John Donne (1572-1631) var engelsk digter og præst.
Donne anses som en af Europas mest markante barokdigtere.
I Donnes levetid var de fleste af hans digte kun kendt fra håndskrifter og blev først trykt og udgivet efter hans død. (Kilde: Wikipedia)
I could make some guesse whether souls that go to heaven, retain any memory of us that stay behinde, if I knew whether you ever thought of us, since you enjoyed your heaven, which is your self, at home. Your going away hath made London a dead carkasse. A Tearm and a Court do a little spice and embalme it, and keep it from putrefaction, but the soul went away in you: and I think the onely reason why the plague is somewhat slackned is because the place is dead already, and no body left worth the killing. Wheresoever you are, there is London enough: and it is a diminishing of you to say so, since you are more then the rest of the world. When you have a desire to work a miracle, you will return hither, and raise the place from the dead, and the dead that are in it; of which I am one, but that a hope that I have a room in your favour keeps me alive, which you shall abundantly confirme to me, if by one letter you tell me that you have received my six; for now my letters are grown to that bulk, that I may divide them like Amadis the Gaules book, and tell you that this is the first letter of the second part of the first book.
I think the letters which I send to you single lose themselves by the way for want of a guide, or faint for want of company. Now, that on your part there be no excuse, after three single letters, I send three together, that every one of them may have two witnesses of their delivery. They come also to waite upon another letter from Sr E. Herbert, of whose recovery from a Fever, you may apprehend a perfecter contentment then we, because you had none of the former sorrow. I am an Heretique if it be sound Doctrine, that pleasure tasts best after sorrow. For my part, I can love health well enough, though I be never sick; and I never needed my Mistris frowns and disfavours, to make her favours acceptable to me. In States, it is a weakness to stand upon a defensive war, and safer not to be invaded, then to have overcome: so in our souls health, an innocence is better then the heartiest repentance. And in the pleasures of this life, it is better that the variety of the pleasures give us the taste and appetite to it, then a sowre and sad interruption quicken our stomack; for then we live by Physick. I wish therefore all your happinesses such as this intire, and without flaw, or spot of discontentment; and such is the love and service of
THIS letter which I send enclosed hath been yours many moneths, and hath languished upon my table for a passage so long, that as others send news in their letters, I send an antiquity in mine. I durst not tear it, after it was yours: there is some sacriledge in defacing any thing consecrated to you, and some impiety to despaire that any thing devoted to you should not be reserved to a good issue. I remember I should have sent it by a servant, of whose diligence I see I was too confident. I know not what it says: but I dare make this letter no longer, because being very sure that I always think the same thoughts of you, I am afraid I should fall upon the same words, and so send one letter twice together.
I have but small comfort in this letter; the messenger comes too easily to me, and I am too sure that the letter shall be delivered. All adventures towards you should be of more difficulty and hazard. But perchance I need not lament this; it may be so many of my letters are lost already that it is time that one should come, like Jobs servant, to bring word that the rest were lost. If you have had more before, this comes to aske how they were received; and if you have had none, it comes to try how they should have been received. It comes to you like a bashfull servant, who, though he have an extreme desire to put himself in your presence, yet hath not much to say when he is come: yet hath it as much to say as you can think; because what degrees soever of honour, respect, and devotion you can imagine or beleeve to be in any, this letter tells you that all those are in me towards you. So that for this letter you are my Secretary; for your worthiness, and your opinion that I have a just estimation of them, write it: so that it is as long, and as good, as you think it; and nothing is left to me, but, as a witness, to subscribe the name of
I make accompt that this book hath enough performed that which it undertook, both by argument and example. It shall therefore the lesse need to be it self another example of the Doctrine. It shall not therefore kill it self; that is, not bury it self; for if it should do so, those reasons, by which that act should be defended or excused were also lost with it. Since it is content to live, it cannot chuse a wholsomer aire then your Library, where Authors of all complexions are presented. If any of them grudge this book a room, and suspect it of new or dangerous doctrine, you who know us all, can best moderate. To those reasons which I know your love to me will make in my favour and discharge, you may adde this, that though this doctrine hath not been taught nor defended by writers, yet they, most of any sort of men in the world, have practised it.
