Page:Works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical (1893) Volume 2.djvu/191
following being the references for the places where the prin- cipal descriptive passages occur : " Vala," Night VIII., 185, IX., 220. "Milton/' p. 4, 1. 19; "Jerusalem," p. 54, 1. 5, p. 88,1. 1.
The book was written and printed at different periods. It coutains fragments also used in "Vala" and "Milton." To the first period of its printing belong the pages where the writing is smallest and most even, such as pp. 1 to 9, 11 to 14, 17 to 20, 23 to 25. These probably formed the first chapter as originally prepared for the press.
The following are manifest interpolations, and differ in style and character: Pp. 10, 15 and 16, 21 and 22. Their contents alone has a quality of afterthought.
The second chapter consisted of pp. 27 to 29, 35, 37 to 40. It is almost impossible to place page 40 with certainty. Perhaps page 42 should follow 39 and precede 40. They all belong to the same date. It is an interpolation' where it stands, yet bears no sign of being a later contribution. If its right place be where 39 is, then the rest would read : 40, 45, 47, 48, 49, 50.
Page 30 is evidently later, as is 31, its sequel, and 32, 33, 40, that all follow each other, and have evidently not been written originally before 35, but after. Page 36 is distinctly and undoubtedly later, and belongs to the same date as 16. The intrusion of Reuben in both was not part of the original scheme. Page 41 is also later than 42, but not so late as 36. Its proper sequel is page 43, which continues the account of what the Twenty-eight saw. Page 44, which follows 43, is ingeniously made to terminate, so as to come smoothly before 45, but it was almost certainly written later. Page 45 ends with a line added in white, as an afterthought, on purpose to introduce 46, whose matter ends abruptly, and makes no pretence to lead to 47.
Chapter III. belongs to the date of many of the above interpolate pages, but is earlier than pages 16 and 36. It is the most incoherent. Pages 56 and 61 are among the latest in
VOL. II. 12