Blake List — Volume 1998 : Issue 45

Today's Topics:
	 Lambeth as Eden
	 Re: Lambeth as Eden
	 remove me
	 BLAKE LIST ADMINISTRIVIA (was Re: remove me)
	 Interesting--poet's name should be Meredith, however
	 Re: The Clod and The Pebble
	 Re: Lambeth as Eden
	 brief introduction -Reply//TYGER


Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 22:49:41
From: Izak Bouwer 
Subject: Lambeth as Eden
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The Blakes moved from London to Lambeth in the
fall of 1790, and lived there until the fall of 1800
(when they left for their stay in Felpham). There is the
well-known story of how Thomas Butts supposedly 
surprised the couple in the garden of Hercules Buildings 
where they lived.  According to the story, the two were naked 
and reading from _Paradise Lost_.  Blake cried out to him: 
“Come in! It is only Adam and Eve, you know!”
 In the “following Song, written in 1785 by Mr. Bicknell, . . . 
 here first communicated to the publick by the ingenious
 author,” the famous Vauxhall Gardens in Lambeth were
 amusingly compared to Eden:
I.      WHO has not heard of EDEN fair,
        The blissful seat of the first pair!
        When flowers and fruits spontaneous sprung,
        For ever fresh, for ever young.
II      Where Nature, sportive, blithe, and gay,
        Profusely, as her first essay,
        Strew’d all around, so Milton sings,
        The sweetness of ten thousand springs.
III     Long did this Paradise withstand
        The force of Time’s destructive hand,
        And undestroy’d, it e’en withstood,
        The ravage of the direful flood:
IV      Till, after floating many a year,
        At length it fix’d and flourish’d here;
        In vain geographers may trace,
        This is the very, very place.
V       To be convinc’d, but look around
        and see how Nature’s sweets abound;
        No matter what the spot we call,
        It once was EDEN, now VAUXHALL.
VI      But how improv’d! for tho’ so fair
        The blissful seat of the first pair,
        Yet there with sad and solemn stalk,
        Silence pervaded every walk.
VII     Whilst here, with laughter, mirth, and glee,
        And all the powers of harmony,
        Ever frolic, brisk, and gay,
        We solemn silence drive away.
VIII    Instead of water from the spring,
        We more enlivening liquors bring;
        Instead of grapes pluck’d from the vines,
        The choicest viands, richest wines.
IX      And to the feather’d choirs we join
        The musick of the tuneful nine;
        The jocund song, and melting flute,
        Which merry mortals better suit.
X       Then, in the room of one dull pair --
        All lovely, kind, and debonair,
        A thousand Eves our Eden grace,
        And add new lustre to the place.
XI      Come view then (sage is our advice)
        The spot that once was Paradise:
        Hygen, Comus, Bacchus, all
        Bid you away to sweet Vauxhall.
This appears in  “The History of Antiquities of THE
PARISH of LAMBETH, in the County of Surrey,” 
London 1786 (printed by and for J. Nichols, printer to the
Society of Antiquaries). 
There are 19 plates (including views of Lambeth from the 
Thames) and a tailpiece.  One of the plates, from the Basire 
workshop, shows two sarcophagi.
Since Blake was apprenticed to Basire from 1774-1779, 
he probably was not involved in this production, though 
he could very well have seen it.
It is interesting to see that one of the Vauxhall tickets 
shown is of “Thalia” (Muse of comedy and pastoral poetry).

Izak Bouwer


Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 09:28:14 -0500
From: "J. Michael" 
Subject: Re: Lambeth as Eden
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Thanks, Izak, for posting that poem.  It's interesting that in many novels
of the period (Burney's _Evelina_, for instance), Vauxhall (and Ranelagh,
with which it was frequently paired) is depicted as a garden of temptation
and "forbidden fruit."  A Garden of Love, eh?

Jennifer Michael


Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 11:06:45 -0700
From: "Dave Shukla" 
Subject: remove me
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please remove me from this newsgroup


Date: Fri,  7 Aug 98 11:56:22 -0700
From: Seth T. Ross 
Subject: BLAKE LIST ADMINISTRIVIA (was Re: remove me)
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Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 19:12:17 -0500
Subject: Interesting--poet's name should be Meredith, however
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The Fear of Beasts

Pity the nightly tiger: fierce and wise,
He works upwind; the moonlight stripes his glade;
No one could hear that tread,
Least of all his guileless, watering prize.
And yet, the wonder is, he is afraid.
At the water hole, one look from dreaming eyes,
>From sleeping throat the feeblest of cries,
Will prove ambush enough to strike him dead.
A beast in a human dream must go in dread
Of the chance awakening on which he dies.

