The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: A Facsimile in Full Color (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)
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The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is both a humorous satire on religion and morality and a work that concisely expresses Blake's essential wisdom and philosophy, much of it revealed in the 70 aphorisms of his "Proverbs of Hell." This beautiful edition, reproduced from a rare facsimile, invites readers to enjoy the rich character of Blake's own hand-printed text along with his deeply stirring illustrations, reproduced on 27 full-color plates. A typeset transcription of the text is included.
relaxes. The best wine is the oldest, the best water the newest. Prayers plow not! Praises reap not! Joys laugh not! Sorrows weep not! PROVERBS OF HELL [Plate 10] The head Sublime, the heart Pathos, the genitals Beauty, the hands & feet Proportion. As the air to a bird or the sea to a fish, so is contempt to the contemptible. The crow wish’d every thing was black, the owl, that every thing was white. Exuberance is Beauty. If the lion was advised by the fox, he would be cunning.
the human breast. A MEMORABLE FANCY. [Plates 12–13] The Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel dined with me, and I asked them how they dared so roundly to assert, that God spoke to them; and whether they did not think at the time, that they would be misunderstood, & so be the cause of imposition. Isaiah answer’d, I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover’d the infinite in every thing, and as I was then perswaded, & remain confirm’d; that the voice of
generation to generation. In the first chamber was a Dragon-Man, clearing away the rubbish from a caves mouth; within, a number of Dragons were hollowing the cave. In the second chamber was a Viper folding round the rock & the cave, and others adorning it with gold, silver and precious stones. In the third chamber was an Eagle with wings and feathers of air; he caused the inside of the cave to be infinite; around were numbers of Eagle like men, who built palaces in the immense cliffs. In the
chains are, the cunning of weak and tame minds, which have power to resist energy, according to the proverb, the weak in courage is strong in cunning. Thus one portion of being, is the Prolific, the other, the Devouring: to the devourer it seems as if the producer was in his chains, but it is not so; he only takes portions of existence and fancies that the whole. But the Prolific would cease to be Prolific unless the Devourer as a sea recieved the excess of his delights. Some will say, Is not
driving the Angel before me; soon we saw seven houses of brick; one we enter’d; in it were a number of monkeys, baboons, & all of that species, chain’d by the middle, grinning and snatching at one another, but witheld by the shortness of their chains; however I saw that they sometimes grew numerous, and then the weak were caught by the strong, and with a grinning aspect, first coupled with & then devour’d, by plucking off first one limb and then another till the body was left a helpless trunk;