from supposing up and down to be the same thing.""Since the French Revolution. . Yet he." Bishop Watson the second in his Apology. Were savage first to France. Tom Paine having had the first word in his "deistical writings. annotated by Blake in 1796. When France got free. the only specific record of Blake's mental attitude toward any member of the group named by Gilchrist has turned up recently in a document unknown to Gilchrist. twixt fools and knaves. so by Godwin he was denied. and no too--the yea. then the French Revolution commenc'd in thick clouds. "Folly & Impudence. This document is the copy of Bishop Watson Apology for the Bible. God keep you and me from the divinity of yes. There are no rebuttals. "Englishmen are all intermeasurable by one another: certainly a happy state of agreement. he who was said by Ellis to have grown to look on Godwin as summing up all that is most dangerous and abominable." he wrote to George Cumberland in 1827. and after--slaves. He certainly annotated the Apology zealously and vigorously." Those whom Blake got on ill with and liked worse he was apt to impale at least in the privacy of his notebooks. Europe.Across the Atlantic to France. in which I for one do not agree. "To what does the Bishop attribute the English crusade against France? Is it not the State Religion? Blush for shame. Furthermore. Here is a chance to see whether Blake in his mind was a rebel to the theological tenets of Paine. those by whom Godwin was zeal-28ously and vigorously confuted were apt to be answered by him in kind. had nothing to say of Godwin. . . nay. who wrote anathema and Antichrist across philosophers like Newton and Locke." he wrote on the margin of Reynolds Discourses. now in the Huntington Library. But as Blake denied Godwin any comment." "Dishonest . a rebuker of Paine's profanity." he asked in his annotations to Watson's Apology for the Bible. and Blake the third in his annotations.

" Blake wrote." "Horrible. . . a student at Oxford who had made a lengthy search of the first-hand documents in preparation for a life of Godwin and had viewed the evidence from the angle of that purpose. But neither was his Christianity the Bishop's. Brown." "Contemptible Falsehood & Detraction. . ." "Illiberal. I should Expect that the man who wrote this sneaking sentence would be as good an inquisitor as any other Priest. have rebuked "the profanity" of Paine. . . wrote to me on August 16.Misrepresentation. the sting of the serpent is in every Sentence as well as the glittering Dissimulation." he said of Watson's first letter. As he went over the argument between Paine and the Bishop. . "has defended Antichrist." "Well done. the Holy Ghost ." -29lation. Paine!" he said to him. Accordingly his verdict -30on the main issues of the argument fell unqualifiedly in favour of Paine. " Watson." "Serpentine Dissimu____________________ 1 Mr. . Moral rectitude. ." he said. I believe him to be a State trickster. " Paine has not attacked Christianity. of Godwin and Blake: "I haven't been able to find any account of their acquaintance or even of either's familiarity with the other's work. . . which took the Place of Moral Rectitude . Ford K. . "the Charity for the Bishop that he pretends to have for Paine. in Paine strives with Christendom as in Christ he strove with the Jews! . Mr. .""To me. . he has Extinguished Superstition. Paine has not extinguish'd." "O Fool! Slight Hippocrite & Villain!" he exclaimed in his marginalia. But Bishop Watson." "Presumptuous Murderer. I believe that the Bishop laught at the Bible in his slieve . . 1921. Has not the Bishop given himself the lie in the moment the first words were out of his mouth? . not Tom Paine. got these rebukes. . . It was so exclusively his own that he may. as was reported to Gilchrist. the theological distance between him and Paine was telescoped and that between him and the Bishop was elongated.""I have not. . & cannot Extinguish. . "it is all Daggers & Poison. Paine appeared to him "a better Christian than the Bishop. . Has he not spoil'd the hasty pudding?" Blake's Christianity was not Paine's.

reveals "the new-born fire" on "the infinite mountains of light. . . . consistent with itself. silent. began to awake to life. Oothoon. When Orc." Blake wrote a myth of revolution. . Antichrist. the "thought creating. crowded with unheard of names --Theotormon. wingèd thought. Hater of Dignities. If Paine trifles in some of his objections it is folly to confute him so seriously in them & leave his more material ones unanswered ." was born. Europe. . . its parts placed in an order of thought not of time of composition. called by his enemies Blasphemous Demon. things heard the voice of the Child. intelligible. embodied in A Song of Liberty. widen his forehead! . including those of "the defiance of kings and of humanity. ." Albion's coast is sick. . leave counting gold! return to thy oil and wine. . none of which the Bishop dared to Consider. The Song of Liberty announces the theme of the myth. O African! black African! Go. Its protagonist is Orc. . The myth is at first glance obscure. Sower of wild rebellion. The And All And Dead heard the voice of the Child began to awake from sleep. America. and the Song of Los. enlarge thy countenance! O Jew. The American meadows faint! . tangled -31with symbolism. The Bishop has not answer'd one of Paine's grand objections. and transgressor of God's law. Bromion. I have read this Book with attention & find that the Bishop has only hurt Paine's heel while Paine has broken his head. as far as it touches politics. it is.The trifles which the Bishop has combated in the following Letters are such as do nothing against Paine's Arguments. Book One of The French Revolution. . Look up! look up! O citizen of London. . But stripped of its symbolism." In the years of the French Revolution.

. And let his wife and children return from the oppressor's scourge. the spices shed. . the son of fire in his eastern cloud. -33Whose face has never seen a smile in thirty weary years. The grave is burst. . . . Let the enchainèd soul. For everything that lives is Holy! In America too: Albion is sick! America faints! . Spurning the clouds written with curses. his chains are loose. -32. . the watchmen leave their stations. crying: Empire is no more! and now the lion and wolf shall cease. stamps the stony law to dust. the night decays. . They look behind at every step. while the morning plumes her golden breast. shut up in darkness and in sighing. . . Let the slave grinding at the mill run out into the field. . . and has found a fresher morning. . and believe it is a dream. .. . . the linen wrappèd up. And in the red clouds rose a Wonder o'er the Atlantic sea-The king of England "looking westward" trembles. . . and hears a voice which says: The morning comes. loosing the eternal horses from the dens of night. Rise and look out. . . Let him look up into the heavens and laugh in the bright air. his dungeon doors are open. Singing: "The Sun has left his blackness.

soft and bent are the bones of villagers. . life delights in life." . .And the fair Moon rejoices in the clear and cloudless night." Duke of Burgundy. In Europe: . . in leaden gyves the inhabitants of suburbs Walk heavy. There. . A debate ensues before the king. . . For Empire is no more. . rises to speak for the old order: Shall this marble-built heaven become a clay cottage. "The ancientest Peer. . in Book One of The French Revolution. and these mowers From the Atlantic mountains mow down all this great starry harvest of six thousand years? . the shadows are fill'd With spectres. . . . and now the Lion and Wolf shall cease. Till our purple and crimson is faded to russet. and the windows wove over with curses of iron: Over the doors "Thou shalt not" and over the chimneys "Fear" is written: With bands of iron round their necks fasten'd into the walls The citizens. . -34But for the Spirit of Liberty it is now "morning in the East" And in the vineyard of red France appear'd the light of his fury. the Commons convene in the Hall of the Nation. . . and the kingdoms of earth bound in sheaves. . For everything that lives is holy. like spirits of fire in the beautiful Porches of the Sun. . . this earth an oak stool.

The Kings of Asia heard The howl rise up from Europe. And can Nobles be bound when the people are free. and the joys of the combat burnt for fuel . . or God weep when his children are happy? . and return unconsum'd. Orleans prevails. . . doubt thy theories. . into the fires Of another's high flaming rich bosom. . thou cold recluse." In the Song of Los. If thou canst not do this. . Go. . nor be you dismay'd with sorrows which flee at the morning! Can the fires of Nobility ever be quench'd. . learn to consider all men as thy equals. Thy brethren. And each ran out from his Web. . . go.And the ancient forests of chivalry hewn. or the stars by a stormy night? Is the body diseas'd when the members are healthful? . and the Senate in peace sits "beneath morning's beam. "generous as mountains": -35Fear not dreams. . and write laws. . . enter into the infinite labyrinth of another's brain Ere thou measure the circle that he shall run. merciless man. . . fear not visions. .? He is in the end answered by Orleans. .

--and prayed God to save him from supposing up and down to be the same thing. in thick clouds. since it commenced with bloodshed. . . of Shelley's Prometheus: Neither to change. In Blake's own words is the index as to whether in revolutionary days he rebuked the radicals and rejoiced and recanted according to the formula. the divinity of -37yes. Burns. courage never to submit or yield. This like thy glory. and no too. saw the ice of compromise forming in England. is to be Good. the creator of Orc. whether in the same breath with Wordsworth and Coleridge and Southey he whipped off the red cap. He. and startled Asia.-36From his ancient woven Den. but those of the nations leagued against France. . And what is else. In his myth of revolution he drew a hero. a fierce spirit of liberty (mentioned once in Parliament by Edmund Burke) appeared on the infinite mountains of light. were with us. written from 1791 to 1795. Empire and Victory. was not a lost leader. but rather was one of the company sung by Browning: Shakespeare was of us. for one in his generation. descended upon England. For the darkness of Asia was startled At the thick-flaming. thought-creating fires of Orc. nor falter. That dawn in which Wordsworth found it bliss to be alive commenced for Blake. freed the Americans. with . . This is alone Life. He himself. Joy. Titan. great. passed to Europe. and he for one would not be frozen in. who was of the brood of Milton's Satan. . and the pernicious toils he saw were not France's. . Milton was for us. flamed and conquered in France. Orc the thought-creating. nor repent. He paid his compliments to the divinity of laureates. Thus in Blake's myth of revolution. not to be overcome. beautiful and free. Shelley. and joyous. The adulterous blind France of Coleridge seemed to him to have got free.

"All the Arts of Life. To perplex youth in their outgoings. from Blake's thirty-third to his forty-third year. they chang'd into the arts of Death in Albion. . held out "against the wind. and to bind up labours in Albion Of day and night the myriads of eternity. the travail of the industrial-mechanical revolution was in process. that they might spend the days of wisdom In sorrowful drudgery. -39Because its workmanship was like the workmanship of the shepherd. In ignorance to view a small portion and think that all." wrote Blake between 1800 and 1803. broken and burn'd with fire. to obtain a scanty pittance of bread. all the Arts of Life. . wheel without wheel. from deserted villages melancholy bands were moving along the roads to the cities and to the ports of emigration. were rising along the rivers. The slow agony of another death-birth of a world was unfolding." as Blake called them. . because its simple workmanship Was like the workmanship of the ploughman. The French Revolution was not the only storm growling on the English horizon from 1790 to 1800. Kept ignorant of its use.He. like Byron. . that they may grind And polish brass and iron hour after hour. And in their stead intricate wheels invented. . "Dark Satanic mills. laborious task. and the waterwheel That raises water into cisterns." -38V Dark Satanic Mills LIFE is just one revolution after another. The hour-glass contemned. . .

. Can I see another's woe And not be in sorrow too? -41Blake saw another's woe. with cogs tyrannic. . which Wheel within Wheel in freedom revolve in harmony and peace.""It will rob and plunder and accumulate into one place. ignorance. prostitution. thy shame is mine also.Blake saw that "a Machine is not a man nor a work of art. cruelty. He shared the fate of men strayed from Eden and living under machinery and commerce and war. . hypocrisy." He saw that "a warlike State never can produce Art. They view their former life. hiding the paths of man and beast. He saw that commerce's "insatiable maw must be fed by what all can do equally well. -40Moving by compulsion each other. Cruel works Of many Wheels I view. When winter rends the hungry family and the snow falls Upon the ways of men. he saw poverty. but not make.--London's . . . sold for scanty hire. . and translate and copy and buy and sell and criticize. The captive in the mill of the stranger. they number moments over and over. militarism.""It is destructive of humanity and of art. . Thou art my sister and my daughter. not as those in Eden. then he repents his wanderings and eyes The distant forest. wheel without wheel. oppression. then the slave groans in the dungeon of stone. Stringing them on their remembrance as on a thread of sorrow." . Then mourns the wanderer." he said. fear.

And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness. In every Infant's cry of fear." turned into Britannia's Isle Round which the fiends of commerce smile Likewise .barriers to lightheartedness. And blights with plagues the marriage hearse. In every voice. The England of those sketches. Blake wrote. golden London And her silver Thames. Or shrink at the little blasts of fear That the hireling blows into my ear? . I wander thro' each charter'd street. marks of woe. At the sight the "merry notes" of the Poetical Sketches died on his lips. But most thro' midnight streets I hear How the youthful harlot's curse Blasts the new-born infant's tear. he echoed the pantisocratic dream. There. underwent a sea-change into the London of the Songs of Experience. changing Susquehanna to Ohio. with "her merchants buzzing round like summer bees. Why should I care for the men of Thames. And the hapless soldier's sigh Runs in blood down palace walls. . in every ban. The mind-forg'd manacles I hear. -42How the chimney-sweeper's cry Every blackning church appals. Or the cheating waves of charter'd streams. About 1793. In every cry of every Man. throng'd with shining spires And corded ships. Near where the charter'd Thames does flow. .

O what a multitude they seemed. Till into the high dome of Paul's they like Thames' waters flow. with wands as white as snow. Then cherish pity. Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands. Grey-headed beadles walk'd before. The Ohio shall wash his stains from me: I was born a slave. first a song in An Island in the Moon. wise guardians of the poor. The children walking two and two. Now like a mighty wind they raise to Heaven the voice of song. then engraved in Songs of Innocence. The second ran: Is this a holy thing to see In a rich and fruitful land. Tho' his waters bathèd my infant limbs. but I go to be free! Holy Thursday. The hum of multitudes was there. in red and blue and green. The first ran: -43'Twas on a Holy Thursday. Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of Heaven among. -44Babes reduc'd to misery. Beneath them sit the agèd men.Tho' born on the cheating banks of Thames. Fed with cold and usurous hand? . their innocent faces clean. lest you drive an angel from your door. these flowers of London town! Seated in companies they sit with radiance all their own. but multitudes of lambs. was matched by another Holy Thursday in Songs of Experience.

Peace. Peace. Love. Pity a human face. and Love All pray in their distress. Mercy. And their fields are bleak and bare And their ways are fill'd with thorns: It is eternal winter there. and Love Is man. Blake had written: To Mercy. Pity. of every clime. Pity. Prays to the human form divine. and Love Is God. If all were as happy as we. the human form divine." .Is that trembling cry a song? Can it be a song of joy? And so many children poor? It is a land of poverty! And their sun does never shine. our Father dear. Pity. And to these virtues of delight Return their thankfulness. Peace. the human dress. His child and care. in the mood of the first Holy Thursday. Later Blake made a devil on the heath speak on the same abstractions: I heard a Devil curse Over the heath and the furze "Mercy could be no more If there was nobody poor. Peace. And Mercy. That prays in his distress. For Mercy has a human heart. And Love. And Peace. And Pity no more could be. In Songs of Innocence. Pity. For Mercy. -45Then every man.

if protected from on high. the two Holy Thursdays. the two Londons. Opposing forces are the basis of his myth of revolution. Pity. . Down pour'd the heavy rain Over the new reap'd grain: And Misery's increase Is Mercy. "What God? What Angel?" -46To keep the gen'rous from experience till the ungenerous Are unrestrain'd performers of the energies of nature. Pity. .? The two versions of Mercy. Till pity is become a trade. the Songs of Innocence and the Songs of Experience. . When ten years had passed. "Who commanded this?" Blake wrote.At his curse the sun went down. And the heavens gave a frown. . . . and generosity a science That men get rich by. conflict between old oppression and privilege on one side and new thought and revolt on the other. age and disillusionment. . Does that whole nation sell and buy. on the horizons of which boomed the thunder of industrial as of French revolution. The Lamb and The Tiger show what opposite views govern Blake's outlook on the English world of 17901800. One mite wrung from the labourer's hands Shall buy and sell the miser's lands -47Or. the same conflicts beat in his couplets called Auguries of Innocence: Joy and woe are woven fine. A clothing for the soul divine. Thel presenting youth and virginity and Tiriel. Peace. Peace. . . they are the basis of the earliest prophetic books. the Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

"Mirth is better than fun. the loser's curse." "Exuberance is Beauty" he wrote. that he frequently found himself asked to stay to dinner." At this necessity he pulled no long face. he was "found so entertaining and pleasant. "Fun I love. Every night and every morn Some to misery are born. and the laugh of a child. such jocose hilarity and amiable demeanour. . wearied out with contrarieties. are necessary to Human existence. Attraction and Repulsion. in fine. The harlot's cry from street to street Shall weave old England's winding-sheet. Every morn and every night Some are born to sweet delight." In this and other comments on the Aphorisms his friend Fuseli is reported to have said that any one could read Blake's character." he wrote in a letter in 1799. and.""The best in the book. as he said Paine did. Sick. Love and Hate." he labelled Lavater's aphorism: "Keep him at least three paces distant who hates bread. Yielded up moral questions in despair. to his "Energetick Genius. and spend the evening in the same interesting and lively manner in which he had consumed the morning. Some are born to endless night. possessing . music. a Will o' the Mill. "I hate scarce smiles: I love laughing. he was engaged to teach drawing. a Tomlinson." "Energy.. . He was not a Duke Ferdinand. I feel that a man may be happy in this world. In the stress of these years during which Wordsworth. . according to Tatham." . . Blake maintained that "without contraries is no progression. . Dance before dead England's hearse. Some are born to sweet delight. lost all feeling of conviction. Reason and Energy. He gave himself." was one of the comments. and happiness is better than -48mirth. in his own words. ." in which. Among the families "of high rank. The winner's shout.

Advanced so far into an existence often held to be organized for the disciplining of men's hopes and the chastening of their desires. And binding with briars my joys and desires. neither disillusion nor curbing." he wrote in 1793 beneath a figure he drew with its foot upon the first rung of a ladder that reached to the moon. "is the cry of a mistaken soul. in industry. before Ruskin. The curtain of existence was now fully up before Blake. "More! more!" he had written in 1788. I want. had not made him yield up moral questions in despair. than nurse unacted desires." As if speaking to the priests. -49he asked: Are not the joys of morning sweeter Than the joys of night? And are the vigorous joys of youth Ashamèd of the light? Let age and sickness silent rob The vineyards in the night. Yet the tumbrils in the Paris streets. -51- . the ice of compromise setting in. was clear before his eyes. less than all cannot satisfy man. the priests who in black gowns were walking their rounds. with its whole-souled self-criticism by torch and guillotine.""I want. before Chesterton. the English supposing up and down to be the same thing. As he saw in politics and society. machinery becoming a genius of enslavement as well as of release.he wrote. The revolutionary world. he saw also. he showed neither -50disciplining nor chastening. But those who burn with vigorous youth Pluck fruits before the light. "is eternal delight. had not clouded his outlook. the dark Satanic mills along the English streams.""Sooner murder an infant in its cradle.

who love and admire your works." he said." he wrote in his note book. . not vice versa as Englishmen suppose. . Pray let me entreat you to persevere in your designing. "Such works as yours Nature and Providence. All your other pleasures depend upon it: it is the tree. Then said. With works of art their armies meet And war shall sink beneath thy feet. as the French now adore Bonaparte and the English our poor George. forgetting our labour. "Princes. . . . How nature smiles on them. . Houses of Commons and Houses of Lords appear to me to be fools." he wrote. how Providence rewards them. Go on. . the eternal parents. "teach Bonaparte and whomsoever else it may concern that it is not Arts that follow and attend upon Empire." "Let us. it is the only source of pleasure. demand from their children." "The foundation of Empire" was to Blake"Art and Science.VI Genius Cannot Be Bound T HE ladder Blake meant to climb reached far away from the world of politics and the world of commerce. your pleasures are the fruit. so the Americans will consider Washington as their god. Renew the Arts on Britain's shore. but Empire that attends and follows the Arts. They seem to be something else besides human life." "Now Art has lost its mental charms France shall subdue the world in arms. how all your brethren say: 'The sound of his harp -52and his flute heard from his secret forest cheers us to the labours of life.""Remove them or degrade them. "and the empire is no more.' . yet for ours. "Descend thou upon earth. And France shall fall down and adore. but above all for the sake of the arts. .""I suppose an American. a young artist of Bristol. . if not for your own sake. and we plough and reap." he said." "Go on! Go on!" he wrote to George Cumberland. ." So spoke an Angel at my birth. "would tell me that Washington did all that was done before he was born. Empire follows Art." . . "appear to me to be fools. In the meantime I have the happiness of seeing the Divine countenance in such men as Cowper and Milton more distinctly than in any prince or hero.

"Produce! Produce!" Marching to the tune. "You must leave Fathers and Mothers and Houses and Lands if they stand in the way of Art. he announced. but upon comparison has found by no means so much work accomplished. his thought was only for action. he scarcely ever mused upon what he had done. though capable of such beauty and perfection.""He sometimes thought." Blake marched as one fulfilling a duty. that in the middle of the night. and he has debarred himself of his pen for a month or more. He had invented. T. than any before discovered. Smith. he would. "He wrote much and often." spoke an angel at his birth." Blake marched as one who allowed himself no slackening of pace." he said. uniform. "I curse and bless engraving alternately. who whispered in Carlyle's ear. after thinking deeply upon a particular subject. "that if he wrote less -54he must necessarily do more graving and painting." reported J. "Mrs. In October. . or god. Some men muse and call it thinking. to his beloved tasks. . and grand. "With works of art their armies meet. he issued his prospectus To the Public." he said himself." Tatham reported." he wrote. except when in conversation or reading. leap from his bed and write for two hours or more. "a method of Printing both Letterpress and Engraving in a style more ornamental. "With works of art their armies meet. "War shall sink beneath thy feet. "and his application was often so incessant. He looked on the exhibition of his paintings "as the greatest of Duties to my Country." Blake marched as one who did not expect to remain a private in the ranks." These are reports of the life of one driven by the northern demon. ." said Tatham. " England expects that every man should do his duty in Arts as in Arms or in the Senate. but Blake was a hard worker. "With works of art their armies meet.""Endless work is the true title of engraving." He was "steadfastly attentive . 1793. Blake has been heard to say that she never saw him.-53Marching to the tune. because it takes so much time and is so intractable." a method which obviated the difficulty that even Milton and Shakespeare had been under of not being able to publish their own works." Marching to the tune." "The times require that every one should speak out boldly. with his hands idle.

These sales of his works for "broad. the sculptor. round. in which the painter shone. golden guineas" are.000." Furthermore.000. In 1903 a copy of his Illustrations to Job and in 1918 a copy of his Illustrations to Dante. the painter. In the vicissitudes and contrasts of his march beside them was the answer of England to his great expectations. which combined the painter and the poet. "numerous great works" were.665 respectively. Flaxman was bound to succeed." -56[This page intentionally left blank. In 1923 a copy of Milton sold for $17."Mr. provided that it exceeds in elegance all former methods. as Miss Amy Lowell remarks. For forty-five years he knew John Flaxman. in 1793. "very early engaged the attention of many persons of eminence and fortune. sold for $9. Blake's powers of invention. a "bouncing turn of fortunt. and Henry Fuseli. sold for £5.600 and £7. by whose -55means he has been regularly enabled to bring before the Public works (he is not afraid to say) of equal magnitude and consequence with the productions of any age or country." the prospectus said. ." 1 Marching to the tune." "If a method of Printing. the Author is sure of his reward. . "which combines the Painter and the Poet is a phenomenon worthy of public attention." Blake stated. When he told ____________________ 1 He was. "With works of art their armies meet. "in hand." Blake found himself beside others who heard snatches of the same music that was in his ears. .] Flaxman One who preferred living to starving . In 1911 a copy of his Milton.

I cannot accept that invitation. did not mellow the sharp wine of this character. and Fuseli." There is no holding back one who prefers the de la Cours to the Tucketts.--indeed my Nancy she must appear to great disadvantage when you contrast her character with our Amiable friend Miss de la Cour whose intimacy I hope we shall be favoured with. wit--I must leave you all. abroad and at home. "It was an invariable rule with him. to shun. I do and shall regard for the kindness I have experienced as well as for her refined sentiment. Fitzwilliam Museum. starting up and saying. and to whom we shall always en____________________ 1 Flaxman letters in Fairfax Murray Collection. and Sir Joshua said. with the greatest care. "Oh. and hear the first sermon preached by the Reverend John Flaxman!" Professorship. the society of persons however brilliant and clever whose religious and moral opinions were inimical to the laws of their God and their country. -57deavour to make our house agreeable. success. old age. to which he had become "all but a proselyte"--still a reserve of prudence revealed in that "all but"!-and noted further that there was "frequently an earnestness that . noted in the 1820's that Flaxman could not "forgive derision on such a subject" as Swedenborgianism. suddenly remembering at a dinner that he was due at the first lecture of the new professorship. Henry Crabb Robinson. "Farewell. his friend. 1 "You may remember Miss Tuckett told me in the Christmas Holidays she intended to have a Hop to which she invited us both--pardon me." He recommended a like prudence to the girl to whom he was engaged." his answer was to post off to Italy for seven years of study. wine --farewell. Flaxman Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy. . Behold. together with other expressions were sufficient inducements to me not to desire to cultivate her friendship. then. besides the indelicate manner in which Miss Tuckett treated the subject of our love. . Cambridge. friends--farewell. then you are ruined for an artist. for disorder and improper behaviour are the almost constant attendants on such meetings sometimes even in the politest companies .Reynolds that he was married.

