Page:Life of William Blake, Pictor ignotus (Volume 1).djvu/307

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2. LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKF. [16e. ' as it endeavoure to provs that there is no each tMn as ipimtio ' and that any man of a plain understanding may, by thieving from ' others, become a Michael Angelo.'

So, too, when Reynolds tolls his hearers that 'enthusiastic admiration seldom promotes knowledge ;' and proceeds to en- courage. the student who perceives in his mind 'nothing of th ' divine inspiration with which he is told o y others have been ' favoured ;' who ' never travelled to heaven to gather new ideas,' Blake answers: ' And such is the coldness with which Reynolds 'spesksl and such is his enmity! Enthusiastic amlration is the ' first principle of knowledge, and its last. How he begins to ' degrade, to deny, and to mock ! The man who on ez,,m/nln E his ' own mind finds noth[ng' of inspiration, ought not to dare to be an ' artist: he is a fool, and a cunning knave suited to the purposes ' of evil demona The man who never in his mind and thought ' travelled to heaven, is no artisk It is evident that Reynolds wished 'none but fools to be in the arts; and in order to this, he c. ' all others vague enthusiasts or madmen. What ha reasOnln tO ' do with the art of painting '

Characteristic opinions are the following :m 'Knowledge of ideal beauty is not to be acquired. It is born ' with us. Innate ideas are in every man, born with him; they ' tra]y hlmaeJ The man who says that we have no innate ideas 'must be a fool and knave; having no con-science, or ' science.' And yet it is a question metaphysicians have been discussing since metaphysics begam Again: 'One central form composed of all other forms beug 'granted, it does not therefore follow that all other forms are ' deformity. All forms are perfec in the poet's mind: but these 'are not abstmcf or compounded from nature; they are Irom ' imaginaoa' On some of the more technical 10oints respecting zrt, Blake