Evelyn Simpson, Helen Gardner, and T. S. Healy (eds), Selected Prose
pg 13520. To the Countess of Bedford
Happiest and worthiest Lady,
I do not remember that ever I have seen a petition in verse, I would not therefore be singular, nor adde these to your other papers. I have yet adventured so near as to make a petition for verse, it is for those your Ladiship did me the honour to see in Twicknam garden, except you repent your making; and having mended your judgement by thinking worse, that is, better, because juster, of their subject. They must needs be an excellent exercise of your wit, which speake so well of so ill: I humbly beg them of your Ladiship, with two such promises, as to any other of your compositions were threatnings: that I will not shew them, and that I will not beleeve them; and nothing should be so used that comes from your brain or breast. If I should confesse a fault in the boldnesse of asking them, or make a fault by doing it in a longer Letter, your Ladiship might use your style and old fashion of the Court towards me, and pay me with a Pardon. Here therefore I humbly kisse your Ladiships fair learned hands, and wish you good wishes and speedy grants.
- Your Ladiships servant
- J. DONNE