I had need do somewhat towards you above my promises; How weak are my performances, when even my promises are defective? I cannot promise, no not in mine own hopes, equally to your merit towards me. But besides the Poems, of which you took a promise, I send you another Book to which there belongs this History. It was written by me many years since; and because it is upon a misinterpretable subject, I have always gone so near suppressing it, as that it is onely not burnt: no hand hath passed upon it to copy it, nor many eyes to read it: onely to some particular friends in both Universities, then when I writ it, I did communicate it: And I remember, I had this answer, That certainly, there was a false thread in it, but not easily found: Keep it, I pray, with the same jealousie; let any that your discretion admits to the sight of it, know the date of it; and that it is a Book written by Jack Donne, and not by D[r]. Donne: Reserve it for me, if I live, and if I die, I only forbid it the Presse, and the Fire: publish it not, but yet burn it not; and between those, do what you will with it. Love me still, thus farre, for your own sake, that when you withdraw your love from me, you will finde so many unworthinesses in me, as you grow ashamed of having had so long, and so much, such a thing as
Amongst many other dignities which this letter hath by being received and seen by you, it is not the least, that it was prophesied of before it was born: for your brother told you in his letter, that I had written: he did me much honour both in advancing my truth so farre as to call a promise an act already done; and to provide me a means of doing him a service in this act, which is but doing right to my self: for by this performance of mine own word, I have also justified that part of his Letter which concerned me; and it had been a double guiltinesse in me, to have made him guilty towards you. It makes no difference that this came not the same day, nor hears the same date as his; for though in inheritances and worldly possessions we consider the dates of Evidences, yet in Letters, by which we deliver over our affections, and assurances of friendship, and the best faculties of our souls, times and daies cannot have interest, nor be considerable, because that which passes by them, is eternall, and out of the measure of time. Because therefore it is the office of this Letter, to convey my best wishes, and all the effects of a noble love unto you, (which are the best fruits that so poor a soil, as my poor soul is, can produce) you may be pleased to allow the Letter thus much of the souls privilege, as to exempt it from straitnesse of hours, or any measure of times, and so beleeve it came then. And for my part, I shall make it so like my soul, that as that affection, of which it is the messenger, begun in me without my knowing when, any more then I know when my soul began; so it shall continue as long as that.
Of my ability to doe your Ladiship service, any thing spoken may be an embleme good enough; for as a word vanisheth, so doth any power in me to serve you; things that are written are fitter testimonies, because they remain and are permanent: in writing this Sermon which your Ladiship was pleased to hear before, I confesse I satisfie an ambition of mine own, but it is the ambition of obeying your commandment, not onely an ambition of leaving my name in your memory, or in the your Cabinet: and yet, since I am going out of the Kingdom, and perchance out of the world, (when God shall have given my soul a place in heaven) it shall the lesse diminish your Ladiship, if my poor name be preserved about you. I know what dead carkasses things written are, in respect of things spoken. But in things of this kinde, that soul that inanimates them, never departs from them: The Spirit of God that dictates them in the speaker or writer, and is present in his tongue or hand meets himself again (as we meet our selves in a glass) in the eies and ears and hearts of the hearers and readers: and that Spirit, which is ever the same to an equall devotion, makes a writing and a speaking equall means to edification. In one circumstance, my preaching and my writing this Sermon is too equall: that that your Ladiship heard in a hoarse voyce then, you read in a course hand now: but in thankfulnesse I shall lift up my hands as clean as my infirmities can keep them, and a voyce as clear as his spirit shall be pleased to tune in my prayers for your Ladyship in all places of the world, which shall either sustain or bury
I am sorry, if your care of me have made you importune to any body else; yet I cannot be very sorry because it gives new testimonies of your favour to me, of which I shall ever be very glad, and (that which is my onely vertue) thankfull: so desperate fortunes as mine may well make friends loth to doe curtesies, because an inability in deserving or requiring takes from them the honour of having done a curtesie, and leaves it but the poor name of an alms; and alms may be given in easier proportions, and more meritoriously. But Sr, by what name or weight soever you esteem this kindnesse which you have done me, I value it so, as might alone perswade me of your care of me; in recompense of which, you must be pleased to accept new assurances that I am
