“To the eyes of a miser a guinea is more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes” — William Blake
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In this quote, William Blake is drawing a comparison between how a miser (someone who is extremely greedy and obsessed with money/possessions) views wealth and financial gain versus how most people experience the world. For a miser, even a single gold coin (guinea) is seen as more aesthetically beautiful and appealing than the splendor of nature, like the sun.
Similarly, Blake suggests a miser finds the worn bag or pouch used to carry money more attractively designed than a grapevine heavy with fruit. This reflects how the miser’s mind is so consumed with avarice that money itself takes on an almost sensual, artistic quality to them above all else. ;
The deeper interpretation is that Blake saw misers as having a distorted perspective where financial wealth becomes the ultimate object of desire, appreciation and meaning rather than more virtuous or life-affirming things in the world.