This text follows the one given in Ronald B. McKerrow's 'The Works of Thomas Nashe: edited from the original texts', Vol.I. Any errors are the fault of the copyist and publisher of this text, Rita Lamb. The text is in the public domain.

This "Epistle Dedicatory" was set before Nashe's Strange Newes(1592), the pamphlet in which he first drew a bead on Gabriel Harvey. Its humorous tone effortlessly puts a bomb under all those gravely flattering dedications which precede serious Elizabethan works of literature. Nashe's chosen "patron" is no nobleman but someone he calls his friend - a certain "Master Apis lapis", a "Gentle M. William". In Latin "apis" means "bee" and "lapis" means "stone"; it doesn't take genius to work out the dedicatee's real name was "William Beeston", and the series of jokes Nashe makes about him sketch a pretty clear picture of a good-natured old soak with a beery fondness for versifying and scholarship, but a very weak grasp of Latin grammar. (See 'Speculations' for a possible suggestion as to Mr. Beeston's identity.)

To the most copious Carminist
of our time, and famous persecutor of Priscian, his
verie friend Maister Apis lapis : Tho. Nashe wish-
eth new strings to his old tawnie Purse, and
all honourable increase of acquain-
tance in the Cellar.

Gentle M. William, that learned writer Rhenish wine & Sugar, in the first booke of his Comment upon Red-noses, hath this saying : veterem ferendo iniuriam inuitas nouam ; which is as much in English as one Cuppe of nipitaty puls on another. In moyst consideration whereof, as also in zealous regard of that high countenance you show unto Schollers, I am bolde, in stead of new Wine, to carouse to you a cuppe of newes : which if your Worship (according to your wonted Chaucerisme) shall accept in good part, Ile bee your daily Orator to pray that that pure sanguine complexion of yours may neuer be famisht with potte-lucke, that you may tast till your last gaspe, and liue to see the confusion of both your speciall enemies, Small Beere and Grammer rules.
      It is not vnknowne to report, what a famous pottle-pot Patron you haue been to olde Poets in your daies, & how many pounds you haue spent (and, as it were, throwne into the fire) vpon
the durt of wisedome, called Alcumie : Yea, you haue beene such an infinite Mecenas to learned men, that not any that belong to them (as Sumners, and who not) but haue tasted of the coole streames of your liberalitie.
      I would speake in commendation of your hospitalitie likewise, but that it is chronicled in the Archdeacons Court, and the fruites it brought foorth (as I gesse) are of age to speake for themselues. Why should vertue bee smothered by blinde circumstances?
An honest man of Saffron Walden kept three sonnes at the Vniuersitie together a long time ; and you kept three maides together in your house a long time. A charitable deed, & worthie to be registred in red letters.
      Shall I presume to dilate of the the grauitie of your round cap, and your dudgen dagger? It is thought they will make you be cald vpon shortlie to be Alderman of the Stilliard. And thats well remembred ; I heard saie, when this last Terme was remooued to Hartford, you fell into a great studie and care by your selfe, to what place the Stilliard should be remooued ; I promise you trulie it was a deepe meditation, and such as might well haue beseemed
Eldertons parliament of noses to haue sit vpon.
      A Tauerne in London, onelie vpon the motion, mourned all in blacke, and forbare to girt hir temples with iuie, because the grandame of good fellowship was like to depart from amongst them. And I wonder verie much, that you
sampsownd not your selfe into a consumption with the profound cogitation of it.
Diu viuas in amore iocisque, whatsoeuer you do, beware of keeping diet. Sloth is a sinne, and one sinne (as one poison) must be expelled with another. What can he doe better that hath nothing to do, than fal a drinking to keep him from idlenesse?
      Fah, me thinks my ieasts begin alreadie to smell of the caske, with talking so much of this liquid prouinder.
      In earnest thus ; There is a
Doctor and his Fart that haue kept a foule stinking stirre in Paules Churchyard ; I crie him mercie, I slaundered him, he is scarse a Doctor till he hath done his Acts : this dodipoule, this didopper, this professed poetical braggart, hath raild vpon me, without wit or art, in certaine foure penniworth of Letters and three farthing-worth of Sonnets ; now do I meane to present him and Shakerley to the Queens foole-taker for coatch-horses : for two that draw more equallie in one Oratoriall yoke of vaine-glorie, there is not vnder heauen.
      What saie you, Maister
Apis lapis, will you with your eloquence and credit shield me from carpers? Haue you anie odde shreds of Latine to make this letter-munger a cockscombe of?
      It stands you in hand to arme your selfe against him ; for he speaks against Connicatchers, and you are a Connicatcher, as Connicatching is diuided into three parts ; the
Verser, the Setter, and the Barnacle.
Setter I am sure you are not, for you are no Musitian: nor a Barnacle ; for you neuer were of the order of the Barnardines : but the Verser I cannot acquite you of, for M.Vaux of Lambeth brings in sore euidence of a breakefast you wonne of him one morning at an vnlawful game cald riming. What lies not in you to amend, plaie the Doctor and defend.
      A fellow that I am to talke with by and by, being told that his Father was a Rope-maker, excused the matter after this sort;
And hath neuer saint had reprobate to his Father? They are his owne wordes, hee cannot goe from them. You see here hee makes a Reprobate and a Ropemaker, voces convertibiles. Go too, take example by him to wash out durt with inke, and run up to the knees in the channell, if you bee once wetshod. You are amongst graue Doctors, and men of iudgement in both Lawes euerie daie : I pray aske them the question in my absence, whether such a man as I haue describ'd this Epistler to be, one that hath a good handsome pickerdeuant, and a prettie leg to studie the Ciuill Law with, that hath made many proper rimes of the olde cut in his daies, and deserued infinitely of the state by extolling himselfe and his two brothers in euerie book he writes : whether (I saie) such a famous pillar of the Presse, now in the fourteenth or fifteenth yeare of the raigne of his Rhetorike, giuing money to haue his illiterat Pamphlet of letters printed (wheras others haue monie giuen them to suffer them selues to come in Print) it is not to bee counted as flat simonie, and be liable to one and the same penaltie?
      I tell you, I mean to trounce him after twentie in the hundred, and have a bout with him with two staues and a pike for this geare.
      If he get any thing by the bargaine, lette what soeuer I write hence-forward bee condemned to wrappe bumbast in.
      Carouse to me good lucke, for I am resolutely bent ; the best bloud of the brothers shall pledge me in vineger. O would thou hadst a quafing boule, which, like
Gawens scull, should containe a pecke, that thou mightst swappe off a hartie draught to the successe of this voiage.
      By what soeuer thy visage holdeth most pretious I beseech thee, by
Iohn Davies soule and the blew Bore in the Spittle I coniure thee, to draw out thy purse and giue me nothing for the dedication of my Pamphlet.
      Thou are a good fellow I know, and hadst rather spend ieasts than monie. Let it be the taske of thy best tearmes, to safeconduct this booke through the enemies countrey.
      Proceede to cherish thy surpassing carminicall arte of memorie with full cuppes (as thou dost) : let
Chaucer bee new scourd against the day of battaile, and Terence come but in nowe and then with the snuffe of a sentence, and Dictum puta, Weele strike it as dead as a doore naile ; Haud teruntij estimo, We haue cattes meate and dogges meate inough for these mungrels. Hoeuer I write merrilie, I loue and admire thy pleasant wittie humor, which no care or crosse can make unconuersable. Stil be constant to thy content, loue poetry, hate pedantisme. Vade, vale, cavue ne titubes, madataq; frangas.

                                                         Thine intirely,

                                                                    Tho. Nashe

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