Brief Lives : Vol. 1
The rules laid down for this edition have been fully stated in the Introduction. It need only be said here that these have been scrupulously followed. I may take this opportunity of saying that the text gives Aubrey's quotations, English and Latin alike, in the form in which they are found in his MSS. They are plainly cited from memory, not from book: they frequently do not scan, and at times do not even construe. A few are incorrect cementings of odd half lines. The necessary excisions have not been numerous. They suggest two reflections. The turbulence attributed to Sir Walter Raleigh seems to have made his name in the next age the centre of aggregation of quite a number of coarse stories. In the same way, Aubrey is generally nasty when he mentions the noble house of Herbert, earl of Pembroke, and the allied family of Sydney. There may be personal pique in this, for Aubrey thinks he had a narrow escape from assassination by a Herbert (i. 48); perhaps also there may be the after-glow of a Wiltshire 'feud'.
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