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Sir Philip Sidney references
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July-August, 2002

Sir Philip Sidney references

Jelle Otten

Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586) was a statesman, poet and soldier. He was one of Queen Elisabeth's favourites.
For a while he lived at Sudeleigh Castle, one of the castles that Wodehouse inspired to Blandings Castle.
When living in temporary retirement he composed his famous 'Arcadia'.
In 1586 he was given a command in The Netherlands to support the Dutch rebels in their War of Independence against Spain.
He was wounded in action at Zutphen resulted in death.
According a legend Sir Philip refused to take some water when he was wounden, saying: "Their (= the other soldiers') need is greater than mine".

P.G. Wodehouse liked Sir Philip Sidney and he used him as a personage in some of his books.

First of all Bertie Wooster.
His Code of the Woosters: 'one must always help out a friend in need no matter the circumstances', repeatedly remembers us of Sir Philip.

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit, Chapter 12:
[Aunt Dahlia is in problems because she had pawned her pearl necklace that Uncle Tom Travers, her husband, has given her. The problem is what happens when Uncle Tom finds out? And Uncle Tom has asked Roderick Spode, Lord Sidcup to take a look at the necklace.
Therefore Aunt Dahlia is sending SOSs for Jeeves.]

(Aunt Dahlia says:) "Only he (=Jeeves) can save me from the fate that is worse than death."
(Bertie says:) "But can even Jeeves adjust matters?"
"I'm banking on him. After all, he's a hell of a adjuster."
"True."
"He's got you out of some deepish holes in his time."
"Quite. I often say there is none like him, none. He should be with us at any moment now. He stepped out to get me a tankard of the old familiar juice."
Her eyes gleamed with a strange light.
"Bags I first go at it!"
I patted her hand.
"Of course," I said, "of course. You may take that as read. You don't find Bertram Wooster hogging the drink supply when a suffering aunt is at his side with her tongue hanging out. Your need is greater than mine, as whoever-it-was said to the stratcher case. Ah!"
Jeeves had come in bearing the elixer, not a split second before we were ready for it. I took the beaker from him and offered it to the aged relative with a courteous gesture.. With e brief 'Mud in your eye' she drank deeply. I then finished what was left at a gulp.

In the following books Sir Philip is appearing as a personage:

Ring for Jeeves, Chapter 19:
Jill (Wyvern) collapsed into a chair . A sudden wild hope, surging through the cracks in her broken heart, had shaken her from stem to stern, making her feel boneless.
"What did you say?"
Jeeves was a kindly man, and not only a kindly man but a man who could open a bottle of champagne as quick as a flash. It was in something of the spirit of the Sir Philip Sidney who gave the water to the stretcher case that he now whisked the cork from the bottle he was carrying. Jill's need, he felt, was greater than Bill's.
"Permit me, miss".
Jill drank gratefully. Her eyes had widened, and the colour was returning to her face.'

The Mating Season, Chapter 4:
When I was a piefaced lad of some twelve summers, doing my stretch at Malvern House, Bramley-on-Sea, the private school conducted by the Rev. Aubrey Upjohn, I remember hearing the Rev. Aubrey give the late Sir Philip Sidney a big build-up because, when wounded at the battle of somewhere (The battle was at Zutphen - J.Otten) and offered a quick one by a companion in arms, he told the chap who was setting them up to leave him out of that round and slip his spot to a nearby stretcher-case, whose need was greater than his. This spirit of selfless sacrifice, said the Rev. Aubrey, was what he would like to see in you boys - particular you, Wooster, and how many times have I told you not to gape at me in that half-witted way? Close your mouth, boy, and sit up.

Jill the Reckless, Chapter 8, paragraph I: "Some of them, casual acquaintances, had nodded to him, waved, and gone on lowering the juice, a spectacle which made Freddie feel much as the wounded soldier would have felt if Sir Philip Sidney, instead of offering him the cup of water, had placed it to his own lips and drained it with a careless 'Cheerio!' "

Leave it to Psmith, Chapter 4: [After Psmith had given the umbrella of Comrade Walderwick to a girl, Walderwick got angry against Psmith]
Psmith said: "You are now entitled to rank with Sir Philip Sidney and Sir Walter Raleigh!"

Sam the Sudden, Chapter 10: [ Sam Shotter had rented a house in Valley Fields and he had to pay the rent in advance. Therefore he took some money away from a Mr. Braddock.]
Sam wrote a letter to him saying:
"Dear Bradder: You will doubtless be surprised to learn that I have borrowed your money, I will return it in God's good time. Meanwhile, as Sir Philip Sidney said to the wounded soldier, my need is greater than yours.
Trusting this finds you in the pink,
'Yrs. Obedtly, S. Shotter'.

Hot Water, Chapter 2, paragraph 2: [Packy Franklyn thought that his fiancee Lady Beatrice Bracken would be the first to applaud the bringing of aid and comfort to a distressed Senator]
'To go and hack at this old buster's thatch would be to perform a kindly and altruistic act, very much the same sort of thing for which Sir Philip Sidney an de the Boy Scouts are so highly thougt of.'

The Luck of the Bodkins, Chapter 20: [Ivor Llewellyn, president of the Superba-Llewellyn Motion Picture Corporation of Hollywood, Inc. had promised his wife Grayce, to smuggle Grayce's necklace through the Customs of the U.S.A. But he didn't like to do it.
Reggie Tennyson said to Ivor, he is willing to smuggle Grayce Llewellyn's necklace in return for a contract as an author at the motion picture company.]
'There was nothing in the look which Mr. Llewellyn was directing at Reggie now to awaken the critical spirit in the latter. It was entirely freefrom that pop-eyed dislike which the young man had found so offensive in the early stages of this conference. It was, indeed, very much the sort of look the wounded soldier must have directed at Sir Philip Sidney.'

Laughing Gas, Chapter 11: [Reggie Lord Havershot had to have a tooth out. At the dentist, under influence of laughing gas (an anaestetic) his soul moved to a boy, Joey Cooley, who was also at the dentist. And opposite the boy's soul went to Lord Havershot.]
Reggie said (in the body of Joey): " Prunes! ... Hi! Give me a lick!" I cried, in a voice vibrant with emotion.
He passed it over without hesitation. If he had been Sir Philip Sidney with the wounded soldier, he couldn't have been nippier."



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