I have not received that Letter, which by this, I perceive you sent to London; if there were anything in that, by which I might have taken occasion to have done you service before this time, I have a double reason of grief for the want of it. I came from thence upon Thursday, where I left Sir Tho. Roe so indulgent to his sorrow, as it had been an injury to have interrupted it with my unusefull company. I have done nothing of that kinde as your Letter intimates, in the memory of that good Gentlewoman; if I had, I should not finde any better use of it, then to put it into your hands. You teach me what I owe her memory; and if I pay that debt so, you have a part and interest in it, by doing me the honour of remembring it: and therefore it must come quickly to you. I hope not for return from Court, till I come thither; which if I can be master of my self, or servant to my self, which I think is all one, I hope to do some ten daies hence, making it my way to the Bathe. If you find any there that have not forgot my name, continue me in their favour, and hold in your self a firm assurance that I am
Though there be much merit, in the favour your brother hath done me in a visit, yet that which doth enrich and perfect it, is, that he brought you with him; which he doth, as well by letting me see how you do, as by giving me occasions, and leave to talk with you by this Letter: if you have any servant, which wishes you better then I, it must be because he is able to put his wishes into a better frame, and expresse them better, and understand proportion, and greatnesse better then I. I am willing to confesse my impotencie; which is, that I know no wish good enough for you; if any doe, my advantage is, that I can exceed his, by adding mine to it. You must not think that I begin to think thus, when you begin to hear it, by a Letter; As sometimes by the changing of the winde, you begin to hear a Trumpet, which sounded long before you heard it; so are these thoughts of you familiar and ordinary in me, though they have seldome the help of this conveyance to your knowledge: I am loth to leave; for as long as in any fashion, I can have your brother and you here, you make my house a kinde of Dorvey [Dorney]; but since I cannot stay you here, I will come thither to you; which I do, by wrapping up in this paper, the heart of
It is an ease to your friends abroad, that you are more a man of businesse then heretofore; for now it were an injury to trouble you with a busie Letter. But by the same reason I were inexcusable if I should not write at all, since the lesse, the more acceptable; therefore, Sir, though I have no more to say, but to renew the obligations I have towards you, and to continue my place in your love, I would not forbear to tell you so. If I shall also tell you, that when this place affords any thing worth your hearing, I will be your relator, I think I take so long a day, as you would forget the debt, it appears yet to be so barren. Howsoever with every commodity, I shall say something, though it be but a descant upon this plain song, that I am
I do not remember that ever I have seen a petition in verse, I would not therefore be singular, nor adde these to your other papers. I have yet adventured so near as to make a petition for verse, it is for those your Ladiship did me the honour to see in Twicknam garden, except you repent your making; and having mended your judgement by thinking worse, that is, better, because juster, of their subject. They must needs be an excellent exercise of your wit, which speaks so well of so ill: I humbly beg them of your Ladiship, with two such promises, as to any other of your compositions were threatenings: that I will not shew them, and that I will not beleeve them; and nothing should be so used that comes from your brain or heart. If I should confesse a fault in the boldnesse of asking them, or make a faulte by doing it in a longer Letter, your Ladiship might use your style and old fashion of the Court towards me, and pay me with a Pardon. Here therefore I humbly kisse your Ladiships fair learned hands, and wish you good wishes and speedy grants.
Because things be conserved by the same means, which established them, I nurse that friendship by Letters, which you begot so: though you have since strengthened it by more solid aliment and real offices. In these Letters from the Country there is this merit, that I do otherwise unwillingly turn mine eye or thoughts from my books, companions in whom there is no falshood nor forwardnesse: which words, I am glad to observe that the holy Authours often joyne as expressers and relatives to one another, because else out of a naturall descent to that unworthy fault of frowardnesse, furthered with that incommodity of a little thinne house; I should have mistaken it to be a small thing, which now I see equalled with the worst. If you have laid my papers and books by, I pray let this messenger have them, I have determined upon them. If you have not, be content to do it, in the next three or four days. So, Sir, I kisse your hands; and deliver to you an intire and clear heart; which shall ever when I am with you be in my face and tongue, and when I am from you, in my Letters, for I will never draw Curtain between you and it.
