A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th edition)

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A Select Collection of Old
English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th

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Vol. VIII (4th edition), by Various, Edited by Robert Dodsley
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Title: A Select Collection of Old English Plays, Vol. VIII (4th edition)
Author: Various
Release Date: December 15, 2003 [eBook #10467]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
E-text prepared by Jonathan Ingram, Tapio Riikonen, and Project
Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders

Fourth Edition
Originally published by Robert Dodsley in the Year 1744.
Now first chronologically arranged, revised and enlarged with the
Notes of all the Commentators, and new Notes


Summer's Last Will and Testament The Downfall of Robert Earl of
Huntington The Death of Robert Earl of Huntington Contention
between Liberality and Prodigality Grim the Collier of Croydon.


_A pleasant Comedie, called Summer's last will and Testament.
Written by Thomas Nash. Imprinted at London by Simon Stafford, for
Water Burre_. 1600. 4to.

[Thomas Nash, son of William Nash, minister, and Margaret his wife,
was baptized at Lowestoft, in Suffolk, in November 1567.[1] He was
admitted a scholar at St John's College, Cambridge, on the Lady
Margaret's foundation, in 1584, and proceeded B.A. in 1585:] the
following is a copy of the Register:--
"Tho. Nashe Coll. Joh. Cantab. A.B. ib. 1585." The place, though not
the time, of his birth[2] we have under his own authority, for in his
"Lenten Stuff," printed in 1599, he informs us that he was born at
Lowestoft; and he leads us to conclude that his family was of some
note, by adding that his "father sprang from the Nashes of
It does not appear that Nash ever proceeded Master of Arts at
Cambridge, and most of his biographers agree that he left his college
about 1587. It is evident, however, that he had got into disgrace, and
probably was expelled; for the author of "England to her three
Daughters" in "Polimanteia," 1595, speaking of Harvey and Nash, and
the pending quarrel between them, uses these terms: "Cambridge make
thy two children friends: _thou hast been unkind to the one to wean
him before his time_, and too fond upon the other to keep him so long
without preferment: the one is ancient and of much reading; the other is

young, but full of wit."[4] The cause of his disgrace is reported to have
been the share he took in a piece called "Terminus et non Terminus,"
not now extant; and it is not denied that his partner in this offence was
expelled. Most likely, therefore, Nash suffered the same punishment.
If Nash be the author of "An Almond for a Parrot," of which there is
little doubt, although his name is not affixed to it, he travelled in
Italy;[5] and we find from another of his pieces that he had been in
Ireland. Perhaps he went abroad soon after he abandoned Cambridge,
and before he settled in London and became an author. His first
appearance in this character seems to have been in 1589, and we
believe the earliest date of any tract attributed to him relating to Martin
Marprelate is also 1589.[6] He was the first, as has been frequently
remarked, to attack this enemy of the Church with the keen missiles of
wit and satire, throwing aside the lumbering and unserviceable
weapons of scholastic controversy. Having set the example in this
respect, he had many followers and imitators, and among them John
Lily, the dramatic poet, the author of "Pap with a Hatchet."
In London Nash became acquainted with Robert Greene, and their
friendship drew him into a long literary contest with Gabriel Harvey, to
which Nash owes much of his reputation. It arose out of the
posthumous attack of Harvey upon Robert Greene, of which sufficient
mention has been made elsewhere. Nash replied on behalf of his dead
companion, and reiterated the charge which had given the original
offence to Harvey, viz., that his brother was the son of a ropemaker.[7]
One piece was humorously dedicated to Richard Litchfield, a barber of
Cambridge, and Harvey answered it under the assumed character of the
same barber, in a tract called "The Trimmino of Thomas Nash,"[8]
which also contained a woodcut of a man in fetters. This representation
referred to the imprisonment of Nash
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