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ing beauty to be seen by the eyes of the mind, only cleared by faith * ?”

That his sister had embraced the same opinions, and felt the same love of sacred poesy, is sufficiently evident from the part which she took in the completion of what her brother had so well commenced. There is much reason, indeed, to conclude, from the title prefixed to some of the existing manuscripts, and from other evidence, that by much the greater part of this joint version came from the pen of the countess of Pembroke. Thus, in the manuscript used for the copy printed at the Chiswick press, by C. Whittingham, for Robert Triphook, 1823, . the title runs thus: "The Psalmes of David, translated into divers and sundry Kindes of Verse, more rare and excellent for the Method and Varietie than ever yet hath been done in English. Begun by the noble and learned Gent. Sir Philip Sidney, Knt., and finished by the Right Honourable the Countess of Pembroke, his Sister."

It is said, beneath, in Triphook's impression, to be "Now first printed from a Copy of the Original Manuscript, transcribed by John Davies of Here

Folio Edit. p. 542.

ford, in the reign of James the First." This original manuscript is reported to be still existing in the library at Wilton, curiously bound in crimson velvet*, and in the handwriting of sir Philip and his sister. The MS. by John Davies, who was writing-master to prince Henry, is in folio. "It exhibits," says the advertisement prefixed to Triphook's impression, "a beautiful specimen of the calligraphy of the time. The first letters of every line are in gold ink, and it comprises specimens of all the hands in use, more particularly the Italian, then much in fashion at court. From the pains

bestowed, it is by no means improbable that it was written for the prince."

We learn from the same advertisement, and on the authority of the Rev. B. Bandinel, that of two copies of these psalms in the Bodleian library, one has precisely the same title with the manuscript of John Davies, and the other is a transcript by Dr. Samuel Woodford. "On the first leaf," relates Mr. Bandinel, "Dr. W. has written, The original copy is by mee, given me by my brother, Mr. John Woodford, who bought it among other

Zouch's Sidney, p. 364.

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broken books to putt up coffee pouder, as I remember.'" Mr. B. adds, " At the end of psalm xliii. is written by Dr. W. In the margin, (that is, of the originall MS.) hitherto sir Ph. Sidney*;'" a tes-timony which, as Dr. Woodford wrote this, by his own account, in 1695, would seem to set the question, as to the respective shares of the brother and sister in this version, at rest..

Beside these copies in the Bodleian, and that by John Davies, others are known to exist, both in public and private libraries. In the library, for instance, of Trinity College, Cambridge, is preserved a beautiful manuscript of this version. Another is in the possession of the Rev. Dr. Cotton, of Christ Church, Oxford; and a third is to be found in the valuable collection of Richard Heber, esq. Nor, though unsubmitted to the press until within these three years, has this translation escaped occasional notice from subsequent critics and poets. Of the former, Harrington, in his Nugæ Antiquæ ; Steele, in the Guardian, No. 18; Ballard, in his Memoirs of Learned Ladies; Granger, in his Biographical History of England; Park, in his edi

* Advertisement to Triphook's edition, p. viii.

tion of lord Orford's Royal and Noble Authors; Zouch, in his Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Sir Philip Sidney; and lastly, Dr. Cotton, in the Christian Remembrancer for June, 1821, may be enumerated. The observations, indeed, which fell from the last of these critics, may, in all probability, have suggested the edition of 1823; for, when noticing this translation in the work just mentioned, he remarks: "By what strange means it has happened that this version has slept in unmerited obscurity for nearly two centuries and a half, I am utterly at a loss to divine. I see in many of them passages of considerable beauty; and notwithstanding the stiffness characteristic of the poetry of the day, there is often peculiar happiness of expression, a nerve and energy, a poetic spirit that might have disarmed, even if it could not extort praise from the fastidious Warton himself *."

Of the poets, two of no mean fame, Daniel and Donne, have particularly noticed the Sidney Psalms. Daniel, who may be peculiarly termed the countess of Pembroke's own poet, appears to consider them

* Christian Remembrancer, June 1821, p. 327, 328.

as exclusively the production of this lady; for, when speaking of the version, he says

By this, great lady, thou must then be known,
When WILTON lies low levell'd in the ground;
And this is that which thou may'st call thine own,
Which sacrilegious time cannot confound;
Here thou surviv'st thyself; here thou art found
Of late succeeding ages, fresh in fame,
Where in eternal brass remains thy name *.

Whilst Donne, perhaps more correctly, views them as a joint production, designating the translation, which he has eulogised in a long copy of verses, as "by sir Philip Sidney and the countesse of Pembroke, his sister +."

Only two metrical versions of the entire Psalms had preceded this attempt by sir Philip and his sister; the well known, and once highly popular translation by Sternhold, Hopkins, and others; and one by the pious and learned archbishop Parker; the former commencing with thirty-seven psalms in 1549, and, after various intervening editions and augmentations, completed in 1562; and the latter

* Daniel's Poetical Works, vol. i. p. 256.
+ Donne's Poems, 1635, p. 366.

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