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Yet their great works, though they can never die,
And are in truth superlatively high,
Are no just scale to take their virtues by:

Because they show not how th' Almighty's grace,
By various and more admirable ways,
Brought them to be the organs of his praise.

But what their humble modesty would hide,
And was by any other means denied,
Is by your love and diligence supplied.

Wotton, — a nobler soul was never bred —
You, by your narrative's most even thread,
Through all his labyrinths of life have led;

Through his degrees of honor and of arts,
Brought him secure from Envy's venomed darts,
Which are still levelled at the greatest parts;

Through all th’ employments of his wit and spirit,
Whose great effects these kingdoms still inherit,
The trials then, now trophies, of his merit;

Nay, through disgrace, which oft the worthiest have, Thro' all state-tempests, thro’ each wind and wave, And laid him in an honorable grave.

And yours, and the whole world's beloved Donne,
When he a long and wild career had run,
To the meridian of his glorious sun;

And being then an object of much ruth,
Led on by vanities, error, and youth,
Was long ere he did find the way to truth:

By the same clew, after his useful swing,
To serve at his God's altar here you bring,
Where a once wanton muse doth anthems sing.

And though by God's most powerful grace alone
His heart was settled in Religion,
Yet 'tis by you we know how it was done;

And know, that having crucified vanities
And fixed his hope, he closed up his own eyes,
And then your friend a saint and preacher dies.

The meek and learned Hooker too, almost
I” the Church's ruins overwhelm'd and lost,
Is by your pen recovered from his dust.

And Herbert; — he, whose education, Manners, and parts, by high applauses blown, Was deeply tainted with Ambition,

And fitted for a court, made that his aim ;
At last, without regard to birth or name,
For a poor country-cure does all disclaim;

Where, with a soul composed of harmonies,
Like a sweet swan, he warbles as he dies
His Maker's praise, and his own obsequies.

All this you tell us, with so good success,
That our obliged posterity shall profess,
To have been your friend, was a great happiness.

And now ! when many worthier would be proud
T’appear before you, if they were allowed,
I take up room enough to serve a crowd:

Where to commend what you have choicely writ,
Both my poor testimony and my wit
Are equally invalid and unfit: r

Yet this, and much more, is most justly due,
Were what I write as elegant as true,
To the best friend I now or ever knew.

But, my dear friend, *t is so, that you and I,
By a condition of mortality,
With all this great, and more proud world, must die:

In which estate I ask no more of Fame,
Nor other monument of Honor claim,
Than that of your true friend, to advance my name.

And if your many merits shall have bred
An abler pen to write your Life when dead,
I think an honester cannot be read.

CHARLES COTTON. JAN. 17, 1672.

COPY OF A LETTER
WRIT TO

MR. IZ A A K W ALTON,

By

Doctor KING, LoRD BISHOP OF CHICHESTER.

HoNEST IzAAK, Though a familiarity of more than forty years' continuance, and the constant experience of your love, even in the worst of the late sad times, be sufficient to endear our friendship; yet, I must confess my affection much improved, not only by evidences of private respect to many that know and love you, but by your new demonstration of a public spirit, testified in a diligent, true, and useful collection of so many material passages as you have now afforded me in the Life of venerable Mr. Hooker; of which, since desired by such a friend as’ yourself, I shall not deny to give the testimony of what I know concerning him and his learned books; but shall first here take a fair occasion to tell you, that you have been happy in choosing to write the Lives of three such persons, as posterity hath just cause to honor; which they will do the more for the true relation of them by

your happy pen; of all which I shall give you my

unfeigned censure. I shall begin with my most dear and incomparable friend, Dr. Donne, late Dean of St. Paul's Church, who not only trusted me as his executor, but, three days before his death, delivered into my hands those excellent Sermons of his, now made public; professing before Dr. Winniff, Dr. Monford, and, I think, yourself then present at his bed-side, that it was by my restless importunity, that he had prepared them for the press; together with which (as his best legacy) he gave me all his sermon-notes, and his other papers, containing an extract of near fifteen hundred authors. How these were got out of my hands, you, who were the messenger for them, and how lost both to me and yourself, is not now seasonable to complain. But, since they did miscarry, I am glad that the general demonstration of his worth was so fairly preserved, and represented to the world by your pen in the history of his life; indeed so well, that beside others, the best critic of our later time (Mr. John Hales of Eaton College) affirmed to me, he had not seen a life written with more advantage to the subject, or more reputation to the writer, than that of Dr. Donne's.

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