ePub 版

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 hath this good ground, that in the assembly there a proposition hath been made, and well entertained, that the king should be declared, to have full jurisdiction in France; and no other person to have any. It hath much the model and frame of our oath of allegiance, but with some modification. It is true, it goes farther, than that state hath drove in any public declarations, but not further than their schools have drove often and constantly: the easiness that it hath found in passing thus far without opposition, puts (perchance unnecessarily) in me a doubt, that they are sure to choke it, at the royal assent, and therefore oppose it not, by the way, to sweeten the conveyance of their purposes. Sir, if I stay longer, I shall lose the text, at court, therefore I kiss your hand, and rest

Your very true servant,

J. DONNE. We hear (but without second as yet) that Sir Richard Philip's brother in France, hath taken the habit of a Capuchin.


To my worthy Friend, F. H.


I can scarce do any more this week than send you word why I wrote not last. I had then seposed a few days for my preparation to the communion of our blessed Saviour's body; and in that solitariness and arraignment of myself, digested some meditations of mine, and apparelled them (as I use) in the form of a sermon: for since I have not yet utterly delivered myself from this intemperance of scribbling (though I thank God my accesses are less and less vehement) I make account that to spend all my little stock of knowledge upon matter of delight, were the same error, as to spend a fortune upon masks and banquetting houses : I choose rather to build in this poor fashion, some spitals, and hospitals, where the poor and impotent sinner may find some relief, or at least understanding of his infirmity. And if they be too weak to serve posterity, yet for the present by contemplation of them, &c.


To my Honoured Friend, George Gerrard, Esq.


I should not only send you an account by my servant, but bring you an account often myself, (for our letters are ourselves) and in them absent friends meet, how, I do, but that two things make me forbear that writing: first, because it is not for my gravity, to write of feathers, and straws, and in good faith, I am no more, considered in my body, or fortune. And then because whensoever I tell you how I do, by a letter, before that letter comes to you, I shall be otherwise, than when it left me. At this time, I humbly thank God, I am only not worse ; for, I should as soon look for roses at this time of the year, as look for increase of strength. And if I be no worse all spring, than now, I am much better, for, I make account that those church services, which I would be very loth to decline, will spend somewhat; and, if I can gather so much as will bear my charges, recover so much strength at London, as I shall spend at London, I shall not be loth to be left in that state wherein I am now, after that is done; but I do but discourse, I do not wish ; life, or health, or strength, (I thank God) enter not into my prayers for myself: for others they do; and amongst others, for your sick servant, for such a servant taken so young, and healed so long, is half a child to a master, and so truly I have observed that you have bred him, with the care of a father. Our blessed Saviour look graciously upon him, and glorify himself in him, by his way of restitution to health; and by his way of peace of conscience in Your very true friend and servant in Christ Jesus,

J. Donne.


To the Honourable Knight, Sir Robert Karre. Sir,

I make account that it is a day of great distribution of honours at court: Iwould not therefore lose my part, and increase therein ; since every letter admitted by you from me, is a new

stone in my best building, which is, my room in your service : so much you add to me, every time you give me leave thus to kiss your hands. But, sir, every addition pre-imagines a being, and the time of my being and creation is not yet come : which I am sure you will advance; because else I am no competent subject of your favours, and additions. I know, by your forbearing to tell me so, that my Lord hath had no commodity to move the king, and if this paper speak one word of difference, or impatience in my name, by my troth it lies. Only give it leave to tell you, that that lord whom perchance the king may be pleased to hear in it, is an old and momentary man, and it may be late labouring for his assistance, next winter. Besides, since it may be possible that the Master of the Rolls may a little resent this suit, there could be no fitter time, than now, to make him easy, as things stand with him at this time. If you stay in town this night, and no longer, I beseech you afford me a few of your late minutes at your own lodging, where I will wait upon you according to any directions, which by this gentleman or otherwise I shall receive from you.

Your humble servant,

J. Donne,

Henrico Goodyere.

Etiam vulgari linguâ scriptæ testantur literæ nos amicorum meminisse, sed alienâ, nos de illis meditari. In illis enim affulgent nobis de amicis cogitatiunculæ, sed ut matutinæ stellæ transeunt, et evanescunt: in his autem hæremus, et immoramur, et amicos uti solem ipsum permanentem nobiscum degentemque contemplamur; habes cur Latinè. Ipsius etiam scribendi audi rationem. Peto consilium, in quo simul amicitiam profiteor meam, tuámque agnosco: etenim non libenter nosmetipsos exuimus, aut in ingenii prudentiæve dotibus aliorum nos fatemur indigos. Nec certè quicquam quisquam (sit modò ingenuus) ei denegabit à quo consilium petiit. Quod enim divina sapientia extremum charitatis terminum posuerat, animam ponere, idem regularum ecclesiæ tractatores (quod ipsimet canonici crassam æquitatem


vocant) de fama et honore cedendo asserunt et usurpant. Certè, non tam beneficiis obnoxii quam consiliis reddimur. Sed ad rem. Philosophentur otiosiores, aut quibus otia sua negotia appellare lubet: nobis enim nos dudum perspicui sumus et fenestrati. Elucescit mihi nova, nec inopportuna, nec inutilis (paulò quàm optaram fortassis magis inhonora) occasio extera visendi regna, liberosque perquam amantissimæ conjugis charissima pignora, cæteraque hujus auræ oblectamenta, aliquot ad annos relinquendi. De hoc ut tecum agerem te convenire cupio : quod (etsi nec id recusem) nollem in ædibus Barlotianis. Habeo cur abstineam. Amicitiæ enim nec veteris, nec ita strictæ munero paulò quàm deceat imprudentiori impetu mihi videor ibi peregisse. Prandere si vacat foras, aut cænare, horulamve perdere pomeridianam, aut matutinam liceat mihi illud apud Rabbinum Lincombum jam commoranti per te intelligere, et satis mihi fiet. Interim seponas oro chartulas meas, quas cum sponsione citæ redhibitionis (ut barbarè, sed cum ingeniosissimo Appollinari loquar) accepisti. Inter quas, si epigrammata mea Latina, et catalogus librorum satiricus non sunt, non sunt; extremum judicium, hoc est, manum ultimam jamjam subituræ sunt. Earum nonnullæ purgatorium suum passuræ, ut correctiores emanent. Alia quorum me inscio in mundum erepserunt; exempla tamen in archetypis igne absumpta fatebuntur se à me ad inferos damnata esse. Reliquæ quæ aut virgines sunt (nisi quod à multis contrectatæ, aut ita infeliciter steriles, ut ab illis nulla ingenita sunt exemplaria, penitus in annihilationem (quod flagitiosissimis non minatur Deus) corruent et dilabentur. Vale et amore meo fruere quem vetat fortuna sola ne uti possis. Et nisi animo candido ingenuave mea libertate gaudere malis, habe tibi mancipium.

« 上一頁繼續 »