Page:The letters of William Blake (1906).djvu/79

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25
THE LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE

Blake resided in Hercules Buildings in a pretty, clean house of eight or ten rooms, and at first kept a servant, but finding (as Mrs. Blake declared, and as everyone else knows) the more service the more inconvenience, she, like all sensible women who are possessed of industry and health, and only moderate means, relinquished this incessant tax upon domestic comfort, did all the work herself, kept the house clean and herself tidy, besides printing all Blake's numerous engravings, which was a task alone sufficient for any industrious woman. But, however, as there is no state, or scheme, or plan without its accompanying evil, Blake had reason to regret his having left no one in possession of his house during his and Mrs. Blake's absence, for one day, paying some friendly visit, some thieves entered it and carried away plate to the value of £60 and clothes to the amount of £40 more. Some persons may say, Had poor Blake ever in his whole life £60 worth of plate to lose? Had poor half-starved Blake ever a suit of clothes beyond the tatters on his back? Yes!!! he enjoyed in the early part of his life not only comforts but necessaries, and in the latter part of his life, be it said, in vindication of a Divine Providence, that never forsakes the devout and excellent, he always possessed such external and substantial means of solace and happiness that, together with