-  William Merideth, from "Effort at Speech"
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Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 07:51:41 -0400
From: (Jon James)
Subject: Re: The Clod and The Pebble
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>But I must now report to you a blasphemous report that I have had from a
>Web visitor who teaches Blake at the high school level. 

(I can hear the sneer from here)


S/he says that the
>clod is like Felix and the pebble is like Oscar! Kind of like-- the clod
>comes in first, in a situation of which it has no control-- and makes these
>grand pronouncements-- only to be upstaged by the street-smart apartment
>Fascinating, isn't it?
>Bram Stoker lives, too...................
>        ------Randall Albright

Jon James


Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 18:35:42
From: Izak Bouwer 
Subject: Re: Lambeth as Eden
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At 09:28 AM 8/7/98 -0500, Jennifer Michael wrote:
>Thanks, Izak, for posting that poem.  It's interesting that 
>in many novels >of the period (Burney's _Evelina_, for instance), 
>Vauxhall (and Ranelagh, >with which it was frequently paired) 
>is depicted as a garden of temptation >and "forbidden fruit." 
>A Garden of Love, eh?

Right, Jennifer!
In the chapter: “Pleasure Resorts” of his book:
_The XVIIIth Century in London_, E. Beresford Chancellor (1933) 
writes: “There seems to have been little of selectness at Vauxhall. 
It was a rendezvous for all classes, hence its popularity perhaps, 
and the wonder - even affection - with which it is referred to
in contemporary literature.  ‘Elysium,’ ‘Eden,’ ‘Paradise’ were 
the words with which our ancestors from the beginning of the 
18th century to the beginning of the 19th, described what we 
should regard now, I suspect, as a very ordinary affair.”

In his book _Travels_ (1795), Karl Moritz, a German 
contemporary of Blake, “mentions his delight at the
[Vauxhall] gardens and the music, although he thought 
the women over-bold.” [From the entry under “London:
Vauxhall Gardens” in _The Oxford Illustrated LITERARY 
GUIDE to Great Britain and Ireland_.]  In Blake’s time, 
therefore, we still have what so annoyed Sir Roger de 
Coverley in 1712: “When I [Mr.Addison] considered
the fragrancy of the walks and bowers, with the choirs 
of birds that sung upon the trees, and the loose tribe 
of people that walked under their shades, I could not 
but look upon the place as a Mahometan paradise. . . 
. . .  a mask, who came behind him [Sir Roger], gave him 
a gentle tap upon the shoulder, and asked him ‘if he 
would drink a bottle of mead with her?’ But the Knight, 
being startled at so unexpected a familiarity, . . . 
told her, ‘She was a wanton baggage,’ and bid her go about 
her business.. . . . As we were going out of the garden, 
my old friend . . . told the mistress of the house, who 
sat at the bar, ‘that he should be a better customer to 
her garden, if there were more nightingales, and fewer 
strumpets.'”  [_The Spectator_ May 20, 1712] 

  On another tack: In my copy of “The History and Antiquities 
of the Parish of LAMBETH” (1786)(in which the above article 
from _The Spectator_ is also reprinted), I noticed a mainly 
indecipherable marginal pencilling which includes the word 
“Blake.”  Since according to other comments written into the 
book, the book came from the “ancient house of the Tradescants 
in South Lambeth (Turret House),” and there is an attached 
letter in ink from a Dr. Ducarel dated June 7 1773, I felt
pretty sure that the “Blake” could not be our poet. In any case, 
a little bit of detective work showed that it probably refers 
to a Mr. Blake “of Essex Street” - a real estate agent 
mentioned in the text.

Izak Bouwer


Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 09:15:11 +0200
From: P Van Schaik 
Subject: brief introduction -Reply//TYGER

WElcome, Guillermo,  I'm always surprised by how many people, ex
academia, have responded to Blake and love him.  The  Tyger poem is
much anthologised and greatly  oversimplified in the teaching of it since it
deals with the attempts of the creator figure ( called Los in the PRophetic
Works)   to limit the damage caused by a prior creator (Urizen). But its
central question is one which people in all generations probably ask.

End of blake-d Digest V1998 Issue #45