The Folger Shakespeare Library

L.b.537: Letter from John Donne, Covent Garden, to Sir Robert More, Loseley, 1614 July 28: autograph manuscript signed

Catalog record:
Collection:Papers of the More family of Loseley Park, Surrey
Preferred Citation:Letter from John Donne, Covent Garden, to Sir Robert More, Loseley, 1614 July 28: autograph manuscript signed, Papers of the More family of Loseley Park, Surrey. Transcription by Early Modern Manuscripts Online (EMMO). MS L.b.537, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC.
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leaf 1 recto

Our predecessors were never so conquered by the Danes
as I am at this time. for their coming have put
my little Court business out of the way, and dispossessed
me of so near hopes, as lacked little of possession.
I must confess my weakness in this behalf; no man
attends court fortunes with more impatience then I
do. I esteem nothing more inexcusable, then to
attend them chargeably, nor any expense so chargeable,
as that of time. I am so angry at their coming,
that I have not so much as inquir’d why they came.
But they are even with me; for, in truth, they came
for nothing. Statesmen, who can find matter of
state, in any wrinkle in the kings socks, think that
he came for the business of Cleves. but whether for
his brother Saxon, or his Cousin Brandenburgh, I
do not hear that he can tell. And the low-Country
men, this last year, did him such an affront, at his
great Custom place, the Sondt, that some think
he comes to understand our kings disposition in that business,
if he shall go about to right himself upon them. Others
think he came to correct our enormity of yellow bands,
by presenting as many, as blue. For my particular opinion,
I think, he came to defeat me, and retard my business.
He came upon Friday, and he goes upon Monday; and these two
terms limit are his history; for he doth nothing between.
He hath brought with him his Chancellor, and his Admiral; and
is otherwise well attended. He ships 100 horse; but sent

leaf 1 verso

them back, after he had been a day at sea. He pretended
to go into Germany; but after he was at sea, he discovered
his purpose; and accordingly left a Commission for the
government, to be opened, after he had been certain
days away. The rest of his history, you may find, I
think, in some part of Amadis de Gaula, at your leisure.
I will not contribute so much to myne own ill fortune,
nor join with her in a treason against myself, so much
as to be absent now, when my absence may give perchance
occasion, perchance excuse to others of slackness in my business.
therefore I have neglected my pleasure, and the little circum=
stance of my health, (for in good faith, my life itself
is no great Circumstance to me) which I intended by
going into the Country. Therefore, sir, I send back your horse,
in as good case, as so long rest in the Covent Garden
can make him. If I find it necessary to go, I will
be bold to ask you, by an express Messenger again,
whether you can spare him then, or no. Your poor sister
remembers her love to yourself and all your company. So do I,
sir, who am ever

Yours to be commanded
John Donne.
At my poor Hospital
28 July 1614

leaf 2 recto

This Mr. DonneDonne Married One of Sir George
More's Daughters
against his Consent

leaf 2 verso

To the right worshipful Sir
Robert More knight
At Loseley.