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thought to kiss my Lord Spencer's hands, at one house, and have passed three. If you know nothing to the contrary, risen since I came from London, I am likely to have a room in my lord of Dovor's train, into the country; if I have, I do not ask, but use the leave of waiting upon you at home : there and ever elsewhere, our Blessed Saviour bless you, and all yours, in which number, I pray, account ever Your very thankful servant in Christ Jesus,




To Sir Henry Goodyere. I cannot obey you, if you go to-morrow to Parsons-green, your company, that place, and my promise are strong inducements, but an ague flouts them all, of which I have had two such threatenings, that I provide against it by a little physic. This is one fetter; but I have a pair: for I attend Sir George More's answer in a little business, of which I can have no account till his return, so I am fastened here, till after Sunday. As you are sure that I love you thoroughly, so think this a good expressing of that, that I promise now, that I will certainly go with you on Monday, in despite of these interruptions, and serve you with my company to the Bath ; which journey, it is time to hasten. But I pray think this promise so much worth, that it may deserve your coming this way on Monday, for I make it with that reservation. God send you hawks and fortunes of a high pitch.

Your honest affectionate,



To Sir H. G. Sir,

I live so far removed, that even the ill news of your great loss (which is ever swiftest and loudest) found me not till now, your letter speaks it not plain enough, but I am so accustomed to the worst, that I am sure it is so in this.

this. I am almost glad

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that I knew her so little: for I would have no more additions to sorrow: if I should comfort you, it were an alms acceptable in no other title, than when poor give to poor ; for I am more needy of it than you. And I know you well provided of Christian, and learned, and brave defences against all human accidents. I will make by best haste after your messenger: and if myself and the place had not been ill provided of horses, I had been the messenger, for you have taught me by granting more to deny no request.

Your honest unprofitable friend, Pyesford, 3 o'clock, just as your's came.

J. Donne.


To Sir Henry Goodyere*. Sir,

I speak to you before God, I am so much affected with yesterdays accident, that I think I prophane it in that name. As men which judge nativities, consider not single stars, but the aspects, the concurrence and posture of them ; so in this, though no particular past arrest me, or divert me, yet all seems remarkable and enormous. God, which hath done this immediately, without so much as a sickness, will also immediately without supplement of friends, infuse his Spirit of comfort, where it is needed and deserved. I write this to you from the Spring Garden, whither I withdrew myself to think of this ; and the intenseness of my thinking ends in this, that by my help God's work should be imperfected, if by any means I resisted the amazement.

Your very true friend,

J. Donne.

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To Sir H. G. Sir,

I cannot yet serve you with those books of which your letter spake. In recompense I will tell you a story, which if I had had leisure to have told it you when it was fresh, which was

* This apparently refers to the loss of Lady Goodyere mentioned in the last letter.-ED.

upon Thursday last, might have had some grace for the rareness, and would have tried your love to me, how far you would adventure to believe an improbable thing for my sake who relates it. That day in the morning, there was some end made, by the earl Salisbury and others, who were arbitrators in some differences between Hertford and Mountegle, Hertford was ill satisfied in it, and declared himself so far as to say, he expected better usage in respect not only of his cause but of his expense and service in his ambassage : to which Salisbury replied, that considered how things stood between his Majesty and Hertford-house at the king's entrance, the king had done him especial favour in that employment of honour and confidence, by declaring in so public and great an act and testimony, that he had no ill affections toward him. Hertford answered, that he was then and ever an honest man to the king: and Salisbury said, he denied not that, but yet solemnly repeated his first words again. So that Hertford seemed not to make answer, but pursuing his own word, said, that whosoever denied him to have been an honest man to the king, lied. Salisbury asked him if he directed that upon him, Hertford said, upon any who denied this. The earnestness of both was such, as Salisbury accepted it to himself, and made protestation before the lords present, that he would do nothing else, till he had honourably put off that lie. Within an hour after, Salisbury sent him a direct challenge, by his servant Mr. Knightley; Hertford required only an hours leisure of consideration (it is said, it was only to inform himself of the especial danger, in dealing so with a counsellor) but he returned his acceptation : and all circumstances were so clearly handled between them, that St. James's was agreed for the place, and they were both come from their several lodgings, and upon the way to have met, when they were interrupted by such as from the king were sent to have care of it. So these two have escaped this great danger ; but (by my troth) I fear earnestly that Mrs. Bolstrode will not escape that sickness in which she labours at this time. I sent this morning to ask of her passage of this night; and the return is, that she is as I left her yesternight, and then by the strength of her understanding, and voice, (proportionally to her fashion, which was ever remiss) by the even

