Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/291

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267
CRABB ROBINSON'S DIARY

found on this subject Blake's language more in conformity with Orthodox Christianity than before. He talked of the being under the direction of Self; and of Reason as the creature of man and opposed to God's grace. And warmly declared that all he knew was in the Bible, but then he understands by the Bible the spiritual sense. For as to the natural sense, that Voltaire was commissioned by God to expose. 'I have had much intercourse with Voltaire, and he said to me I blasphemed the Son of Man, and it shall be forgiven me. But they (the enemies of Voltaire) blasphemed the Holy Ghost in me, and it shall not be forgiven them.' I asked in what language Voltaire spoke—he gave an ingenious answer. 'To my sensation it was English. It was like the touch of a musical key. He touched it probably French, but to my ear it became English.' I spoke again of the form of the persons who appear to him. Asked why he did not draw them, 'It is not worth while. There are so many, the labour would be too great. Besides there would be no use. As to Shakespeare, he is exactly like the old engraving—which is called a bad one. I think it very good.'

I enquired about his writings. 'I have written more than Voltaire or Rousseau—six or seven epic poems as long as Homer, and 20 tragedies as long as Macbeth.' He showed me his Vision (for so it may be called) of Genesis—'as understood by a Christian Visionary,' in which in a