1586 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Barnabe Barnes

Thomas Nashe, in Have with you to Saffron Walden (1586); Censura Literaria 6 (1808) 122n.



For his Cavaliership, it is lewder by nine score times than his poetry, since his doughty service in France five years ago: where having followed the campe for a week or two, and seeing there was no care had of keeping the Queene's peace, but a man might have his braines knockt out, and no justice or constable neere hand to send forth precepts, and make hue and crie after the murdrers; without further tarrying or consultation, to the generall he went and told him he did not like of this quarrelling kinde of life and common occupation of murdring, wherein (without any jurie or triall, or giving them so much leave as to saye their praiers) men were run thorough and had their throats cut, both against God's lawes, and her Majestie's lawes, and the lawes of all nations. Wherefore he desir'd license to depart; for he stood everie houre in feare and dread of his person, and it was alwaies his praier — "From suddain death good Lord deliver us!" Upon this motion there were divers warlike knights and principall captaines, who rather than they would be bereaved of his pleasant companie, offered to pricke out a strong guard amongst them for the safe engarrisoning and better shielding him from perill. Two stept forth and presented themselves as muskettiers before him; a third and fourth, as targetiers behinde him; a fifth and sixt vowd to trie it out at the push of the pike, before the malicious foe should invade him. But home he would (nothing could stay him) to finish Parthenophil and Parthenope, and write in praise of Gabriell Harvey! He was wise; he lov'd no blowes. — One of the best articles against Barnes I have overslipt, which is, that he is in print for a braggart, in that universall applauded Latine poem of Master Campion's, where in an epigram entituled In Barnum, beginning thus, "Mortales decem tela inter Gallica caesos," he shewes how he urg'd, when he was in France he slew ten men; when (fearfull cowardy) he never heard piece shot off, but he fell flat on his face.