John Donne

Evelyn Simpson, Helen Gardner, and T. S. Healy (eds), Selected Prose

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10. To Sir Thomas Egerton[? February or March 1602]1

The honorable favor that your Lordship hath afforded me, in allowinge me the liberty of myne own chamber, hath given me leave so much to respect and love myself, that now I can desire to be well. And therfore for health, not pleasure (of which your Lordships displeasure hath dulld in me all tast and apprehension), I humbly beseeche your Lordship so much more to slacken my fetters, that as I ame by your Lordships favor myne own keeper, and surety, so I may be myne owne phisician and apothecary, which your Lordship shall worke, if yow graunt me liberty to take the ayre about this towne. The whole world ys a streight imprisonment to me, whilst I ame barrd your Lordships sight; but this favour may lengthen and better my lyfe, which I desire to preserve, onely in hope to redeeme by my sorrowe and desire to pg 121do your Lordship service, my offence past. Allmighty God dwell ever in your Lordships hart, and fill yt with good desires, and graunt them.

  • Your Lordships poorest servant,
  • J. Donne

To the right honorable my very good Lord and Master Sir Thomas Egerton, knight, Lord Keeper of the Great Seale of England.

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Editor’s Note
1 This letter would seem to have been written either shortly before or soon after the last.
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