Euphues and His England Summary

Summary (Masterpieces of British Fiction)

As they had previously planned, Euphues and Philautus embarked from Athens for England. During the two-month voyage, Euphues offered Philautus considerable counsel on how to behave while in the strange country and cautioned him especially about his penchant for falling too easily in love. To illustrate his point, Euphues told the tale of young Callimachus, who learned through bitter experience the perils of travel. Euphues closed his discourse with a description of the island to which they sailed.

Upon their arrival, the two young men encountered Fidus, an old man who kept bees. After telling them of the folly of discussing the queen about whom they had asked, Fidus illustrated for them the principles of a sensible monarchy by describing his colony of bees with its queen, workers, and drones. Upon the urging of Philautus, he also told them of his own unhappy experience when he fell in love with a young maiden who loved another man and who died of grief after her lover was killed in a distant land. This experience had led Fidus to retire to beekeeping in a secluded area near Dover.

Leaving the old gentleman with thanks for his hospitality and his story, Euphues and Philautus proceeded toward London. The trip was largely taken up with another warning by Euphues to Philautus about the dangers of love, advice given in spite of the Italian’s vehement denials of any such weakness.

Soon the two strangers arrived in London, and they were welcomed because of their wit and address. Admitted into court circles, they were delighted with English virtue and charm. Philautus’ eye soon fell upon Camilla, a young maiden not of high birth but of great beauty and virtue. He fell immediately and hopelessly in love. After a heated debate with himself about his plight, Philautus was discovered by Euphues, who began praising English women for their beauty and virtue. Philautus...

(The entire section is 775 words.)