" In 1800. Mathew went once to the shop of a plaster figure maker in New Street.'" This was a prophetic scene sowed in the biography of Flaxman's childhood by his maturity of earnest effort. With hands divine he mov'd the gentle sod And took the flower up in its native Clod. Hearing a child cough behind the counter. From 1793 to 1800. sir. and there. Blake gave Flaxman a set of drawings to illustrate Gray's poems. he -58looked over and spied "a little boy seated in a small chair before a large one upon which he had a book. 'I am trying to learn Latin. it is conjectured. raising himself with the help of his crutches.becomes uncomfortable to listen to when Flaxman talks with religious feeling." Flaxman was summoned to the march with Blake when the Reverend Mr. he made sketches to illustrate the passages that struck his fancy. according to Tatham. on the Sussex coast. by an arrangement effected by Flaxman. Leap'd from the steps of fire and on the grass Alighted where the little flower was. There.' answered the child. Mrs. Mathew's circle did not carry him out of Flaxman's ken. he first met Blake. Blake's disappearance from Mrs. . with these verses of gratitude: -59A little flower grew in a lonely vale. One standing in the porches of the sun When his meridian glories were begun. Blake went down to Felpham. Flaxman used to come to see him at Hercules Buildings "and sit drinking tea in the garden. Mathew at once invited him to her parlour in Rathbone Place. Flaxman's friend. At this time. as she read him translations of the classic poets." '''What book is that?'" "'It is a Latin one. Its form was lovely but its colours pale. in 1780. sir. to work under the auspices of William Hayley.

Then planting it upon a mountain brow. Flaxman. As early as 1783 or 1784 he transmitted to . "You. He has Blake on his hands.--my friend and companion from eternity. "'Tis your own fault if you don't flourish now." he gave slight answer to Blake's leaping heart. whom we ardently desire to entertain beneath our thatched roof of rusted gold. Blake wrote Hayley of "our good friend Flaxman's good help. "Farewell." Though he found some of Blake's works "noble. Smith. though our mortal vehicles should stand at the remotest corners of heaven from each other. in his attitude. I catch a touch of coolness. WILLIAM BLAKE. or to his high esteem. T." -60Returned to London. The letter in which Blake called him his "friend and companion from eternity" Flaxman turned over to J. my best friend! Remember me and my wife in love and friendship to our dear Mrs. of embarrassed responsibility. . which can never be separated. that ever I saw Flaxman's face.--And believe me for ever to remain your grateful and affectionate. "without a competitor in sculpture. O Father of Heaven and Earth. which he gives with all the warmth of friendship both to you and to me. I see our houses of eternity." of "Flaxman's advice. Indeed I doubt if in the spirit of the man who had invariable rules as to whom he should shun there was any element to answer to the quick outpourings of uncalculating Blake." From Felpham Blake wrote back: I bless thee." A grey thread. I doubt if it ever occurred to him that any one--even a Miss de la Cour--was his "friend and companion from eternity. runs in the scattered expressions of Flaxman's feeling for Blake. I think. O dear Flaxman! are a sublime archangel." and of Flaxman's standing after the death of Banks." I find little response in Flaxman to Blake's demonstrative affection. of reserve. whom he knew "to be a collector of autographs. a sense of defects and limitations. . .

Flaxman wrote to Hayley: "You will be glad to hear that Blake has his hands full of work for a considerable time to come. . powdered wig." . "The evening went off tolerably. by that time a common acquaintance. Blake you have heard me mention--his education will plead sufficient excuse to your liberal mind for the defects of his work. ." In 1800.-61Hayley "the writings of a Mr. and pigtail. He creaked about in top-boots. O Father of Heaven and Earth. the Flaxmans and Blake took tea and supper with Henry Crabb Robinson. he is now in a way to do well. "I bless thee. my dear. But Blake appreciates Flaxman as he ought. a month before Blake wrote. and if he will only condescend to give that attention to his worldly concerns which every one does that prefers living to starving. "At present I have no intercourse with Mr. he said. why don't you . at the Royal Academy. Seeing Mrs. He had a high forehead." On May 12. . "I doubt whether Flaxman sufficiently tolerates Blake. by a man who looked on Blake as "wild. sharp eyes under broad and bushy eyebrows. it should be remembered. leaving behind him at home. if he engraves and teaches drawing. a splutter of quip and profanity. a Jewish nose." In 1805. that ever I saw Flaxman's face. Blake. . Fuseli in a great rage. Blake back in London." and on Flaxman as "one of the salt of the earth. . 1826. [at Felpham] as in London. . extravagant." In 1808 he wrote. Fuseli was a Swiss with a give-and-take sense of humour and a racy tongue. A bright foil to the uneasy mood of Flaxman's acquaintance with Blake is the mood of Fuseli's acquaintance with him.] Flaxman was given. "Harriet." This testimony to Flaxman's intolerance of Blake and to Blake's appreciation of -62- Courtesy of the Fitzwilliam MuseumBlake by Flaxman If he will only condescend to give attention to his worldly concerns [This page intentionally left blank." reported Robinson. and hair blanched by fever." Flaxman saw "no reason why he should not make as good a livelihood . by which he may gain considerably as also by making neat drawings of different kinds. at Johnson's table.

""You." When Blake came into the antique school at the Royal Academy to make a drawing of the Laocoön Fuseli said.""Every class of artists. you are a pack of damned wild beasts. you here." and. Doctor." he wrote. "Damn nature! . who have so much ready wit. who did not know enough to swear. ." There were critics. Meesther Blake? We ought to come and learn of you. should be uttering dogmas by the hour together. ." Teased by an idle stupid student for an opinion of his drawing." Seeing how easily a Doctor Geddes could be provoked. "Well.swear? It will ease your mind. not you of us." He needed a sense of humour. -63Lloyd and with thus having kept West's election to the presidency of the Royal Academy from being unanimous. who are the son of a dog-ma." Blake returned the compliments. he said." Charged with having cast a vote for Mrs. from the students to the finished master . I shall invent that myself. . that's a good boy. -64"in every stage of their progress or attainments. "I wonder that you. will find here materials of art and hints of improvement. she always puts me out. which he called "hot ice". She is eligible to the office--and is not one old woman as good as another?" Criticized because his work was unnatural. He gave his last course of lectures at the Academy when he was eighty-four. when Blake showed him a design. There was Harriet Fuseli. Mr. "It is bad. Fuseli Satan Building the Bridge over Chaos he ranked "with the grandest efforts of imaginative art. there was Mary Wollstonecraft--her affection for him may have reminded him of Pope Héloïse to Abélard. " Blake. he said. take it into the fields and shoot at it. he caught him up at Johnson's as Geddes said. there were students at the Royal Academy: "By God. "to find fault with dogmas--you. he said. Fuseli. and I am your blasted keeper. He found him "damned good to steal from. said. Blake was not one of his trials. and there were twenty-five years as keeper and no pension at sixty-five. he said. introducing Blake's illustrations to Blair Grave." he answered. ." "O . "That's part of the miracle." Criticized because the boat in his picture of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes was not big enough. suppose I did. "What.

"was very intimate with Blake. Once Blake brought Fuseli a design." wrote Blake. use the dagger and the poison. "is not naturally good natured." wrote Blake in 1800. sore from the lash of envious tongues. summing up this acquaintanceship. under pretence of criticism. against those wretches who. To the editor of the Monthly Magazine Blake." said Blake. was two centuries behind the civilization which would enable it to estimate Fuseli Égisthus.""Why." -65Yet the friendship of Blake and Fuseli was not simply mutual admiration. and whole strength. "King and Nobility of England. Flaxman once said to him." "The only Man. a sweet comradeship of the neglected. " Fuseli.] ." -66- Courtesy of the Fitzwilliam MuseumFuseli by Flaxman He swears so [This page intentionally left blank. "the Virgin Mary appeared to me and told me it was very fine: what can you say to that?""Say?" exclaimed Fuseli. . There was vinegar in the oil of their compliments. Blake? I can't get on with him at all. "why nothing--only her ladyship has not an immaculate taste.Society for the Encouragement of Art!" he wrote." said Tatham."" Fuseli. "How do you get on with Fuseli." Blake had a protective profanity of his own. and Blake was more fond of Fuseli than any other man on earth. Blake certainly loved him. but he is artificially very ill natured. in a bitter time. that e'er I knew Who did not make me almost spew Was Fuseli. he needs not my defence: but I should be ashamed not to set my hand and shoulder. . he said. "Now some one has told you this is very fine." "Such an artist as Fuseli is invulnerable. his "indignation . where have you hid Fuseli Milton?" England. I swear at him again. He swears so.""Yes. wrote a tirade in defence of "Poor Fuseli. exceedingly moved" at a criticism of Fuseli's picture of Count Ugolino.

. this year. Flaxman had his seven years of study in Italy. had been thought by Romney to rank with those of Michael Angelo. In 1809 he wrote. . . He saw Flaxman promoted in 1794 to the Royal Academy.If Flaxman marched beside Blake always with something of a sidelong glance at him. while he was in his twenties. . 1784. Louvre. and 1785. who had come from the Continent to England. trailing with him clouds of the RousseauVoltaire controversy. and who had returned in 1770 for eight years of study in Italy. and later made a professor there. A plan had been made to raise a subscription to send him to Rome to finish his studies. and finally a professor whose lectures were greeted with "loud and long claps of applause. Blake was disappointed. the glance of one conscious that he carries a marshal's baton in his knapsack at a ragged conscript uplifted by the scenery along the road of march and careless of his superiors. and the British Institution has. ." Blake's historical studies. For Blake there were certain contrasts along the way. . and after the Peace of Amiens went to Paris "with multitudes of his countrymen to go wandering through the . . . ." But in this modest hope. to wish a good voyage to others. are regularly refused to be exhibited by the Royal Academy. . as they are so near to Felpham: Paris being scarce farther off than London. followed its example. it was his part to stay behind. Fuseli and Blake on the same long march kept comradely step." Fuseli. Such have their lamps burning and such shall shine as the stars. Blake at the time of these visits wrote: "The reign of literature and the arts commences. then a keeper. went in 1802 to see "the well-filled galleries of Napoleon." Blake saw Flaxman and Fuseli -67cap their training in art by knowledge of the Continent and its galleries. found himself six or seven years later living "by miracle. . The author who had written himself down so blithely in 1793 as sure of his reward. He had exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1780. Now I hope to see the great works of art. But after 1785 his exhibits at the Academy dwindled to a single picture in 1797 and another in 1808. as in the case of the Italian journey. effectually excluded me. . Blessed are those who are found studious of literature and human and polite accomplishments." remaining long enough to collect materials for a dissertation. He saw Fuseli become a member of the Academy. "My designs . and . .

I think I foresee better things than I have ever seen. and when it is fit she will call upon me. this is a small -69specimen of how we go on. ." More years passed and still he felt that the fit time for fortune's call upon him was near." was an exploiter of genius who "would have kept a conscience if he could have afforded it. . . It is now exactly twenty years since I was upon the ocean of business. My only Difficulty is to produce fast enough. . the certain profits of [ Hayley] Triumphs of Temper are a fortune such as would make me independent supposing that I would substantiate such a one of my own & I mean to try many. T. according to J. and. tho' every other man's doorstone is worn down into the very Earth by the footsteps of the fiends of commerce." In 1805. . ." he wrote in 1804." as if he did not exist. "Profit never ventures upon my Threshold. In short I have Got everything so under my thumb that it is more profitable that things should be as they are than any other way-The Publishers are already indebted to My Wife Twenty Guineas for work delivered. Smith. Then fear nothing & let my Sister fear nothing because it appears to me that I am now too old & have had too much experience to be any longer imposed upon. . that Blake should be employed to engrave them. Instead of this . which I have finish'd and ready. R. . . . . H. "Money flies from me. he purchased Blake's illustrations to Blair Grave "for the insignificant sum of one guinea each. A Book price half a guinea may be got out at the Expense of Ten pounds & its almost certain profits are 500 G. Early in 1803 he wrote to his brother James: "The Profits arising from Publications are immense & I now have it in my power to commence publication with many very formidable works. 1. with the promise. I am persuaded that she alone is the governor of worldly riches. . and indeed under the express agreement. . "But." What a "fiend of commerce" could accomplish he was on the verge of learning. . I laugh at fortune. though I laugh at fortune. laid by in a corner. ." But when he was a year older he still felt imposed upon. "as I know that he who works and has his health cannot starve." he said.-68. I know that the Public are my friends & love my works & will embrace them whenever they see them. "the predacious Yorkshireman. . and go on and on. Cromek.

But the only contemporary periodical notice." Blake." "the deformity and nonsense" by which Blake had tried "to represent immateriality. . Schiavonetti. smarting from this double dealing." The sequel of the publication of his illustrations to Blair Grave further outraged him. said: "The work owes its best popularity to the faithful descriptions and manly poetry of Robert Blair. was jealous of his work. Stothard. a subject for which Blake had exhibited to Cromek "designs sketched out for a fresco picture" as the work he intended "to execute next. . the illustrations were preceded by Fuseli's flattering introduction and by a testimonial to them as "a high and original effort of genius" from Flaxman. They made the text by contrast inconspicuous. decisively corroborates Smith's statement. A portrait of him by Thomas Phillips was the frontispiece. were put into the hands of Schiavonetti." His "tasteful hand. the drawings . and to the unrivalled -71graver of L. He charged his "competitors" with receiving fourteen hundred guineas." had bestowed an "exterior charm" upon the "bad drawings. signed by R. and in his Descriptive Catalogue of that exhibition sought to rout out "the nest of villains" in the Examiner. (Richard Hunt) in the Examiner. and more. an early companion and a quiet retiring artist. was outraged to discover further that Cromek was purchasing from Stothard a Pilgrimage to Canterbury. In spite of the substitution of Schiavonetti's for Blake's graver. Blake was written large over the volume." In Blake's drawings "an appearance of libidinousness intrudes itself upon the holiness of our thoughts. . H. from the profits of his designs for Blair Grave and with then leaving him to shift for himself. 1805. believing already that Thomas Stothard. -70negotiation being carried into effect. now in the possession of Miss Amy Lowell.____________________ 1 A letter written to Hayley by Blake on November 27. and nine other Royal Academicians." In 1809 Blake got up an exhibition of his pictures at 28 Broad Street.

. and rich. they should not pretend -72to paint. Yet a little pains ought to be taken. A petty sneaking knave I knew-O! Mr. money. it shall be so no longer. . that is not the way. Cromek to Mr. on the nursery floor. Blake poured out the poison of his scorn and the strong wine of his self-assertion. But not with money. . now called the Rossetti Manuscript. I have been scorned long enough by these fellows. . -73Mr. because they were a burlesque set of scarecrows . The scene of Mr. . money. and what he will. and in his private note and sketch book. who owe to me all that they have. I taught them how to see And now they know me not. He is extreme old. . or perhaps his fortune. S--'s picture is by Dulwich Hills. To these fellows he paid his compliments in epigrams written only for his own eye in the Rossetti Manuscript. When men cannot read. . ." his "competitor. Was extreme old and most extremely poor: He has grown old. In the Canterbury Pilgrims Stothard. There Stothard and Cromek live. . . ." I found them blind. Stothard Fortune favours the brave. but perhaps the Painter thought he would give them a ride round about. . which was not the way to Canterbury. He has jumbled his dumb dollies together. in the Descriptive Catalogue. but like flies in gall. not like flies in amber. . his "rival.On the pages of the copy of Sir Joshua Reynolds's Discourses which at this period came into his hands. . nor yet themselves. but 'tis the art to cheat. old proverbs say. Cr[omek]. S[tothard]. and extreme poor still. even by the ignorant and weak. . in childhood. how do ye do? Cr[omek] loves artists as he loves his meat: He loves the Art." had "done all by chance.

Blake did veritably stick by his guns." he said. . . and obedient to Noblemen's Opinions in Art and Science. .--particularly interesting to Blockheads . To S[tothar]d You all your youth observ'd the golden rule. and a Virtuous Ass. ." But though Blake was rendered thus indignant and outrageous by his fate in an art world where he had spent the vigour of his "youth and genius under the oppression of Sir Joshua and his gang of cunning hired knaves. . . . He did not bridle his sense of creative power. Damned fool . . is not whether a Man has Talents and Genius! But whether he is Passive . . a Pitiable Imbecility . . This is a Very Clever Sentence. . a mental prince. ." still he could not be bound. without bread . Genius cannot be Bound. Contemptible Nonsense. . What a Devil of a Rule . Till you're at last become the golden fool. "is beneath my notice. My proofs of this opinion are given in the following notes. If this is True it is a devilish Foolish Thing to be an Artist . Who wrote it God knows . . and in order to do this he calls all others vague enthusiasts and madmen . . without employment.Turn back! turn back! you travel all in vain. It is evident that Reynolds wished none but fools to be in the arts. A liar . . " William Blake. as earlier in the sphere of revolutionary politics and of commercial upheaval. . . Never Never . . . . In this sphere of art. . . . Of Reynolds he said on the margins of the Discourses: "This man was Hired to Depress Art. . A mock . . . . . Can any man who thinks talk so? . It may be Rendered Indignant or Outrageous. He never was Abashed in his Life. "This world of dross.". and never felt his Ignorance . Supremely Insolent . False and selfcontradictory. . . . this President of Fools . ." He. Blake. Is not this a Manifest Lie? . as much as could possibly be. . . . and. I certainly thank God I am not like Reynolds . ." would hang the souls of his detractors "as guilty of mental high . This is the opinion of Will. The Mind that could have produced -74this sentence must have been a Pitiful. . . in an England where "The Enquiry . . Turn through the iron gate down Sneaking Lane. .

or Cromek. and mental health. defying even with gaiety the chastening of material failure. I've a wife I love. with Flaxman. I am in God's presence night and day. . whom they to death bother'd? . . And mental friends." He kept on resisting the discipline of circumstance. Cry. Or poor Schiavonetti. --can I be angry . and that loves me. Flaxman and Stothard. for human power cannot go beyond either what he does or what they have done. sure." In a poem in the Rossetti Manuscript written under and partly around an entry dated August." -76Said I: "This. For everything besides I have: It is only for riches that I can crave. looking quite from skumference to centre: "No one can finish so high as the original Inventor." While I. Blake argued out the whole matter with Mammon: I rose up at the dawn of day-"Get thee away! get thee away! Pray'st thou for riches? Away! away! This is the Throne of Mammon grey. I have mental joy. I took it to be the Throne of God. is very odd.""Now he comes to his trial. . smelling a sweet savour. . 1807. or Stothard. . and mental wealth. . Resolv'd to be a very contrary fellow. Cry "Blakified drawing spoils painter and engraver.-75treason." he said of himself. looking up to my umbrella. And He never turns His face away. it is the gift of God. . I've all but riches bodily. . . . "He knows that what he does is not inferior to the grandest Antiques. Superior it cannot be.

and undistracted dancer to the eternal rhythm. And he holds my money-bag in his hand." and thus focuses the emphasis of striking diction and of terminal position on an interpretation of Blake's life as spiritually untroubled. as elevated above the ups and downs of fortune. penetrate some of the secret places of his heart. In Blake's life the years from 1800 to 1805 were by chance a period of such autobiography. Then if for riches I must not pray. So. Devil. just as God please. Unpremeditated autobiography throws the sharpest light into the recesses. I shall eat coarser food. Mr. And he'd pay for more if to him I would pray. if I do not worship him for a God. Catching the mood of his refusal. For my worldly things God makes him pay.The accuser of sins by my side doth stand. Under these circumstances he poured himself out in letters which. I little of prayers need say. as I don't value such things as these. Arthur Symons in the last phrase of his fine study of Blake calls him "this joyous. And so you may do the worst you can do." -77VII Self-Portrait of the Undistracted Dancer THE devil went on doing as Blake said he must and Blake went on refusing to pray to him. So. They are a . -78conserved by English thrift and resurrected by recent interest. Devil. as a church is known by its steeple. his return to London in 1803 separated him from his acquaintances in Felpham. He says. If I pray it must be for other people. You must do. the dark comers of the mind. untired. God knows. I won't pray to you. of his defiance of the despotism of fact. His removal to Felpham in 1800 separated him from his acquaintances in London. Mr. Be assur'd. and go worse shod.

My fingers emit sparks of fire with Expectation of my future Labour." The move itself kept Blake's pulse high." The happiness came in part from the plan of removal to Felpham and of life and work there near Flaxman's friend. past the "terrible desert" of London. On September 16 he wrote Hayley concerning the project. and birds. The villagers of Felpham are not mere rustics. and the odours of the happy ground. On Thursday. between six and seven in the morning. and on "through a most beautiful country on a most glorious day. I met a plough on my first going out at my gate the first morning after my arrival. [and] sixteen heavy boxes and portfolios full of prints." "Our journey was very pleasant." The emergence was complete by September 12. On July 2. that it can be improved either in beauty or use. nor shall I ever be persuaded. . and though we had a great deal of -79luggage. . 'Father. ." "It is a perfect model for cottages.-melancholy without any real reason. . A roller and two harrows lie before my window.' I have begun to work. owing to the necessary shifting of our luggage from one chaise to another. and find that I can work with greater pleasure than ever." The cottage beneath its thatched roof of rusted gold Blake found "more beautiful than I thought it. September 18. On that day he wrote to Flaxman. trees. . . Blake set out. . they are polite and modest. the one full self-portrait of the artist whom Symons calls a joyous. no grumbling. "It is to you I owe all my present happiness. and as many different drivers . The sweet air and the voices of winds. and more convenient. 1800. William Hayley. "My wife is like a flame of many colours of precious jewels whenever she hears it named-. "No other formed house can ever please me so well." he told Flaxman. make it a dwelling for immortals. All was cheerfulness and good humour on the road. he and Mrs.spontaneous expression of his moods. Blake wrote that he began to "emerge from a deep pit of melancholy. for we had seven different chaises." -80- . untired. . Work will go on here with God-speed. the gate is open. I believe. and yet we could not arrive at our cottage before half-past eleven at night. and undistracted dancer to the eternal rhythm. and the ploughboy said to the ploughman.--a disease which God keep you from.

where work would -81go on with God-speed. that September. though Felpham in those first weeks was sweet. . The gate was open. where all he had ever known shone bright before him." and he had known at Felpham "the greatest of torments. "I am now no . Soon he sent another message to London: To my friend Butts I write My first vision of light. was written not in the midst of the greatest of torments. On the yellow sands sitting. 1802. I stood in the streams Of Heaven's bright beams. I remained as a child. My eyes did expand Into regions of air. the "present happiness" of 1800 had turned to "unhappiness. ." was a truth which came out in a later letter. new life was beginning. . All I ever had known. And saw Felpham sweet Beneath my bright feet. . . 1802. a dwelling for immortals. Away from all care.Blake was elate. it was destined to pall upon Blake. I should have done so. Before January 10. Yet. over land. Remote from desire. Before me bright shone. .""When I came down here I was more sanguine than I am at present. Into regions of fire. Over sea. The sun was emitting His glorious beams From heaven's high streams." Still this letter of January 10. "If I could have returned to London a month after my arrival here. but in an hour of release.

Why should I be troubled? Why should my heart and flesh cry out? I will go on in the strength of the Lord . Blake was still in Felpham. I rejoice and tremble: 'I am fearfully and wonderfully made. and gives a blessing to all my work. . Excuse my. the future grew brighter. that says I must not stay. that beckons me away. but also on account of its benevolent minds. "I have a thousand and ten thousand things to say to you. The three years at Felpham had been "sore tmvail"-O mortal comment on Felpham." As Felpham receded into the past. and could not think of troubling you about it. the return to London drew nearer. statuaries. . who in January had had "no fear of stumbling. "Engravers. fearless. poets. . Meanwhile he. painters. The country is not only more beautiful on account of its expanded meadows. . . the dwelling for immortals--but the future was bright." Spring came. that other winter was approaching. the memory of . Psalm a little before your letter arrived." He was "determined not to remain another winter here. I see the face of my Heavenly Father. (I have written many letters to you which I burned and did not send. Almost a year passed. or any of my real friends. though my path is difficult. I am so no longer. I am again emerged into the light of day. printers. I have no fear of stumbling while I keep it." "I have been very unhappy.' I had been reading the CXXXIX." had gone down once again into unhappiness and had--he used again the word he -82had used of the "pit of melancholy"--once more "emerged. . I hear a Voice you cannot hear. too great enthusiasm!" -83The next year found Blake in London where. I take your advice. and now go on again with my task. I see a Hand you cannot see. but in a city of assassinations . He lays His hand upon my head." but to return to London. though I have been very unhappy. My heart is full of futurity. we are not in a field of battle.). the past darker.longer in that state. perhaps. I perceive that the sore travail which has been given me these three years leads to glory and honour.

parent of immortal friendship. and which has for exactly twenty years been closed from me as by a door and by window-shutters. In a short time I shall make my assertion good that I am become suddenly as I was at first. In October. with confidence. on the day after visiting the Truchsessian Gallery of pictures. they knew my industry and abstinence from every pleasure for the sake of study. O lovely Felpham. and my feet and my wife's feet are free from fetters. together with myself. from darkness to victory--"I have conquered and shall go on conquering--" from that victory to being a . to thee I am eternally indebted for my three years' rest from perturbation and the strength I now enjoy. promise you ocular demonstration of my altered state. I am now satisfied and proud of my work. I thank God with entire confidence that it shall be so no longer. even as I used to be in my youth. . Suddenly. and as I have not been for twenty dark. obey a rhythm the beat of which is alternating and extreme. from present -85happiness in that dwelling to unhappiness. for I am really drunk with intellectual vision whenever I take a pencil or graver in my hand. . and could not assign a reason. . and my poor wife with me: incessantly labouring and incessantly spoiling what I had done well. he wrote: "I speak with perfect confidence and certainty of the fact which has passed upon me Thank God I was not altogether a beast but I was a slave bound in a mill among beasts and devils." The moods of these autobiographic letters from the elate journey to Felpham to the high hour after the visit to the Truchsessian Gallery. and yet--and yet--and yet there wanted the proofs of industry in my works.the sore travail of his stay receded too. Every one of my friends was astonished at my faults. . I was again enlightened with the light I enjoyed in my youth. . . Consequently I can. swinging the dancer from pits of melancholy to a dwelling for immortals. . years. In short. . . These beasts and these devils are now. Oh! the -84distress I have undergone. I thank God that I courageously pursued my course through darkness. Excuse my enthusiasm or rather madness. but very profitable. become children of light and liberty. from that path to travel through perils and darkness. which I have not been for the above long period. 1804. from that unhappiness to a path where he has no fear of stumbling.

