1662 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Nashe

Izaak Walton, Life of Richard Hooker (1662; 1865) 214-15.



There was not only one Martin Mar-Prelate, but other venomous books daily printed and dispersed; books that were so absurd and scurrilous, that the graver Divines disdained them an answer. And yet these were grown into high esteem with the common people, till Tom Nash appeared against them all, who was a man of a sharp wit, and the master of a scoffing, satirical, merry pen, which he employed to discover the absurdities of those blind, malicious, senseless pamphlets, and sermons as senseless as they; Nash's answers being like his books, which bore these, or like titles: An Almond for a Parrot; A Fig for my Godson; Come crack me this nut, and the like; so that this merry wit made some sport, and such a discovery of their absurdities, as — which is strange — he put a greater stop to these malicious pamphlets, than a much wiser man had been able.