The Folger Shakespeare Library

L.b.529: Letter from John Donne to Sir George More, 1601/1602 February 13: autograph manuscript signed

Catalog record:
Collection:Papers of the More family of Loseley Park, Surrey
Preferred Citation:Letter from John Donne to Sir George More, 1601/1602 February 13: autograph manuscript signed, Papers of the More family of Loseley Park, Surrey. Transcription by Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO). MS L.b.529, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC.
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leaf 1 recto

From you, to whom next to God, I shall owe my health, by enjoying by your Mediation this
mild change of Imprisonment, I desire to derive all my good fortune and Content in
this world. And therefore with my most unfeigned thanks, present to you my humble
petition that you would be pleased to hope, that as that fault which was laid to
me, of having deceived some gentlewomen before, and that of louing a Corrupt
Religion are vanished and smoked away (as I assure myself, out of their weakness
they are, And that as the Devil in the Article of our Death takes the advantage
of our weakness and fear to aggravate our Sins to our Conscience, so some uncharitable
Malice hath presented my Debts double at least, So; many of the
Imputations laid upon me, would fall off, if I might but shake and purge myself
in your presence. But if that were done, of this Offence committed to you
I cannot acquit myself. Of which yet, I hope that God, to whom for that
I heartily direct many prayers, will inform you to make that use, that as
of Evil Manners good Laws grow, so out of our disobedience and boldness,
you will take Occasion to show Mercy and tenderness. And when it shall
please God you to soften your hart so much towards us, as to pardon us, I beseech
you also to undertake that charitable office of being my Mediator to my
Lord whom as upon your just Complaint you found full of justice, I doubt not
but you shall also find full of Mercy: for so is the Almighty pattern of
Justice and Mercy, equally full of both. My Conscience and such Affection
as in my Conscience becomes an honest man, emboldens me to make
one request more, which is that by some kind and Comfortable message you
would be pleased to give some ease of the afflictions which I know your
Daughter in her Mind suffers; and that (if it be not against your other
purposes) I may with your leave write to her; for without your leave
I will never attempt any thing concerning her. God so have mercy
upon me, as I am unchangeably resolved, to bend all my Courses to make
me fit for her; which if God, and my Lord and you be pleased to strengthen
I hope neither my Debts, which I can easily Order, nor any thing else shall
interrupt. Almighty God keep you in his favor, and restore me to his
and yours. From my Chamber, whether by your favor I am Come. 13th
February 1601

Yours in all dutiful obedience
John Donne

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leaf 2 verso

To the right worshipful
Sir George More knight