After the publication of the Schoole of Abuse Gosson retired into the country, where he acted as tutor to the sons of a gentleman Plays Confuted. Experto crede, I haue seene somewhat, and therefore I thinke may say the more. It is the custom of the fly to leave the sound places of the horse and suck at the botch anus ; the nature of colloquintida , to draw the worst humors to itself; the manner of swine, to forsake the fair fields, and wallow in the mire. I haue heard some Players vaunt of the credit they had in Rome, but they are as foolish in that, as Vibius Rufus which bosted himself to be an Emperor because hee had sit in Cæsars chaire, and a perfect Orator, because he was marryed to Tullies widowe. Therefore as I cannot but commende his wisedome, which in banqueting feedes most vpon that, that doth nourish best; so must I disprayse his methode in writing, which following the course of amarous Poets, dwelleth longest in those pointes, that profite least; and like a wanton whelpe, leaueth the game, to runne riot. It is defensible in its own right as a means to move readers to virtuous action.
Pythagoras commanded that no musician should go beyond his diapason. How many times hath accesse to Theaters beene restrayned, and how boldly againe haue we re-entred? The rest is mere fact. A Defense of Poetry and Poems. If their houses bee searched, some instrumente of Musick is layde in sighte to dazell the eyes of euery Officer, and all that are lodged in the house by night, or frequente it by day, come thither as pupilles to be well schoolde. Whyte siluer, drawes a blacke lyne; Fyre is as hurtfull, as healthie; water as daungerous, as it is commodious; and these qualities as harde to bee wel vsed when we haue them, as they are to be learned before wee get them. Thoughe I speake this too the shame of common Fencers, I goe not aboute the bushe with Souldiers.
If this were as well noted, as ill seene: or as openly punished, as secretly practiced: I haue no doubte but the cause would be feared to dry vp the effect, and these prettie Rabbets very cunningly ferretted from their borrowes. Paris led the shaking of sheetes with Domitia and Mnester the Trenchmour with Messalina. Sidney, like Shelley and Wordsworth, sees the poet as being separate from society. The poet's mediating role between two worlds — transcendent forms and historical actuality — corresponds to the doctrine of. From the head to the foote, from the top to the toe, there should nothing be vaine, no body idle. Whilst the one chats, his throate is cut; whilest the other syttes drawing the Mathematicall fictions, the enemie standes with a sworde at his breast. Were the Argives and Pythagoras now alive, and saw how many frets, how many strings, how many stops, how many keys, how many clefs, how many moods, how many flats, how many sharps, how many rules, how many spaces, how many notes, how many rests, how many quirks, how many corners, what chopping, what changing, what tossing, what turning, what wresting and wringing is among our musicians, I believe verily that they would cry out with the countryman: Heu quòd tam pingui macer est mihi taurus in aruo: Alas, here is fat feeding and lean beasts; or as one said at the shearing of hogs, great cry and little wool, much ado and small help.
All would be day, or al night ; All spring or all Autume; all Summer, or all winter ; All heate or all colde ; all moysture, or al drought ; No time to til, no time to sow, no time to plant, no time to reape, the earth barren, the riuers stopt, the Seas stayde, the seasons chaunged, and the whole course of nature ouerthrowen. Agamemnon beyonde the name of a King hath this title, that he was a Souldier. Spenser, in his Teares of the Muses 1591 , laments the same evils, although only in general terms. She was taught saith he both Greek and Latine, she could versifie, sing, and daunce, better then became an honest woman. There can be very little doubt that there was considerable justification for his attack as far as the moral and social side of the matter went: and it is to be observed that both his direct and his indirect traversers for Sidney nowhere directly attacks the School of Abuse take no small license in extending his indictment from dramatic poetry in particular to poetry in general.
But mark, I pray you, how they are now both abused. As part of his strategy against the threat of censorship, Sidney uses the structure of classical oration with its conventional divisions such as and peroratio. Any other translation or writing, if not specified, is mine. Sidney--Defense of Poesy Sir Philip Sidney, Defense of Poesy ca. But if they that are in authority and have the sword in their hand to cut off abuses, should call an account to see how many Chirons, Terpandri, and Homers are here, they might cast the sum without pen or counters and sit down with Rachel to weep for her children because they were not. Poetrie and pyping, haue allwaies bene so vnited togither, that til the time of Melanippides, Pipers were Poets Plutarch.
