The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works (Penguin Classics)
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"Pamphleteer, poet, story-teller, satirist, scholar, moralist and jester . . ."
Thomas Nashe, a contemporary of Shakespeare, was writing in the 1590s, the zenith of the English Renaissance. Rebellious in spirit, conservative in philosophy, Nashe's brilliant and comic invective earned him a reputation as the "English Juvenal" who "carried the deadly stockado in his pen." In its mingling of the devout and bawdy, scholarship and slang, its brutality and its constant awareness of the imminence of death, his work epitomizes the ambivalence of the Elizabethans. Above all, Nashe was a great entertainer, "his stories are told for pleasure in telling, his jokes are cracked for the fun of them, and his whole style speaks of a relish for living."
In addition to The Unfortunate Traveller, this volume contains Pierce Penniless, The Terrors of the Night,Lenten Stuff and The Choice of Valentines, and extracts from Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, The Anatomy of Absurdity, and other works.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
with the invincible Spanish Armada, though they were not such Gargantuan boisterous gullyguts35 as they, though ships and galliasses36 they would have been reckoned in the navy of King Edgar, who is chronicled and registered with three thousand ships of war to have scoured the narrow seas and sailed round about England every summer. That which especiallest nourished the most prime pleasure in me was after a storm when they were driven in swarms, and lay close pestered37 together as thick as they
brazen bowl,10 wherein were shut so many thousands of devils; which, deep hidden under ground, long after the Babylonians, digging for metals, chanced to light upon, and, mistaking it for treasure, break it ope very greedily, when, as out of Pandora’s box of maladies, which Epimetheus opened, all manner of evils flew into the world, so all manner of devils then broke loose amongst human kind. Therein her drowsy divination not much deceived her; for never were Empedocles’ devils11 so tossed from
since we have mixed ourselves with the Low Countries, is counted honourable, but, before we knew their lingering wars, was held in the highest degree of hatred that might be. Then, if we had seen a man go wallowing in the streets, or lain sleeping under the board, we would have spit at him as a toad, and called him foul drunken swine, and warned all our friends out of his company. Now, he is nobody that cannot drink super nagulum,* carouse the hunter’s hoop,263 quaff upsey freze cross,264 with
farderived descent and extraordinary parts, wherewith he astonieth the world and draws all hearts to his love, would have inspired thy forwearied Muse with new fury to proceed to the next triumphs of thy stately goddess. But as I, in favour of so rare a scholar, suppose, with this counsel he refrained his mention in this first part, that he might with full sail proceed to his due commendation in the second. Of this occasion, long since I happened to frame a sonnet, which, being wholly intended to
with it, again, the foolish complacency: ‘Only he tells a foolish twittle-twattle boasting tale… of the funeral of his kinsman, Sir Thomas Smith (which word “kinsman” I wondered he caused not to be set in great capital letters)’ (ibid., p. 58). The abuse is sometimes a straightforward concussion-blow on the bald pate (and Harvey had ‘of late very pitifully grown bald’). More often Nashe can afford to play cat and mouse, even to adopt a ‘be-kind-to-Gabriel’ pose, as when, early in the pamphlet, he