I call that day good in which I may spend the morning in bed reading Aubrey’s Brief Lives (cf.) and Cornelius Nepos.1
When Oxford surrendred, the first thing General Fairfax did was to sett a good Guard of Soldiers to preserve the Bodleian Library. ’Tis said that there was more hurt donne by the Cavaliers (during their Garrison) by way of embezilling and cutting off chaines of bookes, then there was since. He was a lover of earning,a nd had he not taken this speciall care, that noble Library had been utterly destroyed, for there were ignorant senators enough who would have been contented to have had it so.2
Failing that, though, I would settle for late eighteenth-century epistolary novels.
- A translation is available, too. Incidentally, I sometimes think that if I could choose to meet anyone in history for a cup of coffee or something, I would choose Atticus — but one can never be sure about such things and the sort of person one would really want to chat with has probably been entirely forgotten, name and all.
- Aubrey’s Life of Thomas Fairfax, Lord Fairfax.