1691 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Nashe

Gerard Langbaine, in Account of the English Dramatick Poets (1691) 382-83.



A Gentleman that liv'd about the time with the foremention'd Author [Thomas Nabbes], and was sometime educated in the University of Cambridge. His Genius was much addicted to Dramatick Poetry and Satyr; and he writ some things in Prose; all which gain'd him the Reputation of a Sharp Wit. In an Old Copy of Verses, I find his Character thus drawn.

And surely Nash, tho' he a Proser were,
A Branch of Laurel yet deserves to bear.
Sharply Satyrick was he; and that way
He went, since that his being, to this day,
Few have attempted; and I surely think,
Those Words shall hardly be set down in Ink
Shall scorch, and blast, so as his could, when he
Would inflict Vengeance.—

As to his Plays, he has publisht only two that I have heard of, viz. Dido Queen of Carthage, in which he joyn'd with Marloe; and, Summer's Last Will and Testament, a Comedy: I could never procure a Sight of either of these: but as to that Play call'd See me and see me not, ascribed to him by Mr. Philips and Mr. Winstanley, I have it by me, and have plac'd it to the right Author, Mr. Drawbridgecourt Belchier, see page 24.

He has writ several other Pieces; some Satirical, as Pierce Penniless his Supplication to the Devil; Have with ye to Saffron-Walden; Four Letters Confuted: A Poem called The White-Herring and the Red, and another Piece in Prose, which I take to be the same Thomas Nash, called A Fourfold Way to a Happy Life, in a Dialogue between a Countryman, Citizen, Divine, and Lawyer, printed 4to. Lond. 1633.