And that the poet hath that idea is manifest, by delivering them forth in such excellency as he had imagined them. And Plutarch reporteth that as Chiron was a wise man, a learned Poet, a skilful Musition, so was hee also a teacher of iustice, by shewing what Princes ought to doe, and a Reader of Phisicke, by opening the natures of many simples. My onely endeuour shalbe to show you that in a rough cast, which I see in a cloude, loking through my fingers. He also wrote comedies and tragedies for the London stage, but none of his plays were printed or are now extant. In both senses, Sidney stands as an advocate for all creative writers at a crucial point in the development of English literature. Sappho was skilfull in Poetrie and sung wel, but she was whorish. I may well liken Homer to Mithecus, and Poetes to Cookes the pleasures of the one winnes the body from labor, and conquereth the sense; the allurement of the other drawes the mind from vertue, and confoundeth wit.
When the Sicilians, and Dores forsooke the playnsong that they had learned of their auncestours in the Mountaynes, and practiced long among theyr heardes, they founde out such descant in Sybaris instrumentes, that by dauncing and skipping the fel into lewdnesse of life. They that are borne in Seriphos, and cockered continually in those Islandes, where they see nothing but Foxes and Hares, wil neuer be persuaded that there are huger beastes: They that neuer went out of the champions in Brabant, will hardly conceiue what rockes are in Germany. But if you looke well too Epæus horse, you shall finde in his bowels the destruction of Troy: open the sepulchre of Semyramis, whose Title promiseth suche wealth to the Kinges of Persia, you shall see nothing but deade bones : Rippe vp the golden Ball, that Nero consecrated to Iupiter Capitollinus, you shall haue it stuffed with the shauinges of his Beard: pul off the visard that Poets maske in, you shall disclose their reproch, bewray their vanitie, loth their wantonnesse, lament their follie, and perceiue their sharpe sayings to be placed as Pearles in Dunghils, fresh pictures on rotten walles, chaste Matrons apparel on common Curtesans. Players are masters of vice, teachers of wantonnesse, spurres to impuritie, the Sonnes of idlenesse, so longe as they liue in this order, loath them. Euripides holdes not him onely a foole, that beeing well at home, wil gad abrode, that hath a Conduite within doore, and fetcheth water without: but all suche beside, as haue sufficient in them selues, to make them selues merry with pleasaunte talke, tending too good, and mixed with the Grecians glee, yet will they seeke when they neede not, to be sported abrode at playes and Pageauntes. Sidney, as a traditionalist, however, gives attention to in contradistinction to poetry.
For, as I take it, to lie is to affirm that to be true which is false. For my parte I am neither so fonde a Phisition, nor so bad a Cooke, but I can allowe my patient a cup of wine to meales, although it be hotte; and pleasaunt sauces to driue downe his meate, if his stomake bee queasie. Plato when he sawe the doctrine of these Teachers, neither for profite, Poets banished by Plato. But when the whole rabble of Poets, Pipers, Players, Iugglers, Iesters, and dauncers were receiued againe, Rome was reported to bee fuller of fooles then of wise men. But he was quickly involved in a bitter controversy. Sidney advocates a place for poetry within the framework of an aristocratic state, while showing concern for both literary and national identity.
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1990. Botolphs, Bishopsgate, and writing a few small works, some of which have survived. To view the content in your browser, please or, alternately, you may the file to your hard drive. The spearhead of the antitheatrical campaign of the late sixteenth century, former playwright Stephen Gosson, wrote two books, and a substantial appendix to a third, devoted to the condemnation of the newly commercialised Elizabethan theatre on sanitary, economic, moral and aesthetic grounds. Maners of England in olde time, Olde exercise of England. Sidney writes An Apology for Poetry in the form of a judicial for the defense, and thus it is like a trial in structure. Collier promised a reprint in 1863 Notes and Queries, 3rd ser.