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John Donne's Devotions
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TO THE MOST EXCELLENT PRINCE,

PRINCE CHARLES.

MOST EXCELLENT PRINCE,

I HAVE had three births; one, natural, when I came into the world; one, supernatural, when I entered into the ministry; and now, a preternatural birth, in returning to life, from this sickness. In my second birth, your Highness’ royal father vouchsafed me his hand, not only to sustain me in it, but to lead me to it. In this last birth, I myself am born a father: this child of mine, this book, comes into the world, from me, and with me. And therefore, I presume (as I did the father, to the Father) to present the son to the Son; this image of my humiliation, to the lively image of his Majesty, your Highness. It might be enough, that God hath seen my devotions: but examples of good kings are commandments; and Hezekiah writ the meditations of his sickness, after his sickness. Besides, as I have lived to see (not as a witness only, but as a partaker), the happiness of a part of your royal father’s time, so shall I live (in my way) to see the happiness of the times of your Highness too, if this child of mine, inanimated by your gracious acceptation, may so long preserve alive the memory of

Your Highness humblest and devotedest,

JOHN DONNE

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