Page:Nollekens and His Times, Volume 2.djvu/482

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468
NOLLEKENS'S CONTEMPORARIES.

a price, that Flaxman, whose heart was ever warm, was determined to serve him whenever an opportunity offered itself; and with his usual voice of sympathy, introduced him to his friend Hayley, with whom it was no new thing to give pleasure, capricious as he was. This gentleman immediately engaged him to engrave the plates for his quarto edition of "The Life of Cowper," published in 1803-4; and for this purpose he went down to Felpham, in order to be near that highly respected Hermit.

Here he took a cottage, for which he paid twenty pounds a-year, and was not, as has been reported, entertained in a house belonging to Mr. Hayley, rent-free. During his stay he drew several portraits, and could have had full employment in that department of the Art; but he was born to follow his own inclinations, and was willing to rely upon a reward for the labours of the day.

Mr. Flaxman, knowing me to be a collector of autographs, among many others, gave me the following letter, which he received from Blake immediately after his arrival at Felpham, in which he styles him