" he wrote to Cumberland on August 26. the moment of illumination two years before. and that far land reached becomes travail again. be supported by the reflection that in external circumstances those years were as tranquil as any that had come before and far more tranquil than the years that were to follow and to render Blake indignant and outrageous. drunk with intellectual vision. after the visit to the Truchsessian Gallery. known to man. 1807. exposes the fallacy of seizing. as Joseph Bédier developed a complete Tristan and Iseult in the antique manner from one brief antique episode. Despair. The suspicion -86would. "Having passed now nearly twenty years in ups and downs. from that slavery to being a child of light and liberty. "I feel happy and contented.1799. 1804. as is sometimes done. feet free from fetters. 1807. The suspicion would find specific support in a phrase in a letter written one year before Blake found himself in that pit of melancholy from which he emerged just before going down to Felpham. As the paleontologist reconstructs the body of the ichthyosaur from fragments of bone and partial imprints in the rock. between Two & seven in the Evening. might suspect that Blake was swung his life long up and down to the rhythm of the alternation from elation to depression to elation. 20. as a permanent change in Blake's life. by which the near becomes sore travail. in -87December." His despair from two to seven in an evening of January. in general.slave bound in a mill among beasts and devils." an opinion expressed after Flaxman had known Blake for twenty-four years. and the far a land unannoyed. followed. and what once was near and now is past and far becomes a rest from perturbation. which governed those years." it is . This violent oscillation has a secondary rhythm. a second birth. so the student of Blake's moods might construct from the fragmentary record of the years after 1800 a theory of the pulse of Blake's whole mental life. "Tuesday Jany." It would find further specific support in a jotting on the margin of the Rossetti Manuscript. The suspicion would be supported by Flaxman's opinion "that the association and arrangement of his ideas do not seem likely to be soothed or more advantageously disposed by any power inferior to that by which man is originally endowed with his faculties. I am used to them.

unescapable. and the undistracted. He "could not subsist on the Earth. -88VIII The Neurotic and the Stupid BLAKE." It was a rhythm that does not always keep those who dance to it among the joyous." He had the neurotic's need for dependence on some one outside himself. he laboured under extreme excitement--"My heart is full of futurity. he oscillated violently from moods of deepest depression to moods of highest exaltation. Despair in 1807 was the diastole. his friend. which I fear they will not excuse. And now Flaxman hath given me Hayley. I rejoice and tremble"--"Excuse my enthusiasm or rather madness.-melancholy without any real reason". a systole. for I am really drunk with intellectual vision. was neurotic." -89When Flaxman was taken to Italy. Fuseli was given to me for a season. ." During periods in the "pit of melancholy" he shut himself up--"I have been too little among friends. "William Blake. He fell into "melancholy." but by his "conjunction with Flaxman. who knows to forgive nervous fear. . 1826: "Born 28th Novr. of a man dancing to a rhythm which was for him. drop into place as marking one pulsation of his moods. . by years of "invulnerable serenity. to be followed by a diastole. as twenty years of ups and downs open a vista before 1800. eternal. . hours of perfect and entire confidence and certainty were followed by hours of despair. 1757 in London and has died several times since.said. in a short time he would make good his assertion of new power. and it and the memory of the vicissitudes of Blake's march as an artist among artists. he burned instead of sending many letters. the untired. and yet--and yet--and yet there had wanted proofs. in other words. as far as this world went. his entire confidence. open a vista beyond 1804. to be mine." he wrote in William Upcott's autograph album on January 16." His perfect confidence and certainty of the fact which had passed upon him at that time. and I know not how to apologise for.

He who keeps not right onwards is lost. and they live side by side. "to damn the dead with purgatorial praise. . No! my excellent Monitor." It was Hayley's work." They will never understand each other and it is madness for them to debate." he wrote to Hayley. . Time's wingèd chariot hurrying near. I think. . that may. 1 "I was enabled to compose on a sudden. and if our footsteps slide in clay. . William Hayley was stupid. They call each other the neurotic and the stupid." according to Mr." The sculptor answered perhaps in his own rôle of one who preferred living to starving. I did not mean to be so improperly lavish. He was the lineal ancestor of the old lady in the plush chair at the Park Avenue Hotel who reaches out a qivering hand for the newspaper and says. . -90If William Blake was neurotic. Like Andrew Marvell he could say: . Behind. "only two. Sinclair Lewis. the other morning at the dawn of day. . . on that wonderful Being. as to defray the ____________________ . my poor Eliza!" Again he sent to the same "sublime sculptor. "I thought I'd just like to look over the death notices."You. for Hayley's next letter ran: "Let me now thank my dear warm-hearted Friend for his animated Expressions concerning a monument in the Abbey. "A recent epitaph new-born . Paul's." Follow his correspondence with Flaxman for a short period. "Every moment lost is a moment that cannot be redeemed. "conducted me through three years that would have been the darkest years that ever mortal suffered . . and designed to be plac'd with a work of the sublime sculptor in the Abbey or in St.""Temptations are on the right hand and on the left. the sea of time and space roars and follows swiftly. I mean an Epitaph. at my back I always hear." marked Most private. I know that if I had not been with you I must have perished. how can we do otherwise than fear and tremble?" "There are two races of people. said Byron. be unexceptionable. what I had wish'd to do in vain for some years ." He had the neurotic's sense of time.

"and am astonished to find them so numerous." he wrote. Here points. Of him Byron further wrote: His style in youth or age is still the same Forever feeble and forever tame. Here I am sure that Southey used "good" in its worst sense. let us reflect with awe. the all-awaiting Tomb. Keep the epitaphs in perfect privacy." Later he wrote: "I was delighted by your kind praise of my various Epitaphs--the best return I can make to praise so dearly welcome is to transcribe for you a new Epitaph that I have just compos'd: Hicks." holding an umbrella over himself and his horse as he rode about the countryside. -91- expense of that monument. the kind usher to the social Room.] Hayley Your ever affectionate and afflicted hermit mediable flat sentimentality about this endowed weeper." This writer of epitaphs. Cambridge.1 Hayley letters in the Fairfax Murray Collection. There is an irre-92[This page intentionally left blank. I shall close the list with my own. Of "Music's Triumphs" all who read may swear That luckless Music never triumphed there. Triumphant first see "Temper's Triumphs" shine! At least I'm sure they triumphed over mine." Make all allowance for other times and other manners. Fitzwilliam Museum. Southey said everything about Hayley was good except his poetry." bringing down to the breakfast-table each morning and presenting to his guests with solemn bow "an epitaph newborn. yet you cannot believe that fresh breezes stirred his ." he urged. which I composed some years ago. entertaining Romney in "Demogorgon's Hall. an incurable commonplaceness about this "ever affectionate and afflicted Hermit" of Felpham. "I am making a little collection of Epitaphs in manuscript. moping and patronizing in his "Turrett. was once offered the laureateship. to all.

For those Triumphs of Temper which triumphed over Byron he engraved small plates from drawings by Maria Flaxman--"and it seems that other things will follow in course if I do but copy these well. -94At the beginning his elation at the move to Felpham radiated round Hayley. the verses that Hayley sung. H. having expected new freedom to create.. and intimations that if I do not confine myself to this I shall not live. I am at complete ease. and particularly on the engravings I have in hand for Mr. was taught to paint miniatures." For a series of Ballads by Hayley he made prints.""the zealous indefatigable Blake. over which Hayley is written so large and so small.mind." to make "neat -93drawings of different kinds. whose business it was to create. ." Blake engraved plates. warmhearted artist." But the serpent soon entered Eden. ." "the kind industrious Blake.""our worthy friend Blake. The two were "The Hermit and the Artist of Felpham." Blake wrote. By Hayley he. "My dependence is on engraving at present. exploded against the pressure. Hayley received us with his usual brotherly affection. Blake remembered ." "our good enthusiastic friend Blake. Blake.""our good." For the Life of Cowper. and I find on all hands great objections to my doing anything but the mere drudgery of business. wrote Hayley to Flaxman." To Hayley's epitaphs he had to listen--"If this" (the unexceptionable one to Eliza). . "Mr." "I am become a likeness-taker. With this stupid patron the neurotic Blake was shut up for three "darkest" years. Hayley is now labouring at." For Hayley's library Blake drew a frieze of the heads of the poets. " Hayley-gaily gamborarly. "should happen to strike you as it does Blake and me!" He had to be struck by them. a series reviewed by Southey with a quotation from O'Keefe's song. He meant well. "a work of magnitude which Mr. that stout joys and sorrows stirred his heart." At the Hermit's side stood always "The good Blake. Hayley acts like a prince. "Mr. but he was pretentious and stupid." he reported to friends in London. to make "a very creditable copy" of a portrait of a "dear departed bard. and having found a smothering pressure to imitate. In these Felpham years.

for I am determined to be no longer pestered with his genteel ignorance and polite disapprobation. namely To leave this Place because I am now certain of what I have long doubted Viz that H. . burn this letter -95because it speaks so plain.. . "As to Mr. by my late firmness I have brought down his affected loftiness. I regard fashion in poetry as little as I do in painting . approves of my designs as little as he does of my poems. . to my own self-will. He wrote a long letter to his brother James." By the summer of 1803 the explosion had come." he wrote. . Indeed. . I read your letter to Mr. he thinks to turn me into a Portrait Painter as he did Poor Romney. like S. envious (& that he is I am now certain) made me very uneasy. . . . the letter full of reassurance and of family frankness. he is very afraid of losing me & also very afraid that my Friends in London should have a bad opinion of the reception he has given to me." "But. "of this work I take care to say little to Mr. I know myself both poet and painter. But Mr. .When my heart knock'd against the root of my tongue. but it is over & I now defy the worst & fear not while I am true to myself which I will be . . & . Hayley. I feel myself at liberty to say as follows upon this ticklish subject. I must own that seeing H. in both. . averse to my poetry. . and I have been forced to insist on his leaving me. acquainting James with "a determination which we have lately made. Blake hoped "to speak to future generations by a sublime allegory which is now perfectly completed into a grand poem. and it is not his affected contempt that can move to anything but a more assiduous pursuit of both arts. since he is . H. H. H. . . but this he nor all the devils in hell will never do. is jealous as Stothard was & will be no further My friend than he is compelld by circumstances. and he begins to think I have some genius: as if genius and assurance were the same thing! But his imbecile attempts to depress me -96- . The truth is As a Poet he is frightened at me & as a Painter his views & mine are opposite.

my antagonist is silenced completely. surely I ought to consider him with favour and affection." and his wife was "much terrified. If a man offends me ignorantly." O! why was I born with a different face? Why was I not born like the rest of my race? When I look. the pencil my shame. and my temper chastise. Then I'm silent and passive. but I will cram the dogs. . My person degrade." "Nothing can withstand the fury of my course. . I have been very much degraded and injuriously treated. "This perhaps was suffered to dear up some doubts. each one starts. as earlier. . my pictures despise. and lose every friend. and not designedly. . the pressure of his bitterness towards Hayley subsided. . "the antagonist. I have orders to set my face like a flint . . and dead is my fame. brooking no criticism. ." "I know that as far as Designing & Poetry are concerned. He did not at Felpham "wish to irritate by seeming too obstinate in poetic pursuits. Here. he turned ruefully on himself. Blake's mood changed. And the pen is my terror. and I have compelled what should have been of freedom--my just right as an artist and as a man." came forward with £50 bail. he went his own way. . But if all the world should set their faces against this. who in the revolutionary decade did not accept the formula of the recanting poets. I am envied in many Quarters." He was "in a bustle" to defend himself against "a very unwarrantable warrant" from -97a justice of the peace in Chichester. . when I speak. Then my verse I dishonour. knew. I ought to blame myself. . . In this extremity Hayley. knew. Burn what I have peevishly written about my friend. Mathew's showed what his adherents were pleased to call a manly firmness of opinion." The tone of this letter identifies the writer as the man who long before at Moser's. I offend. and to give opportunity to those whom I doubted to clear themselves of all imputation. hearing his own drummer. who at Mrs." "And if any attempt should be made to refuse me . All my talents I bury. against their faces. but if all arise from my own fault." But soon after the explosion Blake was involved in a "perilous adventure. . knew. .only deserve laughter . and my forehead against their foreheads. I am inflexible.

Of H--'s birth this was the happy lot. . God be with you in all things.finds That is the . . such a dialogue with Hayley. . His mother on his When H -. writing the overtones on the pages of the Rossetti Manuscript. Over it in his letters Blake spoke as he should. . My wife joins me in this prayer. . . Who never in his life forgave a friend. for his part. . Pray. . In the "Rossetti Manuscript" To forgive enemies H-does pretend.I am either too low. . . And when he could not act upon my wife Hired a villain to bereave my life. Blake after his return to London carried on. . My wife joins me in love to you. when meek I'm despis'd. When elate I'm envied. and two others. -98In a play called Overtones are four characters. or too highly priz'd. . . two carrying on a conventional dialoge. BLAKE TO HAYLEY In the Letters to Felpham My wife joins me in respects and love to you. Behind it in his note book he grimaced. . standing over them. interpolating their actual thoughts. my dear sir. writing the conventional words in his letters to Hayley at Felpham. -99- Pray accept my and my wife's sincerest love and gratitude. the overtones of the dialogue. The screen of privacy was set. .

concerning your health. afford you their full reward. you cannot do. and its kind inhabitants. .favour father out what me with a line him begot. Truly proud I am to be in possession of this beautiful little estate -100- very thing he'll set you to. . Such sweet verses as Thy friendship oft yours has in your last made my heart to beautiful ache: poem must . . . Felpham. . . . . your innocent humble servant. O people of Sussex. . . . . . Do be my enemy-for friendship's sake. . . . . . . God bless you all. . whose heart and soul are more and more drawn out towards you. . around your hermit and bard.

it is one of the prettiest I ever read. -101IX A Bosom Secure from Tumultuous Passions THAT very unwarrantable warrant from a justice of the peace in Chichester. till he and I With thanks and compliments are quite drawn dry. "I desired him. . Let him who has never heard an overtone in his own heart cast the first stone. was sworn to by a trooper of the Royal Dragoons. . . -102put himself into a posture of defiance. . threatening and swearing at me. I write the rascal thanks. it affronted my foolish pride. He then threatened to knock out my eyes. . I still persisted in desiring his departure. to go out of the garden. named Scofield. . as politely as possible. I also thank you for your very beautiful little poem on the king's recovery. . You can have no idea . . perhaps foolishly and perhaps not. he refused. with many abominable imprecations. He had without Blake's knowledge been invited into the cottage garden as an assistant to a gardener employed there. but he. I.[from] the grand bulk of your literary property. turning about. I therefore took him by the elbows. . stepped out at the gate. against which Blake had to defend himself at the end of his stay at Felpham. and with some contempt for my person. . . On H-. Blake wrote to London "the whole outline" of the event. There I intended to have left him. I insisted on his leaving the garden.the Pickthank. how much your name is loved and respected. . and pushed him before me till I had got him out. he made me an impertinent answer.

" The method of revenge embodied itself in the indictment in the case of "Rex vs. and the man's comrade. and raging and cursing. This method of revenge was planned between them after they had got together into the stable. which drew out several neighbours. My landlord compelled the soldiers to go indoors." In this document it was charged that the said William Blake "then and there did make an assault on him the said John Scholfield then and there did beat and wound and ill treat so that his life was greatly -103despaired of. pushed him forward down the road about fifty yards--he all the while endeavouring to turn around and strike me. and his wife and daughter. and. the Fox Inn (who is the proprietor of my cottage). keeping his back to me. of Our Lord One thousand eight hundred and three with force & arms at the Parish aforesaid in the county aforesaid in the presence and hearing of divers liege Subjects of our Lord the King with whom the said William Blake was then and there conversing of and concerning our said Lord the King and his Soldiers & of and concerning an Invasion of this Realm by the Enemies of our said Lord the King maliciously unlawfully wickedly and seditiously did pronounce utter and declare the English words -104- . after many abusive threats against me and my wife from the two soldiers. when I had got him where he was quartered. Blake.and. we were met at the gate by the master of the house. and several other people. which was very quickly done." Furthermore it was charged that William Blake "being a Wicked and Seditious and Evil-disposed person and greatly disaffected to our said Lord the King and Wickedly and Seditiously intending to bring our said Lord the King into great Hatred contempt & scandal with all his liege and faithful Subjects of this Realm and the Soldiers of our said Lord the King to Scandalize and Vilify and intending to withdraw the fidelity and allegiance of his said Majesty's Subjects from his said Majesty and to encourage and invite as far as in him lay the Enemies of our said Lord the King to Invade this Realm and Unlawfully and Wickedly to seduce and encourage his Majesty's Subjects to resist & oppose our said Lord the King on the said 12th day of Aug in yr. At length. putting aside his blows. took him again by the elbows. but not one word of threat on account of sedition was uttered at that time.

This Scofield was of the same ilk as that sharpfeatured government agent who.following 'The English (meaning the Subjects of our said Lord the King residing in this Realm) know within themselves that Buonaparte (meaning the Chief Consul of the French Republic & one of the persons exercising the powers of government in France) would take possession of England in an hour's time and then it would be put to every Englishman's choice for to either fight for the French or to have his Throat cut I (meaning himself the said Wm Blake) think that I (meaning himself the said Wm Blake) am as strong a man as most and it shall be throat cut for throat cut and the strongest man will be the conqueror You (meaning one of the said liege Subjects of our said Lord the King with whom he was then and there conversing) would not fight against the French: damn the King (meaning our said Lord the King) and Country (meaning this Realm) and all his Subjects (meaning the Subjects of our said Lord the King) I (meaning himself the said Wm Blake) have told this before to greater people than you (meaning one of the said liege subjects of our said Lord the King with whom he was then and there conversing) damn the King (meaning our said Lord the King) and his Country (meaning this Realm) his Subjects (meaning the Subjects of -105our Lord the King) and all you Soldiers (meaning the Soldiers of our said Lord the King) are sold for Slaves' to the great Scandal of our said Lord the King and his Laws to the Evil and pernicious Example of all others in the like case offending against the Peace of our said Lord the King his Crown and Dignity." Was Blake. and to secure the bosom from the influence of those tumultuous -106- . There. Samuel Rose." Scofield made further charges. decided that he was being insulted. He was an artist. and catching in Coleridge's conversation with a friend the name of a celebrated philosopher. asked Scofield. replied his advocate. as to his "being a wicked and Seditious and Evildisposed person. and it is the tendency of art "to soften every asperity of feeling and of character." To this indictment Blake made his answer "not guilty. was being called "Spy Nozy. not "a military painter"--this was what came of doing well at miniature painting--and was it not probable that his cottage was stuffed with plans of the surrounding country prepared to aid the enemy? No." and stood his trial at Chichester. spying upon Coleridge.

you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass: and there is much music. yet cannot you make it speak. for Mr." and where he was to make the "immense Profits. yet cannot we make him speak. Cromek. -108X The Heart of the Mystery "WHY. leaving Felpham not to return. said other neighbours. Blake was above all things a lover of peace. look you now. excellent voice. in William Blake. Blake. For the heart of his mystery. where he was to know "from two to seven in the Evening . "was by the jury acquitted. in this little organ. Born a spiritualist under Sir . mystery rooted deep in human experience. was added the testimony of a next-door neighbour. who saw Blake turn Scofield before him down the road. ." then the case was lost by Scofield. forgetting Blake's inflexibility and his own affected loftiness. that "no expression of threatening on account of sedition was uttered in the heat of their fury by either of the dragoons. to make them. you would pluck out the heart of my mystery. cannot be plucked out. said the Sussex Advertiser." Recognizing tardily that there was much music. excellent voice. Despair. ." -107The uproar of those exultations was hardly silenced before Blake went up to London." of which he had dreamed. thrown into an uproar by their noisy exultations. you would seem to know my stops. said Hayley. up to London. surprising to Scofield if he remembered the strong arms that had held him all the way from Blake's garden to the Fox Inn. When to this testimony. in defiance of all decency." No. we would seem to know his stops." and the evidence of other "divers liege Subjects" that Blake had not said "damn the King (meaning our said Lord the King) and his Country (meaning this Realm) his Subjects (meaning the Subjects of our said Lord the King) and all you Soldiers (meaning the Soldiers of our said Lord the King) are sold for Slaves. No. "how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me." says Hamlet to Rosencrantz and Guildernstern.and discordant passions which destroy the happiness of mankind. which so gratified the auditory that the court was. . that is. a miller's wife. . . and saw and heard all that happened at the gate of the inn.

a visionary under the philosophy of Newton and Locke. describable in monosyllables. though we may catch the remembered lift of hills. pregnant replies of his confound the Poloniuses who think they have come upon the very cause of his lunacy. Wild and whirling words of his belie those who hold that he was sane. of the Philosophers of Reason. Belonging in that line he belonged in the "Land of Dreams.Joshua Reynolds. But to label the complex is not to explain it. is not without interest for those who are attracted by the colour and variety of human experience. The debate as to whether Blake was in his wits or not seems therefore a Lady-or-the-Tiger argument. A world of entirely and obviously sane men would be a dull sort of place. or from manic-depressive tendencies. less hereditary line than that of Sir Joshua. or from automatism. Blake had it. he was one in a longer. or from occasional hyper-æthesia. . better far Above the Light of the Morning Star." which was. William Blake helped save it from that level monotony by believing himself under the direction of messengers from heaven daily and nightly. Blake had it. If there is a gland that "regulates" a visionary personality. To say con-110fidently that Blake suffered from mythomania. or of the -109House of Hanover. a land in which. But though the discovery of the gland might explain William Blake. what explains the gland? If there is a complex of selfassertion that finds relief by mental association with spirits. That is a land not charted. there are yet undiscovered continents and undiscoverable streams. an enthusiast under George the Third. This visionary life of his. he wrote. Nor does the application of a new terminology of physiology or of psychology penetrate far into the heart of his mystery. whether or not it can be explained or profitably labelled. or that he did not tend "towards a definite schizophrenia." is to add polysyllables rather than illumination to the discussion of his state.

for the study of the spiritual experiences which were the heart of his mystery.He had. in this connection. a live and let-live philosophy. A System of Etiquette. his courtesy and high degree of tolerance. Rules for Behaviour . Principles of Politeness. on occasion." That wish had led him to write books on Luxury No Political Evil. suggest a mood. was indifference and a very high degree of tolerance. for I never obtrude such things on others unless questioned. "I should not have troubled you. . Blake would waive the ques-111tion of his spiritual life. "with this account of my spiritual state. unless it had been necessary in explaining the actual cause of my uneasiness." "Though very ready to be drawn out to the assertion of his favourite ideas. into which you are so kind as to inquire. A THE SPECTATORS IN THE SKY "I doubt not yet." The autobiographic period. and yet not to disguise or suppress the truth." Seymour Kirkup." Blake wrote. . ." reported Henry Crabb Robinson. spoke to Swinburne of "the courtesy with which. . gives also the first full sight -112of the spectators in the sky in whose presence the dancer felt himself. A glimpse of them is caught in letters exchanged between him and one John Trusler a year before he went down to Felpham. . and then I never disguise the truth. "yet he showed no warmth as if he wanted to make proselytes--Indeed one of the peculiar features of his scheme . and would practically accept and act upon the dissent or distaste of his companions without visible vexation or the rudeness of a thwarted fanatic." Blake's desire not to obtrude. At sixty-four his mood was "whilst living in this world to wish to follow the nature of it." he wrote to a friend. which gives the fullest insight into the rhythm of the dance of life as Blake knew it. It is easy to see what figure Trusler meant to make. who "was much with" Blake for seven years. "to make a figure in the great dance of life that shall amuse the spectators in the sky. give a cue. He would no more obtrude than suppress his faith.

