English Encouragement of Art

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Blake manuscript - Notebook - page 041

Edited text:[1][edit]

English Encouragement of Art: Cromek’s opinions put into rhyme

IF[2] you mean to please everybody you will
Set to work both ignorance and skill.
For a great multitude are ignorant,
And skill to them seems raving and rant.
5 Like putting oil and water in a lamp,
’Twill make a great splutter with smoke and damp.
For there is no use as it seems to me
Of lighting a lamp, when you don’t wish to see.

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The original text:[3][edit]

 
English Encouragement of Art

[First reading]

If you mean to Please Every body you will
Set to work both Ignorance & skill
For a great multitude are Ignorant
And skill to them seems raving & ran
5 Like putting oil & water into a lamp
Twill make a great splutter with smoke & damp
For there is no use as it seems to me
Of lighting a Lamp when you dont wish to see

English Encouragement of Art

[Final reading]

Cromeks opinions put into Rhyme

If you mean to Please Every body you will
Menny wouver both Bunglishness & skill
For a great Conquest are Bunglery
And Jenous looks to ham like mad Rantery
5 Like displaying oil & water into a lamp
Twill hold forth a huge splutter with smoke & damp
For its all sheer loss as it seems to me
Of displaying up a light when we want not to see

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Notes[edit]

  1. The Poetical Works of William Blake, including the unpublished French Revolution together with the Minor Prophetic Books and Selections from The Four Zoas, Milton & Jerusalem; edited with an introduction and textual notes by John Sampson, Hon. D.Litt. Oxon., 1862–1931. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1908.
  2. I print here the earlier and clearer version of this piece, Blake’s subsequent changes being noted below. 2 ‘Menny wouver’ both bunglishness and skill MS. 2nd rdg. 5 putting] displaying MS. 2nd rdg. 6 ’Twill make a great splutter] ’Twill hold forth a huge splutter MS. 2nd rdg. 7 For there is no use] For it’s all sheer loss MS. 2nd rdg. 8 Of displaying up a light when we want not to see MS. 2nd rdg.
  3. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 509-510.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.