Page:The letters of William Blake (1906).djvu/57

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THE LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE

artist, with timid sentences of bread and cheese advice, got together a little annuity, upon which he supported his only sister, and, vegetating to a moderate age, died about three years before his brother William. Robert, the youngest son, was the affectionate companion of William; they sympathised in their pursuits and sentiments; like plants, planted side by side by a stream, they grew together and entwined the luxuriant tendrils of their expanding minds. They associated and excelled together, and, like all true lovers, delighted in and enhanced each other's beauties.

"For they were nursed upon the self-same hill,
Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill."

Robert was of amiable and docile temper, and of a tender and affectionate mind, and like many of those who appear born for early death, his short life was but as the narrow porch to his eternal lot: he died of consumption at twenty-four years of age. Miss Catherine, the only daughter, is still living, having survived nearly all her relations.

William, the artist, appears to have possessed from a child that daring, impetuous, and vigorous temper which was in latter life so singularly characteristic both of him and his sublime inventions. Although easily persuaded, he despised