Page:The Library, volume 5, series 3.djvu/247

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235
OF WILLIAM BLAKE.

the 'Europe' and 'America' a fragment of unpublished prose, and a note of the address of the Exhibition of 1809, all of which must be discussed in their proper place.

The German version of Crabb Robinson's paper, which adds one or two small facts to our knowledge of Blake, proved to be of considerable interest, and as the original MS. was missing, the one course open was the retranslation of the paper in the 'Vaterlandisches Museum.' I cannot hope always to have caught the precise shade of the author's meaning, but Crabb Robinson himself approved of the German translation, behind which one constantly feels the presence of an English original. As far as possible, I have modelled my phrases on Crabb Robinson's own in the various passages which he devotes to Blake in the 'Reminiscences.' One word of warning may be given to the reader. A comparison of the paper here given with the 'Reminiscences' will show how much more favourable in spite of occasional outbursts against his sanity was the author's opinion of Blake when he came to know him in 1825; had his early paper ever been reprinted, the censure would doubtless have been modified in accordance with his better knowledge of the poet-artist. As has been truly said by Messrs. Ellis and Yeats (who likewise appear never to have seen the 'Vaterlandisches Museum'), Crabb Robinson's 'Reminiscences' were 'written by a man who thought [Blake] mad before he saw him, and never altogether got rid of the idea.'

It is of considerable interest, therefore, to find