Page:The sanity of William Blake.djvu/26
20 The Sanity
interests us than what they are, then what they are is of no account whatever. For, as tailors' patterns, the Pastorals were distinctly failures! If a man looks like money, his moral nature is of no importance. If a picture suggests that it would look well over the new Sheraton sideboard, then the furniture dealer alone can estimate its value. If Pan's pipes look as though they are but reeds, then Pan's music is moonshine, and so forth.
(ii.) Then there is the second great sub-division: those who judge by rule and plumb. For these, scholarship alone knows what is good, and intellect reigns supreme. Any one is eligible for the post of high-priest to this class, if only he despises Blake because he could not draw. In general he will measure Pan's excellence by the daily number of hours he practises his pipes and the expensiveness of the master who taught him. Blake's Pastorals will be condemned because they are different from all other wood-engraving; because he was such a master of his keen-edged chisel that he dared make it breathe and laugh and sing; because, instead of quoting authorities, he appeals to the instinctive feeling after beauty that lies