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elegance, and facility. His amatory powers are not whining lamentations about the perfections and cruelty of an ideal paragon, but lively, dramatic, and descriptive of real passion.*
Leicester, though it was cruelly insinuated by some of his enemies, that he had purposely neglected sending reinforcements to his nephew, was deeply afflicted by the event; and declared that next her Majesty Sidney was his greatest comfort of all the world, and if he could have bought his life with all he had to his shirt, he would have given it. A general mourning among the higher ranks, the first instance (it is believed) of a national change of apparel for a private person, announced the sympathy of his countrymen. Even the hard heart of Philip of Spain in a softened hour confessed, that · England had lost in an instant what she might not produce in an age;' and his secretary • lamented to see Christendom deprived of so rare a light in these cloudy times, and bewailed poor widow England, that having been so many years in breeding one eminent spirit, was in a moment bereaved of him :' while the states of Holland earnestly petitioned to bury his body at the public expense, engaging to erect for him as fair a monument as any prince had in Christendom. But this request Elizabeth rejected, having determined to celebrate his ob
* With respect to Lord Orford, who says Sidney wrote with the sang-froid and prolixity of Mademoiselle Scudery,! an able critic justly represents singularity of opinion, vivacity of ridicule, and polished epigrams in prose, as the means by which that nobleman sought distinction. But he had something in his disposition more predominant than his wit: a cold unfeeling disposition, which contemned literary men at the moment that his heart-secretly panted to share their fame; while his peculiar habits of society deadened every impression of grandeur in the human character.
sequies at her own cost in the most magnificent manner.
On the fifth of November, his remains were landed at Tower-Hill, London, and conveyed to the Minories in Aldgate, where they lay in state; and, on the sixteenth of February following, they were interred in St. Paul's Cathedral. To a pillar in the choir was appended a tablet, with the subjoined inscription :
“ England, Netherland, the heavens, and the arts,
The soldiers, and the world, have made six parts
All soldiers the grief, the world his good name." * Never, says Dr. Zouch, was the Italian adage more strongly verified ;
Chi semina virtu fama raccoglie. The venerable Camden has happily portrayed the pre-eminence of his character. Philip Sidney, not to be omitted here without an unpardonable crime, the great glory of his family, the great hopes of mankind, the most lively patron of virtue, and the darling of the world, nobly engaging the enemy at Zutphen in Guelderland, lost his life bravely and valiantly. This is that Sidney, whom as Providence seems to have sent into the world to give the present age a specimen of the ancients, so did it on a sudden recall him and snatch him from us, as more worthy of heaven than of earth. Thus when virtue is 'come to perfection, it presently leaves us, and the best things are seldom lasting. Rest then in peace, O Sidney, if I may be allowed this address. We will
* From a French epigram on Bonnivet by Isaac du Bellay.
mot celebrate thy memory with tears, but with admiration. • Whatever we loved in thee (as the best author speaks of the best governor of Britain) whatever we admired in thee, continues and will continue in the memories of men, the revolutions of ages, and the annals of time. Many, as inglorious and ignoble, are buried in oblivion; but Sidney shall live to all posterity.'* For, as the Greek poet has it, "Virtue's beyond the reach of Fate.'”
Neither has this ‘English Petrarch,' as Ralegh termed him, this warbler of poetic prose,' as he is stiled by Cowper, lacked abundance of later panegyrists. Ben Jonson observes, “ Sir Philip Sidney and Mr. Hooker, in different matters, grew masters of wit and language, and in whom all vigour of invention and strength of judgement met.” Sir Henry Wotton, in his · Elements of Architecture,' has defined his wit to be," the very essence of congruity.” Oldham, in his • Satire dissuading from poetry, matches him with the Scipios and Mecænases of an, cient Rome, for his patronage of poets. By Sir William Temple he is denominated, “ the greatest poet and the noblest genius of any, that have left writings in our own or any modern language.” Thomson, in his Summer,' pronounces him,
“ The plume of war! with early laurels crown'd,
The lover's myrtle, and the poet's bay."
And the noble historian of Henry II. has placed in parallel with him Bayard, the chevalier without fear and without reproach'(decidedly however his inferior in statesmanship, elegance, and literature), as jointly con
* Tacit. Jul. Agric. Vit. ad fine The Greek allusion is to an Epigram by Julianus Ægyptius.
tending for the prize of fame in the school of chivalry.* By the rival pens of Mason and Warton, in their antagonist poems Isis' and the “Triumphs of Isis," he is equally classed among the “ leaders of the patriot bine:” and of learned foreigners, Lambertus Danæus, Scipio Gentilis, Justus Lipsius, Theophilus Banosius, and the celebrated Giordano Bruno did themselves the honour to dedicate to him portions of their works ; while Hakluyt inscribed with the same protecting name his first collection of Voyages and Discoveries, printed in 1582.
With a view to procure for him the scarcest and choicest volumes upon all subjects, his agents attended the annual fairs held at Leipsic, Frankfort, and other places on the continent. This collection, by his will, he divided between his two worthy friends and fellow-poets, Sir Fulke Greville and Mr. Edward Dyer.
His occasional motto, Vix ea nostra voco,'t drew. the following lines from Simon Huseus, preserved in the Oxford Peplus' dedicated to his memory: “Cùm stirpem referas illustrem, die Philippe,
Et magnos atavos conspicuamque domum ;
Antiquumque genus, vix ea nostra vocas?
Unde tuos titulos, stemmataque unde trahis?
Virtutem et mentis munera, nostra' vocas?
* With these a third has occasionally been combined, Edward the Black Prince. Lyttelton has suggested a second parallel for Sidney in Lord Herbert of Cherbury.
† Another, subjoined to the device of the unebbing Caspian, by which he expressed a mind free from the turbulence of passion and a steady perseverance in duty, was Sine refluxu ; a third, Aut viam inveniam, aut faciam; and a fourth, adopted at the tourney of 1581, indicating his disavowal of all selfishness, Sic vos non vobis.
Que tu nostra' vocas, ea sunt divina, Philippe;
Nec meliora illis dicere 'nostra' potes.” The elegance, in short, of his manners, the versatility of his genius adapting itself to the acquisition of universal knowledge, his unbounded munificence, his amiable demeanor in domestic life, his tender sympathy with the protestant victims of Spanish tyranny, the general suavity of his disposition, an experience far above his years, his invincible patience under the acutest suffering—all these qualities will endear his name to future ages. Whatever applause is claimed for his genius and his erudition, much more is due to the unsullied purity of his manners, and the perfect innocence of his life. It was with him a favourite maxim, 'no wisdom without courage, and no courage without religion and honesty.' “ His heart and his tongue went both one way, and so with every one that went with the truth, as knowing no other kindred, party, or end." While many experienced the effects of his beneficence,f it was never
Sprung of illustrious blood--for thou can'st trace
Debueras animæ parcior esse tua.”