1786 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir Philip Sidney

Anonymous, "Account of Sir Philip Sidney" Arminian Magazine 9 (January 1786) 31-32.



Sir Philip Sidney was Governor of Flushing, and General of the Horse under his uncle the Earl of Leicester. His valour, which was esteemed his most shining quality, was not exceeded by any of the heroes of his age; but even this was equalled by his humanity. After he had received his death's wound at the battle of Zutphen, and was overcome with thirst from excessive bleeding, he called for drink, which was presently brought him. At the same time a poor soldier was carried along desperately wounded, who fixed his eager eyes upon the bottle, just as he was lifting it to his mouth; upon which he instantly delivered it to him, with these words: "Thy necessity is yet greater thine mine."

This accomplished gentleman seems to have been the delight and admiration of the age of Elizabeth, rather for the variety, than the greatness of his genius. He that was the ornament of the University, was also the ornament of the Court; and appeared with equal advantage in a field of battle, or at least a tournament; in a private conversation among his friends, or in a public character as an ambassador.