And when the Company of Death arrived
At twenty-hours,–the way they reckon here,–
We say, at sunset, after dinner-time,–
The Count was led down, hoisted up on car,
Last of the five, as heinousest, you know:
Yet they allowed one whole car to each man.

His intrepidity, nay, nonchalance,
As up he stood and down he sat himself,
Struck admiration into those who saw.

Author and Text

Foulenesse is Lothsome: can that be so which helpes it? who forbids his Beloved to gird in her waste? to mend by shooing her uneven lamenesse? to burnish her teeth? or to perfume her breath? yet that the Face bee more precisely regarded, it concernes more: For as open confessing sinners are alwaies punished, but the wary and concealing offenders without witnesse doe it also without punishment; so the secret parts needs the lesse respect; but of the Face, discovered to all Examinations and survayes, there is not too nice a Iealousie. Nor doth it onely draw the busie eyes, but it is subject to the divinest touch of all, to kissing, the strange and mysticall union of soules. If shee should prostitute her selfe to a more unworthy Man than thy selfe, how earnestly and justly wouldst thou exclaime? that for want of this easier and ready way of repairing, to betray her body to ruine and deformity (the tyrannous Ravishers, and sodaine Deflourers of all Women) what a heynous Adultery is it? What thou lovest in her face is colour, and painting gives that, but thou hatest it, not because it is, but because thou knowest it. Foole, whom ignorance makes happy; the Starres, the Sunne, the Skye whom thou admirest, alas, have no colour, but are faire, because they seeme to bee coloured: If this seeming will not satisfie thee in her, thou hast good assurance of her colour, when thou seest her lay it on. If her face bee painted on a Boord or Wall, thou wilt love it, and the Boord, and the Wall: Canst thou loath it then when it speakes, smiles, and kisses, because it is painted? Are wee not more delighted with seeing Birds, Fruites, and Beasts painted then wee are with Naturalls? And doe wee not with pleasure behold the painted shape of Monsters and Divels, whom true, wee durst not regard? Wee repaire the ruines of our houses, but first cold tempests warnes us of it, and bytes us through it; wee mend the wracke and staines of our Apparell, but first our eyes, and other bodies are offended; but by this providence of Women, this is prevented. If in kissing or breathing upon her, the painting fall off, thou art angry, wilt thou be so, if it sticke on? Thou didst love her, if thou beginnest to hate her, then ’tis because shee is not painted. If thou wilt say now, thou didst hate her before, thou didst hate her and love her together, bee constant in something, and love her who shewes her great love to thee, in taking this paines to seeme lovely to thee.

Paradoxes and Problemes Donne, John 1600