. To the eyes of a miser a guinea is far more beautiful than the sun." He revealed A Sure Way to Lengthen Life with Vigour. and promised to build on them. . Trusler was the author of Detached Philosophic Thoughts. from the Cradle to the Grave and from the Infancy of Things to their Present State. I know that they are not mine. . To him Blake wrote in 1799: "I find more and more that my style of designing is a by itself. and of The Progress of Man and Society. "I know I begged of you to give me your ideas. at request. was to supply the ideas. With riches. and being also in the predicament of that prophet who says: 'I cannot go beyond the command of the Lord. I see everything I paint in this world. and The Way to be Rich and Respectable. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity. and respectability went learning. and by these I shall not regulate my proportions. . but when I found my attempts were in vain. resolved to show . But to the eyes of the man of . Here I counted without my host. The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only -114a green thing which stands in the way. I know that this world is a world of imagination and vision. . I now find my mistake! .during Meals. He established an academy for teaching oratory "mechanically. eating. . . and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes. being of the same opinion with Milton when he says that the Muse visits his slumbers and awakes and governs his song when morn purples the east. if I were to act otherwise it would not fulfil the purpose for which alone I live . I attempted every morning for a fortnight together to follow your dictate. ". The way to be rich and respectable was so sought that the book reached a seventh edition. . In 1799 Blake's August. independence. . to speak good or bad!' . And though I call [my designs] mine. but everybody does not see alike. and some scarce see Nature at all. . . and in this which I send you -113- have been compelled by my Genius or Angel to follow where he led. . species he ordered from Blake a series of drawings for which he.

which occupied him there. when you say that the visions of fancy are not to be found in this world. To me this world is all one continued vision of fancy or imagination." Trusler answered that Blake's fancy "seems to be in the other world. You certainly mistake. unplanned. with the drawings for Hayley's library. he gave another glimpse of the spectators in the sky in a first letter to Hayley. By it I am the companion of angels. so he sees. or the world of spirits. the sixteen heavy boxes and portfolios full of prints which went down to Felpham. they were sandwiched in with details of the seven different chaises and as many different drivers. May you continue to be so more and more. Thirteen years ago I lost a brother. dim'd with superstition. . and see him in my remembrance. Muster MasterGeneral. and to him in this bereavement Blake said: "I know that our deceased friends are more really with us than when they were apparent to our mortal part.imagination. such are its powers. and to be more and more persuaded that every mortal loss is an immortal gain. even in this world." The spring after Blake found that he had counted without his host in planning to build on the ideas of a rich and respectable patron. The ruins of Time build mansions in Eternity. Hayley had just lost a son. in the -115regions of my imagination. and with his spirit I converse daily and hourly in the spirit. the price of meat at Felpham." In letters which he wrote from Felpham to Flaxman and to Thomas Butts. the miniatures. they were part of the tissue of his everyday correspondence. As a man is. . which accords not with my intentions. and even now write from his dictate. . As the eye is formed. Nature is Imagination itself. a steady and loyal patron whom he had known some seven years. since it is to me a source of immortal joy. which I wish all to partake of. Forgive me for expressing to you my enthusiasm. Blake made avowal after avowal of his visionary life. ." and closed the correspondence by endorsing Blake's letter: " Blake. unassumingly. These avowals were made directly. I hear his advice. naïve. the plates for the Life of Cowper. As soon as he arrived in Sussex he wrote to Flaxman: "Felpham is a sweet place for study.

and those works are the delight and study of archangels. And little devils who fight for themselves-. ineffectual labourer of Time's moments that I am! who shall deliver me from this spirit of abstraction and improvidence?" Blake further described his state in these lines: With Happiness stretch'd across the hills In a cloud that dewy sweetness distils. Why. her windows are not obstructed by vapours. because another covering of earth is shaken off. Heaven opens here on all sides her golden gates. And a mild sun that mounts and sings. voices of celestial inhabitants are most distinctly heard. With a blue sky spread over with wings. . . . with my whole might. But in vain! the faster I bind. which I wrote and painted in ages of eternity before my mortal life. -117and often it seems lighter than a ball of wool rolled by the wind. the better is the ballast. . . . I. take the world with me in my flights. happy. because my abstract folly hurries me often away while I am at work. should I be anxious about the riches or fame of mortality?" After a year of the new life he wrote to Butts in September. for I. then. and their forms more distinctly seen' and my cottage is also a shadow of their houses. . into a land of abstraction where spectres of the dead wander. carrying me over mountains and valleys. In my brain are studies and chambers filled with books and pictures of old.-116because it is more spiritual than London. 1801: "I accomplish not one half of what I intend. chain my feet to the world of duty and reality. With trees and fields full of fairy elves. so far from being bound down. . This I endeavour to prevent. . . Alas! wretched. . which are not real. "And now begins a new life. I am more famed in Heaven for my works than I could well conceive.

without trouble and care. And my brother Robert just behind. they entreat. afraid. and bury your talent in the earth. even though you should want natural bread. For double the vision my eyes do see. With my outward. And a double vision is always with me.With angels planted in hawthorn bowers. In a black cloud making his moan. And God Himself in the passing Hours. the evil one. if we refuse to do spiritual acts because of natural fears or natural desires.-Tho' dead. they appear upon my path. Notwithstanding my terrible wrath. . and before my way A frowning thistle implores my stay. . Fill'd full of hopes. aghast at the man who was -119- . But the nature of such things is not. With silver angels across my way. daily and nightly. or averse to tell you what ought to be told: that I am under the direction of messengers from heaven. and tremble at the tasks set before us. Every one in eternity will leave you. With my inward eye. who are organized by Divine Providence for spiritual communion. a Thistle across my way. What to others a trifle appears Fills me full of smiles or tears. They beg. refuse. In a letter to Butts he made one of his most specific affirmations: "I am not ashamed. sorrow and desperation pursue you through life. and after death shame and confusion of face to eternity. . Pouring disconsolate from behind -118To drive them off. fill'd full of fears-With a thousand angels upon the wind. And my brother John. they drop their tears. 'tis an Old Man grey. who can describe the dismal torments of such a state! I too well remember the threats I heard!--'If you. And golden demons that none can stay. as some suppose. With ray father hovering upon the wind. If we fear to do the dictates of our angels.

crowned with glory and honour by his brethren. I know that such mockers are most severely punished in eternity. it appeared in the letters to Hayley. which were rendered through your means a mild and pleasant slumber. . "I can . I know it. . converse with my friends in eternity. dear Sir. . Thus in 1804. in which the spectators in the sky are as real a part of the great dance of life as everyday business. of things known only to myself and to spirits good and evil. . . . and London became the city of escape. having conducted me through three . but not known to men on earth. dream dreams. for I see it and dare not help. ." The spirits good and evil were. There. engraving. he could carry on his "visionary studies . are one who has my particular gratitude. not of natural. . He was not afraid. sometimes artists or the enemies of art. . ashamed. and how then could I be at ease?" Felpham was no longer sweet. He wrote at the beginning of his illustrations to Blair Grave: . or averse to tell the public of his visions and of his faith. Blake made to his acquaintances his avowals of faith. and the need of ten pounds. . and betrayed their cause to their enemies. unannoyed. rheumatism." A year later he wrote: "It is the greatest of crimes to depress true art and science. I speak of spiritual things. . He was no less afraid. I know that those who are dead from the earth. Blake felt." In these naïve letters." There only. years . and prophesy and speak parables unobserved. You will be called the base Judas who betrayed his friend!' Such words would make any stout man tremble. and who mocked and despised the meekness of true art. or averse to tell them one and all under whose direction he walked daily and nightly. ashamed. . "whose spiritual aid has not a little conduced to my restoration to the light of -120Art. he wrote. Blake wrote of plates he was engraving after Romney. . see visions." From London he wrote back to Hayley: "You. . two years after Romney's death.

-121Bowing before my Sov'reign's feet. Time may rage. The blossoms of Eternal Life!" Blake drank the cup of the Examiner's attack. Ever in their youthful prime. But now the Caves of Hell I view. "The Caverns of the Grave I've seen. Before her throne my wings I wave.To dedicate to England's Queen The visions that my soul has seen. And. Re-engrav'd time after time. -122My designs unchang'd remain. There they shine eternally. If she refuse. "The Grave produc'd these blossoms sweet In mild repose from earthly strife. bring What I have borne on solemn wing. he forgot mild repose from earthly strife. . I still go on Till the Heavens and Earth are gone. In my Golden House on high. but evidently intended for publication as a dedication to the Countess of Egremont of his painting of The Last Judgement: The Caverns of the Grave I've seen. From the vast regions of the Grave. in verses not published. For above Time's troubled fountains. by her kind permission. Follow'd by Envy on the winds. Still admir'd by noble minds." he wrote. Who shall I dare to show them to? What mighty soul in Beauty's form Shall dauntless view the infernal storm? Egremont's Countess can control The flames of Hell that round me roll. but he did not deny his comrades of the day and of the night. On the great Atlantic Mountains. And these I show'd to England's Queen. but rage in vain.

and in -124- . Aram. The painter of this work asserts that all his imaginations appear to him infinitely more perfect and more minutely organized than anything seen by his mortal eye. . Palaces. . . "The Prophets describe what they saw in vision as real and existing men. the clearer the organ the more distinct the object. does not imagine at all. had had some share in his words. and patriarchates of Asia has seen those wonderful originals. . . A spirit and a vision are not. . monarchies. The artist has endeavoured to emulate the grandeur of those seen in his vision. Moab. in the Advertisements to Blake's Canterbury Pilgrims. whom they saw with their imaginative and immortal organs. and erected in the highly cultivated states of Egypt. . . which were sculptured and painted on walls of Temples. as the modern philosophy supposes. ." which. and to apply it to modern Heroes on a smaller scale. a cloudy vapour. among the Rivers of Paradise. Towers. one hundred feet in height: some were painted as pictures and some carved as bassorelievos and some as groups of statues. and in Additions to Blake's Catalogue of Pictures. Cities. They are organized and minutely articulated beyond all that the mortal and perishing nature can produce. He who does not imagine in stronger and better lineaments and in stronger and better light than his perishing and mortal eye can see. along with much "Resentment for personal injuries. . when more is meant than meets the eye. . all containing mythological and recondite meaning. . in the Descriptive Catalogue. called in the sacred scriptures the Cherubim. a series of statements of his imaginative creed: "The artist having been taken in vision into the ancient republics. "Unworthy Men who gain fame among Men continue to govern mankind after death. . . the Apostles the same. Blake set down. Edom. . some of them. .Following the bitter draught of Cromek's double dealing and of Hunt's attack. he admitted. or a nothing. Those wonderful orig-123inals seen in my visions were.

. . . unappropriate and repugnant to your own individual character. so that the man who is possessed of this demon loses all admiration of any other Artist but Rubens. . for. and to all Artists who study the Florentine and Roman Schools. . and shut the doors of mind and thought by placing Learning above Inspiration. . and consequently most cruel demon. They put the original artist in fear and doubt of his own original conception. that memory of nature. they possess themselves of the bodies of mortal men. The spirit of Titian was particularly active in raising doubts concerning the possibility of executing without a model. seeking to destroy imaginative power.--like walking in another man's style. as Swedenborg observes. may be removed by an exhibition and exposure of their vile tricks. . O Artists. I say again. and by infusing the remembrances of his pictures and style of execution. whose enmity to the Painter himself. when the Artist took his pencil to execute his ideas. and when -125once he had raised the doubt. . and concupiscence. were the result of temptations and perturbations.--tormenting the true Artist. . but it shall be at your own Peril. among numerous others painted for experiment. . hinders all power of individual thought. by means of that infernal machine called Chiaro Oscuro. . O Artist! you may disbelieve all this. . but it shall be at your own peril. and of Pictures of the various schools possessed his mind instead of appropriate execution resulting from the inventions. . They cause that everything in art shall become a Machine. . his power of imagination weakened so much and darkened. in the hands of Venetian and Flemish Demons. it became easy for him to snatch away the vision time after time.their spiritual bodies oppose the spirits of those who worthily are famous. Correggio is a soft and effeminate. . or speaking. . and those who were his imitators and journeymen. "These pictures. drunkenness. . . you may disbelieve all this. They cause that execution shall all be blocked up with brown shadows. by entering into disease and excrement. Rubens is a most outrageous demon. whose whole delight is to cause endless labour to whoever suffers him to enter his mind. . or looking in another man's style and manner. and. .

. Yet the oak dies as well as the lettuce.' it will be questioned. . but Vision. then would he meet the Lord in the air. but its eternal image or individuality never dies but renews by its seed. There exist in that eternal world the eternal realities of everything which we see reflected in this vegetable glass of nature. could make a friend -127and companion of one of these images of wonder. . . and the eternal nature and permanence of its ever existent images is considered less permanent than the things of vegetable and generative nature. "'What. It is as the dirt upon my feet-no part of me. . ." The Last Judgement is not fable or allegory. . Fable or allegory is a totally distinct -126and inferior kind of poetry. and that to me it is hindrance. "The world of imagination is the world of eternity. . . which always entreat him to leave mortal things (as he must know). "The Nature of visionary fancy or imagination is very little known. This world of imagination is infinite and eternal. . approaching them on the fiery chariot of his contemplative thought-if he could enter into Noah's rainbow. . Vision. and unchangeably. . is a representation of what actually exists really. and not action. . . and then he would be happy. . . "I assert for myself that I do not behold the outward creation. . 'when the sun rises do you not see a round disk of fire something like a guinea?' Oh! no! no! I see an . "If the spectator could enter into these images in his imagination. or imagination. whereas the world of generation or vegetation is finite and temporal. Just so the imaginative image returns by the seed of contemplative thought. . then would he arise from the grave. It is the divine bosom into which we all go after the death of the vegetated body.

Still again multitudes of spirits. in whose company they belonged. without trouble or care.innumerable company of the heavenly host crying--'Holy. not obtruding and not disguising or suppressing what was to him the truth. a thousand angels. his angels. At other times the great dead. ghosts of principles of painting. Finally abstractions whom he called Titian. showed him their faces or gave him their hands. rode the winds before him. of the painter Romney. I look through it and not with it. "Imagination is my World." Thus William Blake. familiars who watched over him. in letters and in public statements. whose lot among English poets and painters was to give a dash of intimacy with the spectators in the sky to the varieties of the creative temperament. of his father. holy. -129the evil one In a black cloud making his moan. as some suppose. good and evil. They were at times the spirits of those whom he had known on earth. Shakespeare. . tormented him. messengers from heaven. . left. These celestial spectators being. his avow-128als of that intimacy. . holy. . his deceased friends. is the Lord God Almighty!' I question not my corporeal eye any more than I would question a window concerning a sight. had something to do with the downward as well as with the upward swing of the rhythm to which he moved. Such were the spirits of his brother Robert. of his brother John. in Blake's words. Correggio. The truth was that the celestial spectators in whose presence he walked and worked were of varied sorts. . Rubens. They were no more individual spirits than that infernal machine called Chiaro Oscuro. Milton. Again vague guardians bore him on their wings. . The nature of such things he found to be not. He saw his brother John.

but they were here and now beside him. holy. dream dreams. once they were dead from the earth severely punished in eternity." If this function of vision. holy. he saw and he dared not help. What the second was appeared in his longing to be back in London. he saw unworthy men after their deaths continuing to govern mankind. by which he was familiar with these varied spirits. he was tormented as he tried to paint by outrageous demons. he could not only converse with his friends in eternity. With my outward. a Thistle across my way. The power. is the Lord God Almighty. These visions and dreams. had by his account two functions. they were -130the eternal realities of idealism. A double vision was with him. he thought. that of depressing true art and science. 'tis an Old Man grey. They existed not only far away and long ago. They gave a deeper meaning to his experience. When the sun rose he did not see a round disk of fire something like a guinea. deepening experience. the tree. There. dream dreams. These were the two functions. the first to converse with spirits. they seemed to him to be a representation of what actually exists and unchangeably. in a world which was all one continued vision of fancy or imagination. The tree which in the eyes of others was only a green thing that stood in the way moved him to tears of joy. is not the creative imagination. but also see visions. They were organized and minutely articulated. he said. enriching. and the rising sun. were not a cloudy vapour or a nothing. he saw mockers who had committed the greatest of crimes. Oh.He saw the infernal storm. the poetic impulse. what is it? B THE POEM DICTATED BY AUTHORS IN ETERNITY . and no other. no! no! He saw an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying "Holy. their nature was permanent and perfect. giving beauty and significance to the thistle. With my inward eye. good and evil. they appeared to him infinitely more perfect than anything seen by his mortal eye. the second to see visions.

which is now perfectly completed into a grand poem. the authors are in eternity. . "if God please. called Jerusalem. G. he told of a "voluminous" poem which he had written "under inspiration" and would. "I have written this poem." In 1809. in -132his Descriptive Catalogue.In 1803 Blake began to mention in his letters a long poem which came to him from a celestial source and which described "the spiritual acts" of -131his "three years' slumber on the banks of ocean" at Felpham. which I shall soon publish. Yet seven years later. he wrote to Hayley: "It will not be long before I shall be able to present the full history of my spiritual sufferings to the dwellers upon earth and of the spiritual victories obtained for me by my friends. I may praise it. newly discovered. an ancient. in his last year. and given to the Public." In December." that is. . ." In 1810 he was still writing of "a poem concerning my three years' Herculean labours at Felpham. to speak to future generations by a sublime allegory. and an immense poem exists which seems to be the labour of a long life. . according to Henry Crabb Robinson. ." . without premeditation. all produced without labour or study. Oxford Street is in Jerusalem. . and even against my will. In January he wrote to his brother James of "many formidable works" which he had ready and in April he told his friend Butts that he had "composed an immense number of verses on one grand theme. Blake showed Southey "a perfectly mad poem. an eighty-eight pounder! . . twelve or sometimes twenty or thirty lines at a time. ." he went on. illuminated manuscript. . which has to name Jerusalem." In July he wrote again to Butts: "I hope ." In 1820 "Janus Weathercock" ( T." This "tremendous piece" it was proposed "to fire off" in the next issue of the magazine. since I dare not pretend to be any other than the secretary. The time it has taken in writing was thus rendered nonexistent. by Divine assistance. Blake wrote Cumberland that he had "finished. publish. "from immediate dictation." In 1811. . This poem shall. be progressively printed and ornamented with prints. 1805. Wainwright) referred in the London Magazine to "a tremendous piece of ordnance.

is my definition of the most sublime poetry. a body of doctrine that illuminates the allegiances of the authors in eternity and the abilities and enthusiasms of their secretary. "The Felpham Gospel. Allegory addressed to the intellectual powers. but as much a bondage as rime itself. . . . Blake." The mystical and mythical figures which swarm upon the pages of "the Felpham Gospel" have proved in the main. . Poem is written. But as they carry on their debates where more is meant than meets the ear. . . and that it was not likely that he would be able to find even for that one copy a customer. "I consider it. not pretending to be any other than the secretary. "can do nothing of ourselves. the diction and verse form had to be settled--"the Measure in which the . while it is altogether hidden from the corporeal understanding. no less than Digestion or Sleep . freed. of its mythomania." as it has been called. . everything is conducted by Spirits. they drop now and again into quite intelligible English and speak with sharply clear instead of with hidden meaning. Every word and every letter is studied and put into its fit place. . . dared to praise. if you please. to be hidden from the corporeal understanding. . both of cadences and number of syllables." he wrote. I therefore have produced a variety in every line.tinted by hand. -133"as the grandest poem that this world contains. This poem of celestial authorship and persistently belated publication exists now in the two works Milton and Jerusalem. one copy of Jerusalem. But I soon found that ." "We who dwell on earth. . such monotony was not only awkward. wrenched of course out of its context of symbolism and dramatic intention. -134When this Verse was first dictated to me. In such clear passages there exists. I consider'd a monotonous cadence ." began Blake. to be a necessary and indispensable part of Verse. To begin with. . . the terrific . in obedience to Blake's definition.

. . . flowers. and the prosaic for inferior parts. . sung in mild and gentle numbers: The Lark. those Worlds of Eternity in which we shall live for ever. These authors belonged to the romantic movement not only by their general poetic theory. just as the morn Appears. . to defy classic models. ." The celestial authors who thus enforced on their secretary a theory of freedom. sitting upon his earthy bed. . . His little throat labours with inspiration . springing from the waving cornfield. then. . . the mild and gentle for the mild and gentle parts. listens silent.numbers are reserved for the terrific parts. and to be true to their own imaginations. . I take it. insects. Re-echoing against the lovely blue and shining heavenly Shell. to the romantic movement. . . the Linnet and the Goldfinch. Then loud from their green covert all the Birds begin their song: The Thrush. . belonged. . Robin and the Wren Awake the Sun from his sweet revery upon the mountain: . all are necessary to each other. . . of a variety of numbers including even prosaic numbers. Poetry fetter'd fetters the Human Race." . but -135also by their frequent mood of delight in birds. loud He leads the Choir of Day--trill! trill! trill! trill! Mounting upon the wings of light into the great Expanse. . the English country. who thus proposed to unfetter poetry. "We do not want either Greek or Roman models if we are but just and true to our own Imaginations. .

. . . Joy even to tears. the flaunting beauty Revels along upon the wind. Opens her many lovely eyes. which the Sun rising dries: first the Wild Thyme And Meadow-sweet.Thou perceivest the Flowers put forth their precious Odours. the mild Lily opes her heavens. Light springing on the air. the White-thorn. . downy and soft. Yet all in order sweet and lovely. The Pink. Every Flower. listening the Rose still sleeps-None dare to wake her. joy opens in the flowery bosoms. lead the sweet dance. they wake The Honeysuckle sleeping on the oak. Forgetting that within that centre Eternity expands Its ever-during doors . . every Tree And Flower and Herb soon fill the air with an innumerable dance. waving among the reeds. the Jessamine. . Thou seest the gorgeous clothed Flies that dance and sport in summer Upon the sunny brooks and meadows: every one the dance -137- . lovely May. soon she bursts her crimsoncurtained bed . . And none can tell how from so small a centre comes such sweet. . -136First. the Wallflower. the Carnation. ere the morning breaks. The Jonquil. .

to cross and change and return. . To touch each other and recede. . delighted. . smaller than a grain of sand? It has a heart like thee. All this earthly life. Each one to sound his instruments of music in the dance. . With inside wondrous and expansive. . . the tender Maggot. . . Is an immense World of Delight . emblem of Immortality. The Earwig arm'd. . true romanticists. . that sings and laughs and drinks-Winter comes: he folds his slender bones without a murmur.Knows in its intricate mazes of delight. and -138How do you know but ev'ry Bird that cuts the airy way. . . artful to weave. Within the small centre of the flower . . The Ground-spider with many eyes. a brain open to heaven and hell. in which the authors in eternity. . its gates are not clos'd. . See'st thou the little winged fly. the Mole clothèd in velvet. . . The slow Slug. ? . Eternity expands Its ever-during doors. The ambitious Spider in his sullen web. . . . from the lark to the grasshopper to man. the Grasshopper. . . . the Centipede is there. the lucky Golden-spinner. . . . . has limitless depth and capacity. .

instead of night a sickly charnel house. . And sunk my heart into the abyss. That odours cannot them expand. The Ear. . a little narrow orb. . Ah! weak and wide astray! Ah. They told me that I had five senses to inclose me up. . Instead of morn arises a bright shadow. there is no Limit of Expansion. . doleful form! Creeping in reptile flesh upon the bosom of the ground. there is no Limit of Translucence In the bosom of Man for ever from eternity to eternity. . . closed up and dark. in small volutions shutting out True Harmonies. Scarcely beholding the Great Light. shut in narrow. like an eye In the eastern cloud. . In every bosom a Universe expands.. . And they inclosed my infinite brain into a narrow circle. -139Till all from life I was obliterated and erased. the tree knows not what is outside of its leaves and bark And yet it drinks the summer joy and fears the winter sorrow. ." They told me that the night and day were all that I could see. conversing with the ground. . . . The Eye of Man. . . a little shell. and comprehending great as very small. . This immense World of Delight is "closed to your senses five. . . a red round globe hot burning. nor joy on them . . The Nostrils bent down to the earth and clos'd with senseless flesh. .

. . . a little food it cloys. and its cries are faintly heard. . . they name them Good and Evil. And there behold the Loom of Locke . . . . . From them they make an Abstract. Wash'd by the Water-wheels of Newton . and that Human Form You call Divine. The Tongue. . . . . . . That creeps forth in a night and is dried in the morning sun. Voltaire insinuates that these Limits are the cruel work of God. Mocking the Remover of Limits and the Resurrection of the Dead. . is but a Worm seventy inches long. which is a Negation . I turn my eyes to the Schools and Universities of Europe. . with which Every Substance is clothèd. A little sound it utters. . . . so infinite and so finite in capacity. -140This earthly creation. . . . . . It is the Reasoning Power. . . . . And this is the manner of the Sons of Albion in their strength: They take the two Contraries which are call'd Qualities. . a little moisture fills.exult. . . . . . is shadowed by spectres of the eighteenth century. . . .

By it the Moon faded into a globe. . This terrible devouring sword turning every way?" . This is the Spectre of Man. the Holy Reasoning Power. Who teach Doubt and Experiment? and my two wings. . . . And saw a flame of fire. who teach Humility to Man. Who teaches Belief to the Nations and an unknown Eternal Life? Come hither into the desert and turn these stones to bread! Vain. that negatives everything. . rose over Albion. . ?" So spoke the hard. like a hoar-frost and a mildew. Voltaire. . . He answer'd: "It is the Wheel of Religion. . . O Sons of Man! I am your Rational Power! Am I not Bacon and Newton and Locke. And build a World of Phantasy upon my great Abyss . even as a Wheel of fire surrounding all the heavens. that Rebel against my Laws. Rousseau? Where is that Friend of Sinners. Travelling thro' the night. . . constructive Spectre. cold. the Spectre. -142And I askèd a Watcher and a Holy One Its name. By it the Sun was roll'd into an orb. ." I wept and said: "Is this the law of Jesus. for from its dire And restless fury Man himself shrunk up Into a little root a fathom long. . Saying. . . . . -141.An Abstract objecting power. "I am God. I stood among my valleys of the south. foolish Man! wilt thou believe without Experiment. . .

