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of such minutiæ should be reduced to a minimum. A judicious teacher will have no difficulty in distinguishing between what ought to be remembered and what may profitably be forgotten. With this object and for this reason the Notes dealing with these minor literary and biographical particulars have been made as succinct as possible, and the same applies to the philological notes.
To Professor Gregory Smith I am obliged for permission to use his text of the Apologie in his Elizabethan Critical Essays as the basis of the text here printed; but I have not followed him in certain re-arrangements of paragraphs, and I have modified the punctuation. The only important deviation from the original texts has been the substitution of correct for incorrect spelling in the case of proper names. I have also to thank Mr. Michael Macmillan for the assistance he has given me in writing the notes.
MEMOIR OF SIDNEY MEMORABLE and brilliant as were Sidney's services to his country as a public servant, as a man of letters, and as an example and pattern of conduct, still his achievements and virtues are insufficient to explain the almost unparalleled splendour of his fame. Over the memory of no other servant and courtier of Elizabeth does there rest so bright a halo of glory. History has unwoven and dissolved the spell which was once cast by the names of Leicester and Essex : dark blots rest on the fame of Raleigh, and even the pen of Froude cannot wreathe romance round the memories of Burleigh and Walsingham. But Sidney's lustre is undimmed; he is to posterity what he was to his contemporaries
As he fought
Sublimely mild, a spirit without spot. Spenser dedicated to him his first important work, the Shepherd's Calendar, calling him 'the president of nobleness and chivalry', and when Sidney died honoured him in one of the most eloquent elegies in our language-his Astrophel. Gabriel Harvey inscribed a work to him in which he celebrates him as possessing every virtue under heaven. Richard Hakluyt dedicated to him the first series of his Voyages, addressing him as 'the secretary of eloquence, the breath of the Muses and the honie-bee of the daintiest flowers of wit and art'. His friend Fulke Greville honoured his memory with the first good biography in our language; and esteeming Sidney's friendship his highest praise and the greatest boon that fortune had conferred on him, desired that it should be recorded on his tomb that he had been the friend of Sir Philip Sidney'. And it is another testimony to the high honour in which he was held that when his tutor at Christ Church died he also directed that it should be recorded on his tomb that he had been 'the preceptor of that most noble knight, Philip Sidney'. Ben Jonson speaks of him as 'one in whom all the Muses met'. Well,' writes Thomas Nash, apostrophizing him, 'well couldst thou give every virtue his encouragement, every wit his due, every writer his desert, 'cause none more virtuous, witty, or learned than thyself.' When he died he was mourned as no other man in England had ever beenindeed, the encomia and elegies poured forth on that occasion, and still extant, would make a small library. Every generation added its testimony to his fame. In the seventeenth century we find Sir William Temple thus extravagantly expressing himself: 'I esteem him both the greatest poet and the noblest genius of any that have left writings behind them and published in ours or in any other modern language. In the next century we find Thomson apostrophizing him as
The plume of war with early laurels crowned
The lover's myrtle and the poet's bay. In the nineteenth century he is the hero of what is perhaps the most beautiful of Landor's Imaginary Conversations, and only the other day a poet of our own time, William Watson, inspired by the same enthusiasm, thus recalled him:
Rememberest thou the perfect knight,
The soldier, courtier, bard in one,
O'er Chivalry's departed sun? For purposes of convenience Sidney's life may be divided into three epochs—from 1554 to 1575, from 1575 to 1584, and from 1584 to 1586.