Introduction by Henry Morley
I. upon his becoming Emperor of Germany, but under the duties of the formal embassy was the charge of watching for opportunities of helping forward a Protestant League among the princes of Germany. On his way home through the Netherlands he was to convey Queen Elizabeth's congratulations to William of Orange on the birth of his first child, and what impression he made upon that leader of men is shown by a message William sent afterwards through Fulke Greville to Queen Elizabeth. He said "that if he could judge, her Majesty had one of the ripest and greatest counsellors of State in Philip Sidney that then lived in Europe; to the trial of which he was pleased to leave his own credit engaged until her Majesty was pleased to employ this gentleman, either amongst her friends or enemies."
Sidney returned from his embassy in June, 1577. At the time of his departure, in the preceding February, his sister Mary, then twenty years old, had become the third wife of Henry Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, and her new hom