The text below is a copy of Grosart's edition of 'The Trimming of Thomas Nashe Gentleman' by Richard Lichfield, first published in 1597. Grosart included it in his edition of 'Works of Gabriel Harvey', mistakenly believing Harvey had written it under a pen name. There was in fact a real Cambridge humorist and barber-surgeon called Richard Lichfield, and modern scholars do not doubt he wrote this work. Lichfield produced it as a riposte to Nashe's virulent anti-Harvey pamphlet, 'Have with You to Saffron Walden' (1596), which with some insolence Nashe had dedicated to him.

Please bear in mind I copied this text without benefit of proofreader, and though I've checked it myself for errors it can't be considered entirely reliable. I'm also unable to reproduce many features of the original which Grosart indicated, for example the use of a long 's' at the beginning and middle of words, printers' ornaments, tittles over letters, Greek font etc. I have tried faithfully to give italics wherever Grosart used them.

Grosart notes he based his edition on a version in the Huth Library, adding that "a second exemplar is in the British Museum". Recourse to these, or to a printed edition of Grosart would naturally be preferable, but in view of the difficulty of laying hold of this work it seems worthwhile to make an e-text available.



of Thomas Nashe, Gentleman,

by the high-tituled patron Don
Richardo de Medico campo
, Barber
Chirurgion to Trinitie Col-
ledge in Cambridge.

Faber quas fecit compedes ipse gestat.

[Floral ornament]

Printed for Philip Scarlet.


To the Learned.
Eme, perlege, nec te precii pænitebit.

To the simple
Buy mee, read me through and
     thou wilt not repente thee of
     thy cost.                                  

To the Gentle Reader.

Proface gentle Ge~tlemen, I am sorry I haue no better Cates to prese˜t you with : but pardon I pray you, for this which I haue heere prouided, was bred in Lent, and Lent (you know) is said of leane, because it macerates & makes leane the bodye : if therefore this dish bee leane and nothing answearable to your expectation, let it suffice twas bred in Lent : neither had it anye time wherein it might gather anye thinge vnto it selfe to make it more fat and delightfull. His Epistle I expected any time these three yeares, but this mine aunswer sine fuco loquar, (though it be not /worthy to bee called the worke of one well spent houre) I haue wrought foorth out of the stolne houres of three weekes : for although occasion hath been offered euer since the Epistle hath been extant, to answere it : yet held in suspence considering the man, and matter, whether I should take it vpon mee or no : at last concluding him easily answerable, I haue vndergone it : therefore howsoeuer you see it crept abroad Gentles, receiue it well in worth : Your fauours happily might adde strength vnto it, and stirre vp the faint creeping steps to a more liuely pace : it by hard hap being denied of the progresse, keeping at home hath growne somewhat greater. To tell you what the man is, and the reason of this book, were but triuiall and superfluous, only this, you may call it The trimming of Thomas Nashe, wherein hee is described. In trimming of which description, though I haue founde out and fetcht from the mint some few new wordes to coulor him, / grant me pardon, I thinke them fitte for him who is so limmed and coullored with all new found villanie: for if they bee etimologisde, they no whit disagree from his properties. Slender labour hath suffised to weaue this thinne superficiall vaile to cover his crimson Epistle, and shaddow it foorth vnto the world. For as a garment of too bright a color is too euil an obiect for the eyes (as is the Sun), & is nothing gazed after, no not of those who neuer saw it before: yet newe things are desired, because twould proue pernicious to their eyes, but once oreclowded and couered with a lawne vesture, through that it shines & becommeth a lesse hurting obiect, and draws the peoples sight after it: so his Epistle in it[s] owne colour beeing too resplendent and hurtfull to the readers, is laid apart & is nothing in request, for that twould proue as a burning glasse vnto their eyes, but vestured with this Caule & rare-wrought garme˜t, it loseth part of it[s] hurting vigour, & therefore is cald to be seene againe.

Loathed / tediousnes I also eschewed as no lesse hurtfull than too bright an obiect : the Booke which he dedicateth to me, is so tedious, that had I read it through, it so loathsome would haue wrought more on mee both vpward & downward, then 3. drams of pilles : his Epistle is not behinde hand : to that I might say as said Diogenes to the men of Minda, (whose gates were greater in analogicall proportion then their Citie:) O yee men of Minda, looke to your Cittie, that it flyes not out at your gates. So his booke might well for the largenesse of the Epistle haue flowne out at it, and surely I thinke had his book any wings, that is, any queint deuise flying abroad to please withall, it would neuer haue staid till this time : therfore I thinke it prouidently done of him (though out of doubt the foole had no such drift) to make the gates so bigge, that when we haue passed through the gates, supposing all the Cittie to be sutable to the statelines of them : but after we are entred, finding / our selues meerely guld, and that all the Cittie is not worth the gates, wee may the more readily finde the way out of the Cittie againe, the gates beeing so great : and this remedye I founde once when I tooke my iourney into his Cittie. But to returne, If this bee not so well set foorth as you could wish it were, blame mee not: for as the Moon being naked & bare, is said once to haue gone to her mother, and asked of her a coat to cloath her : but shee answered, there could bee no coate made fit for her, for her instabilitie, sometime she being in the ful, and somtime in the wane: so hee being man of so great reuolution, I could not fit him, for if I had vndertaken to speak of one of his properties, another came into my mind, & another followed that, which bred confusion, making it too little for him : therefore were it not too little, it might be twold be fit, but howsoeuer, pardon (Gentlemen) my boldnes in presenting to your fauorable viewes this litle and co˜fused coate.

                         Yours in all curtesie, Richard Lichfield. /

The trimming of Thomas Nashe.

Sir, heere is a gentleman at the door would speake with you. Let him come in. M Nashe! welcome. What, you would be trimd? & I cannot denie you that fauour. Come, sit downe, Ile trim you my selfe. How now? what makes you sit downe so tenderly? you crintch in your buttocks like old father Pater patriae, he that was father to a whole countrey of bastards. Dispatch, st, boy set the water to the fire: but sirra, hearke in your eare, first goe prouide me my breakfast, that I goe not fasting about him; then goe to the Apothecarie, and fetch mee some represiue Antidotum to put into the bason, to keep downe the venemous vapors that arise from his infectious excreme˜ts: for (I tell you) I like not his countenance, I am afraid he labours of the vernereall murre.

Muse not (gentle Thomas) that I come so roughly vppon you with Sit downe, without anie Dedicatorie Epistle, which (I know) you expected; for that your Epistle (in some wise) brought forth this small Worke: which purposely I omitted, scorning Patronage against you. For if (by an Epistle) I had made some Lord or Knight my Patron, it would haue mennaged and giuen courage to you, thus (not sufficient of my selfe) I should get some Protector to stand out with you. As in a Cocke-fight, if the Cocke-master takes off his Cocke when they are buckled together, it encourageth the other Cocke (deeming / his adversarie to flye to his Master for refuge): so that hee crowes foorth the triumph before the victorie. Therefore forsooth, if for orders sake (that of custome might be made a necessarie law) you would haue an Epistle, I thought it best, respecting the subiect matter, as neere as possibly I could to patterne it with the like Patron. Then not knowing where to heare of some miscreant,

O eloquence. polluted with all vices both of bodie & minde: and viewing ouer all the imprest

images of men in the memoriall cell of my braine, at last I espied your selfe more liuely ingrauen than the rest, and as it were offring your selfe to this purpose. Then presently I made choice of you, that like an asse you might beare your burden, & patronize your owne scourge, as dooth the silly hedge-sparrow, that so long fostereth vp the cuckow in her neast, till at length she bee deuoured of her : or the Viper, that is destroyed of her owne whelpes. All England for a Patron. But to this sodaine ioy, (for sodaine ioy soone ends)

this cross happened; That knowing it to bee my duetie to gratulate my Patrone with the first hereof, but not knowing where to finde you, for that you (the

Item for you

Worlds Citizen) are heere and there, you may dine in this place, & goe supperlesse to bed, if you know where to haue your bed: you maye bee in one prison to-day and in another
to-morrow: so that you haue a place but as a fleeting incorporeall substaunce, Wel put in.

circumscribed with no limits, that of your owne you haue not so much as one of Diogenes his poore cottages. You haue indeed a terminus a quo (as we Logicians speake) but no terminus ad quem. Now sir, for the vncertaintie of your mansion house, you hauing all

the world to keepe Court in, and being so haunted with an earthquake, that in what house soeuer you are one daye, you are shaken out the next, my little Booke might kill three or four porters, that / must run vp and downe London How hardly I leaue this commonplace.

to seeke you, and at the last might dye it selfe for want of succour before it comes to your hands. Yet it might bee, that in your request you are insatiable, you will take no excuse, your will is your reason, nay may not be admitted. Well, it shall be yours; for your Epistles sake, haue at you with an Epistle.

To / the polypragmaticall, parasitupocriticall, and pantophainoudendeconticall Puppie Thomas Nashe, Richard Leichfield wisheth the continuance of that he hath: that is, that he want not the want of health, wealth, and libertie.

Nas hum.   Mitto tibi Nashum prora N. puppi humque carentem.

God saue you (right glossomachicall Thomas). The vertuous riches, where-with (as broad spread Fame reporteth) you are indued, though fama malum, (as saith the poet) which I confirme: for that shee is tam ficti prauique tenax, quam nuncia veri, as well saith Master William Lilly in his Adiectiua verbalia in ax.  I say the report of your rich vertues so bewitched me toward you, that I cannot but send my poore Book to be vertuously succoured of you, that when both yours & my frends shall see it, they may (for your sake) vertuously accept of it. But, it may be, you denie the Epistle, the Booke is of you, the Epistle must be to some other. I answer, you are desirous of an Epistle. Did not Caesar write those things himself which himselfe did? and did not Lucius that golden Asse speak of himself which was the Asse? & will not you (though an / Asse, yet neither golden nor siluer) patronize that which others tooke paines to write of you?   Caesar and Lucius for that shall liue for euer : and so shall you, as long as euer you liue. Go too I say, he is an ill horse that will not carrie his owne prouender. But chiefly I am to tell you of one thing, which I chuse to tell you of in my Epistle, both because of Epistles some be denuntiatorie, as also considering that wise saying elswhere of the precise Schoolemaster : If thy frend commit anie enormious offence toward thee, tell him of it in an Epistle. And truly this is a great and enormious offence, at which my choller stands vpright, neither will I put it up.   Therefore in sadnes prouide your Lawier, I haue mine, it will beare as good an action, as if you should haue come into another mans house, and neuer say, Hoe Gode be here: that is, you wrote a foule Epsitle to mee, and neuer told me of it before: you might haue said, By your leaue Sir. I warrant you I write but this small Epistle to you, and I tell you of it as long before as the Epistle is long. But now I remember me, there was not hatred between vs before, and therefore twould be prooued but chaunce-medley.    Let it euen alone, it cannot be vndone, for a thing easely done neuer can be vn-done: and a man may quickly become a knaue, but hardly an honest man.   And thus (malevolent Tom I leaue thee. From my chamber in Camb. to your "                           " where ca[n] you tell?