Because I am in a place and season where I see every thing bud forth, I must do so too, and vent some of my meditations to you; the rather because all other buds being yet without taste or virtue, my Letters may be like them. The pleasantnesse of the season displeases me. Every thing refreshes, and I wither, and I grow older and not better, my strength diminishes, and my load growes, and being to passe more and more stormes, I finde that I have not only cast out all my ballast which nature and time gives, Reason and discretion, and so am as empty and light as Vanity can make me; but I have over fraught my self with Vice, and so am riddingly subject to two contrary wrackes, Sinking and Oversetting, and under the iniquity of such a disease as inforces the patient when he is almost starved, not only to fast, but to purge. For I have much to take in, and much to cast out; sometimes I thinke it easier to discharge my self of vice then of vanity, as one may sooner carry the fire out of a room then the smoake: and then I see it was a new vanity to think so. And when I think sometimes that vanity, because it is thinne and airie, may be expelled with vertue or businesse, or substantiall vice; I finde that I give entrance thereby to new vices. Certainly as the earth and water, one sad, the other fluid, make but one bodie: so to aire and Vanity, there is but one Centium morbi. And that which later Physicians say of our bodies, is fitter for our mindes: for that which they call Destruction, which is a corruption and want of those fundamentall parts whereof we consist, is Vice: and that Collectio stercorum, which is but the excrement of that corruption, is our Vanity and indiscretion: both these have but one root in me, and must be pulled out at once, or never. But I am so farre from digging to it, that I know not where it is, for it is not in mine eyes only, but in every sense, nor in my concupiscence only, but in every power and affection. Sir, I was willing to let you see how impotent a man you love, not to dishearten you from doing so still (for my vices are not infectious nor wandring, they came not yesterday, nor mean to go away to day: they Inne not, but dwell in me, and see themselves so welcome, and find in me so good bad company of one another, that they will not change, especially to one not apprehensive, nor easily accessible) but I do it, that your counsell might cure me, and if you deny that, your example shal, for I will as much strive to be like you as I will wish you to continue good.
You may remember that long since you delivered Mr Fowler possession of me, but the wide distance in which I have lived from Court, makes me reasonably fear, that now he knows not his right and power in me, though he must of necessity have all, to whom you and I joyn in a gift of me, as we did to him, so that perchance he hath a servant of me, which might be passed in a book of concealment. If your leisure suffer it, I pray finde whether I be in him still, and conserve me in his love; and so perfect your own work, or doe it over again, and restore me to the place, which by your favour I had in him. For Mr Powell who serves her Maty as Clerk of her counsell, hath told me that Mr Fowler hath some purpose to retire himself; and therefore I would fain for all my love, have so much of his, as to finde him willing when I shall seek him at Court, to let me understand his purpose therein; for if my means may make me acceptable to the Queen and him, I should be very sorry he should make so farre steps therein with any other, that I should fail in it, onely for not having spoke to him soon enough. It were an injury to the forwardnesse of your love to adde more; here therefore I kisse your hands, and commend to you the truth of my love.
I am near the execution of that purpose for France; though I may have other ends, yet if it do but keep me awake, it recompenses me well. I am now in the afternoon of my life, and then it is unwholesome to sleep. It is ill to look back, or give over in a course; but worse never to set out. I speake to you at this time of departing, as I should do at my last upon my death-bed; and I desire to deliver into your hands a heart and affections, as innocent towards you, as I shall to deliver my soul into Gods hands then. I say not this out of diffidence, as though you doubted it, or that this should look like such an excuse, as implyed an accusation; but because my fortune hath burdened you so, as I could not rectifie it before my going, my conscience and interpretation (severer I hope then yours towards my self) calls that a kinde of demerit, but God who hath not only afforded us a way to be delivered from our great many debts, contracted by our Executorship to Adam, but also another for our particular debts after, hath not left poor men unprovided, for discharge of morall and civill debts; in which, acknowledgement, and thankfulnesse is the same, as repentance and contrition is in spiritual debts: and though the value and dignity of all these be not perchance in the things, but in the acceptation, yet I cannot doubt of it, either in God, or you. But Sir, because there is some degree of thankfulnesse in asking more (for that confesses all former obligations, and a desire to be still in the same dependency) I must intreat you to continue that wherein you have most expressed your love to me, which is, to maintain me in the same room in my Lady Bedfords opinion, in the which you placed me. I professe to you that I am too much bound to her, for expressing every way her care of my fortune, that I am weary before she is; and out of a loathnesse, that so good works should be bestowed upon so ill stuffe, or that so much ill fortune should be mingled with hers, as that she should misse any thing that she desired, though it were but for me. I am willing to depart from farther exercising her indevours in that kinde. I shall be bold to deliver my poor Letters to her Ladiships hands, through yours, whilest I am abroad though I shall ever account my self at home, whilest I am in your memory.
