Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/256

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WILLIAM BLAKE

lyle's, which is preserved among the Crabb Robinson papers, seems to have had literary knowledge as well. 'Has not Mrs. Aders (the lady who lent me Wilhelm Meister) great skill in such things?' he asks in a letter full of minute inquiries into German novels. Lamb and Coleridge went to the house, and it was there that Crabb Robinson met Blake in December 1825. Mr. Story, in his Life of Linnell, tells us that one of Linnell's 'most vivid recollections of those days was of hearing Crabb Robinson recite Blake's poem, "The Tiger," before a distinguished company gathered at Mrs. Aders's table. It was a most impressive performance.' We find Blake afterwards at a supper-party at Crabb Robinson's, with Linnell, who notes in his journal going with Blake to Lady Ford's, to see her pictures; in 1820 we find him at Lady Caroline Lamb's.

Along with this general society Blake now gathered about him a certain number of friends and disciples, Linnell being the steadiest friend, and Samuel Palmer, Edward Calvert, and George Richmond the chief disciples. To these must be added, in 1826,