Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/285

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261
CRABB ROBINSON'S DIARY

say what God thinks evil? That is a wise tale of the Mahometans—of the Angel of the Lord that murdered the infant' [alluding to the Hermit of Parnel, I suppose]. 'Is not every infant that dies of disease in effect murdered by an angel?'


17th December. For the sake of connection I will here insert a minute of a short call I this morning made on Blake. He dwells in Fountain Court in the Strand. I found him in a small room, which seems to be both a working-room and a bedroom. Nothing could exceed the squalid air both of the apartment and his dress, but in spite of dirt—I might say filth—an air of natural gentility is diffused over him. And his wife, notwithstanding the same offensive character of her dress and appearance, has a good expression of countenance, so that I shall have a pleasure in calling on and conversing with these worthy people.

But I fear I shall not make any progress in ascertaining his opinions and feelings—that there being really no system or connection in his mind, all his future conversation will be but varieties of wildness and incongruity.

I found [sic] at work on Dante. The book (Cary) and his sketches both before him. He shewed me his designs, of which I have nothing to say but that they evince a power of grouping and of throwing grace and interest over conceptions