The Schools. . And those who are in misery cannot remain so long. . the authors in eternity offered guard. . "Every religion that Preaches Vengeance for Sin is the religion of the Enemy and Avenger. in clouds of learning roll'd. and not of the Forgiver of Sin. Your Religion." . . . And many conversèd on these things as they labour'd at the furrow. natural religion." . . . . . Of sin. O Deists! Deism is the worship of the God of this World by the means of what you call Natural Religion and Natural Philosophy . . . When Satan first the black bow bent And the Moral Law from the Gospel rent. . Saying. and their God is Satan. And spill'd the blood of Mercy's Lord. . Labour well the Minute Particulars. Satan's "Moral law" of vengeance. . labour well the teeming Earth. Gibbon arose with a lash of steel. It is better to prevent error than to forgive the criminal. He forg'd the Law into a sword. -143Against these spectres of Blake's mind. attend to the Little Ones. "It is better to prevent misery than to release from misery. Arose with War in iron and gold. the dark Preacher of Death. If we but do our duty.He answer'd: "Jesus died because He strove Against the current of this Wheel: its name Is Caiaphas. Named by the Divine Name." . rational power. and of punishment. of sorrow. It is Natural Religion. Opposing Nature. . And Voltaire with a racking wheel.

annihilating Self. . . abject selfishness. and loving the greatest men best. Blake himself seems to say: . which is murder and cruelty. Our Wars are wars of life. Tell them to obey their Humanities. Go to these Fiends of Righteousness. and wounds of love. To the Satan who is the god of the deists Milton is made to say: Thy purpose and the purpose of thy Priests and of thy Churches Is to impress on men the fear of death: to teach Trembling and fear. . . . terror. . When they are murderers. . constriction. and to go on In fearless majesty. . shaking down thy Synagogues as webs. . each according To his Genius. . He who envies or calumniates. With intellectual spears. all directed at the teeming earth. laughing to scorn Thy Laws and terrors. which is the Holy Ghost in Man: there is no other God than that God who is the intellectual fountain of Humanity. . and long wingèd arrows of thought. . Go tell them that the Worship of God is honouring His gifts In other men. .The labour was not to be all of the hand. . -144Mine is to teach Men to despise death. and not pretend Holiness. . .

I call upon . and the University." . and overthrow their cup. Go tell them this. if they could. . O Young Men of the New Age! Set your foreheads against the ignorant hirelings! For we have hirelings in the Camp. the real and Eternal World of which this Vegetable Universe is but a faint shadow. The Apostles knew of no other Gospel. "Rouse up. . -145I have tried to make friends by corporeal gifts. "I know of no other Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body and mind to exercise the Divine arts of Imagination-Imagination. .Murders the Holy One. . . What were all their spiritual gifts? What is the Divine Spirit? Is the Holy Ghost any other than an Intellectual Fountain? What is the harvest of the Gospel and its labours? What is -146that talent which it is a curse to hide? What are the treasures of Heaven which we are to lay up for ourselves? Are they any other than mental studies and performances? What are all the gifts of the Gospel? Are they not all mental gifts? Is God a spirit who must be worshipped in spirit and in truth? And are not the gifts of the Spirit everything to Man? O ye Religious. Their bread. . and in which we shall live in our Eternal or Imaginative Bodies when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies are no more. . Their marriage and their baptism. and their oath. By severe contentions of friendship. and the burning fire of thought. the Court. who would. their altar-table. their incense. I never made friends but by spiritual gifts. . but have only Made enemies. their burial and consecration. for ever depress mental and prolong corporeal war. . discountenance every one among you who shall pretend to despise Art and Science.

which dies? What is Immortality but the things relating to the Spirit. and not pronounce heartily: that to labour in knowledge is to build up Jerusalem. . Let every Christian. And the bitter groan of a Martyr's woe Is an arrow from the Almighty's bow. which lives eternally? What is the Joy of Heaven but improvement in the things of the Spirit? What are the Pains of Hell but Ignorance. and devastation of the things of the Spirit? Answer this to yourselves. . . before all the World. Till we have built Jerusalem In England's green and pleasant land. which alone are the labours of the Gospel. Idleness. Is not this plain and manifest to the thought? Can you think at all. in some mental pursuit for the Building up of Jerusalem. . and to despise knowledge -147is to despise Jerusalem and her Builders? And remember: He who despises and mocks a mental gift in another. . . calling it pride and selfishness and sin. Bodily Lust. engage himself openly and publicly. as much as in him lies. .you in the name of Jesus! What is the life of Man but Art and Science? Is it meat and drink? Is not the Body more than raiment? What is Mortality but the things relating to the Body." . which always appear to the ignorance-loving hypocrite as sins. Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand. and expel from among you those who pretend to despise the labours of Art and Science. unfold! chariot of fire! I will not cease from mental fight. . . . . For a Tear is an Intellectual thing. . mocks Jesus. . . Bring Bring Bring Bring me me me me my my my my bow of burning gold! arrows of desire! spear! O clouds. And a Sigh is the sword of an angel king. but that which is a sin in the sight of cruel Man. . is not so in the sight of our kind God. the giver of every mental gift.

fittingly be said of Blake: "Lay on his coffin a sword. Since William Blake knelt before those who told him these things. . since to the expressing of these allegiances he gave his abilities and his enthusiasms. and the history of his three years' slumber on the banks of -149ocean. all that I care Is whether he is a Wise man or a Fool. years. he was a soldier in the intellectual war." C THE SPECTATORS ON THE EARTH In his letters. in the presence of spectators on the earth. since he dared not pretend to be any other than the secretary. living day and night in the presence of spectators in the sky. the affectionate enthusiastic hope-fostered visionary. though with his whole might he chained his feet to the world of duty and reality. What did they make of the man to whom this world was all one continued vision of fancy or imagination? Only in the last years of Blake's life did the spectators on the earth tell. his public statements. the soldier in the intellectual war. These were the years which touched the heart of Blake's . These were the biographical. not ceasing from mental fight until Jerusalem was built in England's green and pleasant land.-148I care not whether a Man is Good or Evil. with intellectual spears and long winged arrows of thought. told how. . yet so far from being bound down he took the world with him in his flights. what they made of him. in any detail. who told him to labour well the minute particulars. Go! put off Holiness. the words which Heine wished said of himself might. the burning fire of thought. not here naming himself a captain in the war. in paraphrase. He lived also necessarily. the wretched happy ineffectual labourer of time's moments. as the years at Felpham were the autobiographical. And put on Intellect. like another poet who was unceasingly beating in the void his luminous wings. . to go on in wars of life.

making a few hits and more than fifty percent of misses. as the years at Felpham touched it from the inside. Smith. Junior.mystery from the outside. the studies of later students and biographers. which. . needed no alias. but unlucky ones. edited a magazine called Urania. alias Merlinus Anglicanus. from the house of science. . "several times in company" with Blake. a great gulf fixed. whose personal inoffensiveness secures him from confinement. in trine to Herschell from the mystical sign Pisces. turn of genius and vivid imagination . curious intercourse with the invisible world . John Varley distributed pills. and John Varley. uniting their forces against the visionary. Smith distributed the Royal Book of Fate. . Smith. Milton. and from . and between. R. The years after 1818 throw a bridge across the gulf. but also filled with feelings of wonder at his extraordinary faculties. Raphael." These phenomena were all. his writings. . C. on the one side. a bizarre bridge to be sure. C. . Before them came only Malkin's defence of him in 1806 against "the sceptic and the rational believer [who]. unbridged by any record of the impressions of his everyday companions. One arch in the bridge was put in place by a grotesque pair of astrologers. not being named Smith. on the other side. died at birth. the foundations of which nevertheless go down to first-hand testimonial evidence. due to Blake's nativity. -151"frequently delighted with his conversation. . outré ideas . who. with the assistance of the Metropolitan Society of Occult Philosophers. Being astrologers. he found. C. . John Varley stopped people on the street to predict their future. even with this sonorous midwifery. and the worthies of antiquity." and the Examiner's attack on -150him as "an unfortunate lunatic. they could explain anything. Smith." Without these last years there would be. Dryden. . they were "the effects of the Moon in Cancer in the twelfth house (both sign and house being mystical). Both apparently were not only astrologers. R. [and] actual conversations with Michael Angelo. R." had no trouble in an article in Urania to account for his "peculiar . pursue and scare a warm and brilliant imagination with the hue and cry of madness.

And who is this now--only imagine who this is?""Other than a good one. I doubt. I have sat beside him from ten at night till three in the morning." he believed in the visions of Blake." Varley. the courtesan--with the impudence which is part of her profession. I will show you. but Blake never slept. in the mystical sign Sagittarius. which latter planet is in square to Mercury in Scorpio." "You are right. and in quintile to the Sun and Jupiter. was as much a quack. came to him for their portraits. and the other--I wish I durst name him--is a suborner of false witnesses. and he was obliged to paint her to get her away. it is the Devil--he resembles.the mundane trine to Saturn in the scientific sign Aquarius. Though he had a measure of artistic ability and was "the father of modern watercolours. and continued: "Observe the poetic fervour of that face--it is Pindar as he stood a conqueror in the Olympic games. and this is remarkable. he believed in his own predictions. said a friend. Blake said. she stept in between Blake and Corinna. These were pictures of spirits who. He sat beside him." said Cunningham. who conquered in poetry in the same place. two men who shall be nameless. how like an eminent officer in the army!" . He believed in astrology. That lady is Lais. some of these works." he shone preeminently in credulity. And this lovely creature is Corinna. he sat with a pencil and paper drawing portraits of those whom I most desired to see. "he believed nearly all he heard and all he read. if more of a man than Smith. sir. opened it. Varley told Allan Cunningham: "I know much about Blake--I was his companion for nine years. but night after night. sir. -152He had much more to do with Blake than did Smith. sometimes slumbering and sometimes waking. "There now--that is a strong proof of the accuracy of Blake--he is a scoundrel indeed! The -153very individual task-master whom Moses slew in Egypt. There! that is a face of a different stamp--can you conjecture who he is?""Some scoundrel. more than did Blake himself. one is a great lawyer. not several times. sir. watching Blake draw the Visionary Heads. I should think." Varley then took out a large book filled with drawings. This other head now?--this speaks for itself--it is the head of Herod.

sir--the ghost of a flea--a spiritualisation of the thing!""He saw this in a vision then?" "I'll -154tell you all about it. "a naked figure with a strong body and a short neck--with burning eyes which long for moisture. and a face worthy of a murderer. but it is the greatest curiosity of all. out of which it seems eager to drink. which the spirit having opened. for he left off. and were therefore providentially confined . holding a bloody cup in its clawed hands. I asked him if he could draw for me the resemblance of what he saw: he instantly said. 'No. I called on him one evening. a cup in his hand to hold blood.He closed the book and. nor did I ever see any colouring so curiously splendid--a kind of glistening green and dusky gold. if he appears again!' He looked earnestly into a corner of the room." said Cunningham. beautifully varnished. . During the time occupied in completing the drawing. I never saw any shape so strange. and covered with a scaly skin of gold and green'--as he described him so he drew him. 'I see him now before me. and found Blake more than usually excited. sir. saying: "This spirit visited [ Blake's] imagination in such a figure as he never anticipated in an insect. Only look at the splendour of the colouring and the original character of the thing!""I see. on hearing of this spiritual apparition of a Flea. he was prevented from proceeding with the first sketch. . But what in the world is it?""It is a ghost. said: "This is the last which I shall show you. the Flea told him that all fleas were inhabited by the souls of such men as were by nature blood-thirsty to excess." In a publication called Zodiacal Physiognomy. Varley sketched more fully the incident of the flea. of the truth of these visions. I felt convinced by his mode of pro-155ceeding that he had a real image before him. and began on another part of the paper to make a separate drawing of the mouth of the Flea. with which he drew the portrait. taking out a small panel from a private drawer. but I shall. . There he comes! his eager tongue whisking out of his mouth. 'I wish I had. He told me he had seen a wonderful thing--the ghost of a flea! 'And did you make a drawing of him?' I inquired. till he had closed it.' said he.' I therefore gave him paper and a pencil. indeed. As I was anxious to make the most correct investigation in my power. 'Here he is--reach me my things--I shall keep my eye on him. and then said.

He added. the size of a horse. 1819. 30. . however. and Blake finished the head of Wallace. he would depopulate a great portion of the country. . How noble he looks--reach me my things!' Having drawn for some time. that if in attempting to leap from one island to another. were he himself. and said. This spirit afterwards appeared to Blake." Varley told Cunningham. Blake stopped suddenly. . midnight. 1819. and he sat with his pencil and paper ready and his eyes idly roaming in vacancy. which sign is the significator of the Flea . all at once the vision -156came upon him. He endorsed the Visionary Heads with title and hour of creation: "Richard Coeur de Lion. he could swim. that they appeared at the wish of his friends. Sometimes. he wrote. for he admired heroes. C. and so docile were his spiritual sitters. and afforded him a view of his whole figure. Oct. Oct. and sketched the "features of Plantagenet". at quarter past twelve. whereupon Edward vanished.'""That's lucky. as if a living sitter had been before him. and should not be lost. from his spectre. 'I cannot finish him--Edward the First has stept in between him and me. 14." "Wat Tyler. with the same care of hand and steadiness of eye." "The Man who Built the Pyramids. [and an] elegant dancing . otherwise. as in the act of striking the tax-gatherer on the head. drawn from his spectre." Blake took another sheet of paper. . "was from nine at night till five in the morning. Blake fecit. the shape which he desired to draw was long in appearing. 18. drawn Oct. Smith. W. 1819. and he began to work like one possesst. "for I want the portrait of Edward too. for instance. ' William Wallace!' he exclaimed. . 1 hour A. 'I see him now--there. by Blake. To Varley Blake's visions were all as immediately explicable as they were to R." The most propitious time for Blake's "angelvisits. fif-157teen minutes of 2. and by the same method. Cancer ascending. there.to the size and form of insects. "agrees in countenance with one class of people under Gemini. M. "He was requested to draw the likeness of Sir William Wallace--the eye of Blake sparkled." The Ghost of a Flea. he should fall into the sea." said Varley.

who. or a dying Michael Angelo." To Richmond. or character. who at nineteen first visited him in Fountain Court." Finch." he muttered. C. These young artists founded an order. and those of a very refined order. "Sagittarius crossing Taurus." His two rooms in Fountain Court became for them "The House of the Interpreter. Palmer Naomi. By them he came near being canonized on earth." was of them all "most inclined to believe in Blake's . under the influence of youth. probably of his sincerity and intensity. Calvert Christian Ploughing the Last Furrow of Life. sir." Blake seemed worth neglecting business for. perhaps of slender diet. called "The Ancients. The most important were Edward Calvert. "I saw nothing but sanity. though least submissive. of "the divine Blake.and fencing sign. and in all things." and chose him "Master. actions." For his doctrine of the visionary life they all. Smith and Varley were a group of young artists who became Blake's disciples in 1824 and 1825. To Calvert. walked home with him across the fields from Hampstead. they made themselves into an order. in grotesque absurd imagery. and by him in his flights some of them came near being carried along." he declared. come up to London on business and told by John Giles. he appeared "like one of the Antique patriarchs." To Palmer. who has seen God. George Richmond. it was "as though he had been walking with the prophet Isaiah. and Samuel Palmer. and talked with angels. of the group. stockbroker. Francis Finch. Calvert. with the most equable balance of faculties. a boy of sixteen." To Tatham he was a "great man. wholly original." and his dwelling "the chariot of the sun-as it were an island in the midst of the sea--such a place is it for primitive grandeur. and. made only "the most tender allusions" to Blake's visions. "saw nothing mad in his conduct. that is. had tolerance. To Finch he appeared "A new kind of man. who in Palmer's opinion was in the group the man "without passion or prejudice." with whom no one could converse on any subject without gaining "something quite -158as new as noble from his eccentric and elastic mind. Almost as far from the earth as R. Frederick Tatham." His technique dominated Richmond Abel the Shepherd. with the calmest judg-159ment." Varley was quick to explain other visions of Blake by similar hocuspocus.

." Years afterward. . the British Gallery. . . were ardently visiting his house. Angelo I believe. not yet called upon to testify for their Master. if not the most thoroughly sane man I have ever known. His diary told of "visions . or [so] cherishing imagination. . . Here.] Linnell Really anxious to fathom the truth ever did M. so single-minded.spiritual intercourse. and when Palmer looked back on himself as "the positive and eccentric young man who wrote the notes in these pages. This day. . was seeing to it that the rent of the House could be paid. and as justified by its works. . So inspired in the morning that I worked on the Naomi which had caused me just before such dreadful suffering. and at night. . "I thank God that He has mercifully taken off the load of horror which was wont so cruelly to scare my spirits on awakening. "but perverse and wilful." he was yet able to write: "I remember William Blake in the quiet consistency of his daily life. was more solid earth. after the stars of the astrologers and the clouds of the Ancients. I beseech Thee grant. but at evening-time it was light. these awful diagrams of an eternal phantasy. I took out my Artist's Home." it ran. visited with him the Spring Gardens Exhibition. that I may remember what Thou only showedst me about my Ruth. really dreadful gloom . "these expressive." Richmond said that he had never "known an artist so spiritual. . All day I could do nothing." "He was not mad. . John Linnell was visiting with him the theatres and galleries of London. ." Tatham gave many pages of his Life of Blake to the defence of Blake's visionary power as not of the stuff of Cock Lane ghosts. in the years during which Smith and Varley were making notes on Blake as an astrological phenomenon. these sublime." Palmer fell most completely under Blake's influence. . so devoted. as one of the sanest. beautiful imaginations." In the years during which the Ancients. having through a change in my visions got displeased with it. . Linnell was attracted to Blake from his first sight of him in 1818. when the heady draught of Blake's company had effervesced. ." said Finch. such blessed help and inspiration! O Lord grant me." "The last 4 or 5 mornings. . the House of the Interpreter. excess . as confidently and certainly as -160[This page intentionally left blank.

Linnell was Blake's stoutest champion. Drury Lanei opened his house -161at Hampstead to Blake's visits. in a low. self-supporting artist. "This is God's brook. But being really anxious to fathom. Linnell was an independent. Palmer. was fit for the head man at Howell and james's. but by what he did with him and for him." said he. commissioned him to engrave a second set of his illustrations to Job. as many did.the Water Colour Exhibition." Again Linnell said: "There is one thing I must mention: I never in all my conversation with him . the amount of truth that there might be in his most startling assertions. and after Blake's death befriended Mrs." asked Linnell. Blake. not astrological. "when at the platonic feast of reason and flow of soul only real Greeks from Hackney and Lisson Grove were admitted. "then why don't you mark them with a big G?" To Linnell Blake Visionary Heads were entertaining. I never opposed him spitefully." Linnell wrote. Somerset House. Hendon. seldom attended their monthly meetings. I generally met with a sufficiently rational explanation in the most really friendly and conciliatory tone. solemn voice to Linnell's -162daughters. tried to arrange for Blake's removal from Fountain Court when that neighborhood seemed unhealthy for him. He had "resources within himself. The solid earth here was the solid earth of friendly artistic fellowship. he said. I never saw anything the least like madness. these are God's trees. and to older ones who became his patrons. in fact introduced him to Varley. if possible. "I soon encountered Blake's peculiarities. and these are God's sheep and lambs. "and was sometimes taken aback by the boldness of his assertions." Calvert was one day at Linnell's house and was describing one of his landscape drawings. Not by what he said about him. who was sitting near. Cassibelane." and being "confessedly out of touch with the peculiar sentiment which was the bond of union" of the Ancients. and the rest." "Then why. "These are God's fields. to the young artists who became his disciples. ten years older than Richmond. the British Chief. the British Museum. which gave Blake a moderate steady income almost on demand. suggested and financed the illustrations to Dante.

could for a moment feel that there was the least justice in calling
him insane; he could always explain his paradoxes satisfactorily when
he pleased . . ." Still again he wrote: " Blake was very unreserved
in his narration to me of all his thoughts and actions . . . he was a
hearty laugher at absurdities."
-163On December 10, 1825, Linnell and Blake took dinner at Mrs. Aders's
in Euston Square, and there Blake came under the sharp eye of a man
not likely to canonize him a saint or to find him a hearty laugher at
absurdities. This was Henry Crabb Robinson, Macaulay's "inspired
idiot." By his own diagnosis that indefatigable reporter had "no
imagination, nor any power beyond that of a logical understanding,"
but with that power he managed to leave a detailed daily Journal from
1811 to 1867, twenty-eight volumes of Journals of Tours, thirty-two
of Letters, and four of Reminiscences, a mountain in which there is
many a mouse worth finding. Robinson had his preconceived notion of
Blake. Fifteen years before, in 1810, with Malkin's book at his
elbow, he had amused himself by writing for a German periodical an
"account of the insane poet, painter, and engraver, Blake." In 1811
he had heard Southey hold forth on Blake as "a decided madman," the
author of that "perfectly mad poem called Jerusalem." In 1815 Flaxman
had told him that Blake had had "a violent dispute with the
angels . . . and had driven them away." Robinson said of Blake: "I
was aware before of the nature of his impressions." So at Mrs.
Aders's it was his object,
-164[This page intentionally left blank.]

Crabb Robinson No power beyond that of a logical

he said, to draw Blake out, to get from him "an avowal of his
peculiar sentiments."
It couldn't have been an easy evening for Blake. "If there is any one
here who wishes to say anything," once remarked Samuel Rogers, "he
had better say it at once, for Crabb Robinson is coming." Before the
evening at Mrs. Aders's was over, Robinson "took occasion" to inquire

into Blake's views on atheism, the visionary life, the impossibility
of supposing an immortal's being created, the divinity of Jesus
Christ, the difference between good and evil, the question whether
there is anything absolutely evil in what men do, the moral character
of Dante in writing his vision-was he pure?--the difference between
the visions of Dante and of Swedenborg, the poetry of Wordsworth, the
ideas of Plato, Bacon, Locke, Newton, and Irving. In this quizzing he
was trying, in his own words, with "obvious questions," to connect
the "fragmentary sentiments" of Blake, to "reconcile" one with
another, or to "twist . . . [a] passage into a sense corresponding
with Blake's own theories."
It couldn't have been an easy evening for Robinson. The man who
planned to reconcile Blake's fragmentary sentiments, to make two and
-165two come out four, had a long row to hoe. Blake had a way with such
hecklers. "When opposed by . . . the superstitious, the crafty, or
the proud, [he] outraged all common sense and rationality by the
opinions he advanced," said Linnell. On that "very remarkable and
interesting evening" of their first meeting Robinson, crafty as he
meant to be, found Blake "continually" expressing "unintelligible
sentiments." Some of them, Robinson probably thought, outraged all
common sense and rationality. "There is no use in education," Blake
hastily broke in on him. "I hold it wrong. It is the great sin." When
Robinson asked about the moral character of Dante in writing his
vision--was he pure?--"Pure?" said Blake, "Do you think there is any
purity in God's eyes? The angels in heaven are no more so than we."
Blake"said he had been much pained by reading the introduction to the
Excursion. It brought on a fit of illness." ("A bowel complaint which
nearly killed him," Robinson, reporting more specifically, wrote to
Dorothy Wordsworth.) "I do not believe that the world is round," he
told Robinson. "I believe it is quite flat." Robinson "objected the
circumnavigation," but they were
-166called to dinner at the moment and the reply was forever lost.
When at a later meeting Blake
Gemeinschaft der Frauen statt
Robinson in writing his diary
confession he resorted to the

confessed the doctrine that "eine
finden sollte," the moral character of
was so pure that in reporting this
German. Blake also "asserted that he

had committed many murders, that reason is the only evil or sin, and
that careless, gay people are better than those who think." Is it not
possible that he was being careless and gay at Robinson's expense
when he told Mrs. Aders that he and Robinson"were nearly of an
opinion"? "Yet," said Robinson, "I have practised no deception
For all that Robinson came to Mrs. Aders's on the tenth of December
with such preconceived notions that I cannot subscribe to Geoffrey
Keynes's characterization of him as "an unprejudiced observer" of
Blake, for all that it is hard to read between the lines of a
dialogue between a meteor and a pedestrian reported in the diary of
the pedestrian, I would not willingly part with Robinson's diary. He
practised no deception intentionally. His diary is worth ten times
its length in second-hand biography, and gives the most ex-167tensive first-hand report in existence of Blake's manner and words.
At Mrs. Aders's, despite the outrageous and inconsistent answers he
got, Robinson's fresh impressions of Blake were favourable. "He has a
most interesting appearance," he reported. "He is now old--pale with
a Socratic countenance, and an expression of great sweetness, but
bordering on weakness--except when his features are animated by
expression, and then he has an air of inspiration about him.""The
tone and manner are incommunicable. There is a natural sweetness and
gentility about Blake which are delightful. And when he is not
referring to his Visions, he talks sensibly and acutely." He
summarized Blake's effect on him that night by saying: "I feel great
admiration and respect for him--he is certainly a most amiable man--a
good creature. . . ."
One week after December tenth Robinson made in the morning "a short
call" on Blake in Fountain Court. The room which had seemed to Palmer
"an island in the midst of the sea--such a place is it for primitive
grandeur"-seemed to Robinson "squalid," but in spite of the "dirt,"
he "might say filth," Robinson felt attracted by "an air of natural
gentility . . . dif-168fused over" Blake and "a good expression of countenance" in Mrs.
Blake, and decided that he would "have a pleasure in calling on and

. . all his future conversation will be but varieties of wildness and incongruity. the same round of extravagant and mad doctrines . ." "And when he said my visions. it was in the ordinary unemphatic tone in which we speak of trivial matters -169that every one understands and cares nothing about. I am quite happy. to set down without method all he could "recollect of the conversation of this remarkable man." Robinson was accordingly not "anxious to be frequent" in his visits to Blake. his wild rambling way of talk. The spirit said to him. . the 'Spirit told me. ." Robinson at the same time threw up the sponge as far as understanding Blake was concerned. . I have an obscure recollection of having been with both of them. he does them in the spirit. ." Blake paused "and added --'I was Socrates.'" "He spoke with seeming complacency of himself--said he acted by command.' And then. . I wish to do nothing for profit. But." he said. His eye glistened while he spoke of the joy of devoting himself solely to divine art. I should be sorry if I had any earthly fame. . "I fear I shall not make any progress in ascertaining his opinions and feelings--that there being really no system or connection in his mind.conversing with these worthy people.' . "spoke of his paintings as being what he had seen in his visions.'" Robinson once took occasion to say. he heard "the same half-crazy crotchets . I want nothing whatever. When Michael Angelo or Raphael or Mr." Sure enough. I must have had conversations with him. . In the same tone he said repeatedly. made at their first meeting. be an artist and nothing else. Though he spoke of his . Flaxman does any of his fine things. . as if correcting himself. What resemblance do you suppose is there between your spirit and the spirit of Socrates?""The same as between our countenances. 'A sort of brother. for whatever natural glory a man has is so much detracted from his spiritual glory." Robinson left a series of specific reports of remarks by Blake. "You use the same word as Socrates used. carrying out his resolution. a repetition of his former talk . " Blake. . So I had with Jesus Christ. 'Art is inspiration. the eternal repetition of what must in time become tiresome . ' Blake.' In this there is felicity. I wish to live for art. in later visits. .

