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Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions Together With Death's Duel

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By: (1572-1631)

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions is a 1624 prose work by the English theologian and writer John Donne, Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It is a series of reflections that were written as Donne recovered from a serious illness. The work consists of twenty-three parts ('devotions') describing each stage of the sickness. Each part is further divided into a Meditation, an Expostulation (or objection) , and a Prayer. The work is an excellent example of seventeenth century English spirituality and sometimes feels a bit dated. Yet much solid nourishment can be found. “Death’s Duel” is Donne’s last sermon prepared for presentation before the King during Lent; it is commonly seen as Donne’s own funeral oration. The biographical material is from Izaak Walton’s Lives. The most famous part of the Devotions is number XVII (17), containing these lines: No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.

First Page:

JOHN DONNE

DEVOTIONS

UPON EMERGENT OCCASIONS

Together with

DEATH'S DUEL

ANN ARBOR PAPERBACKS

The University of Michigan Press

First edition as an

ANN ARBOR PAPERBACK 1959

Published in the United States of America by the University of Michigan and simultaneously in Toronto, Canada, by Ambassador Books, Ltd.

Manufactured in the United States of America

CONTENTS

THE LIFE OF DR. JOHN DONNE v

DEVOTIONS 1

DEATH'S DUEL 161

THE LIFE OF DR. JOHN DONNE

( Taken from the life by Izaak Walton ).

Master John Donne was born in London, in the year 1573, of good and virtuous parents: and, though his own learning and other multiplied merits may justly appear sufficient to dignify both himself and his posterity, yet the reader may be pleased to know that his father was masculinely and lineally descended from a very ancient family in Wales, where many of his name now live, that deserve and have great reputation in that country.

By his mother he was descended of the family of the famous and learned Sir Thomas More, sometime Lord Chancellor of England: as also, from that worthy and laborious Judge Rastall, who left posterity the vast Statutes of the Law of this nation most exactly abridged... Continue reading book >>


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