The Folger Shakespeare Library

L.b.535: Letter from John Donne, Amiens, to Sir Robert More, 1612 February 7: autograph manuscript signed

Catalog record:
Collection:Papers of the More family of Loseley Park, Surrey
Preferred Citation:Letter from John Donne, Amiens, to Sir Robert More, 1612 February 7: autograph manuscript signed, Papers of the More family of Loseley Park, Surrey. Transcription by Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO). MS L.b.535, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC.
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leaf 1 recto

Thys ys my second letter to yow; that ys, my second fault. For let-
ters from thys barren place, are well inough accepted, if they
bee pardoned: we hear from paris (but I thinke scarse so
soone as yow do) that the extreame great Confluence of all
the princes and great persons thether, with so great traine,
as haue not beene in use before, breed generall ialousyes and
suspitions, though yt appear not yet where the sore wyll
break. But one resultance owt of all ys easily discouered,
that the Religion ys like to suffer in france. For ye D: of
Bouillon ys so united to the great ones, especially to the Re-
gent, and her purposes, as he neglects that party, wch vsed
to receiue fauor and hart from hys good disposition towards them.
The D: of Sully desperate of returne to any greatnes. and for
hys sonne ye Marquis of Rosny, he ys yet under the afflicti-
on of an importunity and solicitation to resigne hys great
office, of great Mr of the Artillery: and very like to loose yt.
and hys grandfather, l'esdiguieres, (by a mariage) receiues
but yll satisfaction, beeinge come braue and stronge to paris
to giue countenance to ye yonge Marquis hys pursuite of
hys right, for retaininge that office. So that I can not perceiue
but that they are very willinge, that those of ye Religion should
be discontent: that so yt might eyther appear how much
they are able to do, and where theyr strength consists; or that
some act of discontent from them, might occasion and iustify
seuere proceedings against them. for in the last Assembly, wch
was afforded them, when they presented onely petitions for ye
ratifyenge and due executinge of things granted vnto them
by former Edicts, they found the passages so dull, and dilatory,
as theyr tyme expir’d before they had any particular awn=
swere; and now when they send deputyes to the Court, to solicite
a new Assembly, they finde the same difficultyes. And that wch
affects them mo as much, as any of these affronts donne to the sword=

leaf 1 verso

men, ys, a danger of Servin, the Kings Attorney. He ys a Catholique,
but a french Catholique. And, Sr, french-papistry, ys but like french
veluet: a prety slack Religion that would soone wear owt; and not
of the three-piled papistry of Italy and Spayne. As he doth, in all
such occasions, so in thys last Arrest wch concernd the Iesuits, he
used much vehemency against them. And though upon ye Iesuite
Cotton hys importunity, Servin and ye Iudge, (that ys ye president)
beeinge contracted by the Q: Regent, gaue so good a iustificatio
of all that they had donne in that pleadinge, and that Arrest, a-
gainst ye Iesuits, that shee then seemed then to desist from hear
movinge any modification of ye arrest, yet a Cardinall hath
since that tyme told Servin, that hys best way ys, to dispatche
himselfe of yt place. wch he vnderstands for a liberty to sell
ytt, or a warninge that otherwayese he may loose all. So yt, sr,
as I sayd at first, all that directly or obliquely might succor ye
Religion, suffer great diminutions. The Edict against Duells
hath been lately infringed much. And wyll be oftner, if the Q:
be not severe in the observinge of it; by reason of the very many,
and very different sortes of people at thys tyme, at paris. Two or
three haue been committed for ye breach of yt, and remaine so; but
as yet I haue heard of no seuerer prosecution. I beseech yow -
sent my humble thanks and services, where yw know they are due.
I should not haue forborne to haue written to sr Th: Grymes, if
thys place gaue any thinge wch he desird to know. To hym and to
hys lady, I ame bound to do better offices, then words and letters
are, if my fortune could expresse yt. When there ys any way
open to yow, to send into the wight, I pray giue thys letter a pas=
sage. If one could not gett to that Ile, but by the northwest
discouery, I ^could not thinke the returns so difficult and dilatory. for yet
I haue had no returne from thence of any letter, since my com-
minge out of England. and thye thys silence, especially at thys tyme,
when I make account that yor sister ys near her paynfull and dange=
rous passadge, doth somewhat more affect mee, then I had thought
any thinge of thys world could haue donne. Good sr, if chance any
letter come to yow from thence, do me the fauer to send yt to Mr Iohn
Bruer, at ye Q: armes, a Mercer in chepside, [◇] [◇] any
thinge wyll safely be brought to yr Affectionate frinde & servant

Amyens.7.Febru: here.
I: Donne