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like the palm tree, fruitful in her (90 gave them thanks, and put herself age like the vine, in all ages prosperous, to pains. O noble pattern of a prince all men gracious, in all places glorious, mind, not like to the kings of Persia, wł so that there be no end of her praise until in their progresses did nothing else bu the end of all flesh.
cut sticks to drive away the time, no Thus did I often talk with myself, and like the delicate lives of the Sybarites, wh wish with mine whole soul.
would not admit any art to be exer- (15 Why should I talk of her sharp wit, cised within their city that might make excellent wisdom, exquisite learning, and the least noise. Her wit so sharp, that all other qualities of the mind, wherein she if I should repeat the apt answers, the seemeth as far to excel those that have (100 subtle questions, the fine speeches, the been accounted singular, as the learned pithy sentences, which on the sudden have surpassed those that have been she hath uttered, they would rather breed thought simple.
admiration than credit. But such are In questioning, not inferior to Nicaulia, the gifts that the living God hath indued the queen of Saba, that did put so many her withal, that look in what art or lanhard doubts to Solomon; equal to Nicos guage, wit or learning, virtue or beauty (160 trata in the Greek tongue, who was any one hath particularly excelled most, thought to give precepts for the better she only hath generally exceeded every perfection; more learned in the Latin one in all, insomuch that there is nothing than Amalasunta; passing Aspasia in (110 to be added that either man would wish philosophy, who taught Pericles; exceed in a woman, or God doth give to a creaing in judgment Themistoclea, who in ture. structed Pythagoras. Add to these qual I let pass her skill in music, her knowlities, those that none of these had: the edge in all the other sciences, whenas I French tongue, the Spanish, the Italian, fear lest by my simplicity I should make not mean in every one, but excellent in them less than they are, in seeking to (170 all; readier to correct escapes in those show how great they are, unless I were languages than to be controlled; fitter to praising her in the gallery of Olympia, teach others than learn of any; more able where giving forth one word, I might to add new rules than to err in the (120
hear seven. old; insomuch as there is no ambassador But all these graces, although they be that cometh into her court but she is will to be wondered at, yet her politic goving and able both to understand his mes ernment, her prudent counsel, her zeal to sage and utter her mind; not like unto the religion, her clemency to those that subkings of Assyria, who answer ambassadors mit, her stoutness to those that threaten, by messengers, while they themselves so far exceed all other virtues that (180 either dally in sin or snort in sleep. Her they are more easy to be marveled at than godly zeal to learning, with her great imitated. skill, hath been so manifestly approved Two and twenty years hath she borne that I cannot tell whether she deserve (130 the sword with such justice, that neither more honor for her knowledge, or admira offenders could complain of rigor, nor tion for her courtesy, who in great pomp the innocent of wrong; yet so tempered hath twice directed her progress unto the with mercy as malefactors have been universities with no less joy to the stu sometimes pardoned upon hope of grace, dents than glory to her state. Where, and the injured requited to ease their after long and solemn disputations in grief, insomuch that in the whole (190 law, physic, and divinity, not as course of her glorious reign, it could never wearied with scholars' arguments, but be said that either the poor were oppressed wedded to their orations, when every without remedy, or the guilty repressed one feared to offend in length, she (140 without cause, bearing this engraven in in her own person, with no less praise to her noble heart, that justice without her Majesty than delight to her subjects, mercy were extreme injury, and pity with a wise and learned conclusion, both without equity plain partiality, and that
it is as great tyranny not to mitigate shutteth them, referring all her actions laws, as iniquity to break them.
and endeavors to him that ruleth the (250 Her care for the flourishing of the [200 sun. This is that Cæsar, that first bound Gospel hath well appeared, whenas neither the crocodile to the palm tree, bridling the curses of the Pope (which are bless those that sought to rein her. This is that ings to good people) nor the threatenings good pelican, that to feed her people of kings (which are perilous to a prince) spareth not to rend her own person. nor the persuasions of papists (which are This is that mighty eagle, that hath honey to the mouth) could either fear thrown dust into the eyes of the hart her or allure her to violate the holy that went about to work destruction to league contracted with Christ, or to her subjects, into whose wings although maculate the blood of the ancient Lamb, the blind beetle would have crept, and (260 which is Christ. But always constant (210 so being carried into her nest, destroyed in the true faith, she hath to the exceeding her young ones, yet hath she with the joy of her subjects, to the unspeakable virtue of her feathers, consumed that fly comfort of her soul, to the great glory of in his own fraud. She hath exiled the God, established that religion the main swallow that sought to spoil the grasstenance whereof she rather seeketh to hopper, and given bitter almonds to the confirm by fortitude, than leave off for ravenous wolves that endeavored to defear, knowing that there is nothing that vour the silly lambs, burning even with smelleth sweeter to the Lord than a sound the breath of her mouth like the princely spirit, which neither the hosts of the un stag, the serpents that were engen- [270 godly nor the horror of death can [220 dered by the breath of the huge elephant, either remove or move.