      Yours in loue usque ad aras
                        Rich: Lichfield.
That is that wold
folow thee euen
to the gallowes.

You / see howe louingly I deale with you in my Epistle and tell of your vertues, which (God forgiue me for it ) is as arrant a lye as euer was told : but to leaue these parergasticall speeches and to come to your trimming, because I will deale roundly with you, I wil cut you with the round cut, in which I include two cuts: First the margent cut: secondly the perfect cut : The margent cut is nothing els but a preparation to the perfect cut, wherby I might more perfectly discharge that cut vpon you, for as in a deep standing poole, the brinks thereof, which are not vnfitly called the margents, being pared away, we may the better see thereinto: so the margents which fitly we may terme the brinkes of your standing stinking poole (for it infects the eare as doth the stinking poole the smell) being cut away, I may the better finish this perfect cut and rid my selfe of you. To the margent cut. When first your Epistle came into my hands, I boldly opened it, and sealing the margents of it I espied a seely note quasi conuersant about heads. I sayd not a word, but turning ouer a leafe or twoo more to see if you continued in those simple animaduersions, and indeed I saw you to bee no changling, for there I espied barbers knacking of their fingers, & lousie naperie, as foolish as the other : semper idem (thought I) might be your mot, and so you will dye: then I began to marke the note which you adioyned to your notes that they might be noted : there tossing and turning your booke vpside downe, when the west end of it hapned to be upward, me thought your note seemed a D, ah Dunce, Dolt, Dotterell, quoth I, well might it be a D. and for my life for the space of twoo houres, could I not leaue rayling of thee all in Ds.
      Now to the perfect cut : I cannot but admire you in the / tittle you allow me, seeing wee admire monsters as well vertuous men, and a foole (as oft I haue heard Scholers dispute in mine office) as a monster : other Barbers like not the title, it pleaseth me, and all the Dukes in Spaine cannot shew the like, and I thinke that half a yeeres study did not bring it out of thy dunsticall hammer-headed scalpe ; but thou dost to disgrace mee, and thinkst thy title decketh a Barber, and that a Barber with thy title is as a rotten chamber hanged with cloth of arras : but tis not so : alas thy reading affoords thee not to knowe the ancient and valorous power of Barbers.
      I could speake howe they flourished amongst the Abants, a fierce and warlike people, and by the Barbers perpolike cunning as it were amending nature and shaping their faces to more austeritie, they became more victorious, as Plutarch recordeth in the life of Theseus: and young stripplings newly fit for armes, first were brought to Delphos, and there offered the first fruites of their haire to Jupiter: next him the Barbers were serued and they cut them, and were as Ioves Vises to make them fit for warre. They flourished before with the Arabians, the Mysians, the Dacians, the Dalmatians, the Macedonians, the Thracians, the Seruians, the Sarmacians, the Valachians and the Bulgarians, as saith Pollidorus Vergil : afterwards Alexander entertained into his campes Barbers as the spurres and whetstones of his armies.
      Dionisius that blood-thirstie Tyrant that feared no peeres, stoode alwaies in feare of Barbers, and rather would haue his hayre burnt off, than happen into the Barbers handes.
      Therefore in a Barbers shop (as Plutarche reporteth) where some fewe were talking of the Tyrany of / the tyger Dionysius,   What   (said the Barber)   are you talking of King Dionysius, whome within these two or three daies I must shaue?   When Dionysius heard of this, he gate the Barber secretly to be put to death, for feare of after-claps.     The Barbers Chaire is the verie Royall-Exchange of newes,   Barbers the "head" of all Trades.

None but
Barbers meddle
with the head
I could speake of their excellencie, for that a man's face (the principall part of him) is committed onely to Barbers. All trades adorne the life of man, but none (except Barbers) haue the life of man in their power, and to them they hold vp

their throates readie.
   If they be happie, whom pleasure, profit and honor make happie, then Barbers with great facilitie attaine to happines. For pleasure, if they be abroad, they are soght too of the best Com-panions, Knights and Esquires send for them : if at home and at worke, they are in pleasing conference ; if idle, they passe that time in life-delighting musique. For profite, a Barber hath liuing in all parts of England : he hath money brought in as due as rents, of those whom he neuer saw before. For honour, Kings and ruling Monarchs, (to whom all men crouch with cap in hand and knee on ground) onely to Barbers sit barehead, and with bended knees. But for all this, thou sparest not to raile on Barbers (as on all others) : & being full of botches and boyles thy sefe, spuest forth thy corruption on all others : but I nought respect it, thy raylings rather profite mee. For (as Antisthenes was wont to say) a man might as well learne to liue well of his ill-willing & abusiue enemies, as of his honest frends; of these, by following their vertues, of the others by eschuing their actions, by seeing the effects that followed those actions in his enemies : and as Telephus (beeing wounded, and destitute of a sauing remedie at home) went euen to his enemies and sworne foes, to get some soue/erraigne medicine, so if of my friendes I could not learne temperance, I might learne of thee, by seeing the effectes of thy cankered conuicious tongue, for by that thou art brought into contempt : thy talking makes thee bee accounted as a purse that cannot bee shutte, and as an house whose doore standes alwayes open ; and as that open purse contayneth no siluer, and in that house is nothing worthie the taking away, so out of thy mouth proceedeth nothing but noysome and ill-fauerd vomittes of railinges : Wherefore draw together the stringes, and locke vp the doore of thy mouth, and before thou speakest such ill corrupted speeches againe let it be lifted of the hingelles ; rule I say, that little and troublesome Vermin, that smal tongue of thine ; which in some is not the smallest parte of vertue, but in thee the greatest Arte of vice : not vnlike the Purple fish, which whilest she gouernes her tongue well, it getteth her foode and hunteth after her praye, but when shee neglect[eth] it, it bringeth her destruction, and she is made herself a pray vnto the fisher: so that in that small parcell all vertue and vice lyes hidden, as is recorded of Kias, whom King Amasis commaunding to sende home the best and most profitable meate from the market, hee sent home a tongue: the king demaunding a reason, hee answered that of a tongue came many profitable and good speeches, and this tongue thou hast not: Then the king sent him to buy the woorst and most vnprofitable meate, and he likewise bought a tongue: the king also asking the reason of this, from nothing (sayde he) issueth worse venome then from the tongue, and this tongue thou hast, and this tongue crosse with the barre of reason, lest thou seeme more foolish then those geese in Cilicia, which when the[y] flie in the night time by the hill Taurus, that is possest of Eagles, are sayde to gette stones into their mouthes, by which as by a bridle they raine in their cryinges, and so quietly passe the greedie talentes of the Eagles: but alas why inuect I so against thy tongue? lingua or lingendo, and you knowe wee vse alwayes to like in, and so thou shouldest keepe in thy poyson: or a ligando, which is to binde, and so thou shouldst binde vp and not disperse abroad that ranker in thee : thy tongue doth but in dutie vtter that which is committed vnto it, and nature hath set before it a double bull-woorke of teeth

to keepe in the vagrant wordes which straying abroade and beeing surprised may bewray the whole cittie: and the vpper bull-woorke sometimes serues for a percullis, which when any rascallie woorde hauing not the watch-worde,

Marke this secret allegorie

that is, reason, shall but enter out of the gates, is presently lette downe, and so it cuttes it of before it woorketh wracke to the whole Castell: therefore I must of necessitie find out another cause of thine infected speech: and nowe I haue founde it, fie on thee, I smell thee, thou hast a stinkinge breath : but a stinking breath (some say) commeth of foule teeth : and if it bee so, wash thy teeth Tom, for if thou wouldest drawe foorth good and cleane wordes out of thy mouth, thou wouldest washe thy teethe, as euerie tapster that goeth to drawe good beare will washe the potte before he gooeth : but it may bee the filth hath so eaten into thy teeth that washinge cannot get it away : then doe as that venome-bitinge beast, that Nile-breede Crocodile, which to purge her teeth of those shiuered reedes that are wreathed betweene, by feedinge in the water, commeth to the shoore, and there gapinge suffereth some friendly bird without / daunger to creepe into her mouth, and with


her bill to picke away the troubling reedes : so come you but to some shoore,

and Ile bee that Trochilus, Ile picke your teeth and make a cleane mouth, or Ile picke out tounge and all, but of this stinkinge breath I speake not. Taedet anima sayth the Comedian, and this I meane not meaning as hee meant, for hee meant a stinkinge breath, but by anima I meane the forme by which thou art what thou art what thou art, by which also thy senses

woorke, which giueth vse to all thy faculties and from which all thy actions

proceede : and this anima if thou termist a breath, this breath stinketh, and from this breath (as little riuers flowe from a fountaine) all thy woordes flow foorth and the fountaine being corrupted (as you knowe) likewise all the lesser rivers needes must bee corrupted, and this anima, this breath or fountayne thou must cleanse : but how to cleanse this breath it passeth my cunninge to tell : for though (as I am a Cirurgeon) I coulde pick your teeth, for the other stinkinge breath, yet this I durst not meddle with, this hath neede of a metaphisition ; and lette it suffice for mee rudely to take vppe the bucklers and laie them

Howe I bewich thee with fecunditie

downe againe, onely to tune the Lute, but to leaue the more cunning to playe thereon : Count it enough for mee that am but an adiuncte to a Scholler, that haue nothinge of myselfe but what I gleane vppe at the disputation of some

