"I know John Donne," she said sharply.
At the Mermaid Ben Jonson had such companions as Shakespeare, Raleigh, Beaumont, Fletcher, Carew, Donne, Cotton and Selden, but at the Devil in Fleet Street, where he started the Apollo Club, he was omnipotent.
His mother, Lady Magdalen Herbert, a woman of great good sense and sweetness of character, and a friend of John Donne, exercised great influence over her son.
Besides editing the works of John Donne, he published several volumes of his own verse, The School of the Heart (1835), The Abbot of Muchelnaye (1841), and a number of hymns, the best-known of which are "Forward!
19 a planted and used as well in the said colonies as also as much as might be among the savages bordering among them "; and the honoured names of Nicolas Ferrar, John Ferrar, John Donne and Sir John Sandys, a pupil of Hooker, are all found on the council by which the home management of the colony was conducted.
During three years he was experimental assistant to Alfred Donne (1801-1878) in his course of lectures on microscopic anatomy.
JOHN DONNE (1573-1631), English poet and divine of the reign of James I., was born in 1573 in the parish of St Nicholas Olave, in the city of London.
Donne was "removed to London" about 1590, and in 1592 he entered Lincoln's Inn with the intention of studying the law.
In 1596 Donne engaged himself for foreign service under the earl of Essex, and "waited upon his lordship" on board the "Repulse," in the magnificent victory of the 11th of June.
We possess several poems written by Donne during this expedition, and during the Islands Voyage of 1597, in which he accompanied Essex to the Azores.
According to Walton, Donne spent some time in Italy and Spain, and intended to proceed to Palestine, "but at his being in the farthest parts of Italy, the disappointment of company,or of a safe convoy,or the uncertainty of returns of money into those remote parts, denied him that happiness."
As soon as this act was discovered, Donne was dismissed, and then thrown into the Fleet prison (February 1602), from which he was soon released.
During the latter part of his residence in Sir Thomas Egerton's house, Donne had composed the longest of his existing poems, The Progress of the Soul, not published until 1633.
Donne is believed to have had a considerable share in writing the pamphlets against the papists which Morton issued between 1604 and 1607.
Donne, however, although he was at this time become deeply serious on religious matters, did not think himself fitted for the clerical life.
Donne soon after formed part of the brilliant assemblage which Lucy, countess of Bradford, gathered around her at Twickenham; we possess several of the verse epistles he addressed to this lady.
In 1609 Donne was engaged in composing his great controversial prose treatise, the Pseudo-Martyr, printed in 1610; this was an attempt to convince Roman Catholics in England that they might, without any inconsistency, take the oath of allegiance to James I.
In 1611 Donne wrote a curious and bitter prose squib against the Jesuits, entitled Ignatius his Conclave.
This work, the Biathanatos, is an attempt to show that "the scandalous disease of headlong dying," to which Donne himself in his unhappy moods had "often such a sickly inclination," was not necessarily and essentially sinful.
In 1610 Donne formed the acquaintance of a wealthy gentleman, Sir Robert Drury of Hawsted, who offered him and his wife an apartment in his large house in Drury Lane.
Drury lost his only daughter, and in 1611 Donne published an extravagant elegy on her, entitled An Anatomy of the World, to which he added in 1612 a Progress of the Soul on the same subject; he threatened to celebrate the "blessed Maid," Elizabeth Drury, in a fresh elegy on each anniversary of her death, but he happily refrained from the third occasion onwards.
At the close of 1611 Sir Robert Drury determined to visit Paris (but not, as Walton supposed, on an embassy of any kind), and he took Donne with him.
He is said to have had a vision, while he was at Amiens, of his wife, with her hair over her shoulders, bearing a dead child in her arms, on the very night that Mrs Donne, in London (or more probably in the Isle of Wight), was delivered of a still-born infant.
The Drurys and Donne left Paris for Spa in May 1612, and travelled in the Low Countries and Germany until September, when they returned to London.
In 1613 Donne contributed to the Lachrymae lachrymarum an obscure and frigid elegy on the death of the prince of Wales, and wrote his famous Marriage Song for St Valentine's Day to celebrate the nuptials of the elector palatine with the princess Elizabeth.
About this time Donne became intimate with Robert Ker, then Viscount Rochester and afterwards the infamous earl of Somerset, from whom he had hopes of preferment at court.
Donne was now in weak health, and in a highly neurotic condition.
At the close of 1614, however, the king sent for Donne to Theobald's, and "descended to a persuasion, almost to a solicitation of him, to enter into sacred orders," but Donne asked for a few days to consider.
In the spring of 1616, Donne was presented to the living of Keyston, in Hunts., and a little later he became rector of Sevenoaks; the latter preferment he held until his death.
Perhaps in consequence of his bereavement, Donne seems to have passed through a spiritual crisis, which inspired him with a peculiar fervour of devotion.
Of the very numerous sermons preached by Donne at Lincoln's Inn, fourteen have come down to us.
In November 1621, James I., knowing that London was "a dish" which Donne "loved well," "carved" for him the deanery of St Paul's.
In April 1625 Donne preached before the new king, Charles I., a sermon which was immediately printed, and he now published his Four Sermons upon Special Occasions, the earliest collection of his discourses.
Sir John had married Donne's old friend, Mrs Magdalen Herbert, for whom Donne wrote two of the most ingenious of his lyrics, "The Primrose" and "The Autumnal."
The popularity of Donne as a preacher rose to its zenith when he returned to his pulpit, and it continued there until his death.
Donne died on the 3 1st of March 1631, after he had lain "fifteen days earnestly expecting his hourly change."
Izaak Walton's Life of Donne, an admirably written but not entirely correct biography, preceded the Sermons of 1640.
The principal editor of his posthumous writings was his son, John Donne the younger (1604-1662), a man of eccentric and scandalous character, but of considerable talent.
The influence of Donne upon the literature of England was singularly wide and deep, although almost wholly malign.
The first impression of an unbiassed reader who dips into the poems of Donne is unfavourable.
Donne excels in brief flashes of wit and beauty, and in sudden daring phrases that have the full perfume of poetry in them.
To the odd terminology of Donne's poetic philosophy Dryden gave the name of "metaphysics," and Johnson, borrowing the suggestion, invented the title of the "metaphysical school" to describe, not Donne only, but all the amorous and philosophical poets who succeeded him, and who employed a similarly fantastic language, and who affected odd figurative inversions.
In 1899 Edmund Gosse published in two volumes The Life and Letters of John Donne, for the first time revised and collected.
When the Cowpers were Sussex landowners, while his mother, Ann, daughter of Roger Donne of Ludham Hall, Norfolk, was of the same race as the poet Donne, and the family claimed to have Plantagenet blood in its veins.
At a slightly later date John Donne (1573-1621) and Joseph Hall (1574-1656) divided the suffrages of the pious.