so that now all her enemies are as whist as This Gospel with invincible courage, the bird Attagen, who never singeth any with rare constancy, with hot zeal, she tune after she is taken,-nor they, being so hath maintained in her own countries overtaken. without change, and defended against all But whither do I wade, ladies, as one kingdoms that sought change, insomuch forgetting himself; thinking to sound the that all nations round about her, threat- depth of her virtues with a few fathoms, ening alteration, shaking swords, throw- when there is no bottom; for I know ing fire, menacing famine, murder, de not how it cometh to pass that, being (280 struction, desolation, she only hath [230 in this labyrinth, I may sooner lose mystood like a lamp on the top of a hill, not self than find the end. fearing the blasts of the sharp winds, but Behold, ladies, in this glass a queen, trusting in His providence that rideth a woman, a virgin, in all gifts of the body, upon the wings of the four winds. Next
in all graces of the mind, in all perfection followeth the love she beareth to her sub of either, so far to excel all men, that I jects, who no less tendereth them than know not whether I may think the place the apple of her own eye, showing herself too bad for her to dwell among men. a mother to the afflicted, a physician to To talk of other things in that court the sick, a sovereign and mild governess were to bring eggs after apples, or (290 to all.
[240 after the setting out of the sun, to tell a Touching her magnanimity, her maj- tale of a shadow. esty, her estate royal, there was neither But this I say, that all offices are looked Alexander, nor Galba the Emperor, nor to with great care, that virtue is emany, that might be compared with her. braced of all, vice hated, religion daily
This is she that, resembling the noble increased, manners reformed, that whoso queen of Navarre, useth the marigold for seeth the place there, will think it rather her flower, which at the rising of the sun a church for divine service than a court openeth her leaves, and at the setting for princes' delight.
be, both by Aristotle's precept and 150 SIR PHILIP SIDNEY (1654-1586) common reason, but one day; there is
both many days and many places inartiFrom THE DEFENCE OF POESY ficially imagined.
But if it be so in Gorboduc, how much Chaucer, undoubtedly, did excellently more in all the rest? where you shall in his Troilus and Criseyde; of whom, have Asia of the one side, and Afric of truly, I know not whether to marvel the other, and so many other undermore, either that he in that misty time kingdoms, that the player, when he could see so clearly, or that we in this cometh in, must ever begin with telling clear age walk so stumblingly after him. where he is, or else the tale will not be (60 Yet had he great wants, fit to be forgiven conceived. Now ye shall have three ladies in so reverend antiquity. I account the walk to gather flowers, and then we must Mirror of Magistrates meetly furnished believe the stage to be a garden. By and of beautiful parts; and in the Earl of (10 by we hear news of shipwreck in the same Surrey's lyrics many things tasting of place, and then we are to blame if we a noble birth, and worthy of a noble accept it not for a rock. Upon the back mind. The Shepherd's Calendar hath of that comes out a hideous monster with much poetry in his eclogues, indeed worthy fire and smoke, and then the miserable the reading, if I be not deceived. That beholders are bound to take it for a cave. same framing of his style to an old rustic While in the meantime two armies fly (70 language I dare not allow, since neither in, represented with four swords and Theocritus in Greek, Virgil in Latin, nor bucklers, and then what hard heart will Sannazzaro in Italian did affect it. Be not receive it for a pitched field? sides these, I do not remember to have (20 Now of time they are much more libseen but few (to speak boldly) printed, eral. For ordinary it is that two young that have poetical sinews in them. For princes fall in love; after many traverses proof whereof, let but most of the verses she is got with child, delivered of a fair be put in prose, and then ask the mean boy, he is lost, groweth a man, falleth in ing, and it will be found that one verse love, and is ready to get another child,did but beget another, without ordering and all this in two hours' space; which [80 at the first what should be at the last; how absurd it is in sense even sense may which becomes a confused mass of words, imagine, and art hath taught, and all with a tinkling sound of rime, barely ac ancient examples justified, and at this companied with reason.
