Friday, August 19, 2011

Good Night Rats

I have lots of leftover bits from John Aubrey to give you: He describes Sir John Popham as "a huge, heavie, ugly man" ("I have seen his picture," he notes) and says that Sir John's son "lived like a hog." Sir Everard Digby (father of Venetia Digby's husband), on the other hand, was "the handsomest man in England... 'Twas his ill fate to suffer in the powder-plott. When his heart was pluct out by the executioner (who... cryed 'Here is the heart of a traytor!') it is credibly reported, he replied, 'Thou liest!'" Sir Henry Lee "was never maried, but kept woemen to read to him when he was a bed... But his dearest deare was Mris. Anne Vavasour." He had an effigy of Mistress Vavasour placed on his grave, and "some bishop did threaten to have this monument defaced." Poor Sir Charles Cavendish "was a little, weake, crooked man" who went around the world collecting rare mathematical texts, "which he intended to have printed... But he died of the scurvey" and his wife "sold the incomparable collection aforesaid by weight to the past-board makers for wast paper." Aubrey calls this "A good caution for those that have good MSS. to take care to see them printed in their life-times." Speaking of Venetia Digby, the reference to "viper-wine" in her chapter caused me to search out this old recipe for viper wine on the "internet." It has vipers in it. The "blogger" says that Venetia's husband wrote "the earliest collection of fermented drink recipes that we know... When his beloved wife Venetia died suddenly it was widely believed that he had accidentally poisoned her with the viper wine that he gave her to preserve her beauty." So that adds a few layers to Aubrey's account, and really, what was Aubrey but a "blogger"? But not everything is about John Aubrey. For example, today I found this picture of Jimmy Olsen being harassed by a beatnik. And then for some reason I read an article about scientists studying the dreams of rats. And so good night. Good night, little rats! (Jimmy Olsen panel via the Silver Age Comics "blog" - hours of fun!) PS: What do rats dream about? They dream about running in a circular maze, say scientists who put them in a circular maze, and they also dream about "standing still."