BRETON, NICHOLAS (1545-1626). —Poet and novelist. Little is known of his life. He was the s. of William B., a London merchant, was perhaps at Oxf., and was a rather prolific author of considerable versatility and gift. Among his poetical works are A Floorish upon Fancie, Pasquil's Mad-cappe (1626), The Soul's Heavenly Exercise, and The Passionate Shepherd. In prose he wrote Wit's Trenchmour, The Wil of Wit (1599), A Mad World, my Masters, Adventures of Two Excellent Princes, Grimello's Fortunes (1604), Strange News out of Divers Countries (1622), etc. His mother married E. Gascoigne, the poet (q.v.). His lyrics are pure and fresh, and his romances, though full of conceits, are pleasant reading, remarkably free from grossness.