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C. Baldwin, Printer, New Bridge-street, London, 12- 7. 45
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THE

BRITISH PLUTARCH.

SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.*

(1554—1586.]

THIS gallant gentleman, of whom it has been justly said, that · he approached more nearly to the idea of a perfect knight than any character of any age or nation, was born Nov. 29, 1554, at Penshurstt

* AUTHORITIES. Dr. Zouch's Memoirs of Sir Philip Sidney.

+ From Ben Johnson's description of this place we learn that, though not embellished with works of touch or marble, with polished pillars or a roof of gold, it had better proofs of it's ex. cellency in the fertility of it's soil, the salubrity of it's air, and it's charming scenery of wood and water;

• Thou hast thy walks for health as well as sport,

The mount to which the Dryads do resort,
Where Pan and Bacchus their high feasts have made
Beneath the broad beech and the chesnut shade:
That taller tree, which of a nut was set

At His great birth, where all the Muses met. (Forest, ii.)
This oak, to which Waller also alludes, as

- The sacred mark.
Of noble Sidney's birth
VOL. II.

B

in the county of Kent. His handsome and accomplished father, Henry, the only surviving son of Sir William Sidney (Chamberlain and Steward of the Household to Henry VIII.) was, from his infancy, the bosom-friend of Edward VI.; who conferred upon him the honour of knighthood, constituted him Embassador to France, and subsequently promoted him to several appointments near his person. A sadder portion of his destiny it was, to hold his dying prince in his arms, when he exclaimed “ I am faint: Lord, have mercy on me, and receive my spirit.” In the reign of Queen Mary, through his discreet and cautious conduct, he was honoured with repeated instances of royal favour; being appointed Vice-Treasurer, and General Governor of all the state-revenues in the kingdom of Ireland. As a delicate acknowledgement of her Majesty's kindness, he called his eldest son by her husband's name. But it was reserved for the more auspicious æra of Elizabeth to develop his various talents. In his several capacities of soldier, statesman, Christian, husband, father, and friend—he was, indeed, most exemplary. To Ireland, of which for eleven years he held the deputyship, inhabited as it was by men addicted to violences of every species, and sunk in the deepest ignorance and superstition, he indefatigably laboured to conciliate the blessings of good order. With this view, beside favouring the learned, he first caused the statutes of the realm to be published; thus bringing them out of the shadow into the sunshine, whereas previously they had only

must now however, like the Marian oak (sata ingenio ; nullius autem agricola cultu stirps tam diuturna quàm poetæ versu seminari potest. Cic. de Legg. L.) live only “in description and look green in song." It was cut down in 1768.

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