Schollers in myne office : let it bee sufficient for mee (I say) onely to tell the reason of this stinkinge breath, and to leaue to more sounde Philosophers to determine and set downe the remedie of it : but now it may bee teipsum noscis, you smell your owne / breath, and finde it to bee so intoxicated with poyson that vnlesse you haue present helpe you are quite vndone, you perish vtterly : and knowing me to be a man of such excellent partes, yea of farre better partes then In speach bee these eight partes, are very instant with me to

vnbinde the bundell which I gathered at disputations, and giue you some remedie for this stinkinge breath : low how vertue in the friend casteth foorth her beames euer vpon her enemie, I am ouercome, blushingly I vndertake it,

Ha ha a ragge borrowed from your owne dunghill
and like a bashfull mayde refuse, yet deigne you that fauour : then marke, first goe get some strong hempe, and worke it and temper it so long together till there arise out of it an

engine which wee call Capistrum, then carry this Capistrum to some beame that lyeth acrosse, for none else wil serue, when it must bee straynde,

A medicine for a stinking breath.

and the one ende of it fasten to the beame, and one the other make a noose of as rounde a figure as you can, for the roundest figure is the most retentiue: let the noose bee alwayes readie to slide, for mans breath is slipperie, then when euerie thing is fitted, boldly put through thy heade, then worke the Capistrum ouer newe agayne, swinge vppe and downe twice or thrice that it may be well strainde, and so in short time your olde breath will bee gone : dispayre not yet man, probatum est, old AEson was deade a while but reuiued agayne and liued many a yeare after : but marke, now to the pynche, if Platoes transmigration holde, (which some menne holde) that the anima and breathes of men that bee deade dow fleete into the bodyes of other menne which shall liue, then I holde that some breath seeing thy yonge bodie without an anima, and twould be harde lucke if some breath or other should not be / yet straing about for a body, their being continually so many let loose at Tiburne, I say, some vnbespoken vagrant breath wil goe in and possesse thy body : nowe if this remedie helpe not, surely thou art vnrecurable : if also thy newe breath happen to be as stinking as thy olde, thou wilt neuer haue a sweete breath in this worlde, nor then neither. And thus much of my title.
You know or at the least ought to knowe that writers shoulde eschewe lyes as Scorpions, but your lyes that you deuisd of one, are the greatest part of the matter of your Epistle, as My shoppe in the towne, the teeth that hange out of my Windowe, my painted may-poole, with many others which full vp roome in the Epistle in aboundant manner, and which are nothing else but meere lyes and fictions to yeeld the matter, whereby I perceiue howe threede-bare thou art waxen, how barren thy inuention is, and that thy true amplifying vaine is quite dryed vppe. Repent, repent, I say, and leaue of thy lying, which without repentance is very haynous (Pag: 6) : that one lye I make of thee in this booke is presently washed away with repentance. An other lye I cannot but tell you of, which you clappe in my teeth in the very beginning of your Epistel, which nothinge greeueth mee, for that I suppose it to bee committed of ignorance, that is you tell mee that you come vpon mee with but a dicker of Dickes, but you come vppon mee with seuenteene or eighteene Dickes, whereby I see thy ignorance in the Greeke tongue ; thou knowest not what a dicker is: a dicker is but ten of anything, for it commeth of the Greeke word deka which is by interpretation, Ten ( de ka).
        Thou obiectest that olde Tooly and I differed : I con / fesse it, I am a man alone, I scorne such ragged rent-foorth speech, yet thou mayest well praye for the duall number, thou scabbed, scalde, lame, halting adiectiue as thou art : in all thy guiles, thou neuer hadst that guile as alone to get thee one crust of breade; no, I knowe not who had a hande with you in this seely Epistle : goe too, hee is not a minister, he hadde but small reason for it: againe, you remember the time when your fellowe Lusher and you lay in cole-harbour together, when you had but one payre of breeches betweene you both, but not one penie to blesse you both, and howe by course hee woore the breeches one day, and went cunny-catching about for victuals, whilest you lay in bedde, and the next day you wore the breeches to goe begge whilest he lay in bed : for all the worlde like two bucketes in one well: now suppose, when Lusher wore the breeches, that then thou shouldest haue been carryed to pryson, where nowe thou art, verily I thinke thou shouldest haue escaped prison for want of breeches; or suppose that at that time thou shouldest haue beene hanged, I cannot but thinke that the want of a payre of breeches woulde haue beene better to thee then thy neck-verse, for the hange-man would haue his breeches : no fee, no lawe : but put case that with much adoe, by greate exraordinarie fauour some good hang-man had done thee this last benefitte, that thou mightest neuer troble him agayne, and shoulde haue giuen thee thy hanginge francke and free (as indeede happy for thee had it bene if this good hap had hapned, for then thou shouldst not haue liued thus miserably in this vaine and wicked worlde) I say plainely, put case thou haddest beene hanged, the hangman not sticking with thee for thy breeches, then Charon would haue come vpon you / for his ferry-penny: fie out, money and breeches, as ill as a rope and butter, for if one slippe the other holde, with him no naulum, no waftage, and then thou hadst been in worse case then euer thou wert : thus you see how the want of a payre of breeches might haue been the meanes to haue made thee escape prison, death and vtter damnation : and O thrice happy Lusher that shouldst haue beene away with the breeches at that happy time : but when thou wert in thy chiefest pride, if thou hadst but lent out one payre of breeches thou shouldst haue beene thus happy.
      Prayse from the praise-worthy, and hee is not praysed whose prayser deserueth not prayse : there-fore in these places of the Epistle where thou praysest mee, I take my selfe most to bee dispraised, for that thou the praiser art worthie no praise: for howsoeuer thou leade in a fooles paradise, like the fish cald a muge (Mucus snotte) which is sayde to feede herselfe with her owne snotte, for thereof shee takes her name, thou feadest thy-self with self-conceite, that whatsoeuer commeth from thee is the verie quintessence of true witte, and that all thy ribaldrie that euer thou settst forth, exceeded in pleasing mirth, that so thou hast imbraced true Minuera, wheneas (God knowes) thou art as farre deceiued as euer was poore Ixion, that imbraced a cloude in steade of Iuno, or that guld-god, mostrous accadian Pan, who in steade of that sweete Nimphe Syrinx frumpt a bunche of reedes: yet I must confesse thou haste something, thou art as a bundell of strawe that beeing sett on fire consumes it selfe all in smoke, but no warmnesse commeth from it, so thou hast no true fire in thee, all smoother, no thing that can warme a man: thou art as many Ciphers without an I, which they wan/ting are of themselues nothing, and thou hast much apparencie of witte which is as Ciphers, but thou hast not this same I: Iota is wanting to thy Ciphers, thou hast not one iot nor title of true witte: againe, as some soldiers that were at Cales, breaking into a shoppe for pillage, and there seeing many great sackes readie trussed vppe, they with great ioy made hast away with them, and so with light hartes carried away their heauie burdens, and when they brought thm into the streetes, opening them to see their booties, founde in some of them nought but redde cappes, of which afterward they made store of fires, and in the rest nought but earthen pitchers, chaffen-dishes and pispottes, and such like: so whosoeuer shall see thee trussed uppe and in thy clothes, might happily take thee for a wise young man, but when thou shalt be opened, that is, when he shall see but some worke of thine, he shall finde in thee nought but rascallitie and meere delusions: and for this cause thou mayest be cald the very Choroebus of our time, of whom the prouerbe was raysde, more foole then Choroebus ; who was a seely ideot, but yet had the name of a wise man : for he might be cald Choroebus quasi cori Phos, the light of euery company into which hee came, so thou hast onely the name of a wise man and that is Nashe. O wise name, I praye thee let mee christen you a newe and you shall bee called Choroebus quasi chori bos, the very bull-heade of all the troope of pamphleters: thou goest about to gather iestes and to barrell them vp into thine ale-howse index, that when occasion shall serue thou mightest be a Democritus alwayes to laugh thy selfe or to cause others to laugh by thy ideotisme. Thus to conclude, as Daphne chastitie, was turnd into a laurell tree, and so kept her chastitie, so / I wish that for thy wit thou mightest bee turnd into an asse, that so thou mightest keepe thy wit to thy selfe, and not defile the world withall. But this thou scornst, and wilt prooue that thou hast a good wit, and thus submissiuely in eloquence, to make vs beleeue thee, at the first word thou beginst; Nature, that neuer wont to be vnequall in her gifts, with me hath broke her wont, and indowed me with a dowrie aboue the rest of her children : but euerie commoditie hath his discommoditie, and we cannot alwaies please all ; and though all my books did not take as I wished they shoulde, yet most of them did take, as Piers Pennilesse, and others which I will not name, to auoyd suspition of vainglorie. Argus that had an hundred eyes sometime slept, or els he had not dyed for it : and when Mercurie came, hee had no power to hold ope his eyes. O fine speech! By this I gather, that thou confessest thy selfe to be Argus, and me Mercurie : and if you be Argus, hold ope your eyes with a pox to ye. I meane yee no harme yet, yet I pipe not to you : but I thinke it will be my lucke to be as ill a scourge to you, as euer Mercurie was to Argus. But if you will dispute and prooue that you haue a good wit, awaye with your confused bibble babble, binde vp your Arguments into Syllogismes and I will answer you directly. Content say you, and thus you begin. If my fame be spred far abroad, & all the Countrey confirme that I haue a good wit, then tis true that I haue a good wit: But the first proposition is true, therefore I haue a good wit. I answer, Poore and illiterate Opponent, to contex no firmer argument against so firme a Logician as I am. A double Response or Aunswere extempore I can affoord you. First, though you name bee blazed abroad, it followes not that you should haue a good wit: for as an emptie vessell will sound farre that hath nothing in it; so you may / cracke your selfe abroad, and get to be reported the man you are not.
      Secondly, I graunt that you are famous, and that the Countrey reports you wise. Sententiously I aunswere, that by a figure the Countrey is taken here for the common rout onely: for none that can but write and read will euer agree to it; and turba malum argumentum, as much as to saye, the troublesome Commons assertion, neuer goes far currant. Thus leauing no hole for you to creepe in with a second obiection, you betake you to second Argument.
      If my wit (saye you) were not excellent and vnaunserable, manie who are accounted to haue good wits, to whom I haue oft giuen particular occasion) would haue answered mee: but they haue not answered mee, therefore my wit is excellent. Therefore I wyll aunswere thee.
      I would to God thou & I were to dispute for the best Mayorship in Spaine ; faith thou mightest euen cast thy cap at it. Doost thou not know that the Lion scornes combat with the bace? Wise-men (though mooued) will not worke reuenge on euerie obiect? and the more stately oake, the more hardly set on fire? More plainly, in a similitude, the reason is to bee gathered of the nettles.
     Euen as the nettle kepeth her leafe cleanest, for that no man purgeth his post-pendence (there your nose Thomas) with it ; not because they cannot, but because it would sting them if they should, and so for that small good turne, it would worke them a more displeasure : so thou art suffered to be quiet, and not wrote against, not for that thou canst not bee answered, but that by aunswering thee they should but giue more fodder to thy poison, put more casting to thy gorge ; and hee that intends / to meddle with dung, must make account to defile his fingers.
      Thus thou art quite put downe, thou art drawne drie: me thinkes I perceiue thee wish for some Moderatour, that should crie; Egregie Nash (or, you great asse)satis fecisti officium tuum. And now for want of a Moderatour, my selfe (for fault of a better) will supply that roome, and determine of our Disputation. And herein it shall not bee amisse, (the Question so requiring, and you also requiring it in that place of your Epistle, where you lay wit to my charge) first to tell what a good wit is. And whereas thou burthenest me to say, that much extraordinarie descant cannot be made of it: thou lyest. For how vniust were mans wits, not to affoord vs extraordinarie descant for that, which giueth vs descant for euerye thing?
     A good wit (therefore) is an affluent Spirit, yeelding inuention to praise or dispraise, or anie wayes to discourse (with iudgement) of euerie subiecte. Mistake me not (I pray you) and think not that I thinke all those to haue good wits, that will talke of euerie subiect, and haue an oare (as we say) in euerie mans boate: for manie fooles doo so, and so doost thou. These talke not with iudgement: they be like the Fellow, who swearing by God, and one standing by, correcting him, said; Fie on thee how thou talkest. What skills it said hee, so longe as I talke of God? So I say, thou carest not how without iudgement thou talkest on euerie thing.
     A good wit is it that maketh a man, and hee is not a man, that hath not a good wit. The verie brutish and sauage beasts haue wit. Oxen and Asses by theyr wit choose out the best Pasture to feed in, and thou art no better : for diuers men will say, and especially Northeren men, to one that dooth anie thing vnhandsomely, whaten / a Nash it is, for what an asse it is, and an Asse all men know hath not a good witt.
     Thus (by these descriptions) the definitiue sentence of my determination is this; Nashe, thou hast not a good wit, thou art a silly fellow, and more silly than Syr Thomas of Carleton, who beeing a little sicke, and the bell tolling to haue him goe read Seruice, the Clarke of the Parish going to him, and telling him that the bell toalde for him, meaning to goe Read, he went presently and made his will, because the bell toalde for him: and so doo thou, plye thee, make thy Will, and dye betimes before thou beest kill'd, for thine owne wit will kill thee: and call you that a good wit that kills a man? All the Wisemen of Greece and Gotam neuer came to the miserie that thy good wit hath brought thee too. My minde presageth the great confusion that thy good wit will bring vppon thee. For as the Cammell that (come hee into neuer so cleare a Fountaine) cannot drinke of the water, till hee hath soyled and fowled it with his feete: so whatsoeuer thy wit goeth about, it first defiles it, and so brings destruction to thine owne bodie. Thy wit, thy wit Tom, hath no roddes in pisse for thee, twill whip thee, twill work thine ouerthrow, twill quite destroye thee: Acteon (as wise a man as you) no wayes could escape it, for all his loue to his hounds, and swift flight when he saw their felnes, but was deuoured of his owne dogs.
      But why then (maist thou say) doo I oppose my selfe against an Asse, seeing now I doo no more than all could doo, for all the beasts in the field can insult and triumph ouer the silly Asse, as well the creeping Snayle to her power as the fiercest Tyger. Asinus a sedendo, because euerie Childe can ride an asse: therefore tis rather a reproachfull shame for mee to meddle with thee, and / by that I get more discredit then the two Gods got dishonors that conspired the downe-fall of one seely, weake, vnable woman. The reason is, I onely am left to tell thee thou art an Asse, and if thou shouldst not be tolde it, thou wouldst not beleeue that thou art an Asse. Therefore nowe at length knowe thine owne strength, and knowing that thou art but feeble and hast no strength, blush and be ashamed, and then thou shalt see that all the Country hath seene thy ignorance, though kept in silence, and howe this many a yeere thou hast guld them, but they (gentle minded auditors) still, still expecting better, tooke all in good part whilst thou like a cowardly vnskilfull horseman mounted on a iade, coruettest and shewest thy Crankes among a company of valorous famous captaines, whose stirrop thou art not worthy to holde: alight and listen vnto me, and I euen I, that neuer till now was acquainted with the presse, and acknowledge myselfe farre vnfit for those thinges thou professest, I (I say) will read thee a Lecture: harken, in my gibbridge (as thou termst it) I wil conster thee this shorte distich, which though it wants an author wants no authoritie.

