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

Some Account vii

the art; and he afterwards (as he himself
informed me) eagerly copied such prints as
he met with among his father’s books, par-
ticularly those which were given in the
translation of Plutarch’s Lives, published
by Dry den. But his principal fund of imi-
tation was Jacob Cats’ book of Emblems,
which his great grandmother by the father’s
side, a Dutch woman, had brought with her
from Holland. — When he was but eight
years old, he read with great avidity and
book which happened to lie on the window-
seat of his father’s parlour; and made him-
self so completely master of it, that he never
afterwards had occasion to study any other
treatise on that subject.5 He then attempted
to draw the School at Plympton, a building
elevated on stone pillars ; and he did it so
well, that his father said, “ Now this ex-
emplifies what the author of the ‘Perspective'
asserts in his Preface,— that, by observing 

5 From himself in 1786.

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