Page:The letters of William Blake (1906).djvu/72

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THE LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE

life was bright as the noon of their devoted love, the noon as clear as the serene evening of their mutual equanimity. Although not handsome, he must have had a noble countenance, full of expression and animation; his hair was of a yellow brown, and curled with the utmost crispness and luxuriance; his locks, instead of falling down, stood up like a curling flame, and looked at a distance like radiations, which with his fiery eye and expansive forehead, his dignified and cheerful physiognomy, must have made his appearance truly prepossessing. After his marriage he took lodgings in Green Street, Leicester Square.

It is now necessary to mention somewhat concerning the fanciful representations that Blake asserted were presented to his mind's eye. Difficult as this subject is, it cannot be omitted without a sacrifice to the memory of this great man. He always asserted that he had the power of bringing his imaginations before his mind's eye, so completely organised, and so perfectly formed and evident, that he persisted that while he copied the vision (as he called it) upon his plate or canvas, he could not err, and that error and defect could only arise from the departure or inaccurate delineation of this unsubstantial scene. He said that he was the companion of spirits, who taught, rebuked, argued, and advised with all the familiarity of personal inter-