Sidney: The Critical Heritage

By Martin Garrett | Go to book overview

7.

William Temple

c.1584-6

Temple (1555-1627) became known to Sidney through send-ing and dedicating to him his P. Rami Dialecticae…, Cambridge, 1584, and became his secretary in November 1585. According to tradition Sidney died in his arms. Much later (1609) Temple became Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, and was knighted in 1622.

The Analysis is a rigorous Latin critique of A Defence of Poetry on Ramist principles (on which see further the helpful introduction and notes in William Temple’s ‘Analysis’ of Sir Philip Sidney’s ‘Apology for Poetry’, ed. and trans. John Webster Binghamton, NY, 1984). Latin was the habitual written tongue of the academic, but the choice of a different language from the one Sidney uses and promotes in A Defence aptly suggests the considerable divergence between the two authors’ points of view. As Webster says (ibid., pp. 28, 35) Sidney’s view of poetry was certain to please poetry readers but also ‘to elicit scepticism from those scholars who practised any of the arts which suffered in Sidney’s artful comparisons’, including the logician and moral philosopher Temple; further, in accordance with Temple’s view that poetry is a logical art, ‘where Sidney emphasizes poetry’s power to move, Temple consistently shifts this focus to issues of truth and understanding’. Whereas Sidney argues that ‘poetry is essentially different from all other arts, Temple insists that it is to be valued for what it shares with those arts’.

Evidently meant to be read and reacted to by Sidney himself, the Analysis allows some insight into a period when the works were circulating in manuscript, subject to sugges tions for qualification and improvement, open to disagreement and debate. ‘The brilliance of Sidney’s work may at times make us think of Sidney’s as the only possible Tudor aesthetic; Temple’s positions remind us it was not’ (Analysis, ed. Webster, pp. 37-8).

The passage of A Defence which Temple discusses below is MP, pp. 78-80.

-98-

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Sidney: The Critical Heritage
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • General Editor’s Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiv
  • Abbreviations xvi
  • Note on the Text xvii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Edward Waterhouse 87
  • 2 - Philip Sidney 88
  • 4 - Edmund Spenser 93
  • Note 94
  • 6 - George Puttenham 96
  • 7 - William Temple 98
  • 8 - Geoffrey Whitney 102
  • 12 - George Whetstone 110
  • 15 - Sir John Harington 115
  • 16 - Thomas Newman 118
  • 18 - Edmund Spenser 127
  • 21 - Thomas Moffet 136
  • 22 - John King 139
  • 24 - Gervase Markham 141
  • 25 - Francis Meres 146
  • Note 147
  • 27 - Ben Jonson 152
  • 29 - Brian Twyne 157
  • 32 - Matthew Gwynne 169
  • 34 - Richard Carew 171
  • 36 - John Day 174
  • Notes 186
  • Note 200
  • 45 - John Donne 211
  • 47 - Upon Sydneis Arcadia 217
  • 48 - Michael Drayton 219
  • 52 - Edmund Waller 227
  • 54 - Richard Lovelace 232
  • 62 - Charles Cotton 259
  • 63 - John Aubrey 260
  • 65 - Edward Phillips 264
  • 66 - Life of Spenser 265
  • 67 - D. Tyndale 266
  • 69 - Anthony Wood 268
  • 70 - ‘j.N.’ 270
  • 71 - D. Stanley 272
  • 72 - Elizabeth Montagu 275
  • 75 - Samuel Johnson 281
  • 76 - ‘philisides’ 283
  • 78 - The History of Argalus and Parthenia 287
  • 79 - The Gentleman’s Magazine 288
  • 80 - Richard Brinsley Sheridan 290
  • 84 - Thomas Zouch 296
  • 85 - The Annual Review and History of Literature for 1808 299
  • 87 - Sir Egerton Brydges 304
  • 89 - William Hazlitt 317
  • 94 - Henry Hallam 335
  • 95 - Isaac D’israeli 337
  • Select Bibliography 350
  • Index 353
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