Page:Life of William Blake 2, Gilchrist.djvu/221

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163
DESCRIPTIVE CATALOGUE.

and the pretence of the plagiary in all its branches. How do we distinguish the oak from the beech, the horse from the ox, but by the bounding outline? How do we distinguish one face or countenance from another, but by the bounding line and its infinite inflexions and movements? What is it that builds a house and plants a garden, but the definite and determinate? What is it that distinguishes honesty from knavery, but the hard and wiry line of rectitude and certainty in the actions and intentions? Leave out this line and you leave out life itself; all is chaos again, and the line of the Almighty must be drawn out upon it before man or beast can exist. Talk no more then of Correggio or Rembrandt, or any other of those plagiaries of Venice or Flanders. They were but the lame imitators of lies drawn by their predecessors, and their works prove themselves contemptible disarranged imitations, and blundering misapplied copies.


NUMBER XVI.

The Penance of Jane Shore in St. Pauls Church.—A Drawing.

This Drawing was done above Thirty Years ago, and proves to the Author, and he thinks will prove to any discerning eye, that the productions of our youth and of our maturer age are equal in all essential points. 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; and patience and time await to give him all that the world can give.