Quotation by William Blake

Commerce is so far from being beneficial to arts, or to empire, that it is destructive of both, as all their history shows, for the above reason of individual merit being its great hatred. Empires flourish till they become commercial, and then they are scattered abroad to the four winds.
William Blake (1757–1827), British poet, painter, engraver. Public address, c. 1810, in Blake's notebook. Complete Writings, ed. Geoffrey Keynes (1957).
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