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Fit of all Clerks of Noblemen's Kitchens to be read; and not
unnecessary by all Serving-Men, who have short Board Wages, to be remembered.
Famam peto per Undas.
1599. Quarto, containing eighty-three Pages.
To his worthy, good patron, Lusty Flumphrey, according as the townsmen
do christen him ; Little Numps, as the nobility and courtiers do name him; and Honest Humphrey, as all his friends and acquaintance esteem him ; King of the Tobeconists hic & ubique, and a singular Maccænas to the Pipe and Tabor (as his patient livery attendant can reitness) his bounden orator, T. N. most prostrately offers up this
tribute of ink and paper. MOST
OST courteous, unlearned lover of poetry, and yet a poct thyself,
of no less price than H. S. that, in honour of Maid-marrian, gives sweet marjoram for his empress, and puts the sow most saucily upon some great personage, whatever she be, bidding her (as it runs in the old song)
Go from my garden, go,
These be to notify to your diminutive excellence, and compendious greatness, what my zeal is towards you, that in no streighter bonds
would be pounded and inlisted, than in an epistle dedicatory. Too many more lusty blood Bravemente Signiors, with Cales beards, as broad as scullers maples, that they make clean their boats with, could I have turned it over, and had nothing for my labour, some fair words excepting; good sir, will it please you to come near, and drink a cup of wine ?. After my return from Ireland, I doubt not but my fortunes will be of some growth to requite you. In the mean time, my sword is a tyour command; and, before God, money so scatteringly runs here and there upon Utensilia, furnitures, ancients, and other necessary preparations (and, which is a double charge, Jook how much tobacco we carry with us to expel cold, the like quantity of staves aker we must provide us of to kill lice in that rugged country of rebels) that I say unto you in the words of a martialist, We cannot do as we would. I am no incredulous Dydimus, but have more faith to believe they have no coin, than they bave means to supply themselves with it, and so leave them. To any other carpet-monger, or Primrose Knight of Primero, bring I a dedication; if the dice over night have not befriended him, he sleeps five days and five nights to new-skin his beauty, and will not be known he is awake till his men, upon their own bonds (a dismal world for trenchermen, when their masters bonds shall not be so good as theirs) have took up commodities, or fresh droppings of the mint for him : and then; what then? He pays for the ten dozen of bottles he left upon the score at the tennis court ; he sends for the barber to depure, decurtate, and spunge him, whom having not paid à twelve-month before, he now rains down eight quarter angels into his hand, to make his liberality seem greater, and gives him a cast riding jerkin, and an old Spanish hat into the bargain, and God's peace be with him. The chamber is not rid of the smell of his feet, but the greasy shoemaker with his squirrel's skin, and a whole stall of ware upon his arm, enters, and wrencheth his legs for an hour together, and after shews his tally. By S. Loy that draws decp, and by that time his tobacco merchant is made even with, and he hath dined at a tavern, and slept his under-meal at a bawdy-house, his purse is on the heild, and only forty shillings he hath behind to try his fortune with at the cards in tắe presence; which if it prosper, the court cannot contain him, but to London again he will, to revel it and have two plays in one night, invite all the poets and musicians to his chamber the next morning, where, against their coming, a whole heap of money shall be spread upon the board, and all his trunks opened to shew: his rich suits, but the devil a whit he bestows on them, save bottle ale and tobacco, and desires a general meeting.
