To Sir John Danvers, September 1619

[Text from The Works of George Herbert, ed. F. E. Hutchinson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1941), pp. 369-70.]



This Week hath loaded me with your Favours; I wish I could have come in person to thank you, but it is not possible; presently after Michaelmas, I am to make an Oration to the whole University of an hour long in Latin, and my Lincoln journey hath set me much behind hand: neither can I so much as go to Bugden, and deliver your Letter, yet have I sent it thither by a faithful Messenger this day: I beseech you all, you and my dear Mother and Sister to pardon me, for my Cambridge necessities are stronger to tye me here, than yours to London: If I could possibly have come, none should have done my message to Sir Fr: Nethersole for me; he and I are ancient acquaintance, and I have a strong opinion of him, that if he can do me a courtesie, he will of himself; yet your appearing in it, affects me strangely. I have sent you here inclosed a Letter from our Master in my behalf, which if you can send to Sir Francis before his departure, it will do well, for it expresseth the Universities inclination to me; yet if you cannot send it with much convenience, it is no matter, for the Gentleman needs no incitation to love me.

The Orators place (that you may understand what it is) is the finest place in the University, though not the gainfullest; yet that will be about 30 l. per an. but the commodiousness is beyond the Revenue; for the Orator writes all the University Letters, makes all the Orations, be it to King, Prince, or whatever comes to the University; to requite these pains, he takes place next the Doctors, is at all their Assemblies and Meetings, and sits above the Proctors, is Regent or Non-regent at his pleasure, and such like Gaynesses, which will please a young man well.

I long to hear from Sir Francis, I pray Sir send the Letter you receive from him to me as soon as you can, that I may work the heads to my purpose. I hope I shall get this place without all your London helps, of which I am very proud, not but that I joy in your favours, but that you may see, that if all fail, yet I am able to stand on mine own legs. Noble Sir, I thank you for your infinite favours, I fear only that I have omitted some fitting circumstance, yet you will pardon my haste, which is very great, though never so, but that I have both time and work to be

Your extreme Servant,


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