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Lord ! would men let me alone,
Should I think myself to be ;
Live but undisturbed and free!
Would I, maugre winter's cold
And, all the while,
On any thriving under fortune's smile, Contented live, and then contented die.
AND REVEREND FATHER IN GOD,
LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER,
AND PRELATE OF THE MOST NOBLE ORDER
OF THE CARTER.
I DID, some years past, present you with a plain relation of the Life of Mr. Richard Hooker, that humble man, to whose memory princes and the most learned of this nation have paid a reverence at the mention of his name. with Mr. Hooker's, I present you also the Life of that pattern of primitive piety, Mr. George Herbert; and, with his, the Life of Dr. Donne, and your friend Sir Henry Wotton, all reprinted. The two first were written under your roof; for which reason, if they were worth it, you might justly challenge a Dedication : and indeed, so
you might of Dr. Donne’s and Sir Henry Wotton's; because, if I had been fit for this undertaking, it would not have been by acquired learning and study, but by the advantage of forty years' friendship, and thereby with hearing and discoursing with your Lordship, that hath enabled me to make the relation of these Lives passable (if they prove so) in an eloquent and captious age.
And indeed, my Lord, though these relations be well-meant sacrifices to the memory of these worthy men, yet I have so little confidence in my performance, that I beg pardon for superscribing your name to them, and desire all that know your Lordship, to apprehend this not as a Dedication (at least by which you receive any addition of honor), but rather as an humble and a more public acknowledgment of your long continued, and your now daily favors to,