The particular of it is, that Bounty is bankrupt, and lady Sensuality licks all the fat from the seven liberal sciences; that Poetry, if it were not a trick to please my lady, would be excluded out of Christian burial, and, instead of wreaths of lawrel. to crown it with, have a bell with a cock's comb clapped on the crown of it by old Johannes de Indagines, and his choir of dorbelists. Wherefore, the premisses considered (I pray you consider of that word Premisses, for somewhere I have borrowed it) neither to rich, noble, right worshipful, or worshipful, of spiritual or temporal, will I consecrate this work but
to thee and thy capering humour alone; that, if thy stars had dorte thee right, they should have made thee one of the mightiest princes of Germany, not for thou canst drive a coach, or kill an ox so well as they, but that thou art never well but when thou art amongst the retinue of the muses, and there spendest more in the twinkling of an eye, than in a whole year thou gottest by some grasierly gentility thou followest. A king thou art by name, and a king of good-fellowship by nature, whereby I ominate this encomium of the King of Fishes was predestinated to thee from thy swaddling cloaths. Hug it, ingle it, kiss it, and cull it now thou hast it, and renounce eating of green beef and garlick till martlemas, if it be not the next stile to cc The Strife of Love in a Dream :" or, The lamentable Burning of Tiverton.” Give me good words, I beseech thee, though thou givest me nothing else, and thy words shall stand for thy deeds, which I will take as well in worth, as if they were the deeds and evidences of all the land thou hast. Here I bring you a red herring, if you will find drink to it, there's an end, no other detriments will I put you to. Let the kan of strong ale your constable, with the toast bis brown bill, and sugar and nutmegs his watchmen, stand in a readiness to entertain me every time I come by your lodging. In Russia there are 110 presents but of meat or drink; I present you with meat, and you, in honourable courtesy to requite me, can do- no less than present me with the best morning's draught of merry-go-down in your quarters ; and so I kiss the shadow of your feets shadow, amiable donsel, expecting your sacred poems of the Hermit’s tale, that will restore the golden age amongst us, and so, upon my soul's knees, I take
Yours, for a whole Last of Red Herringe,
To his Readers, he cares not what they be.
NASHE'S Lenten Stuff! And why Nashe's Lenten Stuff? Some scabbed scalled Esquire replies: Because I had money lent me at Yarmouth ; and I
pay them again in praise of their own town and the red-herring. And, if it were so, Goodman Pig-wiggen, were not that honest dealing? Pay thou all thy debts so, if thou canst for thy life. But thou art a ninny-hammer, that is not it; therefore, Nickenoky, I call it Nashe's Lenten Stuff, as well for that it was most of my study the last lent as that we use so to term any fish that takes salt, of which the red-herring is one of the aptest. 0! but, saith another John Dringle, there is a book of the Red-hepring's Tail, printed four terms since that made this stale. Let it be a tail of haberdine, if it will, I am nothing entailed thereunto; I scorn it, I scorn it, that my works should turn tail to any man. Hea I, body, tail, and all of a red-herring you shall have of me, if that will please you; or, if that will not please you, stay till Easter term, and then, with the answer to the Trim Tram, I will make you laugh your hearts out. Take me at my word, for I am the man that will do it. This is a light friskin of my wit, like the praise of injustice, the fever quartan, Busiris, or Phalaris, wherein I follow the trace of the famousest scholars of all ages, whom a wantonising humour once in their life-time hath possessed to play. with straws, and turn mole-hills into mountains,
Every man can say bee to a battledore, and write in praise of virtuc and the seven liberal sciences; thrash corn out of the full sheaves, and fetch water out of the Thames ; but out of dry stubble to make an after-harvest, and a plentiful crop without sowing, and wring juice out of a flint, that is “ Pierce a god's name”, and the right trick of a workman. Let inc speak to you about my huge words, which I use in this book, and then you are your own men to do what you
list. Know, it is my true vein to be Tragicus Orator, and, of all stiles, I most affect and strive to imitate Aretine's, not caring for this demure, soft mediocre genus, that is like water and wine mixed together; but give me pure wine of itself, and that begets good blood, and heats the brain thoroughly. I had as live have no sun, as have it shine faintly ; no fire, as a smothering fire of small coals; no cloaihs, rather than wear linsey-wolsey. Apply it for me, for I am called away to correct the faults of the press, that escaped in my absence from the printing. house.
