On the Great Encouragement

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Blake manuscript - Notebook - page 040

Edited text:[1][edit]

On the great encouragement given by English nobility and gentry to Correggio, Rubens, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Catalani, Du Crow, and Dilbury Doodle

AS[2] the ignorant savage will sell his own wife
For a sword, or a cutlass, a dagger, or knife;
So the taught, savage Englishman, spends his whole fortune
On a smear, or a squall, to destroy picture or tune;
5 And I call upon Colonel Wardle
To give these rascals a dose of caudle!


The original text:[3][edit]

On the Great Encouragement Given by English Nobility & Gentry to Correggio Rubens Rembrandt Reynolds Gainsborough Catalani DuCrowe & Dilberry Doodle

As the Ignorant Savage will sell his own Wife
For a Sword or a Cutlass a dagger or Knife
So the Taught Savage Englishman spends his whole Fortune
On a smear or a squall to destroy Picture or Tune
5 And I call upon Colonel Wardle
To give these Rascals a dose of Cawdle



  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 The Poetical Works of William Blake, including the unpublished French Revolution together with the Minor Prophetic Books and Selections from The Four Zoas, Milton & Jerusalem; edited with an introduction and textual notes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. Title: Du Crow] Pierre Ducros. Cp. Blake’s Letters, ed. Russell, p. 204. 2 For a button, a bauble [buckle 2nd rdg. del.], a bead, or a knife MS. 1st rdg. del. 3 taught] wise MS. 1st rdg. del.; learned MS. 2nd rdg. del. 4 On] For MS. 1st rdg. del. to destroy] that is not MS. 1st rdg. del. 5 For Colonel Wardle see Hunt’s Examiner, 1809, passim.
  3. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 514.

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