              Thaida te credis duxisse, sedilla Diana est,
              Namque Actaeoneum dat tibi Caura caput.

              Ingenuously thou thee complainst an Irus poore to be
              But thou art Midas for thou art an Asse as well as he.

Or thus.

              Some sayes Nashe is lasciuious, but I say he is chast,
              For he by chacing after whores, his beard away hath chast.


            Who says Nash riots day & night, about the streets doth lye,
            For he in prison day and night in fetters fast doth lye.


            You say I am a foole for this, and I say you say true,
            Then / what I say of you is true, for babes and fooles say true.

    Nowe I giue not euery word their litterall sence, and by that you may see how I presume of your good wit, to see if by allusions you can picke out the true meaning, but I vse a more plaine demonstration and apply it to your selfe : for if you will vnderstand any thing aright, you must euer apply it to your selfe. It may bee thou likest not these verses for that they want riming words, and ende both the verses with one word: no, Tom, noe, thinke not so, bewray not so thy poetry, for that distich is best contriued, and moste elegant that endes both verses with one word if they import a diuers sence : but now I see thou art no versifier, thou hast only a prose tongue, & with that thou runst headlong in thy writing with great premeditation had before, which any man would suppose for the goodnes, to be extempore, and this is thy good wit: come, I say, come learne of me, Ile teach thee howe to pot verses an hour together.
        Thou nothing doubtest (as thou sayest) of the patronage and safe conduct of thy booke, and indeed thou needest not doubt, for I neuer ment it harme, but alwayes wisht it might safely passe by me: yet as I was patron to it, I could not but read some of it, but I thinke if I had read it through twould haue poisoned me, it stunke so abhominablye: therefore all the while I was reading of it holding my nose : fye, out said I, had I but knowne this Cockatrice whilst twas in the shell, I would haue broken it, it neuer should haue beene hatcht by my patronage: but tis no matter, thy eye-beames will reflect vpon thy selfe, and will be burning glasses to thine owne eyes.
        And so in a fury (the countries comming downe vpon / me) I like a stout patron out of all the countries that prest me sore, chalenged out the most valiant warrier of them all, Mounseir Aiax, to single combate : him I ouercame, and of him I got safe conduct, and hee hath promised safe conduct to all commers of that race, and moreouer, hee as another patron hath gotten for them all safe conduct from hence to Eely by water. The good admonition thou giuest mee, that is to commence, I thankfully take and willingly would vndergoe, had I but one with whome I might keep mine acts.
         As for mine answere I nothing doubt, that is kept (as I hope) with credit, but my replie is it I stand on, I can get none to answere me: alas, thou art not able, neyther fit, for thy want of a beard taketh away halfe the subiect of our disputation: not that I say a beard would make thee wise and so by that thou shouldst be fit to dispute, but because in what Arte thou wouldst haue mee commence, in that I would dispute with thee: therefore suppose I should demand of thee the reason why thou hast so much haire on thy head, and so thinne or rather almost none at all on thy face? thou couldst not queintly answere, because the haire on the head is twenty yeeres elder then that on thy beard, nor in naturall reason, because the braine seated in the head yeeldeth more moysture about it then any way downeward, by which moysture haire commeth, but thou haste too moist a braine that cannot holde and remember these thinges, or rather thou hast too hard and drye a braine, and so these thinges were neuer imprest into it.
         But / this is thine answere, tis Gods wil it should bee so: Thou wert neuer borne to haue a beard: tis true indeed, thus thou mightest answere to all the arguments in the worlde : but the want of a beard makes thee thus colde in answering, for a beard is a signe of a strong naturall heate and vigour : but the true answere is, thou seekest too many wayes to cast out thine excrementes, thou art too effeminate, and so becomst like a woman, without a beard. Againe, if I should demaund of thee why the haire of a mans head groweth downeward and not vpward, idem reuolueres, this should bee thine answere, because it pleaseth nature. Dost thou not know that haire is the couer of the head? and therefore if it will couer it must lye downe: and doe not all the parts of a man growe downeward, though the whole man growes vpward? And therefore the Philosophers say that a man turned downeward is a plant: that as a plant hath all her boughes, branches and leaues growe vpward, so all the parts of a man are vpwarde when he standeth on his head, as his feete, legs, armes, nose, fingers and the rest : but in faith thou turnd vpward or downeward art but a plant or stocke to bee ignorant in those thinges ; I maruell of what Art thou didst Commence Batchelor: if I had but the question that htou hadst at thy Sophisters Act, I would dispute on that :    but nowe I see I cannot commence for want of an answerer, and I scorne to keepe myne acts in tenebris.
         In this thy trimming, thou being so fit for it, I will worke a wonder on thee, and I will holde any man a wager that I will perform it, that is, whilst I am washing you I will request your conniuence and put my selfe to conniuence, and shaue you quite through, and when I haue done, you shall not be a haire the worse. You may make / a riddle of the same if you will, but I will doe it, and when I haue done, raising my selfe on my tiptoes, I will so hunt thee for my pay, that thou shouldst bee in worse case then the Beuer, who bites off

Leaning on a iest

his stones and layes them in the way for the hunter: for which otherwise he should be hunted to the death: I thinke veryly and in my conscience, I should breake thy head and not giue the rest againe.

