The Choise of Valentines eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 32 pages of information about The Choise of Valentines.

Title:  The Choise of Valentines Or the Merie Ballad of Nash His Dildo

Author:  Thomas Nash

Editor:  John Farmer

Release Date:  February 16, 2006 [EBook #17779]

Language:  English

Character set encoding:  ASCII

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[Transcriber’s Note:  Line notes have been moved to the end of each poem from their places on the individual pages to aid in the flow of the poems]

Choise of Valentines

Or the merie ballad of
Nash his dildo

[By Thomas Nash]

[From MSS.  Copies in the Inner Temple (Petyt MS. 538, Vol. 43, f. viii., 295 b, circa 1680) and Bodleian (Rawl.  MS. Poet 216, leaves 96-106, circa 1610-20) Libraries]

Edited by
John S. Farmer




Nash’s “Choise of valentines” has apparently come down to us only in manuscript form.  It is extremely doubtful (Oldys notwithstanding[a]), whether the poem was ever before accorded the dignity of print.  Nor would it now be deemed worthy of such were the only considerations those of literary merit or intrinsic value:  truth to tell there is little of either to recommend it.  But, as it has been repeatedly said, and well insisted on, the world cannot afford to lose any “document” whatsoever which bears, or may bear, in the slightest degree, on the story of its own growth and development, and out of which its true life has to be written.  Especially is even the meanest Elizabethan of importance and value in relation to the re-construction—­still far from complete—­of the life and times of the immortal bard of Avon.  In the most unlikely quarters a quarry may yet be found from which the social historian may obtain a valuable sidelight on manners and customs, the philologist a new lection or gloss, or the antiquary a solution to some, as yet, unsolved problem.

“The Choise of Valentines” claims attention, and is of value principally on two grounds, either of which, it is held, should amply justify the more permanent preservation now accorded this otherwise insignificant production.  In the first place, it appears to have been dedicated to the Earl of Southampton, the generous patron of letters, and friend of Shakspeare; and second, it is probably the only example extant of the kind of hackwork to which Nash was frequently

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The Choise of Valentines from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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