Page:The letters of William Blake (1906).djvu/71

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
17
THE LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE

affectionate manner, that it quite won him. He immediately said, with the suddenness peculiar to him, "Do you pity me?" "Yes, indeed I do," answered she. "Then I love you," said he again. Such was their courtship. He was impressed by her tenderness of mind, and her answer indicated her previous feeling for him: for she has often said that upon her mother's asking her who among her acquaintances she could fancy for a husband, she replied that she had not yet seen the man, and she has further been heard to say that when she first came into the room in which Blake sat, she instantly recognised (like Britomart in Merlin's wondrous glass) her future partner, and was so near fainting that she left his presence until she had recovered. After this interview, Blake left the house, having recruited his health and spirits, and having determined to take Catherine Boutcher to wife. He returned to his lodgings and worked incessantly that he might be able to accomplish this end, at the same time resolving that he would not see her until he succeeded. This interval, which she felt dolefully long, was one whole year, at the expiration of which, with the approbation and consent of his parents, he married this interesting, beautiful, and affectionate girl. Nimble with joy and warm with the glow of youth, this bride was presented to her noble bridegroom. The morning of their married