        Thou rude wretch, thou wilt be so cosmologizd, if thou beest catcht heere, for calling our Masters of Art first Stigmaticall, that is burnt with an hot Iron : didst thou euer know any of our Masters of Arts burnt with any Irons? then thou callest them sinckanters, which is a proper Epithite vnto thyselfe, for Sinckanter commeth of sincke and antrum a hole, and as all the puddle and filth in the channell, still runnes all along till it comes to a hole or antrum, and there it sinckes in : so all wickednes and abhord villany still straying abroad and seeking for an antrum, at last it findes thee which art the very sincke and center where it restes. And surely if thou shouldst haue termed me so, I neuer would haue suffered it vnreuenged, for as the Torpedo being caught and layd on the ground, striketh a torpour and numbnes into the hand of him that doth powre but water on her: so, I doe not thinke but that in thy Epistle thou calledst me but Dick, which is my name contract, and other adiuncts which in their own nature are neither good nor bad, the very remembrance of me stroke such a feare and numbnes into thy ioyntes, that yet thou shakest as not dispossest of the fearefull feauer. I will stirre thee vp and make thee seething hot, and when thou art in thy heate, I will then quell thee by moouing of thee more and more, as when a pot seetheth if we lade it and mooue the liquor vp and down, euen while it seetheth, wee shall make it quiet. Thou / little wottest of what a furious spirite I am, for I keeping among such spirits in this place, as thou sayst, am my selfe become a spirit, and goe about with howling cries with my launce in my hand to tortour thee, and must not returne home, till Ignatius-like thou shalt be carbondoed, and I shall carrie on my launce-point thy bones to hang at my shop-windowe, in steed of a cronet of rotten teeth, as trophies of my victorie : and this shalbe done, commest thou neuer so soone into my swinge.
        Therefore keep out of my hant, I haue a walke, thou maist be blasted before thou

Spirit walks.comest neere my walke: if thou dost but looke backe and see mee in my walke, thy necke will stand awry, thy mouth distorted, thy lips vgly wrested,
and thy nose hang hooke-wise. But rather I take thee to be a spirit, for that I talking with thee all this while, cannot haue a glance on thee.

        But see, what art thou heere? lupus in fabula, a lop in a chaine? Nowe sirra haue at you, tha'rt in my swinge. But soft, fetterd? thou art out againe: I cannot come neere thee, thou hast a charme about thy legges, no man meddle with the Queenes prisoner: now therefore let vs talke friendlye, and as Alexander sayd to hys Father Phillip, who beeing sorely wounded in the thigh in fight, and hardly escaping death, but could not/ goe on the ground without halting, bee of good courage father, come foorth that euery step thou sets on the ground may put thee in minde of thy manly courage & vertue : so say I to thee, Nashe come forth, bee not ashamed of thy selfe, stretch out thy legs, that euery step thou goest, thy shackles crying clinke, may remember & put thee in minde of all thy goodnes and vertue : I am glad to see thee in this prosperitie, thou neuer wert so rich as now, thou neuer hadst so much money as would buy so faire a payre of fetters; in very deed thou art beholding to thy keeper, that will trust thee with so faire a payre of fetters, neither would he if hee had thee not by the legge : but nowe thou art a good case, thou art no vagabond, now thou seruest a Master, and hast a house to goe to, and coutch to lye in, thou muste bee thriuing and prouident where thou art, and twill bee a good sauing for thee: now thou hast a clog at thy heele as the prouerbe is, thou must learne of Aesops dog to do as he did : that is, thou must crinch vp thy selfe round in thy couch all winter time and dreame of a goodly large chamber, faire lodgings and soft beds, and in the summer time thou must stretch thy selfe, lye all abroad snoring vpon thy couch, and thinke that silly lodging (seeing thou feelest no cold) a stately chamber built of free stone, layd out with stately bay windowes for to take the ayre at. But what neede I tell thee of these thinges? thou knowest

better then I howe to lye in pryson : for what a shame were it else for thee, that hast many a day agoe beene free of all the prysons in London, nowe to learne
Holes in the top.
thine occupation? Thou art a iourney-man long since : I doe not thinke but that thou art able to set ope shop in that trade : for if thou wert but a nouice in it, this deere yeere would quite kill thee.   

But say / how dost thou for victualls, doo not they of thy old acquaintance helpe thee? if euer thou hadst a true frend, now let him show himselfe, for a frend is tried in adversitie : and though the Romanes were wont to say, that a true frend was but the salt and sauce of a banquet ; yet I say, that a true Frend to thee must be salt, sauce, bread, and all the meate beside. But thou hast neuer a true Frend, yet thou hast enough of those frends, that would be sauce to thy meate ; that is, if thou couldst bid them to a supper, they would come to eate vp thy meat, and sawce it with fine talke. But (God knowes) thou hast no need of those frends, thou couldest bee sauce to thine owne meate. Fie on frendship, what is become of it? not one drop nor crum of frendship betweene them all? A true Frend (as they say) were more necessarie than water and fire : for vnles hee come and call for it, thou canst not haue so much as fire and water ; that is, a fire with a cuppe of small drinke by it to nourish thy bodie. What is become of those true Frends Damon and Pythias, Castor and Pollux, Pylades and Orestes, Nisus and Euriolus, Perithous & Theseus, whom death it selfe could neuer seperate? Dead? Then Ioue raise some deadly tyrant to massacre that cancred brood of thy companions, that leaue their iester desolate in the winter of his affliction. I curse them with the more vehemencie, because I see some hope in thee, in that thou now seemest simply to betake thee to the truth. for whereas thou wert wont to cracke and brag abroad, and indeuouredst to shew, that ther was no learning in which thou wert not expert, and how that thou wert indowed with plentie of the liberall Sciences ; which thou knowest to be nothing so ; now thou recantest, and in simple truth saist, thou hast no learning, no not so much as one of the liberall Sciences. Which thou shewest vnto vs by comming foorth in thy fetters, / for none of the sciences are bond-slaues, or kept in chaines  : they are called liberall quasi liberi because they make men free. If these are not sufficient motiues for thee, happily let this moue thee, that by thy proficiencie in philosophy since thou camst in prison, thou hearing of Aesop that dwelt in a tub ; of Anaxagoras, who, in prison wrote his especiall booke Of the quadrature of the Circle : of Socrates, who in prison studied Philosophy, and wrote verses, and yet (as Cardan saith) slept sweetly, so as Socrates gaue more light to the prison, then the prison gaue darknes to Socrates  : And lastly of him that put out his owne eyes, and so eclipst himself of the sight of the world, that he might haue a more cleere insight into the light of nature : keep thou thy self still in prison, eclipse thee from the sight of the world, gaze onely on thy selfe, that so thou more cleerely seeing thine owne deformed nature, mightst labour to reforme it, and bring thyselfe into light againe. But (saist thou) you are a merry man M. Dicke, it befits not the wise to mocke a man in miserie. In truth thou saist true Tom, and for my mindes sake I would not for a shilling but that thou hadst beene in prison, it hath made my worship so merry ; but because thou continuest my precepts that am a Cambridge-man, from whence all vertue flowes, and is the very fountaine and Cunduit-head of all learning. O heere I could praise Cambridge an howre by the clocke.
    Therefore I say, for thy contempt of me I will call thy keeper, and tell him how th'art stolne out of prison & come to help thee off with thy shackles. Noe Thomas noe, I am no pick-locke, I thanke God : I liue without picking though thou liuest not without lockes. But are you gone? thou wert afraid of thy keeper, gow to the place from whence you came, & with a knaues name to / you. Ha, ha, if I had but followed this matter euen a little more, I could haue perswaded thee to liue and dye in prison. Alas, I could doo anie thing with thee now, all thy senses are so taken downe. Happie (quoth I) in prison? haplesse indeed. How happie is the owle caught fast in a lyme-bough, when all the smaller birdes doo chatter at her for ioye? How happie the Rat caught in a trappe, and there dies a liuing death? How happie the tyred Hart striken of the Hunter, who runnes panting, consuming her breath, and at last faints for want of breath? how happie the wearied hare pursued by dogs, euer looking when they shall teare her in peeces? and how happie the cunny-catching weasell insnared in the Parkers net, and hangd vpon a tree? thus happie art thou : with the owle thou art lymed and wondred at, with the Rat thou art sore prest, with the Hart thou art in a consumption, with the hare thou alwaies expectest a teareing, and with the weasell thou shalt be hanged. All these torments are in prison, a demi-hell, where (like fiends) the prisoners crawle about in chaines, euerie one perplext with his seueral paine ; a darksome laborynth, out of which thou canst neuer passe, though guided by a thred.
      O double vnhappie soule of thine, that liues so doubly imprisoned, first in thy bodie, which is a more stinking prison than this where thou art  then, that it accompanieth thy bodie in this prison. Were it not sufficient that one prison should tortor thy soule enough?   No, first because thy soule hath too deepe a hand in all thy knaueries, tis so imprisoned and fettered to thy bodie, that it cannot go without it. Poor Soule, more miserable than the

kings daughter captiuated & long time kept imprisoned in the Theeues houses, at last offering to / breake away, was condemned to be sewed into the Asses
Apostrophe Apuleius

bodie & there to dye ; for the asses bodie was dead, and nothing aliue in the asse (the prison) to trouble the Maid the prisoner. But thy prison is aliue, and all the affections in thy bodie are as stinking vermine & wormes in it, that crawle about thee, gnawing thee, and putting thee to miseries. She in short time was sure to die, and so to be free againe; thou art still in dying, and hoping for freedome, but still liuest, and this augments thy calamitie  : she should haue had her head left out to breathe into the aire, but thou breathest into thy prison thy bodie, that corrupts within thee, and so retournes to bee thyne owne poyson. Thus much miserie (poore soule) thine owne bodie affoords thee, and by being with thy bodie in the second prison, all this is doubled. Now, if thou wouldest bee free from thy

