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Page 104

CHAPTER VI
THE LATER ELIZABETHANS

women. But why should they be so drawn ? They are half-enchanted wanderers roaming on happily through a magical forest. Page after page Sidney wrote, never stopping for revision, rambling on where ever his fancy led ; with the loved sister beside him slipping away each leaf, as his pen traced the bottom line, to see what had come next in the fascinating tale of fitrie. Even the sound of the words is charming. The sentences are often long, but clear and graceful and musical. There is more than mere pleasantness of sound in the Arcadia, however, for it is full of charming bits of description, and of true and noble thoughts. Here is the merry little shepherd boy, " piping as though he should never grow old." Here is " a place made happy by her treading." Here, too, " They laid them down by the murmuring music of certain waters." It is but a picture of himself when Sidney writes, " They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts," and " Keep yourself in heart with joyfulness." One of his friends said long after the author's death that Sidney had intended to rewrite his book and make it into an English romance with King Arthur for its hero ; but it is so graceful and charming in its present form that everyone can be grateful that Sidney did not recast it after all.
The Arcadia was handed about in manuscript from one friend to another. Wherever it was read, it was

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