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Blake manuscript - Notebook 1808 - 29 To the Royal Academy

Edited text:[1]Edit

To the Royal Academy

A STRANGE erratum in all the editions
Of Sir Joshua Reynolds’ lectures
Should be corrected by the young gentlemen
And the Royal Academy’s directors.

5 Instead of ‘Michael Angelo,’
Read[2] ‘Rembrandt’; for it is fit
To make mere common[3] honesty
In all that he has writ.


The original text:[4]Edit

To the Royal Academy

A strange Erratum in all the Editions
Of Sir Joshua Reynoldss Lectures
Shou[l]d be corrected by the Young Gentlemen
And the Royal Academys Directors
5 Instead of Michael Angelo
Read Rembrandt for it is fit[5]
To make meer common[6] honesty[7]
In all that he has writ


  1. The Poetical Works of William Blake, including the unpublished French Revolution together with the Minor Prophetic Books and Selections from The Four Zoas, Milton & Jerusalem; edited with an introduction and textual notes by John Sampson, Hon. D.Litt. Oxon., 1862–1931. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1908.
  2. 6–8 … and you will know
    That Sir Joshua Reynolds now wished to speak
    Of Michael Angelo.
    MS. 1st rdg. del.
  3. 7 mere common] either sense or MS. 1st rdg. del.
  4. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 512.
  5. 6 for it is fit] & you will know 1st rdg del
  6. 7 meer common] either sense or 1st rdg del
  7. 7-8 1st rdg del:
    That Sir Joshua never wishd to speak Of Michael Angelo

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.