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Brief Lives
Sir Philip Sidney and Edmund Spenser
by Aubrey, John


"He was not only of an excellent witt, but extremely beautifull: he much resembled his sister, but his Haire was not red, but a little inclining, vis. a darke ambor colour. If I were to find a fault in it, methinks ‘tis not masculine enough; yett he was a person of great courage..."

"He was of a very munificent spirit, and liberall to all Lovers of Learning, and to those that pretended to any acquaintance with Parnassus: in so much that he was cloyed and surfeited with the Poetasters of those dayes. Among others, Mr. Edmund Spenser made his addresse to him, and brought his Faery Queen. Sir. Philip was busy at this Study, and his servant delivered Mr. Spencer’s booke to his mater, who layd it by, thinking it might be such kind of Stuffe as he was frequently troubled with. Mr. Spencer stayed so long that his patience was wearied, and went his way discontented, and never intended to come again. When Sir Philip perused it, he was so exceedingly delighted with it that he was extremely sorry he was gonne, and where to send for him he knew not. After much enquiry he learned his lodgeing, and sent for him, mightily caressed him, and ordered his servant to give him so many pounds in gold. His servant sayd that that was too much. No, sayd Sir Philip, and ordered an addition. From this time there was a great friendship between them, to his dying day."

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