But thus much at least, with his no few words he [John Pietro Pugliano on the pre-eminent glories of horsemanship] drave into me, that selfelove is better then any guilding, to make that seem gorgious wherin our selves be parties. Wherin if Puglianos strong affection and weake arguments will not satisfie you, I wil give you a nearer example of my selfe, who I know not by what mischance in these my not old yeares and idlest times, having slipt into the title of a Poet, am provoked to say somthing unto you in the defence of that my unelected vocation, which if I handle with more good will, then good reasons, beare with me, since the scholler is to be pardoned that followeth the steps of his maister.
But I that before ever I durst aspire unto the dignity, am admitted into the companie of the Paper-blurrers, do finde the verie true cause of our [English poets’] wanting estimation is want of desert, taking uppon us to be Poets, in despite of Pallas. Now wherein we want desert were a thank woorthy labour to expresse. But if I knew I should have mended my selfe, but as I never desired the title, so have I neglected the meanes to come by it, onely over-mastered by some thoughts, I yeelded an inckie tribute unto them.
Sidney’s attitude to his work as expressed here has excited