Page:Nollekens and His Times, Volume 2.djvu/478

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NOLLEKENS'S CONTEMPORARIES.

"I give you the end of a golden string;
    Only wind it into a ball,
 It will lead you in at Heaven's gate.
    Built in Jerusalem's wall."

In his choice of subjects, and in his designs in Art, perhaps no man had higher claim to originality, nor ever drew with a closer adherence to his own conception; and from what I knew of him, and have heard related by his friends, I most firmly believe few artists have been guilty of less plagiarisms than he. It is true, I have seen him admire and heard him expatiate upon the beauties of Marc Antonio and of Albert Durer; but I verily believe not with any view of borrowing an idea; neither do I consider him at any time dependent in his mode of working, which was generally with the graver only; and as to printing, he mostly took off his own impressions.

After his marriage, which took place at Battersea, and which proved a mutually happy one, he instructed his beloved, for so he most frequently called his Kate,[1] and allowed her, till

  1. A friend has favoured me with the following anecdotes, which he received from Blake, respecting his courtship. He states that "Our Artist fell in love with a lively little girl, who allowed him to say every thing that was loving, but would not listen to his overtures on the score of matrimony.