(30 day the ordinary players in Italy will not Our tragedies and comedies not with err in. Yet will some bring in an example out cause cried out against, observing of Eunuchus in Terence, that containeth rules neither of honest civility nor of matter of two days, yet far short of skilful poetry, excepting Gorboduc,-again twenty years. True it is, and so was it I say of those that I have seen. Which to be played in two days, and so fitted to notwithstanding as it is full of stately the time it set forth.
the time it set forth. And though 190 speeches and well-sounding phrases, climb- Plautus have in one place done amiss, let ing to the height of Seneca's style, and as us hit with him, and not miss with him. full of notable morality, which it doth But they will say, How then shall we set most delightfully teach, and so obtain (40 | forth a story which containeth both the very end of poesy; yet in truth it many places and many times? And do is very defectious in the circumstances, they not know that a tragedy is tied to which grieveth me, because it might not the laws of poesy, and not of history; remain as an exact model of all tragedies. not bound to follow the story, but havFor it is faulty both in place and time, ing liberty either to feign a quite new. the two necessary companions of all cor matter, or to frame the history to (100 poral actions. For where the stage should the most tragical conveniency? Again, always represent but one place, and the many things may be told which cannot be uttermost time presupposed in it should showed,-if they know the difference be
twixt reporting and representing. As it out that, having indeed no right comedy for example I may speak, though I am in that comical part of our tragedy, we here, of Peru, and in speech digress from have nothing but scurrility, unworthy (160 that to the description of Calicut; but in of any chaste ears, or some extreme show action I cannot represent it without of doltishness, indeed fit to lift up a loud Pacolet's horse. And so was the manner | laughter, and nothing else; where the the ancients took, by some Nuntius (110 whole tract of a comedy should be full to recount things done in former time or of delight, as the tragedy should be still other place.
maintained in a well-raised admiration. Lastly, if they will represent a history, they must not, as Horace saith, begin ab ovo, but they must come to the prin
But I have lavished out too many cipal point of that one action which they words of this play-matter. I do it, bewill represent. By example this will be
cause as they are excelling parts of poesy, best expressed. I have a story of young land, and none can be more pitifully
so is there none so much used in Eng- (170 Polydorus, delivered for safety's sake, with great riches, by his father (120
abused; which, like unmannerly Priamus to Polymnestor, King of Thrace, daughter, showing a bad education, causin the Trojan war time. He, after some
eth her mother Poesy's honesty to be years, hearing the overthrow of Priamus, called in question. for to make the treasure his own, mur
Other sorts of poetry almost have we dereth the child; the body of the child is
none, but that lyrical kind of songs and taken up by Hecuba; she, the same day, sonnets, which, the Lord if he gave us so findeth a slight to be revenged most
good minds, how well it might be emcruelly of the tyrant. Where now would ployed, and with how heavenly fruits, 1180 one of our tragedy-writers begin, but with
both private and public, in singing the the delivery of the child? Then should (130 praises of the immortal beauty, the imhe sail over into Thrace, and so spend I mortal goodness of that God who giveth know not how many years, and travel
us hands to write, and wits to conceive; numbers of places. But where doth
of which we might well want words, but Euripides? Even with the finding of the
never matter; of which we could turn our body, leaving the rest to be told by the eyes to nothing, but we should ever have spirit of Polydorus. This needs no further new-budding occasions. to be enlarged; the dullest wit may con
But truly, many of such writings as ceive it.
