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plished young nobleman, was a man endowed with wisdom and talent. Exemplary in his own conduct, he sought to infuse into the mind of his son, the purest and most elevated moral principles. Nor was his laudable conduct—his parental solicitude—disappointed: he saw, in the brilliant career of his beloved son, his warmest wishes anticipated, his fondest hopes realized.
"That Philip Sidney, whilst on his travels, though still very young, conducted himself with prudence, and displayed much soundness and clearness of principle, may be inferred from his obtaining the friendship of Hubert Xianguet, a celebrated protestant at Frankfort. And, though his character was not faultless, though he partook of some of the errors incident to his age and station, yet, as a man—a high-souled and accomplished man—he had, among his contemporary countrymen, neither equal nor competitor.
"Flattery has long since ceased to spread her meretricious splendour round his name, and the historian can now calmly examine the pre-, tensions to that merit, which not only England, but Europe, attached to his short-lived but brilliant career; and she can, with confidence and complacency, enrol him amongst the noble few, whose example may be held up as a beacon to youth, and still serve to kindle the animating glow of emulation.
"His death was worthy of the best parts of his life: he showed himself, at the last, devout, courageous, and serene. His last words are worthy of remembrance, they were uttered with seriousness and composure: 'Love my memory; cherish my friends: their fidelity to me, may assure you that they are honest. But, above all, govern your wills and affections by the will and word of your Creator. In me, behold the end of this world and its vanities.'
"His wife, the beautiful daughter of Walsingham; his brother Robert, to whom he had performed the part of an indulgent and anxious parent rather than that of a brother; and many sorrowful friends, surrounded his bed. Their grief was, beyond doubt, sincere and poignant, as well as that of the many persons of letters and of worth, who gloried in his friendship, and flourished by his bountiful patronage. He was the author of a romance, entitled 'Arcadia,' now only known to the curious in literature."
Whilst Mrs. Spencer and Susan were expressing their high admiration of the character of Sir Philip Sidney, Ann was busily examining
a picture which hung next to the before-mentioned painting. As soon as the observations on this last subject had ceased, she eagerly enquired whose rustic dwelling it represented.
Mr. Wilraot replied: "That of Edmund Spenser, one of our first genuine poets; whose rich and melodious strains will find their way to the tastes of the real lovers of minstrelsy, as long as inexhaustible fertility of invention, truth, fluency, and vivacity of description, copious learning, and a pure, amiable, and heart-ennobling morality, shall be prized among the students of English literature.
"From the circumstance of Spenser's being entered as a sizar at Cambridge, it is probable that he sprung from an obscure parentage, and possessed but a slender patrimony. His merit, however, soon dawned through the shades that surrounded him; and his intimacy with Stubbs, a noted character of the day, and still more his friendship with Gabriel Harvey, by whom he was introduced to Sir Philip Sidney, attest the superiority of his mental acquirements.
"The choice of his associates, together with some passages in his 'Shepherd's Calendar,' had given rise to the suspicion that he was inclined towards puritanical sentiments; and possibly had some share in the disappointment of a fellowship, which he had hoped to obtain in 1576. Leaving college on this event, he retired for a time into the north of England; but the friendship of Sidney, who was fully capable of appreciating his genius, drew him again from his retirement; and it was at Penshurst that he composed much of the 'Shepherd's Calendar,' published in 1579, under the signature of Immerito, and dedicated to his accomplished patron.
"This year Spenser was sent by the earl of Leicester (probably at his nephew's request) to France, on some commission; and, in the following, he obtained the post of secretary to lord Grey, and attended him to Ireland.
"Spenser, though the child of fancy and of the Muse, was yet the man of business; and an excellent paper on the state of Ireland, which he drew up at this time, is still read and valued. He received a considerable tract of land out of the forfeited estates of the earl of Desmond; and also the castle of Kilcoman, which henceforth became his residence, and where he had the pleasure of receiving a first visit from Raleigh.
"Similarity of taste and pursuits must soon have created an intimacy between these candidates for fame; and the barbarism and ignorance which surrounded them, must have cemented their friendship, and heightened the pleasure they must have experienced in each other's society. .
"Nor did the seductive blandishments of a court banish from the affections or remembrance of Raleigh, when he returned to England, the tuneful bard whom he had left behind in the 'emerald isle.' He mentioned him to the queen with enthusiasm; obtained for him some favours, or promise of favours; and, on the second visit which he made to Ireland, (probably for the purpose of inspecting some large grants which he had himself obtained,) he insisted upon his friend's returning with him; and hastened to initiate him into those arts of gaining a fortune, which had proved so prosperous to himself. But neither the taste, nor the retiring temper of the poet, was calculated to combat with the intrigues and treacheries of this heartsickening scene; nor yet to endure the servile dependence on another's will, that must be borne by the pursuer of courtly fortune. Bitterly did he regret his learned leisure, and deplore the mistaken kindness which had taught him to forsake retirement and ease, for the 'solitude of a crowd, where all around were