University of Virginia Library

Plate 29[43][17] (Illustration II c)

. . . .
All is confusion: all is tumult, & we alone are escaped <!>[82]
So spoke the fugitives; they joind the Divine Family. <?Albion
?slept]> [mended to] trembling

A laborious mending at the end of line 83, the last line on Plate 29, replaced an earlier word or words with "trembling" and cut into the punctuation mark in line 82, a colon or exclamation point. My reconstruction of the earlier reading, "Albion slept", fits the space but remains somewhat conjectural.[18] The "tr" of "trembling" was very crudely hacked, the "bl" given imperfect ascenders, and the "g" not effectively built up at all. Blake always had to retouch the b, l, and g to make them clear. The appearance of the plate when retouching was neglected can be seen in the Rinder copy and in posthumous ones. Such imperfect mending, even at the corner of the plate, suggests that Blake was not free to hammer the back — or else that the chief purpose of the mending was to efface the earlier reading and that he counted on retouching to perfect the page.