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.
Terms of Use:Transcriptions are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This allows you to use our transcriptions without additional permission provided that you cite the Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO) Project at the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and that you license anything you create using the transcriptions under the same or equivalent license. EMMO and the Folger waive permission fees for non-commercial publication by registered non-profits, including university presses, regardless of the license they use. For information about using the images that correspond to the transcriptions, see Image Permissions.

leaf 1 recto

This is my second letter to you; that is, my second fault. For letters
from this barren place, are well enough accepted, if they
be pardoned: we hear from Paris (but I think scarce so
soon as you do) that the extreme great Confluence of all
the princes and great persons thither, with so great train,
as have not been in use before, breed general jealousies and
suspicions, though it appear not yet where the sore will
break. But one resultance out of all is easily discovered,
that the Religion is like to suffer in France. For the Duke of
Bouillon is so united to the great ones, especially to the Regent,
and her purposes, as he neglects that party, which used
to receive favor and heart from his good disposition towards them.
The Duke of Sully desperate of return to any greatness. and for
his son the Marquis of Rosny, he is yet under the affliction
of an importunity and solicitation to resign his great
office, of great Master of the Artillery: and very like to loose it.
and his grandfather, Lesdigières, (by a marriage) receives
but ill satisfaction, being come brave and strong to Paris
to give countenance to the young Marquis his pursuit of
his right, for retaining that office. So that I can not perceive
but that they are very willing, that those of the Religion should
be discontent: that so it might either appear how much
they are able to do, and where their strength consists; or that
some act of discontent from them, might occasion and justify
severe proceedings against them. for in the last Assembly, which
was afforded them, when they presented only petitions for the
ratifying and due executing of things granted unto them
by former Edicts, they found the passages so dull, and dilatory,
as their time expir’d before they had any particular answer;
and now when they send deputies to the Court, to solicit
a new Assembly, they find the same difficulties. And that which
affects them mo as much, as any of these affronts done to the sword-

leaf 1 verso

men, is, a danger of Servin, the Kings Attorney. He is a Catholic,
but a french Catholic. And, Sir, french-papistry, is but like french
velvet: a pretty slack Religion that would soon wear out; and not
of the three-piled papistry of Italy and Spain. As he doth, in all
such occasions, so in this last Arrest which concerned the Jesuits, he
used much vehemence against them. And though upon the Jesuit
Cotton his importunity, Servin and the Judge, (that is the president)
being contracted by the Queen Regent, gave so good a justification
of all that they had done in that pleading, and that Arrest, against
the Jesuits, that she then seemed then to desist from hear
moving any modification of the arrest, yet a Cardinal hath
since that time told Servin, that his best way is, to dispatch
himself of that place. which he understands for a liberty to sell
it, or a warning that otherwayese he may loose all. So that, sir,
as I said at first, all that directly or obliquely might succour the
Religion, suffer great diminutions. The Edict against Duels
hath been lately infringed much. And will be oftener, if the Queen
be not severe in the observing of it; by reason of the very many,
and very different sorts of people at this time, at Paris. Two or
three have been committed for the breach of it, and remain so; but
as yet I have heard of no severer prosecution. I beseech you present
my humble thanks and services, where you know they are due.
I should not have forborne to have written to sir Thomas Grymes, if
this place gave any thing which he desired to know. To him and to
his lady, I am bound to do better offices, then words and letters
are, if my fortune could express it. When there is any way
open to you, to send into the wight, I pray give this letter a passage.
If one could not get to that Isle, but by the northwest
discovery, I could not think the returns so difficult and dilatory. for yet
I have had no return from thence of any letter, since my coming
out of England. And thye this silence, especially at this time,
when I make account that your sister is near her painful and dangerous
passage, doth somewhat more affect me, then I had thought
any thing of this world could have done. Good sir, if perchance any
letter come to you from thence, do me the favor to send it to Master John
Bruer, at the Queen arms, a Mercer in Cheapside, [◇] [◇] anything
will safely be brought to your Affectionate friend & servant

Amiens.7.February here.
John Donne