1750 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Edward Dyer

William Oldys, Adversaria, 1750 ca.; Notes and Queries S2 11 (2 March 1861) 163.



SIR EDWARD DYER, a man of fine parts and accomplishments, was a dependant upon the Court in Queen Elizabeth's reign, but one of those who would not fawn and cringe, and long had expectations given him from her of preferment suitable to his merits. It happened as he was one day walking under her window that Her Majesty was looking out, and seeing him in a very pensive mood, she had a mind to be jocose. "Sir Edward, Sir Edward," says she, "what does a man think of when he thinks of Nothing?" "A woman's promise," answered he with a smile. The Queen shrunk in her head, and said to somebody near her, "Well, this anger would be a brave passion for making men witty, if it was not so base a one as keep them poor."