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tion is rooted in the very nature of man, and that thoss of the severest and most mortified lives, though they may become so humble as to banish self-flattery, and such weeds as naturally grow there, yet they h^ve not been able to kill this desire of glory; but that, like our radical heat, it will both live and die with us; and many think it should do so; and we want not sacred examples to justify the desire of having our memory to outlive our lives, which I mention, because Dr. Donne, by the persuasion of Dr. Fox, easily yielded, at this very time, to have a monument made for him; but Dr. Fox undertook not to persuade how or what it should be; that was left to Dr. Donne himself.
This being resolved upon, Dr. Donne sent for a carver to make for him in wood the figure of an urn, giving him directions for the compass and height of it, and to bring with it a board of the height of his body: these being got, then, without delay, a choice painter was to be in readiness to draw his picture, which was taken as followeih—Several charcoal fires being first made in his large study, he brought with him into that place his winding sheet in his hand, and having put off all his clothes, had his sheet put on him, and so tied with knots at his head and feet, and his hands so placed as dead bodies are usually fitted to be shrowc'ed an* put into the grave: upon this urn he thus stotd with his eyes shut, and with so much of
the sheet turned aside as might shew his lean, pale, and death.like face, which was purposely turned toward the east, from whence he expected the second coming of his and our Saviour. Thus he was drawn at his just height; and when the picture was fully finished, he caused it to be set by his bed.side, where it continued, and became his hourly object till his death, and was then given to his dearest friend and executor, Dr. King, who caused him to be thus carved in one entire piece of white marble, as it now stands in the cathedral church of St. Pauls; and by Br. Donne's own appointment these words were to be affixed to it as his epitaph:
Sac. Theol. Professor,
Post varia studia quibus ab annis tenerrimis
fideliier, nee infeliciter incubuit;
Instinctu et impulsu Sp. Sancti, n.onitu et hortatu
Regis Jacobi, Ordines Sacros amplexus
Anno sui Jesu 1614; et suae setatis42*
Decanatu liuju; Ecclesiae indutus 27 Novembris 162r.
Exutus morte ultimo die Martii I6li.
Hie licet in occiduo cinere aspicit Eum
Cujus nomen est Oriens.
Upon Monday following he took his last leave of his beloved study, and, being sensible of his hourly Volwnt I. P
decay, retired himself to his bed-chamber; and that week sent at several times for many of his most considerable friends, with whom he took a solemn and deliberate farewell, commending to their considerations some sentences useful for the regulations of their lives, and then dismissed them, as good Jacob did his sons, with a spiritual benediction. The Sunday following he appointed his servants, that if there were any business undone that concerned him ot themselves, it should be prepared against Saturday next; for after thai day he would not mix his thoughts with anv thing that concerned this world, nor ever did; but as Job, so Ire " waited for the appointed lime of "his dissolution."
And now he had nothing to do but to die; to do which he stood in need of no longer time, for he had studied it long, and to so happy a perfection, that in a former sickness he called Cod to witness he was that minule ready to deliver his soul into his hands, if that minute God would determine his dissolution.* In that sickness he begged of God the constancy to be preserved in thatestate forever; and his patient expectation to have his immortal soul disrobed from her garment of mortality, makes me confident he now had a modest assurance that his prayers were then heard, and his petition granted. He lay fifteen days earnestly
* In his book of Devotions.
LITE OF BS. DONNl. Ixill
ntpecting his hourly change; and ill the last hour of his last day, as his body melted away and vapoured into spirit, his soul having, I verily believe, some revelation of the beatifical vision, he said, " I were "miserable if I might not die;" and after those words closed many periods of his faint breath by saying often, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done." His speech, which had long been his ready and faithful servant, left him not till the last minute of his life, and then forsook him, not to serve another master, but died before him; for that it was become useless to hi.n that now conversed with God on earth, as angels are said to do in heaven, only by thoughts and looks. Being speechless, he did, as St. Stephen, " look sted"lastly towards heaven, till he saw the Son of God "standing at the right hand of his father." and being satisfied with this blessed sight, as his soul ascended, and his last breath departed from him, he closed hit own eyes; and then disposed his hands and body into such a posture as required not the least alteration by those that came to shroud him.
Thus variabl.', tnus virtuous, was the life; thus excellent, thus exemplary, was the death, of this memorable man.
He was buried in that place of St. Paul's church which he had appointed for that use some years before bis death, and by which he passed daily to pay hit
public devotions to Almighty God; (who was then served twice a.day by a public form of prayer and praises in that place) but he was not buried privately, though he desired it; for beside an unnumbered number of others, many persons of nobility, and of eminency for learning, who did love and honour him in his life, did shew it at his death, by a voluntary and sad attendance of his body to the grave, where nothing was so remarkable as a public sorrow.
To which place of his burial some mournful friends repaired, and, as Alexander the Great did to the grave of the famous Achilles, so they strewed his with an abundance of curious and costly flowers; which course they (who were never yet known) continued morning and evening for many days, not ceasing till the Stines that were taken up in that church to give his body admission into the cold earth (now his bed of rest) were again, by the mason's art, so levelled and firmed as they had been formerly, aid his plate of burial undistinguishable to common view.
Nor was this all the honour done to his reverend ashes; for as there be some persons that will not receive a reward for that for which God accounts him'elf a debtor: persons that dare trust God with their charity, and without a witness; so there was, by some grateful unknown friend, that thought Dr, Donne's memory ought to be perpetuated, an hundred marks