My Visions. and he . Blake to "look out some engravings" for him. . . a young painter from Germany. The fall could not produce any pleasure. 1828. and he told me to beware of being misled by his Paradise Lost. Flaxman and Blake. He had known Blake since the days in Mrs. there is the capacity of pain. on January 8. Aders says Götzenberger considers Blake as the first and Flaxman as the second man he had seen in England. Blake. from the time of Roubiliac.-170happiness. went with him to see Blake." On February 2. 1827. Thereafter.'" Robinson asked in what language Voltaire spoke and Blake gave "an ingenious answer. . for where there is the capacity of enjoyment." Robinson. In particular he wished me to show the falsehood of his doctrine that the pleasures of sex arose from the fall.' . . 'I saw Milton in imagination.' He reverted soon to his favourite expression. . "A few of her husband's works are all her property. Coleridge. and Reynolds." "To my sensation it was English. but only three men of genius. . he spoke of past sufferings. and Memoirs of several contemporary Artists. continued to call on and converse with Blake and Mrs. Blake." and found "the poor old lady . He "seemed highly gratified by the designs." He bought two prints for five guineas and asked Mrs. but to my ear it became English. On his return to Germany Götzenberger said. called on Robinson. though he was not frequent in his visits. He touched it probably French. 'I have had much intercourse with Voltaire. more affected" than he had expected at the sight of him. It was like the touch of a musical key. and of these Blake was the greatest. he "Walked with Field to Mrs. 'There is suffering in heaven. John Thomas Smith was at work on Nollekens and his Times: comprehending a Life of that celebrated Sculptor. and looked over Blake's illustrations to Dante. and Mrs. Blake until Blake's death. the memory of Blake was already falling among biographers. By the time of Robinson's call on Mrs. Hogarth. forty-five years before. Mathew's parlour. Götzenberger." reported Robinson. and of sufferings as necessary. . "I saw in England many men -171of talents.

" he wrote to Linnell." . "a convincing proof how highly [ Blake] reverenced the Almighty. yet he was not a Freethinker. It was he who took unspeakable pleasure in assuring his readers that though Blake "did not for the last forty years attend any place of Divine worship. and so decidedly directed him in the way in which he ought to proceed. The plates in this state were then printed in any tint that he wished. but slipped in an anecdote of the supernatural source of Blake's method of printing. Allan Cunningham was at work on Lives of the Most Eminent British Painters. that he frequently believed them to be speaking to him. . that the objects of his compositions were before him in his mind's eye." he said casually. and then eating the plain parts or lights away with aqua-fortis considerably below them.had his Biographical Sketch of Blake ready for the second volume of his work. Smith collected more of the whole story of Blake than any one else before Gilchrist. but he was embarrassed in the company of Blake's thoughts. that he immediately followed his advice. For a tear is an intellectual thing." He dodged any extensive discussion of Blake's spiritual experience. by writing his poetry and drawing his marginal subjects of embellishments in outline upon the copperplate with an impervious liquid. whenever he wished to indulge in thinking of any particular subject. After deeply perplexing himself as to the mode of accomplishing the publication of his illustrated songs. published in 1828. his brother Robert stood before him in one of his visionary imaginations. Cunningham got help particularly from Varley. and Archi-tects -172tects. without their being subject to the expense of letterpress. He had a flair for anecdote. and so firmly did he believe. for I knew the man. . by this ab-173stracting power. Blake to colour the marginal figures up by hand in imitation of drawings." He considered the lines beginning. He had his Life of Blake ready for his second volume. so that the outlines were left as a stereotype. and from Smith. to enable him or Mrs. . published in 1830. "that Blake was supereminently endowed with the power of disuniting all other thoughts from his mind. "I know Blake's character. "I should have stated. Sculptors.

homely fare. He -175became more seriously thoughtful. and a cheap habitation. Moreover." If Smith in general fought shy of Blake's visionary life. . when he had done his prescribed task." . He was capable of thinking that Blake married Catherine because she learned "to despise gaudy dresses. George Cumberland of Bristol. he gradually began to believe in the reality of what dreaming fancy painted. It was the fascination of opposites. in 1784.Smith's anecdote of Robert's visit has grown more and more circumstantial with retelling and will probably not disappear from lives of Blake. had in mind the details of a method of "etching words instead of landscapes. was fascinated by it." This "had a visible influence upon his mind." A naked angel "alarmed . but no money. Cunningham was the "pleasant Naturmensch. Blake foreshadowed a scheme of illuminated printing. . in that vast wilderness. Necessity made him frugal. [and] had good domestic qualities. . avoided the company of men. and lived in the manner of a hermit." the "solid Dumfries stonemason" whose "stalwart healthy figure and ways" won Carlyle's respect. written perhaps in 1784. costly meals. in the evening. though it is now observed that in An Island in the Moon. London. He was thus compelled more than ever to retire to worlds of his own creating. By frequent indulgence in these imaginings. Allan Cunningham." Cunningham had about him "a tag of rusticity to the last" and was sensitive about Blake's figures: "the serious and the pious were not prepared to admire shapes trembling in nudity. During the day he was a man of sagacity and sense. . . he gave a loose to his imagination. and made maids and matrons retire behind their fans." He had a Scotch explanation of why Blake was fey. who thought he knew Blake's character because he knew the man. pleasant company and agreeable invitations . who handled his graver wisely. and honesty and independence prescribed plain clothes. soon to be Blake's friend. and seek solace in visions of paradise for the joys which the earth denied him. . and conversed in a wholesome and pleasant manner. three years before -174Robert's death. . Blake "earned a little fame.

sir!' was the answer. believed . -177and drew and looked. bearing a body laid out on a rose leaf. Correggio.'" Three years after the Life of Blake.''But I see him.' said he. He included two new anecdotes from sources no more definite than a "lady" and "a friend. 'I have.Having thus put his finger on a substantial basis --money. money! --for Blake's insubstantial visions." wrote Cunningham. Cunningham was not afraid to be entertained at his "most amusing wildness. madam?' [ Blake] once said to a lady. Cunningham said. drawing a portrait with all the seeming anxiety of a man who is conscious that he has got a fastidious sitter.' said Blake. 'I have one sitting to me. he looked and drew. 'there he is. and I knew not whence it came.'" "Another friend. At last I saw the broad leaf of a flower move. 'where is he and what is he? --I see no one. I heard a low and pleasant sound.' answered Blake haughtily. in a whisper." "'Did you ever see a fairy's funeral. grey but luminous. gave a long account of the "majestic shadows. that " Blake. "called one evening on Blake. in The Cabinet Gallery of Pictures. was vastly amused at the "wild -176performance" of the Descriptive Catalogue with Titian. yet no living soul was visible. and gave Varley's account of the Visionary Heads verbatim. and then disappeared. and superior to the common height of men" with whom Blake walked on the seashore at Felpham. with a flourish and probably apocryphally. who always saw in fancy every form he drew. which they buried with songs. quoted visionary passages from such Felpham letters of Blake as he saw. and underneath I saw a procession of creatures of the size and colour of green and grey grasshoppers. I was walking alone in my garden. 'but not before last night. who happened to sit by him in company. 'Disturb me not. his name is Lot--you may read of him in the Scripture. sir. 'Never. He is sitting for his portrait. and found him sitting with a pencil and a panel. on whose veracity I have the fullest dependence.''Sitting to you!' exclaimed his astonished visitor. and Rubens playing the rôle of demons. there was great stillness among the branches and flowers and more than a common sweetness in the air. It was a fairy funeral." He repeated the story of Robert.

from the engravings." said the voice. 'and he could paint an angel better than Raphael.' said Phillips. I pray?''The archangel Gabriel. engaged his sitter in a conversation concerning the sublime in art." said the voice.''I never saw any of the paintings of Michael Angelo. 'this is really singular. but they were soon removed--I will tell you how.""And how do you know?" I said. your friends may have deceived you. and when I came to that passage which asks. with bright wings. but you know evil spirits love to assume the looks of good ones. you may be an evil spirit-there are such in the land.' said the other. and the most poetic expression. 'you never saw any of the paintings of -178[This page intentionally left blank. but. such were my own suspicions. the painter . 'but I speak from the opinion of a friend who could not be mistaken.''Well. and this may have been done to mislead you. Sir." "When he himself sat to Phillips for that fine portrait so beautifully engraved by Schiavonetti. "Aye! who can paint an angel?" A voice in the room answered. and was then aware of a shining shape.' said Blake. "I know. .] Blake by Phillips I closed the book and cried. 'and who may he be. he could not paint an angel so well as Raphael. I was one day reading Young Night Thoughts.' 'A valuable friend.' replied Blake. are you? I must have better assurance than that of a wandering voice.''Well now. in order to attain the most unaffected attitude. "Aye! Who Can paint an angel?" Michael Angelo. Sir. truly. 'of the grandeur of Michael Angelo. "Who can paint an angel?" I dosed the book and cried. who diffused much light. . and perhaps speak from the opinions of others. 'We hear much. "you are.""Oho!" I answered. .''He has not been overrated. "for I sat to him: I am the archangel Gabriel. looking round me.' said Blake.' answered Blake.' said Phillips. 'A good authority surely. but I saw nothing save a greater light than usual.""You shall have good assurance. "Michael Angelo could. "Can -179an evil spirit do this?" I looked whence the voice came.that angels descended to painters of old and sat for their portraits. Sir. I should say he has been overrated.

he stood in the sun and." noted E. of the indefatigable reporter. Blake. 1811." Southey. of the young painters and disciples. "Coleridge. when in company. though he lived so quietly in "the vast wilderness of Lon-180don. H. the rumour of his visions."" Blake and Coleridge." said Wordsworth. "seemed like congenial beings of another sphere." In his letter to Dorothy Wordsworth in 1826 . the shape dilated more and more.' The painter marvelled much at this wild story. he waved his hands. "appear to have reflected that Blake had gone back to nature a while before either Wordsworth or Coleridge had turned their steps in that direction." Southey on July 24. but he caught from Blake's looks as he related it that rapt poetic expression which has rendered his portrait one of the finest of the English school.As I looked. Lamb." said an article in the London University Magazine in 1830. beckoning to me." Wordsworth told Robinson in 1812 that he "regarded Blake as having in him the elements of poetry much more than either Byron or Scott. . "None. in spite of the interest in Blake of the astrologers. the voice of his earliest poems. Edward Fitzgerald. and Landor." reported Robinson to Dorothy Wordsworth in 1826. "has visited Blake and I am told talks finely about him. Hazlitt. Lamb's. little more than a voice. Wordsworth. breathing for a while on our earth. he ascended into heaven. "but there is something in the madness of this man which interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott. of the steadygoing friend." In spite of such stories as this of the archangel. . An angel of evil could not have done that--it was the archangel Gabriel. Coleridge. and did not seem to expect that he should be believed. moved the universe." Still." "There is no doubt this poor man was mad. and of the professional biographers. he says." It was there that Robinson heard Southey call Blake a decided madman. all made at least passing comment on him. he remained inconspicuous in the intellectual world of England. and a rumour. the roof of my study opened. BulwerLytton. . was in "a large party" at "C. "Southey had been with Blake and admired both his designs and his poetic talents. spoke of his visions with the diffidence that is usual with such people.

grouped Blake with Varley and others who make "voluntary excursions into the regions of the preternatural. But I must look on him as one of the most extraordinary persons of the age. with the clouds driven rapidly across. burning bright Thro' the deserts of the night.' he said. On the Old Age of Artists. 'They are beautiful. Tiger. saying. he attempts impossibilities. "have been sold hitherto only in manuscript. "preferred greatly" Blake's to Stothard's picture of the Canterbury Pilgrims "and declared that Blake's description was the finest criticism he had ever read of Chaucer's poem. The Chimney Sweeper and other lines by Blake "communicated" to an anthology were "the flower of the set. whither I know not--to Hades or a Mad House. concerning Blake. -182which is glorious. was "delighted" in 1810 with a copy of Blake Catalogue. . but a friend at my desire procured the 'Sweep Song. 'and only too deep for the vulgar. pass their time between sleeping and waking. Charles Lamb. which I have heard recited. Mr. As to God. Bernard Barton. He is ruined by vain struggles to get rid of what presses on his brain. etc. so to Blake the chimney-sweeper. according to Robinson. ." Blake's poems. and whose ideas are like a stormy night.'" .-181Robinson said of Blake: "There is something so delightful about the Man . all alike being to him indifferent. He expressed his thanks strongly. for the man is flown. Lamb wrote to his Quaker friend. 1824. and the blue sky and stars gleaming between. however. I never read them. that I have not scrupled promising introducing him and Mr. Wordsworth together." On May 15." Hazlitt in 1826 in an essay.' There is one to a tiger. not given. but alas! I have not the book. 'You do me honour. I have been wrong before now." When in 1827 Hazlitt heard some of Blake's poems read he "was much struck and expressed himself with his usual strength and singularity.'" The introduction promised by Robinson was. a worm is as worthy as any other object. Lamb said. Besides he may convince me I am wrong about him. beginning-Tiger. Wordsworth is a great man.

the Ghost of a Flea and Milton. -184These spectators on the earth. or curious. in which they appeared credulous. Junior. Wells describes as falling after long argument fell across the discussion as to Blake's powers and sanity and lasted until Gilchrist Life of Blake in 1863 awakened new controversy." In 1835 Bulwer-Lytton said of Blake: "With what a hearty faith he believed in his faculty of seeing spirits and conversing with the dead! And what a delightful vein of madness it was--with what exquisite verses it inspired him! ." he went on. and his Metropolitan Society of Occult Philosophers to Bulwer-Lytton and Landor. who was a sort of prophet. from Merlinus Anglicanus. . He was the unreserved companion and the . "there is particular interest in -183this man's writing and drawing." In a manuscript notebook Landor wrote: " Blake: Never did a braver or a better man carry the sword of justice. He was the new kind of man. They completed the testimony of the spectators on the earth. .In 1833 Edward Fitzgerald said that Blake "was quite mad. the "naked heroes in the Welch Mountains" and Socrates. and what engravings!" Landor in 1837 "protested that Blake had been Wordsworth's prototype. He was the painter of visionary heads who brought rich grist to Smith and Varley's mill of astrology. Their varied testimony. threw a light oblique but illuminating on Blake. or young and impressionable. and a dying Michael Angelo. but of a madness that was really the elements of great genius ill-sorted. an interpreter of art and life. and some diminution of it in the other. or professionally and remotely interested. There was something of him in what each of them saw in him. The comments. G." Following the scattered comments of these literary men the ironic silence which H. or friendly and devoted. formed the last arch in the bridge of contemporary evidence as to Blake and his art and his visions. from the strangeness of the constitution of his mind. wholly original and in all things. were second in range only to the spectators in the sky. to the Ancients. for that some accession of it in the one case. and wished they could have divided his madness between them. would very greatly have improved both. ending in 1837." "To me.

" " Blake would say outrageous things to people. He was the good creature. In general the picturesqueness of his visions provoked exaggeration. "answering a fool according to his folly. Fitzgerald and BulwerLytton and Landor. Smith. it was natural that that double power in him should govern the interest taken in him by others. Yet to Varley he was an artist as well as a spiritualist. pale. as an artist he interested the Ancients." insured exaggeration. that always bristled up when he was either unnecessarily opposed or invited out to show like a lion or a bear. Linnell said. in rumour and report. There is corroboration that -186this was his habit. T. to Linnell he was a personal friend as well as an artist and a spiritualist. and the poets. as a spiritualist and an artist he interested Robinson and Cunningham. Many anecdotes could be related in which there is sufficient evidence to prove that many of his eccentric speeches were thrown forth more as a piece of sarcasm upon .hearty laugher at absurdities who threaded London's galleries and Hampstead's paths with Linnell. He spoke to many. be magnified. "so that hearing they might not hear. "of a peculiar obstinacy. as his own words showed. with a Socratic countenance. More specifically Blake's habit "when opposed. He was the poet in whose voice and in the rumour of whose madness Wordsworth and Lamb. Smith and Varley." of outraging "all common sense and rationality by the opinions he advanced." wrote Tatham. a man dominated by an organ of vision that in him had a double function as the organ of spiritualism and as the organ of the artistic process. J. It was inevitable that Blake's visionary power should." said Richmond. Linnell. Since he was. a natural sweetness and gentility. to the Ancients and the poets he was a spiritualist as well as an artist. with whom it gave Robinson pleasure to converse. He was the artist giving a loose to -185his imagination by whose fate Scotch Allan Cunningham was touched. an air of inspiration about him when his features were animated. could find interest. to those who did not and never would understand him or his works. old. C. As a spiritualist he interested R.""He was possessed.

He then made an enigma of a plain question--hence arose many vague reports of his oddities. and often it carries its own explanation with it.""Materialism was his abhorrence." said Palmer. The exaggeration inevitable from the picturesqueness of his visions and the quality of his speech made the report of his madness grow emphatic in the ratio of the distance of the reporter from Blake. he would answer him 'according to his folly. "and if some unhappy man called in question the world of spirits. Butts. Calvert. Finch. near whom he -188lived for three years. were canting to us in a pharisaical way. [he] cried out: 'It is false."" Blake wrote often. Hayley. but if that same question were put for idle curiosity." Palmer and Linnell. If he thought a question were put merely for a desire to learn. . his disciples.' We might say this in temper. When irritated by the exclusively scientific talk at a friend's house. . Cumberland.'" Blake's habitual peculiar obstinacy is one reason why the Devil can quote him almost as aptly as he can quote Scripture. left no report of him as mad. give me Hell. no man could give advice more reasonably and more kindly. a talk turning on the vastness of space. Fuseli. "saw nothing but sanity. I walked the other evening to the end of the heath. This is the clue to much of Blake's paradox. just as we might speak if some pretender to Christianity whom we knew to be hypocritical. Flaxman. he retaliated by such an eccentric answer as left the inquirer more afield than ever. 'If this is your Heaven. Stothard. but it left his opponent angry and bewildered." Richmond. We might say. . vigorously repudiated down into another generation the "idle stories" of his lunacy. But the man of logical understanding who believed Blake mad before he met him began his report of the meeting: "Shall I call him Artist--or Genius --or Mystic--or Madman?" Blake's enemies . . "in anger and rhetorically. . called him "my gentle visionary. . Tatham." Palmer said again.' by putting forth his own views in their most extravagant and startling aspect. who knew him longest. This might amuse -187those who were in the secret. but without in the least meaning that that was our deliberate preference. his most intimate friends at the end of his life.the inquirer than from his real opinion. and touched the sky with my finger.

has continued to interest men. Blake. felt no doubt that the poor man was mad. who did not know him." Wordsworth and Lamb. yet cannot you make it speak. His was a madness which. devils--and angels. William Rose Benét wrote in 1916: Blake. Benét's mood. might say: "Why. in Mr. as well as its Alexander Pope. Blake was mad. you would pluck out the heart of my mystery. They were real to Blake. and Space's Pandora-box Loosed its secrets upon him. look you now. Mr. in this little organ. you would seem to know my stops. but no key of mine unlocks One lock of one gate where through Heaven's glory is freed And I hark and I hold my breath daylong. If to go through the great dance of life with a "continued vision" of their presence is to be mad." -190- . and yet. His was a madness which interested Wordsworth more than the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott. that was sung to the soul of the madman. but who heard of him from the already convinced Robinson. am sane. And yet. the spectators in the sky remain. though the testimony of the spectators on the earth can be marshalled in favour of Blake's sanity. its William Blake. you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass: and there is much music. indeed! I.on the Examiner called him "a harmless lunatic. and that he. how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me. Out of comfort and easy dreaming evermore starting awake. Yearning beyond all sanity for some echo of that song Of songs. they say. like Hamlet. It is possible. to be happy that English literature has had. its Hamlet. as well as its Rasselas. though the exaggeration of rumour can be checked. was mad. into the -189twentieth century. they say. excellent voice. yearlong.

he made himself the painter of spectres. said the writer in the Revue. The Revue Britannique published a "choice of articles. In their reality. and to whom talent as an engraver and a designer was not lacking. have been lifted from Varley account of the Visionary Heads published in Cunningham Life of Blake in 1830. but he was at 17 South Molton Street or at 3 Fountain Court or in Bunhill Fields Cemetery. just off the Strand towards the Thames. an eloquent talker. whither I know not--to Hades or a Mad House. if any. The records of the Royal Hospital for the Insane covering the years 1815 to -192- . because it is hard to say when the article was first written. and Blake called the Seer. when Blake was in 3 Fountain Court." said Richmond. "At what time do your illustrious dead visit you?" asked the anonymous author. he chatted with Moses. and was given "a most unqualified contradiction" by Palmer. was dismissed by Linnell as "idle stuff " and "lies"." very ready to discuss his visions. "are the incendiary Martin. translated from the best periodical writings of Great Britain. He found him "a large pale man. as easily as these. 1833. it chose its article. when it got back to England. against whom no reproach could be brought. Blake believed firmly. has not been learned. The author of the -191article said that "a few years before" he had visited Bedlam Hospital and had called on Blake in a cell there." said an article in the Revue Britannique for July. The London Insane Asylum. "The two most celebrated inmates of Bedlam Hospital. profoundly." From what periodical." Just where Blake was actually when the article was first written it is hard to say. he conversed with Michael Angelo." wrote Charles Lamb of Blake in 1824. "At one o'clock in the morning. Edward III was one of his most frequent sitters." was the answer.XI Neither in Bedlam Nor Always in Paradise "T HE man is flown. After a long interview. the other details of which might. the writer of the article left "this man." The account of Blake's presence in a Bedlam cell. The author was "more deluded than Blake.

" Mr." says Symons. hesitates to rule the charge entirely out of court. . Blake. I never suspected him of imposture." says Sampson. . "is . besides. He was very kind to me." "Nothing is known of Blake's life between 1809 . 1818." says Selincourt. I do not think so now. I was much with him from 1810 to 1816." and that it has a bearing on a period "of more complete isolation" to which Blake "seems to have retired" about 1809. . . While he calls it "probably a fabrication. "Another person with whom I was intimate. and 1818. -193Still. sufficiently detailed for the establishment of a reasonable alibi as to the Bedlam charge and for the relief to a considerable extent of the obscurity into which Blake is said in these years to have sunk. and my beau ideal was the union of Phidias and Titian. "almost no record now exists. "We can account for every year of his life. . I was then a student of the Royal Academy in the antique school. I might have learned much from him. Keynes is following the habit of biographers of Blake. Blake "sinks into an almost unrelieved obscurity." says Damon. the most recent and most painstaking bibliographer of Blake. Keynes goes on. These were "years of obscurity.1835 were searched without result for any trace of Blake. I was by nature a lover of colour." he feels that it "cannot lightly be passed over." "Of the incidents of the intervening nine years." wrote Seymour Kirkup 1 in 1870. W. who find here a convenient division cutting off the London struggles from the last years of Blake. and thought more of form than anything else. takes the position directly at its key point." In his characterization of the years from 1809 to 1818 as years of isolation of which almost no record now exists. except for the period between 1811 and 1817. covering the years from 1810 to 1816. . His high qualities I did not prize at that time. there exists a record of Blake in the years from 1809 to 1818 which is. . if the minute particulars are laboured well. though very positive in his opinions. where I gained a medal. . I believe. Of them Gilchrist says that he found "little or no remaining trace. I thought him mad. and "which lasted until . when I came abroad. ____________________ . His manner was too honest for that. One document in particular." "For something near ten years. and his drawing was not very academical. . Yet Geoffrey Keynes. Blake was the determined enemy of colourists.

