John Aubrey Quotes
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Mr. William Shakespeare was born at Stratford upon Avon in the County of Warwick. His father was a butcher, and I have been told heretofore by some of the neighbors, that when he was a boy he exercised his father's trade, but when he killed a calf he would do it in a high style and make a speech.
As they were reading of inscribing and circumscribing figures, said he, I will show you how to inscribe a triangle in a quadrangle. Bring a pig into the quadrangle and I will set the college dog at him, and he will take the pig by the ear, then I come and take the dog by the tail and the hog by the tail, and so there you have a triangle in a quadrangle; quod erat faciendum.
His manner of Studie was thus…About every three houres his man was to bring him a roll and a pott of Ale to refocillate his wasted spirits: so he studied and dranke, and munched some bread; and this maintained him till night, and then, he made a good Supper: now he did well not to dine, which breakes off one's fancy, which will not presently be regained: and 'tis with Invention as a flux, when once it is flowing, it runnes amaine: if it is checked, flowes but guttim [drop by drop]: and the like for perspiration, check it, and 'tis spoyled.
I remember about 1660 there was a great difference between him and Sir Hierome Sanchy, one of Oliver's knights…The Knight had been a Soldier, and challenged Sir William to fight with him. Sir William is extremely short sighted, and being the challengee it belonged to him to nominate place and weapon. He nominates, for the place, a darke Cellar, and the weapon to be a great Carpenter's Axe. This turned the knight's challenge into Ridicule, and so it came to nought.
He left an estate of eleven thousand pounds per annum. Sir John Danvers, who knew him, told me that he had heard one say to him, reflecting on his great scraping of wealth, that his sons would spend his Estate faster than he got it; he replied, They cannot take more delight in the spending of it than I did in the getting of it.