Page:Elizabethan & Jacobean Pamphlets.djvu/184

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V., VI.—GABRIEL HARVEY AND THOMAS NASH

(Characters of Gabriel Harvey and accounts of his quarrel with the Marlowe groups and Nash in particular, will be found in all histories of Elizabethan literature, and also elsewhere. The war of pamphlets between Harvey and Nash was a very furious word-battle, and its two chief monuments, Pierce's Supererogation and Have with you to Saffron Walden, are as choice examples of scurrility as can easily be found. But both are very long, and as I have set my heart on giving whole pamphlets, I have preferred Harvey's Precursor and Nash's Prognostication. The former is a sort of pilot engine to Pierce's Supererogation, published first before and then with the longer piece, and for all its brevity intensely characteristic of Harvey—the incarnation of the donnishness of his time, and also of a certain side of the Elizabethan man of letters generally. The latter, though evidently composed in direct imitation of Rabelais, of whom Nash was certainly a reader, was indirectly an attack on the Harveys, one of whom, Gabriel's brother Richard, was a great astrologer.)