Monday, May 26, 2014


British Museum
Illustrations to Young's Night Thoughts
Envy is like an infection not easily contained. A person not confident of his own abilities may envy one who receives more praise or respect. He reacts by attempting to denigrate the other in the eyes of his peers or superiors. Resentments may develop in the person who is envied. Envy prevents men from being woven into one fabric of brotherhood and love.

The source of envy is claiming for oneself what is a gift from God. If a person is able to recognize that whatever abilities he has do not belong to him but to the God who made him, he will be humble and grateful. If one knows himself as a member of the one body which is God manifest in the world, he will see his gifts and those of others as meant to serve the whole. God's love is distributed to all in equal measure, but each man's abilities differ according to the needs of the one body.
It was of concern to Blake that men competed for recognition and honor. It disturbed him that men might depreciate the work of others with greater gifts to increase their earnings or there renown. To Blake envy was a blight which degraded the development of wisdom, joy and brotherhood which would benefit all.
1ST Corinthians 2
[10] God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.
[11] For what person knows a man's thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
[12] Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
[13] And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.
[14] The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
[15] The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.

Marriage of Heaven & Hell, Plate 21, (E 43)
                   "A Memorable Fancy

  Once I saw a Devil in a flame of fire. who arose before an
Angel that sat on a cloud. and the Devil utterd these words.
  The worship of God is.  Honouring his gifts in other men
each according to his genius. and loving the [PL 23] greatest men
best, those who envy or calumniate great men hate God, for there
is no other God.
  The Angel hearing this became almost blue but mastering
himself he grew yellow, & at last white pink & smiling, and then
  Thou Idolater, is not God One? & is not he visible in Jesus
Christ? and has not Jesus Christ given his sanction to the law of
ten commandments and are not all other men fools, sinners, &
 The Devil answer'd; bray a fool in a morter with wheat. yet
shall not his folly be beaten out of him:"

Milton, Plate 41 [48], (E 142)  
"To cast off the idiot Questioner who is always questioning,
But never capable of answering; who sits with a sly grin
Silent plotting when to question, like a thief in a cave;
Who publishes doubt & calls it knowledge; whose Science is Despair   
Whose pretence to knowledge is Envy, whose whole Science is
To destroy the wisdom of ages to gratify ravenous Envy;
That rages round him like a Wolf day & night without rest"

Jerusalem, Plate 17, (E 162)
"If thou separate from me, thou art a Negation: a meer
Reasoning & Derogation from Me, an Objecting & cruel Spite
And Malice & Envy: but my Emanation, Alas! will become
My Contrary: O thou Negation, I will continually compell
Thee to be invisible to any but whom I please, & when            
And where & how I please, and never! never! shalt thou be Organized"

Jerusalem, Plate 86, (E 245)
"She separated stood before him a lovely Female weeping
Even Enitharmon separated outside, & his Loins closed
And heal'd after the separation: his pains he soon forgot:
Lured by her beauty outside of himself in shadowy grief.      
Two Wills they had; Two Intellects: & not as in times of old.

Silent they wanderd hand in hand like two Infants wandring
From Enion in the desarts, terrified at each others beauty
Envying each other yet desiring, in all devouring Love,"

Letters, (E 706)
[To] Mr [George] Cumberland, Bishopsgate,
Windsor Great Park

13 Hercules  Buildings, Lambeth, 2 July 1800
 I have been too little among
friends which I fear they will not Excuse & I know not how to
[gi] apologize for.  Poor Fuseli sore from the lash of
Envious tongues praises you & dispraises with the same breath he
is not naturally good natured but he is artificially very ill
natured yet even from him I learn the Estimation you are held in
among artists & connoisseurs."

Letters, (E 733)
[To] Mr Butts, Gr Marlborough St, London
Felpham August 16. 1803

   "Give me your advice in my perilous adventure. burn what I
have peevishly written about any friend.  I have been very much
degraded & injuriously treated. but if it all arise from my own
fault I ought to blame myself

     O why was I born with a different face  
     Why was I not born like the rest of my race
     When I look each one starts! when I speak I offend
     Then I'm silent & passive & lose every Friend

     Then my verse I dishonour. My pictures despise
     My person degrade & my temper chastise
     And the pen is my terror. the pencil my shame
     All my Talents I bury, and Dead is my Fame

     I am either too low or too highly prizd
     When Elate I am Envy'd, When Meek I'm despisd 

     This is but too just a Picture of my Present state I pray
God to keep you & all men from it & to deliver me in his own good
Songs & Ballads, The Pickering Manuscript, (E 487)

Sweet Mary the first time she ever was there
Came into the Ball room among the Fair
The young Men & Maidens around her throng
And these are the words upon every tongue

An Angel is here from the heavenly Climes
Or again does return the Golden times   
Her eyes outshine every brilliant ray
She opens her lips tis the Month of May

Mary moves in soft beauty & conscious delight
To augment with sweet smiles all the joys of the Night  
Nor once blushes to own to the rest of the Fair
That sweet Love & Beauty are worthy our care

In the Morning the Villagers rose with delight
And repeated with pleasure the joys of the night
And Mary arose among Friends to be free      
But no Friend from henceforward thou Mary shalt see

Some said she was proud some calld her a whore
And some when she passed by shut to the door
A damp cold came oer her her blushes all fled
Her lillies & roses are blighted & shed       

O why was I born with a different Face
Why was I not born like this Envious Race 
Why did Heaven adorn me with bountiful hand
And then set me down in an envious Land

To be weak as a Lamb & smooth as a Dove     
And not to raise Envy is calld Christian Love
But if you raise Envy your Merits to blame
For planting such spite in the weak & the tame

I will humble my Beauty I will not dress fine
I will keep from the Ball & my Eyes shall not shine   
And if any Girls Lover forsakes her for me
I'll refuse him my hand & from Envy be free 

She went out in Morning attird plain & neat
Proud Marys gone Mad said the Child in the Street
She went out in Morning in plain neat attire  
And came home in Evening bespatterd with mire

She trembled & wept sitting on the Bed side
She forgot it was Night & she trembled & cried
She forgot it was Night she forgot it was Morn
Her soft Memory imprinted with Faces of Scorn   

With Faces of Scorn & with Eyes of disdain
Like foul Fiends inhabiting Marys mild Brain
She remembers no Face like the Human Divine
All Faces have Envy sweet Mary but thine

And thine is a Face of sweet Love in Despair   
And thine is a Face of mild sorrow & care
And thine is a Face of wild terror & fear
That shall never be quiet till laid on its bier"
Romans 12
[3] For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.
[4] For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
[5] so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
[6] Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;
[7] if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching;
[8] he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
[9] Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
[10] love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor.

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