Блейк-Словарь (Деймон)/Африка

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AFRICA is the first in the clockwise cycle of the four continents. It is the state of slavery, historically illustrated by Pharaoh’s oppression of the Israelites. See EGYPT. The name “Africa” does not occur in the Bible; Blake’s statement that its name was originally Egypt (Ur 28:10) would signify that the Egyptian bondage typified all slavery. According to The Book of Urizen civilization originated in Africa. Being in the south, it is under Urizen, whose Net of Religion shrank and materialized its inhabitants. “Six days they shrunk up from existence, and on the seventh day they rested, and they bless’d the seventh day, in sick hope, and forgot their eternal life. And their thirty cities divided in form of a human heart. . . . They lived a period of years; then left a noisom body to the jaws of devouring darkness. And their children wept, & built tombs [the pyramids] in the desolate places, and form’d laws of prudence, and call’d them the eternal laws of God. . . . Perswasion was in vain; for the ears of the inhabitants were wither’d & deafen’d & cold, and their eyes could not discern their brethren of other cities” (25:39; 28:1–18). “Africa” is the first of the two sections of The Song of Los. “He sung it to four harps at the tables of Eternity. In heart-formed Africa Urizen faded! Ariston shudder’d!” (3:2). The song tells of the enslavement of man by Urizen’s laws and religions promulgated by the prophets, “the children of Los.” “Black grew the sunny African when Rintrah gave Abstract Philosophy to Brama in the East” (3:10). A résumé of the other religions follows. “Thus the terrible race of Los & Enitharmon gave Laws & Religions to the sons of Har [self-love], binding them more and more to Earth, closing and restraining, till a Philosophy of Five Senses was complete. Urizen wept & gave it into the hands of Newton & Locke” (4:13). Error is now complete, and Revolution is imminent. “Clouds roll heavy upon the Alps round Rousseau & Voltaire . . . The Guardian Prince of Albion burns in his nightly tent” (4:18, 21). This last line is repeated as the first of the narrative of America, which continues the tale and the cycle. A reference to the revolt of the Surinam slaves, described in J. G. Stedman’s Narrative (1793), appears in Jerusalem (45:19): “When Africa in sleep rose in the night of Beulah and bound down the Sun & Moon, his friends cut his strong chains & overwhelm’d his dark machines in fury & destruction, and the Man reviving repented: he wept before his wrathful brethren, thankful & considerate for their well timed wrath.”