Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/12

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viii
WILLIAM BLAKE

speak again, as through the mouth of a herald. I read these, I read everything that had been written about him; gradually I got to know all his work, in all its kinds; and when I found, in Mr. Sampson's book, the rarest part of his genius, disentangled at last from the confusions of the commentators, I caught some impulse—was it from the careful enthusiasm of this editor, or perhaps straight from Blake?—and began to write down what now filled and over-flowed my mind. Having begun on an impulse, I laid my plans as strictly as I could, and decided to make a book which would be, in its way, complete. There was to be, first, my own narrative, containing, as briefly as possible, every fact of importance, with my own interpretation of what I took to be Blake's achievements and intentions. But this was to be followed by a verbatim reprint of documents. These documents were the material of Gilchrist, but, even after Gilchrist's use of them, they remain of primary and undiminished im-