Sir Germander Pool, your noble friend and fellow in Armes, hath been at this house. I finde by their diligent inquiring from me, that he hath assured them that he hath much advanced your proceeding, by his resignation; but cooled them again with this, that the L. Spencer pretends in his room. I never feared his, nor any mans diligence in that; I feared onely your remisnesse, because you have a fortune that can endure, and a nature that can almost be content to misse. But I had rather you exercised your Philosophy and evennesse in some things else. He doth not nothing which falls cleanly and harmelesly; but he wrastles better which stands. I know you can easily forgive your self any negligences and slacknesses, but I am glad that you are ingaged to so many friends, who either by your self, or fame have knowledge of it. In all the rest of them there is a worthinesse, and in me a love which deserves to be satisfied. In this therefore, as you are forward in all things else, be content to do more for your friends then you would for your self; endevour it, that is effect it.
All our moralities are but our out-works, our Christianity is our Citadel; a man who considers duty but the dignity of his being a man, is not easily beat from his outworks, but from his Christianity never; and therefore I dare trust you, who contemplates them both. Every distemper of the body now, is complicated with the spleen, and when we were young men we scarce ever heard of the spleen. In our declinations now, every accident is accompanied with heavy clouds of melancholy; and in our youth we never admitted any. It is the spleen of the minde, and we are affected with vapors from thence; yet truly, even this sadnesse that overtakes us, and this yeelding to the sadnesse, is not so vehement a poison (though it be no Physick neither) as those false waies, in which we sought our comforts in our looser daies. You are able to make rules to your self, and our B[lessed] Saviour continue to you an ability to keep within those rules. And this particular occasion of your present sadnesse must be helped by the rule, for, for examples you will scarce finde any, scarce any that is not encombred and distressed in his fortunes. I had locked my self, sealed and secured my self against all possibilities of falling into new debts, and in good faith, this year hath thrown me 400l lower then when I entred this house. I am a Father as well as you, and of children (I humbly thank God) of as good dispositions; and in saying so, I make account that I have taken my comparison as high as I could goe; for in good faith, I beleeve yours to be so: but as those my daughters (who are capable of such considerations) cannot but see my desire to accommodate them in this world, so I think they will not murmure if heaven must be their Nunnery, and they associated to the B. virgins there: I know they would be content to passe their lives in a Prison, rather then I should macerate my self for them, much more to suffer the mediocrity of my house, and my means, though that cannot preferre them: yours are such too, and it need not that patience, for your fortune doth not so farre exercise their patience. But to leave all in Gods hands, from whose hands nothing can be wrung by whining but by praying, nor by praying without the Fiat voluntas tua. Sir, you are used to my hand, and, I think have leisure to spend some time in picking out sense, in ragges; else I had written lesse, and in longer time. Here is room for an Amen; the prayer——so I am going to my bedside to make for all you and all yours, with
I write not to you out of my poor Library, where to cast mine eye upon good Authors kindles or refreshes sometimes meditations not unfit to communicate to near friends; nor from the high way, where I am contracted, and inverted into my self; which are my two ordinary forges of Letters to you. But I write from the fire side in my Parler, and in the noise of three gamesome children; and by the side of her, whom because I have transplanted into a wretched fortune, I must labour to disguise that from her by all such honest devices, as giving her my company, and discourse, therefore I steal from her, all the time which I give this Letter, and it is therefore that I take so short a list, and gallop so fast over it. I have not been out of my house since I received your pacquet. As I have much quenched my senses, and disused my body from pleasure, and so tried how I can indure to