An Essay on the Life and Writings of Thomas Nash
The Dedication to the Earl of Southampton
To the Gentlemen Readers
The Induction to the Pages of the Court
The Unfortunate Traveller
by a pedant, led Nash to take up a very strong position as a defender of the reputation of Greene. Gabriel Harvey, although the friend of Spenser, is a personage who fills an odious place in the literary history of the last years of Elizabeth. He was a scholar and a university man of considerable attainments, but he was wholly without taste, and he concentrated into vinegar a temper which must always have had a tendency to be sour. In particular, he loathed the school of young writers who had become famous in direct opposition to the literary laws which he had laid down.
Harvey's wrath had found a definite excuse in the tract, called "A Quip for an upstart Courtier, or a quaint dispute between Velvet-Breeches and Cloth-Breeches," which Greene had published early in the year 1592. Accordingly, when he heard of Greene's death, he hastened to his lodgings, interviewed his landlady, collected scurrilous details, and, with matchless bad taste, issued, before the month was over, his "Four Letters," a pamphl