Hired to Depress: A Digital Scholarly Edition of William Blake's Annotations to Sir Joshua Reynolds' Discourses

Blake marginalia Contents Page A01

The Arts & Sciences are the Destruction of
Tyrannies or Bad Governments Why should
A Good Government endeavour to Depress
What is its Chief & only Support

Editorial Note:
Before Blake’s annotations here, Friedrich Schiller argues in On the Aesthetic Education of Man (1794) that “art is the daughter of freedom, and it requires its prescriptions and rules to be furnished by the necessity of spirits and not by that of matter. But in our day it is necessity, neediness that prevails, and bends a degraded humanity under its iron yoke. Utility is the great idol of time, to which all powers do homage and all subjects are subservient” (223).

Written in pen.

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