be mine own grave, so I try now how I can suffer a prison. And since it is but to build one wall more about our soul, she is still in her own Center, how many circumferences soever fortune or our own perversnesse cast about her. I would I could as well intreat her to go out, as she knows whither to go. But if I melt into a melancholy whilest I write, I shall be taken in this manner: and I sit by one too tender towards these impressions, and it is so much our duty, to avoid all occasions of giving them sad apprehensions, as S. Hierome accuses Adam of no other fault in eating the Apple, but that he did it Ne contristaretur delicias suas. I am not carefull what I write, because the inclosed Letters may dignifie this ill favoured bark, and they need not grudge so course a countenance, because they are now to accompany themselves, my man fetched them, and therefore I can say no more of them then themselves say. Mris Meauly intreated me by her Letter to hasten hers, as I think, for by my troth I cannot read it. My Lady was dispatching in so much haste for Twicknam, as she gave no word to a Letter which I sent with yours; of Sir Tho. Bartlet, I can say nothing, nor of the plague, though your Letter bid me: but that he diminishes, the other increases, but in what proportion I am not clear. To them at Hammersmith, and Mris Herbert I will do your command. If I have been good in hope, or can promise any little offices in the future probably, it is comfortable, for I am the worst present man in the world; yet the instant, though it be nothing, joynes times together, and therefore this unprofitableness, since I have been, and will still indevour to be so, shall not interrupt me now from being
When I saw your good Countesse last, she let me think that her message by her foot-man would hasten you up. And it furthered that opinion in me, when I knew how near M. Mathews day of departing this kingdome was. To counterpoyse both these, I have a little Letter from you brought to me to Micham yesterday, but left at my lodging two days sooner: and because that speaks nothing of your return, I am content to be perplexed in it: and as in all other, so in this perplexity to do that which is safest. To me it is safest to write, because it performes a duty, and leaves my conscience well: and though it seem not safest for the Letter, which may perish, yet I remember that in the Crociate [Crusade] for the warres in the Holy Land, and so in all Pilgrimages enterprised in devotion, he which dies in the way, enjoys all the benefit and indulgences which the end did afford. Howsoever, all that can encrease my merit; for, as where they immolate men, it is a scanter devotion, to sacrifice one of many slaves or of many children, or an onely child, then to beget and bring up one purposely to sacrifice it, so if I ordain this Letter purposely for destruction, it is the largest expressing of that kinde of piety, and I am easie to beleeve (because I wish it) your hast hither: Not that I can fear any slacknesse in that business which drew you down, because your fortune and honour are a paire of good spurs to it; but here also you have both true businesse and many Quasi negotia, which go two and two to a businesse; which are visitations, and such, as though they be not full businesses, yet are so near them that they serve as for excuses, in omissions of the other. As when abjuration was in use in this land, the State and law was satisfied if the abjuror came to the sea side, and waded into the sea, when windes and tydes resisted, so we think our selves justly excusable to our friends and our selves, if when we should do businesse, we come to the place of businesse, as Courts and the houses of great Princes and officers. I do not so much intimate your infirmity in this, as frankly confesse mine own. The master of Latine language says, Oculi & aures aliorum te speculantur & custodiunt. So those two words are synonimous, & only the observation of others upon me, is my preservation from extream idlenesse, else I professe, that I hate businesse so much, as I am sometimes glad to remember that the Roman Church reads that verse A negotio perambulante in tenebris, which we reade from the pestilence walking by night, so equall to me do the plague and businesse deserve avoiding, but you will neither beleeve that I abhor businesse, if I enlarge this Letter, nor that I would afford you that ease which I affect. Therefore returne to your pleasures.
