Page:Biographical and critical studies by James Thomson ("B.V.").djvu/321
A STRANGE BOOK
rative relation to things of another sphere, which are startlingly akin to Blake's writings—could pass, in fact, for no one's but his. Professing, as they do, the same new kind of authorship, they might afford plenty of material for comparison and bewildered speculation, if such were in any request."
With regard to the last parenthesis in the above passage, it should be observed that both Blake and Wilkinson would scornfully reject the term ghosts in connection with the sources of their inspiration, both holding steadfastly that the spiritual body is as real and in its own sphere as substantial as the natural body, that the spiritual life is far more intensely and profoundly (or supernally) real than the natural. Blake, with all his profusion of visions, saw but one "ghost" in his life (the famous "ghost of a flea," drawn for John Varley, water-colour painter and astrologer, was the visionary personification of the creature); and he, who was more familiar with "angels" and "spirits" than with his fellow-men, found this one "ghost" so horrible that he fairly fled out of the house from it; and Dr. Wilkinson, as the title of his book and the account of its origin show, claims to be the medium of the Spirit or the Lord; though, indeed, as in "E. B.," "A Wife's Message," "Teddy's Flower," he sometimes believes himself the transmittor of communications from human spirits; but, as I have said,