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Donne, and your friend Sir Henry Wotton, all reprinteda. The two first were written under your roof; for which reason, if they were worth it, you might justly challenge a Dedication : and indeed, so you might of Dr. Donne's, and Sir Henry Wotton's; because, if I had been fit for this undertaking, it would not have been by acquired learning or study, but by the advantage of forty years friendship, and thereby with hearing and discoursing with your Lordship, that hath enabled me to make the relation of these lives passable (if they prove so) in an eloquent and cap
And indeed, my Lord, though these relations be well-meant facrifices to the memory of these worthy men; yet I have so little confidence in my performance, that I beg pardon for superscribing your name to them; and desire all that know your Lordship, to apprehend this not as a Dedication, (at least, by which you
a The Life of Bishop Sanderson was not then written,
receive any addition of honour,) but rather as an humble and a more public acknowledgment of your long continued and your now daily favours to,
Your most affectionate
And most humble servant,
TO THE READER.
THOUGH the several introductions to these several Lives have partly declared the reasons how, and why I undertook them; yet since they are come to be reviewed, and augmented, and reprinted, and the four are now become one book; I desire leave to inform you that shall become my reader, that when I sometime look back upon my education and mean abilities, it is not without some little wonder at myself, that I am come to be publicly in print. And though I have in those introductions declared fome of the accidental reafons that occafioned me to be so, yet let me add this to what is there said ; that by my undertaking to collect some notes for Sir Henry Wotton's writing the Life of Dr. Donne, and by Sir Henry's dying before he performed it, I became like those men that enter eafily into a law-suit, or a quarrel, and having begun, cannot make a fair retreat and be
quiet, when they desire it.—And really, after such a manner, I became engaged into a necessity of writing the Life of Dr. Donne, contrary to my first intentions ; and that begot a like necessity of writing the Life of his and my ever-honoured friend, Sir Henry Wotton.
And having writ these two Lives, I lay quiet twenty years, without a thought of either troubling myself or others, by any newengagement in this kind; for I thought I knew my unfitness. But, about that time, Dr. Gauden (then Lord Bishop of Exeter) ,published the Life of Mr. Richard Hooker, (so he called it,) with so many dangerous mistakes, both of him and his books, that discoursing of them with his Grace, Gilbert, that now is Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, he enjoined me to examine fome circumstances, and then rectify the Bishop's mistakes, by giving the world a fuller and a truer account of Mr. Hooker and his books, than that Bishop had done; and I know I have done so. And let me tell the reader, that till his Grace had laid this injunction upon me, I could not admit