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Sir Philip Sidney: Quotes


They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts.
Arcadia, Bk. 1.

There is no man suddenly either excellently good or extremely evil.
Arcadia, Bk. 1.

I am no herald to inquire of men's pedigrees;
it sufficeth me if I know their virtues.
Arcadia, Bk. 1.

I seek no better warrant than my own conscience.
Arcadia, Bk. 1.

It is a great happiness to be praised of them that are most praiseworthy.
Arcadia, Bk. 1.

Liking is not always the child of beauty,
for whatsoever one liketh is beautiful.
Arcadia, Bk. 1.

Beauty, which can give an edge to the bluntest sword.
Arcadia, Bk. 1.

Shallow brooks murmur most, deep silent slide away.
Arcadia, Bk. 1.

Whether your time call you to live or die,
do both like a prince.
Arcadia, Bk. 1.

A dull head thinks of no better way to show himself wise
than by suspecting everything in his way.
Arcadia, Bk. 2.

That only disadvantage of honest hearts, credulity.
Arcadia, Bk. 2.

As well the soldier dieth which standeth still,
as he that gives the bravest onset.
Arcadia, Bk. 2.

Who shoots at the mid-day sun, though he be sure
he shall never hit the mark, yet as sure he is
he shall shoot higher than who aims but at a bush.
Arcadia, Bk. 2.

Nothing is achieved before it be throughly attempted.
Arcadia, Bk. 2.

My dear, my better half.
Arcadia, Bk. 3.

Who doth desire that chaste his wife should be,
first be he true, for truth doth truth deserve.
Arcadia, Bk. 3. Song.

This is the right conceit of young men, who think then they
speak wiseliest when they cannot understand themselves.
Arcadia, Bk. 3.

One that preferred truth before the maintaining of an opinion.
Arcadia, Bk. 3.

How violently rumours do blow the sails of popular judgments, and
how few there be that can discern between truth and truth-likeness,
between shows and substance.
Arcadia, Bk. 3.

O accursed reason, how many eyes thou hast to see thy evils,
and how dim, nay blind, thou art in preventing them.
Arcadia, Bk. 3.

Give tribute, but not oblation, to human wisdom.
Arcadia, Bk. 3.

Then will be the time to die nobly, when you cannot live nobly.
Arcadia, Bk. 3.

Accounting my death less evil than the betraying
of that sweet friend of mine.
Arcadia, Bk. 4.

The wont of highest hearts, like the palm tree striving most upward
when he is most burdened.
Arcadia, Bk. 4.

Fool, said my muse to me, look in thy heart and write.
Astrophel and Stella, Sonnet 1.

Come Sleep! O Sleep, the certain knot of peace.
Astrophel and Stella, Sonnet 39.

Contentions for trifles can get but a trifling victory.
An Apology for Poetry, or, The Defence of Poesy.







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Christopher Marlowe
Anthony Munday
Sir Walter Ralegh
Thomas Hariot
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Persons of Interest
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Historical Events
Field of the Cloth of Gold, 1520
Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536
The Babington Plot, 1586
The Spanish Armada, 1588


Elizabethan Theatre
See section
English Renaissance Drama


Images of London:
London in the time of Henry VII. MS. Roy. 16 F. ii.
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
Map of England from Saxton's Descriptio Angliae, 1579
Location Map of Elizabethan London
Plan of the Bankside, Southwark, in Shakespeare's time
Detail of Norden's Map of the Bankside, 1593
Bull and Bear Baiting Rings from the Agas Map (1569-1590, pub. 1631)
Sketch of the Swan Theatre, c. 1596
Westminster in the Seventeenth Century, by Hollar
Visscher's Panoramic View of London, 1616. COLOR



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