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

The First Discourse 15

exactness. The impetuosity of youth is
disgusted at the slow approaches of a regular
siege, and desires, from mere impatience of
labour, to take the citadel by storm. They
wish to find some shorter path to excellence,
and hope to obtain the reward of eminence
by other means than those, which the indis-
pensable rules of art have prescribed. They
must therefore be told again and again, that
Jabour is the only price of solid fame, and
that whatever their force of genius may be,
there is no easy method of becoming a good
When we read the lives of the most emi-
nent Painters
, every page informs us, that
no part of their time was spent in dissipation.
Even an increase of fame served only to aug-
ment their industry. To be convinced with
what persevering assiduity they pursued
their studies, we need only reflect on their
method of proceeding in their most celebrated
works. When they conceived a subject,
they first made a variety of sketches ; then a
finished drawing of the whole; after that a
more correct drawing of every separate part. 

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