1589 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Peele

Thomas Nashe, in "To the Gentlemen Readers of both Universities" Greene's Menaphon (1589) Sig. A2v.



Neither is [Spenser] the only swallow of our summer, (although Apollo, if his Tripos were up again, would pronounce him his Socrates) but he being forborne, there are extant about London many most able men to revive Poetrie, though it were executed ten thousand times, as in Platos, so in Puritanes common wealth; as for example Mathew Roydon, Thomas Atchelow, and George Peele, the first of whome, as hee hath shewed himselfe singular in the immortall Epitaph of his beloved Astrophel, besides many other most absolute comicke inventions (made more publique by everie mans praise than they can bee by my speache), so the second hath more than once or twise manifested, his deepe witted schollership in places of credit; and for the last, thogh not the least of them all, I dare commend him to all that know him as the chiefe supporter of pleasance nowe huing, the Atlas of Poetrie and "primus verborum Artifex," whose first encrease, the Arraignement of Paris, might plead to your opinions his pregnant dexteritie of wit, and manifold varietie of invention, wherein (me iudice) hee goeth a step beyond all that write.