Page:The letters of William Blake (1906).djvu/84

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
30
THE LIFE OF WILLIAM BLAKE

always kept a guinea or sovereign for any emergency, of which Blake never knew, even to the day of his death. This she did for years, and when a man has always got a sovereign in his pocket, and owes nothing, he is in this land of debt decidedly otherwise than poor.

Through the medium of Flaxman he was introduced to Hayley, who, being much interested, requested him to come down to Felpham,[1] in Sussex, to a cottage near his residence, to engrave plates from his poems, and also to assist him in gathering his materials for the life of Cowper, afterwards published. During his stay of three years he was thus occupied, and also in making life-sized circular portraits of all the great poets[2] for the library of Felpham House; but in consequence of Hayley's acquaintances being so desirous to possess miniatures by him (as before mentioned) he left for No. 3 Fountain Court[3] (a house belonging to his wife's brother), the lodging in which he lived during the whole of his latter days, and in which he died. Blake had in this house two good-sized rooms and kitchens. He fixed upon these lodgings as being more congenial to his habits, as he was very much accustomed to get out of his bed in the

  1. In 1800.
  2. See note 1, p. 85
  3. On his return from Felpham, in 1803, Blake took rooms at 17 South Molton Street; and it was not until some years later (1821) that he removed to 3 Fountain Court, Strand. See p. 227.