« ElőzőTovább »
known that a single individual sustained the most trifling injury at his hands. With all this was joined the most endearing affability. His dignified and winning deportment filled every one, who approached him, with delight. “It likes me much better," he himself observed, “when I find virtue in a fair lodging, * than when I am bound to seek it in an ill-favoured creature, like a pearl in a dunghill.” To his ' nectartongue' evidence is borne in the collections of verses above quoted:
“ Palladium pectus, sedes insignis honoris ;
Virtutum series, invicti robur Achillis ;
Melleus ore sonus, divinum mentis acumen." f Well might it be declared, that such a constellation of virtues only rose to throw one bright flush over the world,and to set again: well might it be pronounced of him;
“ Magna quidem pueri fuit expectatio, major
Tam clarum numen terris, coloque locássent?”
* Pulcrior est pulcro veniens è corpore virtus.
Virtue, and vigour, as the Pthian's great;
strains. * For the sake of the English reader, two
Heu iterumque iterumque, etiamque etiamque dolendum,
go, Braiding with wreath divine the hero's brow, F. W. “ Tu felix, Sidneie, tui dum regia virtus, Dum pietas, dum verus honos, dum vita virescens Splendorem patria tulerant Anglisque salutem : At nunc ter foelix! Num te fælicior ullus ? Qui patriam vitâ, vitam virtute coronas, Vulnere virtutem, decoras cum sanguine stirpem. Immortale tenes æternæ stemma salutis. Te princeps, procerum series dignissima flevit; Te pietas, te prisca fides, te docta juventus, Te, te sacra cohors, te nos deflevimus omnes." Sidney, 'twas thine by deeds of valour done, True faith, and vigorous youth to guard the throne: Then happy, round thy native land to throw Honour's bright wreath! But ah! thrice happy now! Whose life that land, that life whose virtues grace, Whose wounds those virtues, and whose death thy race! 'Tis thine the meed of endless bliss to reap: Thee, thee thy Queen and all her nobles weep; Thee Piety, thee Faith as known' of yore, And learned Youth and hallow'd Age, deplore. F. W.
* The respective 'titles of these publications were;
1. Academia Cantabrigiensis Lacrymæ, tumulo nobilissimi
He left a daughter, Elizabeth, born the year before his death, who married Roger Manners, fifth Earl of Rutland. This young nobleman, from his attachment to his relation the Earl of Essex having joined him in his fatal insurrection, was committed to the Tower, where he remained a prisoner till the accession of James I. He died without issue in 1612; and was followed to the grave by his countess in about
The widow of Sidney, destinated (according to Sir Robert Naunton) to the bed of honour, subsequently married her royal mistress' favourite, * Essex, who offended the Queen by this measure, as concluded without her privity. He perishing on the scaffold in 1600, she took for her third husband Richard de Burgh, Earl of Clanrickarde, a person equally elegant and accomplished with her two former consorts, but happily for herself far less ambitious and enterprising. In the interval between her second and her third marriage she lost her father, the support and ornament of Protestantism, and became a Papist.t
His works, beside the · Arcadia,' first published in 1590, the • Defence of Poesy,' 1595, and an English
Equitis D. Philippi Sidneii sacratæ per Alexandrum Ne
villum,' Lond. 1587. 2. ' Peplus illustrissimi Viri D. Sidnæi supremis honoribus
dicatus,' Oxon. 1587, and 3. .Exequia illustrissimi Equitis D. Philippi Sidnæi gratis
simæ memoriæ ac nomini impensa,' Oxon. 1589. * Voltaire with his usual inaccuracy observes, that of Queen Elizabeth's favourites Robert Devereux was the first, and the Earl of Essex the second !' Could he really be ignorant, that they were the same person?
+ Sir Henry Wotton, in his . Parallel of Essex and Villiers Duke of Buckingham,' observes that “they were both married
Version of the Psalms, remaining in MS., were
Astrophel and Stella,' 1591: and Sonets,' several of which appeared in Constable's Diana, 1594, but were subsequently with. Astrophel and Stella' annexed to the • Arcadia;' as likewise are, generally, the · Remedie for Love,' and the Lady of May,' a Masque.
He co-operated, also, in the Instructions for Travellers,' 1633, with the Earl of Essex and Secretary Davison; wrote • Valour anatomised in a Fancie,' 1581;* furnished some poetical contributions to England's Helicon,' and · England's Parnassus (both published in 1600) and Davison's Poems, 1611; and translated the first part of his friend
Philip of Mornay's'† French Treatise on the Treunesse of the Christian Religion, &c.' which, at his request, was finished by the voluminous Arthur Golding. This last work alone, the labour of his few hours of leisure during the closing years of his short life, abundantly proves, that he “delighted (as Dr. Zouch has observed) to contemplate the truths of Revelation; the existence of a Supreme Being, his creation and government of the world, the immortality of the soul,
to very virtuous ladies, sole heirs, and left issue of their sex, and both their wives were converted to contrary religions." (Reliq. Wotton.)
In Lyttelton's · Dialogues of the Dead,' Lady Clanrickarde is introduced as defending her third marriage by remarking, that her two first husbands were too much engaged in the pursuit of glory to regard the duties of domestic life.
* Printed at the end of Cottoni Posthuma,' 1672.
+ Of this writer “ the most learned among the noble, and the most noble among the learned," the various compositions (particularly the • Mystery of Iniquity,') have the honour of being admitted among the heretical volumes prohibited by the Roman Index.
the prospect of future blessedness, and the redemption effected by the Messiah for the whole race of mankind.”.
From the Defence of Poesy.'
And first, truly, to all them that professing learning inveigh against Poetry may justly be objected, That they go very near to ungratefulness ; to seek to deface that, which in the noblest nations and languages that are known hath been the first light-giver to ignorance, and first nurse, whose milk by little and little enabled them to feed afterward of tougher knowledges. And will you play the hedge-hog, that being received into the den, drove out his host; or rather the vipers, that with their birth kill their parents?
• Let learned Greece, in any of her manifest sciences, be able to show me one book before Musæus, Homer, and Hesiod; all three nothing else but Poets. Nay, let any history be brought, that can say any writers were there before them, if they were not men of the same skill; as Orpheus, Linus, and some others are named, who having been the first of that country that made pens deliverers of their knowledge to posterity, may justly challenge to be called their • Fathers in learning. For not only in time they had this priority (although, in itself, antiquity be venerable) but went before them as causes to draw, with their charming sweetness, the wild untamed wits to an admiration of knowledge: so as Amphion was