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die; yet at no breach, nor battery which they had made


his sacred body, issues his soul, but emisit, he gave up the ghost : and as God breathed a soul into the first Adam, so this second Adam breathed his soul into God, into the hands of God. There we leave you, in that blessed dependency, to hang upon him, that hangs upon the cross. There bathe in his tears, there suck at his wounds, and lie down in peace in his grave, till he vouchsafe you a resurrection, and an ascension into that kingdom which he hath purchased for you, with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood. Amen.





To my good Friend G. H*. Sir,

The little business which you left in my hands is now dispatched; if it have hung longer than you thought, it might serve for just excuse, that these small things make as many steps to their end, and need as many motions for the warrant, as much writing of the clerks, as long expectation of a seal, as greater. It comes now to you sealed, and with it as strong and assured seals of my service and love to you, if it be good enough for you. I owe you a continual tribute of letters. But, sir, even in princes and parents, and all states that have in them a natural sovereignty, there is a sort of reciprocation, and a descent to do some offices due to them that serve them: which makes me look for letters from you, because I have another as valuable a pawn therefor, as your friendship, which is your promise; lest by the gaoler's fault this letter stick long, I must tell you, that I wrote and sent it 12th December, 1600.

Your friend and servant and lover, 12th December, 1600.

J. Donne.


To the Honourable Knight, Sir H. Gooderet.


Though you escape my lifting up of my latch by removing, you cannot my letters; yet of this letter I do not much ac

* George Herbert : written during his imprisonment after his marriage.-ED.

+ Probably from Micham; this son may have been George, who was baptized at Camberwell, May 9, 1605.-Ed.

cuse myself, for I serve your commandment in it, for it is only to convey to you this paper opposed to those, with which you trusted me. It is, I cannot say the weightiest, but truly the saddest lucubration and night's passage that ever I had. For it exercised those hours, which, with extreme danger of her, whom I should hardly have abstained from recompensing for her company in this world, with accompanying her out of it, increased my poor family with a son. Though her anguish, and my fears, and hopes, seem divers and wild distractions from this small business of your papers, yet because they all narrowed themselves, and met in via regia, which is the consideration of ourselves, and God, I thought it time not unfit for this dispatch. Thus much more than needed I have told you, whilst my fire was lighting at Tricombs, 10 o'clock.

Yours ever entirely,

J. Donne.


To Sir Henry Goodyere*. Sir,

Though my friendship be good for nothing else, it may give you the profit of a tentation, or of an affliction: it may excuse your patience; and though it cannot allure, it shall importune you. Though I know you have many worthy friends of all ranks, yet I add something, since I which am of none, would fain be your friend too. There is some of the honour and some of the degrees of a creation, to make a friendship of nothing. Yet, not to annihilate myself utterly (for though it seem humbleness, yet it is a work of as much almightiness, to bring a thing to nothing, as from nothing), though I be not of the best stuff for friendship, which men of warm and durable fortunes only are, I cannot say, that I am not of the best fashion, if truth and honesty be that; which I must ever exercise, towards you, because I learned it of you: for the conversation with worthy men, and of good example, though it sow not virtue in us, yet produceth and ripeneth it. Your man's haste, and mine to Micham, cuts off this letter here, yet, as in little patterns torn from a whole piece, this may tell

• Of Polesworth, Gentleman of his Majesty's Privy Chamber.—Ed.

you what all I am. Though by taking me before my day (which I accounted Tuesday) I make short payment of this duty of letters, yet I have a little comfort in this, that you see me hereby, willing to pay those debts which I can, before my time.

Your affectionate friend, First Saturday in March, 1607.

J. Donne. You forgot to send me the apology; and many times, I think it an injury to remember one of a promise, lest it confess a distrust. But of the book, by occasion of reading the Dean's answer to it, I have sometimes some want.


To Sir Henry Goodyere. Sir,

It should be no interruption to your pleasures, to hear me often say that I love you, and that you are as much my meditations as myself. I often compare not you and me, but the sphere in which your resolutions are, and my wheel; both I hope concentric to God: for methinks the new astronomy is thus appliable well, that we which are a little earth, should rather move towards God, than that he which is fulfilness and can come no whither, should move towards us. To your life full of variety, nothing is old, nor new to mine; and as to that life, all stickings and hesitations seem stupid and stony, so to this, all fluid slipperinesses, and transitory migrations seem giddy and feathery. In that life one is ever in the porch or postern, going in or out, never within his house himself: it is a garment made of remnants, a life ravelled out into ends, a line discontinued, and a number of small wretched points, useless, because they concur not: a life built of past and future, not proposing any constant present; they have more pleasures than we, but not more pleasure; they joy oftener, we longer; and no man but of so much understanding as may deliver him from being a fool, would change with a madman, which had a better proportion of wit in his often lucidis. You know, they which dwell farthest from the sun, if in any convenient distance, have longer days, better appetites. better digestion, better growth, and longer life; and all these ad. vantages have their minds who are well removed from the scorchings, and dazzlings, and exhalings of the world's glory: but neither of our lives are in such extremes; for you living at court without ambition, which would burn you, or envy, which would devest others, live in the sun, not in the fire: and I which live in the country without stupifying, am not in darkness, but in shadow, which is not no light, but a pallid, waterish, and diluted one. As all shadows are of one colour, if you respect the body from which they are cast, (for our shadows upon clay will be dirty, and in a garden green and flowery) so all retirings into a shadowy life are alike from all causes, and alike subject to the barbarousness and insipid dullness of the country: only the employments, and that upon which you cast and bestow your pleasure, business, or books, give it the tincture, and beauty. But truly wheresoever we are, if we can but tell ourselves truly what and where we would be, we may make any state and place such; for we are so composed, that if abundance, or glory scorch and melt us, we have an earthly cave, our bodies, to go into by consideration, and cool ourselves: and if we be frozen, and contracted with lower and dark fortunes, we have within us a torch, a soul, lighter and warmer than any without: we are therefore our own umbrellas and our own suns. These, sir, are the sallads and onions of Micham, sent to you with as wholesome affection as your other friends send melons and quelque-choses from court and London. If I present you not as good diet as they, I would yet say grace to theirs, and bid much good do it you. I send you, with this, a letter which I sent to the countess. It is not my use nor duty to do so, but for your having of it, there were but two consents, and I am sure you have mine, and you are sure you have hers. I also wrote to her ladyship for the verses she showed in the garden, which I did not only to extort them, nor only to keep my promise of writing, for that I had done in the other letter, and perchance she hath forgotten the promise; nor only because I think my letters just good enough for a progress, but because I would write apace to her, whilst it is possible to express that which I yet know of her, for by this growth I see how soon she will be ineffable.

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