I sought you yesterday with a purpose of accomplishing my health, by the honour of kissing your hands. But I finde by my going abroad, that as the first Christians were forced to admit some Jewish Ceremonies, onely to burie the Synagogue with honour, so my Feaver will have so much reverence and respect, as that I must keep sometimes at home. I must therefore be bold to put you to the pain of considering me. If therefore my Lord upon your deliverie of my last Letter, said nothing to you of the purpose thereof; let me tell you now, that it was, that in obedience of his commandment to acquaint him with any thing which might advantage me, I was bold to present that which I heard, which was that Sir D[udley] Carl[e]ton was likely to bee removed from Venice, to the States; of which if my Lord said nothing to you, I beseech you adde thus much to your many other Favours, to intreate my Lord at his best commodity, to afford mee the favour of speaking with him. But if hee have already opened himselfe so farre to you, as that you may take knowledge thereof to him, then you may ease him of that trouble of giving mee an Audience, by troubling your selfe thus much more, as to tell him in my behalfe, and from mee, that though Sir D. Carlton bee not removed, yet that place with the States lying open, there is a faire field of exercising his favour towards mee, and of constituting a Fortune to me, and (that which is more) of a meanes for mee to doe him particular services. And Sir, as I doe throughly submit the end and effect of all Projects to his Lordships will, so doe I this beginning thereof, to your Advice and Counsell, if you thinke mee capable of it: as, for your owne sake, I beseech you to doe, since you have admitted mee for
I humbly thanke you, for this continuing me in your memory, and enlarging me so far, as to the memory of my Soveraign, and (I hope) my Master. My Tenets are always, for the preservation of the Religion I was born in, and the peace of the State, and the rectifying of the Conscience; in these I shall walke, and as I have from you a new seal thereof, in this Letter, so I had ever evidence in mine own observation, that these ways were truly, as they are justly, acceptable in his Majesties eare. Our blessed Saviour multiply unto him all blessings; Amen
I was this morning at your door, somewhat early; and I am put into such a distaste of my last Sermon, as that I dare not practice any part of it, and therefore though I said then, that we are bound to speake aloud, though we awaken men, and make them froward, yet after two or three modest knocks at the door, I went away. Yet I understood after, the King was gone abroad, and thought you might be gone with him. I came to give you an account of that, which does as well. I have now put into my Lord of Bath and Wells hands the Sermon faithfully exscr[c]ibed. I beseech you be pleased to hearken farther after it; I am still upon my jealousie, that the King brought thither some disaffection towards me, grounded upon some other demerit of mine, and took it not from the Sermon. For, as Card[inal] Cusanus writ a Book Cribratio Alchorani, I have cribrated, and recribated, and post-cribated the Sermon, and must necessarily say, the King who hath let fall his eye upon some of my Poems, never saw, of mine, a hand, or an eye, or an affection, set down with so much study, and diligence, labour of syllables, as in this Sermon I expressed those two points, which I take so much to conduce to his service, the imprinting of persuasibility and obedience in the subject, And the breaking of the bed of whisperers, by casting in a bone, of making them suspect and distrust one another. I remember I heard the old King say of a good Sermon, that he thought the Preacher never had thought of his Sermon, till he spoke it; it seemed to him negligently and extemporally spoken. And I knew that he had weighed every syllable, for halfe a year before, which made me conclude, that the King had before some prejudice upon him. So, the best of my hope is, that some over bold allusions, or expressions in the way, might divert his Majesty, from vouchsafing to observe the frame, and purpose of the Sermon. When he sees the generall scope, I hope his goodnesse will pardon collaterall escapes. I intreated the B[ishop] to aske his Majesty, whether his displeasure extended so farre, as that I should forbear waiting, and appearing in his presence; and I had a return, that I might come. Till I had that, I would not offer to put my self under your roof. To day I come, for that purpose, to say prayers. And if, in any degree, my health suffer it, I shall do so, to morrow. If any thing fall into your observation before that, (because the B. is likely to speake to the King of it, perchance, this night) if it amount to such an increase of displeasure, as that it might be unfit for me to appear, I beseech you afford me the knowledge. Otherwise, I am likely to inquire of you personally, to morrow before nine in the morning, and to put into your presence then