ness and life of her pulse, and by her temper, I could allow her long life, and impute all her sickness to her mind. But the history of her sickness, makes me justly fear, that she will scarce last so long, as that you when you receive this letter, may do her any good office, in praying for her; for she hath not for many days received so much as a preserved barbery, but it returns, and all accompanied with a fever, the mother, and an extreme ill spleen. Whilst I write this Tuesday morning, from Bartlethouse one brings me a packet to your master : he is gone, and that lady and all the company is from town. I thought I might be pardoned, if I thought myself your man for that service to open it, which I did, and for the letters I will deliver them. What else you bid Foster do in his letter, bid him do it there, for (so God help me) I know not what it is. I must end now, else the carrier will be

God be with you.

Yours entirely.

You know me without a name, and I know not how this

letter goes.


To Sir Henry Goodyere. Sir,

I had destined all this Tuesday, for the court, because it is both a sermon-day, and the first day of the kings being here. Before I was to go forth, I had made up this enclosed packet for you, and then came this messenger with your packet, of which if you can remember the number, you cannot expect any account thereof from me, who have not half an hour left me before I go forth, and your messenger speaks of a necessity of returning homeward before my returning home. If upon the delivery of them, or any other occasion, there intervene new subject of writing, I shall relieve myself upon Tuesday, if Tamworth carrier be in town. To the particulars of the letter to myself, I will give this paper, and line.

and line. Of my Lady Bedford, I must say so much as must importune you to burn the letter; for I would say nothing of her upon record, that should not testify my thankful

ness for all her graces. But upon this motion, which I made to her by letter, and by Sir Thomas Roe's assistance, if any scruple should arise in her, she was somewhat more startling, than I looked for from her : she had more suspicion of my calling, a better memory of my past life, than I had thought her nobility could have admitted : of all which, though I humbly thank God, I can make good use, as one that needs as many remembrances in that kind, as not only friends but enemies can present, yet I am afraid, they proceed in her rather from some ill impression taken from D. Burges, than that they grow in herself. But whosoever be the conduit, the water is the Holy Ghost, and in that acceptation I take it. For her other way of expressing her favour to me, I must say, it is not with that cheerfulness, as heretofore she hath delivered herself towards me. I am almost sorry, that an elegy should have been able to move her to so much compassion heretofore, as to offer to pay my debts; and my greater wants now, and for so good a purpose, as to come disengaged into that profession, being plainly laid open to her, should work no farther but that she sent me 301. which in good faith she excused with that, which is in both parts true, that her present debts were burdensome, and that I could not doubt of her inclination, upon all future emergent occasions, to assist me. I confess to you, her former fashion towards me, had given a better confidence; and this diminution in her makes me see, that I must use more friends, than I thought I should have needed. I would you could burn this letter, before you read it, at least do when you have read it. For, I am afraid out of a contemplation of mine own unworthiness, and fortune, that the example of this lady, should work upon the lady where you are: for though goodness be originally in her, and she do good, for the deed's sake, yet, perchance, she may think it a little wisdom, to make such measure of me, as they who know no better, do. Of any new treaty of a match with Spain, I hear nothing. The wars in the low countries, to judge by their present state, are very likely to go forward. No word of a parliament, and I myself have heard words of the king, as directly against any such purpose, as any can sound, I never heard word, till in your letter, of any stirs in Scotland, for that of the French king, which you ask, it

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