1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Philip Sidney

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in On the Constitution of Church and State (1830); ed. John Colmer (1976) 64-65.



C. Result illustrated, in the remarkable contrast between the acceptation of the word, Idea, before the Restoration, and the present use of the same word. Before 1660, the magnificent SON OF COSMO was wont to discourse with FICINO, POLITIAN and the princely MIRANDULA on the IDEAS of Will, God, Freedom. SIR PHILIP SIDNEY, the star of serenest brilliance in the glorious constellation of Elizabeth's court, communed with SPENSER, on the IDEA of the beautiful: and the younger ALGERNON — Soldier, Patriot, and Statesman — with HARRINGTON, MILTON, and NEVIL on the IDEA of the STATE: and in what sense it may be more truly affirmed, that the people (i.e. the composite particles of the body politic, at any moment existing as such) are in order to the state, than that the state exists for the sake of the people.