come under the banner of unresistible (190 But, besides these gross absurdities,
love, if I were a mistress would never how all their plays be neither right (140 persuade me they were in love; so coldly tragedies nor right comedies, mingling they apply fiery speeches, as men that kings and clowns, not because the matter
had rather read lovers' writings, and so so carrieth it, but thrust in clowns by caught up certain swelling phrases—which head and shoulders to play a part in hang together like a man which once told majestical matters, with neither decency
me the wind was at northwest and by nor discretion; so as neither the admira- south, because he would be sure to name tion and commiseration, nor the right winds enough-than that in truth they sportfulness, is by their mongrel tragi- feel those passions, which easily, as I (200 comedy obtained. I know Apuleius did think, may be bewrayed by that same somewhat so, but that is a thing re- (150 forcibleness, or energia (as the Greeks counted with space of time, not repre
let this sented in one moment: and 'I know the sufficient, though short note, that we · ancients have one or two examples of
miss the right use of the material point tragi-comedies, as Plautus hath Amphi- of poesy. trio. But, if we mark them well, we shall find that they never, or very daintily, But what! methinks I deserve to be match hornpipes and funerals. So falleth pounded for straying from poetry to ora
tory. But both have such an affinity in the same purpose; there being in either, this wordish consideration, that I (210 sweetness, and wanting in neither, majthink this digression will make my mean- esty. Truly the English, before any ing receive the fuller understanding: which other vulgar language I know, is fit for is not to take upon me to teach poets how both sorts. For, for the ancient, the they should do, but only, finding myself Italian is so full of vowels that it must sick among the rest, to show some one or ever be cumbered with elisions; the two spots of the common infection grown Dutch
SO, of the other side, with con- (270 among the most part of writers; that, ac- sonants, that they cannot yield the sweet knowledging ourselves somewhat awry, sliding fit for a verse. The French, in we may bend to the right use both of his whole language, hath not one word matter and manner: whereto our lan- (220 that hath his accent in the last syllable guage giveth us great occasion, being, saving two, called antepenultima, and indeed, capable of any excellent exercising little more hath the Spanish; and thereof it.
fore very gracelessly may they use dactyls. I know some will say it is a mingled The English is subject to none of these language. And why not so much the defects. better, taking the best of both the other? Now for rime, though we do not (280 Another will say it wanteth grammar. observe quantity, yet we observe the acNay, truly, it hath that praise that it cent very precisely, which other languages wanteth not grammar. For grammar it either cannot do, or will not do so abmight have, but it needs it not; being (230 solutely. That cæsura, or breathingso easy in itself, and so void of those place in the midst of the verse, neither cumbersome differences of cases, genders, Italian nor Spanish have, the French and moods, and tenses, which, I think, was a we never almost fail of. Lastly, even the piece of the Tower of Babylon's curse, very rime itself the Italian cannot put in that a man should be put to school to the last syllable, by the French named the learn his mother tongue. But for the masculine rime, but still in the next (290 uttering sweetly and properly the con- to the last, which the French call the feceits of the mind, which is the end of male, or the next before that, which the speech, that hath it equally with any Italians term sdrucciola. The example of other tongue in the world; and is par- (240 the former is buono, suono; of the sdrucciola ticularly happy in compositions of two is femina, semina. The French, of the or three words together, near the Greek, other side, hath both the male, as bon, far beyond the Latin,—which is one of son, and the female, as plaise, taise; but the greatest beauties can be in a language. the sdrucciola he hath not. Where the
Now of versifying there are two sorts, English hath all three, as due, true; the one ancient, the other modern. The father, rather; motion, potion; with (300 ancient marked the quantity of each much more which might be said, but that syllable, and according to that, framed I find already the triflingness of this his verse; the modern observing only discourse is much too much enlarged. number, with some regard of the ac- [250 So that since the ever praiseworthy cent, the chief life of it standeth in that poesy is full of virtue-breeding delightlike sounding of the words, which we call fulness, and void of no gift that ought to rime. Whether of these be the more ex- be in the noble name of learning; since cellent, would bear many speeches; the the blames laid against it are either false ancient no doubt more fit for music, both or feeble; since the cause why it is not words and tune observing quantity; and esteemed in England is the fault of [310 more fit lively to express divers passions, poet-apes, not poets; since, lastly, our by the low and lofty sound of the well- tongue is most fit to honor poesy, and to weighed syllable. The latter likewise
'The latter likewise be honored by poesy; I conjure you all with his rime striketh a certain music [260 that have had the evil luck to read this to the ear; and, in fine, since it doth de-ink-wasting toy of mine, even in the name light, though by another way, it obtaineth of the Nine Muses, no more to scorn the