1805 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Gabriel Harvey

Henry John Todd, in Works of Spenser (1805) 1:ii.



Webbe, in his Discourse of English Poetrie, 1586, asserts that Harvey was the "most special friende" of Spenser. Nash, however, the avowed enemy of Harvey, repeatedly ridicules Harvey's boast of his friendship with Spenser; and, notwithstanding his animadversions on Harvey's railing, rails with equal if not greater flippancy and petulance himself. He may ridicule Harvey's hexameters, as much as he pleases; of which kind of verses in English, Harvey indeed pompously announces himself as the inventor. But he cannot detract from the general merit of Harvey both as a poet and a scholar. His beautiful poem, prefixed to the Faerie Queene, and signed Hobbinol, bespeaks an elegant and well-turned mind.