Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/372

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WILLIAM BLAKE

Blake died last Monday! Died as he lived! piously cheerful, talking calmly, and finally resigning himself to his eternal rest, like an infant to its sleep. He has left nothing except some pictures, copper-plates, and his principal work of a series of a hundred large designs from Dante.

William Blake was brought up under Basire, the eminent engraver. He was active in mind and body, passing from one occupation to another, without an intervening minute of repose. Of an ardent, affectionate, and grateful temper, he was simple in manner and address, and displayed an inbred courteousness, of the most agreeable character. Next November he would have been sixty-nine. At the age of sixty-six he commenced the study of Italian, for the sake of reading Dante in the original, which he accomplished!

His widow is left (we fear, from the accounts which have reached us) in a very forlorn condition, Mr. Blake having latterly been much indebted for succour and consolation to his friend Mr. Linnell, the painter. We have no doubt but her cause will be taken up by the distributors of those funds which are raised for the relief of distressed artists, and also by the benevolence of private individuals. When further time has been allowed us for inquiry, we shall probably resume this matter; at present (owing the above information to the kindness of a correspondent) we can only record the death of a singular and very able man.