Sir Philip Sidney

By Philip Sidney; Katherine Duncan-Jones | Go to book overview

THE NEW ARCADIA The pitiful story of the Paphlagonian unkind king

SCARCELY were they out of the confines of Pontus but that, as they rid alone armed (for alone they went, one serving the other), they met an adventure, which though not so notable for any great effect they performed, yet worthy to be remembered for the unused examples therein, as well of true natural goodness, as of wretched ungratefulness.

'It was in the kingdom of Galatia,° the season being (as in the depth of winter) very cold and (as then) suddenly grown to so extreme and foul a storm that never any winter, I think, brought forth a fouler child; so that the princes were even compelled by the hail that the pride of the wind blew into their faces to seek some shrouding place, which, a certain hollow rock offering it unto them, they made it their shield against the tempest's fury. And so, staying there till the violence thereof was passed, they heard the speech of a couple, who not perceiving them (being hid within that rude canopy), held a strange and pitiful disputation--which made them step out, yet in such sort as they might see unseen. There they perceived an aged man, and a young (scarcely come to the age of a man), both poorly arrayed, extremely weather-beaten; the old man blind, the young man leading him. And yet, through all those miseries, in both there seemed to appear a kind of nobleness not suitable to that affliction. But the first words they heard were these of the old man.

'"Well, Leonatus," said he, "since I cannot persuade thee to lead me to that which should end my grief and thy trouble, let me now entreat thee to leave me. Fear not. My misery cannot be greater than it is, and nothing doth become me but misery. Fear not the danger of my blind steps; I cannot fall worse than I am. And do not, I pray thee, do not obstinately continue to infect thee with my wretchedness, but fly, fly from this region only worthy of me."

'"Dear Father," answered he, "do not take away from me the only remnant of my happiness. While I have power to do you service, I am not wholly miserable."

'"Ah, my son!" said he--and with that he groaned, as if sorrow strave to break his heart, "How evil fits it me to have such a son; and how much doth thy kindness upbraid my wickedness!"

'These doleful speeches, and some others to like purpose well

-253-

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Sir Philip Sidney
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Oxford Authors i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Acknowledgements xix
  • Chronology xxi
  • Note on Text xxv
  • A Dialogue Between Two Shepherds, Uttered in a Pastoral Show at Wilton 1
  • The Lady of May 5
  • Certain Sonnets 14
  • The Old Arcadia 42
  • Lamon's Tale 139
  • Asthrophil and Stella 153
  • The Defence of Poesy 212
  • The New Arcadia the Pitiful Story of the Paphlagonian Unkind King 253
  • Psalms Psalm Vi: Domine Ne in Furore *
  • Letters 279
  • Appendices 299
  • Notes 330
  • Further Reading 409
  • Selective Glossary 411
  • Index of First Lines 412
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