Edmund Spenser, the Critical Heritage

By R. M.Cummings | Go to book overview

176.

George Sandys

1684

From Anglorum Speculum, or the Worthies of England in Church and State (1684), pp. 497-8:

Edm. Spencer, bred in Camb. A great Poet who imitated Chaucer, 'Tis said that he presented Q. Eliz. with a Poem, with which she was so well pleased, that she commanded the Lord Treasurer Cecil to give to him 100 l. and when he alledged that Sum was too much, then give him, (Quoth the Q.) what is Reason, but being delayed he presented these Lines to the Queen:

I was promised on a
To have Reason for my Rhyme;
From that time unto this Season,
I have received nor Rhyme nor Reason.

Hereupon the Q. gave strict Order for the present payment of the 100 l. He was afterwards Secretary to the Lord Gray, Deputy of Ireland. He was an excellent Linguist, Antiquary, Philosopher, Mathematician, yet so poor (as being a Poet) that he was thought Fami non Famae scribere. Returning into England, he was robb'd by the Rebels of that little he had, and dying for Grief in great Want 1598, was honourably buried nigh Chaucer in Westminster. The expence of his Funeral and Monument was defrayed at the sole charge of Rob. first of that name, E. of Essex.

-330-

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