Page:Nollekens and His Times, Volume 2.djvu/490

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478
NOLLEKENS'S CONTEMPORARIES.

of the same size, in some respects bearing a similarity to his own.[1] Such are the outlines of this controversy.

Blake's ideas were often truly entertaining, and after he had conveyed them to paper, his whimsical and novel descriptions frequently surpassed his delineations; for instance, that of his picture of the Transformation of the Flea to the form of a Man, is extremely curious. This personification, which he denominated a Cupper, or Blood-sucker, is covered with coat of armour, similar to the case of the flea, and is represented slowly pacing in the night, with a

  1. I must do Mr. Stothard the justice to declare, that the very first time I saw him after he had read the announcement of Blake's death, he spoke in the handsomest terms of his talents, and informed me that Blake made a remarkably correct and fine drawing of the head of Queen Philippa, from her monumental effigy in Westminster Abbey, for Gough's Sepulchral Monuments, engraved by Basire. The collectors of Stothard's numerous and elegant designs, will recollect the name of Blake as the engraver of several plates in the Novelist's Magazine, the Poetical Magazine, and also others for a work entitled the Wit's Magazine, from drawings produced by the same artist. Trotter, the engraver, who received instructions from Blake, and who was a pattern-draughtsman to the calico-printers, introduced his friend Stothard to Blake, and their attachment for each other continued most cordially to exist in the opinion of the public, until they produced their rival pictures of Chaucer's Canterbury Pilgrimage.