Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/294

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WILLIAM BLAKE

was not so.' He talked as usual of the spirits, asserted that he had committed many murders, that reason is the only evil or sin, and that careless, gay people are better than those who think, etc. etc. etc.


December

Thursday 7th. I sent Britt. to enquire after Mr. Flaxman's health, etc., and was engaged looking over the Term Reports while he was gone. On his return, he brought the melancholy intelligence of his death early in the morning!!! The country has lost one of its greatest and best of men. As an artist he has spread the fame of the country beyond any others of his age. As a man he exhibited a rare specimen of Christian and moral excellence.

I walked out and called at Mr. Soane's. He was from home. I then called on Blake, desirous to see how, with his peculiar feelings and opinions, he would receive the intelligence. It was much as I expected—he had himself been very ill during the summer, and his first observation was with a smile—'I thought I should have gone first.' He then said, 'I cannot consider death as anything but[1] a removing from one room to another.' One thing led to another, and he fell into his wild rambling way of talk. 'Men are born with a devil and an

  1. 'A passage from' crossed out.