The Folger Shakespeare Library

L.b.527: Letter from John Donne, Fleet Prison, to Sir George More, 1601/1602 February 11: autograph manuscript signed

Catalog record:
Collection:Papers of the More family of Loseley Park, Surrey
Preferred Citation:Letter from John Donne, Fleet Prison, to Sir George More, 1601/1602 February 11: autograph manuscript signed, Papers of the More family of Loseley Park, Surrey. Transcription by Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO). MS L.b.527, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC.
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leaf 1 recto

The inward accusacons in my Conscience, that I haue offended
yow, beyond any ability of redeeming yt by me, and the feeling
of my lords heauy displeasure, following yt, forceth me to wright
though I know my fault make my lrs very vngracious to yow.
Allmighty God whom I call to witnesse, that all my greife
ys, that I haue in this manner offended yow, and him, direct
yow to beleeue, that wthowt of an humble and afflicted hart
I now wright to yow And since we haue no meanes to move
God, when we he wyll not hear or prayers, to hear them, but by
prayeng, I humbly beseech yow, to allow, by his gracious exam=
ple, my penitence so good Entertainmt, as yt may haue a bee-
leife, and a pittie. Of nothinge in this one fault, that I
hear layd to me, can I disculpe my selfe, but of the contem-
tuous and despightfull purpose towards yow, wch I hear ys sur-
mised against me. But for my dutifull regard to my late
lady, for my Religion, and for my lyfe, I refer my selfe
to them, that may have observd them. I humbly beseeche
yow, to take of these waytes, and to put my fault into the
balance alone, as yt was donne, wthowt the addicon of these
yll reports And though then yt wyll be to heauy for
me, yett then yt wyll less greiue yow to pardon yt. How
litle and how short the comfort and pleasure of Destroy-
eng ys, I know yr wisdome and Religion informs yow. And
though perchance yow intend not vtter Destruction, yett
the way through wch I fall towards yt, ys so headlong,
that beeing thus pushd, I shall soone be at bottome. ffor
yt pleaseth God, from whom I acknowledge the punishmt
to be iust, to accompany my other ylls, wth so much sicknes
as I have noe refuge, but that of Mercy, wch I beg, of

leaf 1 verso

of him, my l, and yow wch I hope yow wyll not repent
to haue afforded me, since all my Endevors, and the whole
course of my lyfe shalbe bent, to make my selfe worthy
of her ^yor fauor, and her loue, whose peace of Conscience,
and quiett, I know must be much wounded and violencd,
if yr displeasure sever vs. I can sent nothing to yr
thoughts, wch yow knew not before, but my submission, my
repentance, and my harty desire, to do any thing satis-
factory to yr iust displeasure: of wch I beseech yow to
make a charitable vse and Construction. from the
fleete 11o febr: 1601

Yors in all faythfull duty
and obedience.
I. Donne

leaf 2 recto

leaf 2 verso

To the right worll
Sr George More knight.