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1598 - Nashe, Thomas - Nashe's Lenten Stuff (1)

Date 1598
Author Nashe, Thomas
Title Nashes Lenten Stuffe
Mentions Maid Marian; H.S.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2013-08-01. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-28.


MOst courteous vnlearned louer of Poetry, and yet a Poet thy selfe, of no lesse price then H. S., that in honour of Maid-marrian giues sweete Margerã for his Empresse, and puttes the Sowe most sawcily vppon some great personage, what euer she bee, bidding her (as it runnes in the old song) Go from my Garden Go, for there no flowers for thee doth grow, These be to notifie to your diminutiue excelsitude, and compendiate greatnesse, what my zeale is towardes you, that in no streighter bonds woulde bee pounded and enlisted, then in an Epistle Dedicatorie.[1]

Source notes

12-17. H. S.,... grow] I do not know whether it has been noticed that we have here an allusion to the title-page of the 1593 edition of Sidney's Arcadia, with its pig smelling at a bush round which is the motto 'non tibi spiro'. The initials H. S. are those of the editor of the volume and writer of the prefatory epistle. They have been variously interpreted, it being supposed by some that they stand for Henry Salisbury (1561-1637?), the Welsh grammarian (D.N.B. art. Sidney; cf. Jos. Hunter, New Illustrations of the Life... of Shakespeare, 1845, i. 276), while in J. Aubrey's Brief Lives, ed. A. Clark, 1898, i. 311, under Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke, we read, 'Mr. Henry Sanford was the earle's secretary, a good scholar and poet, and who did penne part of the Arcadia dedicated to her (as appeares by the preface). He haz a preface before it with the two letters of his name. 'Tis he that haz verses before Bond's Horace.'
There is another and more violent attack upon this same H. S. in the epistle to the reader prefixed to J. Florio's World of Words, 1598, A5v -6. A reference to 'dride Marioram' makes it certain that the editor of the Arcadia is there also intended. Behind these allusions there seems to be a rather interesting literary quarrel, but, so far as I can learn, Nashe had little direct connexion with it, and I must therefore pass it over. In his case the enmity against H. S. may possibly have had some connexion with his edition of Astrophel and Stella', and the action taken – perhaps by H.S., certainly by a friend of the Pembrokes – in immediately issuing a corrected text.
16. in the old song] The song in question seems to have completely disappeared, unless, indeed, it is merely a perversion of the well-known 'Go from my window, go', for which see Chappell, Pop. Mus., 140."

IRHB comments

Lenten Stuffe also includes a passage probably alluding to Morris dancing (and just possibly to a May or summer king):

To his worthie good patron, Lustie Humfrey, according as the towns-men doo christen him, little Numps, as the Nobilitie and Courtiers do name him, and Honest Humfrey, as all his friendes and acquaintance esteeme him, King of the Tobacconists hic & vbique, and a singular Mecænas to the Pipe and the Tabour (as his patient liuery attendant can witnesse) his bounden Orator T.N. most prostrately offers vp this tribute of inke and paper.[2]

McKerrow notes that Humfrey King "[...] was the author of a work of which the third impression was published in 1613 under the title of An Halfe-penny-worth of Wit in a Penny-worth of Paper. Or the Hermites Tale. See Hazlitt, Handbook, 318 b. Practically nothing is known about him. The Hermit's Tale is mentioned by Nashe at 150. 9-10." He also notes with regard to the mention of "the Tabour": "Joking, of course, on the pipe and tabour of the morris-dance." (Vol. IV, p. 374.)

Wilson adds: "To Humphrey King are also dedicated N. Breton's Pasquil's Mistress, 1600 (Poems, ed. J. Robertson, 1952, p. 81) and Anthony Chute's Tabacco (1595). Breton's dedication was clearly influenced by N's. The DNB calls King a shopkeeper, but 'tobacconist' (147. 6) means at this time a user, not a seller, of tobacco. See R. J. Kane (loc. cit.), p. 157. King appears to have been short of stature. N calls him 'little Numps' (147. 3) and Chute refers ironically to 'his Excelsitude'." (Vol. V, p. 53.)



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