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

The First Discourse 9

ascertaining; and, satisfied with their effect,
is spared the painful investigation by which
they came to be known and fixed. Ho\y
many men of great natural abilities have been
lost to this nation, for want of these advan-
tages ! They never had an opportunity of
seeing those masterly efforts of genius, which
at once kindle the whole soul, and force it
into sudden and irresistible approbation.
Raffaelle, it is true, had not the ad-
vantage of studying in an Academy; but
all Rome, and the works of Michael Angelo
in particular, were to him an Academy.
On the sight of the Capella Sistina, he
immediately from a dry, Gothick, and even
insipid manner, which attends to the minute
accidental discriminations of particular and
individual objects, assumed that grand style
of painting, which improves partial repre-
sentation by the general and invariable ideas
of nature.
Every seminary of learning may be said
to be surrounded with an atmosphere of '
floating knowledge, where every mind may 

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