Continuata Metaphora.
prisons, make a hoale in thy first prison, breake out there, and so thou escapest both, thou neuer canst be caught again ; and by this thou shalt crie

quittance with thy bodie, that thus hath tormented thee, and shalt leaue him buried in a perpetual dungeon.
  Here let mee giue a cut or two on thy latest bred excrements, before I goe to the finishing of the perfect Cut.
   A little lump of lead, while it is round, will lye in a small roome, but being beaten it will spread broad, and require a larger place to contain it; and a roape bound fast vp, might easily be couered, but vnfolded & drawne out at length, it hardly can bee hidden : so you (simply considered) are of no report, but if you bee vntrust and beaten out, & your actions all vnfolded, your name cannot be limitted. And now you, hauing a care of your credite, scorning to lie wrapt vp in obliuion, the moth of fame, haue augmented the stretcht-out line of your deedes, by that most infamous, most dunsicall and thrice oppro / brious worke The Ile of Dogs: for which you are greatly in request ; that, as when a stone is cast into the water, manie circles arise from it, and one succeedeth another, that if one goeth not round, the other following might be adioyned to it, and so make the full circle : so, if such infinite store of your deedes are not sufficient to purchase to you eternall shame and sorrow, there arise from you more vnder then to helpe forward : and last of all commeth this your last

worke, which maketh all sure, and leaueth a signe behind it. And of this your last worke, I must needes say somewhat : for seeing that this my first work & off-spring hath remained in my womb beyond the time allotted, it must needs be grown greater ; and if it become a monster, it must needes be in excesse.
Cropt ears.

   O yes, O yes: if there be anie manner of man, person or persons, can bring anye tidings of Tho: Nashe Gentleman, let hym come and giue knowledge thereof, & hee shalbe plenteously rewarded.

    Hearke you Thomas, the Crier calls you. What, a fugitiue? how comes that to passe, that thou a man of so good an education, & so wel backt by the Muses, shouldst prooue a fugitiue? But alas, thy Muses brought thee to this miserie: you and your Muses maye euen goe hang your selues: now you may wish, that he first put the Muses into your head, had knockt out your hornes. But seeing it hath so happened, call for your Thalia among your Muses, let her play some musique, and I will dance at / your hanging? But twas prouidence in thee, to foresee thy woe, and to labour to eschew it, if not by auering what you haue said, and standing too it, yet be shewing your heeles. For as the Prouerbe ; Ubi leonina pellis insufficiens est, vulpina astutia assuenda est. If by strong hand you cannot obtaine it, light heeles are to be required : for one paire of legs are worth two payre of hands. And of all the parts of thy bodie, thy legges are thy most trustie seruants : for in all thy life whenas thou couldest not obtaine of anie of the parts of thy bodie to effect thy will, yet legs thou hadst to commaund for to walke and flee whether soeuer was thy pleasure, neither now in this extremitie doo they deceiue thee. O, how mutch art thou beholding to thy legs? Bankes was not so much beholding to his Horse, that serued to ride on, and to doo such wonderfull crankes, as thou art to thy leggs, which haue thus cunningly conuayed thee. If euerie begger by the high wayes side (hauing his legs corrupted and halfe destroyed with botches, byles and fistulaes) maketh much of them, getteth stilts and creepeth easily on them, for feare of hurting them, because they maintaine them, and prooue better vnto them than manie an honest Trade ; then why shouldest not thou (by and argument, a malo in peius) make much of thy legs, which by speedie carriage of thee from place to place to get thee victualls, do not onely maintaine thy life, but also at this time haue saued thy life, by their true seruice vnto thee. Wherefore (these things considered) thou canst not chuse but in all humilitie offer thy old shooes for sacrifice to Thetis for thy swift feet. And twas wisely done of that dread Liech Apollo to appoint Pisces the signe to the feete, to shew that a man should be as swift as a fish about his affaires. Nevertheless can I accuse you of lazines: for all this time of your vagation, with you I thinke the Signe hath been in Pisces. Now in this thy flight thou art a night-bird, for the day wil bewray thee : the Bat and Owle be thy fellow trauellers. But to come roundly vnto you, this cannot long continue ; the Owle sometime is snared in the day season, and olde Father Time at length will bring you to light. Therefore, were you as well prouided to continue your flight, as is the beast Ephemeron,, which because shee hath but one day to liue, hath manie legs, foure wings, and all what Nature can affoord, to giue her expedition to see about the world for her one dayes pleasure : or as Pegasus that winged Horse, which in swiftnes equalleth the Horses of the Sunne, which in one naturall day perambulate all the world : or as the beast Alce, which runneth on the snow with such celeritie that she neuer sinketh vnto the ground. Were you (I say) as swift as anie of these, you shall be catcht, such is your destinie : and then your punishment shall be doubled on you, both for your flying, and your other villanie.
    Since that thy Ile of Dogs hath made thee thus miserable, I cannot but account thee a Dog, and chyde and rate thee as a Dog that hath done a fault. And yet doo not I know why I should blame dogs? for Can, which signifieth a Dog, is also a most trustie seruant ; for that Dogs are faithfull seruants, to whome their Masters in the night time giue in charge all their treasure. They are at commaund to waite vpon their Masters, whether they bend their iourney, to fight for them against their enemies,and to spend their liues to defend them, and to offend their aduersaries, as we read of King Cazament: who beeing exilde, brought with him from banishment two hundreth Dogges, which (with wonderfull fiercenesse) warred against their resistants : in whom hee reposed much more confidence & hope of victorie, again to / be seated on his throne, than if hee had been defended by a mightie hoast of armed men. And Iasons dogge, his master being dead, neuer would eate anie meate, but with great griefe and hunger died for companie. Tycinus the Sabine had a dogge which accompanied hym to prison, and when he was dead, he remained howling by the carcasse : to whom when one cast meate, he laid it to the mouth of his dead master, to reuiue him againe: and when his corpes was throwen into the river Tybris, the dogge leapt after it, so that all the people wondered at the loue of this faithfull creature. Pirrhus the King going a iourney, came by a dogge which kept the bodie of a dead man : which when hee saw, he commaunded the bodie to be buried, and the dogge to bee brought home with him: this done, a few dayes after came souldiours before the King, among whom the dogge espyed them which killed his master, and barked incessantly at them; sometime looking and fawning on the King, and then barked againe. At which signe the King astonished, examined them, and vpon light examinations they confessed the murder, and tooke punishment for it. Further, we read of a dogge called Capparus in Athens, which in the night pursude a Theefe that robbed a Church, & being driuen backe with stones by the Theefe, followed him aloofe off, but alwayes kept him in sight, and at last came to him, and sat by him while he slept. The next morne, so soone as euer the sunnes golden crowne gan to appeare, and his fierie steedes trapperd in their caparisons set on their wonted race, the theefe fleeing, the dogge stil kept his chase, and complaind in his language to the passengers of the theefe. At last he was taken and brought backe, before whom the dog came all the way leaping and exulting for ioy, as to whome all the prayse was due for this deed.
    The / Athenians decreed that for this publique good, the dogge should be kept by publique charges, and the care of his keeping was alwaies afterward layd vpon the Priests. And I feare mee, and almost diuine so much, that the verrie dogges (wheresoeuer thou plaist least in sight) will bewraye thee and bring thee to thy torture. Againe, (among the Aegiptians) Saturne was called Kyon, because as a pregnant woman, he begot all things of himselfe and in himselfe; and in antique time they worshipped dogges, and had them in great account, till on a time when Cambyses killed a man and cast hym away, no other beast but a dog rauened in the dead carcasse.
    Lastly, to coe neere to your selfe, you shall heare of a dogge that was an excellent Actor. In Rome there was a stage-player, which set out a Historie of diuers personages, among whom there was a dogge to be poisoned and reuiue againe ; a part of no lesse difficultie than the King or the clowne, and was as well perfourmed : for (at his time) he eate the poyson, and presently (drunkard-liek) stackered vp and downe, reeling backward and forward, bending his head to the ground, as if it were too heauie for his bodie, as his Part was; and at last fell downe, stretcht himselfe vpon the stage, and lay for dead. Soone after, when his Cue was spoken, first by little and little he began to mooue himselfe, and then stretching forth his legs, as though he awaked from a deepe sleepe, and lifting vp his head, lookt about him.: then he arose, and came to him to whom his part was he should come: which thing (besides the great pleasure) mooued wonderfull admiration in olde Vespasian the Emperour there present, and in all the other that were spectators.
    These prettie tales of dogges might keepe mee from chi /ding of thee, but thou art no such dogge; these were all well nurtured when they were whelps, you not so: the worme was not pluckt out from under your tongue, so that you haue run mad, and bit venome euer since : for these are the properties of a mad dog. First, the blacke choller which raigneth in them turneth to madnes most commonly in the Spring-time and in Autumne: and you though you are mad all the yeere, yet haue shewed the signe of it especially this last Autumne ; they alwaies run with their mouthes open and their tongues hanging out : wee know howe wide your mouth is, how long your tung; your mouth is neuer shut, your tongue neuer tyed: slauer and fome fall from their iawes as they run, and tis but slauer that proceedeth from thy mouth : though their eyes be open, yet they stumble on euery obiect ; so though thou seest who offends thee not, yet thou all offendest; they whosoeuer are bitten with a mad dog also run mad, and they whom thy vlcered tongue did bite, are so stirred vp by it, that till they haue got you and wormed you, they cannot be well: thus you may see to what misery you were borne. Woe to the teats of thy Dam that gaue thee suck, and woe to blind fortune, that she opened not her eyes to see thee to affoord thee better fortune: and woe to the dog-daies, for in those thou wroughtest that which now works thy woe : take heed heerafter what you do in dog-daies. The natures secretaries record of that kinde of goate called Oryx, that all they yeere her throate is shut, the strings of her voice tyed, til dog-daies come, & then that very day and houre in which the dog-starre first appeareth (at which time dog-daies begin) shee openeth her voyce and crieth : the like miracle these last dog-daies haue done of thee, for what all the whole yeere could not bring to passe, and all the Country long haue ex / pected, that is, thy confusion, these dog-dayes by thine owne wordes haue effected: therefore happy hadst thou beene if thou hadst remained still in London, that thou mightest haue bin knockt on the head with many of thy fellowes these dog-daies: for nowe the further thou fleest, the farther thou runst into thy calamitie: there is watch layed for you, you cannot escape ; th'art in as ill a taking as the Hare, which being all the day hunted, at last concludes to dye, for (said she) whether