Northcote and Blake. 'What ." wrote Dibdin in his Reminiscences. ." To the antique school where Kirkup was a pupil Blake came in 1815 or 1816 for the purpose of making a drawing from the cast of the Laocoön for an article on sculpture. large. . Phillips has represented him upon his imperishable canvas. The immediate subject of our discussion--and for which he professed to have in some measure visited me--was 'the minor poems of Milton. "and exulted over his work like a young disciple. She told me seriously one day. "Blake took his place with the students. whom he sent to Blake to learn engraving. and his own pencil embody.' She prepared his colours. was "pupil of no Master. which was his original art. not he of them. his head big and round. It was Tatham who said that Fuseli greeted Blake with the statement that the students of the antique school ought to come to learn of him." Blake. The time of his work on the Decameron was "From close of year 1815 to summer of 1817. It was Mr. simple joy. -194- with which I never agreed. 'I have very little of Mr.1 Reid Life of Richard Monckton Milnes. . and lambent--such as my friend Mr. Blake's company." At a period which. "It was during the progress of working on my Decameron that I received visits from two -195Artists . on the illustrations for which he was then working.' Never were such dreamings poured forth as were poured forth by my original visitor:-his stature mean. he is always in Paradise. his eyes blue. . . I was a school-fellow of his son's. Butts who introduced me to him." went on Tatham. I soon found the amiable but illusory Blake far beyond my ken or sight. cuts sharply into the years of obscurity. Dibdin said. He had no other. such as his own genius only could shape. In an instant he was in his 'third heaven'--flapped by the wings of seraphs. Thomas Dibdin. meeting his old friend Fuseli's congratulations and kind remarks with cheerful. but a most extraordinary artist in his own particular element: although I believe he professed to have been a pupil of Flaxman and Fuseli. like that of the visit to the antique school. His excellent old wife was a sincere believer in all his visions. his forehead broad and high. and was as good as a servant. Blake visited the bibliographer.

think you, Mr. Blake, of Fuseli Lycidas--asleep, beneath the opening
eyelids of the morn?' 'I don't remember it.' 'Pray see it and examine
it carefully.' . . . I learnt afterwards that my Visitor had seen
it--but thought it 'too tame.' . . . I told Mr. Blake that
-196our common friend, Mr. Masquerier, had induced me to purchase his
'Songs of Innocence,' and that I had no disposition to repent my
Echoes of Blake had been reaching Henry Crabb Robinson between 1809
and 1818. It was on July 24, 1811, that Robinson was late at Charles
Lamb's and heard Southey say that he had been with Blake and had been
shown Jerusalem. It was on January 30, 1815, that Robinson went to
Flaxman's after dinner and was told by Flaxman that Sharp, the
engraver, had endeavoured to make a convert of Blake to Joanna
Southcott, and that, in Flaxman's opinion, such men as Blake were not
fond of playing second fiddle.
On December 31, 1815, William Paulet Carey, art critic and art
dealer, gave, in a critical description of West Death on the Pale
Horse, high and lengthy praise to Blake's "noble series of designs"
for Blair Grave, and said of Blake: "I never had the good fortune to
see him, and so entire is the uncertainty, in which he is involved,
that after many inquiries, I meet with some doubt whether he is still
in existence. But I have accidentally learned, from a Lady, since I
commenced these remarks, that he is certainly now a resident in
London. I have, however, heard enough to warrant
-197my belief that his professional encouragement has been very limited,
compared with his powers."
In the same year in which Carey wrote these remarks, William Ensom,
engraver, was awarded the silver medal of the Royal Society of Arts
for a pen-and-ink portrait of William Blake.
In addition to these specific external references to Blake between
1809 and 1818, details of his work as artist and author during that
period may be assembled. In 1810 he wrote in the Rossetti Manuscript,
"Advertisements to Blake's Canterbury Pilgrims from Chaucer
containing anecdotes of artists." On October 8, 1810, he published

his engraving, the Canterbury Pilgrims. In 1810 he wrote in the
Rossetti Manuscript a description of his painting, The Last
Judgement, entitled: For the year 1810. Additions to Blake's
Catalogue of Pictures &c. About 1810 he wrote The Everlasting Gospel.
About 1810 he reissued the Gates of Paradise (For the Sexes), with
Prologue, Epilogue, and Keys of the Gates. In 1811 he painted The
Judgement of Paris and, probably in the same year, made his engraving
of Earl Spenser, after Phillips. In 1812 he engraved the frontispiece
for a small reprint of his Chaucer's Canterbury Pilgrims; reprinted
in pamphlet form, with a preface
-198referring to "the genius and fancy of that celebrated man, Mr.
Blake," his Descriptive Catalogue, calling it The Prologue and
Characters of Chaucer's Pilgrims; and dated and signed a water colour
drawing, Philoctetes and Neoptolemos at Lemnos. 1 In 1813 he engraved
The Chaining of Orc, also possibly Mirth and her Companions. Two
copies of America and two of Europe are water-marked for this year.
From October 1814, to December 1816, he engraved, signed, and dated
thirty-eight plates for Flaxman Hesiod. About 1815 he prepared copies
of several of his illuminated books. On October 1, 1815, he engraved
for Rees Cyclopedia a plate in stipple of the Laocoön. In 1815-1816
he engraved for the same work illustrations for the articles on
Armour and on Sculpture. About 1816 he drew and engraved eighteen
plates for a catalogue of Josiah Wedgwood's porcelain. About 1817,
the last of the obscure years, he engraved leaflets entitled Laocoön,
On Homer's Poetry, and On Virgil.
Blake's meeting with John Linnell in 1818 marks, for his biographers,
his emergence from obscurity and isolation. It was a matter-of-fact
emergence. Linnell went in that year with "the
Sold at Sotheby's, November 10, 1924.
-199younger Mr. George Cumberland of Bristol" to call on him at 17 South
Molton Street, where he had taken quarters on his return from
Felpham, and where he remained until his removal to 3 Fountain Court
in 1821. "We soon became intimate," wrote Linnell, "and I employed
him to help me with an engraving of my portrait of Mr. Upton, a
Baptist preacher, which he was glad to do." In the presence of that

portrait, which has a solid sound about it, and of its friendly
painter, Linnell, Blake may be considered safely out of the shadows.
Indeed it is only in contrast with the autobiographical period
preceding 1809 and with the biographical period following 1818 that
the intervening years seem obscure. Our knowledge of them is as
authentic as our knowledge of the years from 1757 to 1800. During
them there was no change in Blake's lodgings; no break in the course
of his life; no variation in the impression he made on others. Mrs.
Blake lived with him at 17 South Molton Street after as she did
before and during these years; during them Blake worked on with his
graver and his pen; during them he continued to be very positive in
his opinions, and a determined enemy; he exulted
-200over his work like a young disciple; he flew soon beyond the ken or
sight of such a man as Dibdin to his "'third heaven'--flapped by the
wings of seraphs." After these years Flaxman, Fuseli, Stothard (if we
trust his son's word), Butts, and Cumberland knew him as they had
known him earlier. None of them mentioned what would have been to any
of them a shock, his confinement in a Bedlam cell.
When, in 1809, Blake dove out of sight of his biographers, he left in
the wake of his disappearance the last lines of the Descriptive
Catalogue: "If a man is master of his profession he cannot be
ignorant that he is so, and if he is not employed by those who
pretend to encourage art, he will employ himself, and laugh in secret
at the pretences of the ignorant, while he has every night dropped
into his shoe,--as soon as he puts it off, and puts out the candle,
and gets into bed,--a reward for the labours of the day, such as the
world cannot give. . . ." Perhaps these words are prophetic of his
life from the time of the Descriptive Catalogue until he was glad to
work on Linnell's portrait of Mr. Upton. They, along with Mrs.
Blake's serious remark to Kirkup, "I have very little of Mr. Blake's
company; he is
-201always in Paradise," give, I suspect, more reliable clues as to his
whereabouts from 1809 to 1818 than does the anonymous article in the
Revue Britannique.

and as did Linnell.. "this is the reason you can do as you like. . . and I saw his lips curl with a sneer." Now he stood with Palmer at the Royal Academy "looking -202always in Paradise.Wherever Blake had been from 1809 to 1818. and as did Linnell." exclaimed Fuseli. "with the great and powerful Sir Thomas Laurence." exclaimed Fuseli. and I saw his lips curl with a sneer. I suspect. . "I could not help contrasting this humble artist. Blake's company. B. his "countenance radiated" as he spoke to Lady Charlotte Bury of his favourite pursuit. ." Now perhaps he was found by Fuseli with a little cold meat before him for dinner. Sir T." said she. Blake had at least some of Mr. Wherever Blake had been from 1809 to 1818. by God. "this is the reason you can do as you like. he was from 1818 to 1827 neither in Bedlam nor always in Paradise. . as did the Ancients. "Ah. ." Now perhaps he was found by Fuseli with a little cold meat before him for dinner. Now he desired Linnell to "come and take a mutton-chop with us. . Laurence looked at me several times whilst I was talking with Mr. . Blake had at least some of Mr. Now at "a strange party of artists and literati and one or two fine folks" at Lady Caro Lamb's." give. he was from 1818 to 1827 neither in Bedlam nor always in Paradise. his "countenance radiated" as he spoke to Lady Charlotte Bury of his favourite pursuit. more reliable clues as to his whereabouts from 1809 to 1818 than does the anonymous article in the Revue Britannique.. . "I could not help contrasting this humble artist. Blake's company." Now he stood with Palmer at the Royal Academy "looking -202up at Wainwright's picture. Laurence looked at me several times whilst I was talking with Mr." Now he carried his jug of porter along the Strand without a quiver when Sir William Collins at sight of the jug stiffened in mid-salute. I can't do this. but not Quakerish hat. B." Now he carried his jug of porter along the Strand without a quiver when Sir William Collins at sight of the jug stiffened in mid-salute. Now he desired Linnell to "come and take a mutton-chop with us. Mrs. Sir T. by God. ." said she. standing so quietly among all . Mrs. Now at "a strange party of artists and literati and one or two fine folks" at Lady Caro Lamb's. . "Ah. Blake in his plain black suit and rather broad-brimmed. "with the great and powerful Sir Thomas Laurence. I can't do this. as did the Ancients. .

Blake turned to his wife suddenly and said: "It is just so with us. "with some difficulty. And. . ." came to Fountain Court he found Blake sitting at tea with Mrs. . for weeks together. 'O! I have enough of fear and trembling!''Then. . of painting on glass for the great west window of the Abbey his Sons of God Shouting for Joy. a workroom and a showroom." Of the rooms in Fountain Court Palmer and Robinson also left descriptions. and on the poet-artist's left a pile of books placed flatly one on another. Blake after 1821. There. Thus and there was he making in the leaves of a great book the sublimest designs from his Dante. a long engraver's table stood under the window." drew a plan of them. swelling people. . which was rather dark. but hardworking on a bed covered with books sat he up. rustling. Blake. ." Now he entered into conversation" so heartily with Linnell that he did not notice that the coach had started. . Richmond related his distress. suggested by Palmer. . no bookcase . though sixty-seven years old. Kate?" "We kneel down and pray. of a scalded foot (or leg). . facing the river. a pile of portfolios and drawings on Blake's right near the only cupboard. To his astonishment. I think) during a fortnight's illness in bed. is it not. Palmer found Blake "lame in bed. bade the coachman understand that one of his passengers was unwilling to go. ." Once when Richmond. . after visiting him. to [his] great joy" to get out. their bed in the lefthand. Now he kindled at the thought. Blake. not many [pictures] in the workroom.the dressed up. In two rooms at 3 Fountain Court. I said. when the visions forsake us? What do we do then." and was "obligingly permitted . Mr. .' said he. Richmond "to revive his memory. 'you'll do. beginning with the workroom." he said. not inactive. . He said he began them with fear and trembling. the scene recurs to me afterwards in a kind of vision.' He designed them (100. troubled because for a fortnight he had found "his invention flag. . "I could do it." In 1852 Robinson rewrote in his Reminiscences in more detail the diary account of . . but a good number in -203his showroom. . he lived with Mrs. "The fireplace was in the far right-hand corner opposite the window.

but in all about him. not in his person. She -205had that husband. doing nothing. and first Wife Eve worshipped God in her husband. as if I had been a Sybarite. which quite removed the impression. in which she as cheerfully acquiesced. his linen was clean. Everything in the room squalid and indicating poverty. and his air quite unembarrassed when he begged me to sit down as if he were in a palace. which was poor and dirty. and she seemed to be the very woman to make him happy. when a strong desire presented itself to overcome any difficulty in his plates or drawings." The rooms in Fountain Court were to Catherine the scene not only of tea. her sitting quite still by his side." wrote Tatham. in the middle of the night risen. and. and he has many a time. And there was a natural gentility about him. "he fancied that while she looked on at him as he worked. Besides. she had a good expression in her countenance.-204his first call at Fountain Court. of prayer. I said with a smile. When the chimney caught . light. On my putting my hand to it. with a dark eye. "was at work engraving in a small bedroom. In a word. She had been formed by him. visions. Notwithstanding her dress. Indeed. He went to Brixton to visit Calvert. There was but one chair in the room besides that on which he sat. she could not have lived with him. and near him. and of worship. she was formed on the Miltonic model. Calvert who made Palmer hate him for three days by singing The British Grenadiers. and requested her to get up with him and sit by his side. I found that it would have fallen to pieces if I had lifted it. . so. he being to God was to him. otherwise. . soothed his impetuous mind. Blake. like the her what virtue of virtues in a wife. his hand white. an implicit reverence of her It is quite certain that she believed in all his . and looking out on a mean yard. and an insensibility to the seeming poverty. 'Will you let me indulge myself?' and I sat on the bed. "His wife being to him a very patient woman. had remains of beauty in her youth. but also of night vigil." The Ancients sometimes drew Blake away from Fountain Court. "His wife I saw at this time. except himself. and during my short stay there was nothing in him that betrayed that he was aware of what to other persons might have been even offensive. he said.

Blake considered Hampstead and its gentle hills "a mountainous place. as was his custom." Richmond in "Earwig Bower. . . gold paper. and all places north of London." Palmer and Tatham lived in "Rat Abbey. Blake. He went down to Shoreham in Kent -206when the Ancients were established there in the spring of 1826.' Then." Blake's anxiety was only that Mrs. Old Palmer was smoking his long pipe in the recess." and believed it and the North in general. putting his hand to his forehead. Presently Blake. When I was young. "It . And surely. said quietly: ' Palmer is coming. Young Samuel Palmer had taken his departure more than an hour before for some engagement in London. Linnell told him that Hampstead was healthy.fire and "all was flame and convolution of smoke. Sir Francis Bacon would say. . .''Oh. he's gone to London. he said. With that imaginative power common in the lowland Londoner. the ghost in which was found to be a snail. Shoreham was a place then so beautiful "it looked as if the Devil had not yet found it out. Calvert should not be alarmed. . Muswell Hill. inspiration. concerning art. we saw him off in the coach. Samuel Palmer raised the latch and came in amongst them. sat with his back to the candles reading. "I believe my constitution to be a good one. But the quarter which drew Blake most often away from Fountain Court was Linnell's house in Hampstead. according to the Memoir of Edward Calvert. Mr. Sir Francis Bacon is a liar. and even Islington. or kitchen. always laid me up the day after." He visited a haunted house. ivory tablets and rare tastes of meat. Highgate." Board and lodging for the artists averaged eight shillings a week apiece and included "books. but it has many peculiarities that no one but myself can know." When Blake came down he was accommodated by a neighbour across the way from "Waterhouse. and Calvert. a "malefic" region for his health. "The following evening William Blake was occupied at the table in the large room. which makes him believe that there is high ground in his city. in another minute." He talked. Hornsey. after a while." The coach had broken down. Hampstead. 'He is coming through the -207wicket--there. . and "the traverse of sympathy." Calvert in "Waterhouse. it is want of discipline in mountainous places.' pointing to the closed door. he is walking up the road." Even when Mrs.

" he would say to Varley. who held that the stars could be opposed and conquered." It was his favourite resort.is a lie: it is no such thing." To the older people at Hampstead his talk was strange and fascinating. or Mrs. He showed little Hannah Linnell how to make her drawing of "a rude face. "can't you agree? I'm the head constable--bring them to me. At the end of the visits Richmond. said Palmer. was often there." With the children. roundheaded. -209lecturing away his "Sagittarius crossing Taurus" at Blake who sits drawn back a bit. and the . The dish jumped o' top of the table To see the brass pot swallow the ladle." into "a human countenance. friendly and unconvinced. ready to explain Blake's visions astrologically. his protests forgotten. Linnell Scotch songs until his eyes filled with tears. "Odd bobbs." Varley." said the gridiron. told -208[This page intentionally left blank." The sow came in with the saddle. Blake Nursery Rhyme. He took the children on his knee. with protruding eyes and raised finger. The little pig rocked the cradle. exalted by his company.] Blake and Varley Sagittarius crossing Taurus stories. Linnell wrapped him up in an old shawl." Possibly he recited to them "Mr. he listened to Mrs. "Your fortunate nativity. he was "a great favourite. The old pot behind the door Called the kettle a blackamoor. and fell in with and took part in their fun." Varley thick. "I count the worst. walked home with him across the fields. But his explanations did not satisfy Blake. under whom Linnell had studied." John Linnell drew the two "arguing at Hampstead. talked to them gravely yet amusingly. Once at Hampstead.

The parallel would hold to the . of cloudy words and of clear statements of deep intuitive truth. lantern in hand. "whether I ever knew among the intellectual a happy man. Life. In the memories of the rooms in Fountain Court. gluttony." Oppression had made each of them indignant. should be made an objection to him. "William Blake. -211William Blake. "showing an immense height of head above"--a relation which Richmond said he had seen "finely characterized" in three men." he. for which the first was made. Lear." away from the face near the back of the neck. might be said to have enforced on Blake a discipline similar to that it enforced on an old king. Cardinal Newman." said Blake to Robinson. outrageous. and Henry Hallam--the face looks battered. "every inch a king. One had learned how -210sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child. at Shoreham. if the parallel is not pressed too closely. a mental prince." In a drawing of his face by Linnell in 1820 with the ear "low down. "If asked. lewdness. furrowed." Blake too found that: Wisdom is sold in the desolate market where none come to buy. do not hurt other men." In the indignant rage of each was a mixture of dwelling on wrongs and of vague threats of self-assertion and vengeance. And in the wither'd field where the farmer plows for bread in vain. and even idleness itself. cherished more than life or all that seems to make life comfortable. Like Lear he had been self-willed. The last of life. "while drunkenness." "I am quite happy. Like Lear Blake had been stretched out "upon the rack of this tough world. lighted him across the heath to the main road. and at Hampstead are hints of an old-age idyl: The best is yet to be. arrogant. drained by the fury of his course. the other had cried on Satan himself to explain why a desire for freedom of the imagination. The parallel would hold in regard to Lear's new sympathy with "houseless heads" and "unfed sides.servant." wrote Palmer to Gilchrist. Blake would be the only one who would immediately occur to me.

but fear continues upon me." . to Linnell. I have asked and entreated Divine help. The faculty of vision which he told Robinson he had had from early infancy. and thought a thing of benefit and good hope. I cannot get my mind out of a state of terrible fear at such a step. his latest companions. To Varley. or reduced to nothing. that must be myself alone shut up in myself. I could tell you of visions and dreams upon the subject.] His neurotic tendency did not leave him. the Ancients true like Cordelia. Linnell and Catherine. his earlier companions. if it is to be so called. The more I think. To Catherine. was no longer in the storm. to Butts. he said of the last songs he sang: "My beloved. he spoke of his visions as he had spoken to Hayley. a pertinacity that defied age and survived discipline. they are not mine--no--they are not mine. like Lear. and tell old tales. he carried to his death. to the idyllic interval. to the end of the ordeal. the more I feel terror at what I wished at first. and I must relinquish the step that I had wished to take. You will attribute it to its right cause-intellectual peculiarity. and sing. There Blake. He was for a brief space seen peaceful and reconciled: so we'll live And pray. were with him to listen. looking at her most affectionately. to Robinson. did not pass with the storm. to the Ancients.last act. but in vain. faithful like Kent. and still wish. When Linnell suggested that he move permanently to Hampstead Blake wrote to him: "I have thought and thought of the removal. to Flaxman. His madness. and none now to give him scorn! To press the parallel. would be to falsify a steadfastness in Blake. though." -212- Blake at Hampstead None now to give him son [This page intentionally left blank.

." -213The pamphlet. . who had seen in his thirties that "King James was Bacon Primum Mobile. . or allegoric godship. telescopic heavens. when Dr. or war. and everything that cannot be taxed. He. then in heaven. Amen. "Thy Kingship come upon earth." saw. ages after ages. holiness to thy name or title. . astronomical. . and the glory." In 1826 he gave Robinson a copy of part of the preface to Wordsworth Excursion. "For thine is the kingship. On Wordsworth's lines. . and the power. taxed. was "saying the Lord's Prayer backwards. Thornton's pamphlet on the Lord's Prayer fell into his hands. . and the Holy Ghost Vacuum. Deliver us from the Holy Ghost. out of its disguise in the classical or Scotch language into the vulgar English." His translation ran: "Our Father Augustus Caesar who art in these thy substantial. in thy descendants. . the Son a Ratio of the five senses. substantial. that it was a "most malignant and artful attack upon the Kingdom of Jesus by the classical learned. .His quickness to express his scorn of men "guilty of mental high treason. . for God is only an allegory of kings and nothing else. . money-bought bread. Thornton. . to the external World Is fitted--and how exquisitely. and reverence to thy shadow. "Give us day by day our real. . through the instrumentality of Dr. while my voice proclaims How exquisitely the individual Mind ." that "in Milton. ." and he translated "Doctor Thornton's Tory translation." did not abandon him. he thought. too-The external World is fitted to the Mind. the Father is Destiny. or law. . -214. at seventy.

he commented. He had prayed God to be delivered from the divinity of yes." He found that he could "draw as well in bed as up and perhaps better." But though Blake's heart was bound with triple bronze. and no too. . and dare not get out in the cold -215air. Yet I lose nothing by it. "You shall not bring me down to believe such fitting and fitted. to the business of creation. They carried recurring news of "a return of the old shivering fit. but not to subdue him." Illness began to confine him." In 1825. he began his designs in illustration of Dante for Linnell." of feeling "like a young lark without feathers. his body was growing weak. Basire. Dante goes on the better. On his Dante designs Palmer found him "hard-working. pain too much for thought. ." and taught himself Hebrew. and Moser he had secretly raged and also spoken his mind concerning the beginning and the end of art." he wrote. and an old man. I know better & please your Lordship. letters had to take the place of visits to Hampstead. ." As he began to be shut indoors in Fountain Court." he wrote to Cumberland. "I find I am not as well as I thought. as years before he had "gone on merrily" by himself in Greek and Latin and had at Felpham "read Greek as fluently as an Oxford scholar. I must not go on in a youthful style." Most surely his whole-souled giving of himself to art. He went on "just as if perfectly well. did not flag. To be able to read the text he set to work upon Italian." He was "too much attached to Dante to think much of anything else." He had been in this world for seventy years." He said: "I am still far from recovered." "a deadly feel all over the limbs. though he cared only if Dante went on the better." of "being only bones and sinews. almost seventy years old." "a species of delirium and ." He had "been very near the gates of death. all strings and bobbins like a weaver's loom." "another desperate shivering fit. that held Englishmen after the French -216- ." of being "weaker than I was aware. He was seen by Allan Cunningham "within a few years of his death studying at Somerset House with all the ardour of youth. which is all I care about. "and . "I go on without daring to count on futurity. returned very weak. feeble and tottering. In the schools of Pars. .

In the shadow cast by dark Satanic mills he had cried that less than all cannot satisfy man. . he had appreciated Flaxman as he ought. Works. He had listened to messengers from Heaven daily and nightly and at their dictation had composed a poem of the intellectual war which he considered the grandest poem that this world contains. that mountainous place. He had employed himself and had had every night dropped into his shoe as he put out the candle and got into bed a reward such as the world cannot give. and sworn at Fuseli again. At the end of 1826 he told Robinson: "I cannot think of death as more than the going out of one room into another. which liveth for ever. he had taken Scofield by the elbows and pushed him raging and cursing the fifty yards from the garden gate to the Fox Inn. into the mind. the imagination.Revolution all intermeasumble by one another. . . as his foolish body decayed he was stronger and stronger in spirit and life. and had walked across Hampstead Heath. . He had painted Richard Cœur de Lion at a quarter past twelve midnight for Varley. Blake in Fountain Court. every one to his own eternal house . He had found London a city of assassinations. to designing. in the real man. I do not know. He had knelt down and prayed with Mrs. Linnell's shawl. in which every one is king and priest. He had swung backward and forward from moods of perfect and entire confidence to pits of melancholy. the one tree of which pleasures are the fruit. and Acquaintances . and we must soon follow. wrapped in Mrs. though every other man's doorstone was worn down into the very earth by the footsteps of the fiends of commerce. He had claimed from Hayley his just right as an artist and as a man." For himself. 1827. and had told -217Robinson he believed the earth was quite flat. Where he has been since August. He had entreated Cumberland to turn from politics." In April of 1827 he wrote to Cumberland: " Flaxman is gone. which seemed to him something else besides human life. profit never venturing upon his threshold. he told Cumberland. . He had seen money flying from him. For even one copy of it he had not found a customer. -218William Blake's Life.

