Page:Life of William Blake, Pictor ignotus (Volume 1).djvu/16

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PREFACE.


One short word of sorrowfixl significance which has had to be inserted in the title-page, while it acquaints the reader with the peculiar circumstances under which this Biography comes before hlm scems also to require a few words about its final preparation for the press; the more so as the time which has elapsed since the /fe of lake was first announced might otherwise lead to a wrong inference respecting the state in which it was left by the beloved author when he was seized, in the full tide of health and work and happy life, with the fever which, in five days, carried him hence. The /fe. was then substan- tially complete; and the first eight chapters were already printed. The main services, therefore, which the Work has received from other hands--and great they are appear in (.he Second Part, and in the Appendix :—in the choice and arrangement of a large collection of BlaKe's unpublished and hitherto almost equally inac- cessible published Writings, together with in(roductory remarks to each Section; and in a thorough and pro- bably exhaustive Annotated Catalogue of his Pictorial Works. The first of these services—the editorship, in a word, of the Selections—has been performed by