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

The First Discourse 19

Copyist was this great man, even at a time
when he was allowed to be at his highest
pitch of excellence.
     I have seen also Academy figures by
Annibale Caracci, thou oh he was often suf-
flciently licentious in his finished works,
drawn with all the peculiarities of an indivi-
dual model.
     This scrupulous exactness is so contrary
to the practice of the Academies, that it is
not without great deference, that I beg leave
to recommend it to the consideration of the
Visitors ; and submit to them, whether the
neglect of this method is not one of the rea-
sons why Students so often disappoint expec-
tation, and, being more than boys at sixteen,
become less than men at thirty.
     In short, the method I recommend can
only be detrimental where there are but few
living forms to copy ; for then Students,
by always drawing from one alone, will by
habit be taught to overlook defects, and
mistake deformity for beauty. But of this 

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