Exhilarating Early Moderns: Sidney

Do you enjoy poetry? Then you can thank Philip Sidney for defending it. His “Defence of Poesy” is only a little better known than his defense of the tennis court, which went down thus:


Phil Sidney, everyone. Poet, warrior, defender of the court.

He also had some ideas about privacy, as this excerpt indicates:

Mr Molyneux

Which was answered thus:

Molyneux's distress

But we have further evidence of this “overbearing temper”. The same archive which housed the lost Shakespeare plays “Thor” and “Lincoln” also contains a scrap of paper with this dialogue:

Enter Phillip Sidney in a foul mood.
Sidney: Fie if I am not in a foul mood!
Enter Fulke Greville, his friend.
Greville: Why, Phil, art not Master of Revels at the Queen’s court?
S: Aye.
G: And what of your Accession Day Tilts? Was’t not a great spectacle?
S: Aye, sure, aye.
G: Why, then, Phil, what of thy Veronese portrait?
S: It is lost, friend Fulke. I cannot remember me to which estate I had it sent.
G: Why then, think thee upon thy French estates.
S: My barony, you mean? ‘Tis nothing to me, i’ faith.
G: Then think upon Ireland, and how it shall come to your hands.
S: I can think of nothing but the treachery of Mr Molyneux. ‘A is a villain. ‘A is a very villain.
G: But Phil, the man adores you. It is certain sure he will write thy epigraph.
S: Nay, but I shall write his first.
(Hands him a letter.) See, I have promised it.
(Greville reads in growing astonishment)…

"Can She Forgive My Wrongs?" "No.  Sorry, Phil.  But no."

“Can She Forgive My Wrongs?”
“No. Sorry, Phil. But no.”


About hgreynold

Quis, inquit, has scenicas meretriculas ad hunc aegrum permisit accedere? What is this box for?

Posted on August 16, 2013, in Humor and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I do thank Sidney for his defense of Poesy–which he could not have written in so trenchant and brilliant and profitable a manner were he not a man in love with honor in general. To the pain, Master Molyneux!

  2. I feel as though Sir Phil would have been friends with one Armand St Juste. They would have shared their grievances about the unchivalrous natures of their peers and looked very fashionably while doing so.

  3. By this my friend Caelica and I are most distressed. I spake unto him that my love he should cease in these effects to prove. His grief more than death does grieve me, yet his forceful words amaze me.

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