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DANGERS OF FOREIGN TRAVEL. I know divers noble personages, and many worthy gentlemen of England, whom all the syren songs of Italy could never untwine from the mast of God's word ; nor no inchantment of vanity overturn them from the fear of God and love of honesty.
But I know as many, or mo, and some, sometime my dear friends, (for whose sake I hate going into that country the more, who, parting out of England fervent in the love of Christ's doctrine, and well furnished with the fear of God, returned out of Italy worse transformed than ever was any in Circe's court. I know divers, that went out of England men of innocent life, men of excellent learning, who returned out of Italy, not only with worse manners, but also with less learning; neither so willing to live orderly, nor yet so hable to speak learnedly, as they were at home, before they went abroad.
* But I am afraid that over many of our travellers into Italy do not eschew the way to Circe's court, but go, and ride, and run, and fly thither; they make great haste to come to her; they make great suit to serve her; yea, I could point out some with my finger, that never had gone out of England, but only to serve Circe in Italy. * * * If you think we judge amiss, and write too sore against you, hear what the Italian sayeth of the Englishman; what the master reporteth of the scholar, who uttereth plainly what is taught by him, and what is learned by you, saying, Englese Italianato, e un Diabolo incarnato: that is to say, “ you remain men in shape and fashion, but become devils in life and condition.” *
If some do not well understand what is an Englishman Italianated, I will plainly tell him : “He that by living and travelling in Italy, bringeth home into England, out of Italy, the religion, the learning, the policy, the experience, the manners of Italy." That is to say, for religion, papistry, or worse ; for learning, less commonly than they carried out with them; for policy, a factious heart, a discoursing head, a mind to meddle in all men's matters ; for experience, plenty of new mischiefs never known in England before ; for manners, variety of vanities, and change of filthy lying.
Then they have in more reverence the triumphs of Petrarch, than the Genesis of Moses; they make more account of Tully's Offices, than of St. Paul's Epistles ; of a tale in Boccacio, than a story of the Bible. Then they count as fables the holy mysteries of Christian religion. They make Christ and his Gospel only serve civil policy. Then neither religion cometh amiss to them. In time they be promoters of both openly ; in place, again, mockers of both privily, as I wrote once in a rude rhyme;
Now new, now old, now both, now neither;
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY. 1554-1586.
· Few characters," says an able writer,1 « appear so well fitted to excite enthusiastic admiration, as that of Sir Philip Sidney. Uniting all the accom. plishments which youthful ardor and universality of talent could acquire or bestow; delighting nations by the witchery of his powers, and courts by the fascination of his address; leaving the learned astonished at his proficiency, and the ladies enraptured with his grace; and communicating, wherever he went, the love and spirit of gladness, he was and well deserved to be the idol of the age in which he lived. So rare a union of attraction, so unac, customed a concentration of excellence, such a compound of military renown with literary distinction, and courtly refinement with noble frankness, gave him a passport to every heart, and secured him, at once, universal sympathy and esteem."
He was born in 1554. At the age of thirteen he entered Oxford, and on leaving the University, though only eighteen, commenced his travels abroad, He was at Paris at the time of the horrible popish massacre of St. Bartholo mew, on the night of the 24th of August, 1572, and took refuge with many others at the house of Sir Francis Walsingham, at that time ambassador there from England, Leaving Paris soon after, he pursued his route through Germany and Italy, and returned to England in 1575, at the age of twenty-one. He was soon sent by Elizabeth as ambassador to Vienna, where, though so young, he acquitted himself with great credit. In 1583 he married the daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham, and was knighted. Two years afterwards he was named as a candidate for the throne of Poland; but his sense of the duty which he owed to his country, led him to acquiesce fully in the remonstrance of Elizabeth against the proposal, “who," says the historian, “ refused to further the advancement, out of fear that she should lose the jewel of her times."