Ahania. CumAmerica berland 1794--Songs of Experience.Swendenborg (Early Entries) Heaven and Hell Wisdom of Angels 1791--French Revolution 1792--Song of Liberty 1793--Gates of 1795-1805--George Paradise. Urizen 1795--Book of Los. Songs 1789-. Song (d) Letters .Lavater 1789-93--"Rossetti of Innocence Aphorisms Manuscript" 1790--Marriage of 1789-. Albion.1777-Poetical Sketches 1782--Married Catherine Boucher 1788-9--Tiriel 1789--Thel.I Life 1757--Born Nov. 28 1760 1767--Studied at Pars's Drawing School 1770 1771--Apprenticed to Basire 1778--Studied under Moser 1779--Engraved for Johnson 1780 1790 1793--Lived at Hercules Buildings (a)--General Works II (b) Marginalia to (c) Note Books 1768. Europe.

Reynold Discourses 1809--Exhibited at Broad Street 1810 1820 1809--Descriptive Catalogue 1810--Everlasting Gospel.I Life (a)--General Works II (b) Marginalia to (c) Note Books (d) Letters of Los John Trusler 1797--Four Zoas Thomas Butts 1798-.Bacon Essays 1800--Moved to Felpham 1800-08--Milton 1800-20 Jerusalem 1800-11--"Rossetti James Blake Manuscript" 1803--Returned to (Later Entries) London ( South Molton Street) 1808-.Watson Apology for the Bible 1798-. Public Address John Flaxman 1800-.Gray Poems 1802-.Hayley Ballads .

2 Vols. W.I Life (a)--General Works II (b) Marginalia to (c) Note Books (d) Letters 1821--Moved to Fountain court 1872--Died August 12 1827-. The Real Blake. 1913. Brooklyn. 1906. London.) 2. White. (Annotations to Swedenborg's Divine Wisdom. and to Dr. The Poetical Works of William Blake. London. Marginalia Ellis Edwin J. as far as it is complete. The Real Blake. London. ( Sampson's edition. Thornton Pamphlet on the 1825-27--Geor Cumberland John Linnell . A. Sampson John. 1907.). General Works The "Rossetti Manuscript" (consulted by courtesy of Mr. London.Thornton The Lord's Prayer -218A- Table of Sources and the Index -219Table of Sources A. Y. is accepted as the standard text of Blake. Works of Blake 1. Ellis Edwin J. The Poetical Works of William Blake. 1907. N.

Blair Robert. 1851. London. Butts the Friend and Patron of Blake. Lamb. B. Grolier Club. Papers in British Museum. London.. London. Mr. Calvert.) Keynes Geoffrey. Bibliography of William Blake. London. London.Lord's Prayer. 1921. 1921.) B. Printed Black Clementina. to -220Reynolds Discourses. 92 ff. 1906. Vol. being Selections from the Remains of Henry Crabb Robinson.." London. H. Records in British Museum. 4 Vols. New York. London. p. Unprinted Cumberland (George.) Gilchrist Alexander. Cambridge. Coleridge. Letters in Fairfax Murray Collection.) Morley Edith J. John. 2. Fitzwilliam Museum. Diary. 1839. Flaxman. The Letters of William Blake. -221Hayley. etc. Wordsworth. Bibliography of William Blake. (Annotations to passages from Wordsworth. Godwin and Their Circle. by his Third Son. 1813. 1863. Shelley. Blake. William. and to Bacon Essays. London. Preface to The Excursion and The Recluse. Life of Thomas Stothard. N. New York. Letters Russell A. New York. New York. Bray. The Cumberland Letters. (The manuscript of a revised enlarged edition consulted by courtesy of Mr. 1907. London. Grolier Club. Life of William Blake. London Corresponding Society. (Appendix III. Brailsford H. London. Manchester. The Grave. of Bristol). Cromek.) Keynes Geoffrey. (Annotations to Lavater Aphorisms. Cambridge. 2 Vols. G. 1893. Briggs Ada E. Connoisseur. . 1912. To which is added a biographical sketch of R.) 3. Critical Description of "Death on the Pale Horse. 1922. Edward. Carey William. Russell. Letters Hitherto Uncollected. Letters in Fairfax Murray Collection. (Annotations to Bishop Watson's Apology for the Bible. General Sources 1. Fitzwilliam Museum. Mrs. Bury Lady Charlotte. 1817. 19. A Memoir of. 1913.

Foster John. A Survey of English Literature. Life of Fuseli. 1907. E. 1809. 1816. (Vol. London. 1865. Foster. James Greig. Ed. Another edition. Life of Thomas Paine. Flaxman John. and Architects. 6 Vols. London. 2 Parts. London. "New and enlarged edition. Ives"). 2 Vols. Life of Allan Cunningham. London. Memorials of Francis Oliver Finch. -223Fitzgerald Edward. 1922. 3 vols. 1912. Finch Mrs. Ed. 1 Vol. Coleridge. Vol. London. Dibdin Thomas F. With a Memoir of the Author. Life of William Blake. Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings. 1880. 1893. . 1865. London and New York. Boston and New York. 1824.1830. London. Grierson H. Glasgow. The Cabinet Gallery of Pictures. Lectures on Sculpture. London. 1829.Cheetham James. Cunningham Allan. 1780. 2 Vols. London. 2 Vols. Elton Oliver. Life of Thomas Paine.1833. 1922. Edinburgh. Walter Savage Landor. Letters of S. Dumfries. Gilchrist H. The Trial of William Blake for High TreasonNineteenth Century. New York. Hogg David." 2 Vols. Lives of the Most Eminent British Painters. Cumberland George. Waller and Glover. 1863. 1924.) Damon S. Thoughts on Outline. 2 Vols. 1895. Letters. London and New York. 1903. 2 Vols. Vol. III--Life of Flaxman. Sculptors. J. Reminiscences of a Literary Life. New York. 1894. 1833. Hazlitt William (editor). William Blake's Designs for Gray's Poems. London. VII of Collected Works. 2 Vols. London. 1869. C. London. II --Life of Blake. H. London. 1887. 1836. Farington Joseph. 1923. Another edition. The Library Companion. T. London. 2 Vols. London. New York. Gilchrist Alexander. William Blake: His Philosophy and Symbols. Coleridge E. London. Jenkins Herbert ("H. London. I Vol. 2 Vols. Memoirs of the late Thomas Holcroft. Hazlitt William. Diary. London and New York. 1796. -222Conway Moncure D. H. London. 1875.

London. 1823. 1835. Memoirs of the Life and Writings of William Hayley. Wordsworth. Works of Charles and Mary Lamb. Malkin Benjamin Heath. Blake. Lytton E. Vol. . London. Coleridge. 3 Vols. The Student. VII. 1905.-224Nineteenth Century. 849-861. Being Selections from the Remains of Henry Crabb Robinson. London. A Father's Memoirs of His Child. V. Morley Edith J. LXVII. London. Johnson John. 2 Vols. pp. Vol. 1806. G. 1831. 2 Vols. May. London. (BulwerLytton). etc. London. Life and Writings of Henry Fuseli. Lucas E. Knowles John. 1910. Lamb.

Boston.) Oldys Francis (George Chalmers). 1892. London. (Quotations from Robinson in William Blake in This World are modernised in spelling and to some extent in punctuation.London. H. 1922. The Life of Thomas Paine. Life and Letters of Samuel Palmer. with a Prefatory . London. 1793. M. Paul C. Rossetti W. Wemyss. 2 Vols. 1833. London. 2 Vols. The Poetical Works of William Blake. The Life of RichardMonckton Milnes -225Monckton Milnes. London. 1876. Ritson Joseph. Palmer A. Letters. Reid T. 1890. William Godwin and His Friends and Contemporaries. K.

London and New York. Nollekens and His Times. Reminiscences. (Vol. Together with a life by Frederick Tatham. B. Diary. 1856. The Royal Book of Fate. C. Smith John Thomas. London. 1872. 2 Vols. London. and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson. London. Sadler Thomas. The Letters of William Blake. A Book for a Rainy Day. 1905. London.Memoir. James Holmes . Story Alfred T.) Smith R. 1906. London and New York. 1874. 2 Vols. Sélincourt Basil de. Flaxman. G. II-Biographical Sketches of Fuseli. 1828. 1909. Blake. William Blake. London. Russell A.

1907. New York. H. Lon-226don and New York. Tristan and Iseult. 20. -227INDEX Additions to Blake's Catalogue of Pictures. 123. 12. 165. Allan Cunningham Life of Blake. 1914. Wallis J. James. 202. 1921. William Blake. 61 Barton. Smith Biographical Sketch of Blake. 198 America. Francis. 123. 1828. London. 164. 213 Banks. 1914. 207. 1806. 185. 474479. 165. Lady Charlotte Bury's Diary. 199 Ancient of Days. The. Conner. Vol. 171 Advertisements to Blake's Canterbury Pilgrims. Poet and Mystic. Bibliography of William Blake. London. 206. 142." 158 . The.161. pp. 212 Apostles. 2 Vols. 1894. 146 Auguries of Innocence. London. New York. Symons Arthur. pp. Joseph. P. 216 Bastille. Bath. 182 Basire. Grolier Club. R. Berger P. 385-402. 23 Bédier. 13.48 Bacon. Sampson John. Mrs. 186.and John Varley. 7 "Ancients. 1892. London. Bernard. (Translated by D. Varley Zodiacal Physiognomy. XV-LII. Reprints in full J. Keynes Geoffrey. 198 Aders. 31. 47 . 162. The Poetical Works of William Blake. 33 . Letters and Reminiscences. 208. William Blake. 19. Cambridge History of English Literature. Thomas. (Reprints extracts from Henry Crabb Robinson Diary. Varley John. T.34.. 1913. Memoirs. London.) Pp. A Treatise on Zodiacal Physiognomy. 167. Bibliographies of Blake. XI.) Trusler John. Bibliographical Introduction. 86 . C. Life of John Linnell.

Bedlam Hospital, 191, 192, 194, 201, 202
Benét, William Rose, 190
Blair, Robert, 71
Blair, Robert, The Grave, Blake's Illustrations to, 64, 70, 72,
121, 197
Blake, Catherine Boucher, 1, 4, 13, 14, 15, 19, 54, 69, 79, 162,
169, 172, 174, 175, 195, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 212,
Blake, Ellen, 4
Blake, James, 14, 69, 95, 132
Blake, John, 118, 129
Blake, Robert, 118, 129, 174, 176
Blake, William, anecdotes concerning, 3 - 9 ; outline of life, 6
; authorities for childhood, 9 - 11 ; early education in art, 11
- 13 ; marriage, 13 - 16 ; at Mrs. Mathew's, 16 - 18 ; To the
Muses, 17 - 18 ; Poetical Sketches, 17 - 18 ; "firm persuasion,"
19 - 22 ; opinion of engravers and of artists, 20 ; An Island in
the Moon, 21 ; at time of French Revolution, 25 - 27 ; relations
with Godwin and Paine, 26 - 31 ; Annotations to Watson's Apology
for the Bible, 29 31 ; myth of revolution, 31 38 ; summary of
revolutionary attitude, 37 - 38 ; attitude towards industrial
mechanical revolution, 39 - 51 ; Songs of Innocence and Songs of
Experience, 42 - 47 ; Auguries of Innocence, 47 - 48 ; on
commerce, politics, and art, 52 53 ; his industry and
expectations, 54 - 56 ; relations with Flaxman, 56 - 63 ;
relations with Fuseli, 63 - 67 ; disappointments, 67-70;
resentment at Cromek, Stothard. Reynolds, 70 - 75 ; defiance of
circumstance, 75 - 77 ; period of autobiography in letters, 78 86 ; moods of his whole
-228life, 86 - 88 ; a neurotic, 89 90 ; relations with Hayley, 91 101 ; trial for treason, 102 - 108 ; visionary life, 109 131 ;
correspondence with Trusler, 113 -115; letters to and from
Felpham, 115 - 121 ; public statements, 121 - 128 ; summary of
aspects of visionary life, 129 - 131 ; "a grand poem" dictated by
authors in eternity, 131 - 149 ; its form, 134 - 135 ; its
themes, 135 - 149 ; biographical period of Blake's life, 149 190 ; R. C. Smith and John Varley, 151 - 158 ; "The Ancients,"
158 - 161 ; John Linnell, 161 163 ; Henry Crabb Robinson, 164 172 ; Allan Cunningham and J. T. Smith, 172 - 180 ; passing
comments, 180 - 184 ; variety of his character, 185 186 ;
exaggeration of his qualities, 186 - 188 ; question of his

madness, 188 - 190 ; report of his incarceration in Bedlam, 191 193 ; years of "obscurity," 193 - 201 ; 18181827, 202 - 218 ; in
Fountain Court, 203 - 206 ; at Shoreham, 206 - 208 ; at
Hampstead, 206 - 210 ; comparison with Lear, 210 - 212 ;
steadfastness and pertinacity, 212 216 ; growing weakness, 216 ;
seventy years of life, 216 218 ; view of death, 218
Bonaparte, Napoleon, 52, 53, 68, 105
British Institution, 67
Brixton, 206
Broad Street, 72
Brown, Ford K., 29 n.
Browning, Robert, 38
Bunhill Fields Cemetery, 191
Burke, Edmund, 37
Burns, Robert, 11
Bury, Lady Charlotte, 202
Butcher, Thomas Monger, 14
Butts, Thomas, 3, 81, 116, 117, 119, 132, 188, 195, 201, 212
Byron, Lord, 38, 91, 92, 181, 189
Caiaphas, 143
Calvert, Edward, 158, 159, 162, 189, 206, 207 ; Christian
Ploughing the Last Furrow of Life, 159 ; Memoir of, 207
Calvert, Mrs. Edward, 206
Canterbury Pilgrims, 182, 198
Carey, William Paulet, 197 198
Carlyle, Thomas, 55, 175
Cassibelane, 163
Chaining of Orc, 199
Chaucer, Geoffrey, 182
Chesterton, Gilbert, 50
Chichester, 98, 102, 106
Chimney Sweeper, The, 182
Christie's, 11
Coleridge, E. H., 180
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 18, 23, 24, 37, 106, 172, 180, 181 ;
Lyrical Ballads, 17
Collins, Sir William, 202
Corinna, 153
Correggio, Antonio, 126, 129, 177
Cowper, William, 23, 24, 52 ; Hayley's Life of, 116
Cromek, R. H., 70, 71, 73, 76, 108, 123
Cumberland, George, 28, 52, 87, 133, 175, 188, 201, 216, 217, 218
Cumberland, George, the younger, 200

-229Cunningham, Allan, 153, 154, 156, 172, 175, 178, 186,
215 ; Life of Blake, 173, 175 - 178, 192 ; Lives of the
Most Eminent British Painters, Sculptors, and
Architects, 172 ; The Cabinet Gallery of Pictures, 178
Damon, Foster,
Dante, 165,
to, 56 n.,
162, 171, 204,
215, 216
Catalogue of
Pictures, 72,
123, 133, 177,
182, 199, 201
Thomas, 195,
196, 201 ;
195, 196 ;
Dryden, John,
Edward the
First, 157
Edward the
Third, 192
Countess of,
Ellis, Edwin
J., The Real
Blake, 4, 5,
26, 27, 28
William, 198

116. 31. 200. 189 Fitzgerald. 150. 183. 80. 181. 122. 91 n. 62. 100. 6. 79. 215 "Felpham Gospel. John. 133. 66. 186 Flaxman. Fitzwilliam Museum. 132. 159 . 81.12 Europe. 71.." 133. 78. 172. 9 Fair fax Murray Collection. 94. 120. 164. 56 63. . 83. Edward. 68. 79. 84. 134 Finch. 82. 67. 59. 171. 199 Everlasting Gospel. 57 n. 71. 108. The. 60. 87. 176. 91. 85. 34. 189 Ezekiel. 99. 76. 95. 27. 170. 17. Felpham. 150. 68. 16. 201. 93. 197. 212. 196. The. 97. 198 Examiner. 116. 158. 188. 80. Francis. 72.160. 89.

25. Harriet. 206. 35 . 216. Gates of Paradise. The. 200. 31. 196. Maria. (vicar). 201. 68. 180 Gardner. 64 Fuseli. 65 . 208. 218 : Hesiod. the archangel. 16. 217 . 65 . 205. 27. 210. 26. 90. J. 191. 203. Lycidas. Ægisthus. 56. 159. 49. 65 . 162. Milton.217. 63. 199 Flaxman. Satan Building the Bridge over Chaos. Henry. 179. 28. 3. 25. 196 Gabriel. 168. 58. 65 . 188. 195. 71. 27. Count Ugolino. 39. 204. 202. 14. 94 Fountain Court. 63 67.36 Fuseli. 218 French Revolution. 31. 198 . 216 French Revolution.

120. Alexander. William. 59 Greek. Triumphs of Temper. 218 Hayley. 217 . 3. . 154 .101. The. 158 Godwin. 26. 115. 26. 90. 109 Ghost of a Flea. Thomas. 52. 216. 162. 185. 184. John. 193. 209. 79. 212. 132. Jakob. 21. 59.. Edward.George the Third. 171 Gray. 29 Gospel. 210. 116. 173. 188. 28. 215 Hallam. 62. 109. 158. 30. 190 -230Hampstead. 70 n. 25. 24. 5. 210 Giles. 107. 16. 147 Götzenberger. 185 Gibbon. 29. 208. 213. 61. Henry. William. Life of William Blake. 146. 143 Gilchrist. 212 Hamlet. 158.156. 91 .

. Illustrations to. 27. 5. 26. 154 Holy Ghost. 7. 57. 116 Hazlitt. Geoffrey. 215 Italy. 165 Island in the Moon. Life of Cowper. 181. On. 164. 148. 146 Holy Thursday.149. 165. 43. 3. 43 .. 167. William. 170 Job. Joseph. 143. Jesus. Heinrich. Richard. 197. 2. 111. 44 45 Homer's Poetry. 59 Herod. Industrialmechanical revolution. 94 . 149 Hercules Buildings. 94. Edward. 39 Irving. 68 Jerusalem. 71. 29.44 . 92. 21. Ballads. 193 Kirkup. 147. 183 . 174 Italian. in Songs of Experience. 136 . 56 n. in Songs of Innocence. 198 Keynes. On the Old Age of Artists. Seymour. 94 .69. 123 Huntington Library. 162 Johnson. 133. 63 Judgement of Paris. 199 Hunt. 16. 183 Heine.

Aphorisms. 202. 122. 199 Last Judgement. Mrs. 189. John. 215 Linnell. The. 218 Locke. 211. King. The (article in Revue Britannique). 210. 192. 165 London. Sir Thomas. 186 Langford. 185. Walter Savage. 187. 47 Lamb. 201 Lais. 166. 197 Lamb. 181 . Johann. 141. 49 Lear. 161 163. 142. 212 Le Brun. 195. 215 Laurence. 189. 173. 195.194. The. Charles. 210. John. 181. Lady Caroline. 209 Linnell. 191. 109. 200. The. 11. 126. 199. 213. 186. 65. 184. Charles. 181. 12 Laocoön. 133 London University Magazine. 164. 42 . Abraham. 198 Latin. 28. 182. John. 208. 208. 153 Lamb. 212. 185.43 London Insane Asylum. 20 Linnell. Hannah. 209. 211. 186. 21. 203. 202 Landor. 202 Lavater. 191 London Magazine.

Cardinal. Paradise Lost. 3. 213 . 186 Macaulay. 97. 199 Monthly Magazine. 26. 179. 144. 5 Orc. Edward R. 142. 150. 172 Mathew. Tom. 29. 21. 20. 19. the incendiary. 136 . 97. Henry. 12. 171 Mirth and Her Companions. 188. 165 O'Neil. To the.. 32. 15. 157 Marriage of Heaven and Hell. 187. 178. Shawn. 20. Andrew. 168. 16. Mrs. Reverend Henry. 49 Palmer. 58 Memoir of Edward Calvert. 52. 17 . 14 Muses. 70 n. the. 11. 216 Moses." 46. 133. 17. 31. 47 Michelangelo. 19. 8 Malkin. 178 Louvre. 55. 158. 56 n. 90 Masquerier. 181.. Sir Isaac. 109. 162. 28. 159. 9. 185. 38 Paine.. 189. 152. 129. . John. Peace. 47 Martin. 164 Man who Built the Pyramids. 211 Newton.18 Newman. 152. 68 Lowell. 30. Amy. Thomas Babington. 170. Lytton. 160. Pity. Samuel. 13. 161. 191 Marvell. 11. 56 n. 207 "Mercy. 192. 185. 67. 65 Moser.Lot. 196. 171. George M. 192 Milton.149 Milton. Robert ( parish clerk). John James. Benjamin Heath. 38. 141. 184. 59. ( BulwerLytton). 192 Munday. 197 -231Mathew.

see Bedlam -232Royal Society of Arts. 211 .101. 215 . 55 Raphael. 58. 170. 12. 214. 159.. 204. 75. 152. 185. 217 Richmond. 165 Rome. 157. 87. 124 Public. Henry Crabb. 153 Plato. 207. 129 Rose. 57. 198 Philoctetes and Neoptolemos at Lemnos. 179. 75 Richard Cœur de Lion. 204 Rogers. 159. 20. 20. 182. Discourse. E1oise to Abelard. 186. Peter Paul. Jean Jacques. 196. W. 194. 210. 67. 190 . 177 . 74. 20. 159 Robinson. 26 Rousseau. 120. 129. 189. 64 Prologue and Characters of Chaucer's Pilgrims. 158. 197. Naomi. 210. 192. 189. 109 . 160 . 178 Rasselas. 67. Sir Joshua. Abel the Shepherd. 216 Peace of Amiens. 23 Revue Britannique. 3. 59 Reed's Cyclopedia. 68. Ruth. 76. 19. George. 192. 16. 181.202. 64. 206. 164 . Reminiscences. 210. Journal. 208. 162. 165 Poetical Sketches. To the. 71. 72. 28. M. 17. 68 Peckham Rye. 209. 198 Rubens. 199 Pindar. 212. 178. Artist's Home. 203. 207. 93. Samuel. 67 Romney. 106 Rossetti Manuscript. 218 . 72. 99 . Henry. George. 12. 203. 42 Pope. 204. 63. 160. 191. Thomas. 194 Phillips.172. 164 . Samuel. 190 Rathbone Place. 142 Royal Academy. 58. 12. 126. Alexander. 199 Reign of Terror. 199 Prophets. 95. 160 . 198 Rossetti. 62. 9 Phidias. 161 Pars. 112. 187. 204. 202 Reynolds. 65. Sanzio. 133. 202 Royal Hospital for Insane. 73.

186. John Thomas ("RainyDay"). 151 . 102. Socrates. 26 Sampson. 2. Biographical Sketch of Blake. 72. 170 . John. 61. 197 Shelley. John. 206. Nollekens and His Times. 20. 103. 175. 8. 172 . 9 St. 55. 38 Shoreham. 181. Louis. 193 Shakespeare. 210 Smith. 185. 143. 158. 189 Selincourt. 70. 50 Ryland. 16.. 8. 172. William. 173. 186 . Percy Bysshe.Ruskin. 153. 76. 54. C. 185 Sharp.174 Smith. William.152.. R. Sir Walter. 107. 217 Scott.11. John. 144 Schiavonetti. 178 Scofield. 172 . 13. 129. William W. 157. 71. 193 Satan. Paul's Churchyard. Basil de. 10 . 161. 106.

182 Strange. Arthur. 31. 197 Southey. 107 Swedenborg. 187 South Molton Street. 31. 9 - . 78. 7. 94. 76. 203 Southcott. 17. Emanuel. 164. 180. 200 Spencer. Robert. 201 . 43 47 Songs of Innocence. 24. 45. George John. 198 St. 197 Sons of God Shouting for Joy.Song of Liberty. 32 . 95. 14. 193 Tatham. Algernon C. 165 Swedenborgianism . 47. 111 Symons. 79. 36 Songs of Experience. 72 . Joanna.. 73.73. 37. 15 Stothard. 92. 42. 133. 71. Sir Robert. Mary's Battersea. 181. Thomas. 71. 43. Earl.33 Song of Los. 58 Swinburne. Pilgrimage to Canterbury. Frederick. 20 Sussex Advertiser. 191.

152 . .. 177. a Baptist preacher.. 84.153. 157 Upcott. 185. 19. 155. 192. 186. 200. 152 Varley. 157. 160. John. 21. 151. 68. 153. 156. 162. Life of William Blake. J. 217 Victoria.10. John. Queen. 201 Urania. 158. 11. Dr. 88 Trusler. Pamphlet on the Lord's Prayer. 187. 182 Tiriel. 209. 54. 9 . 47 Titian. 163.10. 85. 7. 173. 158. 49. 206 Thel. 151. 177. 129. 189. 66. 194 Truchsession Gallery. 177. William. 157. 125. 195. 213 214 Tiger. 199 Visionary Heads. 8 Virgil. 47 Thornton. Mr. 212. 183. Wat. 47. 59. 113. 207 . On. 161. R. The. 158. 115 Tyler. 192 Voltaire. 88 Upton.

Apology for the Bible. Thomas G. 29 . 52 Watson. 37. 181.Edward. 133.. 180. Mary. 24. 64 . 143. Walt. 189 . Lyrical Ballads. 214 Yeats. 197 Westminster Abbey. 166. William. 166. 203 -233Wallace. William. 165. 28. 157 Washington. William. 64 Woonett. Bishop. 48. 1. . Dorothy. 2 Wollstonecraft. 20 Wordsworth. 203 Whitman. 17 . The Excursion. 199 West. 182. 19. 186. 184.31 Wedgwood. 171 Wainwright. 4 Young. 142. Josiah. 18.141. 181 Wordsworth. Death on the Pale Horse. Sir Benjamin. George. William Butler.

Night Thoughts. 155 -234- [This page intentionally left blank. 179 Zodiacal Physiognomy.] -235- .

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