Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/280

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WILLIAM BLAKE

and Spinosism. Yet he professes to be very hostile to Plato, and reproaches Wordsworth with being not a Christian but a Platonist.

It is one of the subtle remarks of Hume on certain religious speculations that the tendency of them is to make men indifferent to whatever takes place by destroying all ideas of good and evil. I took occasion to apply this remark to something Blake said. If so, I said, there is no use in discipline or education, no difference between good and evil. He hastily broke in on me—'There is no use in education. I hold it wrong. It is the great sin.[1] It is eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That was the fault of Plato—he knew of nothing but of the virtues and vices and good and evil. There is nothing in all that. Every thing is good in God's eyes.' On my putting the obvious question—Is there nothing absolutely evil in what men do? 'I am no judge of that. Perhaps not in God's Eyes.' Though on this and other occasions he spoke as if he denied altogether the existence of evil, and as if we had nothing to do with right and wrong. It being sufficient to consider all things as alike the work of God. [I interposed with the German word objectively, which he approved of.] Yet at other times he spoke of error as being in heaven. I asked about the moral character of Dante in writing his Vision: was he pure?' 'Pure' said Blake. 'Do you think there

  1. 'By which evil' crossed out.