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NE can think of great writers, universally

read, who have no personality; a convenient illustration is Daniel Defoe. And one can think of poets, whose Complete Works are known only to a select few, but whose personal influence is and always will be a living force. These are the Personalities of literature. A supreme example is Sir Philip Sidney, soldier, scholar, poet, courtier — the ideal gentleman. He is a historical but also a legendary figure; and it is not too much to say that he made large contributions to the British tradition of manliness, and that in our twentieth century world his spirit walks abroad. As Marvell was a lesser Milton, Lovelace was a lesser Sidney. The spacious times of Queen Elizabeth had their incarnation in Sidney; he was the climax of triumphant chivalry. Seventy years later, against the sunset of royalty, stands the romantic figure of Richard Lovelace, the Cavalier, as uncompromising as the dying Cyrano de Bergerac. . He was not only a red-blooded, but a blueblooded man coming from an ancient English family of Kent. His father, Sir William, was killed in

battle; his brothers fought for King Charles. Richard was born at Woolwich in 1618. He received theconventional education of an English gentleman, going to Charterhouse and Oxford. He entered the University in June, 1634. His extraordinary personal beauty — which his portraits do not entirely conceal-made a profound impression on his contemporaries. Wood calls him “the most amiable and beautiful person that ever eye beheld ...of innate modesty, virtue, and courtly deportment which made him then, but especially after, when he retired to the great city, much admired and adored by the female sex.” Oxford was a hotbed of royal fervour; and when the King and Queen came there during Lovelace's undergraduate days, we may easily conceive the flame of his patriotic devotion. As a student, he had the pleasure of seeing one of his original plays performed, and he was universally respected for his poetical and literary talents..

He entered the army, became a Captain, and saw active service. Then he returned to the ancestral estates in Kent, and in 1642 was chosen to present to Parliament a petition in support of the King. This required courage, for a similar request had been publicly burned. He was naturally examined by


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