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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume III. Renascence and Reformation.

XVII. The Marprelate Controversy

§ 14. The pamphlets of the Harveys

Two new writers now joined their voices to the general wrangle, Gabriel Harvey and his brother Richard, and their entry was the beginning of yet another controversy, to which the poet Greene contributed just before his death, and which was eventually fought out over his dead body by Nashe and Gabriel Harvey. A detailed description of this dispute would carry us too far from the present subject, and we must here confine our attention to its opening stage, which alone concerns the matter in hand. In order, we may conjecture, to add a little flavour to the somewhat thankless task Bancroft had imposed upon him, Lyly, in his Peppe, had deliberately challenged Harvey to enter the Marprelate lists. Harvey at once took up the gauntlet in his Advertisement to Papp-Hatchet; but the writing of it seems to have cooled his anger, for it was not published until 1593, when, in other ways, he had involved himself in a quarrel with the literary free-lances of London. His pamphlet, when it appeared, was found to be more of a personal attack than a contribution to the general controversy, concerning which it assumes an air of academic impartiality, dealing out blows to both parties in that “crab-tree cudgell style” which we associate with its author, and displaying as ostentatiously as may be his learning and wide knowledge of theology. His brother Richard, it may be at his suggestion, now followed suit, though scarcely with the same impartial spirit, in A Theologicall Discourse of the Lamb of God and his enemies, wherein the “new Barbarisme” of Martin is shown to be nothing but an old heresy refurbished.