Thursday, August 18, 2011


I opened the 1949 edition of Aubrey's BRIEF LIVES at random and found one of those "grossnesses" that editor was talking about! WARNING! If you do not enjoy grossnesses, do not keep reading. The following employs scatological language! But it was written in the 17th century - what do you want from me? Aubrey says of Edward de Vere (pictured), "This Earl of Oxford, making of his low obeisance to Queen Elizabeth, happened to let a Fart, at which he was so abashed and ashamed that he went to Travell, 7 yeares." Wow! But wait, there's more. "On his returne the Queen welcomed him home, and sayd, My Lord, I had forgott the Fart." I'm probably the last to know about this. I have lots of questions, like, isn't seven years an overreaction? I mean, according to Mark Twain, Elizabethans were having similar stomach problems all the time. And: when de Vere finally got back, was the queen being nice by saying that or kind of yanking his chain?