Thomas Nashe (1567-1601), educated at St John's College, Cambridge, enjoyed the friendship of Lodge, Daniel Marlowe, and of course Greene, along with the enmity of Harvey (q.v.). His controversy with Harvey did not affect at all his judgment of Spenser whom he consistently and extravagantly admired. His tendentious representation of relations between Spenser and Harvey (not reprinted here) has however infected many modern accounts of the friendship; it should be ignored. See however K.B. Harder, 'Nashe and Spenser'. Vanderbilt Studies in the Humanities, II (1955).
(a) From the epistle To the Gentlemen Students of both Universities prefatory to Greene's Menaphon (1589), sigs. A2-A2V; repr. Works of Thomas Nashe, ed. R.B. McKerrow (1910), III. 323 :
As for Pastorall Poemes, I will not make the comparison [with the works of foreign, particularly Italian, writers], least our countrimens credit should be discountenanst by the contention, who although they cannot fare, with such inferior facilitie, yet I knowe would carrie the bucklers full easilie, from all forreine brauers, if their subiectum circa quod, should sauor of anything haughtie: and should the challenge of deepe conceit, be intruded by any forreiner, to bring our english wits, to the tutchstone of Arte, I would preferre, diuine Master Spencer, the miracle of wit to bandie line for line for my life, in the honor of England, against Spaine, France, Italie, and all the worlde. Neither is he, the only swallow of our summer.
(b) From Pierce Penilesse His Supplication to the Diuell (1592). pp. 39-40; repr. McKerrow, I. 234-4:
And here (heauenlie Spencer) I am most highly to accuse thee of