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to begge the other : he that offendes, being forst, is more excusable than the wilfull faultie; though both be guilty, there is difference in the guilt. To observe custome, and avoide as I may, cavill, opposing your favors against my feare, Ile shew reason for my present writing, and after proceed to sue for pardon. About three moneths since died M. Robert Greene, leaving many papers in sundry Booke sellers hands, among other his Groatsworth of wit, in which a letter written to divers play-makers, is offensively by one or two of them taken; and because on the dead they cannot be avenged, they wilfully forge in their conceites a living Author: and after tossing it two and fro, no remedy, but it must light on me. How I have all the time of my conversing in printing hindred the bitter inveying against schollers, it hath been very well knowne; and how in that I dealt, I can sufficiently proove. With neither of them that take offence was I acquainted, and with one of them I care not if I never be: The other, whome at that time I did not so much spare, as since I wish I had, for that as I have moderated the heate of living writers, and might have usde my owne discretion (especially in such a case) the Author beeing dead, that I did not, I am as sory as if the originall fault had beene my fault, because my selfe have seene his demeanor no lesse civill, than be exelent in the qualitie he professes : Besides, divers of worship have reported his uprightnes of dealing, which argues his honesty, and his facetious grace in writting, that aprooves his Art. For the first, whose learning I reverence, and at the perusing of Greenes Booke, stroke out what then in conscience I thought he in some displeasure writ; or had it beene true, yet to publish it, was intollerable; him I would wish to use me no worse than I deserve. I had onely in the copy this share: it was il written, as sometimes Greenes hand was none of the best; licensd it must be, ere it could bee printed, which could never be if it might not be read. To be briefe, I writ it over; and as neare as I could, followed the copy; onely in that letter I put something out, but in the whole booke not a worde in; for I protest it was all Greenes, not mine nor Maister Nashes, as some unjustly have affirmed. Neither was he the writer of an Epistle to the second part of Gerileon, though by the workemans error T. N. were set to the end : that I confesse to be mine, and repent it not.
Thus Gentlemen, having noted the private causes that made me nominate my selfe in print; being aswell to purge Maister Nashe of that he did not, as to justifie what I did, and withall to confirme what M. Greene did : I beseech yee accept the publike cause, which is both the desire of your delight, and common benefite : for though the toye bee shadowed under the Title of Kind-hearts Dreame, it discovers the false hearts of divers that wake to commit mischiefe. Had not the former reasons been, it had come forth without a father: and then shuld I have had no cause to feare offending, or reason to sue for favor. Now am I in doubt of the one, though I hope of the other; which if I obtaine, you shall bind me hereafter to bee silent, till I can present yee with something more acceptable.
POEMS OF JOHN DONNE.
[John DONNE, English clergyman and poet, son of a rich London merchant from an old Welsh Catholic family, was born in 1573; studied at Oxford from eleven to fourteen, at Cambridge later, but could not graduate on account of his religion. Studying for the bar at seventeen, he investigated points of faith and turned Protestant. He wrote nearly all his poems before coming of age. He traveled abroad 1694–1597, returned and became secretary to Lord Keeper Egerton (Lord Ellesmere), afterward lord chancellor ; but on the discovery of his secret marriage with Egerton's niece, the Lord Keeper discharged and imprisoned him, and he had to recover his wife by a suit at law. After various wanderings and random employments he wrote “The Pseudo-martyr," against the Catholics; and James I., admiring it, advised him to take orders, and after sending him on an embassy to his daughter, the Queen of Bohemia, made him dean of St. Paul's and vicar of St. Dunstan's. He died in 1631.]
VALEDICTION, FORBIDDING MOURNING.
As VIRTUOUS men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
“The breath goes now," and some say, “No”;
So let us melt and make no noise,
No tear floods nor sigh tempests move, 'Twere profanation of our joys,
To tell the laity our love.
Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears;
Men reckon what it did and meant;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.
Dull sublunary lover's love
(Whose soul is sense) cannot admit Absence, because it doth remove
Those things which elemented it.
But we by a love so far refined
That ourselves know not what it is, Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss.
Our two souls, therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to airy thinness beat.
I have done one braver thing
Than all the Worthies did;
Which is, to keep that hid.
It were but madness now t'impart
The skill of specular stone, When he, which can have learned the art
To cut it, can find none.
So, if I now should utter this,
Others (because no more
Would love but as before:
But he who loveliness within
Hath found, all outward loathes; For he who color loves, and skin,
Loves but their oldest clothes. If, as I have, you also do
Virtue [attired] in woman see, And dare love that, and say so too,
And forget the He and She;
And if this love, though placed so,
From profane men you hide,
Which will no faith on this bestow,
Or, if they do, deride;
have done a braver thing
Which is, to keep that hid.
To SIR HENRY WOOTTON.
Be then thine own home, and in thyself dwell;
Before I sigh my last gasp, let me breathe,
To women, or the sea, my tears;
My constancy I to the planets give,
My money to a Capuchin.
To love there, where no love received can be, Only to give to such as have an incapacity.
My faith I give to Roman Catholics ;
My patience let gamesters share.
I give my reputation to those
And to my company my wit;
To him for whom the passing bell next tolls
All foreigners, my English tongue,
Therefore I'll give no more; but I'll undo
Than a sun dial on a grave.