Page:Nollekens and His Times, Volume 2.djvu/491

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479
BLAKE.

thorn attached to his right hand, and a cup in the other, as if ready to puncture the first person whose blood he might fancy, like Satan prowling about to seek whom he could devour. Blake said of the flea, that were that lively little fellow the size of an elephant, he was quite sure, from the calculations he had made of his wonderful strength, that he could bound from Dover to Calais in one leap.[1] Whatever may be the public opinion hereafter of Blake's talents, when his enemies are dead, I will not presume to predict;[2] but this I am certain of, that on the score of industry at least, many artists must

  1. This interesting little picture is painted in Fresco. It is now the property of John Varley, the Artist, whose landscapes will ever be esteemed as some of the finest productions in Art, and who may fairly be considered as one of the founders of the Society of Artists in Water Colours; the annual exhibitions of which continue to surpass those of the preceding seasons.
  2. Blake's talent is not to be seen in his engravings from the designs of other artists, though he certainly honestly endeavoured to copy the beauties of Stothard, Flaxman, and those masters set before him by the few publishers who employed him; but his own engravings from his own mind are the productions which the man of true feeling must ever admire, and the predictions of Fuseli and Flaxman may hereafter be verified—"That a time will come when Blake's finest works will be as much sought after and treasured up in the portfolios of men of mind, as those of Michel Angelo are at present."