Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/81

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57
WILLIAM BLAKE

III

After Robert's death Blake gave up the print-shop and moved out of Broad Street to Poland Street, a street running between it and Oxford Street. He took No. 28, a house only a few doors down from Oxford Street, and lived there for five years. Here, in 1789, he issued the Songs of Innocence, the first of his books to be produced by the method of his invention which he described as 'illuminated printing.' According to Smith, it was Robert who 'stood before him in one of his visionary imaginations, and directed him in the way in which he ought to proceed.' The process is thus described by Mr. Sampson: 'The text and surrounding design were written in reverse, in a medium impervious to acid, upon small copper -plates, which were then etched in a bath of aqua-fortis until the work stood in relief as in a stereo-