Page:Life of William Blake 2, Gilchrist.djvu/213

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Snowdon; there they dwell in naked simplicity; happy is he who can see and converse with them above the shadows of generation and death. The Giant Albion was Patriarch of the Atlantic; he is the Atlas of the Greeks, one of those the Greeks called Titans. The stories of Arthur are the acts of Albion, applied to a Prince of the fifth century, who conquered Europe, and held the empire of the world in the dark age, which the Romans never again recovered. In this Picture, believing with Milton the ancient British History, Mr. B. has done as all the ancients did, and as all the moderns who are worthy of fame—given the historical fact in its poetical vigour, so as it always happens, and not in that dull way that some Historians pretend, who, being weakly organised themselves, cannot see either miracle or prodigy: all is to them a dull round of probabilities and possibilities; but the history of all times and places is nothing else but improbabilities and impossibilities—what we should say was impossible if we did not see it always before our eyes.

The antiquities of every Nation under Heaven are no less sacred than those of the Jews. They are the same thing; as Jacob Bryant and all antiquaries have proved. How other antiquities came to be neglected and disbelieved, while those of the Jews are collected and arranged, is an inquiry worthy of both the Antiquarian and the Divine. All had originally one language, and one religion; this was the religion of Jesus, the everlasting Gospel. Antiquity preaches the Gospel of Jesus. The reasoning historian, turner and twister of causes and consequences—such as Hume, Gibbon, and Voltaire—cannot, with all his artifice, turn or twist one fact or disarrange self-evident action and reality. Reasons and opinions concerning acts are not history; acts themselves alone are history, and these are not the exclusive property of either Hume, Gibbon, or Voltaire, Echard, Rapin, Plutarch, or Herodotus. Tell me the Acts, O historian, and leave me to reason upon them as I please; away with your reasoning and your rubbish! All that is not action is not worth reading. Tell me the What; I do not want you to tell me the Why and the How; I can find that out myself, as well as you can, and I will not be fooled by you into opinions, that you please to impose, to disbelieve what you think improbable or impossible. His opinion who does not see spiritual agency is not worth any man's reading; he who rejects a fact because it is improbable must reject all History, and retain doubts only.

It has been said to the Artist, Take the Apollo for the model of your Beautiful Man, and the Hercules for your Strong Man, and the