This is the debt I pay Just for one riotous day, Years of regret and grief. Sorrow without relief. Pay it I will to the end-- Until the grave, my friend, Gives me a true release-- Gives me the clasp of peace. Slight was the thing I bou... Read more of The Debt at Martin Luther King.caInformational Site Network Informational

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Cowley At Chertsey

The poet Cowley died at the Porch House, Chertsey, on the 21st of July,
1667. There is a curious letter preserved of his condition when he
removed here from Barn Elms. It is addressed to Dr. Sprat, dated
Chertsey, 21 May, 1665, and is as follows:--

"The first night that I came hither I caught so great a cold, with
a defluxion of rheum, as made me keep my chamber ten days. And,
too, after had such a bruise on my ribs with a fall, that I am yet
unable to move or turn myself in bed. This is my personal fortune
here to begin with. And besides, I can get no money from my tenants,
and have my meadows eaten up every night by cattle put in by my
neighbours. What this signifies, or may come to in time, God knows!
if it be ominous, it can end in nothing but hanging."----"I do hope
to recover my hurt so farre within five or six days (though it be
uncertain yet whether I shall ever recover it) as to walk about
again. And then, methinks, you and I and the Dean might be very
merry upon St. Ann's Hill. You might very conveniently come hither
by way of Hampton Town, lying there one night. I write this in
pain, and can say no more.--Verbum sapienti."

It is stated, by Sprat, that the last illness of Cowley was owing to his
having taken cold through staying too long among his labourers in the
meadows; but, in Spence's Anecdotes we are informed, (on the authority
of Pope,) that "his death was occasioned by a mere accident whilst his
great friend, Dean Sprat, was with him on a visit at Chertsey. They had
been together to see a neighbour of Cowley's, who, (according to the
fashion of those times,) made them too welcome. They did not set out for
their walk home till it was too late; and had drank so deep that they
lay out in the fields all night. This gave Cowley the fever that carried
him off. The parish still talk of the drunken Dean."

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