Note 1. The first part of this sonnet was suggested to Wyat by the sonnet of Petrarch, beginning:
S una feda amorosa, un cor non finto, etc.
of which the poet had elsewhere given an entire version. If so, says Leigh Hunt (English Sonnets, p. 136), the latter part may equally be supposed to have been suggested by some French song. I think I have a recollection of some such contrastment of a Phyllis and a Brunette in old French poetry. Yet these propositions and contrapositions are so common in love-poets, that the feeling may have originated with Sir Thomas himself; though he was a Petrarcist professed. In a court like that of Henry VIII. Wyat may well enough have met with a Brunette of his own, who revolted him with her ostentation and her love of wealth,setting his mercers and jewellers bills in a roar. The names of Brunet (Brunetta) and Phyllis in conjunction are to be found nowhere else, I believe, in English literature, except in Steeles amusing story of the two rival beauties in the Spectator, No. 86. Did he get them from Wyat? Wyat was just the sort of man to be loved and admired by Steele. [back]