Nashe On Homer

I think I have written before about my dislike of the busie old foole, unruly sun, and its pitiless battering heat. Proper Hooting Yard weather is an overcast sky with a hint of drizzle. It may well be that this current mini-heatwave is what has caused the lack of sweeping paragraphs of majestic prose at your favourite website. I am listless and enervated, possibly even neurasthenic.

Anyway, at times like this, I find it can be useful to spur myself back into action by reading the titanic prose of past masters. Here is Thomas Nashe, from his final – and fabulous – work, Nashe’s Lenten Stuff (1599):

That good old blind bibber of Helicon, I wot well, came a-begging to one of the chief cities of Greece, & promised them vast corpulent volumes of immortality if they would bestow upon him but a slender out-brother’s annuity of mutton & broth, and a pallet to sleep on, and with derision they rejected him, whereupon he went to their enemies with the like proffer, who used him honourably, and whom he used so honourably that to this day, though it be three thousand year since, their name and glory flourish green in men’s memory through his industry. I trust you make no question that those dull-pated pennyfathers, that in such dudgeon scorn rejected him, drunk deep of the sour cup of repentance for it when the high flight of his lines in common bruit was oyezed. Yea, in the word of one no more wealthy than he was (wealthy, said I? nay, I’ll be sworn he was a grand-juryman in respect of me) those greybeard huddle-duddles and crusty cumtwangs were struck with such stinging remorse of their miserable Euclionism and snudgery, that he was not yet cold in his grave but they challenged him to be born amongst them, and they and six cities more entered a sharp war about it, every one of them laying claim to him as their own

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