should I flye to escape these dogs : if I should flye to heaven, there is canis sidus celeste : if I should run into the sea, there canis piscis marinus
The dog-
The dog-fish

and heere on earth millions of dogges seeke to torment me : aye me, heauen, earth and sea conspire my tragedy : and as wofull as the Cunny which escaping the Weasell fell into the hunters net, of which was that pythie Epigram, Would to God the Weasell with my bloud had sucked out my life, for nowe I am kept a pray for the rauening dogs, and cruell-harted ma˜ sits laughing whilst my body is broken vp, and my guts deuided into many shares: and though yet thou hast escaped thy snares, it will not bee long ere thou beest taken, and then the'rs laughing worke for all the Country; for though thy body were shared out into infinite indiuiduals, yet euery one could not haue his part whom thou hast abused, for recompence for thy iniury done vnto him.
    Nowe let mee see thy punishment for thy Isle of dogges : tis an auncient custome in our Countrie when wee take a dogge that hath done a fault, presently to crop his eares; and this surely for thy fault is thy punishment: but hwy (might some say) are thine eares punished for thy tongues fault? i / answere, thine eares are worthy to be punished for not discharging their office: for whereas they should heare before thou speakest, as they that be skilfull at the ball, first receiue the ball before they cast it foorth againe; and into a vessel there is first infusion before there be effusion out of the same ; the ouer pregnant dog (we see) bringeth forth blind puppies, and the spider that prepares her matter and weaues her webbe together at the same time, makes but slender worke of it, and easie to be broken of euery flye. I say, whereas thou shouldst first haue heard, thou first speakest : thy tongue was in thy eares place ; and for this cause thine eares are iustly punished.
    Nature gaue thee two eares and but one tongue, because thou shoudest heare more then thou shouldest speake, but because thou has spoke˜ more than euer thou heardst, thine eares shall bee taken from thee : She set thine eyes and thine eares both of equall highnes and alwaies open, that they might bee ready to heare and to see, but thy tongue she put into a case that it might bee slowe to speake; but thine eares were dull to heare, and thy tongue too quicke of speach: Therefore thine eares deserue their punishment :

Then to bee short, to haue thine cropt is thy punishment: What Tom,
Ha, ha, ha.
are thine eares gone? Oh fine man will you buy a fine dog? Why thou art in the fashion
thou art priuileged to weare long lockes by ancient charter: but now if the fashion were as hot as euer twas to weare ringes in their eares, faith thou must weare
Crop-eard first wore lockes.

thine euen in thy tongue, because that cosoned thee of thine eares : are thy eares so moueable? art thou a monster? indeede all beasts haue free mouing of their eares graunted to them, but for men I neuer knew any but thee haue their eares mouing, and thine I see to haue the gentle quite remou[d]: I thinke tis a disease, / for I am assured tis a horible paine to bee troubled with the mouing of the eares. I coniecture no goodnes by this strange accident of mouable eares this yere. I hope shortly we shall haue Ballads out of it. I am afraid I tell you by this strange signe, that we shall haue a wet winter this yere: for if it be true (which the Philosophers affirme) that when an Asses eares hang downe toward the ground, tis a certaine signe of raine instant, then seeing thine eares not only hang toward the ground, but euen drop down to the ground, how can it chuse but be a signe of great wet at hand? and to thee it should be a cause of perpetuall showers that should flow from thine eyes : but thou art drye, no droppe of grace from thine eyes. If taking away of thine eares could take away thy hearing too, twere some profit for thee, for then thou shouldst not heare thy selfe railed on, laughed at, nor know thy selfe to be a mocking stocke to all the Country : but ther is a more plaine way made to thy hearing organs, so that thou shalt more lightly heare thy selfe euery where cald crop-eard curre. What wilt thou giue me if I (I am a Chrirugion) make a newe paire of eares grow out of thy head, which passeth Appolloes cunning, that so thou maist stil liue with fame in thine own countrie, or if I heale them as though thou neuer hadst any, that I may goe with thee into Germanie and there shew thee for a strange beast bred in England, with a face like a man, with no eares, with a tung like a venomous serpent, and a nose like no body. The last I care not if I consented to, if thou woldst liue in good order but one half yere: but to the first, that is to giue thee new eares, I neuer wil grant thogh thou sholdst be inspired to liue orderly al the residue of thy life, no thogh I had wax & al things ready : for long agoe hast thou deserued this disgrace to earelesse, euer since thou beganst to write: for libels deserue that punishment, and euery booke which yet thou / hast written, is a libell, and whomsoeuer thou namest in thy booke hath a libell made of him, thou purposing to speake well of him; such is the malice of thy cankerd tongue. Therefore thou deseruedst to loose thine eares for naming the Bishop of Ely and of Lincolne, and for writing of Christes teares ouer Ierusalem: how darest thou take such holy matters into thy stinking mouth, so to defile and polute them? Your Dildoe & such subiects are fit matter for you, for of those you cannot speak amisse : the more you raile of the˜ the neerer you touch the matter: but because you were not punished for those libels, you began your olde course againe, canis ad vomitum, you began to chew the cud of your villanie and to bring more libels into light. But I hope this last libell will reuenge the rest.
    We heare howe you threatned to spoile our stirring Satirist: alas, haue thy writings such efficacie? indeed they are poysoned, but poison will not worke on euery subiect: and if thou shouldst but name him, so that it might giue but any blemish to his fame, assure thy selfe to bee met withal of troops of Scholers which wil soone make thee be one of Terence his parasits: in wounds thou shalt exceed Casianus which was so pittifully pinked of his own Schollers : & now whilst I am in the hot inuectiue, I haue a message to doe to you: the townsmen of Cherrihinton send you co˜mendations, & they demaund a reson of you why you call them clownes? they say, they neuer offered you any wrong, wherefore if euer you come that waye, they will send all the dogs in the town after you to pluck off your ears if they be not gone before you come. Nowe I thinke it be time to remember my promise to the readers, that is that I be not irkesome to them with tediousnes, that so they might with good acceptance digest what hetherto they haue read: therefore I will drawe toward an end and so finish the perfect Cut.
    Where/ as thou commendst thy Epistle to me as a garment for a foole, and therefore that it should bee long : I (as is thy desire) haue cut it with my scissers, layed it ope, and according to that pattern haue made a coate for thy selfe, but it is so short that thou shalt not neede to curtaile it: for some fooles haue long coates for that cause onely, that they might the better hide their folly and couer their nakednes, which els all should see : yet I haue made thy coate short and little, that by thy behauiour in it thou mayst bewray to others thy simplicitie, & if I had tooke in hand to haue made it great enough to couer al thy folly, this is not the twentieth part of stuffe that wold haue serued, neither possibly couldst thou haue had thy new coate against this time : but seeing thy garment is dispatcht for thee, weare it and vse it well, for the fashion of long cloathes is wearing away, & short cloathes will shortly be in request againe, and then thou shalt be a foole of the fashion, as soone as the proudest of them all.
    Againe, this coate for thy body and the coole irons for thy legges, will be a most cooling sute for thee all this Summer time : therefore make much of it, let it not bee thy euery day sute, but as the Utopians were wont to make them sutes of leather, which lasted seuen yeeres, in which they did all their labour, and when they went abroade they cast on their cloakes, which hid their leather cloathes and made them seeme comely and handsome : so if thou canst but get some old, greasie, cast fustian sute to weare within dores, this coate will serue thee to cast on to iet abroad in, and doe thee credit.
    Wherefore (good Tom) I exhort thee to keepe thee (whilst thou art) in good case, thou art well apparelled, it may bee thou presently wilt bestowe a coate of mee : doe not so, all thy coates are threed-bare / and I neede them not, though thou hast many, for I know thou hast three or foure coates ready made (like a salesman) for some body: then, to which soeuer thou sowest but a patch or two co˜cerning me, that coat shal serue me : thou puttest diuers stuffe into one coate, and this is thy vse in all thy confutations, as in this thy book thou bringest into the partie against whom thou writest, his brothers: which argueth (as I sayd before) want of inuention; but skils not, thou art priuileged neuer to goe from the matter, it might as well bee permitted in thee as in the historian, that promising to spake of the faith of the Iewes, made a long tale of Nilus: but (as I said) be a good husband Tom and keep thy coate to thy selfe, thou wilt need them al : and when this coate which I bestowe on thee shall waxe threed-bare, I will dresse it for thee the second time and giue it thee againe.
    This I speak not to wage discord against thee, but rather to make an end of all iarres, that as wife & husband will brawle and be at mortall fewde al the day long, but when boord or bed time come they are friendes againe and louingly kisse one another: so though hetherto we haue disagreed and beene at oddes, yet this one coate shall containe vs both, which thou shalt weare as the cognisaunce of my singuler loue towards thee, that wee liuing in mutuall loue may so dye, and at last louing like two brothers Castor and Pollux, or the two sisters Vrsa maior and Vrsa minor, wee may bee carried vp to heauen together, and there translated into two starres.
    Finally, these thinges considered aright, in loue I beseech thee (that thou maist see I am not past grace) to suffer mee to retort thy grace, and so to end : which my selfe will follow for you ; you suing sub forma pauperis./

A Grace in the behalfe of Thomas Nashe.