The United Provinces having previously declared their independence, England resolved to assist them to throw off the yoke of Spain, and in 1986, Sidney was sent into the Netherlands, as general of the horse. On the 22d of September of that year, in a skirmish near Zutphen, Sidney beat a superior force of the enemy, which he casually encountered, but lost his own life. After his horse had been shot under him he mounted another, and continued to fight till he received his death-wound. The anecdote recorded of him in his dying moments, though it has been told a thousand times, must ever be repeated when Sidney's character is considered; evincing, as it does, characteristics infinitely more to be honored and loved than all the glory ever acquired in the bloody, and soon, in the progress of Christian sentiment, to be considered the disgraceful and wicked work of the battle-field. After he had received his death-wonnd, being overcome with thirst from excessive bleed. ing, he called for drink. It was brought to him immediately; but the mo. ment he was lifting it to his mouth, a poor soldier was carried by mortally wounded, who fixed his eyes eagerly upon it. Sidney, seeing this, instantly delivered it to him, with these memorable words: “Thy necessity is yet greater than mine." All England wore mourning for bis death, and volumes of laments and elegies were poured forth in all languages
1 See Retrospective Review, il. 1, and x. 43; also the Quarterly, I. 67.
2 Lord Brook says of him, that "his end was not writing, even while he wrote; nor his knowledge moulded for tables or schools; but both his wit and understanding bent upon his heart to make himself and others, not in words or opinion, but in life and action, good and great."
Sir Philip Sidney's literary reputation rests on his two prose works the « Arcadia" and the « Defence of Poesy." He wrote a few sonnets, but though they contain much that is truly poetical, they are disfigured by conceits. That « To Sleep" is the best of them. But his best poetry is his prose;' and as a prose writer he may justly be regarded as the first of his time?
The « Arcadia" is a mixture of what has been called the heroic and the pastoral romance. The scene of it is laid in Arcadia, that province of the Peloponnesus, celebrated in olden times as the abode of shepherds, and the scene of most of the pastoral poetry of Greece.
Musidorus and Pyrocles are the heroes of the romance, and are united to gether in a firm league of friendship. They go forth in quest of adventures, and after killing the customary quantun of giants and monsters, set sail for Greece. The ship is wrecked, and Musidorus is thrown upon the shores of Laconia. He is seen by two shepherds, who offer to conduct him to Kalander, a wealthy inhabitant of Arcadia, the province north of Laconia. As they enter into Arcadia, its beautiful appearance strikes the eyes of Musidorus.
• DESCRIPTION OF ARCADIA. There were hills which garnished their proud heights with stately trees: humble valleys, whose base estate seemed comforted with the refreshing of silver rivers : meadows, enameled with all sorts of eye-pleasing flowers : thickets, which being lined with most pleasant shade were witnessed so too, by the cheerful disposition of many well-tuned birds : each pasture stored with sheep, feeding with sober security, while the pretty lambs with bleating oratory craved the dam's comfort: here a shepherd's boy piping, as though he should never be old ; there a young shepherdess knitting, and withal singing, and it seemed that her voice comforted her hands to work, and her hands kept time to her voice-rcusic.
After being at the house of Kalander a few days, Pyrocles mysteriously arrives. The Prince of Arcadia had two daughters, with whom, of course, the two young heroes fall in love. The following is a description of their characters
PAMELA AND PHILOCLEA. The elder is named Pamela, by many men not deemed inferior to her sister : for my part, when I marked them both, methought there was (if at least such perfections may receive the word of more) more sweetness in Philoclea, but more majesty in Pamela : methought love played in Philoclea's eyes, and threatened in Pamela's: methought Philoclea's beauty only persuaded, but so persuaded as all hearts must yield; Pamela's beauty used violence, and such violence as no heart could resist. And it seems that such proportion is between their minds : Philoclea so bashful, as though her excellencies had stolen into her before she was aware: so humble, that she will put all pride out of countenance; in short, such proceedings as will stir hope, but teach hope good manners. Pamela of high thoughts, who avoids not pride with not knowing her excellencies, but by making that one of her excellencies to be void of pride; her mother's wisdom, greatness, nobility, but (if I can guess aright) knit with a more constant temper. The following is
1 Cowper very felicitously calls him a "warbler of poetic prose;" and he himself says, in his "De tence of Poesy," * It is not rhyming and versing that maketh poesy: one may be a poel without vering, and a versifer without poetry."
? I say this notwithstanding the criticisms of Hazlitt, as ungenerous as they are unjust. Sce nis Lectures on the Dramatic Literature of the Age of Elizabeth."