I know not which of us wonne it by the hand, in the last charge of Letters. If you wonne, you wonne nothing, because I am nothing, or whatsoever I am, you wonne nothing, because I was all yours before. I doubt not but I were better delivered of dangers of relapses, if I were at London; but the very going would indanger me. Upon which true debility, I was forced to excuse my selfe to my Lord Chamberlaine, from whom I had a Letter of command to have Preached the fifth of November Sermon to the King. A service which I would not have declined, if I could have conceived any hope of standing it. I beseech you intreat my Lord Percy in my behalfe, that he will be pleased to name George to my L[ord] Carli[s]le, and to wonder, if not to inquire, where he is. The world is disposed to charge my Lords honour, and to charge my naturall affection with neglecting him, and, God knowes, I know not which way to turn towards him; nor upon any message of mine, when I send to kisse my Lords hands, doth my Lord make any kinde of mention of him. For the Diamond Lady, when time serves, I pray look to it; for I would fain be discharged of it. And for the rest, let them be but remembered how long it hath been in my hands, and then leave it to their discretion. If they incline to any thing, I should chuse shirt Hollond, rather under then above 4 s. Our blessed Saviour multiply his blessings upon that noble family where you are, and your self, and your sonne; as upon all them that are derived from
I thank you for expressing your love to me, by this diligence; I know you can distinguish between the voyces of my love, and of my necessity, if any thing in my Letters sound like an importunity. Besides, I will adde thus out of counsell to you, that you can do nothing so thriftily as to keep in your purpose the payment of the rest of this years rent, (though at your conveniency) for Sir E. H[’s] curiosity being so served at first, I shall be no farther cause, but that the rest be related, and you in as good possession of his love, and to as good use, as your love deserves of him. You mocke us when you aske news from hence. All is created there, or relates thither where you are. For that book which you command me to send, I held it but half an hour: which served me to read those few leafes, which were directed upon some few lines of my book. If you come to town quickly, you may get a fair widow: for Mris Brown is fallen to that state by death of her husband. No man desires your comming more, nor shall be readier to serve you, then
I do not make account that I am come to London, when I get within the wall: that which makes it London is the meeting of friends. I cannot therefore otherwise bid my self welcome to London, then by seeking of you, which both Sir H. Goodere and I do, with so much diligence, as that this messenger comes two dayes before to intreat you from us both, to reserve your self upon Saterday: so that I may, at our coming to London that night, understand at my house where I may send you word of our supping place that night, and have the honour of your company. So you lay more obligations upon
When we thinke of a friend, we do not count that a lost thought, though that friend never knew of it. If we write to a friend, we must not call it a lost Letter, though it never finde him to whom it was addressed: for we owe our selves that office, to be mindefull of our friends. In payment of that debt, I send out this Letter, as a Sentinell Perdue; if it finde you, it comes to tell you, that I was possessed with a Fever, so late in the year, that I am afraid I shall not recover confidence to come to London till the spring be a little advanced. Because you did our poor family the favour to mention our George in your Letters to Spain, with some earnestnesse, I should wonder if you never had any thing from thence concerning him; he having been now, divers moneths, in Spaine. If you be in London and the Lady of the Jewell there too, at your conveniency informe me what is looked for at my hands, in that businesse; for I would be loath to leave any thing in my house when I die that were not absolutely mine own. I have a servant, Roper, at Pauls house, who will receive your commandments, at all times. God blesse you and your sonne, with the same blessings which I begge for the children, and for the person of
I am come to that tendernesse of conscience, that I need a pardon for meaning to come to Newmarket in this weather. If I had come I must have asked you many reall pardons, for the many importunities that I should have used towards you. But since I have divers errands thither, (except I belie my self in that phrase, since it is all one errand to promove mine own business, and to receive your commands) I shall give you but a short respit, since I shall follow this paper within two dayes. And (that I accuse my self, no farther then I am guilty) the principall reason of my breaking the appointment of waiting upon M. Rawlins, was, that I understood the King was from Newmarket; and for comming thither in the Kings absence, I never heard of excuse; except when Butler sends a desperate Patient in a Consumption thither for good aire, which is an ill errand now. Besides that I could not well come till now, (for there are very few dayes past, since I took Orders) there can be no losse in my absence except when I come; my Lord should have thereby the lesse latitude, to procure the Kings Letters to Cambridge. I beseech you therefore, take some occasion to refresh that businesse to his Lordship, by presenting my name, and purpose of comming very shortly: and be content to receive me, who have been ever your servant, to the addition of