Page:Life of William Blake 2, Gilchrist.djvu/216

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SELECTIONS FROM BLAKE'S WRITINGS.

NUMBER VI.

'A Spirit vaulting from a Cloud to turn and wind a fiery Pegasus'—Shakspeare. The Horse of Intellect is leaping from the Cliffs of Memory and Reasoning; it is a barren Rock: it is also called the Barren Waste of Locke and Newton.

This Picture was done many years ago, and was one of the first Mr. B. ever did in Fresco; fortunately, or rather providentially, he left it unblotted and unblurred, although molested continually by blotting and blurring demons; but he was also compelled to leave it unfinished for reasons that will be shown in the following.


NUMBER VII.

The Goats, an experiment Picture.

The subject is taken from the Missionary Voyage, and varied from the literal fact for the sake of picturesque scenery. The savage girls had dressed themselves with vine-leaves, and some goats on board the missionary ship stripped them off presently. This Picture was painted at intervals, for experiment with the colours, and is laboured to a superabundant blackness; it has however that about it which may be worthy the attention of the Artist and Connoisseur for reasons that follow.


NUMBER VIII.

The spiritual Preceptor, an experiment Picture.

This subject is taken from the Visions of Emanuel Swedenborg (Universal Theology, No. 623). The Learned, who strive to ascend into Heaven by means of learning, appear to Children like dead horses, when repelled by the celestial spheres. The works of this visionary are well worthy the attention of Painters and Poets; they are foundations for grand things; the reason they have not been more attended to is, because corporeal demons have gained a predominance; who the leaders of these are, will be shown below. Unworthy Men, who gain fame among Men, continue to govern mankind after death, and, in their spiritual bodies, oppose the spirits