A DESCRIPTION OF A STAG-HUNT. Then went they together abroad, the good Kalander entertaining them with pleasant discoursing how well he loved the sport of hunting when he was a young man ; how much in the comparison thereof he disdained all chamber-delights; that the sun (how great a journey soever he had to make) could never prevent him with earliness, nor the moon, with her sober countenance, dissuade him from watching till midnight for the deers' feeding. 0, said he, you will never live to my age, without you keep yourself in breath with exercise, and in heart with joyfulness; too much thinking doth consume the spirits; and oft it falls out, that, while one thinks too much of his doing, he leaves to do the effect of his thinking. Then spared he not to remember, how much Arcadia was changed since his youth; activity and good fellowship being nothing in the price it was then held in; but, according to the nature of the old-growing world, still worse and worse. Then would he tell them stories of such gallants as he had known; and so, with pleasant company, beguiled the time's haste, and shortened the way's length, till they came to the side of the wood, where the hounds were in couples, staying their coming, but with a whining accent craving liberty ; many of them in color and marks so resembling, that it showed they were of one kind. The huntsmen handsomely attired in their green liveries, as though they were children of summer, with staves in their hands to beat the guiltless earth when the hounds were at a fault, and with horns about their necks, to sound an alarm upon a silly fugitive. The hounds were straight uncoupled, and ere long the stag thought it better to trust to the nimbleness of his feet than to the slender fortification of his lodging; but even his feet betrayed him ; for, howsoever they went, they themselves uttered themselves to the scent of their enemies, who, one taking it of another, and sometimes believing the wind's advertisements, sometimes the view of (their faithful counsellors) the huntsmen, with open mouths then denounced war, when the war was already begun. Their cry being composed of so well-sorted mouths, that any man would
perceive therein some kind of proportion, but the skilful woodmen did find a music. Then delight and variety of opinion drew the horsemen sundry ways, yet cheering their hounds with voice and horn, kept still, as it were, together. The wood seemed to conspire with them against his own citizens, dispersing their noise through all his quarters; and even the nymph Echo left to bewail the loss of Narcissus, and became a hunter. But the stag was in the end so hotly pursued, that, leaving his flight, he was driven to make courage of despair; and so turning his head, made the hounds, with change of speech, to testify that he was at a bay: as if from hot pursuit of their enemy, they were suddenly come to a parley.
After passing through many severe trials of their love, the two princesses are married to Musidorus and Pyrocles, and so ends the “ Arcadia.”
The other great work of Sir Philip Sidney is his « Defence of Poesy," which may be truly pronounced to be the most beautiful as well as the most truthful essay upon the subject in our language, and one from which many have borrowed, without acknowledging their obligations. “It may be regarded as a logical discourse, from beginning to end, interspersed here and there with a few of the more flowery parts of eloquence, but everywhere keeping in view the main objects, indeed, of all logic and eloquence-proof and persuasion. It is evidently the result of deep conviction in the mind of the writer, and a strong desire to impress that conviction upon others : to impress it, however, in a manner that shall render it not merely a sentiment of the heart, but a settled belief of the reason and judgment."? In what a skillful and highly eloquent manner does he contrast “ Poesy” with all the other arts and sciences, in his
CHARACTER OF THE POET. There is no art delivered to mankind, that hath not the works of nature for its principal object, without which they could not consist, and on which they so depend, as they become actors and players, as it were, of what nature will have set forth. So doth the astronomer look upon the stars, and by that he seeth, set down what order nature hath taken therein. So doth the geometrician and arithmetician, in their divers sorts of quantities. So doth the musician, in tunes tell you which by nature agree, which not. The natural philosopher thereon hath his name, and the moral philosopher standeth upon the natural virtues, vices, or passions of man: And follow nature, saith he, therein, and you shall not err. The lawyer saith what men have determined: the historian, what men have done. The grammarian speaketh only of tho rules of speech, and the rhetorician and logician, considering
1 "The great praise of Sidney in this treatise is, that he has shown the capacity of the English language for spirit, variety, gracious idiom, and masculine firmness." Read-Hallam's "Introduction to the Literature of Europe."
3 Retrospective Review, X. 46.