THE strange turning of the Isle of Dogs, from a comedy to a tragedy two summers past, with the troublesome stir, which happened about it, is a general rumour, that hath filled all England, and such a heavy cross laid upon me, as had well near confounded me: I mean, not so much in that it sequestered me from the wonted means of my maintenance, which is as great a maim to any man's happiness, as can be feared from the hands of misery, or the deep pit of despair, whereinto I was fallen, beyond iny greatest friends reach, to recover me; but that in my exile, and irksome discontented abandonment, the silliest miller's thumb, or contemptible stickle-back of my enemies, is as busy nibbling about my fame, as if I were a dead man thrown amongst them to feed upon.
So I am, I confess, in the world's outward appearance, though perhaps I may prove a cunninger diver than they are aware ; which if it so happen, as I am partly assured, and that I plunge above water once again, let them look to it, for I will put them in brine, or a piteous pickle every one *. But let that pass, though they shall find I will not let it pass, when time serves, I having a pamphlet hot abrooding, that shall be called the Barbers Warming pan, and to the occasion a fresh of my falling in alliance with this lenten argument. That unfortunate imperfect embryo t of my idle hours, the Isle of Dogs before mentioned, breeding unto me such bitter throws
Quassa tamen nostra est, non mersa nec obruta navis. + An imperfect einbryo, I may well call it, for," I having begun but the introduction and first act of it, the other four acts without my consent, or the least guess of my drift or scope by the players were supplied, which bred both their trouble and mine, loo.
in the teaming, as it did, and the tempests, that arosc at its birth, so astonishing, outrageous, and violent, as if my brain had been conceive ed of another Hercules; I was so terrified with my own increase (like a woman long travelig to be delivered of a monster) that it was no sooner born, but I was glad to run from it. To inconsiderate headlong rashness this may be censured in me, in being thus prodigal in advantaging my adversaries; but my case is now smothered secret, and, with light cost of rough cast rhetorick, it may be tolerably plaistered over, if under the pardon and privilege of incensed higher powers it were lawfully indulged me freely to advocate myown astrology. Sufficeth what they in their grave wisdoms shall prescribe, I, in no sort, will seek to aequit, nor presumptuously attempt to dispute against the equity of their judgments, but humble and prostrate appeal to their mercies. Avoid or give ground I did, scriptum est, I will not go from it, and post varios casus, variable knight-errant adventures, and outroads, and inroads, in great Yarmouth in Norfolk, I arrived at the latter end of autumn. Where having scarce looked about me, my presaging mind said to itself, Hic favonius serenus est, hic auster umbricus, this is a predestinated fit place for Pierse Pennyless to set up his staffin. Therein not much diameter to my divining hopes, did the event sort itself, for six weeks first and last; under that predominant constellation of Aquarius or Jove's Nectar filled, took I up my repose, and there met with such kind entertainment, and benign hospitality, when I was Una litera plusquam* medicus, as Plautus saith, and not able to line to myself with my own juice; as some of the crums of it, like the crums in a bushy beard, after a great banquet, will remain in my papers, to be seen when I am dead and under ground; from the bare perusing of which, Infinite posterities of hungry poets shall receive good refreshing, even as Homer by Galatæon was pictured vomiting in a bason in the temple that Ptolemy Philopater erected to him) and the rest of the succeeding poets after him, greedingly lapping up what he disgorged. That good old blind bibber of Helicon, I wot well, came a begging to one of the chief cities of Greece, and promised them vast corpulent volumnos of immortality, if they would bestow upon him but a slender outbrother's annuity of mutton and broth, and a pallet to sleep on; and, with derision, they rejected him; whereupon he went to their enemies, with the like profter, who used him honourably, and whom he used so honourably, that to this day, though it be three-thousand years since, their name and glory flourish green in men's memory through his industry. I trust you make no question but those dullpated pennifathers, that in such dudgeon scorn rejected him, drunk deèp of the sour cup of repentance for it, when the high flight of his lines in common brute was applauded. Yra in the word of one no more wealthy, than he was (wealthy said I, nay I will be sworn, he was a grand juryman, in respect of me) those grey beard huddlc-duddles, and crusty cum-twangs, wete struck with such stinging remorse of their miserable euclionisin and sundgery, that he was not yet cold in his grave, but they challenged him to be born amongst them, and they, and six cities more,