    To all ballet-makers, pamphleters, presse hanters, boon pot poets, and such like, to whom these presents shall come, greeting: Wheras Tho: Nashe the bearer heereof, borne I know not where, educated sometime at Cambridge: where (being distracted of his wits) he fell into diuers misdemeanors, which were the first steps that broght him to this poore estate. As namely in his fresh-time how he florished in all impudencie toward Schollers, and abuse to the Townesmen; insomuch that to this daye the Towns-men call euerie vntoward Scholler of whom there is great hope, a verie Nashe. Then being Bachelor of Arte, which by great labour he got, to shew afterward that he was not vnworthie of it, had a hand in a Show called Terminus & non terminus : for which his partner in it was expelled the Colledge: but this foresaid Nashe played in it (as I suppose) the Varlet of Clubs ; which he acted with such natural affection, that all the spectators tooke him to be the verie same. Then suspecting himself that he should be stared for egregie dunsus, and not attain to the next Degree, said he had commest enough, and so forsook Cambridge, being a Batchelor of the third yere. Then he raisd him selfe vnto an higher Clime ; no lesse than London could serue him: where somewhat recouered of his wits, by the excrements thereof (for the space of nine or ten yere) hee hath got his belly fed and his backe cloathed. As also I hope you are not ignoraunt how hee hath troubled the Presse all this time, and published sundrie workes & volumes, which I take with me as humble fellow-suters to you, that you being all in one straine (and that very low, he in a higher key) you would vouchsafe to take him as your graduate Captain generall in all villanie ; to which villanie conioyn your voyces and in which villanie praye and / say together, Vivat, moriatur Nashe. To these premisses, that they are true, and that hee among you all is onely worthie this title, I (as head Lecturer) put too my hand.
                                                                                                  Richard Lichfield.

     But Tom, thy selfe art past grace : for some of thyne owne faction, enuying thy proficiencie and honour to which thou aspirest, hath pocketted thy Grace. O enuie, catterpiller to uertue! But let him kno that thou hast a Patron will sticke to thee, and that thou art gracious in more Faculties than one ; I will put vp another Grace for thee ; wherein he shall haue no voyce, and one onely man and old friend of thine shall strike it dead.
         A Grace in the behalfe of Thomas Nashe, to the right worshipfull and grand Commander of all the superrants a& subtercubants of Englands great Metropolis, the Prouost Marshall of London.
       Forasmuch as Thomas Nash sundrie and often-times hath been cast into manie prisons (by full authoritie) for his mis-behaviore, and hath polluted them all, so that there is not one prison in London, that is not infected with Nashes euill: and being lately set at libertie, rangeth vp and downe, gathering poyson in euerie place, whereby he infecteth the common aire; I am to desire you, that as you tender the common good of the weale publike, and as the vertue of your office requireth, which is to clense the City of all vitious and vnruly persons, when this aboue named Nashe shall happen into your precinctes or dioces of you authority, you would giue him his vnction in the highest degree, and clense vs quite of him, which you shall effect thus: send him / not to prisons any more, which are corrupted by him already, but commit him to be Procter of the Spittle, where hee shall not stay long, least hee breed a plague among them also : but passe fro˜ him to Bull, who by your permission hauing ful power ouer him and being of such amiable and dexterious facility in discharging his duety, will soone knit the knot of life and death vpon him, stro˜ger then that Gordian knot neuer to bee loosed, and by that pritty tricke of fast and loose, will loose your Cittie from him and him from all his infections, and will hang him in so sweet & clear a prospect as that it wilbe greatly to your credit to see the great concourse thether of all sects of people : as first I with my brethren the Barber-Chirurgions of London, wil be there, because we cannot phlebotomize him, to anatomize him and keep his bons as a chronicle to shew many ages heereafter, that sometime liued such a man, our posteritie hauing by tradition what he was, and you in some part might be chronicled (as well as S. George) for destroying this serpent : the˜ ther will flock all the cunni-catchers of London to see the portraiture of the architectours of their arte: lastly, al the Ballad-makers of London his very enimies that stayed hi last grace, will be there to heare his confession, and out of his last words will make Epitaphes of him, & afterward Ballads of the life and death of Thomas Nash. let this grace passe as soone as may bee : if not for any perticular loue to him, yet as your are a Magistrate of the Cittie, and ought to knowe what tis to prefer a publike commoditie : if this grace passe not, hee is like to bee stayde finally till the next yeere. I his head-lecturer present him to you.
                                                                            Richard Lichfield.

    Thus / (curteous Gentlemen) I haue brought you to the ende of his trimming, though he be not so curiously done as he deserueth: hold mee excused, hee is the first man that euer I cut on this fashion. And if perhaps in this Trimming, I haue cut more partes of him then are necessarie, let mee heare your censures, and in my next Cut I will not be so lauish : but as the Curate, who, when he was first instald into his Benefice, and among other Iniunctions being inioyned (as the order is) to forewarne his Parish of Holy-daies, that they might fast for them : and thinking all those Holy daies which hee saw in hys Calender written with red letters, on a time said to hys Parishioners, You must fast next wensday for Saint Sol in Virgo, which is on thursday, because he saw it in red letters. Which mooued laughter to the wise of the Parish ; who presently instructed him, that ouer what red words soeuer he saw Fast written, those hee should bid Holi-dayes: so in short time he became expert in it. In like manner, I hauing but newly taken Orders in these affaires, if heere I haue been too prodigall in snip snaps, tell me of it, limit me with a Fast, and in short time you shall see me reformed.



To help distingish my own theories from accepted facts, wherever I've wandered off into speculation, I've coloured the background as a warning. You can take or leave the stuff inside the coloured areas, just as you wish.

Lent: If the perpetual calendar I checked on the Internet is right, Lent began February 19th that year and Easter fell on April 6th. This, taken with Lichfield's claim that he spent only "the stolne houres of three weekes" on his reply to Nashe's Epistle, suggests he began writing around March 1597 and that most of his work was complete by April. It was published in October. The delay allowed Lichfield to include news of Nashe's involvement with the suppressed play The Isle of Dogs.
But whether Lichfield deliberately delayed in order to include the new section is less clear to me. If his work was substantially done by early April, as he claims, he presumably had three clear months to publish it before The Isle of Dogs was even heard of, for the play seems only to have been put on in late July. The Privy Council took action against it on July 28th.

Nas hum...carentem: I'm indebted to Robert Stonehouse, a contributor to the newsgroup alt.humanities.languages.latin, for an explanation of what Lichfield is saying here:
""I give you Nashe (Mitto tibi Nashum) without (carentem) the N at the beginning (prora N.) and the 'hum' at the end (puppi humque)" -that is, I suspect, with only the 'as' or 'ass' part left."
That seems admirably clear. Robert also suggests explanations for Lichfield's 'polypragmaticall':
" 'Interfering?' Liddell and Scott give 'meddlesome, officious, busybody' for 'polypragmo:n' (Aristophanes' Birds 471, where it looks like 'interferingly enquiring' - van Daele translates'curieux')."

Apuleius This story is given in Apuleius' The Golden Ass. The girl Charite is kidnapped by bandits on her wedding day and held to ransom. When they discover her trying to escape from them on the back of an ass, one suggests they kill the animal: "You know well what you have determined already of this dull Asse, that eateth more then he is worth, that faineth lamenesse, and that was the cause of the flying away of the Maid : my mind is that he shall be slaine to morrow, and when all the guts and entrailes of his body is taken out, let the Maide be sowne into his belly, then let us lay them upon a great stone against the broiling heate of the Sunne, so they shall both sustaine all the punishments which you have ordained : for first the Asse shall be slaine as you have determined, and she shall have her members torne and gnawn with wild beasts, when as she is bitten and rent with wormes, shee shall endure the paine of the fire, when as the broyling heat of the Sunne shall scortch and parch the belly of the Asse, shee shall abide the gallows when the Dogs and Vultures shall have the guts of her body hanging in their ravenous mouthes." (Project Gutenberg's etext of The Golden Asse by Lucius Apuleius "Africanus" Translated by William Adlington,First published 1566,This version as reprinted from the edition of 1639. Typed, scanned and proofed by Donal O'Danachair) Link Before they can carry out this scheme however the girl is rescued by her fiance.

[... I wonder whether Lichfield could read Latin? Adlington's was the most popular, and for all I know the only generally available translation; and one would naturally assume Lichfield must have read The Golden Ass only in translation. He refers above however to Charite being a 'king's daughter'. She isn't, but according to a more accurate modern translation by Robert Graves, she does say at one point she is of royal blood; Adlington's 1639 reprint misses this detail. If his earlier versions also left it out, but Lichfield knew it, it perhaps suggests Lichfield had enough Latin to read The Golden Ass in the original. Also, Charite is held captive only for a night and a day, but during this time an old woman tells her the tale of Cupid and Psyche at length, which forms a big interruption in the narrative. If Lichfield was working his way through the Latin text, the sheer length of this diversionary tale might mislead him as to the time Charite spent with the bandits.]

- It appears that at this point Lichfield changed his original plan in order to insert the news of Nashe's involvement with, and hasty flight from, The Isle of Dogs.

Fish Notice how often the analogy between Nashe and fish is made? I'm inclined to think that, like the ironic 'Tho: Nashe Gentleman' in the mock-proclamation and the title, they are sneering hints at Nashe's humble family background. Several of his relatives were fishermen. He declares in Nashe's Lenten Stuffe that he sheltered at Great Yarmouth while waiting for the furore over The Isle of Dogs to die down. His cousin Mathew Witchingham, resident at Great Yarmouth, was a fisherman.

[Satirist : I'd guess this is a reference to Joseph Hall, Fellow of Emmanuel, whose highly successful satire Virgidemiarum Six Bookes, published earlier in the year, attacked Nashe for obscenity. It would be in character for Nashe to threaten revenge, though there's no other record of this, and nothing in Lenten Stuffe reads like an attack on Hall.]

[ S. George : Taken together with the reference earlier to the Provost Marshal, whose job it is to cleanse the city, this reference to 'S(t).George' seems suggestive to me - a bit like Greene's artless reference to swearing 'by sweet St. George' when he wants to hint at George Peele's identity in 'Greene's Groatsworth of Wit'.
Nashe refers in Pierce Penilesse to the 'Knight Marshals men, that naile vp Mandates at the Court gate, for annoying the Pallace with filth or making water'. I believe the Knight Marshal had responsibilities for maintaining cleanliness and order within 12 miles of the Sovereign's person. I think this passage may therefore be a covert plea to the Knight Marshal, Sir George Carey, to stop protecting Nashe. It was Carey who got him out of Newgate back in 1593, and Carey's man William Cotton was still Nashe's friend in the summer of 1596. Lichfield perhaps hoped after The Isle of Dogs Sir George might finally wash his hands of his disreputable little protegé?]